Sunday, November 27, 2011

The movie [Short Fiction]

That scene never left my mind- chilly breeze, her hair floating in the air, dressed perfectly looking so damn beautiful, her mind unsure- her heart beating wild and he grabs her and swings her into his arms and looks right into her eyes- Oh…his blue eyes! And, that’s their moment. That moment when two people know, they are meant to be, now and forever. After living that high, waiting with bated breath, - I sulked, walked out on my boyfriend with a lame excuse. It is too harsh for a woman to be crashed into the real world after a two hour fairytale dream. The credits roll and you realise it was just a story.

When the movie ended, it seemed inappropriate to be holding the hand of a guy with pop-corn stuffed in his mouth. I mean look at that charming man on the screen, and how wonderful is the story of that couple. I couldn’t help but get sucked into the dream they sold to me, two hours and I despised my whole reality. “Hey, are we grabbing dinner at Chelo’s?” he asked with the predictability of routine that built between us over our five months of dating. But, just at that precise second I felt like he is a growing appendix that my body is rejecting, and if I don’t cut him off now, I could burst. “I don’t feel too well.” I pretend nausea and land up at home earlier than planned.

I think about this guy, I think about us- nothing special, just casual, two random people- run into each other, meet, date, talk, and go around- no defining moment. If I think of putting up a song track to our love life- it would be a Nothing! No passion, no wild love, no craze, just two level headed people finding compatibility. With a mouthful of chocolate ice-cream to satiate my remorse I stare blankly into the wall. It starts to rain and it makes me feel worse. How I wish I’d walk out to find a handsome young man getting drenched in the rain to catch a glimpse of me- like Mr. Andrew in the movie. It is pathetic! What do these movies do to us? I wonder what the inspiration to these movies is- It is no way a reality, it is not! I bury my face in the pillow to continue to dream, to prolong that effect of the movie.

The bright sky greets me and I refuse to wake up, pull over the sheets above my head and tuck myself in. A message blinks right into my eye. “Pick you up in 20mins. Hope you feeling better.” I drag myself out of the bed and focus my thoughts on work. With few sips of coffee I run down the stairs, my mind still hung over and delusionary. I find him waiting at my door. “You feeling better?” I nod my head and we walk.  The traffic is bustling; the city is living up to its Monday morning jams. I feel unsure, as if an alarm went off in my head, I walk blindly- thinking about a break up? In the next few seconds I feel his hand grab mine and pull me back. “Watch out lady!” an angry voice screams from the car that almost ran over me. Little shaken I look at a simple man, a silly simple man, holding me as if I am the most loved person in this world. His heart is beating with the fear of almost losing me. As he hugs me shielding from what could have been I feel secure- no passion, no craze- just lot of love and care. All of my senses tune to him- I breathe in his life, his love, his presence. I could be no where else, I could be with nobody else. This is our fairytale moment, the defining moment- it is real, it is him. The movie- so surreal and funny. Reality is now -my high!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Waiting in the dark [Short Fiction]

The city with all its glitz and lights was dazzling in the night. But the lights were somewhere in the background, as if an uptown New York night view wallpaper was pasted far away. Patches of road appeared and disappeared synchronized with the limited throw of headlights as the vehicles swished by. The flickering street lights reduced the visages of people to black unfamiliar contours only giving a hint of their faces from the momentary flashes of light. Here I was a thirty year old lady, near the bus stand in the outskirts of a city, waiting in the dark . I cursed the man who had loved me dearly for the past five years for this delay of five minutes. I frantically tried to reach him on his mobile, failing at which I dropped some angry messages while actually trying to take of my mind off the surroundings and seem occupied.

