Contagious Love

IMG_20160602_195525Love is contagious.
Every time the void shrinks, between us,
It infects me like a virus.
We barter breathes and bath in warm cuddles.
Every drenching kiss,
spurs euphoria in my blood
and bursts every vessel.
All those seemingly short talks,
confiscate my intellect
and a labyrinth of emotions triggers.
We wither our bodies
and relish in incurably morbid hearts,
convalescence of which will never be quenched.


The Song of Summer

An eraser bobbled up to her feet. She picked it up, handed it to the boy who was waving his hand indicating that it belonged to him and sat down on her bench. Sandra’s courage had always been cloistered in her timid demeanour. It was also the reason why she chose silence even after knowing that she, alone, was the target of that eraser.

“True courage lies in ignoring the imbecility of humans and retaliating unjust treatment with a speaking silence,” Mamá had once told her and she had since then, justly thwarted the unjust.

“Flip to page number 49,” a raspy voice commanded and she followed.

The chapter was titled ‘The virtuous friend’. She ridiculed it and like a sermon that demands daily recitation she drew a star on the page of her textbook. Then came questions and unasked advices shamed with egocentric mockery.

“Hey! Dumbo! Teacher uses a red pen to give us stars. Whom are you fooling? Your Mommy? Eh?” remarked her surly bench mate and laughed like a whining donkey but Sandra ignored without despising.

She was living with her uncle in the city while Mamá grew wheat in the countryside and milked ten adorable cows. Her concentration always flailed in the wayward thoughts of the ranches, the babbling stream of icy water and Mamá’s warm lap in which her head sank in and fatigue seeped out. Eventually, her crusade would cease at the star. Melancholy would set in and the vivid pictures in her head would tweak to an infinite black with a shining silver void. She’d ask Mamá what Papá looked like and Mamá would embosom her, caress the side of her face and simply point at the Pole Star high up in the sky. When Sandra was conceived Mamá was too young- barely eighteen and Papá too delighted to let the gloom of his fate possess him. Four months later, he died of Leukemia leaving behind Sandra and Mamá without so much as a picture, but only a shining silver void.

“Sandra, Get up!” the raspy voice had become unbearable, still she followed.    “Tell me! What did Timothy do when he saw his friend crying?” she asked in a thick voice bordering her anger.

Sandra stared at the space between her eyes, half clueless and half confounded.
“Get out of the classroom!” yelled her teacher.

Sandra walked out silently, indifferent to the rage of her teacher. The only time she reveled in the school was the time she spent outside the classroom. The playground had captivated her heart. In a secluded corner of it she rested under a mango tree. Through the blind of shattered rays of Sun−which danced like the beads of a broken string between the leaves−she saw mango flowers, yellow and green; marking the departure of spring and the arrival of an ebullient summer.

Summer summoned her home. She’d be with Mamá, her cattle and open skies very soon, she knew. A layer of joy fell over her indifferent silence. She savoured the warmth of the dappled sunlight, dissolved the melody of the “Song of Summer”−which she sings in the fields every summer−in the wind, dusted the back of her skirt and receded to the classroom, as silently as ever.
“People will find judgement to fill the voids of a story they know only tidbits of and brave are those who let them do so without displaying so much as an emotion,” Mamá had told her.

And indeed, Sandra was brave. She opened the textbook for the next class and drew an even bigger star. The mockery faded and ranches and streams hatched from its vestiges. The “Song of Summer” rung in her heart for summer was coming.


You can read another one of my stories in the link below.

Brown Old Man

An Unforgettable Birthday

Her flattened green eyes carpeted by flabby eyelids wandered in a dream. It felt like a recollection of a familiar train of events. Haze had cluttered around the outline of every person and yet she could distinctly recognise each one them. In the middle of all those endearing people, she was sitting on a wooden chair – with a silver knife gripped in her right hand – about to slice the cake. A round bellied man whose face was buried behind the camera chuckled at a joke that someone made about her being twelve years of age, about her not being a child any more, while a short haired woman admonished the person for passing the joke and ran her palm down the little girl’s cheeks repeatedly in a soothing manner. The warmth grew with every stroke. Everybody clapped their hands and sang in unison, the song of an unforgettable birthday. Soon, all the cheery and rejoicing faces faded, a sudden darkness spread across her eyes followed by an ethereal white light that entered through her slitted eyes.

