Recently by Sujatha Bagal:

It was a bright yellow table with four sturdy legs. White flowers arched gracefully across its shiny top. Two panels, attached by hinges to the main panel, hung on the sides. Without them the table was square. When the panels came up, the table morphed into an oval-top.

But its best feature was the price. At $5, it had my name written all over it.

I was a newly minted immigrant in this country, on a mission to cobble together the basic household items I needed as a student. A sleeping bag I had brought from India served as my bed. My tiny room had a built-in rectangular closet for my clothes. Reneé, my roommate, had just driven me to a department store where I purchased a fan (for $10, which turned out to be a great value; we still use it 16 years later) to minimize cooling costs…. More…