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

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Featured poem in "Durable Goods 28"

EVENING THINGS is featured in Durable Goods issue 28, published by Aleathia Drehmer, poet and publisher from Upstate NY.

I think a lot about the home we left behind in Guwahati, Assam. My parents moved from there, and with it a large chunk of our childhood and growing up years.

DG 28 is only in print. Read the poem below:

Evening Things

By Nabina Das

5 p.m. The trees invite blue china clouds

They forget the sun cannot light the lamp

5 p.m. You are drinking tea with honey

Inside a penumbra by the Radhachuda tree

You can wait, then bring the oil lamp out

Circumnavigate the non-existent tulaxi

The Namghar’s 5 p.m. silence will soon erupt

Its tranced kortaal dueting with the khol

5 p.m. You will know that time has struck

Gooseberry dreaming the shadow of a home.

NOTE: I realize there are some words in the poem that are not from the English language and hence need explaining. However, I don't like giving glossary.

Image from my photo album


Unknown said...

Nor should you (give a glossary).

You have a way with words. A power with them. A confidence in spinning the webs we want to get caught in. Thanks. I'll be coming back to dip into your wor(l)ds.
Jon M

Kush said...

Time has struck gooseberry...sweet sentimentality - loved it.
Yeah - you have that way with words - transcend language - play with it -

fleuve-souterrain said...

Thank you Jon and Rhett!

Jon, am so glad you perceive the wor(l)ds ... Your refelction certainly gives me power.

Rhett, playing is our job right? You know it too. A poet plays with language, sometimes strolls with and sprints too...!

Kush said...

"Rhett, playing is our job right? You know it too." If you think I know how to play with lang. Nabs that has to be the best compliment. Oh, am teary-eyed! :D

shamik said...

the durable goods...i am endeared. the Radhachuda tree shaded in a 5 pm silence from our past as seen from your windows. I loved this poem.