Monday, September 9, 2013

The Mango Tree

"Dad, Dad!!! why don't we plant a tree in our garden? It would be a nice addition and fruitful too." Chimed Arnav and Ashima

"Sure we would think about it, right Ashi?" I asked my wife

"Yeah, that's a nice idea after all we have got such a big garden in this new house." replied Ashi my wife

"So which tree should we plant, then?" I asked

"Mango! Mango!" Kids exclaimed

"Of course Mango, they were constantly talking about mango trees since they returned from their school trip to a mango farm." I thought

"That's a nice suggestion, I would bring one plant from nursery." I said

Soon I brought the little mango plant from the nursery and we put that in a corner to be planted after a few days.

***************

"Dad we are planting the tree now, come home early." Informed my kids over the phone they were ecstatic

But I got stuck in a meeting at office after lunch, when I finally reached home at 9 my house was empty. I couldn't find anyone.

I ran to the garden in the back of the house and the newly planted tree was swaying with the wind but my family was nowhere to be found.

I checked every room, every nook, called every friend and relative, but no one had any ideas where they might have gone. I even called police but they said that they can only lodge a missing persons report if they are missing for more than 48 hours.

The clock chimed to let me know that it was 2 AM but I had no sense of time. I didn't even feel the hunger now which I felt when I was coming for home. I had no idea where my family went but they had left a tree behind to remember them by.

When the police finally came they checked the house too and found out that many jewelry items and some cash was gone too and in its place there was a letter from my wife.

The police explained that as per the letter my wife ran away from home along with my kids with her lover. She didn't say where they went or who this lover was. The constables were whispering to each other and snickering. Police ensured me that they would look for my family but advised that since she went by her own wish, it would be a little hard.

                                                               ***************

Police kept on searching for them and 10 years passed.

No news came and I was alone in my house with my mango tree. It was a big tree now and it bore fruits too. I loved the tree as my own kids after all they planted it and left it behind for me.

I used to sit in garden talking to the tree for hours on end. My life now revolved around the mango tree. Watering it, making sure that area around its roots was clean etc. People said that I was crazy but they couldn't have understood my pain. I attended my office but worked like a robot. I wanted to come back home to my tree. My Mango Tree.

It was a Sunday afternoon in January and I was sitting in garden clearing the grounds near the tree. Suddenly my eye caught something glistening in the sunlight.

I was a ring entangled in the root. My wife's ring. what was it doing under the tree? I had to find out. I dug and dug and dug near the tree and what I found nearly killed me. I immediately called the police and completed the other formalities and then they dug out what was buried under the mango tree.

My Wife and my kids. Along with the Jewelry and the cash. My wife did not run with her lover, she was killed and buried under the tree along with my kids. Oh my poor kids, my poor wife. There was no end to my pain. Police were trying to ask me something but all I could do was cry in pain.

I kept on crying while the police took away dead bodies of my family. I kept on crying till late in the night and then I remembered, the memory which I had suppressed.

                                                                    ***************

10 years ago.

I had come home early to surprise the kids and wife after I got their call. When I came home the kids were busy digging the hole in the back. But I didn't see my wife so I went up our bedroom. She was writing something.

"What are you writing?" I asked

And she jumped as if she was stealing something

"Not.. Nothing. Nothing, what are you doing early? kids said you told them that you were busy and would come late." She said while looking guilty

"I wanted to surprise them, but what were you writing?" I said

She tried to protest but I had the note in my hand

"What the hell is this?" I roared

Kids came running but were transfixed to the door when they saw that I was angry. I was so angry on her, she was having an affair. I was so angry and I snapped. I didn't even know what I did but the next moment I remembered I was sitting in office. I had no idea how the last few hours had passed or what I did. My mind had suppressed my memory of the terrible event.

"I Killed them." I mumbled to no one

Yes I had killed them all the buried them under the tree. I killed them because they were abandoning me.

"I killed them, I killed them, I killed them." I kept on saying while crying.

                                                                   ***************

Next morning when the police came they didn't get a response on the door. When they finally got in and found me. I was long gone from this world.

"Mentally disturbed man commits suicide." reported the news paper

But I was finally with my loved ones. 

We were all gone but we had left behind the mango tree.


.

Monday, September 2, 2013

End of the Times?

Its my entry no. 2 for September - September 2, 2013 I hope to post a new blog entry everyday on any one of my 5 blogs :). Let's see how many I am able to accomplish.


It was a normal day, at least I thought so, working in a supermarket numbs you a little, you know? 

I mean how can you not feel numb working through the same menial task again and again.

