by Rahul Sen
Loy won’t let his model preview his portrait until it’s finished. The model would come each day and bare herself on the sofa to strike a pose. The same pose was being struck days after days.
The gentle locks falling on her forehead, the soft bend of her neck, the rotundity of her well shaped breasts, were being intently gazed at by him. Part by part, within and without, observed with an impeccable vision and an instinctive intellect. But his hands seldom moved; it was only his pupils that rolled all over her body and seemed to swim within the reservoirs of her exceeding beauty.
Yet, one day, when out of sheer curiosity she went to the other side of the canvas in his absence, she found the canvas devoid of her figure, devoid of any human outline… It contained iridescent shades of hues – red, yellow, green, violent, orange – strokes that crisscrossed the white canvas to carve out a space of wonder that captures love and art in abstraction….
by Tina Das
We never hugged- we are scared of it. It never happened that success was celebrated with physical contact of any sort. We liked to be “dignified”. Funny, we were anyway a strange family- uh no, not strange, quaint sounds better.
It was the second year of my hostel- dad had decided to visit. He sat in the visitors room, stoic, or “dignified”. He saw two giggly girls hug and kiss each other and asked me, “Is it a new trend? This hugging business?”
I smiled and waved it away with a shrug.
The day I walked back with a battered face, courtesy a protest against rape. My mom screamed at me. She said it was not required- this drama of protest. I kept quiet- of course, she didn’t know I was also raped once, by the old man who claimed to be my uncle. Dad didn’t know, of course. He didn’t know till the day when his granddaughter was pawed by the same man and she ran to me for a big hug. We all hugged then, quaint family, we hugged too late.
by Prateeksha Pandey
ऑफिस में बैठे बैठे लाल टी-शर्ट वाले लड़के ने एक उदास कविता लिखी. फिर लोगों की वाहवाही पर एक खिन्न मुस्कान के साथ लैपटॉप का फ्लैप गिरा दिया. ठहाकों में बाकी दिन गुज़र गया. घर आकर बैग खोला तो वाहवाह करने वालों की फेहरिस्त में 15 नाम और जुड़ गए थे पर ठहाके गायब थे. ये ठहाके रोज़ कहाँ छूट जाते हैं? पर खिन्न मुस्कान तो अपनी ही है. फिर वो खाना खा कर दाहिनी करवट सो गया. सुबह उठा तो पिछली रात के खाने का स्वाद मुंह में पुरानी स्मृतियों की तरह बसा हुआ पाया. हर सुबह खिड़कियों से नयी उदासी चली आती है. आज फिर कुछ झूठे जुमलों और सच्ची कविताओं के औजारों से दिन को ठोक-पीट के बराबर करना होगा.
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