Continue the story prompt

This is my entry for the Continue the story prompt on Writetribe and I’m taking my own story ahead.

First part of this story : A moment of happiness

As we sat sipping cutting chai from an unclean glass on the roadside tea-stall, I felt like it was all for the best. Agreed, this was not the perfect way to start a new life but life is never perfect; especially for people like us. No one ever remembers us or looks for us. She had been upset with the whole idea initially but I’d managed to make her see the bright side of it in the end.

It hadn’t started deliberately. I’d been employed with a rich grain merchant to carry sacks of food grains on my back for loading and unloading his trucks. The pay wasn’t much, but it ensured two square meals a day for me. I wanted to get married soon and hence was also putting some money aside for that purpose. It was my life’s savings and I’d kept it safely with a friend of mine.

As luck would have it, he duped me. When I asked for my money, he simply retracted! I tried everything I could; beg, plead and terrorise; but he didn’t relent. When I beat the hell out of him, he asked me to go and meet a friend of his who’d give me the money. He, then, sent me to someone else, who in turn turned me elsewhere. I’d understood that this was simply a plot to keep me hanging and playing around with me.

After a week or so, I’d had enough! I’d given them a chance to make good their sins, and now they were going to pay for it. I would make more money anytime, but these people needed to be taught a lesson. I knew what I had to do, and I did just that. Every person, who’d ever laughed at me, made fun of me, and had touched even a rupee that belonged to me, had to die! Yes!

I caught them unawares and watched with devilish glee, the horror on their faces when they knew they were going to meet their maker. The more they pleaded, the more brutal I got with them. They offered me money, ornaments, land; but I wanted nothing more than their blood on my hands. When the news people on television called me a ‘crazy serial murderer’, I smiled to myself.

However, while I’d been busy with myself, my girlfriend had experienced a hell of her own. In drunken stupor, the owner of the house where she worked as a maid had misbehaved with her, more than once. Even more so, that prick had the audacity to offer money to buy her silence. Out of fear and the fact that he was a policeman, she’d promised him that she’ll never give it away to anyone, but in a weak moment confided in me.

To cut a long story short, I killed the policeman just like I killed the other people to make it look like a serial murder. This way, my girl would be saved from any interrogation and she’d get her vengeance, just like I got mine! We’re now on our way to my village, far away from this city and its people. We haven’t decided what we’ll do next, but with time I’ll know and I’m prepared for everything.

Write Tribe

When dreams meet reality – 2

The story until now: When dreams meet reality – 1

Her colleagues sneered at her saintly workaholic behaviour occasionally. She was single and wondered why it was unacceptable to people. She always kept her distance, yet at times like this she had to relent and be a part of the ‘girl gang’ at work. The occasion: nothing.

She was already dreading being there and was concocting imaginative theories to slip out of there at the first available opportunity.  While the girls with her were draining off one beer after another, she had hardly touched hers. She meekly looked around trying to understand why she felt so out place here. She was no different than them, and yet there was something that kept her from joining in or enjoying any of it.

They hadn’t been there for long when a gang of guys came and took the Reserved table next to theirs. They were a noisy bunch with no regard for the ambience of the place or privacy of fellow diners. They hollered their orders and bullied the waiters until they were asked by the patrons to mind themselves or take it elsewhere. Thankfully, they obliged. Her friends were gushing something about them in each others’ ears, and she was more than agitated. The alcohol had probably started working on them, she thought.

Both the tables were cluttered with empty bottles and half-eaten food and the drunkards (as she called them in her head) had gone relatively silent, after a long time. She felt sane again. Sober and somewhat settled with the situation, she curiously overheard the guys on the next table; talking slowly and fondly now. She didn’t find her casual eavesdropping wrong or impolite and realised that it was their reunion gelled with a birthday celebration.

They were talking about their college days now. She incidentally caught the name of their college and city and suddenly felt a lump forming in her throat. As if on cue, just then someone cursed him for not making it there due to work reasons. It was the same as….? They were his batch mates…? Friends…? Wait….did they just take his name? Could this be really true….??

