October 4, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: The Counting Exercise by Abhishek Mittal

1 min read

In this short story, Abhishek Mittal surprises the reader with an ending reminiscent of O. Henry’s style of writing short stories.

This is Salma’s forty-first Diwali. Her Abba used to celebrate the festival of lights with their neighbours in Muzaffarnagar — distributing homemade sweets and exchanging gifts while Salma danced on bright burning chakris along with the other kids. She hoped to keep celebrating Diwali like her childhood. But over the years, things have changed.

She is making motichoor ladoos for her three kids and her students at the software training institute. Her hands smash sweetened grains of gram flour into mouth-watering balls and place them on a steel thali next to her. Abdul, her eldest son, sits in front of the bulky television set and scrolls endlessly on his phone.

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