Tag Archives: Punch Magazine

Flash Fiction: He  said  to  ask you this

By Sobia Ali

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Everyday,  I  wait  till  your  father  has  gone  out  to  work, before  I  come  into  your  room  to  wake  you  up. He  does  not  like  my  attention  being  diverted  when  he  is  at  home. I  think  he  is  a  little  jealous  of  you. Or  perhaps  of  me, that  I  am  going  to  be  with  you  all  day  when  he  has  to  be  away. You  know  otherwise  he  is  absolutely  devoted  to   you, and  won’t  ever  like  to  part  from  you.

I  open  the  door  slowly, lest  I  startle  you. You  lay  there  on  the  dainty  curtained  bed, quite lost  under  the  flurry  pink  bed  sheets  and  blankets. For  a  moment I  panic  that  you  are  not  there. That  they  were  right, those  women  in  white  uniforms. Then  a  soft  pink  little  hand  peeps  out, a  small  plump  foot  jumps  out  of  all  that  velvety  pile. And  I  almost  laugh  out  loud  when  I  see  you  hacking  away  at  coverlet  in  anger  to  remove  it  from  your  face. I  remove  it  for  you, suddenly  impatient  to  see  your  milky, moon  face, haloed  in  curly  shiny  black  hair.

I  give  my  finger  to  you  to  hold  and  take  to  your  mouth. You  suck  and  bite  it  with  small  uneven  gummy  gums. I  tickle  your  belly, kiss  your  hands  and  feet, then  lift  you  unto  my  lap. I  giggle  as  your  thin  lips  curl  around  my  nipple  and  your  red  busy  tongue  lap  up  the  milk, gulping, slurping. How  I  love  to  suckle  you, baby. Read more

Short Story: Until rain

By Rinita Banerjee

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It was the rainy season. July, Some Year, Some Place.

Against the serenely cool breeze of the after-rains, Tuli’s little face stood still, warm, a throbbing circle of fire and smoke. She had a little round face, very big eyes, a pug-like nose set right in the centre of her face, and small lips — like one fine petal of a red tulip. Her eyelashes were wet. The before-tears had run their course. She breathed in rapid, short gasps – each lasting less than a second – the gasps, moving somewhere behind the throat and the nose. They came in groups of three and sometimes two. She blinked from time to time, looking out through the window facing which she sat, cross-legged, on the chair that Baaboo, her father, had built for her so that she could see the world outside the window of her room.

A wooden chair with tall legs and a round seating space with a pillow on it. On the lower portion of the chair was a small box-like structure with three steps carved into it. Baaboo had made it for Tuli to be able to climb to and down from the high chair.

The inside of the back-rest of the chair had an engraving that said ‘Baaboo’s Tuli’. Baaboo had engraved it for his little Tuli two years ago; she was six then. She had sat on it many a time. In fact, before she went to bed at night, most nights, Baaboo had read her stories while she would sit on that high chair dangling her legs, leaning a little on her Baaboo with her lips stuck into a small pout. The pout was the measure of Tuli’s concentration. Much before he finished reading her the stories, the dangling of the legs would stop, and the weight of her little body would gather on Baaboo like the many bubbles from the ‘bugbugi’ settling on one. The many flurries of bubble from soapy water blown through the circular ring on streetsides? Tuli called those bugbugi. Like she called her father ‘Baaboo’, not Baba or Papa or Dad or Daddy or Bapi. Read more