Buskers in Rome

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Baarish (Rain)

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ye baarish gungunati thi

ye ghar ki khidkiyon ke kaanch par

ungliyon se likh jaati thi 

Translation:

the rain it used to hum, scribbling messages on glass panes

 

 

Paradox (Flash Fiction)

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The temple of a million gods stood proudly in the sun, its deities gleaming in the yellow light. The gods sat — immersed in their own pride — as priests chanted prayers and people prostrated. They paid no heed to the drummer, who played with single-minded focus — his rhythm a desperate plea for succour. His fingers throbbed as they relayed his thoughts…like the background score to some dismal picture playing in his mind. He beat his drum for hours together, eyes closed and covered in sweat. As the walls reverberated his grief, the gods sensed danger. Whatever had destroyed him would wreck the temple too. The ceiling groaned under its weight and the pillars shook. The gods commanded an early sunset and unleashed the rain, but the drummer played on. Terrified of being buried alive, they held on to the beams of the quivering structure. They discussed ways to pacify their young believer but couldn’t fight his fate. The man finally broke down and cried. The gods collectively sighed, realizing how close they had come to losing their place in the world. The next day — when the sun broke through the night — the drummer left the temple, but the pillars trapped his beat. The eternal rhythm played like a paradox, reminding the gods of that fateful day when the tables had turned…when the temple of a million gods had trembled before the might of a true believer.

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