Read “Kavitha and Mustafa,” by Shobha Rao in The Best American Short Stories 2015.

Respond to the prompt below in a 200-300 word response. Please refer to Plus / Check / Minus criteria for Reading Responses for guidelines on how to frame your response.


  • Why does Kavitha choose to leave the train with Mustafa?
    • In order to answer this question, choose one or two images from the story. Your answer should be based entirely on these images.
    • First cite the image. 
    • Then, deconstruct the image, and talk about how it helps answer the question of why Kavitha leaves with Mustafa. Look at specific words in the passage you choose. What kind of feeling does the image give off? What meanings can you discover beneath the surface of the picture that is being created.
    • If you feel you have said all you can about one image and you are below 200 words, repeat with a different image. Try and find one from a different part of the story.
    • Remember that an image is something that creates a picture in your mind. It can be visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, or olfactory. In other words, it is something that stimulates the senses.
    • A thought, on its own, is not an image.
      • “She hated him” is not an image.
      • “She thought of the foul smell of his breath” is an image.

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