In the June heat, as he prays for a light breeze, his dead mother’s words come to him: “Pavan means wind. Lord Hanuman was called Pavanaputra, because the Wind God had carried divine power to his mother’s womb.


Pavan had told his school friends, so filled with wonder and pride that his mouth had opened wide. He winces at the memory of their raucous ridicule, how they had chased him around the shanties, yelling at him to run like the wind.

Published in Gravel Magazine, December 2016

I started writing flash seriously a few months ago. It is proving to be a rather difficult form for me so far but that makes me more determined to keep at it. And, this first flash publication is encouragement indeed.

Earlier this year, I had shared my favorite flash reads of September. The good news, of course, is that there is a lot of excellent flash fiction online to be read in all genres. What fascinates me most about this form is how so much can be done with so few words: a complete story that also alludes to a larger story (see the Joyce Carol Oates quote in my earlier post).

The story began as a response to one of the prompt-based competitions over at Tin House. I did not win that competition (the winning entry was a well-deserved one).

I had the idle fact about the Indian God, Hanuman, floating about in my head because of the Indian festival of Diwali. This celebrates, among many things, the Hindu epic, Ramayana, which includes Hanuman, the son of the God of Wind.

So, combining the Tin House plot prompt with the Hanuman story was an interesting experiment. And I am thrilled that Gravel gave the story a home.

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