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, April 22, 2009

Day 22: "My Work"

Here was the Day 22 prompt: "For today's prompt, I want you to write a work-related poem. Work doesn't have to be the main feature of the poem, but I want you to "work" it in somehow. And remember: There are different types of work. Of course, there are the activities that gain you fortune and fame (or not), but then, there's also housework, exercise, volunteering, etc. I'm sure you'll "work" it out." Read more at: April PAD Challenge: Day 22

“My Work”

My work you may know by now
Is all about reading, writing, words
All of it tough as Barthes’ bark
More intriguing than embedded quarks
Willy nilly wild as the unimaginable Snark!
It’s all about dirty pretty jaunty words
When they split into sharp-edged shards
They frighten all the evil sharks
Of this real world to hide and duck
From my little job, pen and paper work.
Work’s worship? Yeah, it even stops warships
Awesome, right? So I love my work!
I live inside my meta forests of words
Dive daily into the alphabet soups
Though never for a wee moment stoop
To conquer the power of them stark.
The book’s my work, the journal’s my ark
This printed page and those lettered barks
That shake the world of ideas, but hark!
Not an easy game of dice this word-ful work
It pays so damn little for all your luck
To finish it I’m sometimes up ‘fore Foucault’s lark.

Image from the Internet: Ford Madox Brown, "Work" (1852–63), Wikimedia


anu said...

Well captured! a mentor told me long ago "keep working, money and fame will find you", just wish it finds its way sooner :)

Violetwrites said...

like meta forest of words

fleuve-souterrain said...

Thanks Violet! Love ya!
Anu, gracias! I hope that does happen a bit, ha ha!

Anonymous said...

;) lovely.. forests of words, alphabet soups . very interesting..

priti aisola said...

Well-said! And very enjoyable the wit and the humor.

fleuve-souterrain said...

Thanks Tiku! wordy words!

Thx Priti, happy I could emerge as the witty poet too!