‘May We Borrow Your Country’ launched in Waterstones Gower Street on January 26th

May We Borrow Your Country is a contemporary collection of stories and poems that looks at dislocation and displacement with sympathy, tolerance and humour. It is peopled by courageous, poignant, eccentric individuals who cross borders, accommodate to new cultures and try to establish an identity in a new place. In the process, they encounter different versions of themselves, like reflections in a room of trick mirrors.

May We Borrow Your Country was launched in Waterstones Gower Street on the 26th of January 2019. More than a hundred tickets were sold, and bookings were actually stopped a couple of days before the event. Joining The Whole Kahani, on the panel were Lynn Michell, publisher, Linen Press, and Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young. Preti has written the foreword to May We Borrow Your Country and had interesting questions for the writers. Lynn had her own questions, and it was an interactive audience who listened, asked questions, and cheered us. Rosie Beaumont-Thomas, the events manager concluded the event by mentioning Waterstones Gower Street will have to try hard to match the fantastic evening and huge turnout.

Poetry on the walls of the library of the English faculty in University of Cambridge

Nostalgic Rain

An almost tropical rain arrives
I watch from the window.
Quiet roads, quieter cars.
The almost tropical rain
adorns the hanging planters.
Colourful flowers, petunias, azaleas, fuchsias
but fragrance less,
so the rain awakens nothing, hidden.
There’s even a hint of hailstones in today’s rain.

But, to be truly tropical you
need to emerge from the hunger of heat
the acridity of drought.
You need to rise deep from ponds brimming with lotuses
form clouds that spray down at will, lustily.
An almost tropical thunder today.

But to be truly tropical you
need to have been conceived in despair
spawned in hunger.
You need to have it in your belly.

The rain beats down today
my silence
it is not the same.

MonaDash2 months ago
Enjoyed this review of A Certain Way by Frank Watson, an American poet who writes beautiful micro-poetry..

A Certain Way is a lovely book of poems, filled with the meditations of a woman who has found a new life and new home in England. It starts off reflecting on an immigrant’s story, from the feeling of not belonging to the feeling that this new land is home and an appreciation for what it has to offer. From this perspective, she contrasts with the experience of other immigrants, including those who long nostalgically for home, though they made the choice to find a new home, perhaps for reasons they’ve forgotten.

After several of poems along this them, the book branches out into a full variety of poems on the experience of a woman in modern life, from the hardships to the unfulfilled longings, from balancing life and work to the joys of motherhood, and to the desire for love and romance. There is a sense of spirituality, sorrow, and tragedy mixed in. And a recurring theme of spices, turmeric, and sarees.

To give a flavor of the book, I’ll quote a few favorite passages:

From “The Immigrant’s Song”—

When it rains here,
in this country, with its dark earth,
rainbow gardens,
sometimes the flecks of rain
touch the earth just like in the dusty Indian plains.

From “Destiny”—

Not knowing that
a one legged man walked on graves,
ghosts cackled in trees,
white geese turn red,
on the day I was born.

It was a pleasure to read. My favorite poems are below:

A Certain Way
Διασπορά (Diaspora)
The Immigrant’s Song
Nowhere to Go
The Punishment
The Glass Jar
His Gift
In Search of Balance
MonaDash2 months ago
The not to be missed offer ! You can download the e-book of May We Borrow your Country by us at The Whole Kahani at 1.99 gbp at this link:
It’s only for a week !
MonaDash5 months ago
My dear Facebook friends - I need your help ! My publisher has put up - A Roll of the Dice- for an award called People’s Choice Book awards. It is decided by popular votes.

I need votes therefore !

Please please vote and spread the word in your circles ! It takes a few seconds and is free! Feel free to leave a comment on the site also.

If you haven’t read the book, there’s review and excerpts on there ... but you don’t need to read it to vote 🙂

MonaDash5 months ago
The newsletter from PIDTC features A Roll of the Dice !
MonaDash6 months ago
A really thoughful review:
MonaDash7 months ago
Such a great review in Jaggery Lit. Thank you Ghada Ibrahim and the Jaggery team. I have sometimes read books which I haven’t been able to put down. To have these words about my own is thrilling :
‘ Once I picked up the book, I could not put it down. Nose glued between the pages while commuting to work, on buses and in cabs, every fortunate moment I had to myself was spent burrowing deep into this courageous and heart-touching story. The memoir plucked at my heart and took me on a journey of humor, grief, and palpable excitement.’ And :
‘ It is powerful, enriching and an explosion of emotions that envelope you in a fierce embrace. It is a story that is bold and speaks its truth, loud and clear. From amongst the messages that one can take after traipsing down Mona’s memory lane is the need for being thankful, for friends whom you can call upon in times of desperate need, for continuous advancements in medicine, for the gift of being normal. ‘

7 days ago
Wonderful idea - getting mine and thank you @JoyAvril ! https://t.co/nRF2kR0eEy
1 month ago
Huge thanks to those who voted last time ! Please do vote again as that will also count ! Keep the love and support coming xx #ARollOftheDice #memoir #SCID https://t.co/APWidHwO2P
Dash2Mona photo
Linen Press @LinenPressBooks
🏆 A Roll of the Dice by Mona Dash is now a FINALIST in the non-fiction category of The People's Prize! Votes are open to determine the winner- even if you already voted last time round, you can vote again here: https://t.co/3oyWuebRUC Thank you for your support! #indiepress https://t.co/g4bAnSnR5T
1 month ago
Since we can’t but smile after the monthly workshop, great to meet everyone as always! - #TWK @cg_menon @writerkavita @radhikakapur @RESHMARUIA https://t.co/1hi6epmMT9 Dash2Mona photo
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