The white bed sheet was being pinched away from her body by a pair of steady hands. She tried to widen her eyes but it stung her to do so. All she could see through the narrow opening was a silhouette of a person. She felt neither her hands nor her feet. Her chest was numb but she could palpitate the muscle of her heart thumping relaxedly. As she ventured to lift her body up with the support of her elbow – although she barely moved – a deep voice emanated from the silhouette, “Oh dear, dear! Don’t you pain yourself. Just lie down…..lie down. You’ll be fine.” The voice, although, sounded to be having come from a concerned tongue, it had a heaviness, as if the speaker’s tongue were weighed down by a ridiculous lie. It rang into her ears like an receding echo. If she kept only listening any longer, she was afraid that she would entail the fear of impaired hearing onto her mind. But she could not cease to wonder where she was or what had become of her.

A few minutes later, while she was engrossed in her conjectures and thoughts, she felt something cold prick the skin of her right arm. A needle perhaps. It pierced deeper and stayed there for a while. She was in a hospital, she was at least sure of that but before any other thought crossed her mind, darkness spread across her eyes and she went back to a sleep. The dream was replaying itself again. All the joyous faces calling her with the sweetest names and wishes, pampering and cuddling with her.

The round bellied man scurried back and forth between the walls of the room with an anxious mind and a furrowed brow. The woman with short hair sat on a chair, gloomily mumbling something. Perhaps, she was praying. “She would be fine, wouldn’t she?” she asked shakily. “In all the kindness and faith that we have had so far, she will be. Do not worry, my dear,” replied the round bellied man.

It was a few minutes later that she regained consciousness, only partly though. But this time she was more aware of her aura than before. Her neck felt wet and warm. A robust hand pressed against her breast. Before she realised what had happened it was already squeezing her breast. She wanted to scream out with all the strength she could amass but only a muffled sigh slid out of her mouth. She wanted to punch the bastard, the scoundrel but what strength did she have to inch a muscle? And then she saw the face of the devilish human, as he reciprocated about her body, about her face, violently. She heaviness from his voice had vanished and she could clearly hear his detestable moans. Their eyes met once and she was repelled, disgusted. It was the same man who had passed a joke about her being twelve, about her being not a child anymore. It was the same fucking man, it was her uncle.

Now she knew exactly where she was, beneath him, helplessly lying like a corpse. She did not cry, she could not but only wandered in a mind numbing thought – how many times before?


