The Bombay Review

stay safe.

And be an Ally.

ISSUE 41 – May, 2021

welcome to the magazine of literary things

Submit your work to the magazine.

January, 2021
November, 2020
September, 2020
August, 2020
June, 2020


Hello readers, writers, and you!

We are happy to bring you the 41st issue of The Bombay Review, featuring a delightful mix of 21 writers from around the world. A very big thank you to all of you for considering us a home for your work. We are really lucky to be supported by you with your submissions, the generous donations, and the readership we claim as family.

All of it makes us who we are, and your contribution helps in sustaining an independent publishing initiative like ours. Hope you are staying safe and healthy, catching up on that reading, and generally just having a lot of water.

As has been the case with the recent issues of The Bombay Review, this small editorial note will be updated further at a later date. Happy reading!

The Bombay Review

Issue 41, May, 2021 (Year 8)

Poetry | ‘Kong’ & ‘The View’ by Theophilus Kwek | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Theophilus Kwek has published four collections of poetry, two of which were shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize. His poems, essays and translations have appeared in The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, The London Magazine, and Mekong Review, among other publications. He serves as Poetry Editor of the Asian Books Blog, and his most recent collection, Moving House, is published by Carcanet Press in the UK.   

Fiction | ‘Spring Snow’ by Anukrti Upadhyay | Issue 41 (May 2021)

Anukrti Upadhyay is billingual writer in English and Hindi. Her work in English; two short novels, Daura and Bhaunri, and one novel, Kintsugi, have been published by HarperCollins under their literary imprint, Fourth Estate.
A collection of Hindi short stories, titled Japani Sarai, and a short novel, titled Neena Aunty, were published by Rajpal and Sons. A new volume of short fiction in English will be published by HarperCollins in July 2021.

Fiction | ‘My Time with a Censor’ by MK Harb | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Mohamad Khalil (MK) Harb is a queer writer from Beirut, Lebanon. He received his graduate degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University in 2018 and currently serves as Editor-at-Large for Lebanon at Asymptote Journal, commissioning and writing pieces relating to Arab literature in translation. His work has been published in BOMB Magazine, The Times Literary Supplement, Hyperallergic, Art Review Asia, Asymptote, Scroope Journal and Jadaliyya.

Poetry | ‘Export Quality’ by Rashi Rohatgi | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Rashi Rohatgi is an Indian American in Arctic Norway. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in, amongst other venues, Best Small Fictions 2021, Midnight Breakfast, and Crossing Borders. Jaggery Lit called her novella, Where the Sun Will Rise Tomorrow, “fearless and breathtaking.” She is currently at work on a novel. Formerly a reader for The Rumpus, she has been an intern for Ayesha Pande Literary, Reviews Editor for Africa in Words, and Fiction Editor for Boston Accent Lit, where she convened the Accent Prize. Rashi is also a former AWP and Binders mentee and a Bread Loaf, VONA, and Tin House alumna.

Book Excerpt | ‘The Play of Dolls’ by Kunwar Narain | Penguin Random House India | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Kunwar Narain (1927-2017), an iconic figure in Indian literature, is regarded as one of the finest writers and thinkers of modern time. Widely translated, his honours include the Sahitya Akademi Award; Kabir Samman; Warsaw University’s honorary medal; Italy’s Premio Feronia for distinguished world author; India’s civilian honour Padma Bhushan; the Senior Fellowship of India’s Academy of Letters; and the Jnanpith, India’s highest literary award.

Poetry | ‘Dear Captor’ & ‘74,013’ by Gina Williams | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Gina Williams is a freelance journalist, gardener, former wildland firefighter, and visual artist. She is the author of An Unwavering Horizon, a full-length collection of poetry published in 2020 (Finishing Line Press). Her writing and visual art have been featured most recently by The Inflectionist Review, Carve, La Piccioletta Barca, Moss, River Teeth, and Electric Lit, among others. Gina lives and creates near Portland, Oregon USA with her best friend and fellow poet, husband Brad Garber. Learn more about her and her work at

Fiction | ‘A Day in the Life of Rakhal Roy’ by Rahad Abir | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Rahad Abir is a writer from Bangladesh. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, The Bombay Literary Magazine, The Wire, Himal Southasian, TSS Publishing, Brick Lane Tales anthology, and elsewhere. He has an MFA from Boston University. He received the 2017-18 Charles Pick Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. Currently he is working on his first novel and a story collection.

Fiction | ‘Color Work’ by Tom Silva | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Tom Silva studied Creative Writing at the University of Chicago. As a filmmaker, his work has been showcased at the Montreal World Film Festival and the Art Institute of Chicago. His film, Silhouettes, was acquired by NY-based Dreamscape Media and is now available internationally through Amazon Prime. His publishing credits include stories and articles in The Nashwaak Review, Film International, and London-based Hot Topics.

Poetry | ‘Domestication’ by Tabish Nawaz | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Tabish teaches Environmental Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay. He has recently published his first short story collection Opening Clouds, Fermented Rain (Hawakal). His poems, essays and short stories have been published in The Critical Flame, Shimmer Spring Anthology, Ethos Literary Journal, The Punch Magazine, The Conversation, Indian Review, The Bangalore Review, Flash Fiction Magazine among other venues.

