Uncharted Silences

In an age where big novels dazzle with their grand historical sweep and verbal gymnastics, Aruna Chakravarti’s Secret Spaces, a remarkable collection of short stories, delights with its delicacy and understatement. Having established her skill as an acclaimed translator and a writer of long fiction, Charkravarti surprises the reader by venturing into the tight narrative space of the short story form.

Understanding what went into Konkani

Take a dazzling Asian commercial entrepot, add to it a brief spell of Muslim rule, Portuguese conquest, and the early arrival of the Gutenberg printing press here. What emerges is Romi Konkani writing, built by early missionaries to Goa who used diacritical marks to make this ‘exotic’ language easier to pronounce, a language which incidentally also got damaged by subsequent colonial rulers.