Friday, 28 June 2013

The Island

The Z-series assault-sniper is one of the deadliest weapons created; easy to use and assemble. A design that allows it to be disassembled and stored in a small backpack, thus making it the weapon of choice for many an assassin. Although the production of the Z-1, as it is known as has officially stopped, clandestine armourers from Israel to Thailand and Pakistan to Russia still manage to procure this weapon.

For the last five years of my life, every single day and night I have kept my Z-1 close to me. Living all alone on this remote island - one among the many that make up the Mergui Archipelago. I came here five years ago as a hunted man, a rogue agent. I had revealed a nexus between the 'Agency-head' and a small defense-contractor who had supplied defective weapons to the 'Agency'. Attempts were made to silence me with gifts and promises; but I refused to budge; went ahead and leaked the findings of my report to a newspaper. I was branded a traitor and charged under the 'National Security and Official Secrets Act'. With great difficulty I managed to sneak out of the country in a fishing boat and reached Mergui. As I contemplated my future, the newspapers in my country had turned against me. All allegations raised by me were dismissed as fabricated and I was painted as 'Enemy of the Country'.

This was the reward for being the top-notch assassin of a powerful intelligence network; for believing in the greater good of the country; for never having loved anyone and just being a shadow that would travel around the world; to eliminate those individuals who posed a threat to the progress of my beloved nation. This was the price of my pursuit for both truth and justice. I knew that the long hands of 'The Agency' would use every possible resource to track me down. I did not have too much time.

Years back, when I was a small boy, I loved reading 'Biggles Air Commodore's Adventures' and some stories featured the Mergui Archipelago. When I was not killing people, I would visit these small islands and atolls that made up the Mergui Archipelago. During one of the many trips, I discovered a small island. This island had a small network of caves that actually went below the surface of the earth and eventually merged into an undersea-cavern. I knew a day would come when I would require a sanctum. So I built a small retreat here, midway into the cave away from the eyes of the world, ensuring that none of the locals in the mainland realized what I was doing. To the locals I was just another crazy scuba-diver whiling away his time.

The island was self-sustainable with some coconut trees, fish were abundant in the sea, and I had stocked up on salt and spices for a long time. Like Robinson Crusoe, I survived for five long years, away from the glare of those who hunted me. Even I was surprised that no one had managed to figure out my hideout. But 'nothing lasts forever.' Early this morning at about 3AM there was a slow hum of a motor. The unmistakable sound of the 'Amphibian plane', landing gently on the beach.

I took out my solar-powered Magna-binoculars - and focussed on the beach - it was a three-man team and a pilot. The pilot relaxed and decided to smoke a cigarette and began playing a game on his mobile-phone. Ah! How the years have flown - not having used a mobile phone or a computer for five years - the device in the pilot's hand looked something out of a science-fiction movie.


I then focussed my attention on the three commandos - armed to the teeth; special night-vision goggles, smoke-grenades, assault-daggers, and a M-5 sub-machine guns. There would be some more weapons hidden in their compact backpacks as well. Each left in a different direction. Commando - 1 - C-1 headed straight towards the hill and walked up slowly. It was almost as if he knew there was a cave. He took out of his Zigmaster climber and fired it up on to the rock-face. The climber found its mark and stuck on to a crevice. C-1 tested the strength of the rope and climbed slowly. This was going to be child's play; I smiled as C-1 climbed the rock-face; I crept out slowly and noticed that it was the darkest hour 4 AM before dawn when the sun would rise about 4:30 AM. I took out my Z-1 and fired at the crevice where the climber's holder was stuck. The bullet found its mark and I focussed my binoculars on C-1, as he fell down the 200 feet with a surprised look. By the time he met terra-firma, he was dead by the wounds on his head and neck.

One down!


Apparently the commandos carried walkie-talkies and were in constant touch. For, within 25 minutes of C-1 crashing, C-2 and C-3 had rushed to the remains of their compatriot. In anger they took out their M-5s and shot madly at the rock-face. This noise brought the pilot out. There seemed to be a meeting between the commandos and the pilot. The pilot was to stand guard over the fallen man's body. C-2 and C-3 started climbing the rock-face from two different directions. I let them climb the rock-face and reach the top. There was a strange sense of joy - something that a psychoanalyst would describe as madness. For me, it was a question of survival - kill or be killed. As C-2 and C-3 approached stealthily, I threw a rock into a rain-puddle, my stalker immediately fired at the puddle. I smiled at myself. Then I shouted - 'Boys - do you really want to do this?'

By now C-2 and C-3's frustrations were evident as they began to fire randomly. I calmly took them out with one bullet each aimed straight at the heart - no soldier deserves to be shot in the back! The Z-1's bullet can pierce even the toughest vest. The bullets found their mark and C-2 and C-3 fell down dead.


It was precisely at this time that I felt a massive tremor. I looked at the sea - and the rising sun - something seemed wrong! The waves were lashing at a ferocious space and they seemed to be ten times normal than usual, the Amphibian had no chance as it got battered to pieces; the pilot stood still lost and resigned to his fate; the waves carried him away as well.

Then I felt the ground below my feet shaking as I rushed to higher ground. I realized a tsunami had struck! The massive waves returned thrice and then all went calm and silent. The sea was its usual impersonal self. I buried the men who had come to kill me and I looked at the damage that the ocean had unleashed.

This too shall pass!

I looked at my trusted Z-1 and walked slowly on the beach reflecting on how a true agent is always an 'expendable'!


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Sailing alone, far from the shore, towards the high and mad sea

A melancholy strain touches my eye; I feel a sense of qui vive

I see sun sloped down the clouds; brilliant brightness of the sky going pale
I hear the silence raspy requiem, Singing in the sky

I see no nightingale. There is stillness in the air

the whirling wind has suddenly given his frown

The sanity of the sky comes to a standstill

As if it would take years to reach down

The arid arena shows no signs of life

as if waiting for a stirring storm

I see no bird or beast pass by; the bluntness beyond any norm

Bones infested with growing fear, realization gives me a serpent kiss

Till now under a spotless cloud of ignorance, I was asking for bliss.

Once free from manacles of birth, the beauty in beauty never wanes

No bed is warmer than grave; without mutual acceptance love is vain.

Every things that are and were, now just waves on eternal time flow

One by one everyone bids us; fades away like a mere shadow.

Has the fate decreed this as inevitable, or this pain is just my pleasure’s loan?

Sailing and fighting what continues to hound, even my reflection do I own?
Redemption is what I need, is this a revelation of something else?

Or is it my misanthropic mind, that hates, loathes and repels...


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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Street Food


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The Five Haunts

"Fear is the reason why we are here."

That rhymed.

