Marigolds for fifty, Bougainvillea hundred

First showers had fallen after months of torpid heat. It was 9 in the morning on a weekend. She was surrounded by a few drivers and early joggers, tea-sellers and fruit – hawkers. The kid cried, uncomprehending. “Saw it from my own eyes: these eyes”…She was running with a bag tightly clutched under her arms, shouting, “I have nothing on me. I have nothing on me”… The lanky gardener ducked behind flowers clinging to the handles of his wooden trolley.  Two men on a bike zipped through the wide-empty street. A pistol glinted for a moment, took shape and disappeared behind the shirt of the one riding pillion. “It was when he took out the pistol”… She ran and the kid was nowhere to be seen. “I have nothing on me” …“Since when did tulips begin to bloom in March?”… “It was when he took out the pistol”.


It happened in Sector – 18. That’s one busy street. Buses ply on either route to every corner of the city. Few even cross the highway to the capital.

I used to sit by a table selling tobacco and they had come from the other side. It was a make-shift stand; I was from the village and had little money. Two guys came from the wrong side, smacked below the neck and disappeared grabbing her chain the early morning fog. Here, the fog is mostly dust from the constructions.

Right away I wound up the stall. The police would come, I knew. Ask questions. Hooking on just about whoever they find. I went to my room, cleaned it up for the first time having nothing else to do and didn’t get out until evening when the dust had settled.

When the sea comes to you

We move from cubicles to cubicles, insulated in condos whose roofs hide the sky, trying to accommodate a face for everybody and it just takes an odd rain in March and the transient yet eternal wind, unperturbed by the specks of dust that we are, to present itself; wavered by its breath, we cease to be still.