BENGALURU: Going Home in the Rain, a compilation of short stories by Monideepa Sahu, was released recently. The 101-page book features 14 stories that range from tragedy and sharing a taxi with a stranger to work to a mother and her son’s journey to explore Mysuru. She talks to City Express about her book and writing.
What is your book based on?
It is a compilation of 14 short stories about the study of human life and experiences. They ask questions about these experiences, whether it’s love, loneliness or losing jobs. So the book does not have one single theme but a few connected ones. It was a challenge to get into other people’s minds.
Tell us how you came up with the title.
Going Home in the Rain is the title of one of the short stories. I think it is beautiful. Rain can be a difficult experience but, in the end, it lends a new lease of life. Like in the story, you may be alone in a new city and finding it difficult to get home. You may get delayed but it leads to a happier end - you reach home. It gives you hope and positivity.
You have chosen to write on the daily life of people…
I like imagining stories around the lives of others. I knew a Parsi man who would collect newspapers. He didn’t like it when someone asked him about his job. I imagined a story about his newspaper collection and wrote Hoshi’s Bombay.
How did writing happen to you?
I always loved reading. I studied English literature. So the next step was, ‘Let’s try writing’. I started with features for magazines and newspapers. My first was a translation of a Hindi story and an interview with the writer for an English publication in 1997.
Do you prefer writing short stories?
I have written a fantasy novel for children. But writing short stories is challenging. You need to put it all – character development and action, which is the thought process of the person and how that leads to change in perception – down precisely. You cannot waste a word. For example, the description the ‘used condom in the gutter’ reflects the creepy surroundings and fear.