Ma(i)d in the Attic

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Scrub… scrub… Huh, work no ending. Make rotis now. Madam want triangle roti, how to make. I know round only. Huh.

“Smita… come here…” She calling again. So much work.

“Madam?”

“Meet Shilpa. She has taken the attic room upstairs on rent. Don’t disturb her at all. Okay?”

I look. And look. Shilpa have pink hair. She say hello to me. And I see earing in her tongue. I no say anything, run to kitchen. Make triangle roti. Who wear earing in tongue? That’s why madam make me clean and scrub up room. So dirty. Killed 5 cockroach. One lizard. So many spider still there. I no go near that pink woman. Look chudail*.

Later that evening…

“Smita, please stay here for the night? I have an emergency surgery.” 

I say yes. 

Make kid sleep. I sleep. But noise coming from up. Pink woman shout. Then cry. Then laugh. Now she sing. What she doing? Dancing… Jumping! Room floor break… I scared. Go up? Chudail kill me… No. I wait for madam. Phone her.

Madam no answer. What to do? Sshhh… No make noise. Pink woman mad or real chudail?

I say prayer and go up. Door is little open. Push with finger. Kids sleep down. Madam not come. I alone with pink woman. I see. Bone on floor. Same bone on her neck I saw in morning. Where is she? Then I see. She ulta* near wall. I shout…

“Chudail.. chudail…” Keep shouting till reach down.

Madam just enter. I say, “That pink woman up… she ulta… sing, dance, shout, cry. Send her out, madam. Please.”

Madam laugh. “Relax Smita. I know her. She’s not a witch. She wants to be an actress. Must be rehearsing for her role. Go sleep.”

Hush. I safe. Everyone safe. Goodnight. Huh.

Glossary:

Chudail: witch

Ulta: upside down


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Arva Bhavnagarwala
In between being patient with her two boys and seeing patients as a pediatrician, Arva manages to scribble a few words here and there. The words turn into stories and she gets an adrenaline rush when the stories strike a chord with the readers.
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