Friday, November 21, 2008


The story was located deep into the night when the streets were relaxing, stretching their bodies easefully from one end of the night to another. The story was stretching itself too! There were little yawns to begin with but then it decided to tell itself…be told. The streets had just started to think that the footfalls had mostly come to an end for the day when the story decided to shake them up, a wee bit. All of a sudden, there were footfalls and quite thumping ones at that! One could see a man running across the sidewalk, nervously looking at his back from time to time. He smashed against the light post and awakened a street urchin who had been sleeping right beside it. The story looked into his bewildered eyes, full of muck. The man saw the mouth of a subway, staring at him to his left. Someone had gone into it a moment ago. He had felt a shadow while bumping into the post. How could it be open at such a time? Did it have an opening at the other end or was it yet another trap? There was a maze in his mind. But soon he realized it was not the time for thinking. The subway promised a shelter, a hideout for him. He took out his lighter, which had a small torch at its back and started running down the dark stairs. The street was still amazed. Was someone chasing the man? A very faint sound could be heard in the distance. Someone was dragging something along. The street asked the story who that man was? The story was silent for a while, lost in some deep thought, as it were, and then it uttered the word ‘Sahay’. The street could not go into the subway and check things out. So, it was the story, which went in, but only after it had made a promise to the street that it will disclose everything on its return.

The steps went down deep into that hollow until Sahay lost their count. It felt like moving down on an escalator. The stairs carried him away until he reached the pit. It was pitch dark and Sahay felt rather shadowless in its company. The torchlight helped him find a corner where he could lean against the wall and then all of a sudden, he turned around and pointed the torch at the wall, trying to find something on its surface, as it were. Nothing…it was a blank wall, much like a white sheet of paper, yet to be filled in by its writer. If it could still be white in that uncompromising dark! Sahay faced his back to the wall and switched it off. The story kept looking at him from a safe distance, imperceptible to him. Sahay kept staring into that dark where opened and closed eyes seemed all the same to one. Sahay went back in his mind. It had all started from that number. He could remember it so vividly! The train had been moving fast. It was a scorching afternoon and there were not many people in the compartment. Sahay had been standing near the gate. Something was written on the other side upon the inner-body of the train. His eyes fixed it with a stiff glance—“9836002729—Rupa, a call girl”. All places have been sold. Now who said this in present tense, all of a sudden? Had the story been following him even then? Someone must have mumbled something in his ears. Sahay took out his mobile phone from the pocket and copied the number and it was that very day on his way back home that he lost his mobile. Who could have stolen it? Perhaps the same person who had written the number on the train! However, it was only now that Sahay could say this…not then. The pungent smell of a plot had frozen the air around him that day onwards. He took a new mobile after that and it had to happen again! The same train in the same heat of a same afternoon and Sahay was up against the same spectacle—“9836002729—Rupa, a call girl”, but it was a little too familiar for comfort this time! The size of the letters had increased and now he felt them, glaring at him. However, there was something more to it and Sahay simply could not believe it! He took out his new mobile from the pocket and clarified whatever little doubt he had. He had saved his new number in his phone for he had been forgetting it frequently. He looked at the screen and then back again at the number—9836002729! He still tried to pass it off as a coincidence. May be someone had jokingly written a fictitious number which had become real in his case. Should he change the phone for that?

After a tiny respite that bitch had got back to business. Someone had thrust a handmade leaflet into his hands that day, while he had been running to catch the train. He could only look at it, after having boarded the train. It was an advertisement of a doctor of secret sexual diseases. Sahay had always been irritated by such stuff. As if he was the only one for them! But this time it had more embarrassment in store for him. The contact number written on it had been 9836002728 earlier but then somebody had overwritten on that 8 to make it 9. It was back to 9836002729—square one for Sahay. How could things be so contrived in the world of reality? Sahay could only wonder. The train had long left the platform where someone might have still been chuckling at his situation.

