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

Monday, March 8, 2010

"The Limbo" -- Essay Published in Troubadour 21

The Migrant City, my writing project supported by an Associate Fellowship from Sarai-CSDS (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies) is a collection of essays and poetry.


Most recently, the essay "The Limbo" is published on TROUBADOUR 21...

Under the series titled DILLIGAF (I know, I know!), it is set in Delhi -- the city of djinns and jagged edges ...!




Here's a teaser:

"The Ferris wheel sways up and down in a maverick fashion. Faces bob and bait me. Men in kurtas, humid tees and even unwashed shirt collars. Women a multitude of colourful heads – pink, red, ochre – covered with sari pallavs or transparent salwar-kameez veils. Kids walk between adult knees. Flower petals fall down crushed in fervent hands and the invisible vermillion powder in the hot air suffocates me. The auto sputters, barely moves.

“I need a smoke,” says my driver. “But someone might be offended.”

I contemplate walking down but remember what happened once. Devotees pushing; someone’s hand in my pocket quickly scrounging for material items; another hand even on my butt, pressing and persuasive. But all this should be Maya. Or magic. You can’t see who does it and how."
Read it in full HERE.


Image from the Internet: Vehicles on Delhi road.

4 comments:

fleuve-souterrain said...

some flower post... had to remove :)

michael~ said...

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I’ll cut to the chase, I’m an anthropologist and I'm currently doing a little study on the blogging subculture. Your perspective is of great of interest to me, so if you don’t mind dropping in on the blog and answering 5 questions, I’d be more that grateful.

http://conflictions5.blogspot.com

If for nothing else, swing by the blog just to take a look...

Cheers~

m-

Anonymous said...

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fleuve-souterrain said...

Michael and Anon
thanks for visiting. Do read more :)