An Interview…





This is written in Quran,
That is written in Geeta,
In the name of God,
They have interpreted it well,
Follow, or hell awaits

Long beards, white robes,
Bald heads, saffron robes,
Trying, Manipulating,
To control lengths of skirts
To dictate what girls wear

Love! Before marriage!
Intercaste! How dare she?
Ruined our family name!
Kill both, Save our honour
What all these youngsters make us do!

Women are different,
Vulnerable, Weaker,
Control them, Hide them
Marry them off,
They need to be saved

A voice arises,
“The one capable of giving birth
Can she be really weak?”
They crush it though
You youngsters and your questions!

She was raped! What was she wearing?
Spaghetti top! Revealing Dress!
Bitch! She was asking for it…
“Would it matter if she wore a sari, burkha?”
You youngsters and your questions!

An unmarried couple on a bike,
Evil, Evil, This is the age of evil…
“Is there a greater evil
Than one that seeks power over free mind?”
You youngsters and your questions!

– Samir Satam

A Book Review on ‘Love begins in Winter’ by Simon Van Booy


Love begins in Winter


I began to love this book, even though winter is far away… Ironically, Bombay (Mumbai), the city I reside in, doesn’t actually have an elaborate winter season. Winter here is similar to European summer. But love somehow manages to visit and leave me from time to time. Let me focus on the object of my literary love at the moment.

Love begins in Winter

In the book ‘Love begins in winter’, the season is a metaphor for the state of mind of its protagonists. Love finds two strangers in the midst of their blues.

Rarely has text induced goose bumps on my rigid skin… ‘Love begins in winter’ managed to do just that. A short simple story where the moody poetic writing style makes the story special. At the very start of the book, the protagonist is playing his cello to the audience. Simon Van Booy elaborates that single line in such a way that the reader can actually feel every emotion the protagonist feels while playing his music. Nothing much happens in the book in terms of a plot and yet so much keeps playing on minds of the characters that it doesn’t matter whether there is a plot or not. This is one of the rare love stories that touch the reader with it’s raw emotional power without being melodramatic.

Love begins in Winter is one of the five books in this series of stories by Simon Van Booy

Some of the gems from the book:

Grief is a country where it rains and rains but nothing grows.

Music is what language once aspired to be.

The only authentic memories find us—like letters addressed to someone we used to be.

Music, paintings, sculptures, and books of the world are mirrors in which people see versions of themselves.

Music helps us understand where we have come from but, more importantly, what has happened to us.


Searching for romanticism that songs and literature about the city had fed him, he walked the streets with his DSLR in one hand and a backpack on another shoulder. He would suddenly stop, kneel on a knee, click, move ahead, slouch, click, click… Beggars, stray dogs, passing strangers, fish seller women, lovers in a corner, sly men stealing a look at young girls, hawkers, book sellers by the sidewalk. The camera looked, captured all it could in its belly while the photographer walked lost in the pursuit of a perfect shot.
Each time he found a frame, he would think, ‘This is it, my shot of the day’ but then it wouldn’t be enough. His hunger of his mind kept increasing to match up with the camera’s thirst. Both couldn’t get their fill.They gobbled up all they could, the colors or the lack of them, ripples of the ocean, rough texture of roads, intoxicated lights as night came along. Then he realized, he hadn’t eaten and that just like his camera, he had a stomach to fill too. In one corner was a little stall manned by a teen age boy, crowded by people of all ages and genders. The boy was selling wadaa paav (spicy fried potato balls stuffed in buns). The photographer pointed his camera, zoomed on the eatables being handed over and let the camera savor the piping hot wada paavs,the delicious smoke that rose from the large iron kadhaai, the oil that bubbled up to give birth to more wadaas. That’s it, he thought and moved on forgetting all about the juices of hunger that continued to fill up his belly. Click Click Click…
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