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  1. 1. Writers Profiles Vandana Chauhan: Vandana is completing her second doctoral year in C.S.D Psychology at the New School for Social Research. When she isn’t researching social support systems, she enjoys writing. Kavitha Cherian: Kavitha is a geopolitics analyst at Roubini Global Economics. Her areas of expertise include Sub- Saharan Africa and Central Asia, as well as climate change, nuclear proliferation, U.S. foreign policy and international development. Shaunak Nanavati: Shaun is an experimentalist and pediatric neuropsychologist. He recently travelled to the Himalayas where he drew inspiration for Sahana and the King. The story was co-written by me and my daughter, Saloni, during bedtimes over a month. Matt Wice: Matt Wice is pursuing his MA in Psychology at the NSSR. Before joining the New School, he spent two years teaching abroad in Japan.
  2. 2. Bitter - an excerpt from a short story Vandana Chauhan Seema was careful not to sit too close to Johnny because he smelled. She dutifully did her homework in notebooks with brown covers, and heeded her mothers’ call to help her chop onions or to sweep away the dust on the main floor. Seema accepted these routines as natural and looked forward to free time when she would take out her box of pencils, crayons, and pens of assorted colors and decide which shade of blue or shade of red she would color the pictures in her coloring book. Sometimes she was brave enough to draw her own pictures on plain paper, but got frustrated by how they weren't perfect outlines as the ones already in her picture book. Then she would switch to coloring within the printed outlines. One day, as she washed dishes in the sink while her mother stirred a pot of stewing potatoes, her mother said, "Seema, soon you are going to have someone to play with and to help me take care of!” Seema looked up into her mothers face. Her brown eyes, lined by black kohl which had begun to smudge because of the sweat developing in her creases, looked back at her. Her mother had a soft kind expression just then, and she put her hand on Seema's shoulder. "Do you want a little brother or a little sister?" Seema understood and smiled as she went back to rinsing her soap lathered plate under the faucet. * The rickshaw biked over big stones and potholed roads, jostling its inhabitants. Seema had the misfortune of sitting next to Johnny today and with every hard bump on the road, plump Johnny was pushed into her side and Seema breathed in whiffs of his pungent odor. She held onto the side bars and turned her face to the window. A small group was gathered outside Dr. Ramdayal's Gynecologic Clinic. There was a van whose original color was white but was now brownish grey. It looked like it had driven a long way. A board in the rear window displayed in bright red colors: "Delhi Womens’ Press". Women in orange and pink salwaar kameezes, dupatta's falling off their shoulders, and big black sunglasses on their faces, were standing outside the main entrance of Dr. Ramdayal's clinic. A couple of them were held notepads and wrote in short fast bursts while the others talked to a man who made defensive gestures with his arms. It seemed he would never stop shaking his head. Seema surmised that the man must be the doctor because he had a big bald head, with tufts of white hair behind his ears, and big black framed glasses on his face. The doctors she colored in her coloring book often had the same features. He wore a grey stiff collared shirt, with dark sweat stains in the armpits, and khaki pants. "Can you hear what they are saying?" Johnny’s voice interrupted her attention. He was much closer to her than Seema could tolerate and his bitter smell irritated her so that she snapped, "No, how can I hear from all the way here what they are talking about?"
