‘Nothing is sacred’: there is, perhaps, a certain value in this statement, especially for our godless end-times. But isn’t this also its own kind of dogma? Surely we can still find something that can be considered sacred universally. Childhood; the body of a child—I would propose these as sacred entities. Prabhu Joshi’s Nothingness, in Punarvasu Joshi’s expert translation, slowly builds a child’s universe for us through a simple scheme—the child’s interiority and imagination witnessed by an interlocutor who is, prima facie, an outsider, a pilgrim of sorts. Even the most jaded reader will find it in themselves to be touched, I’m sure, to feel love, even, for the child in the story. But storytellers are cruel people. Slowly we realise that we were only being softened for a devastating end—so devastating, in fact, that we realize we can do nothing but cry for some divinity to exist only so that we may curse it. That there is truly no ‘why’ on this planet is difficult to accept—we shall always need stories to remind us of that. Nothingness is a story of that kind.
— Tanuj Solanki
The Bombay Literary Magazine
‘Wait! Stop, right there, Chachu! Don’t move!’ She addressed me in such a cautious tone as if I was a dolt who might end up causing a big accident. Her voice, which was fine like a silky thread, had a clear admonishment tied to it. I stopped dead in my tracks, stunned. I looked at her face hoping to get a new signal so that I could move my body again. I stood still at that moment like a mere wooden puppet. Only my eyeballs were fluttering like a caged bird.
‘Do you know if you had taken one more step ahead, you would’ve banged your head against the wall? And bled all over. And I don’t even know where they keep the antiseptic in the house!’
She surprised me by saying this. I looked at her innocent face. Her ponytail danced with every word she spoke. There weren’t any bells tied to her ponytail, otherwise, they would have jingled with her voice. Her admonishment was sweeter than honey. And it had become more so with her use of the more affectionate ‘Chachu’ instead of ‘Chacha’.
‘Do you know, Bitti hurt herself with a nail and she didn’t even get the tetanus injection. She croaked. Papa told me.’ Her voice was filled with concern about death.
Her nickname was Pinky. And in reality, her flower-like, tender and round face had turned pink with rage.
‘Oh! I see,’ I expressed my ignorance.
It was just the two of us in the whole house and we were standing in its huge drawing room. She had erected a huge house in the middle of the drawing room. The building material for the construction of the ‘house’ was her fertile imagination. Hence, the house she erected had walls of ‘nothingness’, windows of ‘nothingness’, and doors of ‘nothingness’ with curtains of ‘nothingness’ hanging on them. She had locked me up in that house of ‘nothingness.’
A few moments ago, there was a wall in the house plan according to her where I was walking. Since I wasn’t aware of this, I had walked right into it. Hence, her admonishment. Anyhow, a major mishap had been avoided.
The place where we were standing was the drawing room of the newly constructed house of ‘nothingness.’ I still hadn’t quite figured out the layout of the house yet.
‘Chachu, could you please look outside the window and see the road? Is Mummy coming?’
‘I don’t see Mummy anywhere,’ I informed her.
‘Did you see anything?’ She asked again. I replied somewhat scared,‘I see Papa’s photo.’
‘Chachu, you are looking at the wall. Look outside. At the road.’ She was exasperated.
‘No, she is not here.’
‘Alright, then,’ She assured me. But it seemed that instead of me it was she who was reassured.
‘Why did you ask me to look out for Mummy?’I asked in earnest.
‘If Mummy came, we will have to end this “House-House” game of ours.’ And then she gestured that I should bring my ear close to her mouth. When I leaned closer, she said in a low voice, ‘Mummy is grumpy. She scolds me a lot. She says that I play all day long and don’t finish my homework.’ She explained her worry. I smiled. But I quickly wiped that smile away. The smile could have interrupted the game. A smile was prohibited.
‘Where am I in the house right now?’
