KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: Summer 2019
Haibun Story: 221 words [R]

Cross-Legged Cockroach

by Salil Chaturvedi

“The thing about meditation,” I tell a friend over a cup of coffee, paraphrasing the words of my guru, “is that when you meditate, the calmness pervades the area around you, creating a peace field, and every creature that enters the field feels at ease.” Then I proceed to tell her about a recent event.

“So, I wake up and it’s still dark. I enter the bathroom and hear the owl in the trees. I hit the light switch and there’s this cockroach in the centre of the loo. My first thought is to just let it be, rather than reaching for a slipper to kill it. He moves a little and then just stays still, moving his antennae lazily. I go about my business and the cockroach sits there in the centre of the bathroom where he is quite vulnerable. It doesn’t move the whole time that I am in there, even though I step across him a few times to reach the cupboard.”

My friend sips her coffee and remains silent. I sip my coffee, letting the story sink in.

“What if,” she says, “the cockroach was the one who went into meditation mode quickly and you entered his trance field and as a consequence were bereft of any violent thoughts?”

coffee stains
the whole story


—Published previously in Haibun Today (Volume 12, Number 4, December 2018); appears here with author’s permission.

Salil Chaturvedi’s
Issue 12, Summer 2019

debut collection of poetry, In the Sanctuary of a Poem, was released in 2017. His stories and poetry have been published in online and print journals such as Himal, Indian Quarterly, Wasafiri, Out of Print, Antiserious, Guftugu, Indian Cultural Forum, Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi), The Sunflower Collective, and Joao Roque Literary Journal. He is an avid reader and writer of haiku. His haiku and haibun have been published in international journals including Modern Haiku, Frogpond, The Heron’s Nest, Failed Haiku, Chrysanthemum, Wild Plum, Acorn, Hedgerow, and Haibun Today.

Chaturvedi was the Asia region winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Competition 2008, and the winner of the Unisun/British Council Short Story Competition 2007. In 2015, he won the Wordweavers Poetry Contest. He currently lives on Chorao, an island in Goa, India.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Me and Meena at the Marsh, a poem in Joao Roque Literary Journal (23 January 2019)

Roundtable With Salil Chaturvedi, an interview by Karan Bhagat in his blog I Conclude (2 November 2013)

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