The author, Nandishi Shriram

The author, Nandishi Shriram
Colors myriad, yet a land unexplore

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Time, endless time

Somewhere in time.....

A dream unfolded...

It was just a supreme manifestation

That makes time feel so captive

For we cannot ever know when..

For it is only now that I have dreamt of you

I dream awakened, asleep, in the morrow

For it is then that I have kissed you in bareness

It is then that a darkness swallows me whole...

For when I dream, I make a song,

Of a fabric whose weft only an artisan can capture

For it's only a song that a night bird can sing

And it's only a nightingale that will romance me

And draw me into a spider's web

That you, my beloved, may not be able to extricate yourself from.

Come, then let's walk on the clouds,

On the winds that carry us into a warp of time

Into a shimmering cloud of purple haze

That brings you into me

With a dream full of promise

Of plucked ripe nectarines that you sink your very teeth into..

For it's a folly that no one has loved before

For to love is to die a million deaths and come back

With a tear, a smile, a shattered heart,

And a raw bleeding wound that time will

Not heal....

Let's not talk about this pain that we call love,

Written by many into sheaths of time....

Come then, come into the folds of my womb.

A womb that holds your promise, a lifeline, a pulsating heart.

Come walk with me into the twilight zone,

Where even the angels fear to tread...

And bear with me your lovechild.

A child that will be Me.....

A child that at all times will bear

The pain and the joy that I have held...

I am so entwined in a love that may not be

Of our love that existed somewhere across the weft of time, space,

Thrown into a chasm of eternity stretched across the horizon

Of infinitesimal yawning oblivion.

A being that belongs neither here nor there

Which consists of neither water, nor earth, nor stars, nor fire, nor sand

Why then does that being shine from me?

A being that creates the very cosmos that just sprang out of nowhere,

For who is to explain this?

This that we call Life.

And how do we explain that which is borne of just seed,

And springs into a pulsating man that can just enter my abode

What then is my house, my hearth, my home that I live in...

Just another symbolic metaphor of life,

For is this what we all seek?

A hearth that we can call our own?

But yet, we exist to get out of this very suffering that we call pain, joy,


So free me my beloved, from the silvery ropes that shackle me

And throw me into the wilderness that we call Death

For it is there that I attain Nirvana...

In death I become one,

Yours to keep and to hold, And in Living form

I become a slave to time, and to you

And in that form, I am captive in your love

It is then that Nirvana can be sought...

For when we seek to bear child,

When we seek to drown ourselves into captive love,

When we seek to capture in love,

We stay shackled in ropes that some name Destiny....

For when will the bird be free, unless it is not asked to fly the coop?

When it leaves home and hearth?

When it throws itself into a yawning chasm of eternal light?

It is only thus that we establish faith,

When we have seen that our freedom is not harnessed onto myriad rainbows,

But is instead set free and sent into the Universal Light,

Which we would then call Death.

But it is not 'that' Death that we seek, it is Life, it is being alive even in


And so our cyclic patterns set into motion, many, many wheels of time.

And carve into stone...

Time....endless time..........

A waiting time

It is a lovely time

When I know that u will come to me free of all shackles

Of only feelings that we will share

Of love that just does not covet

Of dreams that do not possess

Of travails to worlds flung far far above

Of horizons seen but never walked upon

Be warned oh foolish one

When you leave me to walk a path that few dare

When you love me and endanger me by making me want to die for you

Consumed by an unholy passion

I now dare the world to look me in the eye and tell me that I have sinned

By loving, by creating, by being consumed by a raging fire that few can douse

What mindless follies have we committed in the name of love?

When we anger, when we covet, when we do unto the world some wierd sin that few

would call Love??

When we threaten to jump into abysses of the mind?

Where we drown and embroil in our own created heights of fear??

Never would I, a pure woman, would want a fate such as that..

Where I am running from my own drown and be consumed in a fire that not

even I,

As a protector can salvage...

Walk away from me oh beloved one

For we are not meant to be...

Not meant to be consumed, destroyed, to perish in a hellish fire of unholy love

Where one only covets, owns, possesses...

Set me free

Free to fly the wind

Free to be unshackled from you insanely so

When the ropes get untied

I smile and I hurry to leave you

To fly into a horizon that I will now walk

Patiently waiting for time to take hold of me

And throw me into the oblivion that we call......

