May 23, 2007


Sometimes, you just have to listen...

To the stillness between moments, to the rustling of leaves of yellow and brown twisting and twirling with the wind, anticipating rain, to the flapping of the wings in the sky-calling out to freedom. Listen... To the breathing of your body, to the ticking of time, to your feet caressing the grass beneath you while you walk alone in silence as darkness colours the blue of the sky...

Took my dog out for a walk in the evening... The Retriever leads me down the road, sniffing about, wagging his tail, perking his ears every now and then whenever a fellow canine scurries past.

I hum unconsciously as I walk. It's a beautiful road. A long stretch with tall, intimidating trees hugging it on either side, casting innocuous shadows onto the grey boulevard. The lamp posts stand nonchalantly at equal distances from the trees, creating small pools of light, illuminating the dreary road as far as their circumference allows. Fallen leaves lie scattered in dismay, they have their own stories to tell. The air is dry, lifeless, still.

The cicadas sting the air with their shrills: high-pitched, droning sounds that compete with silence, and win. My pace becomes slower, as my eyes search into the night, for beauty, life and celebration of it. The moths dance hypnotically under the lamp posts, their translucent wings slithering against each other, as the light seeps gracefully into their fine, muslin-like textures. Lost in trance, their movements explore the space, with definite and indefinite troughs and crests.

They are spell-bound to the magic the light renders. Drunk, as some may say. Lost, as lovers may say. Mystified, as the poets would say.

It begins to drizzle. I extend my hand out, wishing to embrace the moment, as few droplets parachute down. Then a few more descend. And then, some more.

My dog turns his head around to look at me, while he continues to walk. His eyes seem to question, as his tongue hangs out insipidly in thirst.
I smile.

"Lets go home, shall we?"

He wags his tail in response. We turn around, as the clouds resonate in anger, promising yet another thunder-storm. We keep walking, fearlessly like lovers, eventually disappearing into the night, leaving the
whispers of dead leaves behind to tell our story.


Genre: Fiction

May 16, 2007


He smiles at me mischievously as the sunlight plays with the silver in his hair. Sitting on the park bench, with his hands delicately resting on his lap and feet placed firm on the ground, my grand father is not an ordinary man. A scientist by profession, this man of eighty-four is a remarkable story-teller.

The air around us brews up little moments of nostalgia: the lilies, the damp grass, the warm and moist smell of mud—they all conjure memories of a forgotten time. This park has seen me grow up. As a child, I have sat down on the swings, raced with the wind, have even imagined the swings to be magical wings that would help me soar as high as the over-ambitious Icarus. I have not only imagined all of this, but have also attempted little feats of my own, only to fall face down on the ground, and to learn (at a very young age indeed) that gravity does, in fact, exist and can make me bid farewell to two of my teeth. I've stood in awe under the once giant slide which once upon a time proudly towered two feet over me, and which meekly seems to dissolve under my presence now when I approach it; I’ve chased butterflies, for colours and movement have always fascinated me. I've sung several Hindi songs at the top of my voice while sitting under the quiet trees with my friends [until 2nd grade, when I took to listening and appreciating Dire Straits and Eagles. Courtesy: my brother]—this park has seen it all. This park has endured it all. It celebrates my childhood every time I visit.

Past speaks in whispers, the see-saw beckons, time stands defeated while my grand father's voice scissors through the world my memories have woven, re-introducing me to reality.

He begins to tell me a story.

I was always interested in science... My maternal grand father was an educated man. He had studied agriculture and was interested in farming. Education made him liberal minded and broadened his perception towards life. It was during that time spent in his house that I realized my first love and the subject I wanted to pursue later on in my life-Science.

My father's death left my mother a young window of 18, with three extra mouths to feed-her children. I was four back then, while my sisters were one and two. In south India, widows were ostracized and hence it was inevitable that my mother would have to face several hardships. Though she was illiterate and young, my mother was a strong and intelligent woman, determined to educate us.

{His smile fails to leave his face as he talks ardently of his childhood. His dimples teasingly play hide and seek with me, while the wrinkles near his eyes deepen and relax with every movement. Sitting opposite to him, I wrap my arms around my knees and place my chin comfortably on them. I wait anxiously, wanting him to go on.}


This piece is a part of a much longer story. The story is growing beautifully. Will try to complete it as soon as possible.

P.S. Thank you Aaki.


Genre: Creative Non-Fiction