Excerpt from the Novella ‘Introspection.’

(Note: This is a work in progress)

It’s you sister! Come, come in. No, don’t bother to remove your chappals. You don’t have to leave your footware outside the door. Why should you, my friend, worry about such formalities? Come right in. Sit anywhere you feel comfortable; consider this your own house only. I was surprised when the door-bell rang. I wasn’t expecting anyone at this hour in the afternoon. When I saw it was you I was elated. What? No, no you did not disturb me. No, I am not in the habit of enjoying an afternoon siesta. Don’t make yourself uneasy on that account. Wait, let me make you some tea… with ginger and cardamom; that’s how you like your tea, isn’t it? What was that you just said? My hearing isn’t very sharp sometimes. Forgive me if I ask you to repeat some things. Oh! I see. You tried to call to check if it was alright to come here at this time? The phone is out of order dear sister. I have lodged complaint after complaint; only God knows when they’ll come and repair it. Stop worrying about whether or not this was an appropriate hour to come on a visit. I told you I am happy to see you—very happy. Now wait a minute while I get you some tea. No, no; I need no help in the kitchen.

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Excerpt from the Novella ‘The Love Affair.’

Excerpt 01

I remembered what it was like when I first began dating Stephen. How happy I had been on that day in college when he finally asked me out for coffee. How wonderful our first couple of years together had been! Love had made my senses come alive. I saw things and felt things that I had previously overlooked. Since our bungalow was situated at the farthest end of the town, the landscape here was dotted with paddy and vegetable fields. In that enchanted and amorous state, I felt the morning breeze heavy with the fragrance of newly tilled paddy fields caress my cheeks; I saw the lone dewdrop trickle down the surface of a leaf, hesitantly halt at its edge and then with a brave downward leap of exaltation it embraced the ground; I empathized with the rhythmic urgency heard in the croaking lyric of the frog hoping to attract a mate; I silently applauded the melodious symphony performed by the sparrows that came to peck at the bread crumbs I threw out of my bedroom window… Ah! The magic of newly blossoming love! It charms one’s entire being…

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Excerpt From the Novella ‘The Shadows.’

Almost an entire month passed by. Usually, once I begin sleeping at night, I am down for six hours straight unless, of course, strange noises or occurrences jolt me awake. But one night, I was unable to settle into a deep sleep. It was the wrong time of the month and I was experiencing particularly nasty stomach cramps. Due to this, I kept tossing and turning on my side of the bed, feeling like I was only half asleep. I was debating whether I should get up to take a painkiller or not, when suddenly I heard my husband begin to mutter to himself. I assumed he was just talking in his sleep. Nonetheless, I turned on my side to look at him. I was still half asleep myself, but I observed something that looked like a figure made of smoke standing next to my husband’s side of the bed! It just stood there looking intently at Gaurav. I closed my eyes; I was sure my half-asleep brain was a playing trick on me. I thought when I opened my eyes again, I wouldn’t see it. I was wrong! I opened my eyes wide and there it stood: the shadow figure. I could see it in the dull glow that originated from the street lights outside and filtered through our window. It looked like it was made out of dark black smoke. But it wasn’t exactly “black.” Black was the closest colour description I could provide.

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