I worked with US military and after completing 4 tours of Iraq, I retired and came back to my hometown Dearborn, MI near Detroit.

Since there wasn't a lot to do, I started working with Walmart, like most of my neighbors.

So, we come back to the fateful day of today, of course I didn't know that there was something wrong.

I was working in the employee's area at Walmart managing the new delivery and other background tasks before the store opened.

At precisely 9 AM the stores opened and as always we immediately had few walk-ins to buy stuff they needed urgently.

And that is why it was numbing because it happened daily, but what happened next was not something that happened daily.

I heard a loud noise like there was an accident and it was immediately followed by cries of people.

I tried to see what was happening from my 4th floor working area but all I could see that there was a big clutter of few cars tangled together after the accident and people running around.

Now this was curious that rather than helping the people stuck in the cars they were running everywhere like headless chickens.

And then I saw the reason for their terror a mob that looked like rioters were marching forward and they were pushing and manhandling whoever came in their way.

Whenever they met someone they pushed them aside or down and then others would surround them and help them walk with them.

It was as strange as you are thinking while reading this... Well moving on...

I was stuck on the spot watching the mob with absolute concentration they were drawing nearer with each passing moment and somehow their numbers were increasing.

"Oye!!! what are you doing standing there? get back to work." Shouted Mark my manager

"Mark, come here quick and watch it." I beckoned him to see the strange sight

Soon both of us were stuck at our spots watching the crowd nothing was clear and the crowd was getting bigger and bigger as it came forward.

And then they started running towards our building, and then I saw ...

They were all covered in blood, some of them were missing a hand or they had one eye missing but nothing made a difference as now they all came running.

And then it hit us .. not us exactly but patrons trying to shop were quickly hit and bitten by these creatures ... Yes bitten by these Zombies ... were they really zombies ... was it really the end of the times?

Mark was paralyzed by fear but I had to do something.

I immediately activated the emergency shutters so that the zombies could not reach us or our staff in the back areas. But we were helpless to assist the poor shoppers stuck below.

 They were being killed easily by the fast zombies they were quite different than the movies made us believe, which almost always showed them as slow.

Now we were scared as shit and we didn't know what to do. There didn't seem any hope left for us now. All of us who were on 4th floor were huddled together. 

Boom, there was a loud sound it seemed like a bomb but we didn't stock ammunition here did someone came to help us. I tried to see below outside and saw that there were few Army vehicles outside our building. 

And just then many rangers also broke through our skylight roof.  There was lot of shouting all round and sound of machine gun fire spread throughout the building.

But the crowd was very big and so many military guys were still no match for them.

Grenades were dropping here and there and bursting with a loud bang.

One ranger walked towards me, "Sir, were you in Charlie 4th Battalion?"

"Yes, I was. I was stationed in Iraq and before that in Afghanistan." I replied

"So we need all the help, we can get. Are you still a good shot?" he asked

"Never left the practise." I said smiling 

And just like that I had a gun in my hands and few grenades in my pockets.

I saw many zombies running on the lower catwalk, i dropped a grenade there it took care of the lot there.

Then i asked all the people on the 4th floor to stay together and lock the doors behind us as we left the safety to counter the remaining zombies.

Suddenly I heard a loud scream and saw that few of my colleagues were stuck on 2nd floor catwalk and few zombies were coming from both the sides. I couldn't throw the grenade there as it would surely kill them.

"Do you have any other kind of grenade apart from the frag one?" I asked the closest ranger to me.

"Yes sir, we do have few EMP bombs too which affects the electrical devices."

"Well let's try this shall we?" I said and threw the  EMP grenade over at the catwalk and prayed.

There was a loud fizzing noise and then the cheers of my colleagues and I saw that amazingly the EMP grenade froze the zombies. And with little difficulty they pushed them over the rail to finish them off.

This was certainly new and wherever we could see someone trapped we threw the EMPs there and frag grenades when we saw only the group of zombies.

Soon enough our little building was free from the roaming undeads. We finished any remaining zombies and proceed to ensure that all of our friends were safe.

Then we all got together to ensure that everyone was safe and not bitten. Then we proceed to the outside to assist others and to take care of other undead in the area. We didn't see anyone for a long way. This sure seemed like the end of the time. But I never lost hope knew that if we all worked together, soon we would be able to help retake our town and our country back.

