Short Stories & Essays

Dhanesh did not go back to the clinic that day. He went home. The door was locked; his wife would be at the market or at Parvati’s. He entered the house and hung his shirt on the nail beside his desk in the bedroom. He opened his attaché, and took out his instruments, placing them side by side on his desk: the stethoscope, the rolls of bandage and cotton-wool, the syringes, the vials and pill bottles of glass, the pincers, the torch, his notepad and pens, and the scalpel. Finally, he took out the framed picture he had brought back from Urine Lane. – See more at: http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/magazine/issue-24-survival/online-exclusive-urine-lane-saskya-jain#sthash.YrjbpYfH.dpuf
Dhanesh did not go back to the clinic that day. He went home. The door was locked; his wife would be at the market or at Parvati’s. He entered the house and hung his shirt on the nail beside his desk in the bedroom. He opened his attaché, and took out his instruments, placing them side by side on his desk: the stethoscope, the rolls of bandage and cotton-wool, the syringes, the vials and pill bottles of glass, the pincers, the torch, his notepad and pens, and the scalpel. Finally, he took out the framed picture he had brought back from Urine Lane. – See more at: http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/magazine/issue-24-survival/online-exclusive-urine-lane-saskya-jain#sthash.YrjbpYfH.dpuf
Dhanesh did not go back to the clinic that day. He went home. The door was locked; his wife would be at the market or at Parvati’s. He entered the house and hung his shirt on the nail beside his desk in the bedroom. He opened his attaché, and took out his instruments, placing them side by side on his desk: the stethoscope, the rolls of bandage and cotton-wool, the syringes, the vials and pill bottles of glass, the pincers, the torch, his notepad and pens, and the scalpel. Finally, he took out the framed picture he had brought back from Urine Lane. – See more at: http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/magazine/issue-24-survival/online-exclusive-urine-lane-saskya-jain#sthash.YrjbpYfH.dpuf”Urine Lane”

On the wall above the pile of bedding hung a chair, the horizontal beam of its backrest suspended from a long, rusty nail. Suren must have acquired it at considerable expense, to be taken down only when a brother-in-law of some social standing visited their home. Such quaint ways these people have, the doctor thought, expecting the man to take the chair down for him. – See more at: http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/magazine/issue-24-survival/online-exclusive-urine-lane-saskya-jain#sthash.Fw0p7zDs.dpuf

“I’m surrounded by holiness,” Priya said and smiled as she let Shyam into her room. She pointed at the church and the temple across the street. Shyam had walked past the mosque next to her building. It seemed to him that she must have spent all afternoon rehearsing that line, and he was touched by her effort.

From “Life Remains a Blessing”

A short story by Saskya Jain first published in the January-March 2017 issue of IQ – The Indian Quarterly (not yet online).

There is no shortage of wonderful books with pumping hearts but it is much rarer to find one that resembles a fully functional organism—complex, bloody, relentless yet subtle, and ultimately glorious in its humanity and inventiveness.

From “Alvaro Enrigue’s Sudden Death

A review by Saskya Jain published in Asymptote in July 2016.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE.

Ananti picked up the cone and walked up to the edge of the small balcony. The lice stepped over each other in a vain attempt to climb the slippery, ashen wall. She leaned forward to make sure no one was approaching. Then she threw the crawling cone into the adjacent balcony with one practiced thrust so that the lice, unwanted but not to be deprived of a livelihood, might thrive on a neighbour’s scalp.

From “My Mother’s Missiles”

A short story by Saskya Jain first published in Verve Magazine in January 2015.

READ THE FULL SHORT STORY HERE.

The light that bounces off his pills tastes bland and watery, while that from the eyes of the other men in his dorm always takes him by surprise: it looks drab but never fails to stimulate his appetite with its bold blend of sweet, sour and spicy.

From “Taste of Light”

A very short story by Saskya Jain first published in PIX – The Pakistan Issue in December 2014. (NOT ONLINE)

“[A roti] could be attached to each ear, to make a pair of giant earrings such as we had seen dangling from certain aunties’ rubbery lobes.”

From “Our Delhi Bread”

A mini-memoir for the column “My Madeleine” first published in the Sept./Oct. 2014 issue of Intelligent Life and in The Economist’s Sept. 27 – Oct. 3, 2014 issue.

READ THE FULL ESSAY HERE.

“When she awoke to the sound of shattering glass from a dream of riding a fully transparent horse, her first impulse was to feel for the ground beneath her feet. Then she thought that they had finally come.”

From “In the Habit of Dying”

A short story by Saskya Jain first published in The Caravan in September 2014.

READ THE FULL SHORT STORY HERE.

“Someone will see you here, Hansi, and then we’ll never get housing.”

“They’re already watching us,” she said and nodded at the sculptures.

Sant Ram shivered. He wiped his forehead.

Hansi pulled him closer by the sleeve. “What’s this?” She smiled at him for the first time in months. “All work and no masti?”

From “Bhutas”

A short story by Saskya Jain first published in The Baffler in 2012.

READ THE FULL SHORT STORY HERE.

“On the wall above the pile of bedding hung a chair, the horizontal beam of its backrest suspended from a long, rusty nail. Suren must have acquired it at considerable expense, to be taken down only when a brother-in-law of some social standing visited their home. Such quaint ways these people have, the doctor thought, expecting the man to take the chair down for him.”

From “Urine Lane”

A short story by Saskya Jain selected as a finalist in the 2011 Asian-American Short Story Contest and first published in Hyphen Magazine in 2011.

READ THE FULL SHORT STORY HERE.

“Any argument dismissing Jones’s use of footnotes as excessive or clumsy neglects the fact that they express and symbolize his philosophy of life in a more concentrated form than any other single aspect of In Parenthesis. For Jones, the footnotes are, ultimately, a way of paying homage to unarticulated histories and disregarded memories as a means to achieve a deeper knowledge of the present.”

From “Ancestral Memory, Ancient Unity: Footnotes as Poetic Device in David Jones’s In Parenthesis

An essay by Saskya Jain on the poetry of David Jones, first published in Literary Imagination (Oxford University Press) in 2010.

READ THE FULL ESSAY HERE.

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