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Spark – August 2016 Issue

It’s August and as always, we return to our favourite theme “India Decoded” in this issue. Gear up for a variety of interesting ideas and thoughts on India, presented through an exciting line-up of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and photography! From chicken biryani to Bangalore traffic to the practice of employing maids to mysticism, this issue is a delectable mix of the puzzle that India is! We do hope you like this “Independence Day” special edition! Do let us know what you thought of it!

Carnatic Music’s Sources of Rapture

Suresh Subrahmanyan attempts to arrive at some conclusions as to whether it is the performer or the divinely inspired compositions that tip the scales, one way or the other, when it comes to appreciating the relatively arcane art of Carnatic music – a quandary that has engaged the attention of music lovers over time.

Rama Comes Home

The two great epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata are an indispensable part of the Indian cultural fabric. This poem is Vaishnavi’s take on a small part of the Ramayana that has emotionally resounded with her over the years: Rama coming home to his kingdom after his fourteen year fast and the Lankan war. This piece was born out of wondering and imagining how joyful that momentous occasion could have been.

Sulu’s Biryani

‘Mother’s food’ is the most romanticised small talk topic for urban India. But behind such stories there is politics of unacknowledged domestic labour and care work. Jenny Sulfath narrates the politics of her mother’s biryani.

Days in Delhi

Delhi has a startling variety in the people and moments it includes within its large folds. Varun Raj’s photographs capture some of these from several localities of Delhi.

Ogres and Erstwhile Princely States

What do Shrek and Junagadh have in common? Layers. Beneath the dust and neglect today, lies a city with a rich tapestry of history and architecture spanning the ancient to the modern times. Priyadarshini D explores the sights and sounds of Junagadh that greeted her over one afternoon, leaving her hungry for more.

The Men from Kanpur

Abhay and Gaurav, two men far from their comfort zones, realise they live in two different Indias.

Transcendence

The oriental view of India has been that of a land of mysteries and mystics. This poem by Parminder Singh takes one into the world of mysticism where the lines between the spiritual and the material vanish, giving a glimpse of the transcendental experience lived by the narrator.

The Great Indian Road Trick

Parth Pandya, a ‘foreign return’, is befuddled with driving on Indian roads. 

Equations

Maids are an indispensable part of the Indian household. Anupama Krishnakumar’s story is about the equation a woman has shared with two maids at two different points in her life.

Tiger Dancing

Rishitha Shetty writes a poem about Tiger Dancing, an important and much-celebrated tradition of coastal Karnataka.

 The Fleeting Meetings

Childhood is a time of exploration and coming to terms with adults’ norms. Anita N S writes a story that describes a child navigating the confusions of Indian society that both accepts and rejects a certain group of people.