Let us start our talk with a small story. Its early seventies, the country is slowly getting into a political turmoil. People are insecure about their freedom for the first time since independence and the mirage of the great Indian victory is slowly breaking up. Patna is oblivious to the change, it is about to provide to the country.
There are great writers in the city, writing in Hindi and other local dialects. The local university is in its golden period and there are small groups of writers and poets, reading and writing poems, reciting them in graveyards, Ganga ghats, libraries, communes and hostel rooms. The youth is inspired and fascinated by everything that is there, Russia, Cuba, Noam Chomsky, the hungry generation, Nirala, Muktibodh, Neruda, Walt Whitman and G.B. Shaw.
There are many short magazines in print, though mostly in Hindi and almost none in English, where poets are writing, where new thinkers are being born every day.
History, if you understand it, changes when something of this kind happens.
The way the dynamics of a society works and the way it should work, if something is initiated by a generation, it is the duty of the next generation to carry it forward. Somewhere, that piece of the puzzle went missing.
Let me paint you a picture – it’s 2013. The city is quite different. We are in the era of globalization and economic recession. It is the time of corruption strutting on the streets and vendors painting customers in their own colours. The students are indifferent towards the correct issues. The graveyard is full of weeds and even the Ganges has left the ghats alone. There are almost no events which involve students directly and us as students are equally faulty here.
The skyscrapers of literature and culture in the city are ruins and the legacy is long forgotten. The university is the most dormant than it has ever been. There is no student involvement. There is no encouragement without self interest and the passion has depleted. As students of literature here, we have all faced that frustration and have long since felt the need of a platform to be heard. Commonplace solves that.
Commonplace is a group of literature students and enthusiasts which works to celebrate literature in the city. It aims to bring to the students a platform for the expression of their artistic capabilities. Commonplace is also about celebrating the local literature and literary figures without being hindered by the bonds of language and culture. Commonplace is aimed at providing the exposure and platform, a young and amateur artist wants.
There have been several open mic readings involving reciting short stories and poems.The fall issue of the journal was printed and circulated among students.This zine is a way forward.