New story published- The Muse

Celeste heard vessels being moved around. She watched the lioness devouring the deer. Alone. Something looked odd about the lioness devouring the deer all by herself. No cubs. She wondered if Maya and her husband wanted to have kids. Maya returned with a glass of Fanta, she gave it to Celeste and then wiped her hands with the towel she held in the other hand. ‘Can you promise to keep a secret if I help you?’ Her eyes pleaded and Celeste wondered if the secret had anything to do with their family planning. What if she told her she wanted to have kids but her husband didn’t as they would be a hindrance to his art? She had heard he was quite severe.

Read the full story in Coldnoon


Issue 1 of Kaani

Issue 1 of Kaani has been released 🙂

1– Where is Chandernagore by Janet H. Swinney

2- Nothing by Lavanya Shanbhogue-Arvind

3- It Had To Be That by Prashila Naik

4- The Escape by Pravin Vemuri

5- White Out by Rebecca Lloyd

Read all the five stories HERE.

Open for Business

Received this beauty today.


Naturally, I read ‘Open for Business’ first.

The note about the poem at the end of the book says:

‘Hanv saiba poltoddi voita’ (‘I’m going across the river’), a Konkani song indelibly associated with Goa, belongs to the genre of deknni, a modern musical form that uses folk imagery and allusions. ‘Hanv saiba’ was composed by the Goan musician Carlos Eugenio Ferreira (1860-1926) in the last decade of the nineteenth century. The protagonist of the song is a temple dancer who tried to convince a boatman to take her across a river, to where a wedding celebration is in progress, and where she wishes to perform. The riverine boundary is a coded reference to the continual shifting of the border between Portuguese-ruled Goa and the Hindu territories that neighboured it between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries, especially during the Old and the New Conquests. For people in Goa, this meant the division of families and communities, the fraying of older social relationships and the emergence of new solidarities.

Two poems published by Cafe Dissensus

When they ask, are your parents together?

​D​on’t say​​​​ 40 years. They won’t believe you​.​

Hollywood’s taught them otherwise.


When they ask, any animal you don’t eat?

​Don’t ​​say ​chicken​ only​. ​It won’t matter.

​They’ll ask- Chicken or Dragon? What difference?


When they ask, you know any Konkani films?

​S​ay you’ve ​no clue. They’ll believe you​.​

Minorities have no music or cinema.


Read more here

Interview 19- Prayaag Akbar

Prayaag Photo


Prayaag Akbar is the author of Leila, an award-winning novel that Netflix is now developing into a series. It will be published in the UK and much of the English-speaking world in July 2018. He is a consulting editor at Mint.

Michelle D’costa: In Leila, from the first page, the reader is aware that Leila is missing and that her mother is haunted by this all the time. Manu Joseph’s Illicit Happiness of Other People has a hook too, in which the reader knows Unni has taken his life and his father looks for closure. Do you think a story needs to have a hook among other things like good language, memorable characters, realistic dialogues, etc.?

Prayaag Akbar: There are different approaches to how you want to transmit information to your reader, and there is certainly no right or wrong way. Even the same writers don’t usually repeat the same technique in different novels. Take Miss Laila Armed and Dangerous, also by Joseph, in which many key revelations only appear in the latter part of the text.

The consideration was simple for me. More than “hooking” the reader, I had to be true to Shalini, my narrator. Finding her daughter was her obsession beyond all else, so it made sense that she would discuss this first in her narrative.

Read the rest of the interview on Cafe Dissensus


Ranjit Hoskote’s Jonahwhale

This makes me so happy. The Alipore Post has been making my days with its daily dose of awesome poems. Today ‘s poem was Open for Business by Ranjit Hoskote. I wrote a poem in response to it titled ‘Closed’. Thanks to The Alipore Post and Penguin Random House, I will get a copy of his book Jonahwhale.


My poem titled ‘Closed’ published by Cafe Dissensus here.

 © Michelle D’costa 2018