Karan, an eight-year old boy living in Delhi, is happy as his birthday is arriving. He would soon turn nine and new gifts would come his way. His parents are equally happy and want to make sure the party should be grand. They’ve called in for decorators and designers who would make the house look no less than any mansion.
But Karan is something different. He doesn’t want his birthday party to be grand as his parents are expecting. He wants it simple, with no hubbubs. He fears the crowd and gets nervous in between his crowd of relatives, who would poach him like an animal and kiss on his cheeks continuously, which he doesn’t like. Though he is just eight and soon would be nine, he has made his own perceptions about some of his relatives and knows who all are being fake and who’s not. He doesn’t want to see the fake ones as they only flatter his parents. And his parents, out of innocence or intention God knows, laugh and shake hands with such people. But he knows that no one would listen to him. This saddens him and just like his earlier birthday parties he would have a reason to wish his party gets over soon.
Karan has no friends, but it never upsets him. Though he has some friends in school but he thinks they’re not worthy of attending his parties as at some point or the other they’ve let him down. For instance, a friend of his, whom he considered as his best friend, betrayed him as he gave his Cosco ball to another friend, even after promising to gift it to him. Karan then decided he would not call anyone his best friend. His parents believe he had decided that in naivety, but for Karan, he believes that he has seen the ‘truth of life and the reality of this world’, on which his parents would laugh.
The party begins after two days and Karan is sitting on a wooden chair. He is waiting for the birthday cake to arrive after which he would cut the cake, receive the gifts as soon as possible and fly to his room. The guests have started arriving whom Karan doesn’t like and is trying to avert their gaze by placing his hand over his face, pretending to rub his eyes. His parents are greeting them and welcoming them in and the guests are present with presents in their hands, their usual fake smiles on their faces. Karan wrinkles his face and looks at the clock on the wall to his right. It’s half past nine and Karan is willing to go into his room. But he sees many people still finding places to stand properly with his parents looking after them.
‘Mr. Thakral, it will be the most grand party of the city. You have done an amazing job’, some fat man says as Karan looks at his father laughing and nodding at this comment.
‘So fake! They always backbite behind my father’, Karan thinks.
The time has finally arrived and Karan cuts the cake. He looks nervous seeing the gifts still in his relatives’ hands. He begins stretching his legs which no one sees and feels restless. He puts a forced smile on his face with the guests coming to him and kissing on his cheek, some even pulling it too. For a second, Karan believes he is loved by all, but later his thoughts vanish when he sees his Gupta uncle approaching him, the same man who has just spoken big things about this party. He has often helped Karan’s father in business related matters and have unfortunately established himself as a ‘VIP’ in his father’s sight. Karan hates him to the core, more than he hates anybody else.
The gifts have started coming towards Karan as he accepts them happily, this time with a genuine smile on his face as he knows he would soon be in his room. There are some gifts on which his fingers run quickly, to surmise what would be inside the beautifully covered boxes. Karan accepts the gift but his restlessness calls him even louder as he begins shaking at his place. His mother notices this and grips his shoulder tightly, in order to make him sit straight. Karan shakes a little, looks at his mother and then at his gifts. He then sits silently. Ten minutes later, he gains the audacity to ask his father to go inside his room.
‘In your room? Why?’ his father asks in a tone which usually scares him.
‘I…I am not feeling well’, Karan hesitates a little but he tells his father with such confidence he had never gained before.
‘Hmm…okay, go’, his father allows.
Karan becomes happy and taking his gifts in his two hands, leaving the rest on the table, he flees to his room.
He is happy once he’s into his room.
Gulliver’s Travels, Far From the Madding Crowd, Adventure of Sherlock Holmes, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Harry Potter, A Tale of Two Cities etc., he is surrounded by such books resting on the wooden shelf. Everyday, he would sniff through the pages of the books and feel himself lost in the imaginary world as he would read them. This time, he is reading Harry Potter. He is so influenced by this character that he has purchased glasses same as Harry’s. He would wear them and read the book, and sometimes, would mimic as Harry Potter while talking to his mother. He is close to his mother, and is scared of his father who always wants him to teach the way the high society people dwell- their speaking skills, their attitude over something, their manners, their body language etc. But Karan doesn’t love this life at all, unless he is packed in his room, wrapped in a blanket with a book in his hand. He doesn’t want to live his father’s life, but wants to create one of his own.
