Not many readers of Shashi Deshpande may be aware that her first experiments in writing fiction started with the short story. Over the years, she has published about a hundred stories in literary journals, magazines and newspapers, in between writing her immensely popular novels which are now read all over the world, and taught in universities wherever Indian writing has an audience. In this collection we find Shashi Deshpande at her best, writing with subtlety and a rare sensitivity about men and women trapped in relationships and situations often not of their making. The wife of a successful politician who must look to a long lost past in order to keep up the pretence of contentment a little girl who cannot comprehend why the very fact of her being born is a curse a young man whose fantasy of love drives him to murder a newlywed couple with dramatically differing views on what it means to get to know each other every one of the characters here is delineated with lucidity and compassion. Written over the past three decades, the stories in this volume provide an insight into often forgotten aspects of human feelings and relationships, weaving a magical web of emotions that is testimony to the unusual depth and range of Shashi Deshpande’s writing.