This issue is inspired by two poetry collections – ‘when the flowers begin to speak’ (Writers Workshop) by Sonali Pattnaik and ‘Of Goddesses and Women’ (Sahitya Akademi) by Shweta Rao Garg; and it went live much earlier than expected, around the 22nd of December, 2022.
I’ve read and reviewed the two books over the better part of a year, and they lead to a vision of new worlds on the edges of which we stand, creating in thought, word, deed and inspiration, new architectures floating in our minds…equal spaces. Equiverse Space, a dream set in motion in 2018 with our eponymous anthology, and now corroborated beautifully with the poetry and writings of stellar, brave and brilliant women.
Our dreams tinkle like the peal of ringing bells in holy spaces, awakening hearts!
As the festive season dawned with Ganeshotsav in late August, I had gifted myself ‘The Making of a Chief Justice of India‘ by Sunita Singh, a book that narrates the life and times of Justice Kamal Narain Singh, within the contours of the freedom movement. Ensconced in its pages are the towering ideals and extraordinary feats of a scholarly individual, and that of a nation inching towards independence. The brilliance and illumination of both sparkle in bursts of resonance, distinctive, yet reminiscent of golden memories gleaned from families, books, music, cinema and learning. A full review of the romance, idealism and inspiring elements therein, is promised.
Christmas eve had arrived with special gifts this year, of precious gatherings with friends and family. The evening of the 25th saw me immersed in a book I’d been longing to read – Draupadi by Koral Dasgupta. The closest imagery and experience of its celestial magic for a reader is, a bird carrying on its beauteous plume, an epic of gigantic proportions! So light, so lyrical and unique is its language, its expression, that it can best be described as a subtle feather-touch of deep insights, of feminine perspectives never probed before; letting you into epic labyrinths of love and intrigue. A full review will follow in due course.
There must have been light, to move over ominously darkening spaces so fraught for the vulnerable and the fairer sex, and light there has been, in abundance too – in exquisite books like a collection of Urdu ghazals ‘Yeh Toh Na Thi Hamari Qismat‘ by Lily Swarn, ‘Sunflowers’* and ‘Oxygen‘*, two anthologies edited by Kalpna Singh Chitnis, Somrita Urni Ganguly’s translations of three stories by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, A Selfie & A Star by Nirmala Mary Rego, Saundarya Lahari (Waves of Beauty) by Mani Rao, Stitching A Home by Basudhara Roy Chatterjee, Draupadi by Sanjukta Dasgupta, Healing Elixir by Gayatri Chawla and more…
The writing, the celebrations, the gatherings are enabled in the glow of happiness emanating from these. It wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
I’m so glad this issue came into being earlier than expected, incorporating thoughts and works of very gifted poets and writers. It becomes even more special as WE announce the WE Poetry Awards & Acknowledgements, with compliments of the WE Poetry Awards Judges Panel – Dr.Nishat Haider, Dr.Taseer Gujral, Dr.Somrita Urni Ganguly and yours truly.
Wish you a very happy New Year!
Dec 27, 2022
*Oxygen – Parables of the Pandemic, River Paw Press, 2022, Ed. Kalpna Singh Chitnis
*Sunflowers – Ukranian Poems on War, Resistance, Hope and Peace’, 2022, Ed. Kalpna Singh Chitnis