Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rebuilding Memories


Archaeologists say that the city of Mohenjodara was destroyed by flood & then rebuilt on the ruins for about seven times. What eventually destroyed that ancient civilization we do not know, but what was destroyed in the Indus Valley were not mere walls and garrisons and citadels and public baths. The earthquake, or the drying up of the river, or the invasions… or whatever it was- took with it lives, memories, untold stories- stories that experts are still trying to figure out from the undecipherable seals. The resilient, courageous people of Mohenjodara tried seven times- with each destruction something was lost, yet they strove to build up something new, till they faltered at the end.
Today when an earthquake strikes Haiti or when a cyclone ravages Bangladesh and the Eastern coast of India, when a Tsunami shakes Japan or a flood washes away the known contours of Pakistan, New Zealand or Queensland- humankind perhaps has better resources in its hand to pick up the broken pieces than did our ancestors by the river Indus. And yet- things are destroyed. Things are lost. Familiar places are changed forever. That little cafĂ© by the street corner where Lucy met Andrew for the first time, or the bookstore where Susan first learned to love words, or the old oak tree underneath which Jake had slain dragons and fought demons at the age of five- they are retained only in memories. And like the people of Indus Valley before us, we must attempt to recreate and rebuild. And so Kate Eltham, CEO of the Queensland Writers’ Centre says in her introduction to 100 Stories for Queensland“When so much was lost and destroyed, this was created.”
100 Stories for Queensland is a collection of a hundred beautiful stories, our stories- stories about events ordinary and special- that could happen to anyone anywhere in the world, even to you. It is a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit, of its instinctive, creative defiance. Put together by the painstaking labour of Jodi Cleghorn and a dedicated team of volunteers including Trevor Belshaw, Marit Meredith,Maureen Vincent-Northam, Greg McQueen and David Robinson, the anthology has stories by renowned writers such as Ev Bishop, Sue Moorcroft and Anita Heiss as well as from new writers from all over the world, including one by me. All proceeds from the sales go to the Queensland Premier's Flood Appeal.
The book is available as paperback on Amazon, Waterstones, and The Book Depository & as an ebook from the official website.
We offer you our stories, & ask your help to rebuild Queensland.
©Ruchira Mandal

3 comments:

  1. Dear Ruchira,

    What a great review. It really is a wonderful anthology, isn't it? And for such a good cause. I'm flattered by the special mention--thank you!--and look forward to visiting your blog again.

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  2. :) I am really really surprised and really really pleased by a comment to this blog piece. Thank you for reading, Ev.

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  3. A contradiction about hardships tackled over two different eras far away from each other, in the context of facilities to rebuild the lost, was well stated..... good work.

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