Sunday, 15 December 2013

My short story, "That summer" published by Writers Asylum


My short story story, "That summer" has been published by Writers Asylum. An excerpt:

"I loved Aita not only because she was my mother’s mother but mostly because she was a child like me, at least, at heart. I have always remembered her as this frail old woman with hair as white as cotton tied in a bun that looked more like a pig’s tail. She would be there at the gate in her starched mekhela chadars and toothless smile, waiting to welcome us every time we went. I have never known her in any other image. She would wait for me to come during my month-long summer and winter vacations, bathe in the rain with me, make bird houses with me, pick lice from my hair, make me sleep with her at night and tell bedtime stories. Grandma’s place at Digboi, in one of the northernmost corners of Assam, was my favorite playground. Every time, there would be a new calf or a pigeon, duck, cat, dog, or plant for me to get excited about. And there would be some new story too to keep me occupied during the stay.

Like that summer, in the early 1990s, when Aita took me to the gooseberry tree by the pond behind the house. “Living in the town has destroyed your skin. Look at you!” she told me, holding me by the hand and leading me through the backyard towards the pond. “Your skin hangs on you like a tortoise’s shell when it should be soft and glowing. You need to eat lots and lots of gooseberries.” As we neared the pond, Aita let out a strict, “Be careful now! I don’t want you in the pond. Just follow me!”
As I nodded, she placed a step on the tiny patch of land between the gooseberry tree and the pond, her foot slipped and she went sliding into the pond. It all happened so fast that Aita’s shout came out only after she had landed in the pond. I thought I was imagining things when a little fish leapt out of the water and almost fell into her open mouth crying out in horror."

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