Do you suppose it’s the east wind?

Altaf Fatima

Read time: a minute

This particular story again belongs to the collection ‘The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told’ by Muhammad Umar Memon.

This story of an aged woman reminiscing her childhood. She is old now. She is also absent minded. The absent mindedness that comes with age. She searches for her pen everywhere when it is clipped on to her collar all along. She forgets faces. She also forgets important chores.

But as the east wind blew today it has gotten back to her some childhood memories. She remembers the time when she was in fifth standard and Hindi became a required reading. After series of complains from the teachers the author is asked to learn it from Robby Dutt, the son of Mahajan. Now Robby Dutt was a peculiar character. He was born Hindu, a high caste Hindu that too. But he practiced Muslim ways. He would do wuzu and sit for namaz. He would also observe different Muslim rituals. This was known to everyone. It didn’t bother his mother much. She would say- ‘Just as well. Let him live as a Muslim. This way at least he might live. My two other boys both died.’

The author remembers tying Rakhi on Robby Dutt’s wrist. She would push him on the swing. They shared some great memories.

He is no longer with her but the east wind has brought with it the whiff of the old days. Those beautiful memories return like old pain.

This is a beautiful story. A definite must read!

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Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH