Onion Rings

Every day mother pares and dices onions with hawk’s eye; then keeps a few rings away in an air tight container– the ones which contain her life– but when I ask her why she does that, she says for us, even though it makes no sense.

So I check the container every morning, and the rings are gone. Frowning, I ask my mother, rather hopefully, if I could have some. Although I don’t have any hankering for them, but she gasps, and sputters, “They are not for you to eat,” hearing which my sister looks at me with tired, watering eyes as if the girl’s very life depended on a few paltry onion rings. In response, I silently plan to steal the rings before sleeping, little knowing that mother mixes the rings with an elixir to rub on the soles of my feet, on my back and on my forehead, to peter out my nightly fever for that is the only remedy to the curse, according to the three-eyed doctor.

And thus, unbeknown to me, I eat my cure; never to see the light of today, but to see the ghost of a story, in the eyes of my family gathered around my pyre.

 Manasi Diwakar

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