The Bed of Arrows

Gopinath Mohanty, translated from Oriya by Sitakant Mahapatra

Read time: a minute

We just completed the Women’s Month here at Meraki Post. This story, if only had it been written by a woman, would’ve been apt for the month, for it talks of, apart from blatant selfishness that is, about the oppression of the women in our society in the name of dharma.

Kamala is bedridden, and her husband—a professor of literature—returns from work. She recognises the fragrance, and momentarily, is happy about it. They talk for a few moments, and she asks him to remarry, since she now is “an empty vessel”. Obviously, he dismisses that with a “what nonsense are you talking!”

The story progresses as one from her perspective, as she remembers and old friend of hers, as she remembers instances from her past, and leads to a few gems of revelation. It talks of the society, of the made-up dharma and of ethics and more importantly, of the reality of life in all its glory. What an apt title!

One must read this beautiful piece in order to really appreciate it.

Join in for fun; read along with us! What’s more, we’re even taking suggestions for short stories. Send us the title and the source if you bump into any, and we’d be happy to read and review!

This story is part of an anthology, called Our Favourite Indian Stories.

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Ram Iyer

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

Bangalore, KA