Short Story

When I was studying at  B.E. school, I met my dad’s companion, Kuttiajario. The school was 5 miles from my home.My dad’s companion will be going in a cycle and lobby, close to Koppel Place a couple of miles away on the way to school. My Father worked till 7 pm as he was supervisor and started home prior to the day. He will likewise pedal a bike. Both had Raleigh cycles, Kuttajarios’s was dark, my dad’s cycle olive green.. 

Kuttiajrio was of medium complexion and was only two inches taller than my dad was less tall than my mom, however companions ridiculed me hotel the town who may have passed easy-going jokes on subject. , the idea of an ideal couple, is the accompanying diminishes. The men ought to work,.we young men myself and my senior sibling made a scale by the divider estimating hardware with a divider as base, and oppressed mother and father for the stature checking. Father was glad to check since he appreciated the entire thing, yet mother was not, on the grounds that she was worried about the possibility that the youngsters would discover that she was taller, and mother felt uncomfortable, as she generally was, in a circumstance that made him of less legitimacy than him. In any case, my father was sure that regardless of whether he loses in actual stature checking, he knew that there are a few different regions, where he could demonstrate his legitimacy. However, the truth of the climate regardless of a few checks by us in various phases of life, it was demonstrated without question that they were of a similar stature. In any case, when they strolled together, mother seemed, by all accounts, to be taller by a spectator in view of the saries she woreKuttiajario had a lean physique and he shaved maybe once in a month.Sometimes, he wore spectacles while working with wood. Rarely drank, hard liquor, perhaps once in a blue moon,which father didn’t do. There was much contrsst between the two, my father was a scholar innthe local language and evenna few poets as hus friends, however he didn’t know English, which mother did. The lone English thing that I saw him composing was his signature in full. Indeed, that was the only English I saw him writing, his signature.Kuttiajario had two children, a boy and a girl. Also, the most amusing part is that I had never seen them in my life even till now. Since Kuttiajario remained in a house a few miles from us and mother was least interested in such visits.. 

Kuttiajario was of medium complexion and  was just two inches taller than  my daddy who everybody thought was less tall than my mother, and some people took it as a shameful thing and made fun of the couple,though our well wishers didn’t do that.  the concept of a couple I an ideal couple, is the following lines. The men should work, but for a a lady it is not obligatory to work outside home.tge man should exceed woman in height or age, and a difference from 3 years to 7 years is considered ideal.You see, this is an old story.

We boys myself and my elder brother made a scale by the wall as base, and subjected mom and dad for the height checking. Dad was happy to check  because he enjoyed the whole thing, but mom was not, because she was afraid that the children would find out that she was taller,  and mom felt uneasy, as she always was, in a situation that made my dad of lesser merit than her. But my dad was confident  even if he loses in physical  height  checking, he knew a that there are several other areas, where he could prove his merit. But the reality is that in spite of several checks by us in different stages of life, it was proved sans doubt that they were of the same height. But when they walked together, mom appeared to be taller to an onlooker because of the saris she wore.

Kuttiajario and my dad made frequrnt trips to interesting places,of cultural or religious significance. My fatgervhad a habit that once he seated himself on a comfortable seat inna bus, he would start sleeping, which had earlier landed him into difficult situations.  But when Kuttiajario was around with him, my mom appreciated these journeys.

When dad passed away Kuttiajario was the one who was least affected about the demise, showing no expression of grief on his face. Some  friends wept openly, but he was a sort of stoic and I don’t know what exactly took place in his mind.

My sister was chubby and was short in stature maybe 4 feet 10 inches but she was the least bothered about her short build . She ate snacks and delicious munchies every now and then,  and this made her further corpulent . She was not interested in studies and when my mom got a transfer to another town, she was extra hampered  and would sleep by the worktop . We both used the same table, but had different  drawers. When I start studying, she would start dozing. Mother put her in a typewriting institute and she would walk every morning passing Somanathapuram grounds. She had a friend, whom people in the village nicknamed,  ‘Nhelichi’, a  pejorative term for a lady who walked straight. In fact, some people were jealous of her as she spoke brilliant English and later she got married and went to Singapore to settle there.

Meanwhile there were some interesting things happening in college. My friend, A.had a crush with a teacher and I knew it as my friend used to confide everything to me. The friend stipoed studing at pre degree kevel.Once the teacher asked in the class. ‘Who is Raj?’, and I knew that it is about me . I stood up, but the teacher after looking into my face said-‘Sir diwn.’And other students did not know anything about it,as it was a secret between my friend and myself.Later in life such situations, repeated.  Then the teacher married  another man and I lost touch as I was in  university.

of to tie who likes good food and good yogurt. I went to the metropolis to see my uncle and his brother in law. This brother in law was the  read  his , i read great  i went i vacation, ask he   took me to , because  he was greatly , father got him a job, though  not much educated,  had connections with the ebo us egi because  I did  not want a job . this overconfidence, in oneself has its advantages as well

th monikers. She walked straight but was smart at English  independents and work. She has work at home, when we two are in examinations and a shy person who enjoys great food and great yogurt. I went to the city to see my uncle and his brother by marriage. This brother in law read extraordinary books and  I went to get-away, and took me to  good hotels that served gulab jamun and Basundi, both sweets. in light of the fact that my father found him a line of work, however very little taught in light of the fact that I didn’t need a work. This confidence, in oneself, has its benefits just as disadvantages. 

I went to the magical waterway in my late twenties, I had a tendency to see the mystical stream. So I left work in the town I lived in and went to the metropolis.  From that point one can go to the magical stream. Subsequent to arriving at the city, I posted my resignation  letter, and with a companion’s assistance got a temporary vocation, and the following month went to see the mysterious waterway. My companions and associates cautioned me, subsequent to seeing the stream you won’t return. Nobody has come back till now. I said, I am not stressed, first I  need to see it in my own eyes. If I don’t return, no issue, my eyes will be glad, and that is the best blessing you can provide for your eyes, I contended. I went there . It was simple at the outset, there was a stream great and amazing, At that point you need to walk. I saw the stream. It was wonderful. But I failed to see magic anywhere. I remained there in that town by the stream, for quite a while, and afterward returned to my town. The first to see me in the wake of arriving at my home was Kuttiajario, my dad’s best friend.You saw the waterway, he asked in incredible interest. Indeed, it is beautiful, I said . 