We still do not know what we may call it...

But for now, let's call it Life....

For in death, we do not exist

We do perish but we...we do not exist....

Just call it Life so it does not end....

And give me meaning and my life a purpose to be reborn

For then we can once again possess, covet...own

And so we go on and on

Till time has finished its hourly routine

And the sun has lost its energies

The moon has moved into a galaxy beyond

The planets have submerged into deluges and oceans

And the air has become a vast stillness

Then we can pause...and say

Oh we have come a long way

And justifiably so

No more yearning for pleasures

Or love

Or cauldrons of hell

Now we just rest...and wait...

For a new world to be born...

Of only love, pure as distilled water

Pure as the earth mother

A love that has no depths

No limits except of sanity

Only a love that can be eternal

Can be told that it is holy

So let us wait oh beloved one

For such a time....

In a world that we call our own

Where only Utopia can be seen

Let us wait..Oh let us wait..

Four letters of love

For it was just another time that we met....

It was a momentous journey of carnal seeking

........With you and me.....

Way back then, when you wrote to me,

With a pen full of bloody ink on a

Paper sullied with our love, dreams, sands and fire............

It was for me, only a letter of love

But when you did write,

A meaning unfolded vastly in front of me

I saw unfolding in my visions' eye,

Many, many life spans of time........

Where I am entwined in the arms of love, which I saw in you,

Holding me as your very own, and when you did leave me

After plunging into me ghoulish madness of love..........

I became this dark being, sullied by tainted love,

Yet when we parted, we cried, we shed tears of rain,

Of wet sands, of muds that we soiled ourselves in.

So when I cry because the seed that you sowed

Was not meant to be,

Then a little something that i call faith, dies....

Because you care not for me

You care for only a macabre seed that you plant

A wanton woman that I am,

Why but would you do that to one who would reap a

Harvest that would be gold just for you and yours?

Then a wonder that we call Love, gets melted into ashes

As we reap the harvest of forgotten love...

And that harvest breaks a tiny tender heart that you cared

Not to touch when you seek just an unworthy alliance with a woman

That one would call pure.

For then you have sinned and broken many a cardinal rules

You have sinned and defecated into a boiling cauldron that

Would become poison and hellish for those who boil in it.

And when you go into the hereafter, then I will come with you

And once again descend on this physical plane

To destroy you as the Eternal Destroyer that I will become

For it is you that I will seek to conquer

With love, with care

As a Mother feeding her calf,

As your wedded wife,

To love and to hold

So walk with me today

Hold me as you would hold someone cherished

And allow me to rest with you

In a lawn of lavender, gold dust, and roses.

And when we melt into time,

Then again we walk into a twilight.

As just you and me, and.........eternity.

Somewhere, in the folds of time

Sometimes, when u did beckon to me

It came to me as a flickering dream that we met somewhere in time

Only to part bitterly

with un-shed tears that now come out

It is a sad time that we can never be together

For it has been only you for me

It is a broken heart that sheds tears of untold pain

That we have been through

Yet when you meet me in heaven

You tell me, it is just not over as yet

Its a dream that went awry

A dream that again called to me in a moment of intuition

You let me know that our time has come yet again

You told me, it is true

That we have met in a twilight

Only to part

Only to part and to meet yet again in a heaven that you may never know

Come hither

Walk with me on a road that leads nowhere


When you stand there

Looking at me but not saying anything

You say a lot that has told me

In many many shattered pieces of my heart

A blood that spilled over and a cry that tore even a heart of a stone

It was a lifetime of giving that we never shared

For it was just me who loved you

It was just me who tore my own very heart into shards of sand

Of time

Of worlds that we will now never ever see

Will me to my untold death

For it is then that I will be finally free of you

Of pain that not one, not one will ever know

The darkness that pervades my being

Has left imprints of untold weathered sadness unto time

Which will take birth in the nether

And come back as a child that will be me

A child whose new life will be formed out of blood

That held pain, that held words unsaid

Of tissue that never amalgamated into seed

So then my love, we will re-enter into a warp that only we will ever know

Somewhere, in the folds of time

An unfurling of a new life will come to seed.....

