The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Book Essay: Literary and Religious Practices in Medieval and Early Modern India

By Raziuddin Aquil and David L. Curley
The essays in our co-edited volume, Literary and Religious Practices in Medieval and Early Modern India, deal with the composition and reception of symbolic representations, and with social practices in literature and religion. In them, we have many opportunities to think about writing practices and literary genres in relation to religious boundaries and identities – whether multiple, dual or exclusive.


Short Story: Relieved

By Tapan Mozumdar
Ten minutes later, Neera came out of that ramshackle home nourished with a glass of buttermilk on the matriarch’s insistence. Notwithstanding the slippery bathroom that was offered to her after flushing it with a bucket of water, she was relieved of the pressure on her bladder and years of prejudices.

March 16: The Blackest Day in Kashmir History

By Mohammad Ashraf Khwaja
Be it the shrill reminder of 1947 Jammu massacre (read genocide) by Dogra forces or the BJP state legislator Chowdhary Lal Singh’s public support to the rapist of 8-year-old poor nomad girl, Asifa, or the mood to declare Hari Singh’s birthday a state holiday, March 16th behaves like an intimidating djinn that fails exorcism.

Book Review: Volga’s ‘The Liberation of Sita’

By Paromita Sengupta
Volga presents Sita through five short narratives, in four of which she is shown encountering “marginal/minor” women characters of the Ramayana, and each encounter is enriching for both Sita and the respective characters who are Surpanakha, Ahalya, Renuka, and Urmila. The fifth and final narrative features Rama.

A conversation with author, Ampat Koshy

By Santosh Bakaya
I grew up believing in the power of writing and of the word. Connected to this was my idea of the muse, of being inspired and the effect of Romantic poetry in writing what I feel when I feel intensely. The haunting nature, the lingering effect, and the sadness that readers come across, the melancholia if you will, in my works is clearly because of what I spoke of earlier.

Three Poems

By Linda Ashok
I have been busy complimenting 
strangers on the footpath
and proposing to store-keepers
how poetry can really glam up
their interiors.

Book Review: Neyaz Farooquee’s ‘An Ordinary Man’s Guide to Radicalism: Growing up Muslim in India’

By Fahad Hashmi
Neyaz Farooquee’s memoir, An Ordinary Man’s Guide to Radicalism: Growing up Muslim in India, unravels the tattered, bruised, and anguished conscience of a young Muslim boy who lives in the vicinity of Batla House in Okhla, which shoots into infamy following a police ‘encounter’ that takes place in the area as the cops try to flush out suspected terrorists holed up in a flat.