Know was it, he asked.Then I said. The waterway obviously is excellent. But I didn’t perceive any wizardry in it.You fool, he said-. The magic isn’t in the stream, the magic is in your mind. I didn’t tell,anything. In any case, I was distraught that he considered me a fool.Then one evening, my parent’s conversation, I caught. They said Raj will, again, go to the magical stream. It is conceivable, father said. We will discover a young lady for him,he is still young. Then I married.Then I found a new line of work,  familymchildren, stress, more pressure, it was trying my limit. Around then I had three youngsters, and was 45 years of age. Neither a youth nor an elderly person, however the last depiction would be better, as individuals who saw me affirmed. The next year mom also passed away. My sister went to another city. My senior sibling left the country and went to another country with family. Such countless changes throughout everyday life. I changed positions 

At that point I went to a major city. More jobs,transfer,stress, office work, transport stop line, stress, cutoff times line at metro station, my bike in carport, kids’ expenses, lease, work environment pressure, long schedules,more gossips, stress, long  hours of work, restless nights,I was exhausted, and numerous  things all in a confused line. I lost rest, I shed pounds. I left my work and went to my village. I needed to meet my kin and talk senseless things and visit while sitting in a coffee bar. 

Someone advised me,Kuttiajario has left the village  to see the magical waterway. I was told by those guys in our village. You know the way to the magical stream, they told.That eas long was back, I replied.’the area might have changed’. But i went to see my father’s friend. After many meanderings in that old village below mountains, by the river ,I met Kuttiajario. There were three guys and a gal yelling at the passageway of his hut.’long live Kuttiajario, long live Kuttiajario.’, the youth  cried. I was unable to bear the tumult of their screech.one lady and three  gentlemen.After meeting him, I told Kuttiassario advise your young friends to stop shouting.He said that in case you advise them to stop, they will cry more.Then I said to Kuttiajario in a private second. His eyes were sparkling. I told him, I need to be your follower. He said, why?. I need to dispose of my meandering brain. He said-I can’t guarantee you , however you can remain here.Now proceed to get water from the stream. He gave me an huge pitcher. I went to the river to get water. It was dusk. I had blended considerations. Is he a fraud,I thought. Let it be, after all he is my father’s friend who made doors and windows to our house. Moreover he is an old man. I stepped into the river to get water.


Princess Jahans’ Tuition Classes

Short story

In the pre-fall. I was enrolled with the ‘Cambridge Tutors’, that coordinated private educational assignments for people. In my short stay in urban areas, this was my style of living,  registering with private tutors bureaus and a couple of my friends also imitated and I was never out of occupation, in any place. In the wake of arriving at T’bad,I rented a flat near the recreation center territory and needed to take a metro train up to work square and again get city transport  to where my classes are, subsequent to passing a few scaffolds and government organizations on the way. I. P. Sir, the head of the Cambridge Tutors was an extraordinary researcher in several dialects but he spoke only his mother tongue, except to me communicating in English. He was a family man living in the first floor of his leased  apartment that could be reached  passing a line of gulmohar trees. He was having hemiphlagia and was treating it with gulmohar plant, and his wife opposed his naturopathic tendencies.While masterminding the princess’s classes, Mr. I.P. sir told me that my possibilities in life are up soon, because I will soon be meeting the most interesting person in the royalty, if not the wealthiest(her cousin was the assigned royal, enjoying the benefits).  I trusted him. I had incredible respect for this honourable man and his family.  Princess Jahans was looking great with flawless skin and genteel manners and a smile very polite. She remained in the third storey of a major structure and her sister in law occupied the second floor. She wore little ornaments, except a thin gold chain with an emerald pendant. The entering room, which was quite spacious had bamboo blinds coated in green and purple, and as it was mid April and the breeze was hot, the blinds were lifted up, and one could see the pleasure houses and art galleries of the old nabobs at a distance. The third nabob’s collection of artefacts have been made a museum. 

Furniture in the front room was stoical like a devotee of minimalism. But one saw half-read books around and on the sofa, lay a piece of clothing of pearl cotton weaving string, with a long needle announcing ‘work in progress.  The wind that came from the open blinds was hot but pacific. I have heard from Mr. I. P that the princess detested all excesses, and was in a way ahead of her era and culture, still she enjoyed staying inside the four walls, and went only to certain functions where her company was essential. I also heard that she spearheaded one hospital that runs on charity. She had two schools and she was the virtual headmistress, and has decided to enhance her qualifications so that at the parent- teachers meetings it will not be an issue, a school run by a less educated woman. The princess wanted to pass a couple of papers for her post graduate course, which she was pursuing as a private candidate. She had American Literature as an optional subject, and I happened to be a favourable choice  by luck, as I studied it under a knowledgeable gentleman, though my scholastic properties remained doubtful. Though lacking in scholarship,  my confidence was towering and you see in the teaching sector, confidence is of lesser value than actual erudition in the subject, lest  sharp gals and guys should  discover your Achilles heel. But I was adamant that I could teach, and Mr. I.P. Sir supported  my enterprises. Princess Jahans was a brilliant woman who wore a ravishing blue hues sari on my first visit. As I climbed up stairs to the upper rooms, her sister-in-law passed a few inquisitive glances at me.The  princess had grown up daughters and sons and her husband was in a foreign country and visited only a few times a year. A kid was at home during my first visit, and she told me that as her youngest son. The boy was about fourteen or fifteen years old and was smart looking and had wavy long hairs. And she showed me later the photograph of her husband fixed on the walls,his image surrounded by skyscrapers. I did not ask which place, neither she told me, but it looked like a city in the gulf region. 

 I had the basic qualifications that Princess Jahans wanted in a tutor. So the deal was about to be fixed. She was looking good and had a demanding grin. I was matter of fact and demanded  Rs. 3000 per month for teaching her one hour everyday, except weekends. She said that she would give Rs.4000 every month, but I should teach her  two hours every day. I agreed, but I will not teach on  weekends,I said. And she agreed. So the deal was settled. I was in a better situation, money- wise, she in a better position, maybe, wisdom wise, but that will be a dubious part and yet to fathom.

Neediness or no destitution, I never showed up on weekends. Instead we will go to the city grounds and fly kites  till 2.pm and when the kids are hungry go to a run-of-the-mill eatery at some setting close. Even when I was in hard times, I never took my kids to a cheap restaurant except for a couple of times for tea. My philosophy in these eras was, if you have two lakh rupees debt you can pay it off, provided  you are healthy. But if you have serious health issues, many lakhs or more will not make amends. This philosophy, I  had to alter now and then, but did not deviate from the core idea. 

