That Which Cannot be Spoken

That electric tension. It intensified as she walked towards him. The feeling was raw and fresh. Like the biting cold of the first snow of the season. It pierced in as he stood with a gaze that he kept casual – an effort that used up his last of muscles.

She walked towards him. He looked at her. Inside her head she could hear the thud of heavy prison gates closing, and inside his, he saw himself getting swallowed into the eye of a very violent storm.

‘Hello,’ he said, blood rushing to his lips, forehead and tip of nose. ‘Hey,’ she replied, her lips quivering a little, and feet picking up pace faster than normal. Am imaginary thread wove them like two pieces of fabrics. The needle pulled one to the other, but in vain, thanks to the scouring eyes in the room.


A lazy-afternoon sketch

The last night’s conversations brewed and surfaced. It stayed over their heads like a gigantic cloud. Prick it with the smallest of pins and a million desires, feverish needs and unanswered questions would rain. No one dared to. The cloud remained, getting thicker and thicker with every gaze, voice and proximity.

He stole glances at her, from the narrow gap between two computers; never missed to look at her face as she passed by him; drank in her confusion and doubt as she spoke to her friends. He fantasised her in the well lit 10-people strong room on a Monday afternoon. Look or die. It came to that. He went inside a small dark room with transparent door, directed the seat aiming a full view of her, and continued watching, oblivious to the work stacking up on his table.

She smiled, more cautious than usual, stretched her neck longer than usual, popped her eyes out to suggest surprise, more than usual. She knew he was watching, and she was ready to play the game of Seek and Find. She saw him watching her from the dark room and felt a hundred spiders running up her legs. She saw him getting up from the chair and beginning to open the door.

The timing was perfect. He opened the door and walked in straight to her. There was a small halt. He took a generous look at her flushed face. She looked at him, put up a preoccupied face, and walked past him to her colleague.

The next day, the same continued. And the day after. And the one after that.

Why I wouldn’t go to Ega Theatre Again

It was 30 minutes past the movie had begun, when a usher shone the torch on our face. ‘G-19 and G-20, veliye vanga (come out)!) My friend and I were in the extreme corner, and couldn’t at first gauge what was up. Those in our row shifted in their seats, reassuring that they were not the ones pointed out. A few seconds later, even as the movie was going on, the usher shouted, ‘Madam, seekram vanga (come out fast)’. At this point, like a well-choreographed dance move, all heads bent to see who were the two culprits. The guy next to me whispered in a tensed tone, “They are calling you. There is some issue.”

Sure there was, just that none of us knew what it was.


My friend and I walked to the exit, where a young man asked us to show our online tickets downstairs, get the converted tickets and come back. “But we showed them the printout of our e-tickets, they accepted it and gave us these two, before entering,” said my friend, showing him two pink slips of paper. We could have as well showed him a chocolate wrapper, for he continued asking us to go downstairs and get the tickets. He reminded me of those auto-wallahs who refuse anything below an insane amount of Rs 100 for a three-km ride, with that very annoying negative nod.

We went downstairs, showed them the e-tickets on our mobiles, and got the ‘real’ ones. ‘So who is the manager here?’ my friend asked, after explaining to him what happened back inside. The reaction was instant. The guy at the ticket counter threw back a question at us. “How can they ask you to come in the middle of the movie for a ticket?” he asked, wearing a mask of concern. Soon there was a cluster of staffers, all eager to throw a rag on the fire.

They followed us like paparazzi until we reached the entrance of the screen. We showed them the usher who asked us to get the tickets, the usher got into an argument with us saying he did the right thing, and we asked him to at least Shut Up if he didn’t know to apologise. All this while, the cluster of men stood like witnesses to a road accident. Not a bit useful.

As we made our way to our seats, probably it was just my imagination, but I could see that you-guys-are-freeloaders?-kinda-look on faces. It wasn’t pretty, though the movie was.