Prose


FICTION

 

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I burned the letter thanking my younger brother for sacrificing his life in the line of duty. Now my mother refuses to talk to me…READ MORE

 

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Excerpt from “You Were Always Dying” (published in Praxis).

… Her legs and arms have swollen up. Stress aggravates her condition. I know that but I can’t seem to stop. “What keeps you from recovering is the feeling of being irrelevant,” I say. “If I were a doctor, I would prescribe you a person to save.” “And what would you prescribe yourself?”….

NON-FICTION

 

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Sitting Under Buddha’s Tree- Page 1. Performed at Atlanta’s Storytelling Festival.

 

Excerpt from “Can You Save the Fragrant Flowers? Impact of Conflict, Identity and Language Politics on Literary Works and Translations (presented at an International Translations Conference in Delhi and published in the collection,  Role of Translation in Nation Building.)

The Russian poet Anna Akhmatova wrote of her sense of betrayal by those who left: “I am not one of those who left the land/ to the mercy of its enemies. / Their flattery leaves me cold,/ My songs are not for them to praise.…” In Kashmir, people have a rather cordial but firm way of referring to those who left and write about Kashmir from the safety of their new homes. Rukhsana Jabeen, a poet who has survived cross-fires, bombings and terror threats while working for the state-run Radio Kashmir, said, “They have also suffered but we have lived inside the fire. What they will write about, what they feel, can never be what we feel.” G.N. Khayal beamed while talking of poets who live in America but write in Kashmiri, but then carefully added, “Their poetry is good. But it could have been better if they had been in Kashmir. They don’t face the day-to-day problems. They have not suffered… ”

PLAYS

Staged readings of my plays Trial by Fire, In the Land of Mira and Blood on my Hands (included live music and multi-media) have been held in Atlanta and Minneapolis. Trained and participated in Theater of the Oppressed and Invisible Theater in NYC.

 

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Excerpt from Cross the Border, a one-act play that won a playwright reading slam and was featured at the one-act play festival in Atlanta.

,,,

2: You’re not so bad once that system is turned off.

1: No offence but humans are especially adept at introducing confusion. People behave erratically and follow trends over their convictions and preference. They become obsessed with altering their physical characteristics, as though it matters. And the level of movement between regions has made things hard to balance. Nowadays you a put a specimen in one place and it ends up somewhere else entirely.

2: Where are you planning to send me?

1: There’s an allocation system that is updated every fraction of what you call an attosecond for all matter to be transferred or altered. But since you have been sent to me, it’s safe to say that once we the particulars have been decided, you’ll most likely end up in the North American region.

2: You should tell a person, uh…specimen (smiling) which country they are going to before you ask them to decide whether they want to be a man or woman. It makes quite a difference, you know.

1: (hears an instruction, hits the timer, machine and clock start, stiffens a little, speaks into the microphone) Timer on. Next category, Physical Characteristics Section 0.delta4. May I proceed? (pause) Repeat. Instructions on Physical Characteristics Section 0.delta4. Shall I proceed? (lowers voice, to 2) We used to filter a human’s physical characteristics by geography but we have a new VP who wants to take a more holistic approach and backhaul old systems.

2: You mean you’re going to pick my race?

1: You do not need worry. You have been preselected for the human race.

2: No, I meant black, white, Hispanic…

1: (quickly checks a reference) Those do not fall into any of the distinguishable categories.

2: What do you mean?

1: Color buckets such as black or white are not distinguishable categories.

2: What do you mean?

1: (hits timer, into the microphone) Awaiting instructions on section 0.delta4. (consults something & reads, to 2) There is no distinction among humans called race. There are different shades of skin or eye color, hair, bone density and frame, height, etc.

1: They allow us to align the specimen with the right parents. We keep experimenting with introducing more characteristics to allow humans to tell each other apart and give some variety in capabilities for them to adapt to certain environments but other than that they do not serve a function. The DNA mechanism, that aligns parent type to child type, was only introduced after we discovered that people tend to fall in love with themselves and are usually better caregivers to creatures that resemble them. Before then, a child of any characteristic could be born to a mother.

2: So, why make such a big deal about male and female?

1: (hits the timer, into the microphone) Warning reaching timer count limit. (to 2, reading) Male or Female is the only real biological distinction that predisposes specimens to certain behaviors and experiences.

2: If this is really a place where decisions are made about humans, why not evolve men and women into something that has a far more superior physical and emotional system to access and better utilize our brains and live together more harmoniously with nature and each other. This is what I was trying to say before…

1: (reads) Conflict is essential for creation.

2: And for control! (1 hits the timer) With all this disdain and confusion you seem to have about humans, you definitely would want a way to exercise control and keep them divided, isn’t it? Is this what God is really like?

1: Who?

2: God. You know the head honcho, the one who created the universe and probably this (looks around) place. 1: There is no one single entity who…