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indrani robbins

Now Brewing

have you been to kerala?

i don’t think the “god’s own country” campaign had started when i first went to kerala. it was in the summer of ’89, my first trip to south india; first bangalore, then cochin. i had no idea what to expect, but a malayalee friend would always speak of the different green of his state. his voice would definitely reflect a funny kind of pride when he mentioned that. being from bengal, another “green” state, with poets and lyricists devoting many…

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indi Poetry

i don’t look at you any more

  i don’t look at you any more for i think you’re the same every day yet you aren’t, are you the light falls differently the colours carouse at their own will there’s purple and pink some day some day it’s less orange sometimes more red than you are in the mood for there’s ochre, mocha, and blue and the shapes? what are they called wish i knew streaks and billows shimmery peaks and meadows lashes of a riotous unfettered…

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Now Brewing

the red oxide floor

it looked like it was going to rain. flashes of lightning lit up the frosted window pane every now and then. the quiet but ominous rumbling of thunder could be heard, approaching. deepa typed away, her mind suffused with a world she had been trying to find words for the entire day. her fingers moved swiftly over the keypad, then halted as the letters began to form a word. no, it wasn’t right, it didn’t say what she was trying…

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Now Brewing

so, veere di wedding

of course, i first heard about it on twitter. it started with all the talk of the m word. yes, masturbation. unbelievable, unheard of… literally a word never ever heard perhaps in the context of an indian film. what am i saying, a word never heard in the public space of the country… even at home, i mean really? that too, girls? right wing trolls went after swara bhaskar, also sonam kapoor, two of the lead actresses, both outspoken young…

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Espresso Shots Now Brewing

five feet of the snake

  “unpalatable to the lord of death! first among the monkeys!! you’ve seen five feet of the snake?? burnt face, extract of low stock!!” jomer oroochi! bandorer ogrogonno!! shaaper paanch pa dekhecho?? mukh pora, bodjaat!! the swear words flew fast, interrupted only by indignant breaths, equally rapid. the frail old lady’s voice got more stentorian with each word, the affront in it resounding. “return them this moment! return them now, i say!” she bellowed, her small frame shaking, her chest…

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road to singapore

punggol peripatetics

punggol apparently means “hurling sticks at the branches of fruit trees to bring them down to the ground” in malay. it also may refer to a wholesale market for fruits and vegetables. i had never heard of this area in the northeast of singapore till one day someone spoke of the wonderful seafood you get out there. a couple of years later, i heard punggol mentioned in the prime minister’s national day speech, seemed it was going to be developed…

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road to singapore

a meeting in mandai

mandai has such a pretty sound and it usually means the zoo to me. but we were not going to go there, we decided, we’d just start out at some point on mandai road and walk around upper seletar reservoir, singapore’s oldest freshwater lake (i don’t like the word catchment) and then follow the road, see where we land up. aj, my really understanding personal trainer to whom i can happily say i hate the word gym unless he means…

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road to singapore

two walks in katong

once, the sea used to come right up to katong, and wealthy merchants and traders had their mansions along the coast. there are several big houses here still, but the sea has been pushed back, by almost a mile i think. i first came to katong – a suburb in the east – with a colleague, to buy cheap perfumes at katong shopping centre. everything changes in singapore, all the time, but happily, the shopping centre with its deep blue…

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Poetry Rambles, Rhymes and Tales

i am grateful for the silence in the night

  i am grateful for the silence in the night as a i sleep there are no gunshots from near or far, intermittent, startling, i walk on the streets, the sky is blue above, a helicopter’s whir i feel no fear, no thought of chemical weapons, no not one, no none my child goes to school, sometimes i forget how not everyday is that   the child soldier, the child kidnapped and raped, the child running down the street naked…

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Reviews

mother of 1084

her son is dead, she is alive. the endless agony of this careens through an entire day: morning, afternoon, late afternoon, evening. now keening, now wretched, now rending, always there, almost a central player. on a day like none other, a day perhaps of reckoning. hajar churashir ma, the mother of 1084, mahasweta devi’s stunning indictment ultimately of a whole way of life even as she grieves with sujata, the protagonist, and senses, elicits, and enunciates her every thought and…

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