I have realised that my body has three chambers, one for each language I speak. Punjabi will be added to this mix of Italian, English, and Hindi soon, I hope. And here I am, in Paris for a month-long writing workshop, where sometimes I utter an Italian word, where sometimes I try to guess, from the little knowledge I have, how to say what I want in French. This search for the right word, the right language at the right time is exhilarating and yet tiresome. The politics and traumas and embedded ills of every language are burdens we must carry and live with, speak with, heal from, learn from.
But even as I sit in a city like Paris, it is these burdens and traumas and ills that I am learning from. It is these entities that teach me how to question. With every line and every submission we received for this issue, we have sought work that made us question our expectations from it, that made us question the pattern of language and see a different manner of invention. In the works we have published in our eighth issue, you might find work that questions, that speaks with and of an unacquainted gaze. For me, these poems remind me of a mirror I saw in the ladies’ lavatory back in my hometown of Bhopal, with several bindis stuck onto the glass. Women had been there, women had forgotten something and left behind, women had looked at themselves in the mirrors, and the traces of those women were looking back at me while I gazed at my own self.
At the point of these observations, of these back-and-forth of glances and languages and words and places, phrases and lines from Inklette‘s eighth issue came to my mind: “I have already neglected my focus” from Devon Fulford’s Pink, “all thought was on the present,” from Jimmy Banta’s The Endless Night, “I’ve been living in my body for many years” from Chuka Susan Chesney’s Kempt, or “My tongue is still learning the craft” from Satya Dash’s Eight Reconciliations on a Sunday Night.
There is visual art, prose and poetry in these pages that will make you question and will seep its way into your memory, your tongues, the chambers of your body, whatever may occupy them, and find you again when you are walking down the streets of cities, when you are finding the chambers of your body, trying to give everything a name. Inklette, as usual, will be publishing a weekly blog on Fridays and will continue to grow. We are planning to launch a podcast soon and like our interview with Domenico Starnone, there will be many more international writers we will try to feature, interview and publish. Thank you so much for reading, appreciating, remembering, submitting. We are so very grateful to have you accompany us on this journey.
Editor-in-Chief and Founder, Inklette Magazine