The missing hand and other stories

The train sped into the night and the passengers struggled to stay awake against the hypnotic rhythm of the travelling sounds which gently seduced everyone into sweet sleep. I was at the very back, facing the inmates of the compartment as we all gently bobbed as if performing some obscure Irish dance to an inaudible beat.

I knew the young man next to me was getting restless. Having already exhausted his conversational ammunition with the person on his right, he was looking for another captive. Which was me, of course. He started by asking for the newspaper, went straight to the ads for films and ogled at the steamy sirens who beckoned the viewer to see more of them in the cinema.

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Himal Southasian