Dr. Usha Bande
Volume 1, Issue 2, p. 1
Inner Music of Words
“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music the words make.” -Truman Capote.
As I write this, the World Book Fair, New Delhi, 2019 winds up, having hosted many book launches by new writers, panels of talented writers, and reading sessions. The “Author’s Corners” were agog with activity all through and the ambience was one of cheer, with buyers crowding the stalls and walking loaded with their precious bundles. The flow of people, the eagerness of children and young buyers, and the atmosphere charged with enthusiasm was so striking that I was sure that there is much to celebrate the book culture, despite the electronic media and other modes like Kindle snatching away the readers. Book lovers are still aplenty; as I heard a young Creative Director quip, “There is nothing like the feel and touch of a book and the heady smell of paper. I would not barter it for any reading gadget.” Yes, the magic and music of the written word will never die.
So, with a toast to the printed word, I start this editorial with redoubled zeal!
In placing the second issue of Penmanship Personified in the readers’ hands we, the members of the editorial team, are both excited and nervous. Excited, because Penmanship Personified has taken its second “baby step” with confidence; nervous because the test of every literary effort lies in its reception from the readers and their continued support. The response to the first issue was encouraging. A write-up from Shri S.N. Joshi’s pen (which matters a lot) has been reproduced in this issue with due permission from the author, for the benefit of the readers.
Literature is a tradition by itself which needs innovation, originality, independent thinking, and the courage to voice one’s thoughts. Those who are afraid of social or familial censure or ridicule cannot venture into this field. The ability to create something new has always been upheld as the defining sign of genius. India has a long literary tradition; but then what is tradition? It is but an abstraction created out of a series of innovative ideas. Young writers of today are heirs to many traditions which include global besides regional and national; they need to combine them to suit their expressive requirements, and imagination.
While going through the submissions for this issue we came across many interesting pieces displaying creative thinking and writing skills. But what we discovered was a little discouraging; most of the stories portrayed negativity, crime, weird and paranormal settings and boy-meets-girl themes. Granted that life is made up of all these aspects but then these are not the only facets of life. There are good Samaritans, happy people, peeping Toms, and Quixotic characters – an assortment to choose from. If there is anger, there is acquiescence also; if there is violence and hate, there are lovely, caring people around to mitigate the suffering. Our aim is to make PP a scintillating magazine with life’s realities that are both bright and dark. So we urge our writers and readers to pick up something delightful, humorous, playful and meaningful too.
From this issue onwards one translated story from a different region/language would be included in every issue. This issue contains a Marathi story “Butterfly”. It is woven around a common, everyday experience but the writer’s art has turned it into a moving story with solid sensibility; she has opened a vast world of social disparity, the power of love, the psychology of a deprived child, and much more. Such stories will give our writers an opportunity to peep into various aspects of the society/social psyche.
We have started Poetry section on popular demand and we earnestly hope our readers enjoy it.
PP is pleased to publish Vibhuti Gupta Agarwal’s review of Mind, Life, and Reflections by Payal Jain, a book launched at the Book Fair on 5 January, 2019 with great fanfare.
We are up and about to make our magazine sought after for its variety and lively presentations. PP will stand by its commitment to a more balanced and equitable literary discourse. So, watch out for more announcements in future issues.
Finally, from the entire team of PP we wish you a Happy New Year 2019 and a happy reading experience.
Dr. Usha Bande, till recently Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla and also Visiting Professor at Vishwa Bharati University, Shanti Niketan (WB), was on the faculty of English Literature in Govt. College for Women, Shimla. She retired as the Principal Govt. College,Arki, HP. A regular contributor to The Tribune, Alive, Women's Era, Times of India, Indian Express, and many other newspapers and magazines, she has numerous research papers and more than a dozen books to her credit.