Tag Archives: Lost

The Antagonist

“Humanity, love for a fellow human being, is it some sort of a bargain we have to dish out every time we meet or converse with an another. Does it come out naturally to us or is it forced upon, like the innumerable veils we garb ourselves with. Couldn’t we just enforce a default and forget paying back the goodwill which others generously spend on us. Why can’t we treat it as an economic good, scare and non-renewable, using it only when we generate profit from it. Isn’t manipulation a quality? Why is it seen as a crime? Why do people see me as a misfit when they do what I do but only implicitly? It’s a strange world out there.”

The invisible thoughts flew around one after the other as I finally kept the nib up and rounded the diary back to the shelf. I had bigger things to focus upon, bigger for the moment I was in. It would be my 5th robbery today and the art seemed to flow naturally for me. Despite being only twenty, I already had a high reputation in my circle to live up to. Coming to repute, let me make one thing clear, I am no robin hood, which I think you have already figured. I have no remorse at what I do, nothing whatsoever. Though I do keep my count, the number of things I messed up during previous heists, the ones I should avoid this time. I keep looking for that perfect score, the invisible stature where I would walk in and walk out, unknown, untouched, like I was never there. But anyways that’s the dream.

Tonight, I had circled on the house at the corner, the one with the beautiful garden. Something I haven’t told you yet, I had wanted to become a florist when I was a little kid before I was pushed into our family business. It wasn’t exactly a push, it came naturally to me, may be that’s the reason I started early. Please don’t mind these thoughts; they keep flying by. Coming to the house I was talking about. It had been locked for over a couple of weeks. I inquired around, they all seem to say that it would take another week for the family to get back. That night as I lay inside on the sofa, watching my favourite serial “FRIENDS” on my iPad, I heard a chatter from outside.

“Dad, please open the door. I can’t hold it anymore.”

“Darling, be a good girl. Dad is trying to find the keys.” Tara replied.

“Ah, there it is!”
Ryan opened the door as Arya pushed her father and stormed inside.

“Careful, the lights…” Ryan stopped in between as his eyes lay upon the lighted iPad in the dark living room. There were series of laughters that were coming out from it.

Ryan went for the lights while Tara went to take a look at the puzzled activity on the sofa. The lights came on while I stood behind Tara with my knife on her throat. Ryan stood startled as Arya rushed and clutched onto her father’s leg in shock.

“Don’t come close!” I shouted.

“Leave her right now. Take whatever you want, but leave her.” Ryan shouted back.
“If I say I also want her then?”

“Joey doesn’t share food” the iPad roared.

“You fucked up shit. How dare you!” Ryan charged ahead.

“Stay where you are Mr. Ryan. Am I not in the position of strength?” As I kept the knife even more closer, drawing the first blood. Tara screamed in pain, her eyes were tensed but she didn’t mumble a single word.

“Please. Leave her! I am sorry, leave her.”

“You sound genuine! So little girl what should I do now?” Ryan kept moving his daughter behind himself. She was inconsolable, crying loudly in a shrieking voice.

“Ask her to shut up. I hate kids when they cry.”

“Please leave her. Take whatever you want, please.”

“Okay. I see you have a point.” Smiling at the irony as the song plays out from the tab, “I will be there for you…”

I took the bag from his hands, and moved towards his car still holding the knife on his wife. I asked her to sit beside quietly. She kept quiet, who wouldn’t when you have a knife on your throat. Ryan was pleading to leave her alone, but I wasn’t yet sure of their loyalty. I heard none of what they said, and whistled past the place with the bag and Tara. Ryan did run behind the vehicle but I think the vehicle was faster, indeed it should be, horse power you see.

It was only in the morning, Tara returned home. She wasn’t her normal self anymore. Though her clothes were untouched and she carried no injury, her eyes screamed in pain, as if something broke within her and wouldn’t possibly glue forever. “Only if they hadn’t returned home that night, things might have been much different, only if”, she thought.

#Tara&Ryan

Thirtieth Anniversary

“She appeared from behind, slowly measuring her steps before she took them. The crowd stood agitated in front of her house while she stood before them, head down. Between her and the crowd stood her father and Ram. The noise grew louder with every dialogue her father and the crowd spoke, ultimately it was her father who had the last say. The villagers returned back to their humble huts but a decision was still not taken. Her father had to approve of Ram which was in no case easy. He belonged to a different region, a different caste, and most importantly even his parents weren’t in agreement with him in this. This made the matters more complicated but Sita was determined. She spoke to her father animatedly, spoke for the man she loved at par with her father. It wasn’t something easily digestible for the village headman, her father, but he heard her patiently while Ram stood at one corner. He glanced at him, but both men shared no words. It was Sita who did most of the talking, only to be stopped by her father to bring Ram in front. Sita looked at Ram with tense eyes, of not knowing what was to unfold now, whether her father would approve the match. It was their decision, together, to marry only if both their families agreed. Now there were thoughts in Sita’s mind questioning that decision, especially after what just happened a little while ago.

