Page 1


MAR

/ APR 2017

YUGEN EDITOR IN CHIEF /

AKASH RUMADE

MANAGING EDITOR / RISHIKESH PANDE ASSOCIATE EDITOR / SAUNDARYA JAIN COVER PIC DESIGNER / ANIKET KHARIWALE COVER PHOTO BY/ SAMRAT INDRA

YuGen is a publication under Artists' Syndicate. All content of this magazine may not be reproduced, duplicated, republished or featured without prior consent from the publishing company. All rights reserved 2017.


editorial I met with an accident in the first week of February. Surgical operation due to fracture in my left hand kept me away from my desk. It had been only 10 days since the launch of our first issue and I was made to take bed-rest. Since then until today as I write this editorial for our second issue a lot of things have happened. The burning of Harry Potter books happened which made Rowling tweet,'Guess it's true what they say: you can lead a girl to books about the rise and fall of an autocrat, but you still can't make her think.' Chainsmokers and Coldplay came together and gave us,'Something just like this'. 'Beauty and the Beast', brought back a tale as old as time.  A major goof-up happened at the 89th Academy Awards regarding the announcement of Best Picture. Neil Gaiman hit the bookshelves with his new book,'Norse Mythology', published by Bloomsbury. Logan Jackman took retirement from his role of Wolverine. We had some amazing submissions for this issue from around the world. Emma Hines's,'Euthanize', is a fictional take on distant future involving dependency of people on Longevity pills and prohibition on Suicide Cream. Rishikesh Pande with his Writer's Guidance makes you ask yourself whether you can be empathetic and understanding as a writer/artist. It is a definite read for all those writers hiding behind their homework or excel sheets in office.  I am greatly indebted to all our contributors for making it such a rewarding experience. And you readers, I do sincerely hope you will enjoy reading this issue. Happy Reading!

Editor-in-Chief, YuGen


CONT ENTS Poetry 08

35

THE LASH By Suchitra Shetty

42

VERDE By Robert Beveridge

THE IMMERSION By Orchida Mukherjee

A SONNET TO THE SIREN BRECKEN SMOKING CIGARETTES, BLACK LEGGINGS, WHIMSICAL By Akaky Akakievich

IN FUTURE LIVES By Kersten Christianson

13

25

52

I SEE YOU By Bhavyashree

24

OF THE SLUSH AND SWASH By Aishwarya Ashok

65

SITTING ON THE FENCE By Asha Jacob


CONT ENTS 78

ON DEATH

40

By Pallavi Sareen

48

EUTHANIZE By Emma Hines

53

Satyam

fiction

LONDON

CHRONICLE OF A DUBIOUS MIND By Rahul Gupta

66

A CONFLICT WITH DEATH By Sailesh Mishra

9

MUSA

70

By Arindam Mukherjee

22

THE NASCENT FAMILY By Nandhitha Hemanthkumar

WHO IS HE? By Aditya Puranik

72

STAND BY ME By Akash Rumade


CONT ENTS

Review 36

essay

MOVIE REVIEW- IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE By Rahul Gaur

spotlight 31

THE CRIME OF STALKING IN AUSTRALIA By Jessica Bolden

43

PHOTO-ESSAY By Samrat Indra

27

SUVARNA DHERINGE


CONT ENTS writer's guidance

61

LAGANI VYAS By Surbhi Sareen and Siddhartha Chakravarty

79

RECOMMENDATION LIST By Saundarya Jain

17

ON WRITING DAILY By Saundarya Jain

55

BLACK MIRROR SEASON 3 REVIEW By Rishikesh Pande

You can reach us at Facebook: @ArtistsSyndicate

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Twitter: @art_syndicate

Email ID: artists.syn@gmail.com


In poetry everything is permitted. With only this condition of course. You have to improve the blank page. NICANOR PARRA


Poetry

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

In Future Lives Backpack dweller Passport stamper Extrovert No Leo the Late Bloomer Writer with confidence Poet John Haines scholar Yurt-living hippy Canadian Hollyhock cultivator Life of the tiny party Hermit Wildlife activist Mountain climber Mystic By Kersten Christianson

Kersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moongazing, high school English-teaching Alaskan. When not exploring the summer lands and dark winter of the Yukon Territory, she lives in Sitka, Alaska with her husband and photographer Bruce Christianson, and daughter Rie. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry through the University of Alaska Anchorage (2016). POETRY | Â 08


Fiction

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

MUSA by Arindam Mukherjee

‘Turn the clock back! I am the clockkeeper and I order you to turn it back!’ ‘Shut up!’ Thunders the orderly as he runs after the semi-naked feller, ‘You speak when you are spoken to.’ This is where I am. A friend of a friend of a friend runs this mental asylum. And I am desperate for a story.

The white uniform escorts the clockkeeper to my direction. He is better dressed now. I am assigned to one of those iron cages. A chair waits for me on the outside. The inmate is huddled inside the metal enclosure. He seems okay to settle down. ‘What is your name?’ ‘Musa Soussa…’ A good start. I congratulate myself. ‘…I am also called the tablet breaker.’ ‘Why?’ He looks at me quizzically. Apparently, I am not up FICTION |  09


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

speed on something here. ‘Because I smashed the Ten Commandments dude!’ ‘Oh…’ I can vaguely see why he is here. ‘And why did you do that?’ He appears bored. I hastily add, ‘I am here to listen to your story. Would you please share?’ Breakthrough! ‘I would.’ He flashes a smile. Amidst that tangle of facial hair, I see a glimpse of pearly white. ‘You know the beginning. They have written about me. Born to a poor mother, adopted by the royalty…. don’t you?’ ‘Yes, yes! I have read the Testaments. You are very famous!’ I am quick to respond. I have been told that this is an interesting specimen; naturally, anything to please him. ‘Well, I am done witnessing the burning bush; and I am done challenging the Pharaoh. He had overlooked the whole episode, so there was hell to pay, praise be to my Father, God Yaweh.’ ‘Yaweh gave them hell?’ ‘That’s what personal henchmen do, right? Anyway, presently I have taken my Israelites out in search of the Promised Land. We just began working on the Red Sea parting, a few days ago.’ ‘Hey wait… working on Red Sea…? You mean your story is still on?’ He nods like a sage, ‘Currently at the penultimate stage.’ This is a little overwhelming. I fear losing track. But questions need to keep coming. ‘Why are you already the “tablet breaker” then?’ You are yet to perform that, aren’t you?’ ‘See? Even you know! They do too. That’s why they call me that.’ He smiles. Then becomes a little forlorn. ‘I might have to skip that this

time. I have told them. I hope they understand. ‘Skip what?’ ‘Smashing the Commandments.’ ‘Why?’ ‘No time. Just no time. You saw how the orderly shouted at me when I wanted to stop the clock.’ And then he falls silent. I try a couple of times. The orderly comes and guides him out of the cage and into his cabin wherever that is. ‘His name as per our records is Moses D’Souza.’ This is Dr. Fernandez — the friend of the friend of my friend — Chief Officer of the asylum and a gentleman enough to ask me to stay over for lunch. We are seated in his chamber somewhere in the facility: A Christian hospital that runs services essentially for the Catholics of the district and is funded by some association of Catholic Churches. ‘He is interesting!’ ‘Oh that he is.’ The doctor smiles. ‘An amazing persuasive power must say. To get fifteen inmates to rally behind him every waking moment of every day through the past two months… elaborate indoctrination, rechristening and all, I’d say that’s some serious talent.’ ‘What you saying??’ ‘Yes. You know how unstable these people are. To get them to keep their focus for a period of two months…’ he shakes his head, ‘… I doubt how many sane guys would have managed to rein their brains for so long.’ He adds as an afterthought, ‘Good for us in a way; most of these “followers” of his are middle-aged males, and strong. Quite a handful on an ordinary day. That was before Musa arrived here.’ ‘And now?’ ‘And now they  FICTION |  10


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

hail him as their Prophet. They tend to him throughout the day. They don’t fight, throw tantrums, cry or shout. Model inmates now, you could say.’ ‘What’s with this “Musa”, the “tablet breaker” etc?’ ‘You heard his name. Moses.’ The doctor smiles, ‘Murky history there, murky minds here.’ ‘The inmates are mostly Catholics, right?’ He nods again. ‘Apparently, they don’t mind. After all brothers of the same Book; so they are happy to rally behind.’ ‘What is Moses’s history… out in the real world?’ ‘An offender, this one.’ The doctor pushes his plate back with finality. ‘He tried robbing a jewelry store. The security guard there clobbered him on the head. Medical complications arose. For a layman, let’s just say that he lost his balance.’ ‘Jewellery store? Whoa… I would have never imagined.’ ‘We live in a strange world.’ Dr. Fernandez pats his mouth with the napkin and neatly folds it back on the table. ##### ‘So… do you believe in imaginary personal henchmen?’ Dubai airport, transit lounge. I am headed somewhere unimportant. Someone had once said that all good stories usually began with a question. So I look up hopefully. The facial hair was gone. A clean shave, a patch of weaved hair around the forehead, Gucci and Mont Blanc. Nothing to betray his past, save the pearly white. They dazzled the same

way. If my jaw could go for a walk, I would let it. ‘Musa Soussa??!’ ‘One and the same.’ He eases himself on the sofa beside me. He looks shaved-scrubbedperfumed and completely at ease. I fumble with expressions and manage the usual how-where-why look, so he chides me mildly. ‘Easy there writer, easy. Just so you know, I finished my mission. There was a small change in the story, though.’ Was I ever in charge of the interview? ‘Which is?’ ‘I impressed upon them that this time it was Musa that gets to enter the Promised Land. Only Musa.’ ‘And?’ ‘They were unhappy of course! But they realized that it was for a good cause. After all, they were blessed with an entry in the past, while I wasn’t. So they behaved.’ He places a hand on my shoulder. ‘It was all in good spirit. They did not mind even the slightest. Yes…’ he frowns, ‘…they cried a lot towards the end.’ ‘And where did you leave them?’ Dr. Fernandez’s face runs through my mind. Did Moses D’Souza actually recover before being discharged? ‘Right after the Red Sea parted. I told them I would skip the aimless wandering, the divine meetings and the tablet smashing; they had witnessed that already the last time.’ He makes a face. ‘Not enough time. Remember the orderly would not allow me to turn the clock back?’ Unsafe; seriously unsafe. A mad man with one hell of a memory. No iron cages in Dubai airport. ‘Red Sea parted? Where did you get the Red Sea?’ I fumble for my phone as unobtrusively as possible.

FICTION | 11


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

‘From dust thou art, to dust…. thou shop in Spencers?’ I nod. ‘Used to getting them all under one roof, eh writer?’ He gets up. My story threatens to disappear. I find my phone. ‘Wait! How do I keep in touch?’ He turns around. Pearly white again. ‘You got your story writer, and I got mine. What do you care?’ A few deep breaths, and then I dial the good doctor. ‘What?? You met Musa Soussa?’ Dr. Fernandez thunders. ‘Yes, Doc. Right here in Dubai International airport.’ ‘Christ Almighty!’ ‘Is everything alright?’ ‘How could you even think? I mean, you saw him there… what do you think is right about that?’ I am missing something again; so I remain silent. Fernandez resumes after a pause: ‘My asylum is being investigated. Moses D’Souza got his gang of fifteen thugs to dig an underground tunnel from my asylum grounds to right under the ATM gallery across the main road, surfaced there one night, cracked all the machines and took off with nearly ten million in total!’ ‘WHAT?’ ‘Yes, sir! His team was half way with their tunnel digging when you had come. Remember, you’d mentioned something about him saying that they were working on the Red Sea parting?’ Holy shit! So that was his Red Sea. ‘What about those fifteen inmates?’ ‘Musa told them that they couldn’t set foot on the Promised Land. They had all returned that night. And they still cry for their missing Prophet.

They also curse the ancient Israelites for robbing them off their salvation.’ ‘I… mean… I don’t know…’ ‘So do I, sir, so do I. I don’t know what went where. On days, I go and stand beside the spot where they’d dug the tunnel. The authorities have closed that. I stand there, I think and I marvel at the ingenuity of the plan.’ ‘Can’t he be deported, you know… something like that?’ ‘Well as it happens, we had no idea that he had left the country. And assuming he is now in Dubai, I doubt an extradition is on the cards.’ ‘So… he was not mentally imbalanced?’ ‘Damned if I know! And I am a practicing psychiatrist.’ I disconnect. As I slip the mobile back, a paper rustles in my pocket. I fish it out. On it is a single line: “Thou shalt not judge”. Did Moses put his initials at the bottom of the Ten Commandments, I wonder.

Arindam Mukherjee is a training consultant, an author, a geopolitical observer and speaker, a fitness enthusiast and a keen traveler. Some of his books are The Puppeteer (fiction), A Matter of Greed (non fiction), and The Fifth P (non fiction), and Sambhala – The Journey Begins (fiction). He lives in South Calcutta and can be reached at adventure.consultant@gmail.com

FICTION | 12


Poetry

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

The Immersion By Orchida Mukherjee She was awakened by the blaring mike Wearily she opened her sunken eyes And remembered it was Vijaya Dashami The "asur dalani" Goddess would go back to her home today, she anticipated. She could hear the priest chanting sacred "mantras" to glorify the prowess of the mighty Goddess over the ruthless demon She sighed and tried to look up, She could feel an excruciating pain all through her body, It seemed thousands of needles had been pierced in her skin, Her senses rebelled, she felt numb, She could visualize her blood stained body lying orphan under the dead palm Sweltry tears rolled down her pale cheeks She felt helpless, she felt miserable, she felt slaughtered, There she lay, Naked, wounded, bruised Bleeding profusely, At the shabby corner of the ominous alley, by the garbage Despoiled, violated, abused by insolent beasts In the darkness of night.

