Stories

September, 2021

Flash Fiction: Turret

Niles M Reddick relates a haunting tale of ghosts and more. Click here to read.

Silver Lining 

Dipayn Chakrabarti travels through moods of the day and night. Click here to read. 

Captain Andi is in love

Dr. P Ravi Shankar explores a future beyond climate change in Malaysia. Click here to read.

The Cockatoo

Revathi Ganeshsundaram captures the stardust in ripening years. Click here to read.

The Missing Tile

Saeed Ibrahim’s story reflects on the ties between an old teacher and a student. Click here to read.

The Literary Fictionist

In Return of the GhostSunil Sharma explores the borders between life, ideas and death. Click here to read.

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

In Memory Gongs, Rhys Hughes creates a profound myth tinged with a tongue in cheek outlook … Click here to read.

August, 2021

Rituals in the Garden

Marcelo Medone discusses motherhood, aging and loss in this poignant flash fiction from Argentina. Click here to read.

The Best Word

Maliha Iqbal explores the impact of wars in a spine chilling narrative, journeying through a range of emotions. Click here to read.

Do Not Go!

Moazzam Sheikh explores dementia, giving us a glimpse of the lives of Asian immigrants in America. Click here to read. 

The Protests Outside

Steve Ogah talks of trauma faced by riot victims in Nigeria. Click here to read.

Brother Felix’s Ward

Malachi Edwin Vethamani takes us to an exploration of faiths and borders. Click here to read.

The Literary Fictionist

In The Chained Man Who Wished to be Free, Sunil Sharma explores freedom and democracy versus conventions. Click here to read. 

Bundu, Consoler of the Rich

A story based on memories of Partition by Nadir Ali, translated from Punjabi by Amna Ali. Click here to read.

Froth

A short story by Dev Kumari Thapa, translated from Nepali by Mahesh Paudyal. Click here to read.

July, 2021

Flash Fiction: Horizon

Tan Kaiyi evokes the spirit of the Singapore National Day amidst the darkness of spread by a deadly virulence. Click here to read.

Flash Fiction: Ice Storm

Niles Reddick tells a weatherman’s story with a twist of humour. Click here to read.

Mr Roy’s Obsession

Swagato Chakraborty spins a weird tale about an obsession. Click here to read.

Magnum Opus

Ahsan Rajib Ananda shows what rivalries in creative arts can do. Click here to read.

Adoption

A poignant real life story by Jeanie Kortum on adopting a child. Click here to read

The Literary Fictionist

In ScarecrowSunil Sharma explores urban paranoia. Click here to read.

Book Excerpt

The Parrot’s Tale, excerpted from Rabindranth Tagore. The Land of Cards: Stories, Poems and Plays for Children, translated by Radha Chakravarty, with a foreword from Mahasweta Devi. Click here to read.

June, 2021

Flash Fiction: Peregrine

Brindley Hallam Dennis tells us the story of a cat and a human. Click here to read.

The Crystal Ball

Saeed Ibrahim gives us a lighthearted story of a young man in quest of a good future. Click here to read

The Arangetram or The Debut

Sheefa V. Mathews weaves lockdown and parenting into a story of a debuting dancer. Click here to read.

Ghumi Stories: The Other Side of the Curtain

Nabanita Sengupta explores childhood and its experiences. Click here to read.

The Literary Fictionist

Sunil Sharma explores facets of terrorism and its deadly impact on mankind in Truth Cannot Die. Click here to read.

May, 2021

If at all

Shobha Nandavar, a physician in Bangalore, depicts the trauma of Covid 19 in India with compassion. Click here to read.

First Lady

Rituparna Khan gives us a brief vignette from the life of one of the first women doctors in India, Dr Kadambari Ganguly. Click here to read.

Mr Dutta’s Dream

Atreyo Chowdhury takes us into the world of unquenchable wanderlust. Click here to read.

Neemboo Ka Achaar or Maa’s Lemon Pickle

A compelling flash fiction by Suyasha Singh hovering around food and a mother’s love. Click here to read.

The Literary Fictionist

In A Lunch Hour CrisisSunil Sharma raises humanitarian concerns that though raised in a pandemic-free world, have become more relevant and concerning given our current predicament. Click here to read.

