She Writes Story Contest winner: Amrita Saikia

Amrita Saikia is one of twelve winners of the MSN-Random House She Writes a Story Contest', as chosen by our judges. Her story 'A Tale of Destiny' features in the 'She Writes: A collection of Short Stories' published by Random House India and available at all leading bookstores.

Amirta Saikia

Amrita Saikia

Amrita Saikia spent most of her childhood days in a small town called Nagaon in Assam. She attended the prestigious Cotton College in the city of Guwahati and then moved to Bangalore to pursue higher studies. She did her graduation from Mount Carmel College and post-graduation from Dayananda Sagar College, Bangalore. Currently, she is working as an editor in International Data Corporation. She likes to read books, write (mostly her blog posts), and paint during her leisure time. She is extremely passionate about food and loves experimenting with new dishes.




Read an extract from Amrita Saikia's story 'A Tale of Destiny'

  • The rays of the setting sun filter in through the gaps in the curtains, fluttering in the mild spring breeze, adding a scarlet hue to the room. The air smells of the sweet scent of the wild flowers blooming in the valley below. She is in the warm comfort of his arms and secretly wishes for that moment to freeze. She plants a kiss on his chest and holds him tighter but an unseen force pulls him away from her. She panics and runs frantically towards him, but he disappears into the darkness...forever.

  • Noyona wakes up startled and a shiver goes down her spine. Though it is a cold winter night, she is perspiring and her throat feels dry. She turns on the bedside lamp and pours out a glass of water from the water jug placed on the adjoining table. Taking a sip of the water, she stares quietly at the picture on the wall and streams of tears roll down her cheeks relentlessly as her mind drifts away to memories of the past, a past that would haunt her till eternity.

  • Born to a middle-class family in the picturesque city of Guwahati, Noyona had an upbringing like any other normal girl. Her parents, both school teachers, instilled good values in her and taught her to be self-dependent. From an early age, Noyona had big dreams in her eyes and she strived hard to achieve them. After completing her high school, Noyona headed towards Delhi to uncover the umpteen opportunities that the city had to offer. Her parents had bid her goodbye with teary eyes but knew they had to temporarily part with her for her own bright future.

  • Noyona was delighted to be in the new city but she missed her family and friends terribly. Sometimes in the middle of the night, and sometimes in between classes, her eyes moistened with the thoughts of the days she had left behind. She awfully missed cycling through the narrow lanes with her friends, gossiping with her girlfriends, and stealing pickles from the kitchen. In the initial days, she was unable to make any friends due to her shy nature and remained depressed and secluded.

  • Seeing her distancing herself from other students in the class, Bijoy, a fellow classmate, approached her. He offered his friendship to her, which Noyona accepted reluctantly. In the due course of time, their friendship began to grow and eventually took the shape of love. Owing to her sensitive nature, Noyona became emotionally attached to Bijoy pretty quickly into the relationship. But for young Bijoy, life was not about being emotional. Like any other boy his age, Bijoy was immature and fickle minded and refused to commit to the relationship.

In her own words: Amrita Saikia

  • Have you always been a writer?  What made you start writing?

    I have always loved expressing my feelings, my emotions, and my thoughts through words. I remember penning down small poems as a little girl. I feel there's still a long way to go and a lot more to improve before I establish myself as a writer. The constant encouragement and appreciation I have received for my writing from my near and dear ones, and their belief that someday I would be able to win hearts with my writing, inspired me to think that I can take up writing seriously indeed.


    What inspired you to enter She Writes?

    There was always a dream in my heart to see my work published. This motivated me to enter the "MSN She Writes" contest, which seemed to have the key to my dream.


    Why did you choose the category you did?

    When I first went through the guidelines on MSN website and learnt that the quotes mentioned with each category must be incorporated in the story, the one associated with the "The Man In My Life" category seemed to fit perfectly in the story that I had in my mind. So, I settled for this category.


    Do you have a writing routine - e.g. do you have favourite places to write/favourite times of day/do you write longhand or on a computer?

    I don't have any writing routine as such. I write whenever I manage to find time for myself. But yes, I do prefer to write in solitude. I mostly use my computer to write, but I also carry a pen and a notebook along, so that if any ideas cross my mind, I can scribble them then and there.


    Who is your favourite author?

    It's really tough for me to pick a favourite author. I loved reading all the books by Jhumpa Lahiri. She is a prolific writer and an inspiration to many aspiring writers like me. I also admire the simplicity and the innocence that's so abundant in R.K. Narayan's books. "Swami and Friends" is an all-time favourite. During my college days, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the gripping books by Sidney Sheldon.


    Which book has inspired you the most?

    Many books have inspired me to write. During my childhood days, books by Enid Blyton, Jane Austen, George Elliot inspired me a lot. I have also drawn inspiration from the brilliant short stories by O. Henry. In the recent times, the thought-provoking stories in the books "Unaccustomed Earth" and "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri have inspired me immensely.


    Which key piece of advice would you give to any other budding writer?

    It's very important that we give ourselves ample time and scope for improvement and also have immense faith in ourselves.



meet the winners