Saturday 1 February 2014

Flash Fiction 2014 Longlist, Devasree Chakravarti

Pendra Local

My whole body ached in protest. Brother snored peacefully oblivious to the world. I envied the self satisfied smile playing on his lips. It was still dark when I was rudely shaken. Roli, you fat- head, get up! Ma shouted. Light the chulha! 

I staggered across. A string of chores and I was ready; running along with Chotu to catch the morning local. Ma had put new bangles on my wrists while the dusty worn salwar-kameej clung to my body uneasily.     

Contorting my body to fit through the ring I was fast outgrowing I began my performance. A few coins landed on my outstretched arms.

Chotu munched on the peanuts someone gave him.

I walked to the next coach, to another performance, to another pair of eyes. That day I got a fifty rupee note: the mausi living next door chuckled “Roli has grown up.”

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