The sight of charging villagers with lathi in their hand, standing in unison with their Thakur Saab wasn’t a pleasant sight for both of them. Ram had tried initially to convince Sita’s father but Thakur was in no mood to listen. He shouted at Sita at peak of his voice while the crowd jingoistically held their lathis high to make a strike. Thakur was able to understand the mood of the mob better as one among the mob yelled out, “Thakur Saab, give us a chance we will beat this scoundrel to death.” While yet another screamed out, time and again, “Kill him!!!”. Thakur Saab with a loud and clear voice yelled at the mob to disperse. “It’s up to me to decide. You all go back home, right now.” They tried to resist his words initially but no one dared to go against Thakur. They silently turned back and walked towards their huts.

Finally Ram spoke again, unrestrained as he usually does, it sounded intimidating to even Sita. But Thakur wasn’t the one to be cowed down by Ram’s rhetoric. The discussion turned into a debate with no man relinquishing their ground, they toed each other on every issue. After almost half hour, the men sat down on their respective chairs. This time the talk went more subtle, and humble. It was Thakur who relented first, Ram only realised it late that it was his turn to mellow. By that time Thakur had asked for two large glasses of lassi for one another. They slowly gulped it down along with their over expressive ego. It was dusk when Thakur finally agreed about Ram; Sita was sitting along with her father, throughout the conversation, facing Ram. She hadn’t moved an inch, it was her future which was at stake. Now their dream of being together was finally coming through, Sita let out a big smile as her father ended his sentence with a ‘Yes’.

Sita kept smiling as her eyes remained transfixed at Ram while Ram had his eyes always on Sita, especially when he thought he was faltering in the conversation. Her eyebrows rose in fear every time she felt Ram crossed the line, and Ram toned down the conversation as he saw that expression on her. Those little unsaid things which the other understood by a mere expression became the defining factor of their relationship over the years. They weren’t the vocal kind who held long conversations with the other in the name of romance, it wasn’t their thing. They belonged to a different category all together, the ones who were willing to just sit idly in front of each other, without even speaking a word, and still not get bored. That special was their bond, something which words could never define, something which one could feel but fail time and again to describe. Today would have been their thirtieth wedding anniversary but things never pan out the way they should.

Ram settled down on his usual seat near Sita’s favourite place, the one facing Mount Shalimar. He reminisced those moments leading to their marriage as a tear rolled down his cheek. Five years is a long time, but his Sita Mahalaxmi was not someone he could forget so easily. Ram never tried to either; he lived with those memories, some brought about a smile and some like today, brought out an odd tear. Isha, his only daughter, walked towards him, “Shall we leave, Dad?”. He didn’t reply. She asked again,”Dad?”.

“Sorry!” He brought out his handkerchief and wiped the silent tear gently. Then responded with a low voice, “You go ahead, I will join you for dinner.” Isha looked at her father for a brief moment, then asked Anwar Chacha to make sure that he doesn’t stay for long. And then she left while Ram Shankar sat back on the bench, losing himself all over again in the memories he had created with Sita. But sadly he was all alone to relive them over and over again.”

#JourneyCalledLife

#Series4/many

Shades Of Winter

“Sita!” He yelled at top of his voice. The voice resonated with doubled intensity from the mountain top upon which he stood. He screamed out her name again but the answer remained the same as before. He walked back dejected, like always. It felt more like a routine that he couldn’t escape. Every morning he would walk towards the narrow point and seat himself on the only bench present at the place. Most days, we would find him staring into the clouds, as if he is looking for answers from above. But the last month seemed a little rough on him than before. He wasn’t his normal calm self. There were many instances like today where he ran towards the point, only to stop himself by a moment while letting out her name in sheer despair. Helplessness seems to define him, and the pain instead of reducing with time, only grew.

