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Peter Griffin
Always a student.

Son of short-short-short stories

Last year, we twice invited several prominent authors to write some short stories for us. Very short stories. Very very short stories. Short enough to fit into a single Tweet. You can see the efforts by some of the authors short-listed for the Crossword Book Awards here, and another selection here.

We enjoyed those so much that we decided to bring out another collection. So we wrote to several of the authors from this year’s Crossword Book Awards short list to take a bash at it. After all, if you’re going to put up a challenge like this, who better than the cream of India’s writing talent to throw it at, right?

So here you go, their 140-character fiction, each one followed by a short introduction to the writer, in their own words.


(Lest we forget, all language is breath) He would listen, each night, until the one before they would part, in the silence, to her stories.

Janice Pariat lives between Brighton and many places in India. Boats on Land was awarded the Sahitya Academy Young Writer Award 2013.


Love affairs = bus journeys. Childhood defeats = water shortages. Grief = whiskey. I was trying to net life, only got difficult pleasures.

Anjum Hasan is a fiction writer, poet, critic and editor at Caravan.


What you say to yourself you say to no one. You fill a gaping hole with a photo with lipstick mark. There is no home, only homelessness.

Rahul Pandita is the author of Our Moon Has Blood Clots, a memoir of a lost home in Kashmir.


‘I couldn’t write till I was drunk and in Dozakh, Manto bhai.’
‘I couldn’t get drunk till I went to Dozakh to write, Mirza sahib.’

Arunava Sinha translates whatever he can, whenever he can


Stop singing! Shouted Moin. Plug your ears, said the monster, chucking two banana peels at him. That’s how Moin’s mother broke her arm.

Anushka Ravishankar writes under duress.


He struggled to build an empire, his son expanded it, the grandson frittered it all away.

Rashmi Bansal is author of Stay Hungry Stay Foolish & Poor Little Rich Slum


“Actions speak louder than words,” she whispered into his ears. She then walked over to the sink to wash the knife that she had used.

Ashwin Sanghi


This one’s a bit over the specified length.

The cat chased shadows but the girl made him stop. Too dangerous. Alien shots fired. She grabbed the cat. He clawed. She ran. Her shadow lengthened to a new, loping gait.

Uma Krishnaswami


2200 AD. Everything has run out: food, fuel, even words. 140 characters left. Writer of last whodunit falls short of three words: who did it

Payal Kapadia


Think you can do better? Tweet your stories at @ForbesLifeIn, and if we like them enough, we’ll retweet them.

By the way, the Crossword Book Award results are being announced today. So go ahead and wish your favourites luck. I shall probably tweet the results from the venue later today, from my personal Twitter ID, @zigzackly

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Uma Krishnaswami
I am so dismayed that mine exceeded the 140 characters. That's what I get for letting Microsoft Word do the counting. Anyway it was a really great exercise and helped me get a grip on a messy chapter in a new novel in progress, so thanks, good people at Forbes!
 
 
Peter Griffin
I handle the 'Life' section of Forbes India and oversee social media.
In previous lives, I was an advertising creative director, voice-over artist, RJ, TV host, web producer and content architect, freelance travel writer, columnist, and consultant to NGOs.
I've been blogging since 2003, and co-founded the South-East Asia Tsunami & Earthquake and Mumbai Help blogs (which, with other similar initiatives later became the WorldWideHelp group), and the writers’ community, Caferati. I'm a keen student of collaboration and online culture. I've also co-curated the Literature section of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival from 2006 to 2012.
Aside from Twitter (link below), you could also follow me on Facebook or Google+.
 
 
 
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December 07, 2013 00:47 am by Uma Krishnaswami
I am so dismayed that mine exceeded the 140 characters. That's what I get for letting Microsoft Word do the counting. Anyway it was a really great exercise and helped me get a grip on a messy chapter in a new novel in progress, so thanks, good people at Forbes!
 
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