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Showing posts from 2016

U for Under the covers

The blaring primetime television would almost drown out his arguing parents, but a harsh sound or two would still invade his bedroom through the gaps threatening to spread and fill his room up with unhappiness; but he would be safe, for he would be under the sheets, duvet or a cover, dreaming of magic, love and a future.

T for Television

Travesty of primetime news was on television again. The reporter walked frantically towards an old mud house.
“We are on our way to the home of the IITian who died yesterday at the Panvel railway station,” she reminded the viewers. The anchor sat ready with debaters in another panel on the overcrowded screen and in yet another panel were images of the dead person—pixelated enough to avoid any lawsuits but clear enough for the gore to be obvious. Below the panels flashed in bold: ‘When will the Government wake up to the need for better safety for passengers?’.
The reporter barged her mic into the window of the latched house and asked loudly, “Ma’am…. Your son died yesterday trying to board a train. What do you have to say?” Someone pushed away her mic and latched the window from inside. “As you can see, the family is clearly still in mourning. We will try to get them to speak to us. Over to the studio”
“Thank you….” said the anchor. “I’d like to remind all our viewers that this story is e…

S for Spontaneity

The rain stopped as suddenly as it had begun—typical Konkan weather! Raj folded his old patched-up umbrella and boarded the train.

“Hi. Can you please get me a cold Bisleri bottle?”

“Sorry?”

“Can you please get me a cold bottle of Bisleri? I’ll pay, of course.” calmly repeated this strange girl who was now standing in front of him.

“Oh… Okay,” he said and walked out of the train towards the stall. He must surely have felt a little suspicious. He had never seen her before. He took his bag and the umbrella along.

The stall was busy. He tried to get the shopkeeper’s attention but there were others clamouring for his attention too. Sawantwadi was a quick stop for the train. He kept eyeing the train. The girl was now sitting on the seat opposite to his.

The train whistled once. Raj ran back to the train. It would not start to move right away, but he didn’t want to take a chance. He had returned empty-handed, feeling guiltier than he should have for not being able to do a favour for someon…

R for Raincoat

A little kid, not older than ten, goes stoically through the raincoat-stock of another shop. His parents stand a little away, admiring the confidence with which their son talks — in English, that too! — to the shopkeepers.

He is done.
“I didn't like any of them” he declares.
“Buy any one. We've already been to all the other shops,” entreats his mother.
“No. I'll buy something next year.”
“The rainy season has already begun. Your books get wet,” his father reasons. His bag is positively wet. His floaters are muddy and his (unironed but meticulously washed) shirt is damp.
“I'll put them in a plastic bag next time. We'll buy a really nice one next year. Pukka!”

The three of them exit the store. It's sprinkling outside. He takes out their only umbrella from his bag. His mother holds it over them—mostly over him. His father walks a step ahead of them, worrying about mending the small hole in the umbrella even when his old shirt and trouser have quite a few more.