‘You are sick, so you are in your bedroom. Now go and lie down on the bed. And don’t get off the bed, I am going to call a doctor.’
Seeing my puzzled face, she indicated an airy cot, ‘Go and lie down there.’ It was a relief that the floor was carpeted. I laid down on the bed of ‘nothingness.’
All in all, the matter was that I was visiting my friend and Pinky’s father,
Narendra Dube in Bhopal who was an assistant professor of surgery at Bhopal’s Medical College. When I called him one day, saying that I have been sick for a few days and the doctors in my hometown hadn’t been able to diagnose the cause of my illness, he suggested that I should come to him and he would take me to Bhopal’s newly built super-speciality hospital where I can have all my diagnostic tests done.
Now, Pinky was walking towards me with a stethoscope around her neck when suddenly the doorbell rang. She ran and hid the stethoscope behind a cushion on the couch. The walls of the house, which had two-three rooms in it, a bedroom and a drawing room as well had suddenly crumbled. The bed too had disappeared. It was as if the razed house had run away along with its own rubble. I had suddenly become disease-free.
Pinky opened the door. Narendra’s wife Smita had come. The formality one faces while meeting one’s friend’s wife for the first time after the wedding hadn’t vanished completely even after so many years, so I stood up when she walked into the room. ‘Namaste Bhabhi,’ I said.
She had worn an apron on her beige saree and a folded stethoscope dangled from her hand. She was a gynaecologist in a local public hospital.
‘I hope Pinky didn’t bother you much. She is quite a mischievous little devil!’ She said while tousling Pinky’s hair who was now standing next to her mother, grabbing a corner of her saree. I denied any such behaviour quickly and added from my side, ‘Pinky is such a sweet little girl. We’ve struck a deep friendship in such a short while. She is cute and lovely! We were just playing before you came.’
When I told them this, Pinky put her little index finger to her lips and signaled me to keep quiet. She was afraid that I might spill the beans on her.
‘You must be hungry. Well, an emergency case came when I was leaving so I had to tend to it,’ She said while taking her apron off. She placed her stethoscope on a study table nearby and while going inside said, ‘Narendra will be here any minute as well and then we’ll have lunch.’
Just then, we heard the opening of the garage door and then the sound of the car engine turning off and a few moments later Narendra walked into the drawing room.
‘Papa!’ Seeing him Pinky ran in his direction, he signaled to stop her, ‘Not now, Sweety! I am coming from the hospital. Let Papa have a shower and then he will pick you up.’ Narendra also kept his stethoscope on the study table next to Smita’s and while taking off his apron, said, ‘Jayesh, I have consulted with the pathologist and the radiologist of the super-speciality hospital. We’ll have your ECG, sonography, MRI, blood, and urine tests, all at once. Let’s come to the dining table. You must have had a shower. I’ll join you after taking one.’
As soon as his head disappeared behind the fluttering curtain, Pinky ran towards me, hugged me tightly and giving a peck on my cheek said, ‘You are great, Chachu!’ The reward she gave was priceless. I was rewarded this way, perhaps, for not telling Papa and Mummy about the game we were playing.
Soon, they both came out after the shower and lunch was ready. While eating, we regaled Smita with many stories of our college days. In between all of this, Smita Bhabhi said to me, ‘Jayesh Bhaiya, it is high time you find a girl and get married too. All your fears of a fatal disease would get shooed away.’
‘So, you want him to catch another lifelong incurable disease?’ Narendra said in jest and we all broke into laughter.
The afternoon had passed. Narendra and Smita had left for the hospital already and I had taken a nap in the guest room by then. I was lazing in bed when the door of the guest room opened quietly. It was Pinky. She had changed her clothes and was wearing a dazzling white frock, looking like a little doll. Her cherubic face resembled the faces of winged angels seen in paintings depicting Greek mythology.
‘Chachu, are you sleeping?’ Her voice was so sweet and mellifluous that had Sleeping Beauty been her friend, she too would have woken up from her slumber to play with her.
