Leela Devi Panikar is a fiction writer currently living in Penang, Malaysia. Her passion for writing clearly shows in her short story collections -- The Darjeeling Affair, Bathing Elephants, and Floating Petals -- that reflect her extensive travels and knowledge of various cultures. She has won awards from the BBC and Turner in the UK, and the South China Morning Post and Radio Three in Hong Kong. Individual stories have appeared in various journals and periodicals.
From the tsunami in Thailand, to a suicide bombing in Baghdad, to a brother lost to drugs in Penang. A woman marries her dead husband in China, a refugee finds no solace in Bhutan, and a wild orchid man in Myanmar.
There are 14 stories in Leela’s third short-story collection. It begins with The Darjeeling Affair and ends with The Sexy Send-Off. In between, there’s love and calligraphy, a Hong Kong murder, a drunken Welshman, an Indian student studying in England, a Vietnamese boy on the wrong side of war, the challenge of burying a husband, and more.
These stories range from a first day at school, to running away from home, to the breaking of feet, to the trials of a sparrow, to the death of a husband still alive. Their only common element is me and what flowed through my mind the day I was writing.