On a Final Note…

Editor’s Note by Shameelah Khan

Dear Odd Readers,

[T]he secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.

Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

This editor’s note is different to the rest, because it is a letter to you.

It is a letter that I write to you, dearest readers, with words sealed in love and heartache. Words that have existed between us, over the years. Words that were stories of love, pain, and death. Poems about friendship, romance, fathers, and ancestors. Stories that stood up against societal norms and bravely conquered and reclaimed spaces. They are your words. And you chose us, at Odd, to care for them, to honour them, and to house them in the most loving of ways. You are the letter writers, each and every month at Odd. The heartbeat that keeps us breathing. Thank you.

Over the past 6 years, Odd Magazine was itself a story. A story of two friends, who sat one evening and decided to begin a journey – a beautiful Odd journey. Though one of the co-founders had left, Odd continued into its next phase which included welcoming me into the fold. What followed was a whirlwind of website development, social media uploads, late night editing, and issues on a monthly basis. Eventually our team had grown from 3 to become a team of 6 aspiring and immensely talented creative beings. Together, we worked throughout the past two years to take Odd to the next phase, but with all our striving and hard work, we were unable to meet our financial goals.

Saddened and unable to move forward with the magazine we love so dearly, we have decided to put Odd on hold for 2022, until of course, we are able to meet those goals, which includes a committed, ethical, and grounded amount of financial backing to provide salaries, maintain the running of the magazine, and offer our writers compensation for their ongoing work.

It is with a heavy heart that we, at Odd, will temporarily place all issues in the coming year on hold. Amir Bagheri, the Managing Director and I, Shameelah Khan, Chief Editor and Executive Director, would like to extend a heartfelt vote of gratitude to our team for all their hard work and consistent joy that they have brought to Odd. But, more importantly, we would like to extend this gratitude to the public, who support us from month to month, year to year and day to day. Odd would not be able to exist and continue for as long as it has without you, whether you have been a contributor or a supporter.

I wasn’t sure, how I would have the strength to pen this editor’s note, and I put it off for days on end, in the hope that perhaps this was a dream. However, I had to sit back and remind myself that the real dream for Odd continues to lie ahead of us. Though we have hit a bump in achieving that dream, it takes immense strength and passion to do the hard work of change in our communities and intimate lives through our art. Each story has mattered to us. Each edit has mattered to us. Every name that we have published mattered.

I leave you with yet another Arundhati Roy quote from The Cost of Living:

“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.” 

We, at Odd, would like to ask you, dearest friends and family, to never, never forget. Because it is our greatest intention to come back and be of service once more to our communities. If you would like to be a part of the financial journey at Odd, do feel free to contact us on our email – we would love to hear from you.

Until then,
Keep telling your story.

With love,
The Odd Team

*

In this issue: 

Interview:

Throwing Bones with Digital Sangoma– Nick Pagemat

Poetry: 

Until Next Time– Alun Robert

Dearest Nature– KB Ballentine

When I was in Zurich– Singular Poet

A Letter to You– Jyothika Persadh

Family Tradition– Geoffrey Diver

Only in a Letter– Emalisa Rose 

Dear Me– Comfy

MOON, The Dark Side of– Beetriz Seelaender

I never been known for good letters, but heed this meesage– Montswalo Manasoe

Sincerely Yours– Ashley Moyo

Short Story:

Dear Diary– Zahirra Dayal

Narrative Essays: 

The Last Letter– The Pilgrim

Letters for a Lifetime– angelo De Klerk

Art: 

To my Starlover, Astroheart– Hanul Lee 

Phtography: 

We Are Here Too: My letter to Islam– Nkazimulo Moyeni