WBRi Online Magazine - Creative Writing

Modern Woman & Gatsby (Poem)

Miss Baker is fresh...

"THE PAWNS" by Nirendra Dev : An English Short Story (WBRi Online Magazine)

Nirendra Narayan DevEditor's Note: Nirendra Narayan Dev (nirendev1 [at] gmail [dot] com), an acclaimed political journalist, is a special correspondent of The Statesman, New Delhi and author of the books Ayodhya : Battle For Peace, The Talking Guns North East India and Godhra A Journey To Mayhem. We have previously had an opportunity of talking to the author and have posted the audio recording of the interview. The author debuts as a fiction writer with this short story "The Pawns" which is based on recent real-life incidents.

The Operation ‘Freedom from Terror’ seems to have taken a decisive turn. The US-led coalition forces are set for victory following the fall of Taliban. Half-a-dozen daily newspapers lay tossed aside. It appeared a lazy morning --- the time piece moved at a lingering pace.  The war has meant different things to different people.  “We were opposed to American unilateralism. The US hegemony is now knocking at our doors,” screamed a communist leader in New Delhi’s famous Ajoy Bhavan even as his fellow comrades appeared reconciled to the ensuing electoral debacle in hitherto red-bastion, the state of West Bengal ...

Send your poems, short stories, travelogues and creative writing to submissions@washingtonbanglaradio.com for consideration towards publication in WBRi online magazine.

Baul History 101 Part 2: Mysticism of the Soil Goes Global

By Babukishan Krishnendu Das Baul

Editor's Note: This is part 2 of an exclusive history of Bauls and Baul music of Bengal by the author. Also read Part-1 here.
You might also like our exclusive audio interview broadcast with the author available on-demand here.

George Harrison of Beatles and Babukishan Krishnendu Das Baul     
Babukishan Das Baul and George Harrison of The Beatles

Bauls do not care for rules and regulations of the orthodox religions they are freedom (moksha) liberation seekers, the original bhakti yogi’s from West Bengal India. Bauls were the newspaper before the printed newspaper with a twist they are spiritual Guru’s, and spiritual messenger of the eternal truths of India. They believe in humanity, they do not negate the body, however this does not mean the body is the focus of everything. To them we are all divine gifts and our bodies are our temples, music is the path, actually you could call them Yogi sound healers of India.

The divine in the form of Radha and Krishna reside in the soul located on the altar of the heart within the human body. This is where the rasa lila dance takes place. The ekatara or Gopi Chand, one stringed musical instrument is the Bauls symbol of unity and peace. Bauls are lovers of Hari, of the divine, ecstatic mystical lovers, they are honey bees gathering the rasa (juice) grinding this juice into the pure love of God intoxication.

George Harrison of Beatles and Babukishan Krishnendu Das Baul
Manju Das, Purna Das Baul, and son Krishnendu Das Baul aka Babukishan (the author)

The first Baul to wander far from the streets of Bengal was Purna Das Baul . As a young lad he pioneered Baul singing on the trains in British India at the tender age of 7 or 8, which eventually led him to all of India, Russia, America to Woodstock and just about every country in the World many times over for the past 60 years. Over the years he noticed everybody making money off of the Bauls, he felt the Bauls should be paid for what they do, they have families and the old ways of survival no longer work. Purna was an advocate of lifting the Bauls up he felt the Bauls should be the only ones gaining from their songs. Everybody was fundraising for their temples always saying, "oh come and sing a song for Krishna," the Bauls became the greatest fundraisers for everybody. Now it is time to raise funds for their own survival and preservation.

Baul History 101 Part 1: The Rasa Lila Mystics, Moner Manush, The Mirror of the Sky!

By Babukishan Krishnendu Das Baul

The Rasa Lila Mystics, Moner Manush, The Mirror of the Sky!

A Small History Lesson on the Bauls of Bengal

Editor's Note: This is part 1 of an exclusive history of Bauls and Baul music of Bengal by the author. Also read Part-2 here.
You might also like our exclusive audio interview broadcast with the author available on-demand here.

Baul Singer - History of Bauls by Babukishan Krishnendu Das Baul

New Baul performers do not know the History of The Bauls of Bengal. Most if not all of the new Bauls representing Baul today are not versed in Sanskrit, Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Yoga, Indian Philosophy or Vedanta, yet this is the basis of being Baul. The new Baul singers have not been taught the incredible historical legacy that is The Bauls of Bengal, indeed, many are more interested in how they look or how they can make themselves a celebrity. There is no Bengal without Baul, and there is no Baul without Bengal. There is a soul connection between the Bauls and the soil of Bengal. I am sorry to say it, but scholars and writers on Baul have it wrong. They have either talked to the wrong Bauls or have cut and pasted what has been falsely written in books and articles regarding who the Baul are. Some are trying to popularize Bauls by saying that we are a rootless religion. This is one of the biggest distortions I have ever come across, and utterly wrong. First of all, Baul is not a religion, Baul is a path of Sanatana (eternal) Dharma, a path of sadhana. Baul roots are not only deep, they are ancient. If you do not know your eternal dharma and proceed on a path without roots you will never understand or gain the depth that is acquired from a strong foundation. In order to understand what truly separates Baul from religion, one needs to understand the history, the roots of Baul and its eternal dharma.