  3. 3. "My mummy writes for the newspaper. She says Dr. Ramdayal has some unfair arrangement with his ultrasound technician." Seema pushed Johnny back with her elbow. "How do you know these big words." "I read, stupid", Johnny snapped back. "You should be happy you were born. Otherwise your mother also would have gone to Dr. Ramdayal to clean you out after learning you were a girl baby in her tummy." * Seema sliced through the red onion and knew that the vapors were rising up to make her eyes water. She prepared for the impact by squinting. Her mother was next to her heating oil in a pan. Her sharp kohl lined eyes looked at the pan but her solemn, worried countenance revealed that her mind was elsewhere. Ever since her mother had hinted to Seema that she was going to have a little brother or a little sister, Seema had looked forward to helping her mother in the kitchen. Her mother seemed happier even though she never openly showed it. When she smiled at Seema there was more kindness in her face; as she prepared afternoon tea her face was pleasant. She would even give Seema an extra biscuit at tea time. It was as if mother and daughter were silently and constantly celebrating the new arrival. Today, the excitement vanished. Seema had sensed something was different when she came home from school and Lakshmi, the neighbors’ maid, yelled out to Seema from the adjacent veranda that her mother and father would be home in an hour. Seema had nibbled on sugary tea biscuits and taken sips of Fanta until she heard keys jiggling at the main door. She went to the foyer to greet her parents then stopped short when she saw them. Her father, a tall, thin, dark skinned man with oily black hair, had pursed his lips into a straight line. His eyes, brown with slightly yellowed whites, conveyed relief. Her mother stood next to him, her sari modestly wrapped around her head, outlining a face whose full lips quivered and appeared to be permanently set in a frown. Her sharp eyes glistened. The puffiness of her eyelids suggested they shone because she had been crying. They both looked at Seema but didn't acknowledge her. They entered through the doorway together and then their bodies separated into different rooms. Seema was left standing there, feeling an emotional wave of a deep, dark kind. Her belly tightened. She went to her room and pulled out her coloring things. For the first time she put them back away in her closet again without using them. * The stinging vapors from the onion flowed into her eyes making Seema tear. The overwhelming natural response to wash away the irritant melted her resolve to appear strong and she found herself saying out loud, "What happened to the baby, Mama?”
  4. 4. "There is no baby anymore" her mother spoke softly. Seema felt her mother’s hand on her shoulder. It felt light and weak.
  5. 5. Koki's Cafe Matt Wice The first time I met Koki was at a potluck party in Usuki, the small Japanese town where I was living at the time. I was told by my supervisor, who had invited me to the party, that I would like Koki and could speak “native” English with him. This became clear soon after we started talking. Koki had clearly learned English the right way: from American movies, popular culture, travel, international friends and significant others. In short, he didn’t learn it from a textbook. I soon learned that Koki had spent time living in the U.S. and had happened to move to New Orleans with a girlfriend shortly before Katrina hit. He returned to Japan soon after the disaster. I had family in New Orleans who had also lost their home in the hurricane and couldn’t believe this bizarre and tragic connection. “No way!” I exclaimed when I heard this. “Way,” he responded with a solemn nod. Koki’s hair is a wild, dark mop with drastic swoops and big shapes. It looks like abstract art. The image of Edward Scissorhands comes to mind. He usually wears a tie with a black shirt, skinny jeans and converse sneakers. Like Miles Davis, Koki’s classic coolness is of the variety that can be appreciated by almost anyone. The guy chain-smokes Marlbro Reds, plays a snarling electric guitar and rides a motorcycle. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t find at least one of those things cool. At the party, I learned that Koki’s cafe would be closing soon and re-locating to a new spot in the same neighborhood. The menu would grow to include hot dogs and Koki’s homemade curry. It would stay open later and serve alcohol. Koki and his architect friend would be building this new place up from scratch. In an effort to help get the new bar/café up and running faster, I started showing up at the new site and offering my services. These services included my imprecise sawing, uneven painting and the providing of constant distractions. Despite my interference with the project, the bar was soon completed. With a futuristic, European feel to it, the cafe was strikingly different than the traditional Japanese-style surroundings of the neighborhood. Half- Star Wars and half-Amsterdam, Koki’s new shop became my second home for the next two years that I spent in Usuki. After I became a regular, Koki and I reached a level of honesty and openness I didn’t expect to find in this town. What I mean by that is that the people of Usuki were just so kind and courteous that I doubted whether my co-workers would tell me if I was doing a shitty job at work or making a mistake speaking Japanese. Koki didn’t have that problem. One example of this honesty grew out of typical Koki-esque conversation regarding his fetish for calves, an obsession only slightly less confusing to me than his crush on Joan Cusack. I happened to be wearing
