The Flight

Kamala Das, translated from Malayalam by C.K. Mohammed Ummer

Read time: about 2 minutes

When anything comes up about a village in Kerala, I instantly get transported to my parents’ villages. The misty mornings amidst evergreen trees, the moist, clean air, the quiet with just the birds making all the noise, and all of that good stuff we people just dream about these days. But if someone were to ask me if I’d go back to Kerala to lead the rest of my life there, I’d have to spend nights thinking whether it’d be a step in the right direction.

The Flight is a story in first person, and the character the author plays is a sculptor. Everything changes in her life when her husband is hospitalised for three months because of high blood pressure. She becomes the breadwinner in the family, and thanks to how good she is with sculpting, things pick up. But soon, she realises the monotony in her work, and decides to call it quits on her urban artist life and decides to go back to Kerala. They rent a beach house there, and she resumes her sculpting.

She loves her husband, but also is at peace now that he’s partially paralysed, and given his demands in the bed, she doesn’t now have to worry too much about it—no more worries that he could cheat on her. There is also talk of some of the family dynamics (which I’m not sure I quite understand). Things take a new turn in the new place.

The Flight is about family dynamics, of human natures, and the society as well, to a certain extent. I may not have found anything greatly fascinating about it (and that may be because I did not quite understand the gravity of the story), I think I may be missing a piece in the jigsaw. Go ahead and give it a read to find out for yourself!

This story is a part of the anthology, Our Favourite Indian Stories (which you can buy from the link below). We’re celebrating Women’s Month, and are featuring short stories by women this whole month! Come, read along with us. You could even suggest stories for us to read and review. Come on, let’s hear some noise!

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Ram Iyer

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

Bangalore, KA