Wednesday, July 07, 2004


She stared intently into the mirror. Probably half an inch. But sparse. Sniffed gingerly, nose turned down sideways. No need deo. The stuff stinks anyways. She lowered her arm and pulled on a t-shirt and jeans. Too young. Naah. Probably old one digs it. That thought sent a small ripple of distaste just under her skin that went almost unnoticed what with her general feeling of complacency about the entire situation.

The afternoon sun beat mercilessly upon her head like a drunken schedule caste husband. She felt listless as she walked toward the autorickshaw stand. The heat always made her feel so. Give me freezing cold anyday, she muttered, upperlip to lowerlip. Not that I'd know what any temperature below 28 C feels like, she added with a wry half chuckle.

The autorichskaw was just a paper overhead and paper underfoot. Hot salty wind burned away at delicate forearms from either open side. Felt like sitting in a cardboard box that was crumpling under the pressure of the fist crushing it from all around. Her attention though, was diverted from her browning forearms by the godlight. Yes, it looked like godlight, surreal to the point of being mystic, the light streaming from the most unlikely of places, a place one's imagination can't even stumble at, the one being in an auto behind an auto driver. The Godlight, from where she sat, was streaming from the hole in the autodriver's left earlobe. The Sun was up at 60' in the front slanting its rays through the cheap glass, maybe plastic of the auto. The bulky dark form of the man in front of her steering the three legged vehicle was blocking the dazzling light effectively, but a strong, sinous ray got through. Through the dark lumping form, through all his darkness, streaming through the 1 mm pierced hole in his earlobe. Still the goosebumps refused to rise.

She wanted to laugh at herself, but it seemed such an effort. The feeling of lethargy was overwhelming. She hoped she didnt do anything bizarre, like falling asleep or yawning in his face when she met him. Why was she meeting him? Did she really think he wanted to buy her a swimsuit because it was a nice gesture? Did she really think he wanted to teach her to swim because he felt that swimming is a good exercise and everybody should learn it? No she didnt. She knew exactly what he wanted, and that was exactly what she had expected from the beginning. Swimming was an adequate excuse, and teaching her how to swim would provide ample opportunity to touch, fondle, grab, etc. Oh, and rooms were available in the same club. And he wanted to buy her a swimsuit because he thought it would be kinky, the choosing, speculating, imagining her in styles, colours, maybe even peeping in the dressing room for a quivery nod of approval.

She smiled. Her contorted reflection in the driver's mirror smiled back uglily. One of her constant sources of amusement was to look at strangers as she caught them staring at her, and imagine how shocked they would be if they really knew what all she was upto. Another source of entertainment was to imagine how her parents would react if they knew. They would probably not recognise her if they saw her with a cigarette in her hand. They wouldnt be able to even imagine that their daughter smoked. Female promiscuity was a known even if disapproved of concept. But a female smoking was unthinkable, unimaginable. That reminded her that she had to get rid of the empty Kings pack from her handbag.

The auto charged through the streets like a knight in shining armour, all steel and sound and fury. Enemies from all sides scattered in the wake of the all conquering hero. Their blasts of righteous annoyance at being humbled scraped at her trembling eardrums. She stuffed a finger into her right ear, which had started throbbing. The posh grey tones of the department store was stylishly letting in the suckers through slick automatic doors. Middle aged women badly dressed and brightly lipsticked were consiously picking out clothes that made them look classy to other badly dressed brightly lipsticked middle aged women in the store. Slightly smarter women, and some men, with a studied casual air about them were glancing at displays lazily, as if shopping in a big store didn't make them nervous.


Anonymous said...

Pretty enjoyable, most of your work seem to stem entirely from yourself and your experiences (just an observation). I keep seeing you, as i read what you've written. I know you won't post whatever u wrote before, but is there any chance you might publish some of your old work ?

- 362

P.S Kings of all the possible brands ?

Anonymous said...

As usual you have written something that is easy to read yet very thought povoking. Waiting to read the rest now. And like Miss/Mr 362 said i see you in the character. She thinks and acts exactly like the way you do. So the character is an extension of the real you - restless, thoughtful, thinking of too many things at one time and trying to see something in everything.