My eyes bounced from one person to another. A little fear crept in each time I saw the silhouette, of a man. I checked the time, it was a little past nine thirty. A lump rose to my throat and stomach twisted.  The voice of my mother during my teenage days came back like an unexpected echo, shaking me, reminding of all the horrors that can happen in the dark. To wipe out the thoughts and feel a little secure I hopped and stood near a lady almost five years younger to me. It was a relief, acknowledging the presence of another woman. With a new found strange courage I looked at the men around us, seeing them for the first time with a neutral eye. They were no different than the men I meet on day to day basis. A hardworking middle aged guy with his bag strap stashed across his chest, a moody typical teenage student, a day worker starching his hair, deciding on puffing a beedi tucked into multiple turns of red and yellow sacred thread wrapped around his wrist.

While this sudden knowledge of common men set out waves of comfort, black thoughts still nagged my mind snubbing the possibility of respite. The horror stories of molestation, rape, kidnapping, abuse kept hovering over my head like cursing demons. Where the hell was my husband? It is unlike him, to be this late. Now an additional fear splashed in my already turbulent mind. Finally a message beeped and I was informed my guy was stuck in the nasty traffic due to a harsh accident. It does seem like a bad day for many people- harsh accident? My eyes glued to the mobile screen I try not to look around and make an eye contact with these common men. A rapist doesn’t roam with a board indicating the same- it could be anybody. With impulse I turn my head around to confirm a noisy brawl between two men walking towards the stand where we stood, we- me, the younger lady and the strange men. Two men in drunken madness, screaming and clearly out of their senses- my stomach touches the ground.  With one of the other million pre-programmed reflexes built in every women, we two ladies step closer and stand next to each other as if we were childhood friends.

Why should I fear? I chide myself. Really coming to senses for the first time since I stepped into this bare corner of the street, stripped from the comfort of daylight and facing strangely expose fears which came to light in this darkness, waiting for my husband to take me back to my safe home. I can scream, my nails are uncut, the jeans is comfortable to raise my foot crotch high with required amount of force, I have a police number in my speed dial, I have a strong fist too and the lady beside me, offcourse she would help, now why wouldn’t she? But, all these fall flat when I look at the time again- fifteen past ten. If I ever want to get rid of my husband all I need to do is mention this incident to my mother. Past ten!  

As if my worries were less, the day worker starts roaming about the place breaking through the invisible divide we woman made near the where we stood. My heart hopped into my mouth, when he tried to ask something in some incomprehensible language, with a sheepish smile plastered across his face. I walk away in a quick movement making a disgusted brave face but am actually scared like a little abandoned child, fully aware of the ugliness of the world. The worker walks away mumbling and I realize probably he didn’t mean any harm, maybe just too dazed with the tired day, beedi puffs or maybe some desi daaru, I pinch my nose as he leaves a trail of odour behind him. Ofcourse he could do harm, anyone could be harmful, men drunk, not drunk, educated, uneducated, upper class, lower class- there was nothing that clearly separated the good from the bad. And all you need to be in that vulnerable spot is be a woman, nothing matters, the clothes, the decency, the looks, age -nothing really.

A shrill horn breaks my endless symphony with the stressful night. I hop to the car with great relief, …

For happy ending- select the white text below:

…shoot an angry look at my husband. I slam the door and look at the stand where I stood nearly for an hour fearing my life as a woman. I look at the lady, my companion in the joint misery. I stop my husband from shifting the gear and tell him,” Lets wait till someone comes to pick her up.” He turns the key and the engine hum mutes abruptly. The young woman walks and stands closer to our car with the deepest sense of gratitude and we share a smile exchanging our identities for the first time.

For twisted ending – select the white text below:

.. sit in and slam the door in a hurry. I pull out my handkerchief and wipe the beads of fear off my face.  While a couple of kilometers away I prop my head on the car window to gaze back the horror I lived through. I notice a car similar to our halt at the stop. Suddenly this car feels strange below my feet. the dashboard doesn’t have the Ganesh idol, the seat covers are a shade darker, the foot rug is missing... I fear looking at what monster could be seated in the driver’s seat next to me. How blindly fearful was I ?? My phones rings and- it is my husband calling.


