AN EXTRACT FROM MY SHORT STORY “I AM YOUR MAN” from Dr. Santosh Bakaya
“BRING OUT THE TALL TALES” – in collaboration with Avijit Sarkar
“Okay” He mumbled, looking in the distance. When he turned towards her, she saw something in his eyes. Something that she had never seen in Amit’s eyes. She could not exactly place what it was, but it started a curdling in her heart.
She, who had felt as dehydrated as a community tap during the hot, summer months, felt as though the community tap was flooded with a sudden gurgling and cascading rush of water.
“I’d say please, [please] I am your man.” Leonard Cohen again sat on his lips, but the lips, strange enough, were unmoving. She was convinced, he was a practicing ventriloquist.
They left the bus stand, the small puppy whelping and yapping after them. She bent down and scooped it up in her arms,
while the man, now no longer a stranger, looked lovingly at her.
“Or if you want to strike me down in anger
Here I stand
I’m your man.”
This time, he really spoke. With his lips, his heart and his arms.
The night was all around them now, and she was pleasantly surprised
[almost happy ] to realise that Amit who, just some time back, was an expansive presence on her mental screen, was now not even a tiny mote there.
Slowly, like a monarch in full regalia, the moon rode, perched on the shoulders of clouds. With one sweep, it extinguished the light of the stars, becoming the master of all that it surveyed.
Aditi looked up, and saw a broad, luminous lane, stippled as if with silvery flakes. Was the moon offering them a silvery ladder to eternal happiness? She suddenly shivered, as he put an unsure arm around her shoulders, his warm breath ricocheting against her cheeks.
The mottled moon looked on, perhaps happy that she had found her man.
With a naughty smile, she thought it had the twinkling eye of a voyeur.
Dr. Santosh Bakaya