‘What were you doing till now?’I asked her dotingly.
‘Chachu, how will I tell you what I have been doing if you sleep for such a long time?’ She had uprooted all of my laziness with just a single sentence. For the first time in my life, I felt that to be a kid is to live within magic all the time.
She said while pulling my arm, ‘Come with me! I’ll show you what I was doing.’
I got up from the bed. She was leading me by the arm and took me to her room.
It wasn’t a room, it, in fact, was her whole empire.
There was a small chair and a small table in front of it. Next to it was a small bed. I sat down on the bed and she sat in her chair. The three walls of the room were all painted in different colours. On her bed, a fat teddy bear was lying on its stomach. And there was a big toy lion next to the foot of the bed, carrying her school bag like a donkey. There was a doll dressed in full wedding regalia on her bed but its colour was fading as if she had been waiting for the bridegroom to arrive but he never showed up.
I saw a piggy bank next to the doll. I picked it up and shook it. It jingled loudly. I said, ‘Looks like your piggy bank has a lot of money in it!’ She replied, ‘Chachu, it’s not piggy bank’s money. When I break it, everybody will know that it doesn’t have any money. This money belongs to my doll.’ She then went ahead and picked the doll up from her bed and caressed its head and said, ‘She is of marriageable age but I can’t find a good bridegroom for her. People ask for so much dowry these days.’ I was startled by her words. How did society’s ugliness burrow its way into her innocent and unblemished mind?
And then she addressed me like a grown-up woman, ‘Chachu, so much work needs to be done. I have to arrange for her jewelry, wedding sarees…’
‘Pinky, don’t you worry about all that. Leave it all to your Chachu. I’ll get it for you. And I’ll get a handsome bridegroom from Mumbai. Bambai Ka Babu– a gentleman from Mumbai,’ I interrupted and comforted her.
She broke into laughter and said, ‘Chachu, then get a musical marching band as well! And Chachu, you’ll be the bridegroom’s father too.’
When she was talking, I picked up a box lying on her table and opened it– the box was full of colorful stamps.
‘Oh! So you collect stamps as well.’ She came and sat next to me and took the box of stamps from my hand. She took a stamp out, licked it, and stuck it on a wall.
‘What did you just do?’ I blurted out. The stamp was beautiful and it had the face of some historical figure on it.
‘Chachu, I mailed the wall,’ She said and this time she didn’t burst out laughing. Rather, she started reading my face for a sign as if I would comment on this act of hers.
‘Where will the wall go since you’ve mailed it?’ I enquired hoping to elicit an interesting answer from her.
‘Oh, Chachu! I haven’t written any address on it yet. It will be mailed only when I write an address on it,’ She had inadvertently put a question mark on my fundamental understanding of the world. I was momentarily embarrassed.
‘So, what will be the address that you write?’ I was eager. Who knew what type of answer her subconscious would bring out now? She hesitated for a moment or two as if trying to properly recall an address and then spoke in a soft voice, ‘Chachu, I went to mail this wall to a place far far away. I will be able to see Mummy-Papa’s bedroom from here when this wall is gone.’
‘Pinky, do you know that walls not only have ears, but also eyes and they dream that a window should open within them? Please don’t mail the wall. Just have a window made in it. You’ll be able to see Mummy-Papa whenever you want.’
A glimmer emerged on her face and radiated everywhere in the room. But the very next moment, it vanished as quickly as it had emerged. Seeing her face dim, I asked, ‘Why? What happened? Why did you become silent?’
‘I was thinking Chachu. What if the window had a latch on Papa’s side? Then, the window will open when he wants and it will close when he wants, no?’ She was apprehensive about my suggestion. And with her answer, my attention was drawn towards this fact for the first time as well that it is the latch that decided a window’s everything. A window doesn’t have anything to call its own. She was perplexed. And then suddenly in an eagerness to shake off the problem, she said, ‘Chachu, let’s go outside. In the garden. Have you seen the number of trees in our garden?’
