Why I wrote “The Beautiful Ratio”



“What happens when a really smart person, say, a genius, comes to the conclusion that life is not worth living?” asked my friend one day in a sleepy little café surrounded by corn fields. “Shall he kill himself? Or continue with his meaningless existence?” the soliloquy continued as if in stupor.
Many bulbs went on in my mind, I scavenged on this possibility, hungry as I was for an idea to write a story. I had a fast approaching deadline for story submission in a Creative Writing Seminar I had signed up for. I wrote for the next two days and could barely make it on time owing to many clarifications I had to seek from Math students in the university.
“The Beautiful Ratio” is about Shazia, a Math genius and social misfit. Her childhood friend Noor is a major part of her support system. How shall she reconcile with life when chaos unleashes in her city and the world that she thought she knew is shattered beyond repair? The backdrop of the story is the 2002 riots that bruised Ahmedabad and destroyed thousands of lives. I had observed the mass hysteria first hand, and it shocked me to see my people and my city transform from being sane to being something monstrous and switch back to being normal again as if the dance of destruction was merely a bad dream. I, like many others, could never get over that shock; I tried to live away from my city for many years under one pretext or another. Time and distance provided me an insight to write this story.
In 2014, when Sonia Rao, the Municipal Liaison of NaNoWriMo India announced a call for entries for the coveted WrimoIndia anthology around the theme on Vengeance, I knew that “The Beautiful Ratio” will find its destination. The editorial team stitched some open ruptures with such care and love and I couldn’t be happier. Twenty one talented writers writing in different genres and styles came together and contributed to this volume. It’s a treat for readers to see varied responses to a theme so universal.
It makes all proud that the proceeds of this book will go to NaNoWriMo, and will help foster creativity and self-expression of writers around the globe! I request you to buy, read, review, recommend Vengeance: A Sting in Every Tale Edited by Sonia Rao.


She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes by the Sink

A must read for those men cribbing about a complaining wife…

Must Be This Tall To Ride

(Image/jerrywilliamsmedia.com) (Image/jerrywilliamsmedia.com)

It seems so unreasonable when you put it that way: My wife left me because sometimes I leave dishes by the sink.

It makes her seem ridiculous; and makes me seem like a victim of unfair expectations.

We like to point fingers at other things to explain why something went wrong, like when Biff Tannen crashed George McFly’s car and spilled beer on his clothes, but it was all George’s fault for not telling him the car had a blind spot.

This bad thing happened because of this, that, and the other thing. Not because of anything I did!

Sometimes I leave used drinking glasses by the kitchen sink, just inches away from the dishwasher.

It isn’t a big deal to me now. It wasn’t a big deal to me when I was married. But it WAS a big deal to her.

Every time she’d walk into the kitchen…

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Designed by Neil D’Silva 

Vengeance –A

Sting in Every Tale 

A WRIMO INDIA anthology

Edited by

Sonia Rao 

Disclaimer : All proceeds from the sale of this anthology will be donated to NaNoWriMo. 

Designed by Sujata



A reply to a perceived injustice can take many forms one of which is vengeance. An eye for an

eye can only end up making the whole world blind, is what Mahatma Gandhi once said. And it seems to

be coming quite true, if latest events world-wide are an indication.

Is there any hope or are we hurtling towards extinction?

Hopefully, the stories will explore some of these questions. But that is on the macro level. It

might be easy to look at things objectively, in black and white, when it is other nations involved. Or even

other people. We are able to be more forgiving of transgressions when they don’t involve us


But how would one react if they found themselves in the maelstrom of situations that do fall

somewhere in the grey area of life? With no definite black and white answers?

How would a jilted lover react in face of infidelity? Or how would a friend avenge the murder of

her best friend? Or, is it fair to be punished for a crime that you were not brave enough to


These and many more questions connected to vengeance have been grappled with in this


created by Archana Sarat 


​Bus number 131 whirred away, pulling its own weight unwillingly. It was one of the many buses

to pass through the Relief road, a busy road in the old part of Ahmedabad. Shazia had an option, the

crowed 88 or the overcrowded 131. She preferred to be 30 minutes before time to board 131. Her

choice was motivated by her love for the palindromic 1-3-1. Her undying infatuation with prime

numbers was inexplicable.

Nineteen year old Shazia loved numbers, and to be more precise, she adored Mathematics in all

its form. She also loved the rules, the principles, the working theorems, the equations which tried to

make sense of the majestic menagerie of numbers. She was fascinated even by the mere shape of

numbers. She did not remember when or even how her romance with Maths began. But in her earliest

memories, she preferred practicing her numbers over the alphabet, she remembered that she recited

tables better than her nursery rhymes.

She was short and a bit stocky. Also, a couple of shades darker than was acceptable in the

marriage market. However, her looks never bothered her, nor did she ever yearn for fairer skin, or

thinner body. What she craved was a disheveled mass of hair, for some uncanny resemblance to

Einstein, the only pop icon modern science managed to have produced. But her mother plaited her hair,

dashing her hopes to ground. She also longed for a pair of spectacles with glasses so thick that it blurred

her eyeballs, indicating the wearer’s brilliance. But she, despite getting checked for vision from her

mother’s ophthalmologist, was denied the hallowed implement. Thrice.

Shazia valued her bus ride a lot. She had to convince Papa to allow her to commute to her

college on her own. She had concealed her indignation about needing her father’s permission for every

little trifle, even after being categorised as an adult by the Government of India. Papa consented only

after he was told that Noor too would start using the bus if Shazia were to give her company.