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Talking Sanskrit to Fallen Leaves

In language which is deceptively simple and accessible, Satyendra Srivastava writes about a world which is, on the surface, familiar. In the wry wit of his reinterpretations of Hindu myth and the sometimes surreal nature of his story-telling, he constantly surprises us into looking at the world afresh.


Satyendra Srivastava
United Kingdom, India
Date published
1 Dec 1995

He creates characters, such as Sita of Chapel Street and Bob Shillington, who plays cricket alone, who are emblematic and memorable. His voice is irreverent, bawdy, pained and gentle by turns, but always distinctive and intimate.

'There was a time, aside from all the Imperial cant and abuses, when Indian and Briton could share a unique intimacy of culture. A forced intimacy to start with and one never lacking in passion on both sides, but one that creatively brought out the best in the best of both races. Then came a messy painful divorce, with hurt pride and a rather hollow proving to the world that each could do without the other... but like two old lovers they still keep sneaking back into each others arms. Such meetings are often fruitful and something like Satyendra Srivastava’s Talking Sanskrit to Fallen Leaves, full of life and hybrid vigour, comes to birth.' - Haiku Quarterly

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Satyendra Srivastava

Satyendra Srivastava was born in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India in 1935. He was educated at the University of Poona, and at the University of London, where he was awarded a Ph D in 1978. He lectured at the University of Toronto 1969-71; since 1980 he has been senior language teaching officer at Cambridge University.

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