Just opposite to the shelf lies a window attached to the wall by which Karan’s bed lies. From the outside, one could clearly catch a glimpse of his bookshelf with lots of books sitting on the racks. The window looks out to the road and the street lights towering on its side and the vehicles running on it. Karan often gets up and sees outside at the vehicles and the people taking the morning walk and some taking their dogs out for a walk. All these things please him, much more than the business deals that his father makes and his intention to throw his son into the business.
As Karan turns the page, he hears his mother talking to someone at the door, and his father getting a bit angry over her. Karan jumps off his bed and reaches the door. He holds the doorknob gently and opens the door a little, so that he could poke out his head.
A lady is standing at the door wearing a saree which looks quite old. She is begging for some money, it seems. Karan sees his parents arguing with each other and that lady staring at them. At first, he doesn’t like that lady at all, but later develops liking for her for she seems ‘innocent’ and ‘needy’. Karan wants to help that lady by giving half of his pocket money, but he knows he is too young now and so he can’t do that now. Maybe he will do it some other time. Silently, Karan moves his head back into his room and closes the door. He gets back to his bed, wraps himself inside his blanket and resumes reading the book.
A minute later, he hears the leaves moving outside, as if some animal is moving nearby. Karan hesitates at first, but begins reading again. The noise becomes more clear and audible. Karan is scared by now, sweat racing through his face. He keeps his book slowly and rises from the bed, grabbing the edge of the window. Slowly and cautiously, he peeps out of the window.
I am trying to look inside his room, after catching a glimpse of a few books on his shelf. As I have neared the window and is trying to get a clear look at his books, Karan sees me coming and pushes me away.
‘Aarrgh!’ I cry as I fall down. I quickly get myself on my feet and begin to shudder. Karan gives me a hateful look, but suddenly throws a whimsical smile, ‘I am sorry for that’. He says. ‘But who are you? And why’re you trying to get in my room?’
‘Oh no no’, I defend myself. ‘I was just…just looking at your books.’
‘My books?’ Karan’s eyes widen. ‘Why were you looking at my books?’
‘They seem interesting. I was thinking if I could just borrow…’
‘But who are you?’ Karan interrupts in between.
I hesitate at first, but later reveal it, ‘I’m Rishi.’
‘Do I know you, Rishi?’ Karan interrogates.
‘No, you don’t. But my mother often comes to your house’, I tell him.
‘Your mother? Who’s your mother?’ I see the wrinkles on his forehead vanishing slowly as he is now interested in knowing my mother.
‘The same lady who often comes to your house asking your parents for alms for us’, I don’t feel ashamed while telling. Why should I?
‘That lady…oh I see. So you’re Shanti aunty’s son’, what surprises me is seeing his eyes sparkling as if he had longed to see me.
‘Yes’, I smile. ‘Can I come in?’ I feel that I shouldn’t have asked that question. It’s too late now.
‘Oh sure’, to my surprise, Karan agrees. He turns back and then again to me. He brings his head outside to confirm no one is watching us. Then, immediately, he extends his hand to me. They’re long, I see. The long bones connected to each other like a puzzle. The colour of his hand is similar to the rope I had seen last Sunday outside my house. It was meant to be hung from the tree so that I could make a swing of it, but it didn’t happen. I grab his hand, seeing it as the same rope, and with a little trouble, finally enter his room. It smells of the wall paints as if the walls have been painted yesterday. The nausea smell makes me cover my nose, but I uncover it soon thinking what Karan might think of me. But Karan is less bothered by it. He has suddenly shifted to his shelf, taking a glance at his collection. I hesitate at first, but slowly insinuate myself behind him. He feels my presence and shifts aside so that I can also take a look at his books lined neatly on the wooden racks.
‘Are these all yours?’ I’m surprised.
‘Yes’, Karan is proud.
‘I can only dream of them.’ I wish Karan could lend me a book.
‘Do you read books?’ Karan asks, as if he has read my mind.
‘I want to. But I don’t have one. They’re so costly. We can’t afford’, I am sad.
Karan notices my sadness and it’s quite clear from his face that he is feeling pity for my condition. This moment, I see in his eyes the love for the poor and the needy persons, something I’m sure Karan must not have seen in his father’s eyes. I see the tiny droplets forming a shape in his eyes. He suddenly effaces them, as if he had noticed I’m watching those tiny droplets, and allows me to touch his books for the first time, ‘You can have my books. Please choose one for yourself.’
