Apricity ~ Issue 2 (Jan 2021)

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Issue 2 January 2021


snug spot in front of the fireplace is the best shelter from the harsh winter. But that warmth is no comparison to the warmth of the winter

sun, and the comfort that it carries in its soft sunlight. It is an iconic past time, sitting under the sun, together during the winter and has several cultural depictions of the same.Now, imagine jazz playing softly and you are stretched out on the lawn, or the window sill, eyes closed, taking in the warmth of the winter sun. That’s exactly what we want you to feel while you read our issue. Our very second issue is a very special one. We have received some amazing contributions and we have collected the ones that unfurl a wave of different emotions. The issue begins with a warmly nostalgic poem by poet Ronald Tuhin D’Rozario, Abhinita Mohanty contemplates on the emotional oxymorons within family, where love straddles through eternity, Bethan Rees weaves words in a snowy tug of love. We are also honoured to feature Kiran Bhat's translation of his own Chinese poem. We have some powerful, poignant poetry from Moinak Dutta, Oreva Oghene and Abdul Rehman Fatima. Priyanka Srivastava creates colourful imagery with her careful choice of words and makes the reader feel warm and peaceful. At the end, we have a piece from our staff writer who delineates the lost love in a family and the emptiness, it brings.

We sincerely hope this curated issue will be the warmth of winter sun for the readers. Don’t forget to let us know if you enjoyed the issue, by reaching out to us via social media.

Editors of Rasa Literary Review



April Border and other stories Soft Diamonds Straddling in Oxymoron of Emotions (within family) Quench

14 16 17

My apprentice asked; How did you find the truth? When I Say I am Fragile Curiosity about the End



The Blue Song

19 20

The New World A Celestial Blip And Co-Existence


Our Contributors

April By Ronald Tuhin D’Rozario How often does April come? Dripping off a leaf’s spine, Shadows chew the clothesline Like fish in a retail shop, Between the theory of Edison Light in a lemon throat Slither under the shirts collar. There’s an old old smell – tent A smoke climbs the ladder to the chimney As the kettle hiccups on the kitchen stove. The homework of a child into an airplane, Flying between the cave of his fingers, The grasshopper and its cousins watch the pond – A portion fills their bucket Triangle. Hexagon. Square. And a pint of beer Water trails along the path.


And the wild, wild, sun Tied in handkerchief A fever soars across the eastern sky – Searching for a crocin tablet Burn – breads, lampposts and eyebrows, There won’t be a home again, The feet forgets the landmark Yet the night is an intruder In the lungs of a rusty padlock Where a few keys has failed the test.



First Encounter My first tryst with border has been a Hindi flick Filled with a lot of patriotic fervor, It had the simple story line of a battalion of ill equipped Indian soldiers Fighting against all odds to protect the sovereignty of the country at the Indo - Park border, Next time I witnessed in person the real border Happened some years after the release of that Hindi flick, Just out of college and not really knowing what exactly to do before going full fledged into job hunting, one of my friends, Dron, as he was fondly called by us at that time, suggested me to join him to a tour to Sikkim,


So I went to Sikkim with him and while touring we reached Nathula pass and the Indo - China border, I remember shaking hands with Chinese soldiers, They looked like pocket dynamo, short, strong built, sturdy, Seeing some Indian women they grew visibly excited and giggled like little school kids, At that tremendous altitude, surrounded by snow capped mountains, Having breathing troubles, I wondered what a sheer waste was it to man posts at those places, What was the use of Border, anyway?


Barbed Wires Being born into a family of immigrants, Bore caustic remarks from friends and foes From boyhood days, ‘You people got marks of barbed wires on your backs' This remark was the commonest of all, Despite being born here, on this side of the border, at a reputed private nursing home of South Kolkata, To parents who had settled on this side of the border for years, Heard remarks and oblique comments, Luckily, many like us live in this country, Having similar experiences, With many rising to heights of glory, Luckily, many living here for years know by heart There is no difference in people across borders, All have same shares of agonies and ecstasies,


Luckily, many living here for years know by heart There is no difference in people across borders, All have same shares of agonies and ecstasies, Luckily, Countries thrive that way, Side by side, Like neighbors. Friend of that boy in striped pajamas -------------------------------Always wished to become a friend of that boy in striped pajamas, Sharing with him my daily groceries, chocolate, cakes, chilli paneer, chicken butter Masala, and egg devils, pakoras, Giving him my story books, my most favorite ones, Like that book by Richard Bach, Which had the story of a seagull conquering every possible threats, Always wished to be a friend of that simple boy in striped pajamas, Living a life with him beyond the borders of ghetto.


