Born in Gorakhpur in 1960, K.K. Srivastava did his Masters in Economics from Gorakhpur University in 1980 and joined Civil Services in 1983. Author of three volumes of poetry: Ineluctable Stillness (2005), An Armless Hand Writes (2008; 2012) and Shadows of the Real (2012), his poems have been translated into Hindi (Andhere Se Nikli Kavitayen—VANI PRAKASHAN ,2017) and his book Shadows of the Real into Russian by veteran Russian poet Adolf Shvedchikov. His fourth book Soliloquy of a Small Town Uncivil Servant, a literary non-fiction was published in March 2019 by Rupa Publications, New Delhi. Currently he is working as Additional Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General in the office of Comptroller & Auditor General of India.
Title: The Billionaire Raj
Author: James Crabtree
Year of publication: 2018
About: India’s explosive rise has driven inequality to new extremes, with millions trapped in slums as billionaires spend lavishly and dodge taxes. Controversial prime minister Narendra Modi promised ‘to break the grip’ of the Bollygarchs, but many tycoons continue to thrive amidst the scandals, exerting huge influence over business and politics. But who are these titans of politics and industry shaping India through this period of breakneck change? And what kind of superpower are they creating? A vivid portrait of a deeply divided nation, The Billionaire Raj makes clear that India’s destiny – prosperous democratic giant or corrupt authoritarian regime – is something that should concern us all.
Title: Indigo Girl
Author: Suzanne Kamata
Year of publication: 2019
Price: US$14.95/ Rs 1,326.00
About: Fifteen-year-old Aiko Cassidy, a bicultural girl with cerebral palsy, grew up in Michigan with her single mother. For as long as she could remember, it was just the two of them. When a new stepfather and a baby half sister enter her life, she finds herself on the margins. Having recently come into contact with her biological father, she is invited to spend the summer with his indigo-growing family in a small Japanese farming village. Aiko thinks she just might fit in better in Japan. If nothing else, she figures the trip will inspire her manga story, Gadget Girl.
However, Aiko’s stay in Japan is not quite the easygoing vacation that she expected. Her grandmother is openly hostile toward her, and she soon learns of painful family secrets that have been buried for years. Even so, she takes pleasure in meeting new friends. She is drawn to Taiga, the figure skater who shows her the power of persistence against self-doubt. Sora is a fellow manga enthusiast who introduces Aiko to a wide circle of like-minded artists. And then there is Kotaro, a refugee from the recent devastating earthquake in northeastern Japan.
As she gets to know her biological father and the story of his break with her mother, Aiko begins to rethink the meaning of family and her own place in the world.
Readers will be left wondering if the story of Vinod Rai’s who at the apogee of his life with his vast background and experience is to be judged by the referred case studies alone or he will have a second take, let the unsaid unfold and another volume touching untouched or less touched areas of his life will soon be with them, writes K. K. Srivastava.
Let an anecdote precede the beginning. “It is impossible to clean the kind of clothes we wear today!” It is Franz Kafka writing from his Trip to Weimar and Junghorn dated 9th July 1912. On 10th February 2010, I communicated this line to a group of my literary friends telling them that I felt it was the crux of Kafka’s diaries and sought their interpretation. Much to my chagrin none responded. Two and half years later on 17th June 2012, one writer named dan zafir enlightened and this is what he says—‘Clothes, I think, are the psychic layers… They were made “pret a porter” by our parents, society, peers, etc…not necessarily in our ‘true size’ As about dirtying them, we got them already dirty, and it is one’s job to clean or change them with ‘clothes’ of one’s true size. Now I have a question for you! Who made the Emperor’s clothes?’ The answer has eluded me thus far.
“Poetry is an exacting genre, a thinker’s paradise: those who prefer to quench their thirst with the water from the glass filled from Lethe’s wharf cannot write poetry,” says Indian Civil Servant and poet K. K. Srivastava in this interview for Kitaab.
Srivastava is a poet with three poetry collections–Ineluctable Stillness (2005), An Armless Hand Writes (2008) and Shadows of the Real (2012). Adolf P. Shvedchikov, a Russian poet who has translated Shadows of the Real into Russian, interviewed Srivastava regarding his books.
In your poetry, what are the main themes?
K. K. Srivastava: Unlike fiction, no poet proceeds with or on premises. An honest confession on my part would be to admit that when my poems get written, irrespective of their shape and form, they defy any logical sequencing and symmetries; the unevenness is important. But later I spot themes in them and I wonder if this is a correct process. Still I consider it as an adequately equipped methodology to detect later what is invisible earlier. Ephemeral and the unconscious are as important as real. Time is also a character in most of the poems in as much as it acts as a lighthouse with turning signals with periodic flashes. It is through time that many themes in my poems-longer ones in particular seek themselves. Besides, I have also dealt with relationship between whole and parts, man-woman relationship, dreams, emotions and emotional distortions.