We had walked out of the room and into the garden where it was open. There were rows of trees of royal poinciana, amaltas, and night-flowering jasmine. Beyond the fence surrounding the garden was a small peepal tree. It looked so wretched as if it was made to stand out of the classroom as a punishment.
The spring was returning on the trees of amaltas and royal poinciana as if Spring had an old commitment to these trees. A flowering branch of amaltas was hanging quite low.
‘Chachu, I can’t touch this branch. I want to climb the amaltas tree and hide in its yellow flowers. It will be fun to become a yellow butterfly. Mummy-Papa won’t be able to see me and they will search for me. They’ll ask, “Where is Pinky? Have you seen her?”’ Her voice didn’t exude the joy of a game of hide-and-seek. Nor did it show a child’s pleasure in pulling the wool over one’s parents. I felt she wanted to punish her parents and make them feel remorse.
‘Why do you say such a thing, dear?’ I had turned soft inside catching the drift of her thought.
‘Chachu, Grandma says your parents are prisoners of the hospital. They come home on parole.’ When she mentioned this, I felt that the distance between her parents and her had filled her with a sintering ache, which she recognizes.
‘What do you do at home when your Grandma is not here?’ Her face turned sad when I asked her.
‘I stay in daycare when Grandma is not here. With Mai. But she doesn’t let me play. She scolds me and makes me sit by the window. Do you know, one day God will have her bitten by a crow.’
‘Who told you that?’
‘Tinku from the daycare. He is older than me.’
I wanted to know more about what was going on with her at the daycare and inform Narendra. But I didn’t want to add to her sadness by trying to explore the cruel treatment meted out to her there, so I quickly steered the conversation away from it.
‘Okay, Pinky, tell me, who planted these trees?’ I asked, intending to keep the conversation flowing and she opened up quickly and said, ‘Chachu, you know nothing. They aren’t planted! Grandma says that the day I was born, the main gate of the garden was left open at night and these trees walked in. Do you know that the jasmine tree came from heaven? All these trees are my friends.’
Hearing her, I felt suddenly lonely, as if she had moved farther away from me. I embraced her and picked her up in my arms in a sudden rush of emotion. She started swaying in joy and said, ‘Chachu, I want to touch the flowers of the amaltas.’ When she touched the flowers, the sparkle of her laughter spread far and wide in the air like the tolling of a bell. Her laughter filled the house.
Narendra, Smita Bhabhi, Pinky, and I were sitting in the drawing room. This was my last cup of tea with them. I was leaving after this. I had a train for Mumbai in the evening.
I had spent three days with them. During this time, I had grown so fond of Pinky that I wanted to spend another day or two with her. She had already unearthed a perennial fount of affection within me and I got the chance to relive my childhood with her.
She was making me promise over and over again that I wouldn’t go. Her innocent insistence was making my heart melt. I said, ‘Next time I will come for a week and we’ll have double the fun!’ Though she had heard my promise, she continued being doubtful, making my promise seem less than trustworthy.
Narendra said, ‘No need to hurry. I’ll drop you at the railway station.’ This was a big relief for me.
Smita Bhabhi too felt informal and familial even though this was the first time I had met her. She said that this time I visited them like a patient but the next time I should come for a week and come like a brother-in-law so that all of us could visit nearby tourist spots together.
Pinky had been sulking since the morning. Her eyes were filled with melancholy and sadness. She wasn’t able to accept my departure. She hovered near me the whole day. She had a box full of child-like questions and curiosities with her and she wasn’t satisfied hearing half-baked answers to them. Once, she brought her mouth next to my ear and whispered, ‘Chachu, marry someone as soon as possible when you reach home so that I can become your daughter.’
