☛ Submission for October, 2024 issue (Vol. 5, No. 2) is going on. The last date for submission is 30 September, 2024.




(In Memory of Riya Sharma Nampoothiri)

-       Tapan Kumar Pradhan (India)


Mrs and Mr Namboori have been at it since twenty years;

he on the wrong side of forty, she on the right, still pretty,

though past prime - as for him, age not a factor for a man

despite the balding pate, paunch in waist, delay in erection,

it never dampened the love part a bit, rather it just freed

one of the obsession with the latex, the pills and calendar.


So it starts with a quick smooch on the cheeks – aw, how dry

and rough the skin’s become – so smooth just a decade ago,

like Valsa’s – new office secretary, always in minis, all thighs,

all of twenty-two years, joined last week only, and see old baldie

calling her to cabin ten times a day – bloody scumbag ! rascal

will promote her in six months as Personal Manager. Just see,

bastard’s denying me promotion since seven years, Seven Years! 

His blood boils, as he runs his fingers through the tangled hairs,

sticky with oil and sweat - Aw, how soft and silky were Pinkie’s,

light and brown - His name was linked to Pinkie’s, whole college knew

Pinkie knew it too! But ahh, just he could never express his feelings –

She married that fat lawyer, still she attends all parties, still as fresh

as in college, Think! She could’ve been all his! Ah, destiny, Destiny

His heart beats faster, and faster, as he bites her, claws her, kneads her

strangles her – all his yellow black angry biles he sprays onto her.


She also knows a thing or two about love, though she never tried

those DVDs - she felt so disgusting when Namboori showed her

those picture books, when they failed to do it even after six months

(then it happened suddenly, never stopped since) she always kept

things simple, never liked to be on top, always allowed him to take


Full control. And so every night the story gets repeated – Ohh don’t

be naughty now, you oldie, your hairs are all turning white. Today

milk maid came late, Minoo’s on long leave, who’ll do the washing

and cleaning, Somu had fever, nah didn’t go to school – Ranu’s

periods are delayed again, she had a bad temper, should get her

married off at earliest. Savitri again fought with neighbours, shame

matter gone to court. When are you buying me that diamond earring,

you cheat, you’ve been promising for last fifteen years... Ouch!  aah,

don’t touch me there, you brute! It’s hurting, swollen since last night,

you…ugly, why don’t you shave yourself before you touch me, you...


*** *** ***


Oh…Aaah, it is drizzling outside – you can see

the lightning before the thunder strikes – umooooh!

The first time it was like an earth quake, oh me 

Now it’s more like little tremors here and there

Oh my…, one does get used to it…ummhh, oh!