Friday, 11 May 2012


She looked down, staring into the steep, vertical drop . The breeze hurt her eyes, but shutting them was not an option. The city spread out below, like a haphazard map of badly made Lego buildings.

A plane flew past, quite low for a plane. A boeing-747. She had learnt a lot about planes. The trajectory they took in the air, the pollution they could leave in their wake. She happened to notice a young blonde staring out of her plane window. Craning her neck, desperate to capture the visual of the city from her window. A little bit of extraordinary to distract her from her mundane life.

She mused, that maybe their lives were parallel. Hers and the blondes’. In that one instant, that was the only thing, both of them wanted, a little bit of something special and a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll.

People watching, was her favourite pastime.

Her friends thought it was an embarrassing obsession. They said, it was eerie if somebody caught you looking at them, sizing them up. It was an invasion of private space. Maybe that was, what was wrong today- all this Private Space. A person could drown and get lost in all the space. Merging identities and blurred lines was what separated humans from animals. There were times, of course, when she had walked right into trouble- staring at the wrong crowd. And there were times, when staring at other people, was her only connect to sanity. Staring, as they made and un-did their lives. Every word, flex of muscle, eye twitch telling a whole new story. If you’re walking too fast, it could only mean that you’re on adrenalin- happy or otherwise.

She had always thought there were two kinds of people in the world- Those, who lived their lives on adrenalin and those who didn’t.
 It’s those who didn’t, that she learnt to watch out for.

 Those were the ones, whose moves and emotions were well cloaked. Dealing with them was like playing chess blindfolded- you always had to be sure that you weren’t putting your kingdom at stake. This was true across states, across accents. Most motives stayed the same too- you’d think, religion and money were key drivers. She believed, simplistically perhaps, that it was all a larger algorithm of Love and Acceptance. If you had these, you only chased smaller thrills. It’s when you didn’t have these, that you could destroy- yourself and others.

 Her friends thought, she changed base so often because she kept looking for ‘bluer skies’. But, it was a burning curiosity to know who people were. Were they all different, Instagram- filtered versions of each other? Or were they like different characters in different books, tied together only by outer constitution?

The skies ironically stayed the same. They looked the same from the Grand Canyon, from the north tower of the Notre Dame, a tiny village in Cyprus, or even from back home. The view below the skies changed often- sometimes like a Yeats poem come to life, but more often than not it was a hideous art Installation. An almost sardonic comment, on the obscenity of concrete, men are capable of.

The nights were tough, yes. You had to always be on the lookout for predators. She often fantasized about the surge of power she would have felt, had she been a man. There would be no looking over your shoulder, no debate on who looked at you as you and who looked at you as meat. You’d sleep easier- could travel further. This distinction between men and herself is what she wore like a badge of honour. I am not you- but I saw things that you were too busy to look at, things your masculinity obliterated from your view.

During frequent travels, she grew accustomed to recognizing sounds, footsteps, even the change in wind direction could foretell an incoming storm. Storms which she had survived, thanks to the kindness of strangers. Those who’d let her take shelter- they were the ones who didn’t say much. They never faked affection and her go-to trick was, to look out for shifty eyes. If someone had shifty eyes, you stayed away. Far, far away.

There were other valuable things she had picked up.
The world is a shifting image. One day power shifts, and with it so does art and prosperity.
Being a child did not necessarily instil goodness in you.
The game of economy and stock markets was only really made up of people. 
As, was war.

Shaking off the heavy feeling, she rose to leave. Staying to stare was always a delight, but her friends were meeting for brunch. It was a terrace garden and the lady always put out the best stuff.

She rose into the air, flapping her tired wings. Through the corner of her eye, she saw her visiting friend. He did a loop within a loop.

Male ravens could be such show-offs. 

Mon Paris, Summer of 2011.
Photo Credit : Me *smug grin*


  1. Very well depicted!! looking forward to read more of you!!

  2. Thank you Avi. Do, keep visiting :)

  3. is this work of friction or the protagonist is real??? btw i am drawing some inspiration from your blog for my own story telling(trying from last few months)..thank you!!

  4. Avi, it's fiction. But they say, nothing really is fiction. That's another debate for another day.

    Hope your story telling works out well :-)

    1. Why do I feel so much intensity in what ever you write on your blog?? this might be topic of your next blog..what say :)

  5. Read it again and what a pleasure it was kakul...........feeling so proud and happy abt whr ur heading :)