POETRY |Â 13


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

She is Salma, She is Martha, She is Debi She wanted to return home after a strenuous day's work, She wanted to gift small tokens of festivity to her paralyzed husband, to her diseased son, to her feeble mother,

But before she could make it to home The abhorrent devils looted her, one after the other Tore apart her body, ransacked her soul and kicked her hatefully, out  of their air-conditioned Bolero

There she lay, bare, uncovered bitten, She smirked at the irony of fate as suspicious unsympathetic eyes confronted her They, the ardent worshippers of the pristine Goddess ignored her, spat on her shadow And walked away, as if she were some obnoxious piece of filth

There she lay, plundered, invaded, and destructed Impatiently waiting for Death. The Autumn sky silently witnessed two contrasting immersions of the same Being.

Orchida Mukherjee is a Central Government official by profession & a writer by passion. Mother of a six month kid, she is a music freak, an avid reader & Tagore lover. She can be reached at orchidamukherjee@gmail.com

POETRY |Â 14


Writer's Guidance

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

ON WRITING DAILY SAUNDARYA JAIN “Talent is cheap; dedication is expensive. It will cost you your life.” — Irving Stone. While literary brilliance is surely an outcome of the surge of talent that runs within a writer, it does not depend entirely on this innate and, in my view, overrated quality. All great literature may carry its own distinct impression, but the makers of these classics and to-be-classics have something in common and that is their dedication to their art. Talent holds only a little authority on them.

But what is this dedication? This attribute is scarcely seen in the modernday artists. It is the commitment of turning up routinely to serve one's art. A writer's most prized possession is his allegiance to his work. If you write occasionally or whimsically, with an aim to create something spellbinding with every attempt, you're moving in the wrong direction. Writing, or any other form of art for that matter, requires a relentless and periodic approach to be mastered. WRITER'S GUIDANCE | 17


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

“To many aspiring writers, a great piece of writing is something mystical, filled with an almost frightening power, and they look at the writers who create such magic with reverence, maybe even worship, longing for the day when they can discover their closelyguarded 'secrets.' It’s silly.

eventually become another chore for you. Divide your day into different tasks and follow the routine. Without discipline, it is next to impossible to fully put your creativity to use. Renowned and accomplished writers such as Huraki Murakami, John Steinbeck, Anais Nin, Maya Angelou, Ray Bradbury and many more followed not only a habit of turning up every day to write but also a vigorous daily routine.

Yes, there is some magic to it, but the same magic exists in every type of art, and it’s

“When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up

accessible to everyone. Here’s how:

at 4:00 am and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for 10km or swim for

Write. Every day. For years.

1500m (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9:00 pm. I keep

Is it hard work?

to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing;

Yes.

it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”

But so is any job worth doing.”

— Haruki Murakami

— Stephen King, On Writing

With the help of various reliable creative sources, I have summed up the four steps through which you can acquire this ingenious habit of writing daily. 1) Fix Your Lifestyle We all know that turning up daily to write isn't as convenient as it sounds. Building a habit to write daily is arduous and painful, and more so if you're a beginner. Not only does it involve a commitment to writing but also to your lifestyle. But this persistence, once acquired, can do wonders to you and your work. The perpetuity can bring a lasting effect to your mind and writing daily will 

2) Be Uninterrupted and Unplug In order to write regularly, it is of utmost significance to be wholeheartedly immersed into the words you're writing and being perpetual, every day. Of all the ways to be uninterrupted while you write, it is most important and primary to find a place, a solitary workplace and a suitable time to write daily which will offer you least diversion. Solitude contributes to half of your concentration and it's must to seek it if you strive to be creative at your best. Technology along with its conveniences also bestows upon us a plethora of digital garbage and distractions. If you want to  WRITER'S GUIDANCE | 18


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

set your mind to write regularly, all digital interruptions must be shut off at once. During the time you have designated to your writing, unplug from the Internet completely. Resist the urge to check your phone or social media and focus solely on what you're writing. You can use one of the various apps that are available to help users unplug from their device for a while. Yet technology isn't the only distraction one faces. It's often that as one sits down to write, all the other impending tasks come in mind. Interruptions come from within the self as well and ironically it is only the self that's trying to work. If you're a victim of self-made interruptions, you can start meditating to fight against the commotion in your mind. It will help you to be mindful and focus better. Read Mary Oliver's stirring essay, Of Power and Time— a provoking reflection on creativity, concentration, and dedication by the poet — that will surely give an impetus to your daily focus and creativity. “Serious interruptions come from the watchful eye we cast upon ourselves. There is the blow that knocks the arrow from its mark! There is the drag we throw over our own intentions. There is the interruption to be feared! (....) The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” — Excerpt from Mary Oliver's essay: Of Power and Time, in Upstream: Selected Essays.

3) Journal Your Progress John Steinbeck was one of the greatest writers of the 20th century and the recipient of the Nobel Prize in 1962, renowned for many books but most for his 'American book 'The Grapes of Wrath (1939), an epic human drama, which earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1940. But the journey of completing this book, his masterpiece, was pervaded with periods of self-doubt, utter discipline and determination to create a 'good book' all of which was recorded in his diary 'Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath.' He recorded his daily work on the book and the routine revolving around it in this diary which has become a testimonial to his perseverance and a foundation for people pursuing creative work. By recording his bouts of self-doubt and his adherence to discipline in Working Days, Steinback channeled his daily struggle into the diary. While journaling is usually used by writers to allocate their spontaneous thoughts and feelings, with sometimes the hope of getting a first draft, Steinbeck took it one step further and laid down the odyssey of his masterpiece in Working Days. He specified the objectives of the diary in the following excerpt: “Here is the diary of a book and it will be interesting to see how it works out. I have tried to keep diaries before but they don’t work out because of the necessity, to be honest. In matters where there is no definite truth, I gravitate toward the opposite. Sometimes where there is a definite truth, I am revolted by its smugness and do the same. In this, however, I shall try simply to keep a record of working days and the amount done in each and the success (as far as I can know it) of the day.” WRITER'S GUIDANCE | 19


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

Similarly, you can use a separate diary to mobilize your everyday routine of writing. Besides keeping a check on your progress, you can face your inner waverings. The problems abstaining you in any way will come to light along with the small victories you undergo every day. Write down in the diary whatever suits you, long narration or short musings of your daily work. You will soon notice the radical change and the discipline this everyday task will deliver to your creative pursuit. 4) Shun the Writer's Block You haven't written anything since one week. Or maybe two weeks or maybe more. It's writer's block, isn't it? You just can't get the words out of you. Well, stop giving yourself hogwash and know that there isn't anything like writer's block or any other thing for that matter which can stop you from writing every day except yourself. The responsibility of turning up every day to write solely lies upon you. A ted-talk, Your elusive creative genius, by the bestselling writer Elizabeth Gilbert has drastically changed my perspective on Writer's block. After watching it, I haven't looked at creativity the same way again. In the ted-talk, Gilbert talked about the research she had been leading on the relationship between creativity and mental disquiet. She was herself distressed after the enormous success of her bestselling book, Eat, Pray, Love. There is always a mind crushing pressure upon artists to top the success of their previous blooming composition because of the possibility that any other of their

work will not be as prosperous as this one is surely depressing. To fight this creative heaviness, Gilbert devised a 'psychological construct' which she derived from the ancient Greece and ancient Rome. We believe that creativity is a part of us and that we exercise it from within us; we are the birthplace of our own creativity. But the ancient Greek and Roman contradicted this belief. According to them, creativity came from a divine being, a spirit outside us. It was not up to us but to this creative 'being' to decide how much inspired we are at a point of time since it was the source of our creativity. The greek called this mystical spirit a 'daemon' while the Romans called it a genius. Gilbert requested in her nineteen-minute speech to treat creativity, this genius, as an outside source rather than an internal drive to help us cope up with the bad days. We like to call these days of creative gloom a writer's block. Midway in her speech, Gilbert shared an instance from while she was working on Eat, Pray, Love when she was “into sort of pits of despair”  where we all are usually immersed in self-doubt and apprehensions and decided to address her genius: “Listen you, thing, you and I both know that if this book isn't brilliant that is not entirely my fault, right? Because you can see that I am putting everything I have into this, I don't have any more than this. If you want it to be better, you've got to show up and do your part of the deal. But if you don't do that, you know what, the hell with it. I'm going to keep writing anyway because that's my job. And I would please like the record to reflect today that I showed up for my part of the job.” WRITER'S GUIDANCE | 20


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

So next time, when you think you are in a so-called writer's block and decide that you cannot write, blame it on your genius and write anyway because that action is totally under your control. Through this psychological construct, the burden of writing everything to perfection lifts up from you and lands onto your genius. Even if your genius isn't interested in working on certain days, you must turn up relentlessly every day for your part of the job, to simply write, no matter what. How do you like this article? Do you find these tips helpful? Do write to us on artists.syn@gmail.com. We would love to hear your feedback.

Saundarya Jain, 16 years old, is in the final year of her senior secondary education. She has been writing since she was fourteen years old and has gained experience by serving as the sub-editor of her school newsletter. Her poetry has been published in the magazine, The Teenager Today, trending on the second spot on their website. She takes great relish in stories, in books or movies, and aspires to be a storyteller. She is CoFounder of Artists’ Syndicate and Associate Editor of YuGen. She can be reached at: saundarayanovember11@gmail.com

WRITER'S GUIDANCE |Â 21


Fiction

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

THE NASCENT FAMILY NANDHITHA HEMANTHKUMAR

If there is one thing I have learned over the eons, It’s that you can’t give up on your family, no matter how tempting they make it.   Hermes                                         (the sea of monsters) He knelt at the altar, head bent in respect. When he graced the creator with his sight, they were keen, shifting and observing. “I'll find the curtain you hide behind, Sire,” he said. With that, he leaves, not looking back. Had he turned, he would have seen the knowing eyes and the patient smile. Many years had passed. The man who knelt had grown in size and mind. He stood before the altar with a curious look. Unlike last time he stayed longer but silent. When he left he was muttering to himself. Never once, did he acknowledge the one who stood before him. Had he seen, he would not have missed the laughter lines.

Since his second visit, decades have passed. The man returned. This time, there wasn't much of an outward change. In his hand, he had papers filled with his musings. The curiosity lost was replaced by irritation. “I’ll find you.” He said with conviction.” I’ll find you if that is the last thing I do.” He stormed out, his mind unclear- a mix of emotions and thoughts. At the altar, facial counters changed for the first time. Creases of worry appeared slowly. It has been eons since his last visit. The man hadn't returned. However, the altar still had visitors. Children of the man who first knelt came often. They were followed by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Ideology and philosophy were the most frequent. They told the most interesting stories. However, when none were present, the creator would longingly look at the door for his return. Many stories were told about him. Some disturbing, some exalting. Since eons, Science - the first child, hadn't returned. As with any parent, his return is awaited feverously, worried and happy based on each incident heard second hand.

FICTION | 22


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

When Science was confronted by his descendants he told them; “He is just a party trick, I tell you.” He made a fist. “I’ll return only when I find his secret.” Further interventions failed. Spectacularly. He wasn't bothered anymore. Unknown to him, he was always watched. To ensure he didn't injure himself grievously in his endeavors. As per the creator's orders his only sister, Magic followed him around. Granting him successes and clues when he seemed down. She, who shared the same mystics as her Sire, glanced at her brother once more. She was invisible to him except at certain instances. Even those were brief before he would furiously work out the cause of the miraculous incident. She smiled as she watched his awe-struck eyes taking in the rapid changes in color that were occurring. As egoistic as he seemed he was still her brother. She left to tell the good news. After all, it is only polite to share with family.

Nandhitha Hemanthkumar resides in South India and loves to write. She has a degree in Info Tech & also aspires a career in spinning tales. She spends her spare time reading.

FICTION | 23


Poetry

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

Of the slush and swash... By Aishwarya A slow step into the calm littoral, On a day that seemed so auroral, Muddy ground, marshy mind Wish this was a place to unwind! Resounding, the surge Unbridled was my urge, Letting my legs into the sea, I stood as if I was set free! Tides kept calling me to the front, I gaily swept, without any grunt. Just as the waves languidly recessed, With them went the worries I possessed! Unruffled was I by the scenic view, Time flew away, without any cue. Each time water came to me gushing, My heart seeing it, stayed blushing. My soul's clarion, I felt Frozen tears, started to melt "Life's small joys are an allure!" I said, looking up at the azure.

Aishwarya is a budding poet and an amateur artist. She believes poetry is born when emotions meet thoughts and thoughts meet words. She considers writing as an escape into the world of bliss. Write to aishwaryaashok@gmail.com if you want to convey something to her. POETRY | Â 24


Poetry

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

A Sonnet to the Siren Brecken Smoking cigarettes, black leggings, whimsical by Akaky Akakievich Glassy spotted eyes have dimmed and relit the horrible grey sounds Which continue throughout the pestering range of the glamor is musty And found to be just literally the self-same elopement of the mind was Fluttering and pounded at the greener side of the smoky pure grounds Is has been the literal frail part of her which tells of the ease to dusty And caved in around the sure-footed mandatory telling of the harp does Unafraid was she to lurk around the corners of the selling angular spot Must be the heights of the tame and told to refrain from the middling or Contained to rather be the illegitimate sparkling asked to hear of this Could not ever be the lame leggings which are black and forever a lot Must she be a haven for the romped and to

Akaky Akakievich resides in Pittsburgh. He writes only Sonnets. His current cycle, of which these are a part of, is a cycle about Sirens. He has also written cycles of Sonnets

concentrate forward the bore

about Witches and Goddesses. A number of

Actual was not a phrase in the parallel

the Witch and Goddess sonnets have been

spoken to in a lighter whisper bliss

published during the last year. Akaky also enjoys fast cars and listening to Mozart and Bruckner. He enjoys 19th century Russian and French literature.

