Monday, Jul 04, 2022
Short Story

Otto’s Dilemma: A Short Story From Goa

The short story by Mayabhushan Nagvenkar, a writer and journalist based in Goa, is part of an unpublished collection titled Anjuna Tales

Illustrations by Saahil

It was almost as if the whole world had forgotten pedalling. With his old, trusted Humber bicycle leaning against his right thigh, Otto Stern looked around for the bicycle stand he’d been using for the last several years. The wrought-iron stand was right here last Friday at the Mapusa market, when he’d come here on his weekly shopping trip. But today, in its place was an old tribal woman selling dyed scarves and embroidered sheets neatly laid out on a tarpaulin, over a pile of freshly dug mud heap.

They were building another drain to carry sewage and it cut right across the place where the cycle stand had perched itself for years now. ‘You want… fifty dollars only… take 45 dollars, ok?’ Otto ignored her sales pitch. He’d been to the Mapusa Friday market too often in the last two decades and more to fall for that kind of a swindle. Some miserly but overtly curious tourist landing in Goa in a charter flight from Moscow the week before, might just, he thought.