Category Archives: Maria’h Diaries.

A narrative, a short story, a sci-fi, and an awareness generator about climate change.


A warm gritty evening on an unusually cold day, where the fishermen rolled their boats into an eventful sea while the couples on the sidewalk sweated more from the heat than their intimacy; the sky was marooned with an appearing moon and the disappearing sun, peppered in bits and pieces by the ocean breeze which buffered in and out like the internet before 3G. It was an awkward time for a vacation but you got to take it when it’s up on offer, especially when you are a cop and holidays are hard to come by.

It had been a rough couple of weeks since the massacre in Maria’h and not a day had passed since then that I hadn’t woken up in sweats with pictures of blood brooding over from every inch of the subconscious frame. The shrieking children, the screaming survivors and the crying families of the deceased, the multiple bombings had left none untouched. I stood in midst of this chaos, unable to do anything when everything I valued was being burned to ground; ashes and only ashes was what I could see. While from the far corner to my right, I kept hearing a familiar cry, of a woman who I was once in love with. I could see her face, it appeared visibly shaken as she carried a dying person on her lap, may be waiting to hear his final words, maybe waiting for him to peacefully depart as there was nothing left to say then. I ran towards her with all my might but with every step I took, the distance between us only grew but somehow I was able to make it. Yet the moment I touched her on her shoulder, I woke up all of a sudden in angst. I woke up, as I saw myself there on her lap, with tears running along my cheeks.

Three days had passed, since we had arrived in Goa but it was only today that we finally decided to visit the beach. The crowd somehow made me anxious, more or less paranoid, of another possible strike. A small cracker in the neighborhood sent shivers down my spine, the hustling and screaming tourists on the beach were obviously a big no-no for me. But I finally budged and submitted to my two beautiful kids and my loving wife of ten years, Shalini. They took me to a relatively less populated beach of the Goan county where I comforted myself on the recliner, watching my wife and kids playing from a distance. There was a sense of calmness that presided; it gripped me off guard and left me to savor the moment without the paranoia that I was succumbing into, for the very first time since the days of bombing. In their noise, I somehow found my silence all over again, and for a moment at least I wasn’t burdened by my past. It felt good, finally.



The Lady in Black


The scorching sun kept dwelling on the open backyard with traces of it being felt on her face as she tried to turn the other way to get her perfect sleep. But the disturbance was already made and the creaking fan had now become a notice point for her. She woke up nonchalantly, trying to make peace with herself but the screeching thoughts of last night shot up in her head. She hoped it was only a dream, though knowing it did actually happen she rushed out but later realized that she had no other option left. She took a cold bath, dressed herself in her favorite black suit with her hair neatly arranged and her lips done all red, and began her long walk to the destiny she had finally chosen.

She had everything one could desire, but her instincts had driven her this way with an incident which triggered the insanity in her. Ten kills and fifteen injured that’s what her count was; she was known among the news circles as ‘The Lady in Black’ Murders. It was never the money which she was after but the sense of insanity which she drove in her victims just before they breathed their last, that’s what caught on her like an addiction which was hard to move on from. She had a careful process which she went through religiously as she laid out the scheme of things around her victims. And the victims, they weren’t normal people; they were hardened criminals who were so thickly polluted that the public at large saw them as messiahs’ in white. This irony, this very irony, unleashed the devil in her.

It started with the molester who took away her friend’s life and robbed her from a faithful companion who she thoroughly revered. She was there, right next to her, lying helpless as the molester, her friend’s ex-husband, dragged her friend out into a moving car before disappearing in the dark. She lay their hurt and bruised, crying for help but no person in that crowded street had held their hand down. That night when she woke up with strips attached to her veins, she made a decision while coming to terms with her friend’s loss which changed her life forever.

It started with revenge, which became a necessity for her. It began all emotional but it only turned into an addiction. She kept convincing her mind of the moral ground she was achieving by putting the bad men to rest who have escaped the clutches of law. But she could never convince herself thoroughly about what she was doing was right. All she knew was that it was time, and she had to put these men to rest but she never knew when that fine line was crossed which made it impossible for her to return.

As the days passed, she began to feel the desire to kill growing enormously in her and later even tried finding the means to justify her act. Horrendous crimes she kept committing, one after the other. She was so close last time from being caught that the policeman had secured a bullet into her shoulder which she had to painfully extract herself. However the desire kept building in her, finally it reached such an extent that she forgot her ends and only means remained.

Out in the dark, she heard an old woman asking her to help cross the shady road; the blood lust began to thrive in and within moments she held the knife so close to the old woman’s throat that it was only matter of seconds. She managed to stumble upon her eyes, helpless, screaming with pain but no one to hear her to help. She felt a déjà vu; she felt she was in a similar position before and when the scene got recollected, she dropped down on her knees. She cried and cried as she couldn’t come to terms about what she had become. That night she couldn’t sleep, she felt trapped in her desire and the only way out was to surrender herself in.

In a shabby discreet police station of a remote village in Maria’h, there were a throng of newspaper reporters holding their microphones high, to collect the podcast about the surrender of the infamous serial killer ‘The Lady in Black’ who had been the cause for the murders in various places of the state for over an year. Masked in black, she walked out in shackles as she was moved into the police van to get deported to the capital where her trial was about to begin. 

“Monsters aren’t created from outside but they are made from within. Sometimes, in a desire to beat the monster down we ourselves become our worst enemy. There are ways to solve a problem, there are problems aplenty, but the fine line stays and it shouldn’t be crossed, no matter what.”– Testimony of the convict, ‘The Lady in Black’ murders.

