“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”—Ernest Hemingway

On behalf of our editorial committee I warmly welcome you to our July edition of Songsoptok that is dedicated to the tricky issue of marriage and divorce in particular to the eternally complicated topic of relationship between men and women in general. When this topic was proposed as the main theme of this number, I was dubious. I thought that people would be reluctant to express themselves since this after all is a very personal topic. Out opinions about this particular relationship either derives from our own experiences or from those of family and friends. I thought that it is difficult to be objective about something that very often affects us personally and often painfully. Well, as is often the case, I was wrong. I totally underestimated the courage and objectivity of our writers.

We are proud to announce that we are publishing 22 interviews, 10 articles and a number of other items on the theme ‘From marriage to divorce – the journey of intimate relationship’. There was unexpected response from the men and women we approached for replying to our questionnaire. Coming from a varied background and with very different professions, they have answered candidly to our questions. We invite you to read the interviews that provide a broad canvas drawn from individual experiences and analyses. We would like to thank all our contributors for their time and dedicated effort.

For the first time since its creation, we are honored to present a full play on Umrao Jaan that recounts the tragic story of the talented and beautiful courtesan from the court of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah in Lucknow written by Dr.Bhaskar Dasgupta; Dr.Dagupta is a renowned rheumatologist and Head of Rheumatology at Southend University Hospital, Essex, a leading UK Rheumatology department offering specialist services for inflammatory arthritides. He is regarded as one of the leading clinicians in his specialty worldwide. Dr.Dasgupta has a passion for writing and has given us the privilege of publishing his play on Umarao Jaan. The entire play is published in our ‘Last Page’ section.

In this context, I would like to emphasize the role of Songsoptok in promoting the creative genius of people from different professions. We have time and time again published articles, stories and poetries of people coming from very different backgrounds and successful in their own chosen professional fields. Their passion for writing and their talent is reflected in everything they write. Like the French painter Ingres playing his violin almost like a professional that made people wonder why Ingres was not a violinist before being a painter, we often wonder why these doctors, scientists, engineers or professors are not full scale writers…

We believe that the gift and the passion for writing are innate. Writing is basically sharing – thoughts, ideas, opinions, feelings and above all emotions. Songsoptok aspires to become the conduit for all writers, whatever their origin or background, a dedicated platform for sharing the creative genius through the World Wide Web.

‘To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard’ said Allen Ginsberg. True enough. But then, once the voice sings, or is raised in protest, it needs to be heard, understood and appreciated. That is our commitment, our objective.

We sincerely hope that you’ll appreciate this issue of Songsoptok and will enrich our webzine with your own contributions.
Aparajita Sen

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