“Maybe we just remember our monsters larger than they really are. His father leans against the sink, settling his gaze on Vik, who stubbornly stares at Ahaana’s supine figure instead. He wonders what changes his father detects. Some of the scars, for one. Can he see the blood on my hands? The two men freeze in these positions – a tableau reeking of fury, pain and misery.”
Aasra –Hindi for ‘sanctuary’ or ‘shelter’– is a political adventure fantasy set in contemporary India. Through a fun, fast-paced, romance story featuring superpowers and many dogs, Aasra engages with a society divided, the rise of conservatism and the inadequate response of neoliberalism.
Sonali is an Indian writer and PhD Researcher in Publishing Studies based in Edinburgh. Her short stories and personal essays have appeared in British, Canadian and Indian anthologies. She was one of the ten winners of The National Library of Scotland’s Fresh Ink programme in 2021, and her commissioned personal essay, ‘Dear Sonali’, has been added to the Library’s archives. The same essay was also shortlisted for the inaugural Anne Brown Prize by Wigtown Book Festival and BBC.