When Pinky realized that I was leaving after all, she started crying. She grabbed my arm and didn’t let go of it with her child-like insistence on staying, hoping that I would postpone my departure. She said, ‘Chachu, please! Please don’t go today. You can go when my school reopens.’
‘No, dear! Chachu has to go to Mumbai for his work otherwise he will lose his job. He will be back soon.’ Narendra tried to comfort her.
‘No, I don’t believe you. All of you are lying to me,’ Her statement was punctuated with frequent sobs. She was bawling her eyes out. Her pleading had turned into a stubborn insistence. ‘Chachu, you won’t go.’ And while saying this, she put her hand in the pocket of my shirt and pulled my ticket out. Seeing this, Narendra came forward and picked her up from my lap and after taking back the ticket from her, said to her, ‘Alright, Jayesh, promise Pinky that you will be back soon.’
‘Promise! I promise!’
After taking the ticket from her when Narendra put her down, she darted out of the drawing room in anger, weeping as if she was hell-bent on stopping me.
Smita Bhabhi started saying that being a single child and living alone, she endsup emotionally attaching herself to anybody who visits, so much so that she doesn’t want them to leave. And then, she is attached to you so much more almost as if she’s been living with you since the beginning.
In the meanwhile, the maid brought tea for us. While sipping tea, Narendra said that since the government has prohibited private practice at home, he was thinking of leaving the college and joining the super-specialty hospital as the head of its department of surgery.
And just then, Smita Bhabhi’s attention drifted towards the clock while talking and she informed us that it was time to leave for the railway station. Narendra took the car keys and left to take the car out. I went to my room to pick up my bag and was surprised that my bag wasn’t there. When I told Smita Bhabhi, she laughed and said that this must be Pinky’s mischief. She always does this. Whenever a guest is leaving, she would hide their bag somewhere in the house. She surely must have hidden your bag in her room somewhere. When we went to her room to look for the bag, she wasn’t there. Though the bag was right there, on her bed. Her toy lion was sitting on top of it in such a way that if I tried picking the bag up, it would have growled and attacked me. Because her room was her empire and all of them obeyed her.
When I picked up my bag, I found it to be empty. She had taken the clothes out of it and hidden them somewhere. Smita Bhabhi was worried and she started looking around in the closets of other rooms, but the clothes were nowhere to be found. Narendra on the other hand had taken the car out of the garage and was honking for me to hurry up.
But we found ourselves to be in a different conundrum altogether because as soon as Smita Bhabhi went into the bathroom, she saw that all of my clothes were soaked in the bathtub. She was livid seeing this. I told her, ‘Please don’t get angry! She is just a kid. She has grown so affectionate of me in such a short time that she doesn’t want me to leave at any cost.’
By then Narendra too had turned off the car and walked inside. He too was taken aback. Pinky was nowhere to be found. Who knows where she had gone and hidden? I said, ‘This is not her naivete, rather that’s her affection towards me. No worries. I’ll leave tomorrow. I too will get to spend another day with her.’
Narendra said to Smita Bhabhi, ‘Smita, have Jayesh’s clothes dry in the washing machine and send them to the laundry for ironing so that we can have them back by tonight. I will book a flight for him for tomorrow.’ Narendra was filled with bizarre helplessness. Smita Bhabhi, by that time, had left to look for Pinky at a neighbour’s house. I too was concerned and filled with a sense of guilt that I had so little time for the affectionate insistence of an innocent child.
I was feeling well after returning from Narendra’s home. Rather, I was filled with a will to live. And Pinky had played a huge role in that. She had thoroughly instilled this thought in my thinking and sensibility that becoming a father to such a lovely girl could transform life into a festival. I had even called Narendra one day, asking him to send me a lovely picture of Pinky as I missed her a lot.
Then another day, when I had a phone call with Narendra and Smita Bhabhi, they handed the phone to Pinky, saying, ‘Here, talk to Pinky. She is dying to talk to you…’ Though, it didn’t seem like Smita Bhabhi handed her the phone, instead it felt like Pinky snatched it from her hand. Smita Bhabhi couldn’t even complete her sentence.
