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).

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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.

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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.

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"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


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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.
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'"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.
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"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

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Poems in Lit Up Magazine

Got word recently from editor Mike Covey that two of my new poems are published in Lit Up Magazine. Follow the link http://litupmagazine.wordpress.com/new/. Lit Up Magazine is a cool journal of poetry, fiction and art. Check it out.

For all those lazy people out there :-), I am pasting the poems below:

Othello’s Path
Butterflies dropped dead from branches
Where they never grew
Dewdrops of nights that stifled dawns
Lay on your path
Or were they tiny handkerchiefs
Outlining a long sorrowful track?
White of course
Black with guile
Wordsmiths called
It green, envy
But when the foliage died
No one was left to pry
So, don’t walk that path dear Othello
Don’t wipe your eyes with
Those thunderstruck fingers, they’ll teach
You rage and us a loss forever to linger.
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Bouquets
In very hot weather
Flowers wilt like bouquets
As do kneeling gardeners
But no one hears them.
It is fashionable for us to
Take bouquets - not words -
To happy or sad rituals where
No one deciphers the flowers.
We can shade the buds
But that may deter buzzing bees
Heavy with the delusion of summer
And the ensuing calm.

4 comments:

Mys Lyke Meeh said...

Hey--once again, it was so amazing to read your poems, it's deep and meaningful!

I will roll you okay? I want to read more of ur work!

Take care--

Too much to lose said...

Beautiful pieces.....Bouquets , somewhere , symbolizes mankind's ignorance !!

fleuve-souterrain said...

Dear Mys
I'd love to be in your blogroll... and thanks for liking the poems. As long as they provoke or stir emotions, I think my job as a poet is well done. I may be slow these days because am visiting family in India... but yeah, do keep coming back.

TMTL
Actually "Bouquets" is my favorite among the two... I had this terrible impulse to let out an angst. "Flowers wilt like bouquets/as do kneeling gardeners..." is something that haunted me in my sleep! Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Your poems sound haunting and beautiful but I must confess that I am still struggling to 'decipher' the deep meanings. My slowness ...
priti aisola