Red Glow of the New Moon

Kundanika Kapadia, translated from Gujarati by Sarla Jag Mohan

Read time: a minute

This one is officially one of my favorites in the anthology. I don’t say it because it’s translated from Gujarati, but because it really is that good. In spite of having spent my entire childhood in Gujarat, I did not get a chance to read Gujarati literature. I didn’t care much about it, but now I might rethink my stand.

This story is of a woman who’s in her deathbed, looking at the Neem tree through the window, admiring its boughs. She recounts the beautiful moments from her life including the poems and books on philosophy she read in her life; about how she enjoyed the trips to Lonavala with her husband during which they hired a room in their favorite guest house every time, for the window and the view, which showed them the full moon in all its glory.

She then thinks about the current generation: her sons, her daughters and daughters-in-law. How they keep themselves busy in different activities but still be bored all the time. She thinks about how they never look at her collection of books. About how they live their lives the way they think is best. But there’s always the void.

She then looks forward to meeting her youngest daughter-in-law, Maria, an American. She’s curious about what she’s like and what her views are on life.

The story is about human relationships, about the philosophy of life and death. Primarily, it’s about how relationships transcends boundaries…

You know what? Go ahead and read the story for yourself. I’m sure you’ll love it. It’s part of the anthology, Our Favourite Indian Stories.

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Ram Iyer

Writer, PowerShell addict, typographer, self-acclaimed rationalist.

Bangalore, KA