As much as I love to make such instant quotes, today I am here to write about the five things that scare me the most:

1. Deadlines
To be frank, this the scariest entity that I have come across in my life. And it keeps coming back over and over again! True that, without a deadline, you cannot achieve targets on time and, you will have no sense of managing your day well, but what happens at the end of the day is: only because of deadlines, we run away from our commitments, and try to finish only the night before the exam, the day before the final presentation and the moment before the final call.

That is exactly what scares me the most. Because I feel that a human mind is wired to work the most under pressure situations. But what many of us miss is the fact that to cope up with the impending pressure which will come only the day before the deadline, our brain - our lovely, scumbag brain, commands us to stop working on the other days. This is true for most of the population of the world- at least for engineers like me!

Therefore, my hatred for deadlines still stays strong. And my fear for the same stays even stronger.

2. Rituals

Yes, I will start my discussion on this with marriages. As much as I love the union of two souls bound by the sacred means, I fear the rituals surrounding the same. Because when it comes to rituals, relatives often pull off things which usually make no sense. Why would they cook this before that? Why would they make us eat that before this? Why this cosmetic treatment right before the marriage? Why would they make the groom as well as the bride feel like a Mongolian (the haldi ritual) right before the D-day? Seriously, rituals are scary. And as much as they used to be the means of nifty funny incidents for the guests of a ceremony, they become the reason for some of the most embarrassing experiences when a person is at the receiving end.

I have been subjected to a lot many rituals. No, the marriage part is yet to come, but I was subjected to Annaprashan ceremony ( infant being force-fed rice for the first time in front of drooling cousins and stiffening elders) , the Thread ceremony ( the adolescent hipster look attained with a shaven head, a sacred thread around the shoulders and the body , pierced ears and saffron 'wraps'- the worst part of it was that the person subjected to this would not eat a single delicacy from the grand feast at night) and let me tell you, the rituals make me nauseous.

Apart from the cultural rituals, there are social rituals as well. You get into a decent college run by the Government, and your mother makes it a point to follow the daily ritual of bragging in front of the neighbors. You get placed from campus with a decent package and your father makes it a point to follow the daily ritual of bragging the same in front of his colleagues. The worst part of these episodes- exaggeration. Yes, our parents tend to exaggerate things to such extents that at times it becomes difficult to even remember what they had claimed I was , the last time.

There are certain rituals that even we follow. The ritual to stay up late at night watching movies on your laptop, the ritual to update your Facebook status at least once a day, the ritual to call your gf/bf three (?) times a day, and the ritual to post tweets throughout the day.

Apart from the usual humiliating experience, the reason why rituals scare me the most is- what will happen if one day I am asked to come out of them all of a sudden?

3. Epiphanies

When God made humans, he himself wasn't sure what he had done. My belief is He was probably high when He created us humans- high up in the skies. I know that was a bad one. Anyway, when He ended up making the most perfect creation of His, He decided to put in an ability in them. That ability was- to think. And with thinking, comes a thought-process. With thought processes, comes an epiphany. And they always come unannounced. They'll come at such a point of time when you would be performing a crucial task- taking a decision, taking chances, taking a dump etc. And when epiphanies arrive, they just have to change to you. A while back you'd be thinking of taking a step to improve your performance appraisal, and the next moment you are gleefully drafting away your resignation letter. Most of the time , epiphanies give you a rush to do something unimaginable; but the moment you have done that, *poof* it goes away, leaving you wondering- 'What do I do now? Why didn't I think through to the end of this?' and that's why, I fear epiphanies a lot. They have the power to turn our world upside down.

4. Algorithms
Algorithms are a logical outlining of a solution to a problem. This fear of mine is completely concerned with my studies. I guess you, my dear reader, might yawn a bit on this one, so I'll keep this short. As much as easy and harmless algorithms appear to be, trust me, for a computer engineer , they are the reason we still bribe the Gods. A code is implemented based on an algorithm, so when after writing thousands of lines of code, you test it and see that the output is as messed up as the curry you cooked last night, you wonder what went wrong even after the algorithm seemed to give the correct output. Naturally, days pass until when you are about to smash your head on your computer screen, you realize that the second-last step in your algorithm is the root cause of all the troubles. Bloody Red-Bull!

5. Misunderstandings

A fight was going on over the phone call. She threatened she would hang up, but she wouldn't do that because she respects you; you continue with your rants because you think you are right and she is acting all wrong. This continues for the next twenty minutes until suddenly the call drops and when you try to dial it again, it won't get connected to her and you conclude that she did it on purpose. She on the other side thinks the same, and a cycle repeats.

At many points in life, we jump to conclusions. Before letting the other person finish, we conclude something that wasn't what he meant at the first place. As it so happens, misunderstandings crop up. They relish the destruction that they bring with them. Their roles are especially damaging in relationships- with your partner, your parents , your friends, and your siblings. I have seen many cases where mere misunderstandings resulted in permanent disconnect between two people. Safe to say that this is one of the most feared things by me in life.

To conclude, we all have different reasons to worry, different conclusions to draw and different means to forget and forgive. Facing our fears is important, not because beyond fears there's win (I just translated that Hindi punchline to sound original), but indeed that would solve many problems in life.

On a happier note, if you take the first letter of each of the five fears in order as they are, then you will find what I love the most. Could you see what that is? *winks and plays Gifted Hands by Lynyrd Skynyrd in the background*


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Tuesday, 25 June 2013


Thunderbolts reprove,

Amassed mist wail timidly,

Tears drip like white pearls.


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Sunday, 23 June 2013

How I Lost It

So I was beastly drunk the night before and I was beastly hungover throughout the day, and as I was on the second last home bound train, her texts started pouring in. It was a deluge and I felt like killing Alexander Graham Bell.

Now she was in her forties, was a teacher or something somewhere, and she writes poetry, and like 99.999% self-professed poets who fart out nuggets of their creativity on Facebook, she should die.

Now she was on friendly terms with our editor-in-chief, a fact which made me despise our editor-in-chief, but I needed the money and I needed the honey. Ergo, I had to edit her submission, on the rape and brutal murder of two women in a downtown neighbourhood.

By the time I reached home it was quite late and even our neighbor had fallen asleep after beating the shit out of his wife, which was a regular routine. My head felt like Gaza Strip and I had to edit her write-up.

It began with “My heart bleeds in severe agony to depict the desolation that surrounds the homestead of Miss __ and Miss ___ today.” And it ended with “and thus, their parents, their pets (one had a cute spaniel and the other a bright parrot who has lost her voice and can’t sing anymore after the grueling ordeal that had befell her mistress), their dearest friends and their neighbours lie in agony, no hope at hand, no shoulder to cry on”. In-between these two, there stretched an endless ocean of pure, unadulterated textual torture inflicted on the mind, the psyche and the intellect. My headache went up a few notches, I felt pukish, I wanted to die.

