Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, December 25, 2014

"Of Cows and Love" by Atul Chandra (1971)

"Of Cows and Love" by Atul Chandra (1903 to 1986, Assam India, author of over 100 books) is set in a half Moslem half Hindu town, after the terrible wave of deaths in 1992.  People of the town always had lived in peace, even friendship but when a cow drops dead at the front door of the house of a Moslem woman it sets off a lot of consternation among her neighbors.  Some Hindus say the cow 
must have poisoned by the Moslem woman just out of hate.  The problem then becomes what to do with the body.  Hindus won't touch the body, only a member of a Dalit caste can move the body.  The woman has to pay an outrageous fee to get the cow removed right now, to leave it dead in front of her house invites disaster.  She begins to think back to a Muslim man she loved and who loved her but ultimately repudiated her as he knew his family would never accept the relationship.  

I read this very poignant and funny story with deeper veins of pain and sorrow in Our Favorite Indian Stories edited by Khushwant Singh and Neelam Kumar.

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