POETRY | Â 25


Spotlight

Suvarna Dheringe Q: Tell us something about yourself. A: I was born in Nashik, India on 25th of March, 1990. Now, I am working as a professional artist or you can say passionate self-taught artist living in Pune, India. Q: What is your educational background? And how or why you became an artist? A: I grew up in golden Indian cultural city of Nashik, Maharashtra, India. I come from a small village near Nashik, where my father is a farmer. I graduated from Pune University with the Bachelor of Commerce in 2010, while simultaneously working in my brother’s cyber cafe since junior college due to the financial situation of my family. Art was never my field of study, however, whenever I had free time in my brother’s cyber cafe, I began sketching and painting. In those days of working in a cyber cafe, I started learning web designing and graphic course modules and later joined a job in IT industry as UI designer in Pune. Even while working for more than eleven hours a day, I used to sketch and draw something new in my hostel room. In those days, I missed my family. I always knew there lay in my heart a growing desire to become an artist someday. It was later fueled by my love for traveling and a strong interest in culture, which ultimately led to August 2015: my first solo exhibition, with the help of my all time best friend Harshad. I exhibited in Balgandharv Art Gallery, Pune around a hundred paintings in different mediums such as oil color, acrylics, watercolors, charcoal, soft 

pastels, pencils, among others. Thereafter, I intensely taught myself various mediums in paintings. Mostly self-taught, I embarked on a professional art career in 2015 and have been exhibiting publicly ever since. Two really important people I want to thank are my elder brother Ram and my mother. Ram has not only made me strong but also made me capable of handling every situation in life. And for that, I’m very thankful to him and I love him a lot. I love my family, and my mother very much. Q: Inspiring story indeed, Suvarna. Tell us, how do you work? What is your process? A: As I have mentioned earlier, my art has always been inspired by nature. I keep challenging myself whenever I’m working on a new idea of painting. SPOTLIGHT |  27


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

I have never had any trouble with material or

thank for my motivation.

medium in which I paint. While painting, I am never really afraid of trying out the new medium

Q: What influenced you to take up art? Do you

of painting; I grab whatever I can and start

have any idols or influential people in your life

painting. I just need myself to dissolve

who inspired you?

spiritually into the process. A: I have always thought that art is the personality

And I believe, the process starts with true self-

of one's inner soul. Without that feeling,

awareness. Most of the times, my paintings have

understanding, and experience one cannot paint.

already begun in my mind irrespective of where I

And I really don't know what I can say on

am; traveling, home or anywhere.

influential people, but here I want to say that ‘I have yet not come out of self-influence.’ Q: What's integral to the work of an artist? A: For me, painting is a constant and a real spiritual process of problem-solving; the art process is a true awareness of one's surrounding. So I paint what I see, feel, and experience in nature. Q: Every artist influences society through her work. What role do you think artists have in society? How does your work impact the social economical and political structure of the society?  A: At this moment I think I am not in the list of master artists in the world, whose artwork directly impacts any social, economical and political

For this to work, I need to be alert every waking moment of my life’s journey; only then it is possible to copy every painting from my mind to the canvas. Q: What is the motivation behind your art? A: I am an artist who is inspired only by nature. I always challenge myself. My art lovers help me grow by appreciating and providing their valuable feedback. So I have my art lovers to

structure of our society. It is just a beginning of my career and, there is a lot to achieve yet. Q: Very humble of you, Suvarna. What is your favorite artwork and why? A: "Lord Ganesha" is my favorite painting from my collection, which I recently sold. In this painting, I painted what I saw, felt and experienced during my family holiday trip back  SPOTLIGHT  |  28


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

in 2015, where there were many beautiful sculptures of Indian spiritual things. From one of the inspirational sculpture there, I painted this one by a knife in an abstract way. The knife strokes are rather bold as compared the brush work. I have always liked using a knife to paint oil paintings rather than a brush, for they add extreme boldness to the paintings. Lord Ganesha is the painting which reflect my soul while you seeing to it you just feel peace as well as feeling nothing-ness of their presence. Q: How is your personality reflected in your artwork? A: As I have said earlier, art is a reflection of one’s inner soul, and without self-awareness and experience, one can’t paint. My art reveals how I think, feel, understand and experience my life. My art, which has unique expression and impression of my soul, indirectly reveals my personality. Q: Every artist has to face creative blocks. How do you overcome them? A: In addition to painting, I am also fascinated with reading art material, art blogs, Marathi novels, and poetry. I also love listening to classical music to overcome my creative blocks. I love talking to nature and all that surrounds me, which makes my mind fresh, energetic and happy. All of this helps me move further. Q: Any advice for upcoming artists? A: As I have said earlier, for me, art has always been a search which allows me to explore the formal kind our surrounding elements and feelings through the

I find that I am protective of my art because I believe that it is true and personal for me. A good piece of art should become personal to the viewer as well. I always hope to convey what I have seen and felt, to others so as to make my artwork a treasure for the owner. For all the India's upcoming artists, I wish you good luck in finding your personal favorite. And my suggestion for all of you would be that you must be in a constant and spiritual development of problem-solving for your paintings. 

real spontaneous process. SPOTLIGHT |  29


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

Suvarna Dheringe is a self-taught Artist. You can contact her at her email id: suvarnapdheringe@gmail.com

SPOTLIGHT |  30


Essay

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

THE CRIME OF STALKING WITHIN AUSTRALIA JESSICA BOLDEN

An outlook as to how legislation and policing has affected valid data collection on Stalking within Australia.

The first legislative response to

Whilst law enforcement and

stalking within Australia was

judicial powers struggle to

introduced in Queensland in

effectively combat the offence,

1993. Since then each state and

there is a need to critically

territory has implemented

analyze the flaws in data

their own legislation in

collection and the criminal

response to the crime, with

justice responses that can be

several amendments and

implemented in response to

criticisms still occurring to this

accurate data.

day. The current definition of stalking is ambiguous, as each

Definition and criminalization

state and territory provide

of the offence:

alternate definitions within

 

their legislation. Purcell, Pathé

Section 21A of the Crimes Act

& Mullen (2000) define stalking

1958 (Vic) outlines over

as “the offence [with] 2 or

thirteen different behaviors

more such intrusions that are

which constitute the offence of

intended to, or actually, render

stalking, with a 10-year

the recipient fearful”. The

maximum penalty. Victoria

lack of clear definition has

holds the highest penalty for

hindered Australia’s ability to

the crime of stalking within

effectively measure, and

Australia, and also has one of

therefore combat, the crime of

the largest descriptions of

stalking. Legislative language

behaviors within the offence of

has also hindered effective

stalking. These behaviors range

policing of the offence, as

from following a victim, to

much debate enforced

making threats, either in

continual legislation change

person or via any other means.

over the definition of harm and

s.21A(2)(dd) even asserts that

intent (Urbas, 2000) .

it is an offence to: ESSAY | 31


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017 “[give] offensive material to

Rate of offence:

accounts for a small percentage (Crime Statistics Agency, 2016).

the victim or any other person or [leave] it where it

Between June 2015 and July 2016

The Crime Statistics Agency

will be found by, given to or

the rate of recorded “stalking,

(CSA) (2016) claims that such

brought to the attention of,

harassment and threatening

offence grouping is used as per

the victim or the other

behavior” offences within

the CSA offence classification

person.”

Victoria reached a total of 12,757

guide. This does not allow for an

(Crime Statistics Agency, 2016).

accurate representation of the

The section also states that

This statistic alone is almost 4.5

occurrence of the crime, leaving

although a whole host of

times the amount of recorded

statistical ambiguity as to the

actions are outlined, that

robbery offences within the

legitimate victimization rate of

any behavior that the

same year, making its offence

stalking. It may also insinuate a

offender knows is likely to

rate 210.7 per 100,000 people.

far greater rate of victimization

create fear or apprehension

Interestingly, February

than its true occurrence.

may also constitute stalking.

maintains the highest rates of

Furthermore, the national

It is important to note that

stalking, harassment and

statistics published by the ABS

these behaviors must be part

threatening behavior, with most

(2013) were coupled with

of a course of conduct, where

offences occurring in a private

relative standard errors (RSE) of

one behavior on one occasion

dwelling. Of the 12,757 recorded

up to 60%, meaning that due to

does not suffice the offence

offences, a mere 2,708 offences

a select sample group being

of stalking. In order for this

were tied directly to the charge

selected it may not be

offence to apply to an

of stalking. Although the

effectively generalisable to the

offender they must enact a

recorded numbers of stalking

greater population (ABS, 2013).

succession of behaviors

fell by 5.6% from the year

A RSE of greater than 25% means

outlined within Section 21A,

preceding July 2016, harassment

a statistic may not be

and know that such

offences rose by 15.2%. The

completely reliable, which may

behaviors will incite either

Australian Bureau of Statistics

also lose further validity

physical or mental harm, or

(ABS, 2013) found that within

through the ‘dark figure’

both.

Australia approximately 184,000

present within all criminological

men and 353,800 women had

data collection (ABS, 2002).

The Victims Support Agency

been stalked for the year of

(2013) defines stalking as

2012. The same survey

The CSA (2016) found that

any “repeated” behavior

conducted by the ABS also found

‘stalking, harassment and

that makes you fear for your

that female victims were

threatening behavior’ was the

safety, both physically and

overwhelmingly likely to be

third mostly likely ‘crime

emotionally. They also

targeted by a male offender,

against the person’ offence to

suggest that in order to

whereas male victims were only

remain unsolved. It is also the

prove a criminal offence has

slightly more likely to be

third mostly likely offence to

occurred that the victim

victimized by a female.

issue a warning or caution for such behavior. These numbers

clearly document each behavior and encounter in

Issues in measuring and

do not account for incidents

order for law enforcement to

combating the offence:

where perpetrators were given an informal warning, nor does

effectively take action. The New South Wales Police

A major issue in measuring the

the number of unsolved

Force (2012) provides a clear

offence of stalking within

incidents allow for a clear

‘stalker incident log’ for

Australia is that of offence

representation of the crimes

individuals to fill out in

specific data collection. The

actual occurrence. High rates of

order to log each suspected

current data mainly presents

unsolved stalking cases infers a

stalking incident so that it

stalking statistics that are

lack of effective law

can be reported to police and

grouped with other offences like

enforcement responses, which

further actions can be

harassment and threatening

may be a result of lack of

taken.

behavior, of which stalking only

evidence or the likelihood that

ESSAY | 32


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017 the victim pursues a

behavior go unnoticed by the

behaviour will be a mere breach

restraining order against the

victim, that a single incident

of the order in place. It is

offender instead (Ogilvie,

that may be physical in nature

therefore recommended that an

2000). Dussuyer (2000)

may be recorded as assault or

interjurisdictional order be

found that of the 672 police

another ‘crimes against the

made available that solely

officers surveyed that the

person’ offence.

targets the offence of stalking. This would mean that a victim

most common issues relating to dealing with stalking

Recommendations for

could apply to implement an

cases were:

improving measurement and

order that places requirements

lowering offence rates:

on the offender that specifically target the act of stalking, and

“corroboration of evidence, locating the offender,

In order for stalking statistics to

can be breached through specific

surveillance of the offender,

gain more validity is to ensure

behaviours outlined within

the offender’s mental state

the statistics are not grouped

stalking legislation. This would

or intellectual capacity and a

with other closely linked

be effective as not only may it

lack of clarity in the terms of

offences. As previously stated,

allow for full victim protection

the legislation.”

the CSA releases stalking

and offender deterrence, it

statistics that are grouped in

would also allow data collection

Stalking legislation exists in

cohesion with harassment and

to display valid statistics into

each state and territory

threatening behavior, both of

the prevalence of such

within Australia, however

which possess numbers far

behaviours.

differs considerably between

beyond that of stalking (Crime

Ogilvie (2000) suggests that

these jurisdictions. Whilst

Statistics Agency, 2016). This

police prefer to use intervention

Victoria’s stalking

gives an unrealistic view of the

orders or domestic violence

legislation offers by far the

offence, and does not allow for

orders in order to combat

most clarity in relation to

any critical analysis or

stalking behaviour as it is easier

the behaviors associated

comparison to occur with other

to implement. This not only

with the crime of stalking,

jurisdictions. It is therefore

means the offence will not be

issues in clarity and

recommended that the CSA

recorded as stalking, it also

interpretation have been

classification be reviewed and

means that any further

raised (Dussuyer, 2000).

altered to separate the crime of

behaviour will be a mere breach

Conversely, of the 95

stalking into its own category,

of the order in place. It is

magistrates surveyed in

so that further aspects of the

therefore recommended that an

regards to their experience

crime may also be statistically

interjurisdictional order be

with the offence of stalking,

recorded; for example the likely

made available that solely

over 80% stated that the

location of the crime or the

targets the offence of stalking.

legislation available was

clearance rate. The

This would mean that a victim

‘very or fairly effective’,

measurement of this crime is

could apply to implement an

with the only problem

underwhelming in size, and very

order that places requirements

identified being the

little statistical data or research

on the offender that specifically

obtaining of evidence

exists on the offence in almost

target the act of stalking, and

(Dussuyer, 2000). Much of

any Australian jurisdiction.

can be breached through specific behaviours outlined within

the legislation states that the behavior must intend to

Ogilvie (2000) suggests that

stalking legislation. This would

cause fear and/or

police prefer to use intervention

be effective as not only may it

apprehension within the

orders or domestic violence

allow for full victim protection

victim, which police report

orders in order to combat

and offender deterrence, it

hinders their ability to prove

stalking behaviour as it is easier

would also allow data collection

the offence has occurred

to implement. This not only

to display valid statistics into

(Ogilvie, 2000). It can also

means the offence will not be

the prevalence of such

be inferred that should the

recorded as stalking, it also

behaviours.

progression of stalking

means that any further ESSAY | 33


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017 It is also recommended that

cannot be cross-jurisdictionally

Dussuyer, I. (2000). IS

the legislation be reviewed

applied. In order for the

STALKING LEGISLATION

in each state and territory so

legislation to be applied

EFFECTIVE IN PROTECTING

that interjurisdictional data

effectively it requires specific

VICTIMS?. In: Stalking: Criminal

analysis can occur, allowing

resources that law enforcement

Justice Responses Conference.

for more synonymous

can use and distribute, as well

Sydney: AIC.

legislation. Further to this,

as evaluating the legislation so

NSW Police. (2012). What is

it is suggested that a review

that it provides uninhibiting

Stalking?. [online] Available at:

of the wording within the

language. It is also suggested

http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/c

legislation, for example

that the legislation be evaluated

ommunity_issues/domestic__an

‘intent’, be conducted so

so that each jurisdiction applies

d__family_violence/what_is_st

that law enforcement are

similar, if not the same,

alking.

able to effectively establish

legislation in response to the

Ogilvie, E. (2000). STALKING:

that the crime has occurred

offence. Current data collection

CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESPONSES

without being required to try

is ineffective in accurately

IN AUSTRALIA. In: Stalking:

and also prove the offender’s

displaying trends and statistics

Criminal Justice Responses

intent (Ogilvie, 2000). As

related to stalking, and

Conference. Sydney: AIC.

previously stated, police

therefore detracts from the

Purcell, R., Pathe, M. and

report finding issues with

analysis that could be made for

Mullen, P. (2000). THE

obtaining evidence, which

future policy implementation.

