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Showing posts from December, 2014

Black Star

We follow the old laws.
An eye for an eye.
In his case, a life for a life. Only, he was special. Different.
There had always been something about him. A smell. A look. The shape of his face. We follow the old ways.
We recognise the signs. He was born to make trouble. To be trouble. I was present at his birth, like I was present at the others'.
He was not like the others. He did not cry. He would not make a sound.
He just stared. Even I, who had seen so many children, shuddered. That night, I made the blood sacrifice to our gods.
I looked into the fire to see his fate. What I saw, I could not comprehend. That is when I knew.
He would be the end of us. 18 years later, I looked into those eyes. Black. Blank. Cold. Lifeless, even in life. He had killed. That in itself was not unusual for us. We follow the old rules.
Death was part of life. And killing was the instrument of death. But. He had not killed an equal.
He had not killed in a fight.
He had not killed to survive. He had kille…

Just an illusion

On a recent evening, I found myself outside a house in one of Pune's older, fancier and leafier (mercifully) suburbs. Winter meant that it was well and truly dark by the time I reached the place accompanied by an old schoolmate, who complained incessantly about the cold weather. We had come to visit (hang out with, in our jolly modern lexicon) one of his close friends, a very tenuous connection for me.

Another old school friend was already there. As is usual in these situations, I kept to myself, happy to sip at some rum and water and listen in to the humorous bantering that still marked the conversations in this group. At some point, one of these guys, all of whom freelance, run their own companies or work with their fathers, pointed out how unusual it was for me to be in town on a weekday, which is when I told them about quitting. Their reactions were worth noting. The guy who didn't know me so well was lackadaisical about it but my 2 school friends, who have known me, in a…