Cover by Gaurav Ogale
From the Editor
I have been thinking about the act of living in a place and time. New York, in the fall, pools with light. The trees are bared and through the windows of my apartment, the light cracks in vast and empty. I have been watching it fall in spots and speckles over this vertical city and wondering how I might remember this, this being here, now. The present seems impossible: so much of life is spent memorialising, a pickling of things grabbed freshly from the branches, that already the now has vanished.
How might we have it? Perhaps, memory can offer us a way of holding ourselves in a place. This is the thread that runs through this issue – a reckoning with where we are, and who we might be, as we look back. Through intimate pairings of short stories, personal and visual essays, this issue considers what remembering means for the individual, the family, the State. In doing so, they recover memories from the (short) deep time of a life, bringing them again to the forefront, where they can move us.
In this final issue of the year, we are grateful to the artists, both returning and new, who have contributed with such generosity to our digital magazine, much of which has been crafted painstakingly by hand, including this issue’s gorgeous cover. Thank you for holding the door to these rare moments of illumination, and thank you, for coming in.
The windows at Alina’s uncle’s house curved inward, and pools of light collected in strange shapes on the wooden floor. If she tilted her head and squinted, the shadows looked like a hive of angry bees. “Look,” she told her cousin, “it’s kind of like bees.”
We are in Kuppalli, a small village nestled in Karnataka’s share of the Western Ghats. Oscillating between rain and sunshine, we trail a winding route through forest paths, alternating between our car and walking. At the other end of the clearing, is the childhood home of one of Kannada literature’s most consequential figures.