22 April, 2012

The Sari Shop by Rupa Bajwa


Perfect on those long summer afternoons. 

I really enjoy fiction based in India. It is always interesting to watch an author weave a tale against the backdrop of familiar landscapes. Chaiwallas and dust, matrimony obssessed women and fans that whirr irrespective of which way you turn the regulator, summer heat and Lifebouy soap. Rupa Bajwa won the Commonwealth Writer's Prize for this one; a simple story of Ramchand the sari seller in the city of Amritsar (which like every other major city in India has the 'old' areas of narrow lanes and the newer parts with broad roads and fancy houses). The narration charts his efforts to realise a dream and step into a world far removed from his, where people speak in English and travel in air conditioned cars. However, the crushing revelations of the reality he belongs to, send him spiralling into an abyss of depression. As the story allows Ramchand to crawl back to sanity, Rupa Bajwa deftly narrates his resigned acceptance of the reality of his existence.

Here is a review with a spoiler. Ha don't you just love those?


19 April, 2012

On Forgiving

"Perhaps the first step to forgiveness is trying to put yourself in the other person's place."

05 April, 2012

The Nightmare



Reason 
lay putrefying on my pillow.  

I woke up
in a breathless hurry,
this heart weaving beats
in a crazed drunken stitch.
My eyes screamed
at replays of 
The Dream
stretched taught
against a canvas of terror.
Caught between fiction 
and fear, 
I wretchedly thirsted
for reality 
to get more real.
A binding silence
stitched my limbs to
my heavy sides
fetid fingers scratched
at my will. 
The sheets were drenched in salt,
a fever of sweat and tears.



I lifted a hand - rag puppet limp
and in a voice splintered by fear,
called out, "Name".
You walked in,
my Dandelion wish
I blew you into reality
and watched you
slowly sift through 
those threads of cacophony
cocooning me
into comfort.

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