Sahay had to change his number. It had started to get on his nerves. But he stored that fateful thing in his new mobile alright, lest something more was to happen with it. And then it was this fearfully stagnant night when he had missed the last train that a call came from that number on his mobile. How could it be so? He had exchanged that phone and the man at the mobile-shop had assured him that he would give the phone to someone only after de-activating the old number. The loop around his neck had tightened. He had rejected the call and switched off the mobile only to realize that someone had come behind him on the empty street. Sahay started running and could hear footfalls at his back. He was being chased.

The rest, as they say, is hi(-)story…for the story…for the street. The story left Sahay and moved out of that dark tunnel. The street had been waiting for him eagerly. The story blurted out the story that was Sahay’s, but what story? How could it know the number-game? How could the story access the depths of his mind where words were fluttering like half-torn kites in a musty wind, writing and re-writing the number 9836002728 endlessly? Sahay, like most of us, had kept his most bizarre experience a top secret. The street could not understand head or tails of it and was left agape. All that was so absurd, he thought. Once again, that strange sound of someone dragging something along had become faintly audible in the distance. The eastern horizon had started to light up. The story said to the street, “I have to go now. I simply cannot tolerate daylight.” It hooted like an owl, weary of light. Ah, if one could look into its dead dark eyes where a fire was burning! It represented the eternal desire of man to tell stories, more and more stories…more and more hollow stories. The street bid him good-bye.

It was a story called ‘Deuce’ written by some obscure writer. It had been published in a literary magazine called ‘Presentation’. His friend Indraneel had given it to him. Interestingly enough the protagonist of the story was his namesake. Was that the reason why Indraneel had given the magazine to him? What else? Sahay was hardly a literary person! It was stiff due to its overtly intellectual evocations and that was what had made it so bizarre and absurd, Sahay said to himself. It was a scorching afternoon. . Sahay was near the gate and reading the story. The compartment was almost empty. The train was quite close to Howrah station. There were sounds of the brake and the train started slowing down. The same old car-shed stoppage! Sahay looked at the other side. The train had stopped. There was nothing on the other side. It was just a blank metallic surface with some scratches and patches here and there. It was pretty much like an anxious one-off page of some writer, where he could hardly manage anything more than a few pen-strokes here and there. It could only be headed for the dustbin. Sahay shifted his eyes back to the last page of the story. He could only chuckle at it. The train started to move again and he could hear a strange sound, coming from a distance. Someone was dragging something along…


Monday, November 10, 2008


Presentations will be on Tuesday 11 Nov at 3pm and on Wednesday 12 Nov at 3pm. Be there. Remember there are marks for presentation which you will not get if you don't present.

Friday, October 17, 2008


down, down, down
down the vodka dream
swallow, hic, up all my scream...

night's sweet and the sleep
is like in dclouds
coz i've got my vodka dream...

forget muh sorrow
forget my pain

the double break-up
becomes just a phase
-coz all's been downed
downed ,downed,downed
downed by the vodka dreams...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Perchance to dream


Character: Young karate whiz

Place: Theater

Mood: Grief

Object: Sandwich

"Nothing to be done."

Two men stood on an empty stage. One tugged at his old, ratty boot and the other stood by him, doing nothing. They began to talk, apparently bored and unsure of what they were doing there. To young Arko Bose, none of this made any sense. He began to lose interest, and gazed instead at the sandwich he had sneaked into the auditorium. It was a salami sandwich with a delicious layer of cheese. Strictly speaking, he was not meant to be eating while watching a play. He was 13 years old, and should of course behave like one. He knew that. But he was bored. In the first place, this was not his idea of fun. Watching this nonsense play where nothing seemed to be happening. But his mother thought it would be good to take the mind off things, and she was tired of taking him to see animated films. And karate class was over for the day. She forced a smile, as she sat next to him, and squeezed his hand once. I guess this is fun for old people, he thought, watching as the man with the hat stared stupidly into its depths. Looking down at the sandwich, he noticed how the slice of meat was sticking out and hanging limply. Pink and faintly dotted, it protruded out like a tongue.

