Translation: ‘In Hope They Trust’ by Chandramathi

This is my Translation of the short story ‘Varum Varaathirikkilla’ by my favourite and the very noted Malayalam author Chandramathi. This was published in 1999, in Malayalam, and translated for Papercuts for their Volume 12, for Fall 2013, themed ‘Dog eat Dog’, translated with the author’s permission.

In Hope They Trust’ 

The woman sat on a chair, near her beloved who was stretched out on the cot in eternal sleep. Several inmates shuffled in and out of the room. She saw everyone, yet did not see anyone. Another woman sat on another chair and murmured the lines from the all-religion-prayer that they usually recited at dusk. She was a friend of the first woman. She maintained her distance from the corpse and watched her friend whose eyes were perpetually wet.


‘Rachel’, she called out, ‘Don’t cry. The Lord calls everyone to him one day. Avarachan just happened to leave a day ahead. You haven’t even taken a sip of water since yesterday. Gather yourself up. And those who want to come will come in their own time. Shall I tell that girl Mary to get tea for you?’


‘No’, mumbled Rachel, ‘Let them come first.’ Continue reading “Translation: ‘In Hope They Trust’ by Chandramathi”

Portraits Across the Window: My first fiction publication this year

This is my first publication in 2013. Thankyou Desi Writer’s Lounge for the space.

Portraits across the Window

She watched the bogies chug out in slow rhythmic dance, each passing scene an accelerating cameo as the train gathered speed. A blotched sky in dull grey moved into view followed by an empty platform dotted with dusty merchandise on tired cartwheels. On the upper berths, her father-in-law’s snores competed with those of her husband. Her mother-in-law reclining on the other lower berth did not snore, but slept with her mouth open and the saree’s edge cautiously pulled over her greying hair even in sleep; her dark chequered hanky was spread over her eyes and covered most of her face.

She counted their bags once more from her prone posture on the lower berth. She could see the two tin suitcases into which various household articles and basic condiments had been packed for their new life ahead. Then there was one red duffle bag with some clothing and two cane baskets, the last containing food to last them through the journey. Two black duffle bags full with her trousseau were stuffed under her berth and she put her hand out to feel one of them, the other was tucked away too far for her reach. Left with nothing to do, she trained her eyes upon the platform again. Continue reading “Portraits Across the Window: My first fiction publication this year”