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF

means more effective

Legislative and institutional

STALKING VICTIMISATION. In:

measures need to be

steps must be put in place in

Stalking: Criminal Justice

implemented in order for

order for the offence of stalking

Responses Conference. Sydney:

victims and law enforcement

to be effectively measured and

AIC.

to log and record such

combatted.

Urbas, G. (2000). AUSTRALIAN LEGISLATIVE RESPONSES TO

evidence. It is suggested that resources like that of the

References:

STALKING. In: Stalking:

New South Wales stalking log

ABS, (2013). 49060DO008_2012

Criminal Justice Responses

book be widely available and

Personal Safety, Australia, 2012.

Conference. Sydney: AIC.

distributed throughout all

Canberra: ABS.

Victims Of Crime. (2013).

states and territories. This is

ABS. (2002). 4522.0.55.001 -

Stalking - How to keep safe and

to ensure that the victim is

Information Paper: Measuring

where to get help. [online]

collecting the relevant

Crime Victimisation, Australia:

Available at:

evidence and that law

The Impact of Different

http://www.victimsofcrime.vic.g

enforcement can use such

Collection Methodologies, 2002.

ov.au/utility/for+professionals/

evidence to effectively prove

[online] Available at:

order+publications/stalking+-

that such a crime has been

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/

+how+to+keep+safe+and+where

committed in court.  

abs@.nsf/mf/4522.0.55.001.

+to+get+help

ABS. (2013). 4906.0 - Personal

Conclusion:

Safety, Australia, 2012. [online] Available at:

The offence of stalking is

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/

well within its infancy both

abs@.nsf/Lookup/4906.0Technic

legislatively and

al+Note12012.

procedurally. Little

Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)

statistical data exists on the

Crime Statistics Agency. (2016).

crime, and even less

Recorded offences. [online]

contemporary research exists

Available at:

on stalking within Australia.

https://www.crimestatistics.vic.

Definitionally, the offence of

gov.au/crime-statistics/latest-

stalking does not possess a

crime-data/recorded-offences-

strong legal foundation, and

0.

Jessica Bolden is a twenty-one year old aspiring academic who is currently undertaking a Master of Justice and Criminology at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. She is passionate about criminology and criminal behaviour, and runs a part-time tutoring business. Jessica is equally as enthusiastic about research as she is in education, and believes that much is still to be learnt within the criminological sphere. ESSAY | 34


Poetry

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

The Lash By Suchitra Shetty Time and again I feel the lash, Can't get too happy about anything for long, And there I hear Him strike it again, It's the law of Nature, it is said. I never learned to strike a balance, though, Every time I think will remain humble, But happiness hits the chord and I soar high, Always to fall into sunken spirits. So what's the big deal about? One day, have to finally get into the dust, Then let me soar high and be happy and cheerful, Till the day comes when I merge into the dust.

Suchitra Shetty is a Creative Artist, a Writer, and Poet with her imaginations going yonder with a bit of dramatization and fancy, taking you into a parallel world away from the real world, yet closer.

POETRY | 35


Review

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

MOVIE REVIEW BY RAHUL GAUR

REVIEW | Â 36


PAGE 3 | BACKPACK

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

with words. The most important thing about the story was the way the film has used spaces as a means to elevate the story from the ordinary plot about two people. If I have to pinpoint the moment where the film has cemented its status, as a masterpiece, is a point where Su runs to Chow when he is seemingly lost without any contact with her. She learns about his stay in a hotel and she runs to him. The frantic disjointed yet seamless edit of her running on the stairs and finally inside his room rightly displays her falling in love with him without any dialogue to make it clear. The story starts when Mr.Chan and Mrs. Chow move in as neighbors with their respective spouses. They find out that their spouses are cheating on them with each other by giving an excuse of long business trips. The

A

s the musical piece titled “Yumeji’s theme” invades the

characters start off at a common

sound space of the visuals of Wong KarWai’s “In The

focal point of finding out the

Mood For Love” everything slows down as if we are watching a

psyche of their cheating spouses.

music video inside a movie. The re-appearance of this musical

The irony comes into play when

piece (a striking eight times) is a leitmotif to describe the

to find the psyche, they grow

relationship between Chow and Su, a love affair that never really

closer to each other to the point

starts. Every time the musical piece has repeated the devastation

of falling in love.

of it increases. The story is more about the The lush cinematography paints the mood for love deftly focusing

attitudes of that time. The

more on the tone of the story. The lack of a plot is dealt with

environment itself is a character

KarWai’s meticulous attention to detail, which makes him stand

infused into life by the images

miles apart from his contemporaries. In Kar Wai’s words, he

captured by the camera.

thinks in images which make his writing more visual than filled

Everything in the movie is about REVIEW | 37


a secret. The husband and wife of the

same language far from the natives of the

protagonists are never seen in a frame. The

place. The recreation in the film is the

dark side to Mr.Chan and Mrs. Chow is also

filmmaker’s impression of the time; the

a secret, released through the excuse of an

beautification of the environment is to

affair.

affirm that our memory holds the good parts of the past. An important detail that

I think it's very interesting that most of the audience prefers to think that this is a very innocent relationship. These are the good guys because their spouses are the first ones to be unfaithful and they refuse to be. Nobody sees any darkness in these characters – and yet they are meeting in

the foreign audience would miss about is the food. The Chinese community has food for different seasons. For example, we see the dish Wonton in the film, which is made with certain vegetables available only in June/July. To the foreign audience we are missing out on the passage of time and the

secret to act out fictitious scenarios of

month the scene is taking place in.

confronting their spouses and of having

“These two people start out as victims,

an affair. – Wong Kar-Wai

and then they start to investigate, to try to understand how things happened. Very

The era in which the film takes place is the one where after the Communist revolution

short scenes and an attempt to create constant tension” – Wong Kar-Wai

in China, people fled to Hong Kong. These

The scenes of the movie are cut and wrote as

people formed a community in themselves,

if it is a thriller as confirmed by Wong Kar-

forming their own cinema, speaking the

Wai himself. REVIEW | 38


He seems to be constantly questioning the rules of grammar of the film language as some of the shots are in defiance of it. The way he approaches this movie is nothing short of poetry where different shots, cuts, and transitions are placed sometimes for the sound, sometimes for the tone and sometimes for the meaning. “In The Mood For Love� is not a romantic movie but rather a movie about love. It transports us into a dream-like world we all would like to visit but cannot. The least we can do is watch this masterpiece and make a memory out of it.

Rahul Gaur is a Pune-based filmmaking student with an eye on Mumbai. He has made 2 short films and is in the process of releasing his third "Mad Genius" soon.

REVIEW | Â 39


Fiction

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

LONDON PALLAVI SAREEN "London, baby!" he screamed with joy and

London was a bookworm paradise for

her ears almost burst. Damned

Anthony, but he had to be financially

headphones! "I'm so happy for you buddy,

responsible. In lay man's terms, NO BOOK

you'll finally live your dreams," she said.

SHOPPING, no spending it all on food.

You're going to move away and forget me

Moving away from his toxic family was a

like every other person in my life, she

dream come true but the reality was as

thought.

harsh as the goddamn desert for a polar bear. But it was still so beautiful, so clean.

7 vodka shots later, screaming at the top

He decided to video call Carrie, to share

of her lungs, Carrie let the world hear her

this adventure with her and maybe she'd

chaotic thoughts. You think it is the same

keep the panic at bay because new

old sappy story? Best friends, half in love,

situations and change bring anxiety and

one moves away, the other falls apart?

Carrie had a way of diffusing it by being

WRONG!

over the top dramatic and funny weird. FICTION | Â 40


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

Ten tries, zero response. She wasn't answering her texts, picking up calls. Either she was busy watching a new TV show or she was dead. He hoped for the former. Little did he knew the latter was about to come true. When Carrie's brother Aman had opened the fridge to find an empty box of ice-cream, he became HULK-FRENZY. He rushed to her room with the intention of screaming at her but she was nowhere to be found. Expecting her to be out with her friends, he decided to wait till he got a chance and to pounce on her! Meanwhile, he just stole her laptop. She will get this back when she replaces the ice-cream.

Pallavi Sareen is an eighteen-year old author from Jammu. Currently a student, she has already contributed to an anthology called “Turning Point of Life” and dabbles in poetry. She is a book blogger and an avid reader who spends most of her time indulged in fictional worlds. A lover of old music who is socially awkward in real life, she finds sanctuary in her work. She is an art-lover and big fan of Vincent Van Gogh. She believes that literature has the ability to open up minds and that every person should have a habit of reading.

Miles away, a car was driving off with an unconscious girl in the trunk. Joey was pretty proud of himself today. Days of scouting the bar and finally he found someone. A drunk chic alone; Christmas came early for him. For months now his den was totally empty, now he had found a new doll. There Carrie would spend the rest of her short life, shackled in a dungeon as he carved into her back with a knife, and assaulted her every day till one fine lucky day when her heart would stop beating. Aman never did eat another scoop of icecream ever again, and after they found Carrie's body on the beach, totally mangled, he lost the light of his life. Anthony never did find out what happened to Carrie. that's the worst thing about internet friends. When someone dies, their internet friend never knows, he just wonders why you never came online, half-blaming himself, looking for a sign of where things went wrong.

FICTION | 41


Poetry

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

Verde By Robert Beveridge We sat by the window, counted bald eagles, train roll slow through the canyon. I stepped out to smoke as we passed into a tunnel pure dark so unexpected in Arizona afternoon. You joined me when it was bright again and we sat hand in hand, my new ring cool against your palm. The end of the line was a ghost town, the tour guide said, but even in the dry desert, to us it seemed to burn with life; thorny grasses, cactus, the scurry of lizards on the hunt for lunch. The return trip came too soon, another afternoon shaved from our honeymoon. We wished it would never end, the train would break its track, ride the sand, become a legend told over campfires. Instead the Red Planet beckoned, dinner, pictures, a night full of more stars than either of us had ever seen.

Robert Beveridge makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Pink Litter, Grub Street, and The Literary Hatchet, among others.

POETRY |Â 42


Photo Essay By Samrat Indra 0 5 Â - Photographer from Samrat Indra is a- Street Kolkata. Photography being his passion, he wishes to make it his profession. He has been doing photography for last one year. Street photography helps him to stay connected with the city life. He can be reached via email at- aryansamrat666@gmail.com


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Motherhood ESSAY |Â 44


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Thinking out loud

ESSAY |Â 45


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An Uncut Diamond ESSAY |Â 46


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Way Back Home ESSAY |Â 47


Fiction

EUTHANIZE Emma Hines

Only 13 more days to go. “This is your daily reminder that selfeuthanizers, such as Suicide Cream, Heart Failure Injections, or Brain Death Pills, are prohibited! Anyone found possessing selfeuthanizers will have their death day pushed back, so make good choices, and may your death day come quickly!” There had been a time, I think, when people would do anything to stay alive. In human history, life expectancy grew from a mere twenty or thirty years to a hundred to two, as people became more and more fearful of the afterlife. Longevity Pills were consumed like candy, artificial organs used up like tissues. Population skyrocketed until there was no more room left, until houses were stacked on top of each other FICTION |  48


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into the stratosphere and the amount of air you could consume in a day was fixed. The government began sterilizing people though the water they drank and the food they ate to prevent the continents from collapsing under the weight of so many people until the last baby born on Earth was mutilated and dead. And still, people refused to die. And then, one day, it all flipped around. The idea that someone wanted- really, deeply desired with all their hearts- to die had been a foreign concept back in those days. It had been a sign of sickness, of something wrong within the mind of the afflicted, something to be cured. They had to be rescued from themselves before they could be allowed to complete the natural cycle of things: people are born, people live, and people die. To the people who stayed alive a hundred more years than they should have, the people filled with metal and synthetics that animated their meat sack for them, nothing was worse than death. Some people knew better and ended it before The Pain began. Religious people said it was some form of a god punishing humans for going against the natural order of things, but scientists would tell you that The Pain was the universe’s way of balancing itself out. The Law of Conservation of Matter stated that matter could not be

created nor destroyed, which mean that, for something to be created, something else had to be destroyed. The four hundred trillion people on Earth who refused to die weren’t letting their matter be recycled into new stars and universes, into animals and plants and water and earth and air. The Pain was the universe trying to rip us in half so it could make something new out of the old thing we refused to let go of. At that point in time, everyone alive had lived much longer than they should have, so everyone felt The Pain. It was ridiculous, excruciating pain that came from everywhere at once, every molecule of your overused meat sack screaming for you to let it go back to where it came from. Everything in you was pulling in a different direction. Your heart was breaking and your skin was melting and all the synapses in your brain were firing. Your blood vessels burst and your skull collapsed and you died while the technology you’d implanted in yourself revived you, over and over again, like Prometheus chained to the rock, his liver eaten each day and regrown each night. Death’s ugly face looked like a cherished old friend compared to The Pain. Suddenly, people dug out the dictionary and looked up the word suicide. The Pain wasn’t strong enough to kill us, and neither was disease nor FICTION |  49


