I have already connived and attempted to abolish the Editor’s Note column. I believe it’s given undue importance and the truth is that I almost never know what to say. Must I quote Hemingway at least once? Or rather Schopenhauer, considering the times? Trapped in a damp lodging that’s crawling with snakes and leeches and centipedes in the Dehradun monsoon, here’s what I’ve been mulling over for the last few months—in a time both chaotic and quiet, what must fine writing be about? What makes ‘good’ art? Is there too much of it, or too little?
If I pretend to know the answer to those questions, I’d be a liar, or worse, a “know-it-all” editor. Yet bold and subjective choices are what define an enterprise like ALMA—one that seeks to be excellent. You’ll find in this magazine a sundry body of work, with the writer or artist at its core, telling stories in their idiom. A little for the brain and a little for the heart, ALMA offers the discerning reader a mosaic of cross-genre writing and art; stylistic diversity which pushes the boundaries of convention. Creating something out of nothing has a dash of euphoria but also a looming shadow of fear. Fear of failure, fear of becoming something too commonplace—or too different. What we mean to you is in your hands—we could be part of your sombre search for meaning or just a pleasurable pastime.
We’re at a strange place in history; I never thought I’d be launching this (currently) digital magazine at the peak of a pandemic. After countless video calls and months of remote labour, I have a lot of people to thank for bringing this endeavour to life. I’d rather not name them all (you know who you are), lest they start scrutinising the order in which I mention them, and then impeach me. I’d say it’s time for you to enjoy our little offering before this note gets tedious. Hold your breath and dive in.