Spark – January 2015, 5th Anniversary Issue

It’s with a sort of dazed excitement that we’re writing this letter to you, readers! We simply can’t believe we’re turning five! We have had a roller coaster ride thinking of themes every month, working with our lovely contributors, reading, enjoying and discussing their contributions with them, and finally managing to put out every issue on the fifth of the month! Thank you, dearest readers of Spark, for your support through all these years. We grow stronger with every view, every share and every comment from you. We look forward to giving you many more issues of Spark in the coming years!


Pallavi gets a new set of teeth, and with that, a renewed vigour to bite… anything. A thriller is in store for you from Priya Anand, under the theme ‘Mystery & Crime’.

In Berlin

What magic do big cities hold for a budding traveller? Vani Viswanathan talks about why Berlin held her enthralled, dripping with history in its nooks and corners, under the theme ‘Travel’.

The Missing Amulet

A family is in constant search for a missing amulet belonging to an old man. With every passing day, while the mystery of the amulet remains unsolved, the family pursues the search unrelentingly, pushed by an underlying motive. Parth Pandya writes a poem on the theme, ‘Mystery & Crime’.

The Land and its People

Madhu Narasimhan captures the spirit of the people of a land that defines their cultural ethos, through his photo feature on the theme ‘History & Culture’.

It Gets a Million ‘Wows’ a Year

Visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa was more than a tourist’s delight; it leads one to think about science and the times we live in, writes Subbaram Danda, under the theme ‘Travel’.

The Plimsoll Line

The captain of a ship shares the different kinds of load that his ship carries and how the Plimsoll Line is the magic code that he has to follow. Bakul Banerjee writes a poem on the all important line under the theme ‘Science’.

The Wrong Burrow

Oscar the rabbit has been jailed for digging “against the course of nature” and is sentenced to trial. Harman Mavi tells Oscar’s story with strong parallels to the Indian judicial debate around Section 377 under the theme ‘History & Culture’.

Stuck between Languages

Can language be a barrier for someone who’s in love? Poornima Laxmeshwar presents her perspective through a poem on the theme ‘Love & Friendship’.

When Mountains Flow – the Songs of Dylan and Deborah

What links Bob Dylan, prophetess Deborah and the study of liquids that don’t really flow? Jeevanjyoti Chakraborty, Spark’s in-house scientist, provides the answers in this piece under the theme ‘Science’!

Butterfly Effect

A man listening to music suddenly travels back in time – to the memory of a butterfly that he had chased as a young man. M. Mohankumar’s poem on the theme ‘Travel’, is about travel of a different kind.

The Designer

Natasha Gayari tells about the workings of the mind of a young woman as she sits through a project meeting with her team that includes a man whom she is surprisingly drawn to. The Designer is a story on the theme ‘Love & Friendship’, highlighting a strange kind of attraction.

Epitaph For 132

Nothing can be more shatteringly painful and shocking for humanity than witnessing its young minds become victims of bullets fired with hate. Vinita Agrawal shares her shock through a poem on the theme ‘Mystery & Crime’.

A Traveller’s Diary

What would a reader of a traveller’s diary seek to know from its pages? What would its pages say? Debleena Roy pens her thoughts in a poem under the theme ‘Travel’.

During the Downpour

An Indian, an Afghani and a Bosnian find themselves sitting together in a Sydney gym the afternoon of the hostage attack in the city in December 2014. The conversation that ensues compels each woman to dig into her own past. Preeti Madhusudhan describes the conversation, under the theme ‘History & Culture’.

For You, Science’s Blessed Child

Anupama Krishnakumar tells the story of two classmates for the theme ‘Science’– one who is absolutely in love with Science and the other who lives in fear of Science.

Make a Move & Other Poems

From unconfessed love to falling in love with someone’s nose, this universal emotion has many dimensions. Aman Chougle captures some of these through his poems under the theme ‘Love & Friendship’.

An Application

An erstwhile top-notch detective has now begun teaching at a university, after he fails to solve a serial murder case. When looking for a Professor of Criminology for his department, he receives an interesting application. Debleena Roy tells the story under the theme ‘Mystery & Crime’.

Durga Puja

Ashok Niyogi writes about the drum beaters, or the dhakis, who play the dhak, a large drum, during the Durga Puja. The poem is based on the theme, ‘History & Culture’.