‘Hello, Chachu! How are you?’ My heart melted hearing her voice at the other end of the line. She said angrily, ‘You are such a liar, Chachu! You had promised me that you will be back soon. Neither you returned nor did you bring a bridegroom for my doll…’
‘Pinky! I am sorry. I promise I will give you a surprise soon.’ Hearing this she gave one of her sweet admonishments, ‘You are a liar! This time I will surprise you…’ And she disconnected the phone.
I was making plans to visit Narendra and Smita Bhabhi those days when my company sent me to Singapore for a month-long training trip. While coming back from the trip I was strolling at the Changi airport when I saw a toy shop. I went inside and bought a few toys for Pinky and yes, a bridegroom for her doll was also amongst them.
Anyhow, when I landed at the Mumbai airport, I thought it to be a good time to make a quick detour to Bhopal and I ended up taking a flight there.
In a short while, I was in Bhopal. I got out of the airport and took a cab to Narendra’s house. When I reached the main gate of the house, I found a huge padlock hanging on it. I was disheartened that the plan of giving a surprise to Pinky was now shattered. I was standing there uncertain of my next step when an old man from the neighbouring house walked up to me and said, ‘Dr. Narendra and his wife haven’t gone out of town. They have gone to the super-speciality hospital. You can meet them there.’ I thanked the old man for the information and walked back to the cab I had on hold.
While driving towards the hospital I thought that chances are that they might have left their government jobs and joined the super-speciality hospital. Narendra had already mentioned his willingness to leave his medical college job a couple of times.
Upon reaching the hospital, I asked a man at the reception, ‘Where can I meet Dr. Narendra Dube?’ He was busy doing something with his head down and without lifting his head he said with nonchalance, ‘He is in the first ward on the left at the end of the corridor.’
I was happy that he had left his medical college job and joined this plush super-speciality hospital. I took long steps and reached the door of the ward. When I mentioned Narendra’s name, the ward attendant handed me a mask and an apron. This was the intensive care unit of the hospital.
I saw Smita Bhabhi sitting on a stool next to the bed in front. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Was it the reality or a hellish nightmare because it was Pinky in the bed? An oxygen mask was on her face. An intravenous drip was fixed to her right wrist. A few inches above her head was the screen displaying her heartbeats. The wiggly lines of ECG seemed like a trembling bridge between life and death. Seeing all this, a burning ring of sorrow arose within me and engulfed me from head to toe. The burning sensation made me feel as if some bad omen had liquified itself and was now coursing through my veins.
I saw that Narendra was standing next to Pinky’s feet. His back was towards me. His eyes were fixed on Pinky’s pink face who was fighting for every breath of her life. I walked a few paces and placed my hand on his shoulder. He was startled and turned around. His face was a haze of silence. For a second, he couldn’t recognize me. I lowered the mask covering my face a few inches and recognizing me, he embraced me tightly. The embrace of a helpless father.
‘How did you come to know?’ He managed to utter a few words. I too felt suffocated. I asked him slowly, a lump developing in my throat too, ‘What happened to Pinky suddenly? An accident?’
‘Blast cancer! It never came to our attention that she had any problem. It was diagnosed suddenly when one day she was breathless for a long time.’ Narendra said. ‘She only has a few hours left.’
In the meanwhile, I looked at Smita Bhabhi. She recognized me and stood up. There was a silent scream on her face. A scream of her motherhood withering away right in front of her eyes. I was in a blazing moment of aching. I couldn’t just stand there and walked up to her.
A pleading voice emanated from her throat, piercing the layers of her motherly love, ‘Your Pinky is about to leave us.’
