Hands by Anwara Syed Haq

Published in Words Without Borders, January 2013.


Everyone in the ganj knew there was nothing behind Keramot Ali’s Hessian curtain that could astonish. There were chisels and a hammer, a saw, some old ripped cloth, wax, sealing wax, matchboxes, and a temi with a wick, because electricity had not reached this area and there was no hope that it ever would.

Keramot Ali’s repair work was a thing of wonder. The things he could mend! From jewelry to shoe soles, from punctured tires to bent bicycle spokes – he fixed it all.