Fourteen nights he spent at the Himalayas great,
each night speaking about one world;
He touched topics good and bad, spoke at length of fate;
A ‘secret’ the last day unfurled.
‘We have our souls quite well covered
by a layer we all call body,’ he declared.
Then as if smitten by thoughts, roared:
Life’s uncertain, what matters is now, not how you fared.
I stood in the middle of the room, looking at the open door, at the chipped tile. The memories of that horrifying night flooded my mind. All that blood, all that pain. Tears welled in my eyes. It wasn’t deserved, it wasn’t right what they did. But what was right was what came to them. All of them.
Omens. They have always played a major role in Inez’s life. She learnt about good and bad omens from her mother Olivia D’Souza, a clairvoyant and dream interpreter. Ms D’Souza was one of the most reputed in the business and made tons of money by interpreting dreams and presaging people’s lives. And even as Inez was used to having a chat with her mother every morning, today she had missed it.
Inez awaited the bus, but after five minutes, her patience ran out. Thereupon, she hailed a taxi. Upon arriving at the school, she paid more than what the chauffeur had demanded, and sprinted through the chief corridor right into reception, her heavy breathings heard by every student that passed by.
The air of his office smelled like old dessert foods. Saccharine and familiar, but different. Standing and staring out of his window was Brenton’s elusive Principal, Miles Pine. He was a picture of a boring individual. He dressed in a plain t-shirt, a pair of boring brown trousers, and a pair of worn leather shoes. If you were to pass by him on the street, you wouldn’t recognize him if you were to see him again. To Inez Darío, he was good old Mister Pine, her mentor.
The dad elated beamed with pride,
went ahead to make a point.
‘Your worth’s fixed at the right place,
and that’s my sole viewpoint.’
The rooster ran out of the coop, jumped onto the pole, and puffing its chest out, cried out to the twilight heavens with all its might. Then, it looked down at the sleeping village, looked up, and cried out again just as the group was leaving its gates towards the Ung’ Mountains, where the sun nearly woke.
Her bedroom window parallels her line of sight. Her bed seems so small and foreign from the outside. The quilt that Mother knitted for her lies crumpled on the end of her bed, a sign of someone who left the room in haste this morning. She gets the uncomfortable sense that she is spying on her own life and the even more uneasy thought that someone — or something — is spying back.