City Vox Popili – A Life in Sarthak’s Day, Khan Market
As part of The Delhi Walla series asking citizens to “write down everything you did in one day.” Send yours in 400 words max to email@example.com
[Photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]
[By Sarthak Kaul, a trans-Yamuna writer]
I wake up, crawl out of my bed and bow down to the source. I press my hands together and thank existence for giving its object another day.
After the breakfast I board the auto for the nearest metro station—Mayur Vihar Extension. The driver tells me about his guru and his knowledge of the Upanishad.
Picking out my favorite corner at a quaint, quiet coffee shop in Khan Market, I pull out a thick notepad and my lucky mascot — Mr. Reynolds.
“Your usual order, sir?” The apron-clad young waiter asks.
“No coffee for today. Let’s go with a light Earl Grey Tea,” I say.
The cafe is brimming with desis, expats and youngins. I sink my nose down into the blank sheet of paper and get down to business.
I am writing short stories inspired by Proust and Bradbury. I have decided to turn them into a collection called Remembrance of Things Present.
I am penning Sheh-re-Khamosh (City of Silence), a story that came to me in a dream. The outline is ready. The characters are yet to come alive.
Two women walk in. They sit near my table, asking for two tall lattes, two buttered croissants, and two Blueberry cake slices.
“Let me tell you, men will be the end of me,” she says.
“That’s because you end up with the bad ones,” the other says.
I jot down: “Two identical twins. Lost their father early. Single-mother household. Boy trouble. Back in town one last time. Small-town traveling circus. Ghosts from the past. Generational curse. The moment of truth.”
The two women continue chatting while I have taken off into a dimension far, far away.
Hours pass in what seems minutes to me.
“Sir, we will be closing soon. Can I get your bill ready?” The young waiter asks me.
“Yes, please bring it over and some spare change too.”
“I don’t see people use pen and paper these days. Are you a writer?”
“No, I just listen.”
I put my things into my bag and take a cab home to Vasundhara Enclave. The city is dead silent. Crawling back into my single bed, I bow down to the source. I press my hands together and thank existence for giving its object another day.