Page 1

Jan-Feb 2014

short fiction

Idyllic Bagan

g karunakar

The Hatchery In Hell

ashwin shankar

Texas Shrine: The Alamo

sarah rand

Interview: Dr Prabhu

sunanda karnad

Stories / Poetry gary ives • m v swaroop • malcolm carvalho malini seshadri • michael sforza mohan kumar • nita bajoria • padma prasad shobhana kumar • vinay pandey

Vol 4 Issue 1


64 Pages




Jan-Feb 2014 Vol 4 Issue 1 64 pages

short fiction essays verse reviews

Published, owned, and printed by Vaishali Khandekar, and printed at National Printing Press, 580, KR Garden, Koramangala, Bangalore-560095 Published at 177-B Classic Orchards, Bannerghatta Rd, Bangalore-560076 Editor: Vaishali Khandekar Editing Support: Arun Kumar, Manjushree Hegde Subscriptions, business enquiries, feedback: Ph: +91 80 26595745 Subscription Details: Print (within India only) or Electronic (PDF): Annual subscription Rs. 300/- (6 issues) 2 years subscription Rs. 600/- (12 issues) Payment via cheque / DD in favour of ‘Differsense Ventures LLP’ payable at Bangalore. Subscription form elsewhere in this issue. Online subscription: Submissions: Advertisers: Contact Arun Kumar at / +91 98450 22991 Cover Idea: Satish Kumar Story Illustrations: Raghupathi Sringeri Disclaimer: Matter published in Reading Hour magazine is the work of individual writers who guarantee it to be entirely their own, and original work. Contributions to Reading Hour are largely creative, while certain articles are the writer’s own experiences or observations. The publishers accept no liability for them. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily represent the policies or positions of the publisher. The publishers intend no factual miscommunication, disrespect to, or incitement of any individual, community or enterprise through this publication. Copyright ©2013-2014 Differsense Ventures LLP. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this issue in any manner without prior written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Jan-Feb 2014 Vol 4 Issue 1

Editorial …Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime, The regrets of remembrance to cozen, And having obtained a New Trial of Time, Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen.” - Thomas Hood Hope the last dozen have been good for you, dear reader. Putting up a new calendar on one’s wall, is only that and nothing more, if we do not take the time to think: how have I grown this past year, what have I learned, what have I changed? While you ponder the question, we invite you to take a journey with the characters within these pages as they take stock of themselves in the face of what life hurls at them… Take the case of teacher Arthur Teak, in Some Teachers Have Happy Endings. Arthur, while motivating a student to chart a meaningful life’s course ends up questioning his own motivations in so doing, while the student ends up where she was perhaps always meant to. The protagonist of The Thirteenth Day, whose freewheeling life is shaken by a series of momentuous events comes to terms with them in his own way. Sometimes, life offers us the proverbial chance to stand in another’s shoes, but it isn’t everybody who pays heed and grabs it… does Mrs. Ramchandran? There’s young Purnima, chasing Rasgullas And Chowringhee Lane, whose tentative step into the adult world leaves her, as she thinks, shattered beyond repair… and those like Nestor, in The Hill That Had No Trees, who cannot account for their life’s experiences, and must weave elaborate cause-and-effect scenarios to hold onto what they have left. Part II of the Burma travelogue describes a visit to Idyllic Bagan. In stark contrast to the lush surroundings of Burma is The Hatchery In Hell, the second most inhospitable water body on earth, located in Africa’s Rift Valley; and yet, home to the greatest concentration of wildlife anywhere on the planet. Dr. Sunanda Karnad interviews Dr. Prabhu, who struggled to find a publisher for his first book, which then went on to sell 80,000 copies in its first edition. Here’s wishing our readers a year of discovery, enjoyment and growth. Happy reading, too! ~Editors 1

Contents essays


The Hatchery In Hell ashwin shankar


Idyllic Bagan



Chatting With Dr Vithal Prabhu sunanda karnad

reviews 40

fiction 3

Some Teachers Have Happy Endings


Chilly Chicken


The Thirteenth Day


Mrs. Ramchandran


Rasgullas And Chowringhee Lane


The Hill That Had No Trees



g karunakar

gary ives

vinay pandey m v swaroop nita bajoria

Are you reading this?

Texas Shrine: The Alamo sarah rand


light stuff


last page

poetry 8



Hall Of Mirrors


Missing In Action


The Poet

malcolm carvalho mohan kumar

shobhana kumar malini seshadri

padma prasad

michael sforza

Inside cover photo of Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano in East Africa, courtesy Ashwin Shankar

Reading Hour

FICTION Some Teachers Have Happy Endings gary ives Gary lives in the Ozark Mountains where he grows apples and writes. He has published several short stories. In 2012 he was a nominee for the Push Cart Prize for his story “Can You Come Here For Christmas�.

FICTION Chilly Chicken vinay pandey Vinay is a software professional who likes writing fiction. He is an unapologetic day dreamer who aspires to swim in all oceans across the globe at least once.


Submarine malcolm carvalho

Hall Of Mirrors mohan kumar

Missing In Action shobhana kumar

The Poet malini seshadri

Malcolm is a writer and software engineer in no particular order. He writes poetry and fiction, and is working on his second book while awaiting a publisher for his first. Mohan’s poems have appeared in leading literary journals in India. He has seven volumes of English poetry to his credit. He retired as Chief Secretary to the Government of Kerala. Shobhana’s first volume of poetry, ‘The Voices Never Stop’, was published by Writers Workshop, Kolkata in 2012. Her work has appeared in anthologies and national and international journals. Malini is a freelance writer-editor and former columnist based in Chennai. She has authored a children’s story book and coauthored value education textbooks.

Essay The Hatchery In Hell ashwin shankar Ashwin spent 9 years in Africa, doing software projects across several countries and visiting all the nature parks. He is presently based in Bangalore.

Fiction The Thirteenth Day m v swaroop Swaroop is a lawyer by day and Carnatic flautist in the early morning. He has written for several dailies, the Sruti magazine and other publications.

Interview Chatting With Dr Prabhu dr sunanda karnad Dr. Sunanda Karnad, Ph.D. Sociology, taught the subject for almost 40 years at the prestigious Elphinstone College, Mumbai. She has to her credit more than 20 text books in the subject. She has written for various publications on different issues. At 70, she got an M.A. in English Literature from Karnataka University, and is back to teaching. She enjoys travelling and meeting old friends, and belongs to the rapidly depleting minority that still prefers writing letters to email!

Fiction Mrs Ramchandran nita bajoria Nita lives in Kolkata. After 10 years of manufacturing kitchens, she switched to writing to fulfil a long-held passion.

Essay Texas Shrine: The Alamo sarah rand Sarah lives in Houston, USA. A psychiatrist by profession, she indulges her love for people and nature though travel and writing.

Essay Idyllic Bagan g karunakar Karunakar is an advocate and avid traveller based in Bangalore. He has travelled to over a 100 countries and enjoys documenting his experiences.

Fiction Rasgullas And Chowringhee Lane padma prasad Padma is a writer and painter. She lives in Northern Virginia and is working on a collection of short stories.

Fiction The Hill That Had No Trees michael Sforza Michael is a fiction author who lives in the USA. He is shortly to have two of his works published in the UK.


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Reading Hour Jan-Feb 2014  

Reading Hour brings you a fine collection of fiction, essays and reviews.

Reading Hour Jan-Feb 2014  

Reading Hour brings you a fine collection of fiction, essays and reviews.