The Escape

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He stared up at the ceiling, the room closing in around him. The fan whirled painfully humming through the heavy air counting the muffled seconds with him.

“Thirty-eight, thirty-nine, forty…”

His fists clenched, his joints tense waited restless in bed, aching to move. Two weeks, fourteen days, he had waited; crawled through the minutes of exercise, therapy and the slop they called food. Waiting for the fortnightly shift change, the day with fewer of them. The creak of the wheels brought word of the cart, the check of the night. The wheel rattled on the hard floor worn down by years of watchful surveillance. Three checks, three checks; they felt he warranted. The wheels clattered closer, footsteps behind it audible now, faint. He was expecting them so he heard them earlier than usual. His hand closed over the cloth bundle at his side feeling his tools, his plan; the broken spoon, the razor blade, the pen torch he’d stolen from his son the last time they’d met.

The wheels paused outside his door, a shadow passed, it was Muriel, he’d know her anywhere, that bulky large head with that frizzled shock of hair that hung over her shoulders, her frame was unmistakable. The wheels scraped on, his eyes flicked to the rafters splitting the ceiling; he’d once considered it, letting it all go; only if I fail he thought rising slowly as the sounds faded around the corner.

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The Temple Within

I stared out of the window, fields shot by as the car bounced from narrow street onto ever narrowing lanes. I hated temples, always have. The only thing I liked about familial visits to temples is the feel of the stone floor. Cool, rugged in the shade, burnt, scalding under the sun; I often wondered if this amorphous yet persevering nature was why stones were worshiped.

Through high school and college, I’d always wormed, squirmed and fought my way out of temple trips.  Coming from a family that barely ever visited temples and actively encouraged me to abandon our sacred threads, my rebellion and agnosticism was welcomed into the fold.

But this trip was different, very different. I had to come, no questions asked. We were to go our ancestral temple in Mangudi ergo middle of fucking nowhere village. All the cajoling, blackmailing and begging had brought me to this nauseous seat in the back of the still bouncing Scorpio.

Cackling overstuffed relatives, mind-numbing familial puns and never ending stories of bumbling relatives flooded through my ears as I fervently hoped and prayed to be back in my calm, controlled Emergency Room.

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Eve

(c) Manchester City Galleries; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Manchester City Galleries; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

From far below, from the shade

Up into the leaves she gazed

Sunlight dazzling down, shone

Chequering across her face

Red globes of fire burnt,

With swathes of green, embers

Calling her, the breath of the wind

Reaching fingers, branching bent

From far above, from the shade

Down into the world I gazed

My light dazzling down shone

A sense of awe on my very face

Perfect, beautiful, plentiful, below

Meandering blue, green, brown swirls lay

My breath whistling between and around,

Something amiss amidst I found

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Portraits of Blue

Inspired by –

Jo Bhi Main – “..Maine yeh bhi socha hai aksar,

    Tu bhi main bhi sabhi hain sheeshein,

    Khud hi ko hum sab main dekhein..”

Film – Rockstar

He turned and pressed down with his thumb. The reassuring sound of a click resounded through His ears. He glanced at the image and a couple of taps later My sharp nose and chin stubble stared back at him from his phone screen. Facebook’s familiar blue border framed my face making Him look younger than his 28 years. Behind me was the plush interior design of a mall abruptly interrupted and distorted by His visage. He tapped the home button and I was free, free to surf, free to glide through pages of blue. At least that is what I had initially thought.

But nowadays I just reflected inwards, often disgusted, 2 likes and 3 comments. I couldn’t believe it, now I’m not a dreamer but 5 people. Is that all the viewership I had? All the viewership I deserved. Continue reading “Portraits of Blue”