  6. 6. shorts that day and when I spun around for his appraisal, he looked horrified. “Kimochi warui,” he said, which means “gross” or in extreme cases and in a more literal sense, “it makes me sick.” I think that it was the latter in my case. And since that day, I’ve made it a priority not leave legs out of my workout routine. Brutal honesty aside, I believe that Koki was genuinely concerned for the happiness and well-being of his friends. Not just myself, but others who were regulars at his place, unloaded a barrage of complaints on him and more often than not he had some sound advice or at least a funny distraction to offer. When I had come out of a long-term relationship, Koki played a behind the scenes role in my dating life. One night, I brought a girl that I had been out with a few times to the bar after dinner. The shop was empty and as closing time approached, Koki dimmed the lights and told us that he was heading home. As he disappeared into the prep area behind the bar, my date and I started to kiss. When we pulled away from each other to get ready to leave, I saw Koki crouching in a corner behind the bar taking a video with his cellphone, grinning guiltily. I don’t consider my friendship with Koki to be a cross-cultural friendship. I loosely identify with being American just as Koki does with being Japanese. But I think that we are both a little too weird and stubborn to conform too closely to one group, no matter how large and heterogeneous. I also felt that Koki’s presence eventually transcended friendship. While I was in Japan, I had plenty of surrogate family members and Koki was definitely my Japanese older brother. I spent my last night in Japan at Koki’s café, taking shots of Wild Turkey and trying not to acknowledge that this was the end of an era. It’s never easy to leave a place that names a drink in your honor called “Bad Decisions.” In the midst of many tough goodbyes, this was one of the hardest. Soon after I had settled into life back in the States, Koki’s wife gave birth to their first son. When his wife was pregnant, he told me that he was going to name him Cobra, but in the end settled on a more traditional Japanese name. I like to think that if I was around, I could have convinced him to go with Cobra. As much as I hate to admit it, maybe it’s better for our “grown-up” lives that the majority of our communication is limited to Facebook.
  7. 7. Pakistan's Surging Violence: How Big a Risk? Kavitha Cherian A string of attacks by foreign and homegrown militants in Pakistan in October has focused attention once more on Pakistan’s vulnerabilities and increased pressure on Pakistan’s fragile civilian government. Instability in Pakistan has broad ramifications on regional security given Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, its role as a de facto safe haven for the Taliban insurgency in neighboring Afghanistan and its dangerous rivalry with India. Moreover, Pakistan faces continuing trouble attracting the capital inflows needed to finance its current account and fiscal deficits and attracting the long-term investment needed to spur a revival of economic growth. With U.S. policy in the “Af-Pak” region under review, these attacks underscore the stakes involved. The U.S. has allied itself with Pakistan for geopolitical reasons over the past six decades, providing billions of dollars worth of military and economic aid and development assistance. Yet Pakistan’s ties to the Afghan Taliban, ostensibly severed after 9/11 but in fact still actively cultivated by the country’s ISI intelligence service, have been a cause for concern to the Obama administration. The deterioration in Pakistan’s domestic security situation complicates the administration's goal “to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda and its extremist allies in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” Added to Pakistan’s domestic political fissures, its history of military interference in politics, its simmering nuclear rivalry with India and economic challenges, these weaknesses in Pakistan will complicate efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. Obama has stressed that the core American interest in the region – anti-terrorism -- lay in Pakistan and Afghanistan. As President Obama reassesses US strategy in Afghanistan, security issues in Pakistan amount to far more than a distraction, and experts warn that if left unattended the country’s problems could make Afghanistan look simple by comparison. Growing Militant Attacks The pact of attacks by militants against symbols of the Pakistani state through 2009 accelerated in October as Taliban militants, al-Qaeda cells and their allies in Pakistan’s tribal militias sought to preempt a looming ground offensive by the Pakistani Army against the extremist stronghold in South Waziristan. The attacks have grown more brazen, including an October 28 blast killing almost 100 in the northwestern city of Peshawar just hours after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in the country. This capped a campaign of coordinated strikes against Pakistani counter-terror institutions starting in mid-October with targets including the army’s headquarters and the Federal Investigation Agency. A few days earlier the Taliban held the army headquarters in Rawalpindi under a 22 hour siege, killing over a dozen officers, followed by a bomb explosion which claimed over 40 lives in the Swat Valley. More than 350 lives have been lost in militant attacks in 2009 and the carnage looks likely to continue. Instability in Swat Valley A significant part of the pressure emanates from the Swat Valley, typically known as a resort area but recently the site of fierce battles for control between the government and Taliban-allied militants. In February 2009, after several failed attempts to wrest the region from the militants, the
