The writer walks home, carry
The writer’s shoes squeak against the pavement. His pace is slow and unhurried. There is a reason for this.
Pitter patter, pitter patter, and the road blushes black. The
Cars slow to maneuver through the downpour. There is water fill
The pavement glistens like a black polished landscape. The sky above is velvet and watchful. It pours forth its load as though there is a quota to be dispensed. The ra
Safety never did much for the imag
The cough is hollow and he
The cough settles
Still, life’s lingering shred, muses the writer, as he sees her lift her sari and place it over her shoulder. She does this out of habit, as she might have done in younger years.
For me, noth
That’s when they stopped writ
For three years he wrote, and for three years it kept com
The last was the unk
Like a persistent tout, the
He was smart enough to realize the conspiracy of forces work
Yet, they had let him down. Like adolescent sons, they had betrayed him. They had failed to get themselves a career or a life, let alone immortality. The only th
There was a l
If there was a past life, it had caught up with him now. If there was an afterlife, it beckoned now. Eventually, everyth
He lit a cigarette and cupp
The water flowed toward the manhole, carry
He took three short drags of his cigarette, frantic puffs, before it got wet. The ra
A scooter screeched past. It had three occupants, all boys, cl
A fire engine went past. It tore through the night – a savage, blatant red riding hood, shrieking right of way. On board, the firemen donned their clothes. The ladder was almost halfway up. Hope on an improbable night. In the distance, the cough started, the same cough, continuous and weary. The rain poured in gray unforgiving sheets.
An hour or two later a municipality worker would appear. His trousers would be rolled up;
The next day would be declared a holiday. Urch
By afternoon the parked cars would disappear underwater. The newspapers would remember to get the picture but not the story. Why bother? It was the same story every year.
The writer would be back
(An entry from Urban Voice III: Bombay; Shroff is the author of the critically acclaimed collection of short stories, Breathless in Bombay)