I am surprised by these words. Does he really want to give me the book? Is he so kind? Or is he a dumb guy I have come across ever? He trusts me, only after knowing me merely for half an hour. But I want to read one and now that the choice has been given to me, I want to make the wisest use of it. For a moment, I imagine my mother scolding me for stealing the book from ‘Karan baba’’s shelf. But hey, I’m not stealing anything. I will tell her that his Karan baba has only lent it to me. I now take a serious glance at the books- many are fiction and classics, and one or two are children’s books. What should I read? I am confused. After much speculation, I grab Sherlock Holmes in my hand. What made me grab it? I don’t know. But it looked different from the remaining other books. I open its pages and start sniffing them. Karan smiles at this and chuckles a little. ‘It’s heavenly, I know.’ My cheeks are red but I am glad he does the same. I have the book in my hand, but I don’t know what else to say. Karan gives me a pleasant look and it seems that he has regarded me as his ‘friend’. Soon, I see his hand extended towards me, ‘Friends?’ I am surprised. Does he really want to befriend me? I am glad but nervous too, for what my mother would think if she comes to know of our friendship. But it is good to make friends, isn’t it? I shake his hand and we’re friends now.
‘Have you ever thought of a name?’
‘Yes, for this collection of yours’, I chuckle.
‘Is it necessary’, Karan looks nervous.
‘Not really’, I make him calm. ‘But if I had such collection in my home, I would definitely name it.’
‘And what would you name it?’
‘The Bookland’, I reply instantly.
‘The Bookland’, it seems Karan’s not glad with this name. He thinks for a while and then speaks, ‘How about Talesminia?’
‘Tales what?’ I’m confused.
‘Talesminia’, Karan immediately begins writing the name on a piece of paper lying on the table close to his bed. I see his writing, beautiful as his face. ‘TALESMINIA’.
‘What does it mean?’ I ask, hoping to get an answer.
‘I don’t know. It just occurred to my mind’, my hopes of getting an answer are demolished in a second. ‘But we can create a meaning for it. Can’t we?’
I am surprised by it. I nod and then we begin to think of its meaning. ‘The Land of the Tales’, I come up with an idea.
‘Wonderful’ Karan exclaims, almost jumping on his feet. I chuckle at this and prepare myself to say a goodbye.
‘How will you take this book to your home? What if anyone sees you?’ Karan is nervous again.
‘Don’t worry, they won’t.’
‘How do you know?’
‘I never said that’, I smile at him. He thinks something for a while and then returns back to me, ‘Okay then, goodbye.’
‘Goodbye, Mr. Bookworm’, I say and immediately jump off the window, making sure no one hears my footsteps thumping so loud. I am nervous I’ve called Karan by a nickname, and now don’t know whether he liked it or not. I want to avert his gaze and run away, but I want to meet his eyes once. I turn back and look at him, he’s smiling. I move a little forward and prepare myself to run. He liked the name.
‘Mother, I’m going’, I shout but intentionally not so loud that my mother could hear my voice. And she doesn’t. She’s still busy in asking for the alms. I hold the book firmly and run away, imagining Karan’s gaze must be falling on me until I disappear.
* * *
‘Where did you get this book from?’ my mother shouts at me in my old-fashioned house which needs repairing. The doors are rusted from the bottom and the walls have cracks. The roof seems so weak it would fall on us anytime soon, it seems. It takes me a minute to bring my attention back to my mother, ‘Karan gave me the book.’
‘You’re lying’, my mother glares.
‘No, I am not.’
My mother snatches the book and keeps it in her drawer. I see her but have no courage to protest against her. The next thing I do is to go outside. I can hear my mother shouting my name and asking where I am going, but I won’t stop and I am running to Karan’s house, to tell him everything.
