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Different Truths stands up for the cause of autism. It’s not easy to be a torchbearer. International Anthology of Poems on Autism and the print division, Different Truths Publications are being launched soon, says Arindam, our Editor-in-Chief, in the curtain raiser. An exclusive.
This is the third year when we, at Different Truths, have decided to come out with a Special Feature on autism. It’s our commitment and passion to be a torchbearer for the Special Needs children, in particular, and adults, in general.
Let’s sing the Autism Awareness Song by Cassandra Kubinski, Not So Different
Some people asked me if our efforts will do any good to the autistic people? Can articles, stories and poems help them in any way? Is it not waste of effort and energy?
Perhaps we are forgetting our history. Ideas are far more powerful.
Perhaps we are forgetting our history. Ideas are far more powerful. “Ideas precede action.” This was told to us by our erudite professor, Dr. Manas Mulul Das, many moons ago, when we were students at the Allahabad University. We were enjoying coffee with our teacher that day.
Our freedom movement, be it sporadic uprisings or more organised ones, were wars of ideas. Vande Mataram became a war cry for all freedom fighters – whether it was noose around their necks or bullets. The songs of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s Azad Hind Fauz are still alive in many regiments of the Indian Army.
The entire uprising by the Blacks bear testimony to the power of poetry/song.
The entire uprising by the Blacks bear testimony to the power of poetry/song. To escape they sang coded songs while working on the cotton fields. It told the people about the weather and the route map of fleeing to Ohio and Pennsylvania – it’s coincidence that two of our editors Anumita and Michele stay in these states. From these places they crossed the river and escaped into Canada.
There are countless examples of cultural revolution that led to overthrow of the old order.
As writers, researchers, storytellers, poets and editors, we are here to tell stories and sing songs.
As writers, researchers, storytellers, poets and editors, we are here to tell stories and sing songs. Not happy songs always. We are here to dispel doubts and help build hope for those people whose journeys are often difficult and treacherous.
Healthy doubt is good. It helps us to establish a dialogue – better known as shastrarth in ancient India. Allow me to digress a bit. Adi Shankracharya (Shankar), a young Vedic scholar, was to debate with another learned Vedic scholar, Mandan Mishra. Shankar believed that rituals had no role in spirituality. Mandan, a great ritualist, thought otherwise. They agreed to debate with a condition that if Shankar lost, he would marry and settle down as a Grihasth (householder). However, if Mandan lost, he would leave his Grihasth life and would become a celibate monk.
Shankar opted for Mandan’s wife, an erudite scholar in her own rights. She said that she had some preconditions.
The question was who was to judge these two great scholars of that time. Shankar opted for Mandan’s wife, an erudite scholar in her own rights. She said that she had some preconditions. Both scholars were to bathe, wear a garland of flowers, and debate bare bodied. Later, she reasoned that the temperature of the body of that person who was angry would rise. That would affect the freshness of the flowers.
A wise man does not get angry.
Mandan lost. The flowers of his garland had wilted by the evening. He accepted his wife’s mandate, though he had to leave her, forever. He became Shankar’s disciple.
But why did I recount this story?
My Tauji had warned me that if you try to do any good, without any selfish motives, you would face lots of flak.
My Tauji (father’s elder brother) had warned me that if you try to do any good, without any selfish motives, you would face lots of flak. Never get angry. It’s okay to be hurt. But, smile and explain your position. Learn to differ with lot of respect for the others’ point of views.
In hindsight, I understand, why I accepted that there are many truths and named our webzine, Different Truths. Early learnings stay with us. This is true of people with learning disabilities, the autistic children. And yes, it takes a lot of patience for the parents and teachers of these Special Needs children.
They don’t need our sympathy. Instead, they need our love and support. A little empathy is welcome too.
No one remote controls our editorial policies. We have no ‘Holy Cows’.
I reiterate that since Different Truths does not get any ‘corporate/brand funding’, there are no diktats from the advertisers. No one remote controls our editorial policies. We have no ‘Holy Cows’. Remember the adage, one who pays the piper calls the shots. We are free. Therefore, we can take up issues of Advocacy, time and again, which many established big houses cannot. Such issues are not ‘profitable’ for them.
