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Monday, August 21, 2017

Himanjali Sankar’s new novel Mrs C Remembers has been praised for its heartbreaking portrayal of a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s, and rightly so. But there are so many other things going on in the novel, which are equally important. A short review of Mrs C Remembers in Sakal Times published on 20 August.

In the end, however, what stays with you is not the political debate, but the compellingly opaque character of Mrs Anita Chatterjee. As she begins to narrate her story, she begins to lose her memory, an affliction, which is poignant in itself and allows the novelist to construct a fascinatingly unreliable character — a representation of who Mrs C thinks she is.
Everything else in the novel is devoted to highlight the aspects of Mrs C, the ideal daughter, daughter-in-law, wife and mother. But as you look close, everything appears hazy. While Mrs C herself appears to be an unreliable narrator (did she really decide to kill her mother-in-law by conveniently forgetting to give her the medicines?), Sohini, with very different outlook to life, doesn’t seem to understand her mother at all. In terms of narrative trope, this is delicious stuff, and Sankar’s fast-paced writing keeps you hooked until the end, which, offers a wickedly, charming twist.
Talking about ideas, the novel deals with several weighty issues — personal vs relationships, relationships vs ideology. The execution of them is not always perfect; you are left expecting more, but Mrs C Remembers is a rare gem of a novel which devotes the entire length of it in developing a character that is fascinatingly easy to explain, yet frustratingly opaque.

The full review here.

Tejore Kamalapati

Tejore Kamalapati
A Borgeet in Old Assamese by Madhabdeb



Discard your sleep, oh, the spouse of Kamala, dawn breaks
Let me gaze at your moon-like face, oh, wake up Govinda
The night has gone faraway; the horizon is now fair
Breaking the darkness comes out the rays of sun

The bees gather around the blooming lotuses
The women of Braj milk cows singing your praise
Dam and Sudam are outside calling out your name
Look, here, even Balaram is up and awake.

Nanda has left for stables, the milkman to the market
You have take Surabhi for grazing, Gopal wake up
Khir, salt, horn and stick, all your items are set
Make it fast, son, the cattle moo outside

Says Madhab, Mother, what penance did you do
To get the Master of the Three Worlds as your cowherd?

/
তেজৰে কমলাপতি পৰভাতে নিন্দ ৷

তেৰি চান্দ মুখ পেখো উঠৰে গোবিন্দ ৷৷

ৰজনী বিদূৰ দিশ ধৱলি বৰণ ৷

তিমিৰ ফেৰিয়া বাজ ৰবিৰ কিৰণ ৷৷

শতপত্ৰ বিকশিত ভ্ৰমৰ উৰায় ৷

ব্ৰজবধু দধি মথে তুৱা গুণ গাই ৷৷

দাম সুদামে ডাকে তেৰি লৈয়া নাম ৷

হেৰ দেখ উঠিয়া আসিল বলোৰাম ৷৷

নন্দ গেল বাথানে গোৱাল গেল পাল ৷

সুৰভী চাৰিতে লাগে উঠৰে গোপাল ৷৷

ক্ষীৰ লৱণু লৈয়ো শিঙা বেত বেণু ৷

সকালে মেলিয়ো বৎস হাম্বালাৱে ধেনু ৷৷

কহয় মাধৱ মাই কিনো তপসাইলা ৷

ত্ৰিজগত পতি হৰি ৰাখোৱাল পাইলা ৷৷

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Lopamudra Mitra Sings Benimadhob

Lopamudra Mitra sings Joy Goswami’s Benimadhob.


Benimadhob, Benimadhob, I want you!
Benimadhob, do you remember me?
Benimadhob, when you played your magic tune
in the forest, I was at Malati School,
solving sums on the desk, a small class room;
outside the teacher was with her groom.
I was in class nine, I was in the line
Then Benimadhob, we met at Surekha’s house.

...
...

Benimadhob, Benimadhob, it’s a long time.
Tell me the truth, do you remember me?
Have you told you lover the stories — Just
one day I saw her with you and I witnessed
that dazzling light beneath your dazzle;
I agree you did suit each other. The sight
cooled my eyes, the sight blazed my eyes;
returning home, I said let them be happy.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Nabina Das reviews 'Selected Poems Sananta Tanty' in Scroll.in

What Tanty has written is perhaps more pertinent today, given the current political environment. The Kashmir impasse, trouble in the North-East, low-intensity but recurrent conflicts in the so-called backwaters of northern and central India, as well as the urban angst where rifts between religions, upper and oppressed castes, migrant communities and the upwardly mobile are more visible, all offer a foreboding picture of what he said:

I will rebel inside your core, start a revolution
If you rule us at gunpoint forever.

The sky will be the colour of smoke; it will rain blood.

The city will be riotous. People will be oceans.

— "Just For Poetry"

Read the full review HERE.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

"i too call myself i"
'Mor Priyo Saponar Usare Pajore', Around my Favourite Dream, Assamese poet Sananta Tanty's 13th collection of poetry, published in May 2017.

Monday, May 29, 2017

What is your favourite flower?

I wanted to say bokul, filled with the memory of my ancestral village and my grandmother, but the flower of my childhood is a milk white tagar shrubbery (a variety of gardenia?) our next-door neighbour had, next to which we spent our evenings, me and my friend Tublu. We were princes from a faraway land and we rode pitch black horses, with white diamonds on their foreheads.

Today, I don’t remember the scent of the tagar, just a feeling, of slight breeze in sweaty faces.