It was in Kashmir. Yes, again Kashmir. That place that haunts my dreams by day.
He was quiet. The glint of his silver needle darting in and out and in and out.
He had been embroidering the shawl, the one shawl, for months. For months. Just. This. One.
It would take him one year to complete it. Every day, six days a week, his silver needle in and out and in and out. Now pink threads. Now orange threads. Now plum threads. A quick turn of the wrist, a quick pat of the wool.
And after the year -- after the days and weeks and months had passed -- the shawl, his shawl, would be sold by his employer. He would come in that day and would find it gone.
My arms clasped around my knees, my back to the wall, my voice hesitant, I asked him how he would feel... that day.
He paused then, his needle silent, his spectacles flashing in the light. Looking up he said in a low rasp, I would feel like a part of me was given away.
In my mind's eye, I saw him in the doorway that day, gazing at the blank expanse of pashmina that would await him. New and untouched.