Of loss, pain and writing

Sunil Sharma

And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever

---Alfred Lord Tennyson


That is a message that suddenly resonates so well, in these tough, unsettling times!

Humans are no longer arrogant lords of the universe---as, of late, they had come to believe and thus destroyed the delicate ecology and balance between climate and life forms---but mere travelers on a brief existential journey in a planet that was there and would be there, long after they have vanished from the stage, as fretting actors, with due apology to the Bard who said this or something alike with deep import.

And Nature will also continue to be there, too, like the old mother earth, although in much degraded forms, all due to the selfishness and greed of the predatory capitalism. The consequences are there of such a tampering.

The idea that humans have limited shelf life as compared with natural bodies like a river or a brook can be and should be, by now, a sobering realization.

The ongoing pandemic taught the human species the value of life, its fragility and sudden cessation, sometimes within a few days, to a virus called Corona, often demonized in popular imagination, for its vicious ways and bloody trail.

Recently, the truth hit us hard---deaths in the family and outside within friend circles and poor health and emotional wounds and insecurities---leaving us traumatized.

But, as Tennyson suggests, sometimes, like a brook, you have to negotiate stony pathways and move on for your desired destination, singing a song, along that undulating course, a difficult terrain.

Doing literature is one mode of processing that deep pain and sense of loss and inner vacuum. Communication. It can be healing.


So, here we are, post these tragic events and allied health problems. June 2021 marks the sixth year of the monthly production of both the Hindi and English Setu, published from Pittsburgh, USA.

And more than 2-million page views, thanks to your support.

We pledge to serve you in coming months with doubled dedication.


This June, the special section is on youth writing: Figurs of Thought: Collegiate Voices across the Spaces, guest-edited by young poet-academic Basudhara Roy. A selection of 50 voices, fresh and invigorating, like an early spring.

The general section carries some other fine signatures from the intersecting fields of poetry, prose, translation, review, art and photography.

Thanks again to you, contributors, guest editor and you, our esteemed reader for the support.

Stay safe!


Sunil Sharma,

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

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