Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Lasting Fragrance

He was waiting for the metro when her smooth arm stretched under his nose, as she pointed an exit to a passerby.  The sleek arm smelled of some exotic fruit unknown to him. It was so close to his face that he could lick it. But he didn’t, of course. He just let his gaze travel up, interrupted only by the small birthmark above her elbow and the black strap that lined her shoulder.

She stood by his side and the metro started, packed with people. Just a week into the big city and he was taken aback by the abundance of smooth limbs around him.  ‘Somebody needs to teach these things to the girls back home’, his soul cried.

Not just that, he was beginning to have well defined preferences over the city girls. There were at least three categories discernible to him. The first consisted of naïve looking girls who roamed in big groups, laughed often, and were very loud. The second type, which he liked the best, consisted of usually very pretty girls who moved in groups of two or three. They would walk gracefully, talking in muffled tones, their soft laughter sometimes spilling to reach curious ears like his. The third kind, which the woman standing by his side seemed to perfectly exemplify, was the one that unsettled him. Such women could move the way they liked, be surrounded with any number of people, but still remain just by themselves. They seemed to revel in the loneliness of a certain palpable arrogance. They would invariably be captivating, but you couldn’t imagine marrying them. They would just not pay attention to the people around them. ‘Why should your lot treat the world like that?' he wanted to ask the appetizing chit standing by his side. 'Why can’t you just look at me and acknowledge my presence? Why?’

Her dark kohl lined eyes were riveted to a thin bunch of printed sheets. The white light of the coach ran smooth along her cheeks.  

He could feel the rush of his blood. He was inflicted by a sharp urge to dig his fingers into her delicate neck, break the imaginary glass chambers that made her inaccessible as a goddess, and reduce her into a screaming, begging creature. ‘Should I teach you a lesson?’ he wanted to ask her. ‘Maybe I should. It would do you good. You would not ignore another man.'

The metro braked violently. He lost his balance and his face rammed into the metal pole in the front. Blood started oozing from his mouth. Nobody stirred.

He moved his tongue over his teeth to check if each one was in its place. He wiped his lips with his hands but he didn't have anything to wipe his hands with.

She touched his arm gently and handed him a tissue paper, new and very white.  

© Rasagya Kabra, July 31, 2011


  1. I really, really like the point of view you've taken on this one :)

  2. i'm really, really glad that you like it :)