the short story project


Brajesh Singh

The Room

There is a girl in the room. There is a boy in the room. A room, locked from the inside.

Footnote: Having a girl and a boy alone in a room doesn’t necessarily mean this story is obscene.

The girl searches for an abode in the boy’s arms. The boy plucks his eyelashes to make a nest. Silent lips, while eyes do all the talking. The girl’s eyes are laden with a long story that continues infinitely. The boy has created a bizarre painting in his own eyes. Her lips, his paint.

The girl sees an apparition of a child in the boy’s eyes. The child cackles seeing her. His cackling is the world’s greatest poem for the girl’s ears. She says to the boy, “You, are the greatest poet in the world.” But the boy’s ears are cluttered with a myriad of noises. The din is horrible. It is a clamour of madmen, conspiring to end the world, on the other side of the door. Infinite noises surround the boy as he is lost in a reverie.

The madmen on the other side are smashing countless lifeless infants on the door, snatched right from the bellies of their mothers: The ‘bad women’. The boy’s reverie is ending now. The din is getting intolerable. His eyes are coming out of their sockets. From the holes now formed, an infant is born. He chuckles and dies in the girl’s arms.

The girl cries as the smashing on the door increases. The door then breaks, the crowd then enters. Unborn infants from the world around, in search of the ever-elusive sleep are digging their graves on the body of the girl; on the body of the boy.

Infants, who wish to be storytellers, who wish to be poets, who wish to be artists. Infants, who wish to dance on a mermaid’s tail, who wish to revel in an unending utopia. Who do not want to be a part of this mad crowd? A crowd covered in vomit. Vomit induced by the rotting corpses of a boy, of a girl.

The rotting corpses are making the crowd lose control. Tumult turns into anarchy and then into self-destruction. The unborn children laugh their lungs out. Walls collapse under the burden of shame, disgust.

The crowd diminishes. The boy and the girl dream of a cradle.

Originally Written in Hindi By Me

Translated by: Siddharth Tyagi 


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