At times like these, little Ram loved the big city. Big buildings, big buses, big cars, big billboards, and big, rich people. He was going to be big and rich one day. Much like Amithabh Bachchan, he was going to fight his way up the ladder through this big bad world of lies and deceit. He was going to wield guns, much the way Amitabh Bachchan did, and usurp all their wealth from corporators. It was a bad world, and Ram was going to have to fight fire with fire. Even as he stepped out of the theatre, he looked back at the larger than life face of his larger than life god looking at him encouragingly from the hoarding above the theatre entrance. You’ll have to work hard it seemed to tell him. You’ll have to be sincere about working hard, much like I am.
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The bar was crowded that evening. It was cold outside and the place was just warming up to the expectations of the evening: Already, the air was a potpourri of perfumes and alcohols. And sweat, as bodies on the dance floor gyrated and occasionally collided, somewhat in tune with the variations in the sound that filled every inch of the space. The bar was crowded with people, words, ideas, hopes and opportunities, and desires sifted through masses.
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The Street

There were whispers on the street that evening: whispers that floated from lips on faces that betrayed a great deal of need. Whispers of need; whispers that, as the evening progressed, would become cries of anguish and hunger and later pain. Some would be silenced by relief, if they could afford it. Others would remain till sleep or death silenced them. There were whispers on the street that evening, but no one was there to hear them.
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The soft, long fingers of a gentle breeze caress my hair; its moist lips plant teasing kisses across my face. And I feel very high.

Standing atop a thirteen story high building, I size up an arrowhead of pigeons fast approaching me, contemplating a Keanu-Reeves-look-ma-I-can-fly jump straight into them. But I wouldn’t make a difference, would I, if I did that? If I bent my knees and pushed myself off the ledge, straight at them, it wouldn’t affect anyone, would it?
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Summer had ended. Up, above the monotonously brown stretch of eight storied buildings, clouds now carpeted the sky. As far as we could see, from the buildings to the rocky hills on either side, not a single ray of light came through clouds unfiltered. The city was fast becoming dull.

Anuj grinned as he looked out the window. Spatula in hand, he stirred the poha gleefully. “It’s going to rain,” he said. Standing by the doorway, I told him to hurry the hell up. I was hungry.
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Arre Shiv. What is this? Your there is too much chilli in this daal. It is too thick. Go, add some water and a little curd, and then bring it. Yesterday, you didn’t put enough. Today you have put too much. Can’t you do anything right?”

Amma sat on a cane chair in her room, reclining on a cushion designed specifically to support her 84-year-old back. Her back had been giving her trouble for over six years now, ever since she had slipped in the bathroom. Oh, what a terrible fall that had been, and how bravely she had gotten through it all!
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The Only Freedom

Outside the peephole, Dioh was setting again. It would be dark soon. Jovah stood at the sill, his index finger slowly encircling the periphery of the circular peephole. Outside, the wind was picking up once again and a storm was on the rise. Dust, pebbles, rocks… men: nothing would be left unstirred in a couple of minutes. To remain outside would be to die, and yet some people were thinking of using this phenomenon for transportation. Jovah? No, he wasn’t thinking about the wind; he was thinking about the clanging noise in his head.
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