Makdi ka Akash / Spider sky

Daniel Aristi


We lived down in the 1st floor, the Singh morlocks. We had another 22 stories on top of us. Somehow, we felt them daily, like a difficulty to breathe. Elevators that only travel up, not for us…rain’s for us, in the monsoon. From our window the sky appeared fractured by a million phone cables that, crisscrossing madly, knitted a spider web. On a Sunday afternoon, Uncle Rajesh devised this game: every child in the family was allocated a sky-patch, and for every plane passing through your celestial property you would score one point--two for Air India flights. This got us entertained for weeks. "It’ll teach them the rudiments of taxation, also," hoped uncle Rajesh. "Spider sky", dad told me one evening, "make no mistake, it’s sky for paupers, for those who wake up at four and everyday look up through a shattered-dream glass."

"Our family, which is of European and Indian heritage, has been living in various African countries for a while now and this ethnic and cultural mix is what fuels my writing. However, this particular piece was inspired by a recent trip to Mumbai to visit relatives. With "Spider sky" I have tried to convey the inventiveness, hard work, and spirit of sacrifice that so many people in India display daily."

Daniel Aristi was born in Spain. He studied French Literature and then Economics. He now lives in Botswana with his wife, two children, and two cats. Daniel's work has been recently featured or is forthcoming in Berkeley Poetry Review, The Gambling Aisle and Cactus Heart.