Heart of Chennai by Nehan Patel & Akeem Balogun
Ritesh was dreaming that he and his friend, Mitali, were together again and both living outside the slums, until his fantasy turned into a nightmare of himself shrinking alone in the darkness. He woke up shaking, and thought about what Mitali had promised him before he left: “Once I’ve moved from here into the heart of Chennai, I’ll bring you with me. I’ll take you out of the slum.” Now, whenever he rang Mitali he would get no answer. Ritesh crawled out of his bed and saw a picture of Mitali and him on the table. He lifted the photo and tore it. He put his clothes on and slipped his folding knife into his pocket. Still disorientated by his lack of sleep, he left his makeshift home with his hand tightly gripped around the knife in his pocket as he walked into the night towards the bus stop to make his way to the heart of Chennai.