An image flashed through his mind, and he felt sick- his father's tongue, sticking out of his mouth as he lay dying on the bathroom floor. His mouth open, and his face pressed into the pool of blood and vomit he had regurgitated during the stroke, the smashed door of the bathroom and the shameful nakedness of his father, lying helpless and prostrate on the bathroom floor. For a few minutes, it was all he could think about. After all, only 3 weeks had passed. His father, dead. Baba, old guy, dead. They had carried him out while he was muttering incoherently, touching his stomach and his forehead as if to indicate pain. Then the ride to the hospital… The familiar train of images began to tumble through the boy's mind again. Like a series of bizarre dreams they were; haunting, and impossible to make sense of. Stop, stop. He had to stop himself. This doesn’t help, remember?

He had worked out a defense mechanism. It didn’t always work, but it was necessary. He forced himself to look at the stage, at the actors, at the stupid tree made of paper on stage, at anything. Stoically, he took another bite of the sandwich.

“What is it?” said the actor with the boot. “I don’t know. A willow”, came the mechanical reply. “Where are the leaves?” asked Boot. “It must be dead”, said Hat. “No more weeping.”

It was impossible. The bloody play was prodding him back to 30th August. No more weeping. Funny. The afternoon his father had died, Arko had not shed a tear. His aunt Rita had wept her eyes out and howled. It irritated him, seeing her. She hadn’t given a fig leaf about Ranjan Bose when he was alive. Perhaps that’s why he didn’t cry at first. Arko was not one for histrionics. But the truth was, he didn’t know what to do. They took the body to the ghat, and a grotesque string of rituals followed. Ghee and rice, and white pastes. Incense and some burning wood. Mukh-agni, it was called, and it made him sick. Just a shell, the body is just a shell, someone whispered in his ears. It made him angry. Up to that point, he could still feel anger.

His mother stroked his hair gently, in the theatre hall. For a moment he snapped back to reality, and the mockery of it taking place on stage. They just didn’t understand, did they, these writers and actors, how bloody real life can be? His mother’s fingers in his hair brought back another memory. His father used to stroke his hair every morning, to wake him up from sleep, before the school bus came. He was too gentle a man to shout and be rough. He would sit next to the bed and run his fingers through his son’s hair, calling gently, “Shona, ebaar uthe por”. Why did he have to die? Why? He had so much to live for. He was perfectly healthy. Why? Arko gritted his teeth and clenched his fist. The sandwich lay forgotten. A tear ran down his cheek and he lapsed back to 30th August.

He hadn’t cried until they hoisted the body up on a conveyer belt. As the hideous mouth of the electric furnace opened, it all came crashing down on him. He would never see his father again. Never again. Never see his face, never see his kind eyes, never hear his voice, and never hear the jingle of the keys outside the door that meant he had come home. It all came crashing down on him, as the body disappeared towards the crackling yellow flames. And he howled like he had never howled before. He tore his hair out and wept, he screamed with the wild rage of a child who has been hurt. Hurt so deep inside, so deep inside, in a place where you couldn’t even look and you couldn’t even imagine and could never feel, because you are old and hard and cold and he was just a little, little boy, with the shining joy of 13 years dashed into pieces in the space of 2 hours. He closed his eyes and he howled, hurling his little fists against the hands that held him back from the furnace. Anger, wild, mad, unreasonable, bubbled up within in. Raw sorrow cut into him, making it hard to breathe, hard to swallow, hard to think. He clutched at the bier where the body lay, refusing to let go. He wouldn’t, he wouldn’t, he could not let go. It was his father. His father, dear God, and he didn’t want that fire to turn him into ash. But they tore him away; they pushed him into his mother’s arms. They wept together, helplessly. The door of the furnace closed. That was all.

