From the Editor’s Desk
As I write this, the Indian flag flies at half mast, in an official mourning for the passing away of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II- the Queen is dead, long live the King. In the meanwhile, ironic as it might seem, barely a few days ago, one of India's famed roads, Rajpath, in the capital city of New Delhi was renamed as Kartvya Path - a move that was supposedly an assertion of the country's breakaway from its colonial hangover. The internet is full of questions like, 'what happens after the Queen's death?' In all probability, these questions mostly stem in the minds of people belonging to the Commonwealth nations, who, as a matter of culture, still feel that the Crown's deep seated roots somehow still affect them as people.
World over however, people have adapted and modified the English language in their own ways. The word chutnified comes to mind, when we think about the way Indians have adapted and grown into this language. As is common in the making of a typical chutney, we have blended disparate ingredients into a product that is wholly new, with a flavour and taste better suited to our palate, while retaining some specifics of the base ingredients. In a magazine like ours, where we read as much of American English as we do of Indian English - language is that dressing where local flavours merge into the socio- cultural milieu. Here language and its experiments are as much a part of literary anthropological study as it is avant garde. Our September issue, with translations from Urdu (Rajinder Singh Bedi's short story Quarantine from 1939), and Probal Basu's essay on the Calcutta Coffee House from Bangla - are good examples of experimentation with language. On the other hand, we have Kaleb McMunn's beautiful letters to Caroline, his nurse, in the piece, The Fleeting Mind, a review of Birds of the Snows by Tarannum Riyaz and Suchitra Vijayan recommending her choices for TBR Recommends.
Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury
Managing Editor, The Bangalore Review