The Grammar of an Unknown Language


1. The title is a tribute to Alexander McCall Smith — although the story has nothing to do with him, either in style or content. But I’ve been searching for a title for just about all the time I’ve been writing this, and none came to mind.
2. The story has been been written over some fifty odd sittings, over nine or so months, two countries, (at least) 3 cities. At times a few words, or sentences were added, or deleted. At time I just read and reread it to find a way to take it somewhere. Consequently, there is no flow. This has been, undoubtedly, the hardest story, in terms of effort I put in. Not that there is anything to show for it.
3. This is just an attempt to keep fiction writing alive, perseverance for the sake of it, mostly. And I suspect even the usual suspects are going to be disappointed. So read at your own peril, especially if you’re a first time visitor.
4. And still I’m happy, that it’s out. It’s finished, somehow. I’m going nowhere. And that, I believe is a good thing.
5. Kids, stay away. Has a bit of mature content.

Now all the disclaimers done, let’s start at the beginning, for a change.

I looked at Shivani as she gulped down another peg of scotch. She was dressed in a crimson colored sleeveless top, and a pale yellow skirt. In her late thirties, Shivani carried all colors well. But then she hardly looked her age. One had to look carefully to see a few graying hair (she, thankfully did not color her hair and they looked real), or watch her face from a close distance, to see inevitable signs of aging. Still, with two children and a job to manage, it was surprising that she managed to look that young. But one look at her eyes would have been enough for anyone to know that she wasn’t as young as she looked — her gaze was sufficient for that. That is, if you looked into her eyes and did not look away as she held your gaze. That night, though, she was looking almost schoolgirlish, as she kept on glancing sideways at Nirmal, her insane adulation for the creep visible to anyone who cared to look. But who, from the predominantly twenty something ‘we are the world’ generation would look at a women in her late-thirties with a gaze that told you to stay away? If you discount me, that is? Continue reading