Photo Courtesy: Raven’s Song by Zennic on Flickr

Maria’h Diaries – The Nature’s Fury.

City of Maria’h 

21st September 2021

Drops of previous shower had stayed back on the leaves with the clouds staying on their agreed location and thereby not allowing the great sun to rise through. Darker the clouds became, intense the sound had become; a thunder after thunder rattled the roofs. But the dew which had settled in wasn’t because of this, not even remotely connected to this. The nature was saddened by the grief of a middle-aged man whose tears haven’t dried up either and have stayed put. The wind seemed to have come to a standstill, and the darkening of the cloud provided a shadow over the man like a protective mother.  And the clouds clashed again to see thunder resonate with grief. 

One sudden day when things were thought to have been stabilizing, a small lightning had wrecked a house and killed all the people inside. Wreckage wasn’t restricted to only the people but also a person who had arrived a day later to see his fate crumble to dust. He had lost his everything, his daughter, his wife; the only persons who he really cared about and lived for.  

Holding a doll in his hand which he had promised his daughter to get from the town, he just couldn’t raise his head to look above and even curse the Gods who had done this to him. He wept till the time he lost his consciousness and kissed the ground to take him to heaven, to be reunited with his family. But the ground wasn’t strong to send him there, so they decided to march him as a soldier of their own. The person rose from the ground after a few hours, to cry some more and fall down again. Finally, he stood his ground to realize that the reason behind the anomalies wasn’t the nature but the man himself. And the soldier which the nature dreamt of and had been weeping for, had started to take his baby steps in the direction to save them from further humiliation.

Afternote: The conditions of the place wasn’t like this always, however the climate was deteriorating with the rising pollution which had already reached the threshold levels. But the process of deterioration got its impetus from the series of nuclear tests that were conducted a few years ago. The misery, which was thought to have ended with the test, had only aggravated with time as they had to get ready to face one of the worst furies of nature that the mankind had ever seen.

The Diaries of Maria’h – 1.

August 26th, 2027 

Blissful morning which has set in after a rainy night, the fragrance of the air which fills in every house of Maria’h has always brought a smile on my face. But that wasn’t the reason i was smiling, it was because of my daughter who was only born a day ago. Those tiny hands and the little nose, which actually resembled mine, was making me wonder at the most beautiful person i have ever seen. Taking her on my hand and laying close to my chest and whispering in her ear “Daddy is going to take care of you till his last breath, and from now on everything which he will do is for you and your mom”.  Keeping her close and watching her sleep on my shoulder, and then my eyes drifting up to the sky to thank that person who is far away from us, and the reply appears with a tinkle in the sky. 

Happiness is always available in discreet packets which vaporize after a while and would be needed to be filled up again, every day, every hour or maybe every minute. It was no different with me too, the promise which i made to my daughter, i could never fulfill and that makes me grieve more than anything.

Its only been a decade since these anomalies have set in, the fragrance, the bliss, everything seems to have disappeared in the wild dust which has enclosed the city. Watching Lisa’s reflection on the glass shade, watching her sleep makes me realize that i have a chance to redeem myself. And I wonder, how is that possible? Nature has unleashed its fury, and mankind has been left with no option other than to sit and watch the crumbling or the new beginning.

The City of Maria’h

Note: Its been over a month since I have written or blogged, so made it a point to myself to write any possible thing which strikes a chord with my mind. So here it goes.

// Work of fiction//

There is a blanket of smoke engulfing the city, allowing no air to escape or enter. The temperature, as such, had started increasing while the clouds were getting darker with every strike they made. Tinsel town of Maria’h which lay in the periphery of the city had become the only area with a bit of fresh air and clean water. The town wasn’t developed as the city was, but the people did live in their houses, content and happy like they were wearing their hearts on their sleeves.

The free wind was let loose and we could see the cowboy hats raising high in the air, they were a quite a number of them! But I had to narrow my vision to this girl who was walking unperturbed in midst of the heaviest wind of the recent times. She had a strange zeal to move ahead, a shade of sorrow in her face, keeping her eyes fixed to the ground.

Sand storms were common, as the desert lay a few miles away from the place; nowadays there were discreet packets of desert settling from place to place. The poles were being uprooted and cars flying along the wind, like the UFO’s of 2020’s. The girl still was walking, which seemed more of walking towards her own doom, as the storm got only intense with her every step from the place i stood watching.

I had to make an effort to pull her away and myself, or the dancing pole would have taken us for a ride to heaven. She was breathing heavily, shivering with cold, but the episode of sorrow on her face didn’t die down. She wasn’t sacred or moved by the incident, that made me feel that she has nothing to live or look forward in life. It was her decision to die by walking the path of death, where i had interrupted and thereby spoiling her plans.

What could I have done, let her go and see another person die in front of my eyes. “I just couldn’t, I just couldn’t…”

The radio started buzzing in and the daily news was on; A beautiful voice from the radio started telling the most terrible things happening in our beautiful world. She goes on ” Good Morning Listeners, the weather conditions are here to stay for another 6 weeks which can cause serious disruptions in the relief and rescue action being carried out by the government. President has asked us to keep faith and hope to make us live an another day, and he also claimed…..”

Suddenly a voice from behind, ” I am hungry” the girl said. I ventured into the kitchen and brought the last loaf of bread and shared it with her.

“Whats your name, girl?”

“Lisa”, she said.

Part 1 Ends.