She had a hundred questions but couldn’t ask anyone. She considered asking them directly but decided against it. How would he react if he came to know? She couldn’t be sure. When it was time to leave she was in complete daze, had a numb mind and an aching heart. She knew she had to do something about this, but not so hastily.

During lunch break the next day she came back to the restaurant, with a plan. She went to the Manager hoping that he’d somehow give her the name or address of the person who’d booked their table. The Manager wasn’t very forthcoming in providing any details, though he did mention that someone had reserved that very table for lunch and was already seated there.

She hardly found that helpful or relevant, but without any thought whatsoever she marched herself to that table. To her utter surprise, she found him sitting there. He had a broad smile on his face and said simply, “Hi! I was hoping you’d drop by. Seems like I can still predict your moves huh? Still like Chinese, do you?”.

A lot hadn’t worked in favour of their relationship in the past, but this was not the time to ponder. They had met by accident this time, but chose to all it destiny. They were still single, and that was just about what they needed to know. They had passed the test they’d put each other through. Whichever road they chose to take from here, they could be certain it would be with a partner they wanted the most.

hh

Coffee..Conversations..Ravi Subramanian…and more :)

When I received my autographed copy of The Bankster for review, I was thrilled. It is the one and only autographed book I have and it made me feel special to hold and possess it.

If that was special, I sure have no words to express what I felt when my dear friend Pinsy told me that Indiblogeshwaris were organising this first of its kind Open BAR (Blogger Author  Rendezvous) with author Ravi Subramanian and pushed me to sign up for it. The prospect was too good to let go, and a few frantic calls and mails later (I was the last one to wiggle my way there!) I was on! 😀

BAR

The planning part itself seemed rather adventurous when Anuradha and me took and left three trains just to catch the one we’d planned to take first. The rain gods kept us company throughout, while the lesser gods, the autowalas, thankfully spared us some not-needed despair and readily took us to our destination; Chocolataria San Churro, Bandra.

Not expecting that we’d be the first ones to reach, I and Anuradha found ourselves puzzled if we were at the right place and time. A few urgent calls to Vinita for confirmation and from Pinsy for directions saved us from attacking the delicacies over there to kill time! Soon we were joined by our entire ‘By Invitation’ group and quick introductions followed. I liked this part, since there were many people I’d never met before.

The slightly segregated group became one almost as soon as Ravi Subramanian joined us. The first thing one might notice about him is his wonderful smile! I’d checked beforehand that he didn’t have any book launch coming up, and was understandably curious to know what he wanted to talk about to a bunch of bloggers he hardly knew. Soon enough, that part was clear, since he earnestly just wanted to have some chit-chat. 🙂

The words of wisdom regarding writing, editing and publishing that Ravi (yes, we can call him that!) shared with us were in one word: priceless. Every one of us has a book inside us which some people know and many don’t. For the ones who know he had a whole lot of tips and experiences to share. The number of drafts that go in making a book, the changes that take place in the story with every draft and the number of people (friends, professional editors, etc) who you must involve in your book to proof read is something that a writer needs to know and understand well.

I liked his reasoning for the transition from a banker to a writer. According to him, he wanted to do something that he’ll be remembered for long after he’s gone and chose writing for this purpose! Having a hands-on experience in the field made him choose banking as a backdrop for his books. However, any hopes of seeing him write about something else can rest for now, since our Grisham of Banking isn’t done with his stint at writing about banking and its politics just yet.

One more thing that Ravi, who’s a regular there, was right about was that the food there was awesome! The coffee, the sandwiches, the nachos with the two sauces, the churros with the two chocolate sauces and the three types of drinks there….everything was simply mouth-watering. Even more so, when we were told that our generous host, Ravi, was giving us this treat! 😀 😉

The photo session was a fun one, with everyone vying to get a picture with Ravi, who happily obliged everyone. The bloggers were all over the place; capturing Ravi in conversation mode, a mural in the background, a copy of The Bankster, the food, the paintings on the walls, and ofcourse, other fellow bloggers. With exchange of phone numbers, sharing of pictures, and a promise to repeat such an overwhelming and informative event in future, the bloggers took leave.