And we all got in the army vehicles and continued towards the next location to rid it of the zombies.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The News

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 41; the forty-first 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. The theme for the month is "SWEET AND SOUR"

'Hotel California' the song played as his phone rang

"Hello, what is it?" He said grudgingly, he was busy in a very boring meeting

"Sir very bad news" Said the voice over the phone

And he told him about what really happened

"Oh Shit!!! Arrange a meeting quick." He said suddenly very alert

*************

The office was abuzz with activity as News channels usually do every hour since they became 24 hours thing

Sahay's phone rang

"Sir very sad news" Said Varun the field reporter

And he came to know about what happened

"Really very sad news thanks for the news" He disconnected the phone.

Quickly send an OB Van to cover the news another to the Minister's home

He was little sad but very happy as there wasn't going to be any shortage of news now and he would be able to keep the channel busy for few days non-stop. He was also happy for Ad-Money they were going to earn.

*************

Phones were buzzing in every home

"Hello?" Said Mr. Sharma

"Hello?" Said Mr. Yadav

"Hello?" Said Mrs. Mishra

And then everyone ran from their homes to only one destination.

*************

It was a very confusing scene with everyone talking at once as they all wanted CM's comments on the issue.

But CM was still busy handling and directing the officers and weren't yet ready to address the press.

After all what can one say after such a tragedy?

*************

Two hours earlier - at the school

Kids were sitting in a line for their lunch.

They ate their food and it was different than usual, it tasted little different, it tasted a little sweet and sour.

But usually the food was bland and it was different so they ate ...

*************

In Bihar .. began the news channel

91 kids died after eating Midday meal.

It was indeed a busy day for the news channels and very sad day for everyone else.



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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Wishes

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 40; the fortieth 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. The theme for the month is "MAKE A WISH"

Mom was crying .... she was sitting by window alone in her room.

I went near her and asked "Mommy, why are you crying?"

"Nothing Beta, Mommy is just feeling little sad" Mom said

"I know why you are sad." I said hugging my Mommy

"Is that so?" asked my Mom with a feeble smile

"Yes!!! you are crying because Bhaiya did not come again this time, right?" I said

"Oh!!! my poor baby." Mommy started crying again

I started crying too but we both sat there hugging each other just then I saw it...

"Mommy!!! Mommy!!! see a broken star quick make a wish" I squealed

"OK baby!!!" Mom said smiling and closed her eyes ..

I did not ask my mom her wish because I knew she wanted a Bhaiya like Papa and Grandma and Grandpa

********************

My Mommy is again expecting ... this time it is going to be a Bhaiya after all Mommy wished it on a Shooting Star and such wishes are always fulfilled.

Everyone was so happy about this new baby, I was also very happy and waiting for my little Bhaiya

I started collecting little toys for my Bhaiya, he would want to play with the new toys not with my dolls.

There was a function too and everyone wished mom that this time it would be a boy and everyone was sure and everyone was happy, It was like they also knew about our little shooting star and wish.

Finally the day came and Mom went to the hospital with Papa and Grandma. I stayed home with GrandPa waiting .. waiting .. I fell asleep..

                                                             ********************

When I woke up, the entire house was silent and I could not find any one.

There were some noise coming from the bedroom, and then I saw ..

Mom was crying .... she was sitting by window alone in her room.

This time too Bhaiya did not come and Mommy again was alone ..

"Mommy!!! why didn't Bhaiya came this time too, why didn't the wish came true?" I asked crying

"Oh!! my poor baby .. Wishes are so feeble they are just a way to avoid reality." Mommy said crying

"Tell me Mommy, what happened this time .. this was the 3rd time you went to the hospital and every time Bhaiya didn't come. Why?" I asked

"Because my Angel there was no Bhaiya and your Papa and Grandma don't want another Girl." Mommy was now crying more than ever

I was also crying with Mommy .. then I noticed one eye lash on Mommy's cheek ...

"Mommy!!! see the eye lash I have heard this wish is very powerful. I will make a wish this time God will not ignore my wish and we will surely get a Bhaiya next time." I said crying.

******************

Time passed nothing happened ..

its true that wishes are the dreams we see when we are awake .... I am 20 years old now and my family finally got Bhaiya on their 6th Attempt. He is now 10 years old and everyone loves him including me.

What I can't understand is how can Papa who is an MBA can continue to blame Mom when she did for not giving birth to a Boy. Simple biology says that father is the one who determines gender of the fetus so how can my Mom be responsible for not giving birth to a boy. And why no one still understands that a Girl is as good as a Boy and there is no point discriminating between them.

I am an adult now and studying to be doctor .. I just saw a shooting star but I no longer believe in wishes.


