A Clear Blue Sky (Stories and Poems on Conflict and Hope)

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Item Code: IHL285
Author: N.R. Narayana Murthy
Publisher: Puffin Books
Edition: 2010
ISBN: 9780143331414
Pages: 120
Cover: Paperback
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Other Details 7.8 Inch X 5.1 Inch
Foreword

Youth is about dreaming, daring, new ideas, energy, confidence and enthusiasm. You have a lot more stake in the future than me. I believe that unless we leverage the power of youth, it is difficult to do extraordinary things. You can build a brighter and a better tomorrow with your vision, hard work and the will to make a difference.

On the way, you will witness the dark side of human behaviour. You will see this through the curious eyes of Mubina, the bewilderment of Kamala and the despair of nine-year-old Faraz, in this book. I would urge you to reflect upon these stories and poems. I hope you will then appreciate the need for compassion, tolerance and understanding.

Traditions, religious or otherwise, have always called upon us to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Simply put, that is compassion. Yet we are shocked into reality when we see the various faces of discrimination around us. You will see it in the shadow of the poor maid or the desperation of Chinappa, who cannot offer his prayers to the idol he has created. I hope you will change this and treat everybody with dignity, equity and respect. Then you may reflect upon the tragic life of Selva, the planter’s son. You will realize that our world and lives may become what we would not want it to be. I hope you will see the need for courage, determination, optimism, faith, hope, humility and confidence. Every one of you has them in ample measure. Don’t let them lie dormant. Use them to realize your dreams and the dreams of our future generations.

A Clear Blue Slay: Stories and Poems on Conflict and Hope is the creation of many knowledgeable and respected authors. I believe this is their thoughtful gift to you. With heartfelt affection.

Back of the Book

26/26, 9/11, 7/7-dates that have changed the way we see ourselves and those around us. Dates that have changed the world, and not for the better.

Why is the world getting increasingly fragmented? Is there a way for us to understand different viewpoints better? In this collection, writers from India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan-Gulzar, Elmo Jayawardena, Manjula Padmanabhan, Poile Sengupta, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, Subhadra Sen Gupta and others-write about various kinds of conflict in our society and history. Some stories are dark, others full of light and hope, and some outright funny as they portray mindless bigots for what they are. When a church burns in Bangalore, the alter cloth ends up in the hands of Mubina, whose grandmother can clean and repair it like no one else; years after the Partition tore a friendship apart, two people try to find the happiness that was once within their reach; and while chasing away courting couples from the Delhi Ridge, a young thug learns a lesion about what really makes India ‘culture’.

Interspersed with poems that articulate pleas for peace and understanding, this collection is sure to start a conversation on religion, race, caste, and mindsets that divide us.

CONTENTS

Foreword by N.R. Narayana Murthy vii
A Time to Mend
Asha Nehemiah
1
The Growing Pangs of Nine-year-old Faraz
Gulzar
10
The New Game
Paro Anand
12
Friends Forever
Bulbul Sharma
18
The Answer
Rohini Chowdhury
27
Turban for a Little Boy
Adithi Rao
36
The Amulet
Komail Aijazuddin
41
Oranges
Poile Sengupta
56
Skin
Manjula Padmanabhan
65
Tryst with Destiny
Ranjit Lal
75
Making Stones Dance
Subhadra Sen Gupta
83
For God’s Sake
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi
96
A Clear Blue Sky
Elmo Jayawardena
99
Singing Across Borders
Anasuya Sengupta
107
Notes on Contributors 108

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