Monday, 27 July 2015


Julian had just arrived from his hometown in New Mexico -- struggling to carry his rather heavy suitcase to his flat which he'd rented ever since he shifted to New York for his college. He lived in this house which really was an apartment but looked like an English cottage. The apartment belonged to this old couple -- Samantha and Max. And they weren't English, not even close.
Julian lived on the first floor and his landlords lived in the opposite adjoining flat. The ground floor was mostly storage used by the couple to keep odd furniture and stuff- they never discarded anything. So Julian finally settles down and takes a sigh of relief whilst almost throwing himself on the unusually shaped 'banana' bean bag; ironically he had a name for it- orange.
Practically he had orange, a bed and a study table that he could write of as furniture owned by him.
Now that he was relaxing, he overheard Samantha and Max talking about something loud enough to penetrate the thinly plastered walls that separated the souls.
"Do you love me, anymore?” said Samantha. “I feel you don't anymore.”
"Of course I do -- always have and will. Please don't utter rubbish out of your pretty mouth", Max was heard saying.
'I know, I'm just teasing honey,' she said.
That was all that Julian heard, rather he chose to hear since he thought he was eavesdropping, which, is certainly no good. And he dozed off to sleep.
The next morning he woke up rather early, all charged up, for college. As he was about to lock and leave his flat he, again, heard the couple talking. For some odd reason he found himself glued to the door, the very door which keeps outsiders from breaching in. So much for privacy.
'I've made your favourite cheese scrambled eggs and garlic bread for breakfast', said Samantha in her usual sunny tone.
'Awesome! Love you babe.' 'Yea, sure you do', Samantha was heard saying in a rather sarcastic way.
'Oh c'mon! Don't you mean that again.'
'What? I did not say anything -- no malice.'
'Alright, alright.' 'How do you like the eggs?’ asked Samantha.
'Love them, but of course, not more than you', Max exclaimed in a gleeful manner.
Samantha mocked, “‘Cheesy much?' 'I know you don't love me anymore. I'm not beautiful anymore. I'm not charming like I used to be; I know I don't catch your fancy anymore!'”
'Let me eat then and why don't you grab the newspaper for me, it's lying right outside', Max groaned. He was rather disgruntled.
Samantha, weakened by age, wobbled about slowly towards the front door to fetch the newspaper, oblivious to their seemingly innocuous tenant eavesdropping on them this whole time.
As a matter of fact they liked him, though they would speak to each other only when he would come over to pay the rent or if something in Julian's flat needed fixing. As she opened the door, Julian, who was so engrossed in their conversation that he didn't realise (Use British spelling throughout. S instead of z) that she was actually coming to get the door. And he stumbled and almost fell unto Samantha's feet.

'Julian! My child what are you doing there on the floor, when did you get back son?'
'Hello Aunt Samantha, I wa... I was', Julian stammered. 'I was just coming over to meet you guys and also to pay the rent for the month.'
"But it’s only the 22nd today, you always pay up by the 1st, don't you?'
'Oh yea', confused as he was, 'well I thought I'd pay you in advance, don't want to keep a lot of stash­­­­— you know how reckless we teenagers get with money.'
'Very well, come in and have some breakfast with your uncle Max, will you?'
'Umm, well, yea alright one for me as well.'
'That a boy! Go give Max some company while I prepare a lovely meal to fill you out for the day.'
'Yea thank you.' 
Julian went in towards the seating area where they had an antique exotic looking dining table which the couple had imported from Thailand. Max was on his rocking chair - scribbling something in a leather bound diary. And this diary of his looked so antediluvian that it made its owner seem young.
Samantha came in with a plate full of scrambled eggs and garlic bread along with some sausages.
'There you go, fill yourself up. I'm going for a shower and in case you need anything more— don't bother cause that's all we have for breakfast. Enjoy.'
'Don't bother, I'll probably not finish this in the first place. Thank you though', said Julian.

Julian got busy gobbling down the home cooked food which was a rare feat in his life unless of course he was home on holidays; also, thanking God for both the food and not getting caught. As he was eating, smitten by curiosity, his gaze fell on that leather diary which Max was writing in. He was rather harsh while writing, pressing the pen upon the paper— almost like asphyxiating someone.

‘Uncle Max… what is this diary of yours? What do you write?’ asked Julian with a childlike enthusiasm.

‘Nothing? I’m just asking, not that I would like to know what’s in it, unless you’d like to share.’
‘It’s my wish diary’, Max not sparing a glance at Julian.
‘Oh wow, like a bucket list or something? Like how old Morgan sets out to do all sorts of crazy stuff after he retires- you know that movie…’
Max irritated, ‘have your food boy, it’s not good to talk while eating.’
‘Mind if I see what’s in your bucket list?’
‘Don’t you dare touch this diary of mine, I’ll chop off your hands!’ Max roared.
‘Take it easy sir, I’m sorry.’
Julian gets going with his food while Max remains engrossed in his diary.
Suddenly there’s a loud thud— as if a piano fell off the terrace of the building right on the ground.