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famine, but perhaps our own strength would do. Hope flared within all of us, and we each prepared our own way. Tall buildings became the most popular tourist attraction. Oceans and other deep bodies of water were visited with heavy stones and rope in tow. I myself had poured a shotglass of bleach, sat down in the chair I’d rested in for three hundred years, and prepared to meet what I’d been avoiding for so long. Death is like a doorway, and four hundred trillion people couldn’t fit through it all at once. 300,000 people could die per day, no more. And so death days began. Money and power mattered no more; in the end, it was a lottery system, and whoever got chosen first would die first. The math said that it would take 1.3333333333332 x 109 days for everyone to die, which, divided by 365 days per year, is 3,652,968 years. I had been waiting 379 years for my death day, making my total age somewhere near 700. Compared to the wait others were faced with, 379 years was relatively short. But it hadn’t felt like it. After 379 years of The Pain, I was certain I was losing my mind. People handled life without death in different ways: some sat in their house, didn’t move, didn’t blink, and waited. Starvation couldn’t kill us, nor dehydration nor obesity nor lethargy. Even brain damage wouldn’t induce a

coma, so they lived in a makeshift one of their own, staring at the wall or the TV or out a window, and waited. Some lived life as normal as they could and only showed signs of the crippling pain in the deadness of their eyes and the occasional blood they’d cough up and wipe from their chins discreetly. I had done the latter until my wife’s death day had come. She’d kept me sane through The Pain, through thinking about how long I had to go before I could finally just die. And now she was free of The Pain, and I missed her and hated her for leaving me alone to suffer. I stopped going out, stopped pretending that I was anything more than a corpse who couldn’t decay, and sat and watched the little goldfish I’d had for my entire life swim around in her glass bowl. The original death capacity for humans had been 150,000 per day until it occurred to someone that the deaths of animals and plants were taking up deaths that could have been ours. So we forced upon them the same technology we’d put into ourselves, and made them live so we could leave. What would they do when The Pain came to them and humans were long gone? That morning, I’d gotten up from my chair, the chair I’d sat down in to knock back my shot of bleach, and put on some presentable clothes. The walk to the light-train station hadn’t been very long, and soon I was amongst FICTION |  50


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hundreds of other people bustling around, going about whatever lives humans could have while they were waiting to die. The tiled floor, walls, and curved ceiling glowed a soothing blue, signaling the arrival of the lighttrain that was coming in from New Hong Kong. The woman who given the anti-suicide reminder said, “Arrival in five seconds, four, three-” I jumped onto the tracks. People hated those who used unauthorized selfeuthanizers more than they hated themselves. It was thievery, torture: if someone died, that meant that someone else couldn’t, that someone else had to live with The Pain for another day. But if I’m dead, it won’t matter. The tiles glowed an angry red, and an alarm began to blare. The light-train, going so fast I could hardly see it, stopped instantly. I hadn’t even known they had the technology to do that, to stop a train going light speed five centimeters from my breast. Someone grabbed me and hauled me up and off of the tracks roughly, and I was slammed onto the ground. “That’s my death day you could have stolen!” I heard someone scream. Law enforcement was coming for me, their uniforms white like those of a nurse in the hospital. What I had done finally began to sink in.

Before I could lurch to my feet they were on me, pinning my arms and legs. A beautiful woman holding a clipboard looked down at me, and for a second, she had the face of my dead wife. “Come with us,” she said. “Struggling will not benefit you.” I was hauled into a standing position and had my hands bound behind my back, the force field cuffs burning little hairs off of my wrists. People in white began to drag me away from the beautiful woman, who I knew was the one in charge of my sentence. “Wait!” I screamed. “Wait, wait, please! Please, just tell me, just tell me how many years my death day is going to be pushed back!” The people in white stopped dragging me, and I met the eyes of the woman as she said, “The penalty for possession of selfeuthanizers is to be moved to the very, very bottom of the waiting list.”

Emma Hines is a 17- year-old junior in high school, planning on pursuing a university degree that will support her goal of becoming a professional writer. Along with many other short stories, she has written a book, and hope to be published.

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Poetry

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I SEE YOU By Bhavyashree I listen as you speak to me. Every blue night, in your dreamy voice. I feel you by my side. Every time while walking down the road, I see how you walk beside me even though it’s cold. I hear birds chirping in the evening, like a song being sung by you. In a serene calm sky. I see you. I see how the entire sky belongs to my mother's gigantic smile. Now that you are gone, I see everything I had left unseen. I feel everything I never felt. I see how you are the universal genesis. Now that you are not beside, I find you within me. Bhavyashree is studying B.A.Ll.B. She can be contacted at bhavshree18@gmail.com

POETRY |Â 52


Fiction

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

Often we stand on one side of the road and wish to go on the other end, but fails to muster the

CHRONICLE OF A DUBIOUS MIND

courage required to take the first step ahead towards it. This article is a saga of one such thought cycle. He knew, what was waiting on the other side of the road, but he was reluctant to cross it, claim it his, retain for always, and be contended because the taste of it would be worth a thousand battles one against all uncountable odds. He could see it smiling at himself,  positioned there from a long time but wouldn’t be there forever. He could see how ardently he wanted what’s on the other side and how patiently it had waited for him till now

Rahul Gupta

and still wanting him to be on its side before it was too late. But here, he stood divided, vacillating between his mind and heart. When his heart wishes to grab it and fight for it like a valiant, his mind denied to be his armor, abandoned him in the hours of need. FICTION | 53


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Poor chap, never had he thought that he would come across the road which was this difficult to cross and would have the power to question his strength and his faith in his abilities - It made

Rahul Gupta is an engineer, working for a startup based in Bangalore. Everyday, he makes

him wait to overcome his fear, brew

effort to chase his long cherished wish of writing

tremendous confidence and ability to

something meaningful other than just a piece of

concentrate his power on a single point. In a

CODE. He loves writing because it is one of the

nutshell, pull himself together to step forward

best medium to express, impress and elate. For

to cross the road ahead because the destination

him, it’s a salvation from a moribund life around

is ‘Priceless’ and a ‘Challenge’ would be too

him. In a nutshell, for him, it’s a tunnel to the

less to pay for the last glimmer.

world where he is the creator. For him, it’s the most precious of the things he cherishes.

Someone quite rightly put that, - “Difficult road often leads to a beautiful destination”. Yes, it is true that “when you challenge yourself, you get to meet the real you”. When you dare to jump out of your comfort zone, you get to savor the true flavor of ‘LIFE’ - a blend of lonely nights, spicy days, calm evenings, and hopeful mornings. ‘Challenge’, is the framework designed to see to what extent you can go to, what level you can bend to,  what range you can think to and where your wild imagination can explore to. It describes the depth and aftermath of that “Victory” or that “Loss” which stings you. And now, he doesn’t want to avoid this setup, though, nobody is pushing him but deep down he wants it. By waging the war against his fear, he wants to take this challenge against himself - Put up that fight in the battle, the battle of Me vs Me. “What’s waiting for him on the other side is worth an eternal glory”, No matter how badly he is being daunted by the notion of failure or losing hope,  but if he can strike the fire of non-acceptance for “incompetency”, he  surely can win over his “demons” and walk steadily towards his beloved on the other side. By recognizing his fear, hearing his inner voice to stand up and fight back, never ceasing efforts and zeal to achieve without succumbing to despair, he knows he can get what he wants because that Victory is his to cherish and it is waiting impatiently for him on the other side.

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Writer's Guidance

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

My theory is that we used to have several personalities, and now we're encouraged to have one online. Charlie Brookes

Black Mirror Season 3 Review Rishikesh Pande

While in the Westworld, we see robots struggling with identity and free will, among other things, and in Mr. Robot, a society enslaved by the economy and rebellion against the big corporate houses, Black Mirror stands out as the single most powerful TV show which, in truest sense, shows the dark side of the society we live in. A common theme that runs through this TV show is to portray the dark side of technology and life. In Avclub website’s review,

writer Zack Handlen rightly sums up entire series of Black Mirror as, "If new technology is an opportunity to change the world, there’s no guarantee we won’t be changing for the worse." I stumbled upon the show a year ago when it was binge aired on Colors Infinity channel. And I’m glad I did. My perception of the world we live in, of the society we live in, has changed — and for good reasons — by a great magnitude. I recently caught up WRITER'S GUIDANCE |  55


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with the third season of Black Mirror and it left me with mixed emotions; it was thrilling, exciting and a bit of disappointing at times. In what follows, I’ll talk about my Top 3 Favorite episodes of the third season, along with a discussion on what writers and artists can learn from them. I have also included a few activities for writers and artists. It would be interesting to see how you respond to them. Black Mirror Season 3, Episode 1: Nosedive Nosedive paints a nightmarish world in which everything is related to a parallel currency: rating system out of five. Charlie Brooker, the writer, and director of the show, paints a futuristic world in which every encounter with a person in the world is rated out of five over the phone. This very rating is also used as a parallel currency using which it will be decided whether we will be accepted in the world or not (a 4.5 and you’re good to go inside a building or rent a mansion but anything less than 3.5 rating, and you’re treated as an outcast). In the middle of such a world, Lacie, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, is struggling to get her rating above 4.5. In the desperate attempt to get that rating, Lacie goes through a whole lot of trouble. What follows is nothing short brilliance. You should definitely watch the episode to find out what happens. Nosedive is probably one of my favorite Black Mirror episodes of all time. In a world where we long for appreciation by strangers in terms of rating, for the sake of our inner happiness, sounds a lot like the 

world we are living in as I write this. In Nosedive, Charlie Brooker shows us the hypocrisy of our social media enthusiastic world. In a world like ours, where Facebook, Instagram, Twitter likes, comments, followers, retweets are directly in sync with our happiness, Charlie Brooker shows exactly what is wrong about us. And this is what I love about this show: it show us who and what we really are; the ugly side of our world. To artists and writers of our generation, you mustn't worry over whether or not your art or writing is being appreciated by the masses. In fact, if it is loved by everyone, you must be doing something wrong. You mustn't judge your work by the number of likes, comments or appreciation you receive; you must judge it by the happiness you felt when you were painting or writing or doing what you love. The only appreciation you must long for is of your inner self. In order to be liked by strangers and colleagues, Lacie goes through a lot of trouble. She fakes intimacy, niceness towards people in order to be liked. And in this effort, she ends up losing her inner self in the crowd. As a writer or an artist, one has, to be honest with himself and others. In fact, in almost all Charlie Brooker’s episodes one lesson to be learned is be honest with yourself. If you live in constant fear of saying or doing something wrong, which might cost you your fan: don’t. Right kind of people will always appreciate you, your art and writing. Never lose your true inner self for the sake of appreciation by the crowd. Having said that, a lot of WRITER'S GUIDANCE |  56


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writers and artists fall into the trap of writing or creating art which people love. Your writing and art, however controversial, should reflect who you truly are and what you think about the society as a whole and not a reflection of what general public likes. Activity 1: Take up any subject that matters to you and write what you like or dislike about it. For example, write what you like and dislike about Facebook or any other social media. Go deep within yourself and find out exactly what you feel about it. The better you know yourself, the better it is reflected in your writing and art. This exercise will also be helpful to create fictional personality or character. Remember that you don’t have to share it with anyone; it could be for your eyes only. But this exercise will certainly help make your characters believable; a little honesty will always make your work better. Black Mirror Season 3, Episode 3: Shut Up and Dance Shut Up and Dance is the epitome of modern threat that exists in the techsavvy world of today. A young teenager —Kenny — brilliantly played by Alex Lawther, installs a virus scanning application on his laptop and the world around him collapses. His laptop is hacked into and he finds himself caught up in an inappropriate video of himself, shot by his laptop camera without his knowledge. He starts getting instructions of what he’s supposed to do in order to save himself from his inappropriate video getting viral on the internet. And what happens next is the most thrilling experiences of Kenny’s life. This episode of Black Mirror is quite

fascinating, thrilling and scary. It forces us to question, are we safe in our houses? Are our secrets and perversions safe in the age of hackers? Has the word secrecy become non-existent? And what extent is Kenny willing to go to save himself from humiliation? Watch Shut Up and Dance to find out. The common theme that runs through this episode is of morality and justice. The climax forces us to question, who is right and who is wrong. Is doing the wrong thing to punish the wrongdoers morally and ethically right? Hemingway once wrote, as a writer you must understand; not judge. It’s important for writers and artists to understand people and why they do what they do. Can you be empathetic and understanding as a writer or an artist? Activity 2: Write a short story through the eyes of a criminal. Let go of all your preconceived notions. Try to understand your criminal character. Why is your criminal character the way he is? What about his family background? Any tragedy that changed his life forever? Dig deeper into your criminal’s mind and bleed on the paper. For artists, paint a criminal in such a way that people looking at it would feel empathy. Try to portray a rare and hidden side of his personality through art. Activity 3: All writers and artists of our generation have secrets and perversions of their own. Perhaps perversions are WRITER'S GUIDANCE |  57


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the best-kept secret, away from the judgemental eyes of the public. But every writer, in order to find his own voice, must confront the demons inside him. So why shouldn’t you write all about it in your secret diary or journal that nobody will ever read? After all, the first step in being an artist or a writer is digging deep within yourself; confronting your inner demons. So go on and confess your deepest, darkest secrets and perversions to the paper. Artists, confess through your art. Dig deeper and portray your darkest secrets on paper. Black Mirror Season 3, Episode 4: San Junipero   In San Junipero, Charlie Brooker paints a modern day homosexual love story, set in past, 1987 (Or is it?)  While most stories in Black Mirror are terrifying, this love story is refreshingly beautiful. It reminds us of the Season 2, episode 1 ‘Be right back,’ where the lead female character does everything possible to keep her loved one alive. San Junipero is a fictional Californian resort town where a conservative Yorkie, played by beautiful Mackenzie Davis, meets a carefree, outgoing and fun girl Kelly, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. They bond instantly; a bond which seems to defy laws of space and time. The common themes that run throughout this episode are love, homosexuality, and conflict with the family, euthanasia, religion, spirituality, and heaven, among others. This episode will certainly force you to accept a fundamental truth of life: that suffering is as much an essential part of our existence as the absence of it is. 

