Open Road Review (ORR) is a brand new literary magazine in India. They’ll be publishing an online issue every three months, in three categories: short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. For the first issue of ORR, its editor, Kulpreet Yadav, invited me to contribute. One look at the guidelines (“literary work that is elegant and subtle… takes the reader to a deeper level”), and I knew Muzaffar Jang, much as I love him, wouldn’t do. What was needed here was something in a very different style.
So here is what I submitted. It’s a story called Maplewood, set in a fictitious colonial bungalow (named Maplewood), where an old widow, transplanted into the middle of the sleepy backwaters of the country, passes her days. It’s a story that came deep from within my heart – not because I myself have felt what the narrator of Maplewood must feel, but I can imagine it. And I can imagine what my reaction would be if I were to find myself in her place.
Do read, and let me know what you think.