Sunday, December 21, 2008

Of bad manners!

Yes, you. Do you recognize that verrry thin line that differentiates between a cold-shoulder-treatment and formality? And yes, you have all the freedom in the world to look down upon us mere earthlings. We might not be able to impress people with random philosophical babblings and commendable percentages. But, guess what? We have been taught the very basic lesson of beinghuman. One day this sphere of yours will increase, inch by inch and then bigger and I hope it won't be too late for people like you to embrace humility and respect. 

Return to school, learn some manners?

The 'You' mentioned here are unaware of the mere existence of this blog and (I may safely assume) its owner.

:-] 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008


click this ^
and you will know.

something you do when you can't be bothered by 56other paintings that you need to study for  tomorrow's exam.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

leftovers

This is a has-been.

Some inordinate

Computer written leftovers.

 

Pathetic, really

When you recall how

on the very same day

I ran my fingers

across the screen

pretending that this was Braille

and if I couldn’t stand up

the poem could.

(What else? Where else can I write now that I know for sure how much a Waterman costs? Unless you’ve been to Paris, of course.)

 

The very same day

You were lying down

to look at the ceiling

imagining your

stoic circles and ellipses

raining down heavily.

So I thought I’d ask

whether you needed

help

with distending

your grungy little story-plots?

Smile.

(While your over-pumped muscles fail to straighten out the lines in your head, lines you have read, someday, somewhere)

 

yes, I trail my fingers

on the monitor

 

the other hand

uncurling its fingers
and balloons

escape.

 

(Pathetic, really, even though we knew the rules of the game. Now, you cry cheater.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

tag

Tagged by Mandy.

first name: Anurima

single or taken: sin...ken.

sex: female

birthday: feb, 21st

siblings: one.

hair colour: black.

shoe size: 5

height: 5'4".

innie or outie: ?

what are you wearing right now: teeshirt, checked pajamas. :-|

righty or lefty: right(y)

can you make a dollar in change right now: no, not really.

------------------------------------------------------------
relationships
------------------------------------------------------------

who are your closest friends? different people at different points of time. :D

do you have a BF or GF? bee-F


best place to go for a date: walk on a nice evening. near parkstreet, camac-street, free schoolstreet, newmarket.

---------------------------------------------------------------
favourites...
---------------------------------------------------------------

favourite place to shop: erm... citycentre?


favourite kind of pants: plain bloo jeans.

favourite colour: everything barring the fluorescent neon types.

number(s): 21, 12, 8747738391912877282828...

animal: do fishes qualify?

drink: coffee, rum, appy.

sport(s): suck at it. used to play basketball.

fast food place(s): grub-club, hangout, tibetan delight.

month: pujo'r maash, whenever.

current movie: as in, currently seen? then, Fashion. Didn't like.

juice: pineapple.

finger: ?5 on each hand. each foot too.

breakfast: I don't eat breakfast. I get brunch, which is usually rice and dal.

favourite cartoon character(s): CAPTAIN PLANET!!!! Peter (of Ghostbusters)
**moony-eyed crush-look**

----------------------------------------------------------
have you ever:
----------------------------------------------------------

given anyone a bath? no.

smoked? yes.

bungee-jumped? no.


made yourself throw up? yes.

gone skinny dipping? no.

eaten a hot dog? YES! monginis.

put your tongue on a frozen pole? NO.

loved someone so much it made you cry? yes.

broken a bone? nah.

played truth-or-dare? yes yes, got beaten up too. :]

been in a police car? no.

been on a plane? yes.

been in a sauna? no.

been in a hot tub? no.

gone swimming in the ocean? snorkelled. does that count? (Arabian Sea)

fallen asleep in school? eeeeeyes. Chemistry classes during +2.

ran away? never.

broken someone's heart? I don't know.

cried when someone died? yes.

cried in school? yes (as a direct consequence of an ill-timed dare-execution).

fallen off your chair? I sprang up on my feet when the chair crumbled into pieces. That was during a mathematics tuition. Sir was in awe. 'Bah tumi toh besh agile', he said.

sat by the phone all night waiting for someone to call? kept the phone beside me, yes.

saved e-mails? starred them i guess :P

fallen for one of your best friends? nah

made out with JUST a friend? nope

used someone? maybe


been cheated on? nope

----------------------------------------------------------------
what is...
----------------------------------------------------------------

your good luck charm? nervousness. no, really.

the best song you ever heard? Not the best song ever, but one of my best, Take this Waltz by Cohen.

the stupidest thing you have ever done? fallen for my brother's best friend and fed him food i bought etc. very stupid.

what's your room like? shared with dada. red and blue. ordinary.

the last thing you said? 'I am studying, you sleep' to dada. :P

what is beside you? Mrs. Dalloway

the last thing you ate? BadBad biyebari food.

what kind of shampoo do you use? dove.

the best thing that has happened to you this year? Lao :P


the worst thing that has happened to you this year?