It was Samantha, she’d slipped on the wet bathroom floor. Both Julian and Max rushed towards the bathroom to find out what went wrong. Being the old couple they were, both avoided locking the doors of the bathroom; hence Max simply had to push the door. And there she was lying on the floor, bare, blood oozing out of the side of her head like a narrow stream downhill. A flabbergasted moment of indecision. Quickly realising the gravity of the situation, Max managed to cover her up with a towel. Pressing his hands on the wound to stop the blood rushing out of her skull, Max shouts, “Julian! Call 911! Damn it go already!”
Julian ran towards the seating area, where the phone was, almost stumbling upon the beautifully crafted stool bought in Greece. The couple were fond of travelling and had a predilection for exquisite furniture. He picked up the phone and dialled 911.

‘Hello, this is 911. What is your emergency?’ said the operator in a clinical tone.
‘Yes, we have an emergency! Please help!’
‘Sir, what is your emergency?’
As Julian was addressing the queries of the operator over the phone, his eyes landed on that leather diary which belonged to Max. Without a second of reflection about the emergency and his responsibility he picked up the diary and started reading.

‘Hello! Sir? You there? Sir?’
Meanwhile Max was trying his best to stop the gushing blood and resuscitating Samantha.
‘Baby, you’ll be alright. I will take you to the hospital any moment now. The medics are on their way. I love you! Please, God, please I love you! Don’t do this!’ he sobbed and whispered.

But it was only a matter of minutes. Samantha managed to breathe her last– She had left him all alone. Max was beyond grief stricken. He had no clue how to feel. He had never thought this day would come.
In the other room Julian kept reading, his tears wouldn’t stop, oblivious to the repercussions of his irresponsibility.
Why was he crying? What wish list would make him cry? He kept turning the pages. Funny, though, every page read the same. Exactly the same. It seemed as if Max had photocopied the same page over and over again.
Max’s ‘wish’ diary wished the same thing in every line, everyday:

“Don’t say ‘Anymore’.”    

Friday, 17 April 2015

Amidst The Mountains I Cry

Someone just threw me right across the river current, to impress a fellow human, letting me skip the brim of the water more than twice, I think. I was only ageing away on the banks of the river, happily sunbathing and changing colours by the year. Untouched by the pride of the river, let alone its agony and the sadistic pleasure she gets out of mowing the likes of us down to pebbles. Sometimes into tiny inglorious sand granules.

I haven't seen much of this part of the world as I'm among one of those younger clans, only a few thousand years old. So, yea, not your usual matured type but definitely old enough to know better. I remember getting to be one of the firsts to see the sun shine, much before the rest of the place could imagine getting a glimpse. An eagle would hunt down the choicest of twigs to build its nest right beside the place I called home. Until one day mother nature told me it was time. Time?
'But I want to be where I am, how I am. Please don't send me down only to be agonised into nothingness, eventually.'

Mother said,"Don't overstay your welcome. Everything that exists- must only perish."
And came the mind numbing blow from her. Not mother nature but her, the river; well actually her pride.
'Come now, flow into me, and with me. You are to give your size and be diminished. No ore pride for you', she laughed in her prevailing thunderous tone.

Yea, I hate to admit it but I, too, stood a thousand or so years with pride in my heart and condescension in my eyes. Perhaps we all ought to realise, that time changes, and so does your fate with every fleeting moment. If only I could stop myself from the temptation of being complacent.

And with that thunderous slap on the face, I gushed down- drowning in her pride. Not knowing where am I to rest now, in peace or in pieces. I pray to mother- seeking, only, to know my fate. And then came her, rather discomforting, voice.
"Seek not whats to become of you, know I'm watching over you."
I am struggling for days on- flowing, hitting rock beds, tumbling down the narrow passages through which she flows. At times the struggle goes on for months on, and I keep suffocating in despair.
Who would like to grow smaller as they grew older? I thought atleast I would be strong enough for years to have outlasted my prime and then grow weaker(maybe smaller) as I aged beyond my time. That's how it is, right? Well I learnt the hard way; not for us.

