Monday, May 30, 2005

Old clothes

Old clothes
Evoke memories


Grandmother and curly grey hair,
Aunts and antiseptic,
Christmas and cakes,
Cousins and cricket,

Birthdays and red balloons,
Masquerades and dead friends,
Cupboards and hide-and-seek,
Marbles and touch-me-nots,
Scraped knees and seashores,

Sunlight and school,
Colour pencils and crayons,
Dictation and wooden desks,
Bells and books,

Forests and campfires,
Pine and streams,
Butterflies and wet soil,
Snakes and pumpkins,

Winter and wool,
Rain and rhubarbs,
Coughs and colds,
Doctors and drugs...

Old clothes.
New memories.

Not ready

Guilt stabs my
Conscience deep,
Its unfelt dagger
Rending bloodless wounds,
Plunging, twisting,
Accusing, as it descends.
But I'm not ready
To repent
Just yet.

The battlefield awaits,
My armies stand beside -
Sharpened swords
In weighty sheaths,
Bodies eager for combat.
But I'm not ready
For war
Just yet.

Memories fade,
Of unwanton words,
And anger, and betrayal.
Yesterday's pain reposes
In a corner of my soul,
But I'm not ready
For peace
Just yet.

The night sings softly
Its daily lullaby,
Of dreams,
And hope, and tomorrow.
The bed is made,
Inviting rest.
But I'm not ready
For sleep
Just yet.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


He leaped over the low wall and onto the wet grass stealthily, landing with the agility of a jungle cat. Without getting up, he looked around. He grinned at the uninterrupted snoring emanating from the guards' cabin. 'Suckers,' he whispered.
Slinging the strap of his satchel over his shoulder, he strode across the sweeping lawn, unchallenged, towards the main building. The night was cold, biting into the skin under his sweater, his urgent breath condensing in front of him. He removed his leather gloves, blew into his numb palms, and then rubbed them together vigorously -- there was no point in catching a chill. He put his gloves back on and started to whistle softly. Tonight was going to be good, he felt it in his bones.
The building was ahead, intimidating in its majesty, ivy draped across its grey, towering pillars, giving an impression of a domineering matron scowling at errant boys. More so in the darkness of night. He marched up the steps at the entrance insolently, in his rubber shoes, secure in the knowledge that there was nobody between him and the goodies. He had done this before, and every time he was amazed at the folly of the authorities and the slackness of the security around the place.
He bounded up the broad flight of stairs, three steps at a time, eager in his pursuit -- he didn't have time to waste. He was heading for the first floor, more specifically, a small window that he had left open earlier in the day, when he had done his 'preparation'. He found it open, and muttered a silent thanks. Sliding the glass shutter up, he eased himself into the hallway, and pulled the window shut.
It was dark and quiet, just the way he liked. He felt some of the tension leaving him, now that he was inside. Taking his torch out of the satchel, he flicked it on, scattering the darkness. He was amazed at the quality -- and the quantity -- of the stuff that lay before him, stacked in shelves that ran for -- what seemed to him -- miles. Nobody could assess the value of all of this, he thought. But he was only interested in the one thing that had made him risk this operation, and it lay in its place further down the hall.
He broke into an easy run -- the soles of his shoes making only the slightest of noises -- scanning the shelves as he ran. He turned into the rack where he knew his treasure lay, and caught his breath. He slowed to a walk, looking eagerly. And there it was, gleaming in the light from his torch. He stopped and laughed contentedly.
Taking it out of its resting place, he felt its weight as it lay in his gloved hands. Flipping the torch beam to 'high', he sat down on the floor, and commenced his work. He never quite understood why they didn't let him borrow more books from the library.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A "memory"