As I was going through the three thousand and fifty nine words of relentless bashing of sanity and intellect, my headache kept on increasing beyond reckoning. After a point of time, my brain, at least those portions of it which perform the functions of reading and recognition of written language, built a cocoon around it. That’s the most natural reaction of self-preservation, imbibed through centuries and generations of torture. The words slipped by my eyes and my eyes slipped by the words, without any impact. My mind took its flight to distant lands and times, to the realm of the absurd and beyond. I thought of my childhood, my grandmother, of Archimedes, of Sourav Ganguly, and Popeye the Sailor-man. I fought with the Spartans, rode with Chengis Khan and I flew with the Wright brothers and et cetera.

After fifteen minutes of delirium, the weight of reality brought me crushing down headfirst into the sewer of disgusting mutilation of Shakespeare’s language. I realized that I hadn’t edited a single letter of it, and I couldn’t get myself to do it. The deadline was approaching in steady paces and I knew that it was impossible for me to survive the whooshing sound it would make as it passes by, because I was neck deep in debt and had two months of rent due. I looked up at the merciless clock. It was half an hour to midnight, by which I need to mail off the edited version. The clock hands were mocking me like anything. I focused on the intolerable words and they sat on my brain like the heaviest rocks ever. I fought for five more minutes and could not get beyond three sentences, each consisting of fifty words of which at least forty would be something like ‘flabbergasted’, ‘maladroit’, ‘paradigmatic’, ‘puisilence’, ‘atavistic’, ‘jejune’ and so on. Each of these words would jut out like the rock of Gibraltar and conspire to penetrate through my medulla oblongata.

It was then that I felt like Sisyphus, and I smiled. Finally, I was losing and I had nothing to do but give up. Pending laundry and electricity and grocer’s bills ceased to matter. I switched on my phone and saw fifteen text messages from the writer of the masterpiece which had slain me. I cleaned my inbox without bothering to go through any of the unread texts. I texted her, saying that she should give up writing for the sake and in the name of humanity. I texted the girl I had a massive crush on since my University days but could never get the gumption to confess. Last I heard, she married a stockbroker and is expecting in a few months. I was invited to their wedding two years back. She looked wonderful in a red saree. I told her how much I have always loved her, and switched the phone off once again. I had one little thing to take care of. I mailed my resignation letter comprising of four words broken in two sentences. The last sentence was “I quit.” The second word of the first sentence was “You” and it was followed by a mark of exclamation.

Next, I went to the window and rolled up the curtain. The moon was shining big and bright. I remembered a midnight family picnic in a forest watchtower. My dad had a moustache back then and even my mom was happy. The moon was as big and bright back then. Outside, a couple of dogs were sleeping in peace. I did not feel envious. I lit a cigarette. Then I moved away from the window, opened my drawer, took out my pistol and loaded it.


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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Anniversary of Disgust

As the sun goes down, burying itself deep into the west.

I struggle today, and just today, to bear the murderous unrest.

I shake my head vigorously and clasp my hands tight.

But today I just cannot overcome the dread, the fright.

Darkness prevails in this room where I scornfully lie.

And all that I can think of are different ways to die.

I am all teary-eyed, but all that I manage is to sulk.

It feels as if my soul is being auctioned in bulk.

No, this is not the way I am, this is not the usual me.

I never let the situation decide how it is going to be.

But, I see the sun go down and bury in the west.

And I remember the eve before my fourth grade English test.

I wanted him to show me again how to write that letter.

But he, my own uncle, found molesting me an option better.


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The Girl I Last Kissed

The background trance music was loud and unsettling. I felt cramped and crammed from within. It seemed like the party was touching its prime. Men and women in bizarre green masks held each other and danced in slow motions. For some reason, my head was on a constant throb. It was like there was a bomb inside ticking. There was a friend with me, which one I could not be sure. He whipped a tall glass of powder green liquid from a passing waitress and handed it to me with a wink. I dropped the glass on seeing baby reptiles crawling out onto my right hand. Walls of the room were also lined with reptile cages. I could not see much in the dimly lit room except these traps that were illuminated in dark green shade.

A strange numbness that comes after millions of needle pricks on your body took over me. I fell down to my knee almost hugging the fake marble floor. My eyes carried me to across the room, where I saw her. She seemed calm, at home with everything. Her white dress was long and covered her slim body well. Our eyes met and she smiled. Did she remember me from last night?

I wanted to go to her, to touch her, to talk to her but she turned away and I lost her. Sitting on the floor, I wept like a teenager who had been freshly dumped. I wanted my friend to help me and to my utter distraught, he was nowhere. In his place, a person in a giant lizard costume stood. I screamed my loudest and woke up to early morning sweat.

Aircon was breathing life into my dead bedroom. I pulled away the sheet to allow my sweat to dry. My fists were knotted and my nails had dug into my palms. I sat up, shrugged off a nightmare so real that my reality had seemed like a distant dream. Last night…

Last night flashed before me, when I had met her for the first time. Since then her visage had never left me for a moment. Some faces live with you, forever. I was at ‘Someplace else’, a hangout for guys like me, who would rather be someplace else then currently where they were in their life. A live band was doing their bit at performing covers of English classics. The only part, I had liked in the entire gig was their song selection. ‘Please don’t go’ floated around. Unlike the original, a woman sang the song. I had not cared to turn away from my drink on the deck of the bar to check who was singer at helm.

The dance floor was spilling over with scantily clad women, wrapped around their men friends, mostly colleagues. There was this woman; I had spotted some half an hour before who had my total attention. Yet, I pretend concentrated on the glass shelves opposite me over the bar filled with show cased bottles, mostly wine. I caught my reflection on the mirror frame that bordered it. One could safely call me good looking, if one liked curly hair and down slanted mouth. I wore a formal shirt, open to expose a toned chest. I am six feet plus and carried myself in ‘cotton world’ pants and dark work ties. A voice trainer at Wipro, I had girls coming onto me, for both professional and personal support, which I provided depending on my whims and moods.

I had kind of surprised myself by getting worked up over a girl, a strange girl at that. Never in my entire twenty eight years did my wild side go ballistic, like it was the John of the Jungle over a random girl. Her black kameez looked like it was made by a tailor, who knew all her curves intimately. Her neck line was a deep ‘v’ exposed by her chiffon dupatta that was hugging her neck closely. The tan on her skin seemed from a recent holiday by the sea. Her eyes were set wide apart, giving the impression that she was easy to surprise. Her mouth was arresting, small and full like a ripe plum.

Like she read my mind, she came straight to the counter beside me and leaned over. She had ordered a Bacardi and insisted on freshly squeezed orange juice to go with it. I could not help smirking and then our eyes met. I had a embarrassed smile to offer and she smiled like we were friends. I saw a slight flicker of recognition or was that my drunken imagination. I allowed myself to hold her gaze more than it was socially decent. She did not seem to mind.

