being, or not being. that's the question.

I don’t exist.

Laugh all you want, but you know it’s true.

Oh. Yeah. Smart.

No, don’t give me that “You think, therefore you are” crap. It has even been theoretically disproven. Of course, for the sake of self-depravity, I shall also argue that I don’t think.

How am I writing this if I don’t exist, you ask? This is probably some existential crisis, you say? Hah, I say to you. Hah, if only were I to exist, were I to have a crisis. I write this, not by myself, no Sir, it writes itself.

You still doubt my non-existence? You are but one of many to do so, I must say.

Why, just yesterday, I went to a bank to get myself a new bank account. At first, the manager saw right through me.

Stop grinning your self-important grin already, yes yes, he saw through me because I didn’t exist, I get the joke, now can I move on with a slightly more intelligent argument? Thanks.

I clapped my hands a bit, I yawned, I started at him with my hands folded tightly under my non-existent big breasts, these are the things that sleazy Delhi men like in any case, and finally, when he had absolutely no choice but to acknowledge my non-presence, Madam-ji, he blessed, Aapko kya chahiye?

Ah, I reflected. Finally, I sighed. I tried my rickety Hindi on him. Bhaiya-ji, I beseeched. Ek account open karna hain idhar. Form kahaan se milega, I ask. He blinked. He blinked twice. He looked down at his keyboard as if I had not even spoken. After what I thought might have been time enough for a buffet lunch and three drinks, he turned to his right and yelled. Salim, idhar ek naya khaata kholneka form do, beta.

As I filled out my details, I started to face conundrum upon conundrum. But the real problem would not be faced until I was at a loss for proof.

Proof of birth, it asked me. Here I was, hatta-katta, paunchy, tall, healthy, what more proof of birth do you need, I asked the form. In its mechanical voice, giving me no more argument than mothers tend to do, it said PROVE IT WITH PAPER, BITCH. A tenth-class pass certificate? Eh? But what if I didn’t pass. A birth certificate? Reader, dude, why are you on this again?

You see now? You see why I say that I don’t exist?

Oh. More argument? I see. That’s just paper trail, you think? Alright, then. I shall entertain your snooty existent Self then, for just one more moment.

A day before that, I went to get myself a mobile phone. You would probably be aware of what those things are, you do don’t you, you sly Reader, you. I bet you know what he asked for. Proof of Residence.



He wanted proof that I live somewhere. Preferably a real building. Something with numbers on it. And right there, I lost my bets with Existence. A real building with my name on it?


You try it sometime. Prove you exist. Then you’ll know what I mean.

Until then, Readers, I shall fade myself into invisibility, live under a rock and not make any financial transactions.

I shall also, definitely, not think.


for A, who complained that nothing I write makes her smile.

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