The fifty five year old Ram Shankar Bisht had lost his Sita Mahalakshmi in an avalanche at that very spot, five years ago. Their love affair was nothing short of a folk tale. Both belonged to different regions, and shared no common language in between. Sita had met Ram when she had come over as a tourist to Kullu. It was Ram who had taught her the basics of Skiing. He was helping his father at his skiing business as he filled in the role of an instructor due to absence of the other. It was his first day at work, and Sita was the first person he attended to. And like it always happens, he fumbled while fixing the gear on her leg. He tried again but it didn’t work. He held out a nervous smile towards Sita, who smiled back with assurance that he could try again. This time it worked and she was all set for her first lesson. It was at this instance that Ram noticed Sita for the very first time. She had those big round eyes with neatly lined mascara around them. Her curly long hair was tied behind with perfection while the smile, the most beautiful one Ram ever saw apart from his daughters, flashed nervously at him. He held her hand and looked straight into her eyes and whispered, “Sita, it’s going to be all okay.” And she believed in him, straight away. It was strange though but his eyes seemed trustable to Sita unlike any stranger she had met before. It all began at that very moment, and they never looked back after that. The relationship, the opposition and finally their marriage; they saw through all by standing their ground, hand in hand with the other, without a word, without a thought of ever to let go. But fate, as we know it, is unpredictable. Not all things are in our hands; some we control, some control us.

Ram Shankar died a little, every day since that accident, but his twin daughters were the ones who kept him alive to see the light of another day. It was Isha, the elder one, who introduced me to Ramji. I was looking for a job as a guide, and Isha was my brother’s college mate, so I had asked her for help. It has been an year since I worked for him, and not a day had passed without him narrating a story or the other of his deceased wife, his Sita. And that day was my last at Kullu; I had a flight, early in the morning but the purpose of my stay, the answers to my questions, they all still remained in a blur. I settled down near the fireplace of Ramji’s house with a peg of whisky in hand while beginning a conversation with Ram Shankar Bisht that eventually changed the course of my life.

#JourneyCalledLife
#Series 2/many
#Ramayana

War & Peace

Work of Fiction

“Did you see the rainbow in the morning?” enquired Tara with her curious eyes still stuck to the sky.

“I was too immersed in the drizzle that I failed to notice it” Neera replies back as she continues tapping her hands playfully over the pool of water that had formed in the verandah.

“There was a faint lightning that I could see around the rainbow, it was like the story Kishore ji was trying to tell, the story of Lord Indra. Do you remember?” hinted back Tara.

“I do. The story where Masterji had said that when there is a war in heaven, Lord Indra uses his thunderbolt weapon to destroy the evil forces and thus causing lightning in the sky” Neera still wondering as she says; why rain, which comes after lightning, is so beautiful and serene; how could war provide something as beautiful as the rain?

“Do you believe in this story Neera?” It was as if Tara knew exactly what her little sister was thinking.

“I really don’t know. War never produces beautiful things, it only takes our close people away. It can never produce something as beautiful as rain, it surely can’t” Neera answers as she moves closer to her elder sister, though only by a year.

“Neither do I believe in it” Tara replies with her vision moving towards the sky again as she holds her sister close. Her eyes carry a bit of gloom as if she is praying for someone’s safe return, who she knows clearly will never return.

In the meantime, a woman cladded in a white saree with her hair tied closely behind her back with a faint fickle of greyness in her hair walks up to the verandah of her home where the two little girls are sitting and gazing the innocent sky above.

“Neera, Tara, It’s going to rain, and you don’t want to get yourself sick again. So rush down, there are hot jalebis which your grandfather has brought. Go eat them before they become cold” the lady, their mother said in full authority yet with love.

As the little girls in their pre-teens run down, the lady stands there for a while. Trying to savour an old memory which she had shared with her deceased husband in the past. It brings up a smile on her face but a sense of anguish runs parallel with that beautiful smile of hers as she walks her way back down.

We find a hustle in the house, complimented with cheers by the little girls as they play with their grandpa while relishing their jalebis with a wide smile. The one storey house was slowly returning back to become their home again; it was over an year since Major Rajdeep had been killed in an enemy crossfire at the border, leaving behind his two daughters, wife and an ailing father.

Key:

1. Masterji- Teacher.

Rolling down the ‘past’

“Tonight’s hope was yesterday’s agony,

I cared less for the things I lost

In hope for the things I might gain in turn.”

It was that time of the day when the streets were still asleep while the odd traffic light flickered on and off. There were raging cars swaying past the necklace road, while the street urchins looked from their sheets in awe. The one in flashy red made an excellent run only to mistime the turn which saw it crash over the lake. The damage was brutal, leaving the lone driver’s life hanging at balance. He was clutching on to a photograph as he was being pulled out, that photo did mean something to him, it really did.

