Thursday, November 16, 2006


This is one of the submissions I had made to the CBA Short Story competition. As might be known ( the better ones won.


"But I don't like watermelons!"
"That's fine, Vivek. Take some chocolates if you want and go play with Sharmila", ordered his father.
"But I don't want to go out now", Vivek whined and turned to look at Sharmila sitting and playing with her rag doll. The flesh of her four year thigh was pressed hard between the chair and the hand which held the doll. He loved the ruddy marks chairs - or anything - left on her skin. He liked her, but not her mommy, mostly because she came when his mommy wasn't around. Another reason was that Sharmila didn't like his daddy. He stomped and grumbled as he went to fetch the plate. He picked one slice and bit into the translucent redness. Something about the onrushing sweetness made him look at Sharmila again, but she was too busy with her doll.

"Coming Sharmee?"
She got up without ceasing to comb her doll and followed him out. She continued fussing over the doll and Vivek spat the seeds as if to help her find her way to him. He spat one very far into the sands and, pleased with himself, turned around to her.
"How far can you spit?"
She looked up for the first time. He spat one for her.
"The last one went ten times as far", he said, hoping that her doll had kept her busy to notice what had really happened.
"I don't want to do this. It's so dirty."
He scowled at her and walked on, spitting closer to his feet. At the wooden pier they sat down with their tiny feet dangling over salt spraying waves. He put the plate between them and she kept her doll farther away from him.
"Do you want some…" and he belched loudly before completing it. Sharmila turned sharply, her eyes widening in surprise. Then she burst out laughing. Vivek joined her heartily and the plate moved behind them, and they, closer to each other.
"I can burp when I want to. See."
He gulped in pockets of air and craned his neck back and forth like an epileptic swan. Sharmila laughed at his preparation for the obnoxious. Then he burped a weak one for her.
"This is so dirty", she said and giggled.
"But you like it?"
"It's funny. Where did you learn this?"
"My father taught me."
"But it's so dirty", and she laughed.
"It's not dirty", he said and grew serious.
"What your mommy did to my daddy yesterday was dirty."

And as they looked away, the waves were a deadening roar between them and even the matted hair of the doll was a tattered flag whipping in a storm. Their legs stopped their extempore dance and the sea stilled with nothing to salt. With the abruptness of their ascent, the noises stopped, but in an instant, were drowned in those of yesterday.

She brought the doll to her lap and resumed combing its hair. Vivek pulled the plate between them and picked a limp slice of melon. As he ate, he watched her thigh pressed against the rough sand-covered wood. He recalled how he enjoyed dusting the sand from her thighs. He spat the seeds into the water. She watched the seeds plop into the foamy water below.

"Give me a slice", she said and reached over to take one. The doll rolled from her lap to the space between them. She caved her mouth and the seeds clung to spittle before reluctantly sliding on to her palm.
"Teach me how to spit it that far", she said and pointed to the horizon.


  1. Teach me how to spit it that far", she said and pointed to the horizon.
    Reminded me of the Titanic scene where Jack teaches Rose how to spit..haha...but may be that is out of context here

    Here after a long time
    oh so many posts to read...

    esp "Penne Alla Eroteme" looks sumptious if i may say!

    More later...



  2. Anonymous6:16 AM

    Santhanam and curd rice..haha
    and pasta with Rafi? wow
    will try sometime...
    But why not some frank Sinatra?

    More later...



    btw just tried ..Nella Gugina online Community..for the heck of it


  3. Dear U and Anon-U,
    What is Nella Gugina? Indeed, it has been a while since you stopped here... I thought my last comment to you had scared you! :-D Why not Frank Sinatra? I don't have his works... :-)

  4. ""It's not dirty", he said and grew serious.
    "What your mommy did to my daddy yesterday was dirty."

    A child's complex mind, subtly expressed! Kudos!

  5. Dear BM,
    Thanks... Welcome to this blog.