Published in New Age Eid Special 2oo5. Reprinted in Arshilata: Women’s Fiction from India and Bangladesh (Ed. Niaz Zaman, Pub. Press Ltd. Dhaka), 2007.

She stood calmly as she watched the child burn. The lighter fluid she had poured onto the girl’s dress had caught fire with the swiftness and ease of a kingfisher plucking a fish from water in mid-flight. It delighted her – the sudden and brilliant violence with which the fire blossomed on the girl’s body, like some unholy flower with an indelicate scent.