What is this thing called love? wrote Cole Porter. Indeed various people might, at various points of time have raised the question. Some others might have asked, disappointed, ‘What? Is this thing called love?’ or puzzled, ‘What is this thing called? Love?’ Whatever form it may take, few will deny that love is as necessary to life as air. And since this issue coincides with the all too brief ‘Indian Spring’, we sent out to our writers for love stories.
The popular notion of love nowadays is a precariously balanced affair conducted via cellphones, and walls and apps and what-not… one would think love is no longer possible without technology! But there was a simplicity to the love stories of our grandparents’ time and In Those Days tells of one such love-at-first-sight story whose course, needless to say, does not run smooth… the partition divided our country and separated lives, but An Inconvenient Arrangement is the story of a coming together occasioned by the partition. That there are unimaginably marginal lives that linger on in the world solely on account of having someone to love is brought out beautifully in Still Life. How does Simrit, whose secret love that starts off as a flutter in the stomach and goes on to be quite The Stomach Ache, deal with it? Someone to Call Home is the story of those who wander far away in search of where they belong, and those who wait for them to return.
Among the essays, an Air Force Officer reminisces about a colourful journey to Namibia, a young writer is arrested by the unique verses of 11th century mystic poet Mahadeviyakka, and a globe-trotting researcher finds his camera straying to the symbols communities create to reflect their worlds.
Jerry Pinto, who recently won The Hindu Literary Prize for his first novel, Em and the Big Hoom discusses the book and much more.
Hope you enjoy the issue. Happy reading.