Monday, 9 May 2011


A secret? Okay, okay. If you insist.

So I was flying back to Bombay from London, a good long nine-hour flight. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows had just come out. I'd bought the book the day before and painstakingly managed to resist opening it until I got onto the plane. I gazed at the cover art for sereval minutes, running my fingers over the hard spine, and finally opened the tome as the flight took off.
Three chapters into it, the man on my right spoke.
"So, flying to Bombay, eh?"
Aha. An annoying Indian uncle trying to make new friends.
"Yes." I mutter, nose deep in my book.
"Came to visit boyfriend in London? Heh-heh."
"No." A page turns.
And so it went on, my nerves shredding finer with every word he spoke. He was even chattier after the air hostess brought him his drink. ("Oh you don't know what a patiala peg is? Arrey you've obviously never been to Delhi then. Let me pour you one?)
The plane was dark. Everyone slept. Everyone except me. My reading light was the only one on, my mind was in the Ministry of Magic...
"So, you like to read?"
...and I'm snapped out of it, back in a too-small seat with no legroom.
"Obviously." Irritated fingers tap the spine of the book.
"It's a good hobby," he said, settling back into his seat.

My head snapped right to look at him for the first time, hatred in my eyes.
The rest of the night went quite peacefully. I even managed to finish the book.
"He's asleep," I told an air-hostess while exiting the plane. I pointed at the uncle-ji, his head slumped down, shawl-covered. "Do wake him. I didn't have the heart to."
As I stepped out into the humid Bombay air, I inspected my book.
I'm just glad I didn't get any of his blood on it.

Fiction. But I do loathe the word 'hobby'. Reading is not a 'hobby'. No.


Chikki said...

why does this sound familiar?

*orange plum* said...


The Pernicious One said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Hm, you want to be a writer? Yeah, that's okay. But you have to have a career too. You can do writing on the side as a hobby. Everyone has a hobby."

Mystique said...

@Chikki Dunno. If I wrote it when you were staying with me, I might have made you read it. I think I did.

Chikki said...

yeah, that must be it.
i remember a conversation pertaining to this.

Espèra said...

Okay, you can do a better job.
I liked all of it, except for the ending. :/

Mystique said...

I know. :(

That's why I didn't post it immediately after I wrote it.

Anonymous said...

Loved the ending - I was reading it thinking that I'd have definitely killed him ;0)

Jack said...


Caught up with pending posts. Good photographs. Nice advice about writer's block. On this one, hope you do not get caught after confessing here. LOL. True, it is not hobby but a passion. How I wish I could rekindle it!

Take care

R said...

At such times, I normally pretend to be mentally challenged or generally creepy. Works.

"Going over to Bombay, beta?"
"Yes, but I'll take the next flight back."
"Yes uncle. I love taking flights."
"Is that a hobby? Haha."
"No sir. I service both men and women at airports."

Perakath said...

Well said. Neither is "listening to music" or "movies" (unless you're a serious watcher).

thegirlwithoneheart said...

I would have done the same. =D