New Game On

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About Nabina

Nabina Das is a poet and writer born and brought up in Guwahati, Assam, and currently based in Hyderabad, Telangana. Her latest poetry collection Anima and the Narrative Limits is from Yoda Press. Her other poetry collections are Sanskarnama (Red River, 2017), Into the Migrant City (Writers Workshop, 2013), and Blue Vessel (Les Editions du Zaporogue, 2012).

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Her debut book is a novel titled Footprints in the Bajra (Cedar Books, 2010), and her short fiction volume is titled The House of Twining Roses: Stories of the Mapped and the Unmapped (LiFi Publications, 2014). Her first book of translations titled Arise out of the Lock: 50 Bangladeshi Women Poets in English (curated by Alam Khorshed, Chittagong) appeared in early 2022 from Balestier Press, UK.

A Rutgers-Camden MFA alumna, Nabina is the editor of WITNESS, The Red River Book of Poetry of Dissent (Red River, 2021), and co-editor of 40 under 40, an Anthology of Post-globalisation Poetry (Poetrywala, 2016). Nabina is a 2017 Sahapedia-UNESCO fellow, a 2012 Charles Wallace Creative Writing alumna (Stirling University, Scotland), a 2016 Commonwealth Writers features correspondent, a 2012 Sangam House, a 2011 NYS Summer Writers Institute, and a 2007 Wesleyan Writers Conference creative writing alumna.

New Game On

Map Makers! The new video game
in town is here. To play Map Makers
the Rulers have stencils and erasers.
Also permanent markers. Plus all baton-
wielding forces their side. Who knows
if things go really awry. The opposition team|
has brushes, colours, and a few pencils
to write with. Plus, they are singing loud,
playing drums, dotara, flutes. Who knows
if the batons strike their heads. They might
fall down while singing. The video game
will last as long as the two teams last.
It’s not ‘half-time’ yet on the floor. But
already there’s gore all around. Every time
Rulers charge and seal the maps,
the effing opposition sings and paints
over the lines, the barriers, borders.
They break through with their songs.
With fractured hands, blinded eyes.
Rulers want game up to 1-0. But how!
Colours deluge the blood, music hits
The batons back. More they’re drawn,
more the maps blur. Rulers play in fury.
The singers chant:  New game on.

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