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 30, 2009

Day 29: “Never Touch This Poem”

Here was the Day 29 prompt (whew!): "For today's prompt, I want you to title your poems "Never (blank)" with you filling in the blank with a word or phrase. Then, write a poem based off your title, which could be "Never look both ways when crossing the street" or "Never blush in public" or "Never ever" or "Never write a poem with the word never in the title." You get the idea, right?" Read more at: April PAD Challenge: Day 29




“Never Touch This Poem”

Hear. If you can from there
Wispy flutters inside the ears
A bug stuck, wings of sheer
Silk dying in a verse-like throb

So, be my rhythm lub-dub love
Heart’s step, stopping clear
Of un-penned words and lines
Don’t ask to see or touch them

See, come see my womanly tree
Wild strophes, fruity poetry
Growing off the dusky bark
Sniff the resin, let the thorns be

Don’t give it a name, rather sing
To it. Bring it no prizes, ribbons
Blue. The meters easily change hue
So wait. Outside the gate and see

Touch. Only when it has asked
Away from the learned newsprint
Suave tomes and video screens
Even if it seems a blotch of ink.

Image from the Internet: "Three Worlds" by M C Escher

4 comments:

tikulicious said...

:) you touched my heart with this one Nabs .. I had no time to write mine.. sorry I am commenting so late

fleuve-souterrain said...

Thx! I like writing ABOUT poetry... and Escher's work with it. hmm, special for me!

Runechris said...

Like this alot... you are so talented... gosh. Everything you write is so polished and beautiful.

I like the resin.. interesting how one word or element can remind you of something..

Thanks Nabina...

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.