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Posts from the ‘Issue 1/ Beyond Mumbai, 2012’ Category

Contents: Women’s Writing from North East India (Issue 36)

Contents: Women’s Writing from North East India (Issue 36)

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Contributors

Contributors

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Guest-Editorial: Women’s Writing from North East India

By Namrata Pathak
The women writers from the North-East have invariably dealt with the issues of oppression, subjugation, invisibility, silences, and gaps in the periphery. However, their writings also question a legacy of what are being “discarded,” “de-valued,” and “discredited” in the context of the North-East.

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Nabina Das’ Three Poems

By Nabina Das
If Saaqi were now to pick up the ruddy cup
she'd only wail today sans ecstasy: O mere rabb!
Where are all the flowers gone in this poison clime,
what pellets do you hurl at us, what hex do you rub?

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Nabanita Kanungo’s Three Poems

By Nabanita Kanungo
the last orgasm fell as a quiet bomb on his dream,
and you picked up splinters of that city, sleeping alone…
with hot flushes fanning out into your forties like pests
staining sheets with a blotchy, red date...

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Easterine Kire’s Six Poems

By Easterine Kire
Last night the shadows chased me
And the wintermoon screamed in my ears
Ah Calcutta, I could not sleep.
I watched
Your silent city weave
A tapestry of poems, songs, dead roses
And a pair of deep brown eyes.

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The Lexicographer in Lower Assam

By Sumana Roy
‘Is a dictionary a natural thing?’ I ask.
Exhaustion’s given my voice a late accent.
He stands up. Anger’s a new immigrant in his voice.
‘A dictionary is the most hospitable place in the world.
Where else would the foreign find such accommodation?’

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Bhobai tells a story

By Nitoo Das
I walked home. Inside me, I felt the need to draw more crows. I knew I could not do it in my mother’s presence and went off to the forest whenever I heard the crowbite in my fingers. It was a longing I could not control. In fact, I did not want to. Approximately a year later, I saw the first changes in me and soon, Bhobai, the man turned into Bhobai, the crow. I embraced the change with blue-black wings.

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Road to Freedom

By Leisangthem Gitarani Devi
Everyone in the leikai knows with whose money she’s buying fish. Earlier she had no money to buy even dried fish, let alone fresh ones. Since her husband died leaving her with her second child still in her womb, she’s tried all means of enterprises. In Manipur, all enterprises are like fair-weathered friends; as long as there is no bandh, things run smooth.

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Extracts from Mamoni Roisom Goswami

By Dibyajyoti Sarma
Phuleshwari walked toward the point where the three roads converged and sat under the old sacred fig tree next to the road. Ah! Blowing dust, they just passed by her. She wondered if she should follow the vehicles. Yes, where did they go? Those military vehicles?

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Bipasha Bora’s “Ka Sinsa’s Piglet”

By Dibyajyoti Sarma
Just before her death, she yelps in terrible pain. She feels thirsty. She cries out for her mother. The lower half of her dress is soaked in blood. Exhausted and satisfied after playing with her body, the cruel, unknown flutist leaves the way he had come. Before leaving, he drops another handful of white berry near her body.

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Women Activist Writings from the North-East: A Perspective

By Sabreen Ahmed
In case of activist writing by women in the North-East, which is still a virgin area in terms of extensive research and analysis, there is a sense of tripartite resistance –first, towards the norms of patriarchal control against women; second, the forces hindering feminine freedom to move out as agents in the public sphere; and third, the tenets of neo-colonization in the North-East at different points of time.

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Food, Culture, and Gendered Space: A Reading of Easterine Iralu’s ‘A Terrible Matriarchy’

By Sanghamitra De
The cultural representation of Naga cuisine in A Terrible Matriarchy is integral to the formation of a unique Naga subjectivity and Iralu’s fiction is replete with various instances of the relation between the cultural function of food and the idea of social belonging, thereby projecting an unconscious submission to the latent cultural codes.

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Re-Reading Tejimola through Nitoo Das’s “Tejimola” and Uddipana Goswami’s “Tejimola Forever”

By Stuti Goswami
Anthologized for the first time in Lakshminath Bezbaroa’s Burhi Air Sadhu (1911), this tale has continued to stir its readers over the years and evokes different interpretations. Each reading and interpretation has given rise to a different discourse and in each such discourse a different aspect of Tejimola’s story and her character has emerged.

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Writing the Body and Experiences: Menstruation Narratives in Select Assamese Short Fiction

By Nizara Hazarika
Arupa Patangia Kalita has emerged as one of the prominent writers in recent years. She has drawn critical attention because of her detailed, sensitive, and realistic representation of Assamese life and culture. Her fictions, especially her short stories, explore the conflict that women undergo while fulfilling her traditional duty as a daughter, as a wife, or as a mother.

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Musical Tales of Choices and Sacrifices: A Review of Mitra Phukan’s ‘A Full Night’s Thievery’

By Payal Jain
Coming from a woman writer from Northeast India, the collection comes as a breath of fresh air, for not being solely about women and other clichéd aspects, like insurgency, terrorism, and violence per se. Mitra Phukan deserves accolades for doing this offbeat job with a sense of musicality.

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Resistance and the Woman: An Analysis of Assamese Short Stories

By Abantika Dev Ray
Borrowing from Edward Said’s Orientalism, one might argue that the North-East becomes the ‘Other’ and its women are little talked about, and even less written about. Since mystery is predominant in their delineation, erroneous descriptions are not uncommon, too. Because the women already belong to a colonized space and are wrongly represented, they are doubly colonized.

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Pan-Indian and Cosmopolitan Concerns in Temsula Ao’s Writing

By Devastuti Sharma
The poems of the Naga poet and writer, Temsula Ao, are quintessential examples of the ways in which women’s writings from the region transcend the genre and gain a pan-Indian and even cosmopolitan dimension.

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Writing Conflict, Writing Gender: Looking at Two Assamese Novels

By Parvin Sultana
This piece will try to explore the engagement of two contemporary women writers of Assam with the conflict and identity politics that the state has simmered in. It will analyzet Arupa Patangia Kalita’s Felanee (2003) and Rita Choudhury’s Ei Somoy Sei Somoy (2007).

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