| Book Awards 2022 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)
SAAT is a collection of 7 short stories. Stories that dance on the thin line between reality and fantasy. Stories that will leave a strange taste in your mouth. Strange taste with question mark as one of the flavours. • An arrogant pigeon is desperate to sleep with a beautiful hen. Can he woo her by solving the Kashmir dispute? • A mysterious giant called Kall gives a Porn-addict the power to go back in time. Will our Super-Loser fall prey to desires and temptation? Or will he save the world? He only has two minutes. • Kabul, a tattooed biker, gathers nameless strangers on a beach. Darkest of demons are revealed when Kabul forces them into something they had never done before, Poetry. • Delhi 2040 has no cars, no cellphones, no art and no bras. Where millions live in fear, Gulab, a young butcher dares to dream of the good life. Little does she know that her aspirations will lead her to a bloody tournament. A tournament that isn’t even real. • Cold sandwiches, vandalism, Interplanetary rockets, psychedelics, comic characters coming alive…Best date / breakup ever? • Everything freezes in Ladakh winters. Everything but Sophea’s hot tears when her bossy sister tries to steal the man she fancies. Can Sophea, scarred with a haunting past, win the handsome traveller back? • Dream car, chauffeur, a mansion, a dog and a lot of blood. Is this what it takes to write the perfect opening of a novel?
SAAT is a collection of 7 short stories. Stories that dance on the thin line between reality and fantasy. Stories that will leave a strange taste in your mouth. Strange taste with question mark as one of the flavours.
1. What if you could go back in time, but you only had 2 minutes? What would you do?
2. What if a pigeon could resolve the Kashmir issue?
3. What if you needed blood on your hands to write a best seller?
4. What if your sibling took everything you liked; your toys, your food, your lover?
5. What if in 2040 dreams come true and the truth, is nothing but a dream?
6. What if your life was a poem? Will it be a happy one?
7. What if there was such a thing as the perfect breakup?
Born in winters of Jammu City in a multigenerational Police family Abhimanyu never had the luxury to say I always wanted to be a writer. You’ll often hear him say I didn’t choose writing. Writing chose me. Reluctant to stick to one genre, Abhimanyu has developed a writing style that he likes to call Provocative Literary Fiction or PLF. Conflict, chaos and hope within ourselves and around us are the main drivers of Abhimanyu’s stories. TalkSick: A writer’s talking blog is where Abhimanyu shares his thoughts on life passing through his eyes, on writing and sometimes poetry. TalkSick can be listened to on Spotify app. The Blog’s written format can be found on his website www.abhimanyujamwal.com.
Walls Without Ears
CHEESE DIP beep
Jalapeno Nachos beep
Intimate wash for men…….
That pause right there isn’t an ordinary pause. But a testament to the fact that being a supermarket cashier is one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet.
My midnight shift has just started. I am already sleepy and this man with bloodshot eyes has the audacity to bring cheese, nachos, soda and a dick-soap to the billing counter.
He doesn’t like the look on my face. Raised eyebrows, he’s ready to parry any kind of negativity. I am assuming that he starts and finishes his sentences with the word Bro. Even fills the middle to cover up for the lack of adjectives. The awkward pause is still in play.
“Bro? You don’t wash down there or what?” he draws first blood. “What are you staring at?”
Now here’s a thing about these drugged, late-night roamers. You never know which one is carrying a knife, a knuckle buster or an illegal firearm. They aren’t dangerous because they carry weapons.
They are dangerous because they are stupid enough to use them. Under CCTV surveillance.
These wannabe gangsters are not aware that Churning the mill or Chakki Peesna is just another euphemism for what happens to newcomers and their anal openings inside the prison. Long story short, a skinny dude like me should keep my sarcasm and my ruthless judgment to myself.
“Sir, your total amount is four hundred and nineteen. Cash or card?” I instantly placate his raging machismo with an innocent smile.
When Mr. Dick Hygiene walks out of the supermarket I whisper to Shiv, my fellow cashier,
“Since when were regular soaps not enough?”
“You gotta maintain the PH balance of the intimate area, Sirrrrr.” Shiv rubs his hand on his crotch in a circular motion while singing the words to me. Shiv is a nice boy.
“I think I need some fresh air. Cover me, Shiv?” I ask. Shiv nods.
On the road where supermarket’s glitter kisses the darkness, that’s my spot. Where I take my daily dose of fresh air. Fresh air that comes in a pack of 20. Always available in my front pocket. Courtesy Shiv’s pilferage skills. The good old ‘accidentally drop a pack from a carton at CCTV’s blind spot and stuff it in the socks later’ trick never gets old. Shiv is a nice boy. When I breathe through this cigarette. When tar, benzene and their 4000 cousins hit my lungs, my brain and my ordinary life, only then I feel alive.
My heels start vibrating. They travel through my thighs and reach all the way up to my throat. It sounds like a chopper flying real low, whatever it is. I get the audio’s visuals only when it stops in front of the supermarket, a vintage Harley Davidson. All chrome and rust. With a suicide clutch. I know my motorcycles.