Friday 15 May 2015

55 Fiction 2015, Longlist

Dimple Kaul

Every morning, they find her in the hallway, with her luggage.
“My son is going to come to take me back home,” she tells the attendants at the old age home.
They smile knowing that Alzheimer had taken toll on her memory.
Her son had deserted her sometime back and never came back.
- Vasu Gangapalli
She lingered for a while. Her drooping shoulders, desolate eyes, sullen face were all of no avail. Didn’t he need her at all? She had knocked on his door twice... against her nature. Look at him – he was happy.
So, opportunity walked away. But who cared?
- Angelica Tara
Wrath Yatra
We watch the varying moods of rivers – almost human – in the ceaseless cycle of the seasons: A narrow, slow, silvery streak during the summer, a wide roaring, broad-bosomed spectacle during the monsoons. He lives at the edge, and urges, “I can't support my family without a flowing river. Please do not litter.”
- Bindu Saxena
She touched his cheek tenderly as Karthik smiled at her.
She had known him for 10 years but she still felt weak in the knees when she looked at him.
"Shikha! I need breakfast now!" her husband yelled.
Shikha returned the photo to its place, under her clothes.
"Coming! Eggs or Cereal?"
- Neha Malude
With her gun loaded, she now felt secured.
She had made up her mind, it was time for revenge.
Nimble footed, in a flash, she reached him and took him by surprise.
Before he could move a muscle, she pointed the gun at him and fired it forthwith.
She smiled with satisfaction shouting, “Happy Holi”.
- Shashank Tiwari.
The medical reports of his ailing mother were delivered. When he read through, he had a smile on his face. Her body was receiving the new medication pretty well. They both were happy after a long time. He rushed outside. He returned with a bouquet of white lilies and wished his mother, “Happy Mother’s Day”.
- Salvwi Prasad
Sweat crawled down her neck, just like the first kiss of raindrop. She had finally made it to the Summit of the Echo Mountains. She had read about it… ‘The Eden of earth’,’ Untouched by any man living’ and few myths.
“Hello anybody there?” She cried.
Her voice echoed but the words were “Yes, I am.”
- Amen Benjamin
Round and round goes the black carpenter ant, around the wax candle; its flame flickering wildly in the whistling night wind. I flick it away but it stubbornly returns and resumes its ritual. A drop of hot wax drips curling the ant into eternal sleep. A suicide bombing report in the newspaper below.
- Yesha Shah
Since the day he lost her in the dreadful fire accident, he has become aloof and lonely.
It is her birthday. In his dingy room, sitting on her favourite rocking chair, with his faithful bottle on one side and an old movie projector on the other, he dances his last waltz over and over again.
Jayashree Maniyil
Whenever he visited her, he made her feel like a Princess. Escaping from the old age home, dining together, long drive, clubbing; he took her wherever she wished to go since her childhood, but could never go. He was not born to her, but was a much better son than the one born to her.
- Shreya Naik
And why is it that so often you find yourself caught up in an eternal tango? Too tangled up to have any power to do anything but dance on... Because taking a step forward, might break it all... And there's no going back... Not anymore.....
- Debdip Maitra
We play a little game every day, Maya and I.
I cook rice with sand, and make a dish of Tulsi leaves. I then call out to her.
She does not appear, until later in the evening, after I sleep.
But that is fine.
I can wait, until one of us forgets she is dead.
- Vidya Panicker
Like the past sixteen days, every morning he’d leave me a small note. Sometimes, with just the words ‘Dinner at nine tonight.’ or ‘Wear red today.’ which assured me in some way that he’d return.
Today, the waiting had to stop. He had left me a huge stack of fresh and crisp currency notes. It was business, after all.
- Priyanka Dharamsi
I handed over the keys of the new bungalow to my mother and told her, ‘This is for you and with this I have repaid the price of motherhood.’ It was then that the quake came and the bungalow fell down to the ground like a pack of cards.
- Arjun Mukherjee
"Is it too late to tell you that I love you?", he whispered to her sleeping form.
Seconds later, the heart machine beeped to life again.
- Prachi Manchanda
I asked her, “Are you feeling better, love?” I could have sworn she sighed. “I’d like you to leave me alone for some time”, she said as I replaced the jasmines near her picture. She was livelier here than in her comatose decades and had the same engagement ring on, the only unstolen thing of hers.
- Ceona Benjamin Salve
Generations come, generations go. Most of them spend their entire lives waiting for one moment. The wait or the lack of it becomes a daily affair. For some, it is a moment of victory; for others, a moment of indifference. There aren't many experiences in life that are as incongruous as this- validation from parents.
- Rafaa Dalvi
The burqa-covered woman called softly.
The jeans-encased woman stopped.
The narrow corridor reeked of illness.
“Your hanky.”
A white slender hand came out of the black robe and pointed out the monogrammed pink hanky.
It was picked up promptly.
Both smiled and went away.
Sunil Sharma
He cheated on her for someone else the entire life. Today, when she decided to cheat him for someone else, he couldnt even embrace death, for death was her secret lover.
Ambika Prasad Mahapatra
They say Angels were seen as being worthy to be carriers of love, but when it came about us, our demons did the honour.
- Divya Chauhan
Identified: Female
Murderers not arrested!
- Deepika Garg
I wonder how you hide your bitterness in your mug of beer. I find the beer more bitter and spend my night awake.
- Piyush Kumar.
  1. Mother - Daughter by Dimple Kaul

With the patience of a saint, she spent sleepless nights catering to my infant needs, carved me into adulthood through a nightmarish teenage. So why is it a surprise that in the ripe years of her physical and emotional infirmity laced with grouchiness, I, the daughter have become her mother?



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