February 26, 2012

Women of the '90s

She is a women of the nineties and she feels somewhat ambivalent about it.
There is something inherent about them -
with their aggressive gloss and their penetrant detachment,
reflected in their self - contained repose and observant eyes.
Not the sort of women, who will go out of their way to make small talk.
Women, who will celebrate their single status, as a triumph of sorts.

They will always inspire small courtesies, but will never command the grand gestures.

February 23, 2012


She has often heard people use this word as an insult,
"That - that female."
Women spat out the two syllables with venom; men with indulgence.
It gave the word a purely pelvic identity.
It's no wonder that they say women lead divided lives -
the waist, of course, being the dividing line.
They exist above that before they marry and below afterwards.


He had never known a woman who wanted so much to be wanted,
and at the same time, a woman who was more afraid of it.
This prompted many arrivals and departures, not only on the same day but within the same hour.
She would shove all kinds of things in her bag, each time she left :
hair-grips, slides and combs; little wooden boxes containing cheap Indian jewellery;
lip balm, nipple cream; tapes of the sound of the sea or the rains;
camomile tea; old photographs and postcards;
underwear and other bits of the odd equipment necessary to girls.

And always, a little part of him.

February 12, 2012

Platform romance

"Aren't they pathetic ?" she questions and he asks her what exactly she means by that.
I mean, she says, there are so many of them - sordid, predictable and common.
The few snatched moments they have in the glare of a million eyes,
a furtive brushing of the hands and always,
always that desperate seeking look in the face
as if they're expecting to be spotted by a neighbour, a relative.
So shoddy those ten minutes contrived between trains, just enough to alibi a delay, no more !

"And how different was it for us, dear? " he politely enquires.
She is sickened momentarily by remembrance.
Long walks and even longer conversations.
The prolonged festivity of a rare moment of bliss...


The house was littered with her warnings.
Little rolls of gold and plastic surfaced everywhere.
Stuffed deep between sofa cushions, lazy winks of gilt in snarls of slut's wool beneath furniture.
Left as bookmarks, buckling cover and cursing with early kyphosis each cardboard spine.
In the kitchen, their gaping gilt barrels showed sunken gullets of colour.
They spilled from shelves and drawers, quenched rainbows, crusting and smearing their jagged metal rims.
In the bathroom, they lurked behind razors and other instruments of intimate injury, sheathed in acrylic, showing atop each crusting corona, a timid and placatory glans.

They seemed to mock him.

February 2, 2012

The Beginnings

She called out his name, in her holiday voice that rose above the rasp of the latchkey.
He, seeing her there bright with death, in tinsel delight, he too cracked with the static of her excitement.
How long had it been since they had touched like this, drawing on each other's skin at the first brush of fingertips ?

Something caught at her heart as she remembered -
those hotel rooms, pastel caves illicit and anonymous,
the white hard flesh of a bathtub glimpsed and lost,
the clock creeping unwatched like a forgotten stain,
and all the while the thought that she had never been there,
peeled away with pain.

They seperated with embarrassment.
She found a book.
He, a drink.

Let's not talk !

He kept on talking, but she did not hear him.
There was no need to listen, no need to know any more.
Her mind drifted on the ceasless tides of his words,
that beat and retreated. Could there be as many words as that?
Surely there were fewer leaves in forests, fewer blades of grass, fewer grains of sand,
than there were words in his throat.
He kept gargling them, and gargling them and spitting them out.
She wiped them off with delicate gestures, her eyes wide with an eager intelligence,
that should have told him she wasn't listening, not listening at all.

Nothing matterered, nothing seemed to matter to her any more.