Excerpts from Jaggery Literary Magazine, Issue 4

Fall 2014

The Journey Home by Nabill Idrisi

Somewhere on the N4 Intercity Highway, between Dhaka and the Brahmaputra River

15 August 2012, 01:12

I had to shut my eyes. Our car was racing against huge diesel trucks, vying for space on the narrow, bumpy road that didn’t even seem to fit the width of two sedans. The prospect of hitting another vehicle in the night’s darkness filled me with fear. Even though I was with my Khalamoni and my Nani, Ammu’s cautionary words from Florida rang in my head: Abbu, don’t go. Are you sure you want to go? You don’t know what the roads are like. It’s not like here.

I hadn’t been worried. I had come to Bangladesh this year after a long gap of seven years, determined to spend time with my ailing grandmother, and I wasn’t going to miss this chance…

Sly Smile by Gethsemane Herron

Part I

Let us talk about the willing blindness.
There are children
Eating where pigs shit,
Shitting so pigs may eat/

“The gaze fixed straight is for their privacy!”
You! Black girl
W/ (Blue Passport, Gold Eagle.)

Do not forget that your people too
dark; fringe worthy.
That you got aunties steeping
in lightness cream,
like a vegan milk to a dense chai…

Malavika Rajnarayan 

Why It Often Rains in the Movies by Anil Menon

Dear Chitra-ji, I’m married to a kind and loving man. We are the parents of a two-year-old girl. Last year, just after Dussehra, my husband’s body was taken over by the soul of some other man. Everything’s the same, but I know he isn’t my husband. I’m afraid to tell anyone because they’ll take my daughter from me and lock me up. You’re the only person I can trust. Please advise.

“Medical?” asked Chitra.

“Hard to say.” I leaned forward to return the letter. “Could be a case of Capgras delusion. It’s rare. But she’s looking for confirmation, not a diagnosis.”

“Yes, I know.” Chitra sighed, fingers poised over the keyboard…

Fragments of Riversong by Farah Ghuznavi

Reviewed by Susmita Bhattacharya’

Indeed, Farah Ghuznavi’s collection of short stories is an opportunity to journey to Bangladesh, to live alongside the characters and share their dreams, aspirations and fears.

Ghuznavi’s job as a development worker in areas such as political participation, microcredit loans for the poor, adult education for women and human rights for organisations that included British NGO Christian Aid, Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, and the United Nations, has inspired her to write about the themes dealt with in her stories…

For Submission Guidelines visit http://jaggerylit.com/about/submission-guidelines/

Excerpts from DesiLit Magazine Issue #6

Martha by Janice Goveas
When she was turning four, I asked her if she was sure she was ready to sleep in her own bed. She responded with a sidelong glance and a tolerant toss of her head. “I’ve done it before, Mama.” Then she saw the look in my eyes that she will someday recognize as the pain of a tearing umbilical cord, and she relented. “But I promise I’ll go back to your bed if the monsters come back under mine.” She stuttered a little back then, and in the year since has learned to slow down her speech so that her mouth can keep up with her language, which is much older than her years. She wears gold butterflies in her ears, has learned a near-perfect plié in dance class; bestows equal adoration on Barbie, Dora and Spiderman; and when I blast the music of the Gypsy Kings through our apartment, she swings her hips with me as we go about our day…

The Fruit Basket by Sumita Lall

Divi was tired of American prospects.

There was something perverse about the way Amit tossed around his “Absolutely!”, a term that had itself become obscene in recent years, excessively dropped in mundane references to the weather—”Nice day.” “Absolutely!”—and touted as a penultimate expression of enthusiasm, an American obsession with false assurances that the world could no longer tolerate or patrol.

It was clear to her that this man possessed enthusiasm neither for the weather nor for both their parents’ desperate pleas that they indulge this collective fantasy of border-crossed romance. In fact, the latest venture involved her family’s trip to Detroit for the delivery of a gift to Amit’s family, a kind of apology for Divi’s shunning of this shining candidate a year ago…

Because I have my mother’s heels by Maryam Afam

Jannah (Paradise) is under a mother’s feet

—Saying of the Prophet Muhammad

And I wonder

what have I done

to deserve my mother’s heels

besides not moisturize my feet


I did not push five babies out of my body

raise them to adulthood

I never stood in kitchens…