Archive | August, 2011

Bloodletting, Memory

30 Aug

I bleed the City.

With shards of rejection in my veins

The fury, the heartbreak, the

Slamming of gates.

A human wall, of

Purified hands, closing in, shutting out,

Spewing fumes of vile smugness.


I bleed the City.

The cradle, the earth,

Glass bowls that

Rock babies, among gravel and green.

Passed around communal arms, eyes taped

With certainty, stunted by fawning,

Inspecting sodden roots,

While new leaves are snipped off

For daring to be fresh.


I bleed the City.

The fabric I carry, the honks in my

Head; the corners of childhood, neon signs that scream

No, the stripping of self, divesting of entity.

Hurled into a morass of the unknown and

Unknowing, the joy and the light frame my

Dark core, the bounty that decorates

Crumbled pieces of



I bleed the City.

I bleed the City.

Through lumps in the throat and knots in the spirit

May my ministrations redeem me.


‘Cause If You Like It, Then… [iii]

22 Aug

Read the story so far here and here.


Maybe emerged isn’t the right adjective. It rushed out, stick in hand, to investigate who was molesting the fair maiden of the unintelligible sounds. Unfortunately, said fair maiden had started in alarm and had taken off to the street corner, staggering about in exaggerated hysteria (stomach-churning must follow a proposal, never precede it) and emanating guttural sounds. The gallant erstwhile ring-bearing knight chased her down the street in a bid to keep her fat hand now that he had won it, and neatly in queue for the Puducherry version of the Amazing Race was The Night Watchman of the Blue Door.

They stopped where the streets intersected: him, her and the watchman. Three dwarves named Puzzled, Hysterical and Suspicious respectively; all of them playing their parts, none making the first move. Until she, with her newly-minted pebble, felt incumbent to explain. We’re engaged, she cried out to Dwarf S—look! And the dazzling light from her circle of love had him scuttling back into the nether regions of his blue-doored world, stout stick lowered and the scent of resignation in the air.

With monsters and the world successfully fended off, they turned back to each other, Dwarves P and H, now magically re-transformed into Boy and girl. And so it came to be, that on the corner where the Avenue Dumas and the Rue Du Bazaar Saint Laurent meet in the quaint French Quarter, they shared their first affianced kiss under a night sky that was finally, delightfully bright.

~The End~

‘Cause If You Like It, Then…[ii]

18 Aug

Read the story so far here.


Peering into the darkness, her eyes fell on a figure crouched at her feet. He was on bended knee, holding out a dark velvet box with the unmistakable glimmer of polymorphed carbon.  Will you marry me, came the words from a galaxy far, far away, and echoed in the ether of that seaside town. Her eyes re-focused. Her ears nudged each other into soldier-like attention. Even her stomach stopped churning for the merest of moments.

Will you marry me, he repeated, as her brain tried to pinch her tongue into responding. Say something, it hissed. Anything!

So she did. Barf, she went, I’m going to throw up, and stumbled forward, bracing her body for projectile hurling. Miraculously, something else emerged. She heard a voice say yes. With an exclamation or two thrown in for good measure. And their eyes met as he rose at last.

The ring was simple and locally-bought. We’ll call it Thiffany’s, she giggled, as he slipped it on her finger, smiling and holding her gaze. But nothing in their lives was quick and painless, so why should an engagement be an exception? Remember the bright blue door she had stopped outside? At the precise moment that the ring went on, it opened, and a figure emerged.


(To be continued…)

‘Cause If You Like It, Then… [i]

16 Aug

Once upon a time, on a balmy February evening in Pondicherry, a couple years ago, a Boy and his girl walked over to a candle-lit courtyard for a meal. They had taken a quick trip from Bombay, zoomed around on a rented bike all weekend and wanted to make their last evening special. It was a sweet and intimate time that had begun with a disagreement and involved lots of making up. It was just them and the Southern sun, whitewashed walls and bougainvillea, incense and long walks, and the curious sense of home that the girl always found amidst it all.

Struggling to see under the not-so-bright stars and ineffective candlelight, they tucked into a meal of Creole mutton curry, coastal fish and some forgettable dessert. There were few other diners that night and they held hands and talked quietly. Dinner over, they strolled back through silent lanes, the crash of the waves a reminder that the blue bay was only one street east.

The girl, greedy thing, had consumed one helping too many and she staggered toward their hotel room, mumbling about how stuffed she was.  Let’s sit by the sea for a while, the Boy suggested, taking her arm to guide her. An explanation about fresh air being helpful followed. I’m feeling sick, she whined, her gills spewing curry, I want to go back. And with that, she quickened her pace, leaving him a few steps behind.

Then I guess I’ll just have to do it here, she heard him say, and tried to fashion a suitable question over her shoulder. But curry can rapidly seep into one’s brain, dulling all senses, and dessert delivers the master stroke. She stopped outside a bright blue door. All was calm, but not bright. It wasn’t Christmas and she certainly wasn’t Mary. Her brain registered a lack of sound. She felt his presence behind her and turned around to face him. He was gone.

(To be continued…)