It was a glass room, Tongi. Literally, a room which was made of glass built on stilts in the far shade of a village pond. The pond’s algae reflected its green on its glass walls. On rainy days, slanting rains fell on it and left its droplets to slide down the glass. Tongi ghor, meaning Tongi room, as it was often called was also a lover’s den. Under a waxing moon, love glided here in the moon’s full view—the light streaming through the glass. Only an insider was privy to its magic—only they could feel its real throbbing, transforming romantics into yearning hearts—enchanting and transcending any barriers—a safe house for the insiders. This place knew no shame. Where love was not berated for breaking taboos. Its rhythms, a heartfelt, meant only for love—to hear and understand. Tongi was an insider’s bubble. As soon as lovers came out of the room, the full moon packed itself away under a river cloud and the bubble of enchantment broke. Social antipathy was let loose on them—off-limit to the socialites—this bubble belonged only to the insiders of the Tongi room.
Mehreen Ahmed is an Australian novelist, born in Bangladesh.Her historical fiction,The Pacifist,is a Drunken Druid’s Editor’s Choice. Gatherings, is nominated for the James Tait Black Prize for fiction. Her short and flash fiction have won in The Waterloo Short Story Festival,Cabinet-of-Heed Challenge,shortlisted by Cogito Literary Journal Contest,shortlisted by Litteratuer RW for Litt Prize,finalist in the Fourth Adelaide Literary Award Contest.A Best of Cafelit 8,three-time nominated for The Best of the Net Awards,nominated for the Pushcart Prize Award. Also, critically acclaimed by Midwest Book Review,DD Magazine,The Wild Atlantic Book Club to name a few.She is contributing editor and jury to the KM Anthru International Prize of the Litterateur Redefining World Magazine and a featured writer for Flash Fiction North and Connotation Press.Her Toads on Lily Pads was curated by Cambridge Press on Muck Rack. She is widely published online, in anthologies, and has authored eight books. Her short stories have been translated into Greek,Bengali,and German.
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