You cannot talk about short stories without Premchand. We all have at some point in our childhood have read Premchand in our school. It has been long since I read him last, so I decided to correct this grave mistake by picking up ‘The Shroud’ by the author. Kafan as it is known in Urdu/Hindi, is a Story of two Chamar men belonging to chamar community in an oppressed society. Ghisu and Madhav are father... continue reading→
I absolutely loved this story. Each line of it was magic! Read for yourself: Adam and Eve lived together happily for a few days. Being blind, Adam never had to see the oblong, splotchy birthmark across Eve’s cheek, or her rotated incisor, or the gnawed remnants of her fingernails. And, being deaf, Eve never had to hear how weakly narcissistic Adam was, how selectively impervious to reason and unwonderfully childlike. It was good. But at... continue reading→I absolutely loved this story. Each line of it was magic! Read for yourself:
Adam and Eve lived together happily for a few days. Being blind, Adam never had to see the oblong, splotchy birthmark across Eve’s cheek, or her rotated incisor, or the gnawed remnants of her fingernails. And, being deaf, Eve never had to hear how weakly narcissistic Adam was, how selectively impervious to reason and unwonderfully childlike. It was good.
But at some point Adam got eyes and Eve started hearing. They discovered how imperfect each of them was. It started going downhill from there.
First they fought passively, then they despaired privately, then they used the new words ambiguously, then pointedly, then they conceived Cain, then they hurled the early creations, then they argued about who owned the pieces of what had never belonged to anybody. They hollered at each other from the opposite sides of the garden to which they’d retreated:
You’re ugly! You’re stupid and wicked!
They needed peace.
There were only apples to eat, so Adam bound his hands with fig-leaf stems and Eve stuffed her mouth with fig leaves. It was good until it wasn’t. He went to bed before he was tired, pulling a fig-leaf quilt up to his nostrils, which were plugged with torn fig leaves. She squinted through a veil of fig leaves into her fig-leaf phone, the only light in the room of the world, and listened to herself listening to him struggle to breathe. They were always inventing new ways not to be aware of the canyon between them.
This is a story describing the relationships that we have today. How each one is trying to ignore the canyon between them so that the peace is not disturbed. They are not looking for paradise but peace.
“They wouldn’t be so restless if they weren’t so close.”
The story begins with a biblical account adapted into today’s scenario and ends with a subtle jibe on relationships and how it works these days.
Read the story on The New Yorker for free using this link.
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When I asked the author what the book was about, he said that it was about a girl on the ledge. Equipped with this description, I started the short story. Frieda has reached a point where she seems to have hit a dead end. She has lost someone very dear to her and the story is about her struggle with that loss. It is a thrilling story about love, loss and possibly more? Am I... continue reading→
Birbal is a familiar name in every household. We’ve all watched our own share of episodes of Akbar–Birbal, or read our share of comics on the duo. There have been all kinds of jokes made about the duo as well. So when I received this email from Veena about Westland sending out the review copy to me, I went over to Goodreads to see what the book was about. The blurb intrigued me. Follow Cover... continue reading→
This is a rather simple story with profound emotions. Sarfaraz meets his best friend from school after fifteen years in the midst of riots. They meet and discuss their childhood days. Sarfaraz was the only boy from their village to ever go to college. He had to cross a lonely orchard into which he walked while thinking of all kinds of ghosts. But there was one thing that comforted him when he walked past the... continue reading→
Fable of a severed head turned out to be as captivating as the title suggests. The author presents the view point of the protagonist’s severed head as he watches everything that goes around him. The smile that fell on his lips when he blasts the train and the tight lipped crunched face when he realised that no one claims those who take lives of the innocents, turns out to be a great literary instrument. Like... continue reading→