Parul’s Motherhood by Selina Hossain

Published in Words Without Borders, March 2005. Reprinted in Arshilata: Women’s Fiction from India and Bangladesh (ed. Niaz Zaman, Pub. Press Ltd. Dhaka), 2007.

Parul calculated that it had been around six months since the man had disappeared. Some said he had drowned at sea, some that he had gone to Dhaka for work. Parul didn’t care where the hell he went, but why did he leave without telling her? Would she have stopped him if he had told her? Would she have started crying? No, she would have done neither. She would have allowed whoever wanted to leave, leave. If there was any pain in her heart, it would have been her own. Why did the man run away then? He had fled because he couldn’t understand Parul, was that it? Or did he think that if he did not escape, it would have been too hard to leave her?