No Woman’s Land

My story ‘No Woman’s Land’ is part of Muse India Literary Magazine’s Fiction selection for Issue 86.

Hailing from the south, I have not been even remotely connected to the at times heart-wrenching, at times blood-curdling #partition experiences that I have read numerous accounts of. However, for some reason, it is a topic I keep revisiting in my mind. I remember, when my first children’s book got published and I was asked for an author bio, I had mentioned in it the following line:

With a belief that boundaries – physical or psychological – are for the faint-hearted, I’d rather be a global citizen with a boundless imagination.

This is something I truly believe in and hence, the very concept of regionalism, let alone any other ‘ism’ has never crept into my understanding of life. The idea that a mere length of barbed-wire can separate people and stop them from being human has always been hard to digest.

Why‘, I’ve often asked myself, ‘do I need permission to travel from one place on earth to the other when the earth belongs equally to all?

And so, while ‘No Woman’s Land’ is based on my interpretation of the trauma of partition, the larger idea that I am also trying to question is – Why Borders? The question is even more relevant today when governments of powerful countries want to build walls, decide frivolously on sensitive citizenship issues, make beggars out of immigrants and so on.
Then again, the story for me is not only about the geographical border but much more.

What do you feel about this? Do read the story and share your thoughts.

http://www.museindia.com/Home/ViewContentData?arttype=fiction&issid=86&menuid=8433

Also, do spare some time to read Semeen Ali’s short note in the Editorial Musings page -it talks about ‘identity’ and its relevance, something that resonated immediately with me.

Yellow blossoms and Ulysses

This piece of short fiction written by me has been published by Kaani, a bi-annual literary magazine publishing short fiction and short story reviews.

KAANI

Bunches of yellow blossoms hang overhead like delicate chandeliers. I can almost hear the clinking of the crystals as they sway to the tunes of the gentle summer breeze. But death lurks in the shadows that dance on the parched earth below.

And this same flower that smiles to-day

To-morrow will be dying . . .

 . . . Robert Herrick whispers his prophetic verse into my ears. Yes, the blossoms would be history in the days to come. The delicate petals will detach themselves from the stalk and float down in a spiral. The koel, whose melody reverberates in my ears today, will sing a dirge then. But I, oblivious, would trample the fallen petals under my heel even as I tried to imitate his enviable call. I seek him amongst the leaves of the jamun tree – in vain. He is an expert in covert operations, it…

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