‘WHAT?’ Karan is shocked, as expected. I tell him everything and he decides to visit my house. I feel a little embarrassed as my house is not like his. I want to tell him the same but I don’t, thinking what he might think about me. Karan pays a visit to my home. He doesn’t make faces after seeing the walls and the roofs and the doors of the house. I am satisfied to see this, but more nervous about his meeting with my mother. My mother enters suddenly. ‘Karan baba? How come you’re here?’ Karan smiles and stares at my mother for a second. Then he stands up and says, ‘Don’t worry Shanti aunty. Nothing will happen.’ He looks at me and then at his book kept on a rack. ‘I have lent him that book. Please don’t think he has stolen it.’ My mother’s eyes widen. I can see she’s feeling guilty for doubting on me. Karan too sees her expression, but says nothing and reaches for his book. He picks it up and gives it to me. I see its corner has bent a little, but it doesn’t bother either of us. Karan greets my mother and after bidding a good bye to me, leaves for his home.
‘I’m sorry, son’, I can see my mother’s eyes twinkling with tears. ‘It’s okay, mother.’ I wipe her tears.
* * *
It has been two months now since our friendship. In a span of these two months, I have borrowed from Karan twelve books and have returned them after reading. It’s a great experience, I think. Our Talesminia is a wonderful place for both of us. I don’t only borrow books from him, but also tell him the ideas of my stories dwelling in my mind. I have also written a few and have shown him. He has praised all, except one in which I had sort of criticized Harry Potter. He didn’t seem good that day, but later told me that it wasn’t my story which had upset him. I had wanted to know his problem but he didn’t tell me. I am still eager to know about it as I see him drowned in his book, even if I’m present in his room.
‘Something’s bothering you, Mr. Bookworm’, I initiate the conversation.
‘What? What did you say?’ Karan hasn’t listened at first.
‘Something’s bothering you’, I repeat myself.
‘Ah! No, nothing.’
‘Are you sure you’re not gonna tell me?’ It seems that this question has pinched him somewhere. He closes his book and clears his throat.
‘Well, it’s my father’, he begins.
‘Okay. What about him?’
‘I have heard he wants to send me to the boarding school’, Karan’s voice is low. I notice his gaze is at the shoe rack attached to the almirah. The laces of his white shoes are a little grey, I can see.
‘But why?’ I’m still looking at the laces.
‘I don’t know’, Karan replies. But I’m sure that he must be developing his own reasons for the same.
‘Listen, don’t be…’ the door opens suddenly which interrupts in between. I see a face which is red with fury, looking at me. He is Karan’s father. He is breathing heavily. ‘How dare you enter my house? You scoundrel’, Karan’s father begins to approach towards me. His father hasn’t seen me for two months and has caught me for the first time in Karan’s room. I wonder if he never entered into his son’s room in these two months. Karan immediately comes in between, defending me. His father angers at him. But Karan seems adamant not to move away. I am watching him protesting against his own father for the first time. Is it good? I am confused.
‘How dare you?’ he slaps Karan who falls on the floor and then makes his way towards me. I am standing with Harry Potter’s third book in my hand, not moving an inch. Karan’s father snatches the book from me, throws it on the bed and reddens my both the cheeks. I cry but it seems it’s of no use. Karan screams and again emerges in my defence. ‘He’s my friend. Don’t harm him, he’s my friend.’ His father stops beating me and glares at him. I am afraid what he would do with him. But he just pushes him back and starts beating me again. Karan’s mother enters the room after listening to the noise. She too, like Karan, comes in my defense. This time, Karan’s father leaves me and looks at Karan for some time. ‘Please call Shanti’, he orders his wife.
In half an hour, my mother appears at the doorstep, only to listen bad words from Karan’s father and taking me back to my home, injured. Karan lies on his bed, crying for me. But he knows he won’t be able to do anything. Our Talesminia suffers a big loss, our company.
* * *
A week later, I am on my bed, down with fever. The doctor has advised a week’s bed rest which I feel is awkward. But I am no one to protest against it. Karan’s mother had given some money to my mother the day I met Karan for the first time. My mother gives some of them to the doctor as his fees. Karan’s mother is so generous, I think. I look at the branches hanging from the trees wobbling, with the leaves touching each other. The sound of the leaves remind me of that evening when I first met Karan, when I was climbing into his room and the leaves under my feet made the same sound. It is cold outside, I can feel. The chilly wind pinches my body as I have wrapped myself firmly under my blanket. My body’s temperature is not so hot but I feel what would happen if it happens so. Mother is coming towards me with a bottle of syrup. I try to lift myself up but in an attempt to help me get up from the resting position, mother increases her speed and twists her leg. She somehow grabs the edge of the bed and averts herself from falling, but that bottle of syrup, as we see it, is on the ground, broken, with the red liquid spread everywhere and now flowing towards the steps which go to the kitchen. I am less shocked to see it than my mother. Who puts her head into her hands, sobbing. I somehow manage to sit properly and tell my mother to go to Karan’s house and tell everything to his mother. ‘She will definitely help you’, I tell her.
