Shalla Magazine has re-printed my poem "In Perspective" in their Spring 2009 issue (http://www.shallamagazine.com/issues/winter_blooms_issue/Spring_Issue_poetry.php#inPerspective). The poem was first published in The Cartier Street Review. I am pasting the poem below again for all to read.
by Nabina Das
Earlier it was mile-long street-corner speeches
Popcorn peppered with stinging remarks
Holding hands standing close behind the bustle
Listening to arguments acrid as boiling oil
Partying after elders went home to sleep
Smoking, rehearsing lines for street plays
Riding a rickety bike through the outskirts of
Towns seen on TV - now cindered, broken
Lovemaking endlessly, sleeping in, sharing
News and rumors about paramilitary in town
How they called after lonely girls, after school
Clicked their guns, exhibited silly manliness
Before the cameras and boom mikes it was nice
Every one called every one a friend, at least once
Nagaon, Baramullah, Imphal had weekend markets
Veggies, flowers, knick-knacks people loved
Before insurgency, every one got happy and drunk
Now they have closed tea-shops fearing bombs
Clothes dried in the sun before threats were heard,
No one walks or plays in those courtyards now
Newspapers quote: ‘Things seemed calmer before’
And we wonder if they’re still stunned like the dead.
This was a bit of nice surprise. I heard about Shalla from poet Nikesh Murali whose poem was nominated for the Pushcart prize a couple of years ago. Although I submitted this poem -- Shalla publishes only previously published work -- to them, I wasn't sure what was going to happen to it.
Shalla Magazine's e-mail read thus (you don't really have to read this):
"Congratulations, your submission is now featured on SHALLA Magazine!
See it at SHALLA Magazine: http://www.shallamagazine.com/
Congratulations again—oh, and did I tell you? You are in now in the running for being nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. There will be 6 winning writers chosen in 2009—please check SHALLA Magazine sometime in December when we start posting those results.
Will you be nominated for the Pushcart Prize? Good luck!
Editor & Publisher"
Apparently, work submitted to Shalla Magazine is first scanned by an acquiring editors, if it passes that phase, it goes to the guest assistant editors, if it passes that phase, it goes to one of the guest editors, if it passes that it goes to one of the editors, then to Shalla DeGuzman. Whew! Reason to feel good I guess!
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).