Issue 2October 2023

EDITED BY — Ankit Raj Ojha & Tejaswinee Roychowdhury

COVER PHOTO — François Bereaud

INTERIOR DESIGN — Tejaswinee Roychowdhury

EDITORIAL — Ankit Raj Ojha

INTERVIEW — Partha Mukherjee (Artist, a.k.a. the Kolkata Coffeeman)

WRITING ADVICE — Ivy Ngeow (Author of The American Boyfriend)

POETRY — Aaron Bowker | Abel Johnson Thundil | Alex Carrigan | Alison Heron Hruby | Anil Petwal | Ankur Jyoti Saikia | Barnali Ray Shukla | Bob King | Carol D'Souza | Cheryl Rebello | Christian Ward | Christina Chin & Uchechukwu Onyedikam | Claudia M. Reder | D.C. Nobes | Daipayan Nair | Damon Hubbs | Debmalya Bandyopadhyay | Grant Shimmin | Heather Ann Pulido | Jane Zwart | Jeffrey Zable | John Grey | Kabir Deb | Kushal Poddar | Moira Walsh | Natan Last | Peter Kaczmarczyk | Rahul Singh | Robert Pegel | Sanjeev Sethi | Sehar | Shikha S. Lamba | Sowmya | Suchita Parikh-Mundul | Vandita Dharni | w v sutra

FICTION — Adele Evershed | Aneeta Sundararaj | Arva Bhavnagarwala | Chris Cottom | Dave Nash | Dylan Thompson | Imelda Wei Ding Lo | Ivy Ngeow | Karen Walker | Melissa Flores Anderson | Mike Owsley | Mridula Vijayarangakumar | Pritikana Karmakar | R. N. Roveleh | Shrutidhora P Mohor | Sreelekha Chatterjee | Sudha Subramanian | Teté DePunk | Victoria Leigh Bennett | Vineetha Mokkil | Zach Murphy | Zary Fekete

CREATIVE NONFICTION — Arti Jain | C.E. O'Banion | Candice M. Kelsey | Gretchen Filart | Jigeesha Mukhopadhyay | Kerry Langan | Sayantani Roy | Susmita Bhattacharya

DRAMA — François Bereaud | Lizzy Santana | Marlana Botnick Fireman | Mary T. Bradford

ART & PHOTOGRAPHY — Anis Tabaraee | D.C. Nobes | François Bereaud | Jerome Berglund | M.R. Mandell | Melissa Nunez | Merlin Flower

EPILOGUE — Tejaswinee Roychowdhury

Editor's Note

We started this magazine with hunger, hope, and zero editing experience, and you guys have made this the best gig of our lives. It has been six months since we dropped our first issue in April. What a ride it has been!

I remember donning the editor’s hat for selfish motives: to read brilliant works for free and learn tricks of the trade in a country with no MFA programmes. That was half a year ago. I have lost track of when editing ceased to be motive-driven and became therapeutic. In the past few months I have found myself awake at wee hours, reading and responding to submissions that won’t let me sleep. Notwithstanding the ill effects it has on my health, I have realised that I need to screw up my sleep cycle, at least once a week, to remain sane in this ridiculous world. The literary community, for many of us, is a lifeline. There is perhaps no better feeling than having another person tell you that they love your work. The second-best feeling is to tell someone how you love their work and then watch their gleeful face and hear their infectious excitement in their email. I guess I have made my point.

Enough about us. This is supposed to be about you, dear readers, and contributors. We always focus on the global aspect of our magazine, because it is our firm belief that as humans, we must understand that whichever community or culture we come from, ours can never be the best nor the only way of life. Experiencing art in any form from different cultures and perspectives humbles us, reminding that there has been and is a hell lot more going on around the world outside our bubble, and that ours is just a slice of the rainbow planet we call home. Like our inaugural issue and our ongoing Weekly Features, we were blessed yet another time to have submissions from about two dozen countries for our second issue. This issue features work by brilliant artists and writers belonging to 20 countries, making it a wholesome source of entertainment and learning. I am sure you will find something within these pages that resonates and stays with you.

One of our goals at The Hooghly Review has been to convert readers into contributors, contributors into repeat offenders, and both readers and contributors into critics. We would love to hear from you your thoughts on this issue and on everything else we do at THR. Whether you love, like, don’t like, or absolutely hate something about us, I insist, borrowing the late great Agha Shahid Ali’s words: “The world is full of paper. Write to me.”

Or you can save trees and send an email.

Ankit Raj Ojha

October 2023