Friday, 20 April 2012

The Every Man

It was a hot summer afternoon. The sun shone upon the city. The traffic was maddening. Cars blared their horns. People stuck their heads out of the window and shouted. Many walked on the side of the road. Jostling by, seeing but not noticing. Hearing but not listening.

He just stood there on the foot-path. He was wearing the same clothes as he had, the night before. But, nobody saw that. He had a profound sense of gratitude about him. But, nobody felt that.

He had a wry smile across his face. He just stared across the street, looking at nothing in particular. He didn’t speak words. But, he talked.

She saw him from her seat in the car. She didn’t pay much attention. Then she noticed his wry smile. It looked like he was looking at something across the street. She tried to see what he saw. All she could see was space. Nothing out of the ordinary. She shrugged and moved on with the traffic.

He had noticed her. As she moved away, his smile vanished. He now had a blank expression on his face. He thought about the previous night. It was something. It had somehow come to him. It wasn’t about anything and yet it was all encompassing.

That is what he was seeing even now. It irked him a little that nobody else saw it. The woman in the car was the nth person.

It wasn’t over yet. It seemed incomplete. Then it happened again. Only this time it was more fierce.

And it ended just as abruptly as it had begun. But, it didn’t matter now. It would stay with him now. He realised then, that it was there always. And that it was up to them to open their eyes. It didn’t irk him anymore. The smile widened.

He walked on.

-  Dhaval Shethia.

Monday, 2 April 2012


It’s a sunny day. He’s sitting by his window. Smoke in one hand, a glass of water in the other. He’s looking out at the city.

Right about here is when all those snazzy stories begin to sound similar. There is always the brazen-looking handsome guy doing his thing without a care in the world. Then there is that poor damsel with so many things going wrong in her life that she can’t help but break down at the drop of a hat.

Then our man enters her life. He tries to fix things. He tries to woo her. He tries to make her happy. He tries everything in his power to bring her life back on track. All this while he has been having a sad life and carries his brazen look with him everywhere. He shows signs of compassion. The girl, on the other hand, has been shrugging off all his advances.

Then one day, she finds out that he has an even sadder life, with even more problems than hers. She feels like a bitch. And, rightly so, we think. She doubles back, tries to start talking to him again. Now he’s shrugging her off. He, being a big man, doesn’t do it rudely, though. He tries to put on a slightly less brazen look and seem happy about things. She tells him that she knows. And, things work out.

That doesn’t fucking happen.

What happens, is this;

He tries to woo her. She doesn’t respond. Her life is too sad. She cries about it. She has absolutely nothing going for her. Now the brazen-looking guy is gone too. Her life becomes even sadder. She goes back to him.

She finds out his life is not a big fun-loving adventure. She feels sorry for him and tries to bring things back on track. She says that they’ll face the problems together. He shrugs her off quite politely.

Things don’t work out.


- Dhaval Shethia.