Jul-Aug 2013

We look forward to the monsoon with great anticipation every year. This year, the advent of the rains has seen disaster overtake some parts of the country, which is not only tragic but also a terrible reminder of how vulnerable we ultimately are in the face of nature’s fury. Those of us experiencing only the munificence of this monsoon must be doubly grateful.

This new issue of Reading Hour brings you some interesting write-ups. Stuti Das takes on a serious topic: gender identity. G Karunakar, who has undertaken solo journeys to a hundred countries, writes about his visit to Bali, Indonesia. Roopina Coutinho worked in London before moving to New York – she negotiates the culture shock with humour and optimism and shares her diary with us.

Suneetha Balakrishnan interviews talented poet-novelist Anjum Hasan, on her writing and forthcoming work.

The stories within are wide-ranging, as they usually are. So we begin with a story about a goose, set in Kerala. We then move to the Punjab, and the travails of a mother who searches for a missing son. From there we are back in south India again, with a woman on her deathbed, wondering when the final hour will strike and who will call it. A dysfunctional family and a canny mother cat make their appearance next, followed by a girl, too attractive, in the room of a young man in Delhi. Then there is old Inambhai who tells children stories with happy endings. We also feature a translation from Hindi, of the story of a retired civil servant who is obliged to stay with his bureaucrat son, in spite of their ideological differences.

There are several poems that we’re sure you will enjoy.

So, like the busy executive on the cover who picks up his book and escapes out of his office window, to float away on a raincloud, we invite you to enjoy a reading hour too.


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