Arpith Siromoney 💬

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

His wife answered that you’d have to be an utter fool not to be able to paint the patterns; all you had to do was to put the stencil on and paint through the little holes with a brush. There were three sorts of carpets, she wrote: the ‘Troika’, an officer of the hussars driving a beautiful troika; the ‘Reindeer’; and a third with a Persian-style pattern. They had no other designs, but people all over the country were glad to get these and snatch them out of the painters’ hands. Because a real carpet cost not fifty but thousands of roubles.

How Shukov longed to see just one of these carpets!

During his years in prisons and camps he’d lost the habit of planning for the next day, for a year ahead, for supporting his family. The authorities did his thinking for him about everything — it was somehow easier that way. He still had another two winters, another two summers to serve. But those carpets preyed on his mind…