By Akhter mohiudin
He showered me with some abuses and said, “Leave but you will pay next month necessarily.”
“On my turn he too was adamant on taking his money. He kept following me. As such he is kind but what guilt he committed? For two months he has been waiting for seven rupees”
All of a sudden the oil lamp dropped from the inbuilt shelf and the room darkened. Some stood up and some sat. All were asking Ashmi about the location of matches. She was speaking no word except weeping. At last Khurshi the telltale blew some charcoal pieces from his kangri and lit the lamp.
“Hey, where has Gulla the flirty gone?” All of a sudden Nabir sheikh’s Rosul spoke out. But no body replied and Breesi continued, “Are these seventeen. That is nineteen.Two to jamadar ten to Gaffar the grocer and seven to….
“Noor the grain seller” Rosul made him recollect.
“Let us be devoted to Almighty” Breesi said and these are nineteen now.
These Nineteen are immediate expenditure. Now say what I gobbled and I did not buy her a pheran pyjama for daughter”
“You always turn destitute at our turn.”, Ashmi said as she was lying flat on the floor.You should have for the gambling. Stand and go. Sabir the plump has come for you”
“Hey, why she has to mention the name of the people?”Breesi said angrily “I will decide about her in the morning.”
“O k . What have you done to the remaining six?’’ Noor Kamal asked him. Meanwhile Sula the tanner came bubbling his hookah, “May you livelong” Noor Kamal spoke out whole heartedly .Sula the tanner kept the Hookah before Breesi and said to him. “Hey, smoke tobacco.Today I have taken it from Amirakadal from the famous tobacco seller. By God, what a good quality of tobacco, how can I express?”
Breesi smoked from the hookah a long puff and said, “Now there left five –three I gave to Khurshi which I had taken from her as debt”
“Yes” Khurshi the telltale was sitting there – she witnessed, “It is true. How can I deny? I have to die and be answerable. A little time before he came to me with rupees three.Do you understand?”
Breesi was pleased by the positive response from the Khurshi the tell tale and said “ At last two rupees remained with me for one I bought the legs……” while saying this he glanced towards the Chulha and screamed, “ Hey where is the couldron of legs”
Ashmi stood up on hearing the scream. She looked at the front and back of the chulha. She looked to the inbuilt-shelf and to the lobby. She started to look towards every nook and corner as if a needle was being searched. All the neighbours felt awkward. Some went speechless for the fear that they might be illegated.
Breesi was thinking as who the spirit had taken it from the chulha. He forgot all about the quarrel and said to Ashmi, “wasn’t it there on the chulha?” Ashmi had injured her finger and toe tips while searching for the couldron of legs.
She said to him, “haven’t you seen? It was there. Ho, who knocked down and died. Who has left with our couldron of legs? May devastation and destitution fell on him?”
Noora Kamal was thinking as to whose devilish act it could be. Who can do this? Suddenly he cried, “Hey, search for Gulla the flirty and take him here.”
Nabir Sheikh’s Rasul said, “I had already doubted on him earlier.”
When the both said this, all the neighbours rushed towards the Gula the flirty’s home and began calling him aloud from outside.
Gula the flirty’s mother came out of the window assuring repeatedly that Gulla hadn’t stolen it. How could Ashmi trust her? She raised the issue and made her involved in the quarrel on the way.
“You will eat the flesh of your beloved son if you eat our couldron of legs.”
Gula the flirty remained silent inside. But Breesi’s mouth leathered due to crying and abusing. The taste of the soup of the legs and marrow of the bones was flashing through his mind recurrently. At last when he got tired he held Ashmi’s hand and made her walk towards home.
“Hey, walk now. Let them eat and the almighty will not let us short off. It is shame for him that he lost his honesty.”
Late in the night when all were asleep in their own homes, Breesi was applying boiled turmeric paste to the forehead of Ashmi and saying, “then was I saying a lie that there should not
be quibble over the pennies in the home, by it the home gets bankrupt”
Ashmi replied, “How did Gula the flirty eat the couldron of legs? Let me substitute him from your ill fortune and sacrifice him instead of sheep for your sake.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Ashraf Raavi from Shopian is a poet, critic, fiction writer and translator. He writes in kashmiri,urdu and English languages.
The conscience of kashmir (English translation of kashmiri short stories of prominent fiction writers).
The discourse with silence( Translation of Satish Vimals tchopi seti kath bath. Adeebi sinz diary).
Gona saevi Gonmath….critical appreciation of some contemporary prominent kashmiri poets.
Asri afsana….being compiled