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

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Love Story Between Composing" on SMOKE Site

You reached
out for the days
of waiting, still-live
cigarette butt-ends
on the expectant
ashtray (the smitten
one) that the Urdu
poet of lilting
lines and starry
fantasies puffed
calling at you
with coiling capers:

Love Story Between Composing

I celebrate this first day of Spring by posting (also my 100th post!) my poem selected for "The Smoking Book". The poem has appeared on this blog as a draft and I am hoping this will be the final version for inclusion in the SMOKE anthology from the small press, POETS WEAR PRADA, specializing in limited edition poetry chapbooks. Also, check out poems by Roxanne Hoffman, Joy Leftow, DubbleX, and Bernard Alain among others on the SMOKE website. Happy Spring!


Misiula said...


fleuve-souterrain said...

oh thank you Misi, if I may call you that...! BTW, reading your blog musings is a pleasure :)

tikulicious said...

I am speechless at the depth with with you bring out the beauty of words Nabina ..thanks for sharing with us ..

fleuve-souterrain said...

Thanks Tiku!
I appreciate your kind words. It pays to have good writer friends like you... :) You saw the first draft of this poem and am really happy I could bring this version alive from there.

priti aisola said...

Superb! Still enthralled by the 'coiling capers'.