Moushumi Ghosh: Mila

A very short story from the Duckbill Workshop in Chennai.

On the shelf far above everyone’s reach was a stack of crumbling, yellowing books everyone had forgotten. Everyone but Mila that is. Mila found things or things found her. Then why is it that the old books evaded her? The reports were contradictory. Rajiv uncle said that they were old travel writings of her grandfather. Grandma said that they were recipes of a bygone age. Baba who was interested in ghosts—‘an unhealthy interest’ according to Mammah—said that they were pages and pages of ghost writing. Sarika aunty insisted that they were just old encyclopaedias which had to be discarded because of (a) the dust (b) bookworms (c) it was eating up space that could be used to keep her shoe boxes. Sarita aunty liked her shoes a lot, even better than her husband. Mila had heard her muttering under her breath.

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