• Dalgona Coffee

    Dalgona coffee. Jia picked up the coffee mug brimming full of the whipped creamy beverage, which was the drink of the moment and placed it gingerly on her little white side table. She picked up her smartphone and zeroed in on the coffee cup using her phone camera, moving the phone in all directions to hit upon the correct angle that would give her the perfect shot of the mug. A shot that would fetch her the most likes on both Facebook and Instagram. It would of course have to be in portrait mode…

  • GHAIR MUKAMMAL

    The story is the winner of the Best Thought Leader title from Simon & Schuster India, and Best Language and Expressions title from Pan Macmillan. Submitted for a competition themed on Sensuosity & Sexuality hosted under TMYS Review. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The prodigious stairway that led to the entrance to of MARCO museum in Rome was decked in decorative boughs on e…

  • WATCHING RAMJI LONDONWALEY AND REMEMBERING HARI-BHAI

    Bollywood Cinema brings together the sweetness of love and happy memories and the unsettling social realities of our times blending together dichotomies like Gulab Jamun or Gajar Ka Halwa, with opposites like Aam Ka Achar and the bitter taste of Karela. Film narratives and life experiences of audiences do not just remain contrasts but intermingle to produce cultural identities linked to and inspired by cinema. The mixture of fantasy, comedy and melodrama provides essential survival tools for lon…

  • The Hungry River

    [A story for Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to his memory] Never been able to quench her thirst, she perennially remained dry and the villagers had aptly named her Bhookhi Nadi, the Hungry River. Often she would compare her name with Bengal’s Subarnarekha or Mayurakshi and would feel aggrieved about her name! But bhookhi she always remained! Once in a while if rain gods were in good moods, Bhookhi would turn voluptuously mad. Flooding! Chhasara is a village of my childhood memories and therefore it e…

  • LESSONS FROM TIME

    The universe, like a giant balloon, expands every day, every moment. If you come to think of it, the edge of the universe is in fact the very brink of our imagination too. Hence, whilst sinking on our pensive chairs, we often tend to feel the inhibition of this expanding yet entrapping balloon. The years flow in accordance with the mortal dimensions of time. Lives and relations drift apart into mundane, conformal corners. The deepest wound and the saddest thought fade into the immense abyss of a…

  • The Portrait

    “How much it would cost?” Sheetal asked. “Forty Thousand Only!” came the response from the salesman. “Isn’t it too much for this portrait?” Sheetal tried to negotiate. “You can buy some other portrait, madam. This one is special.” “What’s so special about this one?” she couldn’t take eyes of the green eyes of the man in the portrait. “Do you know Raja Kishan Singh of Rajgarh?” “Heard about him!” “Well, this is his portrait.” “So what? Aren’t their other King’s Portraits in this world? What’s s…

  • The Ghost of Sundarbani

    I enjoy time travelling. No it’s not as technical as it sounds. All you need to do is pick up a memory from the past and revisit it. The link to time-travel is usually around you, like some song, some jokes or maybe a face. For me, this time it was newspaper headline on current situation in J&K. My memory immediately transported me to my regiment, back to my first experience of this beautiful state. The year was 2003. I was only 8 months old in my regiment; “baby” of the unit as everyone would…

  • A Full Circle

    Ajay is in one of his passive-aggressive moods. He has been giving me the cold shoulder since morning and it’s frankly more inconvenient than upsetting given that mom and dad are visiting us for lunch today. It’s five years since our wedding and it’s not that we can’t hide a good fight from others. We are used to acting normal even if there is tension simmering between us. But whenever I fight with Ajay, I’ve this lingering sense of unrest that manifests as physical pain in my stomach. I hate it…

  • Rogue

    “I hoped I would, and here I am. I’m sure you were hoping I wouldn’t show.” Soma was angling for a dispute. Ruchira didn’t take the bait. Something wasn’t sitting pretty in Ruchira’s head in any case. She’d had too much whiskey the previous evening. The new lover left her with a sleepless night. She had scrolled through his string of messages afterward. Gazing long and hard at her naked body in the mirror, she reminisced. His every touch had aroused her. Suddenly, she heard a ping. It was his mo…

  • 1940s - The Disobedience

    Gunshots had replaced the chirpings of birds, the Morning Prayer at the mosque and the hawker’s voice was nowhere to be heard now. I was locked, locked because I wasn’t like the other girls. Born in a Kashmiri pandit family I was supposed to be shy, fair, mannered, obedient and perfect with a whole lot of imperfections trapped in my soul because I was a girl. But I was rebellious. Rebellious enough to love a … Never mind. We might talk about that later. It was the 1940s. The partition’s effect h…


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