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Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Ages ago, same-sex relationships were outlawed; decades ago, they were acknowledged & spoken about, and years ago, they were not illegal anymore. Even after all this, today’s youngsters are still affected by the past.

“Pride” by Nikhila Kotni tells the story of a boy called Abhiman who faces inner conflict when he realizes he has feelings for his classmate, Mohan.



This contribution is edited by Manognya Bethapudi & illustrated by Nikhila Kotni.



This short story is available in paperback & ebook.


As his sweat slowly dribbled down his forehead, he gazed into Moh’s eyes. His gaze shifted towards the ball in Moh’s hand. Moh crossed the ball under his left leg and sprinted towards the basket. He tossed the ball but before it could make a goal, Abhi caught the ball and ran to the other side. Moh wrapped his arms around Abhi and stole the ball from his hands. With a grin on his face, he hit the jump shot and made a goal.

“And I won!” Moh shouted in excitement.

Still unaware of what made him freeze when Moh stole the ball, Abhi stood in the middle of the court looking at Moh as the court lights behind him shone.

“The sun is already down. Let us go back to our dorms. I badly need a shower.” said Moh wiping his face with his t-shirt.

Abhi, who still looked like he was lost in some thoughts, suddenly started running towards the dorms.

Noticing him, Moh shouted, “Why are you running Abhi?”

“To cool my body down! The wind feels nice when I run,” replied Abhi as he ran as fast as he could.

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