About FOOTPRINTS IN THE BAJRA (Cedar Books, New Delhi); By Nabina Das

"Fittingly for a poet, Nabina’s novel also has a strong lyrical core. 'Footprints in the Bajra' takes the homely image of the millet field as its central metaphor. ... But the novel is less a thriller about guerrilla action than a subtly colored character study of a fascinating group of individuals who intersect at various points in their lives ..." -- DEBRA CASTILLO, author, editor and distinguished professor (Cornell University, April 17, 2010).

Footprints in the Bajra is a serious book that moves at a smart uncontrived pace. It voices deep concerns about how and why the deprived and the marginalized in certain parts of our country join the Maoist ranks; how they adopt desperate and often terrible measures to wrench justice and to make their voices heard... a confident debut novel, a good read, which will leave you with plenty to mull over. -- PRITI AISOLA, author (See Paris for Me, Penguin-India, 2009) in DANSE MACABRE XXXIV.

In her debut novel, Nabina Das writes about an India where social divides stand taller than multistoried shopping malls. Footprints in the Bajra, inspired by what she saw while touring the interiors of Bihar as part of a travelling theatre group, inquires into why the Maoists have an influence over a large section of Indian society. Das talked to Uttara Choudhury in New York about her book, and its protagonist Muskaan -- DAILY NEWS AND ANALYSIS, Mumbai, March 28, 2010.


"The interspersion of references from both the West and India do not clash. Shakespeare and Lazarus as reference points are brought in with ease, as also Valmiki and Goddess Chhinnamasta, and nothing jars ... The language is poetic and creates visual images of beauty and ugliness side by side." -- ABHA IYENGAR, poet (Yearnings: Serene Woods, 2010) and fiction writer in MUSE INDIA, May-Jun 2010

Shwetank Dubey says Nabina Das ably recreates the milieu of Maoist-infested regions of India -- Nabina Das has chosen the first person account of narrating a story from the main characters of the novel, Nora the sheherwali (urban dweller), Muskaan the rebel, Suryakant Sahay the crafty clandestine planner and Avadhut the frontrunner of all the operations... the book deals with something that no urban resident is bound to know on his own — the life and times of people living in Maoist infested areas and why do they give in to the temptation provided by the Red Brigade. -- PIONEER newspaper, April 25, 2010.
'"If you misrepresent them, they'll abduct and kill you," says Muskaan, our hostess'... goes the first line with which Nabina Das settles everything about her novel -- style, subject and pace... Excellent plotline. Wonderful detail. A beautifully crafted book. -- Karunamay Sinha; THE STATESMAN, Sunday supplement "8th Day", May 16, 2010.

"This is bitter-sweet, if a rather longish tale of a modern-day Maoist revolution and the seeds of destruction and betrayal that lie embedded in it." -- Business World, May 17, 2010

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This mail came by the other day from SLS 2008 contest organizers:

Dear Nabina Das,
Thank you for participating in the annual SLS Russia/Kenya contest. As indicated previously, we are offering some merit-based fellowships for our 2008 contestants whose work placed beyond the mean of contest submissions. Our judges were strongly impressed with your writing, and we are pleased to offer you an SLS fellowship, in the amount of a 20% tuition waiver. This offer is being extended approximately to the one-fifth of contest participants who were semi-finalists in each category.SLS programs are renowned for the extremely high quality of their workshops, taught by some of the most innovative, interesting and talented of international writers and poets -- and in order to maintain that level of excellence, we need participants of high caliber of talent and dedication... which is why we'd be happy if you could join us in St. Petersburg, Russia, this Summer.We hope you'll seriously consider this offer. If you haven't already done so, please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with our website, at www.sumlitsem.org. The dates of the Russia program are June 15-28, with an optional third week through July 4.If you choose to accept this offer, we need your reply by April 26. For visa purposes we need your passport info ASAP and, as much as we would like to have you in the program, it fills up very quickly, and we can't guarantee places will be open for long.If you can't make it to Russia, this summer, your scholarship is also applicable to our SLS Kenya program in December. (We had to reschedule the program, due to the recent political developments in that country.) See the Kenya portion of the website for the updated details soon: www.sumlitsem.org/kenya.
If you have any questions about the program or this offer, please email us at sls@sumlitsem.org, or info@sumlitsem.org.
All the very best,

It all sounds fantastic but even after 20% tution waiver, I can't go to Russia...aww.

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