Charlie Brooker will force you to question: is heaven really all that good to stay for an eternity? Or is there more to it. Does an eternal happiness exist? And if it does, can we all handle it? Watch San Junipero to find out more. Activity 4: As a writer and an artist, you have to open yourself up to possibilities that you never thought were there. San Junipero should open up plenty of possibilities in your mind for your writings and artworks. You should be able to ponder over the meaning of life, heaven, and love. So why don’t you use all that wisdom in your writing? Write a short story of a character struggling for the meaning in life. And I wonder why shouldn’t your character’s family be pondering over euthanasia, while your character is pondering about his/her meaning of life? It would really make an interesting read. Activity 5: Write a short story about homosexual characters and the conflict with conservative family. And just to add a little flavour to it, why not add your own perversions that you confessed in previous activities? For artists, why don’t you portray that suffering is an essential part of our existence through your art? It would also be interesting to see you explore boundaries of space and time and handle complex issues such as eternal happiness, heaven, and euthanasia. So how do you like this article? Do you find these activities helpful? If you do in fact find it helpful in any way, do  WRITER'S GUIDANCE |  58


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

write to us on artists.syn@gmail.com and let us know. We would love to hear what you have to say.

Rishikesh Pande is a bibliophile, writer, and an entrepreneur. He has won a national level essay competition conducted by BizResearchLabs and stood third. He has published a poetry in a respectable literary magazine eFiction India. 'Moonlit Matinee 3', an anthology of short stories by Gargi Publishers, has published a short story written by him. He has also published an article on Youthkiawaaz website. Apart from that, he has Co-founded Artists' Syndicate and is Managing Editor of YuGen. He can be reached at pande.rishikesh.met@gmail.com

WRITER'S GUIDANCE | Â 59


Writer's Guidance

Lagani Vyas Interviewed By- Surbhi Sareen Transcripted By- Siddharth Chakravarty Q: How and why did you start blogging and networking website, Syahee.com? A: Syahee.com was started in 2013 and it is basically, the brainchild of Sanket Joshi. As I am a passionate reader and writer, I found it on Google and I registered on Syahee.com. I found it a really interesting platform for passionate readers and writers like me. After that, I started following Syahee.com on Facebook, just like other members. Then I came to know about some offline work in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. So, I started participating and that’s when I came across Sanket. He saw my passion and interest in arts and literature, so I started working for Syahee as a volunteer like organizing few events, and blogging, and online activity. And then while working with Sanket, we discovered that we have a similar mindset, and we can build Syahee together and take it to the next level. And that’s when I was named as Co-Founder of Syahee.com and we both started building and creating Syahee.com. The idea triggered to Sanket, but even I found it very relevant because, if you see Facebook or any other social platform, it is just information overloaded data, and anything we share on social networking, it is literature based. So we share Syahee's poems, quotes, short stories, among other things. And we did not want Faiz Ahmad Faiz or Walt Whitman or any other great poets to be hidden under that cluttered data of any social networking platform. So we thought to create something niche for literature and arts and that is where the need of social networking, blogging, and website which focuses on literature came into the picture. "We believe that

literature, drama is literature, paintings are literature." We are now getting all forms of literature on the website as well. Q: What is the fundamental objective of Syahee?  A: Syahee mainly focuses on literature and all art forms like music, drama, paintings, and cinema. We try to promote young bloggers, writers, and art enthusiasts, we give them a platform to reach out to masses through their talent and creativity. We are blogging as well as social networking platform so our focus is to put all the likeminded people together, and they can interact and create something beautiful out of it. This is Syahee. Q: What do you do to retain your users on the website?

literature is not just about books, but cinema is WRITER'S GUIDANCE |  61


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

As it is a Social networking website and it’s all

literature. Cinema is made from scripts so it is

about passionate readers, writers, and art

also a part of literature. Same goes with the

enthusiasts, we don't really need to do anything

drama. And same with photography; the vision

to keep people motivated to stay. We feel that

you have is in form of literature. We tried to cover

the content is the key and if you have good

all those aspects and make all the people

content, people are attracted to your website.

understand and to have a healthy conversation

And that is exactly what we are focusing on.

about these final detailing, final subject.

Fortunately, we have good writers and bloggers. So we don't have to put much efforts in retaining

In the meantime we’re also promoting young

people on the website.

authors by launching their books at the festival,

Q: How was your experience with Vadodara Literature Festival, 2016? A: Till now we've been online media partners or digital partners with the majority of the literature festivals across India, but Vadodara Literature Festival, 2016 was our first attempt to start a literature festival and to serve the literature in the purest form in the state of Gujarat. There were many challenges that we came across as an organizer. But I believe if you have passion and belief in what you're doing, then all the challenges becomes secondary. Ultimately, it ended on a happy note. As it was our first event, there was much to learn and mistakes not to be repeated. But I think the festival was amazing for Syahee as a brand and as a platform and I think we served the purpose of presenting literature to the people in the purest form. Q: With the diverse array of speakers, what interesting points of literary outcome you tried to bring with the festival? A: We tried to cover all the aspects of literature and arts; we had topics like cinema, drama, music, photography. The idea is to understand co-relation of literature with other subjects. For example, when someone is singing, it's the lyrics they are singing; so music is also a part of 

handling their workshops etc. We also had speakers such as Rishi Kapoor, who spoke about his book. He launched his autobiography; as it was more of uncensored and we got to know more about 'Kapoor Khandan'. Sonali Bendre spoke about Parenting. This is the topic which all the parents should be focusing on in this digital era, so it was helpful for all the parents and children alike. And we had a few of the motivational Gujarati speakers and it was altogether an event which covered 80 events.We had panel discussion through which we listened to multiple views. We had talks, workshops, book launches. We tried to cover all the aspects and put literature in purest form in front of an audience, and the great thing was audience liked it. They loved the way we presented it. Q: Previously you mentioned that you are interested in writing. Tell us something about what you like to write about. A: This question makes me really laugh because I don't consider myself a writer. I write sometimes but it is like whatever I feel like; it is not something specific. Now-a-days because of Syahee, I started a blog on the website. It is more of generic, so there is not one area I am focusing on. Recently, I wrote an article on Google Cultural Institute. They have culture and literature. So I wrote about it and women. So it is more generic:  WRITER'S GUIDANCE |  62


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

whatever comes up in mind, whatever I see, or

lounges across India putting together the

whatever I have read. I try to write, not necessarily

concept of tea and literature. We started with

write; simply express in words.

Ahmedabad, we did events in Delhi and now in the upcoming months, we will be organizing the

Q: Can you shed some light on Google's Culture

events in Mumbai and Goa. We’re also coming up

Institute?

with a series of plays ‘Shakespeare on the

A: Google's Culture Institute is something fascinating to me. It is as if I am sitting here in Gujrat, and I want to visit Shakespear's house or cafe where he used to write, I can simply go to Google's Culture Institute, and I can take a virtual tour of that place. And it is really amazing and fascinating. Syahee.com is trying to create something similar in India for Indian authors and writers. But, it is something fascinating and amazing thing to connect to the art and culture of the world.

streets’ soon. Q: Do you have any plans to expand Syahee Literature Festival model in other cities across the country? A: Major cities of India have their own literature festival. We would like to work with them and help them in creating something more beautiful and pure with our insights and experience. But in Gujarat, we have plans to expand in the cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, and Rajkot. And if needed, we would love to create and serve the best anywhere

Q: What are your future plans for Syahee?

else.

A: We have recently launched #YoungGujarat

Q: Rapid Fire round

initiative in the presence of eminent speakers like Javed Akhtar Saab and former aviation minister

What is your favorite book?

Praful Patel. It’s a talk show series which we are going to organize throughout the year in the different

Pandora panch pachhattar by Gulzar Saab

cities of Gujarat and then take this series to country level and organizing such events across India.

Who is your favorite author?

We are also coming up with Youth Literature Festival

Pushpa Bharti

around July 2017 because we saw nothing is happening for children. We also came across few amazing young authors on Syahee. Our youngest author is 8 yrs old and we saw many such talented dedicated authors and they gave us the inspiration to create and build something for them. We also have an initiative ‘Literature Corner’ with an aim to take literature to the high streets and to the common people. We organize various activities like

What is your favorite genre? I prefer to read everything What is your favorite song? Chhap tilak saber chhini by Amir Khusro What dance form you admire the most?

painting exhibition, book presentation, poetry slam,

All the traditional dance forms but as I am a

street plays, discussions at the Waghbakri tea

trained Bharathanatyam dancer, it would be Bharatnatyam WRITER'S GUIDANCE | 63


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

Lagani Vyas is the Co- Founder of

Surbhi Sareen is a young, chirpy girl

Syahee.com. She is enthusiastic towards

who hails from Jalandhar, Punjab. She

her work. She is an avid reader and also

is a typical Punjabi by nature with big

loves to write for the website. She has

dreams in her eyes. She is a writer by

her own beautiful thoughts which she

choice and a book reviewer by

expresses through her speeches,

profession. She has reviewed many

writeups and many more. Apart from

books ranging from latest to classics.

this, she loves classical dance forms. A

Besides writing, she loves photography

psychology graduate from St. Xavier's

especially Bridal photography. She has

Ahmedbad, Lagani chose to become and

a library in her room that includes

entrepreneur hence, to keep the

books ranging from classics like John

literature alive her baby Syahee.com

Donne, William Shakespeare, Virginia

was born. Recently, along with her

Woolf, Emily Bronte, Bacon, Charles

team she hosted Vadodara Literature

Lamb to latest writers Chetan Bhagat,

Festival which was a huge success and

Sudeep Nagarkar, Robin Sharma,

many Gujarati speakers as well as

Ravinder Singh, Paulo Coelho,

bollywood stars like Rishi Kapoor,

Preety Shenoy, Durjoy Dutta,

Sonali Bendre took part in it.

Jhumpa Lahiri. You can contact her at : sweetosur@gmail.com

WRITER'S GUIDANCE | Â 64


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

SITTING ON THE FENCE BY ASHA JACOB Asha Jacob is a Post-Graduate student, pursuing her M.A in English at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam (Kerala). She likes reading and does enjoy penning down her thoughts occasionally too.

Sitting on the fence I see two warring ideologies hurtle past me. Words and weapons, woes and blows All in a frenzy rise in the air. What a comfy place to sit. My feet fall short before the murk on either side. From right to left, my eyes do glide And so in a similar pattern does my allegiance slide. But no! On neither side will I alight. Intermittently the men knotted in a verbal tiff Do pause to jeer at me And lo! You’ve just captured the only time they remain united: Against meThe fence sitter! Oh, shame! Oh, shame! to have no one to blame Suspended you remain With neither ground nor base! Here I smile sardonically Dangling my feet in the air, Out of necessity, I quip: I see what you do not see I hear what you cannot hear I feel what you do not want to feel. A broader view, That’s what my position spares. I see, I see, both your sides I see but believe me, sitting here isn’t easy. Once in a while between your fights, When you care to spare a minute or two, Stop to study my face. In multitudes will my tears speak as they run down my cheek unable to decide for which one of your cause they speak whichever they may, they are bitter all the same. In my eyes, you’ll see both your points balanced And who will dare disturb that equilibrium. Having thus said, I wondered if God is a man sitting on the fence.

