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Friday, July 1, 2011

CLRI 2/2 July 2011

Editor's Line

The Unmaking of a Mahatma Gandhi
—Mahatma Gandhi, Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev

For long people had a dream why not another Mahatma Gandhi after his demise in 1948. A dream of having an iconic personality around is easier but to patronize such a dream is hard. This is much obviously proved in the figure of Anna Hazare. Anna is a Gandhi in the making but some people are against he is playing a Gandhi. He is being accused of hijacking the government. He is blackmailing a democratically elected system by an autocratic desire, those who oppose him accuse. But so did Gandhi when he launched many satyagrahs1 against the British which simulate to the same rigging ideology. That is why many times, Gandhi was restricted from visiting some places, and many seditious charges were framed against him in his own country.

Anna is alleged how he can claim he represents the civil society; so much as we can question how Gandhi represented the entire India. How people who support Anna in his mission of bringing a law in the form of the Lokpal Bill which can put a cross check to the corruption understand that Anna is on a good mission. Then how the people in the pre-independent India knew that following the path of Gandhi, they could once make the British leave the country.

However Anna has to take note that his responsibilities are bigger in the 21st century mature India when people understand politics much and political slant is too narrow. He should keep his fight apolitical. As it happened when Anna’s remarks for some good state governments were seen whether he has some hidden political agenda. We should never forget that it is a tough time when one has to fear to say some thing good about a person, an institution or a government if it is good for some reasons (though infamous for some bad ones as well). Even genuine admiration can be doubted.

He must understand that his mission is against corruption and not against corrupt people as Gandhi stressed we should hate the ‘sin and not the sinner’. Anna should keep in mind that his fight is not against a foreign rule but the very Indian system. His agitation should not tilt to shackle the system; it should target to bring in a change in the system instead. He cannot threaten the government to start anshan2 again and again.

His language should be polite even in worst situation so that his mission remains the mission of the people and does not become personal. He should show pursuance and perseverance. It is too early to say whether Anna would succeed in playing a Gandhi but it is certain there are a large number of hurdles, not agni pariksha3 though, that he has to pass. He should be very careful; else his mission can diminish easily in thin air.

A Tribute to M F Hussain

M F Hussain (17 September 1915 – 9 June 2011)

India lost one of her great painters and artists—M. F. Hussain the "Picasso of India" (Forbes). Hussain died of heart attack on June 9, 2011 in a London hospital. He was a great modernist in painting at par with European modernists such as CĂ©zanne and Matisse etc. He was a prolific artist and applied themes in his paintings richly from the epics the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Hindu mythologies.

He had to leave his native country India for some of his controversial paintings. Though we are growing educationally, we are narrowing our space of tolerance where an artist does not find his room spacious enough to juggle his brush as freely as he wants, where a writer suffocates for life. We indent to impose our own thought on others and resort to force if we feel others are not thinking as they should. Why Hussain leaved India is the example of this ideology.

A creative person has the freedom to shape his/her artistic presentation in the way he/she prefers. If a creation hurts the sentiment of a people, they too have the right to raise objection. But the objection must be a civilised objection and it cannot be a detrimental infringement on the freedom of the creative person.


CLRI 2/2 July 2011 Issue
CLRI has become a monthly journal since June 2011. CLRI 2/2 July 2011 Issue brings some fine pieces of writings from the writers such as Zachary Kluckman (Mexico, US), Christian Ward (London, UK), and April Avalon (St. Petersburg, Russia). We request the readers to leave feedback as it helps us improve our quality and prove to be true to their expectation.

1. agitation
2. fast onto death
3. a test in which one has to pass through fire to prove chastity

Khurshid Alam,
Editor, CLRI, July 2011.

Three Poems by Zachary Kluckman

Three Poems by Zachary Kluckman

Scrapbook for the Lonely

Start your canvas on photograph.
A black and white slide
of sea cliffs and birds on thin
electrical lines. One pair of shoes,
size six with the laces untied.

A sleeping woman with her hair
spilling loose across a table
where the wine bottle is corked
and the crackers, next to the cheese
are bundled in fancy tin.

