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INDIOM BY DALJIT NAGRA

“Babu has arrived and cobwebs will blow”

We’re so excited that our Autumn Choice Indiom by Daljit Nagra is heading out to members this week (ahead of the official 7th Sept publication date). Born into a working class Sikh family in London, Daljit Nagra is chair of the Royal Society of Literature and presents Radio 4 Extra’s Poetry Extra.

Indiom is a playful East-meets-West hybrid cavort with a serious comment. Indiom revels in and reclaims the glory of Babu English (the hybrid office language of the administrative class under the Raj) to scrutinise the legacies of Empire, casteism, colourism, mimicry and mockery.

As Daljit says in our Bulletin magazine: “My first language was Punjabi and I learnt English at school… I wanted to capture that uprooted yet jubilantly free feeling of excess I often experience as an inbetweener”. The result is the joyous linguistic mela of Indiom which, as our selector Roy Mcfarlane claims, “flagrantly flounces in all its fluent babuness and the beauty of being Indian”.

Pictured on @jaipurlitfest scarf, of course.

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