In this class, you’ll do a creative exercise based on “Kavitha and Mustafa” by Shobha Rao. 

Purpose of this exercise: using creativity to delve deeper into a story; considering imagery; looking deeply at evidence from a story; considering point of view.

The short instructions: You will write a letter, in Kavitha’s voice, to Vinod.

The longer instructions:

  • You will writer a letter, in the first person, from Kavitha to Vinod.
  • The letter is being written after the events of the story have ended. How far after? Up to you. Could be one day, one year, ten years, etc.
  • What is the purpose of the letter? Up to you. You’ll have to decide why Kavitha is writing this letter and what she wants to say to Vinod. You’ll have to decide on her tone and and attitude toward Vinod.
  • What happened after the story ends? Up to you. Feel free to imagine what happened after the story, and what Kavitha’s life is like now.
  • Do we need evidence from the story? Well, this an English class after all. So, yes. Here’s how to imagine how incorporating evidence will work. Imagine that Kavitha wrote the story “Kavitha and Mustafa.” Imagine that she originally wrote it for Vinod. But, now she wants to write an accompanying letter, kind of spelling things out a little more explicitly. So, when you include a citation, imagine that Kavitha is citing from a story she wrote about this event in her life. A bit weird, but it’ll work fine. How many pieces of evidence? Up to you, but at least a few.

First step:

Do a Google Image search of “Indian trains” and “Indian train berth,” just to a get an image in your mind of where this story takes place. (You’ll find more images by searching Indian trains than Pakistani trains, but feel free to search that as well). Spend a couple minutes just checking out the photos.

Second steps:

  1. Sign into WordPress, and create a new blog post.
  2. At the top, write the names of the members of your group.
  3. List the following notes:
    1. What is the purpose of this letter? Answer this in one sentence. It’s okay if this changes as you’re writing.
    2. How far after the end of the story is this being written? Answer this in two words.
    3. What happened after the story ended? Answer this in one sentence. It’s okay if this changes as you’re writing.
  4. Open a PDF of “Kavitha and Mustafa”. Underline which pieces of evidence you think you will use in your letter. Like with your homework, try to choose images. You can choose any that any members of your group included in your reading response.

Third step:

As a group, write the letter. Be sure to include a few citations from the story.

Fourth step:

  1. Give your post a catchy title.
  2. Upload a Featured Image to your post.
  3. Post it to the following category: “Kavitha and Mustafa”, Sep 11.

Fifth step (time permitting):

You will be assigned another groups letter to read. Read it carefully. Underneath the post, reply to it. Below are some things you can consider. You don’t need to answer all of these, or answer them in order. They’re there to inspire you.

  • What did you think of it, generally?
  • What was the strongest thing about this letter?
  • What piece of evidence from the story was the juiciest one to unpack?
  • What new ideas did you gain from reading their letter?
  • Do you think the letter remained true to Kavitha’s voice and point of view? Why or why not?
  • Cite one sentence that you thought was especially well-written and thought-provoking.
  • Anything else you feel like writing about the letter.