From the desk of the guest editor: Celebration of Local

Jaydeep Sarangi

- Jaydeep Sarangi

Every individual moves between the man and the place - a trait enabling the person to raise the local. Local is not just a construct. It breaks borders of interpretations at several levels. It doesn’t stand as a counter stance to ‘global’. It is the experience of belonging in the new cultural dimension where we embrace the idea—home is where your feet are. Moving beyond the trajectory of a possible dialectic of alienation and belonging we reflect what we are made of. All of us feel a strong pull of our native links. Our immediate is the sap of creativity.

A writer’s task is to reconcile us to the world of experiences where all-pervading loving togetherness can exist. Literature is a holy and beautiful dream. It is a dream for freedom; total freedom.

Jayanta Mahapatra, a noted contemporary Indian poet, acknowledges that the local cultural contexts have contributed in shaping his imagination. When he was asked whether he had been “true to your ethos, culture, roots.” he states, “You can’t rid yourself of them. In the hot summer months we have whole night open air operas. Their tunes and melodies get into you, so do our dance and architecture. They have shaped our people’s sensibility, my sensibility.”

This special issue is celebration of the local. Language shapes identity.  We move, we make big strides into the world of livelihood. We build up families at home and beyond.  New relations give us vital dose for survival. But, we always carry a baggage of the past home. We remain in a home away from home. Our new home becomes local in terms of the personal and the public spheres in diverse social and political locations. Our writers come from different cultural positions. When we speak of a cultural field for the reproduction of narratives, we make bridges at several spheres. We use language as a medium, the content and substance represent the culture and contexts of  our origin and upbringing. This issue of SETU is a veritable gallery of theme-songs of life. Local is manifested in different forms and genres. The landscape is urban and rural. Natives return. All rivers from Teesta to Dulung run in us:

Arrows fixed up
Invasion from my city burden.
Pure Dulung is not muddy
No metro lines

Where lives are divided, between lives. (From ‘Love and longing at Jhargram’, p 07)

Contributors from different shores made this issue possible. We enjoyed reading all entries. We had to make choices. On a personal note, it was wonderful to work with so many noble souls from different shores. A big thank you to all of you!!

Happy reading!!

Jaydeep Sarangi
Guest Editor
Kolkata, June18, 2019

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