Last Sunday I was chatting with a couple of my room-mates, and among other things we talked about the experiences that each other had had in school. It took me on a nostalgia trip, and so while I'm stuck in 'school-mode', I thought I'd write a post about it.
For a lot of people at my age, college is what evokes a lot of memories, but for me, school is the place that I will have trouble forgetting. It's not that college wasn't fun, it's just that school was a place where I spent fourteen wonderful, unforgettable years, and I tend to look back upon my experiences there with more fondness than upon those I had in college.
I don't know why or how, but I have a long memory, and I tend to remember all sorts of things. Like my first day at school. It's burnt in my memory and every time I remember it, I'm surprised at how vivid it is...the bus trundling down my street - funny how buses are 'huge' when one is small, my Grandma telling my Mom that I was too little for school, and friendly, 'ice-cream agent' 'Jayanthy aunty' - my neighbour - suddeny turning into strict 'Jayanthy Miss' - turned out she was a teacher at my school, and then my first 'friend', D. D and I were the only kids in kindergarten who took the school bus, and since school was just 'half-day' for us, we were the only passengers in the bus during its noon rides. We used to have a rollicking time, jumping over the seats pretending we were 'Superman' or some other super-hero who was in fashion at that point of time, sprinting along the aisle, exploring (yeah, exploring a bus!) and generally making the poor driver's life miserable. And, hell, now that I think of it, I even remember the driver's name - Ramakrishna. Good man. Was so punctual and regular that he never gave us a chance to even dream of a holiday because of the bus not coming to pick us up. Some people are born to be school bus drivers, I guess.
I fell in love with my school. It was a small place, without the 'air' that characterises most schools these days, with simple and honest teachers who believed in the righteousness of their profession. A one-storey building housed the seniors, whereas the kindergarten classes occupied a small thatched-roof hut. There was this 'giant' Gulmohar tree, which used to be quite a sight in full bloom, at the northern end, an abandoned well at the western corner, and then a small playground, which was witness to a number of 'epic' football matches over the years. All us 'tiny tots' (yeah, that's how the teachers referred to the KG kids!) used to spend the whole of 'lunch-period' throwing stones into that well - probably an aftereffect of too many sessions of the 'thirsty-crow-and-pebbles' story - and our Physical Education master was permanently preoccupied with chasing us back to our classes. Was that man evil or what! There used to be a bunch of classmates whose lifetime ambition was to grow up and take revenge for all the 'injustices' he dealed out to us.
'Sports day' also features strongly in my memories. On that first 'Sports day' of many, we were herded out of our class, and were briefly explained the rules. Not that all of us understood what the teacher was explaining but then we were all sensible in the way only kindergarten kids can be. There were two 'events'. 'Running race' - a short sprint - and 'frog race'. Looking back, I cannot help but admire the ingenuity of my teachers in thinking up the latter. We had to sit on our haunches, plant our hands on the ground, and then make like mad to the finishing line. A few of us had trouble hopping in a straight line - one 'frog' would 'collide' with the nearby 'frog', often with hilarious repercussions. That I managed to come second inspite of all this is a matter of pride to me and amusement to my family. I still have the prize certificate with me, carefully preserved.
Math class was a favourite in KG. Not that I liked the subject, but it's because we had these snazzy, chequered notebooks to scribble on. And the teacher - Vasantha Miss, the name comes flooding back now - used to give us small, wooden numbers to 'kindle' our 'interest' in the subject. Little did she know that these 'innocuous' things often doubled up as missiles when things got nasty between us kids. 'Won't share your homework with me? Plonk! Take that...' And some of us became so skilled at this 'sport' that we were never caught with incomplete homework.
I also remember the first time I got injured 'officially'. The thatched-roof over our classroom had these flat bamboo sticks - with sharp edges - protruding into the walkways. I somehow contrived to split the webbing between my thumb and my forefinger on the left hand (I've conveniently forgotten how), and I saw blood. The other kids saw it too, and a few of them promptly fainted as well - what do you expect of 4 year olds anyway? Luckily, one of them - again I remember the name, Babu - had the good sense to call a teacher (I myself was too dazed), and I was taken to the 'Office Room' - the Principal's office - where the peon bandaged my 'wound' and gave me royal treatment - cold drinks, biscuits, a couch to sleep on...the works. What more could I ask for? Later that day, when I went back to class, I was given a hero's welcome (especially by the girls, and I was truly embarassed, girls being uncool then), because suddenly I'd become the first to venture into the 'ogre's territory' (the Principal's office) and come back alive to tell the story. And what a story! I lost a lot of credibility when I told them about the goodies that I'd consumed. Nobody would believe me because the rumour at that time was that the headmistress had a dog which ate up truant children.
But my favourite memory from that time is of the 5 minutes I spent every day rolling all over the floor with my dog - Tiger - after I came back from school. I was his favourite 'master'; maybe it was because the 'master' was the only person around who was his size. Every day, on my return, he would jump all over me, drowning me in fur, and would give me a good licking. I would be literally tickled pink! He was a handsome fella alright; his 'girlfriends' on the street used to go crazy whenever we took him out for a walk. But I was secure in the knowledge that I was the sole object of his attention. He stayed with us for a good fourteen years before 'passing on', but the memory of those 5 minutes is always something I cherish.
There are a lot of things about school and kindergarten that I remember and want to write about- like the picnics that we were taken to, the 'fight-club' that we had in our class, the dreaded rhymes period etc - but I think I'll save them for another post and stop this one right here. And yes, can't help but say, "those were the days..."

