Editor’s Note: The excerpt below is taken from ‘The Yogini’, by Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay. The book describes the journey of a modern woman, Homi, who is one day approached by a yogi visible only to her. In a way that could be described as surreal, the book describes the story of a woman who desperately tries to prove that her life is ruled by her own free will.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
A few days had passed and the brief discussion of fate had slipped out of Homi’s mind, which was perfectly natural. While each incident immediately made headlines on this 24-7 TV channel, which unceremoniously rushed into viewers, it wasn’t long before the wave of excitement died down, and by then another newsworthy event was vying for the attention of the audience. viewers. These events often raised deep ethical questions among reporters, sometimes even causing unrest, but everyone had to jump right in on the news that would come the next minute. there was never
every moment to record what happened – incidents happened, the bulletin was created and presented, analyzed and discussed, but you couldn’t stop there.
“Can you tell me the difference between literature and news?” the media company’s CEO had asked Homi three years ago when he interviewed her. Perhaps he had asked this particular question because she was a literature student. Homi didn’t have to look for an answer.
“If news is the rain, literature is the water that collects underground,” she had replied. “The rainwater falls to the earth and slowly seeps through each of the layers below the ground before finally becoming pure.
News is what just happened – it has to go through time layers before it can become literature. When time and philosophy are added to news, what?
you get is literature.’
Rishi Patel, the CEO, had been staring at her for half a minute. Homi remembered telling her they’d talk more about this when she got the…
time. But she couldn’t remember how many days had passed since the conversation in the hallway. She had left the office about 10pm and was trying to cross the busy main road when she saw a hermit standing directly opposite, unmoved in a haze of light on the sidewalk at Jimmy’s Kitchen, the Chinese restaurant.
Even from a distance it had seemed to Homi that his penetrating gaze was on her. But she had to look away before she could register what was going on. He was already gone when she crossed the road. Curiosity aroused, Homi went to the entrance to Jimmy’s Kitchen and looked for him. Could it have been a literature student? Homi didn’t have to grope for
But she couldn’t remember how many days had passed since the conversation in the hallway. She had left the office about 10pm and was trying to cross the busy main road when she saw a hermit standing directly opposite, unmoved in a haze of light on the sidewalk at Jimmy’s Kitchen, the Chinese restaurant. Even from a distance it had seemed to Homi that his penetrating gaze was on her. But she had to look away before she could register what was going on. He was already gone when she crossed the road. Curiosity aroused, Homi went to the entrance to Jimmy’s Kitchen and looked for him. Was it possible that she had made a mistake, that no one had been there at all?
An error? But his sharp, terrifying gaze was imbedded in her consciousness in the blink of an eye. She had felt a distinct pang of fear. At that moment someone whispered to her from the left, very close.
With goosebumps stinging her skin, Homi turned and looked at him. A chill ran through her veins. Bitingly cold.
He looked terrifying, his matted locks and beard molding his face like a spider. His eyes sparkled and his body gave off a mild stench. She thought it could be
‘Who are you? What do you want?’ she wanted to say. It was possible that an unimaginable fear kept her from uttering the words.
“Don’t you recognize me, Empress?” He straightened the blanket that had been draped haphazardly around his shoulders.
Again she withdrew as he approached her, one hand with a pair of pliers in it. The usual paraphernalia of a hermit. It was obvious that no one else could see him, as it was impossible for such a terrifying man to go to a lonely woman, especially at this hour of the night, without someone intervening. She soon realized she couldn’t ask any of her colleagues for help, many of whom were walking around on the opposite sidewalk. She should be doing it all alone with this man.
She came to a stop and asked in Hindi, “What do you want?”
The hermit repeatedly brought the two arms of his pincers together and made a series of clicks. His tall, slender body stiffened and Homi saw obsession and…
desire comes alive in his glowing eyes.
A cruel but frantic voice. Barbarian Diction.
The man beckoned her again.
‘Come. Come closer.’ He made an obscene gesture.
“You don’t recognize me, Empress,” he said after a pause.
‘I am your destiny,’ he continued – and immediately disappeared.