April, 2021

Pothos

Rakhi Pande gives us a story about a woman and her inner journey embroiled in the vines of money plant. Click here to read.

Elusive

A sensitive short story by Sohana Manzoor that makes one wonder if neglect and lack of love can be termed as an abuse? Click here to read

Ghumi Stories: Grandfather & the Rickshaw

Nabanita Sengupta takes us on an adventure on the rickshaw with Raya’s grandfather. Click here to read

Flash Fiction: The Husband on the Roof

Carl Scharwath gives us a story with a strange twist. Click here to read

Flash Fiction: Flight of the Falcon

Livneet Shergill gives us a story in empathy with man and nature. Click here to read

The Literary Fictionist

A playlet by Sunil Sharma set in Badaun, The Dryad and I: A Confession and a Forecast, is a short fiction about trees and humans. Click here to read.

Tagore Translations: One Small Ancient Tale

Rabindranath Tagore’s Ekti Khudro Puraton Golpo(One Small Ancient Tale) from his collection Golpo Guchcho ( literally, a bunch of stories) has been translated by Nishat Atiya. Click here to read.

March, 2021

The Literary Fictionist

In Love Beyond Words, Sunil Sharma explores relationships. Click here to read.

Orang Minyak or The Ghost

A Jessie Michael explores blind belief in a Malay village. Click here to read.

Shoes in the Forbidden Attic

Vidula Sonagra explores childhood and its exigencies. Click here to read.

The Beggar

Shouvik Banerjee relates an unusual story set in the Himalayan town of Dalhousie. Click here to read.

Ghumi Stories: The Threat Note

Nabanita Sengupta finds crime lurking in the darkness of Ghumi woods. Click here to read.

Flash Fiction: Fat!

The fiction by Supriya Rakesh is just about that — a fun-filled relook at being Fat. Click here to read.

Translations

Kumar Bhimsingha by Swarnakumari Devi, the sister of Rabindranath Tagore, was published in a magazine run by the Tagore family, in April 1887. It has been translated by Chaitali Sengupta. Click hereto read.

Excerpt from a short story

A Sense of Time & Other Stories by Anuradha Kumar, excerpted from the book of short stories. Click here to read

February, 2021

Translations

The Dark House

A Balochi folk tale translated by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.

The Saviour

A translation from Bengali to English by Dipankar Ghosh of Nabendu Ghosh’s Traankarta, a story set during the Partition riots. Click here to read.

The Literary Fictionist

In Forgeries, Don Quixote & EpistemesSunil Sharma unravels the mystique of the Spanish ingénue, the man who fights windmills and has claimed much much literary attention post Quichotte. Click here to read.

She Lived Down the Lane

Sohana Manzoor captures the darkness of memories down the lane in opposition to the sunny, happy nostalgia. Click here to read.

Ghumi Stories: Madam D’Souza

Nabanita Sengupta explores taboos around teenage values in a compelling story set in the small town of Ghumi. Click here to read.

Flash Fiction: Saved

A story of 1950s indiscipline related by Brindley Hallam Dennis with a soupçon of humour. Click hereto read.

January, 2021

The Literary Fictionist

Near the River Chenab and Under The trees

Sunil Sharma in a poignant telling takes us on a journey to the banks of a river where life, love and death sheathed in terrorism cumulate to a peak. Click here to read.

Magic Afloat in the Air

A short story by Gauri Mishra that takes us into the crowded lanes of Paharganj, New Delhi, on an adventure with surprise tilt. Click here to read.

Ghumi Stories: The New Year’s Gift

Nabanita Sengupta explores how rumours can be quietened with an unusual plot. Click here to read

Flash fiction: Déjà vu

Aminath Neena from Maldives explores rebirth despite religious prejudices. Click here to read.

Translations

Tagore Stories in Translation: BolaiA story about Man and Nature written in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore in 1928, translated by Chaitali Sengupta. Click here to read.

Flash Fiction: Tears of a Revered Mother A poignant mood driven piece from Balochistan. Written in Balochi by Mereen Nizar, translated by  Ali Jan Maqsood. Click hereto read.

December, 2020

The Literary Fictionist

Monalisa No Longer Smiles Here by Sunil Sharma is a poignant story of child labour in India. Click here to read.