“Don’t tell me!” someone bellowed on stage. After a moment of silence,

“Who am I to tell my private nightmares to if I can't tell them to you?”

“Let them remain private.”

Arko looked at his mother. Her eyes shone in the darkness. Perhaps she was thinking about his father too. Perhaps not. She was a hard woman, and strong. He loved her for that. I must be strong, he told himself. There’s so much to do. To take my mind off. It was true. There was his karate, for one. At 13 years of age, and already a brown-belt, Arko was something of a prodigy. His father had always encouraged his talents. He had just come back from a very satisfying karate class. He loved the peace it gave him. He always had. The silent flow of muscles and the calmness of mind that came with it, the sweat that trickled down the nape of his neck, the silent striving that numbed his mind. It was the only time when he no longer felt his thoughts gnawing at him.

Suddenly, someone on stage shouted excitedly, “An erection!” This broke into his thoughts with sudden sharpness. He thought guiltily about how he had been masturbating in the toilet, just the other day. What would his father have thought? It had only been about 3 weeks and he was already thinking about naked girls again, and looking at dirty pictures on the Internet. Something shriveled up inside him in self-loathing. But then, he reasoned with himself, what was wrong with it? It was natural, right? And besides, it helped him survive. Whatever helped him to fight it out was good for him, he told himself. He must be strong and move on.

It was all part of Arko’s plan. To run. Run away. That’s what he would do. He would never face reality. There was so much beauty in the world to dive into, like a deep blue ocean strewn with coral and fish. There were the books he loved, Harry Potter’s fabulous world of magic, Middle Earth, where good was good and evil was clothed in black. Poems, endless and beautiful. Video games, he loved those. Diablo 2 and Metal Gear Solid. Shoot ‘em ups and racers. He could lose himself in these worlds for days on end, and not think. Not remember. Why think, why think at all? It would be better to just forget. Just forget and move on.

Stoically, Arko took another bite of his now dwindling sandwich. He forced himself to be interested in the bare floorboards of the stage. “Nothing to be done”, said Boot again.

'Oh to sail away, To sandy lands and other days
Oh to touch the dream, Hides inside and never seen.'

- Led Zeppelin - Achilles Last Stand

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

the wringing in my head...

my dearest bandhobi has convinced me into pouroing my thoughts- here i am!

its not a downpour though, just drop by drop...

it has roughly been three and half months in delhi and i have seen my dream of four years come true.i have got what i have always wanted- though lately i dont think it's exactly what i need...

always living a lie, here i feel i must face the truth about myself,about how unreasonable i can get.selfish to the depths of a devils heart and cold at times like a witches teat(no, the famous delhi winter has not shown its face yet.)

and here i must leave on a tantalising note!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008




Sometimes the noon changes before my eyes. Not everyone notices. Everyone is either sipping on coffee or remembering sexual moves. I, however, watch the strong white of the sky give way to a moist violet. I become aware that the ancient ghosts are mourning again, revealing their ancient grief.

Some of them have beautiful faces, and some have their faces wrapped in thin violet masks. Not all of them can sing, but the ones who do always sing of love and murder.

On noons like this, I start feeling defenseless, and I too order a coffee, my finger tapping on the space between miracle and ruin.

Slowly, the noon turns white again, the soccer on the television starts making sense again, and the waitress comes with my order. I do notice, however, that she wears a faint violet on her lips.

-Inam Hussain Mullick

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Second Corpse

Both these posts are courtesy El Kay, who is not in the course but was drafted to make up an Exquisite Corps

Writing in Practice: 8 September, 2008

Results of a group experiment concerning the creation of narrative

Narrative 2

Folding a piece of paper, a crocodile was made.

He looked up with the crocodile in his hand at the clock.

The clock strikes twelve.

The flash floods come down on the desert.

There could still be tears in darkness!

Let there be light!

He said, and switched on the torch; he fumbled in the darkness with the torch on and saw a piece of pie.

His stomach grumbled.

