I am Sunshine he said, shaking his long loose curls that glistened with sparkling bits. I only have a black crayon, she replied. That’s okay, he whispered, marvelling at her smile. Soon she got to work, first she coloured his sun nice and black. He began to feel a bit cold. Without pausing, she continued. His face, his arms, his legs, his chest, his knobby knees and his stick-like calves, they were all black now. Satisfied, she looked at her handiwork and asked excitedly, what do you think? He didn’t reply. Bored she walked away, leaving him on the floor.

He didn’t feel like sunshine anymore. He didn’t even feel like gloom. Bits of his sunshine-ness tried to escape, but the black crayon was thick sludge pressing it all down. He stayed quiet without moving, accepting the blackness. When he was totally quiet, without a murmur of escape left in him, a black crow came.

He began pecking the crayoned sunshine. He loved its slight metallic, acerbic taste on his tongue. Yum, yum, yum, he ate all the black away, leaving behind Sunshine as he was before. He even took a nibble of Sunshine, but finding him too sweet, flew away quickly, dreaming of a whole bowl of black crayon shavings.

Sunshine slowly got up. Stretching a limb he checked himself. He seemed all right, except he knew in his heart he wasn’t glittering like before. Somehow the now invisible black had cast an eternal shadow, grey and just a finger-touch away from reality.

The girl came back again skipping and exclaiming, I’ve got a blue now, would you like a nice blue sky? No, he growled. A bit miffed she bounced away holding her crayon high, scribbling all sorts of bluish things in her head.

He watched her go and sighed, a light blue sky would have been lovely.



All the boys got into the school bus, except for one. He deliberately missed the bus and wandered away. Playing cards on the roadside, he became great friends with taxiwallas, thugs, small time convicts, prostitutes and other interesting elements who lived on the fringes of society. He learnt to gamble, smoke, drink and shoot drugs. At the end of his experimentation he was hooked on to alcohol and gaming, somehow the psychadellic claws of drugs had let him go. To feed his lifestyle he did many things, worked very hard, accumulated no PF and frittered away every rupee he earned. Nobody could, however, accuse him of not having a good time.

His parents despaired, a wife he loved once left him, he forgot about his children and on some days couldn’t even remember whether he really had them. Eventually he got old but that didn’t slow him down. He continued making small time deals, enough to feed his belly, his cards and his thirst.

One day, an old classmate who took the bus tracked him down and convinced him to come for their school reunion. He immediately agreed spotting a free drink. As he walked up to the hall, he saw the drive filled with cars. BMWs tried to outshine mercs, while many many Corollas and Hondas hung around, as their drivers leaned on their hoods smoking. He saw that some of the drivers wore better shoes than him.

He entered the hall and spotted the bar before his friends spotted him. Armed with a large, he circulated chatting. Soon a large crowd formed around him as he told them stories of his wild days. They were fascinated. At one point he was a bit embarrassed about hogging the conversation and turned to a penguin looking man next to him and asked him what he did. The man self-consciously muttered something about being in a bank, having two kids but compared to his story of his left kneecap being torn slowly by a butter knife, it did fall flat. His classmates almost dismissed the poor penguin’s story and urged him to continue.

The whole night, he recounted one adventure after the other. Forgotten were his frayed shirt, dirty sandals, grimy jeans. Somebody kept refilling his glass as his mouth moved fascinating the listeners taking them to lands they had not even read of. Every time he would try to break the monotony of his voice and ask one of the other classmates for their story, the others would shush him or make some disparaging remark like the most excitement that guy had was looking at his secretary’s legs and then would urge him to continue, to tell them what happened next and next and next.

As the night wandered away with words, people began to leave, mumbling about work and family. He hung around as he had neither. All of them hugged him, said that they envied his rich life filled with amazing incidents and moaned about their boring existences as they drove away in their shiny BMWs and mercs.

