And I smile, because if the most correct thing in the world looks wrong the only thing you can do is to smile.
Bessie runs further, straight ahead into the fields, as if she is hunting something.
I shout her name, but, really, I don’t care.
Bessie is somewhere in the wet mud, but I can only look up, at the wrong Orion.
Orion has seven stars. Three in a line diagonally from the horizon and a very vivid square of four stars is arranged around those three, locking those three into an imaginary square.
But Bessie runs somewhere in the mud and all I can look at is the wrong Orion, the Orion with four stars in the center. And the fourth star, every time I raise my head against the cold, looks wrong. Continue reading →
My father said he chose Suraiya for me because she was blind. He said she would understand my fears and worries. Maybe that’s why I, too, understand her so well.
She was twelve years older than me and even as I was her master she always called me her little brother.
In just fifteen years my father had transformed his father’s fruit shop into a wholesale franchise that served most of south India. My grandfather chose a good bride for him. They held a festival when she got pregnant. I was meant to be the completion of their happiness. Two days they were the happiest pepole on the planet. It took them two days to notice my flaw and two years to travel the world’s hospitals to find there was no cure.
I was two when they hired Suraiya. I was six when Suraiya told me that her parents repaired and sold second hand sandals and that they could not afford a dowry big enough to find her a husband.
I was eight when she shook me awake in the dead of the night.
Trigger warning: This short story contains episodes of graphic sexual violence.
Gray tiles, some already chipped, all with greenish stains. Large sinks, rarely cleaned. Showerheads, large and too high to be reached.
Push the button. Wait for the water to get warm. Jump inside and quickly wash. Make sure that no one else sees too much. At that age it’s scary to be seen. What if the others have more hair or bigger things down there? Just don’t be seen.
Scary age. You grow into it and you when you think back you can’t see when you got into it. Maybe it was that first PE lesson after the summer; the one with the new teacher that said that we are soon men and will start to smell and all have to shower.
I was always one of the first. We all rushed in there, quick in, quick out. Not be seen. Continue reading →
There are things you don’t hear about Tibet until you arrive. Things like that for Buddhists the people eat a lot of meat and that when you look at the world of Tibet today then you will not recognize the idyllic land of the West’s delusion, but rather thriving Chinese cities and starving half-Chinese and half-Tibetan villages.
The other thing you don’t hear about are the Yarlung. Of course that’s only a nickname for them, among them many things that no one knows about them is how they call themselves.
Not just for generations, for whole dynasties they have been feared. For all of Tibetan history there are notes about their attacks – how they appear and disappear without a trace. How they never leave the smallest of objects, not even a hair, but that they always come to take the most precious thing.