----------------------------------------
have you had..
----------------------------------------

chicken pox? yes.

sore throat? everyone has sore throats. hah.

stitches? no.

broken nose? no.

-------------------------------------
do you
-------------------------------------

believe in love at first sight? nope.

like picnics? building-picnics. :D

like school? YESSSS. not all the teachers though.

--------------------------------------
would you/what is
---------------------------------------

eat a live hamster for $1,000,000 : what?!

if you were stuck on an island, what people would you want with you? Friday

who was the last person that called you? Subhayu. See, we don't have a life. We call each other and amuse ourselves. 24x7.

who was the last person you slow-danced with? I cannot dance. CANNOT. childhood trauma :|

what makes you laugh the most? Welltimed jokes? pranks? the usual khilli.

what makes you smile? poetry. music. friends.

--------------------------------------
who is the last person
--------------------------------------

you yelled at? I can't yell.

who broke your heart? Erm.

who told you they loved you? :D

who is your loudest friend? PRIAAAAA.

------------------------------------------------------------
do you/are you:
------------------------------------------------------------

do you like filling these out? Nope

do you wear glasses or contacts? none.

do you like yourself? Yes, I am in awe.

do you get along with your family? Immediate family? YES. branches? only if i keep my mouth shut.

stolen anything over $50? i stole stickers once. returned them too. :P

obsessive? sometimes.

compulsive? sometimes.

anorexic? no.

suicidal? no.

schizophrenic? no.

--------------------------------
love life
-------------------------------

do you have a crush? used to.

if so, does he or she know? maybe.

have you truly told him or her how you feel, face to face? no.

how did he or she respond? -

what is so great about him or her? he was different. but yes, different is not always nice. ;)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
this or that
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

coffee or tea: tea.

phone or in person: both. add gtalk and smses too.

are you oldest, middle, youngest or only child: youngest.

indoor or outdoor: depends.

--------------------------------------------------
final questions
-----------------------------------------------------------

how many people are you sending this to: Pria, will you?

what are you listening to right now? Tori Amos, Caught a Light Sneeze

what did you do yesterday? SLEPT.

where do you want to get married? somewhere peaceful, without too many lights and people and cackle and hassle.

if you could change anything about yourself, what would it be? lethargylazinesssleepinessfatness

are you a good driver? can't drive.

are you a good singer? no.

what do you dream about? people i know, but i don't really think about much during the day. :S




Yes, I reviewed my answers. I did.
Please spare me the trauma of asking me to get a life.
Thank you.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

For a change, turn away from the world of books and see reality for all it is worth. 
Please read This and This

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Untitled

Untitled. 

Most of her poems remained so. There was no phrase that she found apt, nothing that could crystallize everything that had coursed through her entire frame while penning that bit of poetry. Her poetry, not most would understand. Poetry that was boring and interminable. Poetry, she remembered, that would not sell. The last book she had written for remained unpublished, in a dear old manuscript that she kept hidden in the drawers of her desk. Fondly, she took them out at times, shedding a tear or two at lines that reminded her of pain or pleasure, smudging those very lines with those moist droplets. As a result, during the next course of reading she knew- every phrase, every turn of word that really mattered would have been washed away. Such is life.

One morning, she picked up fresh flowers from the store nearby, wrapping those carnations carefully with a bit of some old newspaper. Back home, she proceeded to put them in a crystal vase, placing them in sunlight and snipping off a leaf or two. Something caught her eye. The yellow parched newspaper bore a photograph of a grimy looking young man dressed in military attire, resting his sweaty palms on his knees; his look was that of despair. Or hope, thought she. Or wonder? Or love? The article that had followed the photograph had been torn off. Now I wouldn’t ever know, she grumbled. He seemed to be sitting on some kind of a stone bench, one of those numerous benches that line the streets of a city. Beside him lay a piece of white cloth, and behind him- a smoke-ridden, broken-winged city. She would never know which city lay behind him, nor would she ever know the identity of the man with the white cloth. The picture, like her poems, would remain untitled. He could be bombing the city, and repenting. He could be protecting the rubble and surrendering. So much is left unaccounted for in the way we live, but does it matter?