‘You work for Wipro, right?’ She asked.

‘We know each other?’ I came forward as the music was loud and also because I wanted to know if she was wearing any perfume. I liked what my nose picked out but could not place it. It was lemony and very appetizing.

‘Nope, I have seen you at the Wipro café’.

‘You work for Wipro too?’

‘Heck no again, I am next door. We hop over to Wipro’s café during break for awesome pakoda and amazing guys’. She talked naturally and puckered up her mouth in a way that was a cross between a pout and a pucker when I spoke.

‘Thanks that I take as a compliment’. I was animated. She was served her drink. Wonder how the bartender managed freshly squeezed orange juice at that hour. He threw a smile at her and placed her glass neatly on the counter over a napkin.

‘The other day, I saw you getting out of the elevator. You were sand witched like a burger’.

‘Funny but how do you mean?’ I was seriously getting drawn to this one. She turned around and waved at some people sitting around a table to a corner to our left. I put two and two together; she was with a gang of friends and had come over to order a drink. She probably had jealous boyfriend somewhere out there and that should have held me back. It did zilch to my ardor.

‘Those two girls you were with were soft and round. You were like this beef in between’. She looked at me without any amusement in her beautiful eyes and rested her mouth gently on the glass ring to sip her exotic drink.

‘You are a babe, aren’t you’? My breathing was irregular and I was feeling a little high. I had an urge to drink what she was drinking, to go where she was going and to be with her, generally.

‘Babe? I am just an admirer; you have in your closet’. She was flirting. I turned around to check, if anyone was keeping an eye on her and when I found that her gang had left the table, I leaned over and kissed her. Her pulpy mouth opened in shock reaction, giving me a false sense of response and killed me further.

‘I am sorry, something came over me’, I apologized, ready to accept all the dirt. She stepped away from me. A man came between us. He was short with a face that looked like a rotten potato.

‘You guys know each other’? He asked her casually. He obviously was not a very aware person.

‘Yes’, she covered her alarm better than me. One could easily tell, her friend was rich from the way he dressed, not taking into account the thick gold chain around his fat neck.

‘Good, in that case, let’s invite him for our anniversary. Take his number, will you?’ He patted her lower back, collected his Johnny walker and excused himself within a minute.

‘Your number please, Ashim would like to invite you for a party’, her eyes were casted down and she looked like she had just lost something very precious.

‘Give me a miss call, that way I get to store your number’. I suggested.

I dictated and she dialed my number. I gave her time in between to press the required buttons. She disconnected soon as my phone responded. I wanted to ask her name to store her number but she was out of there.

I saw her again only in my early morning dream. I took a shower and walked to the café, downstairs for coffee and sandwich. It was here, I received a call from a Sub inspector, park street branch police station. He asked me to come straight over. He needed me with respect to an investigating of a young model’s suicide that took place last night. She was all of twenty four and was engaged to be married. I was on the list of suspects. Mine was the last number dialed on Ms Rabia Khan’s cell phone.


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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Dream Worker

On a lazy Sunday winter afternoon with soft sunshine outside, all you need is a cosy couch and a warm quilt for lovely, humdrum, languid siesta. Anything that disturbs such a snooze can be excruciatingly annoying. And this is exactly what happened to Bumba.

Trrrrrrrrring! Bumba woke up with a start. Muttering curses under his breath; he trudged towards the door to open it. He was all the more annoyed when saw no one outside. Scratching his head and groaning, he took a few more steps ahead to check if there was anyone around the vicinity.

Suddenly he noticed a small red box near the door. Funny it should be there. Nobody ever gifted him anything. Anyway, he picked it up and opened it.

Zooooop! He was sucked into the box the moment he opened it, sucked him in like a vacuum cleaner; as if he was nothing but a whiff of smoke.

Bumba felt himself being drawn in at lightning speed. Everything seems to be whizzing past him in a crazy motion. It seemed like hours before he landed on a firm ground with a slight thud. It took him some time to get a hold on himself.

This was most mystifying place, ever imagined. All kinds of colours splattered all around. Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Malachite, Gamboge, Razzmatazz, Xanadu and other colours he didn’t even know, existed. Wow, this looked fascinating. He was standing in front of a huge banner that read Dream Merchants Workshop. There were humans and non human things all around him; all of them chattering excitedly.

Everyone - the sponge, the banana, the bottle, the ice-cream, the pizza slices, the trees, and the people - everyone seemed to be in an animated conversation with each other. Some, like him, seemed lost.

All the little things around had grown huge in size, while the huge ones had shrunk; bringing everyone to more or less the same height.

There were stalls and booths everywhere – beautiful dreams, scary dreams, funny dreams, regular dreams, food dreams – the banners on various stalls said.

He noticed a tiny booth in a corner. ‘May I help you,’ it read. There was quite a mob around that booth. Someone was shouting, “First timers, this way; all the first timers come on here.”

Bumba walked up there and stood amongst the crowd of beings. A monstrous looking creature was addressing them. He had one big eye, one big mouth and one big ear on the top of his head. He looked quite cute.

“You all, I presume are first timers here”, he said. The crow standing next to Bumba gave him a smile and a wink.

The monster continued, “Welcome to the dream merchant’s workshop. You all have been handpicked by the dream merchant to be a part of a dream tonight. You will be given options to choose whose dream you wish to be; and what dream. You can give your name and pick up your options from that trapezium stall over there”

From the crowd a zombie raised his hand.

“Yes?” asked the monster.

“Who is the dream merchant?” questioned zombie.

“That cannot be revealed, for security reasons,” said the monster.

Now Bumba raised his hand and asked, “Why have I been chosen, or for that matter, anyone here?”

The monster shrugged. “The dream merchant has his weird ways. He chants something called Eena Meena Myna Mo and selects the dream-workers. It is some superior spiritual stuff,” he said. “It is beyond anyone’s understanding here.”

“Wow, I had no idea such a place existed,” exclaimed Bumba to the elf near him.

She grinned, “I had heard about it, but this is my first time too. It is sure going to be fun,” she said and walked off to collect her options.

Bumba was about to do the same when a huge bottle of cola walked up to him and asked, “Hi, would you care for a chocolate?”

“Sure,” replied Bumba with a smile.

“Gee, thanks mate. This little guy here is quite a handful. Take good care of him,” said the bottle quickly, as he shoved a little bar of chocolate towards Bumba.

Bumba stared in bewilderment as the chocolate gave him a sheepish grin. Before Bumba could protest the bottle had scooted off in the crowd.

“You and I will make a good pair,” said the chocolate as he stuck his gooey hand into Bumba’s arm staining his shirt.

