sketches – by Medha Singh
sisyphus at nizamuddin. the veiled sadness on a man’s face as he brings in one hand a bucket of dirty utensils, and in another the weight of the earth. sunlight drops on us like a curtain. the earth is spliced by a sunday. watch these men go about their lives the same way for years, the same day lived again and again for eternity.
she. began talking about her life to all and sundry. he hated the word sundry, said she uses it a lot. she said it’s important to use it. people talk about their lives (to all and sundry) when they feel a great absence, and if i am still this way, why are you here?
cafe. 4:00 PM, the trumpet slithers smooth fielding the nondescript room, fornicating with the comforting hum of the air conditioner. mellow-yellow lamps hang upside down like spiders. the spiders have gone home. there is a book on a table and next to it, a girl with a cup of jasmine tea. the scent engulfs one in its warmth. a couple walks in, the man looks at the girl, his gaze travels to her eyes, her mouth, her breasts, her thighs. the woman looks at her man, then at the girl, pointedly, disapprovingly. the girl is the villain.
fog. 3:00 AM, it’s the same day, it’s the same girl, it’s night, morning, day, dusk, something. it’s twilight, hyperspace. time is an ice chamber. it stands far away. fog rolls in like a slow moving fan, its niqaab caught in the orange street lights, slowly breathing into the belly of the haze. it’s palpable, this fog billows with life. a figure emerges from the obscure mess, faintly visible, now emboldening, growing like a flower, here to receive her, a name she recalls, a face she doesn’t understand.
she makes a note. of the things he says, sometimes he says things like ‘it’s not talent, it just is’, or ‘our side is the far side’, or ‘the military is very precise in finding their target and launching drones in Kabul, but sometimes, you know, they miss’. she can never take him seriously. but his nose is beautiful, though he feels the contrary. she knows this will create situations where her integrity will be compromised, she allows herself to be carried as a child in the lap of despair. no, that’s what she tells herself. she jumps off a bridge into it, with a bungee harness on.
a house. with windy corridors, curtains pregnant with the monsoon wind.
how to disappear. S says she remembers reading at the very beginning with the motive to escape, J thinks the most consistent pleasure is that to be seized by a book, as though one were seized by a lover, grabbed faultlessly, flamingly, fiercely for two days. rendered incapacitated and withdrawn, good for nothing. nothing but reading. so i learn that this
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