Swimming in a Pool

When I’m writing about Kolkata, it’s difficult. Because I’m writing in English but the dialogues, the lines, the words come to me in Bangla. It’s different when I write a story in an English setting (or maybe even base it in other parts of India). Then automatically the thoughts are in English. But, where Kolkata is concerned, it is as if I’m simply sieving and translating. Two worlds on different sides of the wall. And that feels wrong. Very very wrong. That is the point where I feel helpless. I know my bangla isn’t strong enough such that I can write a novel in it. And English is what I’m best at. Kolkata is also what I know the best. Hence, it fits to be the setting of my novel. But it is frustrating when after writing two or three pages, I’m staring at the screen, not knowing where the story is going. Because god help me, but how can I expect a Nimai Kaka to address his Memsahib in fluent English. It just sounds so very wrong. At this point I’m extremely close to giving up. And I have, before. On more than a dozen stories I think.

I hate swimming in this frustration pool.


“Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly”

Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly, as if a million miles away. Somewhere far off you can smell flowers burning. And poppy seeds popping.
It reminds you of home.

Someone tugs at your sari. You remain seated at your desk with your head resting on your crossed arms. Someone should come back later.

Someone tugs again. This time, a lil impatiently.
You look up. It’s Sree.
You pat her and she sits down at the end of your chair chewing the end of your sari, satisfied.

That somebody calls you again. A faltering, softer call.
You sit up, startled.
You stare at your step-child, failing to answer for a while.

“..yes, baby?”


P.S. – The song I was listening to- Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by The Beatles.
P.P.S. – It’s a Daily Post challenge. The challenge was to take the third line of the last song I heard, make it my post title and write for a maximum of 15 minutes.

M for Mary

I shall never be understood. A solitary story cannot carry the essence of who I am. ‘Stories’: well that’s a different issue. You know, Mary, had I not met you, I would have remained ignorant about so many things of life. Like when you showed me how to dance on that striped, gold buttoned cloud…or that rainy day when we splish-sploshed in the sun-dust?

Last Sunday I was cleaning my room. Mother has regained her health, and also her naïve love to keep everything in order. Spick and span. Neat and clean. Quite tempted, I made a poster simply to spite her. It read-

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

Albert Einstein

It didn’t go quite as planned. She pretended to be oblivious of its presence.

As I was saying, last Sunday, I was cleaning my room and chanced upon an old rusty wooden box with ‘Anne’s Property’ Frolica 3Ded on top of it. I opened it: forlorn love letters, chocolate wrappers, gift wrappers with bows on them, metro tickets, my first pen that you borrowed, birthday cards, that biology class glass slide on which you etched a rose for me with a marker, the Anne black wristband. It had been years. I simply didn’t know what to feel as I stared blankly at each item.

I held the Valentine’s Day ring and twirled it around my ring finger.
“Sokhi, bhalobasha kare koe? Se ki keboli jatona moe. Se ki keboli chokher e jol, se ki keboli…”
Was I humming to myself again?
Old habits die hard.

J mpwf zpv boe j bmxbzt xjmm.
Breaking the code. We spent hours and hours with our nonsensical meaningless syllables. It all seems a bit silly now, doesn’t it?
Dá Dum Dá Dum Dá Dum Dum Dum
Chocolate stains on my pinafore.
The paper plane landed softly at my feet. A little crumpled. A little scarred around the edges. I nursed its trampled ego. It purred.

I packed my bags. With it, a little bit of your soul perhaps. An advertisement paper fluttered under the Shrek paper-weight. Scribbled on its back, in shaking hands – “Mary, Going home. I need space. Don’t contact me. -Anne”. Not “Dearest Mary”. Just “Mary”. Not “Love, Anne”. Just “Anne”. Moments plucked, slaughtered, lost. None regained.
The indefatigable Post-its wagged their tongues as the door slammed behind me.
In the years that followed, I paid tax to Time…

Tick Tock. Tick Tock. Tock tick. A rambunctious feast. The clock skipped a beat. I fed on my past.
A soft beam of light followed behind my hop scotching heart. I picked up my cell phone. Scrolled all the way down to the M’s; stopped at your name, hesitated and dialled.
Warm breaths exchanged.
A whiffle, perhaps.
“Hello, Anne. “

(This is a story I wrote a couple of months back. Hope you liked it. Would love to hear from you. Seriously. ❤ Any feedback would be much appreciated. *Ta Dum* 🙂