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About Down the Road - Synopsis
An exciting and eclectic collection of short stories that brings out all those memories – unforgettable, warm, thrilling,
and at times embarrassing – of life in school and college campuses. From hesitant first crushes and relationships to
the angst and heartache of wanting to fit in but trying to look like it doesn’t matter, and from the excited anticipation
of midnight “Maggi parties” to campus ragging and the struggles and insecurities of a fresh graduate trying to find
his calling in life – these stories cover situations and instances familiar to anyone from their school and college days.
Written by well known authors and bloggers as well as first time writers – some of whom are still living life on
campuses around the country – the characters are brought to life with a rich, vivid detail and sensitivity.
A first time teacher faced with a formidable task of teaching a group of teenage bullies; the soft beneath the
surface canteen owner; a roommate who self - destructs; pranks that go too far; bullies in class taking on a
dreaded professor; a spunky fresher out to live life on her own terms; interns realizing that learning
from a book is a far cry from applying knowledge in the real world; a street-smart final year student
who gets the placement decisions she wants by using “soft” skills; close friends separated by the
conflict of caste and campus politics, and unorthodox teachers with a knack for seeing
potential in the most unlikely places – all these plus a handful of stories about rare and
unusual campus events and three invited essays on the influence of college life on urban
culture round out this anthology from the publishers of the acclaimed Urban Shots and
Another Chance.

About the Authors
Edited by Ahmed Faiyaz, bestselling author of Another Chance, also the contributing author of 9 stories
in this collection, along with Rohini Kejriwal, the collection includes diverse voices and writing styles. It
includes stories by Abhijit Bhaduri, bestselling author of Mediocre but Arrogant, Ira Trivedi, bestselling author of
The Great Indian Love Story, along with accomplished writers – Paritosh Uttam, Malathi Jaikumar and Vibha Batra.
It includes stories by Ranjani Iyer, Debutant Author of Smile Please, Aashish Mehrotra, Bollywood Actor
/ Producer, popular bloggers – Naman Saraiya, Sahil Khan, Kunal Dhabalia and Prateek Gupta and
young voices – Sneh Thakur, Chinmayi Bali, Sonia Safri, Nikhil R and Aseem Rastogi.

Down the Road is available now at a special price -

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Excerpt from Down the Road - Bonus story

WHO’S THAT GIRL?

Ahmed Faiyaz

 

20 June 2001

Sherwood College, near Marine Drive, Bombay


Sameer, in a smart white shirt and faded blue Levi’s jeans, strolled out of the class with one hand tucked in
his pocket, and a five-subjects-in-one notebook in the other hand. He felt relieved on hearing the sound of the
bell a few minutes back. It’s been a long and tiring first day in college, packed with boring lectures bringing to
an end a day which began with much excitement and anticipation for many. The nattily dressed students pick
up their books and walk out of class cheerfully, making plans to go for coffee or the latest Spiderman movie that is playing at Eros Cinemas nearby. It’s threatening to pour outside and students are quickly filling out of the old building that housed the classrooms for students of management studies.

He ponders on the accounting lecture by the frail professor who struggled to complete solving a question while trying to maintain silence among the disinterested students in the classroom. A smile comes to his face thinking about the group that had managed to sneak out of the classroom soon after the attendance. He wonders whether this is what it’s all about. Many like him studied night and day and used all their connections possible to get a seat in the prestigious Sherwood College. Despite scoring 80% in his HSC exams, his Dad had to pull strings to make sure that Sameer was one of the chosen few. Some others were not that lucky and had to take admission in lesser-known colleges in the city. He opens the door of his new Palio and gets in with a frown, realizing that he is going to feel lonely back in Bombay with his close friends choosing to move to the US for higher studies. He is an introvert and had spent the last few years in school hanging out with a select group of friends.

While driving out he bumped into his former rival and now classmate, Vikram Khanna, who graduated from St. Martins, who is walking up to his Lancer with a beautiful girl in tow. His gaze catches Vikram’s, they do not know each other beyond the interschool football tournaments where they played for opposite sides.

‘Hey Vicky, good to see you man. Look forward to playing on the same team,’ he says.

‘Likewise brother, see you around in college,’ Vicky replies with a friendly wave.

Sameer turns to look intently at the girl with Vikram. She gives him a shy smile before getting into Vicky’s sedan. He remembers bumping into her outside class this morning.


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