I encountered Chikni Chameli in the December of 2011, mid afternoon at the Calcutta airport, waiting to board a flight to Indore. I was on my way to a friend’s cousin’s wedding. The overhead televisions kept blaring the annoying music of the item song, in sync with its provocative lyrics and gestures. Men and women alike had their eyes glued to the rhythms of Katrina Kaif’s thumkas and chest thrusts.
Fast forward to December 2013. Calcutta, again. 2 am. I am hunched over my laptop, seeking inspiration to finish my final assignment for Carolyn Smart’s fiction workshop class. Write a flash fiction piece, under 500 words. There are no parameters, except for the word limit.
I finally find inspiration , through another writer I admire. And, a stream of unconsciousness. Who knows where inspiration really comes from?
Several drafts, and a few rejections later, my piece sees the light of day.
My short fiction, “Becoming Chikni Chameli in 3 Steps,” is up at Matrix Magazine. You can read it here. It is a part of their trans issue, edited by Lucas Crawford.