Sorry El Kay, the iter scribentis didn't make it. In any case it won't make sense to anyone.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Exquisite Corpse, 08/09/08

This is the latest in our series of weird and wonderful collective writing jags.

‘Away!’ she cried, and ran towards the village.

‘Marie, Marie, hold on tight.’ and down we went.

We hurtled down the tunnel, taking corners at breakneck speeds, into the dark unknown.

A dust-bin to be seen and then gunshots rending the air.

A dog sniffs around near the dustbin, looking for scraps of meat.

A sudden sharp cry is heard.

A stone exploded and an enormous bird emerged, flapped its wings and flew away crying.

The bird flew over a group of children and they all heard it crying what sounded like ‘Krakao!’

Little did they know that she was their last hope.

She smiled.

Toto Award

You might want to have a crack at this. In other news, people are being remiss in submitting their revised assignments. SUBMIT if you want lots of lovely marks, otherwise you will have zeros in the relevant columns of your internals.

CREATIVE WRITING (calls for photography & music entries attached)


TOTO FUNDS THE ARTS (TFA) invites entries for its fourth annual TOTO
awards for Indian creative writers in English. Two cash awards of Rs.
25,000 each will be given in January, 2009.

BUT: Entries are only invited from young people -- over the age of 18,
and who have not celebrated their 30th birthday before 1 January 2009.

ALSO: The spirit of the Toto Awards is to identify promise and
encourage young talent. Therefore, do not submit an entry if you are
already an established writer.

TFA is looking for entries in three genres –– short plays, short
stories and poetry.
The submissions should not exceed 7,500 words. You can submit any
combination of your writing in the above genres, as long as the entire
submission is within the stipulated word limit.

Entries should reach TOTO FUNDS THE ARTS (TFA) by 4 October 2008 at
the latest. There will be no extension of the submission date.

H 301 Adarsh Gardens, 8th Block, 47th Cross, Jayanagar, Bangalore 560 082
Phone: 080-26990549

Entries should be sent in soft e-mail copy to as well in hard copy form to the above
address. Please address queries to the same e-mail ID.

Entries must be accompanied by a signed statement confirming the
applicant's date of birth, whether the applicant's work has been
published in print (give details), and also affirming that the
submitted work is original. Please ensure that the hard copy does not
carry your name on it. Submitted entries will be given code numbers to
protect applicants' identities from the jury during the judging

Submitted material will not be returned.

The decision of the TFA jury is final and cannot be contested in any forum.

Please note: We reserve the right to use your submitted writings (if
necessary) to publicise the awards either on our website or in any
in-house materials such as a newsletter. Otherwise, the copyright
rests with the writer and your submission will be put to no other use
without your express permission.

TOTO FUNDS THE ARTS (TFA) is a not-for-profit public trust set up in
memory of Angirus 'Toto' Vellani, who was intensely passionate about
music, literature and films.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quick Tales, courtesy the Griff

Peter Griffin sends this notice. Do please participate, everyone, and tell your friends.
---------- Forwarded message ----------

Hi all,

We're delighted to be able to tell you about this contest we have just got up and running. We're presenting it in partnership with LiveJournal, one of the oldest, most respected names in the community blogging world.

It's a pretty simple challenge we have here, one that will particularly appeal to all the fiction writers among you, but not too intimidating for those of you who like other forms of writing to give it a bash.

Can you tell a quicker, snappier story than anyone else? Would you care to pit your story-telling abilities against those of your peers?

Quick Tales, the LiveJournal - Caferati Flash Fiction contest, asks you to tell us a story in 500 words or less. On offer: delicious cash prizes, global visibility and the chance to be part of a book.

You probably know what Flash Fiction is all about - we have run Flash Fic contests for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival for the last three years, and FF tags and memes have been floating around the blogosphere for ages - but, just in case you do need a few starting tips, see this page:

The contest is open to residents of India who are members of LiveJournal's India Writing community. (If you're not an LJ member, joining is free. Click the "Create a LiveJournal Account" link at the top of any LJ page.) The theme is "Journal," and your deadline is 7th September.

