October 25, 2011

Conversation II

She entered the room to find him on the phone, talking
with a softness in his voice, she was used to hearing.
He was speaking to someone else.

Inwardly, she was filled with repugnance over this small betrayal.
To speak to another woman from her home,
another perhaps like herself,  that revolted her.
It filled her with the flat distaste one reserves for cheats.

He tried to make up for it, by being more tender than usual,
lingering beyond his customary time.
It only made her feel like a prostitute, who was today being honoured as a lover.

October 22, 2011


"I must know the truth.What is it? Why do I have to ask you so often?"
"You're getting tiresome, What do you think I'm concealing?"
"Put it in words, then! Why don't you?"

That it's over.
That there is nothing between us.
That we meet only because you know I need to see you.
That you think you need to first alienate me, before you leave me.
That you are debating, at this very moment, how, and with what measure of kindness, you will deliver the death blow.

But she says nothing.

October 18, 2011

Night II

She tore off her nightdress and stood beneath the shower, feeling the chafed skin cool down.
She dressed quickly, with half a mind of go out and feel cradled in the generous spaces of the night.
But she held back, and settled herself in a straight-backed chair.
For the moment, she luxuriated in the coolness.
The fan's indolent breeze against her wet hair, the soft cotton of her blue-and-white shalwar kameez,
clean feet, clean teeth, the clean taste of air in her mouth.
She felt safe.
For the moment.

October 14, 2011

It is going to rain tonight...

Resting one hand on his shoulders, she reaches
for the straps of her espadrilles and unties them
with the other hand. Kicking them off,
she stands barefoot on the grass, and
shielding her eyes from the glare of the sun,
she looks deep into the afternoon sky.
Having heard all that the clouds have to say,
she settles down beside him, and says
"It is going to rain tonight !"

October 12, 2011


Slowly but surely, his anger, his desperation, his guilt was giving way to pain.
And pain seemed to bring them closer.
She is no longer sure of her decision.
She fears for the innocence in him.
But then she catches herself and remembers that this is not him;
But a person softened by the forced reflection that comes with loss.
She trusts that everything that is happening, has to happen.

This is their life.

October 11, 2011


She was always in transit;
You never knew where she came from, you never knew where she would go.
You never thought to ask.
That pixel you caught was all she left you.
It didn't matter, really.
It didn't matter that you never learnt the rest of her story.
It was enough that for one eidetic moment, she had looked your way.

8 June 2004

October 8, 2011

Mammary metaphor

She opened her book, but her mind was not on the novel.
The rocking of the train usually quieted her, but not today.
She looked at the faces around her - secret diaries,
storing and concentrating the condensed milk of human kindness,
ready to spill the moment they reached the cocoons of their homes.
Not a drop shall be wasted on the way !

October 5, 2011


There was something unreal about her room, something alien.
She felt as though she did not belong here.
She only belonged to the few moments they had shared together.
From a lifetime of immeasurable years, she recollected some bare measurable hours.
All other truths, all other memories had crumbled and disappeared.
Only pain, with its tentacles, retained its powerful grip on her slipping life.

October 2, 2011


She said all those things, hoping that he would protest.
She ached to hear the remonstration in his voice.
But he said nothing, nothing at all.
And her pride swelled with the grief of understanding of his relief.
It had been pity with him all along, nothing more.
How in pity's name could it have been anything else?

October 1, 2011


Sometimes in her solitude, desire wrack her in waves.
It is like a force that draws her to the window,
scavenging the horizon with hungry eyes for some morsel of his presence.
It leads her to cradle the small keepsakes he left behind, still warm from his hands.
Her day ceases to exist beyond the shrinking dimension of their time together.