Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Living Dead

The plan was drawn, the task was explained. Ten years of training would be put to test in the next few days. They were the chosen ones for the holy task. Twenty years of their existence in this world and all they had gathered was hatred. All they listened to was hatred. Sixty years had passed and they still carried the wounds. The pain, the hate was passed down generation to generation. The pain the hate recruited chosen ones all over the world. Young men surrendered their heart. Little did they know, they had surrendered their brains too.

The young men walked out of the makeshift base camp near the border, to the training area. Guns of different caliber waited to be picked up from the table. The cold hands picked up the metal. Guns were not new to them, they grew up playing with them, they grew up sleeping with it. Special guns , hand grenades were imported from the West and Europe, their biggest enemies. Money the paper creation, had given birth to traitors all over the West and Europe.

One last prayer was said before they left. The destroyers prayed to the Creator, to help them destroy His creations. They climbed onto a boat and took off with just the words of their leader in their minds. Thousands of miles of journey was covered without a single thought, without getting caught. Thousands of paper pieces had again given birth to traitors in the foreign land they entered into.

The young men climbed off the boat and walked out of the harbor into the main road. They looked around the foreign land, they looked at the people around. The people wore the same clothes they wore, they looked the same color, they looked the same type, but the young men were taught to find differences in these similar kind of people. The young men stopped a taxi and took it to their planned destination. The driver smiled at them and spoke a few words with his passengers. The young men understood the language, it was no different from their own, but they never smiled back at the driver. On reaching the destination, the young men walked away from the taxi, telling the driver to keep the change. The driver, drove away in his taxi excited to have received extra money, he drove to the nearest toy store to buy his five year old a doll for her birthday the next day. But little did he know of the return gift the young men and left behind in the taxi.

The young men walked into a railway station. The security was relishing a cup of tea, his uniform had got him for free from a small child selling tea on the platform. The young men stood in the platform waiting for the right moment. There was no doubt in their mind, there was no thought in their mind, their minds were filled with voices, commands, hate of their leaders who now sat thousands of miles away, with their television sets switched on.

A five year old stood smiling with her mother, she was excited about her birthday the next day. She stood with the thousand others who waited for the train along with the young men. Nobody noticed the young men, nobody saw anything different in them, they looked like their very own.

A button was pressed and in an instant the platform turned into a graveyard.

The whole world watched the scene on their television screen. The rulers announced compensation in terms of lifeless paper pieces. The protectors carried away the blood stained body, they were recruited to protect. The country changed the channel, worried if they had missed any important scenes of their daily television serial. The leaders hiding thousands of miles away, celebrated the bravery of the young men and thanked the Creator for answering their prayers.
While the people who had lost their dear ones, stood on the blood stained railway platform asking the Creator, the rulers, the protectors, when will all this end?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Evening Breeze

The below post titled 'Evening Breeze' is a small glimpse at the bigger things that I am planning and hoping to paint. Please do give it a read and let me know of your honest opinions.

The bus stop looked surprisingly empty compared to the morning madness that had engulfed the place. The conductors and drivers looked tired but not frustrated like they were in the morning bus. Everyone waited for the bus, but there was a lazy stride in everyone’s walk. The benches on the platforms were occupied to capacity. Boys selling variety of masala nuts and Kannada evening news daily seemed to be making brisk business.

The evening news daily fascinates me; it carries the news and events of the present day, while the morning news paper carries the news and events of the day past. I have always wondered which would be better choice of getting the news.
Newspapers over the past years have gained a lot of my respect. Even with Television taking up the main role and news channels evolving every day. Newspapers still find a place in homes. A fascination we have with words and sentences was definitely built on strong foundation.
One of the kids walked up to me asked if I wanted to buy a newspaper. I looked at the newspaper in his hand ‘This Evening’ was the name of the paper in Kannada. The headlines shouted out the political instability in the state. I waved ‘No’ at him. Politics has never quite interested me. The whole system of appointing able citizens to govern the land has gone on to read appointing leaders to rule over us.

