Thursday, 14 April 2016

Spring in Mumbai


During the spring of 1925, from March 22nd to April 2nd,
"sensitive persons" dreamed deliriously of an Eldritch and non-Euclidean city and of the strange words - 
Cthulhu fhtagn


It was spring, and Mumbai was cooler than usual. A breeze was twisting, turning, and prancing playfully around crowded areas. The seaside was pleasantly warm and windy.
The sun, on its way down, had parked a little above the horizon, granting puny mortals one last chance to frolic as it sat watching, tired but satisfied with stuff in general.

A boy and a girl sat across the shorter side of an oblong table at a busy cafe. He looked like the apes he descended from - unkempt hair, bushy beard. She was like a small fox with a flowing mane. Both wore spectacles.

She had a ring on a finger on her right hand. It was golden, studded with small sparkling gems. The gold base twisted and folded upon itself in intricate and impossible knots, right out of Escher’s deepest, most vivid, but forgotten dreams.
The cafe was lit with Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling at different altitudes in different constellations.

“Note to self,” she said in her neon turquoise voice, “hide hands or wear gloves when you’re around.”
“Was that addressed to the world?”
“No, that was for me.”
“But you blurted it out.”
“I was thinking out loud.”
“You’re a note-blurter.”
“A what?”
“A note-blurter.”
“That’s mean.” she said, meditating on a brownie, “I signed up for Kickboxing classes. First thing tomorrow. 6 am.”
“Wait. Kickboxing?”
“Does that scare you?”
“Verily.”
“Already working, then. Interesting.” takes a sip of coffee. “How’s the new place?”
“It’s fine. Close to work, windy. Doesn’t have a water purifier, yet. Surviving on mineral water and mango juice.”
“I have to travel two hours to and from work - daily. You’re lucky. Didn’t you mention a balcony?”
“There’s that, yes. It’s actually an open terrace.” he said, fiddling with his glass of chai. “The sun has set. You want to head out?”
“Okay.”
They signalled a waiter for the bill, and unknowingly started a minor hustle among the waiting crowd.

The wind was sporadic in its movement, like an active child on an unusually strong sugar rush. The moon was big and red and gibbous, and it looked like a hare lay bleeding on its face. The tide was rising steadily, and waves were making a bit of a ruckus.
They were walking silently down the beach. He held her hand and brought it up to his face. Glimmering brightly under the crimson moonlight, the ring seemed to have come alive. A creature of light and void, it danced and changed form like a school of small shiny fish.
The wind grew stronger. Her hair whipped both their faces. A faint sound of muffled drums came gliding hypnotically from an indiscernible direction - DUB TUP DUP - DUB TUP DUP - accompanied by the wail of a broken flute.
The moon seemed to be emitting a long green trail of smoke and an aeroplane flew somewhere in a particularly loopy part of space emitting a drawn out sonorous moan that seemed to say - Cthulhu fhtagn - reminding the cosmos.
Something of unimaginable proportions rumbled in the depths of the Arabian Sea, sending large waves crashing upon themselves and flocks of pigeons flying into the infinite.


"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."
- H.P. Lovecraft

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