September 22, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: Irani Café by Cheryl Rebello

1 min read
woman reading a book in a bar

Photo by Peter Holmboe on

In this short story, Cheryl Rebello weaves a captivating thread of lies and deceit to show us the complicated nature of relationships and how far can one go for love.

I would not be surprised if the number of times I have stolen something in my lifetime has long surpassed the disappointing birthdays I have had to live through.

Fourteen, I suppose. Leaving out the first three of my life, of course, as I was far too young to remember them.

Of all the times I’ve stolen, the incident with the woman donning a navy blue handbag was perhaps the only occasion when I felt a tinge of regret. To be completely honest, it was not enough for me to give up my wayward ways, but I have to admit, that particular instance did give me pause.

It was an old Irani Cafe, the kind that looked a bit unscrupulous even if it had been wiped clean with a chequered dust rag. The smell of freshly baked everything was forever omnipresent, buns waiting to fulfil their lives’ purpose of being buttered and chai spilling out of cups into thirsty saucers as they were placed on square tables by waiters too busy for common courtesies.

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