Soft Diamonds Bethan Rees They say it is the thought that counts, And I think of you all the time, Especially when dewy droplets from autumn Have absorbed themselves into clouds And waited in the cold I take your hand and trample the To shake into icy pellets. Unlearned whiteboard of the street, Fluttering like crystal We leave the caked, slosh, mud butterflies, From our boots in broken Downward toward a cruel and Heart shapes as we harsh ground, Amble, connected. To cover it for a moment anew, In a crisp, sharp, display of I turn to face you, and gently clean. Flick a half melted snow pixie

From the tip of your nose, And after a soft kiss we look down, And see the muddy love-hearts That have been left in response.


Straddling in Oxymoron of Emotions (within family) Abhinita Mohanty Things turn and twist, The parched earth around sun, The heat scraps off bald, over the surfaces, Can we but cling, exchange breathes, rage and fires Amidst bells, trinkets, lights and snow storms? The tussle goes on, between white cells in same blood vessels, Yet nudge of love engulfs, Serenading waves of distraught, Through ‘tis is the season’ And many more winters to come, The greys and whites pile up


Those stars that blink far away, Show up, through screens and squared glosses, But I miss the touch, the smell of their dermis, Who smile from distant skies? Those in my stratosphere bake customized fragrances through doors,

Oxymoron of despondence and love, Flickers though beauty of living, And we pray, conflicts morphs into facile flings And love, straddling through an eternity. 12

Quench Abdul Rahman Fatima It is raining cats And dogs- love. Storing it was impossible, A free gift for human That cannot be captured. Flushing hatred, Digging a pipeline for itself. Running into every human Like a vital liquid. For drinking like fish Swimming in harmony.

Wetting the road With happiness Planting trees Of togetherness. Having branches Of happiness With beautifying Flowers of hope. Gardening home, Filled with hope and love.

It is raining affection, To extinguish The volcano of anger And hate amongst all.


My apprentice asked; How did you find the truth? Kiran Bhat My apprentice asked: How did you find the truth? Kiran said: I will speak the truth, I never found truth. I am a presumptuous man. I am quick to be critical. I give the impression that I am wise. Maybe I am a liar. I am selling plastic saying it is silver. But, I know the difference what is and isn’t truth. Your first judgment is not the truth. It is an emotion. Your second judgment is not the truth. Truth takes time, Consideration, Experience. Let Kiran give an example to explain. You meet a man from a new country. He is not polite,


In fact, rude. Quick to insult, Quick to make fun of others. The truth is not that people from this country are bad people. That is your emotion. You take some time to rest. You meet others. You no longer understand your own conclusion. You are not close to the truth. Over time, You forget that man. Your emotion. Your thoughts. You feel peace inside of you. You no longer need to analyze, You no longer need to imagine. Because you are close to the truth.


When I say I am fragile Oreva Oghene

Don’t take me for the glass that shatters once it hit the Ground, Don’t take me for a ticking time bomb either Or a gun with the safety left on. When I say I am fragile, I mean, I am heavy like clouds bound to break into rain. I mean I have learnt to pamper my pains, cuddle my fears In dark corners of my heart’s closet. I mean I’ve come to take life as a canvass and paint a Portrait of the storm on my gloomy face. I carry cracks in my heart from the lovers I lost to the Moon, ready to shatter and love another to pieces too.


Curiosity about the End Oreva Oghene When you learn that everybody you’ve Come to know will someday die. I tend not To think about it, I want to enjoy the moment, This moment, but my love for the end of Everything around me, even my own life Keeps getting at me, my curiosity is twice The size of a polar bear. Wanting to know What happens at the other end of existence? What happens when your breathe takes a leave And death comes in for its shift like A night guard?. I crave my own death inside My head and I’ve fashioned out a lot of ways With which I could die. My life has become A party I don’t want to attend. Someone said Life is sweet, but I could only wonder why It tastes like vinegar at my end.


THE BLUE SONG Priyanka Srivastava

When I read, I swirl the words in my mind, I mix the cerulean blue from the sky with turquoise from the sea. I crush the sapphire to match the India ink. When I write I imagine the slaty sky and think of those purple flowers in the backyard. When I muse, I unlock those oceanic dreams and give them a new fragrance. That’s how I know that I am stitching backnew stars in the Aegean sky. When I read I know the indigo ink will marry the song in my mind. With time I know all the dreams will become white and free.


THE NEW WORLD Priyanka Srivastava

“How does the new world look?” she asked him and he said, “white.” He told her everything has faded somewhere.The world looks like a painting in which everything has blended. They both held each other, together in isolation since a month their world was that room in which they both were trapped, trapped still alive. She was too frail to walk around in the room, each day he would tell her the colours which he would see through the window. Today everything looked white, there was nothing. A thin layer of snow had covered the path. She shuddered when he said nothing. She asked him is this how the end looks, he hugged her and said no, it’s a new beginning.