Glue one cookie to the image
for texture. Excuse the dimensions,
raise a toast to her gloriously
red lips. Kiss her with a battery.
Cell phone, ion or lithium,
fully charged. Roll one ace bandage
around the canvas.
Her ankles will hurt from all the dancing.
Music moves her lips,

you can see it in that smile.
Embed one vinyl record
in the side of the frame
as if trying to jam a CD in
between the lovers whose kiss
stains the corner, below the Ford
Model T, the old man chewing
a licorice twist.

Time your walk to the saxophone
player, circumnavigate the whole,
canvas and frame, searching
for a moment out of place.


“…black bird singing in the dead of night,
                take these broken wings and learn to fly….” ~ Paul McCartney

Black bird
huddled behind angry throw pillows
littering the couch.
                Eyes hiding behind cigar smoke,
                his tongue as thick as a deck of wet cards.

Watching the closet
not for the confusion of pathways
the doorknobs present,
                but the dangerous hanger,
                slack shouldered and hungry.

Sectional mirrors
left over from discothèques
abuse the bed,
                light-bulbs hang their heads
                in the presence of stark naked windows.

Modest comfort,
fruit on the table. Milk heavy breasts
under her sweater,
                mother’s refrigerator sits
                heavy and slack-jawed with liquor.

featherless daughter considers the windows
peeling apples,
                the lock-blade cuts her thumb,
                releasing a small wind

trapped in her blood.

Taming Olympus

What if our bears were made out of flame,
    trained to swallow swords?

A curious circus of stars hanging portraits
    of open skies on their walls.

A time lapse break-dance of celestial
    ambiguous  bodies writhing

under a flesh panoply. The universal womb
    births embryonic clowns

with broken shoulders. Their burden of grief
    in unstrung finger bones

plucking feathers from Olympian crossbow bolts.
    A bacchanal of impious birds

counting the hours in a milky whorl
    of stones hiding in ravines. A galaxy

laid spinning among the anthills and twigs.
    What patina of self-aware

gravitational forces reminds the dreamer
    to consider the ponderous truth

of river rock, that dancing stones weigh less
    than stationary leaves?

Our calendar of fantasies fills the corners
    with red and gold hawks astride candles.

Atop the fragrant Ferris wheel of dawn
    The Sun sings cricket songs of swords

that scare the circus bears back into the closets
    where the gods hide behind coats

waving umbrellas furiously at one another
    balling their fists into dense little stars.

Author’s Bio: Zachary Kluckman is the Spoken Word Editor for Pedestal Magazine, Associate Editor for The Journal of Truth and Consequence, Director of the Albuquerque Slam Poet Laureate Program and a founding member of the Albuquerque Poetry Festival. His poetry appears in print and on the radio around the world. A Pushcart Prize nominee, his recent publications include The New York Quarterly, Memoir (and) and Cutthroat among others. When he is not untangling string cheese, Kluckman is hard at work on a new manuscript titled “S(he) Doesn’t Exist…”

Three Poems by Christian Ward

Three Poems by Christian Ward

The Nest

After weeks of poring over possible locations,
I found it on Easter Saturday, right above
an air vent on my balcony, past the stockings

of cobwebs. Sprigs of weed were precariously
placed on the edge, a twig tottered between
its world and mine like a tightrope, dirt specks

painted darkness - illuminated only by the finch's
starry colours. I rarely saw the bird: sometimes
it flitted on the washing line, making the wire

jump like an oscillation. Perhaps upstairs' cats
frightened it, the way they stared at the space,
knowing what lurked, what might transform

if they seized it whole. I too felt it: my body
dizzy with everything rejected, throwing me
at the feet of something small and majestic.

The Terrace

A partially opened
window in the guesthouse
gave me a glimpse
of a hidden terrace

with its orange tree
in one corner producing
fruit to the music
of a Chinese water clock.

Three cast iron chairs
with backs woven
into copper coloured
quavers sung the chorus.

I wanted to take this song
and watch it paint everything
I had with tranquility,
were it not for an unseen

cloud staring at me straight
in the eye, ready to release
its thunder.