POETRY | 65


Fiction

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

A CONFLICT WITH DEATH SAILESH MISHRA

A

As I ran into the oblivious chasm with

when reality struck like a blow. Keeping up

darkness engulfing my soul and self-doubts

the pace, I advanced along with matching

chewing down my sinews, I had lost all

footsteps in pursuit. I had no idea of what

hope, of survival. Strategies were useless

happened.I remembered the college gate

'cause nothing could outmatch the one

where I was with my girlfriend after the party

chasing me. All of my senses and instincts

at ten. I was searching for an auto rickshaw. I

exhausted themselves in the process of

have a pretty weird tendency of hiring auto

getting exhausted several times because of

rickshaws on the basis of their body language

getting overused. My limbs bled profusely

at late nights. Over suspicious, one can say.

and ribs exhibited the cracking sound on my

She held her purse in one hand and my hand

every step. The blows were heavy.  I was

on the other, tightly. We were very happy.

lucky that my ribs did not powder

Our parents finally agreed to our marriage and

themselves. As I ran, pictures of my family

we could not be merrier. She wore a black,

flashed before my eyes. My shirt smelt like

shiny top with an equally shiny white skirt.

blood, yet it had the faint aroma of home

She knew my favorites. She was looking jaw

detergent and coal press. Home. Mom has a

drop beautiful even with worn out makeup.

pretty weird way of washing the clothes by

The mascara on her eyes flinched as she

drowning them in hot detergent water for

blinked. 'Thank you for the evening' It took

an hour before washing. Maybe that was

some time for me to get the language of her

what kept the smell intact.I for the fraction

eye blinking. Then I finally found the

of a second smiled but it was just before

rickshaw driver of my choice. I advanced to FICTION | 66


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

show my hand forward only to find out that

his pace. I put my hand on the ground and

I could not. That very second I felt a blow on

applied pressure for acquiring some

my head. A heavy blow with a rod perhaps.

support to get up. He was very near to

The auto moved on its way as I fell down on

attack range. I leaped, with all the force, I

the road with a blurry vision. The hits never

could muster, screaming. His crowbar

ceased to stop.I was hammered by unknown

moved in a semi-circular motion with his

objects by unknown people everywhere. I

shoulder as the pivot, targeted straight

felt my ribs crack. It was then when my

towards my face. The forces met from

blurred vision made a puny attempt to focus

both the sides. For a moment, I assumed

on her to make sure if she is okay, only to

that I was able to dodge the attack, the

find out that she wasn't. Two men, strongly

very next moment I was proven wrong.I

built, were holding her from both the sides.

suddenly saw a really bright flash, as if my

She tried screaming but was stopped by one

eyeballs were placed a centimeter away

of the palms of theirs covering her mouth.

from the camera flash when it

Whereas one other hand advanced making

clicked.Then as the pain was just about to

his way inside her dress, groping her. I used

start, I stopped feeling anything. All I

all my strength to get up and kill those

heard were some really ominous voices in

bastards, but I got pinned down, yet again. I

my ear and all I felt was deep, dark

heard her fumbling snobs which were

emptiness. I became unconscious.

E X P L O R I N G

E U R O P E

- SAILESH MISHRA

desperately making their way through her closed mouth. Suddenly, the blows

That was all I could recall. And that was

stopped. My vision was already darkened

when I reminded myself of my current

and blurred due to the damage on my skull.

situation. I found myself running into a

Yet I tried to get up again. To save her. To

giant meadow of nothingness with a dark

save the girl who meant everything to me.

figure of the obnoxious essence in pursuit.

To stand against the devil. I had only one

The confusion was at such a point that I

goal. Kill them all. I tried to sit up. They

was even ready to give my life in exchange

were dragging her when they heard me

of knowledge of my situation. Something

screaming with rage. I did not speak

was compelling me to run, though I did

anything as I let my voice state the

not know what it was. I was scared but I

message. For a moment, I felt heroic. It was

did not know why. At that moment, I just

as if I just got an unsent message from the

wished that I was dead. Then was The

universe. I thought that I may have some

Moment. The Moment of realization. The

chance left of pulling this off. Saving her.

horizons of my thoughts suddenly

Being the hero. One among those bastards

widened a million times. Within no time, I

was holding something like a crowbar and

was able to understand. My subconscious

advanced. I tried to get up. He increased 

mind opened up. I remembered opening FICTION | 67


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

my eyes for a few seconds when all I saw was

It was death.

a white ceiling moving backward with my Ma and Dad looking at me with an expression

I understood every single thing. I never

which terrified me to the core. I had the

really left the hospital bed. This was me,

doctor saying that there was a really

running away from death, the final

negligible chance of saving the patient, who

struggle to survive. I had seen death in its

was, by all guesses, me.  The pursuit

eyes and I now know that I cannot outrun

continued. It was then when I thought

it. But I had to try. I needed to survive. I

something really stupid. I stopped. On

saw the love of my life getting raped and

looking back, the dark figure stopped, way

dragged like a rag doll in front of my own

too abruptly for my comforts. Then it

eyes. Now it is my job to avenge her. Not

advanced, slowly. I mean like real slow. I

just her. It is my job to avenge every girl

began walking, his pace increased. I

that suffered the same plight. I was stiff. I

accelerated. So did it. Then I stopped

had to do that. I wanted to run, but

midway. I checked my surroundings, took

somehow I felt that I could do something

some time. It was like the darkest form of

else to outrun death. I stood there, waiting

darkness enveloped something so reap, yet

for death to arrive so that I could persuade

unreal. I saw trees and forests but they had

him to give me another chance. I don't

stability issues on their existence every

know why for the love of God did that idea

second. All I saw, was a world with a sky of no

struck me but I had a tiny ray of hope.

stars, moon or clouds. I was surprised that, in

Maybe death isn't so merciless as they say.

spite of the darkness, I could see myself

I had a gut feeling that death will give me

clearly. Same with that figure. I stared at it.

one chance. One single chance into the

It was then when something happened which

land of the living. To avenge and to do

froze me. That dark figure which was nothing

something that none tried to. I stood firm,

more than a shadow. But it was not the thing

waiting for death. I was bent against

that froze my blood and compressed my

accompanying it to wherever it wanted to

veins.

take me.

It was staring back.

Finally, death arrived. I saw it.

It was then when I understood the whole

I was wrong. It was not 'It'. It was 'her'.

E X P L O R I N G

E U R O P E

- SAILESH MISHRA

scenario. The pursuit, the blood, the surroundings, the creepy dementor-like

In my twenty years of education, I was

shadow, every single thing. I understood who

never taught how to react in such

it was.

situations. I suddenly felt my whole FICTION | 68


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

education was useless. I had prepared my

first, but then I realized the process. My

whole speech for persuading death to give

whole body made itself ready for a

me another chance. But I never prepared for

complete shutdown. I started losing my

this. She told me that she wanted to

grip, then I lost my sense of smell, then I

resurrect me. My eyes glowed with

lost the feeling of myself lying. Slowly,

E X P L O R I N Gstep byEstep, U death R was O eating P Eme up. The

happiness and approval for a second but then she completed her sentence. She

darkness was devouring me. I felt empty,

wished to resurrect me from the land of the

it felt good. I felt renounced, enlightened.

living. I refused. She told me that nobody

Death is a beautiful thing. Finally, I lost

refuses death. I told her to accompany me

everything which meant the existence of

to the land of the living. It was then when

my body and my soul. The time had come,

she spoke. She said that the land of the

I thought. And that was my last piece of

living is 'nowhere near living' until it has

thought. Because after that, I was ....

- SAILESH MISHRA

men. That was it. I realized that my fight was for a lost cause. A whole gender got hostile because of the act of a few pervert, dishonorable men. I realized that I lost my war of avenging her even without fighting it. I did not have the face to go down to the land where, due to some people, my whole sexuality got compromised of its integrity. She was right. Her psych was manipulated when her dignity was mauled and her integrity was

Sailesh Mishra is a resident of the small hilly town of Dhenkanal situated in Odisha. Beginning his writing career as a co-author of the book named The Iridescence, Sailesh aims at achieving glory in more sensible genres of writing which include social issues, science fiction, suspense thrillers et cetra. He aims to create characters which will be known forever. He is currently working on the first book of his Sci-fi trilogy 'The Cerebral Saga'. Contact at saileshsmssm@gmail.com

destroyed. There was no way I am going back there. I nodded my head in approval. At that very moment, her face inside the hood of her helm dissolved into the darkness that came closer and engulfed me. Darkness. That was all I saw. But then I felt the cushion of the bed of the hospital I was lying on. Though confused at

FICTION | 69


Fiction

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

WHO IS HE? ADITYA PURANIK As the town grows weary and begins to drift away, one light burns, burns brighter than the entire day. The sun goes down and the clatter on the streets along with it. One by one, people turn off lamps and fold into the warmth of their beds. But one soul sits determined, more than ever, without the slightest thought of rest or sleep. Sitting in his study, his mind begins to ponder. From topic to topic; the jumps seem both endless and mindless, but to him, it makes perfect sense. Thought after thought his mind grows sharp and he delves further and further into the realm of fantasy. It's way past sunset, but he still sits, all alone, burning the midnight oil. With dedication more than that of everybody combined, he is bound to seek what he is looking for. With his lamp casting the sole light on the street, his life is no different than it is. A vast unknown future with endless possibilities but little direction or guidance to carry on.

And just like the flame sways with the cool night breeze, his future alters too. Time flies by and the clock strikes each hour, but the night doesn't seem to end and neither do the questions. From lost love to future relationships, from past regrets to new mistakes he wonders on and on. FICTION  |  70


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

From hope to worry and then back to

the pursuit of fame

hope the thoughts just don't seem to

He is the guy that lost the girl of his

leave him alone.

dreams

His face is calm and his demeanour

But he is also the one who hopes to get

calmer. But his heart is confused and

the girl of his dreams.

his head can explode with anxiety

He is responsible yet makes silly errors.

anytime now. He wants to speak but

He is knowledgeable yet has a lot to learn.

there's no one to listen. He wants to

He has pride but humility comes naturally

write but ends up with blank pages.

to him.

And now you may begin to wonder

He has given up on life, but life is yet to

"Who is this peculiar person?","Why

give up on him.

do we talk about him?" and "Why

Again I say,

does he seem so strange yet

He is you

familiar?".

And he is me

Herein lies the answer to all your

He is just another average nobody

worries my dear reader:

Who dreams to be a somebody

He is no one yet he is everyone.

And if you say

He is the person next door and he

That he is not You,

also is the person you dream to be.

I say, think again my friend

He is the one you envy and he is the

Look within and all I've said

one you respect.

might just start to make a little sense.

He is all you never can be but all you ever want to be. He is none other than You! He is none other than Me! He is what you think of him to be. He is strong and he is weak for your

Aditya Puranik is an amateur writer/poet based in Pune. He has a keen interest in philosophical/love quotes. Aditya can be reached at his instagram handle: the_seeker_of_lost_souls

thoughts and action shape him and break him. He is nothing special. He is one of the many faces that make up the crowd. In fact, he is the crowd! He strives to be special, tries to stand out from the crowd, But is part of the same race and in FICTION  |  71


STAND BY ME Akash Rumade

Sometime in 2024, Aditya took a sip from his tea and slurped in dismay. It might have been his tenth cup for that day. He rolled his tongue a bit inside as it could no longer bear the heat. He kept the cup aside on table in his gallery. It was two in morning and he was still awake. His eyes had reddened a bit, hair messed up due to last hasty fortnight. He entwined his fingers with an enormous grip and kept praying to the Almighty. He kept praying for a passage out of all the pain he had gone through, and for the burden which was going to lie further. But all his prayers, thoughts converged at the well-being of a single person, Aparna. Thinking of her made it hard for him to open his eyes. But he had to, for he had to make her tonight wonderful. Stretching  FICTION |  72


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

his neck a bit on either side, he straightened his gray sweater a bit and came inside his room. He closed doors of the gallery and went beside Aparna’s bed. At the age of 33, she almost looked half-a-decade older than she now is. She couldn’t help staring at her personal heart rate monitor. As the numbers descended a bit so she frowned a little. She wished she could buy much time for herself. He sat near her and touched her cheek softly. Holding her other hand, he spoke with a heavy breath, “I knew about YOLO, but never thought about YOLS?”    She giggled a bit and asked him, “What’s ‘S’ for, sexy?” She woke up and gulped water from the bottle beside her bed.    Aditya couldn’t believe at her sense of humor and gave her a perplexed look. What he meant for ‘S’ was ‘Short’, but caved into her silly thought. Moving his hands through her medium straight brown hairs that attributed her oval shaped face, he rose and kissed on her forehead.  He freed her wrist from HRM machine and kept it aside. He stood up and walked pass the room. There lied a disc player on the wooden table across her bed. He opened a disc cover, inside it was a CD on which was written ‘Mixtape for Aparna14/02/2014.’ A decade has passed since then but the disc and world had still 

remained the same- ‘A Vintage’. He inserted the disc and pressed the play button on the disc player. As the soothing music of RnB began to absorb in the purple lit room, he surfed through the printed-out manuscripts of the novel lying on the table. ‘Aparna Rane’- Seeing her name in bold on papers made him feel proud. He thought things were much simpler, sweeter and honest before.  He gave a twist and facing her sang along with the song, “When the night has come” Standing up and moving near him she continued, “And the land is dark”    And as both of them sang, “And the moon is the only light we'll see” they had almost reached gallery. They kept slow-dancing there on the song ‘Stand by me’ under the moonlight. Although the moon shone brightly in the sky, crickets kept chirping, the beautiful yellow evening primrose flower bloomed and enamored their moments, nothing could steal his gaze from the smile that lingered on her content face.  She tiptoed and whispered in his ears, “Let my short, sexy secret wither away with me.”  As he cupped her face they both could feel heat surging through their chest. It became hard to breathe for him and so he sealed his lips over hers. Time had ceased to exist. At last, she realized how eternal their love was like the space-time continuum she always wrote about.

FICTION | 73


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

He didn’t want to cry for he had now realized that their last kiss had become as terrifying as their first. And then he whispered in her ears, “Goodbye, my lover.” He then just stood there hugging her tightly as a turbulent stream of tears started flowing down his eyes. Way Back in 2013, ‘Someday, someone walks into your life and makes you realize why it never worked out with anyone else.’ Well, Aditya couldn’t remember where he had read those lines but the lady who had walked into the lounge and sat across his table brought sense to those words. This young lady who had just sat ordered a Hoegaarden beer and threw a glance at Aditya sitting in front of him. Aditya who took a sip of his Wine, spit out a little on seeing her smile. She couldn’t help giving a wider smile. As her order arrived she started drinking slowly. As she kept immersing in her drink and pop songs that were being played around she took out her diary and started scribbling something on it. It was twelve in noon and the lounge was almost vacant. No there isn’t a particular timetable for drinking but, most of the sane people usually like to drink as the sun starts to set behind the hills. And here were two insane people sitting in the lounge drinking and absorbing themselves in their works. Aditya while writing down in his small notebook couldn’t help thinking what the lady in front of him might be jotting down.

