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Rollin’ Stone
Dissent: Volume 6 of the Helter Skelter Anthology of New Writing

Rollin’ Stone

Statutory Warning:

This is a love story. If you don’t believe in love, you are forgiven.


She was abandoned at birth. She apparently had problems.

He was on his way to the ‘Rudy’s Barbershop’ for a quick shave.

Camera rolls over his threads:

Black skinny jeans hugging his six-foot skinny legs, black tee framing every bone on his tattooed chest, black converse shoes in an unheard-of size, black, long overcoat, a black hat resting above his bald freckled head, walking in slow-mo with wind blowing through his black beard.


No, he wasn’t a member of ZZ Top, you morons.

One-way Cobblestone Street, images of shiny happy people dancing (just like the scene in Blade, but without the gore) flash on the screen as the camera makes its way closer to the subject:

“Abandoned, help yourself,” was the sign hanging around her slender neck.

“Hallelujah, today must be world pick-up day…”

He comes closer to check her out. She stands there silent like a cow at a trance dance party. She seems puurrfect.

“What’s the matter, suga’? Why are you homeless? Do you speak or just stand there with a silly sign across your chest?”

The morning sun starts to glow messing up the cameraman’s lighting arrangement. He throws a tantrum and succumbs, cursing.

Helter Skelter: Sapna Bhavnani
The sun highlights all her best features. Photograph by Jatin Kampani.

Soundtrack kicks in:

“I see a red door and I want it painted black. No colours anymore; I want them to turn black,” sang the skinny lead singer with his tongue sticking out.


Are you with me? I thought so.

The camera pans closer:

The sun highlights all her best features.

He is smitten. “Is this a joke or something?”

She blushed. He looks around. Not a soul in sight. “This is my moment. This is when I take you home and make you a woman.”

Song changes, as the camera focuses on the lady:

“If you start me up…
If you start me up I’ll never stop…”


This movie is starting to become a musical. I hate musicals.

Wide Shot

He gets on top of her and kicks the pedal. She starts up like a dream. Her engine purrs like a woman in heat. He rides off blowing a trail of dust on the irritated cameraman’s face.

“Heee Haww!”

They ride to the barbershop. He gets a shave, and she, a shampoo/blow-dry, of course. He takes her home.

Exterior House:

A sign saying “Foster Care” hangs at the yellow front door. The yard is a sorry excuse for a graveyard for the machines that didn’t make it, displaying neon tombstones with names etched in grease.

The cameraman sets up the camera and walks away.

She feels right at home. It was better than standing on the street like a cheap hooker. She knew she wasn’t going to make it long so she remained silent and kept the mystery going: a magic trick only bestowed on the feline race.

“Why would someone abandon you? You seem to be in great shape. I guess you were destined to be mine.”

He pulls out the spray gun and paints her pink. “I knight you ‘Magenta.’” She smiles in approval. Her pink coat disguises her blush.

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“Let’s go for a long ride, shall we? It takes a real man to ride a pink motorcycle.”

He tries to start her, nothing. He tries a couple more times. Nothing. He stands there scratching his bald head. Her eyes shut. “What’s wrong, suga’, don’t you like the colour pink? I can change that.” He continues trying.

Soundtrack kicks in as images of the skinny singer flash on the screen:

“Graceless lady, you know who I am,
You know I can’t let you slide through my hands,
Wild horses couldn’t drag me away,
Wild, wild horses, couldn’t drag me away…”

Exterior House, three days later:

He remains standing in the same position, wearing the same clothes. His hand still scratching his bald head. The beard seems to have grown abnormally long in three days.

She lay on her side all torn open. Her insides are splattered all over the yard.

He will not bury her with the rest. He loves his Magenta. She knows that.

He yells and screams and kicks and grunts. He shouts and raves and jumps and mourns.

The cameraman smiles with delight: “Serves you right, you egotistical bugger.”

Weeks pass, he doesn’t. The camera keeps on rolling the same take over and over again.

He screams and rants. He kicks and yells. She lies on her side, her smile blending in her pink coat as the mystery is revealed.

“Pleased to meet you.
Hope you guess my name.
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game…”


The devil does not wear Prada, the devil wears Pink.”

This article was originally published in the ‘Mumbai Mirror’ in 2004.
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