Leave a comment

The thin red line: ‘The Unsafe Asylum – Stories of Partition and Madness’ by Anirudh Kala

(From The Hindu. Link to the complete article given below)

I found Anirudh Kala’s profession to be of interest while reading his collection of short stories. Dr. Kala is a psychiatrist of repute who has worked on mental health initiatives between India and Pakistan. As such, he is well-suited to uncover the trauma and psychoses that Partition caused in us as nations and in Punjab as a society.

The unsettling but deeply humane interlinked stories in The Unsafe Asylum are arranged along two major lines: Rulda and Fattu, a Sikh and a Muslim consigned to the asylum during Partition amidst talk of exchange of inmates between the two countries, and the lives of Dr. Prakash Kohli and his family, now settled in Chandigarh, a city with no history. The stories are located almost equally in what is now Pakistan, in India, with some overlap between the countries, and in England.

Who is mad?

The collection opens in June 1947 with the murder of a Muslim psychiatrist in Lahore by a Sikh army officer. The officer, having lost his family to mob violence, had sworn to kill 10 people that night. He kills just one, the doctor. Years later, the son of the psychiatrist, now a psychiatrist himself, visits India ostensibly to watch a cricket match but actually to meet his father’s murderer. There is no rancour but there is acknowledgement, a closure.

Read more at The Hindu link here.

Advertisements


1 Comment

Report: Panel discussion on “Conflict and Literature” held in India

Report by Jaya Bhattacharji Rose

panel

On Thursday, 16 Oct 2014, H.E. Ambassador Feilim McLaughlin of Ireland hosted a literary soiree at his residence. It was organized to commemorate the centenary of World War I.  The event consisted of an exhibition on the Irish poet W.B. Yeats and a panel discussion on “Conflict and Literature”. The panelists were three Indian authors/journalists—Paro Anand, Samanth Subramanian and Amandeep Sandhu and the discussion was moderated by Ambassador McLaughlin. Ambassador of Ireland Feilim McLaughlin said the event was intended to explore the role of the writer in portraying or interpreting conflict, drawing parallels between the experience in Ireland and South Asia. The evening was curated by Jaya Bhattacharji Rose. Continue reading


Leave a comment

The Hindu Prize 2013 Shortlist announced

Sonora Jha

Sonora Jha

The much-awaited shortlist for The Hindu Prize for Best Fiction 2013 is finally out. The panel of distinguished judges has selected the five books from which the winner will finally be chosen. The panel comprised Malayalam poet, author and critic K. Satchidanandan, poet and writer Arundhathi Subramaniam, author Timeri N. Murari, surgeon and novelist Kavery Nambisan and writer and critic Geeta Doctor.

According to the judges, the number of entries for this year’s The Hindu Prize was overwhelming in its variety and diversity of tone and subject matter. “In narrowing the list down to the five shortlisted novels, we attempted to balance the delight in discovering new voices with the need to prod the conscience of a new generation with unsettling images and ideas that come under the mask of fiction,” says Geeta Doctor. Continue reading