Excerpt from the Novella ‘Introspection.’

(Note: This is a work in progress)

It’s you sister! Come, come in. No, don’t bother to remove your chappals. You don’t have to leave your footware outside the door. Why should you, my friend, worry about such formalities? Come right in. Sit anywhere you feel comfortable; consider this your own house only. I was surprised when the door-bell rang. I wasn’t expecting anyone at this hour in the afternoon. When I saw it was you I was elated. What? No, no you did not disturb me. No, I am not in the habit of enjoying an afternoon siesta. Don’t make yourself uneasy on that account. Wait, let me make you some tea… with ginger and cardamom; that’s how you like your tea, isn’t it? What was that you just said? My hearing isn’t very sharp sometimes. Forgive me if I ask you to repeat some things. Oh! I see. You tried to call to check if it was alright to come here at this time? The phone is out of order dear sister. I have lodged complaint after complaint; only God knows when they’ll come and repair it. Stop worrying about whether or not this was an appropriate hour to come on a visit. I told you I am happy to see you—very happy. Now wait a minute while I get you some tea. No, no; I need no help in the kitchen.

Here you are—nice hot tea. No, I won’t have a cup; I am not much of a tea-drinker. What! You came here by bus. My, my what will your son think! Travel alone!  With your heart condition. Ha ha ha, you say you thought it would be fun to go out into the city on your own! Oh, they had to attend that wedding—some relative on your daughter-in-law’s side, right? Yes, yes I remember now, you mentioned it last time we met for our bhajan session. They’ll be back later at night? Ah! So you have the entire afternoon and evening to yourself! That is good. Good! We can sit talking for hours.  Do you remember the last time you came with your daughter-in-law and grandson?  You were out shopping with them and had somehow convinced them to make a stop here.  You were hardly here a few minutes before they began reminding you that you all had to get going… you stayed for no more than fifteen minutes. That won’t happen today! Now, what do we talk about? What! You want to hear my story? You want to hear about my childhood, my youth? Really? That is what you want our conversation to be about? Well let me warn you there was nothing outstanding about my childhood and the days of my youth were downright boring. But anyway if you want to know, here it is…

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