A Spectral Visitant

The piercing whistle of the departing train recedes reassuringly. In the background, as she lights the lamps, crickets begin chirping. Night draws on, a tangible blanket, soothing her with pure darkness. The peace crawls under her skin like a millipede makes itself comfortable under a rock, nestling in the moist darkness. Three nights and days […]

BEE PEE

It was time for Amma’s vacation again. Amma needed to get away from it all. So Amma huffed and puffed her way about the house and Appa saw it coming. Amma’s nostrils flared and her eyes had this fixed unseeing look about them. She stirred at seven in the morning when Appa brought her ‘bed […]

Warp and Weft

Warp. Yes, I am the warp. Taut and unyielding. There is nothing distorted or twisted about me. Truth be told, I have been distorted and deformed by an act of depravity. To suit a skewed mind. I gave up on freedom to be stretched, to be tortured into this flow of perfect tension. Never had […]

At your service

Unobtrusive. Yes, that’s me. I hover about tables, take orders, serve people. My presence is very often taken for granted. Nobody notices me. Then one evening, I was noticed. It was too much to take. You know, you kind of get used to being invisible. When you are noticed you realize how much you have […]

Picture Perfect

Look at this picture. What do you see? You don’t need to be an expert to say- This is a family.   This family is out on a picnic. Daddy, Mommy and Lil’un.   This is Daddy. Daddy looks impatient. All he wants is to get back home Slump on the couch and watch boxing […]

Down and out

You spoke to me? Me? Ok, give me a moment. Yes? Home? Huh? What’s that? Where do I sleep? When it isn’t raining, the trees there form a perfect canopy… When it rains, you ask? The priest at the temple allows me to shelter under the old stone ceiling of the mantap, the porch. A mattress? […]

…on a loop…

“The ocean sleeps. The ocean wakes. And the waking of the ocean is the waking of the soul. At midnight wakefulness springs from within the ocean.” – Wasif Ali Wasif, Dil Darya Samandar. Darya sat there, as calm, deep and still as an ocean on a beautiful day. The restful waves she created droned on, […]

Rambling wraith

The shroud of mist lifted halfheartedly and the house, reluctant to reveal itself, appeared in patches of brown and dark green, till finally it stood, mute, glowering down at the intrusion. I looked up at the sheer, imposing walls and breathed in the magnificent splendour of it all. Fell in love with it, again. I […]

Qatl-e-aam

‘Nobody makes tea like you, Damayanti.’ The man sitting on the log of wood, in the garden, mumbled these words. He had refused to come into the house and she had not insisted. One look at him had been enough. She recoiled as if she had seen a millipede curled up under a rock that […]

Sepia-toned dreams

She dangled lifelessly, in the light of day, her skirts hanging loose about her feet. Her feet were adorned with silver anklets that had tiny, silver mangoes, in an intricate design, and made a faint sound while she swayed gently from the sturdiest branch of the tree. Giving up on dignity that eluded her in […]