  8. 8. government assented to a peace deal, conceding to the establishment of the Islamic system of justice in the Swat Valley and suspending its military action against Taliban-linked militants in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region. Clinton and other American officials criticized the peace deal, and some critics described it as a capitulation that could pose an existential threat to the Pakistani state. Indeed, by May 2009, amid heightened militant attacks, the Pakistani army began a full scale offensive to retake the region, a bloody affair which displaced over two million civilians followed. The army declared the Swat Valley safe for its residents to return in July 2009, yet the threat emanating from the area has not ended. The Swat Valley is less than 100 miles from Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, and its location along the border with China’s restive Muslim region of Xinjiang poses a host of problems. Ultimately, full government control over Swat and its environs may be a prerequisite for wider stability in the country. Nuclear-armed Pakistan Political security concerns have raised worries about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Hans Kristensen of the Nuclear Information Project of the Federation of American Scientists estimates that Pakistan has 70-90 warheads. Pakistani authorities say that the nuclear weapons are not assembled and are stored separately under the strictest security. The warheads are also electronically locked lest terrorist do manage to assemble them which is a highly unlikely scenario. In order to prevent unauthorized access to these weapons, reports the Council on Foreign Relations, Pakistan’s arsenal is under the control of the National Command Authority (NCA), a ten- member body, comprising the president; prime minister; chairman of the joint chiefs of staff; ministers of defense, interior, and finance; director-general of the Strategic Plans Division (SPD); and the commanders of the army, air force, and navy. The Obama administration has reiterated its confidence that Pakistan will keep a close reign on its nuclear stock despite recent attacks on the Pakistani army. Yet Bruce Riedel who led the most recent Af-Pak security review for the U.S. government, notes that Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world and “the danger of Pakistan becoming a jihadist state is real,” says Reidel. Fragile Democracy Pakistan has only recently emerged from military rule. Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister and the frontrunner of the 2007 elections, might have provided at least medium-term sustainability. Her assassination seven weeks before Pakistan’s first democratic elections in almost a decade instead propelled her widower, Asif Ali Zardari, to the presidency. Zardari, who spent years in prison for corruption, lacked his wife’s popularity and administrative experience, and was further distracted by wrangling between his Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and that of his coalition partner, another former prime minister and convicted felon, Nawaz Sharif. Their cohabitation collapsed after barely five months in office. Sharif, a longtime rival of the Bhutto clan, has staked his claim since as a vocal and occasionally disruptive opponent of Zardari’s government. The precarious political position of the civilian government has only been exacerbated by the increased terrorist activity. Controversial U.S. Aid Strictures which accompany the latest U.S. aid package also threaten to widen domestic fissures. In October 2009 President Obama signed the Kerry-Lugar Act granting Pakistan US$7.5 billion in
  9. 9. civilian aid over a period of five years. The bill almost triples foreign assistance to Pakistan, much of it earmarked to help the government to invest in social infrastructure. But, in a switch from the Bush years, the Obama team’s aid is conditional on demonstrable Pakistani anti-terror efforts. The shift in U.S. aid, which for the first time legislates funds for solely civilian purposes, has upset the politically powerful military. Pakistan’s civilian government is young, with the military having ceded formal control only in March 2008 after the ouster of Pervez Musharraf, whose nine-year military regime maintained close ties to the Bush administration. Shorn of power and their allies in Washington, Pakistan’s military has raised to the terms of the U.S. aid on two counts: that military aid is to be distributed by civilians, and that the aid disbursement is subject to the “micromanagement” of performance reviews of the country. The U.S. Congress, in part reacting to fears that Pakistan was diverting anti-terrorism aid to weapons systems and units geared to take on the country’s traditional foe, India, insisted this time on strict accountability measures. President Asif Ali Zardari believes the grant will provide a clean slate to Pakistan on its way to “democracy, nuclear non-proliferation and drug control.” The Pakistani military, joined by opposition groups, portray these measures as an affront to Pakistani sovereignty and accuse the president of selling the country short. To soothe the rising tensions in Pakistan, the bill’s American sponsors, U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), released a “Joint Explanatory Statement” clarifying the intent of the bill and insisting it “does not seek in any way to compromise Pakistan’s sovereignty, impinge on Pakistan’s national security interests, or micromanage any aspect of Pakistani military or civilian operations.” Fragile State Raises Economic Vulnerability The increase in political instability, the fragility of the government and the sustained military operations have weighed on Pakistan's economic growth during 2008-09 and slowed policy implementation. The October violence could further undermine economic activity and reduce capital inflows as investors privilege more liquid and stable markets. As detailed in the recently released quarterly update of RGE’s Global Economic Outlook, consumer spending and investment, weakened by high inflation and interest rates and a reduction in foreign investment, will remain sluggish. RGE expects the economy will grow only around 2.0% in 2009, similar to that of 2008 but well below the 6%-7% growth rates of recent years. Despite supportive remittances, waning capital flows suggest Pakistan will have trouble financing the trade and current account deficits during 2009-10. Even as global risk appetite has picked up, domestic violence and security risks will make external debt issuances increasingly unattractive. Attractive valuations, a credit ratings upgrade, IMF and other loans encouraged portfolio equity flows in Q3 2009, but in October foreign investors became net sellers, infecting domestic investors. