Short Fiction



There are 1.2 billion people living in India; more than 1.2 billion stories in one country.

Traversing thirteen Indian states, ‘One Point Two Billion’ illumi­nates the exhilarating diversity of the second most populous nation in the world. 

A man living on a tea plantation in the Nilgiri Hills realises he’s in love with his daughter-in-law; a young family eagerly awaits the launch of Shakti-Cola; a chronically anxious yoga retreat manager struggles with the demands of her enlightenment-seeking Western patrons; and a family legacy hangs in the balance when a horrifying discovery is unearthed on their Rajasthani estate. 

Laced with biting humour, filled with danger and hope, the stories in this mesmerising collection portray the vast array of lives existing in the uneasy balance of Indian society.

Moving from towering megacity to re­mote detention camp, from the canals of rural Punjab to an exclusive club in Delhi, this remarkable collection offers glimpses into the loves, triumphs and tragedies of everyday life in a world torn between tradition and the shock of modernity.

(shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize)
The Agony of Leaves
(first published in The Baffler)
(first published in Prairie Schooner)
Eternal Bliss
(shortlisted for the Bridport Prize)

© 2015 All rights reserved by Mahesh Rao.