Twilight Toast and other short stories

 

This collection is published on Amazon Kindle. You can find it by searching for “Twilight Toast” or by using the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C3QLYBW.

 

The beautiful cover is designed by Rama Gokhale.

 

These are stories of relationships, of emotional conflicts, of cultural dilemmas. Most of my characters are "Indian Americans", a term that I use rather loosely: it includes Indians who live in America, Indians who lived there for a short while, and even Indians who never visit America but are affected by the western culture in some way. In fact, I feel the themes are probably applicable to any community that is affected by the western culture in some way.

 

The stories are about relationships, which I prefer to call "connections". I think connections are the most fascinating and thrilling but also troublesome aspect of human life. They make us happy, they make us sorry, and they also make us philosophical. I have tried to capture some of the joys and sorrows of building connections.

 

The stories are also about cross-cultural interactions and dilemmas. The Indian value system has the strength of hundreds, even thousands, of years of history and tradition. And yet, the influence and attraction of western values is undeniable.

 

 

Indian Americans deal with the occasional clashes between these two systems as they live among Americans, or live among Indians in America, or return to live with Indians in India. How each person reacts to these interacting and powerful forces is fascinating to watch. Thus, you sometimes meet Indians in America who prefer to cling to their Indian heritage more strongly than the Indians living in India. The so-called westernized Indians, when they return to India, tend to underestimate the ruggedness of Indian traditions. And so, when they butt their westernized heads against the bulwark of the Indian system and dream like Americans, one possible outcome is humor, another is disappointment.

 

I have tried to capture some of these fascinating, thought-provoking, and sometimes humorous cultural interplays.

 

CONTENTS:

 

1

TURKEY MASALA

The host family program of the University brings a foreign graduate student in touch with an American girl. Read what happens next.

2

BUFFALO WINGS

This is a story of two girls who are close friends from their college days. Their move to America creates an interesting situation.

3

WINE, WINE EVERYWHERE

This is the story of a weird guy who spends a few years in the US and then returns to India with some unrealistic expectations.

4

A CUP OF MUSIC

Happiness is usually just around the corner. But it takes some musical notes to notice it.

5

PASSING THE SPIRIT

The wheel of life requires that you cannot always stay on top. You have to give way to others. You have to pass the spirit or the baton.

6

A NUTTY BREAKFAST

Roopali is a popular hangout in Pune. This story of an unusual game some adults play is written with Roopali as the backdrop.

7

DREAMLAND DESSERT

According to citizens of Pune it is the most perfect place on Earth. Well, it could get even better according to this story.

8

FREEDOM COCKTAIL

It’s really about a musical evening: Beware! There is very little discussion of music in this review!

9

COOKED IN PRINCETON

Meeting your heart-throb after a separation of 10 years is always interesting. Check out what happens next.

10

TWILIGHT TOAST

This is a tribute to Sam Mahableshwerwalla – a teacher that influenced thousands of students.

 

If you have any comments or questions about these stories, please write to abjoshi@yahoo.com.