Friday, December 16, 2011

Out of Print 6

This December, Out of Print features 6 stories that explore the complex, multi-layered aspects of the region in ways that rise beyond the cultural context. Altaf Tyrewala’s Mischief in Netanagar is a chilling commentary on urban ennui, where the protagonist feels so disempowered that he comments, ‘To belong to the community, to the land or to the nation, a man must first be in possession of himself.’ Lucinda Nelson Dhavan’s Boys And Girls Together leads us through what happens when a refuge for battered women and a lodge for young men are next door to each other in a ‘middle-sized, middle-class, sleepy city’ in India. Dipika Mukherjee’s Patriots Of The Will, is a fictional rendition of the Indian National Army’s presence in what was then Malaya: a Bengali woman, a sweet maker, makes mishti and much more for Bose. Meenakshi Jauhari Chawla's tale reveals the fallibility of Lakhi Parshad, Member of Parliament and the wiliness of the human mind in negotiating survival. Drawing on her scientific background, and her theoretical perspective on the ways in which molecules interact, our editor, Indira Chandrasekhar, examines the thought processes of a girl who struggles to make sense of her family and her relationships in Lennard-Jones Potentials. In Tashan Mehta’s Erasure, which begins, ‘When I left home, I came back to find they had erased me,’ a young woman, desperate to find herself searches among her family and friends but learns that they no longer see her.  

A commissioned cover from Out of Print writer and friend, Vinayak Varma is a hand-drawn re-purposing of a frame from Amitabh Bachchan's 'MereAngane Mein' song. Read more about Vinayak's thoughts on this in our Editor’s Note.