short stories

I was being introduced to her nose because I couldn’t see her face behind it. I was having a conversation with her nose. I was having a staring match with her nose – there was nothing in the room as big as her nose.

I turned to the guy next to me. I had to confide in someone about the tyranny of her nose. I gasped and whispered in his ear, “What’s with her nose? Is that real?” He gasped and whispered back, “I’m marrying her soon.”


Marrying her? More like marrying a nose.

And that’s how handsome men are lost.

I search for myself in those pictures from an era gone by,
And realize that I was never part of the crowd.
Never part of those fake smiles,
Those “sleeping with everyone” gossip sessions.

I mouse-click through your entire Facebook album,
To see if I might be there as a face in the background.
But I recall never being invited to any of your parties,
And even if I was, I never went.

It was so many years ago,
And it bothers me still.
That I don’t care,
That I wasn’t there.

She was in a chauffeur-driven car. The clock was inching toward midnight and she wanted to be home before it hit 12.

But the chauffeur had other ideas. Far from home, without his wife, with no alcohol in his system and loneliness, he had a lot to say. Driving at 20 kilometers per hour, he let loose.

23 years old, forcefully married a year ago, he carried his wife in his arms on the wedding day because she had broken her foot & couldn’t walk the seven circles around the sacred fire. He started with a career as a soldier in the Assam Rifles. Emotionally blackmailed his mother to get him called back to the village because he couldn’t eat dogs. A deserter at 19, he decided to study some more. At 21 he joined Hero Honda as a low level engineer with a screw driver in his hand. One motorcycle an hour, his job was 25 minutes in that hour. He delivered multiple stab wounds to the alcoholic Bihari boss who was verbally abusive.

He hid. Then his cousin got him a job as a security guard. Went from a 17,000 Rupees per month salary to 1,500 per month. Frustrated. He now drives a car for the family of a business-man who is soon moving to China, lock stock and barrel. The business-man has promised 40,000 Rupees per month to his family exclusive of the drivers expenses.

The wife urges him to go ahead and pursue this career path. The old fart of a father in the village thinks it would be demeaning if he left his wife of one year behind. What would the hookah-smoking village-folk say? So he turns down the China job and drives the business-man’s friend home on New Year’s Eve so she can be with her family.

Happy New Year, 2011.

He had never had sex. He was hot – the tall, dark, handsome variety. Well educated, self-confident, could talk to any women anywhere, could take off any woman’s panties.

When his first opportunity walked into his room, she was drunk and he was disgusted. As it is with Murphy’s Law, all his opportunities were drunk, for most of the period of raging hormones in his life. They all came to him like moths to a flame, young ones, old ones, the hotties, the girls next door. All drunk – either on alcohol or stupidity. It didn’t turn him on.

He spent many years tortured with the thought he might never ever be able to have sex. He reconciled himself to that fact. Wasn’t a big deal, when his plan was to put a gun to his head when he was single and 50. Now that, was a big deal.

Then, he got married. Something he didn’t think was possible.

She was hot, not stupid and definitely not drunk. Only trouble was, she wanted it, he didn’t.
Sex, for him, was only a matter of efficiency now. Get in get out.

Then she left him.
And he put the gun to his head when he was only 30.

Stop being efficient. Just fuck and get fucked. It’s called life.