Thursday, April 4, 2013


“Where is it?”

“Where is what?” asked Beryl, turning away from me towards the wet wall she had been writing on.

“The part I don’t teach you: indiscretion. I keep telling the world it must allow you a little, so it will end up being a little less hurt and I a little less disappointed when you bring out all you can.”

I wish I did not know Beryl. I wish every instance of an eye-contact had nothing to do with anything but chance and intrigue. And as much as I longed for the same, Beryl improvised on her little game. You cannot reason with a pupil who keeps trying to steal answers to your questions from your own expressions.

“Oh, the foundations…” she spoke, covering up the last remains of stealthiness, “Get me a refill.”

She dipped her brush into the jug of red paint (the jugular of her emotions, clucked a wag inside my head) and started dabbing it against the bottom of each letter she had written. NORTH BYELORUSSIA. (Long enough to suit her depths, guffawed the wag again). And they weren’t mere letters, were they? In place of each, there was a skyscraper here, a tree there, a statue somewhere and a dog peeing on it, a plough, an effigy, a thumbstack , gallows, a guitar, and so on.

Red paint trickled from the base of each, into the sink below.

Ah. Foundations. I stood by Beryl and stared at the wet wall of the public wash-basin.

I noticed Beryl never has a hint of perfume about her. One day she’s a swine and she recognizes my gonads as Michael and Gabriel. Another day she just pops out of a blueberry cheesecake and falls before she can decide which foot to land on. Today, she’s distemper and she is learning how art can force one to think instead of simply urging one to act.

I wished the wash-basin in that railway station had more taps. The music would have had more and more notes as droplets of water leaked out of them at unsynchronized regular intervals.

We looked at the little stream of water washing away the blood-red paint as it trickled and dissolved into it.

By: Sachin Sai
4th year UG student
IIT Kharagpur

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