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Excerpts

The Haunted Horse

The Haunted Horse

By Rudyard Kipling

Click here to buy The Haunted Horse I don’t suppose that a Subaltern believes in anything except his chances of a Company; but Horrocks and Tesser were exceptions. They came to believe in their ghosts. They had reason. Horrocks used to find himself, at about three o’clock in the morning, staring wide-awake, watching two white Things hopping about his room [...]

A Time for All Things

A Time for All Things

By Ruskin Bond

Click here to buy A Time for All Things In the Darkness of the Night No night is so dark as it seems. Here in Landour, on the first range of the Himalayas, I have grown accustomed to the night’s brightness—moonlight, starlight, lamplight, firelight! Even fireflies and glow-worms light up the darkness. Over the years, the night has [...]

Prison Days

Prison Days

By Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

Click here to buy Prison Days 12th August 1942 I woke up with a start and switched on the light. Binda was standing at the foot of my bed. He told me the police had arrived and wished to see me. It was 2 a.m. My mind was a confused jumble of the events of the preceding twenty-four hours. The shots fired on the students’ procession were still ringing [...]

Murder in Seven Acts

Murder in Seven Acts

By Kalpana Swaminathan

Click here to buy Murder in Seven Acts ‘The trouble with NRIs is that they expect time to stand still in India, and then they think it unreasonable when it won’t. Parents age. Unwanted aunts and forgettable uncles are discovered in dire straits. Cousins unheard of since childhood prowl the property, terrifying the grandparents. Then there are smaller, more [...]

The Guru Who Came Down from the Mountain

The Guru Who Came Down from the Mountain

By Roshen Dalal

Click here to buy The Guru Who Came Down from the Mountain I reached his room and stood in the doorway watching him.He was lying in bed, his face exhausted, thin and pale. I had a brief recollection of how I had seen him last,he wasn’t tall as I am, but his yearsof yoga exercises had made him lithe and strong. What a transformation had taken [...]

Dancing with the Nation

Dancing with the Nation

By Ruth Vanita

The foot fetish’s most famous appearance is perhaps in Pakeezah (1971), which begins with the hero falling in love with the tawaif’s feet and concludes with her wounding those feet by dancing on glass, symbolic of ending her dance career to marry him. However, the fetish does not originate with Pakeezah, as some commentators wrongly state. A man sighting a woman’s feet on a train occurs earlier, in Kalpana (1960), when Amar, on [...]

Don’t Run, My Love

Don’t Run, My Love

By Easterine Kire

Click here to buy Don’t Run, My Love They had been away for five days this harvest time. A musty smell lingered in the air, and though the house was dark, Atuonuo knew her way about well. She deftly felt for and found the matchbox, lit the kerosene lamp, and lighted up the kitchen. It was quite cold inside. ‘I’ll get a fire going,’ she said and began to [...]

Woman to Woman

Woman to Woman

By Madhulika Liddle

Click here to buy Woman to Woman From ‘Poppies in the Snow’ An old man once told me that the stream from which we draw water comes from high up in the mountains, behind the deodars. Above the tree line. From the snows. 'If you climb up, Iqbal,' he had said, squinting up at the distant peaks, 'you will see it. You will see snow melt into water. The purest [...]

Season of Crimson Blossoms

Season of Crimson Blossoms

By Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

Click here to buy Season of Crimson Blossoms A hyena cannot smell its own stench After growing wings through indiscretion, Hajiya Binta, contrary to her expectation, did not transform into an eagle, but an owl that thrived in the darkness in which she and Reza communed. Yet, during the day, she was caged by her fears, wrapped in the perceived [...]

The Assassinations

The Assassinations

By Vikram Kapur

Click here to buy The Assassinations The evening sky had deadened to the colour of cigarette ash by the time Jaswant left his office. On his way home, he passed cars and buses on fire, burnt shells of shops and houses billowing smoke, dead bodies of Sikhs cremated alive, bands of goondas brandishing machetes and crowbars...It was as if Partition had descended one [...]

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