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

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.

Travelogue

GRANADA, Spain

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

TRIP OF DESIRE

ARIN PAUL

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 ...


"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 ।



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