Until one day, flowing, I stumbled upon one of my fore-fathers. To be honest. all through my journey down the lane I actually happened to see a lot of my family- you know cousins and all. But yea I was too consumed, beyond redemption, in self-loathing to have passed on even a few gestures of gratitude.
Well this fore-father of mine, grandfather's grandfather, told me something which in a moments' time completely annihilated all my despair and longing for home.
 Dear great, great grand \son or whoever the heck you are; I see much anxiety in your eyes. And I do know what it is, for I too have weathered the very same storm that your are going through now.
Let me tell you something,"If you despair about being slowly obliterated by the river and her pride, then you are letting your ego get the better of you; if you despair to know your fate, then you are lowering yourself to the likes of the souls that dwell on the face of our mother; but if you despair only to keep going, keep seeing, keep moving down the path of life, then you are fulfilling your purpose- to live, only to live."
Everything seemed to sync in, all was in place. And I was at peace, eventually but at last.

Coming back to just being thrown like a piece of redundant nothingness- I'm glad he threw me right back into her, for I was starting to get bored of being in one place- ever stagnant- tired of seeing the same sky everyday. But I hope , I really do, he realises that I, too, like every other piece lying on that beach-side was at one time substantially daunting- something he would have to raise his bobbing head high to see.
For I too was once a mountain.  

Monday, 2 March 2015

Terms & Conditions.

'Hello, how you doing?'
'So are we meeting this weekend or what? Been quite some time, no?'
'Let's see…'

Anastasia went about her day doing chores and running errands. Thinking to herself,'what am I to do this since they are yet not decided on anything.'
'Maybe I should just finish that book that's been left alone for a while, yea', she said to herself, 'or let me call up Martha, I'm sure she'll turn up to chase away my loneliness.'
'She would turn up for anything', she quipped. 

So Anastasia creeps out of her cozy blanket, which she had gotten into after the day's petty ordeals, to reach the phone kept by the bedside lamp. And without even looking she dialled the numbers on her rather old phone which worked just about fine, though. 
As if her fingers had miniature brains in them with dedicated memory to remember each number.

'Hey there! What you upto 'M'?'
'Nothing as such, you tell me.'
'Well I was wondering if we could catch up this weekend over coffee and maybe, also, lunch?'
'Umm... Would love to mate; but I'm not in town you see- internship and stuff.' 
'Oh yea, how could i forget!'

After a brief conversation with her, Anastasia willowed down, like a sad flower, thinking what she'd do over the weekend; not that she hated reading. Sometimes she drowns in literature like a ship deep beneath the ocean. 

'Let me just sleep the day out and maybe by the time I wake up, the weekend would come to an end', she thought to herself. 

She started thinking about Richard, the love of her life. Maybe that would launch her into a dreamland. Well, that's what she 'thought'. Nobody ever understood the kind of bond they shared. To people, far and close, they were lovers- quite the serious ones. That was true but, only ostensibly. Fact is both were just really close buddies who met only on occasions- the likes of birthday and stuff. And yet were pretty uptight. 

Anastasia wakes up and much to her displeasure she'd slept only an hour, actually less. 

'Aggh! What do I do!'
'Mommy!', she shouted on top of her voice, 'give me something to eat, will you?'
'Come and get it yourself', she snapped. 'Whatever!', she snapped back. 
'This day couldn't get any worse, why can't someone, I mean, atleast my mum be nice to me today!'
She swung her head backwards and banged the headrest, 'ouch! Damn it.' 

Now she was annoyed like nobody's business, needed much alleviation for her discontent. 
'Let me call them up again, maybe they've come up with a plan by now', she thought. 

'Hello! Please tell me you'll have a plan by now and I just have to meet you at some common place; please, please?'
'God Ana! Why are you so clingy- a blood sucking snail somewhat.' 
'What? Huh? What do you mean?', perplexed, ' I was just wanting to meet up and have a good time like we do.'
'Ok! Let me get this straight with you, I don't think I can take the crap you've slinged at us.' 
'Alright, I have no clue where you getting at. Please elaborate, will you?'
'Oh c'mon now! Don't you beat around the bush anymore, I know what you've been doing behind my back, rather all of us’.'

Nervous as a weak building during an earthquake, Anastasia somehow summoned up all her wits and said,"you're talking about me speaking to Richard, I guess?"
'There you go woman, there you damn go! Thought you'd never say it. We told you not to mingle with that low-life mongrel.' Almost screaming, 'why would you do this to us, you've breached our trust, wasn't expected of you girl, it really wasn't.' 
'Hey, but wait, hang on a second- let me… hear me out?', Anastasia cried. 
'Don't you utter a word, scumbag!' 
'Hmm... Perhaps you'll never wanna see me again.'
'Damn right!'

Anastasia hung up and went into a perpetual delirium, she couldn't hear herself think. Days went by, the sun stopped shining on her window- a never ending dilemma. She did not speak to Richard as well, leaving him worried to no end. But then her worries were no less, rather it felt like falling off the top of a building over and over again till your body felt like a pulverised potato. An existential crisis of some sort. 

