Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH 198 posts

The Hare and the Tortoise


We have all heard this story while growing up. How a boastful hare is defeated in race by a slow but determined tortoise. So, I am not going to talk much about the story here. What I am going to talk about, though, is the relevance of short stories in my life. My grandfather was an English language scholar of his time. He is not formally educated in English. He self-learnt it. His days went... continue reading→

DNF: One Enduring Lesson

by Jamal Merchant

This is my second DNF of the year and I am really embarrassed. I picked up this book the first time back in September, last year. As soon as I started the book I realised the narration was completely displeasing. It was way too descriptive without making any point. Follow A young man who recently broke up with the love of his life decides to come back to India leaving his parents to realise his... continue reading→

Cover: DNF: One Enduring Lesson

Ravana’s Sister (Meenakshi)

Anand Neelakantan

This story was a random pick. I had never read the author before, so when he announced his new short story on twitter, I bought this immediately. Last year I had read a full-fledged novel from the point of view of Meenakshi, Ravana’s sister. Not everyone knows her with the name, her more common name being Shurpnakaha. Meenakshi was born into a humble home of a Rishi. The turn of events made her the princess... continue reading→


Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is my all-time favourite author. I know if I pick up anything from the author I am going to love it. (Read: Beloved)There is no two way about it. I came across this story on The New Yorker. In this story a woman is talking about the childhood she gave to her only child. A white mother speaking to her black daughter about parenthood. The narrator begins with the day her daughter was... continue reading→

Durand’s Curse

by Rajiv Dogra

I had tried to read ‘Return of a King’ by William Dalrymple before and quit it after reading half of the book. Since then I have been looking for a book with that talks about history of Afghanistan but without drifting much, in Indian context. Durand’s Curse turned out to be just the book I needed. Follow Cover page On the cover is what looks like a graveyard. There are three woman in all black... continue reading→

Cover: Durand's Curse


Maryse Meijer

This story came as a surprise. A pleasant one, for the narrator is a ‘Rag’. That’s right! a piece of cloth that is found stuck deep down a woman’s throat. The rag begins with the rag describing how it was found in the throat of a woman. A powerless rag that it was remained unbeatable against all the forces of the woman. The rag knows things. It may be powerless but it knows everything. I... continue reading→

A Sheet

Salam Bin Razzaq, translated from Urdu by Muhammad Umar Memon

‘A Sheet’ again is set in the time of Hindu Muslim riots in Mumbai. The protagonist is a businessman from Pune who needs to go to Mumbai on a business trip. His wife, Salma, is worried listening to the news of riots. She doesn’t want him to go. However, Anwar has immense confidence in his friend ‘Vidya’ who he knows since childhood. He is certain that no harm will come his way when he reaches... continue reading→

Sanatan Choudhuri’s Wife

Kamala Das

This is a very, very short story. It spans only two pages but it is worth a read. It is a story of a happily married man named Gopi Menon. But there was slight crack in the otherwise polished glass. Menon’s wife was once sleeping next to him when she called out another man’s name out of no where. This deed done in sleep became the nudging force that compelled Menon to keep a strict... continue reading→


Ambai translated from Tamil by Lakshmi Holmstom

Ambai is, again, one of the feminist writers who has written a lot on the women’s liberation. Kailasam begins beautifully with a distracted woman annoyed by some noise in the house. She owns a dysfunctional refrigerator that makes strange noises and makes pines of ice. The fridge is nicknamed Kailasam for it personifies the epic Kailash Parbat which is covered throughput with ice. Follow The protagonist is reminded of a man who rather inappropriately approached... continue reading→

Cover: Kailasam

The Parrots of Desire: 3000 Years of Indian Erotic Writings

by Amrita Narayanan

This book came as a pleasant surprise to me when aleph company offered the Review copy of the book. It must have taken a lot of research from the author to do a collective of writings such as this one. Follow Cover page On the cover is an impression of a flower constructed by humans. This is not very noticeable in the first go but when you do notice it you cannot help but awe... continue reading→

Cover: The Parrots of Desire: 3000 Years of Indian Erotic Writings