“Hmm,” grunted Bumba with scorn and started walking where the options were being distributed. The chocolate trudged behind him.

Bumba was given four choices: His friend - Bappi, the jamun tree from the back yard, the neighbour’s cat - Billi, his bicycle. He thought for a while and decided to go for Billi. It was just a random choice.

Now there are two things everyone should know:

1. Cats believe in dreams. No, they really believe in it like it is real. Everything that happens in a cat’s dream is, according to the cat, lived by it in its sleeping hours. Hence it is extremely dangerous to fool around in a cats dream.

2. Cats love chocolates. Every single cat in the world loves chocolates. But they are allergic to it. Chocolates drive cats crazy. Crazy to the point of infinity. They can do unspeakable things when they are high on chocolates. Things you and I wouldn’t even think of in our wildest dreams.

Unfortunately, Bumba was unaware of these two rules and so was the bar of chocolate.

They next went to the booth that read Regular Dreams. Bumba really was not ready for any more adventure He wanted a simple lazy dream where he did not have to do much running around.

They were given their dream and also a few instructions. He was told that once his choice wakes up from sleep he will be transported back to his house outside the red box.

So they started preparing themselves for the night. Bumba and the chocolate started building up a dream for Billi.

That night back home when Billi fell asleep, Bumba and the chocolate whiffed in to her mind and started off with the dream.

Billi was lying by the fireplace cuddled up with a ball of wool. Bumba was sitting on the arm-chair with a book and staring at Billi. Billi purred; walked up to Bumba and rubbed her back against his leg. She then skipped up and curled up on Bumba’s lap.

Suddenly the doorbell rang. Pushing Billi aside, Bumba got up to answer the door. Someone handed over a box and a chocolate bar to him. As he turned back he noticed Billi sitting on his arm chair. Annoyed, he caught her by the scruff and threw her away on the floor.

This infuriated Billi. The arm-chair had been nice and cosy. She looked at Bumba with a hiss and snarl. He was sitting on the chair again biting into the chocolate bar. She leaped up on him and hit him hard on his face with her paw. The chocolate bar fell off from his hand. Before he could pick it up again Billi jumped on it and gobbled it up….

The chocolate high in the dream had triggered Billi senses. With a big yawn, Billi stretched and woke up. That immediately transported Bumba and chocolate away from the dream merchant’s workshop to the real world.

But the damage was done. Billi was twitchy with the dream she had. She could feel the chocolate taste in her mouth. She also continued to feel angry towards Bumba; rather, she was quite livid.

Next morning when Bappi dropped in to Bumba’s house for a morning cup of tea; Bumba was nowhere to be seen.

Instead Bappi noticed a cat curled up on the armchair. The cat looked at him as she licked some chocolate off her paws.


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Monday, 17 June 2013

My Favourite Season

The serene sunrise in the eastern horizon on a sunny day is just the treat for everyone’s eyes. It is brightest in the summer season and continues to grow as the month of May progresses.
But on the 31st of May the sun was amazed that it wasn’t the brightest star in the sky, for an even brighter and more glamorous star had taken birth on earth and the adorable smile of the baby boy, made the sun to soften its rays. It didn’t want to outshine the beauty of the baby boy.

The summer season had just begun and, it brought the first fruit of the year with it. The birth of the baby boy was its first fruit of the year as the Mangoes are the king of all fruits; the baby boy was the king of the season, and the summer acknowledged it. Being a holiday it allowed everyone of the relatives to bless him and wish for his long life. The tiny eyes couldn’t decipher the world change around him that had gone crazy seeing him play with his tiny little fingers and hands.

A hundred hands came to console him, if a tear dropped from the baby boy’s eyes. They just couldn’t let him cry for he was the star of the year. The butterflies, flowers, water in the pond and the fishes in it, made him even happier. The orchards of mango trees, blackberries, coconut trees, the palm fruit and the garden of flowers of every colour and shape amused the baby boy. He was in love with the season of summer.

The scorching sun dried up everything in its way, the ponds, and rivers, each waiting for the rains to quench their thirst.

The thunder and the lightning gave a strong message to the rivers and the thirsty trees and flowers of the arrival of the rainy season.

The dust laden trees shook off the dirt and the flowers and trees quenched their thirst with the water poured from the clouds. The first rain drops gave a sweet smell of the soil. The farmers of the country side have waited long enough for the rains, and were ready to plant the paddy.

The baby is now two months old and the advent of the rains gave him a chance to enhance his curiosity of what the new season has brought for him with it. On finding no one to disturb him he put his hands out of the window to the pouring rain drops and found it fun playing with the water that fell on his cheeks and it ran down his face. His mother came running to the room, hearing his weird fun-making sounds. The thunder and the lightening frighten him and at the very moment amaze him also. Frightened, he runs to his mom and holds her tightly, closing his eyes. And after the lightning had gone he laughs almost simultaneously with the thunder.

The rain continues to pour for the next two months playing hide and seek with the sun.

Now three months later the baby boy has stopped crawling and his curiosity leads him to learn a new skill of walking. It’s really fun walking with everyone encouraging him to walk and finds himself running to their arms. The first steps of the child give a feeling of intense happiness to his parents and instil new hope in their hearts.

The harvest season was nearby and the baby steps are too small to walk to the paddy fields. His grandfather took him in his arms, caressing him all the way long. He had started talking by now. With every season he has learnt something new and the harvest season gives him the power of speech. His grandfather takes him to make a small tour to the golden paddy fields. The paddy dances with the winds blowing and the baby boy tries to imitate the dancing of the paddy fields. He yells out to his grandfather amazed at the beauty of the paddy and the birds that flew over the land.

The nature created a perfect birth place for him and blessed him with its abundant beauty and a miraculous world.

The paddy was brought by the labourers to the house where they are crushed by the cows to separate the rice from the husk. It took days to separate the rice. Once the rice had been separated they were filled in the sacks to be stored and to be sold.

The winter season has made a peep into the life of the sweet baby boy to teach him a new lesson. His words were now clear could now be understood to a small extent. It was so cold that smoke came out of his mouth as he said to his mom. “Ma-ma”, “smoke coming out! My mouth.” which was duly acknowledged by his mom with a smile.

Later that day, a calf was born to a cow. In a day or two it was galloping and was showing wonderful jumping tricks, and the baby boy couldn’t stop laughing and having fun with his grandmother. The calf was allowed to drink milk from the cow first and then it was milked. He tried his hand at milking but without much success.

Nature had made many marigold flowers and roses to blossom in their garden. The garden looked like paradise from the top of his house.

The year was now close to end and everyone was celebrating the arrival of the New Year with great pomp and show.

The state he lived in celebrated thirteen festivals in twelve months, with the famous being the “Rath Yatra” at Puri. Puri is the abode of Lord Jagannath and the Lord of the Universe.

