At 24, the tender light impregnated her. She had a ‘sun’. The baby grew up seeing balloons fly up to the sky. After years of jumping on the mattress, he reached the sky.  When the mother searches for him, he hides behind the clouds. Sometimes he misses his mother and hence, rain.




[Photo Credit: Ibrahim Zauq]


Frisking for life.

He doesn’t sleep very well in the nights. He wakes up at 1:46 every night and gulps down a glass of water.


He closes his eyes and tries to shut down the buzzing noise in his head. He works as a security guard at a mall. He frisks people at the entrance, his hands lingering over men’s chests and pockets.  No clouds of thoughts drift through his head as his hands hold their bodies. Just the buzzing noise.
When he closes his eyes, he can still feel the infinitesimally small curves of their waists, the slants of their arms and the tightness of their buttocks.

When he goes back home, he holds his wife close. Breathing through her neck, he searches for that cold place of comfort, long lost. Touching her fingertips, he helplessly gropes for the kindness of love. Kissing her lips, he smothers his face into the desert sand. Sometimes, he wonders if life has slipped out of his fingertips and found its home in the pockets, wallets and arms of strangers.

He doesn’t sleep very well in the nights. He wakes up at 1:46 every night and gulps down a glass of water. He brushes his wife’s hair and like a wave receding, a subtle sensation passes through his hands to his mouth.

Only the lifeless could quench his thirst.

Russian sex-tion of the library.

‘Have you been to the Russian section ? ‘, he asked, hoping to start the conversation.

‘I’ve seen it, but haven’t gone through the books there’, she said trying not to meet his eyes.

Standing in the Russian section filled his lungs with a certain sense of pride, which only true communists would feel seeing such a large collection of Russian literature.

Seeing Trotsky and Chekhov sleeping together on the dusty yellow mattress pages under the hardbound velvety skies made him sigh in pleasure.

‘Close your eyes and run your fingers through the spines of the the books’, he said pointing at the books.

‘What ? ‘

‘Do it, please ?’

Amused, she closed her eyes and placed her finger tips on the spines of the books and ran her fingers through them, very slowly.

Her forearms revealed the web of blue brooks which led to her elbows. He traced them with his eyes,came closer and put his fingers on hers’. She stopped in surprise and turned around.

Looking straight at her brown eyes, he inched his head closer to hers’. He held her against the stack of books . Like a gentle song which has a rhythm of its own, he breathed down her neck.

With every breath, she felt her chest clench a little more and her nipples becoming slowly erect. Her hands went toward the back of his neck and pulled his head closer. A hickey on her neck.
With the pain of the hickey still burning  in back of her mind, she pushed his head against hers and kissed him .  The air was becoming heavy with the strange aroma of sex.

Bringing his fingers near her cheeks, he glided down to her neck. And like a river flowing, his hands slipped under her dress and pressed her breasts gently.

She closed her eyes and pulled a few books down in utter pleasure. Her knees going weak, she held on to him like a prayer.

With a furor of energy, she climbed upon him, her legs around his hips. Their breaths clouding the room. She lifted her dress and pulled her panties down. And then he entered her.

Between the rickety shelves of Gorky and Dostoevsky, she heaved the moans of pleasure. With every vibration, she felt the room closing down on her.  Between her legs, the literature made love, she felt.

The dusty smell of the room made him sweat more and gave him a quaint feeling. Suddenly, he closed his eyes and the books fell silent. All the words stopped and her heaves were the only song in the air.

A gentle breeze gently tickled their ears and grazed past the books.

Perhaps, for the first time, these books laughed and lost their seriousness.


The watch-maker.


[ Photo by Josef Sudek ]

The table was filled with clocks and watches. He was truly, a time-keeper. He picked a small analog watch and peered through its glass. Unsatisfied, he took his monocle and kept it between his right eye and nose, an innocent scientist at work. His bald head, and the long beard in which many of the screws and nuts had been lost causing him considerable displeasure, gave way him away for a homeless man. His eyes had that raw power to peer through anyone he talked to. Hardly anyone came to repair watches or clocks in this old man’s shop, he longed to come to his small shop just to hear the tick-tok of the clocks, the eternal music to his ears.

One sultry evening,when the evening breeze filled the old man’s heart, a small girl wearing a blue frock came running into his shop. The old man had to look down to see the tiny visitor. She had a pocket watch clasped in her tiny pink fingers. She raised herself on her toes and with much effort, she stretched and placed the the pocket watch on the table. The chain around the watch had grown brown and rusty. The old man put on his glasses and looked at the pocket watch. He clicked the button on top of the watch and the watch, with much difficulty, opened. A strange delight filled the old man’s heart, it was like opening a treasure chest. His eyes gleamed in happiness.

The second hand was alternating between 3 and 4.  He turned around the watch. No engravings. He held the watch in his hands and closed his eyes. His heart felt warm, it was a fine piece of craftsmanship.

A strange urge to keep the pocket watch near his ears rose in his heart. He kept it near his right ear and closed his eyes . He became silent. The ailing second hand beat along with his heart. The music covered him like a warm blanket on a rainy evening. As the beating second hand alternated between 3 and 4, he felt his body being empty. Just the tick-tok of the pocket watch resonated his hollow body. He placed the watch even closer to his ear and he felt that the watch was a telling a strange story to him. He listened, between the tick-tocks and the sweet movements of the wind, the watch played a note, a story. And like a madman seeing his reflection for the first time, he cried out aloud.

