May 28, 2022

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: The Protest by Prerna Kalbag

1 min read

Prerna Kalbag’s story is an interesting take on a day in the life of a man during the Citizen Amendment Act protests of 2019-20.

1.

The sun rose over the used bed in Praveen’s room. It washed over his neatly folded cream duvet, king-size mahogany bed, and a picture of Richa near the night lamp now switched off. Praveen was already up at 8 on his day off, stirring a mug of rich decaf. 

The dim murmurs of the morning were gradually giving way to the clamours of the protest. “The streets are burning”, his friend and colleague Vinod had remarked to him while the two of them were stuck in their office in the rising hours of the previous evening. Praveen had shrugged. He was constantly irked by Vinod’s tendency to exaggerate. 

He walked up and down the length of his bedroom in a frenzy, careful not to stay too long near the door, which was directly adjacent to Richa’s room.

Richa’s room, unlike his own, was chaotic, haphazard, a whirl of colours. It stood in complete contrast to her personality. Praveen disliked going there unless it was absolutely urgent. He preferred speaking to her in the hallway, over the phone, or increasingly these days, through WhatsApp. Their wedding pictures now lay abandoned in the attic.

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