She decided to seek refuge in one of the books she'd been lazy about. 
Not a friend like a book. 
While reading she came across this particular quote by the protagonist, it said,"To love somebody means to respect, it means not to exploit. To give all that you have without expecting a return. If there is even a slight idea, a slight motivation then it is cunningness, it is lust. Even to ask for gratitude is wrong."

Now that got her thinking... They were to her what lovers are to each other. The camaraderie shared was like that of passionate lovers. 
'Well yea, I guess from my end it was like that, ofcourse. Never had any ulterior motives, on the contrary have always been imposed upon. I've given all that i could, not that I expect in return but the least they could have done was not to set forth rules and all', she thought. 

Little did gullible Anastasia knew that everything comes with 'terms & conditions'. Even people. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Reverie Of A Lie.

It was one of those gloomy winter dawns, walking down the pier by the lake at the back of the house- a cigarette lingering on my lips, almost falling off. Years had passed by and not a glimpse of a thought had trickled down this mind of mine. A callous indifference to pain and longing.

What have I done to myself- scaringly resilient. Perhaps desires were no longer a muse. But it so happened that I found myself up all night, insouciance? You wish!
Regrets? No! If my soul was bereft of yearnings I'd be God. I can't seem to fathom what it's all about. Trying so hard to map out the directions in my mind.

‘You're such a fool! Don't you know you're one hell of a callous prick who, ironically, seems to be lost in an ever lasting want of being vindicated. What have you done?’

‘What? Tell me!’
‘Who knows it better than you?’
‘Act smart, don't you!’

I keep looking towards the horizon, the sun's probably gonna come out anytime now. Yea, it's that shade of bluish-orange. Damn that very shade!
We would sit here, whiling away time like astronauts while away years in space. Sometimes staring deep into those ebullient eyes, at other times simply hearing each other move- even the slightest turn of fingers. Yea, that close- close enough to make winters feel like spring.

‘Goodness gracious! Not again man, not again!’
‘Let me be, will you?’

I'm so frail like an old engine that runs only when it feels like. And I feel like it, now. Perhaps nobody here to remind me of my age, well, not anymore.

‘Damn I hate your random musings more than anything. Needless to say they always, somehow, randomly come around the same goddamn thing.’

This one time, I remember, many years back I received this letter. Man was my heart jumping all around the place. To my pleasant disappointment- it was a blank page. Yea, just one single blank page inside the unanimous envelop. No words yet so much conveyed. That's the beauty of a blank space- limitless. It was enough to give away who the sender was and it killed me a little more inside. But then that's the kind I fell for- like mad lovers do.

‘All these years gone, yet you've never told me what went wrong.’
‘You are of me as much I am of you, what's to hide.’
‘C'mon already, your wordplay- I'm immune to that horse crap.’ …

‘A lie.’

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


I am in ruins, or maybe not. You may opine otherwise and rightfully so. There's more to me than meets the eye, and here's why. Why should I bother, you think of me as just another of those dilapidated pieces which are of no muse.
Well let me tell you anyway, and mind you its simply out of pity for your curiosity and not self-gloating. I have been pondering upon the thought that why people never really gave me a thought as they passed by- why was I sealed off and left just as an ornament adorning this house. How much I loathe that fateful day, one can only wonder.

 Remember those days masters? Remember how you would come to me whenever you had a dilemma of choices. It was I who would lead you to where you wished to go- heaven, hell, and world. Your only distraction, one you couldn't stop musing about.
 The only time you went the world way was when you wanted to feel devastated- those self-exploding times.
 Always thought of the world to be the balance of heaven and hell, but much to my bewilderment you would claim not so.

 Please tell me what is so ravaging about this place called 'world'- I never seemed to fathom it. Please?

"Okay. Give me time to imbibe that."
“You've got all you can take.”
After days of flabbergastation, I come to grips with this; I have only him to trust. I see that smile on his face which seems almost sanctimonious, but i push away the thought.

Perhaps he is right, for I've seen man doing all sorts of nasty things to the world around him, thinking of himself to be oh so great, which are anything but right. He's been gifted with reason, unlike any other living being, yet he keeps wanting. Is he actually oblivious to the repercussions of ever-wanting or only too self-complacent? Perhaps it's his lack of knowledge; well they say the less one knows, the more stubbornly they know it.

Humour me master, I don't want to be left disgruntled.
Let’s not be judgmental, least of all about something that does not concern me, rather, us.

Why'd you leave, why can't I be the mode to your random ways no more?
Is this what is to become of me- ruins.
Been waiting for my answers since time immemorial. And only time shall absolve my state of desertion; know that I'm not just a debilitated door.
I am worth all your muse and much more.
I still am the three ways and one choice.