WBRi Online Magazine - Creative Writing

Poetry Meets Cinema: ITI APU (Bengali, 2011) - A Tribute to Apu Trilogy: A Short Film On A Poem Recited by Soumitra Chatterjee

Washington DC, August 1, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) You may have heard the wonderful poems written by Prithwiraj Choudhury recited by Bratati Banerjee and himself that we have featured before in this post. Prithwiraj recently got together with Mrigankasekhar Ganguly and they have created a short film directed by Mrigankasekhar based on the poem "Iti Apu" written by Prithwiraj and narrated by Saumitra Chatterjee, who played Apu in Satyajit Ray's iconic trilogy.

Watch the Bengali short film online.

Baul History 101 Part 3: Tantra Mantra Yantra and Tantra as Sex

By Trishula Das

Editor's Note: This is part 3 of an exclusive history series on Bauls and Baul music of Bengal. Also read Part-1 and Part-2 which are authored by Babukishan Krishnendu Das Baul. Check out our exclusive audio interview broadcast with Babukishan Krishnendu Das Baul available on-demand here.

Babu Kishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul is a Baul Guru, Master of Indian Folk, Classical, and Bollywood music. He has produced, promoted and composed for all the top Bollywood Indian Cinema's musican's and singers. He is the first Baul to compose Fusion Music, receive a modern education with a BA in Indian Philosophy, MA in Indian Music, the first Baul to live in North America. As a Music Director, Composer, for Indian Cinema for 30 years, he has composed over 150 scores, produced 44 albums. A prolific writer, poet, and author of 3 books on Bauls. He has been traveling the world promoting, teaching Lineage Baul for more than 40 years.He spent 12 years as a Vedic Monk with the Ramakrishna Order.

Indian Postage Stamp: Bengali Baul Mela

I was having a conversation with BabuKishan Das Baul this morning about this description of Bauls that says, "Many of them (Bauls) practice a type of psycho-physical manipulation or tantric yoga which emphasizes control of sexual union, the purpose of which is to enable the couple to achieve a break with phenomenal existence, to escape the endless cycle of death and regeneration, and to achieve a state of eternal stability or samadhi.

This practice involves the retention of semen during intercourse and ingestion of bodily secretions..."

This is not the focus of what a Baul is?? There is nothing wrong with this description of Sacred Sexuality, however, you will see this over and over again like a broken record as if this is the only focus, of what Baul is?.... There are many false things written about the Bauls and so many false Bauls, it is really difficult to get to the truth or to know who is a real Baul.

If this is all writers seem to write about Baul then Bauls will be extinct faster than thought. Baul is a beautiful ecsatic mystical lineage and most of the PHD holders took their research from this lineage given only a very limited point of view and now they are trying to teach the lineage Bauls what Baul is?? It takes years and years if not a lifetime to learn Baul philosophy, Baul songs, Baul poetry, Tantra and Yoga.. it is not simple or easy. Just as real Yoga is not simple or easy. The Tantra Bauls practice has nothing to do with the Neo Tantra of the West. It is a mystical shamanic Tantra. I call Bauls the Rasa Lila Mystics because they take the juice and hold it inside of themselves, they distill this juice only keeping the very best of all practices, they keep what works and grind and polish it into a beautiful play.

Babukishan Krishnendu Das Baul

The Haiku Collection-Topsy Turvy

Green skies are quite odd,
And red rivers frighten me.
But, oh, the beauty!

অচিনপুর - অলকা সান্যাল (Achinpur) - A Bengali Poem by Alaka Sanyal - Bengali Online Magazine

"Achinpur" is a Bengali poem (Bangla Kobita) written by Alaka Sanyal presented in Unicode Bengali font.


অলকা সান্যাল

ফুরিয়ে এল দিনের আলো
অন্তরেতে প্রদীপ জ্বালো
সেই আলোতে পথ চিনে ভাই
যেতে হবে অনেক দূর ...

ভাবনা - অলকা সান্যাল (Bhabna) - A Bengali Poem by Alaka Sanyal - Online Bengali Magazine

"Bhabna" (Reflections) is a Bengali poem (Bangla Kobita) written by Alaka Sanyal presented in Unicode Bengali font.


অলকা সান্যাল

অনেক হোলো আসা যাওয়া -
এবার সময় একটু একা থাকি ...

Travelogue: Dancing to the Gypsy Guitar in GRANADA - By Rashmi Gowda (WBRi Online Magazine)

Granada was indeed a revelation, and we were really glad we had come. You may visit a place and enjoy its architectural beauty and history, but mixing with the people always makes for the best experiences and memories.



by Rashmi Gowda

Reshmi GowdaEditor's note: Rashmi Gowda works for a medical device company in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. She grew up in South India, and moved to the US to pursue her MBA. She has been writing short stories, poems and travelogues for her blog rushwrites.blogspot.com and also worked as co-editor for her school's weekly magazine. She can be reached at rashmi.gowda [at] gmail [dot] com.

