Kitchen — sink.

Washing dishes can bring to fore questions not yet pondered upon, that of sun rising behind a hill or sun setting as seen from a cafe next to the sea, the diffused yellow light making all the things on the table seem unthreatening, almost lovable, as opposed to now when the yellow of the arhar dal stuck to the bottom of the pan reminds you of all that has not been accomplished.

Failure permeates the grime, the ground coffee mixed with water forms a layer on the sink maybe because of oil from the fried fish, the left over grains of rice stuck to the pressure cooker or the slippery egg on the wooden spatula that refuses to dissolve in soap is a ready metaphor for the terrain you navigate daily; then eyes turn glassy and mind rushes through streets of virtual information, it jealously encounters acquaintances who have tenured jobs, and those who are sitting in Shakespeare & Co. in Paris, or the ones with their feet in the sea in Trivandrum, those with published papers or dissertations, those who run their own lives, those who only deal in intellect and not in the slipperiness of dirty dishes.

Then the sink clogs, the drain is darkness, darkness akin to that of a publisher or agent’s silence, you use the spoon to probe, see what the malaise is, but instead of releasing water, it throws up more of it in the sink, now onion peel, broken rice, pieces of fish flesh and green leaves of coriander are floating about, as you try to sift them out with fingers, controlling revulsion, it reminds you of the failed attempts at striking a conversation with a commissioning editor at a book launch, a curly haired woman who was obviously more interested in the tortilla chips and salsa than your book, and who later rejected you saying that she ‘does not quite get your story’, maybe there isn’t enough salsa in the story, you wonder, and finally the water is receding into the drain, maybe this is sign that today someone will reply, maybe today someone will see that there is not story being told, nothing is being told, that what has been written is an incomplete book of life, without imposing events or narrative, maybe…in the end the stains of coffee on the steel sink are rubbed away with palms.