An Infatuation

Amit Chaudhuri

an episode from the ‘Ramayana’ retold by Amit Chaudhuri

She’d been watching the two men for a while, and the pale, rather docile wife with vermilion in her hair, who sometimes went inside the small house and came out again. She’d been watching from behind a bush, so they hadn’t seen her; they had the air of being not quite travellers, nor people who’d been settled for long; but they looked too composed to be fugitives. Sometimes the men went away into the forest while the woman attended to household chores – Surpanakha observed this interestedly from a distance – and then they’d return with something she’d chop and cook, releasing an aroma that hung incongruously around the small house.

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