Prizes? The top 5 winning entries take home cash prizes of Rs 19,999, Rs 16,000, Rs 12,000, Rs 8,000 and Rs 4,000, respectively. And the rest of the top ten get paid accounts on LJ for one year. Each of the top 100 entries will also be highlighted on LJ's India Writing community - - for the world to see. (Short-listed stories may also be included in a book that LiveJournal plans to publish at a later date.)

Go straight through to our Quick Tales microsite - - for all the details, and don't forget to join India Writing, which is the place where all the updates will be happening. Live Journal has more plans for writers in all languages in India, and that community will be HQ.

We'd also be very, very grateful if you chose to tell your friends about it, and, if you have a blog or personal site, or are a member of other writing communities, to link to the site - - as well.

Good luck, and we hope to see your entry soon!

Peter, Manisha and Annie
Editors & moderators, Caferati


Saturday, August 02, 2008

An unfortunate picture exercise

I really don’t know how to describe my picture, it was of a man serving cakes to a little girl in a dinning room (or so I thought) but here’s the end result. And Rimi di hope you get well soon and become your usual roaring self in no time.

Tamosha couldn’t believe that this was indeed happening. She had been awaiting this day restlessly for so long and now that she was finally there, dinning in a five star hotel soon to meet Sharukh Khan, the little girl didn’t know where to hide her excitement. Mr. Sharukh Khan was in Kolkata for a charity event and a letter had reached her school stating that he wanted to meet few terminally ill children and spend a day with them. Tamosha didn’t understand what ‘terminally ill’ meant, but she knew that the words qualified her for she had heard them often enough to realize that.
The Reception at Sonar Bangla had been nothing less than royal. The multi-course lunch was unlike anything Tamosha had ever seen. She had even worn make-up and played at being a grown up. Her parents would have never approved of that! She was missing school again, but that wasn’t unusual, with blood transfusions lined up every month things weren’t exactly in her hands. But this was probably the first time she was enjoying the preferential treatment she received. Regular absence from school often made it difficult for her to keep up with the school curriculum but her teachers never scolded her the way they did others and she almost resented the partiality. She grew angry at the feelings of inadequacy this aroused in her. Her parents said she treated different was because she was special but Tamosha was a big girl now and she knew that it was not because of what she was but it was because of what she was not. She didn’t fit in her class, she wasn’t ‘normal’ like the other girls, and she envied them for it.
Tamosha had felt death when her grand mother died and it had made her recognize how vulnerable life was. It also brought the realization that she too would one day be what her grandmother had become, rings, bangles, perfumes and a wooden almirah full of sarees. She too would metamorphorise into some physical objects that would stand out as a rude reminder of a lost self. Was it then strange that she couldn’t never really write anything in her “my aim in life” essay? The future seemed like a dark void, they never talked about it at home.But meanwhile she smiled, and the little lines on her temple gave way to two charming dimples that blossomed on her cheeks. Hmm…the muffins were going to be delicious.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Voiceless in Gaza

This is my current status. So please, people, upload your stuff here. I think everyone has received an invite and been added to this blog. I can't say for sure when I will be roaring again, so rather than wait for that fateful day, come one, come all. For a start, everyone please (re)write out and upload your picture exercise so I can assess it. If you don't want it to be displayed publicly, send it to me by email. (you all have my address; I sent you the invites, remember?) Or if you like I will set it for private showing here.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What You Can and Can't Put Up

OK, valid question: should we post lots of stuff here or not? I agree that we don't want to get too choked up, so i would recommend that those who have large texts to share and have blogs should put them on their blogs and crosslink. short texts can be placed here. Better to have Babel than the seasonal silence :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

I've been wondering...

while I appreciated most of the past few posts, doesn't it become a little too crowded if we all post our individual creative efforts (out-of-course that is) in this blog? Since, if you consider, there'll be an amount of coursework we'll need to write and share, and then after you pass out (not me personally, since i'm auditing, so i used "you"), the same blog will be used by later students of the course?