Poetry | ‘Perspectives’ & ‘Collision’ by Paul Connolly | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Paul Connolly’s poems have appeared in Agenda, The Warwick Review, Poetry Salzburg, The Reader, Scintilla, Dawntreader, Takahē (New Zealand), Dream Catcher, Orbis, The Journal, FourXFour, The Seventh Quarry, Sarasvati, Envoi, Obsessed with Pipework, The Cannon’s Mouth, Southlight, Foxtrot Uniform, Guttural, The High Window, Nine Muses, Eunoia Review (Singapore), The Honest Ulsterman, Canada Quarterly, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Littoral Magazine, Northampton Poetry Review, and London Grip, and will soon be published in Quadrant (Australia), Stand Magazine and Chiron Review (USA). Shortlisted for the Bridport and Charles Causley Prizes, he was highly commended in the Sentinel Quarterly and third in the Magna Carta Competitions.   

Fiction | ‘My Favorite Uncle’ by Suman Mallick | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Suman Mallick’s debut novel “The Black-Marketer’s Daughter” was a finalist for the Disquiet Open Borders Book Prize, and published in October, 2020. His debut short story ‘Disorientation’ was published by The Gravity of the Thing. He is the Assistant Managing Editor of the literary magazine Under the Gum Tree, and received his Master of Fine Arts from Portland State University, where he also taught English and Creative Writing. 

Fiction | ‘The Heavenly Kingdom’ by Leanne Ogasawara | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Leanne Ogasawara has worked as a translator from the Japanese for over twenty years. Her translation work has included academic translation, poetry, philosophy, documentary film, and poetry. Her creative writing has appeared in Gulf Coast Journal, the Kyoto Journal, River Teeth/Beautiful Things, Hedgehog Review, Entropy, the Dublin Review of Books, and forthcoming in Pleiades Magazine. She has a monthly column at the science and arts blog 3 Quarks Daily. Her short story “Bare Bones” won the 2020 Calvino Prize, judged by Joyce Carol Oates.

Poetry | ‘A Courtesan’ by Mandakini Bhattacherya | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Mandakini Bhattacherya, from Kolkata, is currently an Associate Professor of English at Fakir Chand College, affiliated with the University of Calcutta in West Bengal, India. She is a multi-lingual poet composing in English, Hindi, Punjabi and Bengali. Her work has appeared in Better Than Starbucks, The Dotism Journal, The HyperTexts, Poetry Nation, Setu Magazine, Muse India, Hayati, Sahityanama, Different Truths, among others. She was invited by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi and participated in the All India Young Writers’ Meet organised in February, 2020. She is Associate Editor of the MUSE OF NOW PARADIGM anthology published in 2020.

Poetry | ‘Baldness’ by Romi Jain | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Romi Jain is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of British Columbia, Canada. Her poems have appeared in literary journals such as Off the Coast, Penwood Review, Transition, Journal of Poetry Society (India), The Tower Journal, Touch, and Munyori Literary Journal. Jain’s poem “India: From the Lens of History” appeared in Harvard Asia Quarterly (Summer 2014). Her creative works include The Storm Within (2008; 2011), Poetry! You Resurrect Me (2011) and Voices of Rocks in the Dusk (2012)

Poetry | ‘house-held-things’ by Sonali Pattnaik | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Dr. Sonali Pattnaik is a poet, academic and visual artist based in Ahmedabad, India. She has an MPhil in English from Delhi University and a PhD in English  from Mumbai University and is (former) permanent Lecturer in English at Delhi University’s Kirori Mal College. She is currently visiting faculty at St. Xavier’s College Ahmedabad. Her poetry and artwork have most recently been published in The Kali Project (Indie Blu Publication, Pennsylvania, USA, 2021). Her poems have found homes (in print) in Journeys (Sampad, UK, 2010), and in online journals including, CafeDissensus, Muse India, Wordgathering and Writer’s Asylum and her art most recently appeared in ‘Canvas Calling’ (The Shout Network, 2019).

Essay | ‘Kāli’s Cleaver’ by Michael David Sowder | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Michael’s a professor of English and affiliated faculty member in Religious Studies at Utah State University. His first poetry collection, “The Empty Boat,” was chosen by Diane Wakoski to win the T.S. Eliot Award, and his recent most collection is: “House Under the Moon”.
His work has appeared in American Life in Poetry, Five Points, The New York Times Online, Lion’s Roar, Green Mountains Review, Poet Lore, Sufi Journal, New Poets of the American West, Sow’s Ear, Pilgrimage, and elsewhere. He also wrote a regular blog for the Huffington Post some time ago.

Poetry | Two Poems by Sam Cheuk | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Sam Cheuk is a Hong Kong-born Canadian poet and author of Love Figures (Insomniac Press, 2011), Deus et Machina (Baseline Press, 2017) and the upcoming collection Postscripts from a City Burning (Palimpsest Press, 2021) on the 2019 protests in Hong Kong and their aftermath. He holds an MFA in creative writing from New York University and BA in English literature from University of Toronto. He is currently working on the second half of the diptych, tentatively titled Marginalia, that examines the function, execution, and generative potential behind censorship. #香港人加油 #StandWithHongKong #MilkTeaAlliance