A bus slowly started approaching the platform. Sighting the bus meters away I started to make my move and swiftly walked towards the likely position the bus would stop.
My early sighting of the bus seemed to have yielded fine result when I scored a window seat. The bus quickly filled up. There was enough space for everyone. The people standing also had the luxury to change positions if they wished. It looked like paradise compared to the morning bus.

The bus slowly moved out of the bus stand and entered the road. The bus even though looks dull with its faded blue colour yet there is something majestic about the machine. Sitting in the seat and looking down at all the vehicles was a completely new experience to me, there was a certain amount of joy to it as well.

The conductor looked to be having it easy. He had change for every hundred rupee note that made an appearance in the bus. There was no smile on his face but there were no frowns either. After making sure everyone had a ticket or a pass he walked towards the driver’s seat and stood there chatting with the driver. Their conversation mainly focused on a fellow conductor, a colleague.
The work place of the driver and conductor was so very different from my cubicle and the AC rooms, but we did share one common interest; bitching about a fellow colleague.

The bus moved slowly thanks to the thousands of vehicles that were heading back home. Every signal that we had passed looked to have considerable amount of traffic jam. I looked around the bus to see everyone busy lost in their own thoughts. A mobile phone played a radio station, loud enough to be heard in the entire bus. The noise from the vehicles outside tried to fight it out with the sounds from the radio, but music seemed to prevail over the noise in some parts of the bus.
The music comprised of Kannada and Hindi to please everyone. The RJ seemed to have same enthusiasm she did in the morning show. She read out requests and dedications for a song, sent to her from all over the city.
A song describing a girl’s beautiful smile, her eyes, had me thinking of Sohini again. How I wished if she would talk to me again. Her name brought a smile on my face, and my mind could do nothing but picture her beautiful smile.
I was rudely brought back by the next song which talked of the loneliness of a heart broken guy. I turned to look out of the window, trying to block myself from the song.

November had just begun and winter had started to rise. There was a cold breeze that made me pull my jacket closer to the body. It was a cloudy evening, but I couldn't much see the sky in the dark. Light orange street lights lit up the road. An orange glow covered the air near the lights and few insects flew near them mesmerised by the light.
The bus happened to come across an empty road and started to accelerate to speeds of thirty and forty. Bikes zipped past the bus and were lost from sight within seconds. The driver tried to pick up more speed, but the engine revolted back with warning noises.

It came to a screeching halt to a red signal that ordered the vehicles to stop. A countdown board near the signal lights told us exactly how many seconds were left for the light to turn green. Hundred seconds left, the vehicles stood quite, thirty seconds left, the life was back. Bikes, cars accelerated, engines roared ready to unleash the fury.
Ten seconds left, honking from all the vehicles took over the roar from the engines. As the countdown moved towards zero, the honking amplified. Zero and green, the vehicles zoomed away and raced each other on the empty road. The bus slowly accelerated, before it could pick up speed, it came to a stop at a bus stand.

A young couple got onto the bus at the stop. The girl was lucky to get a seat in the front section of the bus, while the boy didn’t have the same luck. He stood holding onto the handle of the bus.
His eyes looked to be fixed on the girl and didn’t for a minute look around. The girl often turned back to smile at him, and communicated with him using her hand. His smile looked to tear open his cheeks, each time the girl turned to look at him.
At the next stop, the woman sitting next to the girl got down and the boy immediately jumped to the empty seat. They both seemed to smile at each other again and the boy quietly put his arm around her shoulder. They spoke softly and the girl broke into light laughter every time the boy said something. After a round of laughter and smile, she softly laid her head on the boy’s shoulder and he affectionately bent his head and touched her head with his. The cold breeze, the music in the bus and a partly filled bus, everything looked to be perfect for the young couple.

