A Clumsy Parable

Arun Paria

Parashuraman, OLA- S566, is a strange man.

When he goes to bed at the Parvati chawl, his yellow-black auto-rickshaw rested beside a corporation vat, his dead mother comes to sleep beside him.

“Har, har,’ snickers Langda Raju, his paramour, lifting a ‘Blue Riband’, pointing a poison finger at him, ‘Bonkers, Pashu. Your amma is still alive!” Parashuraman’s melancholic eyes gleam.

He knows, he knows. It is an impossible problem.


The ghost

of my desire


from the craters

of the nightly dreams.

Their voices

are echoing —


Deepali Sane, XII A, 14, is a lover of prisms.

In the lab, the assistant Kumthekar Kaka issues her two prisms instead of the regular student quota of one. Placing them on a white paper, one after the other, she goes to the window to fetch the light.

Frivolous rays are netted. They scatter. She begins counting, “7, 13, 29, 67, 91, 4, 48 …”

When the rays emerge from the second prism, white and whole again, she multiplies silently in her head. When the teacher arrives to ask her the measure, ‘3089276736’ is written in her notebook.


A terrible repetition —

Dark water

on one side,


on another.

No sun.

No compass to north.


Darpan Sen, CMO, UTEX Communications, Inc., sees himself.

Climbing up the staircase, during a power cut, of his Baner apartment- from the parking lot to the barbarous fourth floor- he sees himself floating like a balloon in the air. A man, who resembles himself, stares at him from the bathroom mirror. Darpan Sen stares back. At night, while making love, his buttocks rise and fall- he watches their movements with disinterest.

The marriage counselor is in disbelief. She asks, “As if you are in a movie?”

“More like I am in a taxi,’ he replies. ‘It goes wherever I ask it to go. Even when I don’t wish to go there.”


Even when, emptiness:

a different brass cup.

Full of remembrances —

it does not tell

how it has begun.

     How it will end.

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