December 8, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: Miles Away by Afnan Bintey Helal

1 min read
person holding a playing cards

Photo by Taryn Elliott on

In this short story, Afnan Bintey Helal narrates the tale of two men, Velutha and Nathir, both immigrants in a foreign land explaining the isolating impact of immigration, depicting the characters’ struggles to fit into an unfamiliar culture while longing for their roots.

Velutha is not sure whether he should be listening to the passengers debating over the clothes purchased now in their possession. The man in khaki shorts and a tank top is suggesting that they hit more shops before they put a stop to their shopping spree. However, the wife (as Velutha presumes) wants instead to explore the restaurants draped with tinted glasses that work only to obscure the view from outside so one can look in and get a glimpse free of any monetary implications.

Velutha rewinds his own memories of crossing these high-end eating places a million times over and his wondrous thoughts always land on the idea that these places are for people entirely different from him. To even look through the glass, he needs to belong to a classified group that reeks of importance and riches. As he does not have any of these.

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