She said-  ‘I don’t like individuals who are not punctual, you must be on time’.I agreed. Punctuality was something I tried to copy from my father, but I was a slow student. My father’s ideas were more revolutionary- ‘People exaggerate the value of money, for example, if you want to learn good manners you don’t need money, if you want to be punctual you don’t need money.’ People he used to say, fail for lack of discipline rather than dearth of cash. I did not absorb the whole idea, because I could not anyhow gloat my discipline. Though I wrote an essay for my eldest sons, starting the essay, like this discipline is the backbone of life, and he got an A, for that. 

One day the attendant said- ‘Mehman log hai’, meaning  guests are present. So I may better wait.I waited for a few minutes, till the princess made an appearance.

An Interesting thing was on the way, you come across a few classical book stalls, maintained by drop- out boys who seldom knew the value of the things that they sold, and once I got  a great library edition of a classic volume  for ten  rupees. The boy cared more for the money he got that day than the contents of the books he sold, perhaps he was brought up that way, or maybe for other reasons, I didn’t know.

And there was another tuition. This was an old gentleman and his grandson. The grandpa told me,’Sir, you coach my youngster to learn’, and I was willing  if the boy cooperated, but he didn’t.  The boy was influenced by his father who wanted to put him into business.I recollect that family was living in the centre of the city, in a ‘gali’(small street). Finally, I told the granddad, that the classes can’t proceed as the kid’s dad and the kid thought the opposite.In the last day  I made a prayer before the family, that I gained from my mom and we separated cheerfully. 

Once when I reached her house, there was her husband. I was wearing my  father in law’s shirt when he was in Jammu and it was a good one for those winter days but not suitable  for a teacher’s profession. I could easily be passed for any other type of workman other than that of a private tutor.   

He asked me about my parents and family, and if my wife is working, and how many kids I have and what were they doing. I said my parents are in the country house as they don’t like city life.About my wife, I told that she is a national athlete with a gold medal in javelin. ‘How do you throw javelin’, he asked .He was earlier interested in sports and he told that his father wanted him to be a cricketer but he pulled out.

‘How do you throw javelin?’,he asked. I said, it is 75 percent technique and 25 percent strength. People who are stronger need not throw long distances, and I added my own theory, it is more mental than physical .’Shot put?’, he asked. ‘It is 75 percent strength and 25 percent technique,’ I said.And I was in fact recalling from a conversation with a sports champion many years ago and I was not quite sure about my view.We didn’t have numerous discussions.

On another day, the princess entertained me with her attempts in verse making. My knowledge of poetry was very small with the exception of that I had a few poets as my friends in youth, and we never discussed poetry, but rather chatted in hotels or toddy shops.There was a decent shop in K. where great fish fry was served alongside country alcohol, and I think I had gone there with two or three scholars or writers, and the main interest was roasted fish and drink. I made some positive comments. 

In that season, I bought a T.V. and a washing machine, on a new loan.There was another man in the same floor, the eldest son of the landlord,who would yell back at the credit card executives. I couldn’t do that, yes I was apprehensive but a terrible word and slanderous comment at my significant other and I blew up,  however was in a poor situation to take the affairs to court,so left the topic. 

 The head of the previous institution where I worked told me, ‘Raj, cash is more important than knowledge ‘.The aged scholar’s remarks,I neither believed nor disbelieved. 

I discussed this topic with, I.P. Sir of Cambridge Tutors,(no connection with the original institution) who arranged classes for me and he was vehement in his counter argument. ‘Tell your old friend that it is not so. Without knowledge, money has no life. You need a great knowledge to keep your money safe, and also you need knowledge,  shrewdness, cleverness and some other factors to make money, only after making the money do people realise that money is of most importance. But they fail to see the journey to that, which is more important than the end, and  that escapes sharing.  You can share your wealth, but rarely share the process. A true man shares the process.’.He was furious. 

Many days we would look from the front room, towards the race course which was a mike away.Now and again, we would check if the faces that came back are frantic or  joyful and Princess Jahans had a couple of lessons to impart on this topic. 

My drinking  changed drastically, not that I gave up the habit but changed from scotch to country liquor. And again, I was healthier in fibre then, though sunburnt.

Once we met in the parlour of an inn as I preferred that way, eyes were following and we dropped that thought further. Also, we had  frozen yogurt,then I dropped the idea of taking classes in public places.

At that point it happened that I survived a train mishap and just evaded demise by a thin shave. 

The place where princess Jahans stayed was one of the properties under dispute and some of the revenue officials visited now and then carrying thick files , and the princess or her sister in law would attend them, and in the meantime I will be going through the newspaper’s  art pages. Since I was least interested in the politics,I left the front pages. 

Sometimes her youngsters would  ridicule her, maybe about her expectation to learn at late season, and I knew that you need a lot of stamina to swim against those currents, and sometimes the ridicule I could overhear from the phone was about learning the subject from a bizarre instructor. 

And  one day I told her that I am going to Mahabaleshwar with my family, as the establishment where  my wife worked covered family trips with expenses ,stay and travel and she would avail that.  When I met her, the  princess said- ‘Still, you may need money’, and gave me Rs.2000, and with that amount I bought a good bottle and again a collection of Emily Dickinson and gave the rest to the wife. Strangely, my wife did not complain about my drinking habits because her dad was a better drinker.

Once the princess said- ‘Sir,  aren’t these authors  millionaires,  I thought so.’. I said- ‘Not everybody, though some are, but most of them are not’.

In that conversation some things had to be made clear, why an author writes. People become writers not because they want to make money,  but because they are writers. 

Towards the end of that season, she said, ‘Sir, we need not proceed with these classes any more.We had sufficient sessions.’ ‘Alright’ – I said, That evening the princess gave me Rs. 2000 and said- ‘Don’t give back’. I said that I don’t accept presents, even from a princess. Then she said it must be accounted for in the tuition fees. However, she said she is grateful. I said- ‘I as well’. She disclosed to me that I had reduced to ruins her insight into educators. She never had thought that tutors resemble me, asking for credits. Was my other companion right reasoning that cash is preferable to knowledge?. But, this of course is a tricky subject, and before the final chime, we can’t offer the correct verdict. Perhaps this is just a recess. She said she is getting a ton of migraines in the wake of seeing me and it could not be a good sign. We parted warmly. Maybe that was a good season.

