With spring around the corner, it takes great effort to miss the festive gaiety in the air. Floral festoons spring forth indesigns unimagined and the fervid chirps and songs of birds render the crisp breeze with ubiquitous joy. One wouldactually wonder whether it was sheer mirth in the air that makes them coo, or it was their unorchestrated performancethat makes the air thus. Snow clad lands watch the white canvas erupt with greens and reds and yellows while placescloser to the earth’s waistline pinch suitable colours from the earthy garb of the landscape and add a dash of brightcolour everywhere. Every community welcomes this period of the year with open arms. The colours that drape theearth find their way into the hearts of men too and break any shackles that hold the artist, the lover in one.Undeniably, love is in the air, too. This is a phase that follows a long white quiet, when the desire of the earth is patiently cloaked in a colourless shroud and, with a change of breeze, the earth flowers with the love that she held for long in her warm breast. Such is the case with human love as well, for the telling of Nature cannot be lost to even thehuman heart. Apart from events made popular by greeting card companies, the warmth of togetherness is welcomed just like the earth that smiles while bearing the greater weight of flowers and produce with the lightness of love.Beauty as one sees on a tree, or down a valley or across the meadows hemmed in by lofty swaying mountains, cannot but be the result of a love not entirely unknown to the human mind. Innumerous poets have written scores about Nature’s beauty and have evoked the imagination of the most dulled reader. I wouldn’t be surprised if most joyous poems were written during spring. Art, beauty and Nature are so intimately tied in that many intellectuals have usedthe strength of words and their imagination to capture something so delicately braided; those who knew, smiled andnever spoke lest they taint such a Divine marriage.But amidst all this perceivable wonder that is presented year after year, there is one aspect of spring that is not marked by many – that of surprises. One can never be able to predict the count and shade of blossoms that will kiss the branches of a tree or colour the earth in a garden. Every swaying stalk holds within its heart the exact hue and softnessof the tulip it will bear. Hidden amongst the trees of the forest is the pattern that will bring the canvas to life. Every bird’s song is a never-to-be-repeated performance rendered extempore. The gurgle of the freshly melted ice cascadingdown the mountains is earlier unheard and all of the valley turns to listen to its soft song as it dances and meanders itsway to an ocean eagerly waiting to listen to stories about a land it would rather not enter. I have always believed thatspring loves to play the game of “guess-what-I-am-painting-today” but the tapestry is so overwhelming that none joinin the game but merely gape wide-mouthed at the strokes of her brush. Imagine her giggling at the idea that struck her, an idea that she would use to paint the world with a hidden pattern that only the naked lover can recognize. It issuch a lover who sits by the river and speaks to the spring floating in the air and eddying in the waters below and asksher, “How shall you dress today?” and she murmurs, “Close your eyes and guess.”Alvibest unabashedly borrowed this idea from spring and decided to spring forth with an issue inviting you to thegame of “guess-what-the-theme-is”, which we hope you will enjoy. This issue is laden with articles and works of art,which carry a definite but definitely hidden theme. Run your senses over the various pieces included here andchallenge your alertness and shrewdness to extracting the theme that, we hope, is embedded well in the articles. Thetheme makes itself available to the darkest aspects of its realization in human interaction as well as the simplest, mostheart-rending ones. We would urge you not to spend your heart on merely identifying the theme but allow the variousemotions captured in the articles/pieces to swamp you and present the emerging theme without coercing it.Finding their way into this issue are few wonderful pictures taken by professional as well as amateur photographers.John Banville’s
is an experience re-lived by Lavanya. AgniBharathi’s adaptation of a chapter in theRamayana is an interesting read.
as well as
Wish I could
deal with one side of this issue’s theme while
The Red Naissance
provide other views. The nonfiction pieces provide insights into the theme lived inour daily lives.
(Kaustubha is Lord Vishnu’s most favourite jewel and Vaatika means garden)takes a tale from Indian mythology and gives it a fictional twist.Included at the end are updated submission guidelines. We would be very interested in reading your work andincluding them in future issues of Alvibest. Readers, who are interested in contributing time and effort in reviewingsubmissions, working on the design
(we thank the unknown gentleman who sits near the railway station every day and is featured on this issue’s cover design)
and layout of the magazine as well as the logistics, are welcome to write firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggestions and ideas are welcome email@example.com. We hope you enjoy
this experience and join us on this journey. Happy reading.