The baby boy was named Kishan on the 21st day of his birthday and now has grown up quite a bit and is on his way to conquer the world in his own way.

I still feel jealous of the baby boy who had so much of fun playing in his village and I envy him of the wonderful days he had as a child that every child wishes to have cherished those days. Wish I have been as lucky as the sweet and adorable baby boy, every day of my life.

The summers, the rainy, winter seasons taught him many lessons of life. Of all the seasons the summers is the best, for it gives him a chance to look into the world beyond him, in the holidays. It takes him to new destinations and gives him a chance to appreciate Mother Nature and the wonderful beauty it has created for every living being on earth. Seasons are the manifestations of Nature for every living being to closely relate with her and to unravel her hidden mysteries.


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Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Elusive

She rises with foam, they say
In her beauty, your heart would sway

Lust for all and flesh to elite

Never once, she settled for the petite

In the battle of wisdom, love and fidelity

She stole the show, ah! She Ravishing beauty

In tandem dawned the Trojan, by and for love

Little did Paris know what was hanging above

Immortal she is, her beauty would never fray

For those who crave, her song would play

With no control on what your hormones expedite

If you haven’t got it yet, her name is Aphrodite

Be it Helen of the Mycenaean age

Or a mere goon with haphazard rage

With love she would forever play

Enticed, you will plead her to stay

But with foam she raises they say

Like foam she would vanish to your dismay.


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The woman waited in the car. Her gleaming crimson lipstick provided a perfect contrast to the teeth that dazzled in the headlights of the cars coming the other way. Her skin, fair to an extent that it could almost be called pale, somehow made her look more sensuous in a surreal sort of way.

She could see the two men, through with their dinner but immersed in a conversation of sorts; they were still inside the restaurant, but were standing next to the window. She had twenty-twenty vision anyway. Her ample bosom heaved as she took deep breaths. She could not afford to show her impatience.


They worked as a pair. One of the two chatted up the victim till late; the other drove past the bar or restaurant or whatever it was. Then, between them, they usually rounded off the victim the way a tiger on a diet does to a barking chihuahua.

Life has not been easy for them. They had tried to seek jobs in Transylvania, but could not break through the paperwork. Transylvanian apartheid is at its peak these days, and being Indians, they did not have a chance.

Then they met each other. It was bloody love at first sight. Their teeth snarled, their innards craved for each other, and when they kissed, they knew it was perfect.

Dejected by the lack of opportunity they decided to come back to India – and take refuge in the innocuous city of Kolkata. Getting day jobs was easier here: nobody would even guess that Indian vampires existed. Sure enough, they ended up finding decent-paying jobs. They typically surprised their colleagues by often turning up before daybreak, but their workplaces were different, meant that they did not arouse suspicion.

After days of living on canned magpie-blood and sucking on to stale pigeon-blood lozenges just for the sake of variety, they finally found access to fresh food: they bought a goat, killed it inside their bedroom, and had their fill. The carcass was thrown to the dogs.

The dogs were grateful to them for their gifts, every now-and-then. After they could save some money, the vampires eventually invested in a double-bed mahogany coffin; the passion became more intense as they licked blood off each others’ lips and mouths, and their flesh merged seamlessly into each other’s nakedness.

Several weeks passed before they realised that animal blood was never good enough to satiate them. They needed the real thing, which was not easy in a big city like Kolkata. They kept to a plan: they would sneak in to a pub, keeping a distance from each other, and make an attempt at wooing the singles. Obviously, they acted depending on the gender of their victims, and texted the partner the moment they managed to coax the victim to visit somewhere.

Once that was achieved, the unsuspecting victim was taken to their dark abode. The victim was never a match for the strong wrists or forearms of the vampires, and was immediately tied to manacles – and kept hanging till the other vampire returned.

Then they went into business, and threw the insipid, bloodless, naked body to the dogs – the dogs that usually stayed up in anticipation – in the middle of the night. Nobody cared to check whether the bits of stray bones on the street were human.

They often laughed among themselves at the policeman who tried to track them down the day he found a stray human ear in the gutter. They had kept his ears as souvenirs since then, inside their coffin, having the occasional giggle once they cuddled up to each other inside it.

Boredom crept in, though: the victims were being acquired too easily. Vampires love challenges, just like scuba-divers or bungee-jumpers. So they lied down in their coffin, cleaned each other’s fingers dry of the teenager’s last liquid remnants, and found a plan after a night’s conversation punctuated by the telltale moans.

It involved a car. They invested in a suave-looking SUV. Obtaining a loan was not difficult, and they had obtained enough money since they never had to spend a farthing on grocery or furniture.

They now decided to pick out people one at a time: one of them would go inside one of the new dining spots, strike a conversation with a person of the same sex, sit on the foyer till it was very late – and when the other person would come along in the car, they would ask for a lift. There were a couple of suspicious security-guards, but a thousand rupees a month was always sufficient.

This was challenging. This involved making people of the same sex stay back only with one’s conversational skills, followed by convincing them to hitch a lift to exactly the same desired car. The outcome was the same – the only difference being the fact that the process was more challenging.


It was his turn tonight, though: he was prepared for the occasion. The restaurant was surprisingly empty given that it was a weekend. “This is what happens if you come to the new ones”, he thought with a disappointed face. He looked around, and could not find anyone single – until his eyes fell on a dark, remote corner.

He walked up and put his most innocent smile on display. He knew that with those eyes and that smile, nobody could turn him down. Nobody ever has.

He met the man’s eyes. “May I join you?”

The man grunted. He had a savage, burly look about himself. His frame was huge; the shoulders were broad; the forearms strong; and the biceps bulging under the ancient shirt that was in vogue about seven decades ago. He had blood-red eyes, a tawny mane for a beard that had almost certainly never met a razor, and a bag on his shoulder that definitely contained something like a guitar.

“A musician, eh? I used to play the cello in school,” the vampire lied.

The man grunted again.

This conversation isn’t getting anywhere, the vampire thought. I have to bring up a topic; fashion is certainly not his forte; he doesn’t look too athletic either, and isn’t really interested to discuss music. Let’s try something else for a change.

“You know something – I have acquired something lately. I think it’s real – they claim it’s an original Hussain”.

No luck. More small talk.

“Oh, did I tell you I also own The Mahabharat in Sanskrit – and it’s also written in palm leaves? I mean, it’s the real thing. It’s a collector’s edition.” The vampire lied again.

The eyes lit up, finally.

“Can I see it?” The voice asked in a deep, distant, accented grumble. Did the eyes gleam for a moment?

He had never heard that accent before, but he smiled back with an expressionless face. “Of course you can.”

The dinner was polished off in no time. The man turned out a vegetarian. He did not like garlic, which suited the vampire. Both of them detested garlic, despite the fact that they had been given the required vaccination in their childhood. She prefers vegetarians, he thought as they stood up.

