Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Public Affair

This is a story I wrote for our Writing in Practice class. Now that the semester is over, the time is ripe to post it here. We were given five words and had to write a story including those. Mine were: ash, car, black, sunset and rejoice.

Someone once said that the old are in a second childhood. I could not agree more. Memories of a life never lived flood you till you start believing that it is not the wrinkles that make you old, but the weight of the recollection of moments that live inside you. At this age, it is difficult to resist talking about the past. No amount of education or pension can make me forget what I most enjoyed being – a young girl. But this is not the story of a young girl. This is the story of a sunset. This is the story of a sunset who was born a little after 6pm on the 13th of February many years ago and who died a few minutes afterwards. I was fifteen years old at that time and was bathing in what remained of the dried up river Rufiji which flowed through our backyard. I had discovered the advantages of bathing in the shelter of the ebbing afternoon and was happily scrubbing soap on my woolly hair when I noticed the sunset glistening on the droplets of river clinging to my jet black body. At that age I knew sunsets like the back of my hand. ‘Sunsets are like men,’ I used to think. ‘If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all’. But this one was different. Of course, he was not the first sunset to flirt with me. What made him different was his shyness. I decided to take matters into my own hands.

‘Hello,’ I said timidly.

He beamed for a moment and then said, ‘I love you’.

Whatever surprise I might have felt, I took care not to show.

‘Oh you do?’ I asked.

‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Will you marry me?’

‘But I am only fifteen!’ I said coyly.

‘So am I,’ he said. ‘But I am going to be older soon.’

Of course, I knew that would die in a matter of minutes. Besides, marriage was a public affair. I could not get married just now. This made me a little sad. I kept silent.

‘Will you at least travel around the world with me?’ he asked.

‘I don’t know. Do you have a car?’ I asked.

‘No,’ he said sadly. His eagerness faded a little but returned fast enough for him to say, ‘I used to, but it broke down the other day and I haven’t repaired it yet.’

I laughed in mock shyness. It embarrassed him greatly.

‘You are beautiful,’ he said finally. ‘Your parents must have rejoiced greatly when you were born’.

‘Not at all,’ I replied. ‘I am their seventh daughter. They weren’t happy. And anyway, my father left soon after. He has four sons with his third wife.’

‘But…,’ he stopped.

We looked at each other for some time.

‘Will you remember me?’ he suddenly asked in desperation.

I could see that he was dying.

‘Yes, if you want me to,’ I said.

‘I will remember you all my life,’ he said.

He watched me as the sky grew ash-blue near the horizon. With one last attempt to bathe me in his glowing embers, he died. I could do nothing to save him.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I am glad I went to Kerala.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Momentous Discovery (1)

I suffer from prosopagnosia. Prosopagnosia is the eloquent's name for a disorder which causes an inability to remember faces. I obviously exaggerated when I wrote 'suffer'. On some days it is a blessing not being able to remember what one looks like. But even I could see the spooky similarity between the faces of Asin and Mania Akbari. Between who and who, you ask?

Asin is our very own. She has played second fiddle to two Khans in Ghajini and Ready and some other movie. Her surname of 'Thottumkal' has not hindered her in the least -- a fact you can check by watching an ad of Clinic All Clear shampoo.

Mania Akbari is Abbas Kiarostami's muse and protagonist in his 2002 film 'Ten' where she drove around Tehran through ten successive scenes and therefore became a part of one of Iranian cinema's most introspective products. She is the director of a sequel to 'Ten', called '10+4' which depicts her battles with cancer.

Asin and Akbari are almost alike.

There are very few pictures of Asin where she is not posing sleazily and very few pictures of Akbari in general and so I could not find any pictures where one was in a posture like the other.

I think this is a momentous discovery.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Very Mundane Picture Post

Of all the ridiculous pictures I have taken of myself, I like these two best.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Prime Time

It’s morning. I know because on the window sill two crows are anxiously cawing about life. I open my eyes and the first thing I think of is you. I shut them again. I turn over and bury my face in the pillow. And I feel you. I let out a soft squeal in pain and turn over again to lie on my back and after a moment, wipe my moist eyes. When I touch my face I don’t feel my skin. I feel you. It aches. Your touch. I sit up and face the mirror. Misery drowns me anew when I look at what stares back at me. You have left me scarred. You have left my face unrecognisable. I am not sad. All I feel is anger. Overwhelming anger. I don’t want you, I never did. I have tried everything to remove you from my life but every day you make your presence felt like never before. You are a million volcanoes, constantly erupting and making a wreck of me. You are unwelcome. I don’t love you. Just wait till I find the perfect anti-blemish cream.

The early summer outbreak of Pimples stimulates a variety of emotions.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011



'I just overheard, Moumita Ghosh of 8B knows what 'fuck' means!'


'Believe me! Mother Father Red Cross!'

'Oh no! What will happen now? Don't tell Pallavi, she always tells everyone everything!'

'Arrey I wont but Moumita Ghosh knows! She SAID right in front of me that she knows! We have to stop talking to her! We cant talk to her anymore!'

'Okay, but first let's go and ask her what it means.'


'Now that your life sucks, Soumashree, I hope you will write a poem or two.'


The conversations (1) and (2) took place between the same two people with a gap of six years in between.