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It was far from over though, for the two crazy girls; Pinsy and me. Knowing that a trip to Bandra isn’t a frequent one for either one of us, we went ahead and even with the rain pouring over us through our umbrellas, we went shopping on Linking Road! Having such girlish fun was a wonderful break for us and we got shoes, earrings, etc etc… Never realised before how much I miss this fun now! 🙂 🙂

After trying a little arm-twisting (which didn’t work), requesting and pleading with the autowalas, I finally reached Bandra station, on my journey back home, alone. The day’s events were too many to cherish and remember, but I didn’t mind going through them once again. I made new friends, met an author, shopped, got drenched, and enjoyed myself thoroughly, without a care in the world. Such things don’t happen often. Wow! 🙂 🙂

When dreams meet reality – 1

He didn’t realise his eyes were moist with tears until his vision was completely blurred. The picture he was looking at couldn’t be implausible, but surprising nevertheless. Was it who he thought it was or was it merely a wretched trick played on him by his mind and heart? Could this really happen?

He was looking at the pictures of one his close friend’s birthday party that were promptly uploaded the day after; today. A party he was invited to, but couldn’t make it due to some pressing work commitments. Not that he was particularly looking forward to it. Weren’t these the same friends who’d questioned and cross-questioned him when he was…. Never mind now.

As he shifted from one picture to another his mind kept racing from the past to the present and back. The party was planned as a reunion of sorts. These were his friends; the ones he shared a room and life with in college days. They ogled at girls together and got in trouble for their alcohol-induced misbehaviour together. They screwed and covered up for each other. Their gang was unmatched and unparalleled. What a life it was!

Most pictures of the party predominantly captured the assorted bottles of their beloved brands (which weren’t affordable in college days) to make the hearts of the likes of him to burn and turn to ash. He’d have missed it easily in all this frenzy had his friends known better than that, but it had to happen. A deliberate capturing of the ‘hot chick’ sitting on the table to their right would’ve been avoided if they had knowledge of who she was.

She was his girlfriend he technically never broke up with; his passion at one time and his weakness at another.

Strange things

This is a quick post to note down this strange little thing I felt today, before I forget about it.

It was raining cats and dogs today, so instead of taking A Jr to school on my Activa, like I do everyday, I walked him to school. It is much simpler this way, to avoid the rainwater getting into my eyes while riding. Also, A Jr takes over 5 minutes trying to find a spot where his sandal can land without getting soiled and it irritates me no end.

Anyway, walking also means that I have to carry everything; A Jr’s school bag, water-bottle, my wallet, house keys, etc. He’s obviously doing me a great service by walking, after-all. So when we were running late today I forgot one of these things at home. That thing happened to be my wallet.

Generally I carry my wallet only for the heck of it. It isn’t much of a necessity, since I don’t stop anywhere for chocolates or stuff like A Jr’s friends’ mothers. Many times when I’m on Activa I don’t even carry it. His school is close to our place anyway.

Today, however, as I closed the door behind me and I realised I wasn’t carrying my wallet, a weird thought came to my mind. What if while coming back I get struck by a car or a truck? How will people know who I am? How will A be informed? Would anyone from our apartment come to identify me? Will someone take me to the hospital or just leave me there?

Imagine all these silly questions coming to my mind in a matter of a few seconds! Thinking that my mind was trying to tell me something from this, I opened the door, went back and retrieved my wallet from my purse, and kept it with me. This time I felt safe, since I carry my PAN card and driving license in my wallet, which are enough to give my true identity.

Scared? Insecure? Superstitious? I seriously don’t know.

A moment of happiness

It had been a long day and I was completely drained. I know I’d always wanted to do this,but this was one of those days when I felt the need to seriously question my decision. People had been paralyzed and traumatized for the past three days owing to the eight serial murders that had occurred in different places across the city.

They were hiding in the safety of their homes, while it was my responsibility to go out and anyhow find this wild beast disguised as a human being. It was like finding a needle in a haystack, but I had to do it. A policeman’s job was never easy.

I stood at my front door and struggled to find my house keys in my trouser pockets. I have to admit it wasn’t easy since my trouser was bursting at its seams because of the pounds I’d piled on in last couple of years. I made a mental note to join a gym as soon as I was done with this case. A coin fell out, but the keys were nowhere to be found. For a police officer I lost things at alarming frequency. Cursing, I retrieved the keys from under the flower pot near my door and went inside.

