The Remains Of The Unborn

Gaurav Deka

Gaurav Deka is Delhi based writer and psychotherapist. His fictions, poetry and reviews have been published in the Papercuts journal, Himal Southasian, The Tenement Block Review, Café Dissensus, The Four Quarters Magazine, The Bombay Literary Magazine, The Bombay Review, Anti-Serious, DNA-Out of Print, Northeast Review, and The Solstice Initiative, among others. His fiction “To Whom He Wrote From Berlin” won The Open Road Review Short Fiction Contest, 2014.


Her heart, that day, flipped open and the whole world came cascading down into it in one massive wave. Hearing the news she licked her lips, coughed and twitched for a moment trying to find her voice from somewhere inside. When she couldn’t, with the phone going mute at the other end, she felt something silent exploding inside her. On the line was Syiem, her journalist friend. The bridge had given away and the car had shot forth into the air, he said. It fell straight into a gorge near Laitmukrah, and descended to the bottom of the spring in it. The rescue team that came after an hour used a giant crane to pull the Ambassador out of the water. The body didn’t have a single scratch on it – the window-glass were intact, the tyres smooth and unperforated, and the fuel tank unbroken. They couldn’t find Abhilash, her husband. The body, as they said, was missing. The son however was safe. And breathing.

On the evening of her husband’s funeral, Shunita retired early. People, who came, only talked about how miserable her life would be now. How’d she manage with a child in a place like Shillong. After all, it is too lonely a place to be able to grieve. She didn’t listen to them. Instead she went to her room and started packing her clothes. Everything could be stuffed into one single suitcase. After finishing she sat down on her bed and took out a photo-frame from inside the almirah nearby. It was one from her wedding album. Abhilash always looked younger than her in all of them. She didn’t look at it. She didn’t want to. But she opened the suitcase and tucked it between her clothes. No, she could not wait for her son, she thought. It would be unbearable to wait any longer. The doctors had said that he was to be at the hospital for a week more. Syiem had agreed to take him to Jorhat once he was discharged. When he was first admitted, his lungs were full of water and in his jammed fist he had his father’s trident key-ring. She didn’t know if he was any better now. She didn’t want to know. She did not want to visit him at the hospital. She didn’t care if he died or disappeared like his father. Everything felt like a nightmare and Surjyo, her son, was the portal to it.


Continue reading