From 5 till 8.


A guy is sitting on a desk. He is reading a compilation of printed pages, held barely together by a single staple pin. As he is reading, he keeps highlighting certain lines with a neon yellow color highlighter. The pages get completed. He puts the prints down on his desk and lays back in his chair, taking a deep breath. He places his hands on his eyes. His desk is messed up with piles of books and notes spread on it. There is a laptop in one corner and a lamp in the other. He begins scratching his head and stares at the desk.

He gets up and goes to his bed. The television in the room is showing a channel, on mute. He picks the bottle from the corner table beside his bed and drinks it. The bottle, now 3/4 remaining, is put again on the table. He stretches his arms and sits back on the desk. He gets his laptop closer and begins researching on it.

He takes another printed compilation of sheets and places it on his bed. He locks the door of his room. He drags the chair to the opposite end of the room, by the window. He begins reading the paper, as he lights a cigarette. He is engrossed in the paper, inclined towards the sheets with his legs placed at the end of the bed. A container on the window slab has two finished cigarette buds in it.

He keeps the paper on the chair along with the highlighter. He falls onto his bed. He turns and faces the roof, thinking. He twists his toes and lifts his legs in the air. He picks his phone from the side table. He puts his legs on the wall, placing them parallel to it. He begins using his phone.

He stands in the center of the room, viewing the channels showing on mute. He picks the remote from the floor, kept on his beanbag. He turns on a music channel and increases the sound slightly. He starts singing along and grooving to the music. He dances and jumps around the room. He heads for the almirah at the corner of the room. He switches on a light and examines the clothes inside. He picks a top and a lower that he throws on his bed. He takes off his sweater and hangs it in the cupboard. He takes off his clothes, throwing them on the floor and goes inside the bathroom.

He stands in the shower, lost in thoughts while washing himself with soap. As he shampoos his hair, he starts humming the song playing on the television. He enjoys the hot water coming from the shower. The bathroom gets foggy. He comes out of the bathroom while drying his head with the towel. He quickly puts on his green top and a grey pullover. He wears his jeans with slight discomfort and sits on the bed while doing so.

Freezing, he turns on the heater kept on a stool beside the desk. He drags his chair adjacent to it and warms his feet and hands in front of the heater.  He faces the desk again and now sits with his back straight, as he examines a sheet of paper. He begins putting tick marks on it. Water from his hair drips onto the grey pullover upon his shoulder. He picks one book and begins counting pages of some sections in it. He puts a bookmark in the book. He picks his bag from the floor, kept behind the stool. He keeps the book inside it.

He starts sorting the notes. He creates a pile of printed notes on one end of the table. Another pile, much lesser in number, he picks and puts into his bag. He gets up and goes to the bathroom. A fistful of splashed water clears the mirror and it begins reflecting again. He combs his hair while giving them a certain style. He sprays a deodorant. He begins making odd faces, looking in the mirror. He examines his face, as he goes closer to his reflection.

He wears his socks and puts on a pair of white shoes. He ties the red laces. He looks out of the window while rubbing his hands against one another. He takes out a green jacket from his almirah and wears it. He picks his bag and puts two blue pens in it from his desk. He goes to his cupboard and takes out a sheet of paper, that he folds and puts into the bag. He looks around the room and checks his desk and then his bed. He sees his water bottle on the side desk, empty. He picks it and leaves the room.


Cherries for the Pudding


FullSizeRenderIt was a lovely Sunday afternoon. He woke up to the mellow sunlight briskly entering his room. He was supposed to get out of bed and clean his car in the garage like he used to every week on that day. Afterwards, he should be trimming the grass in the lawn and spending his time looking at the progress of the seeds he sowed. For him, his plants were his kids, and he reserved his Sunday for them. He didn’t take any calls on that day from the office.

Today was different. He didn’t wish to get up. He wanted to stay in the room all day, with his quilt and the fragrance of his wife’s perfume in the bed. She was not home. She had been going as per her routine. She had woken up exactly like she used to in the morning and had gone to the market to purchase fruits to make her Sunday morning pudding.

He knew they had to talk. He knew his wife hasn’t been the same she used to be before. She didn’t sing like she used to before. Or forcefully take him to clubs at night, where she danced in the glittering lights like a lightening herself. He wanted to spend time with her today. He wanted to let her know that despite how busy he stays, and how uncaring he might be looking to her these days, and unacquainted she thinks he is with her pain, he wanted to hold her today and tell her that he loved her and that till they both have each other they will never be alone in their lives.

She bought packs of cream, some mangoes and a jar of sweetened cherries along with cartons of skimmed milk. She kept them on the cashier’s counter and stood there watching the lady on the other counter holding her child in one hand, as she struggled to pick the bags in the other. She hushed her baby and kissed it, as she walked to the door of the store, that opened itself as she approached it. She left. The person at the counter woke Madie of her wonders and told her the total amount. She apologised and checked her purse for the amount. She remembered she had to withdraw money from the ATM. She gave her card instead and left with her bags.

