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.


“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.


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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