December 31, 2011

A day in the life - IV

She dresses with great care, a peacock blue sari, the pallu long and ornate fanning across her waist.
She uses a little make-up today, a touch of turquoise, a dull pink lipstick.
Slowly, seductively, the aromatic molecules of fruits and flowers begin their centrifugal dance.
She feels a great relief, and also impossible grief.

December 30, 2011

A day in the life - III

She waits for something more positive or pleasant to happen, but to no avail.
Her head throbs with the rebellious grief of sudden remembrance.
Her mother appears at the door, her face creased in concern,
"Not ill, are you, baby ?""

Choking back tears, she shakes her head and disappears into the bathroom.
It takes a few more minutes, cold water on the temples, the tingle
of toothpaste, to restore her fragile equanimity.
"Only my period !" she says.

A day in the life - II

The morning is pink.
It takes her time to adjust to this.
Her hands, still clutching the edge of the sheet, are a lurid science-fiction hue.
The sheet which was pale blue last night, is now phenolphthalien purple.
It must have been those pills, she decides.

December 27, 2011

A day in the life - I

She drags herself home and greets her family with funereal cheer.
She examines their familiar faces with new curiosity - seeing in their bland curves as
many lives furled tight and secret as a cat's.
With them she watches an old film on television, Waheeda Rehman and Dilip Kumar.
The romance, palpitant with music, oppresses her with grief.
She pleads a headaces, and swallows a couple of tranquillizers in the bathroom.

December 1, 2011


For her tryst with loneliness, she prepares as she never did for her lover.
This hour away from her family - catty siblings, credulous parents - has become precious to her.
She dresses with elegance, choosing colours that attenuates her soft brown eyes.
She carries her best accessories.
Her walk is different, though she does not realize it.
It is seductive, with an oblique grace of movement that makes her look deceptively tall.
During these times, her face is secret and intent.