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

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Two Dada poems in Maintenant 3 (Three Rooms Press)

Got final word today from Kathi Georges of Three Rooms Press (http://www.threeroomspress.blogspot.com/), NY. I had submitted three poems for their new edition of Dada poetry magazine called "Maintenant 3". Out of those, "Newsroom Novena" and "When Kali Speaks for Us" have been taken for publication. Maintenant 3 will be released on March 20 in NYC at Cornelia Cafe. Friend and poet Joy Leftow will be reading/performing her work there. Don't miss it if you are there!
Kathi is one energetic poet, performer and organizer and Three Rooms Press is well known as a "publisher of poetry and plays. Producer of unique happenings in New York, L.A., S.F., Las Vegas, Paris, Lublin, Kythera, Marseille, and Cape May."

What made me write poetry that's categorized as "Dada"? Or are my poems really Dada? I've been reading about Dada movement ever since my school days (and that's a long time ago, believe me). Whether the term caters to abstractism or antiart, Dadaism has a wide scope. It lives on in its overtures to a postmodernist trend in art and writing. What I've been writing can be called Dada for a large part, in its approach to our postmodern world and in its critique aimed at art that is ordered, structured and is a subversion. Didn't well known Dadaist Hugo Ball say: "For us, art is not an end in itself ... but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in"?

And in this time of worldwide economic distress, ever widening inequality, specter of wars (unbelievable!), Dadaism can be heard loud and clear.

Oh, one little anecdote. How did that word "Dada" come about, I've heard being asked. I'd urge you to see Wikipedia (2.1 Origin of the word Dada).

Meanwhile, I must say I love Tristan Tzara, the very name that embodies Dada today.

And, thanks a ton to Kathi for bringing out this journal and keeping the Dada tradition alive. Check out her site for happenings in March.


Roxanne Hoffman said...

Congrats on your new pubs! Friends Brant Lyon and John J. Trause also will have work in MAINTENANT 3. Planning to attend the launch on the 20th.


Anonymous said...


fleuve-souterrain said...

Thanks Nikesh! Hope you are well...

Roxanne, so happy you visited my blog! I must say a huge thanks to you because I picked up the announcement from your site. I simply love Flor del Concreto :)

priti aisola said...

Congratulations! Lovely! Can one read your poems online now? Later, after March 20th? Sorry, couldn't spot them.


Violetwrites said...

very cool blog piece Nabina. I'll be there too. Kathi asked me for 2 and said she loved both but only had room for one. I think I got there late.

Violetwrites said...

I'm going to blog my success and put up a link to this because why try to say what's already been said so well.

Violetwrites said...

you're linked again on my blog. check it so many links to Kathi you john bernie omigod the whole world is there!

fleuve-souterrain said...

Priti, yes, will post them afte rthe March 20 launch. No online edition, sorry!

Violet, you rock! Thanks for linking my blog and kudos to all your poetry accepted all around. Love your work. Also Dx's...

anu said...

Congrats Nabina!

fleuve-souterrain said...

thankoo Anu! A meeting is due soon...

Rebekah said...

congratulations Nabina! most exciting.
look forward to reading.

happy spring,

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