Articles by: Mitali Chakravarty

Let Chocolates Fall from the Sky

Let Chocolates Fall from the Sky

Let us go there, you and I, hoping chocolates fall from the sky.   Let us go into a hilly terrain, where flows the ancient Amu Darya, where Marco Polo watched sheep graze on the grass of Pamirs. Do they still browse or is it tamam shud with a rat-a-tat-tat?   Has the river turned red? Incarnadined, gaze ghosts unwounded[Read More…]

by 21/09/2021 0 comments Arts/Literature
A Story Poem about Climate Change

A Story Poem about Climate Change

Is this climate change? I asked as rains lashed out. Oh, that is a subject for experts, the bald man with a goatee said. We stood on the clouds and watched   the water slowly submerge — seeping through the marshes rising, rising till it covered the fields, the houses. The cattle — did they swim? The cats and dogs?[Read More…]

Cry, the Beloved Humanity

Cry, the Beloved Humanity

Some countries are in shambles. Some countries are in a wreck — war torn, poverty-ridden, divided deeply from the world where such expressions are only hyperboles and not a reality. The major war in these fortunate parts of the world currently is mainly with the pandemic. These nations still have the bandwidth to explore how to make more money and[Read More…]

by 16/08/2021 Comments are Disabled World
A Human’s Song

A Human’s Song

The pain of man wrings stories of pain from my pen I cannot write of happiness as the world weeps, weeps   on pyres and graves with smoke spiralling up the scape; as bodies in desecration lie in bags and cardboard boxes;   as democracy asserts amidst the chaos of dead bodies and unsensitised souls that have lost their conscience[Read More…]

by 30/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Earth Day 2021

Earth Day 2021

To care, Nurture and Cherish till Death do us part —   A day to celebrate the Fecundity Fertility and the Rites of the passage of Time.   Make the Earth Green again. In darkness bathed, Starlight speckles out a Welcome — to the distant Nebulae that stream across the skies   Celebrating the dimming of electric lights.   Today,[Read More…]

by 22/04/2021 1 comment Arts/Literature
Our Hearth

Our Hearth

Defaced by a virus, the Earth stands all alone. Humanity — will it survive the crackling of the coronal core? Write, write   of the masked men. Faces forgotten. Lipsticks abandoned. How long will it last? Few frightened haggard monied move towards an exodus   to Mars. Waterlogged, virus-worn stands the home, the hearth. Frightening in desolation, abandoned. But what[Read More…]

by 20/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Holi

Holi

“…the destruction of what you people call evil, is less just and desirable than the conversion of this evil into what you call good…”  — The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov We play with the colours of dawn, spraying the world with spring, with happiness, with birds that are willing to   sing. Liturgies lace our lives with absolutes.[Read More…]

by 29/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
The Witch Finder’s Army

The Witch Finder’s Army

Left and Right. The witch finder’s army hunts each night. In stealth, the army seeps   prowls, creeps under floorboards. The army, hooded and masked, takes tiny ants to task   when they bite. Each bite costs the ant its Life. The witch finder’s army parades, drills.   You better take sides. If you are not Left or Right, you[Read More…]

by 10/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Future

Future

The tree, shimmering in a puddle, ripples as a bird pauses for a drink. The sun peeps from behind the grey lined with silver.   The river mirrors the sky replete with clouds and sunshine. Water drifts over a lifetime spanning your story and mine —   narratives of our Times, of an eon that sweeps the Earth, mankind’s own[Read More…]

by 01/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
‘Syncretism has always been a fundamental part of our DNA’

‘Syncretism has always been a fundamental part of our DNA’

An online conversation with Avik Chanda, the best-selling author of Dara Shukoh: The Man Who Would Be King While we grapple in the throes of not just the pandemic but worldwide disruptions of democratic traditions, protests gone awry and a questioning of divisions that deepen rifts among humans, perhaps it is time to explore more syncretic lore in history and to[Read More…]

by 23/02/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
The India I Loved

The India I Loved

kitnaa hai badnasiib zafar dafan ke liye do gaz zamiin bhii na milii kuu-e-yaar men Exiled in Rangoon in the colonial British India, the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar wrote these lines, which expresses regret for the fact that he was not allowed a burial in his own beloved country. Used emblematically as the figurehead for the 1857 revolt,[Read More…]

by 28/01/2021 5 comments India
 Freedom

 Freedom

Freedom —   All the while, they talk of freedom. What has freedom rendered them?   Has it given them the ability to soar? To fly? Has it given voice to their inner souls?   Has it helped them rise? Has it got rid of diseases? Has it got rid of prisons that bar the mind — of human constructs[Read More…]

by 23/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
In conversation with Devaki Jain

