FEMALES ONLY By KANIKA JAIN
Bombings in London, stock markets falling in china, ethnic cleansing in Bangladesh, Beyonce’s pregnancy…
She looked up from the screen. It was already 1: 24 am. The performance would have ended by now. The people would be streaming out of the bar, dazed by cheap alcohol and cheaper talent, not noticing that there had been a different pianist playing Sinatra that night.
Cat, GIF, drunken tweet, murder in Mumbai, “Females Only”.
An all women’s screening of Hidden Figures. She wondered if she should enlarge the notice of “Females Only” and wear it as a signboard around her neck.
Perhaps she should walk into the bar with it in front of her body and show it to her boss. Females only, permission denied, they would have to ask for a different price of admission to their club. She did not want to join anymore.
She shrugged off the crumpled blanket and walked over to the piano. It was the only piece of furniture in the studio apartment, except the bed that she did not need.
The chords tore through the night, accompanied by a soft, broken voice singing ‘Feeling Good’.
THE GREY-T GATSBY By ANINTHITHA NATH
“You just need to sign a few documents. Sign here, here and….. here”, said Nicola, leafing through a thick pile, pointing out spaces. I grab a pen from the counter and quickly scribble out my name, trying to keep up with the barrage of documents Nicola gestured the first spot and beamed, “looks like you’re all done!”, bending to pick up a scruffy grey puppy.“#39678 is yours now”. The little guy wiggled himself from her plump hands and yapped, circling the hem of my pants. I chuckled and gently scooped him up. “Looks like we’ve got to give you a name.”
I bid Nicola adieu and made my way down the pier. Before I could inhale the salty sea breeze, he made a dash for it, tugging the leash.”Oi! stop I say!” I yell as I sprint behind him. Finally, catching my breath, I look down his innocent face. “my, my ! What a disobedient pet you are! Don’t ever do that again. Understood?”, He wagged his tittle tail earnestly, gesturing the lively stall across. I sigh and walk to get the little guy some vanilla ice cream. May be that’d make him behave.
We sat by the boardwalk, watching the twilight sky pass, while a few children came and pet him repeatedly speaking, “ what’s its name?”
I snuggle against him as we gaze at the strange blue light across the harbour. He seemed enthralled almost captivated by it.
“Gatsby. I am going to call you Gatsby.”
People who say they have no regrets whatsoever are liars. However small, like regretting not helping the blind man catch his bus, a regret is a regret. I felt terrible about ditching the NCC firing camp because I was afraid to miss school. Agreed I regretted it later and not for too long. But that’s the thing about regrets; they always haunt you after the deed is done.
In SYJC I even stopped playing football because I wanted to study well and get into DU. I didn’t score well so I didn’t get in, I felt sick too often and I was frustrated with the excess energy I had bottled up inside. Football was my game and I had betrayed it. Instead of running for the Ball and with it, I ran away from it and lost the match.
I started playing football when I started waxing. That was a big deal for 13 year old. I was finally hairless! Boys couldn’t tease me, girls wouldn’t giggle behind my back and I would be happy. But was I? Did the pain of yanking my hair out actually make it worth the lack of gossip and teasing? Did dyeing my hair green warrant an entry into the popular girl clique? Did losing my virginity, and that was sudden and big jump, make me cool? NO.so now, I get over my regrets, I play football and I have given myself the right to pass.
Keep It Intact! By Jiniya Chattopadhyay
The most wondrous feeling in the world.
A tingling sensation that lifts your spirits,
It’s called love, my darling,
It is blind, it dismisses all your demerits.
But love can happen all the time, right ?
‘Loyalty’ is just an illusion,
Why, we can always cover it up with little lies,
No scope for any questioning or confusion !
Trust, my dear, is what keeps love in good shape,
Broken hearts can be sealed, you just need that cello tape.
Musical Strings By Sahir Avik D’souza
Violent violins vibrate
vociferously, with vim.
If the films have taught me anything,
I’ve fallen in love with him.
Glorious gongs gong
gorgeously, with glee
If the films have taught him anything,
he’s fallen in love with me.
The Skeptic’s Ode To Love By Rohita Raju
In a web woven by the silken threads of time
Let’s get caught up, your hand in mine and souls entwined
We’ll have our fill of love, I’ll cherish your laughter
For I don’t believe in happily ever afters
When the bubble hurts, I’ll be on my way
I’ll glance back for a second, but I won’t hold your gaze
Of course it’ll hurt, I’ll go through hell
But my memories will reassure me, that I loved you well
I don’t believe in happily ever afters.
I don’t need them
But I need this moment – I need you here.
I always come back from work and spend my evening on tinder I have tried dating people in real life but one look at me and people first scrunch their faces I don’t know how I got into fashion industry. Looking this ugly sure designing accessories did not put me right under the spotlight. I found swiping right on tinder was way easier that meeting people and going on dates. Online dating was a breeze. Texting, flirting and sexting while lying on the bed was my comfort zone.
I had been dating this girl for the past three months and she was the epitome of feisty. Latinas tend to be like that. Or that’s what she told me. Sometimes she would type something in Latin which I never bothered to look up because she’d translate it for me right away.
I sat down with a mug of coffee in my hand and my doo bell rang. Without a doubt, I knew it was the nosy neighbor. I opened the door with a sigh and there she stood with her signature frown.
“Did you bring someone home last night?” she inquired.
“Then why could I hear moaning, loud moaning last night?” her accent was thick.
“I was watching a movie”, and closed the door. I could hear her shouting something in foreign language and it was vaguely familiar I immediately opened my tinder and went to my girlfriend’s bio and I was right, my neighbor is the feistily Latina girl I was dating.
Marital Rape By Twinkle Kataria (Poetry)
Criss cross woven strips of wood,
Crisp and sharp, of straw and hay
With a towel hung, smelling vague
Soaking the stains from the night before,
With red blemishes that mysteriously exist.
A partition near the bed that remains,
Osmosis of the screams with a legal certificate,
A manipulative promise of a newly-wed,
Assumptions of affirmatives on one bed,
Two souls lay, and not happily ever after.