Dashrath’s Dinner Party by Amiya Sen (Short Story)

Translated from the Bengali by Bhaswati Ghosh

As she pulled the curtains off the doors and windows and dumped them on the floor, Shakuntala hollered, “Munga, come here, fast!”

Dashrath was at the dining table, shaving. Casting a glance towards Shakuntala, he said, “Why are you taking those off yourself? Have Munga do that…if you fell down—”

“That worthless servant of yours. You brought home a rascal from the orphanage. It’s eight in the morning, and he is yet to finish his work in the kitchen. A heap of clothes remains to be washed. I must load them into the washer myself and wait until the cycle is completed. If left to him, he will ruin the clothes like he did last time. Sigh, your new safari suit and Gudiya’s expensive zari-bordered lehnga-choli.”

“Let it be. Where will you get a servant for 30 rupees in today’s market? We are managing just fine. Hey, Munga, get up on the stool, take down the curtains and pile them in the backyard. Then bring a duster. Clean everything in all the rooms. Khabardar, nothing should break, or else I will beat you to a pulp, you understand?”

Read the rest at Humanities Underground

The Kitchen, another story by the same author.


Amiya Sen (1916-1990) is a Bengali novelist and short story writer. Her writing has been published in various Bengali journals, including Desh, Jugantar, and Basumati.Aranyalipi and New Delhi-r Nepathye are her non-fiction books. She also wrote a children’s book called Shonai Shono Rupkatha.


8 thoughts on “Dashrath’s Dinner Party by Amiya Sen (Short Story)

    1. Thanks, Joyce! I am so glad the denouement in my translation had the same impact for you that the original one had for me. Thank you, too, for stopping by the blog. :))

  1. Hi Bhaswati. This was such a lovely read. Also, I read your article “The Bhasha Writer and Her Women’ (pub by The Wire). And there you referred to Amiya Sen’s short story ‘The Kitchen’ and needless to say it tickled my interest to read. Do you have access to its English Translation by any chance or know any platform from where I can access it? It will be a great help as I wish to incorporate it in my thesis. Thank you & regards.

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