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.