Night Stories

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The No Backspace Project started a few years ago when my mother gifted me a typewriter. Away in the little corner of my room, my fingers were not merciful with the obstinate key top. I loved rolling the platen knob, seeing how my words leapt into the next line. Though I seemed to be in control, the typewriter had its share of command too, it made me a very broody writer. I used to hear each word in my mind and convinced myself to follow my stream of my conscience.  At first, it was a challenge to just write whats on my mind without editing it but soon became liberal.  All until, the typewriter’s ribbon dried out and it lead to random babblings.

Soon these little conversations became monologues especially recorded at late nights, somewhere always by a lake. One of my memorable moments was when my friend and I whizzed away on a scooter and she recorded all the random lines that came to my mind on a cold lonely bridge. Thats when it all started, penning down the last few thoughts before going to bed. And when I woke up, I could never understand what I truly meant. Unlike the night that lingers with many mysteries, I loved waking up in the mornings to know what was yesterday like again. The winter is winding up here, and late night strolls have become far more pleasant. Ive enjoyed a few interesting walks lately these days, the ones that make me reach out for a pen to write before the night retires to a slumber with me.

Happy reading

Utterly Nothing

This is nothing profound.
In fact, nothing related to those words, the one where you picture road rides in your mind when you walk through a desolated tunnel. The one that awakens you from a slumber, thats not worthwhile. Its an incessant thought, flickered by a light that lit a bathroom. Shed a light on the face that revealed a face creviced with imperfections. The one that makes you see traces of your iris, and swallows you into what you saw that day.

He was tired, he faced a night that led to the turbulence of sheets, a fight with monsters that never hid under the bed but hovered in the air. He sought for the sun, to board a train to take him elsewhere. And so as the man, elsewhere. The fate of the rails and time.

She was tired, she faced a night that led to the turbulence of sheets, a fight with monsters that never hid under the bed but hovered in the air. She did not seek the sun, she hoped the night stayed ageless and she hoped work would be swallowed in the misery of darkness. And so as the woman, elsewhere. The fate of appointments and time.

He met a man on a train. A man who saved a few shillings for a woman he thought hed make a home with. While, he is a man who saved no coins for any woman, for he knew hell make no home for himself. Not yet. But they both wanted to travel for they felt a home was for those who were settled. But were they drifters?

She met a woman at the hotel. A woman who pursued a job in which she thought shell fight the imposed love with. While, she is woman who saw love as a job to execute. Work tamed her sentiments. Not yet they said to themselves, but they both wanted to marry and not let their hearts retire. But were they romantics?

The woman and the man had no company.

He and she were in a car. Shared stories of the rendezvous about the man and woman. The two saw the traits among their seconds-formed friends. Looked at each other’s eyes and said how they saw the man in and woman in their eyes. Little did they know how much they mirrored themselves for they had a certain company the man and woman never had.


Her toes are in pain just like the strangled asparagus in her kitchen. Shes twirled in her skirt enough, and shes had a few ciders here and there. There are a few who slur some old football cheer and she hears music from the buried earphones in here purse. Shes tired of sucking her tummy in and she slowly slumps, hiding a majority of herself under the table. Its wild tonight she thinks, the bartenders are getting away with a few sloppy froths, a few inebriated ones walk into tall mirrors. Misery loved its company under sallow lights but not her tapping feet. Two one three, three two one.
Slam, she walks out of the pub, scurrying through the smog of cigarette fumes.  The moons full tonight.

She puts on her coat and feels the chill ride up her naked legs. The streets are silent, and someone plays music. The night never disappointed her with its cold-hearted spirit. With her clicking heels, she trots across the zebra crossing.  In a very burlesque fashion, she takes off her coat. Stretching out her legs, she flounces her hair and pauses in a stance with very pointed toes. She's tempted to break into a jete. There are a few who want to have a look, and she know shes not on a musical set but she knows she's never meant to be here, she's just a no one. The music crescendos, her aim tenderly flails, she likes the twangs of the guitar. The heel scrapes against the pavement. She imagines a childhood waltz with her teenage crush and she trots away to the nearby garden. Cold, naked trees. She takes off her shoes and buries her feet in the soil. Filth on her bare sole.
She stood still. 

Where to
Where to

Up top, in a space barred by the glum trees.
Her window was slightly ajar, and it welcomed the cries of an infant next door. While at night she could peer into another window, and see the silhouettes of a couple fondly embracing each other, she only felt the blossoming tree was imposing. She hated spring, the winter branches reminded her of herself. Solitary and fearsome to fight the chills that could not snap her off, but the blossom defied her. In the end ,one has to be happy, or content. It all felt so disrupted.

Crash, a book was flung at the window, a rage of hers wasnt for hers to control.
Slapped against the resolute window, the book slightly cracked the window. She imagined the jaded cuts that would look unpleasant against the beautiful tree, but it didn’t. In that moment she felt her toes sink into the worn out sole of her shoes, a chill on her prickled skin, the heaviness of her breasts, a touch from the past, she could only run.

Where to
Where to

She opens the door to a pub nestled in a corner.
It all started from nowhere.
There are no steps to take back
One, three two. Three, two one.

Her toes curl and squirm, her sole is filthy


Isn’t a shame, we never imagined our days in the past. Apparently those days, men went out for wars, some died, some women were widowed. Some learned to live in tents, a few abhorred the existence of children, while some wondered which one of theirs may die, or wonder when they would die.
I’m in a room, high raised walls, it’s dappled with many papers. I hear merry voices, glasses clinking, students rolling up their tobacco. I looked up, I see inhibitions lost as many let go of their staid neck set straight. They’re violently shaking up to the music, beer cans crumpled by their uncontrollable feet.
I sit cross-legged, watching them all, I’ve had two glasses of wine, and I am not happy. I’m fulfilled, but in deep tears of how my moment is running out. I hear a few words, I just had the conversation with the long lost love of my life, I felt no judgment on me, and there in that moment that passed away, I felt every bit of me electrified. Isn’t this moment ago, a moment now?
Now short fused. I’m temperamental as the swift moving clouds during the wind’s howl. I am scattered like the pink streaks of a lovely sunset. People say I am unpredictable, like the letters burnt in the harshest fires.
Cinders, cinders char my thoughts, but
Foolish ones
We are fighters
For we lived in the war of our mind
Never fear, we’re to vanquish nothing but lose our self to what’s destined
The tides will change, but we stay to whom we are

And fall in love with every moment that’s patched in our heart


  1. Good work Atheena. I always enjoy reading your write ups. Keep up the good work and keep writing on.

  2. Great piece of literature Atheena.. Keep that mind, heart and fingers working the way they are.. All the best.

  3. Hey Atheena as i always say your words got power to convey things in the best way. Keep it coming :) i like the way you have merged different stories/ aspects of life on a single page. I could picturise most of it.

  4. Dear Atheena, Good work, especially the drawings were excellent.
    All the best.

  5. I loved this line — I looked up, I see inhibitions lost as many let go of their staid neck set straight.

  6. Monsieur Victor Vasarely has certainly stimulated the creativity in you. Brilliant colours from the kitchen and keep up the beautiful writing. 👍🏼👌🏼😄