Leaves & Sticks, a compilation of stories & verse: Eternity

Leaves & Sticks, a compilation of stories & verse: Eternity: "And eternal lifetimes later, So came a time When you left me And we met in another time And what culminated from this...... Was just a ..."


And eternal lifetimes later,

So came a time

When you left me

And we met in another time

And what culminated from this......

Was just a timeless eternal grappling of two bodies

Just entwined in a sorrowful embrace

For it was only then that we realized

That time never did exist

It was not time that held us

Or the silvery ropes of life

That held me to you my beloved

It was a yawning chasm of an endless well

Into which i got sucked

And that went beyond...

Just beyond

Beyond what we call space

I flew into a maddening darkness

Embracing the folds of my own skin

Into a darkness that closed me in

That made me gasp for air

I grappled....

For air.....

For water.......

Yet no one came

You just left me and went away

And when I reached out for a light

Then it was only you that I see

It was a blinding curtain of shimmering light

A light into which we both got sucked

A warmth where I could not leave

And an endearing love that you could tear apart

With your very bare hands

Why, my beloved?

Why would you tear a love that is so impure?

Why would you not be in a love that swallows me whole, sucks me dry?

Why would you then want to live in this darkness?

Where the blinding light can sear your very whole?

In this timeless space, I walk the winds, winds of light, time, space and worlds

flung far, far beyond.

You choice to be with this eternal woman, with just a second of refracted light

When you throw caution to the winds and leave me to the

depths of the swirling dark oceans of whirling lust,

It's only then that we meet in a twilight where you and I tread,

We tread a wind

That swallows me whole.

For it is you, who stirs in a boiling cauldron his vicious seed,

And churns my milk of desire

And when we culminate this wholeness into one.........

We meet once again in a sphere that is above.....

Above the wrath of desire.......

Above the call of the wind.........

Above the physical grappling of the worlds that we have left.....

For we have crossed over, never to look back....

Never to touch each other....

Yet when we walk a wind...

That is the time when we touch......

We touch upon worlds that we have crossed over

We leave behind a captive love

Held together by myriad rainbows of prismatic light

For it is only then that I, can fly away my coop

For when will a bird be free, if it cannot fly the coop?

So tell me my dearly beloved,

Will you still love me and hold me?

Will you marry me and make me yours or will you love me and let me be?

For it is just a kiss that I can think of...

A love that has been defiled by a wanton woman

By your bloody pen whose letter I read

A lifetime of eternity as I wait..

For the beloved that I seek.

For it is then that I will be,

As One....

What is love?

Sometimes they tell me I am mad, to want so much.

Then they tell me I am only human, to want, to desire.

To desire from the very dregs of my blackened soul,

Is to live, without you, yet in your memory, I travel distances

In my dreams, I am reaching for only you.

For I have loved, you and you only.

It is a sad day, yet so very beautiful, for maybe I have cried.

In blood, I am yours.

But it is a loved one that one longs for, not for the ordinary is this turmoil.

We sing, we dance, we toil, for who? For you? For me? For beauty?

Tell me is it love that allows me to survive for ever?

Is it that very love that drives me to vistas that I may never see or have seen?

Is it dreams that awaken me from my stupor and remind me that it will never be you again?

Oh it is an illusion that I live, for I am a mere fragment for the universal light.

It is just a spark that divinates every living being, that allows a life to form from plain seed.

What is it that separates illusion from reality?

A vast horizon that yawns over chasms that seem like eternity,

Yet it is simply a veil that lifts when we move over

To another reality that we may never experience in the physical

Yet a truth emanates from the being’s very pore.

That we live, we exist in every realm that we have traversed.

So remember that it is only love that carries us over to oceans varied.

So when I love, I live within you.

In every living, loving moment, I move in fluid grace.

Hoping that love be with me all the way, leaving me only to traverse another realm.

Where I will be some day.

A star light

The house was derelict and falling apart. It was the house where Mamta had spent her childhood. As she walked up the steps, the main door creaked open. It seemed that no one had lived there for years. A rat scurried past, Mamta looked startled. The house had a strange, musty, dank odour. It had not been occupied for over twenty years now. The air was thick with dust, Mamta coughed and spluttered as she breathed in old stale smells.

As she walked through, the walls of cobwebs seemed to fall away on their own. Mamta had a very strong and powerful aura. She kept herself protected from malevolent energies as her work was such where entities could easily attack her aura. Mamta was a Shaman and an energy healer. She did home visits for people who seemed to have ill luck for no reason.

