October 2, 2022

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: At the Sea by Rituparna Mukherjee

2 min read

Rituparna Mukherjee’s short story is like a dip in the sea – shocking at first and then strangely calming and refreshing.

You are staring at the thick loud waters in Puri. You have always loved the beach for its sandy expanse and familiarity. Somewhat of your childhood is wrapped in the waters and each time you touch it, you meet yourself. You have often wondered how the morning smells like your skin after a fitful night, wafting moist warmth into the air around you. Today it had a thin film of salt and sweat.  You adore the noise of the sea. But today you feel as though you are a thick block of ice waiting to thaw. You hear your mother calling out,

“Manu, don’t go too far.”

You can hear worry seeping through the cracks of her voice. Your husband had refused to let you come alone when you told him you needed to get away for a few days. He saw through you like you were a leaf, devoid of chlorophyll, somewhat transparent, somewhat opaque, the intimacy at once unnerving and very comforting. He knew you were not in a state to travel alone. He knew more but he was kind and you knew he would wait. So, you brought your mother along, because she was comfortable with your silence, no explanations were needed. You wave at your mother. She waves back. 

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