...

Before Mr. B left for work very early one morning, he knocked on his wife’s door. She must be sleeping, he assumed. He left without disturbing her anymore. While driving to his office, his thoughts kept returning to the closed door and his mind replayed the soft knock again and again. ‘Are you sleeping?’ he had said to the mute brown door. ‘I’m going out now,’ he had added. 

So, he shifted gears, changed lanes and tuned in the radio. It played something that sounded like Are you sleeping? I’m going out now. Knock. Are you sleeping? I am going out now. Sleeping? Knock. Going now. Are you going out? I am sleeping. Out? Sleeping? You? I am out. Now. Knock. Mr. B could not clear his mind. The morning incident became indistinguishable and vague, almost as if it had not happened. She usually called out a muffled ‘goodbye’ before he left. She generally opened her door and stood on the top of the stairs, while he closed the front door behind him. She sometimes, only sometimes, kissed his forehead. Mr. B wiped his forehead now, and stepped up the gas. She might have left the house at night yesterday taking our boy with her. She might have left for me her poems. She might have rolled out her hair like Rapunzel in a bid to escape me. She did not answer the door this morning, and there must be a reason for that. She might be dead, or she might be living at last in some secret hideaway he had never seen and never heard of. The car swerved, and it would have been a beautifully formless death for the sake of a story, only that he did not die. His wife meanwhile woke up in her room at that instant. Her five-year old son clung to her body, cold and shivering. His face seemed pale and distant and twisted in horror. A nightmare again, thought Mrs. B. She laid his head on her chest and crooned a few lines to him with her mouth near his cold ear. She was soon enough wondering whether it would not be kinder to simply wake him up, than to hope that her soft lullaby would quell the horror of his nightmare. He stopped shivering. Her eyes traveled along the window frame and rested on the week-old carnations.

...

The winter chill seeped in through his shirt. He rolled up the car windows. It was dark and foggy, the way winter nights generally are. The streetlamps seemed to have merged with the pitch black air, rendering the gray upright columns almost formless… almost borderless. It was reminiscent of the edges of reality getting frayed and lovingly bruised, just like in daydreams. Quite like daydreams, he said aloud. 

Mrs. B turned towards her husband. “What?”

He shook his head and said, “Nothing.”

Conversation, as always, ceased. On the other side of the glass, the night road glistened as the fog clung to it desperately. He picked up the broken train of thoughts, and after awhile said, “Do you daydream?”

She remained impassive. He looked at the rear-view mirror, checking whether his son was still sleeping or awake. The boy had woken up and sat awkwardly, encompassing the entire seat, pressing his nose to the glass window. At last, Mrs. B told him about the unnamed soldier with his white flag.

 

Friday, October 17, 2008

Guess what I found?

Khaled Hosseini's blog! The last time I was this happy was when I chanced upon Joy Harjo's blog (whose link, I am afraid, I have lost). Here's where the spinner of tales such as, A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kiterunner, blogs- (click)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This takes root from a kind of pain I’m ashamed of. You have your armour of words, shielding yourself against my silence. Silence. I can offer no more. All this while, a dense monologue courses through my veins, and I am only dimly aware of what I should be saying. I have a knack of leaving many things unsaid. Once upon a time that was just alright. Who else was there to judge and to theorize and put me neatly into a bracket of good or bad behaviour? I could deal with being upset with myself, sleep over it, and start afresh. The previous night would fade. Silence then meant speculation and listening to others. It was nice and comforting too. Right now, thanks to you, I am deeply ashamed of it. Conscious of the fact, that I cannot speak my mind. Conscious that this state of being quiet jars with your voice streaming in through the phone. That I cannot fight tooth and nail. That you in your verbose manner could go on, from being cheerful to being down, reflecting it all through your words. I keep mum. I don’t tell you. I tell no one, for that matter. Spoilt brat me. Can’t speak her mind me. Dumb me. Stupid me. Pathetic me. Why do I not disconnect the phone today? What difference does it make tonight? Would it really make sense to you if I say something like-my anger is intensely private, and so is my grief? Would you appreciate the fact that I do not bawl my lungs out because I cannot be like countless others? But that is not really the point. The point is that suddenly I can no longer relate to terms that I have always acquainted myself with. Responsible, understanding and logical to a certain extent. To you perhaps I revealed the wrong side of the dreamer. And tonight I realize that I have nothing in common with who I was just a few months back. I am lost. I can’t seem to make sense of my own logical constructs. I can’t seem to tell you that I am not angry that you attended a friend’s birthday, but I am ashamed that I can’t do a few tasks on my own without your promised presence by my side. I am crippled and I won't do anything about it. I am a crybaby, a monstrous clingy old nag, and silent. Wish I could learn to swear with élan. I’d be Caliban! What more can you expect from a once self assured being who is now reduced to an immature selfish idiot? I don’t know how many have felt the sharp sting so deep inside that it hurts to even moan. So I survive, listening to the omnipresent old brag of my heart, I am I am I am, and like a fickle child given to tantrums, I pick up the phone every few minutes and keep hoping against hope, that perhaps this once I shall be calm. Perhaps this once, my nerves won’t give up. And see, what a cripple I am, begging for pity on a bloody blog! This is the worst bout of identity crisis ever. Muttering hello and goodbye a thousand times over within five minutes. But just for once, for once, I’d like that old confidence back. The self assurance I never thought I had until I lost it. This is like seeing your insides cleave into perfect halves. Aren’t people supposed to get what you mean just like that? Isn’t understanding all about that gut feeling? Then why does it make me so miserable?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Deliver this to Caliban

