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

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 23: "Jeanne Moreau’s Song"

Here was the Day 23 prompt: "For today's prompt, I want you to write a poem of regret. Get creative with this one, but there should be some form of regret either expressed or hinted at (even if ever so slightly). You do NOT have to use the word "regret" in the poem, though it's fine if you do." Read more at: April PAD Challenge: Day 23




"Jeanne Moreau’s Song"

Written on the body
The whirlwind hits the car after
The three of them visit a park

The spinster Saraswati, a jaunty scholar
And a bard called Purnadas
The men eat lunch, wink at her
We don’t know exactly who gets into her car

One does because she has something to show him
Either a song for Purnadas
Or a book for the writer-scholar
One of them keeps watching
As they ride
And he hums the song she sang once
In her forked tongue so mischievous

I finally finish writing this letter:
So you know why after songs are sung
We separate and forget yet reunite
Why we don’t go home while we
Still remain friends under a vanilla sky.


Image from the Internet: Scene from "Jules et Jim", a 1962 French film directed by François Truffaut and based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Henri-Pierre Roché. Starring Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre

3 comments:

Misiula said...

This is precisely the kind of elusive ekphrasis I like.

I love this poem.

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