The Toy Shop

Apekshita Varshney.
From Mumbai

(Reading time: 5 minutes)  On a crowded, grimy, slow-moving local train, I met my friend, Ara. Usually Ara is a hit-and-miss acquaintance but that day, she elbowed her way to me, usually a symbol [...]

Her Marriage

Sharon Puthur.
From Bangalore, India (Reading Time: 7 minutes)

(Reading Time: 7 minutes) Her bag was empty and lying open on her bed. She began to slowly fill it with her things. The room she lived in was a fairly large one. This was only because she was an [...]

Deer don’t see Orange

Sujatha Shankar Kumar.
From Chennai, India (Reading Time: 7 minutes)

(Reading Time: 7 minutes) The snow fell early that autumn, just before Halloween. In the stone urns by the steps where hollow pumpkins sat with their cracked smiles, the chrysanthemums were [...]

God is Dead

Naren Weiss.
From Brooklyn, New York, USA (Reading Time: 10 minutes)

(Reading Time: 10 minutes) All my life, I believed God was a woman. I never assumed otherwise. After all, it was my father who had told me so. It wasn’t until I was well into high school [...]

The Humming Girl

Anubhav Srivastava.
From Lucknow, India (Reading Time: 10 minutes)

(Reading Time: 10 minutes) She sat in the Starbucks cafe, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The bloodstained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her silk blue scarf. [...]

The Immortality of Goddesses

Praneet Saxena.
From New Delhi, India (Reading Time: 10 minutes)

(Reading Time: 10 minutes) Maharashtra, 1669 ‘I am sick of this!’ Ilaa grunted loudly. Though work was at its peak in the cotton fields of Sauviragram, close to the city of Paithan, [...]

The Eternal Song

Anusha Parthasarathy.
From Los Angeles, USA (Reading Time: 10 minutes)

(Reading Time: 10 minutes) Oh the headman has sent His daughter away because he heard That the scoundrel had escaped. The village was afraid for all its daughters. But the headman’s, the girl [...]

The Unhinged Ecstasies of Being Someone

Sheetala Bhat.
From Manipal, India (Reading Time: 10 minutes)

(Reading Time: 10 minutes) There was a steel plate lying upside down on the floor. The reflection of the ceiling fan on the bottom side of the plate was constantly stared at by a pair of eyes. [...]

A Mexican Standoff

Komal Singh.
From New Delhi, India (Reading Time: 10 minutes)

(Reading Time: 10 minutes) Breathe. Breathe. Please. This isn’t the place. You need to let it pass. You need to wait till you get home. Breathe. Just finish this and go home. 7.30 pm “Oh my god, [...]

Eyes Wide Shut

Divya Sreedharan.
From Bangalore, India (Reading Time: 10 minutes)

(Reading Time: 10 minutes) He is staring at me. I can sense it. I look up but his eyes are vacant. There is no life, no light in them. Nothing to show that he is aware of his surroundings. Does [...]

The Crimson Stain

Percy Bharucha.
From New Delhi, India (Reading Time: 15 minutes)

(Reading Time: 15 minutes) In many ways a dry cleaner’s job is like amnesia. He is to clothes what tequila is to memories. For as long as she could remember, she had always worked at her father’s [...]

I’ll Be Watching You (Part II)

Rahat Jain.
From Mumbai, India (Reading Time: 10 minutes)

To read Part I of this story, please click here – I’ll Be Watching You (Part I) (Reading Time: 10 minutes) “Do you know what a piece of scum that guy was? Do you know how [...]

I’ll Be Watching You (Part I)

Rahat Jain.
From Mumbai, India (Reading Time: 10 minutes)

To read Part II of this story, please click here – I’ll Be Watching You (Part II) (Reading Time: 10 minutes) Apeksha Sahni didn’t get it. Everything was working out for her. She had [...]

An Alternate Love Story

Meghna Chaudhury.
From Pune, India (Reading Time: 15 minutes)

(Reading Time: 15 minutes) Part 1 Cobwebs clung like shriveled skin to the sides of the wall. Like the sudden twiggy cracks that appear on an ice cube when dowsed with water, the walls were an [...]

Affluenza

Niharika Shenoy.
From Bangalore, India

Amma was chopping onions into paper thin slices and I was grinding the spices in the mortar, a heady aroma of clove, cardamom and coriander spreading in our kitchen, when we first heard the news. [...]

The Thief of Babylon

Brandon Marlon.
From Ottawa, Canada

The emperor’s salubrious disposition was reinforced with the paternal joy he experienced as his son and heir Amel-Marduk married the object of his affection, Judahite princess Shelomit, widow of [...]

Azham

Shashank Mohan.
From Delhi, India

23.00 Azham loved colours. He was pondering over the vastness of the white cloth which extended like a still sheet of water all over his body. His fingers were tucked neatly and tightly below his [...]

A Scarred Permanence

Rik Mukherjee.
From Kolkata, India

A tiny ant worked its way through the blades of grass, scuttling across the moist earth crumbling away at its feet. The sky above it stretched blue till the horizon and with its cascading white [...]

Bits and Blue

Ishani Behari.
From Delhi, India

“The password is 19Nov2316”, he said his birth date in his mind. The words seemed to float out of his brain and solidify in mid air. As they hit the blue light next to the door panels, the lights [...]

Light my fire

Saher Aamil.
From Delhi, India

Light my heart and watch it burn until it is as dark as Africa. Don’t accuse me of racism. I was there in Paris with you, when you swiped all the African women left on Tinder, without even [...]

X & ÷

Closet Writer.
From Mumbai, India

Before you read any further, you must first know about them – ‘him & her’. You must know why they are the way they are. He was the epitome of positivity. Everything he did, he did with a [...]

The last wish

Utkarsh Tripathi.
From Delhi, India

The majestic lake lay in front of Julu’s eyes. This was the place where it had all started. The moonlight was shimmering on the peaceful water as if a million stars twinkling. Maybe that’s what [...]

Boy

Jayesh Ganesh.
From Mumbai, India

The words on the wall in the police station that night read “Truth alone triumphs.” Truth, as I have come to learn however, is a dangerous lie. Truths can be conjured from banal realities. Some [...]

Lion of Ratangiri

Nikita D'cruz.
From Mumbai, India

There were tears in his eyes. Shutting them and blinking rapidly didn’t make it go away. He let the stinging continue, as the sharp smoke of the beedi blowing into his face emanated from the [...]

The right shade of red

Bhavya Sharma.
From Delhi, India

She was running, almost always, whenever I did see her. I had once joked that it almost seemed like she was playing Leonardo’s character from the movie “Catch me if you can”. She had told me that [...]