By Sukla Singha
Shakuntala Road reeks of stale gerberas and lilies.
It silently awaits July rains, wedding
invitations and dead bodies,
in no particular order.
By Raza Naeem
The child laughed a lot watching the peacock dance
As if in those large eyes
Filling all the peacock’s colours
The light beating of the awakened tiny soft palm
Broke the swaying jungle’s calm.
Content: Poetics and politics of the ‘everyday’: Engaging with India’s northeast (Issue 53)
By Bhumika R and Suranjana Choudhury
Our attempt in this issue of Café Dissensus has been to explore the layered nature of everyday as articulated through literary and cultural narratives from Northeast India. Specifically, we have tried exploring various understandings of the everyday and its articulations across literary and cultural narratives from Northeast India.
By Amit R. Baishya
The two poetic texts I will be considering are Hafiz Ahmed’s “Murgi Jobai” (The Fowl Slaughter) and Anupama Basumatary’s “Saamuk” (Snail). What unites these two poems are not simply seemingly uneventful and ordinary acts of speciesist violence (the moments before the slaughter of chickens, eating a snail), but also ethical reflections on violence, killability, bodily vulnerability and contingent moments of relationality between human and animal.
By Esther Syiem
In effect, the mystiques of memory in its many dimensions fed the steady stream of material life in these communities to help them bridge the terrestrial and transcendental, the historic and the ahistoric, establishing connections with the spiritual universe embodied in the bush and jungle outside, and indicating boundaries: tangible ones and those intangible, that of the spirit world.
By KB Veio Pou
Most people from other parts of India often ask me how it is that most young people from Northeast know how to play at least one musical instrument, especially guitar, apart from singing mellifluously. I don’t really have an answer for that but music is pretty much ingrained in the culture. Perhaps, musics flow in our veins!
By Laiamon Naomi Nengnong
More often than not, writers who write about Meghalaya, or about the Khasi society only glorify or romanticize the picturesque beauty of this place (which is undeniable), and the system of lineage that exists here. As a Khasi and a woman, however, I cannot help but opine that there is a lot that is being neglected in such narratives. These narratives can be seen as consisting of one side of the story.
An instant gush of childhood memories – early morning walks and cute sketches of landscapes – poured over me with a wave of fleeting nostalgia. She gestured me to sit on a bench near her bed and said in a mellow voice, “Every morning I stare outside this window fishing for long lost memories in those seas of clouds.”
By Lede E Miki Pohshna
Focusing on the tragic aspect of their everyday is a disservice to the queer people and also to the actuality of their complex existence. Queer experience is not homogenous, fixed and one-dimensional. Their everyday life is also redolent with acts of falling in love, first heartbreak, and most importantly the ability to accept who they are when it comes to their sexuality.
By Rongili Biswas
During the 1940s, Hemango Biswas was actively involved in the leftist cultural revival in Cachar. His closest companion there was Irawat Singh who was another legend himself. Irawat singlehandedly organized and consolidated leftist political movements in Cachar, especially among Cachar’s Manipuri settlements and tea-garden workers. He was a remarkable orator, dancer, singer, organizer, sportsman and cultural activist.
By Sebanti Chatterjee
On several occasions, after my scheduled interviews with musicians, researchers and heads of various organizations, I recall how I was served Kwai alongside tea and sometimes after food. Kwai has been my medium of engaging with my field; it has served as an entry point for me to be aware of the people, landscape and of course the choral practices.
By Z.D. Lalhmangaihzauva
The reality was that this man and his generation lived their lives outside the confines of the grand narrative of Indian history that can be broadly categorised into pre-independence and post-independence. Secluded in the hilly region of what is now India’s northeast, they raised their families, toiled in their jhums, hunt in the jungles, wove their clothes, and sang their songs, oblivious to the concept of nationality, Indianness or independence.
By Gankhu Sumnyan
But over the slow day, my optimism began to wane. The kitten took in less and less of the solution. Instead of feeding, it wanted to be cradled, clambering onto my palm every time I'd put it down in the can. When forced to lie down, it gave out complaining cries.
By Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih
Liaw was only a daily-wage labourer but was well-known throughout the locality because of his excessive fondness for praying before mealtimes, especially whenever there was a big audience. However, he was not a religious person in the conventional sense and did not even go to church.