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Spark – August 2015 Issue

This August, we return to one of our favourite topics on Spark – Indianness. A wonderful mix of poetry, fiction and non-fiction that touches upon the various colours, emotions and characteristics of India awaits you! And when we talk India and its ambitions, how can we miss the wonderful Dr. Kalam – read our tribute to the man who shaped thoughts and ignited the minds of thousands of India’s children. We hope you enjoy the eclectic mix of thoughts and stories that this issue holds.

Shanti

Shanti is unhappy because a poetic note that he writes questioning a certain police action is met with indifference. M. Mohankumar writes a poem on the bureaucracy in India.

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam – A Rare Hero

Bhargavi Chandrasekharan pays a tribute to the man who led by example, to the President who listened to his conscience and to a visionary who inspired a generation of Indians to dream beyond the skies.

The White Ambassador

A young boy and his mother are mesmerised by the new Ambassador their neighbour has purchased. Set at a time when cars were still an unaffordable luxury for many, Himangshu’s story recounts the average hypocritical Indian.

The Boundaries of Hunger

Selvi lives in a slum and works as a cleaner in a posh-looking construction company. Preeti Madhusudhan captures a day in the life of Selvi in a story that throws light on the dark corners of a booming India, where shiny, glass buildings stand in sharp contrast to heart-wrenching poverty. A work of fiction that brings two contradictory shades of Indianness to the fore.

Sher-e-Punjab Since 1952

Saranyan’s poem is about a man, a loner seeking company. He is unable to connect with anyone except objects. In verse that captures the mood and settings of an Indian dhaba, we get a glimpse of a darker side to Indianness.

Diwali Bonus

Shantamma, the house help, dreams of a good Diwali bonus from the houses that she works at, and through a stroke of serendipity, she gets extra lucky this year.

The Hunger Games: An Indian Parent’s Challenge

It’s not an uncommon sight to see an Indian parent running behind her child in a bid to feed the kid a few morsels of food. Parth Pandya offers a humourous take on this amusing aspect of Indian parenting.

The Life and Ambitions of Muthu

Nandagopal’s poem offers a peek into the life of an Indian citizen, Muthu, a straight talker who believes that as far as his life is concerned, he has done well by Indian standards.

Typecaste

On two separate visits to Tenali in Andhra Pradesh, a young man comes face-to-face with inconvenient truths that still define India. Pravin Vemuri tells the story.

The Telegram for “Kottadakka” – A Requiem

Parameswaran Krishna fondly narrates the discussion he had with KP Balakrishnan, who served in the Indian postal department in the sixties. He delightfully shares some exciting stories about the Telegram, which has now become a thing of the past.

The Aftermath of a Riot

Riots are black marks on the history of a country – the potholes on its road to success. But the human spirit is the saving grace. Rajlakshmi Pillai pens a poem on two dimensions of Indianness in the aftermath of a riot.