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Wednesday June 29, 2022

Siya’s Saptami

Short fiction on two little girls

Raziya has been wandering the fields the entire dusk, picking at stones, straightening the beads on the neckline of the dress picked by Ammi and stealing glances at the path from where Mithila might spring out any moment now. The sky was a wicked hue, brushed with strokes of wilderness. “We celebrate the victory of Goddess Durga over the Buffalo demon during this period. The battle started on Saptami and ended on Dashami,” Mithila had carefully tutored Raziya for the entire week preceding the outing promised today. “Also, if asked what your name is, say Siya. That’s another name for Maa Durga, Mama will love you,” Mithila had added excitedly.

As the crickets chirped louder and the distant dhaak grew bleaker, Raziya feebly made her way to Mithila’s hut, unsure of the path in the blinding darkness. On reaching, she saw the door slightly ajar. After a short moment of hesitation, she stepped in to see Mithila’s tiny frame towering over her uncle’s body with her hands clutching a bloodied blunt tool. She turned to look at Raziya with nothing changing on her face and said, “I am sorry. I know it’s not Dashami yet.”


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