Thursday, September 13, 2012


An Explanation

He turned left to his cabin and faced a face which had just withdrawn from anticipation and gone back to stare blank, only to be interrupted by his stopping. The face was still dipping into the cold sauce of a whitish screen, glint playing rainbows with her moist eyes, playfully fluttering, hesitatingly remembering; he asked her a doubt regarding the filling up of a questionnaire. But her neighbor, the expert, who had not been available earlier, had returned and she referred it to her. The two of them had agreed upon a rather agreeable explanation to the question and finalized the response. But that turned out wrong; the questionnaire had to be filled up again. He had drifted more to the left and was now standing, looking into the responses, as she swept both her arms wide in a gesture of tiresomeness; she had been stooping over the screen for so long—she had to stretch her arms. Her glance caught her temple-mate at the far end of the room, and he was thankful he hadn’t strayed. So…there was a change. She’d upgraded. He noticed his office phone ringing, and he rushed back. And later on, after he’d have time, he’d ponder over it and try and make sense.
‘Men,’ his aunt used to tell her daughter, ‘aren’t very subtle. They don’t need to be. But women…they have to cross their hearts and arms, and if they can’t, they’d have to do better than to express and still be in the race.’ His aunt was skinny and fair and wore her grey head grey; she could always tell that. And she always told it so to her girls—the hard way, in-between taking sips of curiously-flavoured tea, and such tea was never one of her best concoctions.
His mind wandered farther back. Yesterday, he was on, full-voltage: he was dressed like a prim white garden-rose. And today, she’d come in force, with her hanky-friend, and obviously gone to the Temple, and now, with all guns blazing, all the fire showing, she’d given just a spark so that he’s notice she was not all that way back. It was a copper-coloured sari. She wore a black blouse. It was stupendous, and she knew every inch of it perfectly—which explained the bow-stringing routine, leading his eyes away, and the resulting exaltation. In the reckoning—and in the forefront; but he’s had recent scars, scars that would never heal. And his wishes always used to come up thus: to paint pictures around scars so that they may be worshipped.
     Scars…are all we remember in a faithless life.