All Posts By

indrani robbins

Now Brewing

wednesday doodles

i’m zooming through space. social media space. social, that’s what it’s being referred to as these days i think. i’m rushing about on two separate machines, my desktop and my handphone. there’s no time to breathe or pause as i flit from facebook to twitter to instagram to my forum, my blog, you know how it is. they keep saying older people stay away from such things. why don’t i listen to them? i am old people; i’ve seen thirty…

Continue Reading

Now Brewing

if winter comes, can motorer kochuri be far behind

food is so much about memory, isn’t it? i can’t even hear the words “motorer kochuri” without thinking of my mother. my mother was not a great cook, in fact she was never too keen to visit the kitchen. she had, however, the most discerning sense of taste and understanding of the various stages of cooking. she was particular about the spices and condiments she believed a dish called for. the balance of ingredients was important, getting the right inflection…

Continue Reading

Rambles, Rhymes and Tales

i want to pack up the night and

i want to pack up the night and take it with me… wrapped in its folds are stars and stories from afar afar and farther away, even farther than that, where where something of me lives, i’ve known of it long known? no, perhaps not that. knowing is so reduced lit with shining bright light, harsh and stentorian insistent, unrelenting, blinded by its own glory there’s the night, dark and darker still, calling me to those stars, those stories, and…

Continue Reading

Mythology and More

why the hanukkah story reminds me of madhusudan’s magic pot

actually, there’s no magic involved. both are stories of faith. perhaps the sort of faith that brings miracle. i heard one when i was a child, the other after i got married. as my husband, who is jewish, finished telling me why eight oil lamps are lit on hanukkah, i thought of a tiny pot of yogurt and the tale of madhusudan’s bhar. “bhar” means earthenware pot in bengali, and the sound of “r” at the end is more like…

Continue Reading

Film

death of a heart throb

when exactly was it that the word handsome connected to something that actually existed in my world? when did handsome begin to have meaning? when did it leap out of fairy tale, and settle on a real human being? surely it wasn’t when i was only nine? how terrible precocious. but as with children usually, there was no fudging, this was pure instinct. the man indeed was handsome. for almost fifty years now, i’ve not had any reason to change…

Continue Reading

indi

a sliver of sky

the sky is always there, beyond my computer. some instinct of mine, first thing in the morning straight after i wake up and make my way to the day, i come here to my corner and lift the latch of the window, push the frosted glass pane slightly, it swings back. and the sky is there. a narrow triangle of it, lacework of leaves and branches across, but still. along with the sounds of cars from the road and flyover…

Continue Reading

indi

sunday at the keyboard

i haven’t walked on grass in years. why do my toes wiggle and crush up as i type this? as though anticipating something delightful? memory of dew-wet bright green blades between my toes; something pokes, a bed of green and earth yields, my foot sinks into its springy comfort; and lets go, lifts up. the next step. but before that, a rush of breeze on the wet sole of my foot where a few strands of grass and little specks…

Continue Reading

sarees tell stories

iron nails and camel dung

the more i look at the saree, the more it wraps me in thoughts. random ones that i can’t arrange beautifully like the profusion of hand printed patterns on it. i want to write a simple piece, i mutter to myself… about those nails and camel dung, but i can’t stop the steady stream of images and words: shadowy memories of things heard far away in the past, and some just the other day. cotton trade, american civil war, indigo…

Continue Reading

Espresso Shots

triptych

the fan fell on pishima’s head on monday. everyone remembered it was a monday because shome was on a fast. pishima always made fresh shondesh for shome with cottage cheese and a little sugar when he fasted. she flavoured the shondesh with lemon juice sometimes, or plain new date jaggery if it was winter. sometimes she added a segment or two of orange, after carefully removing the skin, pith, and seeds, of course. when the weather got warm, she sprinkled…

Continue Reading

indi

don’t drag me down to your controversy

don’t drag me down to your controversy lift your eyes toward the sky within you from here, stand by me and sense your dream your paradise, your most exalted soul what’s beauty if it won’t even take you there   do you see the evening light on the ripples? there, before you beyond the fastidiously carved quiet balustrade of noontime sun white i know, its brightness is somewhat dimmed, tinged with ochre and time, and conversations   with the river…

Continue Reading