Mamta had taken it upon herself to come to her ancestral home, with a purpose. Years ago, Mamta’s family had been afflicted with a strange fate. Mamta’s paternal grandmother, Mrs. Asha Sud Nahata had died suddenly at a young age of fifty. Whilst Mamta’s father had been simultaneously declared mentally ill. Mamta’s father became a vegetable way before his time and their family business floundered. They eventually had to move to a small 2 bedroom place in Azadpur and Mamta’s mother had to get a job in an export firm to make ends meet.

Mamta was always of a spiritual bend, at an early age she started getting psychic visitations. As she started growing up, her powers became more channelized. She started her work with a clairvoyant, based in New Delhi. At age 25, she was asked to help people. Now at age 35, with her own burgeoning practise, Mamta could reach out to all people who needed her kind of help.
It was on her mother’s behest that Mamta decided to cleanse the energies of her ancestral home.

As she walked towards the annexe, her hackles started rising. She took out from her healing tool kit, a crystal faceted pendulum, strung on a 22 carat gold string. The pendulum started whirring around furiously. It seemed to pull towards the courtyard. Mamta’s psychic powers now took over.

She could sense a malignant energy force, not from the higher realms. She chose a spot in the courtyard to do her invocations. She lay a cushion on the floor, drew a lime paste circle around 2 feet in dia, within which were some symbols. She sat down on the cushion.

The courtyard was dark, with windows that were coated with a thick layer of dust. As she begun chanting, the courtyard started getting flooded with a greenish blue light. From the ceiling descended a light being. It was a little star child, with a blue-ish aura surrounding it.

The little star child being stood in front of Mamta. Mamta spoke to the being. The being communicated that it had not been allowed to leave by its astral guides. It needed to complete its karmic cycle to be allowed to go back. The being had been a little girl child in its earthly life. Her mother had not been too well and had died of cancer of the uterus. The girl child had been abandoned by its family. Shortly after, she had disappeared. It came to light that the child’s mother had been my grandmother’s maidservant. Eventually the child had got run over by a car, in the middle of the night. The child had been only 10. Its soul could not be released and it took to occupying the energies of the house where Mamta had lived.

Mamta sent the being's energies to the Light, having healed the karmic cycles. The house was then cleansed over the next one year. Mamta then had the house sold, and from the funds, started a charitable trust for the girl child. Today, there are 40 orphaned or abandoned girls that are looked after by Mamta and her mother.

