Photo: Yandle / Flickr
Photo: Yandle / Flickr

The circumcision

A short story

Rahad Abir is a writer from Bangladesh. His work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review, The Bombay Literary Magazine, The Wire, Himal Southasian, Brick Lane Tales anthology, and elsewhere. He has an MFA from Boston University. He received the 2017-18 Charles Pick Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. Currently he is working on his first novel and a short story collection.

So, the circumcision day is set. A local circumciser, or hazam, will do it. Pintoo is becoming a wimp. Not about being circumcised, but about the hazam's work. What if he makes a mistake and cuts his nunu? To err is human, he read in the English translation book. Who has not heard that doctors leave scalpels in the patient's tummy? The hazam, on the other hand, is just a traditional circumciser. What if he goofs up and cuts the penis? He's not an angel. Only angels never mess things up.

This is the time of the strikes. Schools are shut down; so, no study, only play. From morning to noon, and into the afternoon – the entire day – play, play, play. At such a great time, how can parents be so unreasonable? When every kid is out in the playground, Pintoo will have to go through this cutting. Good lord! He'll be stuck in bed, god knows how long, with the pain.

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