Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Excerpts from an unpublished novel

It was Sunday, but it was also final exam week. And while her home would have definitely been a more quieter place
to study and focus on things, she had still decided to come over to the floor above and study at his house. And the
only reason behind this was not breakfast. It was also the fact that his encyclopedic knowledge of English literature
served as a ready-reckoner whenever she needed one.
“That’ll do… and also help! And not a moral lecture. Helping me learn something is not the same as doing my
“It’s exam week and I’d do anything within my capability to help you get good numbers — something which I did
not get.”
“What you serious? You? Did not get something like 70 percent or something?”
“It was a big doubt on everyone’s face believe me, when they saw my poorly 48. But then again, the one who did get
the only First Div went on to do her MA, MPhil, and PhD. And is now getting married and going off to live in…
get this… Nagpur.”
“And you are excellence preserved in a human body… and on the pages of a magazine.”
“You could make it more corny by adding, ‘and in the hearts of your readers’ you know?”
She had the prettiest laugh ever. You could see all her glistening white teeth shine through the big, yet not repulsive,
crevice between her two lips and when she raised her hand to cover it as her body shook all over, all he wanted to do
was go over and hug her close to himself. And yet, he never felt anything of anything for her. It was strange,
something people went to shrinks for.
“Listen, I need help with the Lit Theory paper. You up for that?”
“Fine then… get on with the breakfast, and I’ll get on with the books… just hurry up.”
She tried to go over and park herself by his bed, which was basically a mattress dumped on the floor. But it was the
only one seating area in the room which was parked against the corners of the walls, allowing for sufficient backrest.
And again, technically, it was not his bed. It was like a sofa-cum-dumpster for when “people” came. But it was also
the place where he crashed. Everyday.

And since he never got around to making it decent for the “people” who came over, it was always a crumpled mess.
Normally she would run her hands through the covers and pillows to make it human again, but today there was no
time on hand to get into housekeeping. She dropped her books on one side and threw herself to the other — and
the next minute she found herself lying down on it completely, using her hands to cover her face, with her legs
crumpled all over her. She had two dogs glaring over her, their mouth in what he called a “lip smile” position,
which was the one where the four canines were clearly visible, and they had that thundering roar going on non-stop
mode from within. The third one was sitting at the other side of the bed, trying to investigate the books that had landed on her head.

He came running out of the kitchen on hearing the commotion and demanded to know what was going on.
“They were under the blankets. I had no idea!”
“Oh ya, well, they do that a lot. You should check. Pepsi, Sprite… come on, get off her. She’s sorry!”
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry… I really didn’t know that you’ll were under there… Please…”
And the dogs pulled back. They joined Limca in the book investigation as Jigyasa pulled herself up again. She loved
the dogs and they loved her too, but what had happened right then was a little scary.
“What on earth where they doing under the blanket?”
“It’s cold… they always stay under the blanket when its cold.”
“What do you mean they always stay under the blanket?”
“They sleep with me na… so they normally don’t leave the blanket after I get up!”
“You sleep with them? Ewwww… Why?”
“Ok, no dog, no opinion… alright? And if you must know, my dogs are my life. So forget sleeping with them, I
share food, and wouldn’t even think twice if I have to eat from their dishes… you get me?”
“That’s just gross! The germs and all, don’t you mind?”
“No, I don’t. I’m telling you, they mean everything to me.”
“Why do they mean everything to you?”
“What kind of a question is that?”
“I mean, I’m sure there are other people in your life… your father, mother, siblings, other relationships… why the

A few words there did not seem right for him. He didn’t like it. He had not been liking it from the time that she
had started raising aspersions about his relationship with his dogs, but somehow now she had crossed the line.

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