Growing Up

Martin was more interested in pursuing his unique path still those bromances came to his mind often. In the school days, he’ll go with Ross  to school. That was when he was in the third standard. Ross’s brother, Georgekutty became  his friend  towards the end. There was a good  library in the school but the teacher in charge was partial to girls, and once when Martin approached for the book, he did not show much enthusiasm. Somehow these things were not taken to the notice of the headmaster who followed  English ways, in appearance and used rare words in conversation. Though he could not access good books from school, Martin was not dissuaded. He got the books, even rare modern fictional volumes, from the Jottejad library club, and the chief of that organisation was his esteemed neighbour Jyettan. The latter was a friend of his dad. He would go on Sundays, mostly in the morning crossing paddy fields. The blow of the winds in fertile paddy fields is a unique experience, that could be got nowhere in the world. During that period, Martin learnt speed reading and he started finishing 20 books a week. This habit continued for many seasons . Speed reading is a technique where you concentrate on the first lines and the central part of the passage. Eye’s movements, get developed by practice.Still more to this practice and as an aside, some of the readers can practise if not tried yet. School gave Martin a friend, Sunny who later became a  dancer. During interval, Sunny would take a few puffs from behind the gents restroom .Martin sometimes sat in the gallery and read fiction. One book worth mentioning is ‘The Agony of Soul’, by N., about the soldiers at border. He read the book, sitting in the gallery at the last rows and though studious, he finished the novel in frequent bursts of a few days. Later, the writer met a tragic end while staying at a private lodge. The author was dexterous in the description of rain and the children’s world, and Martin’s dad was his fan. He also perused  a book by Pottekkatt named ‘Vishakanyaka’ .The book he completed sitting under a tamarind tree near the open space of a Fort .where he lived.  Martin would walk with Unny Mash to school, who went the way of all flesh early.This ached Martin and it was his first coup d’œil of life’s evanescent nature . Martin’s dad and mom belonged to different castes, and he faced a few hiccups while growing up. As a kid when he went to shops, the shopkeeper  looked at him curiously . Once his uncle in the metropolis told him, “Your mother is so clever. She has not put my brother’s caste in the column of your religion”.Martin knew that it was a mix-up. His uncle was good at heart but conventional  unlike his father who rose out of pettiness. The headmaster was his mother’s friend. He remained a bachelor and wore European apparels as if he lived in another era. The school made great strides in his time . His father was an avid reader and copied the full book, ‘Vayalar Garjikkunnu’. By P.B., a prominent lyricist of that epoch. There was also his mentor and his wife, who were great from within. They were charming souls and Martin was thankful that he could meet them at an early stage of his life.

-(From a work of fiction in progress)

The Chess Master Bride

Short Story

Gooseberries and chess bring to me disparate memories. Perhaps, this is the second story I might have crafted on the theme of chess, the first one unpublished. I had written two, at the best I think so, or I had wished to write about the game of chess. First of all, let me tell you my interest, privilege, affiliation or authority or lack of all these, to write such a one, except being a whimsical storyteller-

 From childhood, say from the age of ten, I played or observed this game, first played with interest but observed with little enthusiasm, as I had other passionate activities at this stage with the local kids… I have observed the games of Petrosian, Paul Morphy, Bobby Fisher, Capablanca, Mikhail Botvinnik, Kasparov or the moves of Anatoly Karpov or some other master. But I have not seen the new contestants, because by that time, my interest in this game shrivelled to such an extent that the very thought of it brought to me mixed feelings of loss and struggle…Still, I would like to write about the game as it has some tie into certain members of my immediate family because my younger brother who met with a tragedy was a champion of this game.

May I tell you with tremor and a feigned puissance, conceivably a wrong one, the remaining of the anecdote? In my fifth class, I got access to an exclusive club called Civilian Club of Masters because of dad’s standing who was a notable civil servant in the British era as well as Free India, and our home then was in Nasik, a town in the western part of the country. We lived in Nasik and Deolali for a handsome number of years and it was where my younger sisters (twins, younger to me by five or six years) were born and also died. My mother was half British and half Indian and she was a stenographer in British service till she wound up to settle herself as a housewife.

I still remember how I blubbed in that midday, a lad of six, alone under a gooseberry tree, over the loss of his sister. As for gooseberries,(just based on my memories, not scholastic) they are of two types. – I am not checking Google to find if this is true- The first type has strong rough inner flesh and tastes bitter in the beginning but on further chewing turns sweet and the second type of gooseberries are soft and fleshy and sour and sweet and changes colour as it ripens. This tree’s branches are not as strong as the first type, and I was sobbing under this second kind and now a middle-aged lady who was our family friend came with her hubby and told – ‘Raju, you have another sister. Don’t weep my brave boy’, or something similar to that. But that sister also died within a few weeks due to a similar disease of the type of dysentery and these were twins, and my mother’s condition plummeted to depression. But she was not the one to give up…


Mama’s demise…


After my mother’s passing, my father bereaved for three years but later married  a remarkable lady in his workplace who became my stepmother and the greatest force in my life behind all my endeavours.  She hailed from a middle Travancore village. She gave me a sister and a brother for me…

My brother in turn became a genius chess player. I was in a habit of drawing animals. And my dad saw that I would not make a good chess player. And I painted though I had a delusion in those eras that a painter’s life is not a grand one. And my brother and myself pkayed the game of chess whenever we got time, and ince in Denver after a play tour, we played two days at a stretch. In my youth, a major tournament took place in Reykjavik  between Bobby Fisher and Boris Spassky  and the interests of the youth in our boondocks turned to that play and we both as a rule immersed in the game. My younger brother had a coach, and I recollect him arriving to our apartment in the evening saving for the weekend and he was paid per hour, and though it was my sibling who was playing the game, I was evenly engrossed in the game ensuing my curiosity in it tower that I matched a rival to him. This happened in a larger space, I grew a competitor to him in the rooms of life as well on the chessboard. His tutor was a college senior who participated in the National and had a graceful squint on his left eye and was gaunt with a pleasant stamp. He arrived in an auto cart that was parked till waited till the session was over. The coach was paid on an hourly basis by my dad though he did not play the game he applauded good players. Once the coach came with a little boy who was to become later the national champion. Both of us, my brother and I became masters of this game playing most of the time, and on the journeys we took frequently, we played, in railway compartments with people who knew the game and we carried in our satchel, a chessboard and the pieces. This was a game sometimes I imagined callous or fun and deep focused, and sometimes vexatious and during our stopover at Rezaabad, I noticed people playing at the doorsteps of their dwellings

-(To continue)

Story Seven Burgundy


Station.I think I have seen him in a dream. The dream. Now. And myself. Which of these three is a falsehood? I question. At that point I met him…I talk. We go to an eatery. My cousin wiped out. Didn’t come. 

