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Punishment - a short story by Kamala Das (translated by A.V. Varghese)

Punishment - a short story by Kamala Das (translated by A.V. Varghese)

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A short and powerful story by Kamala Das in Malayalam translated by A.V Varghese
A short and powerful story by Kamala Das in Malayalam translated by A.V Varghese

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Published by: Avy Varghese Aardvark on Jan 14, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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PunishmentBy Kamala DasTranslated by A.V. VargheseWhen she awoke thirsty around midnight or so, Granny was surprised to find the fifteen-year-old girlcurled up on her side of the bed, asleep. She did not have the heart to awaken her and send her back tosleep beside her husband. But, how could she not awaken her?She ran her fingers softly through the girls hair and called softly: Ammu?Ammu opened her eyes wide, startled. They were tear-streaked eyes, strained and stained with sorrow.Grannys heart ached for her. But still, she said:Ammu, go back there. What will he think? Can you sleep forever beside your Granny?Didnt I stay there half the night? Ammu asked. Shouldnt I get to sleep now? Does marriage meanthat one loses ones sleep?Granny laughed. Ammu turned her face to the wall.What will he think? Granny murmured.Grandma, Ammu called out to her in a tremulous voice.Mmmmm??If I had passed my examination, I wouldnt have been married off, right?Shouldnt girls get married? Granny asked in reply. What is the use of educating girls too much?If I had passed, there would have been no marriage, murmured Ammu. I should have studied better.Ammu arose. She took off the golden ornaments from around her neck and from her ears. She openedthe almirah and placed them in a drawer. Then she removed her Kasav sari and threw it upon theheadboard of the bed. Her body was lean, half-grown. Granny felt compassion towards her.But she said: Ammu, he will be waiting; if you sleep here, what will he imagine?Ammu sat on the bed and hid her face in her hands.I could have concentrated more on my studies, she whispered.(end)  

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