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Mysteries to my mind -
Friendship and love and life.
Peace is an elusive pearl
When the ocean is in perennial strife.

Every clue complicates the case.
Every bridge leads to a new ravine.
Every relationship is a maze
With a secret I just can’t divine.

Each day is a rainbow of emotions.
Yellow, red, blue, even green.
Wisdom and enlightenment are
Lands this traveller has not yet seen.

The vine yearns in vain
For a sun that was always out of reach.
Every futile day spent in silent pain
Only furthers the breach.

I’m an actor without a mask.
I’m a painter who’s blind.
I’m far but near; near yet far
From solving
The mysteries in my mind.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Pregnant clouds
Pour drops
Little leaves
Soft rain tunes.
And thunder
Drum together
As Love comes by

The heart hums
A forgotten song -
Dead words
Now alive
With meaning anew -
As Love comes by

Friday, May 13, 2005


The sea lay ahead, roaring out a boisterous welcome, as he trudged heavily through the sands, carrying his shoes. He liked it by the seashore and had never cared to reason why - a simple acceptance of a simple reality in a complex life.
He shirked company on these special visits to meet his old friend - the sea. Bringing someone along, he felt, would break the unsaid trust that had evolved between the two - he would come visiting during moments of crisis, and the sea would yield answers. The last week had brought about another. And he knew he needed help. Desperately.
He liked the sand clinging to his feet, leaving behind a fine film of grain as it fell; he noticed how the film grew finer with every step he took forward. He chuckled involuntarily, as he remembered telling a bemused friend that the sand was actually cleansing the feet before the water touched them. To him, the walk was a sort of preparation before a sacred ritual; a chance to clear his mind before confronting the truth - whatever that truth was.
He sought his hideout - a small cove surrounded by sea-weed. The cove changed shape with the tide, but he always found it. He slowed his steps as he strode towards what he had come to consider as home, and a faint smile broke out on his lips. Throwing his shoes aside, he fell in a heap, settling down as if on a couch, and brushed the sand off his hands on his trousers. He felt the damp mud give way under his weight and throwing his head up, he took a deep breath. The wind had that tinge of salt to it which he had come to like - another stage of cleansing, he told himself. The sea never failed to fill his senses - the cerulean water, the eternal song of the spray, the lingering taste in the air that was an exotic, eclectic mixture of sea-weed, salt and sand...The sea was always a total experience, of which he could never have enough.
After a while, his thoughts turned back to his crisis. He had to make a choice. Between two things he loved. Equally. He had tried to fool himself at times that he was more passionate about one of the two. But during those rare minutes when he allowed himself to see the truth, he knew in the deepest of his hearts that he loved them both. Equally. All his life, he had evaded making choices; waiting, holding on, until the choices resolved themselves. It was a trick he had learnt well. He had tried it this time around too, but it seemed like Life had finally decided to test him.
He saw a lone catamaran on the water, scything through the waves as it bounded towards the shore, its narrow confines overflowing with fresh fish. He watched the fisherman, his ebony body glinting in the evening light, struggling to steer through the stubborn waves. Life and Death on the same boat, he thought to himself. It was always like that. Life derives greater meaning in the proximity of death, he mused. And Death had many forms.
A crow cawed somewhere, splintering the silence, breaking his thoughts, and forming them to focus upon his crisis. He remembered the thought he had had a few days ago. What if every day was actually two days in itself. Then he would live one life one day, and another life the other day, pursuing both his passions. A double life, he joked to himself. Life was full of 'What-ifs', he philosophised, and he was facing the biggest of them today. 'What if...'
A wave broke upon the shore, and swept towards him. He welcomed it. The tension that held his body tautly together left him momentarily and he stretched his feet out. The foamy water lapped about him, wetting his trousers as it retreated half-heartedly, the sand changing colour with the receding wave. He liked the rich brown shade of wet mud. It had Life to it; a Life that drained rapidly as the water evaporated. The water lent a certain pride to the sand, he felt. It was no longer the servile sand that he had walked through, no longer subservient and clinging to his feet; it had Life which could be given shape and form. Life always took form, he observed, through the choices that one made. Better the choice, better the form it took. Like the sand that had chosen to be by the water, rather than further up the shore. The choice mattered, he knew. And he feared to make one now when more than ever he needed to. 'What if...'
He looked about him. The evening was fading fast into the sea and dusk was descending. He perceived a certain melancholy about dusk, quite unlike the arrogance of dawn. Maybe it's because the day is dying and it doesn't want to, he thought. A death it did not choose. He saw the stalls on the shore come alive in the distance as the hawkers lit lamps to keep alive their day. What choice did those people have? Living a life in which there never was a choice. Swimming in a river where the current of their destiny always took them to a waterfall. Should one be lucky to have a choice at all?...He was more puzzled now. He liked the confusion. It was always a sign that he was heading for a solution. He smiled as he realized how well he had to come to know himself. Getting up, he shook the sand off his clothes and headed for the cool of the water.
* * *
Lying awake on his bed that night, he marvelled at the ability of the sea to inspire wisdom in him. He had finally realized that when it came to choosing between things he loved, the actual choices didn't matter. They never do, he reasoned. What is important, however, is that there is Life in every choice. Whatever one chose, one always had the chance to discover Life through it. One only had to have the courage to choose, the faith to take that first step in the dark. That - the act of choosing - is what counts for more. As for the choices left behind, Life always has this funny habit of throwing others like them one's way at a later stage. Again, one needed just the courage to choose and the wisdom to recognise the choice. Life never cheats. Life never 'sucks'...His thoughts trailed off, as sleep threw its cloak over him. He had chosen, and he was not going to look back.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


