Places

Bombay / Mumbai , India

Bombay / Mumbai , India

« I prefer to use the older name, ‘Bombay,' as it symbolizes the inclusive and cosmopolitan character of my city. »  —Ranjit Hoskote

Unveiling their shine on the cerulean sheet now pitch-dark,

radiant studs, rhombus-shaped compete with beauty


of bicephalous. When the orgulous are on a night out


in their best bib and tucker...

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Doorways to destiny’s legerdemain come alive

after demitasse has leavened. Epiphanies:

asymmetries must realign. Judging someone

knocking at your door is incipient of intent.

...

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My father was the quietest man; his few words made no sense

in the world’s idiom.

Saddled into a marriage

astride a dead horse of tradition he flogged it too many times

for two...

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Students of Sanskrit will recognise, in Kalyana Malla, the author of the erotic manual, Ananga Ranga. Since Sanskrit authors are not often situated, at least not to general readers, in a specific time and place—they...

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Bombay, India [I prefer to use the older name, ‘Bombay’, as it symbolizes the inclusive and cosmopolitan character of my city; the name ‘Mumbai’ was imposed in 1995 by a right-wing provincial (in every sense of the...

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I am the creature that country clichés often mention—
the city animal.

This restless wonderment
at my inability to harness nature in my poetry
is a distant thought now,
overwritten by...

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The classical is a name we give to the hybridity we have forgotten. Its seemingly unassailable guarantees of a pure identity, homogenous culture and continuity with an idyllic past conceal the turbulences that...

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Metaphors could line the back alleys
of distraught kingdoms,
casting rebels,
buzzing like bees,
around intrusive hornets,
breaking out to bigger nests;
productive unrest,
...

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Snakes and ladders

I met Mrs. Kumar twice in my life.

The first when I was an administrative assistant and she, the wife of a man who had climbed the slippery corporate ladder...

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‘Your mother-in-law is responsible for your husband’s sperm velocity. It’s got to do with genetics,’ the doctor says.

‘I thought the sperm had no choice,’ she inquires, ‘isn’t the egg mighty and the sperm one...

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This is the city of dreams,

not for their fulfillment,

but for those that it consumed

and passed down as heirloom;

you can see these on the streets at half past seven,

bare fists...

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Rabisankar Bal’s Ayna Jiban, translated from the original Bengali by Arunava Sinha as A Mirrored Life, is a captivating novel that celebrates the tradition of the katha, the dastan, the qissa and the kahani, the...

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