Poppy Love

In honour of Remembrance Day, we share with you the first paragraph of a beautiful story published in our Poppy Issue by Chitralekha Basu, inspired by the paper poppy and poems from the war. 

Painting by  Charlotte Trounce

Painting by Charlotte Trounce

For a long time before I got round to seeing a poppy for real I was familiar with its paper version. I don’t suppose Remembrance Day was observed widely in Eighties Calcutta, where I grew up. I imagine they had the military parade and laying of wreaths at the Glorious Dead Cenotaph, erected in memory of the British and Anglo-Indian soldiers who died in the First World War on the Calcutta Maidan, even then as they do now. At any rate in my childhood years I wasn’t aware of any such commemorative event held to mark November 11 except that my father would return home with a two-petalled red paper poppy on a green plastic stalk on the day. He was an information officer with the British Deputy High Commission. Like a few other things he sometimes brought home from work – magazines past their shelf life, for example – the poppies were mine to keep.
— From Poppy Love by Chitralekha Basu

Read the rest of Poppy Love in the Poppy Issue.