he woke up to her face on his pillow, his alabaster goddess. his moorti with a million arms sprawling over the bed, eyes and mouth ajar in sleep, her tongue glinting mysteriously like a moonbeam in the misty morning light. very, very quietly he leaned over and licked. she sighed and rolled away from him. her million arms gathered and disappeared into the curve of her shoulder, into her marble nape, her churning sea of curls. he buried his face in them, slept. those days his dreams smelt of frangipani.
when he wakes up these days, she is gone. at first he buries himself in the pillow, breathing it in, trying to find her again in the slippery memory of his dream. where is she? he looks up, blinks, yawns, stretches and gets out of bed. the house is empty he knows, but he searches anyway. he follows the smell of her around the house. until at last he comes back full circle to the pillow.
if she doesn’t come back, he decides, i will languish here until she does. except while i am eating.
pappoo singh loses his heart to every flatmate of mine. when they move out, he is heart broken. he shrinks into a cocoon world of familiar smelling things – pyjamas, towels, bed clothes, pillows. from this cocoon, every 45 minutes or so, he drags himself to the food bowl and sinks down beside it. he is the picture of tragedy as he attempts to drown himself in whiskas. his belly puddles all over the floor in depression. when i am in the kitchen and he manages to drag himself there, he will sit by the fridge waiting for the chocolateuse to take out her bowl of yogurt like she used to. and every night he has to make do with half of my yogurt instead. along with a compensatory slice of cheese. as you might have observed, he is barely managing to keep body and soul together.
i switched bedrooms after the chocolateuse left. my new flatmates moved into my ex-bedroom and share the chocolateuse’s ex-double bed. they sleep with the door shut. so these evenings i lie in my new bedroom and look at pappoo curled up at my feet with his back pointedly turned to me. nevertheless, i feel special because pappoo hasn't slept within smelling distance of me since the chocolateuse entered the picture. i can feel his disorientation. life has radically changed for him lately. her things are disappearing one by one and daily her smell grows fainter. but since he began sleeping in my bed i always know exactly what he’s dreaming of...
thirty, female, single, living in mumbai. i drink copious cups of filter coffee, collect the mandatory festival packs of chocolate, negotiate with the cats for a corner of the couch by the window and squash in between a pile of books, my lap top and a bowl of pop corn. then i have a long think about life. i get paid to do this. my remaining time i spend acquiring the life experience necessary to mastermind my mid life crisis. this i do not get paid to do, and can therefore do absolute justice to.