When Ivan Seow saw a hand-sized bag on the side table he couldn’t resist grabbing it. There was a camera inside. Conscience told him to hand it in, but the tag attached read: Journey beyond your expectations. Use me and upload to freecamera.blogspot.com. Afterwards, relinquish me at any airport. ‘Timesparks’ was written on the flipside. Ivan accessed the site on his phone. Yes, there was a blog and this was the password.
Now his flight was being called. He quickly popped the camera into his bag, intending to use and pass it on, honouring the instructions.


VirginsManjula Padmanabhan takes the familiar and wrenches it into funny, sharp-angled shapes in this wry, clever collection of stories (Three Virgins and Other Stories), says Mitali Saran in Tehelka

“Alas,” writes Manjula Padmanabhan in her introduction, “the ideas that arrive at my desktop are all rude, unsightly wretches who belch and pick their noses and expose themselves in public.” That’s something of an exaggeration, but Padmanabhan’s writing does have a refreshingly uninhibited quality. This mostly reprinted, some-new collection of short stories flexes her many writing muscles from straight-up realism to spoofy role reversal in speculative fiction to outright fantasy and sci-fi. If there is one common thread, it is the interesting women in all of them.

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and its partner the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) have launched an online voting platform for the short story contest, Long Way Home

483 entries were received from Asia and Europe for the contest; a professional panel of judges have shortlisted 10 stories which are now featured online and two lucky winners will be chosen by members of the public.

Granta publishes the winning entry in The Commonwealth Short Story Prize from the Asia (Sri Lanka), Michael Mendis’ ‘The Sarong-Man in the Old House, and an Incubus for a Rainy Night’, and an interview with the author.

Wijey was a rich little boy, unlike Krishnan. With a lot of books lined against his bedroom wall, the Dickenses and the Flemings on two opposite sides. His shiny prefect’s badge from middle-school, sitting primly on the dresser, next to the bottle of Old Spice he never wore because he didn’t like the smell. They were all there: little pieces of imported wealth that he had arrayed around himself, in case anyone wanted to know why he was important.

A Passage to LondonSachidananda Mohanty reviews A Passage to London and Other Indian Tales by M K Naik. 

Despite the Arnoldian desire to bring together the creative and the critical temper epochs, criticism and creativity seldom seem to mingle, especially in the contemporary world.

There are notable exceptions of course: S.T. Coleridge, T.S. Eliot, Matthew Arnold and Virginia Woolf, among others. Nearer home, in post-independence India, eminent critics such as P. Lal and K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar have tried their hand at poetry and translation.