December 7, 2022


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: A Safe Place by Hema Nair

2 min read
photo of people reaching each other s hands

Photo by Anna Shvets on

A beautiful and thought-provoking story about love, relationships and marriage by Hema Nair which balances itself delicately on the periphery of the definition of right and wrong in our society.

Menaka shifted her position on the wooden bench trying to get to a sweet spot. Her  generous proportions were no doubt keeping her more comfortable than most, and  at this moment, she was grateful for them. A change from her usual exasperation at the inability to hide those curves when attempting to blend in or go unnoticed. These  musings meandered effortlessly to Vikram and images of him running his hands  down the small of her back and up her curves, like there was a magnet buried there  for the iron in his fingers. Memories of their rift rudely intruded in reminding her that it  was her steady stonewalling and denial of his desire that started it. Her withdrawal to  his reaching out, to which he responded with petulant protests, persistence and then forced intimacy. That is how she found herself one muggy morning, outside family  court, with her lawyer, waiting for her – soon to be – ex-husband. 

How had that tie unravelled?  

None of the usual reasons seemed to be in play. No infidelity, family harassment,  discordant sexual orientation, abuse…. nothing. Even now, she was sure, if she  backtracked and made good with him, they could go back into holy matrimony. Or  perhaps not, since he had rebounded right into Mandira’s welcoming arms.  

What then?  

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