Recalcitrant Caliban,

Thought I’d let you know

Miranda utters curses

with your flair these days.

Strange.

I always thought

she’d make a perfect princess.

She often tells me,

Father, your brave new world

has let me down.

Ferdinand has his court,

and I’m just a souvenir

from the island he holds his own,

the island, once your kingdom,

is his by right, or so he says,

the island, once my home,

is but a thinning plot-device

for him.

The tempest is not mentioned

in those pithy measured sentences

he metes out.

I smile at his people,

they aren’t mine. Here, everyday

is a tempest

for I’m Ferdinand’s creature

deformed and defiled,

yet, he whispers softly at night-

his fingers gripping my neck

firmly, cautiously,

I gave you a brave new world

Miranda, look and be awed

I saved you from yourself

Miranda,

so smile, Miranda, smile.

Monstrous Caliban,

with regret,

I shall send

some ancient magic

her way to starve her

bursting insides,

stitch her gaping heart

now raw,

soon deadened,

and pitch her into darkness

again.

If she rises from the sea,

she’ll take shelter

within your rock.

Monday, August 11, 2008



yes, i am getting lousier when it comes to digital artwork. did this ages ago and i don't know why on earth i am posting this at all. be kind with comments. thanks XD

Monday, August 4, 2008

both hands

- ani difranco

i am walking
out in the rain
and i am listening to the low moan
of the dial tone again
and i am getting
nowhere with you
and i can't let it go
and i can't get through...


the old woman behind the pink curtains
and the closed door
on the first floor
she's listening through the air shaft
to see how long our swan song can last
and both hands
now use both hands
oh, no don't close your eyes

i am writing
graffiti on your body
i am drawing the story of
how hard we tried
i am watching your chest rise and fall
like the tides of my life,

and the rest of it all
and your bones have been my bedframe
and your flesh has been my pillow
i am waiting for sleep
to offer up the deed
with both hands

in each other's shadows we grew less and less tall
and eventually our theories couldn't explain it all
and i'm recording our history now on the bedroom wall
and when we leave the landlord will come
and paint over it all

and i am walking
out in the rain
and i am listening to the low moan of the dial tone again
and i am getting nowhere with you
and i can't let it go
and i can't get through

so now use both hands
please use both hands
oh, no don't close your eyes
i am writing graffiti on your body
i am drawing the story of how hard we tried

hard we tried
how hard we tried

***


I couldn't help but post this. thank you weevil girl for asking me
to browse through her lyrics whenever
i had time to spare.


:)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Fragile. Handle with care.
Instructions boldly set in red letters over the many boxes that I have lugged across all the cities I chose to breathe in.

Put your hand inside a box and close your eyes. The first thing you fish out of it happens to be my first book of nursery rhymes illustrated with animals against a blue backdrop, dog-eared and much loved, usually held upside down and read with animated pleasure. Next, you find a beautiful red polka dotted dress, with white flowers (now yellow) drooping from a tiny belt. There are bits and pieces of broken glass from vases too delicate to survive the journey. There are many magazines, mostly Sanandas. Oh yes, Maa loved them. Some issues are missing, she tells you. Some paper cuttings and books the packers did not bother themselves with. Baba’s oldest briefcase, stashed with files. What are these things? You ask incredulously to a man who loves paperwork more than his morning cup of tea. Oh those, he sighs. Remember the share of land I was forced to sell a decade ago? I didn’t want to let go of it, I wanted to build a house for us. But I sold it, and all I have are these papers proving that I made a bad deal.