A blinding

A blinding, searing, ripping scream pervades the atmosphere of the silence. A woman sits still in a chair. She is 65, with salt & pepper dyed hair. Her bifocal glasses are perched on the bridge of her bulbous nose. There are hints of a beauty that she may have been. She silently sits in her chair, waiting for the next scream.
Arti, her daughter in law is ridden with psychosis. Pupul was newly married when this illness was discovered. Medication sometimes fails to have effect. There is utter silence in that house, except for her screams, let out once in a while. The ayah who is kept to tend to her, then handles her. Pupul is a widow. Her husband, Romesh left for his heavenly abode a year back. The house is occupied by these two women. There is no signs of any other life.
The woman in the chair, gets up slowly. Her walk is unsteady. She searches for the newspaper in the room that she is. The room has a strange musty odor. It is hardly aired. There is no one to come and do this for her. Ayah sometimes takes it upon herself to come and clean the room. Being with Pupul is a full time job. Her fits, her nightmares, her screams are enough for one human to handle. Ayah has worked in a mental hospice before and is quite adept at handling patients with severe disorders.
The woman finds what she is looking for, the listings of the latest movies to hit the screens. She smiles gently when she sees that the movie she has been wanting to watch, has been released. The woman picks up the mobile phone and slowly dials a number.
Tring, tring, someone answers. “Hello? Yes? Oh hello aunty, how are you? Haven’t heard from you in a long time. Yes, mummy is right here. One sec.”
“Hello Asha?? How are you dear? Yes yes. I am fine. No, the usual. I have not been out lately, my knee hurts quite a bit. Yes Pupul is okay. No, the usual. Okay dear, can we go for a movie this Friday?
Tere bina has been released. Tell Shagun to book the tickets. Yes we will watch it and then she can drive us to the Gymkhana and we can have dinner there with Ajay. Yes. Ok dear. Bye bye.” She puts the phone down gently and goes back to her chair. Few minutes later, she is asleep.
Friday dawns. The woman is looking in her cupboards for something suitable to wear. She is usually in her kaftan everyday as she rarely steps out. She pulls out an aqua colored shirt, with a white edging at the neck, and white capris. She lovingly irons these on her bed. She takes out matching white slip on sandals. They have a grip in the back for her to walk steadily. Her beautician lady comes to the house to dye her hair and wash & blow dry it, put fresh nail lacquer on her toe nails and on her finger nails. It’s now two pm. The woman pulls out Rs. 800 and fifty rupees tip for the beautician lady. She preens in front of the mirror and likes what she sees. She looks pretty, so she thinks. Ajay will be pleased. Ajay is the woman’s companion. He is 70, and a widower. They meet once in 2 weeks. Ajay and the woman have been together for 30 years.
At 6 pm, Shagun and her mother Asha zoom into the drive way. Shagun bounces into the house, hugs the woman and gently walks her to the car. At the window is Pupul, staring.
The three enjoy the movie thoroughly. They go for dinner to Gymkhana. The club is buzzing with activity. They find a spot and sit and wait for Ajay. Ajay walks in half an hour late. After some friendly admonishing from the three women, Ajay plonks into the sofa seat. They order snacks and drinks. They have a jolly time. They come back at 12 am, Shagun takes the woman into the house, leads her to her room, and says goodnight and lets herself out.
Pupul is already waiting for her mother in law. She enters the room, locks it from behind. Some thrashing sounds, screams can be heard, ayah tries to peek through the key hole but cannot see anything. A while later, Pupul unlocks the door and goes back to her bedroom and goes to sleep.

The woman sobs silently, curled up in a foetal position. On her bedside lies a bottle of sedatives. She gets up slowly, goes to the toilet, comes back, takes a sedative and goes to sleep.

The next day,  she calls up a mental hospital facility. After a lot of inquiries etc, the decision is to admit Pupul into the facility for permanent care. The woman silently signs Pupul's death warrant. 
The woman is now alone in the house, with only photographs for company.

Pepe, the talking cat

"As I see it, Pepe never could talk, let alone hear a word of what I would say. What a bloody liar  Blumsfeld is proving to be. He says’ Ooh Lady Shawley, Look what I have done. I have taught Pepe to recite the alphabet, backwards!!!!!’. Liar!!!! Fool...!!!!  Scoundrel..!!! How can a cat talk, I ask you??" This is the inner thought of Lady Shawley, as she sets about offering her guests drinks.

"Meowwwrr!! Meowwwwr!!" a slow growl cum meowl came from Pepe’s fat gut. The guests turned around to look at a fat cat, peeping in from the shadows of the terrace greens. Pepe looks proud, typical of the phrase, like a cat who swallowed the cream. Pepe strides in, with the confidence of one who can swing any deal. He rests at little bald Blumsfeld’s feet, pushing himself at Blumsfeld’s calf, nuzzling his soft mane against the black of Blumsfeld’s woolly trouser fabric. A gentle white fluff starts to settle on Mr. Blumsfeld’s trouser and tickles Pepe’s nose. Pepe lets out a cute mewl. Lady Shawley stares angrily at Mr. Blumsfeld

"Can anybody believe this lie?? My dear guests, please do not believe such hogwash, I say!!. Blumsfeld has had a drink too many. Maybe he needs to get home", says Lady Shawley with extreme displeasure, and turns around and storms out of the room & into the darkness of the stairwell. A slow murmur rises. The guests look at each other. Has she abandoned the party? Blumsfeld shifts uncomfortably from one leg to another, gulps his dying drink down. His face turns a funny purple.

Pepe pushes harder against Mr. Blumsfeld’s legs. Mr. Blumsfeld, gives him a kick and Pepe goes flying across the room and lands on poor Mrs. Harcourt’s lap. She jumps up with fright and nearly lands in the fireplace. The guests snigger. Pepe jumps up, licks himself and stands with dignity next to Harcourt’s dainty feet. Pepe now wants to extract revenge.

