Friday, 28 September 2012


Part 6 of Lakshmi Raj Sharma's new short story set in India.


                                                          THE STARCHED WOMAN (Part 6)

On an impulse I went in the opposite direction, towards her house. There I discovered an old beggar sitting on a raised surface at her gate. On inquiry I was told that he was waiting for her. I first gave him a rupee, got his blessings and then sat next to him. 
‘Since when have you been coming to this place?’
‘Since the last ten or t
welve years.’
‘To the woman who lives here?’
‘Yes, to her.’
‘Do you find her like others? I mean, is she quite normal?’
‘As normal as a woman in her circumstances would be.’
‘What is wrong with her circumstances?’
‘Just about everything!’
‘What is her biggest loss?’
‘The loss of a son!’
‘A son?’
‘Yes. Don’t you know? She had a young and handsome son.’
‘What happened to him?’
‘He was killed in an accident.’
‘How do you know?’
‘I know because I have been passing this way for years and getting alms from the lady of this house. She was shattered by the event and then the poor thing had to kill her own husband.’
‘Why do you sit here while she is not at home?’
‘I sit here daily at this time. On returning she always gives me something, before entering her house.’
‘Where does she go every day?’
‘She goes to meet her son.’
‘Her son?’
‘Yes, so she says.’

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