Bird’s Nest Soup

A bangka beached, shushing waves
slapping its hull. Then busyadores jumped

out with rope and poles, making the sign
of the cross before lifting themselves

onto rocks while the birds gorged miles
away on mayflies, wasps and winged white ants.

Fernando moved quickly, feeling the frailty
of every limestone rock as he sprang from one

position to another, judging if the crevice
could accommodate his foot. The sea hissed

like escaping oxygen. Gusts of wind recorded
him hitting the water like a funfair hammer.

Hacked off nests appreciated in value while
he sank; giant crickets chirped unscripted elegies

before swarming over tossed out chicks. The busyadores
laid out their haul on a table at dusk and sorted it into first,

second and third class bundles before sleeping on bamboo
benches as swiftlets returned to their caves, one man

always waking to feathers running along an arm,
having dreamt of Icarus stealing flight and the sun taking

it back.

Note: bangka=outrigger canoe; busyadore=skilled climber

Author’s Bio: Christian Ward is a 30 year old UK-based poet. He recently finished an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London and his work has appeared in Poetry Wales, The Kenyon Review and elsewhere. He hopes to release his first collection in near future.

Three Poems by April Avon

Three Poems by April Avon


I'm looking around and searching you there,
The bright prospect lights only frown as I stare,
My heart's getting lost in the shatters.
I know you'll pick them all up when you come,
And I'll never mind if you steal at least some,
Just keep them, and nothing else matters.

Those white and green lights got my secret revealed,
I'll write it all down and cherish it sealed,
One day it will find destination.
Whoever discovers the mystery penned,
They won't guess a word, I have got it all planned,
This madness becomes my salvation.

The eyes of the suburbs will warm and appease
My heart, ever-aching, with evident ease.
Your look in the window still shows.
It's fixed in the soul, it's fixed in the glass,
This moment can linger for good either pass,
It's changing. Well, destiny knows.

Only Dreaming

My arms held so tightly around your waist
Just spoke for me, as I'd got my lips sealed.
At least they indulged in a new better taste -
Embraced by temptations, I chose to yield.

This night was a blinding exhilarant flash
Of life that's unfiltered, of love that's pristine.
You found the beauty within such a crash,
You planted some hope in the dream world of mine.

But pleasure is gone like this cherry cigar -
The dawn didn't let fortune's secret unfold
Or give me a sign, leading where you are.
A dream half believed in is all that I hold.

From The Heart

I'm here in the corner, devoured by cold,
My little ribbed shell hides a desperate sigh,
It holds an enigma for you to unfold
Until I'm asleep to your breath's lullaby.

My soul is rushing beyond the extremes,
Revealing the vibe that is hard to appease,
But once you discover the door to my dreams,
My consciousness lives through a moment of peace.

Whenever my lips start exploring your skin,
They bleed unexplainable bitter remorse -
My poison leaves stains, and it feels from within,
But lips ever sealed do appear much worse.

Author’s Bio: April Avon has been writing for almost five years. She is a great life observer and gets inspiration from the various facets of life. The purpose of her creativity is to urge people to see beyond the bounds, to be themselves, to speak their minds loud, not to be afraid to differ from the crowd. She creates to destroy…to destroy the naive destroy the stereotypes.

April lives in St. Petersburg and hopes to succeed further both as a poet and a songwriter. She can be reached at:


Review of Cricket Till I Die by Upneet Grover

Truly apart from the monotonous and insipid books you get to read these days, ‘Cricket Till I Die!’ is an exceptional read. It’s about Vineet, who, like many of us, carries an unfulfilled dream in his heart, and yet, unlike the most of us, makes an attempt to fulfill it. The passion, nerve, and valor Vineet has will have you thinking for a long time and will definitely instill hope in your heart.
—Ankita Chadha
There is a fine line between fiction and fantasy and you’ve (writer) maintained the distance. A sad yet a perfect ending to Vineet’s story which was a perfect mix of passion, romance, dedication, commitment and performance!
—By Purnima M
The journey of a futile effort at balancing dreams and practicality, this book is for anyone who is still stuck in the dilemma between pursuing dreams or living on under the apprehension of being rejected in the pursuit.
—Sushant Bahadur

Literary News

Literary News
Muse India Announces National Literary Awards

To recognize and reward excellence in Indian literature, Muse India is happy to announce institution of two National Awards to be given annually, during Hyderabad Literary Festival. These are –

1. Muse India Young Writer Award to be given to an outstanding original work in English or in English translation from an Indian language. Each year the award will be for a particular literary genre (poetry, short fiction, play, novel etc.). For the 2011 award, the genre will be poetry.

