Portraits Across the Window: My first fiction publication this year

This is my first publication in 2013. Thankyou Desi Writer’s Lounge for the space.

Portraits across the Window

She watched the bogies chug out in slow rhythmic dance, each passing scene an accelerating cameo as the train gathered speed. A blotched sky in dull grey moved into view followed by an empty platform dotted with dusty merchandise on tired cartwheels. On the upper berths, her father-in-law’s snores competed with those of her husband. Her mother-in-law reclining on the other lower berth did not snore, but slept with her mouth open and the saree’s edge cautiously pulled over her greying hair even in sleep; her dark chequered hanky was spread over her eyes and covered most of her face.

She counted their bags once more from her prone posture on the lower berth. She could see the two tin suitcases into which various household articles and basic condiments had been packed for their new life ahead. Then there was one red duffle bag with some clothing and two cane baskets, the last containing food to last them through the journey. Two black duffle bags full with her trousseau were stuffed under her berth and she put her hand out to feel one of them, the other was tucked away too far for her reach. Left with nothing to do, she trained her eyes upon the platform again. Continue reading “Portraits Across the Window: My first fiction publication this year”

A Sepia Read: Between Clay and Dust by Musharraf Ali Farooqui

The blurb to Musharaf Ali Farooqui’s Between Clay and Dust prepared me for a twilight zone, set in an akhara and a kotha and peopled with the likes of a pahalwan and a courtesan with a glorious past. But nothing warned me about its perfect sepia tones guaranteed by the time frame, setting and the craft of storytelling used in the book.

It is mostly set in a world far removed from the world we know – perhaps something we know only from yesteryear movies. Yet, this world is not a story-book fantasy creation. It is a place which could exist in any of those unexplored alleys of a town in the Indian sub-continent, inhabited by many characters, in hues galore, frozen into a time warp. One only needs to close one’s eyes and let the mind float, to imagine the kotha and the akhara, and the immense wasted buildings looking to crumble down at a sigh. Maybe it is for this reason that we hold our breath and let the dream go on uninterrupted.

Read on at http://www.earthenlampjournal.com/Book-Review-Between-Clay-and-Dust.php