What’s a better way to live than by listening and telling stories? What’s a greater blessing than being the seers, narrators, and creators of stories? What’s a better purpose than carrying forward the tradition of ancient storytellers, around whom villages, countries, and civilizations formed and thrived? A day without telling or listening to a story is like a day without looking out the windows. As a reader and a writer, I find immense pleasure in reading, writing, and editing good stories. I have always felt this strong urge to find and nurture stories, much like a child in pursuit of the elusive Manjadikkuru (red lucky seeds).

Two years ago, Ruati and I were discussing our mutual love for stories. We wanted to create a platform that would help us gather stories, irrespective of their genre or style. From this deep desire was born the The Mean Journal by MeanPepperVine, a place where we gather stories, our precious red lucky seeds, which we store safely in our journal’s volumes. Just like a child losing the sense of time out playing, we have completed two years in the blink of an eye. We are as eager and excited as the day we started our first volume in April 2022. The pursuit of collecting precious stories from across the subcontinent and finding new writers has given us a purpose and immense satisfaction. I am so excited that one of our earliest contributors and a superbly talented writer, Amita Basu, has joined our team as a Columnist and the Interviews Editor. Her energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to her craft will be an asset to MPV.

In the past two years, we had the pleasure of reading and publishing excellent stories by versatile, sharp, witty, and talented writers. Here is a sample of the diverse collection of short stories and flash fiction we have published.

We have also published many interesting  nonfiction pieces and interviews. We have published photo essays like Chawngte – A Place of Multitudes, An Ode to Plant Shadows, Human Art Forms – A Legacy of Yearnings & Vulnerabilities, The Melodic Rustle of Fallen Dry Leaves, The Fragile Present: A Home in Limbo.

We have also featured travel essays like Kanadukathan – Not Just a Sleeping Hamlet, Tirthan Valley – A Peek Into Paradise, The Calling of Chinar, A ‘Soul’full City, and Tranquility in Tranquebar.

I hope you will dive deep into these stories and enjoy them as much as we do.

With Love,


Salini Vineeth | Fiction Curator, The Mean Journal

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