2. Muse India Translator Award to be given to a significant work of translation into English from any of the Indian languages. Translation should be of a classic or any other important literary work, preferably not translated earlier, and seen as an important contribution to Indian Literature.

The Reward

Each of the Awards will have a citation and a cash prize. The amount will be Rs.20, 000 for the Young Writer Award and Rs.30, 000 for the Translator Award.

Of the amount of Rs 20,000 for Young Writer Award, Rs. 5000 will be given to the translator, in case the award goes to a translated work. Otherwise the entire amount goes to the author. The focus here will be to recognize originality and merit in a young writer’s work.

Of the amount of Rs 30,000 for the Translator Award, Rs 5000 will be given to the original author, if alive. This award will recognize not only the merit of translation but also the effort involved in bringing to a wider audience, a classic or an outstanding work of a regional language, which otherwise would remain largely unknown.”

I also draw your attention to an error in the eligibility period of publication for the Translator Award. This should read, “Books published between Jan 2007 and end May 2011 (and not 2012) will be eligible for entry.”

In order to recognise new talent, we are introducing an additional eligibility clause to restrict submissions to only those books that have not already won other awards. The clause applicable both to the Young Writer Award and the Translator Award is as follows:

"Books that have already won an International award, or Sahitya Akademi award at national or state levels, or awards instituted by State Govts or other major institutions, would not be eligible for the Awards."

However, we will overlook any minor prizes or awards won. If a publication has received any award from any institution, the author or publisher may kindly declare this and consult Muse India before submitting such a publication.

All submissions should have a detailed bionote (preferably with a photo) of the author. Entries for Young Writer Award should be accompanied with proof of age of the author. For this, scanned image of Passport or other official documents showing date of birth should be sent.

The 2011 awards will be given during Hyderabad Literary Festival 2012, tentatively scheduled to be held on Jan 16-18, 2012 in Hyderabad.

Jury – a distinguished panel of judges comprising authors, scholars and critics will assess the entries and select the award winners.

Eligibility Criteria
  • The author must be an Indian citizen or an NRI.
  • Works published in English and in English translation only are eligible, not those in Indian languages.
  • Self published books or electronic publications like eBooks, Chapbooks etc are not eligible.
  • For the Young Writer Award the author should be 35 years or younger at the time of publication of the work.
  • Books of poetry published between Jan 2009 and end-May 2011 will be eligible for entry.
  • For the Translator Award there will be no age bar for the translator. Books published between Jan 2007 and end May 2012 will be eligible for entry.
  • All entries must reach Muse India on or before July 31, 2011, superinscribed ‘Entry for Muse India National Award’ and enclosing complete details as sought.
  • Please send a communication through email on dispatch of the material.
  • Authors or Publishers can send the entries.
  • A set of 3 copies of the book has to be submitted initially. If short-listed for final stage of consideration, more copies may be requested, if required.
For further details contact:

Mr GSP Rao
Managing Editor, Muse India
38, Malani Enclave, Trimulgherry
Secunderabad 500015, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Mobile phone 91 98483 45490.
Email- and

NEW £10,000 Fellowship Announced by University of East Anglia

20 June 2011: Yesterday it was announced here in Britain that a generous NEW £10,000 Fellowship has been established at the University of East Anglia for South Asian creative writers (novelists/poets) in English who are LIVING IN South Asia.

Please click on this link for more information:

Please be sure to read the webpage above before directing enquiries to

Jane Camens,
Executive Director
Asia-Pacific Writing Partnership.

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