Brown Old Man

Those old eyes — sunken deep into the two waterless wells beneath the sparsely sowed white hair, sheltered by his venous trembling hand like a the brim of a barret, from the blaze of the lurid Sun — gazed up in the spotless azure, awaiting it to be blotted with an endless river of black clouds carrying wholesome life. Once a dense field of slender green fledglings of rice, quarrelling and bouncing in the moist breeze of the monsoon now rolled across acres and acres, up to the horizon’s end as empty and sutured as the skin of that brown old man. It hadn’t rained for two years, not even much as to quench the thirst of people both, old and young. His heart had been bloomed by the deceptive helping hand and burnt afterwards iteratively by the power hungry people so much that his nerves were ashen and numbed; that he could shed no tears any more. If only he could, he would shed them for his dearly land till life sprouted into his sweetheart seeds buried beneath the dead soil. The mortgage he had taken, swirled and hovered over his head like shrewd eagles and poverty circled his ankles like a quagmire.
From about a hundred yards away came a child clad in an unkempt white shirt and an unbecoming dull brown trouser which had been stitched, restitched and restitched till it bore the appearance of a decorated and battered war hero. The oblong shaped bag on his back jumped up and down as he popped his burnt bare feet against the blazing soil and leaped finally into the arms of his haggard father who hugged him tenderly and asked, “Aye boy! How hazz tha school been? Studying, are ya?”
“Yes, Ba, with all my heart,” replied the eight year old with a gleam in his eyes that soon turned grave and grim.
“If it doesn’t rain this year too, will they snatch away our land, Father?” inquired he with trepidation.
“Noi, ma boy, not at all, they won’t. I will get rupees and will pay tha loan,” replied his father with an assuring smile that belied the dismay within, “Now off ya go home and bring me lunch.”
Bala retreated just the way he had arrived on his dark brazen feet. The air was replete with golden dust, flying haywards around the sapling of basil like the breeze of heaven around the mighty God, as a little girl wearing a neatly knitted green blouse and a brown skirt swept the yard. Her plaited hair shimmied when she looked up to see her brother standing forth her.
“Rukmini!” he was panting and gasping for air, “Where is Ma?” asked he.
“Inside,” replied his sister.
“I have a great news. I am going to crack it to Ma first,” he said with excitement and hurried into his dingy house. It was a dingy cube with a small, grilled square window from which only ample light entered the house. The stony floor and walls were daubed with cow dung and soot had made the alcove above the raking hearth its home. The air within queerly tasted of smoke, cow dung and milk.
Maa!” he yelled.
“What happened, Bala?” asked a woman in a worn out saree, that had been used, reused and reused till it looked like a large mattress.
Ba said he’ll recompense the loan. Great news isn’t it?”
“Did he? He ain’t telling tha truth, is he? Keeps saying it, that old man,” said his mother resentfully.
“No, Ma! His eyes could not lie, he assured me. He looked very happy. I am sure he is not lying,” replied Bala with a child-like eagerness.
“Is it so? Let’s see,” she said dubiously, “Take this lunch for yer Ba,” and she handed him some food wrapped in paper with which he went on his merry way towards the farm.
The blazing Sun had gone to sleep behind the flock of clouds as the scaly barks of Guava sped across him. He was never as happy as he was now, he never could be. A strong wind soughed through the Mango tree when he reached the farm, the tree which gave him the sweetest Mangoes in the summer, the tree which he climbed onto after teasing his little sister, also the tree, on the dusty dry branch of which, now hung a brown old man. His neck in the noose, tongue fallen out of the mouth, breath pinching Bala’s heart, there was he- the old man, dead and gone.

The loan had been paid as help would come now, as it always does, after a life is lost.











The Stranger

“An old lady, I saw her amble everyday down the street I awaited for the bus at. The same sallow saree she would wear each day and gift me a smile as she passed by, which I would return curiously. The corrugations on her skin spoke of wisdom but her name, was oblivious. A week it had been, since, she was last seen and eeriely enough it perturbed me. “What if she had migrated or passed..”, but the musings and speculations were futile for I could never know what had become of her. Needles can’t prick wind, I’d assumed and yet it pricked me, the absence of a stranger I had known only the smile of.

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The wait

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He reached out for his old fashioned spectacles resting on the side table with his trembling hand. He wore them and gawked at the ancient clock. It was time, he knew, so he grabbed his walking stick and ambled with his exhausted feet down the boulevard. He stopped by to buy a rose and continued strolling. Soon, he reached the rendezvous, where she had been waiting for him. He knelt down, gifted her the rose and smiled as a tear dripped down his wrinkled cheek. Thirty years, thirty roses and yet not a word from her. This time, he hoped that she would speak or even whisper, but how could she? Her name was engraved on a tombstone, just the way it was engraved on his heart.


She was high,
drunk with vehemence and fervour.
She was reckless as an ocean and incessant as a storm.
She was a colossal naked soul
which even panoramic eyes couldn’t perceive.
She was a vestibule full of frenzy
and a verse even Shakespeare couldn’t think of.
She never strived for marijuana,
she could puff on her breath
and be high on her life.

She was high,
drunk with vehemence and fervour.
She was reckless as an ocean and incessant as a storm.
She was a colossal naked soul
which even panoramic eyes couldn’t perceive.
She was a vestibule full of frenzy
and a verse even Shakespeare couldn’t think of.
She never strived for marijuana,
she could puff on her breath
and be high on her life.