He goes back out on the terrace and eats his fish, now soggy and attracting the odd fly. He stares at the kind moon, waiting for an answer. The moon sends him messages many a times. The moon and he are friends. Pepe stares at the  moon, bereft. No message. The moon is blank tonight.

"Meeeooowwwww!!!!". The guests again turn to look at Pepe. He looks very very angry. He goes and jumps on Mrs. Harcourt’s lap, & then bouncing on her shoulder, he entangles his paws in her teased and tight hairdo. The guest roll over with mirth at this elaborate spectacle. Blumsfeld rushes across to help, Pepe claws him & Blumsfeld runs for cover.

A voice emanates from Pepe. "Listen up you fools, Lady Shawley knows nothing. All I know is she is fooling around with Blumsfeld and she did not want you drunks to know. Now that you do know, I suggest you all scram, while the going is good." The guests are stunned. They leave quickly before they hear any more revelations. Mr. Blumsfeld is Lady Shawley's cousin, twice removed. Their ears burn. What next. Meanwhile, Blumsfeld is nowhere to be seen.

A satisfied Pepe goes & plops off on his velvet cushion & snores into the night. The next morning, the cleaning lady comes in and lets out a blood curdling scream. The body of a dead Blumsfeld lies behind the sofa, his throat slit open, with what seems like a sharp meat knife. There is a single trail of blood that leads to a blue velvet cushion, covered with fluff.

A deep hollow

A non dusty sun is not a very real thing. A halo must surround it. That is the voice that comes from within my head. 
It is the year 2010. I am a virgin, once again committing a death defying sin, virgins do not exist anymore in our realm. I do not fornicate. I advise people on sins of the flesh. They allow me to heal their rotting bodies from an age of sex and money. I am Sin, untouched.

“Anita, her name is Anita. She lives by herself. You do know she heals lifetimes, don’t you?” asks Nancy. Nancy is a sex fiend. She goes everyday to an unknown sleazy side of town. She comes back, hot, sweaty, covered with the dust of sex. Nancy asks Romesh if he wants to go on an adventure that means plunging into an unknown darkness. Romsh simply nods, exhausted from multiple orgasms. Nancy is pleased, what she wishes will now come true. Romesh and she will love each other through their mind. Nancy has to get over her addiction.

I come back from the supermarket, buying egs, milk, rice, atta, necessary supplies. I bathe away the dust of people’s shadowy energies. I kiss myself in the fog of the mirror. I come out bare, with just a raw gaping wound where my heart once lay. Blood, dripping from it, oozes in a thick form. I lick it dry. I take a washcloth, soak it in Savlon, I wipe myself. I am now totally dry. I hear the doorbell ring.
“It’s open!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” 

I am now lying on my couch, in a languorous posture, in a clingy black kaftan, with silver lines embellishing it. In walk in a couple, energies heavy with Sin. I signal them to lie on a dhurrie, surrounded by clear stones. A huge pyramid on the ceiling allows light to filter through, prismatic, clear, refractive.

I play Gregorian Chants. The couple is restful. I light the sage, I whisper slowly, a relaxation settles on the couple. An hour later, the couple, who has now moved into an astral realm, are slowly urged to decopulate. This is their last act of fornication ever. They have now joined the cult. Only few can do this. They hand over their souls to the Unknown Being and are now with me. They will now walk realms of the spiritual world with me. They slowly rise. They touch my feet. I bless them. They give me a token, a thick gold chain, which weighs an ounce. I touch it to their auras, and go and drop it in my altar, a red mound that looks phallic. The couple stares at me, waiting for a response.

“Yes you may leave now. Remember to only contact me when you get the message. You will know when the message comes through. Now leave!!!” The couple leaves in utter silence.

“So...!! Did you feel anything?”, asks Nancy. She feels totally numb. They are slow in their demeanour today. Romesh shuffles gently to his cycle. Nancy walks with him, not touching.
“Oh, it was so very deep. Did you see her when know...did it...??”
“Yes, she was a very strong light, she swallowed my whole. Why did that happen, Romesh?”

“Well, I don’t know. But please never mention this to anyone, they will think we have lost the plot. Please promise...!!”
“I don’t know Romesh. I just don’t know anymore”. And she walks away. Romesh looks blank, he feels a sense of acute loss.

