Radhika’s Resurgence

Ting! Raaga’s phone, that was resting face down on her table while she worked late into the night, pinged. A message from Varen made her switch onto FaceTime with him. “Were you still up?” Varen smiled through the screen that made Raaga beam. “Just… working.”  “I thought I’ll call… hope you’re okay.” “It’s been quite

Shiraz is Here

New Delhi, present day I clutched the white and yellow daffodils bouquet carefully with one of my hands, clasping Amma’s finger with the other. Amma looked at me with adoration as we walked inside the kabristan towards a tomb at the far end of the enclosure. The soft rustling of the trees made music in

Signature Move

The pregnant clouds burst with a thunderous roar. As it started pouring, Dhan stepped out of his shanty and slipped into the slightest alley adjoining the slum that he lived in. He marched towards an indefinite destination. His only job was to head towards the self-imposed task that would be complete once the rain would

Rummage

Tessa slammed the box lid shut without peeking inside. Her hands trembled as she put it down for the second time. It was as if she was expecting it to be a can of worms. “What is it?” Jake whispered. Tessa dropped the box back on the table. “I can’t seem to look inside. I

The Guide

The sun had almost set by the time we reached the hotel. A dilapidated looking mud-plastered building with small rooms and narrow stairways was going to be home for the next 2 days before we proceeded to our next destination, Pushkar. The world-famous Pushkar fair attracted tourists from all over the world. It was no

Rise and Shine

Winter, after a scorching summer, is always pleasant. Not for Dina. She could not gather her guts to get up on a gloomy, cold, winter morning for a jog in the nearby park. As soon as she looked out of her window at 6 am, she let out an involuntary grunt, “Darn it!” But it

Mango People

Jhimli sat on the branch of a mango tree swinging her legs and slurping on the mango in her hand. Her anklets let out a mellow music that tied the air between her and Annu. He gathered the fruit that she had thrown his way. When the tub of mangoes seemed full, he climbed up

Haala’s Home

September 2016, Palmyra* (Homs), Syria The sun was almost out. His heart rate sped through his mind and whirred to heights. The sweat on his face had begun to drip. His breath was heavy. His eyes wandered towards the wooden window from where the sunlight had started peeping in and then back to the face

Unbound

She ran. Just like she had done a few times before. The first time as a toddler when she sprinted away from her brother whose milk glass she had quaffed after hers. And then playfully in the streets with her friends a few years later. And now, as a teen, when her life was threatened.

Parched

“Stop troubling and get going,” Ma yelled at Dibbi from the kitchen. The sun was about to come out and along with her, Dibbi was always the first one to rise at home. Her morning chore was to get water from the spring 3 miles away. Up in the hills here, the 3 miles was

Bhanu Kiran

Bhanu looked at the flickering streetlight from his 3rd-floor apartment window. The street dogs were exhausted after having growled at all the strangers in the night, who’d now drifted off to their respective abodes. He returned to plonk on his bed and picked a book to read in the scant light of his bedside lamp.

The Women Who Ruled India

Easily, this is one of the best non-fiction books that I have read in recent times. Not only is this highly recommended but I also hope that our youngsters learn a thing or two about these women to understand that in spite of rampant patriarchy at different times in our history there were many path-breaking people who broke the barriers and overcame rebuke.

August is Healed

In my seventeen years of existence, never had I experienced stillness before. My life had constantly been a frenzy of activities. From a sports class to an art class and another as a child, and from one club to another as an early teen. It was only when I realised that all of this activity

One in a Million

The soldiers barged into the area shortly after a blast. Stomping around, clacking on the broken twigs, stepping on the dry leaves, the soldiers were heard shouting over every sound that is possibly associated with disaster after an explosion. Not to me, though. A few minutes ago, when the hind side of my house burnt

Being a Bot

Like carousal, the scene kept changing every minute from sand to plateau, gorges to ponds. Trying to figure out the geography they kept trudging. She looked around to seek a clue. On top of a tree was perched a bluebird that was not tweeting. It was rather odd considering that the species was a legendary

Everything, Everything

The story touches the hopes, dreams and experiences of a teenager without it being over the top or overly dramatic. And this where this one took my heart away. It is a story that would appeal to any age.

In My Hands

Chicago US, May 2019 “Nothing but hope sustains life,” my eyes shifted from my hands to my therapist who sat across the table, composed and intense. He nodded. In all of the last 9 years that I have known him, he has been absolutely patient with me, dealing with my eccentricities, my phobias, my anguish,

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