In conversation with Devaki Jain

‘Follow your dreams and don’t be frightened of orthodoxy’ A woman who at eighty-eight brought out her autobiography based on the urgings of among others, Alice Walker, author of  the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Colour Purple , and  Doris Lessing, the Nobel Laureate — only much later. Like Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, her biography is called The Brass Notebook. Does it talk anti-war or feminism or[Read More…]

by 18/01/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
In Conversation with Aruna Chakravarti

In Conversation with Aruna Chakravarti

A woman who weaves stories from the past, from history, from what has been and makes them so real that they become a part of ones’ own existence – this has been my experience of Dr Aruna Chakravarti and her writing. A winner of the Sahitya Akademi award for her translation of Sarat Chandra’s Srikanta, Vaitalik award and Sarat Puraskar, Chakravarti was[Read More…]

by 16/12/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Why we need a Bunker Roy in Literature?

Why we need a Bunker Roy in Literature?

With the farmers marching out to demand their rights in India, with more consciousness of the need to close gaps between the privileged and non-privileged worldwide, with climate crisis becoming a major force to redefine our thinking, perhaps the time has come to rethink how literature can be moulded to serve the needs of the masses. That we wake up[Read More…]

by 03/12/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
A Woman Who Dares Dream Big

A Woman Who Dares Dream Big

Aysha Baqir, an expat in Singapore, grew up in Pakistan. Her time in college sparked a passion for economic development. In 1998 she founded a pioneering not for profit economic development organization, Kaarvan Crafts Foundation, with a mission to alleviate poverty by providing business and marketing training to girls and women in low-income communities. Her novel Beyond the Fields was published in[Read More…]

by 19/11/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Make Mankind Great Again!

Make Mankind Great Again!

“It has often been said that the only thing that could unite mankind was a threat from space.” I read this in Arthur C Clarke’s novel, 2061, Odyssey Three. The threat in Clarke’s science fiction was a second star — which mankind renamed Lucifer but was actually Jupiter set ablaze by superior space engineering by an intelligent species far more[Read More…]

by 28/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Teresa Rehman: The Heart of the ‘International Magazine with a North-eastern Soul’

Teresa Rehman: The Heart of the ‘International Magazine with a North-eastern Soul’

Teresa Rehman is a journalist with a difference. She is woman who feels and conquers with her pen. She does not hanker for anything more than being the spokesperson for voices in the remote areas of North-eastern India. In that spirit, she started her own magazine: The Thumb Print, and also wrote a couple of books which have found their way[Read More…]

by 16/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Migrants

Migrants

The mass migrants to Mars stood poised to take their first step. The Red Planet crimsoned further by the blood of scientists who realised the vision of a musky monied man odoured with fame, made into godhead. Out of deep freeze, led by the god who saved them, stood more monied men.   They had left a planet in turmoil.[Read More…]

by 09/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
 Slash & Burn

 Slash & Burn

I watch with my lips sealed Watch each girl burn burn the stains of Predators’ Hands till their life is done   I watch with my ears closed Watch rancid hands leap and lustfully Immolate last night’s Fun Clear the mess. The job is done.   Unemployed, porn-ridden mobiles watch, watch with closed eyes the horror, horror of a life[Read More…]

by 30/09/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Rebuilding Rome

Rebuilding Rome

Rome burnt as Nero* played the fiddle.   Fiery flames walk highways, creep into homes, stalking, burning, killing not only coronal heat but hearths.   Inflamed by the surreptitious smoke seeping under the smouldering trees, breeze rips incensing fierce fires that unquenched swallow clean air and belch apocalyptic hellish skies.   Did Nero build palaces by burning Rome?   I[Read More…]

by 18/09/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Mourning 9/11

Mourning 9/11

  Forgotten souls that weep for an Unfinished dream, for a life Half-lived that ended in an agony of twin blasted Implosions. Forgetting the past — Al Qaeda Osama the terror the horror of tumbling towers the cries that pierced the silences of death   and yet triumphing Arabian perfumes silver bricks Clear the stench of corpses, Wars for Holy[Read More…]