As she saw him staring at her, “It’s not good manners for a gentleman to keep staring that way.” She calling him a gentleman was like a score for him. He immediately replied, “No it isn’t like that. I just couldn’t help seeing you engrossed in composing something with your tender hand on that notebook.” She smirked as she took one more sip of her beer. “Well, you seem to put that in a very beautiful way. Are you a Writer?” Ushering a good conversation was what he wanted for now. And so as he folds his hand he began, “Aditya Jog, Architect by job and writer by the soul. And you looked exquisite as you were penning down, whatever that were drifting in your mind.” “That’s flattering. Why don’t you join in here with me Aditya? I would be glad to have your company. By the way, my name’s Aparna Rane, well I am kind of a, well it’s undefined. I keep doing things I like.” He couldn’t help steal a glance at her scribbling on the diary as they began chatting with each other. The page was filled with some kind of concentric elliptical circles and below them were some equations and numbers. As it came to her notice she carefully closed her diary while keeping the conversation still on.  Those kinds of equations had been seen by him but FICTION |  74


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

it seems ages ago when Physics was his subject in college. Aditya ignoring those thoughts started hitting off the new friendship which he wishes could blossom into something new. As they kept talking they came to know that how both of them used to live in the same area during their college days. They kept thinking how silly it was that they hadn’t bumped into each other even once in four years. For now, at present, she had shifted back to her home at Alibaug and often worked as a freelancer for a magazine. Just a few miles away from the coast of Alibaug Aditya ran his father’s architect firm. Fate had brought both of them to meet that day and had raised hopes by bringing them together at such a proximate distance from each other. The square law of attraction was working its magic for, lesser the distance more the attraction. After that cordial exchange of words and drinks came the moment of departure. They didn’t need to promise each other about meeting again for both of them were eager to meet again soon in Alibaug. Weeks went by, so passed the months of casual dating between Aparna and Aditya. A mutual trust had cemented their relationship and in a year they were in a live-in relationship. Once while working on his first novel Aditya accidentally found few papers lying on Aparna’s desk. Assuming them to be her magazine’s papers he tidied the

table. But the writing on the papers was done by pencil. The paper was faintly titled in italics, ‘White Holes-A Dark Mystery.’ The paper was filled with some hand drawn graphs and derived mathematical equations. As Aparna stepped in the house, she realized that she had left those papers just lying and now he had seen them. The discovery of such papers wasn't ready to imbibe, for curiosity made him wonder how a lady who writes a travel column for magazine could write stuff like that. Aparna came near him and began to explain him. It wasn’t easy to digest initially but the beautiful girl who sat beside him had been homeschooled most of her childhood days. And then she had realized quite long ago what her actual interests were. But she kept it hidden; this prodigious talent was carefully kept away from the outer world by her. After hearing everything Aditya looked at her in amazement. He teased her, “Hey you turned out to be more scholar than you pretend to be. I am happy that you never stuck yourself into those three F’s.” She gave a sigh on his mature understanding of her explanation. She replied instantly, “What three F’s?” He said, “Those after which every girl nowadays fancies about. Fame, Fashion, and Fortune.”   She giggled a little biting her lower lip, “Oh I thought you were going to use the ‘F’ word too?” FICTION |  75


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

He couldn’t reject her amorous advances. “Ohh about that, I shall see that you get the fun.” A few months later,     Aparna was unwilling to accept the stupid suggestion made by Aditya.  History had witnessed how the world wasn’t still ready to accept a woman as a physicist in ranks of the earlier famous ones. What she had until now scribbled down were just theoretical papers with just a backbone of mathematics. They were never confirmed by any kind of experiments. They were still like papers of sciencefiction.  If those papers never get accepted they wouldn’t even be much worth of fortune. What Aditya was willing to do was swapping their treatise. Aparna knew that he wrote beautifully but her work was just paper with potholes of the doubt.   She said to him, “It would be suicidal for your writing career Adi. Your novels have the possibility of becoming a best-seller; mine won’t even become headlines in the newspaper. ”   Making her calm he replied, “Mine’s just a work of fiction, Aparna. It won’t matter for the betterment of the world. But your work has to reach out to the world. It might make people ponder over the assumptions they had been making about this world. At the most what I will lose is just fame which you would eventually get. And I will be happy with it. After all, ‘What’s yours 

is mine and what’s mine is yours.’ Aparna didn’t want to do it but finally, she caved into Aditya’s persistent talk. In few months Aditya’s first novel stormed the markets under the pen name of Aparna Rane. Aparna’s papers under the pen-name of Aditya Jog got rejected as mere work of sciencefiction. On the night of celebration of book’s success, Aparna felt bad overtaking Aditya’s credits in her pockets. As they both kept slow dancing alone in their house she said to him, “I never wanted this to happen for you.” She pinched him, “I had warned you about this Adi.” Aditya replied moving hand over her back, “It doesn’t matter to me Aparna. I am glad that we tried. They were stupid enough not to realize your intelligent work. But only one work has been rejected, other two are still in the basket. We have to just keep the faith. But here I am with you and that’s what all matters to me.” A cute blush occurred on her face. She said,” Just be with me, Adi.”   He gave a smile as he said the word he had always wanted to say, “Always.” Sometime in 2024,     After few weeks of Aparna’s demise, Aditya received a call from his agent that Aparna’s other paper under his pen-name had been able to impress the people and have qualified for the patent. He requested for few changes to be made. The changes on released patent were that paper was declared as patented by –Aparna Jog. Further a  FICTION |  76


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

few months later a new book came into the market as the last in series of his wife’s trilogy. The book was authored under the name –Aditya Rane.   Aditya sat by seaside throwing a stone in the sea in front of his house. He was drinking Hoegaarden beer. As he finished his bottle, he took out his mobile and smiled at the wallpaper. The picture was the last they had clicked together. He uttered, “Your short sexy secret is out, but you aren’t here to celebrate it. I will always miss you.” And then he kissed her pic with tear-filled eyes. He gave a smile as he rested his back to the tall casuarinas watching the sun set over the horizon. He was at peace now.      Akash Rumade, is a writer, poet, and a bookworm from Roha, Maharashtra. He is Editor-in-Chief at YuGen. He can be reached at rumadeakash@gmail.com

FICTION | 77


Poetry

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

On Death By Satyam Walking through the meadows of life I realise How worthless a life I've lived With time approaching on a galloping horse All I've done is slept Twas have I seen this in my dreams No-one will even mourn for me death This realisation, as it dawns My heart, my body, that more disowns ***************** The flames of death They are burning me down Part by part Cut and smeared with paste Of spices Black and yellow and brown A worthless dish A worthless being A name never lost and found in time I'll die one day As I lived Sad Damp Simply unheard of

Satyam is an 18 year old lad from Patna, and is pursuing bachelors in English from MGCUB. He is a poet, and a writer and a procrastinator. He dreams a lot, and at such an young age, he still runs behind the butterflies. He believes, happiness is not in growing up, but in rising up, with feet still on the ground. POETRY |Â 78


To Read List

YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton "Melton’s story is brave and vulnerable, which almost instantly makes her feel safe and trustworthy. She gives words to things many women have felt or experienced yet may have been unable to form into cohesive thoughts or sentences. Many will think, Yes, that’s it! She understands!" — The Gospel Coalition

GENRE: MEMOIR PAGES: 272

Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett "Host of NPR’s On Being, draws on conversations with poets, scientists, theologians, and other seekers of truth. The author focuses on five concepts—words, flesh, love, faith, and hope—that she identifies as 'raw materials' for the 'superstar virtues' of 'love, compassion [and] forgiveness. A hopeful consideration of the human potential for enlightenment." — Kirkus GENRE: SPIRITUALITY PAGES: 304 |  79


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

Black hole blues and Other Songs from Outer Space by Janna Levin "In Black Holes Blue and Other Songs from Outer Space, which crowns the year’s finest science books, cosmologist and novelist Janna Levin tells the story of the century-long vision, originated by Einstein, and half-century experimental quest to hear the sound of spacetime by detecting a gravitational wave." — BrainPickings

GENRE: SCIENCE PAGES: 256

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh "In this book, climate change is not viewed just as a crisis of ‘nature’, but also as “a crisis of culture, and thus of the imagination”. Not only does Ghosh (expectedly) break with the romanticism of earlier environmentalist thinkers, he also (unexpectedly) critiques the ‘moralism’ of current ones, and offers convincing grounds for it." — The Hindu

GENRE: SCIENCE PAGES: 284 |  80


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman "Neil Gaiman convinces the reader of the absolute and immediate importance of reading, of libraries and of the good breed of librarians who act as wizards and guides for readers. Gaiman, the purveyor of all things fantastical, phantasmagoric and sci-fi, goes on at length about how the act of reading can change, often save a life; it is clear that herein lies the book's strength." — DNA India GENRE: NONFICTION PAGES: 256

Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver "To read Mary Oliver is to be read by her — to be made real by her words, to have the richest subterranean truths of your own experience mirrored back to you with tenfold the luminosity. Her prose collection Upstream: Selected Essays (public library) is a book of uncommon enchantment, containing Oliver’s largehearted wisdom on writing, creative work, and the art of life." —BrainPickings

GENRE: POETRY PAGES: 178 |  81


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

The Whistler by John Grisham

"His values don’t change, and neither do his tactics, but the Grisham formula hasn’t gotten old. Or older. When he’s on his game, as he is with his latest, “The Whistler,” it really works." — The New York Times.

GENRE: THRILLER PAGES: 352

Solar Bones by Mike McCormack "The work of an author in the full maturity of his talent, Solar Bones climaxes in a passage of savage, Gnostic religiosity: the writing catches fire as we draw near to the void, pass over into death itself, and therein confront the truth that even in a fallen universe, when all distractions tumble away, the only adequate response to our being is astonishment." — The Irish Times

GENRE: FICTION PAGES: 223 |  82


YUGEN ISSUE II | MAR / APR 2017

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO OUR

PROTOCOL Submissions will be accepted for the following: 1. Fiction (Short stories) 2. Poems 3. Essays (current affairs, philosophy, psychology, social issues etc.) 4. Reviews (Book reviews, TV shows, music, movies, character analysis etc) 5. Spotlight (Artists, musicians, photographers, cartoonists etc) 6. Photo-essay 7. Letters to editor Specifications: 1.Typed in double spacing; font type: Calibre; font size: 12 pt 2. The title of the article in 14 pt font size, bold, Calibre and centered. 3. The name of the author in the following line, 12 pt font size, bold italics, and centered. 4. Regarding submission for Photoessay, send us 5-7 photos ( portrait only ) for consideration. ° Though there is no specific word limit, it is preferable to keep the length of Fiction,  essays and reviews above 1000 words, Poems more than 15 lines and Artist spotlight more than 500 words. Letters to editors should not be more than 500 words 

° All entries need to be submitted in a word processor file saved as an *.doc, *.docx document. ° Submissions should be sent to artists.syn@gmail.com. The subject line should contain the word 'submission' along with the month it is being submitted for and the kind of entry being sent (Fiction, Poetry, Review, Essay, Spotlight, Photoessay, Letters to editor etc). Please also enclose, within the body of the mail, a brief author bio of no more than 150 words and a passport sized photograph in form of seperate attachment. ° Submitted work must NOT be previously published by any other publication, either digitally or in print. Works published on personal blogs and websites, however, are eligible for submission. Submission work must be original. ° Please avoid sending entries that might be offensive to a particular gender/race/religion/ethnicity/sexual orientation, or are charged with a political agenda. If possible, also keep violence and sexually explicit content to a bare minimum. ° There may be editorial corrections or stylistic enhancements suggested to contributors for improving their entries

All changes will need to be finalised before an entry can be accepted for publication in the magazine. In case of a disagreement, the editors’ word will be final.  ° Copyright of the work remains with the author. However, authors are requested to refrain from putting up entries selected for the latest issue on an online blog/page/website. In case a featured entry is already on their private blog, they are requested to take it down until the next issue is published. ° Reproducing and/or distributing the work featured in the magazine without the express permission of the editorial team at YuGen through any digital/print channels is not permitted. ° If a particular piece is published again, either by another publication or on an online blog/website, we request the courtesy of an acknowledgement stating that the piece was first published in YuGen. ° There is no monetary  compensation provided to our contributors at the moment. ° In case a promising entry does not make the final cut for a particular issue, the editorial team may publish it in a subsequent issue.                 |  83


CONTRIBUTORS

First Row (from left to right)- Akash Rumade, Rishikesh Pande and Saundarya Jain Second Row (from left to right)- Kersten Christianson, Aditya Puranik and Akaky Third Row (from left to right)- Suchitra Shetty, Emma Hines and Bhavyashree Fourth Row ( from left to right)- Pallavi Sareen, Robert Beveridge and Aishwarya Ashok


CONTRIBUTORS

First Row (from left to right)- Jessica Bolden, Aniket Khariwale and Sailesh Mishra Second Row (from left to right)- Orchida Mukherjee, Satyam and Siddhartha Chakravarty Third Row (from left to right)- Surbhi Sareen, Rahul Gupta and Samrat Indra Fourth Row ( from left to right)- Asha Jacob, Arindam Mukherjee and Rahul Gaur


Profile for Artists' Syndicate

Yugen 2 mar apr 2017  

Poetry: 1. IN FUTURE LIVES by Kersten Christianson 2. THE IMMERSION By Orchida Mukherjee 3. OF THE SLUSH AND SWASH By Aishwarya Ashok 4. A S...

Yugen 2 mar apr 2017  

Poetry: 1. IN FUTURE LIVES by Kersten Christianson 2. THE IMMERSION By Orchida Mukherjee 3. OF THE SLUSH AND SWASH By Aishwarya Ashok 4. A S...

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