If India was a heart, pulsing and beating in my palm, then the National Highway 66 was a pounding capillary with traffic as steady as the flow of blood. Sixty meters of rugged ebony asphalt and mud-ridden intersections, the National Highway 66 guided everything, from taxi drivers with beetle juice between their teeth to bickering […]Read more
Night One: All test centers open at 7:45 a.m. and doors close at 8 a.m., unless otherwise noted on your admission ticket. You cannot be admitted once testing has started. The metal doors of the auditorium opened like the jaws of a beast, its four-walled stomach digesting the students trickling within. He was strangely dizzy. […]Read more
The rickety wooden gate opened slightly with the wind, like the consciousness of a half-asleep child. Daylight streamed through almond leaves and dappled the broken pieces of gray sidewalk. There was the soft dripping of the monsoon’s last raindrops-a season’s final gift to a thousand dry rooftops. Birds shrieked, squirrels bickered, vendors haggled-and he watched, […]Read more
“And I shall rule the world! The little girl breathlessly waved a purple scepter in the air, her plastic tiara dangling in between her flying braids. Little chunks of tanbark scattered in all directions as she stomped on the playground floor, the LEDs from her Sketchers Light-Ups flashing triumphantly. Her three friends, precariously perched upon […]Read more
Mr. Anand claimed that if the world grew quiet for even a single moment, we would hear the footsteps of the Great Mother. Ira, he called her. Ira Devi. But my thick New Yorker tongue, in all its nine years of inelegance, could never bring out the softened trill in ‘Ira’. We would try for […]Read more
My fingers weave through the mess of my hair, smoothening the strands and arguing with the tangles. Poking against the knots until slowly and silently, they come undone. Like an ancient scroll finally discovered, my braid unravels and a curtain of ebony cascades down my shoulders.