” EVERYBODY HAS A SECRET
space inside that runs into all those acres…”
her eyes were laughing at me : at how my jaw dropped right down to my toes and speech forgot itself …
I had just finished the most extraordinary hour with a woman I had admired years and years before we met in her tiny apartment off the 4th street ;
she wrote fiction and worked with Science like they were all mates right thru college …
Ti, as I began to know her, introduced me to my own Universe…
a journey shall never forget..
/ to continue
1. God’s hearth.
…hugged onto one Earth
miles, and secrets (lives ) :
Humanity & Culture ;
each a newly forming Picture
talking,not understanding all
Its a miracle, of Friendship :
together, so apart, in one Space,
moving constantly, beyond
Walls. Or Pages. Or Time.
I see you thru a glass darkly now, a Stranger
a Brother, a Friend : its my favourite mystery of
. THE OWNER
Looked like a writer of sorts with that slouching shirt, falling away corduroys and tobacco curls.
He was very polite, said to come back the next day after 2 pm, so we could talk a bit ;
I was there that Tuesday, sharp 2, my mental notebook and pencil, poised.
He sat framed by a shelf full of Sir Tagore and some others.
nice work, why do you call them Letters ?
because they are letters.
He sniffed and went flat eared like a hunting dog that had found trail.
Very nice and sweet. Like jaggery. Uneducated , too soft, no history , no economy,
no polish, even letters must have rule, line, form. Whats your Voice?
The eyes turned to slits and laser.
Where’s the plot ?
No form, no plot, too sweet. Who were you writing to ?
To who ?!
How old are you ?
What have you seen ? Where have you lived ? Have you fought ? Lost ?
Died ? Had child ? Lived a life ?
Then go do something else, but please do not write!
I marveled at the colours flashing across his forehead and dark eyes.
Little swirls, half formed alphabets, like some strange art form, hanging in, together,
things too old to fit new words : rage,
desire, laughter that had died too long ago, but still wore him, stole from him, every day.
What had happened?
Ten years down this road, would I too, wear eyes like those?
Flashing words like half drawn swords.
Occupied with old Errors, like stubborn guests who would not leave?
I hugged my jaggery letters, my half lived life, and ran.
Yes, I had them too, my very own stubborn guests, their pets and carts and relatives,
who refused to go.
My own rage, and unsettled scores, hidden behind these jaggery tins.
Out ! I roared ;
But they do not all easily leave.
The next Tuesday when I met Tobacco curls again, I told him about the Guests,
who were now stealing my shelves, whose words I hid behind all that Jaggery .
He stared at me like I were a hyena.
Before I could properly steel myself for his next onslaught, he burrowed his face in tightly drawn elbows and began to weakly
I scolded myself for being insensitive ; one should settle one’s own trouble.
As I was half out the door, he gazed up thru eyes brimming with silly wet lashes and
all busy with his laughter, sobbed, creatively,
‘ … next Tuesday again, then ?”
I pushed back a half- drawn sword, and startled my favourite Knight on the shelf.
And some others.
But you must write with an ethnic pen. He cried, reading my script, my writer friend.
There must be passion,plots, sub plots
I stopped writing,but the stories would not leave.
they re-surfaced, in unexpected places ….
And never went away. Shouted ,followed me down streets, waylaid me in corridors, rode my back.
Then we had babies and they wanted stories and these Stalkers returned with glee.
These are those stories. The accuracy is relative.
When One is impacted.,you want to return it. Some way, anyway you know.
A pen can run many inks.
Like all our faces.
2. purple salwar < 2000, UNLIKELY NEIGHBOURS
There are people who may never be my guests.
We might never share hair clips or dupattas, or swap Kohlapuris, or so I thought.
So when I gave my nice purple salwar kameez to the watchman to , ‘send home to his wife,’ as he said,
I thought, why not, she must be a sweet hard working thing, in the village, with at least six children and she would like something from the city.
The next afternoon, when I saw my kameez on the girl with the hooded eyes, we both
[ the girl and I ], knew. …..
see Diaries ..Page