Within her was a torrent of emotions. I said, ‘No, Bhabhi. Pinky can’t leave. She had soaked my clothes in the bathtub so that I wouldn’t go. Give me her clothes so that I can soak them too. I won’t let her go so easily.’ The dam within me was slowly developing cracks and giving way. I looked at Pinky and said, ‘Pinky, you can’t leave. You still have to arrange the wedding of your doll. A bridegroom from Singapore has come for her.’ Her face was shrouded with the murky shadow of death. Her face was so calm as if death too had left its cruel way of stopping somebody’s breaths and was singing a lullaby instead to take her to eternal sleep. ‘Pinky, don’t give me this surprise. No, I don’t want any surprises from you.’
I had lost control of my crying. In all of that, who knows from where a sharp sound of shehnai arose and pierced my ears. Her right hand was slowly trembling as if she was slowly making an effort to break the fine thread of ‘nothingness’ with a snap.
© Prabhu Joshi. Untitled.
In a Facebook post on this watercolour painting, Prabhu Joshi wrote: “As my childhood unfolded in a village in this area, I began sketching on the mud walls of the hutments. Armed with vegetable colours and innocence, devoid of grammar, I kept drawing the loveliness I saw around. My sketches portrayed naive women and unblemished rural environment. There was abundance of folk and spontaneity, but privation of classic and the studied. An unbearable shock of losing a lovely younger sister and a brother besieged my tender heart with an impossible dream of doing away with all suffering.”
We felt that this painting’s arrangement of space and inanimate objects offers a certain silence, a feeling of absence, as it were, to the viewer. As does the story.
Prabhu Joshi (author)
Born on December 12th, 1950 in Piplarawan, a village in the Dewas district. He did his graduation in Biology and post-graduate studies in Chemistry and an M.A. in English Literature. His literary career began when his Hindi short story was published in the Dharmayuga in 1973. In the ensuing years, his short stories were regularly published in Dharmayuga, Sarika, Saptahik Hindustan, Ravivaar, Pahal, Poorvagraha, Samkaleen Kala, and Kathadesh. He has four short story collections, Kis Haath Se, Pitri Rin, Prabhu Joshi Ki Lambee Kahaniyaan, ‘Uttam-Purush (Story-collection), and a novel Nanya to his name. He is a recipient of the Veer Singh Deo Samman and the Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh Fellowship awarded by the Department of Culture, M.P. A self-taught watercolor painter, he did more than thirty solo exhibitions around the country, including nearly ten solo exhibitions at the Jehangir Aart Gallery in Mumbai. His works have been displayed in around fifteen international art exhibitions in countries such as the United States, Croatia, Turkey, and Dubai. He was also the featured Artist of the International Water Color Society’s biennial held in Turkey in 2014. He passed away in Indore in May 2021 during the second wave of the pandemic.
Punarvasu Joshi (translator)
Dr. Punarvasu Joshi Punavasu Joshi did his B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU), Arizona, USA, in 2005. After the completion of his B.S.E., he was directly admitted to the university’s Ph.D. program, where he did his Ph.D. under the guidance of Dr. Trevor Thornton (Ph.D. Cambridge University), in the field of DNA sequencing of nanotechnology. A nanotechnology researcher turned translator, he has translated 40 selected Hindi short stories, covering the last 125 of Hindi short story writing, into English for a 1000-page-long, two-volume anthology titled A Journey In Time I & II (2019). Punarvasu has also edited a hundred-and-a-fifty-page special issue of the Hindi literary magazine Rachna Samay focused on the French philosopher Michel Foucault. Punarvasu also translated some of Foucault’s writings into Hindi for the special issue. Punarvasu’s translation of Hindi writer Manoj Kumar Pandey’s short story Sone Ki Gai Mein Badalta Ek Desh (‘A Country Turning Into A Golden Cow’) was published in the special issue of the Commonwealth Foundation’s magazine Adda which was focused on the short stories from South Asia and Southeast Asia. Punarvasu lives in Mumbai, India.