Editorial, April 2021

Sunil Sharma

---Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world, yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky. There have been as many plagues as wars in history, yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise.

---We tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away. But it doesn't always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away.

---They fancied themselves free, and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences.

---Albert Camus: The Plague

That is Camus, the philosopher-artist of prophetic vision, speaking to you from across the time-space continuum, and, finding resonance with a wounded civilization, whatever be the geography, in present context.

What he said in the year 1947 sounds so real, chilling and spot-on relevant to India, and elsewhere, at a time, when the world is getting battered by a second wave of deadlier Corona, relentless, merciless marauder (Susan Sontag, please, excuse!). And there is little relief from depressing headlines and statistics, expanding daily, in a sad and shocked country---and the world, slowly getting benumbed by the rising fatalities.

Very scary!

This month has been heavy.

April, cruelest month of the year, in literal sense!

 I lost many colleagues and friends to the raging pandemic. Families got hit badly and the losses are mounting across the country. Devastation is everywhere. Sadness hangs heavy over the city and the country. The citizens are feeling low, vulnerable and utterly helpless in view of the rampaging pestilence and the dance of death continues unabated, on the streets!

You are re-living the nightmare portrayed so accurately by the seer Camus. A novel from another era becomes  a contemporary landscape, interiority and exteriority experienced in real time; fiction, reality!

We pray for the departed and wish for the end of this crippling cycle of the mutant virus afflicting India and other nations.


It is the best divine gift.

As they say, the longest darkness is followed by an equally-long spell of brightness.

It will also pass.


The special section on the flash fiction---third annual edition--- is curated by the guest-editor Kelli J Gavin, a noted practitioner of both the short and long forms of prose narrative. Some fine stuff here. A collection of 17 authors at their best.

You will enjoy this form of narration, now getting recognized globally for its tautness, economy and style, of conveying a lot in limited words, structure meeting aesthetics in a tight format, with surprises and fast-paced delivery.

There are other fascinating pieces, carefully selected for you in the general edition.

A heady mix of verbal and visual.

We remain thankful to all our contributors and Kelli for their support to a journal that has got a joint readership of more than 2 million.

Real landmark!

Take good care!


Sunil Sharma,

Editor, Setu (English)
Mumbai Metro Area, Maharashtra (India)

1 comment :

  1. Yes, let's be optimistic, optimistic, optimistic, come whatever. This moxie has been well-captured by Dr Sunil Sharma in his editorial: "Hope! It is the best divine gift. As they say, the longest darkness is followed by an equally-long spell of brightness." The bridge (SETU) is certain to carry us forward from dark to light.

    It will also pass.


We welcome your comments related to the article and the topic being discussed. We expect the comments to be courteous, and respectful of the author and other commenters. Setu reserves the right to moderate, remove or reject comments that contain foul language, insult, hatred, personal information or indicate bad intention. The views expressed in comments reflect those of the commenter, not the official views of the Setu editorial board. प्रकाशित रचना से सम्बंधित शालीन सम्वाद का स्वागत है।