I dashed off my first short story in January 1994, right after coming home to Detroit on a Greyhound bus from Buffalo. Many rewrites later, this was published two years after as “Felicia” in the anthology Contours of the Heart: South Asians map North America. I am grateful for that encouragement.
Twelve of my stories have been published in the book Killing the Water by Penguin India.
Below are stories that are not in the book.
- To Make a Short Story Long, published in Bengal Lights Spring 2013
Rahmatullah Ahmed Howladar prided himself as one of the easy going, easy reacting kind of immigrants. His name was a mouthful, he readily conceded, so when someone from here or a different part of the world mispronounced his name – sometimes dicing it up as Ramala or butchering it down to Ram, he didn’t mind. He figured it took time for this country to digest the Kaczynski’s or McGooligan’s or Kamerovitz’s, but even names harder to pronounce than his had been eventually absorbed into the landscape. Something told him, though, that if he ever had children born and raised here, one or another of them might end up shortening – or even doing away with – the names they would inherit from him, seeking something that sounded zippier in this fast-paced, shortened-attention-span 21st century America. That possibility did not bother him – that’s how adaptable he was.
Read the full story.
- Fragments from a lost manuscript,
published in the anthology In Pursuit of the Perfect Gourmet Garam Masala, Skrev Press 2007, UK.
Sometime in the year 2131: By the time Indian astronomers discovered a distant planet that had a 99% possibility of hosting intelligent life — a planet they named Durga in honour of its ten moons — visitors from that planet had already arrived and established a sprawling base on the beds opened up by the melting of the Himalayan glaciers.
Read the full story.
Published in the anthology Contours of the Heart: South Asians Map North America, from the Asian American Writers Workshop, published by Temple University Press, 1998
- Speaking in Tongues, published by India Currents, 1998
She saw me eying the empty seat next to her at the back of the bus.
Read the full story
Earlier versions of the stories in my book Killing the Water appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines:
- Killing the Water, featured story in AnotherSubcontinent.com, January 2005
- Runa’s Journey, in the Daily Star Anthology of Bangladeshi Writing, 2006 and also in The New Anthem: The Subcontinent in its Own Words, Tranquebar Press, 2009.
- Interrogation in the anthology Liberation Lit, Mainstay Press, 2010 and in New Age, April 2007
- Man in the Middle, New Age, October 2008
- Blue Mondays at the Gearshift Lounge, New Age, September 2007
- Postcards from a stranger, Daily Star, December 2, 2006
- Before the monsoons come, Daily Star, Octover-November 2006
- City Shoes in the Village, Daily Star, April 2006
- Balancing Acts, Asian Pacific American Journal, Winter 2005
- War Stories, India Currents, 2001