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is likewise plunging and investors are repatriating their earnings rather than reinvesting in Pakistan. Both short-term and long-term investors are concerned that Pakistan's security and political problems will persist for a long period of time. The additional IMF loan and aid from the U.S. and other bilateral and multilateral donors will be exhausted soon while Pakistan’s security and economic conditions remain bleak. Government fiscal consolidation efforts including slashing subsidies and raising tax revenues will be dwarfed by the military and development spending in the violence-affected areas. With low foreign exchange reserves and weak capital inflows, Pakistan could again face challenges in financing its balance of payments and servicing its external debt during 2009-10. Due to economic and security
  10. 10. vulnerabilities, the IMF could further ease the loan conditions. Without continued foreign aid, including the planned U.S. support, investor confidence will be shaken again, posing risk to the asset markets and economic growth.
  11. 11. Sahana and the King    Shaun Nanavati    Sahana was a little girl. She lived in the jungle in the Himalayan Mountains  with her mom, dad and little brother. Her father made medicines for people when  they were sick. Her mom made fresh bread. Sahana made artwork.   Her little  brother mostly made trouble.  His name was Taglu. Sahana’s father would go into  the jungle. He would go high into the mountains to find the right herbs.  Sahana and  Taglu would go with him.  They were a team.  When they found the right herbs, her dad would boil them in water, or crush  them into powder or heat them with oils. Sahana helped her dad make medicines  but Taglu was still too small to help. They would bake cookies, play music, and  dance together.  One day Rishi came to the village to meet Sahana’s father.  He was a traveling  sage. He said that the king was ill.  None of the doctors in the kingdom could help  him. Sahana was listening near the curtain which separated the yoga area from her  playroom.    “Well, there is one doctor,” she said.  The sage and her father turned to see a  little girl with her arms akimbo. Her dad smiled.  “Well, yes,” her dad said.  “Sahana will see the king. I will be her assistant.”   This time  
  12. 12. Rishi smiled.  Seven days later, the king arrived with his entourage. Sahana’s father  welcomed him with a hug. Sahana folded her hands, and said “Namaste.”  Sahana’s  mom made a yummy healing soup. Taglu brought him water when he went to rest.  The next morning, the king awoke at dawn. Sahana and her dad made a fire.  The king sat down next to them without a sound. Sahana’s dad took the king’s pulse.   He placed three fingers an inch below the king’s wrist. He watched the king’ breath  and looked into his eyes.    Sahana’s mom taught a yoga class to Sahana, Taglu and the king. At the end of  class, Sahana sang a simple Sanskrit sloka softly:       jai guru deva, nothing’ s going to change my word…                Sahana’s dad stoked the fire outside.  The king told his story.  Sahana’s dad listened  very carefully.   The king took a nap in the afternoon while it rained outside.  Sahana’s dad spent many hours in the library, looking in old books. Then, her dad  went for a long walk.  He called it: “Going for a think.”  Sahana’s dad came home  puzzled. He asked her:  “What do you think about the king?  “I think the king is very nice. I like him.”  Her dad nodded.    Sahana also said that she had noticed something. There was a small rash on the  bottom of the king’s right foot. She saw it while they were doing yoga together. She 
  13. 13. had looked carefully and recognized the pattern of dots.  Her dad’s face instantly  brightened.  In the evening, the family and the king ate a delicious meal together.  Sahana  told the king that they would bring a remedy in ten days to his palace. First they  needed to take a journey to find a special herb near Mantalai Lake.  The next  morning, the family left for their journey. They walked through dense jungles, fields  of rubies, quartz and blue mystic topaz, and high mountain passes. They saw  beautiful waterfalls. They saw wild stallions, friendly sheep, and inquisitive goats.  Finally, Sahana found the cave where the special herb grew. Her dad lit a candle and  they went inside. The cave was magical, filled with pink salt crystals and purple  geodes,  with a small waterfall and lake. Her dad knew that the herb was near the  back of the cave.  When they arrived to the back of the cave there was no herb.  However,  Sahana did see a small hole in the wall with a shaft of light coming through.  When  Sahana’s dad looked through the hole, he saw the plant. He reached his hand  through but could not touch the plant.  It was too far.  The hole was too small even  for Sahana.  What to do?  The king would die without this herb.  Sahana and her  dad sat on the rocks and tried to think of a solution but could not.  They were sad.  Just then, the Taglu crawled into the hole. He was just small enough to fit.     He picked the buds off the plant and crawled back through.  Sahana and her dad  were amazed.  Taglu had saved the day.   
