Published: The Weight of His Bones (The Nottingham Review)

This is a flash fiction piece that started out as a much longer story about an adolescent boy who gropes women in public places (see my footnote at the end of this post). Any woman who has lived in India for even a short length of time will probably have experienced this from men of any age. I wanted to explore what drives this particular behavior. What kind of person might be behind that anonymous mask and those grasping hands? What life/people influences might have led him to be that way? In this shorter version, though, I have focused more on the father and the adolescent son struggling with their splintering relationship. Continue reading Published: The Weight of His Bones (The Nottingham Review)

Published: The Prize (Litro #160: Changes)

This short story is in the print version of Litro UK’s issue #160. The theme is “Changes.” As Eric Akoto, the magazine editor, reminds us in his introduction, Leo Tolstoy wrote, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” In this story, the main character has to change himself to get what he wants. Set in India, ‘The Prize’ deals with the main conflict between moral values and material success that much of the country’s rising middle class continues to deal with. A young architect and his wife meet with a powerful customer and his wife for a business dinner, where the architect hopes to close a big deal. As the evening progresses, in trying to gain the contract, something precious is also lost. Continue reading Published: The Prize (Litro #160: Changes)

Social Media for Writers (Part 1)

This is the first of a new series of posts. As a full-time writer, I find Facebook to be more of a writer’s medium than other social platforms and use it to augment my daily writing practice. That said, given the 24/7 nature of news and entertainment media, and the over-sharing that goes on, it is easy to lose hours reading, commenting, sharing, liking stuff on FB rather than focusing on the real work of writing. Not to mention what it does to one’s creativity — think of the image of a whole, smooth egg with the caption “This is your brain” and then the image of messily-scrambled eggs with the caption “This is your brain on social media.” Yeah. It can be like that. So, in this first post of the series, In this first post of the series, I focus on why, as a writer, I prefer FB and how I try to organize and ration my usage time to avoid that brain-as-scrambled-eggs scenario. Future posts will be about how to use it more effectively to collaborate with other writers, engage meaningfully with other readers, and promote oneself as a writer. Continue reading Social Media for Writers (Part 1)

2017: Reading and Writing Resolutions and Word of the Year

For some years now, an anti-new-year-resolutions stance has been growing popular. There are the usual arguments of how resolutions should not be made only once a year but as needed, or how resolutions simply box one into limited possibilities, or how it might be harder to course-correct if unforeseen things happen, and so on. Um. Sorry. Not buying it. We expect detailed annual business plans from the companies we work for or invest in. Why should we not make similar plans for our own lives? For me, a resolution is a hierarchy of goal -> milestone(s) – > task(s) – > habit(s). And resolution management is an ongoing process, not a one-time annual event. Continue reading 2017: Reading and Writing Resolutions and Word of the Year

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2016: The Year In Reading and Writing

2016 has been the year of many cultural and socio-political shocks across the world. Those among us who belong to the “half-full glass” club seem to be questioning their own biases and finally speaking out in righteous outrage. And those in the “half-empty glass” club seem to be questioning other people’s biases and trying to one-up their ever-simmering outrage. Either way, these are mind games we are playing with, ultimately, our own selves where we are near-paralyzed into seeing our worlds in near-apocalyptic terms. Continue reading 2016: The Year In Reading and Writing