Coming here after blue moon. Last time was to see aunt in I.C.U. in a medical clinic. Medical clinic was a film studio when I visited this spot in before college. I saw actor P. there in a good way. The actor was handsome . Uncle knows studios.Once he attempted to act, yet fizzled. He was a family man who cherished children. Aunt cried in the l.C.U. No words. Possibly she thinks of bygone eras. Perhaps she thinks about my plight. I sold every one of my properties and came there. A pauper. Her lineage got affluent.  My dad and his sibling (aunt’s spouse) were more like friends. Possibly she contemplated that. Possibly she pondered the couple of moments or days she has on this planet. Anyway she cried. There was love streaming without bounds.He was a decent uncle. My newfound friend -Food. Talk. His mom gave him this name.Aberastasuna. Means wealth. He is wealthy in habits. Rich talk.Like the flow of the Rhône. His grandfather played in 1934 World Cup. His walk was more like a hop ,but beautiful. He came from a Jazz Festival and told about his place where the rivers flow to South. I like him. I talk- My life. My dad. My raising in a small  town. I become familiar with different dialects. Knowing love is better than knowing dialects. He inquires. Was it an exercise in futility? I say- No. You love and express in multiple  tongues. He looks.Love is good. Love is life. It attracts best things . I like that flavour. He had Chablis and Scallop Risotto.l had pudding.We talk.Time passes- 

I don’t care for that minister. When a cleric offended my mom for wedding from another religion.Ironically I wedded from the same community of that cleric who admonished my mom. Life sometimes takes a 360 degree turn. We can’t resist. 
I welcomed him. We will meet in the rose garden. Rose nursery before the Archives, where I do research. (It is now November.Cutting time.Still…) In the parterre we will sit overlooking flower beds- I say.
Why ?-He inquires. ‘Just that,’ I said. I would prefer not to leave behind an old buddy . I should see him again in wonderful spots in future if possible. Yes, if possible.


The Raconteur

Short Story

Connaught Circus. I had supper with an aged narc who was my friend during that season. The restaurant was striking with teal windows on either side. This dining assuetude was something I emulated from my good buddy A.S. When I reached down the street, it was dark and the narc went his own way… A gentleman in the shadows. He was drunk and stumbled on my path and while vaulting up, abused me as if it were my mistake he fell on my track . A very sordid phrase if my memory is right . I knocked him down with a hard one on his left cheek. He stumbled and drooped again. That was how I was taught in the village. If somebody abuses you, offer a blow. While rising up from the ground, he uttered smilingly that there is perhaps another way of reacting.

The gentleman further informed that he has a story to tell . In the interim , presented himself-‘ I am so and so, the raconteur’. We shook hands and parted.

I saw him again ,one early afternoon at Mohan Singh’s Place and he asked me while I was worrying about our serendipitous meeting. “Do you have fifty bucks to spare?. I had no lunch”. I said- ‘Sure. But, what will you give me back?’. I was very matter of fact in those days and in the prime of youth. With a sentiment of general nonchalance that was my run of the mill air.

“I will tell you a story”, the raconteur said. I gave him fifty rupees , and he rendered the story…

“Sometime in the distant past-There was a king ruling in a dust bowl land.” I interrupted-” I think, I have heard this story before” .He susurrated- ” This is a different story.”

And took my permission to depart saying, “Pardon me,I am ravenous “.And with a splitting guarantee ,continued- “I will finish the story later.” No big surprise, I didn’t see him in the following two years, in that huge city.

One fine day I was with a companion walking around the B.J.Park.

Here I met him again.He outdistanced me from behind and halted in front . In a blunt accent, put in –

“Do you have another hundred rupees?” I gave him that sum exclusively to impress my new companion with whom I was strolling.

The friend either imagined that I was very generous or foolish.But I didn’t get further statistics on that issue. In the wake of accepting the cash he said- “Where did we stop?”

And began portraying a couple of lines and stated, the Black Minorca or open sesame, Electra’s anagnorisis, or something relevant or irrelevant. Then he ogled at my friend. “I am busy”, he said and went.

A couple of years passed. I met him inadvertently on a beach in the South. I needed to take several minutes to remember him. “You have transformed”, I said. “You as well “, he said.

Now, he began narrating the rest of the story. “The Prince turned into a man. He wedded a princess from another nation. Also, he went to another nation to grow the fringes. His peripeteia..The third stasimon… “. Things like that. This time I was more interested in him than the story.

“Would we be able to meet tomorrow evening”, he inquired. “”Sure- what time?” I inquired. “Evening, around this time,” he said.

The waves were colossal and the breeze was brackish.

Precisely on the time proposed, he arrived.

“If it’s not too much trouble,disclose to me the remaining part of your story-I requested.

“Much obliged for giving me your time”, he was extra courteous.

Then said- ‘You are the story’.


Black Swans-8

Black Swans 

(Short Fiction) 

Section- 8

Father ,mother –


 You know, I cannot get back those old times. I can only give back a portion of the love that they gave me. In the district library Francis the librarian checks books. He knows a lot about books. Occasionally he peeps into  the street corners as if there were something. Then he comes back and engages in laughter and merrymaking and work…

It was a winding climb and I was immersed in the beauty of the landscapes. I felt tired and hungry.

I stole  some apples from the neighbouring field and ate it. A man came and asked-  ‘Who are you?’

I asked back-

‘Who are you?’

‘I am the apple field owner’, he said.

‘I am –- from the South. I was hungry  and stole a few apples from your field’. 

‘No worries- When you are damn hungry, you can eat anywhere.That is not supposed to be a theft’. 

‘What do you do?’,he asked.

I said something.

He said, ‘Come to my house.

My wife and daughter may welcome you. Moreover, my daughter studies your subject’. 

I went and was the guest of them for two weeks. 

Then, while departing, the man said.-

‘I like honest people more than smart people.I have many more apple gardens. You can look after one of them and stay with us.’

But I had other plans.

In the valley, it was snowing.  The deodars were swinging in the wind. The sky was lambent.The winds carried the smell of bitumen.