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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Agent S


“Hello is it Agent S?” Asked a sweet voice

“Yes, I am. How can I help you? Please come in.” I was busy but how could I ignore such a beautiful voice from a gorgeous girl, after all I am a Man

“My name is Isha, and I need your help. Could you please help me?”

“Of course please tell me everything.” I had another case

You know the thing about detectives is that they don’t usually get any interesting work. Most of the time all we have to do is chase husbands or wife to get proof of their infidelity.  Sometimes police also came to ask for my help but I mostly liked to work alone and I hated the simple cases where I had to tail someone for the simple purpose that they can get a divorce.

“Mr. S aaa Agent S I mean Sir.” She Stumbled

“Please call me Lokesh.” I tried to make her relax

“So Lokesh, My twin sister Nisha is in a big trouble.”

“How’s that so?” I enquired

“My sister was in an accident and a man died. Police is claiming that he died due to accident but my sister swears that he was already on the road and she tried to apply the car break but still she hit him and also hit another car causing the accident.” Explained Isha



“Hmm, if we want to make sure that Nisha is innocent and we would have to prove that the man was already dead when Nisha’s car hit him.” I shared my views

I assured Isha that I will check with Police and my sources and will get back to you with the results.

I went to the Police station and met Inspector Sharma and requested him to see the dead body of the man. I also went to meet Nisha in the lock up and my God was she beautiful.

“Could you please let me know Ms. Nisha about the night?” I asked

“I was driving and it was raining so visibility wasn’t great. Suddenly I saw that a man lying on the road. I tried to break but I couldn’t control the car and after hitting the man I crashed in a car which was parked.” She said

Nisha started crying.

“Please don’t cry I would try my best to make sure that if you are innocent then Police sees that.” I tried to comfort her

Then I visited Morgue with Inspector Sharma to check the Body of the deceased.

“So Mr. Sharma, why do you think that Nisha is the culprit and the man wasn’t dead before the accident?” I asked

“Well Agent S, we did not find any distinguished mark on the body to suggest any foul play and still Post-Mortem is remaining which will reveal more about the case.” Mr. Sharma informed me

“In any case do you mind if I check the body myself.” I asked Inspector Sharma

I spent half an hour checking the body and once I was satisfied I notified Inspector

“So did you find anything?” Asked Sharma

“Of course, I would like to tell you that Nisha is innocent.” I surmised

“Are you sure and do you have any proof for your theory?” Said a very surprised Sharma

“Do you really think I would exonerate a suspect based on a hunch and not some solid proof?” I said smiling

“So what are you waiting for, then let’s close this case or at least release that poor girl.” Said Sharma impatiently

Once we reached the dead body I settled and once Inspector, coroner and other officers huddled together I started to show them all why I thought and knew that he was dead before the car hit him.

“As you can see that there are multiple marks on the body due to the accident, but if you see closely apart from those injuries, there are also tiny holes on his arms. Those tiny holes are caused by injection, and by the looks of it I would say that he was a heroin addict and he must have overdosed and must have died due to heart attack. He must have wandered in the middle of the road and died. And only after he died did Nisha’s car hit him. That is why she cannot be charged with the case of his death. You can ask Dr. Saxena and he would confirm the same after the Post-mortem” I finished

“Hmm, interesting theory now let’s see what does our Doctor think.” Said Inspector

I went back to my office and waited for the results of the Post-Mortem to arrive.

I got the call after two days and I immediately called Isha and asked me to meet at the Police Station.

“So the man was dead before the accident and Nisha hit his car after hitting him. So she would be released, let’s go and complete the formalities.” I said smiling.

“Oh! Thank you very much Agent S you are wonderful.” Said Isha hugging me

We completed the formalities within the hour and we got out of the Police Station together. I was surprised to see the similarity between the sisters of course they were Twins but it was impossible to tell them apart.



“Thanks Agent S, I am very thankful to you to make sure that I did not have to spend more time inside and God knows how much more time I would have to spend in if not for you.” Said Nisha relieved

“I am just happy that an innocent person didn’t have to suffer.” I said

I started to leave after dropping them to their home

“Hmm, Lokesh if you don’t mind may I know your full name.” Asked Isha


“Of course, I am Lokesh Shrivas.” I said driving away.


Friday, July 19, 2013

The Brave One

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It was the worst rainfall I had ever seen.

The torrential rains had turned the rivers into Life-Takers. They were no more the Life givers that they once were. It sent everyone into frenzies of panic and disdain. Everyone was looking out only for means to run out of this place into safety and into the comfort of their loved ones.

