Once Upon a River:
The eighty-five ghats that form a crescent-shaped riverfront project a majesty that gives perspective to the vicissitudes and vanities of death unfolding in its lap. Janvi has read in a tourist guide that the city of Varanasi derives its name from two rivers: Varuna, which flows from the northern end, and Assi, which meets the river Ganges in the south. The city is compared to a goddess whose arms are the two rivers. It is said that like a mother, without judgment, Varuna and Assi embrace, coddle, and cradle all who come: sinners and saints; wealthy and destitute; male, female, and in-between; all who come to Varanasi seeking something.
As proof of the power of the river, they keep coming, in ever larger numbers.
Read full story in the Penman Review…….
The Open Door by Neerja Raman
The door is open.
Why is it open? What is in there, past the open door?
Arms folded on my chest, stooping as if to block the world, I march across our front lawn and stand on the sidewalk. I stare at the house opposite ours, which has been vacant for months.
It looks occupied, but I don’t see a moving van or cars in the driveway.
Did they fly in?
Someone inside flips a switch, and a bright light streams through the open door………
Read full story in Origins Journal