My home was neat and tidy, a bit too neat and tidy, if there’s any such thing. After the many years this domestic help had been working at my place, I’d never known her for her expertise in cleaning or cooking, or anything for that matter. She kept up with my errant timings and that was about all I needed. Everything was perfectly in place; even my mail had been properly stacked and kept on the center-table. My policeman’s intuition suddenly took over, and I started to acutely examine what seemed to me like a crime scene.

Was I overreacting and being overly cautious? Was I hallucinating due to sleep deprivation? Possibly.

As I looked around for anything suspicious, my eyes fell on the calendar kept on the center-table. The dates from 2nd July to 5th July were circled in red with big red dots under each date. 2nd July: 2 dots. 3rd July: 3 dots. 4th July: 3 dots. 5th July: 1 dot. It was clear to me in a flash! The dates and dots indicated the serial murders! But, what about today’s date? 5th July? It didn’t make sense. No murder was reported today!

My mind was racing. Within these twenty minutes that I’d taken to come home to freshen up, had something happened? Why was I not informed of it yet? Were my suspicions right all along? Where was my maid? Had she left for the day on time or not? I frantically looked everywhere to find anything amiss. Accidentally, I glanced upon the postcard lying on top of the pile of my unread mail. It was sent by my daughter who had gone on a Europe trip with her friends, from Venice.

For a moment I forgot everything that had been hassling me all this while. My eyes were riveted on her brilliant smile and her innocent and dreamy eyes. I longed to see her and hold her in my arms. She was the apple of my eye and I missed her so much!

Just then, I thought I heard a thud and felt something hitting against my head. I took a cursory glance around but, shockingly ignoring all my instincts to check, quickly came back to the postcard. My daughter’s beautiful face was smudged with fresh blood stains. Before any of it could make sense, everything started spinning around me and became increasingly hazy. Something hit me again, much harder this time.

No questions. No reasons. I had to care for nothing now. Before my lifeless body fell on the ground in a pool of my own blood, the last image I saw was that of the wild beast and his ghastly eyes mocking me.

This is my entry for the Write Tribe Contest #1.

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Child is the father of man

One of our favourite English teachers in school, George Sir, had taught us the figure of speech for this statement, which is Paradox. He had a signature way of teaching things including lot of drama and funny antics which made us remember them effortlessly even over a long period of time. Like today, for instance.

To restrict A Jr’s tv viewing time, which has been getting a bit out of hand lately, and to engage him in something productive I decided to teach him about living and non-living things today. I parked him on the kitchen counter while I was doing the dishes and then began our give-and-take of knowledge.

Here goes the conversation:

Me: Accha batao, aapko kaunsi cheezen yaad hain jo bolti aur move karti hain?

A Jr: Crow. Wo roz hamari balcony ke saamne kaw kaw karta hai.

Me: Good. Aur?

A Jr: Dog. Wo bhi bhow bhow karta hai.

Me: Good. Accha Crow aur Dog kya hai?

A Jr: Crow bird hai. Dog animal hai.

Me: Very good. Aur batao.

A Jr *Slightly bored already*: Ab aap batao na..

Me *Trying to make it interesting*: Ok… accha batao aapko wo movie yaad hai  jisme wo fish kho jaati hai aur uske Papa turtle ki help leke usko dhoondne jaate hain?

(I was trying to show him that fishes are living beings too…through Finding Nemo)

A Jr *Suddenly bright-eyed*: Haan! Aur IceAge 4 mein bhi Papa kho jaate hain! Aur Alex mein bhi (Alex meaning Madagascar)! Accha Mamma…ye baar baar sab kho kyun jaate hain?

Me*Trying to catch up with the digression*: Huh…haan wo thik hai.…wo chhodo…par aap mujhe living things bata rahe the na…

A Jr *Happy Happy*: Ab bas ho gaya…abhi main aapke phone pe game khelu?

And off he goes while I look on……!

Needless to say, our lesson never got completed and we never came to non-living things or even more living things for that matter. I’ll probably still need to figure out a way of getting him to sit and concentrate on a certain thing, but he’s already learnt how to give me a slip when he wants to.