Abandoned by the memsahib, discharged of her duties to look after the little ones she had grown to love. ‘No return ticket back to India,’ said the memsahib. She was left stranded in a strange country thousands of miles from home. The December chill seeped into her bones, grateful now for the bed and board in Hackney, the Victorian home on King Edward’s road that had given her shelter, she snuggled into her thin blanket. She felt the cross on the chain around her neck then surreptitiously took out the tiny picture of Shiva from the Bible by her bedside and prayed. She thrust the photo of Shiva under the hard pillow ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ she mumbled to herself, praying hard to a familiar God. Tears flowed down her cheeks, dampening the pillow. Would she ever see India again? She thought of the three years she had spent with the young children of memsahib’s family, in India, then accompanying them and looking after them on the ship. Tending to all their needs, but now turned away, abandoned.
Leela Soma was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow, Scotland. Her poems and short stories have been published in several anthologies, publications. She has published three novels and two collections of poetry. Her poems have been published in Gutter, The Blue Nib, Anthropocene, Black Bough Poems, The Glasgow Review of Books and many others. She was also was nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2020 and the Erbacce Prize 2020. She has just been appointed the Scriever, 2021 for the Federation of Writers Scotland. Some of her work reflects her dual heritage of India and Scotland.
Author of ‘Twice Born’, ‘Bombay Baby’ and ‘Murder at the Mela.’ Available on Amazon and Kindle.