Unbearable

Is it Sunday already? Time for laundry. First the whites. Colours next. Four cycles. One. Two. Three. Four. Four. Four. Four. Four. North-South-East-West. Morning- Afternoon- Evening- Night. Spring- Summer- Autumn- Winter. Balance. Perfection. Four is the best of all even numbers. Two is OK too. But four is satisfying. Sorting through the clothes I try […]

Becoming Mrs. Reddy.

Amma sat chewing on her customary paan, betel leaf and nut, till her mouth and teeth turned a crimson red and fragments of green nestled in the gaps between her teeth. She grinned and her mouth was a festive Christmas theme all gone wrong. I looked away and cleared the table after dinner. The Lord […]

Unfinished Business?

There are many ways of attaining salvation. Various paths lead to redemption. The catch is what kind you are looking for. You are a successful physician waking up in the morning, in the middle of the night, whenever duty calls. She walks into your clinic with a huge belly and tells you, ‘No, I am […]

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? […]

Frozen sunlight

Nagpur. The oranges. Little bursts of sunlight frozen in pulp, waiting for sweet release. The train chugging into the station. Being greeted by vendors selling the finest ‘Santra’ as oranges are called. The freshness of the leathery skin loosely holding the segments together. Collecting the seeds and planning to plant them in the garden at […]

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 […]

Shadow puppet play

It was a Friday evening. The lamps were lit in the little altar in the nook of the passage between the kitchen and the bedroom. The divine scent of sandalwood, the incense sticks, permeated the very air of the tiny little ‘quarter’ that Radha and her family called their home. All the houses in the […]

Unpredictable

Sarma garu, as he was respectfully called by  everybody in the little hamlet by the sea was a man who took everything in his stride. Nothing mattered too much to him, he was what the present generation would call ‘cool’. If the rickshaw arrived late, he would simply shrug his shoulders and ask Ramulu if […]