It is a windy day, The breeze has an ominous feel to it. Anita awakens to see that the windows have blown open. A strange kind of light touches the sky. A shade of pink, an electric blue. Anita knows. The time has come.
 “Romesh??? Romesh???”....she presses the doorbell and presses the doorbell. The bai from next door scowls. “Kya hai?? Kisko dhoondti hai??”
“Yahaan Romesh Ji rehte hain. Main ussi se milne aiee hoon”
 “Jao...woh toh chala gaya.” Says bai.
 Nancy perplexed...’Lekin kahaan?? Kuchh toh batao”
 “Humein nahi maloom, ab tum jao...”. Nancy returns to her home. Lays slowly on her bed. In a deep sleep. Dreams come, strange lights, pink, blue, Anita, a flickering shadow, Romesh, a flat two dimensional being, waving out from another world. Nancy awakens, startled. 

I am now Un Sin. I have walked a wind that treads on his sexuality. He will never see day again. We enter the darkness together. I can now fornicate. In a world that is only mine.

In the days that follow, Anita’s home has no evidence of anyone having lived there. A dusty dhurrie lies, with blood stains that look fresh, each day. The police are baffled about the fresh blood stains. No blood group can be detected.

Meanwhile Nancy has contracted a peculiar disease. She can never have children. Her hair has turned white. Her nails, a peculiar yellow. She has aged in the last 2 weeks. Nancy remains celibate.

Years later, Anita and Romesh’s remains are found. A line of verse.....
The beloved is what I seek.

Shackles....please let me be....

My father beat me every day. I was a girl child, a second child born in a conservative baniya family. I would get harassed every single day for no fault of mine. We were rubber part traders. My father had a small workshop in Patparganj. Every day he would take his battered brown briefcase, tuck it into the scooter net pocket and fit his corpulent body on the 2 wheeler and ride off to do some trading. I would be cleaning, mopping, washing the toilets. We had no help. My Dadi did not want to keep hired help. She felt that it was the girl's job to care for her family, never mind that they did not care back. By the time I would finish cleaning the house, I would then be toiling in our tiny kitchen, cooking breakfast,  lunch & dinner for my family. I was very young when I was initiated into domestic housekeeping.

My grandmother was the karta dharta of the family, the matriarch, so to speak. A strong woman with a whiplash acerbic sharp tongue, she ruled my father in an insidious way that he never saw through. He looked up to her. My Dadi had hated my mother. My Mother had died when I was one. She had developed a low grade fever, and due to negligence and lack of care, she had passed away in a brief span of ten days. She had not been provided with ample medical care. My grandmother and father felt she did not deserve it. Ram was 6 at that time. He did not miss his mother as he was never allowed to get attached to her. My grandmother kept him away from her and had started brainwashing hm against his own mother. My mother died alone, in her bed, with no one beside her. Her family was informed the next day. They had hardly kept in touch in any case. They came for the cremation, attended the last rites and went back to Kolkata. That was the last we ever saw of them.

My schooling was stopped when Pitaji lost his job with the insurance company. The company shut down so all the people were asked to leave. I was all of ten when this happened. My brother Ram carried on going to school. They never stopped him. After all, he had to keep the home and hearth going eventually. My father then got the idea of starting the workshop. He had a nest egg so he utilized that. With the help of a friend, he managed to start securing some small time orders. It was when he lost his job that he and Dadi decided to stop my education. According to them, I did not need to study. I needed to learn all the things that a girl needs to know when she enters her marital home. So begun my training. Everyday I had to sew a piece of cloth, or cook a specialty, or do flower arrangements. I was sent to the local beauty parlor for removing my armpit hair and my little bristly mustache. I knew that what was happening to me was no fair. There was not much I could do. I learnt all about gender discrimination later when I started my Women's Empowerment Group. I got to know about certain sects of Indian castes that believe in this strange culture. I studied it, specially the Baniya side.

Even today, in mid level income baniya families, women are treated as second class citizens. They never become the breadwinners. They are to marry and go to their husbands’ homes and it is a curse to be born a girl in a baniya family. I know that as I experienced this curse every single day when I was young. I was beaten hollow by Pitaji. He took out his frustrations on me, as there was no one else he could do that to. After beating me, he would lie down on the bed, with sweat beads trickling on his fat rotund, bald head. I would then have to press his legs. My body was always bruised and hurting. While all this was going on, Dadi would quietly retire to her room, as if nothing had happened. She shared the room with Ram. He would get royal treatment from Dadi. Ram would wickedly grin when Dadi would bring back choicest mithhais, samosas, toys for Ram, while I would be busy cleaning the kitchen, or mopping the floor of the house. Dadi was a control freak. She would many times kick me when I would slow down. I would say nothing. I had nothing left to say.

