(The takes are arranged in the order we got them)
It was a classical western stand off. The three of us stood in the desert sun, squinting at each other. Skin cracked, lips parched, eyes burnt. A movie like vulture screeched high above us. We chuckled at the irony of this cliche. Then eerie silence whipped around us. We were best friends done wrong. Now, one shot away from the moment of revelation. The air was so tense even a knife couldn’t cut through it. Only the genius of mankind could produce and procure a death wish on call. Sweat dripped, blood shot, hearts raced, veins popped.
It was only paintball.
He winked at me.
I heard a shot.
Weekday morning, blue clouds busy, sunshine bright
Slouched on bedrock, his tattered home as the backdrop
he floats smoke rings, daydreams of curious things
Never had no farm to till, nor sheep or offspring’s to mind
wanders at will, no evidence of any good he fulfills
Chases wild wind, bites fly’s tail, queer dust he inhales
too many stares they raised, wasn’t the one who cared
Being king’s guard, guised as a bard, I reached his yard
conversed in depth of life, death, the flood and world’s end
Poised to leave, picked my cloak, unlocked his door
LO! Behold! Stepped into another world, unlike our own
Bewildered I turn, to see him wink and whisper
“Wisest come without a crown”
Two conservative Bengali families had formed an alliance. The 16 year old bride was instructed to act demurely, remember customs, tone her tomboyish ways. Stifled in a saree and jewels, she yearned to loosen up.
As customary, face hidden by leaves, she was carried by relatives, to the groom. At an indicated time, bride was asked to lower the leaves, and stare into the eyes of her husband. Throwing demureness to the wind, she looked at him and winked.
I’m told, her aunt fainted, her mother-in-law was upset for years, her brothers made it a family joke, and her husband fell in love with her.
Someone managed to click that precious moment. I still have grandmother’s wink adorning my wall.
For his first love three feet and nine inches high
His white pants and shirt, blue belt and tie, black shoes and socks
Were muddling along with his roars of tantrums….
Gifted was he for a fair mother and lover…
Oh! but our hero was so far from fair…
He was Calvin
Winning the award of tantrums….
Dragging his accomplice Hobbes….
Defeating the seven mounds of sands…..
And three inched sticks of white haired toddlers…
He retreated behind – his banyan tree….
Looking at the brooch,
Savoring his victory,
Wrapped it in a stolen golden paper
Wrote “To my love Susie’s………..”
Hobbes asked “Susie’s what??”
He WINKED AND SAID “SUSIE’S MOM”.
AND THAT’S HOW CALVIN NEVER MARRIED :p .
Just as I passed under this tree, he winked. Naughty monkey, I thought. “Hi, I’m Jane, and you?” “Mickey,” he stammered and hid behind the foliage. This reoccurred again the next day. While swimming I noticed he was hanging from the tree, staring at me. As I looked at him he winked, again. He blushed and jumped into the pool. He was cute, and I fell for his wink. “Would you be my friend?” I took his hand and pulled him out. He winked once again.
“Aunty I met Mickey today and…” I wanted to confess my liking for her son.
“Oh Jane, don’t be angry with him. He is ill. Poor fellow winks unknowingly whenever he sees anything funny”
Neither of them believed in arranged marriage. But she accepted it as a challenging research in human relationships; He as fate.
The wedding went like clockwork, heartless. But who could do away with the ritualistic post-wedding games? He had already won the “undoing the knots”, proving himself to be the man of the moment!
Final task was finding a ring in a tub full of milk and Rose petals. Slender, manicured fingers met warm, sturdy hands. Between them was a cold ring. Their gaze met, absorbing the other touch, asking a million questions. Who would let go? Me? Rivalry or revelry?
In a moment, she gleamed with joy and triumph, and his wink was drowned in the in-laws’ big “AWWWW!!”
Or was it my imagination. How could a Ganesha Idol wink?
It all began this morning when I woke up. Scooby, our Boxer winked at me. Funny Dog! I thought. In the lobby Rani, the maid looked at me coyly as always, and then she winked. Later, when Awadhesh, the reception clerk winked at me, I was sure something was wrong. I even checked my zippers, they were in place. But when the always pricey Doctor Sonia also winked at me, I got crazy.
“Oh Ganesha, why is everyone, including the dog winking at me? Even you winked!”
“Son, they are not winking. In fact you are taking it too seriously. Take a break from Klash, my son.”
Oh, when he knocks, so crassly,
Everyday, on my window,
Not today though,
He comes knocking, as always
But I wink.
“Its Saturday” I say,
Turnover in bed, and close the blinds.
Nikhat looked resplendent in her Salwar Kameez, as she walked into the room. The oil lamps shone on, defining the brilliance on her face. She sat on the side of the bed, gently removing the ornaments that adorned her that evening; while gazing into the yellow light.
The corridor outside was filled with heavy mumbling voices, speaking the language of money heading toward her room. Startled by the activity outside, Nikhat wiped the tear that welled in the corner of her eye and sat upright on the bed, with a shy smile on her face. The noise cleared just outside the door.
A drunken man walked in, latching the door behind.
The lights winked out. And so did the evening.
Sprinkles of Chatter(120)
The ambience felt stifling and the glitz and glamour held little appeal. She felt heady from the alcohol steeped fumes which passed for air. The bada-boom music and the clinking glasses sounded cacophonous.
In this parallel universe, people and conversations lasted less than the length of a drink.
Asking for the drink to be refreshed, she leaned on the countertop and let her eyes rove. A young man gazed longingly at the door. She winked, smiled in shared misery and made her way out.
They wandered awhile, silently. When they made their way back, she started to thank him. He chucked her, winked and left. ”
On her way out, someone handed her a note.
“Naman, (phone number) and a ;)”
It all started with a wink.
She smiled. He smiled. He worked for the moneylender and she was the priest’s daughter. Smiles led to secret meetings which blossomed into whispered sweet nothings. Disregarding her feelings, when her father began groom hunting the two youngsters had no choice but to run away. They were hunted down by their families’ ‘well-wishers’ and produced before the dreaded council. The council which took no time in decreeing their guilt ordered them killed. Friends turned strangers and families turned enemies. Finally the two innocents were slaughtered at the altar of religion and tradition to be made an example of and their families returned home with their honor intact.
It all started with a wink.
Not up for kompetetion, because as you can notice this comes after the “Deadline” 😉
Sprinkles of Chatter (92)
The patchy pale face
split into a broken smile
One side of the curve
had faded over the course of time.
The floral white frock
had turned a dull shade of grey
The sleeves were ripped
and the hemline frayed.
The sole of the shoe
had seen better days
One of the pair was lost
Leaving a foot bare
Clutched tightly in one hand
and waved vigorously
the recorded gurgling sound
no longer played automatically
And when she was rocked
back and forth repeatedly
instead of blinking rapidly
the doll winked incessantly.