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

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day 7: “My Good Clean Luck” and “Grim(y) Fairy Tales”

This was the Day 7 prompt for April PAD Challenge:

Prompt #1: I want you to write a clean poem. Take this however you wish. Clean language, clean subject matter, or cleaning the dishes. Of course, some twisted few will automatically link "cleaning" with hired hitmen. That's okay, as long as your poem is somehow linked to clean.
Prompt #2: I want you to write a dirty poem. Take all that stuff I wrote in the first prompt and twist it upside down. The opposite of clean is dirty; so, do what ya gotta do to produce a dirty poem. (Gosh, I hope this challenge doesn't get too messy as a result.) Read more at
April PAD Challenge: Day 7.

NOTE: I wrote 2 completely different poems on the 2 prompts provided. Tried a comic voice, didn't succeed. What the heck!

1. Clean

“My Good Clean Luck”

It is heartening to know I have this
DriWashSolutions.com near my home
Servicemaster can also arrive asap
If Broom Hilda’s House Cleaning don’t.
Bruce’s Mr. Detail have me on his tail
While I can go out the mile for Angelo Dry
Cleaners got my best evening gala style!
Over my old Nissan Squeaky Clean Car Wash
And Diamond Clean Auto are sure to vie;
Meanwhile I can show you Nice & Clean
Laundromat who’d dig your visit and do rest
Issues with dust mites and unseen grime
With ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning
They’re one helluva cleaner, I bet my dime.

2. Dirty

“Grim(y) Fairy Tales”

Reading news is a longtime habit
Remembering names of crooks is not
Names like Abu Zubaydah, José Padilla…
Wait, Padilla also went by another
Name and what was that other one?
Binyam Mohammed? Dhiren Barot’s
Conspiracy to attack, theory alright.
Still, an intelligent speculation on the
Likelihood of what’d been dirty news.
So what if it all seems a grim fairy tale?
The Possibility of Terrorists Using a
Dirty Bomb, headlines said. Not much
About that Cummings guy in Maine
(Shh, the wife took care of him, ahem).
The judge on the dirty cases, should he be
A villain in our tales? For, the charges
Got dropped. Cases flopped. Meanwhile,
Permitted photos from the sunny Gitmo
Made it seem there’s always an orange
Carnival there. Perhaps it's the Cuban air.

Images from the Internet

1 comment:

Rhett said...

i liked d sarcasm in d first one. yes, they sell everything, and of late, yu can buy going green.