Issue 33; August, 2020

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July, 2020
New and Upcoming Writing
June, 2020
May, 2020


Hello dear readers!

Hope you are keeping safe during these times. We are glad you landed on this little magazine of ours. The Bombay Review publishes a steady mix of literary pieces online, conducts events in more than 30 countries, and works on literature development projects in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. More about us here.

We have quite a few interesting pieces of short fiction for you this month. Yes, we went monthly to accommodate more work that we could not publish earlier. Some of the stories here were in our long-list of different editions and anthology. Watch this space for more new fiction in the August, 2020 issue. Happy reading!

Yours sincerely,
Team TBR

August | Fiction

Fiction | ‘Thought It Would Be Charley’ by B. A. Varghese

I didn’t know if I was ready for it. It was all new to me. Or maybe it was too much all at once. I tried to understand what my wife was going through, like every married man on earth going through this, but I couldn’t of course. She was the one who was carrying… More

Fiction | ‘Drawing the Line’ by Sandeep Satishchandra

Tara there, Tara here. I’m kneeling with the balls of my heels propped up against my butt, on the cold stone floor in a corner of the Paro Dzong. It is separated from the main complex by a narrow corridor and an intricate spiral stairway. Laid out in a neat little tapestry before me is… More

Fiction | ‘And Pleasant Land’ by Natasha Derczynski

‘Phew!’ Ivy shuffles into the seat opposite Andrew, who looks up and smiles. ‘Made it,’ she says. After high-fiving him across the table, she turns her gaze to the platform outside. She pulls a hair band from her wrist, stretches it over her fingers, and then waits with her hand poised in the air. A… More

Fiction | ‘Dump City’ by Ron Dowell

Juan Carlos Martinez sits high atop a newly bulldozed trash mountain, in Dump City Guatemala, shading his eyes from the muggy stench of summer. He hates work and will tell Mamá and Araceli once he descends. Until then, he uses a rusty screwdriver, pops the lid from the shoe glue tin, puts his hand in… More

Fiction | ‘Barna’ by Kanishq Banka

Like a despondent autumn leaf, Barna’s feet carried her forward. Her body moved, while her mind sank deeper into the puddle of anxiety. She clutched the small cloth purse with both her hands and paced along the sidelines of the deserted road.  Her feet hit the curb, making her lose her footing and the slipper… More

Fiction | ‘The Train and the Tunnel’ by Dhananjay Singh

for Navneet Sethi My father lowered his neck, dipped his shoulders, and emerged out of the tin door, a foot lower than his height of five feet two inches. A broad and muscular chest straightening itself on a sturdy waist stepped out to the parched yard.   Sweat beads dribbled down my cleavage, making a half-circle… More

Fiction | ‘Golden Future’ by Elaine Barnard

I am here at the Golden Future Clinic, in the Golden Future Mall, in the rainy city of Singapore. My mother is with me, she brought me here because of my fainting spells. I don’t know why I faint, nor does my mother, or father, or any of my teachers at the high school I… More

Fiction | ‘Kiran’s Village’ by Aparna Ram

The light from the tube flickered a harsh green, giving Kiran a headache; and the silhouettes she saw in the queue outside the drug store, a dramatic resolve. People united by the needs of their physical bodies had become a single, hypnotic organism that was losing a head, adding a tail, swaying patiently on its… More

Fiction | ‘Turquoise Secret’ by Salil Chaturvedi

Indrani is surprised that her breasts are still alert to the possibility of love, even now, when her love is permanently gone. She stands in the centre of the room, clutching the laundry tight against her chest, feeling the hardening of her nipples against the cotton blouse while her eyes scan the skies beyond the… More

Fiction | ‘Somebody Else’s Problem’ by Kruti Brahmbhatt

‘Where is the purifier?’ asked the assistant commissioner. ‘The purifier?’ the junior officer responded. ‘Yes, what else?’ ‘Oh, the air purifier…’ ‘I told you, a week ago.’ ‘Yes, sir. I didn’t forget. By tomorrow–?’ ‘No, not tomorrow. By evening, in the conference room.’ ‘I thought he wasn’t serious,’ said the junior officer, returning to his… More

Fiction | ‘The Faber House’ by Peter Alterman

Allison stared at the screen of her cell phone, black letters on gray background. Buddy Faber dead? But she’d seen him only a few months ago. A reading from the new novel, Tock, at the Barnes & Noble in Holyoke. Then dinner along with the Chair of the English Department, her dissertation director and women… More

Fiction | ‘Shabaahat’ by Sobia Abdin

Maryam A dry loo blew over Maryam’s desolate courtyard, plucking a handful of pink bougainvillea hanging lazily over the wall of the verandah. She heard the soft clink of the bangles she had left out to dry, but the loo vanished as quickly as it had come, and for several moments, the buzzing of her… More

Fiction | ‘Voice’ by Madhavi Johnson

It was a chilly Saturday afternoon in New York City. A young African American hostess prepared the audience gathered in the warmth of the Harlem Repertoire theatre for a ‘smooth and joyful voyage to unknown lands’ aboard Celebrity, the infamous slave ship, sailing out of the Ivory Coast. The hostess urged everyone to sit in… More

Fiction | ‘Bleed’ by Medha Dwivedi

There are certain things a man cannot do. Like bleed every month; even in June. Ma wanted me to stay home on such days. She would try to convince my ten-year-old brother to take lunch to Papa at his Aggrawal Sari Shop after school. He would ask why I did not want to go. Ma… More

Fiction | ‘The Crow-flight of The New York Times’ by Prabhakar Singh

Ruchir often spent his quiet summer vacations in Darbhanga, the place of his maternal grandparents. It was on a hot and dusty midsummer day of 2020 that he laid his hands on the decomposing paperback, Maila Anchal, tucked in a forgotten corner of his uncle’s bookshelf dug into the thick walls of the first floor.… More

Poetry | ‘It’ by Rachel Deyis (18) | Student Writing

I feel it shift inside me, this wild, furred thing that has uncurled itself from the slumberous warmth of my belly  and climbed the rungs of my ribcage to settle within my chest. For weeks it has been still, all flickering eyelids and gentle prodding, but today its eyes blink wide open, awake- silvered claws… More


Writing Competitions and Awards for you (2020 – 2021)

The Bombay Review: We have multiple funded opportunities for writers of all genres. While we tend to support talent in our primary bases of South Asia and the East Coast of the United States, we are open to applications from around the world. The pandemic has been hard for everybody, and we are happy to… More

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