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October 2019 Vol. 15 No. 3

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Salil Chaturvedi


It’s late afternoon and the rain has let up, though the sky is a dense grey. Taking our chances, we decide to step out and make a circuit of the island where we have lived for the past few years. We stop by a house that has a large padlock on its front gate. The lock is covered with a plastic pouch to protect it from the four-month monsoon, but I notice it is already half-filled with water after the first week’s showers.

Blades of a monsoon grass bend through the iron railings of the front gate, as if peeking curiously into the compound. A line of red ants scurries over the driveway’s moss mosaic. At my foot I see a green-coloured spider pulling gossamer from the metal gate to a nearby shrub. Suddenly, a tiny blue butterfly alights on the large board on the gate and opens and closes its wings. The board promises direly: Trespassers WILL BE Prosecuted.

cloud rumble
a flying duck
looks upward