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:: My mother appends another day
Her first son had a mysterious disease and was run over by a speeding train; the second son died in his sleep, he was just five days old. She still looks at her womb and wonders whether it was cursed and blighted...

:: A friend called Tendril and Death
The burden of belief unnerved me. The thought of meeting Tendril in a mental asylum petrified me. But I knew it was not about me, it was about Tendril and the moment that refused to thaw. For months she had refused to believe that her husband was deadů.

:: Where there are no fathers. Just men. It was 5 pm. And there she was. Behind a pillar. Peeping. A little girl, barely 13. Flat-chested, garishly dressed, beckoning men - customers ready to spend the night with her. The price: as low as two rupees for the night. I sat there shuddering at the thought of a pre-pubescent girl having sex, but Nassema never thought about it - she had known no other life.

:: My home coming!
Ma thinks I am tipsy. Why else would I want to leave US and walk into a pile of cow dung? Ma has not been here, she has just heard stories of the filthy lucre that people stack over the years, how heartening the dollar-rupee exchange rate is, how food and gas is so much cheaper in that country, how you can bring home a Mercedes with measly payments every month.

:: The last word
The beginnings were uncertain, lost in a maelstorm of conflicting aspirations and fulfilment. The eyelids drooped with the falling tears, the shoulder sagged under the burden of the cross, silence deafened and the spirit wondered wide-eyed...

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