Call for submissions: The Everyday and Other Tagore

Tagore addressing his tenantsCAFE DISSENSUS

UPDATE: The issue is now available here.

Issue 19:  October 2015: The Everyday and Other Tagore [Last date for submission: 30 September, 2015; Date of publication: October, 2015]

Send submissions to:

There is the Rabindranath Tagore we all know – the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, the founder of Visva-Bharati University, the grand literary canon of India, and the towering figure without whom Bengal just can’t do.

And there’s the other Rabindranath Tagore, the one who forms the leitmotif of the activities of a social worker working with children from marginal communities in Delhi. Tagore shows up in their handcrafted embroideries, in the food they make, in their art and craft projects, in the plays they enact, and in the worldview they imbibe, unbeknownst to themselves.

Tagore comes alive in the song an unknown Baul fakir sings in a village in Bangladesh, “Jawkhon porbe na mor payer chinho ei baate,” (When my footprints are no longer seen on this path). The words haunt the listener with the singer-poet’s elegiac visions of a time after he is gone. It’s penned and composed by Tagore, yes, but the fakir makes it his own, with his distinctly carefree, unchained rendition.

In a very urban school in Delhi, a principal strives to give her students a taste of Tagore’s inclusive education paradigm. She doesn’t have the space to provide the open-air classrooms of Visva-Bharati, but she opens the doors of art, literature, music, dance, and drama to her pupils, so they can breathe free beyond the confines of a book’s pages.

In one of his most powerful poems (Patraput, 15), Tagore declares himself an outcast, one who has renounced the bondage of religion and ritual. He likens himself to Bauls and their search for the man of the heart, a quest to find divinity in humanity, not in external or imagined symbols.

This is the other, everyday Tagore – internalized in universes that don’t often feature in scholarly discourses.

This issue of Café Dissensus invites fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or multimedia works on the theme of The Everyday and Other Tagore.

Along with written pieces, we are also open to audio-visual content. If you would like to do a short interview (5-15 minutes), please feel free to send that to us. If you send us the rush copy, we can edit. However, it would be better if you do the editing and send to us.

Your submissions should not exceed 1500 words. If a particular piece deserves more space, we are willing to go beyond the word limit. Please email them to Also, provide a brief 2-3 line bio at the end of your piece. Submissions will be accepted until 30 September, 2015.

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Call for submissions: “Here and There: The Diaspora Universe”


UPDATE: The special issue on diaspora living, Here and There: The Diaspora Universe is now up at Cafe Dissensus.

Note: This submission call is on behalf of Cafe Dissensus.

About five years ago, I came to embody the etymology of the word diaspora, which comes from the Greek diaspeirein, meaning to scatter about or disperse. Marriage brought me to Western shores – first in balmy California and later to the Canadian shield in southern Ontario.

I find it interesting that the concept of diaspora has its roots in the earthly act of scattering, because the process of migration is one of dispersal on more levels than merely the physical one.

The drift across different points on a map can’t happen without cross-pollination – of habits and habitats, mindsets and memories. One learns to imagine the koel’s morning call in a robin’s song and see the blaze of gulmohar flowers in crimson fall colours. Diaspora islands germinate amidst fast-paced and crowded world cities even as the islanders strain to tread the tightrope between integrating and preserving.

I will be guest editing a forthcoming issue of Café Dissensus focusing on diaspora living. We will seek to explore through fiction, creative non-fiction, and audio-visual expressions:

1) The reality versus illusion of boundaries with respect to identities.

2) Inter-generational conflicts and contradictions in diaspora universes.

3) The challenges of “settling” in a new territory – societal, cultural, emotional.

4) The rewards of diaspora living – embracing new cultural mores, wider exposure to issues facing other communities, interconnectedness.

5) Translations of fiction and non-fiction work on diaspora.

Along with the written pieces, we are also open to audio-visual content. If you would like to do a short interview (5-15 minutes) with an author, a scholar, a faculty etc., please feel free to send that to us. Please send us an edited copy.

We are also looking to include photographs and artwork that explore this issue’s theme.

Your submissions should not exceed 1500 words. Please email them to and Also, provide a brief bio at the end of your piece. This issue is planned for online publication on 1 July, 2014. Submissions will be accepted until June 25, 2014.

General guidelines are here.

Cafe Dissensus is an alternative magazine dealing in art, culture, literature, and politics. It’s based in New York City, USA.