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We release issue 31 of Out of Print with seven fine stories.

 

In Mridula Garg’s ‘Seven Little Rooms’, flawlessly translated by the author herself, a tourist road through the hills takes a twist into an ancient tale. Crossing boundaries between many different worlds, the clean tonal quality of the writing only enhances the disconcerting sense of anxiety that pervades the story.

 

Neera Kashyap’s ‘Dual Awakenings’ returns to a theme that occupies her – a woman struggling with repeated miscarriages finds comprehension after a visit to a place of profound spiritual significance. The complexities she faces that begin to find understanding through a chance dialogue are finely explored.

 

As in the above two stories, we are thrown once again into old, wild landscapes in LC Sumithra’s ‘kanivemane.com’ translated with careful attention to the author’s particular style and cultural sensibilities by Sushumna Kannan. As an old man’s beloved home in the Malnad is converted into a homestay, the responses of the people who are variously touched by the place are captured with extraordinary insight.

 

We are taken from the ancient to a burnt dystopian future by Salvatore Difalco’s ‘Time of the Djinns’. In desperate search of food, Dr Ram, a chiropractor, wanders his corner of the city. While his senses aggressively assaulted by different odours and by the argumentative voice in his head, he encounters a djinn, who seems to be his nemesis.

 

A layered tale of family and mystery, Barnali Ray Shukla’s ‘Pickpocket’ is driven by the strong personality of the narrator’s voice. A woman deals with the mysterious death of a distant uncle and the guilt of having not kept up with his wife, even as she prepares a party for her soldier husband who is returning after four months beyond the grid.

 

The final two stories enter the inner thoughts of two young women at different points in the spectrum of seeking love. In ‘The Monk’ by Prashila Naik, a college student deals with her all-encompassing infatuation with a one of her classmates. Is she noticed, has he seen her? Compelled by these questions, she follows him home! Komal Singh in ‘Dear Future Self’, on the other hand, must decide how to respond to an eager beaux, a good man but one for whom she feels no attraction. Will she choose safety, stability and a prosperous life in ‘clean and quiet’ suburbia or return, once again, to loneliness?.

 

Out of Print continues to post updates on the Out of Print Blog, and on Facebook, and Twitter.

 

 

The artwork, ‘Tree and Trail’, pen and ink on paper, 14.5" x 17", collection of Nova and Jarvis Rockwell is by Michelle Farooqi. The cover design by Yamuna Mukherjee contains images from a piece of Kalamkari or crafted-by-pen fabric depicting stories from Indian mythology.

Michelle Farooqi, born in Quetta and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, has been drawing and painting since childhood, encouraged by her parents in her pursuit of art.

After immigrating to Canada, Michelle studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Canada. Later, in search of more traditional art instruction, Michelle joined the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto, where she learned 18th century drawing and painting techniques, and acquired expertise in the fields of portraiture, figurative painting and still life, with oil paints, charcoal and graphite.
Michelle's first exhibition in Pakistan took place at Art Chowk, Karachi, in 2012, where she displayed four portraits in a group portraiture exhibition, using oils and charcoal.

Later, her long-time interest in landscape painting led to a period of self-study in that genre. After a successful first exhibition of landscape paintings in soft pastels at Alhamra Art Gallery, Lahore, Michelle expanded her skills to include oil pastels and once again exhibited her new paintings, and two pen-and-ink drawings, of which 'Tree and Trail' was one, at Alhamra Art Gallery, from 11-13 September, 2017.

 

 

Selected stories may contain language or details that could be viewed as offensive. Readers below 18 are cautioned to use discretion. Views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily supported by Out of Print.