He looked outside, through the transparent, satin white curtains of the window. He saw his wife’s car parked outside the house. The lilies on the window panel looked as if they hadn’t been watered for days, and had gone withered. He noticed a layer of dust on the window panel. His wife loved that window and sat there every evening reading her collection of philosophy. It was her place of peace, where she felt away from the entire world; her own little world. Since he changed his job, he hasn’t been much in the house in the daytime. He missed seeing her sitting on that cushiony chair and smiling to him in her red frame spectacles. As he sat on the chair, he saw her book on the stool beside his chair also has a layer of dust on it. He got up and dialled his wife number, aking her when will she be back home. Her song began playing in the room and he saw her beeping phone beside the television.

She chose to drive her bicycle today to the supermarket. She felt the breeze on her face as she passed through the air, cycling through the roads. Her bag and the jar of cherries in her basket in the front of the cycle, she paddled. She took a turn to the right of the bridge, where she saw a little girl looking at her, standing by the streetlight. The girl took a step forward and Madie took a turn towards her.

He receives a call. He rushes to Parkington Street. A crowd is gathered around the yellow tape in the area alongside an ambulance. There’s a police car parked at a distance.  He sees her on the floor alongside the broken jar of cherries, all shattered on the floor.



He noticed his uncut, uneven nails dark on the ends with dirt. He observed how ugly the nail of his little toe was, minuscule and just unattractive. His faded blue paragon chappals reminded him about how long it had been since he went to the market to purchase any footwear, which was astonishing for him given the exertion he subjected them to everyday. He liked those faded blue chappals, though he had a pair of black ones at home too. But they weren’t just the same as them. In his lost thoughts, he was interrupted by a sweaty man standing behind him,

‘Will you move ahead? Where are you lost man?’

‘Yeah. Sorry.’

Clutching his old brown bag to his chest he took two steps ahead in the line. He pulled an ironed white handkerchief out of his left pocket and wiped his forehead with it. He felt kind of breathless standing there, surrounded by impatient office people, who after their tiring shift in the day were desperate to withdraw money from the ATM and leave for home. He looked at all their feet. Brown dusky leather shoes, mustard wedge sandals with orange ends, dark red cotton slippers with black stripes, black shining belles with powdered dirt over it. They all spoke of the distance their owners covered each day.

Two men similar to his age, standing in his front began ranting,

‘What did we just end up doing? Sir, you bet that this man would change India. All he’s done with this move is that he’s created more lines for us to stand in. As if there were any lesser before’.

He couldn’t understand where to look anymore. The constant rattling wasn’t appealing to him. He took out his cellphone for a few minutes and texted a few replies to unread messages that came in the day. He wanted to leave the line and just be somewhere else, anywhere else but there.

But he stayed there. For he had to buy white sneakers for his son’s sports day. The promise kept him bonded to the line.

Suddenly his neck began aching, and the weight of his body felt too heavy for him to stand anymore. The sight of dirty feet, the footwear they were in and the ground they were upon. wasn’t as entertaining to him anymore. He looked at people around, all walking or standing, looking at one another, or below, or at the ATM or their phones, some in their wallets, some at other women as they walked by and some with their eyes on the verge of shutting. And. he looked above.

There they were, within the peaceful blue shade of the sky like speckles of cotton attached in a painting. Soft, subtle, calm as a river, serene as silence. Just there, unaffected by the dilemmas that were occurring down here. They didn’t care, they didn’t bother. They were just being. And more time he spent looking at them, he realized they weren’t still, they were moving too. And the thoughts in his mind suddenly became slow and his breath came in sync themselves with clouds.

The man behind shouted again, ‘Dude, are you high? Move dammit.’

He took two steps forward.

The Forgotten Fable.


Ever been in love,
That felt more than right
Gave you an ache in heart
Each time, it looked far in sight?

Such love, whose eyes
Glittered brighter than sunlight
Whose idiocy never seemed to you
Ever child-like?

A love that’s gone so far
That you have forgotten that time
Of an indelible walk, you took
Alone on that Sunday night?

A time when you just lived each day
To see her merry and thrived
Remember the time, it took you to get over
The feeling that kept you in tears, being deprived?

The ridiculous reasons you came up with
To witness that melting smile
Never thought you’ll move ahead,
But you did, didn’ t you, and kept going just fine?

Was it the lack of touch, or the time
That never bothered about, what was left behind
You lost all contact and began striding
A new life that came to your way, you started to abide

Now it’s been so long,
Since you saw her deep black eyes,
You can’t remember a thing,
The time took care, of the ache inside.

But you wonder, why still she
Sometimes shows up, in your late night dreams
She’s been gone so long, so far away
But she’s somehow still there, like a hazy souvenir

And you still wonder, what would you do
If came across her someday, on an afternoon
On the opposite platform, waiting for the train,
While you are as usual, running late?

Would you make the effort,
And shout out loud
Make for the time you two lost,
A conversation you dreamt of so long?

Or would you just see her
And just see her some more
Honor the distance between
Like an ocean, you can’t cross?

Maybe you’ll catch that train,
And leave her on that shore,
Of a story that never happened
Figment of your imagination, it was of course.

You thought she left,
But now you know she never will,
Unlike the memories, it’s the warmth of the first love
That stays, for you to timelessly adore and cherish.

For the first love, that makes you smile. Once in a while.

For him.