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THE DEATH OF RAMMOHAN ADHIKARI

Nepalese Clay, 21st Issue (2013)
SUSHMA JOSHI
On the morning his son was to return from Doha, Rammohan said to his wife: “Lets go to Shivapuri forest, you and I. We can both take some rope and hang ourselves together tonight.” Rammohan Adhikari knew with absolute certainty, at five in the morning on that warm July day, that he was going to die that night. The air felt muggy—rainwater from a sudden downpour collected in slippery puddles on the road, the looming new construction of his neighbour’s rising building seemed to close in, heavy and oppressive, cutting off the flow of air, and a low bank of dark rainclouds had hovered over the Kathmandu Valley. His wife, who was wondering what to feed her eldest son, who was to fly in from Doha that afternoon, scolded him. “What kind of talk is this? You must stop thinking these dark thoughts, and welcome your son back home.”                                                 *** Rammohan, peering from the grimy glass windows separating the waiting crowd from thos…

MIHYAR OF DAMASCUS

“Oh broken homeland, glued together,walking beside me with your faltering steps.”

SUSHMA JOSHI Browsing the Internet for online literary journals, I got tired of coming up against prestigious “international”  literary journals based in the suburban mid-west of America. The more international they claimed to be, the more they seemed to print stories about lawns and Graham crackers and squirrels on trees. I had a feeling that a nationality check would show all the writers came not just from one country, but probably within the same 100mile county lines. Its not as if Americans don’t travel, or write about other places. They do, but for some reason these cosmopolitan writers always seem to end up getting published in publications who don’t self-style themselves “international.” Hmm, I thought. Maybe the term “international” has another meaning when it emanates from these mastheads.  A little disgruntled, a little restless, I looked again, and imagine my delight when I stumbled upon Arabesq…

JYOTISH, THE SCIENCE OF LIGHT

ECS Magazine, July 2017

My family’s surname is “Joshi,” derived from jyotishi, or astrologers. According to family lore, they fled the Mughal invasion and came to Nepal via Nainital, where they became court astrologers to the Shah monarchy. By my grandfather’s time, nobody on our side of the family knew anything about astrology, nor did they show any interest to pursue this arcane and antediluvian subject. My father, who has a BA in science, and my mother, who has a Masters degree in Nepali literature, both profess a steadfast disbelief towards the subject.
There were, however, enough relatives around to provide glimpses of a more interesting family history. I remember in particular one elderly relative in his eighties who did read charts, and who was treated with great respect not just because of his ability to read the future but also because he was rumored to be short-tempered. He was known to walk back and forth in his wooden balcony in the middle of old Kathmandu, and hurl insults…

Ming's Defense in the Munster Centre's Southward journal

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Read my short story "Ming's Defense" in Southward, the Munster Centre's literary journal, this July. Its about a talking tiger--a short story which I wrote in 2003 while living in Harlem, New York.

Kyoto Journal #71 featured my short story "Hunger"

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Kyoto Journal #71 brought together diverse writers celebrating the varied aspects of tea. My short story "Hunger" was also published in it.  You can view their content page below. ___________________________________________________________________________ Here’s a sampling of voices from the vibrant, pervasive, evolving world of tea, from a wide variety of sources, The story of tea is a perfect lens through which to view the contact and mutual transformation of East and west. This is barely an introduction, but the many trails are marked. This issue was guest edited by Gaetano Kazuo Maida, executive director of the nonprofit Tea Arts Institute, former organizer of the American Premium Tea Institute and publisher of the industry journal Tea Trade. (He is also a founding director of the Buddhist magazine Tricycle, and is executive director of the International Buddhist Film Festival, www.ibff.org.) The Art Director of this issue is Ayelet Maida, principal of A/M Studios, and cre…