Baul Singer - History of Bauls by Babukishan Krishnendu Das Baul

The oral living lineage of the Baul of Bengal is like an ocean established thousands of years ago. The new rivers flow into the ocean, but the ocean does not flow into the river. The ocean can not become smaller. Every day the ocean becomes more vast, fed by the river which cannot but seek unity. A seed will grow roots then grow into a beautiful tree full of lush leaves, flowers and fruit. The fruit of this tree is called Baul. This fruit can only grow through sadhana. The juice or rasa of Baul is alive because this lineage has kept the light burning for thousands of years of pure devotion. In my observations, the new Bauls are trying to change the unchangeable ocean of the Bauls of Bengal, severing the roots, but without the roots the tree will not grow for future generations. Baul is a mystical tradition of sadhana, a disciple parampara oral living lineage. My lineage, being the oldest living lineage of Baul, pertains to the original ecstatic devotional singer. We are Tantric Bhakti Yogis from West Bengal India. It is now 2011 and we are at a crossroad. In which direction will Baul proceed?


Captain Alex Grau sits on the armchair, his feet propped up on a low stool and his brown eyes heavy with sleep. He dreams of the Great War and its horrors. He dreams of the poison gas, he dreams of the trenches, he dreams of the German child he failed to save. He dreams of returning home, the feel of fresh flowers against his skin and the stench of rotting corpses.

Unrequited (Poem)


Wilson and Gatsby, George and Jay,

The Oraon & the Divine Tree - A Short Novel by Ratan Lal Basu

The giant mango tree stood majestically, towering above the bushes, thickets and other trees in the marshy land that spread undulating between the Rosemary tea garden and the Baikunthapur forest. At noon the shadow of the tree like an enormous umbrella sheltered from the sweltering sun the thickets and bushes of akchhatti, dheki-fern, kukurshoka, datura and host of other herbs and wild plants. The burrows and ground holes sheltered variegated rodents, venomous vipers, mongooses, ichneumons, jackals, wild rabbits, foxes, porcupines, jungle cats, leopard cats and civets.

In winter the swamp glistened with multi-colored flowers embellishing the trees and creepers, and the orchids dangling merrily from the branches of the trees; the air was suffused with the fragrance of flowers and the ambience encompassing the land reverberated with chatters, squawks, clucks and screeches of migratory birds  black-naked cranes, teals, francolins, goosanders, partridges, ibis bills, fork-tails, wag-tails, red-stars, pelicans and innumerable small birds.

[Migratory Birds of Baikunthapur Forest of West Bengal, India]
[Migratory Birds of Baikunthapur Forest of West Bengal, India]
[Migratory Birds of Baikunthapur Forest of West Bengal, India]
Migratory Birds visible in plenty in the locality in winter - pictures collected from Baikunthapur forest officials and edited by Ratan Lal Basu

মাকে মনে পড়ে (Remembering Mother) - A Bengali Poem by Santwana Chatterjee to Mark Mothers' Day: Bangla Online Magazine

Ma ke mone pore (remembering mother) - a Bengali poem (Bangla Kobita) by Santwana Chatterjee in unicode Bangla font published in WBRi Bengali Online Magazine section.

মাকে মনে পড়ে

সান্ত্বনা চট্টোপাধ্যায়

আজ দিনটা মেঘলা, বৃষ্টি হয়েছে শুরু ,

রাস্তায় এক হাঁটু জল ...

Failure Rediscovered - by Shoumika Ganguli | WBRi Online Magazine

Shoumika Ganguli - Poetess - Washington Bangla RadioShoumika Ganguli shares with us this short write up on her journey to getting published. Our readers may remember Shoumika's prior writings on Washington Bangla Radio, including her ode to all mothers of the world "The Hand that Rocked the Cradle", her take on the word "Please" and her poem "Bidding Adieu".


By Shoumika Ganguli

‘Success is 99% failure’, antonyms so beautifully used in a sentence that can actually mollify a livid soul. So with this jaunty quote I start off with a fresh piece of writing, waiting to be lauded as a writer which I know is a way too tumultuous an expectation but may be infinity is another name for expectation. Starting on an optimistic note doesn’t mean that I love the boulevard to my dreams but rather I would like to make a small enlightenment in this regard. I started writing in school when my English teacher once praised me for my immaculate writing and a gamut of thinking stuff. The very next day I read the story of a lady writing on a piece of scratch paper and all the world could know was Harry Potter. I then switched my dream from becoming an Aeronautical Engineer to a full time writer. No sooner I realised the grotesque way.

জীবনমুখী ছবি (Jibonmukhi Chhobi) Bengali Poem by Santwana Chatterjee

A Bengali poem (Bangla Kobita) by Santwana Chatterjee in unicode Bangla font published in WBRi Bengali Online Magazine section.

জীবনমুখী ছবি

সান্ত্বনা চট্টোপাধ্যায়

 তোমার বয়স ষোলো

আর আমার বয়স আশি ।

তুমি বুক চিতিয়ে চল –

আমি খুক খুক খুক কাসি ।

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