The Old Mansion

Ikramullah, translated from Urdu by Muhammad Umar Memon

Read time: a minute

There lived three old men in an old mansion someplace which was affected by refugees inflow. The government started fitting people wherever they found place and these three souls were lucky enough to find each other. Their actual names were long forgotten and now they were only known as Chhota (The youngest), Manjhla (the middle one) and Bara (the oldest).

But wishes are like flowers. By the end of the day only the stem remains, the petal fall off or are plucked out and scatter away. The men looked no different from a naked stem- dried up, shrivelled, scrawny. So people dropped the formality of calling them by their names.

Cover: The Old Mansion

The story goes on to describe the attribute of each one of the three men. They are dead beaten by the partition of India. They have lost their homes, lands and place to belong. Each one carries his own story.

The government plants them in a mansion who is shared by a huge displaced population.

Like the migrants who missed their former homes, the ill fated crumbling mansion looked homeless, and seems to miss its former occupants.

People go missing and roof leaks but the life goes on, until one day the government declares the mansion unsafe to live in. They are displaced on again, life coming to one full circle.

The description here is crude. This story is meant to be read word by word and pondered upon.

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Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH merakipost.com