Adrian's Affinity

Deya Bhattacharya

is a freelance writer and former business development manager from Bangalore, India. She started writing fiction during the Covid-19 lockdown last year and couldn’t be happier about it. Her first publication was in the Jan/Feb 2021 issue of Eclectica Magazine, followed by her acceptance into Season 2 of Pendust Radio.

She lives with her husband, who has to remind her every day to eat her vegetables, and their ever-growing family of stuffed animals.

Check out her blog about the writing life at Once There was a Silent Town.

Fiction  |  Dramatization

Adrian’s Affinity

written by Deya Bhattacharya

Adrian’s Affinity is a lush and lyrical story about a sensitive and intelligent boy with a special affinity — he can attract birds. It’s not a power, because he can’t control it. And it’s not an ability he wants, as it makes others — even his own mother — suspicious of him.

Both a bittersweet coming-of-age tale and a haunting mystery, this compelling and original story reminds us that we are all shaped by beautiful and mysterious forces as we struggle to fit in and understand ourselves.

 

 

© 2021 Deya Bhattacharya  | Recording © 2021 Rivercliff Books & Media. All rights reserved.

Read by

Birds of an unknown species had gathered upon the lawn. They were decked alike in red-and-gold plumage and their beaks, curved and pointed, were twice the size of their heads. Their appearance evoked in him a vague disquiet, as though he had eaten too many strawberries.

It had cried at him, a thin, soulless cry, and he had reached a hand out to stroke the speckled beak, large enough to tear through lobsters. When he looked up again the sky had grown darker.

 

The left wing was bent painfully in half, the feathers ragged at the edge. He crossed over and looked up at the bird, who looked back at him with unwavering eyes.

He named her Hazel.

Deya Bhattacharya is a freelance writer and former business development manager from Bangalore, India. She started writing fiction during the Covid-19 lockdown last year and couldn’t be happier about it. Her first publication was in the Jan/Feb 2021 issue of Eclectica Magazine, followed by her acceptance into Season 2 of Pendust Radio.

She lives with her husband, who has to remind her every day to eat her vegetables, and their ever-growing family of stuffed animals.

Check out her blog about the writing life at Once There was a Silent Town.

Q&A with Deya

Tell us about your story...

It’s about a teenage boy named Adrian who lives in small-town England and has an unusual affinity with birds. They appear before him, individually or in droves, and he doesn’t know why.

It’s a mystery story on one level, but it’s also about the struggle of trying to understand yourself and fit in when you’re ‘different’ from your peers.

What was the inspiration for this story?

The first few lines had actually popped into my head out of nowhere about three years ago — there are strange-looking birds on a lawn somewhere and a boy named Adrian is watching them. I’d written it down because it seemed like something I could use later, and then summer of last year I fleshed it out.

What have you read recently that you loved?

The Doll And Other Short Stories by Daphne du Maurier. They’re some of her early stories, and many of them are unfinished, but there’s a raw talent that shines through and promises greater works to come. It’s like getting up close and personal with the growth trajectory of one of our greatest literary minds.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

I try to not feel guilty about the things that bring me pleasure, but if I had to pick – Nutella! It’s just so ridiculously decadent.


Who/What makes you laugh?

The YouTube channel “Bad Lip Reading.” It’s run by a guy who creates video montages of movie stars, sports stars and politicos by deliberately misreading the lip movements of what they’re saying. The phrases he comes up with are sheer genius — and he composes great spoof songs too!

What's the best thing that's happend to you recently?

Getting to marry the love of my life, whom I met on a dating app just before the Covid-19 lockdown. Ours was a whirlwind romance in the truest sense of the word and I couldn’t be happier about it.

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