Published Fiction (& Creative Non-Fiction)

Much to my delight, my short fiction has been published in literary magazines across India, USA, UK, etc. All stories are linked to the publishers' pages or my Medium page.

Published in Lit.202, a literary magazine published in Cheltenham, UK, in 2022. Subsequently, it appeared in Piker Press (USA, 2022) and The Unconventional Courier (USA, 2023). 

About the story: Dark, edgy, friendly neighbourhood horror, borderline dystopia


Published in The Bangalore Review (India, USA), in 2021.

About the story: This short story is about Soki’s field of vision. Trapped indoors for 18 months, her surreal dreams at night have come to mirror the weathered house she inhabits. This story is a meditation on the jailed citizens the pandemic has produced.

Literary techniques used:
(1) The writer plays with the literal and metaphoric meaning of the word reflections.
(2) 18 months have been condensed into one static scene in which nothing happens.

Published in Danse Macabre (USA, 2022), Piker Press (USA, 2023) and The Unconventional Courier (USA, 2023). 

About the story: A macabre tale about three entities – a beautiful woman, a determined intruder and a rickety house. The story has both a climax and an anti-climax. You’ll see.

Published on IndiaCurrents.com (USA, 2022). An early, somewhat imperfect, draft is available on StoryMirror.com (India, 2022).

About the story: All I'll say here is - you have to be Indian to understand the twist.

Published in Wind-up Mice, a literary magazine based in the USA (2022).

About the story: Gentle feminist fiction.
Note: The novella referenced in this story is Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino.

Published in a literary zine called The Unconventional Courier (2023)

About the story: What happens when two Indians make accidental eye contact in the United States? Nothing... everything.



This story has been published by Sad Goose Cooperative (USA, 2022) and Piker Press (USA, 2023). 

About the story: An atmospheric account of a lady’s experience living in someone else’s house for a brief while. Though the story is limited to a single day that turns into night on the page, there are layers, stories and flights within this story. The reader is rewarded with a small twist at the end. The twist is based on an archetypal secret wish common to most humans. The objective is to make the reader own the conclusion, even if it’s for no more than a few minutes, or seconds.


Genre: Magic Realism

Mood: Haunting

The brief was - write a story in *exactly* 75 words. 

Published on ParagraphPlanet.com (Brighton, UK) on Feb 10, 2023.


Chains


Perched on her balcony, Alpha watched Beta as he paced up and down his room, unable to cross the boundary. He was trapped; his anxiety got worse every time he reached the edge of the room, unable to leave. "The worst kind of prison" thought Alpha as she stirred her coffee. She could see the invisible chains around his ankles. They kept him confined within those four walls. One step, and his wifi signal died.


Burman and Yasmeen

Fiction - Published in Pakistan’s Premier Literary Anthology, 2023. Coming soon.

The Pigeon Portrait

This short fiction story has been published in Vocivia Magazine (USA), Sage Cigarettes Magazine (USA), Write City Magazine (Chicago Writers Association, USA) and The Bitchin’ Kitsch (USA) in 2023. 

About the story: A short story about ephemeral moments that have the power to stun us into creativity. But the press of ordinary life is too heavy to let these transient moments of inspiration breathe for more than a few seconds. What happens then? Nothing.

Slow Burn: Godavari and Xantanu

Genre: Creative Non-Fiction (CNF - Love Story). First published in a magazine called Cowboy Jamboree (USA) - Spring 2023 issue titled 'Country & Folk' - Page 22-24, and soon after, in India Currents (USA).


About: A contemporary love story that swept Godavari up from the West Coast of India and tossed her on the West Coast of America, home of Xantanu.

Tea Story: Notes from the 2020 lockdown in Mumbai

Creative Non-Fiction (CNF) published in Papers Publishing (New York, 2023).

Image Credit: Red Label ad film.

Vaara and Vaayu

Both these words are first names of my protagonists; in Marathi, my mother tongue, both words mean 'air'... the intensity varies; 'vaara' means 'breeze' and 'vaayu' means 'wind'. It's a story very close to my heart and like all fiction, has roots in my personal reality. 

Published in Oranges Journal (Bristol, England) on May 3, 2023, Sage Cigarettes Magazine (USA) in August 2023 and Sein und Werden (UK) in November 2023.

6 word fiction

"One ticket to Earth" she whispered.

My super short story has been published in Doug Weller's anthology - Six Word Memoirs: A Wondrous Anthology of Stories, Poems, Memoirs, and Jokes, told in only six words. Per his website, Doug splits his time between London and Los Angeles.

Locking Eyes With Mahalaxmi

My short story has been anthologized. It's one of 41 stories in The Alien Buddha's 'House of Horrors #6'. I classify it as creative non-fiction, but the publisher has appraised it as a horror story. Then again, Gods and Goddesses aren't really the converse of Ghosts and Goblins... they are the very same thing. The book is now available on Amazon: amazon.com/dp/B0CK3ZX47D 


The story was subsequently published by India Currents and Roi Fainéant Press

My debut fiction chapbook is now out on Amazon! It's a collection of 7 short stories written by me.


It's called 'Hormonal House' because all 7 stories are inspired by the sights, sounds, sighs and silences of a single moody house.


These stories were born out of my isolation during the pandemic-induced lockdown between 2020 and 2022, when I spent a disproportionate amount of time locked away in my dilapidated house in Mumbai, where I grew up. As I wallowed in my inner world of literary abundance, every few months a different corner of the house would yield a new fictive character.


Each story has a different protagonist, plot and purpose, and is a universe unto itself, but all 7 stories have thematic throughlines and, together, reflect a dark, atmospheric sensibility. They belong together in mood, clime, color and creative aesthetic. My characters – Vaali, Vaara, Vaayu, Baali, Soki, Hotoli, Botoli, Gabroo, Abaka – are all alter egos of the same spirit.


These stories have been published as separate pieces in different literary magazines but this is the first time the collection has been published in its entirety. 

The book is available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3sQWAag

Hormonal House - About each story:

 

The Pigeon Portrait: A story about ephemeral moments that have the power to stun us into creativity. But the press of ordinary life is too heavy to let these transient moments of inspiration breathe for more than a few seconds. What happens then? Nothing.

 

Vaara and Vaayu: These alliterative words are the first names of the protagonists of this story. In Marathi, the author’s native language, both words mean 'air'. However, the intensity varies – ‘Vaara' means 'breeze' and 'Vaayu' means 'wind'. It's a story about a woman, her beloved uncle, and a glorious act of love. 

 

Baali’s Flight: An atmospheric account of a lady’s experience living in someone else’s house for a brief while. Though the story is limited to a single day that turns into night on the page, there are layers, stories and flights within this story. The reader is rewarded with a small twist at the end. The twist is based on an archetypal secret wish common to most humans. The objective is to make the reader own the conclusion, even if it’s for no more than a few minutes, or seconds.

 

Soki’s Reflections: This story is about Soki’s field of vision. Trapped indoors for 18 months, her surreal dreams at night have come to mirror the weathered house she inhabits. The story is a meditation on the jailed citizens of the recent pandemic. The author plays with the literal and metaphoric meaning of the word ‘reflections’ and condenses 18 long months into one static scene in which nothing happens.

 

Hotoli and Botoli: A dark, edgy story that teases the borders of horror, dystopia and the human condition.

 

Gabroo’s Breath: Gentle feminist fiction and an ode to the literary genius of Italo Calvino, author of Invisible Cities.

 

Abaka and The Intruder: A macabre tale about three entities – a beautiful woman, a determined intruder and a rickety house. The story has both a climax and an anti-climax.