P.S: It is strange how just one para about 100 words can change the whole track of the story and change how it makes the reader feel. Hope you cherish this little experiment as much as I did writing it. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

At First Sight! [Poem]

There is sudden charm around me
When I catch your glancing eyes
I feel beautifully young and bold,
Yes, that’s the feeling precise

When you walk towards me,
Futile, my effort of thinking twice
I could toss my world aside
To be enticed and to entice

When you pause to catch a breath,
Weigh your words before they fall
You make me feel precious
I am such a girl after all

As we stand beside each other,
With a million thoughts on our mind
We both are wishing the same-love,
“I wish you could be mine!”


Carolina..[Short Poem]

There is subtle tease,
In the whiff that lingers, after you leave
It is your scent, that turns sublime desire wild
Alluring and soothing, like a lovely old wine
Intoxicated, you leave me, wishing you were mine!


P.S: I did buy it. ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

The coin collection - Part3 [2nd Version]

Read Part1- Here
Read Part-2 V2 - Here

But who would explain this complexity of an Indian marriage to Asha. Who would tell her that her mother grew up listing to how she should endure all that a wedding had to offer.  And that the ones who walked away were cowards, women who didn’t know how to deal with a man!  Could she understand what it meant to be a girl child of a broken family?

Their life had slipped into a melancholic rut. And they were too careful not to step into each other’s life. Father- one of Asha’s foundation bonds was reduced to middle aged stranger who lived under the same roof. She learned to hold back her questions and wait for the life to unfold itself. Wait, because a worry seemed to trouble her. Situation was strangely comfortable. Why lash out a ripple in still water?

Her mother had looked like a warrior two years ago with a trace of resentment in whatever she did for her father. But now the image was fading, the helplessness of Amma surfaced. When she looked at Amma, Asha would blame herself for all the complications. Docile Amma would never have set her foot out to work had it not been for Asha. Probably she wouldn’t have had any complaints with the man whom she calls a husband. The mutual silence in the family made her think beyond her age. There were many nights when she cried herself to sleep. She flipped the pillow around to hide the tear marks, what if Amma sees it? After all Amma still believed Asha had nothing but just a faint idea of the trouble. Amma believed she had mastered masking the harsh reality. Why break her heart?

The coin box was full and it was time to get it changed to notes. Few years ago, there was cheer about the money. Asha would jump with glee and clap her hands when they got the coins changed. A joy that was meaningless. Today she was silent, when Amma and she walked to the near by grocery.”So, that is a lot of money! You will become Uncle Scrooge if you continue this way.” her mother tried to make a conversation. Asha looked giving an infinitely mature look to her mother passed a smile that usually mothers’ pass to an innocent children. Amma was taken aback. She tried to cheer up the girl, pointing out to general life around them, a cute little baby, a new fancy building, a sleepy dog, an over burdened motor vehicle, but none had an affect on the girl. She walked with rapt attention. Her mind fixed elsewhere.

Asha had, looked at people and learned the difference in the life of other kids and hers. She had looked at families with the child holding the parents in union. It pained her, these observations. Amma had started to worry about the changes Asha had been displayed. Like the girl was carrying a thought too heavy for her delicate mind. “Don’t let it get to you head, stay atop, ignore, and be in that melancholic rut…” but she didn’t say a word. This is not the time.

The grocery store man passed a practiced smile with perfection. He looked at little Asha and spoke to her mother,” Madam, this girl will become lakhpati very soon!” Amma turned to Asha proud of her young daughter’s accomplishment. The man carefully counted the coins counting the stacks of ten rupees he had made with Asha’s coins. “Here you go, two hundred and thirty, what will you do with all that coin collection, buy nice toys?” the man asked as he handed over the notes to Asha. “Amma was about to respond back-“She wants to be Uncle Scro..” when Asha spoke with a tinge of irritation,” No, with that coin collection, I want to get away from home- far away from Appa”. While the man pretended to get busy with other customers a unfazed little girl in her frilled cotton gown and shocked Amma walked back home in silence. 

P.S: I am so sorry for the delay. Do let me know which version you people liked. Eagerly waiting for your feedback! :)
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