Violence Without Hurt



Violence Without Hurt



Sulha comes wearing the colour of doves. But he has

never once asked for flight. He owns a small revolver. He tells his

wife that there is no reason for it, but only that he has fallen in

love with the sound it makes. They don't have children yet. But

when they come, he will have to sell it. So every day in the courtyard,

He fires it. Five times. The last one, he says grinning at her, has always

been in the chest. He comes into the shade to drink from the matka

and wipe his hands on a cherry-red cloth. "One of these days," he says

squinting, as the light that makes its way into the room. "I swear I will

make love to you." But he never does. His wife won't ask.

His mind has wandered to a distant land emptied of trees

for small settlements. It is the land of his hometown.

Every day now, he releases the revolver, and then asks the sky for

peace. He comes inside. From next month, he will no longer use it.

Wistful for his touch, she asks: "Will you ever make love to me?"

Her eyes seem hurt. But he keeps staring. "I want to," he wants

to say, but he is still thinking of the men who patiently used

thirty axes to remove a forest. He bites his lip hard enough

to remind his body once again that violence can never come gently.

He thinks, "I will make love to you so deeply, even acres of land

will remember the trees it has tried to forget."

Mit Shelke

Mit Shelke is a second-year UG student pursuing his English Lit. degree. Currently based in Pune, India, his work deals with loneliness and dejection. He has no publication history, and this will be his first submission. He is deeply grateful for Alipore Post, whose works have convinced him that his local, Indian voice also (occasionally) deserves some permanent part of the Internet.

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