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

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 14: "A Ghazal And a Ruba'i"

Here was the Day 14 prompt, a special one: "Today is Tuesday, which means two prompts. First prompt: Write a love poem. Second prompt: Write an anti-love poem. Simple as that." Read more at: April PAD Challenge: Day 14


~~A GHAZAL And a RUBA'I~~




1. Ghazal: “Love Labored, Not Lost”

This my fiery desire, my passion, my frustrations are new
Please understand because this trembling love itself is new

You who smile at my impatience, my eager foot-tapping
How’d you know: for me you and for you, yes, I am new

There was a time, silly, when moonlight seemed out of focus
As soon as I saw your face, after long separations, anew

See, the morning again has dawned abashed with such pleas
Facing the ray of your lips, arms, throbbing blood and sinew!

Remember that first rendezvous in the dark movie theater –
I still have the browned dog-eared tickets as if they are new

The first exchange of words that mostly meant nothing then
They come back to me like precious jewels shining and new

You do hear me speak but don’t hear what my heart sings
Go on, trick me, your stance is something I always knew

So if love is my forte and sweet ignorance is your clever ploy
Tell me “Navi”, what’d you achieve with ballads old or new?
**


2. "The Wife Sings A Ruba'i"

Wish it were two homes side by side
Us, meeting and loving at will, any woe denied
A sherbet glass, wood apples and Megh Malhar tones
Is it not love’s best flavor picked and tried?

Images from the Internet: Rajasthani miniature & Persian art

5 comments:

priti aisola said...

The Ruba'i is cute.

anu said...

Very Nice! now i want to listen to megh malhar -will go youtube hunting.

tikulicious said...

:) this sure is interesting Nabina. I loved the Ruba'i. It is great to experiment with the forms of poetry. keep it up.

fleuve-souterrain said...

Priti, it's after some intresting thought I had!
Anu, Megh Malhar is decidedly a treat...
Tiku, yup the ruba'i is also a lot of my thoughts than just poetry. I am glad you like my experimenting...:)

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