Maybe we post small excerpts from our prose or poem or anything else and leave a link to our personal blogs, and request Rimi'di to link them at the sidebar, as Bodhi's novel-in-progress was once linked?

Just my opinion though.


A passage dry
Two wet floors.
Three clips alone left upon the string.

--All in a life of silence.

Till a sound like human hand appears!
May no such human hand appear!!

Words waiting in a cue for a mouth.

Four horizontal lines upon a white page.

And words becoming mouths!

May such mouths ever move in tears!
Till the words are well mouthed into fear!!


Potholes uniting people
A moving umbrella
One hand

The switches of light and fan
Positioned like a cross.

A tiny man holding up his umbrella
In a high interim to avoid pricks.

And such continuous sentence-like stretches of oddity,
Till I give up on a Period.


Hands dipped in hot, boiling milk. Utpala. Even an un-man like me! When the second bullet had struck, I knew, this was to be the end. Still inched forward with the body on wet soil, holding all the pressure onto the elbows, crippling on as ever. In this bullet-hit hell of a body, for the first time, in the (w)hole of 32 years, I felt some sort of an instinct, boiling up to a considerable height. If home can be reached, I will put in one final effort, even if it is the last gasp. Neither eroticism nor exactly self-love, it was like a desperation to create a future to resistance, that had been clawing my blood-smeared hell-body! A man like me would do something to deserve a bullet sometime! Could Utpala ever imagine this in her wildest day-dreams?

Perplexed hands then, Utpala's, dipped in hot, boiling milk. Hands almost fully white, further whitening, Utpala's. Day in and day out, this dipping, this dripping! Some inexplicable comfort, as if, Utpala's! Each time, when she lifts her milked, whitened and further whitening hands from the bowl, a child gets designed (ah! only to be a figment!)amid her finger-lines. After that, a strange anger, Utpala's, which can kill and does kill as she strangulates the mis-imagined child, dipping it into the hot, boiling milk. Utpala can create as well as uncreate.

Had to stop in this bush. The body, nearing stagnation, could hardly move on. But, still enough understanding left to realize that I had had an erection. The thing had stiffened so much, that it was becoming exceedingly difficult to crawl forward. Could not even stay on my back. There were bullets in the shoulder and underneath. Tried to dig a hole with both hands. The soil was soft due to rain and went in comfortably. Then I opened my zip and entered the thing straight into the hole, I had dug. It went deep, out of visibility. The pain started to soften. My eyes were closing in ease.

Hands dipped in hot, boiling milk. Utpala. Almost the dead of night. Subimal arrives pretty late these days. Must be some secret meeting again! With a pain that had started to soften, Utpala lifted her hands from the milk. There was something in her hands. Utpala observed. A bullet. Bloodless. Utpala looked at the blank wall, which was in front of her. Then, she threw the bowl full of milk, towards it. Little columns of milk started to make their way down in the form of streams. The wall had become partially wet with milk. There was some heat too and perhaps the surface of the wall shook a little as there were little twig-like rings of smoke, making their room from it. By that time, Utpala had closed her eyes and got stuck into the bullet with her sharp, boiling teeth. Even the bullet had to be silenced, silence.