He hated Mondays. Especially the mornings.

He snuggled deeper into the blankets, stealing a few more drops of slumber before the stealthy sun woke him up fully.

He hated waking up. It was disturbingly similar to taking a relationship beyond being just friends to lovers.There was no going back. He always fell in love. And he always woke up.

He came to with an abrupt start. He could never tell the exact moment he woke up everyday - it was gradually abrupt. Like falling in love was.

His eyelids played with him, refusing to open; his tongue was thick with the taste of yesterday. He rubbed his eyes awake and stretched out, carefully disentangling himself from the mess that his bed was. No sooner had he got up than the cold hit him like a sudden truth. He looked back longingly at his bed, no more a mess to his eyes, but then breathed a sad sigh and got to his feet - the day beckoned.

He surveyed the reality of his room - the stillness in the air; the hazy light that somehow filtered in; the coffee cups with the guilty brown stains lining the white of the china; the muted static on the T.V. ; the clothes strewn all over the few furniture that were there; the smells of the night; the slippers lying lazily at disparate corners...Shivering, he went to the window and violently threw the curtains aside. Sunlight leapt into his eyes and into the room - like a child let loose in a playground - leaving silent shadows in its sunny wake. He welcomed the warmth as he felt it shroud his body in an easy embrace. He was now awake, truly.

And then he saw the cover lying on the table - inconspicuous initially, then incongruous, then intriguing, then inviting; its lavender out of place against the spartan black of the table. He picked it up slowly, as though any hurry would alter the contents of what was inside. He flipped open the envelope, and slid the letter out sensuously into the flat of his palm. It had just the one line on it: "Just didn't have the heart to wake you up" - written in that large, slender, fluid hand of hers.

The corners of his mouth curled down in a smile as the events of yesterday washed over him, and he swore pleasurably.

He hated Mondays. Especially the mornings.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Motorcycle Diaries (?!)

Ah, the trick of improvising upon a famous name for your blog title to catch the reader's attention!

Much as I would like this to be a post about a road-trip, self-discovery and revolution, it's just about yesterday's drive back home from work. But then, I'm getting ahead of myself now.

First the background.

I began driving to work recently. Now, now, I know me "driving to work" could possibly conjure images in your heads of a dashing, handsome (ahem!) guy in a convertible, speeding down the freeway with the wind in his hair and the music turned up loud, but the reality is my "drive" is a 20 minute ride on a second-hand Suzuki-Max100R motorcycle, through traffic which is as about as peaceful and as calm as a coop full of new-born chickens.

My bike is a different matter altogether. In fact, it's in quite good condition despite being second-hand. Except for a few...err...shortcomings. They are not much if you closely observe the bikes that ply on our roads.

