… to get my next short story (in the Purana Qila Stories collection) published. It has been a steep learning curve, but I’m hitting the ground running now with my third publication. I’m also excited to have returned to writing, and I will take some time to see where my short story collection will turn next. Perhaps a tale of people from a modern-day generation, related to the original characters, who have immigrated far from the family home in India?
The Dust Beneath Her Feet
A Deconstructed Heart is the story of Mirza, a middle-aged Indian college professor whose wife has left him. He moves out of his house into a tent in his back garden, where he sets up an outdoor classroom and serves tea to his kind but bewildered neighbors. He is visited by the irritable spirit of his long-dead teacher, Khan Sahib, who is befuddled by the dysfunctions of modern life.
In the north of England, Mirza’s niece, Amal,is finishing up her last year of college before she is expected to join her parents in their new home in India. Asked by her father to talk her uncle back into his senses, she moves into Mirza’s house, and they soon are connected by their shared loneliness. She meets Rehan, Mirza’s student, and is intrigued by the path of certainty he has built over his own loss and loneliness—a certainty that is threatened by his growing feelings for her.
When Rehan disappears, Amal’s suffering forces Mirza is to face the world once more. Together, Mirza and Amal must come to a new understanding of what it means to be an immigrant family when the old traditions have unraveled.
A Deconstructed Heart is a novella that explores the breakdown and rebuilding in one immigrant family trying to adapt: how lines in families and cultures are forcibly redrawn, how empty space can be reframed by a tent into a new definition of home… but how, no matter how hard we may try to forget, the past refuses to be contained.
When Imran was a young doctor in England, he faced a decision that would change lives forever. Now, as an old man entering the last days of his life with his loving family in India, the decision he made fifty years ago has the power to upend everything he stands for and destroy the devotion of his family and friends. One person knows his secret and must decide what is revealed or remain hidden. Reminiscent of the style of “An Atlas of Impossible Longing”, “A Change in the Weather” is a poignant tale about honor and loss, and how these two forces have unforeseen consequences that spill from one generation into the next