Walking through Bombay among blue flags makes you feel home among the tall skyscrapers. They make you feel a sense of deep power which makes you realize why only in Mumbai among all the other cities the blue flags still capture and resonate while the financial databases speculate on trade commodities, derivatives. The blue flag stands for very different things than the red. But the two colors cannot be thought without each other. If red symbolizes life, blue the essence of life.
Though the days of Dalit Panthers is long gone and Dalit movement has seen countless debacles, twists and turns, it is in Mumbai that the politics still holds the imagination of the urban-scape, visually. Among my first two visits to the city, I was largely caught up with work, but it was the blue flags and the impending hope of the them that I couldn’t help but be drawn towards.
When the Beats first came to India, they had noted the divergent preference and style of the Bombay and the Calcutta poets. The first were modernists obsessed with mastering the form while the second were political. One can only wonder what the Beats might have felt or said if they had met the Dalit poets of Bombay and not the English poets. How would Ginsberg have navigated his oriental fascination among the Dalit Panthers? That’s an event which could well be an alternate fiction that Deborah Baker might have wondered too countless times I feel, when looking at the blue flags of Mumbai juxtaposing the orange ones, the color that found its way to the West with so much ease.
Debarun Sarkar sleeps, eats, reads, smokes, drinks, labors and occasionally writes and submits. He spends most of his time juggling between freelancing and writing while halting at Calcutta for the moment. Recent works have appeared in or are forthcoming in Visitant, Off the Coast, Your One Phone Call, Literary Orphans, Tittynope Zine, The Opiate, In Between Hangovers, Wild Plum, among others
She gave you a lot of different looks from the start. Did that throw you off? How cold it got on the final drive?
There are always variables you can’t control and sometimes things go wrong. Can’t blame the conditions, that’s for sure.
Did you get an explanation?
Some of our moves weren’t as smooth as they could be, we had communication issues and, let’s be honest, she knows how to avoid contact.
There have been some rather significant rule changes recently. You think they affected the outcome?
They were taken into account.
She suggested at one point that you were not very imaginative, like she knew just what would happen beforehand.
We try and take what they give us and make the most of it. Each night is a different challenge and, let’s give her credit, she’s tough, she can be a real force out there. In hindsight, of course, there are things you’d like to take back. Things that were sloppy, that you didn’t execute according to plan.
But the way it looked she could anticipate what you were doing before you did it. You think you’ve become too predictable?
You’ll have to ask her. We’re on to Saturday night. Anything else?
Did you feel you got unfairly penalized?
We’re not getting into that. Saturday night. One more.
Let me rephrase: she intimates there was some kind of breakdown at the end. What accounted for that?
Well, if that’s what she says. You’ll have to ask her.
Since 2015 Alexander’s stories have either appeared or are forthcoming in Buffalo Almanack (recipient of its Inkslinger Award for Creative Excellence), Umbrella Factory Magazine (a 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee), New Pop Lit, DenimSkin, Per Contra, Constellations, The Bicycle Review, Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts, Flash Frontier, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Down in the Dirt, Contrary, the Blue Bonnet Review, The Nite Writers Literary Arts Journal, and The Binnacle, the latter of which won Honorable Mention in its Twelfth Annual International Ultra-Short Competition.
All is quiet…finally
after the two sisters quit re-living the day
and drift into hide-a-bed snoring.
Until 4 a.m. when the brother
rattles the unfamiliar bedroom door knob
and slices light into the hall
where he bangs the bathroom light switch on
and spotlights my room like the cops
cornering an escaped convict,
and he stands there
suddenly unsure where the toilet is
or emblazoned by super nova flash
off white porcelain
like I am by his skinny ass in the doorway.
Eventually he slams the door shut
as I flip the blanket over my eyes.
He flushes that late-night roar
of water down the drain,
fumbles across the hall
before releasing his lifeline
on the bathroom light,
and I dream of watching
my morning TV show
at just the right volume.
Diane Webster grew up in Eastern Oregon before she moved to Colorado. She enjoys drives in the mountains to view all the wildlife and scenery and takes amateur photographs. Writing poetry provides a creative outlet exciting in images and phrases Diane thrives in. Her work has appeared in “The Hurricane Review,” “Eunoia Review,” “Illya’s Honey,” and other literary magazines.