Our Private Literature - Road - Volume II, Issue II

For roads, it’s to connect. Connect man to man, culturally through exchange or even through assimilation; commercially, through occupation of viable means like ‘give and take’ or even through exploration, as new vistas; and sometimes through individual locus. But there are some roads that never connect. In fact, these roads do not exist to connect. Such roads create divisions by promoting a marked geographical entity rather than creating a homogenizing parley of different communities.

So at times, we need to deglamorise these connecting Roads and delimit its extent as mere link between two destinations. There is no denying the fact that the roads indeed help foster relationship, connectivity, trade and commerce amongst different groups of people. But with the growing insecurity to the existence of nation-states, the very purpose of road has also been altered dramatically. The main reason for laying a new road to a distant corner of the country is more of a strategic deployment in the name of security, rather than reaching out. And in the process, the demographic structure of the area is altered conveniently to meet the desire result of building a nation. Further, it invariably translates the exchange of cultures and ideas into a chaotic rhythm without appreciation. Tussles over the safeguarding of cultural identity lead to the malaise of resentment over liberal compromise. Societies/groups that are at the receiving end of this expanse will slowly but surely go out of existence.

We tried not to use the word “Road” as a theme. But sometimes, it’s not possible not to give names to certain things! We opted for it, because of the veracity it carries for a word. We are also aware of the politics it carries within it. In this edition, we try to understand the very concept of road through all sorts of medium.

The poems in the current theme are in one way or the other ‘connected’ to the theme of ‘Road’. Some also talk about the suffering of people when the ‘connection’ is brutally cut off as was seen during the Economic Blockade. The article “Reflecting about roads and not so much about the Chicken: Making sense of roads in India’s North East” by Ram Wangkheirakpam gives us an in depth analysis of different kinds of roads and problematizes its implication in the NE (North East) region of India in general and Manipur in particular. Haiku, which is one of our most popular sections, comprise a plethora of themes inspired from our daily life.

Roads now are as much about inaccessibility, about profound lost as much as it is about communication and accessibility. They have seen a play out of struggles of various kinds. Each crater marked road whose tar fades away somewhere has seen the markings of pain, starvation and somewhere a dead end. We look forward to suggestions and inputs from you all.


Highway heroes
A Home on the Road
In the land of Worshippers
Walk our Walk
Operation summer storm!!
Monsoon Blues
Reflecting about roads and not
so much about the Chicken (article)
END (visual)
Freedom Street (visual)
Modern Parasite’s Artery (visual)

No comments:

Post a Comment