The Bodybuilder -7

The Bodybuilder -7

The bodybuilder was alone in those days. He always carted the load and climbed the hill. The hill was very steep.One day he was approached by two elderly people while looking for passengers to board.

The first one asked-

‘ Chap ken ye ferry me ov’r to the hill ?’.They were very old. The bodybuilder agreed. The old sire gave him a lot of money. The next day, the old beautiful dame approached him. “I have no money. Will you take me up to the top of the hill?”-She asked 

And the bodybuilder agreed. Truth be told, they both were angels. The angels  liked the bodybuilder. They invited him to their rest house.

They served him mămăligă and wine.

There, they both mentored him.Told the secrets and hidden nexus of life in parables. Many of the teachings were already narrated  and taught by his third- grade teacher at the Junior School.

The angels are gone. The bodybuilder has become a new man.A novel outlook. Slowly his mind changed. He still did the old things he used to do . But he did those things in a new way. Based on the narratives of the angels His sorrows quickly departed . He was even happier. He smiled often.He breathed his last one evening on the slope of the hill.

His last phase was a miracle.

Years later, that hill and that village were named after the bodybuilder.


Black Swans

Cisnes negros

¿De qué estamos hablando? Esa historia, venía de Viraj con gafas negras. Hablemos, me dijo. “Sí”, dije, hablemos. Era una aburrida tarde de invierno. Llevaba una camisa negra. También tenía un bigote espeso. Había una sombra oscura debajo de los árboles. Vine después de ahogarme en el río. Mi cabello estaba mojado. Me dijo que hablaríamos. Hablamos. No te rías – dijo – pero yo me reí – él no estaba enojado – ¿fue una broma? ¿O fue algo serio? No recuerdo. Pero fue muy divertido. Compartíamos la historia entre nosotros. En ese momento, me puse muy nervioso. Soy consciente de mí mismo.

¿Has estado en Viraj? Viraj es un lugar hermoso. Está rodeado por un denso bosque. No, no es realmente un bosque. Un gran jardín denso con bambú silvestre. ¿Recuerdas el ruido en el bosque de bambú cuando sopla el viento? Sí, lo recuerdo. Esta historia es también la historia de esas horas que pasamos en el bosque de bambú.

Los guardabosques llegaron muy tarde. Mientras tanto, el cuerpo del animal estaba sin vida. Las primeras en ser vistas fueron las mujeres que habían ido a cortar el césped.

Los guardabosques llegaron muy tarde. Mientras tanto, el cuerpo del animal estaba sin vida. Las primeras en ser vistas fueron las mujeres que habían ido a cortar el césped.

El primer forestal dijo: El cadáver del animal estaba bien descompuesto. El segundo guardabosques dijo que estaba ligeramente deteriorado. El tercer guardabosques no dijo nada. Estaba escribiendo algo en un libro.

‘¿Quién es el hombre?’, Preguntó. Dije: “El que respeta a las mujeres. El que la ama y la hace su compañera ‘. Y muchos más. Ella dijo que no. El que la adopta en su dolor, el que la deja en su propio mundo. “Le dije:” Puedes ser nihilista “. Ella dijo:” Eres viuda “. Le dije: “Eso es suficiente por esta noche. Además, estoy cansado. Luego caminamos hasta la orilla del lago. Los cisnes blancos estaban nadando allí. Ella preguntó:” ¿Has visto el cisne negro? “Le dije: ‘No Ella dijo: ‘He visto’. No pregunté: ‘¿De dónde’? Tal vez lo vio, lo recordé.

No lo se – me dije

Recuerdo esos dias. El día que juró decir la verdad. El día en que se quemaron todos los diarios. El marido preguntó: “¿Qué tonterías escribiste en tu diario?”

El tambien tiene dientes blancos

También tenía el pelo espeso. Mi mamá me dijo. Mole, si es bueno …

Mamá, dije. No estamos enamorados … Esto es algo triste, pensé

Todavía recuerdo esa risa impecable … Era una fría noche de diciembre. Por la ventana soplaba un viento frío.

Mi padre dormía en la habitación de al lado. He tenido asma. Ese día vivimos en un resort de lujo rodeado de montañas.

¿Quién es el valiente? El que conquistó todos los picos con su mente .. En tus ojos, vi esa noche. Olas en Krishna. No lo dudes. No nada. Sin sombras aqui

En la vida, solo hay dos verdades. Ambas vibraciones. Amor y muerte. Pero ambos están más allá de la vida. Lo opuesto al campamento.

Su hermano. Me preguntó: “¿Qué has ganado con el amor?” Dije: “El amor me hizo un dios, en ese momento”

En el camino de regreso a la ciudad, los dos se sentaron en asientos opuestos. Tu hermano compró el boleto. Octubre. Tiempo ventoso. Cada vez que el tren llegaba a cada estación, compraba cigarrillos y fumaba. Compraste el pastel de nueces. Cuando llegó a Erode, preguntó: “¿Por qué fuma?” De una forma que dificulta nuestros argumentos. Pero sé, tienes razón …

Fuimos al juego a las seis en punto.

La película era “Thacholi Othenan”.

Me gustaron mucho los “cuentos del norte”. Anhelaba ser parte de mis sueños de adolescente.

Pero no tenía ni idea de cómo llegar. Y los problemas que conlleva.

Ojalá tuviera la sabiduría de los cuarenta en mis veinte.

Nos volvemos tontos cuando intercambiamos nuestra historia con las historias de otros.

Hablaste de música en nuestra última conversación. Regresabas de tu gira italiana. La brevedad de Verdi. Pasión. ‘Arruinaste la vida de Xavi’,

Tu hermano dijo: “La válvula del corazón está rota”. Estabas acostado en el hospital más grande de la ciudad. A.C. Soy uno de los pocos visitantes en la sala. Tu hija adoptiva te ha servido.

  Nosotros vimos. No pude verte de nuevo.

Dos años con mi hermano. Lo sé.

‘Kuttamkulam’, donde nadamos y buceamos.

-¿Tienes hambre?

Tienes que caminar un poco después de la casa de Jafar.

Recuerdo el camino hacia el río.

  Puedes ver los carros de bueyes que van a cargar la arena de los lechos de los ríos. Ponerse una mochila escolar en la cabeza era un pasatiempo en ese entonces.

Por un tiempo, envolví libros con elástico.

El fuerte descenso al río ‘Katangode’, ¿te acuerdas? Seguí ese camino tres décadas después. Cerré los ojos y bajé por el río de esa manera.

