Muse Of The Month July 2014: Inspiration From Anita Desai

One of the finest Indian writers in English, Anita Desai's novels blend insight with craft. Get started with the writing cue based on her work!

One of the finest Indian writers in English, Anita Desai’s novels that blend insight and craft have much to teach any aspiring writer. Get started with the writing cue: The 5 best entries get published here.

Each month, we ask our readers to get inspired by an iconic woman writer and get their own thinking caps on. We hope that this inspires you to read more of these writers, and also get your own writing hat on.

What you need to do

july-museStep 1. Read the writing cue (mentioned down below) and get inspired.

Step 2. Write your own story/narrative/piece based on the cue. You could use it as the opening line, the closing sentence, or somewhere in between! You could even choose not to use it anywhere in your story – just write a story using the cue as a prompt. (And ‘story’ can be fictional – or not – as you wish).

Step 3. Send your work to us. Please email it to [email protected] with ‘Muse of the month – July’ in the subject line, and your story as a word/txt attachment. Do include the name we should use if we publish it, and a brief introduction to yourself (2-3 lines) in the mail.

Please note: Given the number of entries received, we won’t be able to respond to each, but every single entry is being read through very carefully and is much appreciated.

Updates: The shortlisted entries

We’ll be adding on here the shortlisted entries each day, as we publish them. Here they are!

Mrs. Bagchi, by Debopriya GhoshCall it karma or the wheel of time, it doesn’t make an exception for anyone, says this story of a matriarch.

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Ferris Wheel, by Rutvika Charegaonkar: The wheel stops for no one – at least, no one who is still living. You just have to scramble along as best as you can.

Agony And Ecstasy, by Sowmya SundaramSometimes, the wheel can only come full circle if we let it – if we are honest with ourselves and can face up to the truth of our own lives.

The Perfect Husband, by Prasanna Rao: The wheel of this woman’s life seems to have come to a standstill; an unusual event gets it moving again.

Then And Now, by Ujwala Shenoy KarmarkarNot only does the wheel keep turning, you can never really go back to where it was before – only look at it from where you are now.



Please send in your stories by July 25th 2014, Friday, 5 p.m IST. The 5 best stories will be published on Women’s Web the next week on, i.e. one each from July 27th to 31st.


  • The material should be previously unpublished elsewhere. (Copyright stays with you and you’re free to subsequently publish it elsewhere).

  • Keep it between 250 and 800 words. (Please keep this in mind; in past editions, we have had to disqualify some good entries purely due to word count issues).

  • Please avoid typing the story as inline text. Send it as an attachment only.


The 5 best entries will each win a Flipkart voucher worth Rs. 250.

Muse of the month (July 2014)

Anita Desai was among the first crop of Indian writers in English to be recognised globally. In works such as Village By The Sea, Fasting Feasting, In custody and Baumgartner’s Bombay, she created some very memorable characters and stories – ostensibly ‘simply’ narrated, her novels have a wealth of humour and insight into characters and the societies that make them who they are.

Rarely judgmental, they reveal instead compassion for people trapped in lives often out of their control, yet trying to make the best of it that they can.

Cue for July 2014

The wheel turns and turns and turnsit never stops and stands still.” – this is writing cue for July, from Anita Desai’s A Village By The Sea. Make sure to get your entry in on or before July 25th 2014, Friday, 5 p.m IST



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