Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar’s 95 word microfiction, “The Morning Chai”, will appear in the fourth issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 2, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2021). Sara graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the story “The Morning Chai”?
While making a cup of ginger chai one morning, I thought about how I like to drink my beverage scalding hot while most people wait for it to cool down a bit before taking a sip. Sometimes I add different spices to the boiling water for enhanced flavor while others like to drink black coffee every day. Typing out these thoughts on the keyboard took the shape of this story.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
Everyday moments, routine activities, the small decisions people make like the choice of beverage and the way it’s made, the time of the day they have it. You can learn a lot by observing such nuances and quirks of human behavior and before you know it you might have an inspiration or even a character sketch for a new story.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
Reading a book. For me, immersing myself in someone else’s story offers an interlude from the situation at hand. That, and counting my blessings, taking comfort in what I have. I can’t write in times of despair because writing requires an inward focus, for me at least.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
Don’t write with the goal of producing a micro. Write large and free, then delete and adjust to retain just the core of the story, nothing else. Walk away, then come back and read it again to make sure it still makes sense.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
English is not my first language. Sometimes I know the perfect word or expression in Hindi, but struggle to translate my thoughts to English. It might take longer for me to get the right words in English than native speakers but I’m trying to get better by reading more and diverse genres.
Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar is an Indian American writer. She was born to a middle-class family in India. Her work has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, Reflex Press, Flash Fiction Online, and elsewhere. She has been highly commended in National Flash Microfiction Competition, shortlisted in SmokeLong Quarterly Micro Contest, shortlisted in Bath Flash Fiction Festival. She is currently an editor at Janus Literary and a Submissions Editor at SmokeLong Quarterly. Her debut flash fiction collection is forthcoming in October 2021. More at saraspunyfingers.com. Reach her @PunyFingers.