The Grave Fog fell on the nothing new.  120 steps, 15 rupees rickshaw, an id check and into that paradise of only girls, girly girls, to-be-feminists girls, sporty girls and girls and only girls. Grave Fog wrapped heavily around the gate and the world it enclosed that day. The check posts could easily be betrayed. Insignificant id checks were rendered impossible as girls sneaked their boyfriends, guy friends, short-haired girl friends and what not into that ambit of anything of intriguing interest to those on the other side of the imposingly high walls and the gritty gate.  Fog and mufflers helped the unexpected expats from revealing their anonymous identity.

The big, blooming, buzzing, bamboozling world of Miranda House had become a cathartic jungle of love, hate and jealousy. Almost suddenly due to this influx of expats there were lusty lionesses, chirpy birds, meek mice with nervously longing hearts, and wily foxes who appeared to not give a damn but in the knots of their pulmonary arteries they pined and conspired.

Anxious Authority scurried along the walls, like moles, to handle the situation at hand.  Anxious Authority, after all, had no other work.  While the expats and the inmates came closer to be heard over the din, the moles’ scurrying and scuttling nails could be heard scratching against the walls and at the backs of the suspects. What worried them the most was the Grave Fog adamantly refused to disperse? A funny sight and a serious situation. Grave Fog proved to be a feminine-o-phile as well. 

Near the Mushrooms of these jungles, Nelly sat with a book open on her lap. She sighed. She looked around. She sighed. She turned to the book.  Looked up again, sighed, and returned to the book. Looked up yet again, sighed ever so loud, sighed again and buried her face in the book. The book smelt nothing new. The smell of the book distracted her for a moment; the smell of Paracetamol, yes that is what is was.  But nothing could distract her from sighing for long. Something moved in the bushes behind her. But that did not surprise her. There were smiles, laughter, sighs, moans everywhere today. What surprised her was that out of the blue out of the fog a specter asked her what she was reading. 

“Dorian Gray,” replied the absent-minded, surprised, hyper alert Nelly.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray…Oscar Wilde…Can I have a look?” said the puppy-faced male expat.

Before Nelly could utter a “yeah sure”, her unsteady hands had already stretched to hand over the book to that creature from Mars. Of course that is a different thing that a something blocked her throat making it impossible for her to utter anything without quivering. She cursed the Grave Fog with all heart.

“You don’t seem to like the book very much.”


“Your sighs could awake the Devil sleeping in the depths of Hell.”

Nelly shrugged her shoulders, ignored the comment, flipped her head to the other side and out of her bag fished out a copy of I don’t know what.

“What’s that?” asked the inquisitive creature. Silence. “Okay…Can you help me get out of this place?”

Creature begging for help. Creature pinned down. Creature can be helped.  Startled from her reverie, Nelly set to and rendered him every assistance known to an old Girl Guide. She could think of nothing more, she dragged him out of the mushrooms, through their respective dangerous species, turning a deaf ear to the rhythmic roars of laughter, to the benthonic banter, and the chilling chatter. She pushed, pulled, prodded, shoved and finally kissed him goodbye out of the gritty gates of Paradise.

 Seems like Anxious Authority did find an agent in Nelly.


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