April 18, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: Night Jasmine by Antara Mukherjee

2 min read

Antara Mukherjee weaves a powerful tale on the deeper meaning of love beyond colour, caste, creed and gender highlighting the fragile nature of human values.

“There’s magic in your hands, Bhola,” they tell me, as their numbed bodies beneath the blue gowns come alive. In that quiet hour, the LED panels above are killed. But the rustle of the cold sheets lit at the toes by the solitary streetlamp outside gives them away. Those Dettol-soaked shrouds could be mistaken for the dead but then comes a stir; sometimes moans. It’s not just the anaesthesia and painkillers, but also years of weariness from too much rest that finally finds an escape. I can tell. It’s all kismet. 

Let me tell you, six months back when my name was recommended for the night shift at the Male Private ward, I knew that the District Hospital of Kolhapur had come with a purpose in my life. To give me what I needed. That’s to say, besides the medal for ‘Exceptional Service,’ they awarded me last year. The hall packed with cheering audience, that pat on my back, and the medal shining on my chest- all acknowledging: Bhola is no ordinary. The medal now remains locked in my trunk, pickled with a decaying Certificate that once branded me a ‘matric pass.’ A term often hurled as abuse in the big cities. 

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