A Keeper of Secrets: a short story

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Lust: Tale of Raziel the Keeper of Secrets

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The Keepers of Secrets

Alternate Versions. Rate This. Somewhere, sometime in an alternate future or past Photos Add Image Add an image Do you have any images for this title? When I pulled it out of the bag, its bloated softness filled the cup of my palm.

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Its clasp opened willingly at the touch of my fingers. The siren from the factory blared, startling me. It was 3 pm, Ikkaka, my elder brother, must have lifted his foot from the pedal at that moment. The loom would slow down now, little by little, taking its time. Soon a sea of blue-uniformed men and women would stream out of the gates of the mill, keen to get home after their shift. Further away, my little brother and sister must have jumped up from their seats in their classrooms, eager to join the army of children rushing out of school.

And Habib, he might be on his way to the beach where I am supposed to meet him later today.

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Habib… the unexpected gift from my father, it would only be an hour more until we meet. Umma would have heard the siren too. She must have started laying the table for her children. Nothing fancy.

The Keepers of Secrets | Dundurn Press

Fish curry for sure, though in this rain, she might have had to make do with dried fish. Okra, tomatoes and warm rice. My siblings are generally happy with this fare. But not me. I want more. Fried fish and pappadam, curd, cabbage — red, not the usual green. My mother says I should have been born in a rich household. At least then she would have been spared the trouble of having to raise me.

There are five of us in all, a sister and a brother older than me and a brother and a sister younger than me. Umma would run off hurriedly calling out instructions. In the evening when we returned from school, Umma would be waiting for us with leftover food from the bungalow, along with the rice and fish curry she had prepared for us. All of us fought for the fancy food from the bungalow. After failing high school twice, I proposed the idea of helping Umma with her chores at the bungalow.

At least then I will not have to worry about where you are and what you are doing. Thus began an exciting journey for my palate — a piece of fried seer fish, five prawns, a leg of fried chicken, a slice of chocolate cake with a dollop of ice cream, trips to restaurants where everyone ate with spoons. Even after Umma returned to our two-room house after finishing her work, I stayed back in the two-storey mansion — till its owners came in the evening and reclaimed their home and its ordered atmosphere, giving me the permission to go back to my cluttered world.

But the biggest benefit for me was the freedom.

I did not have to worry about prying eyes checking my movements, monitoring me constantly. The old couple mostly stayed in their room and after lunch, they retired for a siesta. On alternate days though, I had company. I did not mind sharing this time with Salma, who came to sweep the yard and wash clothes.

After work we walked home together, sometimes taking a detour to meet our friends. We performed our tasks at leisure — talking, eating, helping ourselves occasionally to the sweets, dried fruits, mangoes and pomegranates stuffed in the refrigerator. At first Salma did not want to the touch the stuff in the fridge without permission. But I pointed out that it was out in the open and, not locked.

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Surely it meant that Zeba aunty did not mind us taking the food. She thought for a while, and then nodded slowly, a little smile on her lips. I still had to wash the plates and also sweep and mop the kitchen. By then Zeba aunty would return from office. I could leave after making her a cup of tea.

source site Zeba Ansari is the wife of Dr Ansari, and the only daughter of the house. Her son and daughter studied in city colleges and came home only during weekends or holidays. Now the son was at home, apparently to prepare for his exams. As far as I could see, he spent most of his time in front of the television rather than his books. I tried to understand the game he was watching on TV by asking him a few questions.

A Keeper of Secrets: a short story A Keeper of Secrets: a short story
A Keeper of Secrets: a short story A Keeper of Secrets: a short story
A Keeper of Secrets: a short story A Keeper of Secrets: a short story
A Keeper of Secrets: a short story A Keeper of Secrets: a short story
A Keeper of Secrets: a short story A Keeper of Secrets: a short story
A Keeper of Secrets: a short story A Keeper of Secrets: a short story

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