…you should definitely check out Arunava Sinha’s translation of “The Game,” by Humayun Ahmed. Here’s an excerpt:
At babu Nalini Ranjan’s farewell on the rainy July afternoon, therefore, the subject of chess cropped up repeatedly. And at the end Suruj Mian – president of the meeting, secretary of the school committee and chairman of the municipality – announced in a most mysterious manner that he had made arrangements for a fitting display of honour for babu Nalini Ranjan, the pride of Niyamatpur, unbeaten at chess. He was giving the school fund a cheque for fifteen thousand rupees. Anyone who defeated Nalini babu would get this money. And if no one could, the school fund would get the money after Nalini babu’s death.
There was tumultuous applause. The headmaster had to hold the cheque up high to show it to everyone. No one had imagined such a dramatic move from Suruj Mian.
On an October evening Nalini babu had a severe attack of asthma. The air seemed very thin. He strained to fill his lungs. A pulse in his throat bulged repeatedly. But despite the state he was in, he sat down to play the final game of chess in his life. He would play it to lose. Today he would lose to his old friend Jalal sahib, who would win fifteen thousand rupees. The money would be used for Nalini babu’s treatment. Warm clothes would be bought for winter, for he suffered terribly terribly in the cold. Jalal sahib had persuaded Nalini babu after a great deal of effort. One defeat would make no difference.
The game was being played in the school hall. Jalal sahib was playing the challenge game. Many spectators had gathered out of curiosity. Nalini babu’s position worsened. A careless move lost him a bishop. Soon afterwards, one of his rooks was pinned. A murmur rose amongst the spectators. Nalini babu saw tears in Jalal sahib’s eyes. The undefeated chess champion of fifteen years was about to lose. Jalal sahib’s face was unnaturally pale. His hand shook as he moved his pieces.
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