News Headlines flashed with all its clamor as it brought the world to notice that Ryan Narayan, a noted playwright, has been seriously injured in an high speed car accident near necklace road. A woman stared blankly at her television as the news was read out; she couldn’t believe her ears, he had promised to marry her and be with her forever but there he was broken and fighting for his own life. She tried calling him, wishing he picked up and dispelled all the rumors about him but no one picked. She pulled out her coat and made way to the hospital, all teary and lost.

The sun had completely risen while the streets swarmed with people who were unknown to the tragedy which had stuck just a few hours ago. At the hospital corridor, two people waited patiently as the tears kept rolling down their cheeks. They were baffled upon the happenings, they had met Ryan only a few hours ago before the accident. It was going to be a big night for Ryan, he was going to propose to his childhood sweetheart. It was all planned, Jess booked the table at Jade’s favorite restaurant while Nikhil brought the flowers and the suit for Ryan. They bid him adieu with a smile and never hoped that they found find him in this state. They weren’t able to come to terms with it, they wanted to know what happened that night, what did Jade say to make Ryan do something like this.

Jade: Jess, how is Ryan?

Jess: He was supposed to be with you, what did you tell him? What did you do to make him go nuts?

Jade: I want to see him, I want to see him now.

Nikhil: He is there fighting for his life. Doc says that its difficult for him to make it out. I don’t know…what will happen, I really don’t know. ~ bursts into tears.

Jade: He was there with me till late night. He made me dinner, after he proposed. We were on cloud nine, we wanted to get married right away but Ryan was like everyone in this world needs to know that he was getting married to me. We shouldn’t have waited, we shouldn’t have.

Jess: Then why did he have to leave?

Jade: He got a call around 11 in the night. He said it was urgent, someone wanted to meet him. Saying this he left hastily.

Nikhil: We never gave out appointments that night, we had left it free.

 

On that fateful night,

Ryan: Hello, Ryan here.

Her: Don’t you remember me, I am your master act.

Ryan: I am not able to get you, hold on.

Her: Yesterday’s agony, today’s hope. ~The playful laughter continued.

Ryan: Why did you call? I thought we were done!

Her: You started it, I am the one who ends it. Not you Ryan, not you.

Ryan: What do you want me to do?

Her: Meet me at the pool side at Taj.

Ryan: Now?

Her: Obviously, our things happen only at night. Call ends.

Ryan looked up perplexed, trying to avoid the eye contact with the only girl he ever loved and he ever cheated. He made an excuse and was on his way to meet Lisa as the old memories came afresh. He was teary eyed, the only thought which ran across his mind was Jade running away from him in her white cladded wedding suit. He was trying to catch a glimpse of her before she disappeared while he kept peddling the accelerator to catch Jade in his day dream. He had lost it he knew, he should have come clear about Lisa long back but now it was too late. He kept pushing the accelerator beyond control and before he could flip to rest his madness, his car was flying high into the waters. All the while he held her photo close to his heart, may be he hoped he would be forgiven for his sins, may be he was wrong.

Doctors came out of ICU with a good news, they asked Jade to go alone, Ryan wanted to meet her in person. After a while, Jade walked out heart broken. She left her ring inside, and left his heart broken into pieces. The pain was screeching loud as Ryan couldn’t control his emotion, he kept shouting Jade’s name, wishing she looked back but it never happened. He felt a part of him was walking away, he wanted her back, he didn’t want to feel incomplete but like his stories there was never a proper end to even his own.

“There ain’t a carpet big enough

to cover the truth, there ain’t a lie small enough

to escape the punishment; they do appear, they do hurt,

and they do leave you bruised forever.”

Reunion 

Often uncharted ways lead to destinations

We would have dreamt many nights ago;

Places look brighter with a glistening glow

While the road to castle rock remains largely untouched.

I could smell the lilies this time around, I could hear the whispers

I had tagged along; they reminded me of someone, 

The one with whom I dreamt this dream together only to witness it alone.

I held my fist tight and upright, close to my heart 

And witnessed my miracle with both eyes shut yet open 

To the twilight that the setting sun and the shiny moon had for me to offer. 

I melted away in its warmth, I found my solace in its depth,

The rays of hope pierced my heart red to give it life and joy

To seek a reunion with oneself, and with oneself alone. 

We always do

“In search of someone, somewhere,
we find ourselves in real, in true;
In every step we discover a part new,
a part which the mirror had always ignored;
We discover our good, our bad, and our ugly,
leaving us terrified to further explore;
We learn to accept, we realize to embrace
ourselves for the truth it delivers
and for the love to show, that we do matter
and we would always do.”