In 2015 – 2016 I was brave enough to participate in the TOI Write India initiative without ever having written short stories ever before. Acclaimed authors provided prompts and one had to write a story within 2500 words as per the rules set by the author. Although there were 12 prompts I could rise to only 8 of them as given below. To tempt you I have updated the list with snippets with an intention to give you an idea whether or not it is worth your time. In addition, I have honestly (honestly!) tried to color code it as my personal recommendation. Green is a personal favorite, orange is not bad and I would love for you to read, blue is rather sad and tragic while black is studied silence 😉
- It happened on my watch
- My first ever short story. I had no clue about how to punctuate dialogs and stuff. Got a lot of (God sent) help from a friend whom I have still to meet. And that is probably the most special thing about this particular story 😀 But I leave it you to make the final decision.
- No Place to Run
- A brief insight into the tragic life of a ‘modern’ Indian married girl with a daughter. You could almost call it a teaser of my long running story Moonshine ( with 200 plus chapters and counting) on this blog. Except of course with a lot of back story and her story doesn’t end here.
- They are poles apart but very much in love. At least she is. And then she decides enough is enough. I have to admit I was rather happy with this story, particularly for the ease with which it sort of wrote itself out.
- It’s Complicated
- Kiara and Rishaan are facing marital trouble when someone tried to murder her. To help her recover and recoup, they fly to Goa and at the airport they meet an old flame, who’s staying at the same hotel and she’s a private investigator….well I did tell you it was complicated 😉
- The Proposal
- Having dumped him four years ago, Sonia is now a single mother to an adorable daughter. When they meet at the airport, suppressed long forgotten emotions flare up and she proposes to him. Will he won’t he?
- Love Jihad
- This is the story of a Muslim boy and a Hindu girl. Not quite happy with the story for the title was provided and somehow I didnt quite empathize with it. And the story seems to be forced and even then doesn’t quite fit the title. So…at your own risk.
- The Christmas Present
- A story told from the perspective of six-year-old Rhea who loves playing hide and seek with her father. And then one day, she can’t find him. For Christmas all she wants is her father. Instead she gets a new father and a brother.
- How Blue is my Sapphire
- Here too the title was fixed and the challenge was literary genre to boot. Not very sure if it fit the genre but it is rather different from my usual style (I think!) as it attempts to decode a mother-daughter relationship.
If you do read any of these stories and disagree with my color coding I would appreciate if you would let me know. Thanks for reading 🙂