For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“A Stranded Railroad Car”

Intizar Husain


Mirza Sahib gently removed the spout of the hookah from his lips, opened his drowsy eyes, cleared his throat, and said, “Shujaat Ali, you shouldn't argue with these modern boys. What do these kids know about traveling! Especially the train—it's taken all enjoyment out of journeying. You blink your eye and you've arrived at your destination. But there was a time when kingdoms fell and governments toppled by the time you reached where you were going; and the toddlers you'd left crawling naked on all fours—you returned to find them fathers worrying their heads over a suitable match for their marriageable daughters.”