I Grew into a Flute

Balochi Folktale involving magic retold by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.

Ghumi Stories: The Tower of Babble

Nabanita Sengupta delves into relocation and its impacts. Click here to read.

The Initiation

Gauri Mishra explores the unusual desires of a young girl. Click here to read.

Flash Fiction: Happily Ever After

Sohana Manzoor explores the myth of happily ever after with three short & gripping narratives set in modern urban Bangladesh. Click here to read.

November, 2020

The Literary Fictionist

In the Shadow of the Nataraja: A Kinship takes the readers on a journey through Ellora, Rio de Janerio, Rome, Jerusalem and even Manchester United till Sunil Sharma  finds answers of a different kind. Click here to read.

The Silhouette

A gripping short story by Sohana Manzoor from Bangladesh. Click here to read.

Disconnected

Chaitali Sengupta explores the clash of cultures in a poignant telling. Click here to read

The Cartographer

Praniti Gulyani unravels the story of a birth during a riot. Click here to read.

Ghumi Stories: At Par in the Pandemic

Nabanita Sengupta explores the impact of COVID19 in the small town of Ghumi. Click here to read.

Translation

The Witch, a short story by renowned Bengali writer Tarasankar Bandopadhyay (1898 to 1971), translated by Aruna Chakravarti. Click here to read.

October, 2020

The Literary Fictionist

Sunil Sharma travels through pages of a classic with ease and aplomb demystifying literary lore to unravel the identity of a man that never was in his story, In Search of Lewis Carroll. Click here to read.

Ghumi Stories: Table Tale

Nabanita Sengupta gives us a glimpse of life in a sleepy little town, long before social-distancing set in. Click here to read

When Bapu met MLK Jr…

Santosh Bakaya takes us on a journey among clouds and chirruping birds. Click here to read.

The God’s Choice Awards 2065

A spoof by Dustin Pickering. What happens when the President of America is woken out of cryogenic slumber in the year 2065? Click here to read.

Taxi Rides

What could a taxi and a fifty year old woman have in common? Click here to find out by reading Avijit Roy‘s story.

The Girl on the Train

A touching flash fiction by Mehak Nain. Click here to read.

A Family Tragedy

A strange telling against the backdrop of 9/11 attack in New York by Nibras Malik. Click here to read this flash fiction.

Mysteries of the Night

A spooky flash fiction by Vandita Dharni… perfect for Halloween nights! Click here to read.

Translations

Abhagi’s Heavena poignant story by Saratchandra Chattopadhyay translated by Sahitya Akademi winner Aruna Chakravarti. Click here to read.

An Eternal Voida Balochi story by Munir Ahmed Badini translated by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.

September, 2020

The Literary Fictionist :

Sunil Sharma, our columnist for fiction, takes us on a strange journey through the backstreets of Mumbai in A Stranger in the City. Click here to read.

Ghumi Stories: A Night too Long

Ghumi is an imaginary township located in the Chhota Nagpur plateau of Bihar in India created by writer Nabanita Sengupta. This story journeys back to 1984, to the anti-Sikh riots that broke out after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Click here to read

How Blue is your Sapphire 

Relive the terror of the 2008 Taj Mumbai attacks in this gripping nostalgic retelling by Bhavana Kunkalikar. Click here to read. 

This Land of Ours

Shevlin Sebastian captures man’s relentless struggle against unsympathetic forces of nature. Click here to read. 

Flash Fiction: The Carpet

What can be under a carpet? Niles M Reddick takes us on a journey of discovery in his amazing flash fiction. Click here to read.

Flash Fiction: Nameless

Bhumika R. explores a strange phenomenon in New Delhi. Click here to read.

Aparajita Ghosh‘s story translated by Ratnottama Sengupta from Bengali to English. Click here to read.

