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Sankhajit Bhattacharjee Stories 2.7.21

Scientific Research Fellow in University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Short Stories 2.7.21

1) Maid

Mangalore is under strict lockdown for two months. Mr. and Mrs. Gomes won't allow their maid, Mithu to work amidst crisis. They will decide after the crisis is over whether they will keep her or not. The couple divides their routine household work. Mrs. Gomes utters, ‘My friend, Aloka has been infected with corona from their maid. She is in critical condition and may need hospital admission in near future'. Her husband, Sujoy is mild symptomatic.

Mr. and Mrs. Dhar decide to keep Mithu away from work during the lockdown period. Mrs. Dhar has asthma. Their only son, Arka opines, ‘Wait for 15 days, after that tell her to come'. It is to keep his mom safe during lockdown and relieve her from extra work after lockdown.

Mr. and Mrs. Kha keep Mithu during the crisis. Mr. Kha's conclusion, ‘If you wear mask, keep safe distance and sanitize regularly, then what problem.'

Mithu works in three houses to earn her livelihood. Her husband left her three years back. She stays with her four year old son. She cries softly, ‘For Mr. and Mrs. Kha, l and my son won't die out of hunger amidst pandemic’.

One day the Khap Panchayet, Avijit stops Mithu on the way. ‘Do you have any report for covid test’? ‘No, I am not infected’. ‘Where is the proof?’ Mithu starts crying. Mr. Kha notices this through the window. He comes downstairs. Avijit clarifies, ‘Anyone who wants to enter this complex must show a negative covid report’. Over mobile Mr. Kha contacts Welkin. Mithu keeps on waiting in the guest room. Within an hour a technician arrives to collect the sample. The report will be available on the third day. Mr. Kha makes necessary payments over online. Avijit tells, ‘Until and unless she is proved negative, don’t let her to enter’. ‘Ok’. Mr. Kha turns towards her, ‘We will not deduct your salary. Don’t worry. Come after three days. I will collect your report’. Mithu is crying profusely. She loses the words of gratitude. After she leaves Mr. Kha sanitizes the guest room as per Avijit’s advice.

2) Don Quixote

'You aren't supposed to go out'.

'I stayed in quarantine for 2 weeks. I tested twice. Both are negative'.

The Panchayat never let Rumi to come out of their complex. She is an essential care worker. She follows guidelines of State Health Forum. The patients’ ward is suffering due to her absence. Two deaths have been reported. Moreover she is extremely shocked by his nasty behavior. The beasts are not so rude. Her friends advise her to lodge an FIR.

When she approaches to the police station a month later, she discovers that the officer-in-charge is taking tea with Don Quixote!

3) A Social Worker On Whose Side

Argha arrived at the flood site.

‘We managed everything’. A representative of the ruler uttered.

‘We got nothing’. Some of the opponents were on strike.

He left the spot. Even in calamity people did naked politics to earn an image. The helpers were many but the helping hands were few.

© 2021 Sankhajit Bhattacharjee


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