His Sister’s Woo Woo

I have a strange problem. My fiancé, Mr. T is wonderful. He has short, cropped hair, wears denims and white  tees that look really good on his strapping 6 ft body. He’s intelligent and he has this lovely voice that echoes in my ear, when he talks while I have my head on his shoulder. He also has a really funny sense of humour and when I make him laugh, his eyes crinkle and he looks at me like I’m his favourite ice cream flavor. Yummmm.

That’s not the problem, obviously. For me to explain what exactly my particular predicament is, I have to go back 15 years, when I was 15. I had just finished my 10th grade and I was mulling over what to do, wondering, which illustrious field would benefit from my natural intelligence and inherent professionalism. The world of science, commerce and arts were waiting with baited breath, each of them secretly hoping I’ll choose them.

At this point, my aunt who was a gynaecologist approached me. In fear, I assured her my periods were regular and my ovaries were well. She smiled patiently and then looked at me with a glittering eye. In that gaze I saw a million hopes dancing. I saw her seeing me taking over her lucrative practice, while she relaxed completely, except for an occasional instruction, like, ‘Wind the umbilical cord the other way.’

I was right. She convinced my mother that I should intern at her clinic for three weeks and if I liked the beautiful process of ‘bringing life into this world’, then she would pay for medical college. My mother’s eyes glittered with the vision of all the gold she’ll buy with my college fees and I was packed off.

It was my first day and I must admit I was pretty excited. I walked into the clinic and saw, S, crawled up like a fetus and moaning softly on the waiting bench outside. Now I knew S, as she was my senior in college. I also vaguely remembered that S’s parents and my aunt were family friends.

Quickly I went up to my aunt and told her about S. My aunt immediately marched out and clutching S to her bosom, muttered, “Why didn’t you walk in? I am just like your mother?” She whimpered some words, which I couldn’t make out. Patching together my aunt’s coochi-cooing and S’s pained mumblings, I figured out the problem. Her sanitary belt had gotten stuck deep down there and was creating immense jolts of pain that were ripping apart her body. Ouch.

My aunt, a very good doctor, immediately asked her to take off her pants and panties. Inspite of the pain, she managed it, with what I thought bitchily, an ease of familiarity. Now here comes my problem. I had thought till now that I was invisible as both women were focused on each other. To my surprise, my aunt turns to me and asks me to shine a torch down her, umm, hole. Well, I knew how to use a torch and my aunt knew how to use those steel tongs. The sanitary belt, which looked like a wire, came out in one smooth motion. It looked quite vile, especially because it had some white mucous-ey thing dripping from it. Ewww.

Well, S’s pain was gone but so were my dreams of being a gynaecologist. I couldn’t imagine a life of looking down the tunnels of women, my soul was filled with the poetry of life and not the potty of making it happen. Oh, you’re still waiting for me to tell you the problem. Well S is T’s sister and I feel a bit weird about marrying a man whose sister’s woo-woo I have seen.

Instinctively, I knew it wasn’t a problem I could discuss with T. To make things worse, I had to meet S, today, and I still hadn’t resolved my discomfort. Now S was one of those beautiful snotty babes, who thought her brother was god’s gift to women. I admit he was, and I knew she thought he was too good for the types of me.

We met at a coffee shop. I had dressed with care but she still made me feel like a scabby dog that liked pink. The conversation was strained and at one point I tried to tell a joke about three men on roller skates, a sheep and an alligator that had a tooth problem. Well, it was funny when I read it. After I finished, both of them looked at me strangely, including my wonderful Mr. T.

I returned the look, focusing more on S, and thought, ‘Stop looking at me weirdly, I have seen your vagina, bitch.’ The air seemed to shift. Their look had gone from ‘what’s she saying’ to ‘WHAT’S SHE SAYING??!!!! That’s when I realized I had spoken                     aloud. Oh – ooo.

Both of them immediately got up and walked out. Though my thoughtful Mr. T paid the bill before disappearing.  Now you see my problem. I don’t think T will ever even talk to me and my explanation is going to sound so demented, that even if he does give me a fair hearing, he’s going to run a mile. Sigh. True love ruined by a sanitary belt. Thank god pads come with those sticky peel-offs now.