August, 2020 issue

Kaiyi Tan 

Gita Viswanath

Sudeshna Mukherjee

Sohana Manzoor

KN Ganguli

Sunil Sharma

Vipin Nair

Jessie Michael

Supriya Rakesh

July, 2020 issue

Click on the names to access the stories

Praniti Gulyani

Revathi Ganeshsundaram

Rakhi Pande

SanLinTun

Amita Ray

Nabanita Sengupta

Sunil Sharma

Sarwar Morshed

Dr Haneef Shareef’s Thus Spake the Vagabond translated by Fazal Baloch

The Fort

There was an eerie silence with just distant cooing of pigeons at the hilltop. Suddenly some of them flew away flapping their wings. Nandini was startled but chose to look past it. Melodious bhajans and chants with ringing of temple bells could be heard from the valley downhill. Sunset was close. The sky was painted in hues of red, crimson and purple. Within minutes dark clouds converged in welcoming the calm night. Nandini could feel a chilling hollowness in the air. There was a bizarre feel to the breeze that grew cooler as they climbed. (Click here to read more)

Flash Fiction: The Discovery

Ray copied all the questions from the question paper and looked out of the window. Twenty minutes had passed, and he wasn’t able to answer any question. Mathematics had always been very difficult for him. He always failed in mathematics but passed other subjects. He managed to get promoted to higher classes. He had reached the highest class of school with the lowest grade in mathematics. (Click here to read)

Flash Fiction: Maya and the Dolphin

Ever since Hasan came to Cox’s Bazar, he noticed a child in a vegetable shop, close to his residence, sitting by her father. He always praised the child to his colleagues. He felt her eyes were the repository of all kindness in this world. She was, maybe in between seven or eight, a thin, brownish girl with her hair in a bun. She wore an off-white T-shirt with night pajamas. Hasan always looked at her when he passed the shop, and she looked back till he merged into the distance. (Click here to read)

New Masters

The “animals” were happy.

The Ape was their chosen leader, as he was considered by the rest of the heterogeneous assembly, the nearest cousin of the people who had terrorized them for centuries but were now behind the bars, refusing to come out of their hide-outs, due to the pandemic. (Click here to read more)

Litmus

He did not like animals. Or so he said. In any case, the children were discouraged from harbouring dreams of ever having a pet. He was an asthmatic. Viewed from that perspective, it made sense. “Father’s allergy will be triggered by pet fur,” they were told. ( Click here to read)

Nazuk

The old man fell ill and stayed in bed for around eight days. He recuperated later, but remained quite frail and weak for a few more days. Nazuk looked after him like her father. Whenever she did him a favour, she would recall her father. But she was surprised to notice that sometimes the old man would slide into deep thoughts, and tears stream down from his eyes. (Click here to read)

House of the Dead

When Shefa Nanu died, I was about fourteen years old. It was an awkward age to be honest. I was neither a woman, nor a girl. When people said, “O my, isn’t she all grown up,” I felt awfully conscious of myself. Sometimes I wished to be invisible, and half the times I didn’t want to go visiting. But Shefa Nanu’s death was an unavoidable occasion and I had to tag along with my mother and grandmother. (Click here to read more)

Line of Control

Snow. All around us. A thick blanket of barren white broken by faces of rocks that dare to peek out. In this snow cold grows fangs and fingers and a snaking tongue. The tongue slips under the collar of your parka, the fingers slide down inside your shoes, freezing, and the fangs rip through your wretched bones. (Click here to read)

The Awaited Mother’s Day

Surabhilata was beside herself with joy as she strode up the stairs of her elder daughter Anuradha’s residence on Park Street. Anuradha’s husband Soumendra was an eminent lawyer, good looking and well-respected. He lived in his ancestral house striking a happy balance with his parents. Anuradha cared for her in-laws, looks after their needs, and had taught her own children to love and respect their Dadu and Thamma. ( Click here to read more)

From a Lockdown Diary: On the Lightness of Being

I continue to soar above a city made better by the sights of strays being fed by solitary men; migrant workers being given rations or meals twice every day; cops served with tea and water bottles; the medical professionals presented with flowers — new unsung heroes and heroines — by strangers; trees and flowers grow fast; rivers cleaner; streets quieter; visibility increased: stars appear clearly before my startled eyes. (Click here to read this)

Flash Fiction: The Guava Tree

The guava tree always stood in seclusion. The lemon tree also grew beside it. The potential of the lemon tree was curbed by the sharpness of its thorns. Jubilant children did not care about thorns on the lemon tree and swung beside it on the guava tree where their swing was attached. The potential of children was one thing and that of a tree with respect to its thorn was another. Ah! The sharpening of the senses and the sharpening of thorns, two things related in Nature, but created differently by Nature for two different subjects. (Click here to read more)

