All that I could feel was a queer emotion of vengeance for the authorities who did this.
I had been living in Chennai for a long time when suddenly, out of the blue, my husband rings me up from work and drops a bombshell.
“Pack your bags Shail. We have been transferred.”
“What? Not yet again. I am not coming. It is the middle of the academic year and Vinod is writing his 10th Public Exams. I am NOT coming.”
Silence from the other end. Those few moments of silence brought to me in flashback, the memories of my husband’s solo stint in another place and the emotional conflict that we all went through bringing forth with it unhappiness, illness and the distance of time and feelings. That decided it. And the next thing I knew was, that I was in Madurai. New place, people, newer mentality, everything.
All that I could then feel was an emotion of vengeance for the authorities who did this.
The first bait was a series of horror tales that I wrote and got published in a book with book launch and all. But, more was coming. After all, how much can a horror story capture? Like Kali Maa killing the demons and drinking their blood non stop, there was no stopping me. I couldn’t kill for real but hey man! my thoughts could, my writing could!
That was when Vengeance from WRIMO INDIA usurped my life – more so because here was a bunch of writers just like me willing to let go off their anger, hurt, frustration (real and imaginary) in the form of stories that stuck to (my loving theme by now) – VENGEANCE!!
I leaped and jumped into this disguised pool of harmony. Weaving a story out of just one emotion isn’t easy. But WRIMO helped me do it. Especially so because, as we advanced into our write-ups we came to the conclusion that the proceeds of this special anthology should go to NaNoWriMo, the mother of all novel writing across the globe!
And, how good it felt! Now, we not only had a theme to weave a dark tale around; we could also do a good deed in the process of writing something evil!! Talk of ironies!
That is how my journey with VENGEANCE began. And what a journey it has turned out to be! Would you believe me if I tell you that Vengeance brought me positivity, Vengeance brought me friendship and Vengeance brought me harmony.
Sonia, the ‘soothradhaar’ of this anthology nudged us 21 writers around whenever we faltered or delayed.
Manasi Saxena helped to filter through the huge lot of entries that were submitted. Trust me, it is not an easy task.
Varun Prabhu and Pritesh Patil helped grade the entries to generate the first shortlist.
Sujata Patnaik took up the challenge of combining her artistry with digital tools to create a cover that is gorgeous and totally apt for the theme of the anthology.
Nikita Azad, with her techno-wizardry and her inputs for the cover made it even more exciting and intriguing.
The Co-Admins of Wrimo India group: Dola Basu Singh, Rubina Ramesh and Neelesh Inamdar have done everything that needed to be done: whether it was shortlisting the stories, editing them and providing initial feedback, helping Sujata get a grip on the digital tools and fine-tuning the cover design.
Disclaimer: All proceeds from the sale of this anthology will be donated to NaNoWriMo
A reply to a perceived injustice can take many forms one of which is vengeance. An eye for an eye can only end up making the whole world blind, is what Mahatma Gandhi once said. And it seems to be coming quite true, if latest events world-wide are an indication.Is there any hope or are we hurtling towards extinction?Hopefully, the stories will explore some of these questions. But that is on the macro level. It might be easy to look at things objectively, in black and white, when it is other nations involved. Or even other people. We are able to be more forgiving of transgressions when they don’t involve us personally.But how would one react if they found themselves in the maelstrom of situations that do fall somewhere in the grey area of life? With no definite black and white answers?How would a jilted lover react in face of infidelity? Or how would a friend avenge the murder of her best friend? Or, is it fair to be punished for a crime that you were not brave enough to prevent?These and many more questions connected to vengeance have been grappled with in this anthology.
EXCERPT OF FIRST CHAPTER
Bus number 131 whirred away, pulling its own weight unwillingly. It was one of the many buses to pass through the Relief road, a busy road in the old part of Ahmedabad. Shazia had an option, the crowed 88 or the overcrowded 131. She preferred to be 30 minutes before time to board 131. Her choice was motivated by her love for the palindromic 1-3-1. Her undying infatuation with prime numbers was inexplicable. Nineteen year oldShazia loved numbers, and to be more precise, she adored Mathematics in all its form. She also loved the rules, the principles, the working theorems, the equations which tried to make sense of the majestic menagerie of numbers. She was fascinated even by the mere shape of numbers. She did not remember when or even how her romance with Maths began. But in her earliest memories, she preferred practicing her numbers over the alphabet, she remembered that she recited tables better than her nursery rhymes. She was short and a bit stocky. Also, a couple of shades darker than was acceptable in the marriage market. However, her looks never bothered her, nor did she ever yearn for fairer skin, or thinner body. What she craved was a disheveled mass of hair, for some uncanny resemblance to Einstein, the only pop icon modern science managed to have produced. But her mother plaited her hair, dashing her hopes to ground. She also longed for a pair of spectacles with glasses so thick that it blurred her eyeballs, indicating the wearer’s brilliance. But she, despite getting checked for vision from her mother’s ophthalmologist, was denied the hallowed implement. Thrice. Shazia valued her bus ride a lot. She had to convince Papa to allow her to commute to her college on her own. She had concealed her indignation about needing her father’s permission for every little trifle, even after being categorised as an adult by the Government of India. Papa consented only after he was told that Noor too would start using the bus if Shazia were to give her company.
ABOUT THE EDITOR SONIA RAO
The editor of the Anthology, Sonia Rao (writer-editor-awardwinningblogger) is the NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison for All-India region. The stories which are part of the anthology are written by Wrimos homed in to Asia::India region. Most of them are also published writers of short fiction and novels.She blogs @ https://soniaraowrites.wordpress.com/
Find out more about Wrimo India @
Wrimo India on FB: https://www.facebook.com/NaNoWriMo.India/
Wrimo India on Twitter: https://twitter.com/wrimosindia
Wrimo India blog: https://wrimoindiawrites.wordpress.com/
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