I had to find an escape route too, and luckily I was spared the agony of having to worry and care about my loved ones since I was travelling alone. But the thought of leaving so many people in misery and running away from my duty to help them weighed heavily on my mind. So I decided to stay back. As long as the rain continued lashing, there was very little we could do. So we waited... waited for the rain to stop… waited for the morning to come.

**************


The morning brought with it an ugly picture of devastation and destruction caused by the fury of nature, by the torrential rains and the flash flood last night. We were dumbfounded witnessing this cruel act of nature. Being on a higher ground, we had been considerably safer, but there had been so many thousands of them who had not been as lucky. The rivers had breached their banks and showed no signs of receding. So many had been washed away, others trapped beneath debris of buildings razed to the ground and thousands of them stranded without food, water and roof over their heads. 

The large scale of devastation was shocking. We jumped headlong into the rescue operations joining hoards of other rescue workers.

That’s when I saw that angel.
**************


She must have been only 8 or 9 years old but she was one of the most active members of our little group. She was a virtual bundle of energy and it must have been her infectious energy that kept us all going. We saw her little feet scampering around looking for people in need and running to us with the little details.

“Uncle look over here, someone’s trapped under this debris.”


“Didi, please come here, there’s a small child crying for her mother.”


“Bhaiya, help me carry this sheep to the other side.”


She kept up her search for the entire day, scouting for people needing help and bringing it to our attention.

“Beta, what is your name?” I asked her.

“Nimmi” she replied even as she ran carrying a bottle of water for an old man who had just been rescued.

Her ‘never-say-die-spirit’ was the stuff heroes are made of, I thought as I saw her help the old man sip a little water.

We erected tents so that they could act as temporary shelters for people who had been rendered homeless. Go back to the buildings was ruled out, because they could come crashing anytime if it rained again.

The sun had begun to make his descent over the horizon signaling the end of the day. We were terribly tired after a long day’s work, and as we retired to our tents, we saw Nimmi still running around. 

“What are you doing sweetheart,” I asked her running my hand over her head. 


“I’m going to fetch wood Uncle,” she said, “The nights are very cold here, and we will need to get a fire burning to keep us all warm.” 

Why didn’t we think of that!

She led me to a clearing and a couple of us helped with chopping the wood, while she bundled wood neatly into stacks. 


“Why don’t you rest sweetie, we’ll take care of the rest” I told her, looking at her tired face. 


“After carrying this stack to the tents” she insisted.


I took out my mobile and clicked a picture of hers with the pile of wood stacked between her tiny frame and her worn out hands. 


Our own little squirrel helping us to rebuild lives, just like the squirrel in Ramayana helped build the bridge! I thought and smiled.

**************

“You worked very hard; you must be tired, aren't you? You did a great job!” I said.

She smiled.

“You are a courageous little girl.”

More smiles

“Are you here all alone? Where are your parents? They must be worried to not have you around. Did you tell them you are here?” I asked suddenly realizing that I hadn’t seen her family since morning.

“We live down a hillock in a little shanty. As soon as the rain got heavier, our house collapsed and we all had to run to higher grounds” she said, visibly tearful now.

I was shocked. 

“Why didn’t you tell me that before? We must look for your family members” I said comforting her.

“My father taught me everything I know, so if I am all right my family would be fine too. I am sure they are. We have to take care of the people who need our immediate attention.” She replied.

What an angel of compassion and bravery! She was a soldier in her own right!

I had joined the rescue operations because I was alone, because my family was safe, and because I was quite capable of taking care of myself. But this girl had joined in to help, knowing pretty well that she was young, alone, separated from her family and unsure of their safety and whereabouts. 

**************


The resonating sound of thunderclouds woke me up. Nimmi was sleeping next to me with all the other homeless children. She woke up too. Soon it began raining again and the river seemed to be overflowing again. By morning the river had swollen! 

Several people had gathered around to look at the raging waters knowing how dangerous it could be. Suddenly we heard people screaming for help. Apparently someone had slipped into the marsh while looking at the waters. We rushed to see what had happened. While we ran towards the river, I saw Nimmi run back into the camp tent. 

Poor child, she must be scared, I thought. 

How wrong I was! Our “little hero” came running to the banks within a minute of us reaching there, holding a rope in her hands, and throwing it in to the boy who was just about to slip into the river below! 
What presence of mind!! Her parents had really taught her well. 

We threw the rope but the kid was too scared to catch the rope with one hand.

“Please hold the rope while I go down to bring him up.” I told my team.

“No, let me go down and catch him as I am lighter and it would be easier for you to pull me up” said Nimmi.

“She is right” said someone.