The Mask

Green all around, shades of green actually, that seemed to smile at her as she looked out. The tall moringa tree that seemed to reach up high, its small leaves dazzling in the play of sun and rain. That tree that met her eyes each morning as she looked out of that large window always made her feel nice. The rusted iron grills, the wooden window shutters broken here and there, did not shut tight, the latch rusted too, some bit of concrete laid bare a little of the masonry – her eye moved along. (Click here to read more)

Flash Fiction: A Curse

It was shadowy in the forest. No sounds at all. Only some living creatures were crawling in the undergrowth, producing inaudible sounds. An inquisitive young man entered the forest with a smile on his face. He fancied that there might be some hidden treasures in the forest after browsing through a recent book on treasure hunting. (Click here to read)

The Lost Coin

It was a summer day. The sun was up in the sky. Early in the morning he left for the sea and sat on the shore. There was still a touch of coldness of the last night left in the sands. He cast a look at the tides generated by the wind that blew over the other night. (Click here to read)

Too Much Light; Too Much Trouble

The moment he stepped into the office he was astonished to see the distorted features of his colleagues. Someone’s eyes were bulging out of their sockets. Someone’s ears were stretched out. Someone’s tongue was sticking out. Someone’s lips had swollen. He stared at them with bewilderment. (Click here to read)

The One Rupee Taker

Every day he visits my home and takes only a one-rupee coin. Not more and not less. If I try to give him a two-rupee coin, he asks, “Do you want me to take this coin?” and he won’t take it. He is in the habit of taking a one-rupee coin from my home and perhaps many other homes. I can only see him coming to my home to take a coin. I do not care if he visits other homes and collects coins, for I care about his visit to my home because of his regular habits. ( Click here to read)

Metropolis

The day when his second novel was rejected in the same cold cursory manner the earlier one had been, Pavish Reuk decided to take a stroll across the city. He didn’t have much in his mind then, except a half-bitter tingling that always grew out of his failures.  As he stood at the crossing with a crowd of scared masked men waiting for the green that summons pedestrians to march across the throbbing cars, Pavish Reuk realized that his whole life had been a string of failures. (Click here to read)

The Savage

The Common Tiger butterfly (D genutia) lured him into the deep of the scrub jungle. The orange wings with black veins; double row of white spots of a Danaus genus can be as alluring for a camera-n-backpack-laden young birdie from Mumbai, as a call of the sea for a sailor! (Click here to read more)

Flash Fiction: Strangers

The African man selling trinkets looks less out of place than me. In jeans and slippers he lopes over the sand, going between beachgoers calling out, “Signora, buon prezzo”, promising a “good price” in an accent that will never sound Italian. His smile is docile but nervous as he approaches three elderly Italians, plump and soft, golden and wrinkled, walking along the sand in their bikinis. He calls one of them by name. Regulars. (Click here to read)

The Wooden Horse

It was his first flight. The first flight in twenty crawling years. He sat at the Departure Lounge of the Quetta airport waiting for the final boarding announcement. He was delighted but at the same time a bit nervous too. He feared that the plane would crash. He sat impatiently on the sofa. (Click here to read more)

Flash Fiction: A Fight

A line of rocks marks a ridge overgrown with heather which leads down to a sandy bay at the headland. On an elevation, behind a patch of marram grass, a dilapidated cottage.

The walls are made from natural stone, the roof shingles are covered with moss, the frames of the small windows are jammed and swollen having been exposed over years to moisture and rain. In the nearby water bobs an open boat with fishing lines and nets. 

Close to the house stands a rusty fish trap and a few lobster pots. (Click here to read more)

The Potato Prince

Parul sat on the narrow bench of the veranda looking at the two potatoes in her hand. They were small, brownish, and round — very ordinary potatoes. But Parul looked at them endearingly. One bore her name, while the other was inscribed with a heart-shaped hole. Parul’s body and soul were enraptured with feelings she had never known. She felt like singing and dancing. Saleha was busy in the kitchen and there was nobody else at home. That meant there was no one to obstruct her from enjoying a little respite from her daily chore of sweeping the floors of the sprawling fourth-floor apartment that had been her home for the past two years. (Click here to read more)