Over the edge

“Drink another one.Drink!”
He gave her a slight push, and she crumbled on the marbled floor like a China doll. Overpowering her with all his might, he forced yet another drink down her throat.
Her tears united with the alcohol, and her painful screams were covered by his satanic laughter.

It was their daily routine, monotonous, yet something she could never get used to.
Their neighbours however, had.

Every day, he would burn her throat with cheap alcohol. Then, he would violently undress her soul, leave marks of his teeth on it. He would rip it apart piece by piece like a hyena and every day it would hurt more than the previous day.

She was supposed to be getting used to this. Her mother had said she needed to, it would make her a good wife, but she couldn’t. How could anyone?

All she wished for was to abscond, away from this monster, but she also knew this was a far fetched dream. He was always around…always.
She could feel his breath on her face, even when she slept. She slept rarely.
He haunted her in the other world too.

“Aaahh!”, she cried as he pulled her up by her dull dark hair.
“Shhh shhh. No noise, okay?” he whispered while dragging her to the mahogany dining table.
They rarely ate there.

They rarely sat and talked.
They rarely laughed.
They never made love.

“Stop, pleaaassee, stop!”, she begged.

“I won’t. Can you do anything about it? No! No, you cannot. Because you are my wife. You are supposed to do what I want you to do, all your bloody life!”

Did she want to do what he wanted to do all her life? She didn’t. Did she want to spend her entire life crying and begging for mercy? She didn’t. She needed to go over the Edge and take a step.
So she did.

And the house roared with satanic laughter again, as she stood with a broken bottle that no longer reeked of cheap alcohol, but of the monster’s blood.



Cross legged, I sat on the sidelines adoring the wind fondle with every strand of his dark hair. I loved how drops of sweat would travel the length of his face and take cover in his medium stubble as he did the one thing that made him ecstatic. I loved watching him play football, because the zeal he would instantly acquire during football was like no other. It would make me forget to realise that football was a sport that required group efforts. I would forget that there were other players on the field. An imaginary limelight would fall on him and I’d find myself staring at him like my eyes had been glued.
He was a mosaic, broken, yet a work of art and I was an aesthete falling in love with every little perfect imperfection.


“What are you doing?”

Before I knew it, a boy, around six or seven of age, walked over to me. He was dressed in a shabby old t-shirt – color of which had gone from red to muddy brown – and three quarter pants that had been patched up several times. He had no slippers. His feet were covered in sand from the construction site nearby. I immediately made a presumption that he was one of the many children whose parents worked as laborers and lived in temporary aluminium roofed dwellings.

“Madam, you better save your life and go back to where you came from” he said with his facial expressions mimicking Salman Khan.

It was perhaps the cutest threat I had received in twenty years. Like an idiot, I giggled.

“Go go, run away!”, he yelled in a vain attempt to sound angry.
“I can’t”
“I can’t leave without my man”

I pointed at more similar little boys who had my best friend in their custody. They stood around him like this was Chipko Movement 2.

“Your man?” the boy questioned with raised eyebrows.
“Yeah, he’s mine. Now, can you please tell your boys to allow him to leave?”

“No madam, you leave. He will either give us Rs.50 or he will not leave today”

This adorable little bully had both me and my best friend smiling away. He also reminded me of what we had learnt in class an hour ago.

“Assault can be anything that creates fear in the mind of another. It can be a threat, showing of fist so on and so forth. However, there should be capability.
For example, if a small boy threatens an adult, that if he does not leave, he will be hurt, it is not assault, because of lack of capability”

“Ishita?” a familiar voice brought me back to the moment.

I looked up to see my best friend, with his palms covering his mouth. He was giggling like a toddler.

“Yeah? How do you feel? Being bullied by children?” I said.
“This is pretty fun. We made a deal” he replied with a grin.

“A deal?”
“Yeah, they said, if I promise to bring them each a pair of slippers tomorrow, they will let me leave today. I agreed”

“Ahan? Well, let’s get going then. We need find a store before the sun sets!”


Today, I fell in love with a stranger, a stranger who snuck into my life in the dead of night, and stealthily stole myself from me.

Today, I fell in love with a stranger,  and he is unlike them all. He is one who plants on my round face not kisses of adulation but of sarcastic humor.

He whispers into my ears not words of love but of wisdom. He challenges every thought of mine. He proves me wrong and it is peculiarly pleasurable.

He is a myriad of mysteries, arousing my curiosity as he speaks.He drives me insane.

Every time his lips part to say my name, I feel his hands on my dull face, gently caressing it. My lifeless body revives the minute we begin conversing and as soon as he bids me farewell, my body disintegrates to ashes.

Come back, oh stranger!