When voices spill out books

My fingers run in a frenzy over the keyboard,
words frothing out like a can popped open.

Except this time, the flow goes on for longer.

The café’s filled with chatter
from voices I might never hear again,
or if chance permits I might.
Not that I prefer one way over the other.

For long, I have wondered if people hide novels in their daily lives.
Here in this café, I am more certain.
Seated on stone benches under artsy lamps,
People spill out words from their day,
unedited, not a word crafted deliberately.

A female voice booms intermittently,
crushing the silence in the café.
She’s asking her friend if she’s in love,
or in love with being in love.

At the table to my right,
a man, his spectacles too old for him and ears like antennae,
is an attentive disciple to his companion
whose flowing discourse begins with economics and money,
then moves on to philosophy and theology and religion,
and settles for a while on Newtonian physics and time travel,
conjecturing how wrinkles age slower in space,
and whether a space traveller would look younger than his grandson
when he returns from a trip to Jupiter.
Next they discuss cultural invasions and the Chinese economy.

I return to the novel oozing from my fingers.
A productive time it has been, I think,
as I sip the tea tinged with ginger and lemon and honey.

The intellectuals are now discussing history,
debating between Gandhi and Godse.
Talk strays to invaders: Ghazni, Ashoka, Alexander, and Hitler.
The discussion reaches higher decibels, voices impassioned.
I think it’s time for me to go home.


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