A Town Like Ours

by Kavery Nambisan

Category: Fiction

…so why have they come, why did they choose Pingakshipura of all places… Are they seeking or are they running away? Nourishing myself with bidi fumes, I watch, listen and think. I want to know.’

Pingakshipura–where the water runs a poisonous black and the hair on every child’s head is white. And yet, it is a village-turned-town like any other in India, where every life hides a story. Reclining on her thin mattress in a room at the corner of the temple, Rajakumari, retired whore and long-time resident of the town, shares with us some of these stories. Of Saroja and Sampathu, unlikely lovers and parents who have both fled scenes of murder. Of Kripa and Manohar, the childless couple discovering something new about each other after long years of marriage. Of Lectric Mamu, injured by the infidelity of the one woman who is immune to his charms. Of Gundumani, the boy with the crooked leg and his almost-sister, Rukmini. Of the temple priest, one-time servant of the red-eyed Pingakshi, who birthed the town’s new divinity–Sugandha Enterprises.

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