Sunday, December 17, 2006

Still Life with Cake

This is New York but it could be anywhere. A Hungarian café just around the corner from Columbia University. Dimly lit and close, it has the small dark warmth of a cave. A sharp scent of coffee slices the air as I walk in. I am here to meet a friend but he is running late so I order some blueberry cinnamon cake and go and sit at the back, among the dry murmurs of the lamps. The place is crowded with shoulders as students stoop over books, studying for their finals. It's the week before Christmas and exams loom overhead. A soft swirl of voices travels through the room. The accents are lost on me but I catch the familiar sounds of stress, those innocent noises of fervent despair, that grow in these hours as time runs out and words thicken on the page. I eat my cake and look at my watch. At a nearby table, a couple eat a sandwich with a knife and fork. This could be anywhere but it is New York.


Blogger Anjum said...

*grins* it's poetry in the form of prose. I like your capture of the moment.. welcome back to NYC.

9:13 AM  
Blogger mystic-soul said...

I think you should blog more often.

I liked your blog should express main lafzon ko insaanon se ziyada sabat hai.

2:52 PM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.

6:19 PM  
Blogger baj said...

re post below - what fresh books?! interro-report!

2:12 PM  
Blogger The Usual Suspect said...

You speak of new york.. i'm thinkin karachi these days... yeap.. going in a month or so insha'Allah... cant wait man!

4:26 PM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

baj - have you read laurie halse anderson's speak?

binje: hiya buddy. karachi is wonderful this time of year. make sure you have the date milkshake from sialkot milkhouse in bahadurabad!

12:49 PM  
Blogger Sujatha Bagal said...

"Exams loom overhead"? My mind said "in the distance" even as it read "loom". Made me stop and think.

7:35 PM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

Sujatha: actually, they both work. I think I just translated it literally from the Urdu; exams sar pe hain.

8:11 AM  

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