Arka Chattopadhyay


The thread was being moved through the surface of the grass. Perhaps, somebody had been flying a kite somewhere. As our feet came into its tangle and we got stuck, we looked down, only to see the thread being pulled away from us, across the vast stretch of the maidan. I was trying to kiss her, but the thread had got in the way of it. The kiss. The lips. The family. Like upturned shoe-soles in the sea-beaches. Cross-currents, there were in the quicksand. The thread had become a pointer. Trying to take us along--an anchor? There were little pockets in the grass. Little errors. The thread was strangling them one by one, striving to establish a pause in the two of us. We looked up. Not a single kite in the sky.
There had been one such thread, sometime back. Taking life. A pigeon's left wing had come under its power, impairing the ability that may have led to flight. Then, the dog's turn arrived. I could not do anything for the bird. The thread was the similarity between the two events, the lack of a kiss over there, the difference.
Now, I could see the thread, up in the air, going round and round like a web and linking the remaining tree-tops all across the maidan. It had started to emit a tremendous energy of darkness, blanketing the blueness of the afternoon-sky with a dusk-like madness, as if the whole sky was about to turn into a giant wingless kite. She had been mute all along. Not even a sound had come out of her. Could she peep into my thinking? I looked at her. She was looking up towards the sky. She finally broke her silence, of my thoughts and of her words---"Can we get married now?"


It's this piece I wrote but conviniently forgot to bring to class!

I’ve often wondered what the colour of a scorching summer afternoon should be. Should it be white or should it be yellow? White, said a poet, but I decided yellow. Sure it looked yellow as the sun rays flirted with the tree tops, it was the exact shade of a fire cracker whirling about madly on some festive surface. The crazy buzz of a cracker, I noticed the other day, sounded exactly like the distant drone in a shopping mall that despite the music fought into my ears. You shouldn’t wear purple lipstick, I read in a beauty magazine, it makes your teeth look yellow. The girl’s lipstick was purple. Did her teeth look yellow? I didn’t notice but her dress reminded me of a woman I once saw on a local train. She had spent the entire length of the journey weaving a yellow thread onto plastic rings. The rings would embroider some dress whose owner no doubt would be oblivious of those nimble fingers and the face behind the hands. Meanwhile the current goes off again. The deep yellow of the street lamps give way for a single strand of pale flame that flickers on in my one- roomed apartment. It casts a yellow shadow on the legs my girl…she has fallen asleep.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Song about the Wild Car Schizoprhenia

[Here's one of my prose poems, guys, although I am not aware if prose poems are allowed on this blog :-O ]

….the winter runs though your hair…the car moves through lairs of dreams and darkness…cuts the night in deathly cubes of ice…the dice spins upon her body…spinning infinite pieces of the city in your throat…the road reveals the laughter of hidden ghosts….and after the memory is shaken…after the panther is born…you suddenly feel alone…you are the only pulse in the sky….

And you throb among the skyline…your wings shine…a vampire slips into your mind…around you now is the forest…where guitars charm the graves…electric trees sink into the poem…and find the keys to the soul of winds…the car gathers speed….broken city offers its homes…its windows…its cold forgetfulness…

It is good to be forgotten…to be an ancient king’s sword in the museum…it is good to be forgotten at times.

And the smells of the day linger in her veins…and won’t let her die…
so you kiss her endlessly…remembering the birth of deserts…the sands hide too many must not learn of…the cold mystery burns like sweet incense…you want to unlearn the meaning of words…

the car moves through the sleeping souls…a mole tunneling into the bones of lone women…who clasp the vampire’s teeth to their breasts…even the skyline is unaware of their secrets…the guitar stabs his muscles…his memory tussles between windscreens and the smell of panthers…

and may the city never wake again…never take its morning tea with friend and enemy…never mend its torn shoes…never remember whose hands were crushed by the machine…

and my enemies are dead now…I can see their ghosts dining in the old China restaurant…they don’t remember me anymore… the ice has killed them.

And among the music…among the fragments of the dead sky…among the windows and the shadows of trees…the road unfolds like her skin…tonight her smells remind you of the meaning of time…of the soon-to-die forests in your blood…

But you choose the blade…and make a cut on your forehead…so the winter seeps in with its own stories…my enemies are dead.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A suggestion

Why don't we do the freeyourmind exercise with music too. We tried colours. That was fun. I find music conjuring imaginary landscapes as easily as pictures or colours. We could stretch it from a landscape description to a short story or something too.