We lowered her with the rope tightly secured around her waist. Slowly and expertly Nimmi made her way to the frightened kid and grabbed him with both her hands. We started pulling them but somewhere around the marshes the rope got stuck and no matter how much we tried it remained stuck. But Nimmi loosened her waist support and urged the little kid to grab the rope over her head and helped him reach to the ground safely, letting him use her hands for support. 

Everyone cheered!

But she was still not safe as the rope was still stuck, and she could not climb up without support. We saw her leg slip and I almost missed a heartbeat. She was hanging precariously over the river. Nimmi’s face was as calm as ever. 

Hold on my little angel, I prayed.

I kept trying too, tugging at the rope, jerking it so that it would come loose. Suddenly, the rope felt loose and excitedly I yanked it up. But my heart sank when I saw that Nimmi wasn’t at the other end. Where was she? I frantically looked down, my heart beating wildly, my eyes searching every corner of the marsh. Maybe she was stuck somewhere. 

Then my eyes fell on the rope. The end of the rope was broken. I couldn’t believe I had lost my little angel. For a very long time I sat there with my face buried in my palms, weeping like a child. 
**************

After a few days, Army helicopters flew us back to safety. I sat glued to the television watching the updates, identifying familiar locations and recounting those difficult days. I thought of the brave heart Nimmi, wondering if her family was safe and if they had ever found out about their little girl. I took out my mobile and looked at her picture. Her deep black eyes, so full of determination. Carrying that pile of wood in her worn out hands. 
The news reader announced that the count of bodies had been rising and as the river subsided, more bodies were being washed ashore. Among them was the body of a 9 year old girl with a cut rope secured to her waist. 


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Water – The Wine that flows through my veins

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Ingredients used: (1) A Bottle of Wine (2) A reclusive billionaire-vigilante (3) A Superhero

This was just another day in my life. The Innovative, Spectacular, Dashing, Photogenic, Successful, Entrepreneur, Billionaire and Lonely man.

Yes I had everything; but I didn't have someone else to share my wealth. There were thousands of girls who would marry me in a flash, but I didn't need someone who was after my money. 


I've had many people like that who pretended to be my friends so that they can enjoy the luxuries along with me. I didn't mind them at least they kept me company.

Why I was so alone for one I didn't have parents... See my Dad killed my Mom when I was very little and then he adopted me later when I was 10 years old without knowing that I was his son. Since my Dad killed my Mom I killed him when I was barely 10 years old and ran away from home. 

I kept on running since then just one possession a bottle of Wine nicked from my Dad's home. I resolved to drink that when I truly felt peace with what I had done.


All through my life I managed myself, studies double hard and worked double hard to support myself. Started my business and through intuition and good luck and lot of hard work, I was able to bring my company to such heights. And though I was successful and people admired me for the last few months I had become a recluse, avoiding public contact. I had stopped attending meetings and left all the important work to my very capable managers.

The reason was this all though I am 40 years old now, it’s been 30 years since that fateful night and the Wine Bottle was still intact and had a place on my bar. I was drinking day and night, every wine, every whiskey, everything but I couldn't open that bottle. How could I? I still wasn't able to convince myself that I did the right thing and consequently could not feel the closure or Peace.

No one knew but I was also trying my hand at crime fighting to help secure the nights safer for citizens. Police was dubbing me a Vigilante who was punishing, beating criminals and dropping them in front of the Police stations to be arrested. I had hoped that helping others every which way I could would help me find peace, but peace still eluded me.

I considered myself a murderer and felt no different than my Dad who had killed my Mom. This internal turmoil was eating at me from inside.



I kept on living like this and there seemed to be no way out for me. I wasn’t going to any of my offices though sometimes my managers came in to take my signatures on important papers, but that was all I stayed in all day and nights and drank and sometimes after dark I would wear some kind of disguise, so that I could help people without being identified.


Within few months I started to feel little bit happier and thought that I could after all get through my depression.


But before that I had repent for my sins for a long time but if that’s what required for inner peace so be it. I would pay my due and take my time to reach peace and drink that bottle of wine which started to mock me, saying stuff like;


“You are too weak.”

“You will never be happy, you killed your parents.”



“You try to kid yourself by beating up some lowlife that you are doing the city some good. No! You are not.”


“You are nothing but a pathetic little drunk.”


“I am not a drunk, I can stop drinking whenever I want and I am truly helping people.” I said to myself.


******************


It was a fateful day in September when I met the angel who changed my life and showed me my way.
She was an actual Super Hero with powers and all and she seek me out one evening.


