Published: A Kentish Summer (The Vignette Review)

“For the present, I have done all my parting. A big, fat family wedding celebration ended this morning. It has weathered me some more, this long week of my sister’s brood dashing against me ceaselessly like frothy waves. But I have raised a strapping, fair son to her three short, dark daughters. A healing man, he is doing his bit for the country in distant places. There’s something to be bitter about: him not coming home for over a year. I am easily cast off for others. All we ever seem to do with people is meet and part, meet and part.” Continue reading Published: A Kentish Summer (The Vignette Review)

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)

Published: The Golden Amulet (Amazon’s Day One Literary Journal)

Of course, she could not imagine telling Girish now. Listening to him describing the meeting with Panditji to Nitin and Kathleen a couple nights ago, mentioning the miscarriages as if they had been routine business failures that simply needed better planning rather than magical protection, her secret had burrowed deeper. She was sure that if he found out, he would make a scene. There would be yelling in rapid-fire English, which she had never been able to match. Once, when she had tried, he had stopped in midstream and laughed at her accented, halting attempt until he could hardly breathe. Never again, she had promised herself, preferring to absorb the bullet-like words he hailed down on her when he had his stormy fits. Continue reading Published: The Golden Amulet (Amazon’s Day One Literary Journal)

Published: The God of Wind (Gravel Literary Journal)

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. Continue reading Published: The God of Wind (Gravel Literary Journal)