by 12/09/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Onekind

Onekind

  Why does Hate extend her reign? Why do divides raise ugly sides? When will mankind unite?   Casteist fervour, abhorrence and race   Manmade borders that breaches create, tolerance break, love annihilate, rancours breed   Marginalised, classified — we still remain broken, fragmented with spite   When can love colour all our kind?   There is no North, no[Read More…]

by 01/09/2020 1 comment Arts/Literature
Cats, Camels and Jar Jar Binks

Cats, Camels and Jar Jar Binks

Cats came into Preeti’s life long before camels, around the time cows found a way out of her heart but into her life. She had seen cows ever since she could remember…while riding horse driven tongas in Haridwar in 1970s, creating traffic jams in Delhi, Haridwar, Kolkata, Dehradun, Lucknow and wherever she happened to visit in India. From long before[Read More…]

by 28/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
How the Impact of the Hiroshima Blast Lingers

How the Impact of the Hiroshima Blast Lingers

The best introduction to Kathleen Burkinshaw is that she a humanitarian. She wrote a novel that has been taken up by The United Nations as a part of its peacekeeping effort. She has been actively participating in efforts to ban nuclear weapons, including presenting with Nobel Laureates. Kathleen Burkinshaw, the author of The Last Cherry Blossom, a book that is in[Read More…]

by 25/08/2020 1 comment Life/Philosophy
The Tricolour

The Tricolour

A 40 kg silver brick overrides the threat of the grim Saffron coronal rim that explodes in the stomach of a fever-ravaged populace   Hunger floods the Green challenging it to celebrate internecine borders crimsoned by the wheel, the sickle, the crescent   Hatred bubbles under hooded jobless seekers of truth. Jails clang with differences between Left and Right.  [Read More…]

by 16/08/2020 3 comments Arts/Literature
Imagine

Imagine

Did the caveman laugh? Did he have a toothache? The cheering thing for him would have been, he would not have to visit a dentist. Or, is that a cheering thought for me? And he would continue in pain while his tooth rotted and fell! And mine gets pulled out or repaired by a dentist peering into my numb anaesthetised[Read More…]

by 12/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Gunawan Kartapranata /CC BY-SA 4.0

The Story of Ram

Was Ram a Nepali, Indian or Thai Or was he from Indonesia?   Celebrated worldwide human rights   The story trumpeted with fanfare as Ravana inflamed burns evils to ashes and dust   Exquisite dances with long- nailed grace Or wayang kulit puppets elaborate stories of a hero   blue coloured ruler of democrats that to appease his protectorate questioned[Read More…]

by 16/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Mitali Chakravarty Interviews Binu Mathew

Mitali Chakravarty Interviews Binu Mathew

Can you interview an online site? You can’t. So, I did the next best thing. I interviewed Binu Mathew, the man behind the award-winning million readers a month or three million-page views a month online journal, Countercurrents. Mathew claims this is not a big thing except that his journal is based on ideology and openness. He calls it a “people’s journal”[Read More…]

by 15/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 Colours

 Colours

Am I white, black, purple or pink?   Names given by mankind to diverse reflections of light   Names given to create borders between colours   Colours earlier that rainbow spelt Now lead only to bloodshed, violence, gore, hatred.   Where is the love that Lalon sang?   Where is the note that played on the flute harmonising black with[Read More…]

by 07/07/2020 1 comment Arts/Literature
World in 1920

One Hundred Years Ago

Where were we one hundred years ago? Mankind was out of caves long ago and Asia was learning lessons from colonials about drawing boundaries. Colonialism was still an accepted way of life — it was twenty-five years before a nuclear bomb condemned fascist aspirations in history. Historically, India was in the middle of the Non-cooperation and Khilafat movements. USA was[Read More…]

by 29/06/2020 Comments are Disabled World
The New World

The New World

  On the edge of annihilation, a tiny virus rimmed by an aging sun draws on the sap of bread earned by man   The conquistador of Nature, the hunter, the seeker — all have stopped The seller sadly winds his words in a lonely home   Television sets blare old shows Man depressed into unrest slowly crawls towards the rim[Read More…]

by 16/06/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
A Renaissance Poet in the Twenty-First Century?

