The fan

Usha pushed herself up. Pain weighed down her limbs as she switched off the fan. She went over to the dining room table and collapsed into a chair. Her shoulders heaved as silent sobs escaped her lips. She rose from the chair and moved it under the fan. She climbed onto the chair and draped the dupatta over the fan's stainless steel blades. As she readied to tie the dupatta around her neck, the fan switched on. The dupatta flew out of her hand and on to the floor.

Review: Defiant Dreams

Editor's note Although I have never met them, I know several of the contributors to this volume, mostly through the online Facebook group For Writers, By Authors. I was a beta reader of Radhika Maira Tabrez's short story in this volume, Built From the Ashes. Anirban Nanda has beta read for me. When Rhiti Bose … Continue reading Review: Defiant Dreams

I am a Chetan Bhagat fan, and I am not an idiot: A 2001-word editorial odyssey

Recently, I was involved in a discussion in a writer’s group about Chetan Bhagat. Unlike most similar discussions, this one did not degenerate into the vitriol that usually happens when Chetan Bhagat is mentioned. In part, because the discussion was not limited to Bhagat himself, but included Amish Tripathi, Durjoy Datta, Ravi Subramanian, and other bestsellers. … Continue reading I am a Chetan Bhagat fan, and I am not an idiot: A 2001-word editorial odyssey

Happy International Women’s Day

I know what you're thinking. It's International Women's Day, and I'm a woman who lives internationally. Clearly, this day was made for me. An overprivileged, underemployed trailing spouse, sitting in my posh high-rise in Seoul and drinking the same coffee the Pope drinks. No really. It's true. The same coffee. It's from Brazil and doesn't have a … Continue reading Happy International Women’s Day

The lub dubs

The doctor enters. I know what he’s going to say. He’s said it before. My hearts can’t take much more. My blood work matches perfectly to a girl my own age. I feign sleep. Maybe he won’t bother me. He doesn’t. He and my mother talk in hushed tones. Their words grow fainter as the blood throbs faster through my body. The sound has reached my ears now. Their voices become just mumbles. My eardrums thud with the pain of the increased blood flow. I have made my decision, yet still feel at war with myself somehow. Lub, dub. Lub, dub.

Hot toddy

"Nothing means more to me than you, beta. Nothing. It was worth the sacrifice to keep a roof over our heads. Besides, you have a good job now. Soon, all our problems will be solved.” Tears welled in Ranbir’s eyes. He rose to comfort his mother and started to touch her feet. She smiled and bent as if to stop him. “Beta, why the formality?” “I’m just so grateful for all the sacrifices you and papa have made for me. I love you, maa.” Ranbir kissed his mother goodbye.

A dead letter to the son of a Syrian immigrant

Dear Steve, I know you're dead and all that, but there's something you need to hear. Something I need to tell you. It seems some people in America no longer want you. They think people like you will destroy our country. They think that hard-working immigrants who want a chance to live in peace don't deserve that chance. They think that Syrians will bring terrorists with them. They think it's OK for a three-year-old boy to drown on the shores of a country that isn't theirs.