The Last Puff and Other Story
Originally published in Hindi as Neela Scarf
Imprint: Hind Yugm 2014
Author: Anu Singh
Translator: Manisha Chaudhry
About the Book
This is an anthology of contemporary short stories in Hindi that depicts life in different parts and among different social classes in India. The stories straddle both urban and rural settings. Some of the stories in this selection are ‘Mukti’, ‘Kuch Yun honaUska’, ‘Cigarette KaAakhriKash’, and ‘Bisesar Bo Ki Premika’. This book makes for a riveting read.
About the Author
Anu Singh Choudhary is a journalist, writer, communications consultant and documentary filmmaker. Her debut collection of short stories is titled Neela Scarf while Mamma ki Diary, her book on parenting and family, is said to be the firstof its kind in Hindi. She has also made six documentaries including Lighting Up the Hills, a heart-wrenching tale of a tribal group from Jharkhand. She has been awarded the RamnathGoenka Award For Excellence in Journalism and the LAADLI Media and Advertising Awards for her gender sensitive reporting.
About the Translator
Manisha Chaudhry is a senior publishing professional with wide-ranging experience as an editor and translator. She started her career in 1986 in India’s first feminist publishing house and as an independent consultant with various development organizations. Fluent in English and Hindi, her translation A Street In Srinagar of Chandrakanta’s Hindi novel AilanGaliZinda Hai was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. Currently, she is the editorial head at Pratham Books, India’s largest non-profit multilingual children’s publisher.
“Then what was the purpose for this vain obstinacy? Why did she feel uneasy at the mere thought of this possibility? Why did it feel so incomplete? Should she spend most of her life magnetized by wanting to save the ‘somebody’, afraid of being a ‘nobody’?
Like the high tide takes the sand, questions that rose and fell in her heart consumed her answers too.
Too much ease is a problem. It makes you willful and rigid. If things are difficult there is an apparent satisfaction of overcoming the odds. And isn’t it the inherent nature of our desires to always be impatient and never allow us to feel fulfilled? The stereotype of being a ‘nobody’ can be boring and empty.”
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