Her belief that the ritual represented a beautiful transition to womanhood – a sign of strength and fertility – was false. She had seen it with the other girls. She had seen it with her daughter. All of them had borne the burdens of her malefaction.
Her steps faltered as she thought about her daughter.
Her little girl had bled to death in the weeks following her cutting ceremony. How could she forget the weight of the slender yet stock-still body of her offspring in her hands?
When she had caressed the long hair that hung past the lifeless shoulders of her daughter, something had splintered within. After all these years, she had realized that her wounds ran too deep to heal.
She had renounced her position as the traditional circumciser. The village elders had given in to her decision after much reluctance. But everyone was blissfully oblivious of the pivotal role she still played.
-Excerpt from my story Crimson Tears
21 Stories for ’21
An artist never works under ideal conditions, but the past few months were the severest test an artist could be put through. In this imperfect world, we have twenty-one writers attempting to bring some sort of order in the chaos with their words. As you step into ’21, this anthology- a potpourri of 21 stories, will give you company. Coming from some of the most promising short story writers, these stories come from a personal space they chose to share with us. There are four stories from writers under eighteen. This anthology is our way to encourage their efforts and passion. All the stories have a different flavor and tenor to go for every mood. Each of the pieces shall leave you with something to dwell upon – it could be the plot, a character, the setting, or the narration. Pick it up and allow yourself to ease into their worlds.
You can order your copy here-
Some of the reviews for the story-
Be it the Quest for a lost sister, the crimson tears shed towards realization, the childlike joy of un-boxing nankhatais, the happiness derived from children or storytelling, the imprint that others leave in our lives, the real-life scenarios that we jostle with every day, the bonds forged, or even the words that we often leave unsaid; these stories have it all. They are like a large bouquet, tastefully decorated with myriad hues and encompassing in their bosom the fragrance of emotions that leave us with a warm and fuzzy feeling.
Different stories from stellar storytellers, all interweaved through a common theme of ‘feel-good-factor.’ Human emotions are encompassed empathetically in each tale which engrosses the readers.
The book opens with a bang with Supriya Bansal’s Crimson Tear. A heart-wrenching yet positive story. It is difficult to write about each stories separately and even more difficult to choose favorite amongst such good stories, yet as a reader, some stories touches the heart more than others.
-Amazon Customer Review
There are several good stories, too, such as Shivani Salil’s Mumbai Local, Supriya Bansal’s Crimson Tears, Ishika Dubey’s Hit Point, and Rianka Bose Saha’s The Quest.
All of these are satisfying, touching in their own way, and uplifting too, showing a ray of hope in a ‘darkness’ that could range from being bullied at school to living in the aftermath of the partition.