Wednesday 15 May 2019

Drabble 2019 Longlist

First Prize: Samarth Sadhu | Second Prize: Aftab Yusuf Shaikh | Third Prize: Gitanjali Maria

Shortlist: Sudha Viswanath | Javeria Kausar | Sanika Shinde |  Kanishk Patel

Longlist: Kanchan Bhalla | Samruddhi Jain Bindu Saxena

Divinity & She
She's strange, said some. She's divine, said others. For she had two hearts beating inside her. And two pairs of lungs. Four hands and four limbs. Every organ, she had twice that of a normal being. She may look disfigured to somebody from outside, yet she represented hope and the presence of the Almighty.

People reached out and touched her belly to feel the miracle of God.

Gitanjali Maria


“What are you hoping?” I asked my roommate and he said with misty eyes; “I hope someday my son comes to pick me up from this old age home.”

“Why do you want to leave? Aren’t you happy? We have everything here; lavish house, greenery, medical care, nutritious food, entertainment, friends; all under one roof. I like it you see.”

“You are fortunate that you do not have an off spring. You needn’t cling to hope.”

That sounded pretty much practical, but it is hope that keeps you alive.

I hope someday I would close my eyes peacefully and leave.
Mrs. Sudha Viswanath


Time was a subjective thing, they said. She understood. She would think a week had passed since she spoke to her mom, it would be a month. She would imagine she had been reading for an hour, but half a day would have passed. Who would know this better than her how time worked. Forever the chase. But it was different now. She had moved from idyllic Manali to the polluted Delhi. Her mist had turned to smog. Her poems had turned to excel sheets. And her solitary time to a timetable. 

Kanchan Bhalla


They said, in this mad storm it was not easy to bury his wife. And the cursed woman, the sinner that she was, the coffin must be burned. Set afire the coffins of the sinful, they cried. These small two penny worth gods he couldn't fight. He was dead without her and the resting places of the dead are called coffins.
He went ahead and set fire to his house and the place of worship.
Aftab Yusuf Shaikh

Work Comes First 

"Akash and Jana flew to Switzerland for their honeymoon." "Congratulate Smriti on her first day at Air France as an Air Hostess." "Geoff will be travelling to Rishikesh, read about it on the blog." 
Anita stopped scrolling the Facebook and put down her smartphone. She pulled out her kitchen drawer to look at the now faded acceptance form of the "Iowa International Writing Program". She let out a sigh but only for a moment, she had a large joint family to attend to, chores to be finished, errands to be run.

In the meanwhile, her scribble book was always within the reach.
Samruddhi Jain

I Hope You Understand
“My son is coming to get me today,” the laboriously dressed lady declares with shining eyes. I embrace and congratulate her. Again.
We’ve been following this routine like clockwork, for the past five years.
She still thinks that this old-age home is a resort where her son left her so she could ‘relax for a week.’
“I wish he doesn’t come,” I say every day, “I’ll miss you.”
And every night, while preparing for the next day, she smiles, “Your wish came true today, but tomorrow I’ll have to go. I hope you understand.”
‘I hope he does,’ I think.

Javeria Kausar

The Muse
Darker than the darkness of the night, she could still make out their forms by now, puffs of dark light. They waited all day long for her and crowd her as the lights turned out, little shrieks of the past... The black was not the colour of hate or malice, just sorrow weighing down on souls. She knew that now after chanting mantras to drive them away failed, and she finally heard their words. "Speak you, who could never tell the stories to the world."

"You have a Black Muse?" people asked her. But she knew, not to mistake the cloak for the soul. She looked up at the night sky as now as their unburdened souls cracked light strong enough to light up the universe.
Sanika Shinde

We Have A Visitor 

The ships moved from port to port, selling spices. They always got a good price. Along with the spices, Kishanchand also sold stories. He would tell the white people, the black people, or anyone not from his land, the stories of the deep forests, lush trees laden with sweet fruits, exotic animals and of course, the magical spices that could heal the soul.

Unbeknownest to Kishanchand, they searched for hundreds of years and by the end of the fifteenth century, they showed up on the shores of Calicut to see for themselves.
Kanishk Patel


"Haminastu," the old poet said. "If there is paradise on earth, it is here," he said.
"Even the valley's silence has music," the new poet said.

I tried to see the paradise in the mist of violence. I tried to hear the music over the gun-shots and silent screams. All I found was a scarlet moment frozen in time.

Samarth Sadhu


He was due for an award; they didn’t give any: on the contrary, they gave him a five star slap on the
face. He could not endure pain. Come what will, my cousin was determined to go to the principal. The slap left on his mind an impression never to be effaced. He took leave of his friends, once for all.

What was his fault, just that he told them he was a chowkidar when they’re most inordinately desirous of seeking bribe?

Human life at the best is enveloped in darkness. This incident is so blatant that it reeks of
Bindu Saxena

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