Title: Coming Back to the City, Mumbai Stories
Author: Anuradha Kumar
Publisher: Speaking Tiger Books
Year of publication: 2019
Links if any: Speaking Tiger
Pooja: The Evening of the Immersion
The bulldozer moved over the uneven road, lurching over potholes, and scattering the broken stones. Pooja heard the sound fleetingly, muffled by the rain drumming outside. It was a bit after twelve.
Pooja stood in the darkness thinking over her recent conversation with Gauri Tai. Tai had been hesitating, as if she was trying to hide some anxiety.
‘Tai.’ The stove near Pooja sizzled.
‘Do you know where Mahesh is, Pooja?’
‘Mahesh?’ Pooja felt a blankness descend on her. For some days now Mahesh had become someone she didn’t know and now Pooja found she couldn’t conjure up his face at all. All that came to her, almost with the force of the blinding sun, was her shock at seeing that gun under his pillow. There it lay, a neat brown-black thing, its imprint marked on the sheets and still warm from the pillow over it. The gun had seethed with menace and all those secrets she had never wanted to know about Mahesh.