This week's leading tales
The Sehri Tales Challenge is a writing challenge devised by Sabrina Fatma Ahmad in 2016. The goal is to compose a fresh piece of prose, poetry or nonfiction upon waking up for the pre-dawn meal during Ramadan, and complete it before Fazr. This year, Litmosphere, one of the largest online book clubs in the country are participating in the challenge. Here are six of the top entries for this week.
Dewan Arifur Rahman
"I never wear anything unbranded, it’s gotta be something like Hilfiger or Polo for me!" said the person whose eyes were now locked with mine, as we both scavenged through the pile of Calvin Kleins in front of Dhaka College.
My mother was not happy with my complexion. She kept telling me how my other sisters always looked better in whatever they wore.
So I poured all my efforts into academics.
Ten years of straight as later, she still grumbled about not getting a 100 in math.
He said that I was not good enough. My hair was not nearly as pretty as he liked.
So I poured my heart into my letters.
Five and a half years later, he still complained that my gestures were not as caring as the other girl he was seeing.
I was never good enough for anything. So I poured all my insecurities into my soul and drowned in my own sea of self-loathing.
Afra Anika N. Khan
For years, I've wondered why I didn't have a surname. I asked my mom, but she always shrugged me off with a laugh, "So that you can choose whatever surname you like, Anzara," She always told me.
Her empty chuckles never seemed to diminish my curiosity of what seemed like, the permanent space the second part of my name always held.
It was not until a few nights ago, I asked my aunt about this. "I'm not sure, if your mom wants you to know this, but just remember, she had to go through a lot of things to have you. Honestly, this could be the 52nd century, but no one would completely accept an unmarried pregnant woman. Her God-awful boyfriend left her, our parents disowned her,"
My aunt sighed, "Zainab's always been such an independent woman, and so she didn't want to burden your father's family giving you their cowardly son's name. She didn't give you hers, because that would be your grandfather's—who didn't want you at the time. So, she left your name alone; for you to decide."
I was filling out my national ID card's form today. The surname section glaring at me.
I finally filled in the space with a smile, my chest filled with pride. I'm now called Anzara Zainab, after my mother-- who gave me birth, and an identity and recognition.
Mom: What is this?
Me: This is Mother's Horlicks. I made this for Apu (my sister who recently had a baby). But she doesn't want to drink it now. So I have to throw it away.
Mom: okay. Let me see.
Then she starts drinking it.
Me: MOM, YOU CAN"T DRINK THIS. This is Mother's Horlicks, it is specially manufactured for mothers.
Mom: I am the mother of the mother. So I can drink it. Enough said. Now let me have this in peace!
Back in medical college he had a major crush on her. More than a crush actually, he fantasized about her, sexually. Although he was the shy type, and never had the courage of approaching her. And she was way out of his league anyway. Beautiful, class topper, and daughter of one of the richest businessmen of the country.
He, on the other hand, was raised by a single, divorced mom who worked really hard to give him everything she never had. But fantasies know no boundary, do they? Every day he yearned for the sight of her, and every night he dreamt of her. He wanted to feel her, touch her, at least once in his lifetime.
Years went by after they passed out with their degrees. He was now a doctor at the forensic department of the local police. She got married to a rich man, and had a happy life, he heard. And he was happy with that. Then one night, he saw her again. Not in his dream, but in real.
Though at first he couldn't recognize her, her face was covered with bruises, so was her entire body. It was a murder. His hands shook as he wrote the report. He could finally touch her body, but in a way he never even dreamed of.
Been under excruciating pain for long 14 hours. There was a point when death seemed easier than taking breath, because I couldn't even afford to breathe without external help.
Suddenly I hear a cry and I see a tiny piece of me in their hands. They complete certain procedures for a while. "Ekta pori eshechhe tomar, dekho!" Two small bewildered eyes in the pile of clothes. She stopped crying as she laid her sparkly eyes on me and I lost myself in that sparkle. In that small stare, I forgot every pain I have been through.
You're the noor of my life and I can take thousand times more pain for you if it takes.
Thankful to the Almighty for blessing me with the most wonderful gift there can ever be. Alhamdulillah!