A CELESTIAL BLIP AND CO-EXISTENCE Ramyani Bhattacharya It is three at night. The fan overhead circulates the air in my dark room. It stings my body, as I try to hug myself and keep it warm. My gaze fixes on the window through which, silvery moonlight streams into the room. I yawn and a few drops of water escape my left eye. I wipe them off, unforgivingly. The screams continue. The next morning, I wake up to the sound of silence and a feeling of relief. I look around to gauge what’s going on but I can see no one. It feels like I am standing in the middle of the desert and people are slipping through my fingers like dry sand. I am sweating and I look up to see that the fan isn’t on. I hate mornings. They are quiet, distance burning in the air when I walk into the dining room, looking for breakfast. She pushes a bowl of soggy cornflakes in cold milk into my hand and goes off to lie down on the bed.


She is a heap of crushed medicines. She cries every day and burns the food. She regrets. He is alone, wasting time trying to read the newspaper. He regrets. When I finish my bowl, they start again. As another night draws closer and closer, I silently cry to sleep, the pillow dampened and heavy with my grief. The air of the house burns with love and pain. They are not the love, that marriage is supposed to offer everyone. They were a compromise to veil their inner turmoil and broken hearts. For years they have been taking jaded, afraid and unrelenting breaths, taking in the air that connects us all in our existence. The time and space weaves us in a celestial blip that I can't escape, ever.

Yet, there’s this cruel predicament gnawing at my heart making the nothingness swirl inside me. Is this love? When they look at each other, they don’t find each other; they see themselves. Is this love? I have seen them smile often, occasionally even laugh with each other and I have felt a pain in my chest for I know, of all the people, the sadness lurking inside our home, the neglect in each atom. Yet, they love, perhaps not each other but an idea that they could be, but never will. And I thrive, co-exist with them, and keep living. Sometimes, the only way is to carry on living.


Moinak Dutta

Moinak is a published poet and fiction writer and a teacher.Got two literary and romantic fictions to his credit namely ‘Online@offline’ and ‘In search of la radice’. His third fiction is going to be published soon. He loves to travel and to donature photography. Interested in creating video poetry or poetry films. His debut video poetry / poetry film ‘I think I love twilight’ already got accepted in Lift Off film festivals across the globe and got enlisted in some others too. He lives in Kolkata, India with his wife, son and a pet dog. Social media : www.facebook.com/moinakdutta www.instagram.com/moinakdutta www.twitter.com/moinakdutta

Ramyani Bhattacharya Oreva-Oghene

Ramyani Bhattacharya is a student from Kolkata, India

Oreva-Oghene Isaac Oyibojabor is a young poet and a 3rd Year student of Ambrose Alli University, Edo State, Nigeria where he's currently studying for a degree in Law. He is of Delta State .origin,but was born and brought up in Benin City where he lives and writes from

Ronald Tuhin D'Rozario writes from Calcutta, India.

Abhinita Mohanty Abhinita Mohanty is a 30 years old Research Scholar, Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT, Madras. She hails from Odisha, Bhubaneswar. Favourite Authors/Poets: Oscar Wilde, John Keats, Sylvia Plath, R.K. Narayan, Khaled Hosseini, Adichie. Zadie Smith, Jhumpa Lahiri. Why do she write? She has asked this question to herself multiple times. She has not got any coherent answer, except that she is happiest when she writes and she does not know anything else to do. She has this one skill that she loves and she does not know what else to do if she doesn’t write. She can't help it! Perhaps for her, words are better instruments of expression than the voice, oratory skills or the eyes! Her works have been published in Ayaskala Mag (Forthcoming), New Asian Writing, Green Ink Poetry, Ponder Savant, Punch Magazine and few others

Bethan Rees

Priyanka Srivastava

PriyankaSrivastava is a writer based in Singapore, her poems are often about her life in India and Singapore. When she is not lost in words, she loves to read specially non fiction books. She also loves to play with colours.

Ronald Tuhin D'Rozario

Bethan Rees lives in Swindon, Wiltshire and has appeared in Fly on the Wall, Atrium, Persephone's Daughters, Domestic Cherry, Amaryllis and Three Drops Press. She currently studies MSc Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes, runs Wellbeing Writing groups and can be found sharing wellbeing work on: www.safeandsoundpress.com

Kiran Bhat Kiran Bhat is a global citizen formed in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, to parents from Southern Karnataka, in India. He has currently traveled to over 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. He is primarily known as the author of we of the forsaken world... (Iguana Books, 2020), but he has authored books in four foreign languages, and has had his writing published in many places. His list of homes is vast, but his heart and spirit always remains in Mumbai, somehow. He currently lives in Melbourne. You can find him on @Weltgeist Kiran.


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