When one of our staff members, suggested “Local Flavour”, we weren’t sold on the idea. In our initial discussions, we felt that as a theme, it had almost one too many connotations, too many blurry boundaries, ideas whose beginning and ending could not be scaled. It took us time to realize the necessity of such a quality, of having a theme that did not guide writers towards some singular reality, but encouraged them to investigate the cracks, the subtleties, all the objects and thoughts and beings that exist in the shadows of things.
We had freedom to move beyond simple negotiations of everyday existence, and perhaps pose questions that not only asked writers to introspect about that which grounds them, but also to trace those roots, the parts of their identity which fixes them almost like nails in the walls. It was this essence of the “local” – local as ever-present, local as almost absent in its ceaseless, continuous presence – this contradictory sense of the word which we wished to explore, and give breath to. The local, in a way, could be anything the heart calls home to, in its obstinate, stubborn manner. This issue, then, has allowed us to go beyond the box when compared to the what has come before – not because it gave the contributors and the staff to indulge in something new, but because it allowed conversation between ideas which may otherwise seem disparate. It almost tied them all together with a rugged brown string.
We have tried to compile an issue that was also synchronous with our mission to publish work “that is daring, meandering the space between the unsaid and unwritten”. David Mathew highlights the absurdities of the New Delhi Railway Station while Thliring Daulaguphu reminisces about the past, dwelling upon the memories of home and elsewhere. Kanika Ahuja looks at Delhi from a fresh perspective in her poetry giving rise to startling imagery while Purnima Singh tackles belongingness and being misunderstood. Sukriti Vats examines Fincher’s Fight Club as a discourse on what does it mean to be a (Hu)man in this day and age while Premtosh Kar elucidates some of our struggles and conflicts as modern human beings in a fast paced world.
With the interviews too, we wanted to feature writers and poets whose oeuvre plays with our conception of local flavour. Tishani Doshi transcribes instances of transformation, narrating the lives of individuals who occupy liminal territories while Sumana Roy examines the complexity of modern relationships and how human life intersects with the natural world. We hope the interviews provide insights into their worldly negotiations, their relationship with the craft, and how they view creative writing courses.
We have tried putting together a selection of works which negotiate individual as well as collective relationships with the spaces that we occupy in the hope that it proves to be a yet another singular offering of literary musings. And while you enjoy the pieces published herein, we will keep our gaze fixed firmly towards the future, to new issues and newer ideas.