The man turned out to be stocky, but had an enviable physique. He could have passed as a wrestler or a weightlifter, thought the vampire. They struck up a conversation outside the restaurant, and the vampire was surprised at the other man’s vast knowledge of Indian mythology.

“found vctm. cmng out. cm sn”, he texted.

“m wtng outsd :)”, she texted back. “i cn c u”.


They walked outside. The man – the gullible one – was already willing to go to their place, so the vampire decided to introduce her as his wife. The Neanderthal grunted gutturally in acknowledgement, and made his way to the backseat with an audible thump.

They drove silently to their place, the vampires restless in anticipation. They cast glances at each other, and caught them licking their own lips, and smiled embarrassedly. It took them a few minutes to reach their place.

The man used his key to open the door, and the woman closed the door behind her when all three were inside. Then they pounced upon the stranger.

The stranger proved to be surprisingly strong. All of a sudden the clumsiness had disappeared. The fluent arm-movements sent the vampires reeling. And then, with surprising agility, he bent down, opened his bag, and brought out a battle-axe with a gleaming blade in one swift movement.

He had almost closed the door behind him after beheading the vampires when he heard the dogs bark. Disgusted, he kept the door ajar, and allowed them in as he disappeared into the night.

Fools, he thought. They never realised that I’m immortal, and I’m here to rid the world of all evil. Nobody messes with immortals.

His mission accomplished, Parashuram deleted the names and pictures of the vampires from his cell-phone, and set off for the rapist warlock in the suburbs.

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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A New Pup In Town

Second day in the new neighborhood, and my mum and dad still don't think it's safe for me to be let out on my own. Pity. Maybe I would just have to keep chewing my little teddy the whole day long. He's in tatters anyway.

Day before yesterday, before I went into a chemically-induced semi-hibernation, I was offered the sweetest biscuit I've ever tasted. I should've known something shifty was going on then as I immediately dozed off past that. I remember being carried by unknown people inside a cagey box. There was a moment when I panicked but then I saw dad's face. He had been there the whole time, giving careful instructions to the men who were carrying me and I knew whatever was being done was, maybe, necessary.

But I didn't know we were shifting to a new house! In an entirely new place! From what I've seen since yesterday, I now have a large garden to roam around. I can now be a little more carefree about hitting things with a single wag of my tail, as there seems to be more space for me to maneuver. I can no longer sense the stale, sickening smell of a lavender room freshener that used to be everywhere inside the last house.
Instead, here I can smell of some distant mangoes! The air is salty, and there is always a light breeze in the air. I like it inside the house, but I think it’s time I go exploring on the outside. I think I saw a cat giving me nasty looks last night; must check her out too.

Okay, hey I got to go now. I can hear dad coming - ‘Woof!’

Guess what, I got lucky. At last mum has asked dad to take me out!

As we got out of the gate, the road appeared inclined, and surprisingly empty. There were no speeding cars and hardly any people running about. From the hill side of the road, I heard some light soothing music, but the source did not come in sight. We started trotting down the hill, from where strong breeze blew on our faces. As we came to an end, full blast of blue, green, yellow and sunlight welcomed us. I inadvertently got happy, wagging my tail in excitement!

I didn’t know we had a beachfront nearby. That explains the salty smell. As dad took me for a stroll, we met three other people with pets. First one to pass was a fat old lady, dad made small-talk with while I drooled at the smoking hot poodle beside her. She didn’t pay much attention to me however. After the lady welcomed both of us into the neighborhood, we marched forward. Dad gave me a wink and let out a low whistle. Perhaps he read my mind, eh?

Next, while we met a few people who greeted my master, I came across an elderly Alsatian named Tyler. He appeared wise, and spoke less. Then I met a cheerful Lab of almost my age, who appeared larger than me. And my being a Golden Retriever, that’s saying something indeed. She welcomed me with a warm ‘Woof!’ as we immediately hit it off.

‘Firstly, you need to lose the stiffness in your walk, dear! You’re not in the city anymore. Here you’ve got plenty of places to roam around, plenty of room to run around and…’ she said with a wink, ‘plenty of poodles to hang around with. If you know what I mean?!’

My face must’ve visibly declared my happiness, so she continued with a wag in her tail, ‘You’ll get to meet the others soon. There’s Lennon, Jagger, Tyler, Harrison, Posh and me, Pink.’
‘What’s up with the names?’ I inquired.

‘We were all found and rescued as pups, by the local community church. You’ll find it up on the hill. The old Father of that church secretly seemed to like rock music back then, and so we were named accordingly. The nights used to be such fun, when we were little’ said Pink. ‘You’ll meet Goldie too, a poodle. She’s new to the locality. And between you and me, I think Tyler has got the hots for her!’

‘I think I already met her few minutes back, yes’ said I, without divulging any further piece of my mind. ‘Is there a cat around here too? I think I saw one giving me nasty looks last night.’

‘Ah yes, that’s Riddle. An old, disgruntled witch, she is! She guards the mango tree at the old bungalow on the other end of the hilly road, towards the beach. We’ll get there. That tree bears the sweetest mangoes we’ve ever had! We’ll take you there soon once you meet everybody…’

With a tug at our individual collars, we knew it was time to go. As we said our goodbyes, she promised to introduce me to the rest of the gang later. And then she sprinted away with her master.

Back in the city, I had Bruno - the pug - as my solitary company. And we were never allowed to venture outside the compound we stayed in. Suddenly having all the free space around me, and all the new friends, all the anticipated adventure that lay ahead - I think I’m going to like this place!

Back in the city, I used to sit in front of what the people call the air-conditioning system and watch my ears flap around in the cool wind that came out of it. Here, however, the air in general is windy. Sometimes I just close my eyes and stand in the sun. Then I go chasing insects and butterflies in the garden. I never get tired of them, there’s always some activity out there, waiting for me.

It is evening now, and it is raining. I gazed out of the kitchen window.

The raindrops sound different. In the city, the raindrops only ‘sputtered’ on the concrete window shades. While here the drops fell upon so many varieties of surface - the wooden porch, mud, grass, leaves and even tin roofs. It was all such a hullabaloo. My senses were tingling everywhere! Never before have they been put to test in such enriched environment.

As the rain fell hard on the wooden porch, I mistook the sound for yet another visitor. We’ve had lots of them today, with baskets of housewarming gifts and food, and I’m really tired of barking all day long. The wind blew hard and rattled the windows. They brought the smell of mangoes with them. And as the trees rustled in the wind and rain, my eyes started drooping.

