Now that’s a place for softness—a chapati. Dough beaten and kneaded and rolled flat, fluffed up with hot air, that gives up its ghost upon a sigh when taken off the flames. Just like the sigh that had woken me up. Rama’s sigh, but not Rama. She wouldn’t dare interrupt my sleep even after her death.
Unlike Malati, that girl I knew in high school. She answered back. Her braid was neat, her salwar-kameez well-pinned, her eyes always focused on the blackboard or the path ahead, but you said one word to her, a common joke, and she flared. She called me a bully, but really all I wanted to see was the way her eyes widened and her posture straightened, making her look like a tilak, the flaming, vertical red mark we Brahmins draw on our foreheads when we’ve been to the temple. Only she wasn’t allowed a tilak, nor entry into our temple, my mother told me. An achoot, an untouchable, a scheduled caste. She had her own gods. It wasn’t fair, but that’s the thing to learn about the world. There’s an order to humans, and you must hold to it. Especially when it is in peril.”
Find the rest of the story here.
It’s my attempt to take an unbiased look at a supporting character in THE BLUE MONSOON universe: Inspector Desai. I don’t like him as a person, but I don’t have to. I merely have to tell his truth.
If you enjoyed the flash, drop me a prompt in the comments below, and I’ll try and write you a customized story in the Blue Mumbai universe the next time!
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