A middle aged woman stepped into the bus in the next stop. There looked to be no vacant seat for her and being a little on the heavier side, she certainly was in no mood to stand in the bus. She glanced around and spotted the young couple.
She clearly didn’t agree with the boy occupying the ladies seat, and ordered him to vacate the seat specially reserved for ladies. He had no case to argue and knew very well even if he did, it would only make things worse. He got up from the seat reluctantly and walked back to his old position with a dejected face. He stood holding onto a handle with a gloomy expression, but the smile was instantly back when the girl turned at him and started with her hand gestures again. I looked away with a slight smile on my face. There was a strange sense of happiness for the couple in my heart.

A young man walked into the bus in the next stop. He looked restless and kept changing his positions. His heavy sighs to the song playing from the mobile radio made me have doubts that he didn’t quite enjoy that music. My doubts were confirmed when he pulled out his mobile phone and started to play songs of his liking.
Now there were two mobile phones playing two different kinds of music.
Kannada and Hindi lyrics, drums, guitar, dhols, and flute got mixed and out came a sound that was clearly unpleasant to hear.
Nobody looked to object to the harsh sound that was forced upon us. I kept silent as well, but cursed the new arrival to the bus for bringing the music with him that spoilt the atmosphere in the bus.
He didn’t look to enjoy the music he played either. He kept jumping onto the next track and never stayed more than a minute on one song, which made it all the more frustrating for me to sit and listen to it. I got up from my seat and walked towards the rear door, there was one last stop before my stop. I stood near the door looking at the empty foot board. I felt an urge to try standing on the foot board with my head hanging out a little, but I stood near the door, still a little afraid to try the foot board.
I got down in my stop and walked away feeling quite relieved that the evening breeze was much enjoyable compared to the morning chaos.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Remember

I paced around the hospital corridor, waiting for the doctor to come out of the room.
My wife was inside the room, and I knew she was in pain.
I sat on the hospital bench in the corridor. It had been five years of our marriage and six years of knowing her. I still felt we had just met a couple of days back. Each time she smiled I felt the same excitement I had six years back and each time she walked out of a room, I turned around to catch a glimpse of her like I had six years back. Sometimes my friends ask me, if I remember the first time I saw her?





I entered a restaurant with my friends, as we walked in we were greeted to shouts of 'Happy Birthday'. It looked like some people had gathered to celebrate a fellow friend's birthday. Sanjeev my friend felt there was too much commotion inside and thought it would be a good idea to eat someplace else. We had almost agreed with him and had turned to walk away, when a girl from the birthday party came running up to us requesting one of us to click a snap for her. I volunteered and walked with her to take a snap for her. I took the camera and looked through the lens to see her standing in the middle of the crowd. She had some cake pasted on her nose and cheeks and she stood there smiling like a school girl. I took the snap but stood there for a few seconds mesmerized by her smile. She laughed and hugged her friends. I walked up to her and greeted her
"Happy Birthday"
"Thanks, I didn't quite catch your name" she smiled
"I was just taking a snap for your friend" I pointed at the girl who had requested me to take the picture.
"But, I am Gaurav I was here with my friends" I added.
"Pallavi" she smiled and shook my hand.
I went back to my friends after wishing her luck, and convinced Sanjeev and everyone to eat at the same restaurant. As we ate, Pallavi and me stole glances at each other, and smiled when one of us caught the other one staring.
She kept blowing away her hair that feel on her eyes, her sparkling black eyes made it very hard for me to concentrate on food or on anything my friends spoke. At the end of the dinner I had decided that I had to talk to her again. I walked up to her and requested her for a minutes time, as she walked away few feet from her friends, I asked her with a smile
"Is it okay if I call you sometime."
She was silent for a minute and then smiled back and said
"Sure, here is my number"
I checked my pocket for a piece of paper but couldn't find one. With no second thoughts I quickly took down the number on my palm.


She waved goodbye as she walked away with her friends.
I turned towards my friends and clenched my fists and punched in air signaling success. I walked up to the table and opened my fist to find the number partially erased due to the nervous sweating in my palm. With fear of losing the number I quickly made a note of it on a paper napkin.

