The Bichom River roared as it came down from the Himalayas. Melting snow had made the normally tranquil river gush and foam. The Sherpa woman gritted her teeth to keep away the pangs of birth. The baby came into the world, even as her mother slipped into unconsciousness. Her father put her next to his exhausted wife. The little bundle immediately opened her eyes and cried a bit. As the river roared loudly and the cool breeze wafted over the family, the baby’s lips found the mother’s engorged nipples and quickly sourced its sustenance.
The little family rested that day and night, and then moved south. Dendi, the father had faced ostracism ever since he’d brought Uru home to his hamlet. Uru was a girl born out of wedlock to a Nepali mother and an English father. The Sherpa community had banned Dendi from all communal activities. He had come to know that there was employment in the Kusumbari Tea Estate near Tezpur. Facing misery and destitution, he had taken a big risk and had left the village in Nepal. He was taking his young family to Kusumbari, in hope of a better future. Continue reading Rukmini [RM#1]
Shhunkk! The javelin quivered, its head stuck in the sandy soil. The graceful missile had traversed nearly sixty metres after leaving its wielder’s hand.
Rimi Sen, the champion javelineer of Dalberg, slowly walked towards the javelin. Her left arm was massaging her right shoulder, which she slowly rotated to loosen the muscles that had propelled the javelin this far.
Dalberg was the home for prodigious students, and Rimi Sen was one. The lanky six footer was a national level athlete. At the age of sixteen, she had repeatedly shattered the national record for the javelin throw. Apart from the javelin, Rimi was good at nearly every athletic event. She could sprint like a deer and jump like a hare. Her participation in various athletic events was limited only by the scheduling of various events. Continue reading Dalberg Diaries 2: A Better Place [ST#2]
“Quaint, charming. Definitely British…” murmured Soumita, as she took an expansive view of sprawling school campus in front of her. The Dalberg School, Khonsa (hereinafter referred to as “Dalberg”) had an impressive main building with a large arched entrance and a well maintained gravel road. Thin spires adorned the roofline, indicating the love of Gothic architecture in whoever had designed the place. The East and West Halls stretched away like arms welcoming her to her two remaining years of disciplined school life. Dalberg was known as a school of discipline. The trustees of the school claimed that this discipline was responsible for the school being a renowned talent nurturing institute.
But what really drew the eye was not the building itself; rather it was the grounds, and the richness of the horticulture. Sheesham trees grew everywhere. Their roots were covered by mounds of earth that had the most interesting plants growing in its shade. The shades of these trees were also where many students could be seen chatting with each other, or busy with books, music players and laptops. Continue reading Dalberg Diaries 1: Personality Transformations [ST#1]
The sun had just touched the sea. The orange orb made a warm backdrop to the sea birds coming home to roost. A few trawlers and yachts made their way leisurely back to the wharf. All in all, a charming view from the twenty-first floor of the Taj Club Lounge.
Carmen stood at the window, a frown of worry on her forehead. The fading sunlight bathed her nude body in a ruddy glow. Her bare, somewhat tanned arms (courtesy her jogging at the Jogger’s Park nearby) revealed excellent muscle tone. Her rippling abdomen, strong thighs and powerful calves shouted out about the power in her body. A fitness guru, yoga expert and dance instructor, her body was honed for movement, speed and power. Continue reading Carmen ~ Their Last Mistake 2 [CA#2]
A cool night breeze on a sultry summer night, a rarity in this city famous for night-time temperatures above 30°C. But then this lake in the southern part of the city was well known as a place where the local bourgeois would often come to cool down after a day full of sweat and grime. But that used to be in the old times, when air conditioners were largely unknown and the best respite against dehydration was a glass of water with Glucon D. The current crop of people here preferred to retire to their homes after dusk, preferring the soft hum of split AC’s to the gentle lapping sounds of the lake waters, and an occasional mosquito bite.
On such a night, Carmen and Sonal were enjoying a stroll, the pleasant breeze occasionally creating goose pimples on the exposed skin of these ladies. The stroll was meant to get over the slight high that the white wine had given them. Which in itself was an excellent accompaniment to the vegetarian continental fare served at the Rowing Club. Continue reading Carmen ~ Their Last Mistake [CA#1]
(Adapted from Harold Pinter’s Story of the same name)
The time: early sixties. A house in North London, where live the following:
Max, seventy; a retired butcher. He is a robust man, still fairly strong. Is loud and enjoys his drink. He stays in the house with his brother and two sons.
Sam, sixty three; a chauffeur. Quiet, soft spoken.
Teddy, thirty-five; Max’s eldest son. He has lived in the United States for many years, and teaches philosophy there.
Lenny, thirty-two. He claims to do “this-and-that”. His main source of income is pimping.
Joey, twenty-five: A well-built young man who works in the demolition squad.
Ruth, thirty; Teddy’s wife of six years and mother of three children. Continue reading The Homecoming [MISC#1]