‘What? You broke the bottle? Surely you must have done it for a purpose’, it’s Karan’s father standing at the door, chiding my mother.
‘No, sir. I didn’t…’
‘Just shut…’ Karan’s father is interrupted as he sees his wife giving the money to my mother. ‘What are you thinking you’re doing? It’s just because of you that this lady comes at our doorstep every time and annoys me. You’ll see, one day she will capture everything here and will leave us for nothing’, I have heard worst than this for my mother. My mother shudders and taking the money, she leaves.
I am surprised to see Karan standing to my bedside. He seems calm, but I know he is not. He is nervous and worried, and I know that’s because of me. I invite him to sit beside me, but he says he would rather take a chair.
‘How are you here?’ I ask.
‘Your mother came this morning to our house. I came to know of your illness. How are you now?’ Karan touches my forehead and immediately removes his hand. ‘You’re burning’, he tells.
‘I know. But I’ll be fine’, I assure. ‘How is Talesminia?’
‘It’s nothing without you, my friend. I miss your stories and always stare at the window, waiting for you to barge in from there’, we both laugh. I suddenly remember something.
‘Karan, how did you come to my house? Didn’t your father ask you anything?’
‘No, he didn’t. He’s not at home’, Karan tells me.
‘That’s great then. I wonder if I could read some books. Once I am normal, I will come to your house. All we need to do is to avert your father’s gaze’, I smile, but Karan doesn’t. I figure out there’s something he is hiding from me.
‘What is it?’
‘Tell me’, I insist.
Karan sighs, knowing that he can’t win against me, he begins, ‘I’m leaving/ for Varanasi.’
It comes as a big jolt to me. I feel myself wobbling in the air. ‘When? Why?’
‘Today, in the evening, for my further studies. I will live there with my maternal uncle’, Karan’s voice is low.
I don’t say anything at this. What can I say? There is nothing I can do in it. We can’t control anyone’s life, and we shouldn’t, I believe. With this belief, I don’t ask him to stay. ‘We will meet soon, I know’, I throw a smile, a fake smile.
‘You don’t need to put that plastic smile on your face, Rishi. I know it’s worst for you. And so it is for me too.’
My mother has arrived and I can hear her bangles clashing against each other.
‘Karan baba? How come you’re here? Don’t you have to catch your train?’
‘It’s in the evening. There’s still much time, Shanti aunty’, he smiles.
My mother comes to me and pours out the syrup in my mouth. As I get up, I see the broken bottle on the ground, still. The syrup has routed itself to the kitchen, and is now dried. I see it and then my mother, who’s all watching the same. She grabs a broom and a dustpan and clears the bottle. Karan lifts his feet a little up in the air, and puts it back on the ground when asked. The syrup has dried. Mother throws the remains of the bottle in the dustbin and washes the entire floor later, including the steps which lead to the kitchen. Karan and I watch the whole process silently. A few minutes later, Karan asks to leave. I try to get up and he lifts me up. I see in his eyes, that longing to meet me again. I also see him with the same desperation as his. He has mentioned that we would meet soon, but hasn’t mentioned when that ‘soon’ would come. I picture him in the moustache and the glasses fifteen years from now. A briefcase in his hand as he has arrived to meet me. Our Talesminia expanding larger than before, with many new books he has purchased in Varanasi. I come closer to him and we both hug each other. That warmth, that love of friendship, only we can feel. From the corner of my eye, I see my mother weeping. After a few minutes of transfer of affection from one heart to another, Karan leaves. I ask my mother not to cry, and she does the same, wiping her tears and sitting beside me, running her fingers on my hair.
* * *
I don’t know how the time has passed. It has passed so quickly, with a blink of an eye. Karan has come back from Varanasi, and it took him 12 years to pay the first visit to his hometown. He has stubble on his cheeks and is a taller man now, twenty one years old. He has carried his luggage and walks out of the station.
Everything has changed in the course of twelve years, Karan notices. There is a mill being constructed close to the station, where there used to be a lodge. The tree where birds use to sit and chirp for the whole day has been cut half. It has no leaves now. Karan is unable to find any familiar face and can’t find one. He goes to a tea stall where his father used to have tea before or after any journey.
