The train lurched before stopping. Groans parted the humid pancake air in the train as sweat trickled down my exposed arms. I glanced at my wrist, where the watch smirked at me. 7.48 AM. The local, already late to start, was now forty-five minutes late. I tied my hair into a high pony to escape […]
Bean There. Done That.
Croton. Square root of the problem. Kylon’s jaw unhinges crookedly, disguising itself as a smile. A colicky laugh springs out of him until it completely overcomes him. Gasping from the sprint, he bends down, his mirth making him quake. In front of him stands his quarry, Pythagoras. Like a lamb to the slaughter, Pythagoras stands, […]
The plasticky feel of the file feels weird. The tie chokes my unspoken words. Sweat pours down my temples and the stiff collar of my shirt happily absorbs the marching drops. My boss, head of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), R.N. Kao, cool as a cucumber, glances at me as we stand in the […]
Papito Gets Tailed.
The shiny red bus flaunting its name, Titanic, appeared as an aberrance amongst Kerala’s lush greenery. Its squeals overpowering nature’s sounds. The balding conductor scratched his armpits as he wobbled along the bus’ length. “Chetta, you’ve got to buy a ticket for your friend,” the conductor said, unfazed, as he reached the third row of […]
(SharMona Lisa’s diary.)Monday.“Punctuality is the thief of time.” The bus stop isn’t much of a shelter from the onslaught of the rain. It may have worked, if not for the hordes of people seeking shelter under its thin aluminium roof. Rani Laxmibai Chowk has the distinction of being one of the busiest bus stops in […]
Gender Trichotomy. Abhina fell into my arms as I opened the door to her incessant knocks. “Where are you, Harveer? The clerk called to say the PIL judgement will be out soon. Quick!” We head towards the waiting auto-rickshaw. Will my efforts bear fruits? Will the pot bear gold? *** Six months earlier. The man […]
The Pursuit of Moksha.
Moksha Bhavan, Varanasi. The doorbell rang impatiently. Ting-tong. Ting-tong.Ting-tong. It urged the inhabitants within to hurry. But the days of haste for them were long gone. As the old man dawdled to the door, grumbling in a loud voice. “I’m coming. Hold on to your horses. What is your hurry?” He opened the creaking door and exclaimed. […]
Objects in the mirror are inverted
The table shuddered under the impact of the fist. The cups and saucers shook violently. The room reverberated with echoes. The violence spread across the face belonging to the fist. The man spoke, anger making his voice hoarse. The sound is akin to the scratchiness of the thousands of smoked cigarettes. “No. I do not […]
My kitchen window overlooked the street. I watched as our new neighbours walked across to the bus stop. They had been recently married and were still in their honeymoon phase. The man and woman held hands as they stepped across the road. They ambled towards it as their hands dangled together. Swing. Step. Swing. Step. […]
The will to live.
The armchair-cum-wheelchair had lost its stuffing, and I was sinking in it. Just like my life; if it weren’t for Jehaan, my partner in all but crime, I’d have sunk into the abyss of depression. Our friendship tethered me. The unyielding spasms in my lower back were enough to drive me off the wall, but […]