Editor’s Note

A couple of days back, I was watching an enjoyable documentary on Netflix called The Greatest Night in Pop, that chronicled the making of the widely popular song “We are the World” sometime in 1985. Being a 90s child, I grew up with this and many other anthems. Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World” comes to mind. It got me thinking about the nature of our war-torn world. Unfortunately, we haven’t come very far from the point when these songs were written and in fact, just might fare worse now than we did then. What this documentary also made me think, putting aside the very obvious narrative of the West swooping in with the grandeur of the Savior, is the curious absence of anthems, that ran through most of our childhood, in the present times. Not national anthems, certainly not, if anything else, they are more prescient now than ever before, but powerful music that can meander across borders and unite people in the most curious way, in hope, in love, in humanity, in ways that only music can. I don’t believe we have that now. What we do have though is the potency of words that moves between the many worlds, languages and cultures through translations, works that show us what social media algorithms don’t, a glimpse into the many lives of people, of poets, of authors, essayists, individuals that convey their beliefs in remarkably unique voices, voices that we wouldn’t have known had they not been translated. The Antonym believes in and celebrates this power of translation and curates for you, dear readers, poetry, fiction, book excerpts, book reviews, essays, interviews and everything translation. Each month we focus on specific Indian and international languages and publish accordingly. For the month of February this year, we are consciously focusing on Urdu and Italian as our definitive languages. We have twenty publications this month in all the categories mentioned thus far and are especially excited to bring to you translations of Urdu poetry from Kashmir and Pakistan, translated Arabic short fiction, translations of contemporary Italian poets. We also have, as always, a delectable selection of Bengali and Hindi poetry and short fiction in translation. Our
Bookworm section comprises three book reviews on the latest translated works as well as an excerpt from one of our own publications. I sincerely hope you love reading our publications as much as we have enjoyed compiling them for you. Happy reading!