Short story, Poached Eggs, shortlisted for The London Short Story Award Anthology, Kingston University Press (UK).
A Safe Place
Short story, A Safe Place, shortlisted for The British Asian Writer Award. Published in Dividing Lines Anthology, Dahlia Press(UK). Available for purchase.
A Clump of Nsenenes
Short story, A Clump of Nsenenes, shortlisted for The Sunderland Waterstones Short Story Award (UK).
The Tabla Player
Short story, The Tabla Player, published in The Massachusetts Review Special Edition on Music (USA). Available for purchase.
The breaking of silence: Shashi Deshpande
Essay published by Thresholds.
Shashi Deshpande is an important contemporary voice amongst Indian writers and her works have received acclaim for her realistic representation of middle-class Indian women.
She was born in 1938 in Dharwad, India, the second daughter of a playwright. When she was fifteen she moved to Mumbai to study Economics and then to Bangalore to read Law and Journalism. In the 1960s she began writing short stories about the societal and cultural systems that constrained individual freedoms in India. Her writing explores the conflict between authority and freedom, as well as negotiating gender stereotypes, and, although her stories are unmistakably Indian, the themes she addresses are universal: self-revelation, social reality and dogma, spiritual and traditional values, family life, romance and the subordinate role of women. She depicts the anguish of the modern educated Indian woman, caught between patriarchy and tradition on the one hand, and self-expression and autonomy on the other. Her protagonists seek individual fulfilment, independent of traditionally ascribed roles within the family: daughter, wife and mother…
Reading Sadat Hassan Manto in an age of dislocation
Essay, Reading Sadat Hassan Manto in an age of dislocation, highly commended in the Thresholds Awards (UK).
Saadat Hassan Manto was born in 1912 in the Punjab, British India. After the Partition in 1947, he migrated to Pakistan where he died in 1955. During his short life he produced twenty-two collections of short stories, one novel, five series of radio plays, three collections of essays, and two collections of personal sketches. He always wrote in Urdu but some of his most famous works have been translated into English. He is now considered to be one of the best short story writers from South Asia, and in 2015 a biographical drama film Manto was released celebrating his life and work.
Like D.H. Lawrence, to whom he has frequently been compared, Manto was a popular but also controversial character because of what he wrote about and the explicit nature of his language. His stories, usually satirical in tone and minimalist in style, were published at a time when both India and Pakistan were very conservative. They explore the taboo aspects of relationships such as sex and violence, and also depict the socio-political features of a culture that constrained and harmed both men and women. These were published in his series Letters to Uncle Sam and Nehru. Many of his writings were banned by both Indian and Pakistani governments for being unpalatable, but he continued to write in his own style about the darker aspects of life…