All posts filed under: Short Stories

The Hymn

When I returned to Ishbar that night, Shiban seemed speechless. But Dr Kaul looked at him with satisfaction giving an expression like “then he has seen.” And soon the moment came to explain to him what he had seen. We sat around fire, while waiting for the food to arrive. Open your ears, said Dr Kaul and he began speaking like reciting an over practised hymn. “The men in the east, he said, are trees; those in the south are flocks of animals; those in the west are wild plants. Last, those in the north like ourselves, who cried out while they ate other men, were the waters. When the collective sound of chewing filled the air, he started explaining about eating. The act of eating is a violence that causes what is living, in its many forms, to disappear. Whether grass, plants, trees, animals, or human beings, the process is the same. There is always a fire that devours and a substance that is devoured. This violence, bringing misery and torment, will one day …

A date with Pluto

Lets start from where we ended. For twenty-seven nights, I was the only one living in a wooden balcony that hung facing the jungle on a whole mountain. The moon that I saw on the forehead of a mother in the town, i saw a similar one on my lover. But her eyes were set against the only window the first night. Pink walls. She told me she wants to scream. Now! I said. She smiled. Fire. She kept looking in my eyes and started screaming. I closed my mouth. I opened my eyes. It was winters. It was cold. And you know when it is winters and when it is cold how heavy the rains hit. It confuses the heart. It was sunny next day. Pluto arrived. Nara, let’s go meet the man who sneezes forty times. He does that once daily. We left the two limping dogs behind. It was a beautiful walk. We reached. We sat outside Daulat Ram’s home in his garden on uncomfortable plastic chairs. An old brown cow whose …

In the land of Snakes

Twenty six days ago and three hundred fifty kilometers north I Moon I reached Aldona late in the night. It was Purnima, the full moon of Holi. Vishwan was away, gone to a border village, tsar. A place somewhere in the middle of the jungle at the border of Goa and Maharashtra. But I had no idea of that then, I was waiting. I sat downstairs at the bar. Grandmother was pouring feny to a local. She told me about Vishwan smoking too much. The room was lit with two cyan bulbs. He arrived. We kept my backpack at his place. He lit his cigarette. We sat. His hair had grown and white; beard thickened and black. Soon, we were off, feeling the dense wind of the leaving winter, scooting through the western ghats in the night going towards the moon. We entered the fair. Vishwan parked the vehicle somewhere outside and we started walking away from the lights towards the jungle. It was late. But it wasn’t dark. The night seemed to have dissolved with …