Monday, July 11, 2005


Ishaan lay on the cast iron bed. The solitary window in the room, on the wall to his right, was letting in a narrow streak of sunlight into the otherwise dark room. Strains of an early morning radio somewhere wandered in, hitchhiking on the lustrous dawn air. He was wide awake by now and he could see Victoria behind her easel. Her face was in the shadows, but he could see her hand move. She held her palette in her left hand, while the right was guiding a size 2 brush on the canvas. She occasionally raised her head to look at him. Her look was blank, and seemed to peer through him. Her strokes varied, from gentle flowing ones to the vigorous rising crescendo of Bach's fugue in D minor. Her strokes had played a major part in persuading him to model for her, when she had breached the topic last night. "I hope you are going to make me look good." "Oh yes! If only your head was a little smaller..." He could not say whether she was joking or whether she meant it. He thought for a while, staring at the creaking ceiling fan, as the blades tried in vain to scare away the cobwebs on the walls.

Victoria was a receptionist at The Radisson. He was a tour manager for a travel agency. He had looked at her the first time and quite forgotten about the tourists he was supposed to guide on their maiden tour of the subcontinent. When he had left that evening he had her phone number in his pocket, which he had not dialed for two days out of sheer fright. Now he lay there, on the cold bed, with nothing between the cotton bed sheet and his sweaty skin. Victoria was an enigma to him. She attended art school every alternate evening, and everything about her was colour. Her smile, her touch, her smell, her hair, her clothes. This often overwhelmed his black and white logical mind, but also challenged it. "You were good yesterday night. But I was better I suppose or you would not have agreed." Victoria's voice sounded like a rhapsodic wind chime. She was not asking a question. She knew she was good.

"Do you love me?" He did not know why he asked this. She stopped for a while, gave a short laugh, and went back to her canvas. He stared at the yellow ochre stain on her left calf. It was right where the sunlight stung her soft flesh, and it shimmered like made of earthen gold. "Oh you do not want me to love you. You just want me." Victoria said the most outrageous things. She also said mostly truthful things. "I have been transferred to our Hyderabad branch. I would not be able to see you for the next six months." "Can you move the sheet down? Yes. A bit more. Keep it there!" Ishaan was not sure if where he wanted this to go. "Will you come with me?" "No."

He was wondering if all this was worth it or not. "You will outgrow me soon enough. I am just a stray habit you've picked up." Victoria was entirely nonchalant about the way she said all this. "But we are so good together." "We'll burn each other out soon enough. You do not want to burn. It does not feel good." He could never understand when she behaved like this. Almost as if she had fortified herself away from him. Victoria was trying to keep her wayward hair strands in place, but they occasionally fell on her face. She was using the back of the brush to put them back in place, while leaning her head back a little. He caught the glistening moist below her eyes. Everything was black and white again. "Will you marry me, Victoria?" The palette clattered to the floor.


  1. That was terrific! Man...if you ever write a book, I'll be first in line to buy it!

  2. she seems very subtle... but so very passionate!!! MYSTERIOUSLY PASSIONATE!!!


  3. @mirage: Yay! I have my first buyer already :D Gee thanks.

    @grafx: Mysterious and Passionate - now you're giving me ideas ;) You don't want to give me ideas ... or do you?

    @sonia: Whats with the "hmmmm"s ? First grafx, n then you! :D

  4. giving you ideas eh!?!!

    * am hmmm ing a lot today i think*

  5. Now who does that remind me of... hmmm...

    Damn, Grrl is right, this is a very hmmmmable post ;)

  6. @grafx: Go ahead.... hmmm all you want... they'll just saute my ideas ... he he hee :P

    @vigs: Who? who? tell tell? ;)

  7. Agreeing with Vig - HMMMMMMM!!!!

    talking about sauteing... how long does one saute oil paint on a canvas?.

  8. Obviously till it turns golden brown!

  9. u must write more of fiction.
    enchanting lille tale - wonder wat she wud do -perhaps shez already married?
    loved these lines -
    "his black and white logical mind"

    "You will outgrow me soon enough. I am just a stray habit you've picked up."

  10. I'm kinda mad at u...u never stop by my blog!! I know it aint anywhere as good as urs! But I cud do wid some expert advice!! :(

  11. ur posts r really engrossin.
    i love readin dem.

  12. @swathi: More fiction... u think so? It's very interesting to see your favourite lines. How do you choose?

    @mirage: Arree... don't be mad! Now many of my readers will certify that I am kinda chaotic in my blog visits, and many times I read and do not leave comments - it's not because I do not like it or anything - it's more a result of my laziness and a lot of chaos! And trust me girl, you do not need advice from me :)

    @milo: It is really nice to find avid readers. Thanks.