Granada, May 4, 2011: Aric, the walking tour guide pointed us to La Buleria, if we wanted to listen to flamenco music. The bar was owned by a flamenco legend’s family (Paco de Lucia’s nephew’s family, but I could be wrong), and although there were no scheduled performances, all flamenco artists congregated there after their performances elsewhere, and just jammed. Traditionally, this is how flamenco evolved, with people congregating in café cantentes ortablaos, not with shows or set pieces as it is showcased now. He suggested we go around 1 AM. We got there around 12, a bit too early, there was hardly anyone. The bar itself stocked only hard liquor, and there was a cave like place inside, where about 15 chairs were set in a circle with the backs to the wall. The walls were white, with a very uneven surface, and there were pictures of flamenco artists on the wall. The sound system was playing Camarón de la Isla. I asked if they could put on Orobroy by Dorantes, a song I hadn’t heard since I got to Spain, and one that I missed. The dark haired guy at the bar was dressed entirely in black and said he didn’t have the song. All communication was in Spanish and given my limited grasp of the language, involved a lot of sign language as well. The drinks were a bit too strong for our liking. The martinis that Neeto and Attu ordered were composed largely of vermouth, and a little bit of gin that had to be asked for. My vodka was unwatered down as well, as we realized much later than I could have asked for lime with it.

There was a couple that was already sitting when we arrived. A man in a blue shirt, with hair tied into a pony tail, and a beautiful woman with a camera in hand. One of the men at the bar brought in his guitar, and played us a song strumming along with the guitar and singing in a deep throated voice. After he was done Neeto asked if we could record a song with our cameras, and were told we could, only for a bit. I went to get Neeto a beer.

"Rabindranath Tagore – A Champion of Universal Brotherhood" By Swati Deb | WBRi Online Magazine

Photo of Rabindranath Tagore, taken in 1905 or...

Image via Wikipedia

Rabindranath Tagore – A Champion of Universal Brotherhood

By Swati Deb

Editor's note: Swati Deb is a home-maker and a freelance writer on politics, travel and women-related issues. Her other interests include cooking traditional Bengali dishes. Swati lives in New Delhi

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls ...”

These immortal lines penned by Rabindranath Tagore sounds so relevant in the 21st century today where the international community is struggling to shed the trapping of “narrow domestic walls” and ensure a brighter future and a peaceful world for mankind. The relevance of illustrious Tagore in universal brotherhood cannot be over emphasized at a time in circa 2011 when the world is celebrating his 150th birth anniversary.

While enunciating Tagore’s relevance in universal brotherhood especially in the contemporary setting, it will be an apt exercise to analyze Tagore’s perception about two major players – the United States and China.

The famous American poet Ezra Pound was a vociferous admirer of Tagore’s works. So was Harriet Monroe, the famous literary critic and long-time editor of magazine ‘Poetry’. During his second trip to the US in 1916, Yale University felicitated Tagore with the prestigious bicentennial medal and described the poet as “a great brotherhood of seekers of light and truth”. Not many people would know today that it was during this trip he decided to make Shantiniketan, the world university founded by him, the “connecting thread” between India and the world ...

Pride (Poem)

Inside bleak waters,
Across the gloomy skies.

"The Widow" by Rashmi Gowda - English Short Story (WBRi Online Magazine)

English Short Story

The Widow

by Rashmi Gowda

Reshmi GowdaEditor's note: Rashmi Gowda works for a medical device company in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. She grew up in South India, and moved to the US to pursue her MBA. She has been writing short stories, poems and travelogues for her blog rushwrites.blogspot.com and also worked as co-editor for her school's weekly magazine. She can be reached at rashmi.gowda [at] gmail [dot] com.

When the village slept, the men came knocking.

The young, the married, the old.

They had one thing in common: they were all horny and thought she was an easy lay.

'If only he were alive' she thought, wistfully. She had gotten married when she was all of 19. She knew not a soul, save for the 70-something nearly-deaf, distant relative that accompanied her to her new home. She had a boy a year later. His father was a really good man. Everyone agreed. The crows too. When the village buried their dead, they put food near the body, stepped back and waited. The crows would then gather to peck at the food. Only then would they bury the body. If the crows came quickly, it signified that the dead man, woman or child had led a good life. It must be true, why else did they have to wait two hours before a solitary crow made the obligatory swoop when Madappa died? Tales could be written about how bad a person he was. But not today, not in this story ...

Trip Of Desire - A Short Story by Arin Paul | WBRi Online Magazine

Short Story



Editors Note: Arin PaulArin Paul (Interview)  is a critically acclaimed Bengali film writer-director from Kolkata. In addition to numerous accomplishments as a director, Arin is a founder member and President of the Bangla Telefilm Club - the first telefilm club in the world, and a founder member and administrator of the wildly popular facebook group Cinemania.

Arin can be reached via e-mail at aarinzz [at] gmail [dot] com.

Arin's short story "Never to Return" has previously been posted here.

Rounak Roy, a man in his Forties is a failed Police Officer. He is still a Sub-Inspector of Police at Park Street Police Station. He lives with his wife, Tapati and their son Uttarayan at a rented place in Howrah. Uttarayan is eighteen years of age and has just appeared for Madhyamik Examinations. Tapati is a simple house-wife. Rounak had an arranged marriage and quite early in his life. Within a year of Rounak & Tapati’s marriage, Uttarayan was born. Rounak then was a constable. It was quite a while that his job was not satisfying him and his promotion being delayed. Of late Rounak was very much into alcohol and didn’t have a healthy relation with his family. Also, the economic condition of the family was not good. It was deteriorating day by day with higher expenses and limited income. And with every passing day, Rounak was becoming more & more irritated with his situation. Tapati was having a hard time to run the family and often the couple would end up in big quarrels. Uttarayan would always watch but keep quiet because he knew his Dad would thrash him if he interfered ...

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