Arundhati Roy joins call to boycott Lanka literary festival

Calling all Women Authors,

Controversial Indian author Arundhati Roy has joined fellow writers in calling for a boycott of a literary festival in Sri Lanka to protest alleged rights abuses and suppression of dissent in the country.

Roy signed up a petition initiated by the Paris-based Reporters without Borders (RSF) urging world class authors to stay away from the Galle Literary Festival which is due to open on January 26.

"We ask you in the great tradition of solidarity that binds writers together everywhere, to stand with your brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka who are not allowed to speak out," the joint appeal said.

It asked the writers to send "a clear message that, unless and until the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda (a local cartoonist who disappeared a year ago) is investigated and there is a real improvement in the climate for free expression in Sri Lanka, you cannot celebrate writing and the arts in Galle."

Support the renowned woman writer Arundhati Roy.
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Call the Ships of Dar-es-Salaam - A book review

'Like a box of crayons where one brazen colour may erase a meeker shade without sympathy, I run to where cultures top religion and landscapes melt into the sea.' The book Call the Ships of Dar-es-Salaam begins with the above prologue that sets the tone of what's on the pages inside. Susan Abraham has presented to the readers a showcase of her versatility, where every piece tops the last one you read taking the reader into a world of romances, of memories untold, of African nights and parting pain.

The poems and the prose seem to be placed randomly if looked at a glance but gradually when the readers get soaked into the lyrical words they see the pattern unfolding in front of their eyes that most certainly creates a wow effect. Each word carries the burden of much complexities behind them, but still manage to convey the rainbow of feelings straight from the heart to the readers heart.
On one page the Author talks of lovers,
'And when she stirred, he
the artful dodger,
pictured her toss a pillow as...'
and on another of blessings,
'How does one put a heartbeat on standby
or warn the swallows they cannot soar on by'
The second half of the book talks of Ships of Dar-es-Salaam and Susan doesn't stop stunning the readers even there.
'...It all started when the boats had
wanted the sea to masquerade a riotous playground.
The water had insisted on all and sundry toeing the
line. The boat refused and scattered...'
The metaphors used are spell binding and readers are taken on a romantic trip where each and every mouth dropping view is hard to miss.
The mishmash of culture is reflected in the poem 'Africa in the Dublin Skies' where the authors says,
'A bright blue glistened in the skies  like remembered
ripples of a seaside's belly and the crabs tried a twinkle
with their claws like a 1000 insomniac stars...
...Yesterday was all in
a morning's work when a homesick Africa came to visit me.'
The author has succeeded in representing through lyrical words the true feelings within many of us. The urban culture is nothing but memories of places travelled to, where we leave some of our own and bring with us something of them and we are no more what we were but become something more.
This book is a must read for anyone who has travelled and also for those who wish to do so. It is a must read for the literary population as the style here is something to learn from and to appreciate.
The book could be bought from Amazon and also from Flipcart.

A review by Smita Singh

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