It's just that the horn sounds as though it has a sore throat; but then nobody heeds the horn anyway! The indicators don't work, and to make matters worse, the kicker came off its joint a couple of days ago. I somehow fitted it back on and am still to get it repaired. Add to this a gearbox which makes strange, very "ungearbox"-like noises, and you get a very good idea of the "mean-machine" that my bike is.

Then there are other petty issues of me not having a licence and driving around on the bike without the proper papers, but then these are minor issues when compared with the others. Also, in true biker tradition, I always run the thing on reserve fuel.

So, getting back to the story, yesterday evening after work, a friend - whom I shall refer to as S since he is not too keen on featuring in my blog - and I left for home (we and a couple of other colleagues stay together in a flat - "home"). Now S is a rather queer...err...weird chap. He gets rather excited...err...thrilled when he gets a chance to sit on the pillion of someone's bike. Not knowing this, I - ever the good Samaritan - volunteered to give him a lift. Now like I had said before, I don't have a licence - neither does S - and the bike has no papers, which makes driving through Teynampet and T.Nagar as legal as selling dope to the Pope - no offence meant to the church!

Anyway, we set off - me keeping one eye on the road and the other on the I'll-drop-off-anytime kicker. Everything goes smoothly, and we approach Teynampet juction. And suddenly my keen eyes observe that I have another 10 seconds to get across. So, I do my best imitation of Trinity on the Ducati in the 'Matrix Reloaded' (with S playing the key-maker), weave - "weave" as in overtaking rapidly moving bicycles and fleeing-for-life pedestrians - through the traffic, and just as I'm about to get through, the lights turn red, and mamu - the traffic cop - runs across the road waving his lighted baton, a la Obi-Wan Kenobi. I slam the brakes , and bring the bike to a halt, just in time before the stop line - the force was with me I guess! Mamu looks at me, Master Luke, this is not the way a Jedi Knight should drive. I put on my best I-have-a-licence-I-pay-road-tax-You-dare-not pull-me-over look, mamu gets the message, and goes back to practising light-saber moves. S butts in to say. "Drive conservatively man, like Rahul Dravid" (yeah, and Dravid doesn't know how to drive a geared motorcycle yet!). Huh? I shrug off the wise-crack, but I wasn't to know he was just warming up!

So, the lights eventually turned green, and I'm back to weaving past rapidly moving bicycles and fleeing-for-life pedestrians, paying no attention to the chicks on Scooties going past me (at least I pretended not to - no use getting my ego bruised in my 'old' age I figure). We enter Pondy Bazzaar, and the traffic slows to a crawl.

Two weeks of driving on this route have endowed me with all the necessary skills to drive anywhere else in the world. I step up and down through the gears with consummate ease, row through the traffic with my feet, only to see a fleet of vehicles confront me at Panagal Park....groan! Not agaaaain! And all through this emotionally-draining, nerve-wracking, character-building exercise, S keeps offering gyaan from the back-seat - "There's a fine line between the amount of clutch and the extent to which you open the throttle", "You could have gone through that gap; it's big enough for a lorry", "This is how you learn to drive man!", "Your bike is gassing the guy behind; go easy on the throttle!"...and I began to get a feel for what Formula-1 drivers must be going through, what with all the radio talk from the pits - "A little to the right, a little to the left, ah that's better", "You are about to blow up; better come in", "Your pizza just arrived; mind if I take a bite??", "You just got divorced mate!"...Sheesh!

Anyway, traffic in Panagal Park always reminds me of a river turning a bend; but it's just that the river looks a helluva lot prettier than this machine maze! And yesterday was no better. So, back to rowing and weaving it was. But in a rare moment of weakness, I let go of the clutch too quickly and the darned bike stalls. Muttering profanities, I urgently try to kick the bike to life and bzzziiiinggg...the I-just-need-an-excuse-to-fall-off kicker goes flying! Yikes! An orchestra of horns howl out from behind, not to mention cars, buses and other wheeled contraptions whizzing past. The bike had absolutely no bloody business giving up on me like that right there! To give you an idea of the gravity of the situation, just imagine you were among those whom Moses led across the Red Sea and you just fell down! A biblical plight indeed mine was! So, it was meet-the-maker time, and drawing inspiration from Tom Cruise and Mission Impossible, I stretch out, retrieve the accursed thing, get it back on, start the bike, and get going. Phew! Just imagine, there are guys who do this for stunts and thrills!!

