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Neerja Singh
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The Remedy
Have  you ever blamed a compliment on your saree  for the blob of malai kofta curry you dropped on the pallu subsequently? The evil eye! Your admirer's  expansiveness turns to guilty dismay, "I should have gushed less!" You recover shakily to assure, "It is...

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The Donkey
Have you niggled yourself occasionally that you failed in life on the projection front? That you remained a donkey at work rather than a peacock. All plodding, no show. You were not street smart enough to give your boss a peak into your late night home work...

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...The harsh nip in the air was stabbing them through their designer jackets. People blew warm air into cupped hands; some stamping their jogging shoes for thermoregulation. In that one winter morning of the capital city, there was a fault line propagating through Indian society that most families did not see with their blinkers on and the typically blind faith in their kids...

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Substance (Micro fiction 2)
"I'm feeling so bad;
they should have kept a closer check on their son.  Apparently he has been
sent into rehab now," the pity party chorus was growing. Everybody was
feeling sad with a vengeance. "It is so tragic! Can you imagine? Keerat is
their only son....

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...Their couple dialogue followed a map of maybes and perhaps. Ira knew better than to get her hopes up or look forward to anything too much. Their friendship had taught her a certain equanimity of excitement. She had also started to break away from the socially prescribed pair theme to assume responsibility for her own fun and pleasure. They had begun to settle into a rhythm of an easy and unfettered individuality.....

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Space (Micro fiction 2)
Sartaj did not commit. He liked to keep an exit route free.
Was this fence sitting of his out of concern for any disappointment to the
negotiating partner should the proposed plan fall through? Or was it just
self-preservation, honed to a craft! Ira could n...

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..The world, it was a toxic place! The environment was anything but enabling. Eve teasing on the roads, bullying in the cyber space, a nasty competitiveness inside the workforce, ideas of sexual revolution and myopic feminism on the TV, any number of video games and interactive fora in her digital vicinity, easy access to alcohol and marijuana and friends that were all too often, fair weather creatures. “I must be a low, malevolent creature to have such pessimistic views,” Rupika berated herself. She had instead driven Maira around from one stadium to another dance studio to a music centre hoping that she would grow up with life affirming values of discipline, inspiration, skills and human interactions based on awe and admiration....

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Peripheral (Micro fiction 2)
  “You are the closest to me my girl, the only one in this
world who has heard the sound of my heart from my inside!” Rupika shifted
weight on her aching legs. Her twenty five year old daughter Maira was walking
away into the international terminal to check...

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...There were Facebook notifications to clear, she copy pasted her gratitude to friends who had responded to the app reminders. She fought unsuccessfully the residual guilt she had felt at her anxiety over fake smiles and compulsive birthday surprises, she did not enjoy them and thankfully there were none the day before. “Am I abnormal to feel so empty about my birthday?” she asked herself silently. ‘I am supposed to be joyful and excited…this feels nothing like the childhood birthday mornings! Where has the magic gone?”...

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Birthday (Micro fiction 2)
Monisha looked at the birthday cards piled high on her writing table, the morning after. “Have a great one; many happy returns; pamper
yourself; may you have a great day”, the wishes were pretty much predictable
and safe. They were standard messages and exa...
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