A Renaissance Poet in the Twenty-First Century?

Dustin Pickering in conversation with Mitali Chakravarty He talks of love and religion and writes poetry that is often critiqued by some as similar to verses from the past. And his role model is from the Renaissance — Michelangelo. To some, he is a loyal friend in need, a person who whips up essays and articles on demand. He is[Read More…]

by 07/06/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
#Minnesota by Dustin Pickering

 Why?

Sometimes,   One needs to get away from the torrid darkness of words. A darkness that annihilates. Swirling, twirling a blackness laced with blood, anger, hate   Marginalised   —   Sometimes from a brutal knee Sometimes a mob or a bloody bullet kiss —   Violent Death   Drops in the ocean connect all lands called continents   Mourning Mothers’[Read More…]

by 01/06/2020 2 comments Arts/Literature
How many –

How many –

How many people cried? How many people died? Sunderbans submerged Nearly five thousand starved Will they die of Corona Hunger or Amphan? And the animals? Biodiversity Day — what happened to them? Lakeside Gardens No water No electricity No internet Poles broken Cars shattered Distress, distress, distress. The cities are all in a mess! In Sunderban, Do they have access[Read More…]

by 22/05/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
A Weaver of Borderless Dreams: Mutiu Olawuyi

A Weaver of Borderless Dreams: Mutiu Olawuyi

Mutiu Olawuyi in conversation with Mitali Chakravarty He is a maker of dreams for writers – a man who believes in dreams that are woven in words and multimedia across the world. He connects writing with multimedia, not just by writing and YouTube screenings but also by putting upcoming writers on his television show to battle out challenging questions about how[Read More…]

by 22/05/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Man and Money

Man and Money

Was Man made for Money? Was Money made for Man? On which side lies the land What is the truth? Did Man for Money walk straight — From Ape to Homo Habilis 2.8 million years ago? Where was the Money, the Economy? And then came Homo Sapiens — smart, intellectual, established Money, Capitalism, Communism, Socialism, all the isms that divide[Read More…]

by 17/05/2020 1 comment Arts/Literature
 Where the world has not been broken…

 Where the world has not been broken…

To dream of uniting mankind, pieced and classified into multiple nations, religions, sects and sub sects is a mammoth, impractical and ideologically impossible task — but this time a little virus has taken it on and united us with its virulence. It was interesting to come across an imagined interview with the virus, in which the interviewer questioned the virus[Read More…]

by 04/05/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Katsaridaphobia & COVID19

Katsaridaphobia & COVID19

I have to admit I suffer from acute katsaridaphobia — My Kastaridaphobia is stronger than my fear of COVID19 or cows. While COVID is being kept at bay with isolation, masks, lockdowns and quarantines and cows can be kept at bay by gates in India and can only be seen in restricted areas in Singapore, creatures that cause Katsaridaphobia cannot[Read More…]

by 23/04/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Stay Safe; Stay Home

Stay Safe; Stay Home

Stay Safe. Stay Home.   The birds flew home. They had nests.   Stay Safe. Stay Home.   But, men? Did all men have a place to stay? A place they could rest? A place that housed their beds?   “1.6 billion worldwide lack adequate housing”.   Stay Safe. Stay Home.   A place that shelters them from Death by[Read More…]

by 18/04/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
The Big C

The Big C

In the 1990s, the three Cs — credit card, condo, car — defined “status” among the bourgeoisie. Now, another C has overtaken all the three Cs, the Big C — Corona. A tiny virus has brought mankind to its knees with all kinds of stories, rumours and the threat of depleted numbers and economies. As with anything big, many narratives[Read More…]

by 10/04/2020 Comments are Disabled India
An Open Letter to my Deceased Father

An Open Letter to my Deceased Father

Dear Dad, I am glad you did not live to see these.   You died.   Died before you saw them collapse by the roadside.   Gandhi called them his friend. And so did you.   Why did God not have mercy on them?   Why is it they have no food? No water, no shoes? Why is it they[Read More…]

by 31/03/2020 2 comments Arts/Literature
Primavera Redefined – (Or life post-corona virus?)

Primavera Redefined – (Or life post-corona virus?)

