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Not the 9-to-5 type conversations

What do you do? B, the choreographer, asked .

Right now, i take care of my parents, L answered honestly. B’s head tilted slightly.

One’s expired, the other is still around, L added to further impress with his honesty. Much more that what B had hoped for. B continued smiling, L looked down.

How does one connect with you when one is in your city? L asked her just before leaving.

I guess you could call me, B replied.

Ah, it ends well,  I thought, despite L’s honest ways.

I am a life coach, H said.

Not a life-style coach? me.


And what does a life-style coach do?  

I can tell you what a life coach does, H answered despite her irritation. But i didn’t care. A life coach, so common – bah!

This is really good, I admitted to O, feeling envious of N.

N, the videographer artist, O’s new interest.  

And he also washes dishes once he finishes cooking, O added. 

He also puts them back in the shelf, H added from the other end. I bent my lips into a bow, fake admiration for N.

Till N added, way to a woman’s heart too is through food

O looked at me, I looked at O. N had just blown it. We began laughing together at the same time. Now N didn’t look so smug.

H shrugged – a ‘you can’t have it all’ shrug.

I feel like dancing – She wasn’t from town.

I shall play the drums – He wasn’t either

We can chant – They belonged to the city. One born, the other shifted here as a child.

Why don’t you dance? She asked me.

No – i said it with a smile.  

I will make sure you are not uncomfortable – She began moving.

That moment i wanted to dance, show her how uncomfortable i could make her. The moment passed. She danced, he played drums, their lips moved. I rose and left the room i clearly did not belong in.  

I don’t want to stay in the city – O used to be a management guru earning in 6-figures, 10 years ago.  

But you will keep the Malabar hill house? – S had his own ups & downs, mostly downs.

It’s a way to stay connected – O had parents here, though they lived in a different apartment.

But you want to stay in a village, right? If the house was his, S would have always stayed there.  

All the more reason, O said as she looked out of the window.   

O’s eyes shone. S knew then she could never stay in a village. He also realised he would never own such a house.

Oh hello! H said as she walked into the house.

Hi, i replied on autopilot.

You seem pre-occupied, H stared at me. She did that when i wasn’t looking or so she thought.

Nah, just busy with work, i muttered before walking away.

What’s she doing here ? i asked O in the kitchen.

She’s here to meditate with me, O replied defensively.

On a Monday morning? The question just slipped out of my mouth. O looked irritated. After all it was her house.

I realised i had goofed up. I walked up to H in the hall.

Thanks for the ice-cream yesterday.

Thanks for dropping me home, O said & stared.

I sat down. Almost. This wouldn’t work. Not now not ever. So i turned & walked out. I never saw H after that.


Published by appamprawns

soni writes about children and people in controlled spaces, in his quest for appam stew. homi writes in the hope of being able to buy prawns to make patiyo.

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