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The sea is the colour of mud. The clouds near the horizon are an aqua blue. The mind refuses to, maybe cannot, make sense of it all.

A bolt of lightning streaks across the sky. The clouds move towards the setting sun across the sea. The rumble of thunder is not far behind, a reminder of what’s leaving.

A lonely whistle, “phrrrrrr,” trying to herd people, can be heard in the distance. The yells of children chasing a ball make it seem a competition is in progress. “Kulfiiiii, kulfiiiiiye; kulfiiii, kulfiiiiye,” comes a voice from a man with a mustache wearing a white cap and red sbirt.

Children, with bare hands, digging holes in the sand that threaten to swallow them. Adults, with curvy tongues, slurping away at a kulfi layer by layer. The sea, with absolute calm, withdrawing into itself, wave by non-existent wave.

“Dhik-chak, dhik-chak, dhik-chak, dhik-chak,” two young men blare a metronomic trance number into the void. Behind them, a troupe of young people are practicing a dance, music and dance meeting for a few, fleeting seconds. “Poofpoofpoofpoof,” two feet pound away into the sand as they move past the scene at speed.

A paani-puri is crrrrunched by a set of teeth. A bike ssskidssss to a halt. The sounds all drowned by an insistent hoooorrrrrrrnnnn.

A mask as beard dyed in blue. A mask as a toy whirling across a finger. A mask as a mask drenched in breath.

A dog barks through a forest of busy feet. Another woofs in response and they are now in dialogue. The feet and the woofs dance across the sand.

“Look at the diversity here. This would be the perfect place for an anthropologist.”

A crescent shines, blurry, through a cloud. A cloud floats, dark, towards the horizon. The horizon burns, orange, a sliver of fire.


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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