You might find a thin orange notebook I used once-upon-a-time. I have not chanced upon it yet. Go ahead and search. Hand it over to me once you find it. It has the first poem I ever wrote. Class three. A fight with Dada, and I end up spilling tears into my first poem. I don’t remember it properly, but I do recall the silliest lines of them all-

But, why why why/ When I cry?

Perhaps it was right then, that sadness became an essential part of everything I created. I shoved the copy into some corner of the cabinet, along with many other firsts. My first doodle, first fountain pen, and the first broken part of my first doll. My first set of colours, or rather, the ones I clearly remember, were grand. Camel 24 Oil Pastel Colours. I took them to school the next day, a place I hated as intensely as was humanly possible.

And somebody stole them.

No, I wasn’t given a 24 colour set again.

(12 colours will do just fine, said Maa.

You keep on losing things, she said. What happened to your identity card?

I lost it. I am sorry.

How can you lose something that is hung around your neck?

They wanted to see it. It was snatched away from me. Then they tore it.

Who they?

The students. They don’t like me. I am new here.

Then complain about it to your class teacher for God’s sake!

She doesn’t like me.

Why?

Naamer maney boltey parini ager din. (I couldn’t explain the meaning of my name.)

Did she ask you to explain it?

Yes.

What did you say?

I told her that it doesn’t mean anything. Why did you give me a name that doesn’t mean anything?

Of course it means something! I don’t know for sure. Oh I just read the name somewhere and I liked it. Schools these days, they interfere e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e…)

Are you done yet?

Oh those. Yes, Jack Dawson and Titanic. Old posters those, I’ll throw them away later. We have had enough of peeking into boxes for the time being. Sometimes these cardboard pieces can’t really bear the weight of your dreams. They sag and droop, and leave marks on the marble floor you have just polished. So we move out of the freshly painted rooms and walk.

Mild autumn sun.

Rain dusted roads. I look at my footsteps, and the washed lane sparkles like never before. A regular boy across the road leans towards a glass window. I ask you to notice the lopsided grin and school boy eyes. He is flushed with pleasure with every sound he picks up on the bends, and so are you. I’d understand once I’m done with the boxes back home.

I don’t like strangers as a rule. So I politely scrape their last words off my plate. I’ll get used to this, I tell you, once I unpack.

Now you know who’s fragile.

Handle with care.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

another poem for alleyways

That walk ended in familiarity

(A cigarette for you madam?)

We entered the entrails

of the city, here

the narrow alleyways

clasp close the vinyl records

of yesteryears.


Traipsing

over cobblestones

in this summer heat,

all I wanted

was vocabulary.


Soon, I’d hunger

for apt verses

to lock in such an afternoon.

(And I needed a bit of rhyme

for lines one could sing.)


I have stopped penning

poetry, you know.

Everytime I write

I peel you apart.

Naked outlandish eyes

skim through you

with every ink scrawl.


Yet, one must make

some space

to hold in the last hours

of daylight.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Rebecca

(On remembering Daphne du Maurier quite suddenly)

Maxim de Winter,

I need to ask you today

did Rebecca win again?


I cannot find the book,

but I must remember

and like a stranger’s

whetted curiosity,

I need to know

more about those

neatly filed letters

she signed with her

imposing slanting R.


So I crawl into every frame

I can recall from the

once-read book,

like a persistent shadow

you cannot sever.


Manderley

with its fumes

of unkempt gardens

had promised a new beginning.

And here, you said,

words seldom matter,

shapes do.

And I named the

shape I met on

a sudden afternoon

Rebecca.

Like a glove

the name fit.


Maxim, you ask me

To hold on,

like a child

tied to a kite

spread against the sky.

A human butterfly.

But soon, Manderley

was licked by flames,

burning down

all the assurances

ever made.


Maxim de Winter,

I need to ask you today,

didn’t Rebecca win again?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Mirror



Her breath misted the glass, and her lips left a heart shaped blur. Nothing that cannot be wiped away. We talk through mirrors every day, recreating the magic of the Lady of Shalott.

‘She shouldn’t have died’, she says. ‘It was a beautiful death however, was it not? Ophelia-like.’

‘Yes, that was the curse placed on the Lady. Ophelia’s death was mysterious and surreal, like a dream.’

‘What do you call it… poetic justice?’

‘Maybe. Yes. Yes, I think so.’

