Bike Lesson"Hold tight!" said she"Take a right" said he"Like this?" said I"Yes, miss" said the guy"Go slow!" said he"Oh no!" said she"Help me!" said I"Mind the tree!" said the passerby"She's bleeding!" said she"Is she breathing?" said he"What a pity, what a waste" said they"Should have fixed the brakes yesterday"
Closing TimeThe slam of the door, announcing that his maid had left for home, roused him from his siesta. Glancing at his clock, he judged it was enough to Asr, and shuffled to the washroom to perform his wadu. The swirl of cold water inside his mouth brought him to full wakefulness, rinsing his eyes removed the last bit of the grit of sleep. He mechanically blew out his nose and washed behind his ears, and it wasn't until he had finished washing his face, and was running wet fingers over his thick, matted hair that he had the startling realisation that he hadn't been surprised by the empty space next to him. He almost annulled his ablutions with a surprised laugh, but reigned himself in at the last moment. Clamping down on his thoughts, he hurried through the washing of his hands and feet, disabled the alarm on his clock and scurried towards the prayer mat just as the first call to prayer was sounded outside. Later, he would examine his feelings at length. Later, he would allow himself to
Lucid DreamsYou first become aware something's amiss when the fan overhead stops whirring, and the A/C grinds to a halt. As you waver irritably between dreams and awakening, a shuddering, thunderous roar goes up as the generator comes to life. Great. Another powercut. It was funny enough when you chuckled over last week's fictional escapade in the search of the ever-elusive Electricity, but now the joke's wearing thin.Somewhere, just audible over the the drone, is the tinny voice of a broadcast. Someone's television (or is it a radio?) is backed up by the generator, and tuned to some annoying news program."The rate of warming is increasing. The 20th century's last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a number of climate studies...Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by 2040 or earlier."More gloom and doom. Just what you needed after a sleepless night spent writing some s
ExplodeLarge suitcases splattered with tags nest cosily next to flashily coloured travelling bags on the back of the crowded bus. Up in the front, heads are bobbing to private rhythms fed to the ears through the wires of sleek mp3 players. She turns to the window to watch the roads run away from home. The bus shuddered, rumbled, and rattled to a start. Judging by the condition of the roads and the traffic that clogged the highway junctions like cholesterol in a human artery, it would be a long ride. Ruby sighed and shifted in her seat, trying to get comfortable. It was hard to get legroom inside this cramped space. Kicking off her scuffed, much-abused sneakers, she slumped against the window, and stretched her legs out on the empty seat next to her.With a single shouted warning from the bus conductor, the vehicle rolled and screeched to a halt. This was the last pick-up point, which meant that someone would shortly come to reclaim the extra seat. Grumbling inaudibly, she shifted to a
Curry me across the shorelineThe email had come out of the blue. It was a simple, rather random note, but the aching familiarity of it left her feeling pole-axed."Hey Sweetheart18 days gone, maybe another week or so, and then life goes back to its normal routine. Your mother finally left enough rice for me for once, and the spinach and bitter gourd were awesome too, so I finished it all up. The best part was the egg. I hope you're having your porridge with bananas. Make sure you drink lots of water. I'm going to set the alarm for your mom now, so that the old woman remembers to take her meds. Offer your prayers, and have a good night's ZZZ.Luvya,Dad"It was so typically him, she could almost feel the crackle of the pages from the tiny memo pads he used to write these midnight sehri notes on. She was torn between tears and laughter as she tried to picture the perplexed expression on her mother's face as she asked the pointless question, "How much rice does that man need?"As she switched off the computer, Shani
I cannot tell youAmongst the things I cannot tell you is the fact that I've always known the effect those diary entries would have on you, even as I wrote them. Don't get me wrong; I was shattered when you left me. Those tears you happened upon when later you dropped in to check on me were very real indeed. You see, I didn't want to be the one to break your heart.Let's face it. We both knew this was one journey we couldn't finish together. I just thought you should be the one to call it off. Dealing with the end of the most perfect experience I've ever had was difficult enough without having the additional burden of guilt on my shoulders. No, it was far easier to play the victim and let you take the blame.I cannot also tell you that although I felt sorry for you while you struggled with the guilt you suffered, a perverse part of me actually enjoyed your discomfort. I bit back the hurt and the bitterness and the utter desolation of losing you, choosing to be sympathetic and understanding of your situa