It was a dark night, the street was filled with shrill silence, no voice except that of a dog barking somewhere in a nearby lane was heard, and all the lamps of the streetlights were intact except one that was ceaselessly flickering. Vijju was sitting at the edge of a footpath. He was sleepless, his face was pale, eyes red and mind thoughtless. He constantly stared two of his friends who were sleeping on the footpath across the road, dead-tired.

All of sudden a car came speeding towards the pedestal; the driver seemed to have lost control and rushed to crush them both. Vijju ran to his friends who suddenly woke up to the hurtling sound of the motor-vehicle and were blinded by the bright flashing headlights.

It was all over very soon. Silence crept in again. The car now stood still in the middle of the street; its headlights blinked incessantly. The two friends startled by the mishap were breathless as they saw a shadowy figure walking away from them. One of them took out a dear friend’s photo from a small bag that he used as a pillow, while the other said, “I wish someone had saved Vijju the same way on that fateful night.” And they both saw Vijju gradually disappearing under the flickering lamp-post.

A Packet of Milk

I was getting late for office that day and was rushing back home on my bike after the morning routine when I saw a packet of milk right in the middle of the road. “Someone must have mistakenly dropped it”, I thought and slowed down a bit to find out who it was but couldn’t figure out and moved ahead. Then I thought of picking it up and giving it away to some child on the street who could satisfy his hunger. Having gone back and forth with this though once or twice I took a U-turn to pick up the milk packet lying unattended and just as I was getting closer, I saw a rider smashing the packet under his wheel. All the milk was scattered on the road before my eyes.

I gave an angry look to the biker but soon understood that it wasn’t his fault. He didn’t do that on purpose. My delay in making a decision was the real culprit. And I understood that all the good intentions make the least sense when you cannot take a decision in time.

Nazneen Kachwala

1st June 2019


Robed in white
posing pure
hearts malign
using Allah
to acquire
their God —
palaces, scents
velvet carpets
goblets of gold
gifts from fools
conferring them
as their heads
since ages long
and then by those
who pay them by
the sweat of their brows.
They turn brothers
against brothers
friends into foe
for their realm
shouldn’t go
the power hungry
write their own Quran
and preach with a fee
adorning it as spirituality
they who walk down the aisle
with men hired to
sing ode of their praises
how they enjoy the spree!
The curse casted
decades ago
shall continue
for decades more
the prudents care not
and the nincompoops
continue to grow
for they are blind to know
those disguised as swan
are in real crows.

© Nazneen Kachwala