Skip to main content
Rohini Chowdhury
Click to enlarge

Rohini Chowdhury

Knives to Grind…

Memory, how it works, and why it works the way it does, is a mystery that no one has solved yet. Why do we remember some people and not others? How is it that we can recall some events with complete clarity and some events not at all? Colours, textures, even the smells of certain moments stay with us forever - consciously, so that we can recall them at will, or subconsciously, so that a sudden trigger brings flooding into our minds, people, places and events we thought we had forgotten.


My Grandfather

I was ten years old when my grandfather passed away. I remember that May morning as one remembers a particularly vivid dream – in a flashing series of disconnected sounds and sepia images. Neighbours milling around, someone carrying a large oxygen cylinder, Ma hurrying, anxious, and then a deep silence.


A Special Friendship, and a Special Book

They say that love happens when we least expect it. Well, that is true of friendship too. It was on the 28th of March, 2010, that I first wrote to South African writer Zukiswa Wanner. I didn’t know anything about her except what the British Council had told me when they asked if I would ‘buddy’ her during the London Book Fair that April. They had ‘matched’ us together  – according to our ‘literary accomplishments’. As it turned out, the match was a match of minds, and one which has turned into one of the most enriching friendships of my life.


Translating Gulzar

When I was first asked to translate Gulzar’s verse renditions of stories from the Panchatantra, I was both excited and curious. Excited because I would be translating Gulzar, and curious because these were familiar tales that I had grown up listening to; also, I had earlier translated several of these stories from the original Sanskrit Panchatantram.


In the Garden of the Djinn

In The Garden of the Djinn, Juno goes in search of her missing grandfather, Dadu, and the princess of Aleya. The Aleyans are living under a curse, and only Juno can help them. Here is how I first heard about the Aleyans, Niyati and Juno’s other friends – it was Juno herself who told me!


In a Railway Carriage

I was a student, studying in far away Ahmedabad that summer. The term ended, and I boarded the train home to Delhi. That summer, instead of the fast, overnight train, I chose to take the long slow train that wound its way leisurely through Gujarat and the deserts of Rajasthan for a night and a day before reaching Delhi.


The Panchatantra

The fables of the  Panchatantra  have always been a part of the landscape of my life, and so, when my daughters were born and grew old enough to listen to bedtime tales and ask for them, these were amongst the first stories I told them.


Behind the Shadows: a review by Anchita Ghatak

Do you roll your eyes in horror every time you speak to a call centre executive? Emmanuel Sigauke in his story entitled Call Centre takes us into the world of these frontline soldiers of the twenty first century globalised market economy. In a call centre in California, a Zimbabwean is mocked by a customer for his accent and abused as an Indian, a terrorist and then bin Laden. Borders dissolve and identities collide as the call centre employee tries to deal with arrogance and ignorance.