Fue entonces cuando me di cuenta de que hay muchas fuerzas en nuestro cuerpo que no sabemos que existen. Que tienen el poder de hacernos avanzar.

Yo mismo estaba asombrado.

¿Cómo hice esto? .. Hierbas que crecen alto a medida que el río sube. No me atreví a mirar el espacio abierto al lado. Mi primo..

Ese día le dije: “No dejaré a mi madre pase lo que pase”. Eso es para él …

No me sentí divertido … Mi madre estaba detrás de todas mis buenas acciones. Enseñar a las niñas a vivir y no olvidar su propia existencia … Mi madre me enseñó a pensar. Fue solo después de que mi madre se fue que me di cuenta de que la presencia de mi madre era tan profunda … Cuando pienso en mi madre, pienso en las deliciosas recetas de mi madre … Madre en el Departamento de Agricultura … Era la dependienta. Se jubiló como superintendente junior. Fue la primera mujer educada de su familia. Fue el matrimonio amoroso de mi madre … En los primeros días vivíamos en las dependencias del gobierno. En ese momento, el tío de Pramod, que trabajaba con mi madre, era nuestro amigo de la familia. Era fanático de Kumaranasan. Era un nativo del Distrito Sur. Más tarde se convirtió en un amigo cercano de su padre. Solían discutir cuestiones socioculturales entre ellos … El día en que obtuve más dinero en mi vida fue el más estresante … Entonces se dio cuenta de que no había conexión entre el dinero y la paz … El propietario del autobús Mahendran recuerda el día en que se suicidó . Eso fue cuando estaba en la escuela … Hay otros usos del dinero. Cualquiera puede comprar comida … puede comprar. O puede comprar medicamentos para un paciente desconocido. Puede pagar la factura del médico. “Ninguno de nosotros puede comer chapatis de oro” (esto es lo que dijo un amigo)… Algunos momentos extraídos de la vida. En el camino le pregunté: papá vendrá ese día, hagamos que sea un día, vamos. Dijo que, a veces, vendrá y otras no. Entonces que… nos dijo… a papá le gusta salir pero la situación actual no lo permite… Hay algunos momentos felices en la vida. Este es uno de esos … yo … Fui a su casa junto al mar para volver a verlo. Ese día trabajaba para ganarse la vida. No tenía trabajo que decir … Así que volvimos a su casa. Son más que nosotros. Aunque pensamos que era fuerte, su esposa vino a nuestro encuentro con muchas esperanzas. Sus voces estaban llenas de una benevolencia especial. Fuimos allí de nuevo pero no pudimos ver a nadie. La casa quedó huérfana. Después de la muerte de mi joven padre, no había nadie para trabajar en el regazo. Annan y los murciélagos ocuparon mucho espacio …

Mi tercer viaje a Vairaj tuvo lugar después de la muerte de mi abuelo. La tía siempre está leyendo libros gordos. Durante mucho tiempo hablaron muy poco. Un cambio fue evidente en su naturaleza. No sabía si era por separación o por alguna otra razón… Me gustan las bromas abiertas. Sí y bromas abiertas. Quien habla de eso también lo disfruta- prosiguió. Pero no miraban sus palabras, sino sus ojos. ¿Es esto una historia de amor? En cierto sentido, no todas las historias son así, ¿verdad? Amor por el hombre. Amor por la tierra. A los animales

Al cielo, a la noche. A las estrellas. Para gente desconocida. Veces

Xavi, te amaba. No quise arruinar tu vida. No. En la práctica, en agilidad-Sí –

En el mundo de los colores, en el ruido de los sonidos, en las cataratas de las palabras, en el triunfo de los pies (en vano), he olvidado muchas cosas.

No soy tan egoísta como crees.

Aún necesitas saber esto. Érase una vez yo vivía solo para ti.

No sé dónde nos volveremos a encontrar. Yo te amaba. Amor. No podemos devolver la vida como la aguja de un reloj. No importa. Además, no es obligatorio. Todavía tenemos una mente. De ahí el contexto en el que ocurre

 Vendrá. Vendrá y se irá.

Pero sabes esto

Te amaba.

Amor – ¿Qué es eso?

– (Trabajo ficticio en curso)

The Bodybuilder

Short Story 


She generally figured her dad as the most attractive man however who won’t neglect the difficult wreck that risked her mom’s life in her youth.Here in this domain he is equated to a heavenly man. Perhaps with valid justifications. Yet, she had not seen that stage of his life any longer than different individuals from her family. Counting her mother. Her mother regularly said that she resembled her father. Smart. Half sage. Half magician. That was a psychological blend that she got from some place in her youth, from a headshrinker or somebody in a similar calling. Presently thinking back, she doesn’t have numerous decisions to bring to the table on multitudinous issues of the world. She is vulnerable even to light a flame before the dimness that envelops, from time to time. While sitting tight for the haulier these considerations went through her psyche’s eye. She held the pack of belongings down waited for the human transporter to the pinnacle, where mules won’t track, nor trucks, nay these are disallowed, as the folks classed these grounds holy…
-(To continue)

