Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The well-deserved smoke

 Note: This episode is nearly 24 hours late. I'm sorry, I confused my dates. That happens a lot with me. Oops. :)

As Mr Rai dreamed on in the glossy warmth of Tapati’s black bathroom, the ‘large’ bathroom in the flat on the third floor witnessed a very different scene. Rajib entered surreptitiously and quietly locked the door behind him. He turned on the little ventilation fan and the geyser too. Nandita was still helping to clean the roof but there was no saying when she would be back. In the meantime, he had to have a cigarette.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The black bathroom

Mr Rai walked fast, hoping to avoid anybody he knew. It was a lot to ask for since he had walked down these streets every day for the last two decades, but he hoped that if he could find a taxi in front of the sweetshop then he could leave the area without having to answer any awkward questions.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Independence Day

The flag hoisting was scheduled for 8 o’ clock. However the ‘pole’ (a long stick, mysteriously found on the roof last June) had warped with the rains this summer and the flag took a good twenty minutes to actually reach the top. Eventually, though, it went up and all the residents of 63/1/B/4, Lake Gardens, dutifully sang ‘Sare Jahan Se Achchha’ as well as ‘Jana Gana Mana’. Nandita and Rajib, that young couple from the third floor, sang a surprisingly moving version of ‘Ay mere pyaare watan’ from Kabuliwala. Mr Rai gave a little speech afterwards, speaking of how important it was to preserve our hard-won independence and sovereignity.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The baby in Canada

The news of the dog spread up and down the building, albeit slowly. Old Mr Mookerji on the ground floor heard it first since it was outside his window that Mrs Rai accosted the maid. Mrs Rai did mention it to Mrs Singha when they were both giving the dhobi the laudry for ironing, but since Mrs Singh turned away at the crucial moment to fish up a school skirt that had fallen to the floor, she missed the dog part and Mrs Rai decided to close her own door with a decisive slam instead of repeating the story. If Mrs Singha were truly interested she could jolly well ask the maid herself!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The overheard phone conversation

The couple on the third floor were rather noisy. The whole building heard them and wondered if the young people knew they could be heard. This morning their maid left the door open as she ran after the garbage collector – on Mondays the regular collector, who collected the garbage from each flat daily, had his day off. The young man was on the phone with his mother, it seemed, and he appeared to be rather annoyed with her. A long and exasperated conversation floated down to the interested recipients downstairs each of who had a unique take on the mother-son exchange.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Serial

Inspired by Alexander McCall Smith's '44 Scotland Street' novels, from this month I am going to try my hand at writing a weekly serial. I don't aspire to be a McCall Smith but I hope to write something that I wouldn't mind reading myself. Let's see how it goes.

In the meantime, I extend an invitation to you and all my other readers to feel free to chip in with a guest post. From September, once the tone and atmosphere are established, I will be happy to host your vision of my story. You are welcome to write it your way but just remember to keep it clean.

See you Tuesdays at 10 am, then.The first episode is up and you can read it here.