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Monday, June 5, 2017

Nabina Das reviews 'Selected Poems Sananta Tanty' in Scroll.in What Tanty has written is perhaps more pertinent today, given the current political environment. The Kashmir impasse, trouble in the North-East, low-intensity but recurrent conflicts in the so-called backwaters of northern and central India, as well as the urban angst where rifts between religions, upper and oppressed castes, migrant communities and the upwardly mobile are more visible, all offer a foreboding picture of what he said: I will rebel inside your core, start a revolution If you rule us at gunpoint forever.
 The sky will be the colour of smoke; it will rain blood.
 The city will be riotous. People will be oceans. — "Just For Poetry" Read the full review HERE.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Selected Poems Sananta Tanty

Proud to present our new book. Selected Poems Sananta Tanty; an ambitious and massive translation of legendary Assamese poet Sananta Tanty in English by Dibyajyoti Sarma. Now available @ http://www.amazon.in/dp/8192935531

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Finally, after nine month and nine days, we are ready to present to you our newest baby – this brand-new collection of poems, ‘Make Me Some Love To Eat’ by the one and the only Madhu – our third baby. Don’t ask about the first two books; third time the charm. (We will talk about the first two, probably at a later date.) For now, the copies are here and we cannot take our eyes off them!
We are back. With a bang. i write imprint started as a personal project in the middle of 2014. With love for poetry. And printed books. And disdain for everything else. Especially sales and marketing. Now, we are older and wiser. Now, we know money makes the world go round. Now, we are back. With a bang. With a brand-new book. This time, we are going to sell it. So we can fund the next great book. Booklovers of the world, unite!

Monday, August 3, 2015

A History of Assam (in Fragments)

Part One: Antiquities

1.
In the beginning…
There is the river.
Or is it the hill that came first?
There is a dispute; facts are a little hazy before
The arrival of those men with iron swords, who
Decided to name names and write everything down
Lest they were lost in the primal wilderness between
The Red River and the Blue Hill.
So, there is a river and there is a hill.
There is the Spirit of the River, virile.
There is the Goddess of the Hill, fertile.
And the naked savages, who brew sweet water
From husked rice, and dance among wild orchids,
They are their children.
The river their blood.
The hill their skin.

2.
Of course, there are monarchs and monsters,
Soldiers and scholars, hermits and householders,
Lonesome Gods and lustful demons.
In the beginning…
There is She Who is Self Decapitated
She Who is the Devourer of Time
Or is it He with Matted Hair, who
Dance naked at the edge of existence?
There is a dispute; facts are a little hazy.
But one thing is certain,
She was fertile; he is virile.
Fertility as solid as the hill; virility as forceful as the river.
And there are their children
Of water and earth
In this land of the Red River and Blue Hills,
The land of desolate death and triumphant rebirth,
The land of renewed love and flickering first light.

3.
The history begins with a love story, as it must
In the land that sprouts blood,
Between scions of warring Gods,
Between a princess entrapped in a fiery fort
And a clueless prince, who must be snared
From his palace by the sea, through magic or power of love
Or the wiles of a resourceful friend, for love is
The fuel that sustains a civilization, as it must.
And like all good stories, there must be a war,
Between the Gods, no less,
Between He with the Matted Hair and He
With a Peacock Feather, to turn the river red,
To smite the hill to dust, before the demon is
Vanquished, before the lovers can be united,
Before we are invited to the royal feast.

4.
He is the hell-spawned prince of the demons,
Sita’s half brother, discarded by the same mother
And raised by the same father, and like Janaki,
He is the epitome of dharma, mighty and handsome,
Devoted to the Goddess of the Hill, more than any men
And the Goddess is pleased and She asks for a boon.
And he, Narak, wants to claim Her all for himself, not
To praise Her from afar, but to love Her from up close.
But Goddesses do not take husband, just consorts, and
He has to be worthy. So, a task is given: Build a flight of stairs
From the bottom of the river to the top of the hill
On one single night, a task accepted sportingly.
The night is young, and the demon prince builds a
Step and walks on it, builds a step and walks on it,
And the Goddess trembles in fear. She cannot be married
She cannot be of one man when she is the
Mother to a multitude. And she cheats
And Narak is cursed, to be vanquished by He
With a Peacock Feather, for He, unlike any men, is
Allowed to marry whoever He wants, and He wants
Only human women to be exploited,
Not Goddesses to be adored.

5.
But He with a Peacock Feather cannot hold sway
In the land beloved of He with Matted Hair, who is
Easily angered and who is easily appeased, who ravels
In chaos, who is the constant consort of the Goddess, who
Must bless anyone who bows before Her, anyone, who
Offers the blood to turn the river red, and so, Narak’s son
Claimed his glory faraway, in the war between the warring
Cousins, and so did his sons and son’s sons, with their
Marauding armies amidst virgin forest, before the arrival of
The others, who followed the call of the river from the North,
Who descended from the East to scale the hill, men and women,
Of different hues, with different tongues and different destinies,
Who drank from the Red River to supplement their virility, who
Browed before the Blue Hill to supplement their fertility,
And the land between the Red River and the Blue Hill
Sheltered them, their new home under the stars.

6.
Yet, who claims the land as his own?
There is a dispute; facts are a little hazy, yet
There is some truth in this story before
There was a river, before there was a hill.
In the beginning…
There is a lonely wife and a willing God
To drop His seed and the result is a watery
Existence, fluid like the creation itself and eternal,
Ever-changing, like the creation itself, and He, the
Four-headed unwilling father, gives this land to his
Immortal son without flesh, to rule over it, as long
As he must, and Luit, the Red River, destined to flow
Alone, one day, snares a beautiful princess, and drops
His seed, and sires a son, whose progeny must survive
Until the end of time, until the river exists.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review in Reading Hour


We are confident: ‘Pages from an Unfinished Autobiography’ is an interesting book. Hence we decided to publish it.

But how do you promote a book when the author is so reticent about publicity? Imagine that, in this day and age, when it is essentially the job of the author, and not the humble publisher to promote a book. After all, the credit goes to the writer, not the publisher.

This Bangalore-based wonderful magazine ‘Reading Hour’ published a judicious review of Dibyajyoti Sarma’s ‘Pages from an Unfinished Autobiography’ in its January-February 2015 issue (vol 5, issue 1), and the author did not inform us about it at all. We finally found the review, and it’s a very good one.
The reviewer, Shruti Rao, understands the book and its foibles too. She says some of the poems “pale in comparison with their more powerful siblings”. This we agree. Some poems could have been edited out. But Mr Sarma insisted that they be included. He wanted to document everything, the sacred, the profane.


Rao also is smart to understand the tonal inconsistency of some of the poems. They have the ring of translation from another language, she says. This is true. Mr Sarma started writing poetry in Asomiya and some of the poems in the volume are actually his own translation of his Asomiya poems.

Finally, Rao writes: “Sarma’s poetic eye looks as much inwards as outwards. The poems, though autobiographical, and nostalgic for past memories, also throw a radio signal out to the world. Is anybody listening? They ask, and you realise that through the impenetrable fortress wall of someone else’s private life, you have been listening in rapt attention.”