Excerpt: The Lady in the mirror by Charu Vashishtha

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From story “The Last Confession”

I had everything fate could bestow upon. Money, great family and good looks. But I didn’t earn any of it. Sometimes when others related their struggles to me, I felt very shallow. I admired them for their journey, but I hadn’t experienced any of it. At college, I was quite popular. Everyone wanted to befriend me. Not because of what I was, but because of my flashy cars, my bank balance and my so-called good looks. They didn’t know the real me. Heck, even I didn’t know the real me.

And then I found her. This girl with big bright expressive eyes, which even those thick glasses, could not hide. She had a lean frame and dusky complexion. To many she would not be the most beautiful girl. In fact, you may even find her average looking. But if you observe her quietly, her beauty would grow on you. She would grow more beautiful each passing minute. There was some light in her, or shall I say some infectious enthusiasm. When she smiled, her smile reached her eyes and lit up her features. She was like a bright shining star in my sky. I could see her, experience her, but only from afar. She was the one for from whom I wanted to visit college each day. But she did not know that. Nobody knew that. It was my little secret.


From story, The Mysterious Playwright

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On her way, she found a little girl sculpting a stone, chisel in hand. She was deft. Ila was impressed. She saw Janak the sculptor-architect approaching them along with a teenage boy. Ila exclaimed to him. “Isn’t she your daughter? Oh she is so good.”

Janak remarked “She is good. But it is of no use.” No use. The words echoed in Ila’s mind. Those were the same words she had heard from Aji about her writing.

“However,” he continued, pointing to the teenage boy, “I will teach my nephew. He will carry forward my legacy. It’s a pity that he is more interested in music.”

Ila looked at the girl and then at the boy. For a moment she felt a deep sense of pity for both. The poor boy would rather be a musician, but would carry the burden of carrying forward his uncle’s legacy while the girl who wants to do it desperately would get no chance. It is a curse to be forcefully converted to anything other than what you are.

You can now pre-order your copy from the publisher Story Mirror’s site.

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