September 25, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: Heera by Ghulam Mohammad Khan

2 min read
woman in white and red floral short sleeved dress holding maple leaf

Photo by ankiyay on

In this short story, Ghulam Mohammad Khan narrates the poignant tale of Heera, a poor orphan who navigates through life’s struggles only to meet more challenges.  The story is addressed to the reader, as Heera tries to know how she is responsible for her plight.  

Dear readers, you can simply call the story I am going to tell you the confessions of a convert or a pervert if the term helps you better. Within my story, I am just myself, and outside it with you, I can be anything; depends on what guides your thinking.

I am Heera. Heera translates into English as ‘diamond’. It sounds very expensive. What is there in a name; something people don’t say for nothing? I don’t know where to start, for every part of it is a beginning to an end. I would have started what should be an ending for you but then many of you will leave me even without knowing who I am or why I want to tell you my story. Therefore, I will begin with what should be the beginning for you.  

I don’t know much about my past. Whenever I try to recall my oldest memory, I can only think of the same moment when one sunny morning I was alone in the attic of our one-story house and looked enviously at a beautiful girl drying her long silky locks of hair on the aluminum grilled balcony of her impeccably designed three-story house. In fact, all the houses around our small, old-fashioned house that always smelled of old disused clothes, looked well-formed and aesthetically pleasing. I also remember my mother stealing up behind me, pitying and reprimanding me at the same time, “It is really bad to peek through like this. I know her, and she isn’t as fair as you. By the time you reach your teens, your hair will be longer and lighter.” 

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