Vol. X | Issue 12 | May 2023

From the Editor’s Desk

May brings forth the full wrath of the Indian summer, unrelenting, punishing and scorching. In my walks around the city and its suburbs I often see people keep earthen vases filled with cool water for passersby, or a pail of water for the birds. It never fails to warm my heart to know that humans can still be kind and compassionate when they choose to. Water reminds me of what Olivia Liang says in her book To the River- 'Rivers run through our civilisations like strings through beads...”.

In the Indian context I am taken back to a rather unassuming but beautiful book I chanced upon by tribal artist Subhash Vyam. Titled as Water, this is a tale that describes and reminds us of the interdependence between man, animals and the jungles. Unlike Liang, water isn't a metaphor for Vyam, to him, it is life hung between survival and longing. Interspersed with his tribal Gond art, a simple tale comes alive. As a people, summer brings in strong imagery to our minds, golden fields of rice, empty rivers, peacock calls in the silence of the jungle, or the shy jump of waterless fish.

But this space here is full, no emptiness that surrounds us, as literature nourishes our weary minds. We bring you an issue brimming to capacity with artistry, imagery, music, and the magnificence of words. Geoffrey Miller writes a fine essay on 'How Steinbeck Uses Environment to Create Entry Points into a Narrative', we carry Rohini Chowdhury's fine translation of the first ever autobiography in an Indian language - Banarasidas’s Ardhakathanak, Devika Ramnathkar writes a sweet story- My marriage to Madhubala, a review of Ranjit Hoskote's Icelight by Shabnam Mirchandani and Beni Yanthan gives us a poem - Please Do Not Touch, on the repatriation of Naga ancestral human remains from the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.

Enjoy dear readers

Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury
Managing Editor, The Bangalore Review