Seema liked hot showers.
She believed in and had invented the quote, “There is no problem in this world that a hot shower can’t solve.”
A hot shower, according to Seema, was the solution to any, if not all problems. Besides being such an ardent advertiser, she was a big fan of hot showers herself. She bathed under a stream of scalding water that fogged up the entire bathroom and had even caused the fire alarm to go off once.
After a shower, she liked to doodle on the fogged up mirror.
If currently in love, her favourite doodle was her name and the name of her present love in a heart. Besides this, the ‘Peace’ symbol was another. These days she was practicing the yin/yang symbol.
After she finished doodling, she would wipe the mirror clean. There was something about this ‘hot shower-doodling-wiping the mirror clean’ routine that gave Seema immense satisfaction. She didn’t know why, but it gave her a strange sort of peace.
Yes, Seema liked hot showers.
One day, after practicing the yin/yang, when she wiped off the mirror, she saw something that made her doubt her eyesight. For, instead of her usual pink-as-a-shrimp face (yes, regular hot showers did that) she saw a street!
A street?! Hello! Wasn’t this her bathroom mirror?? She turned and looked behind her, and sure enough she was in her very own bathroom!
Seema wiped away furiously at the steam fogging the mirror again, and as it cleared she saw it was indeed a street.
A cobbled street that snaked through a row of houses on either side.
Her curiosity piqued, Seema decided to find out what this was about. She stepped out through the mirror, like she would out of a window, and was on the other side, standing on the street.
She walked ahead, wondering what she would find.
It was a clean little street with flowers spilling out of window boxes of every home.
Walking further she saw people. Beautiful people. Strange people.
People who were like porcelain figurines come to life. Delicate china-doll women with alabaster skin, a cupid-bow mouth and sapphire and emerald eyes. Golden ringlets of hair tumbling down their backs. Wearing exquisite silk dresses with matching parasols. The men were perfect too. Handsome. Replicas of each another too. Wearing velvet clothing with hair as dark as the night.
They all went about their work silently. None of them spoke.
The animals on the street, regal black dogs with long, silky fur and plump vain cats with muted silver fur were quiet too.
No bark. No mew.
Cherubic children held on to their parents and smiled. They didn’t gurgle, nor did they cry.
They were silent too. Like everything else in this place.
Seema was fascinated.
Curious about the silence, she tapped a woman on her shoulder, wanting an answer about this mystery.
The woman didn’t turn.
Seema tapped again.
Still the woman didn’t turn.
“How rude!” thought Seema and walked around and stood facing the woman.
“Excuse Me” she said to her.
She waved her hand in front of the woman’s face but the woman’s emerald eyes looked through her like Seema was a piece of glass.
Now Seema was really angry.
“I’ll show her” she said to herself!
She stuck her tongue out at the woman, crossed her eyes, flapped her palms on either side of her forehead like they were ears and danced madly in front of the woman letting out a ear-piercing Red Indian war cry. Seema went crazy.
Yes, Seema liked hot showers.
Seema also liked L.S.D.
I’ve had a lot of requests for Part 2 of this story. You could read it here