A cab driver, who assumes the identity of whoever his clients want him to be, finds himself in a tricky situation with a passenger. A late-night call leads a doctor down a path of lust and desire, but with unexpected results. A writer acquaints himself with a thief who had broken into his house. A migrant worker falls in love but wonders how he can present himself as a suitor. A young man, having lost the love of his life, takes it upon himself to resolve another couple’s dilemmas.
Konkani writer Damodar Mauzo’s sometimes bizarre, sometimes tender stories, set largely in Goa, create a world far removed from the sun and sand and the holiday resorts. Here you find villagers facing moral choices, children waking up to the realities of adult lives, men who dwell on remorse, women who live a life of regret and communities whose bonds are growing tenuous in an age of religious polarization. Probing the deepest corners of the human psyche with tongue-in-cheek humour, Mauzo’s stories reveal the many threads that connect us to others and the ease with which they can be broken. Written in simple prose and yet layered in nuances, The Wait is a collection that brings to the anglophone world one of the doyens of Konkani literature. The Wait is translated by Xavier Cota.
Damodar Mauzo is a short story writer, novelist, critic and scriptwriter who lives in Goa and writes in Konkani. He received India’s highest literary honour, the Jnanpith Award, in 2022. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1983, for his novel Karmelin, and the Vimala V. Pai Vishwa Konkani Sahitya Puraskar in 2011, for his novel Tsunami Simon. His collection of short stories, Teresa’s Man and Other Stories from Goa, was nominated for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award in 2015. He has served as a member of the executive board, General Council, Sahitya Akademi, as well as a member of the Sahitya Akademi’s Finance Committee.
Review: The Wait and Other Stories, Asian Review of Books
Prompt: Begin by describing your teenage bedroom. What posters did you have on the wall? Did you share with a sibling? Was it the tiniest room in the house? Aim for 10 lines, add characterisation, and see where it leads.