So, with considerable application of my latent driving talent, not to mention my well-honed self-preservation skills, we somehow make our way through the madness to Doraiswamy subway, where the traffic always eases a bit.

Breathing a sigh of relief, I step up the gears and speed down the subway. The subway runs under the railway line, and as I approach its trough, the rear of a brand new Hyundai Accent looms up frighteningly fast. I hit the brakes, step down the gears, slip through the narrow gap between the car and the subway wall, and emerge in front of the vehicle - all this out of sheer instinct and without thinking. I'm like Wow, Did I just do what I think I just did??!! when suddenly, a Red-Indian war cry breaks out behind me "WHHooooooooawww" - S again - "Let's do that again man!!", he says clapping his hands, as the other bikers look on in amazement. Yeah, Of course buddy! I almost say, but end up nodding my head stupidly, because only I know that my pulse rate just shot past 200! Whew!!! And to think there are people who don't believe in guardian angels!! Jeez!

Well, after that it was plain sailing to our flat, but I guess one near-death-life-flashing-before-the-eyes moment will do per day! And if Che Guevara was inspired to spawn a revolution after his road-trip, the least I could do was write a post about mine!

Monday, May 02, 2005


The paper lay on the table. Its white emptiness beseeching him to write. But the words wouldn't come.

He looked at his pen. One of those cheap use-and-throw models. Capless. Blue ink drying on its ball-point. It was futile - trying to write. He had been at it for two weeks now. And nothing to show for it. Feeling thirsty, he took a swig of water out of the bottle that lay nearby. He was sweating, the air lay heavy with the memory of cigarette smoke, the ash-tray full of butts. The cigarettes helped. They kept the hunger away.

His fingers groped for the pen, picked it up, and with an effort that belied the will behind it, began to write.

Time elapsed. The seconds adding up to minutes. Slowly. Inexorably. His pen screeched with every word that he wrote; his sweaty palms blotting the paper onto the table underneath. He leaned over, willing his wrist to move, laying out words on the paper in a desperate attempt to weave a coherent plot.

But the words dried up after a while. They always did these days.

He found himself as creative as a recorded audio cassette - playing the same songs over and over, not a single new note to be heard, the voices ever the same. He hated trains for the same reason - the way they ran the same route everyday, at the same time, somehow reminded him of the same, stale, cliched story he kept coming up with. For that matter, he hated eveything about himself these days - his cramped room with its claustrophobic corners; his mohalla with its narrow streets, rabid dogs, open gutters and thieving urchins; his day job as a typist; the dingy, rickety train he took to work...especially the train.

He looked down at what he had written. His once strong, beautiful hand was now reduced to the uncertain, scrawny scribble of a retard - the words making up the same story that he had already told a thousand times. He was angry at himself. He could sense the rage gradually build inside him. He felt a dark, dense, liquid cloud fogging his senses, cluttering his thoughts, paralysing his imagination.

He looked at what he had written again. And then, in a calculated act of controlled fury, he grabbed the sheet, crumpled it, and threw it at the wall. He heard it flit across the room, hit the wall, and fall with a soft thump amidst a heap of others like itself.

And then, silence. Nothing moved. He felt the cloud in his mind recede. Almost as if it had formed just to prevent him from writing. And now that he had given up, it was on its way; its job done. Like a plague that leaves behind it a city with only death living.

Defeated, he rose from his chair; rather, fell out of it. He walked around his room, enjoying the vacancy of his consciousness. He had come to relish this brief respite that giving up always brought about inside him. Like a man sentenced to hang enjoying his pardon; until the King changed his mind again. He knew the cloud would come visiting again. And again.

He stopped at his book-shelf. His eyes lazily scanned the titles. Caressing the words. He took out his favourite. It always cheered him up. Its crimson cover, yellowed pages, antique type-set...they reminded him of happier times. He had lost count of the number of times he had read the book. And everytime he finished reading it, he wished he had had the chance to have written the story.

He wished he had had the chance to have written the story.

The cloud came back swiftly, this time inciting a flood of thoughts. Thoughts he did not want to think. Thoughts he did not wish to acknowledge. But it was useless. The cloud won. Always.

He went back to the table carrying the book with him. He sat down, opened the book to its first page, took out a fresh sheet of paper, and started writing. The director would have a new script tomorrow, he told himself.