Monday, November 08, 2010


There is no shame in apathy. There is no honour in compassion. There is no joy in the living and there is no sorrow in the dead. And that is why I gift you a pathetic death. I dedicate to your grim future this massacre of innocence. Let this day garland the end of freedom in these lands. Gentlewomen of Hasselplough, breathe and let your blades bleed victory from the jaws of defeat.



The rains had come on time. As had the seepage stains on the walls. The air was rife with the smell of fresh fungus. Even Nishtha had left on cue, to meet her ex.

"Why will they not come?"

He looked in disdain at the books that had sprouted like weeds on his table. Trying to weave legends of mythical lands and Gods with pedestrian language. Trying to ink to life the magic of human folly. Trying, yes. And failing miserably. Spilt milk from the cornflake bowl formed a white pool at the edge of the table. The fountain pen slowly rolled into the spill and fell off the table. He watched. The creased sheets of paper languished on the only clear patch on the rosewood desk.

A photo of him with Nishtha was nailed to the wall right behind the desk. She was smiling. He was looking dazed. As if he couldn't believe his luck at having her in his arms. She had not only fallen for him but curiously enough, also for his writing.

Yet now, the words did not come. When he needed them. Desperately.

He ambled into the kitchen to look at what she had left in the pan on the stove. The mushroom-chickpea soup was still steaming and smelling of a fresh ginger garnish. A loaf of half eaten cinnamon bread lay on the chopping board. He opened the fridge and took out the tin of butter. He carried an overfull bowl of soup, butter knife and tin all together to the writing table with the half-loaf of bread held between his teeth.

"Did you forget to pay the phone bill again? My cellphone is not working. How can I go out without a phone?"

The splitting clicks of Nishtha's heels butchered the silent laziness that hung around the room.

"Well... did you?"


And so they went to war, the gentlewomen of Hasselplough. Nobody knows what happened after that. Did they kill many? Did they snatch history from time and carve their names in battle cries? Or did they freeze to mercy at the sight of their beloved enemies. No one knows. What one does know, however, is that the pen of legends was lost that day. Lost forever in an impasse with reality.


  1. Welcome back!

    The piece is grim - a signature style of melancholy, but as usual, you have a good command of accurate details.

    My warmest wishes to the writer with the fountain pen. (I'll toast to your good health as soon as I get the chance.)


  2. :-/ Don't know what to say...

    Please start writing again, the rustiness will go away.


  3. the new blog is nice and all - but i miss the old look :( is that pawna lake btw?

  4. @Anon: Hugs back.

    @CJ: Trying, trying... :) Yes, that is Pavana lake, from the Lohagad fort. Oh n thanks luv, for reading.