Sunday morning seemed to be perfect to call her up. With my parents visiting a temple there looked to be no disturbance.
I dialed the number I had written down on the napkin. I immediately banged down the phone after finding it was the wrong number. I realized I had noted down the wrong number from my sweaty palm onto the napkin.
"She could not have given me the wrong number" I told myself.
I closed my eyes tried to think hard of the numbers she said, but all I could picture was her beautiful smile. With determination not to give up easily I started dialing up all kind of combination of numbers from the napkin.
From STD booths to provision stores to all the aunties and uncles picking up the phone, they all had the same to say ‘Wrong Number’. After seventy eight failed attempts, the phone finally connected to her.
I asked her
"This is Gaurav here. You remember we met at the restaurant on your birthday?"



The doctor walked up to me and said
"She has been shifted to the ward, you can see her now"
I walked into ward room, to see her lying on the bed. She smiled at me, like she had for the last six years. The nurse walked in behind me and said
"Here is your beautiful daughter sir"
She placed the baby in Pallavi's hand, as I sat beside Pallavi with my arm around her shoulder. We looked down at our daughter and couldn't control the tears. Wiping my tears and smiling I said
"She has your eyes"
She broke into a smile and replied
"We hope she doesn't grow a nose like yours"
The tears flowed as we broke into light laughter. I bent down and placed a soft kiss on my little angel's head, and then kissed my wife and said
"Look what we brought into the world"
She smiled, wiped her tears then turned to me and asked me with the same smile
"Do you remember the first time we met?"




Saturday, November 14, 2009

Battlefield - 55 Fiction.

To people who are new to 55 Fiction. It is a genre of fiction writing using only 55 words. A story with only 55 words in it.

Here is my second offering in this genre titled 'Battlefield'


Hiding behind the rock all I could see was his cap. He is a human I was sure of that. He is firing at me I was aware of that.
"Why are the bullets flying?" we never asked.
My thoughts
"When will all this end...?" was abruptly halted when his bullet hit my head.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

If I were a baby again



This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 4; the fourth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.


They say be careful for what you wish for. For it may come true.
Nothing seemed to be going Siddharth's way till one day The Almighty decided to pay him a visit and grant him a wish. Siddharth always wondered, how it would be to go back to being a baby again, a baby with a small part of his 24 year old brain with him. Could I do things different, he asked himself. He didn't much remember anything of his baby years though.
Luckily for him today he was given a chance to go back, all he had to do was utter the magical words

'If I were a baby again'


Come on lets listen to Siddharth.

Siddharth Speaks
'Gaga gugu'
( I woke up on that fine Sunday morning to find myself in the cradle again, my fingers tightly clutching a leg of the wooden horse. The room looked empty and dull; I lay there thinking what to do next, when the baby in me let out a loud cry.
A beautiful lady came running in. Who is this beautiful lady, so gentle and caring.
'How are you my little prince?' she seemed to ask me lifting me from my cradle, with a bright smile.
'Gaga gugu' (Mom. That’s you mom. God you look so pretty.)

She took me to the living room, wooden furniture everywhere I looked, the drapes, the absence of television, they all contributed to the sweet charm that danced around the room.

'Hey Sidu. Come to papa, come, come, come... Good boy'
'Ga!' (Dad, that's you, you... you... you have so much hair.)
I had to touch it to be sure, if they were real. I grabbed at it
'No Sidy. No pulling papa's hair' dad gently pulled my arm away from his hair.
'Gaga ge' (Don't worry dad, they are not going to last for a long time, anyway.)

My elder brother ran in, he looked tiny as ever. He looked to be having problems with his homework, and urged dad to help him. Dad took me along with him to help Arjun with his homework. He put me down on the bed, beside the book. Before he could take a look at the math problem, grand mom called out.
'Subbu, come here, help me bring this box down'
Dad ran leaving Arjun in charge of me. Clearly granny ruled the house from the start. Just couldn't believe she would end up bed ridden requiring help from others to move around in her last few years.

Arjun looked to be busy with his homework; I pepped in to see the math problem.
What is 3+3 =?
"Gugegu" (Six the answer, idiot. This guy is going to grow up to clear IIT and IIM.)
"Gaa" (How? How?)

