SEVENTY YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE PARTITION, and a momentous event now recedes in memory. Generations have grown up outside the shadow of the communal killings and mass displacement that shaped the contemporary history of the subcontinent.
Despite being born into a family affected by the Divide, artist and oral historian Aanchal Malhotra too had thought little about the Partition until she encountered objects that had once belonged to her ancestors in an Undivided India. A gaz, a ghara, a maang-tikka, a pocketknife, a peacock-shaped bracelet, and a set of kitchen utensils: these were what accompanied her great-grandparents as they fled their homes, and through them she learnt of their migration and life before the Divide. This led her to search for the belongings of other migrants to discover the stories hidden in them.
Remnants of a Separation is a unique attempt to revisit the Partition through such objects carried across the border. These objects absorbed the memory of a time and place, remaining latent and undisturbed for generations. They now speak of their owners pasts and emerge as testaments to the struggle, sacrifice, pain and belonging at an unparalleled moment in history.
A string of pearls gifted by a maharaja, carried from Dalhousie to Lahore, reveals the grandeur of a life that once was. A notebook of poems, brought from Lahore to Kalyan, shows one woman s determination to pursue the written word despite the turmoil around her. A refugee certificate created in Calcutta evokes in a daughter the feelings of displacement her father had experienced on leaving Mymensingh, now in Bangladesh.
Written as a crossover between history and anthropology, Remnants of a Separation tells stories from both sides of the border and is the product of years of painstaking and passionate research. It pieces together an alternative history of the Partition the first and only one told through material memory that makes the event tangible even seven decades later, lest we forget.
Continue reading ARC Review: Remnants of Separation by Aanchal Malhotra
1982. Three teenage girls planning a flight from the Soviet Union to the West end up being sold in Mumbai’s red-light area instead. The murders start a quarter of a century later. The victims are all men. All of them tricks, waiting for trysts with high-class escorts. DCP Rita Ferreira is quick to recognize the serial-killer strain; the media isn’t far behind. The news sends shock-waves through the city. The first serial killer in living memory of Mumbai is out on the streets. As Rita grapples to establish the killer’s pattern through Bhendi Bazaar, the killer gives her 24 hours to stop the next murder. Can she do that before she becomes the next victim?
Continue reading ARC Review: Bhendi Bazar by Visha Dhamija
This cluster of 7½ literary short stories presents to you the romantic-sexual facets of:
Narain who lusts for Munika, hypnotized by her bosom in The Arithmetic of Breasts, and old Jaganlal who wants a favour from young Dia in The Room with a Sea-view.
Jackie who is in love with Nic in Sky Park, and the surgeon in Dr. Love who is changing much more than Sneha’s hairline, nose, lip and chin.
Shonali and Neel who are realizing that infidelity might not be such an easy thing in The Scent of a Conscience, and a woman who walks the tight rope between tradition and sexual exploitation in A place they call Scary.
Sunil who meets the woman of his desires in What Men Want through an adult dating site.
Through these stories, Rochelle Potkar explores the intensely personal ‘unrelationship’ that exists alongside its conventional and socially articulate twin, the relationship.
Continue reading Review: The Arithmetic of Breasts and Other Stories by Rochelle Potkar
Nithya, a vivacious, intelligent and driven college senior has always known what she has wanted: a successful career in medicine and the love of her family. She’s even come to terms with the idea of an arranged marriage, a tradition her conservative Indian family has held up for thousands of years.
When a night of partying puts her on a collision course with danger, Nithya’s entire life changes.
Enter James St. Clair, the smart, challenging and heartbreakingly handsome American. As Nithya and James fall in love, she questions the future she and her parents have always planned.
Now, Nithya has a choice to make: become a doctor and a good Indian bride, or step away from her family and centuries of culture to forge her own path. The decision she comes to takes her on a journey that transforms how she sees her future, her relationships with loved ones, and how she learns to put herself back together when even her best-laid plans fall apart.
Continue reading Blog Tour/Review: The Rerranged Life by Annika Sharma