  14. 14. They went home , built a fire and made the medicine.  Sahana crushed special  stones, boiled the herbs and mixed in the oils.  It slowly cooked over the fire for  three days and then cooled. They put their potion in a silver flask and went straight  to the palace.  The king had become much weaker.  The rash had grown. The king was  scared. When they sat down, Sahana took the king’s pulse.  They lit a fire and  practiced yoga.  Afterwards, the king took the medicine.    The king began to sweat.  He laid down and fell asleep. Sahana sat by the bed  all night and observed the king’s breathing. In the morning, he felt a little better. In  two days, he started walking at dawn.  In four days, he began to run.  He breath  deepened.  The king drank clean mountain water and ate fresh apples everyday.  He  cooked his food over a fire that he built.  Every day, he took their remedy.  After four  days, the king was better.   Above the palace, a double rainbow appeared,      and      on that day,           in all the villages of the Himlayaa,          kids and grown‐ups        told the story of Sahana 
  15. 15.             and the king.                              Appendix II:    New words –     sloka      sage   
  16. 16. geode    quartz    Himalayas    Mantalai Lake                                 
  17. 17.                 Appendix II:    Sahana’s mom’s yoga class:      First, Sahana’s mom asked everyone to think of something good they wanted  to do today.  And she also asked each person to pay careful attention to the world  around them.    “Our practice is a dialogue and dance with light.”      The three of them set their intention for a calm and peaceful day. Next, they  practiced breathing in different ways.  They posed like a lion, stuck out their tongue  and made their eyes real big.   Now they were ready to salute the sun. They found a spot where the sun’s  rays would strike their chest.  Each person took their time and found their own  rhythm. 
  18. 18. Next was chakraasana, the wheel pose.  Each person lied on their back and  then sprung up so that their belly button reached towards the sky.  They practiced  putting one leg up at a time.  Next was sirhasana – headstand ‐ the king of poses.  Sahana liked this one  because she thought it was silly to stand on your head.  She also taught everyone a secret asana only found in the Himalayas: the  chakradandasana.  They started in downward dog and walked their legs around in a  circle without moving the hands at all.  This was a hard one and they laughed while  they tried it.    They finished their practice by sitting in lotus position and meditating  silently. During this time, Sahana sang a simple Sanskrit sloka softly :       After class, Sahana’s dad brought the adults a cup of warm saffron chai and  the kids chocolate milk.          
  19. 19. NOVEMBER, 2010 Welcome to the inaugural print issue of Boundaries! Boundaries is a magazine of the New School student organization “Imagining Global Asia”. Imagining Global Asia is a platform for intellectual, cultural, and artistic exchange dealing with building bridges between Asian cultures and people in a global world. In this issue, we have an essay written by Kavitha Cherian on Pakistan’s political history entitled “Pakistan’s Surging Violence: How Big a Risk?” We also have an excerpt from a short story written by Vandana Chauhan, about a little girls’ exposure to some harsh realities of life. Matt Wice writes about a friendship he made while spending a couple of years teaching abroad in Japan. We have a childrens’ short story that Shaunak Nanavati was inspired to write after a visit to the Himalayas. If you have a creative, fiction or non-fiction piece, that you would like to submit for the next issue of Boundaries, please email Happy Holidays! The Imagining Global Asia Team.