From the womb of the Earth, She rose —   Fiery, like the volcanic core, unfolding each limb. soaring, phoenix like, from the ash left behind   out of the gore the rotting Core of the Death Sun.   Cremation smoke.   From the womb of the Earth She rose —   Death crept. Silenced factory smoke.   She strode[Read More…]

by 23/03/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Marginalised?

Marginalised?

  Marginalised? Who said we are marginalised? We are humans walking side by side.   Women, Men and Children Dalits, Tribals and the Abused —   Who said we are different?   Who said that Woman is born of Man’s rib? Who said caste is by God writ?   Who said women cannot enter temples or mosques? Who said Menstruation[Read More…]

by 07/03/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Lalan Fakir in Outerspace

Lalan Fakir in Outerspace

I have seen the world recede behind the trees; the world that was for you and me — a vibrant blue world, dotted with green, swirls of ocean and breeze painted by Van Gogh — A Starry Night, and then came a tsunami that wiped it all from site.   A fakir overnight, as Lalan, I sing afloat in space[Read More…]

by 26/02/2020 3 comments Arts/Literature
The Triumphing of Democracy

The Triumphing of Democracy

We see And yet we will see —   The war clouds turn the sky aflame The razing ground do much the same   Neanderthals died of unknown cause Homosapiens crossed a borderless world.   Civilisation spread Nuclear Armament   Bloodied wars   Unhouse the ones who read Shroud them Beat them till they bleed   Only one can lead[Read More…]

by 06/01/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Hang down your Head

Hang down your Head

Rapes — How many a day? How many a week? How many a year? The victim stays till Doused with kerosene and burnt The victim stays till Pelted with stones and killed The victim stays till Lynched by mobs to death Twelve or twenty-three, What was their fault? Being a woman? Beasts drawn by untasted flesh Tempted by images drawn[Read More…]

by 12/12/2019 Comments are Disabled World
Rights?

Rights?

Do these women have rights? These women who break rocks These women who carry bricks These women who in Temples please Gods What Gods? Devdasis? Can they Me Too? Farmers’ wives, sweepers, Women who clean dirt From homes and yet Live in dirt themselves. Women who could not go to school Can they Me Too? Women who remain Unlettered, Unfed,[Read More…]

by 20/11/2019 2 comments Arts/Literature
House of Gods or Plea for Peace

House of Gods or Plea for Peace

Oh house of Gods! Oh house of Gods! Temples or Mosques Churches or Synagogues Displaced they stand— A black stone Rectangle or phallic Does it matter? In streams refugees pour out Bloodshed, Gore Hatred and More More and More Ring- a- round the roses Pocketful of doses You think when they Burnt, Singed, they would have learnt Flames should be[Read More…]

by 10/11/2019 1 comment Arts/Literature
Empire of the Overlord

Empire of the Overlord

Children in unison rise Crying for the ultimate reprise. Bus fares hike Water jets strike Murderers walk free The land is no longer safe Asperger bound The world round Children protest In anger and unrest Where do they stand? Why have they become the voice of The angry clans? Why is it they scream In angst against the regime? Why[Read More…]

by 31/10/2019 2 comments Arts/Literature
Debris…

Debris…

Oh, how weeps Mother Earth! Near her toes, the forests burn. Animals in death throes churn. Sumatran anacondas die. Smoke blinds the eye. Hazy skies, poison air People choke. Life comes to a halt. Brazil, her lungs they say, Now fiery flames breathe. With so much smoke, Will Mother Earth choke? Oh, how weeps Mother Earth! Young blood is spilt[Read More…]

by 23/09/2019 1 comment Arts/Literature
A Requiem for Amazonia

A Requiem for Amazonia

Amazon burns Each flame licks a life Each ember leads to strife How will man survive? From the meat roasted by the flames That rise as if from Earth’s insides? The birds that no longer fly Lie roasted, toasted, drained of colour. The brilliant macaw with its plumes of blue and yellow, The golden monkey that leaps from tree to[Read More…]

by 28/08/2019 3 comments Arts/Literature
Scream!

Scream!

Celebrate, Celebrate the Independence Day While Munch-like screams explode Like fireworks lighting the night sky Silent, vociferous, full of angst Unable to speak Bleak, bleak, bleak. Oh, the cruelty of life! The anger and strife Guernica revisited each time. This is not just about soldiers who die. But about all those who silently cry For a dozen different whys? A[Read More…]

by 06/08/2019 1 comment Arts/Literature