Punchy Stories/Interesting Nuggets

extracted from - Behind a Cultural Cage -

a novel by Pranav S. Joshi





Page no.    Description


67          A school could produce future scientists, engineers, surgeons, etc. But it could not produce a plan to keep the toilets clean.

83          During job interviews, the interview panel, after looking at Kenneth's tan-skinned face, asks him whether he is from a mixed marriage.

213        Ashley, a brash and beautiful American girl, tells Kenneth that anyone who knows how to smile at girls can't be an Asian.

148        In a thrilling fashion, a man from the audience asks the most important question of the seminar to the speaker: "Can I have your presentation slides?"

93          Before dumping Kenneth, his girlfriend who doesn't like Kenneth's "wallet" declares to him:

              "Whenever I ask you to buy something (gift) for me, you buy cheap-cheap things from pasar malams."

120-121  After writing a ground-breaking cage theory, Dr. Deep approaches well-known publishers in Asia. He receives short, regret letters, citing spelling mistakes and grammar as the basis of rejection. Later, the same publishers queue up to publish his theories when they have received positive reviews from the Western countries. 

202-203  Kavitha slaps Pete, an American lecturer, in the class. She receives a note from Pete's wife: "Can you teach me how to slap a man so hard that he'll fall? I've slapped and kicked Pete, but ended up hurting myself."

              Kavitha, who is a Malaysian Indian girl, wonders if she had slapped a lecturer in Malaysia, what kind of note she would have received from the lecturer's wife.

130        When Kenneth says that his siblings used to tell him that he had a dead face, Dr. Deep tells him the irony of life: When you'll be dead and resting in a coffin, no one will tell you that you have a face of a dead person! 

194        During dusty days of 1935-1963: A wealthy, old, paralyzed man receives marriage proposals from families and writes a simple, yet heart-warming poem. When he was young and less handicap, but poor, no family was willing to offer the hand of their daughter. 

161        "Can I eat a peacock? I've never tried peacock meat," asks someone from a multicultural group of students at the LifeCage International.

133        After the death of James, an intellectually disable teenager, his cat becomes homeless, gathers burn marks and turns into an entertainment object of a gang of teenagers having a different kind of intellectual disability — the disability to notice the pain and misery of animals.

52          Kenneth wonders if the skin of humans can be turned into leather, will people slaughter each other and create human-leather industries?

47          A building built in 1940s in Kolkata to house political activists fighting against the British Administration through the tools of non-violence, had experienced severe violence over time — broken windows, dilapidated walls...


Literary/creative writing


240-242     A love letter (or a letter of complaint?) from Kenneth to  


9-11           Shaping a mystery about whether Dr. Deep had killed his


42              Kenneth realizes that his father, who lives in India, holds

                  tearful conversations with his land of ancestors in China

233            Punggol jetty

120            Scene at the LifeCage International

1-2             Beijing calling

75               Kenneth examines his past.


Witty dialogues


16-19          Among the members of the traders' Association

59-61          Between Kenneth and a Councillor in Calcutta

36-39          Between Kenneth and the lecturer from Singapore

157-171     Among the group of international students at the LifeCage




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