Swaying with the ainselu

It is only when the sun goes down that the house feels alive. Even her solitude glows like the lamp high on a plank on the wall, its light teasing a crisscross of twigs yearning for a spark in the fire pit. And when that yearning approaches fulfilment, suffusing loneliness with apprehension, cornstalks crackle in protest, their husks double up in pain and the singed tips bloody the rim – the fire gets lit, the smoke swirls around the rice pot and a cold breeze drifts in.

If his gaze so desires, it too can wander in through the window dotted with rectangular slits. The bottom half of the window, taken apart years ago to let more light in, would easily allow his hand in, proposing a touch, a caress that might render the bottle on the sill redundant, the bottle that brings her alcohol, batare, wringing away monotony, like him.

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Himal Southasian