"Arjun, come for breakfast, bring Sidu along with you" mom called out

My elder brother, carefully lifted me off the bed and walked slowly, as he walked he made weird shapes with his hand, and asked me to smile. I couldn't control, the baby in me let out a smile. Seeing me smile, Arjun hugged me tight with joy, and placed a kiss on my cheeks. The 24 year old in me had tears, but the baby had more smiles for Arjun.
I just can't believe from this, we go onto to grow up, mostly fighting and shouting at each other, to even not talking to each other.

I was made to sit on the table, with mom holding me. Arjun's plate was filled with chapatti and palak. Mom brought out a spoon filled with white looking substance near my mouth.
"Gegega" (What is this? I want the palak. Give me the palak.)
"Come on Siddy, open, open" mom requested
"Gege" (You feed Arjun palak and me some white substance, no wonder I drop out, and he goes to clear IIM)
The palak conflict in my head was too much for the baby in me, and it let out a loud cry.
"What happened? Why is Siddharth crying?" granny came running in
"May be his diaper is wet" mom felt

Together they started undressing me, in front of both my brother, my father and my house maid.
I cried louder and started shouting
"HeGaGUGU" (What are you people doing, don't undress me in front of all these people. Please don't, I will be scared for life. NO NO)
They were in no mood to listen to me. I was stripped naked in the middle of the dining room. Once they opened my diaper a foul smell engulfed the room, the odor was powerful enough to send Arjun and dad run away from the dining room.
"Gege" (God that is some bad smell)
"Gaduga" (What? Is it from me. Oh, lord its from me)

After the embarrassing breakfast, granny took me out with her to get milk from the milk man. She was visibly upset to see him come late. I was not a lest bit interested, but she wanted to show me the cows.
"You have come late again, and your milk its nothing but white water" granny shouted at him
"Guhudu" (Wait a minute, this milkman looks a lot familiar. Where have I seen him)
"GAAA" (Oh my God, granny that milk man is going to grow up to become our Railway minister. Don't shout at him, don't granny.)
"Gegee)" (If not anything, we may atleast get free railway tickets. Please don't shout at him granny. Take me near him, I want to touch the future Railway Minister of India.)

She was clearly in no mood for anything I had to say, if only she could understand what I was telling her.
Two more ladies looked to enter our house with a baby with them. Granny greeted them, pinched the baby's cheeks and welcomed them in.
They put both of us in the same cradle, and stood near by talking about the milkman/ future Railway minister.
"Gygegu" (Hi! What is your name. Do you understand me?)
"Hugutu" (Of course I do, moron) the baby pinched my arm
I let out a loud cry due to the immense pain. Granny came running
"Oh, did Prachi pinch you again"
"Ga" (Is that Prachi, Prachi, who I grow up to have a hug crush on. Is it her?)
"Guhuta" (She looks cute. May be I should tell her I like her. The most she can do is pinch me, she can't complain to mom or dad)

I had made up my mind to tell Prachi, about my huge crush for her, when mom came running in

"Why is he crying still"
"May be his diaper is wet, lets check"
"GERUGE" (NO, please NO. Not in front of Prachi please. Mom please stop no.)
"GerGu" (I hate being a baby again, take me back God, please, please.)
)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He brought me back, exactly after they had stripped me naked. Franky the experience was a mixture of good and bad. Before I forget I have to run and give my elder brother a hug. So I am off. You guys keep wishing, for you never know, who is listening.


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Monday, November 2, 2009

Eternal - 55 Fiction

This my first attempt at writing 55 Fiction. According to me it is the toughest to write, and after writing this one my opinion has just gotten stronger.
To people who are new to 55 Fiction.
It is a form of fiction writing, a story with only 55 words in it.

Here is my first 55 Fiction titled 'Eternal'


Lying on his chest she felt peaceful. He always had unconditional love for her. Importantly he had time for her. There were moments they sat lost in each others eyes. She never mentioned it, but he meant world to her.

Relatives entered room to console her.

Little did they know she had left with him.