In the November issue of Confluence……….
“Indian” meaning what…exactly? by Jameela Siddiqi
MUMBAI EXPRESSIONS by Anju Makhija
To Catch a Poem – Review by Malathy Sitaram
Understanding Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah by Nyla Khan
The future of printed newspapers In Conversation with Cyril Perira by Rashmi Sahi
Book pages by Reginald Massey
Throw of a Dice – Interview with Chaand Chazelle by Divya Mathur
Ashok Ferrey’s Professional –Rehan Kularatne on the book reading by
Dr. Jagdish Sharma, Chairman Confluence Foundation
I first met Joe at an Indian Independence Day celebration at the Indian High Commissioner’s residence in Kensington Gardens many years ago. He was distributingcopies of the first-ever issue of Confluence magazine. After the event, I read the issue on my journey back to Croydon. I had earlier been delighted to learn that Joe also lived inCroydon.I rang him that evening and expressed my appreciation of his efforts with the publication. There were quality articles on the politics, society and culture of the Asiansub-continent and reflections of people living in the West. I could see where the name was coming from—confluence of east and west. Over the past ten years or so Joe’s name became synonymous with Confluence. He was seen at all London cultural events of substance laden with free copies of the magazine. I myself contributed a few articles over the years, sometimes reacting to controversial issues such as the caste system or the success or failure of multiculturalism. Of course, Joe always called upon me to contribute on educationaltopics. At one meeting we discussed how best to encourage local young talent in writing and decided to set up what became the Confluence Foundation for that purpose. We initially ran a beginners writing course and, later on, an advanced course. We also ran similar courses in drama. These efforts were appreciated by our local council’s education department and they gave us some grant funding to carry on the good work. These courses were subsequently taught by some well-known writers and educators and saw impressive results. Unfortunately, the withdrawal of local government support and an inability to secure funding from other sources resulted in these courses coming to an end. In the face of financial constraints, poor advertising revenues and limited numbers of paid subscribers,
Confluence became a labour of love for Joe. Failing health added even more to his burden. But his absolute commitment and dedication always kept him going. Even when I visited him in hospital a few years ago, his overwhelming preoccupation was working on the next issue of Confluence. Joe was a true journalist and knew how to get the best out of those with whom he worked. Contributors to Confluence from many countries of the world appreciated his sense of balance in putting together even the most controversial topics with a sense of balance and perspective. Joe will be desperately missed by all who ever came in contact with him and with Confluence. To continue to carry the Confluence torch we need an individual with the same commitment to fit Joe’s shoes. That will be a difficult task indeed, but hopefully not impossible. Let us see whether this special commemorativeissue can prompt that as yet unknown person to come forward to take the Confluence helm and guide this publication forward into the future. There surely can be no better way to pay tribute to the invaluable work of Joe Nathan than by ensuring his legacy, his vision and his values continue to inspire creativity and debate for many years to come.