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Of Marriageable Age

by Sharon Maas

Though long, this is not a demanding read - it's gentle and optimistic - ideal for a hot and lazy summer afternoon.

Extract

Ma began her day with sweeping. Each morning Saroj awoke to the faint slash-slash of Ma's pointer-broom in the yard as she swept away the night and the cobwebs of her own mind. For Ma it was much more important what you thought than what you did or what you said. So when she finished sweeping she'd spend half an hour drawing a rice-flour kolam at the front door's threshold, every day a different one. She'd begin by letting the rice powder drop from her fingers in a gridwork of dots, and then she'd connect the dots in swirls and lines till a wondrous, complicated symbol emerged, perfectly symmetrical, fragile, a temporary work of art that, by midday, was worn away by the uncaring feet of people leaving and entering the house.

Parallels

Reef by Romesh Gunesekera
 

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