December 5, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: The Shillong Chapter by Arghadeep Das

2 min read

Arghadeep Das weaves a tender story about an individual who visits a café and recollects the last time he was there. The story unfolds into this insecurity about being late at making the calls.

It had nearly been half an hour since the clock struck seven in the evening and yet I did not want to leave the place. The rain seemed to be a perpetual gentle drizzle and I did not know how to stop existing inside my head all the time and fall in love with the beautiful streets of Shillong, again. I can never get enough of Shillong; the streets, the lights, the cold wind when it’s not raining, and the subtle beauty of the hills when it is.

The cafe happens to be this cozy structure of bamboo and wood and mellow lights with indistinct chattering of men and women in their twenties. A guy was playing guitar on the balcony that looked over a street, the one I had to follow to reach the hotel I was staying in. A girl in maroon high neck rose from where she was sitting and went up to the guy with a coffee mug cupped between her palms. She sipped on it and smiled at him. He looked up, smiled at her, and continued to play the John Mayer blues. The song had her smile. The guy playing the guitar had felt it, the girl with the coffee mug had heard it. I did find it poetic and hence I took out a cigarette but could not find the lighter in any of my pockets. Someone from the other table noticed the hassle I made and passed his lighter to me. This reminded me of Shivika once telling me how she made friends out of borrowed lighters. I lit the cigarette, let out the cloud of nicotine smoke, and thanked him. That’s how poetry survives, etched in smoke and carried off by the wind. 

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