Book available at:
These are 16 immersive, entertaining short stories about characters across caste, class, and
religion in Bombay.
Some of the stories have been nominated for prizes: Fundação Oriente Short Story Competition,
2015 (shortlist); Open Road Review 2016 (winner); DNA-Out of Print Contest 2017 (longlist), and
DISQUIET International Literary prize, Lisbon 2019 (notable entry).
These stories are laced with the grit, sleaze and dynamism of Bombay. They explore the nerve centre
of a great metropolis with caustic wit and uncompromising realism. From the red-light corner of
Kamathipura and the race course of Mahalaxmi, from South Bombay where a perfume maker works
on exotic fragrances to the throbbing epicentre of Thana and the township of Kalyan, from Bandra to
Andheri, the city is brought alive through memorable characters, piquant situations and no holds
barred language. With the occasional foray into Goa, the poet Rochelle Potkar makes an impressive
debut in short fiction, a genre unfairly neglected by most publishers in India.
Superbly penned stories of struggle and survival, love and frustration, cultural conflicts and
pitiable adjustments, family equations and social complications. The range of topics Rochelle
Potkar touches upon is remarkable. The absurdities, pathos, and miseries that are part of
our life are captured in poignant light. Rochelle has created some memorable characters as
she subtly and creatively critiques the power structures in our society, revealing tensions
between the hegemonic forces and subjugated classes. Her compassionate and gentle
insights lead us to an unexpected, and at times bewildering social realism with very elegant
content and structure. This is a must-read volume.
— Damodar Mauzo
Having made her mark in poetry, Rochelle Potkar has moved with elan into fiction.
— Keki Daruwalla
Potkar’s courageous and suave collection takes contemporary Indian writing in English to the
inner landscapes of Bombay’s one-room-kitchens, racecourse fortunes and Kamathipura. Her
stories are dexterous explorations in tenderness, ambition and sexual abandon. Deceptively
straightforward and peppered with wry humour, the stories and their piquant characters come
alive against the fascinating canvas of maximum city.
— Pervin Saket
These jewels in the guise of stories are adventures in the interior lives of people who not only love
and aspire but thrive with the ecstasies of feeling.
— William Pei Shih
Anna Fernandes interviews for the Navhind Times
Dalreen Ramos’ review in the Mid-day
Maithreyi Karnoor’s review in Scroll.in
Book trailers: excerpt readings:
Reading Fabric for Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF Shorts) 2021
Reading The Leaves of the deodar