‘A man’s death won’t be that… touching. I mean I cannot imagine Hamlet floating down the river, borne up by his garments’, she smiles slyly.

‘Why are we talking about death?’

‘Oh I don’t know. To me death is but a concept. When you die, I vanish. That’s all.’

I smile too. A thunderstorm is raging outside, shattering some distant window. She moves her chair and tries to see the razor-sharp lightning streaking the sky.

‘Doesn’t rain too often these days, isn’t it? Once in a while Nature storms down and shows that she exists, strong and virginal. It scares me at times. The wind howls you say (I cannot hear it from my side of the mirror), almost like a vehement denial to all that has been wrought by man. Shows you your limits, sternly, awe inspiringly.’ She pulls back the curtains like I do and lets the rain inside.

‘What a pity you can’t hear the wind or feel the chilly air… and it smells great too. There are no pines in this part of the country but I can smell young green pine leaves’, I tell her.

‘Well there are limits to being an image, you know. I understand everything you say but I feel nothing. It is like delving into your mind, flipping through files of information you have stored there and knowing what you are talking about, without of course having experienced it. Just as there is no pleasure, there is no pain. To me they are thoughts. If you could live like I do, you’d survive out there. Would you mind getting a cup of tea and a cigarette? I am getting a headache.’

I am back within a couple of minutes and she has been waiting patiently, though her eyes are a tad swollen. ‘It is the headache’, she mutters, ‘Go on, light the cigarette.’

She exhales the smoke, watching the white patterns diffusing into thin air, in spirals and curls. We are silent for a moment.

‘Remember the day we first talked? You jumped out of your skin with fear.’ She laughs loudly and shrilly.

‘You scared me; I was just talking to myself in the mirror. Lots of people do that, though they seldom acknowledge it’, I say.

‘Yes, if you say so. Well, what were we talking about just now…death, right? Are you afraid of death?’ Her eyes twinkle with humour.

‘I don’t know. I hope I die suddenly though. I won’t be able to stand prolonged illness.’

‘We’ll die together then. In my case, I simply vanish, cease to exist any longer. However, I’ll disappear only in your absence. Your death is mandatory to my not being here. Poof!’ she squealed in delight. I do not find it a charming thought so I turn away from her and towards the red sky. ‘This reminds me of the twilights in Shimla’, I tell her. ‘The sun would drop like an orange ball behind the iron railings every evening, while I sat silently on one of the many wooden benches lining the street.’

‘Why did you return?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘That is your problem. You hardly know anything. You live in a bubble, taking pleasure in dissociating yourself from reality and being sensitive about all that manages to slip through that bubble. Ahh!’ the last sip of tea was sipped and she looked disgruntled. ‘Well, can’t you be more like me? Decisive and indifferent?’

‘No, I don’t think so.’

‘I knew it. You can’t control anything. Not even me, and I am your image. I live off you; I replenish myself through you everyday, and yet I am my own person.’ She rattles on.

I do not answer her. I am thinking about Shimla and its long winding roads. I think of the shy woman who would get me my breakfast every morning and of her child who slipped her fingers into mine and watched the sun drop behind the railings every evening, I never knew her name. I remember the charming professor who took classes in the open field teaching us Shakespeare, and I remember snowflakes hardening slowly overnight. Sometimes we walked over to the picturesque temple, treading softly on the steep staircase, imbibing some calm and warmth from the air scented with incense sticks and we rang the bells…

‘Can you hear me? I was saying that you should stay put here. You have your job and a respectable salary. All you need to do is harden a bit. You are almost there… just some more effort, a few more late nights. You can do it.’

‘I know my limits, that’s one thing as you rightly said, Nature has taught me.’ I retort.

‘Ah. Yes, I had forgotten my words. But what I meant was-’

‘And you say you will disappear only when I die?’ I ask. She looks baffled with the diversion.

‘Yes, of course’

‘That is not mandatory. You can vanish even while I breathe. Like right now.’ An unsettling calm had overwhelmed me. The air though chilly (she couldn’t feel it) was taut.

‘Don’t be silly, that is not possible. You die, I die. Not vice versa, and definitely not-I die-you survive.

‘I survive,’ I say drawing out the syllables as if I were etching them in the space between us, tasting each word, and I touched the mirror (she touched it too), ‘but you can die. Vanish if you like it better that way.’
She smiles uncertainly, sprouting her theories in a slightly trembling voice. I have stopped listening, and I hurl the empty cup. It shatters the screen and she vanishes.


...