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The Outlier

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Giving in to a flawed framework not only makes the individual’s life harder, but it even enforces the faulty system to continue being enforced on future generations.

“The Outlier” by R. S. Chintalapati shows how the framework should be redefined at any cost, even if the price to pay is being outcasted.



This contribution is edited by Sreekar Ayyagari & Tarun Chintam & photographed by Vani Buddhavarapu.



This flash fiction is available in paperback & ebook.

Cover Photo by Vani Buddhavarapu

Shruti and Shreya were two sisters who were raised in a conservative family by a strict mother and an adorable father. Though the siblings were eight years apart, they shared a special bond and kept no secrets from one another. After their graduations, the sisters got married to guys who were handpicked by their parents. It had been nine years since Shruti got married and one year since Shreya got married. Though both of them were imparted with the same values by their parents, Shreya disliked a lot of their notions and didn’t support their ideas. She didn’t want to follow traditions that were cast on them through the centuries. But neither of the sisters were given the liberty to even discuss why these traditions make no sense. They weren’t supposed to touch others or help themselves for a span of three days when they got their periods, they had to wash their hair every Friday, cut nails on specific days, braid their hair all the time, learn to sing, dress traditionally and even smile elegantly in public gatherings like a ‘lady’. Though Shruti disliked these rules as much as Shreya did, she never resisted and always took the side of her parents. Her most common words were, “The reasoning behind these traditions is beyond our scope of understanding and following them doesn’t harm anyone.” and these words were no different from the words their father often told them.

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