The Stranger in the Crowd by Amrita Sarkar

A continuation of last month's story, Tainted Glory. Aadinath reaches the spot where Hassan had been subjected to mob outrage. But what he sees and learns thereafter, is something beyond his imagination.

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Annie Amsden
11 months ago

Ah poor Hassan. Punished for crimes of his family and ignorance.
You needn’t have worried, your story is great. My only complaint is wanting more again.

Peggy
11 months ago

Amrita, I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what happened to Hassan. The tension is palpable and compelling, the plot deepening. I do hope you continue this story, and to learn more about Hassan and his family. Like Annie, I want more!!! Well done!

Hyle Bathurst
11 months ago

Oh, I need to see what happens next! Very intense situation! I love how you are splitting your story up each month and still, you’ve captured the prompts! That’s impressive.
Awesome job!

Maria Kinnersley
11 months ago

Great story. Very clever to continue it from the last prompt. I have to say I was gripped. Thanks for a great read.

maria delaney
11 months ago

Now you see him now you don’t. The chase is on. Well, now I’m hooked and have to find out what happened to Hassan?

I’m enjoying reading about these different cultures and places. This story has an amazing speed to it. I read faster to get to the answer to Hassan’s disappearance only to be hanging. The next install is only 500 words. Can we find him with such a small word count? I hope so.

Kim
Kim
11 months ago

Well Amrita,

you have me hooked – this was compelling, tight writing. the pace and tension, excellent. this reads perfectly as a thriller / drama. I can easily picture this as a full length novel.

I have no offers for improvement other than where is the book?

excellent

Reine
11 months ago

Hi, Amrita. You’re proving to be a great storyteller, with an impressive following. You’ve woven together popular crime with long-standing beliefs and practices. That’s not easy to do, but you’ve done it well. Congratulations. It’s all coming together very well. Thanks for posting. Best.

HoneyMustard
11 months ago

Amrita, I agree with Reine. What makes this special is the unusual mix of genre and culture. Great pace. Well done.

R.L. Nel
11 months ago

Dear Amrita, wow! This is an amazing, multi-layered story! It had me gripped from the start and I was virtually breathless until the end. With your cinematic descriptions, you pull the reader into your world. Your dialogue is authentic and strong. This story and its prequel could be chapters of a novel. And that would definitely be a book that I would read! Brilliantly done. I can’t wait for the next installment to find out exactly what Hassan saw outside the temple!

Susan O'Neal
11 months ago

Hi Amrita – I was so captivated by this that I went back to last month’s story as well, can’t believe I missed that treat. I feel this story would make an excellent screenplay, it’s very visual and evocative of time and place, plenty of action as well as emotion. A very enjoyable read!

Valerie Ciolek
11 months ago

Wow — the tension you created was incredible! My heart was beating fast as I was reading to the end to find out what was going on and where Hassan was.

I love the way you write, as below is more creative then just saying “he swore or called him a name”:

“Oh, you mean that j*****?” The man, who chose to reply, replaced Hassan’s name with what he considered to be the choicest invective possible, ”

The plot of the story is sad, in that Hassan, an innocent man is wrongly accused. Even though I am not familiar with the culture/region/religion many universal themes and feelings came thru in this story.

Very good read! I hope too it continues.

Deryn
11 months ago

Hi Amrita – the number of comments is testimony to those of us that actively look for your stories – whether this gripping yarn or any of your other writing. You are simply a great story teller.

Speculative Spinner
11 months ago

Okay, I’m now your newest fan. The intrigue and tension in the is piece is definitely screen worthy writing. I very much look forward to the next installment!

Srivalli Rekha
11 months ago

So good to see you continuing this story, Amrita. To be honest, I read the story so fast, I went back to read it again. I’m glad the kid is safe.
You’ve left me wanting to know more.
Hope you are feeling better now? How was the holiday?

Srivalli Rekha
11 months ago
Reply to  Amrita Sarkar

Glad to know you are feeling better. <3

SM Prasad
11 months ago

Hi Amrita,
Amazing! I read it so fast because I had to know what happened to Hassan. I’ve grown quite attached to him and I barely have time for Aadinath’s feelings, although it is important to know about them. The speed of rushing to find him is conveyed quite well and I am really eager to find out what happens next. Also, on a personal note, my grandparents lived in Srinagar for over 10 years many, many years ago. I remember visiting them when I was a child about 4 years old and wondering outside while there were Hindu/Muslim riots happening in the streets. It was very scary and luckily an Army man found me and returned me home safely. Those were very chaotic times and I think you have captured the frenetic, hectic, angry and violent mob mentality very well. Also, the appearance of the well-heeled Sneha is quite fascinating and adds another tension, maybe?
Really hooked on this tale and eagerly awaiting the next installment.
Great Read!

SM Prasad
11 months ago
Reply to  Amrita Sarkar

Hi Amrita,
I think it was earlier than that, The year was 1967 and the riots were a relatively new thing at the time and seemed to be generated by students. I remember one day we were coming back from a day trip and had a tough time getting back because so many streets were closed from rioting. I remember that for days my grandfather could not go to work because of a crackdown and civilians were not allowed in the streets. There were still mass protests and gunshots that we could hear outside the windows. We stayed with my grandparents for a few months but then left when it was deemed safe to travel. That is probably the longest time that I have stayed there. Kashmir is a very dark chapter and I fear that there will be repercussions because of it.
At any rate, I think you are really handling the tale of one man’s effort to follow his convictions in the background of religious hate and intolerance very well by pointing out to us that these are individuals involved and not symbols of a larger battle. I really hope you will continue this story.

Chantel
11 months ago

Hi Amrita
Your work is transporting me into a world I didn’t even know I wanted to know more about. You set atmosphere so well, I could feel it around me as I read. This is beautifully written and I look forward to reading more. Thank you so much for sharing your work.
Chantel

Ana
Ana
11 months ago

Hi Amrita,
wow, you definitely have something going on here! It’s so thrilling and addictive! Where’s Hassan? I don’t even know if I want to know… I hope this ends well, I feel invested!

Duane
11 months ago

Amrita, this is quite some world building you’re doing here. Reading the previous installment I did find Hassan’s fate to be a bit open ended and in hindsight deserving of a bit more context. The added intrigue with connections to terrorist organizations and revelations from disguised investigative journalists is turning a formerly innocent ‘slice of life’ tale into the beginnings of a spy thriller. Look forward to reading the continuation. Well crafted as always. Cheers.

Jessica
11 months ago

I like this girl. And I need to know what happened to Hassan; please can you not wait until the next prompt?

Great job!

Kajal Kapur
11 months ago

So glad you continued Hassan’s story. But I still wish to know if he is safe. Gosh, in this hate business, it is the children who suffer the most, I guess. Am so happy you are continuing this. Looking forward. 🙂

Jan
Jan
10 months ago

Dear Amrita,

Bravo on this second installment of Hassan’s story! The buildup, tension and unfolding are simply excellent – you have a beautiful talent as a storyteller!
I am so happy (for my own selfish reasons) that you decided to continue with this story and I am looking forward to reading the rest – it feels like there is something big coming!
What really stands out here is how you manage to pull the reader in to empathise with the MC – we feel her, and you do a great job of showing.
Well done once again and thank you so much!

Debbie Gravett
10 months ago

Great continuation Amrita. Your pace was scorching and I couldn’t devour it quickly enough. The tension and suspense that you build along with immersive descriptions is excellent.

Looking forward to more and finding out what happened to Hassan.