She told me that she saw me one night taking care of few criminals and then she followed me to my building. She was hovering in front of my 50th Floor balcony and asked me to open the door to let her in.


“Are you Super Girl?” I asked her puzzled


“Ha Ha Ha Ha, No I am not Super Girl. My name is Shakti” She replied


“Yo… You are an actual Super hero I mean heroine.” I stammered, I never stammered
“That’s Okay just call me Shakti. You seem troubled if you don’t mind you may share your problems with me. May be I could help you a little.” She offered her help

I don’t know how I knew to trust her, I only knew that she could be trusted and I told her everything, from start to the finish.


“So, you killed your Dad, who had killed your Mom and you are still running towards peace but you can’t seem to catch it.” She summarized.



“That is pretty much about it.” I helped


“I know you already know this but you were only 10 years old when you burned your Dad to death. That was a very young age and you were blinded by the fire of revenge.” She said


“But that still doesn’t mean that I could get away with murder and that too my father none the less.” I wasn’t convinced.


“But you are already repenting for whatever you may have done by helping all these people. Making sure that some petty criminal doesn’t take away some poor kid’s parents too.” Shakti explained


“Do you really think so?” I wasn’t fully convinced


“Of Course even if you would’ve surrendered then you would’ve been thrown in juvenile house and I am not too sure that you would’ve been able to reach here from there if that would’ve been the case.” Said my angel


“That does make sense, I tried to explain all these things to me but why does the peace still elude me and that Wine bottle seems to mock me all the time, taunting me.” I said


“Bring that bottle here, we would celebrate a new beginning today and end of the era.” Said Shakti smiling


When I came back with the bottle and the glasses, Shakti placed her hands on my temples and pressed lightly and came to see a vision.


I was still with my Dad and he was alive like nothing had happened. I was 13 years old now, when my step-mom died. It was a very sad day for all of us. Dad married again, I was 17 years old now studying away in boarding school. I got the news there that my step-mom had died again. Somehow I knew that my Dad was killing all his wives and that he was a serial killer.


I was back now, and I realized that I had done a good job by killing my Dad and saving lives of all those women. I felt peace for the first time ever when I realized that I wasn’t evil but my Dad was and I put an end to his evil.


I was finally at peace with myself and knew my purpose in life and all thanks to Shakti. You shared that Wine bottle with me to celebrate my victory over my mind and my life.


Alas Shakti had to go as she was fighting injustice throughout the world, but she promised to visit me regularly and before leaving she gave me two wonderful gifts before leaving Invincibility and the ability to flight. I was basically Superman but not an alien but a human.


Next morning the office had a surprise as they saw their Boss amongst them for the first time in more than a year. I was ready to handle my responsibilities now, business during day and helping citizens during night.


By finding peace within me with the help of Shakti, I was able to work to bring peace to my city and to keep the citizens happy. For I was finally happy with who I was.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Party Down

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“Sir these letters were in the mailbox for you?” said Suraj our house servant

“Okay” I said taking the bundle from his hands.

There were around 14 envelops in total, few were spam “Do people still send physical mails in this age of spam emails?” I thought
Few others were different bills but one of the envelops was bright golden in color and caught my attention,

It was an invitation to a party at one of the wealthiest family in town; I was surprised to see the invitation as I had no contact with Singh family being from a small business family.
None the less I was intrigued by the invitation and was eager to attend the party and since it was a Sunday and party was today and my schedule was free too.

“Tanu are you free tonight? We got an invitation from the Singh’s and I would love to go there.” I said to my wife
“That would be lovely.” Came the quick reply

So there we were, in our car driving on Singh’s drive way, the path was beautiful all the way to their enormous mansion.



There was a legion of cars in front of the gate and the valets were taking guests cars to move them to the parking. We also handed our cars key when we reached in front of the beautiful gate of the mansion.
After a wait of almost half an hour we were finally walking inside that grand mansion, I just couldn’t stop admiring the d├ęcor and structure of the mansion.

The atrium was quite huge and there were people as far as I could see but still the place didn’t seem crowded, it was amazing.
Although there were so many people, I couldn’t find anyone I knew. This made me feel a little awkward and out of place and I thought maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.

“Ah, there you are Mr. Rathi. How are you doing?” Said a voice
“Oh! Hello Mr. Singh, Beautiful home you have here.” I replied slightly surprised, how did he know my name? He did he was so rich and powerful.

