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When ‘allergic to commitment’ meets ‘toxic bachelor’: A novel of the long-distance relationship


“So,” Puwali pehi asked, “what are your plans for the day?” Keteki, sitting at the corner of the kitchen table, grinned. In the house in Guwahati where her father and Puwali pehi, his youngest sister, had grown up, this had been the children’s table. Puwali pehi, who hadn’t married, had kept the table and the L-shaped bench that went with it in her ground-floor apartment in the old house.

“You might as well ask what are my plans for my life,” Keteki said.

“Well?” said her aunt.

Keteki shrugged. “Arts and Crafts at Home, over. Now, the next thing. Go through emails, reply to people I should have replied to months ago. Sit with Manek-da so he can prepare my tax return. Email other people to remind them I exist in case they want to use me in a future project. Post pictures online of things we did. Think about what I would like to achieve in this human birth.” She laughed at the last remark, and tried to stretch out her shoulders. Her body was still getting used to having arrived.

Puwali pehi sipped her tea. “I’m so happy to see you,” she said. “But lately, every time you come back to Guwahati, you seem to…

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