Page 57 - May 2021 Litterateur
P. 57

Short Story






                                                                    Rag








                                                  Mehreen Ahmed,



                                                              Australia







                    Graceful exits after a checkmate wasn’t my father’s forte at all, just as

                    consistency wasn’t mine. I watched my parents play chess every day

                    with a tad of skepticism, wondering, if they really enjoyed playing the
                    same game. My mother could win hands down. My father lost every

                    time.  He  scowled  and  pressed  his  lips.  He  was  a  bad  loser.  Just

                    watching them was a pain. The same arguments over those moves on

                    the  chessboard;  rattling  and  downing  the  pieces  with  a  bang,  even
                    knocking  the  chess-board  over  sometimes.  My  mother  quietly  just

                    gathered the pieces off the board and folded it away, while my father

                    stalked away.



                               In those days, I wore Naagras. They were royal shoes with a

                    narrow  pointy  front  bow.  I  went  to  some  really  dark  places  in  them.

                    Both boredom and romance took me into forbidden forays, as I sought
                    newness. I really didn’t’t know what I expected. A nuanced romance

                    that would explode a life of taste and color. The more I tried, the more

                    disappointment my adventures brought me, flat prairies of no exciting
                    relationships.




                               One summer’s afternoon, however, I sat reading Tagore’s The

                    Last  Poem.  His  definition  of  love  and  marriage  eluded  me.  The
                    essence  of  true  love  fascinating  and  dangerous,  he  compared  true

                    love  with  an  ocean  where  the  mellow  heart  must  be  allowed  to

                    immerse occasionally. Marriage, on the other hand, was washed away

                    with sullied water, fetched every day, and used every day.










                  Litterateur                                          57





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