Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Dear Reader, Would you be interested in reading this story?


A blue sequined dupatta was wound around her face. Only her eyes could be seen. She had collected the medicines from the chemist and was coming down the steps as I went in. If I had not been so preoccupied with my problems, I might have thought she looked rather strange. Why would a woman cover her face so?

But stranger still: She called out my name. I turned towards her. Who was she and how did she know me?

If only the dupatta would come undone. If only she would pull it off…I would recognize her... “Tanu. I am Tanu,” she was saying by way of explanation.

“Tanu who?” I asked. This was like the film magazines of my younger days or the MTV of today that give you snapshots of body parts and then ask who they belong to.

The summer breeze played with the edges of the dupatta that fell on her shoulders. But so deftly was it wrapped around her face that it would take a demon of a wind to unwind it.…. She lifted her eyes to stare back at me.

Oh yes! I had met the eyes. In the hospital next to Mami’s bed. It was THE TANU. “How are you?” I asked.

“I am back at the hospital. I am getting admitted today. Another operation.” I looked over her shoulder and in the vicinity beyond hoping to see him. And he was there, standing a little away as he always did. Quiet. Distant, but watchful. If he recognized me, he did not show it...

Tanu had sharp chiseled features framed by a thick curtain of straight hair, which she tied in a loose ponytail. Her lips were an inverted C, pulled down at the corners, like the arc of a bow. But every now and then, they would lift into a captivating smile, keeping you hooked.

Tanu had occupied the bed next to Lakshmi Mami's at the hospital. I had been struck by her perfect features when I first saw her six months ago as she lay absolutely still under the heavy blanket. She looked young and very forlorn, I couldn't help asking her why she was there. She uttered just one word, "Operation" and looked away. She clearly did not wish to speak.

During my daily hour-long visits over the ten days that Mami spent at the hospital, Tanu opened up. To tell me the story of her life. A strange tale of longing, deceit, acceptance and love…

Now, as I stood facing her at the chemist, I wanted to ask her about him. The man who never visited, but who she called everyday. The man who she would talk to late into the night even after the nurses had turned down the lights, while the other man sat quietly on the attendant’s bed and watched.

Had HE come with her this time?

Dear Reader,
Does this blurb make you want to read the true life story? If yes, do send me a message at . I would value your opinion. I am trying my hand at a short story for the first time and your reaction would give me an indication if  I am set on the right track!

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