‘Fall’ can mean many things to different people and it is in its association with life experiences that Penmancy came up with the idea of the name “A Fallen Leaf” for its anthology. We, after all, are leaves hanging on a tree, and like leaves we grow in time and change colours through the seasons revealing the true nature of ourselves. Like young and innocent green leaves that turn yellow from age and experience, we finally fall to the earth and all that remains of us are our memories to be blown about by the wind among the ones who stay behind.
True to its name, the stories in this collection speak volumes of emotions. In many of them, the palpable cause of falling is in the very nature of man to love others, long for or desire things, emotions which do not always lead to a happy ending. And yet, after all the consequences of falling, he chooses to move on. All his misfortunes only serve to make him stand up stronger than before. In some cases, the fall gives way for others to rise, prodding them to become the kind of person they want to be. Such powerful endings make us think that these writers hope for good things to happen to people, and want their readers to share that hope. Since fall, in any form, can be devastating, people who face a setback in their life tend to seek comfort from all possible places. While some find it in friends and family, others find it in stories. This anthology aims to serve at least one of these purposes.
To mark the first anniversary of Penmancy, as a coven of creative characters, we hosted a writing contest, A Fallen Leaf ,which ran for four months. During this time we received some wonderful submissions interpreting the word ‘fall’. Stories, like leaves, take their time to ripen to the full glory of all their myriad colors. And so, by the end of the contest our mailbox was flooded with wonderful tales of fall ranging from romance to drama and the supernatural. There were stories which were thoughtful and deep, while others were entertaining and comic. It was a difficult choice for us to select fifteen among them. We were only able to do so after raking our brains night and day and reading the stories over and over again. And though we wished to include them all in our maiden anthology, we were extremely sad we could not do so. Nevertheless, we are grateful for the response from writers and are proud to have accomplished this daunting task.
With poems, brilliantly composed by Olinda Braganza, to introduce each story, the stories in this collection will make you laugh, love, hope, and think of the things that really matter in life. We hope that you as a reader will enjoy this anthology as much as the writers did in penning them.
We are joined in this celebration by our writers Shailaja Pai, Sreemati Sen, Sitharaam Jayakumar, Sharanya Misra, Saravjot Hansrao, Rianka Saha, Nilutpal Gohain, Koushik Majumder, Kavitha Kandaswamy, Chandrika R Krishnan, Em Kay, Srikanth Singha Ray, Olinda Braganza, Rham Dhel and Kajal Kapur.
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Ever thankful to our publishers Half Baked Beans who helped us all along the way to bring this labour of love alive. Thank you!
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