When he opened his eyes, there was no little girl. He looked around. He turned around and his clocks had stopped. No music of the tick-tok, just silence, like the eerie silence of the midnight. He felt the silence drop on his body like an avalanche. Silence clouded the room. He felt the silence choking his throat and his body began crumpling like a paper. The silence, his breathing, the silence breathing.

The old man began crying. The pocket watch dropped from his fingers. His legs gave away and he dropped on the floor. The floor became wet with his tears, he stretched and picked up the pocket watch . Between the interludes of silence, the watch is the only thing signing. A distant music.

He clicked it open.The second needle stopped for a second and the whole world stopped. The old man fell eternity pressing on his chest. The second needle started moving, beyond 4, beyond 5, beyond 6.

When the second needle touched 12, his last breath left his body. When the second needle touched 1, the last tear drop left his eye.


I realised I was no pigeon when I jumped from the balcony. I realised I had no time to think when I crashed onto the concrete floor. I realised that my hair is pretty when it’s dyed(died) red. I realised that nobody cared to lift up the man in the black coat. I realised that my legs can shatter into a million pieces. I realised that the world still went on, cars passed, people rushed to their work, babies still cried. Everything was always in tune, always. As I struggled to stand up, I saw the sewer water in the drain. I saw my reflection in there, my face was intact but my lower lip was broken.My legs were pipes joined at awkward angles, my lungs worse. As blood rushed through my mouth, I regretted eating the cheese sandwich. I stood up and put on my coat.

A summer evening stood naked before me. Birds chirping, boys playing, men stealing kisses in the alleys. I ambled into a cafe, the blood trail on the floor gave my secrecy away. As I tried to put an ice on my broken lips, my legs shut down and I fell onto the ground. Again. A man with grey hair and stubble, stumbled on my leg and dropped his coffee on my head. He apologised and begged for me to forgive. I was enjoying the taste of free coffee, over my blood. I said it’s okay, but he wouldn’t leave. He took a towel and wiped away all the coffee and blood and guilt and dirt from my body. He said goodbye and he left. I was still on sitting on the floor. The cleaning lady came from the corner and started wiping the floor. She told me to lift my legs so that she could wash the floor, the now red floor. I said I couldn’t. She washed my legs and my torso and left me alone. All alone there. The floor became red again.

When I jumped from the balcony, when I landed ‘thud’ on the concrete floor, I never knew she wouldn’t pick up the call, that the cat wouldn’t drink the milk, that the baby wouldn’t cry.

I crawled out from the cafe to the bustling city again. People, people, people. Nothing suffocated me as people did. I die each time when I meet someone. This huge awareness of yourself as an existential being talking to another overcrowded my senses.

I wanted to be something else than what I was told to be. I wanted to be flight. I wanted to be something that lingered in the air just for a while so that you can see from somewhere and take a photograph. Because when I jumped from the balcony, my hands felt free and mind empty.

The street. I crawl to the center of the road and I lie down. I look at the sky and the sky looks at me. I take my cigarette out and light it. I send more clouds to the sky. My cigarette burns up what is left of my lungs and my right side of the body goes numb. Even my right ball. I look at the world and its the still same. I lift my left arm and wave at the people and they wave back laughing, lovingly. The world is not that bad.I breathe of what is left to breathe.My head is exploding and I can’t move. I take the last puff of the cigarette and I become a cloud.


                                                                          Photo by Kay Jan


All Seeing Ceiling.

She lay there on the clean white bed sheet, freckle-less. The bed-sheet was freshly ironed and she held it to her cheeks. The warmth gave her goosebumps.  For the first time in many months, she felt safe. Safe. A tear drop rolled on from her right eye to her pink cheeks. As she looked around, she took the revolver from the table. She lay again on the bed, straight. Her curly black hair holding her tiny universe between her ears. She stared at the ceiling, her only witness. She took the revolver to her forehead and counted the times she was happy.  She pulled the trigger. Like new flowers sprouting from the wet earth, her blood spread onto the white canvas; modern art.

[Artwork: Henrik Aa. Uldalen]

[Artwork: Henrik Aa. Uldalen]


I was living on cheap cigarettes, and biscuits. The day seems bleak. There is too much light in this world. I blink like fuck. I don’t like to go outside. I haven’t taken a bath in four days. All my money is going on cigarettes. The city is gloomy. As I take the puff from the burning filter, my life is not getting any better. Sleep is for the fortunate. Even if you’re living in  paradise, insomnia can make it hell. Landlord lady’s cat is sleeping outside my door and I’m jealous. Sleep is for the privileged.

I’m on the roof of the building. Eight floors up and the city is no better. Stinking people, stinking lives. This is my last cigarette, these are my last moments. My mother used to tell to me to follow my dreams. Thank god she is dead. I don’t like this hat on top of my head. But, I would like to die decent, at least. The hat will fly away when I jump. Hopefully, it will glide along and fall into my head, covering the shame.

The cigarette is over and I throw the butt to the ground. Race.I’m falling. I can’t see my life flash before my eyes. I can’t remember the people I love. I can only see the concrete pavement ready to embrace me. I kiss the ground with my forehead. I sink into the ground. My mind is growing hazy and I’m swimming in my blood. As my eyes search for her, the cigarette butt had fallen right in front of me. I lost the race.