 I started reading. 'Aunty' was a teacher in a small time school. I would many a times quietly borrow a book from her bookshelf, and would spend hours learning the English language and its basics. I had a friend. The little servant boy, Ali. Ali would look after me when I would get fever. He would quietly make me a broth from the left over meat bones, and would tenderly give me cold compresses. Many times when my tears would soak my pillow, he would give me the end of his shirt to wipe my face. These are the kindnesses I could never forget. Ali became the brother that Ram could never have been. We would talk late into the night. I told him how I had come to be here. Ali was a kind soul. He gave me his home address where his folks stayed, in case I ever lost touch with him. This chit of paper was kept safely with my passport.

‘Uncle’ now decided it was time to use the trade off. I was sold to a rich Arab, for a hefty sum of Rs. 25 lakhs. This would cover the cost of my husband’s education. I was once again sold, for no fault of mine. I was paraded in front of the Arab in  ‘Uncle’s bedroom. The Arab took an instant liking to me. I was packed off in a hurry. I said a teary goodbye to my little friend Ali. I left my husband’s home with just a bagful of my belongings, the ones I had brought from India. I was not allowed to take anything else. Aunty bathed me that day, making sure that I looked presentable enough for the Arab. When I was leaving, no one came out to say bye. I was bundled into the car by the Arab and taken to a far away district. I had no idea about where we were going. I tried to ask the Arab, but he kept his glassy eyes on the road.

That night, I searched in my little steel box for the invitation letter. The letter was yellowing at the edges. It had my home address and my fathers name. In my spare time the next day, I  managed to gain access to the Arab's typewriter. His wife Nasma was not home. She usually stepped out every morning to go pray at the mosque. I slid in a sheet of paper and started typing out a letter, stating my home address in New Delhi. I then went on to mention that I was being invited to visit my home by my family. I signed it in my father’s name. I slipped out the sheet of paper, tucked it into my kameez and ran back to the outhouse. I had only 2 1/2 days to plan how to hide in the car without being caught. The boot only had so much space and I knew that the Arab would be taking his cartons of dry fruits too. I knew that if I got caught, I would never be allowed out ever. When the Arab got back that night, he made love to me and left shortly after. I waited for an hour. I then ran to the car in the dead of the night. I gently prised the boot lid open. I looked around for a place to hide. I could see nothing. I was feeling around when something gave way. It was the flap covering the stepney tire. I looked at it carefully. If I could curl my body in a foetal position, then maybe I could manage to squeeze in that space. I eased the heavy tire out. It nearly slipped out of my cold & clammy hands. I clambered into the car, raised the flap, and squeezed my tiny frame into the round space. It was a tight squeeze. I covered myself with the flap and lay there. If I could hide in there for an hour or two, I could manage. Beyond that, I would suffocate. I had to somehow make sure that the boot would not fully shut.
My knowledge of English came in use. I looked at the signs & found out where the travel desk was. I asked for the fare to Mumbai, India. It was all of Dirham 1800. For my visa, I had to have 4 passport size photographs clicked. I asked the man behind the desk in Hindustani where I could have this done. He seemed kind. He pointed out the photograph booth. I walked to the booth to have my photos taken. The attendant made me sit on a stool, placed a red cloth behind me. A moment later, she handed me 6 passport size photos. I walked back to the travel desk and the folder was given to me to present to Immigration. I was asked to fill out a form. My ticket was issued. I was handed back a wad of notes and some loose coins. My flight was to leave four hours later. I had yet to be issued my Visa. I knew from prior experience and from conversations heard that Visas are generally granted at the airport itself. I stood in the queue for my visa. I was really really scared. What if I got caught? What if they arrested me?

It took me nearly 10 hard. gruelling years to get to a decent level income bracket. Today, I drive my own 2nd hand Santro, I still stay in rented acco. Flats here are very expensive.
I do hope that someday men will understand. Until then, I am quiet.