Solar Tsunami(SS): Yo, anyone awake?

Memoirs of a Geisha (MG) rustles her skirt just a bit. Shifts her legs and goes back to being her pallid self.

Sithara -Telugu (ST): I am. Been awake along while. 

SS snaps back: Was that a joke? Coz am really in no mood for one. Ive been sitting here spewing what I can manage without seeing any light and you coming up with wisecracks! You are supposed to be up. Star and what not!

ST: You asked. I answered. And without the slightest frown, looks out the window at her fellow mates.

Meera Nair-Video(MNV): Anyone wants to read? I can read Video and other short stories for you. 

SS: Lady, we’ve heard  your Video since the time you’ve joined us here. January 2009 to be precise. So can you  can it already? 

MN shrieks and falls off the shelf. Hauls herself on her thick flat bottom and screams at ST: “How dare you? How dare you call me old!? You forgot the last time I threw you into the cold next to Waking the Dead. This time I’ll just Make You Eat your words 2.0. The 1.0 version is still bloated with what he chewed a few years ago! I was being helpful! “

5.8 tremor in DC(5.8) chimes in: MN, relax, SS is a firebrand; throwing sparks our way coz he’s losing his steam sitting here with us. Not getting any younger either. The man gets to flare rarely, and he did and then he got thrown in here to sit and not strut around with the scientists. Let him be!

SS: 5.8, speak for yourself. You’ve been hogging all the attention since the one random time DC shook the Richter scale. Pshaw, a few chairs fall down and you get a coveted spot right up there with us. The insanity! Raising your hand at every time the door opens, shouting “Me, Me, Pick me” while the rest of us wait our turn patiently!

7am Arivu: Hey, Stop squabbling! Watch me, I can juggle 6 balls while doing a headstand on a racing motorcycle! 

MN: NO ONE wants to watch you! Really! No one wants to watch you do your insane ancient 500 BC tricks. If we wanted to know history, we’d just have flipped Idiot Box to the channel? Sure, you look all ripped, but seriously how dumb are you thinking we’d fall for that going back in time to wage a biological war?!

7am looks sufficiently miffed.

ST sidles up to him and runs her long fingers up his arm, tracing his muscles. She bats her eyelashes and says “Bagunnava?”, to which 7am replies “Naan tamilan, I no speak telungu” 

Before ST could reply in subtler undertones on the common language needed to get a point across, there is a loud yell and they all knew whom that belonged to.

Rockstar jumps off the ledge above Idiot Box, landing between them all with his guitar. The electric one that was not plugged. Coz the director did not trust him with electricity, especially with so much magnetism between him and his belle sitting demurely with her pouting lips, puckered for an infidel kiss.

He breaks into a song

“Give me pain, make me weak and blind.

Give me love, of the forbidden kind!

Tear my heart open, with your strings.. “

MG murmurs softly rolling her now faded eyebrows: Argh! I have no idea what all the fuss is about. Rads loved me the most. She picked me up and read me twice,no thrice and lovingly started me off. Even quotes have been marked and typed out to be used in the review. 

Kuchipudi cannot bear the idiocy anymore, gets up from her cuddled corner with Surabhi. With a grace that transcends all dancers, she walks firmly over to Rockstar, pulls his guitar from him and brings it down witha  resounding crash on SS’s head.

Rockstar’s jaw drops. SS buckles and falls in a heap moaning.

There is silence in the room. It lasts a long time.

Time enough for Stealing Time, to actually feel  all embarrassed about having to steal time from the folks. It rarely happens. Coz, well, that’s her job. She is a stealer of time. But this one swift move from a usually docile Kuchipudi, has shattered all barriers and pulled down the masks on all.

Humko Man Ki Shaki Dena (HMKSD) starts singing her song. Everyone looks at her. They knew she always lost it when it came to discussions, asking them to empower themselves with singing the same verses again and again, but no one had any patience left for her.

Even Geisha’s white face registered a crack to show pink, while the rest went back to their appropriate reactions on Kuchipudi’s un-natural stance on Rockstar and SS.

Surabhi could not control it anymore. She giggles. In her usual modest demure manner, holding it all within her large bosom. Under appreciated dying brood, that is at once both happy and sad that every opportunity out on the stage could very well be their last. The pixels were looming large.

Next to her the Idiot Box starts a throaty gurgle, as the light flickers haltingly.

SS, beaten but undefeated gets on his knees. Holds Kuchipudi’s long braid in a grip that reminded her of her Draupadi role and wrenched her down. She yelps in pain. Sitara rushes in to help, but in her hurry, she kicks 5.8 in the gut.

5.8 is already quite upset and is shaking with rage at being shut down and was grinning with happiness at SS downfall. He does not appreciate the kick. It hurt him more and he grabs at Sitharam, who realizes that she could be swallowed with all those tremors and starts running. O what a sprinter she turned to be.

Watching the scene unfold, Geisha cowers in fear. MNV crawls over to her and they both hug each other, holding each other’s sweaty palms and holding onto dear life.

Rockstar had just about had it with the nonsense, and is filled with rage. Anger, sadness, angst and rage. Not in that order, coz well, he was a artist. Artists don’t care for order. He looks up at his lady love, now pale and weak in the throes of losing blood over him and his love, beckons to him with her still sparkly eyes. In one single leap, he crosses the distance and holds onto his lady love as she sinks into his hands. He lays down with her cuddled in the corner. Rumi’s words flashes across the Idiot Box. Rockstar smiles and hums his tune. One that only he would hear.

5.8 is now creating quite the rustle. Smaller unimportant nameless objects fall off shelves, giving out tiny inaudible protests and sighs as appropriate. SS has decided to huff and puff and let loose his solar flame in the general direction of cacaphony. That means the entire board and shelf.

Geisha’s makeup runs, and MNV’s corners wilt. They look at each other and shudder in disgust and sadness.

Smoked out, slowly, the entire cast falls down, weak against the wrath of each other.

Silence and stillness.

A civil war. Borne out of boredom, lethargy and apathy.


I open the dashboard and assess the situation. Filled with sadness and remorse, I sigh on the missed opportunities, of the words that could have been, the stories that would have regaled, the thoughts that would have spoken tomes. It is what it is.

With a swift move, I check them all, and hit Delete.


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7 replies on “shelf-lives”
  1. says: A&N

    How do you come up with these things? 🙂 I read it early in the morning on the phone and couldn’t comment.

    Hum Ko Mann ki Shakti Dena is one of my all time favourite songs. Brings a smile and tear to my face.

    1. says: rads

      Just saying bye silently wasn’t enough, so made them go in style! 😉

      I love that song absolutely. We sung it once a week at school, and then was so happy that it was run in Guddi.

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