‘The Red Carpet’ by Lavanya Sankaran

I had just begun my first novel, InDependencewhen I found this gem of a story which would later become the title story of the author’s debut collection of short stories. I was so taken by the depiction of character, setting, and social class in this story of a young man, Raju, who works as a driver for the rich Mrs. Choudhary in Bangalore, that I read it aloud to myself, pausing at various points trying to figure out the magic that went into crafting the story. Years later I included this story in literature classes that I taught to undergraduates. Ever an advocate for the joy of reading aloud, I would read parts of this story to my students.

First published in The Atlantic, and available to read online here. Collected in The Red Carpet, Dial, 2005, and more recently in digitlal form by Tinder Press, 2016