One Day in the Life of Islay Keen

Short Story

Islay Keen stays in the city. She has two children. A girl and a boy. The boy is plumb. The girl is thin. The girl is artistic. The boy, a mathematics wizard. She sends them by private auto to the school which contain a few other children from the same school. The children will get in at different stops on the way. The auto driver is her neighbour. He stays in a colony adjacent to her own.Islay Keen works in a private office. She is the assistant to a bossy man who thinks with no valid reason that the world owes to him. This is a special state of being. You can see such elite gentlemen at airports or supermarkets, breaking the queues and getting the order or ticket. I leave this topic to the psychologists among my readers.In like manner, Islay Keen persevered through the working environment because she had a family to take care of and she is the sole breadwinner. Her husband is a sick man. He would seldom be able to go to work. But he is a decent man. He has a warm smile and after waking up from bed in the morning, he smiles at the neighbours. At daybreak, the neighbours will be routinely walking to the park He stands at the balcony and smiles at them. Smiling is a good activity. It beautifies the curves of the mouth. And it adds honour to the face that does it. In an interview, people who are smiling have more chances of getting through. The world revolves around smilers. In case you can smile on your deathbed, you are a winner. So best smile over glare.
When she married she did not know that the future would be so, her husband had a day job in another country and after the accident in the factory, he came home invalid and sick, though the insurance gave him some money which he spent for buying books. And he wrote stories from morning to noon, tales of warriors or heroines that lay unpublished or are unpublishable, at least now. In the afternoon he took a nap because imagination made him more sapped than actions. He foretold her that one day he will be a great writer, though he is still that great writer just unacknowledged for the time being-‘ Humanity has not risen to my expectations. However, today, though I am not a good writer, I can be a good man.’ And before marriage, he often took some poor neighbours’ children to school and bought them brittle candies and promised them that he will buy them storybooks when he has more money. The children believed him, because he was good enough and maybe better than the best around them. But unfortunately, the accident took away the hopes of him as well as the kids. It is a terrible irony in life that those who have a good heart seldom have means to put their feelings in the three-dimensional sphere…
What were we talking about – Yes, Islay Keen of 31st apartment, Eleventh Cross, Cantonment Road, Behind Power Station and the Crocodile Pond, East City.
In the university eras, Islay was a good cyclist. She and Shanti Kishku were the only two girls in the whole college to take part in that sport… In the conservative college, the students’ parents did not allow their girls to take part in cycling sports. They instead took part in volleyball and tennis. Her college was run by a religious community to which she belonged. She could not get many top medals in the intercollegiate competitions though she was good at cycling, because other colleges had good coaches and they were lenient in practice timings. But she did not grieve that. Even after her wedding, the cycle was kept preserved in the thatched shed by the house. When her son was born, she wanted to take him on the bicycle and show him the village and town. She waited for the third birthday, but when the third birthday came, her husband said, ‘it is not safe to take the kid’. So she paused for another year and on his fourth birthday, she made a cushioned seat in the central bar and took her son and gave him directions to catch tight on the handlebar. Her hubby did not dispute this time. She took her son and while riding explained to him all the things that might have inspired his curiosity on the ride. It was as if viewing the world from an entirely another angle. But a tense situation happened on the way. At a curve, a lorry raced fast and she had to use all her expertise of the instrument to avoid the mishap. None of them slipped, and she parked the vehicle by a tree and tarried there for fifteen minutes trying to recapture the disaster that was sidetracked. After that, she did not take her son on the bicycle. When her husband asked her one day if she was not taking him out on the bicycle, she just said- ‘It is not very safe’. She did not tell her spouse about the averted accident. Her partner peered deeply into her eyes but did not tell anything…
One day, Islay Keen’s neighbour Shanti Kishku visited her house. She is smart, coming from another town. She runs a boutique. She offers some new items. She gives presents as a proposition of the business, a top for the child and an excursion wrap for Islay. Moreover, they are old mates. Since both had their lunch, they engage in leisurely talk. They speak for an hour. By then out of nowhere rain is pouring. The women take a gander at the water drops outside the windowpane and proceed with their light palaver. Before long, Shanti Kishku gets a call from her life partner and leaves. It is evening time. It is time for Ishlay to go to school and pick up her children. Today is Wednesday and the auto driver won’t come, as he has another part-time job. Islay goes to the school and gets the two kids and she sends them by the city transport. She sees them off at the bus stop in the wake of getting them espresso from a close to the eatery. The coffee shop has little legroom, at any rate clean. She eats two Osmania bread rolls and the kids eat four. It is a bill she can bear. By then she goes to the office. On Wednesdays, she had taken special consent to go late to the workplace. But she will slave away overtime. Today, she has another appointment. She goes to the Lot Market to get her gold bijouterie pawned and get the cash. The agent is sharp, in any case, genuine and he catches on to old customers and gives more cash for them. She is insouciant and she plans to go to a film. A night show in a good theatre. The workplace will be over by 9 p.m. There is security. So there is no problem. Today she won’t take her children or her partner. Children will be safe at home with her husband. She talks with her friend Shanti Kishku over the telephone.It is 9.30 pm. The two women now marshal the queue before the theatre. She sees her accomplice in the workplace. He questions with his eyes quizzically. Islay grins and a brief time frame later ignores the chap. She makes a joke to her friend. They both laugh. The film will begin soon. And they are conjuring up the story in the celluloid. Furthermore, out of the blue, it downpours and the two ladies go to a covering shed close to the main structure. They smile again at the atmosphere and the glorious night sky.


The End

Adventures of Subrato-Part-3

Long Fiction

SUBRATO had a good friend at college. His name was Naseer. He was his roommate in the G.C. Hostel. Naseer was from Bangladesh hailing from Bhairab area near Meghna river. He was tall and of medium complexion and was smart. While rising up in the morn, he will address in his funny Shakespearean way, ‘thou mewling plume plucked miscreant, wake up’-

Subrato would reply- ‘Thou, tottering folly fallen clack-dish, get away’. In the supper-room, his friend will tell -Thou, saucy,unchin-snouted pumpion, welcome-Subrata will retort– Thou unmuzzled rump-fed lewdster, take your seat- And they both got through Shakespeare. But with minimum grades. In the earlier days of boarding life, Subrato had acrophobia and was scared about going to the balcony on the 5th-floor and look down. His friend told him that the best way to cure fear is to do the thing we are afraid of. Once the mind convinces itself with direct action, it is another experience and can be repeated in life. This applies not only to fear, but every difficult action. Once over, the brain will admit it as a reality. We can laugh it away. Fear, of course, but do it anyhow. But never anything against life, yours or others’, as life is precious…Rustic landscapes stretched enormously. Distant gleams. And a few tents erected by gypsy groups at a distance…
For a while, Naseer was interested in Voltaire, Maupertius’s pursuit problem, the precision of the equinoxes etc…Then,he switched interests.
One day he asked the senior cook, ‘What is your age?’
The cuisinier said, ’38’.
Then Naseer said, ‘That is a lucky number, the number of the American roulette wheel’. Then he told the quizzical audience that he used to play online casino games. He knew, of course, many things, more than the lecturer. Once, about a teacher, he said that the gentleman should read, ‘The Peter Principle’. And he taught Subrato one day the Peter Principle, sitting in the Museum garden. It was evening time and the music was pouring from the open radio in the middle edifice which was designed as a hexagonal room with pillars and open spaces. After leaving college, Subrato met his dear friend once accidentally in Tuileries garden, and then both were with their wives. Naseer had a grown-up boy because he was espoused quite early in life. Subrato was newly wedded, then. Later, when the latter’s mother departed, Naseer sent a letter, to Subrato’s home address and Subrato did not know how his buddy got the address. Quite later in life, Subrato lost touch with his friend.
—(To continue)

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