Author: PrachyaReview

‘The memoir is very frustrating. I can’t seem to explain what happened to me.’ – Vijay Seshadri

Vijay Seshadri is a poet, essayist, and literary critic. He was born in India, and lives in the US, having moved there at the age of five. He is the author of Wild Kingdom (1996); The Long Meadow (2003), which won the James Laughlin Award; and 3 Sections (2013), which won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. He has worked as an editor at the New Yorker, and has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, where he currently directs the graduate non-fiction writing program. We managed to get a hold of him when he came to attend Dhaka Lit Fest in November 2016. He graciously agreed to sit for an interview, and somehow juggled an array of topics in a laidback and light-hearted manner, ranging from language, teaching, being in the US, the partition of India and Pakistan, his writing, current and future projects, and his musings on life.     Anika Shah: I must say I’m a little nervous about interviewing you, your being a teacher and my being a student. Vijay Seshadri: Well, yes. That’s a very South Asian thing though, right? The guru and the chela. In America students have a different relationship to their teachers; less deferential. Sometimes I feel like their chaiwallah. Anika Shah: I heard your talk the other day, and you said that you like being a teacher because you get to say things...

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Ramayana Series by Natasha Sarkar

As early as the sixteenth century, the Ramayana is revealed through the eyes of two women with contrasting backgrounds, Molla – a potter’s daughter from Andhra Pradesh, and Chandrabati – a Brahmin’s daughter from Bengal. Through Molla’s lens, one can view gory, battlefield scenes, while Chandrabati’s focal point rests on the pregnancies of the key female characters, and also on how the heroine rather than the hero, is destined to destroy the villain ( in the Artwork “Female Gaze”). Sita is, in fact, given a more heroic character, originally in a Tamil folktale, and later in Tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas. Thus, when the villain – Ravana is killed by Rama, yet another demon appears with a hundred heads or even a thousand – ‘Mahiravan’, and it is the heroine (Sita) who slays this new and greater villain (in the Artwork “Mahiravan Badh”).     Female Gaze: The heroine rather than the hero, is destined to destroy the villain. Mahiravan Badh: The heroine Sita slays this new and greater villain. The Bird-God: The mythical bird deity, Garuda, may appear green to the Sibsagar folk community of Assam, but to the Thais, it enjoys pride of place as the national emblem in flaming red! Thoughts on Seduction: In the polygamous and polyandrous world of the Santhals, Sita is not only a seductress but is seduced by Rama, Lakshmana, and Ravana. Everything is Maya:...

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Artworks by Nosheen Ahmad

My journey through art has been exploring and playing with the elements of design.  The elements of design are a dot, line, shape, form, color and texture. My aim has been to discover as many mediums and techniques – to get to know the character of each medium and to select an image accordingly. My inspiration has always been nature and its creations. I will start with a pencil drawing of my brother ‘Ahmad’, as a baby. Through the subtle rendering of a pencil I have tried to portray the softness and innocence of a baby. Moving on to other techniques, in printmaking I worked on Lithography and Aqua tint. ‘The wise ones Owls’, I chose owls as my subjects. Used Aquatint technique to express the texture of the feathers and the wood of the branch. While working with Eggtempra technique, I used the glazy and translucent feel of the medium to paint my ‘Fish’. Nature has been my favorite subject while using oil paints. Human figure with its complex curves angles and dynamic structure has always fascinated me. Sculpture is my passion. ‘A cry’ two birds made out of copper sheet and wire. My wire sculptures are an effort to create a form in space with as linear material as a wire. For me sculpture and painting are intertwined with each other. My fondness for 3D forms made me venture into...

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Urban Text by Imran Firdaus

We had trouble deciding if we should tag this collection as photography or a photo story. In reality these are images and text; but they also do tell some kind of a story. Or stories. Multiple stories – sometimes appearing to be in sync, sometimes going in different directions. But what catches our eye is that they exist, around us. They contain traces of lives and thoughts of people who exist alongside us. And we may never know them or meet them, the traces we see, we experience. Imran Firdaus documents these traces. He prefers to call this series...

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