October 2013


The Ghost of Otcha Rowdy

(To be told on a dark night in a bossy old lady voice) Long ago when I was newly married and living in a tin-roofed house with my husband’s family, the time came time for my sister-in-law to give birth. The old midwife delivered her right there the cow dung smeared floor. It...


The Bore Well Boy

The bore well drilling rigs where Suresh worked were decorated with flowers and curvy maidens.     Even the wheel nuts were painted like hexagonal candies, but that’s not how he would remember those days. To him, the machines had been his prisons, the ravagers of...


Sweetie’s Bad Day

It was a sweaty evening in S.C. colony under the big tamarind tree. Twenty kids had crowded into the blue-tinted meeting hall that housed Papathy Tuition Centre. Our daughter Andry was volunteering for the summer in this afterschool study program. She was sitting on a straw mat...


The Stone Mason’s Son

The stone mason from our village is built like a boulder, barrel-chested and thick. In his youth, he was a silambam master, versed in the Tamil martial art of fighting with bamboo sticks. Now his weapons are the hammer and an array of home-forged chisels. His opponents are rough...


The Stomach Ghost

Sumathy was known in the village as a level-headed girl who did her fair share of the family’s work without complaining. Her older sister brought her to see me because of abdominal pain so severe, nobody in the house had slept for a week. The strange part was that her pain...