WHEN TO TRUST THE SKY
by Shebana Coelho
Reena watched the wind carry leaves over the tracks. She felt she was with them, falling into the slats and disappearing under them into the dark. Meanwhile, Salim was speaking about doubt. He paced up and down the tracks, his thin frame casting shadows on the cement floor of the platform.
“Doubt ought to be celebrated like faith is,” he was saying.
The four of them were at the train station, waiting for the ten a.m. to Ranpur and wondering if it would come at all. You could never be certain – downed trees or bandits often delayed it. The trees were the result of a haphazard logging operation that the district had approved a year ago without really thinking, and the bandits were the bored wives from the army base. They intercepted the train at the first stop at Mangh, entered the men’s compartment, took watches and briefcases and returned them at the last stop at Ranpur. They had never been arrested because nothing was actually stolen and besides, their husbands were all officers.
No one answered Salim – they were all listening for the train.
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This and that about being here and there, faraway and close...