“I am glad that you liked it. Please feel free and enjoy the party. Don’t hesitate if you want to check any room.” Said Mr. Singh smiling

“Thanks, we would Mr. Singh” We replied
“Please do and see you around.” Came the reply

We were finally feeling a little at ease after talking to the host and seeing exactly how friendly he sounded despite being the richest man in the city.
Still it made us feel strange and alienated among so many strange people.

We started moving through the people to check different artwork placed throughout the main hall and throughout the entire mansion. It seemed like there were more paintings and statues here than a museum. It looked like that we would be stuck here for weeks checking all the artwork.
It was truly magnificent, seeing all the works of art under this beautiful mansion or should I say Palace, it seemed apt I thought.

The house was glowing under perfect lighting which was high lighting all the intricate details of the house increasing its beauty.
That is why it felt very strange when we came across a dimly lit room while walking through the house. Curiosity got the better of us we walked as if hypnotized by the half dark room, and we walked inside.

The walls of the room were lined with different cages and glass boxes filled with all kinds of snakes and reptilian creatures. We were shocked beyond belief were we still in the same house or did we walk up to a zoo unconsciously but we were still in the house as apparent by the background noise.
And sure enough just like the entire house the creatures in the room were again exotic and breathtaking to look at. Suddenly I noticed someone at the end of the room, finally someone whom I knew. I walked towards my friend Ravi.

“Hi Ravi, how are you?” I asked
“You? What are you doing here all alone?” asked Ravi like he was startled to see me.

Now it was my time to freak out, as I wondered where my wife went. I instinctively looked back but saw on one. Where did Tanu go? I thought. I was more perplexed than afraid. After all, she couldn’t be in any danger in this big house with so many people. May be she just went to get a drink or something. I turned again towards Ravi but I almost jumped as Ravi was no longer there and he didn’t walk by me. It was like the room swallowed him. This was pretty strange to tell you the truth.
Since there was no one else in the room besides me it seemed very creepy to me all of a sudden. I started to exit the room but now the door was closed. It was like somebody was trying to play some game with me. I was annoyed at this attempt of unwanted games.

I banged the door few times but got no response, I tried to hear the noises from outside but strangely I couldn’t hear anything, it was like I was the only person in the entire house. There was sound of the music or the sound of people talking. There was a faint light visible from below the gate but it didn’t look like the kind of lights we saw in the main hall.
“Where am I?” I wondered loudly again smacking the door but to no avail. I felt like crying after banging the door like a madman for around half an hour.

Finally I slumped against the door tired and the room appeared darker now and scary too I wasn’t able to see all the way through to the end and as everybody knows that everybody is scared of the dark.
“If I am going to be stuck here for some time more, let me at least see the wonderful creatures.” I thought and walked towards the assortment of the cages and boxes but there were no longer those colorful creatures and its place were black poisonous snakes and other ugly creatures.

Now I was positively struck by the all situation and how it made no sense at all.
I again checked the cages but they were empty now, what the hell was happening. Was I dreaming or someone was still playing some sick game with me. But no one woke me up from the dream or no one came forward smiling and telling me that it was all fun and games.

“What is happening? Where is everybody? Where am I? Why am I locked here?” I shouted at the top of my voice
Suddenly I heard a sweeping noise and I turned and saw that the door was no longer there. There was something spooky going on. I walked outside the room glad to be free of the reptile room but when I took a last look at the room it was empty of all the boxes and cages and it was just a dark room nothing else.

I walked out of the room but instead of reaching that grand hall I left behind I reached a very big dark room. Everything was charcoal black as if burned and there was nobody to be seen. I stumbled out of that hall to escape the gloominess of the entire scene.
But I again reached another charred remains of a garden it looked that everything was burned to the ground. I was standing in front of the mansion but although it was big it wasn’t grand as burned things are not grand and it certainly was burned all right.

Was I hallucinating or something I remembered correctly that I did come to the party but how can things change so drastically.
I walked as half drunk towards the back of the mansion I saw few people and lot of vehicles,

“So IT WAS A JOKE.” I thought with relief.
“Hey where did everybody from the party go and what happened to the mansion and is this an illusion.” I asked the crowd.

They look startled for a moment, and then they surrounded me.
“Hey what do you think you are doing? You can take my wallet and watch.” I said but I wasn’t wearing a watch when I checked and I had no wallet just a dirty Kurta Pajama.

I struggled but I couldn’t do anything as five of the guys grabbed me dragged me towards a vehicle
“Are they trying to kidnap me?” I thought.

“Poor Mr. Singh lost his family and everything in the fire which consumed his mind and his whole personality. He has been hallucinating like this ever since.” I heard someone say before I drifted into sleep following an injection.
Sweet dreams! What a party!