‘Tea please’, Karan notices an unfamiliar face in the shop, not the one who used to greet his father whenever he asked him for a cup of tea.
‘Sure’, the man goes inside a dark room and returns later, wiping his hand in a gamchha. He then puts it around the kettle and pours the tea into an earthen cup. Karan takes a sip of it and then licks his lips.
Ten minutes later, when he has finished drinking tea, he leaves for the home, not his, but his friend Rishi’s.
Karan hires a taxi and sits inside. While on his way, he contemplates the changes arrived in the city in these years. Karan is amazed, and a smile appears on his face. He is enthusiastic when he thinks of meeting Rishi after a long time. Karan notices a dog sleeping under a car and the houses beautifully built. He sees the window of a house which reminds him of Talesminia. ‘It’s nothing without you’, he had said to Rishi. Karan is adamant to fight for Rishi with his father, if necessary, and wants Talesminia to continue. He believes Rishi to be a matured writer by now, who would tell him more realistic stories which he would love to listen.
The car halts and Karan comes back to the real world. He sees the fare and gives the amount to the taxi driver. He takes out his luggage and heads towards Rishi’s house. But he stops suddenly after taking a few steps. What he notices is there is a change in that area. New buildings have replaced the old houses. Though some are still there, but they are either empty or locked. Karan sees in one of the houses, the spider’s webs capturing the walls with spiders racing on them. He sees a narrow road leading to a lane. ‘This is the way’, Karan says and walks in the lane. A filthy smell compels him to cover his nose.
Karan stops when he stands in front of a house. The house is burnt, along with several other houses in that area, and a construction and repairing work is going on. There is a crowd gathered in front of a house which is not Rishi’s. Karan is shocked at this sight. He drops his luggage and runs to a charred house. A man sees him running and runs after him. Karan goes inside the house. All he can see is the ashes lying on the ground and the blackened woods lying everywhere. The walls and the ceiling have cracks and they’re all charred, along with the door and the windows. Karan’s eyes widen at the sight. He is shocked to see Rishi’s house in such state. He sees towards the charred and broken walls where he had witnessed the kitchen twelve years ago. There is nothing left there. Karan envisions Rishi and Shanti aunty sitting together and having their dinner. He envisions himself paying a visit to the ill Rishi. As Karan takes a step further, he notices something has come under his feet. Karan takes a step back and sees a few burned pages lying on the ground. He bents down and picks them up. Surely it must be of Rishi’s. Karan grabs his hair, throws himself on the floor and begins to cry, his head resting against the wall. The man sees him crying and holds his shoulder. Karan looks up and immediately effaces his tears.
‘How did…how did it happen?’
‘It all happened yesterday. A local riot broke off in the afternoon. The rioters burnt all the houses of this area’, the man tells.
‘There must be a guy living here with his mother. His name is Rishi and his mother is Shanti. Do you know where they are?’ Karan panicks.
‘Don’t know. Many succeeded in escaping and many died. Don’t know whom you are talking about. Pray to God. I hope they’re alive. I shall leave now’, the man leaves saying this.
Karan doesn’t know what to do. He had thought of apologizing Rishi for meeting him after so long. He is shattered now, not knowing where to go next. Ten minutes later, he rises up and goes outside, grabs his luggage and hires a taxi.
All his way, he is crying for Rishi and Shanti aunty. The driver watches him through the rear view mirror but says nothing. Twenty minutes later, the taxi halts as Karan looks outside. His own house is glittering with lights hanging from the balcony and others on the walls. There is some function going on. Karan sees many of his relatives going inside with the gifts in their hands. He hears someone saying that it’s a success party kept by his father. Karan’s eyes are red with fury. He develops an instant hate for his father. He believes that throughout his life, since he and Rishi became friends, all the events occurred in his life are the results of his father’s deeds. He decides not to meet his father ever again, the evil creature. Though he wants to see his mother, but decides not to step in that house ever again.
‘To the station’, he orders the driver.
He decides to move back to Varanasi, hoping that one day he would meet Rishi and revive Talesminia.
About the Author
Saiyed Farooq Jamal is pursuing B.A. Honours in English from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He writes short stories, mainly drama, and is also working on a novel.