Series 5 Finding salvation Part 2 ‘The bloody bride’

Read part one of the Finding Salvation series here. He could hear footsteps. It sounded as if someone was approaching but at a snail’s pace. This gave time for his heart to slow down. He stood hidden partly behind an old pillar. The silhouette came to light, whatever dim light was on at that time, and an old man came into view. Dragging his slight self by a cane, he slowly thudded his way towards a bench. Saleem saw him sit down on the bench, completely oblivious to his presence. The man took something out of his pocket. Trying to focus ...

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The eternal night in the valley of light

Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night and could feel someone standing in the corner of my room. I was afraid of opening my eyes to find a Djinn or Khokh standing right there, staring at me, blankly. Eyes closed, I would crawl my hands on the wall, looking for the switch and turn the light on. I would then carefully scan all the corners of the room to make sure no one was around, staring at me through the darkness. But now things have changed. Sometimes – and that is very frequent now – I wake ...

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Series 5 Finding salvation Part 1 ‘Love allergy’

The old rickshaw came to a skidding halt in front of the station. He poked his head out and looked at the busy station in distress. Saleem hated noisy places. Paying the driver in change, he got off. He threw his backpack on his shoulder and hesitantly waded through the crowd squinting for the ticket booth. “This has to be oldest train station in this province!” He thought irritably wrinkling his nose at the touch and smell of other human beings. The stench was unbearably strong. What to say of the germs this crowd must be carrying around. After struggling for ...

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His shoes disgusted me

I was in the bus sitting next to him, trying hard to look away. I had never seen them so close – so broken before. Generally, the stitches were patterned, the shine was bright, and even when it was dull; they made the person complete, secure. But here, a small piece from the side was missing. There were threads that were coming out from the opposite side. I could see his brown sock and his foot was visible from a hole in it. And that sight – that incredibly normal sight of someone’s foot, but in a public setting, with ...

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“There will be no Eid here. Eid makes no difference to me”

“Eid makes no difference to me. I only wait for rain.” He answered. Standing under a rare tree shade Ali Murad Sathio waited for his turn to get water from the pump. Yes, it was true. He did not care for Eid – or any event, for that matter. It had been a few years since he stopped caring. Still, whenever someone mentioned Eid, his thoughts travelled back to the fateful Eid days, three-years-ago. His beautiful mother had prepared him for Eid day. She had managed to cook one sweet dish which was as delicious as the nectar of the heavens. Or at least that was how ...

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It was entirely my fault

We had fought bitterly, And now, he is out like a light, But like countless other times, When morning comes, He’ll barely remember the fight, And how he almost came to blows, He won’t recall his cursing and yelling. When it will stop, there is no telling.   I know the children were listening, To the abuses and roars, Of their drunk father. Even through closed doors, It’s getting worse and worse, But I can’t pry him away, From the seductive horrors of the bottle, That coax and lure him, Into an infinite mindlessness every night.   Throwing caution to the wind, He has become oblivious, To the financial toll it’s taking, To the emotional fissures it’s making, But my agony and suffering, Is entirely my fault.   For marrying a man, Who had told ...

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The newspaper boy

He threw it inside the house and as he cycled forward and heard it land softly on the doormat. Great shot, he thought. There were three streets to go. And the light around him was slowly spreading. He continued. In the street before the last, he slowed down because he was nearing the house filled with flowerpots. Previous shots had broken some pots and invited anger from the owner whose life seemed to be divided into the dozens of pots she had. This time, though, he came near the gate and slowly hooped it inside. The sound of contact with ...

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An orphan no more

“I’m not hungry today…” I remember I said to myself just as I opened the lid of the still-warm pot resting on top of the stove. The dirty dishes, filled with leftover pieces of roti, took their place on the right side of the stove and the empty water bottles on the other side had once again told me that my family had eaten without me. The cooking pot seldom had anything left for me to eat. Usually, though, it was half-filled with diluted curry. Every evening, I was handed two gigantic, but empty bottles by my aunt, while she prepared the delicious-smelling ...

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The rusty water

In the utmost silence of the dark room, he pulled the journal out from the drawer trying not to make a sound. The dust on the jacket of the cover forced him to scrunch up his nose as he withheld a sneeze. After recovering, he sat on his bedside with the journal in his lap. Under the dim moonlight beaming through the window, he began reading. June 9, 1946 Dear Diary, I think we will finally be able to stay permanently in Khushkot. Our dear uncle came last night with some official papers and Abbu had signed them. This is great news! ...

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Familiar handcuffs

He could hardly hear him – his words did not even brush his shoulders as they hurried past. His eyes were feeling extremely heavy, not because of sleep or weariness, but because of its on-going conversation with another’s gaze. He was at the bus stop. As his friend sat across, speaking without realising how little was being absorbed, a stranger, who stood silently in the corner, stared directly at him, perhaps even within him. The owner of the gaze appeared to be an old woman, and she wore a long overcoat, but it wasn’t long or big enough to hide ...

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