Pages 242, HardBack
ISBN 222-000-001-X

Price: Rs. 695
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In Slender Grey Streaks


Shahzad Najmuddin


This book have been published posthumously. While the writer lay interned in hospital shortly, before the passed away, thieves broke into his apartment and finding the process numerous handwritten manuscripts.

What has been printed here has carefully been pieced together, literally from hundreds of scraps of paper. Some minor omissions are present therefore in regard to a few footnotes and their correction to sources cited.

In Slender Grey Streaks

It was evening when the clouds gathered together,
In slender grey streaks,
To welcome the mystery of night
For I feared what was lonely in me,
And therefore unknown and vast.
I clung to her, held her hand,
Tried to entreat her with my eyes,
But she was, I discovered,
As the night itself would be,
And still making soft pathetic sounds,
As delicate and simple,
As the rain that falls through birch leaves,
As frequent,
But more full of pain.


The Knight and the Artist

   It was the Russians he said. It was the Russians who had… how do you say it… exploited Germany after the war.

   It was spoken in his thin, clear precise voice, his thin eyebrows lancing intelligently upward as he spoke. She nodded her head.

   Von Braun – yes that was his name – the man who had designed the V2. It was his ideas or how do you say it? He said.

   Ideas, theories? She said – her dark eyes lighting up –

   Yes, Yes. Theories. He emphasized the r’s.

   I looked at the candle on the table. The flame inside the tinted glass shone green as it wavered here and there. It was dark in the room, and quiet, now that the people had left. It was better when it was quiet.

   The flame flickered as I watched. They were still talking …ah, he said, his thin pale face handsome for a moment… The artist, - he won in the end – he averted death because he saw things in the moment. The knight died.

   Silence again. She snuggled closer to him as he talked, her dark black hair resting partly on her shoulders. Her eyes were beautiful and her teeth were the whitest I had ever seen.

   They had got up. We walked out of the door into the cold winter night. The stars were dim, almost frozen against the black sky.

   She turned to me.

   Would you like to study Spanish with us?

   He turned and spoke quickly.

   Well, we’ll see you later then.

   She smiled.

   Oh yes! Good night, good night, gutten nacht.

   I watched them climbing the hill, through the white powdery show, in slow difficult movements. The sky was a vivid blue in that direction, with tall young poplars outlined against it, bare and leafless. I could hear her quiet laughter in the distance and the slow trudging sound that they made as they walked

   Alone, I turned around and began to walk home.


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