Black heels on the red ramp
They walk the catty walk
Graceful, insidious, charming
Hungry curves and supple moves

A killing smile, a sensual look
Onlookers gasp and sigh
They model their beauty
Fair, tall and lean

Because beauty sells.

Grey clouds battle over the sky
Round, pregnant rain drops
Fall like bricks
The makeup, like cement, cracks
Water seeping into the dents
Drain-like pores strive to breathe

The wet magazine cover
Curls at the corner
A blemish on the glamour
Of a semi-clad figure
Empty eyes and icy smile
A laugh that died down

Ugh, what is it?

A tiny hand, dark and worn, tugs
At the shirt, muddy face and deep eyes
Coins clutter, land on the open palm
A toothy smile takes crooked form

How mud mingles with water
A perfect blend on an artist’s palette
Open palms closed into fists
The meanderer dousing in a puddle

Because beauty begs.



That leaf was the most beautiful thing she had seen in years. On turning the yellow pages of an old, dusty book she had long-forgotten, there it lay, amongst kind. Paper is made of wood after all, she thought. It was in a safe place. Arid, dry, drained of all that was liquid, it spoke to her. Just to her. It had a colour that matched its transparency. She saw its veins intertwined, yet so clear; each leading somewhere, following a pattern. She put out her hand to find similarity in the lines they said narrate her destiny.

It was considered to be a sacred fig; the tree was supposedly wisdom-giving. Peepal, yes, she recalled. She peered at the leaf closely. She did not see that in it. She felt its dryness with the tip of her finger. Somewhat like dry skin, she thought. She admired its beauty turning it up and down when she realised how its lifelessness was what gave it that charm. Beauty comes at a price after all, she thought as she placed the dry leaf back amidst the pages of her old, dusty book, where it belonged.