Poems, Stories, Prose | The Best from Contributing Creative Writers on WBRi Kolkata Radio Magazine

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

English Short Story

Barren

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.


Venka had not slept all night. He had been praying for a way out of the mess he was in. There was no divine inspiration. His God had forsaken him. He wondered what Appa would have said if he saw him now ...



"Kathegarana Shaapa - The Storyteller’s Curse" by Rashmi Gowda (WBRi Online Magazine)

Kathegarana Shaapa | The Storyteller’s Curse

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.

I am Kathegara, the storyteller. Over the centuries I have been called many other names: Baghawatha the narrator and Soothradhara the holder of strings. I was five years old when my destiny was foretold. I still remember the day clearly. It was near the end of the Rig-veda, one of the most glorious times in the purity of spiritual thought. A thin, tall man with a beard and long hair appeared at our doorstep. He carried a staff in his hand. My grandmother went in to get some food.

“We never turn away a hungry man” explained my mother, in my ear, while I sat in her lap.

As the man accepted the alms, he asked if he could have some water, his throat was parched.

“Go fetch water” said my mother, giving me a slight push. I already knew that it was considered a sin to deny someone water ...


"The Guiding Sun, Soothing Moon" by Nirendra Dev : An English Short Story (WBRi Online Magazine)

The Guiding Sun, Soothing Moon

By Nirendra Dev

A Short Story


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. Nirendra was born and brought up in India's northeast and his father served with paramilitary force Assam Rifles. His blog is at bestofindiarestofindia.blogspot.com.

We have previously had an opportunity of talking to the author and have posted the audio recording of the interview.

The author's previous short-story has also been published in our Magazine section: "Arms of Comfort"


In the lap of concrete jungles the entire landscape of greenery seemed to have lost completely. The stray and momentary sites of greenery by peeping outside the window only tried to strengthen one argument that the nature has lost the battle to the minds of architectures. The towering 18th floor adjacent to theirs gave an imposing look. Her flat was on the fifth floor. Looking upside for a while Snehlata wondered how life could be in these sky-touching floors. These architectures make mammoth buildings because they want to make God’s creation of man and nature - appear small and tiny.

These people in the cities have never quite enjoyed the sight of ducks and ducklings dancing in the rain, she wondered.

Her first memory of childhood was when she was 6-7 years. The rain dance in the green paddy fields by sneaking out of the school compound used to attract her the most – day after day ---- year after year. Lost in her wild thoughts, Snehlata’s first memory of ambition, she tried to figure, was at the age of 9 – when she wanted to be a Rabindrasangeet singer. But this was short lived. At 11, she wanted to be a poet and a writer. In her childhood innocence, she would often wonder staring at the Sun – that it is “guiding” her all along the entire day - right from the morning to the class room and then to the play ground and back home. Her entire daily life was guided by the Sun; equally she would be little surprised that by night that job was left to the Moon – something which would always leave a soothing effect ...


Oh! Earth

Oh Earth, no one really understands you, do they?

Never To Return - A Short Story by Arin Paul | WBRi Online Magazine

Short Story

Never To Return

Arin Paul

Shekhar & Rimi were sitting at this quaint restaurant sipping their drinks. There had been a silence between them which seemed like eternity. Rimi broke the silence at last. “It’s difficult for life to go on this way”, she said. Shekhar replied “It was what it was because they had chosen it to be that way”. Rimi looked at him hard. She recalled their strong friendship during college days. They had done everything together. Right from exchanging notes, getting involved in college politics to watching good theater to sitting in the library reading two copies of the same book and exchanging thoughts through looks as they would be asked to leave if they spoke. And now they were both married to their respective spouses and settled in life ...


কিছুটা নয় - সান্ত্বনা চট্টোপাধ্যায় | Kichuta Noye : Bengali Poem by Santwana Chatterjee (WBRi Online Bengali Magazine)

"Kichuta Noye" is a Bengali poem (Bangla Kobita) by Santwana Chatterjee in unicode Bangla font published in WBRi Bengali Online Magazine section. You can send your creative writing to submissions@washingtonbanglaradio.com for consideration towards publication.


কিছুটা নয়

সান্ত্বনা চট্টোপাধ্যায়


কতদূরে গেলে পাব তোমায়
আমি কিছুটা বুঝেছি কিছুটা নয়  ...


আমি বন্য আদিম মানবী - সান্ত্বনা চট্টোপাধ্যায় | Ami Banya Adim Manobi: Bengali Poem by Santwana Chatterjee | Bengali Magazine

"Ami Banya Aadim Manobi" (I - Wild Primordial Woman) is a Bengali poem (Bangla Kobita) by Santwana Chatterjee in unicode Bangla font published in WBRi Bengali Online Magazine section. You can send your creative writing to submissions@washingtonbanglaradio.com for consideration towards publication.


আমি বন্য আদিম মানবী

সান্ত্বনা চট্টোপাধ্যায়


আমি যদি হতাম লাবণ্য-
তোমায় দেখে সাউথ সিটি মলে
শেলী, কিটি বা মিলির সাথে ,
কাফে-কফি-ডে-র চেয়ারে আড্ডারত –
চেয়ার টেবিল উলটে
কলার ধরে তোমায় টেনে আনার
ইচ্ছে টাকে বুকের মাঝে চেপে –
অনায়াসে এগিয়ে যেতাম ঠোঁটের কোনায়
শ্লেষের হাসি ঝুলিয়ে ...


A Letter To Gandhiji ...

Yeh Aapka Bharat Hai ...

"Arms of Comfort" 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. Nirendra was born and brought up in India's northeast and his father served with paramilitary force Assam Rifles. His blog is at bestofindiarestofindia.blogspot.com.

We have previously had an opportunity of talking to the author and have posted the audio recording of the interview.


“The north east of India should no longer be a playground for Indian army and the self-styled freedom fighters or whatever name they are known today,” chuckled Capt. Devkant Basu as he hung up the telephone. The land-line telephone calls have minimized to rarity these days so much that the receiver carried some dust on it. Dusting off the black telephone set and the table, he thought it was over 20 years now since he had left Nagaland. “Jantrikata amader grash korchche (The machines and the machine age are eating up all our time),” he remembered his father often saying in chaste Bangla as he was reflecting upon the use of mobile handsets during last 10 years in his life. The land-line
phone is hardly in use these days.


নয়নতারা - সান্ত্বনা চট্টোপাধ্যায় | Nayantara - A Bengali Poem by Santwana Chatterjee (WBRi Bangla Online Magazine)

"Nayantara" is a Bengali poem (Bangla Kobita) by Santwana Chatterjee in unicode Bangla font published in WBRi Bengali Online Magazine section.


নয়নতারা

সান্ত্বনা চট্টোপাধ্যায়


আমার বাগানে আমি ফোটাতে চাই ফুল

বেল, যুঁই, চাঁপা , সূর্যমুখীও হতে পারে ।

 

বাড়ির পিছনে দেখি হয়েছে ফুল- নয়ন-তারা ।

থরে থরে ফুটেছে ওরা- আপনহারা ।


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 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?

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.

Dreams...

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.

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