Edition IV | June 2020 | Literary Impulse

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

The former half of this Dickensian saying which has followed us well into the 21st century from the mid-19th seems dubious at best, in the current times. Viruses, climate change, wars over lines on a map – miseries piled one on top of the other. We are having anything but the best of times.

Almost a hundred years ago, when the world stood shaken from the effects of the first world war, artists constructed new ways to tell stories.

Fractured means for a fractured world trying to stand back up again on one good leg. And no matter how much pain and grief there was, out in the streets, a comfort was to be found in arts, in fiction. A melancholy sort of comfort, but comfort nonetheless. My point being, Art finds a way in the most hopeless of places and manifests itself like spring, in a winter of despair.

It is imperative to find beauty in things that make up our everyday, more so in the times of distress. Reading what our writers have so generously trusted us with, has been a thing of beauty for us in these trying times. And now, we share it with you with a faith that these stories will envelop you and soothe and refresh you, as they did for us.

As you can see, we have added a few lines of Editorial notes on each of the select texts. These are interpretations and as well as critiques, and reasons as to why we decided to choose them. The readers are encouraged to read through the lines and make their own meanings. Every text may have a million of them. What we have done is merely add a few lines, in a limited space, what came to us on impulse, hoping that the potential readers may add more of them.

These words are nothing more than triggers.

Nikita Budhiraja

Edition Editor, Edition IV

Literary Impulse


"If you've known love" by Shalini

In this gorgeously sweet poem, Shalini has so meticulously managed to metaphorize love by throwing in such beautiful imagery and then coupled it with imagination in a way that you will surely feel and relate to it starting from the first line and until the very last word.

"The exotic Indian turmeric queen" by Ridhi Bhutani

Ridhi’s poem is a page which has the fragrance of Indian spices and the predominant one in it is the turmeric. The poem is about how a girl is groomed in her parent's home to suit the boy’s family, how more attention is given to her appearance and how her inner wounds are ignored by her loved ones.

This Poem talks about the stark reality predominant in India, once a daughter is born she is told that her home is somewhere else. The poet keeps hiding in her home and is seen speaking to the walls most of the time. The poems are stuck in her throat, something which she can’t swallow nor tell her parents. So she keeps staining the page turmeric yellow with the words because it’s better than carrying the weight of the poem.

"A childhood measured in wooden rulers" by Shlagha Borah

This piece here, is a picture of a scar left in childhood aching still in youth. It is beautiful in all its dark blue bruised form, and eloquent in a way only pain can be.

"Little Things" by Shlagha Borah

We are small beings with little hearts whose actions do not bear a direct consequence over the grand scheme of things. But cannot a pin dropped in silence, break it? Shlagha is a simpleton like any of us and her poem portrays an innocent curiosity about the matters which are away from us. These issues do not touch us and we have are own little world to take care of but we cannot fail to empathize with the victims of the cruel world. Mere mention of the hapless condition puts it in the light of our eyes in spite of the fact that we cannot do anything to heal it. The poet gradually shifts the poem to our tribulations which personalizes it to involve us more.

"To the Banyan" by Chris Mooney-Singh

This is an ode to the Banyan, in all its majestic forms. An obeisance is paid to the tree's role in the daily Indian life, from stray cattle and maina birds, to festivals, to governance, to the other worldly matters. As a reader, I felt the tree take roots and expand its benevolent canopy, dropping it's roots to shade, and take me in its benign safety. If you let it, this poem grows around you like a banyan tree in all its paternal magnificence.

"गीला तौलिया" - आकाश

आकाश की कविता में एक गीले तौलिये का वर्णन है, अपने शब्दों से कवि ने हमें उस कपड़े के बारे में बताया  है जिसको हम कभी ध्यान से नहीं देखते हैं, बस इस्तेमाल करके भूल जाते हैं,  कविता पढ़ते वक्त मुझे उन रिश्तों की याद आ गयी जो समय के साथ कहीं पीछे छूट  गए हैं। कविता के  पहले भाग  में हम तौलिये को शब्दों के साथ बदलते हुए देखते हैं, बेरंग और कड़क हो कर भी तौलिये  में एक इंतेज़ार है की कोई तो आएगा।कविता के दूसरे भाग में तौलिये  को उन पलों का इंतेज़ार है जब कोई उसे फिर से वैसे ही  प्यार करेगा। जैसा कि कवि ने लिखा है “कभी तो कोई आएगा, मुझे सुबह फिर से अपने बिस्तर पर लिटाएगा”। कविता ख़त्म  तो हो जाती है पर एक उदासी छोड़  जाती है  पन्नों  पर जैसे  कोई और बात उस गीले तौलिये  को  कहनी थी  जो अनसुनी सी रह गयी।

"Bookended love story" by Aspen Blue

Visceral and real, the words embrace you like a love story, twirling through like pages flipped in a book. It creates the emotion without spelling it out. The strength here lies in the quick pace of the poem, like a nervous heart.


"On the edge" by Siddharth Murali

This story is a sweet little conversation between two drunk friends, and it meanders on like a tipsy road, wanting you to feel the drunken-ness and to enjoy the everyday joys of life. By the time you reach the end, there'll surely be a smile laced across your face.

"The Boltzmann's brain" by Eréndira Corona

Perhaps we are all just spontaneous thoughts upon the page of life, where order has burst forth from the chaos of being. In this story, Eréndira takes the reader through the swirling cacophony of noise and sense perception, to the moments that weave together our lives, and makes us wonder, who are we amidst the entropy? It reads like a Jackson Pollock painting, whirling you through the chaos that is the thinking mind, and lands like a boiler of metaphor and wonderment, sending you deep with an existential mind of a Boltzmann Brain.

Non Fiction

"How I became a writer" by Vinitha Dileep

Writing is a form of acceptance of our reality. We think, therefore we write. Vinitha narrates her story of becoming a writer and accepting herself as one. Nonetheless, this act of becoming ourselves requires courage and disciple and her story is an advocate of it. She picked her pen to twist the world and break words to engender thoughts. Thoughts that changes our way of seeing things and sometimes adore them naturally. It then becomes necessary to scribble. Her passion will force you to overcome trepidation and accept that 'there is nothing else you would rather do.