Small is beautiful. We need your participation at various levels. We need your support in this journey.
The trust that poets reposed on us, is immense.
For the first time, we are coming out with an International Anthology of Poems on Autism, in print, wherein we are featuring over 55 poets, including 16 poets from overseas. The trust that poets reposed on us, is immense. It’s bigger than the two earlier eAnthologies. Its online version will have a staggered release in Different Truths. We wish to distribute it through subscription and online portals.
I thank the entire editorial board – Luz Maria Lopez, Michele Baron, Yuri Zambrano, Tzemin Ition Tsai, Virginia Jasmin Pasalo and Anumita Chatterjee Roy – for putting their shoulders to the wheel. Read the insightful editorials in the International Anthology to pick our global editors’ brains.
We are also launching Different Truths Publications with this International Anthology. Therefore, this little book is of special value to us.
Please order the copies of the International Anthology via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We present to you five articles, including two research papers, and eight short stories from various parts of the world.
Here’s the blueprint of our four-day, Wednesday to Saturday, Special Feature on autism. We present to you five articles, including two research papers, and eight short stories from various parts of the world. Here’s the blueprint.
Day One: Wed, Apr 24:
We open the Special Feature with this curtain raiser, Ideas Precede Action: The Torchbearer for a Cause; International Anthology of Poems on Autism and Our Print Division Launching Soon, by our Editor-in-Chief, Arindam Roy.
Alexander was fascinated by the circular movements of the fans. An intriguing story by Luz Maria Lopez, about an autistic child in, Spiral of Movement. The first lead of the day.
In the second lead, Atrayee Bhattacharya unfolds the life of Agastya, an autistic child, through his sister, Swaroopa, in this poignant story, The Birdbrain and His Birds.
Day Two: Thursday, Apr 25:
Prof. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad, a renowned psychiatrist and a celebrated author of over 100 books, examines the nitty-gritties of learning disability, an erudite research that he conducted in the US, in the Cover Story, What are Learning Disabilities?
The intriguing short story, Zephyr, is about wind, the leaf blower and his desire, by Michele Baron, is our first lead.
Tapati Sinha takes us into the world of colours of Babua, an autistic child. He’s an excellent artist, in a fascinating story, Different Strokes of Colours. This is the second lead.
The article, Benefits of Music Therapy for the Autistic Children, by Alessandra Arora, reasons that music therapy is a panacea for the autistic children. This is the anchor.
Day Three: Friday, Apr 26:
We open the day with the Cover Story, Autism in Social Neuroscience. It’s an in-depth analysis of the social neuroscience of autism, with reference to India with three million cases of ASD, by Nachiketa Bandyopadhyay.
In the first lead, Santosh Bakaya tells us about Sunny, a nonverbal autistic child, the trials and tribulations of his parents, in a fascinating short story, And he Pulled up His Socks.
Sucharita Dutta-Asane unfolds the dynamics of relationships for an autistic person with sensitivity in the short story, A Song of Silence. It’s the second lead of the day.
Bina Pillai shares her struggles and success in finding a special school for her grandson with learning disability, in a candid article, When my Dream Came True…
Day Four: Sat, Apr 27:
The Cover Story of the fourth and final day, Were the Shackles of Autism Broken for Martino?, by Osman Abraham Lincoln, investigates the life of Martino, an autistic person, in a sensitive way.
The first lead, Vani, an autistic child, had a tremendous story-making capability since childhood. She also knew how to seek revenge. A humourous story, A Sweet Revenge, by Reetwika Banerjee.
A tragicomedy from Nancy Ndeke, about Leon, his difficult birth, struggle with life and more, in the enigmatic short story, Health is Wealth, but Love is Life, the second lead.
It’s our ardent hope that we, in Different Truths, have been able to make a small contribution to the sensitive issue of ASD.
Let’s be the change that we want to make.
Let’s together sing a song of hope, ‘It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.’
Photos from the Internet