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October 2018, vol 14 no 3

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Salil Chaturvedi

Empty Handed

It’s a good stone – flat and round, not too large, not too small, just the right size and smoothness. I run my finger along the curve of the stone, deriving a pleasure from it. Surveying the rocks on the far side of the blue-green pool I toss the stone in my palm a few times. From the corner of my eyes I can see the shadows of the big fish moving at the bottom of the pool. I take some time to decide on a spot and once I am sure I fix my gaze, twist my waist and in a flash skip the stone across the pool, aiming for the large grey rock that has a tree growing beside it. The stone punctuates the water with short white puffs –
one. . . . . . . . . . . . . two…… three. . . four-five-six-seven-eightnineteneleven.
Strangely, I can still feel the stone in my hand.

autumn dusk –
the valley fills up
with emptiness