• A LEOPARD IN MY ROOM

    Mon District in Nagaland during the early 80’s was straight out of a story covered by the National Geographic magazine. The only exposure the villagers had were the men in OGs*. Mon District is the home of The Konyaks famous for their tattood faces and bodies. Their forefathers were head hunters. Thankfully they were now more civilised and would restrict their adventures to four legged species only. Konyaks decorate their houses with skulls, elephant tusks, and wooden statues. The menfolk, like …

  • EDITORIAL - The Mask Project!

    One single word that embraces multiple attributes and emotions, one single word that explicitly points at hidden inferiority, one single word that stands out as a pale ray of alacrity against all atrocities – that word, MASK, has thus been explored and examined throughout this compilation. Quite obviously, we call it, THE MASK. These four alphabets may look similar in all the submissions, the meanings penned down are but diverse and hold equal significance. The titular theme of the project was s…

  • Allahkatti

    Located in the haphazardly planned surrounding of Bohri mohalla in Mohammad Ali Road is a small two-storied house, the look of which tells you it has seen better days. The rusty staircase, paint peeling off the wall in too many places, it didn’t look like an inviting house at all. In it lived a usual girl with an unusual name, Allahkatti. Break the words into two, Allah meaning, well, Allah and Katti meaning upset. The mother of this girl, Anjum had just delivered her fourth daughter in a househ…

  • 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…

  • 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 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…

  • 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…

  • A Matter of Honour

    As the nation remembers and salutes its 527 brave officers and soldiers who were martyred in the Kargil war, immortalized on war memorials with their names etched forever in pride on our hearts and soul, I am reminded of another soldier, another mother, and another country! When the Kargil war broke out on the steep, icy and rugged slopes of the Himalayas, I as a Brigadier found myself stationed as the Defence Advisor to the High Commission of India in London, UK. I had till then (and afterwards…

  • BREAK TIME

    I switched on the PC. Dappled by the blue glow of the loading screen, I tucked in the strands of hair that had sneaked out of my braid during the hour-long bus ride from home. “Hello,” a voice came from the adjacent cubicle. Caught by surprise, I swivelled my chair to respond. “I’m Indra,” said the occupant of the chair, which had remained empty since Rupa resigned. We shook hands, my eyes lingering on his chiselled face and lean muscular frame for a second longer. In the evening, Pushpa, Aditi,…

  • THE BRIGHT GOLDEN BIRD

    That day, at the masquerade, we were choosing the most creative mask among girls. I worked hard for my mask, and was really hoping to get chosen. The dress mattered too of course. My mask was half golden, half silver. Golden feathers stuck on the silver side and silver feathers stuck on the other. I had outlined the whole golden side with a white gel pen and the whole silver side with black. My dress was pitch black. These creations looked pretty creative, but some people were on a nother level.…


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