I almost had given up on my final attempt at trying to keep my eyelids open when I saw some movement on the garden fence. I sat up in total attention. My ears went up and my mind was sharp as I listened. But all I heard was rain. It was only after a while of adjusting my focus, that I suddenly noticed something move gracefully on the fence, then jump down to the ground, walk to the porch, lick its paw and look up.

Riddle the cat, was staring right at me from the porch.

‘Stay away from the mangoes, newbie…’ warned Riddle and left suddenly.

I don’t know whether it was my inherent, general loathing for cats or it was the sight of that particular cat, which had managed to push me off the edge, I started howling loudly. Mum and dad came running and tried to calm me down. They fed me some water, patted and caressed me till I stopped after about ten minutes.

They thought it was the rain and thunder that ticked me off. But someone please tell them in the language they understand, we’ve got a psycho cat in the neighborhood!

After an hour of leisurely lying on the drawing room floor, I again went to the kitchen window.

The rain had stopped, but there was a chilly wind in the air. The trees continued to rustle in the breeze. The cat was nowhere to be seen. Now, I am supposed to be let out from tomorrow. I even have my own kennel being built in the garden! It was all very exciting for a city-raised dog like me who, till now, has lived his life in an apartment on the 5thfloor.

The ambience was such a bliss that I slept off soon enough.

I heard dad come to get some water. He stood next to me and amusingly remarked ‘they say be alert like a dog?! As far as our dog goes, he sleeps like a log darling!’ Mum also seemed amused. I didn’t bother getting up. Instead I maintained my state of semi-consciousness as I heard him go back to bed.


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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Birthday Gift (55-Fiction)

I lie trapped within a body which neither lets me die nor live.

Bedridden and immobile, I beseech my children to poison me.

“Let death be the perfect gift for my 70th birthday.”

My grandson trots over, climbs the bed and plants a kiss on my wilted cheek.

He gives me love. A better gift.


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Monday, 10 June 2013

2779 AD: Extinction

Adam Elevator Space Base | 62,137 miles above sea level | 2779 AD

Bruce sighed while waiting at the cargo bay for the elevator's arrival. He had been following the same schedule for last 10 years – collecting the cargo sent by his associates on Earth which usually included new test equipments and some belongings sent by his family and friends living below. A taut carbon nanotube composite ribbon was anchored to the platform. It continued a few thousand miles above into the space and finally hooked into a trapped asteroid which acted as a counterweight. He could sense the dampened vibrations of the approaching elevator. He was feeling a bit upset today as on this fateful day, five years back, his dear friend Luke had vanished mysteriously.

Tycho Crater | 100 miles from SpaceX Colony, Moon | 2774 AD

Luke drove his rover through the Lunar highlands covered with regolith, a mixture of fine dust and rocky debris, and reached the source of the strange signal he detected today. He slid down the gentle slope of the crater and started leaping towards its centre. After walking a few miles the dusty terrain started turning smooth and shiny like an ice-floor. He inserted his probe and started examining the floor closely. It turned out to be a super-cooled liquid glass.
“What is this glass lake doing in this crater?” He wondered.
He turned his head upwards and gazed at his home planet. It was looking serene and beautiful.
Suddenly a thought clicked in his mind.
He took his receiver and plugged it into his suit. He told Lina, the computer built into his spacesuit, to analyse the signal with respect to Vasin-Shcherbakov Equations.
After a few seconds.
“Luke. This signal encodes the current satellite image of Earth with an extraordinary resolution of one mile on Earth to one mile on the data transmitted.”
Luke was shocked- “How on Earth is this possible! This crater contains the most gigantic telescope, constantly keeping an eye on us and we never knew. How did we miss it? I must head to the colony and tell Bruce about this.”
As Luke started drifting swiftly towards the rover, he felt a strange presence, as if he was not alone. A dusty breeze blew through his airtight suit. He was shocked at the thought of something penetrating his suit.
The next moment his power-suit turned off.
He tripped.
Turned his head.
Saw a faint silver figure floating in air and never woke up.
The giant lunar telescope was not the first alien technology mankind ever came across. Something similar happened 800 years ago.

Groom Lake | Southern Nevada, U.S. | 1949 AD

The lake was shrinking season after season. Old Timothy Adams was having a dip in the lake when suddenly he felt something big under his feet. He informed the sheriff and soon they pulled out that saucer shaped object. Rumours of this strange object spread and this area was cordoned off quickly. They named it Area 51, a secretive military air force base.
After a few years, disruptive technologies started pouring out in US- Fibre optics, LASERs, Kevlar, Titanium fighter planes, Transistors (the birth of computers)– and some of these totally changed our world. Some technologies took centuries to reverse engineer, like the hydroxyGEN– which could split water vapour in air and provide us both Hydrogen fuel and pure Oxygen.
It still remains a well kept secret that the technologies we boast off today, had their origin in that one saucer which landed on Earth maybe centuries ago.

SpaceX Moon Colony | Maria Levita, Moon | 2779 AD

It was a peaceful lunar settlement, flocked with twenty families as a part of the SpaceX lunar experiment. The colony was a closed ecological system where all nutrients were recycled. It was self-sustainable requiring no Earthly support.
Bruce entered his house. Sam was eagerly waiting for his dad. He was wearing a strange skimpy suit covering his entire body except his head.
“Hey son, look what grandpa sent you.”
It was a slimy fish with orange scales. Swimming to and fro in the container. It looked beautiful.
“Dad, it belongs to which species?”
“I have no clue Sam. Try asking Ela.”
Sam moved his hand and positioned his palm facing the fish.
“Ela, tell me all details you find on this fish.”- He said it on his microphone.
Green rays came out of his palm and started scanning the fish. The rays stopped and Ela, his personal supercomputer, soon arrived at an answer.
“It is an Oranghy also known as the "slimehead". It is slimy and has orange scales, having a typical life expectancy of 150 years. It is found along the North Atlantic coast. It became extinct 50 years back due to overfishing.”
Sam looked at this cute fish and started feeling sorry. Man's inherent nature to dominate the entire planet never changed. As centuries passed, species extinction had continued at an alarming rate due to human activities.

Amazon Desert | Brazil | 2779 AD

What was once 2.1 million sq miles rainforest was now reduced to a desert with just a small patch of land covered with trees. Millions of species residing in those forest were now extinct. An automatic lumberjack came and started logging the final patch.
The moment the last tree touched ground, 2000 orbs left the Gioni Crater on Mars.

Adam Elevator Earth Base | On a Pacific Isle | 2779 AD

“Stephan, today around two thousand silver orbs destroyed all major cities around the globe. A high energy plasma beam emitted from a single orb wiped out an entire city, leaving behind just a rocky terrain. With all major government centres gone, the entire planet and its people are thrown into chaos."- Andy told me.

A day later, everyone, including me, enlisted in the army, in order to protect the Adam Earth Base as that was our last resort to escape this doomsday. It was our last hope.
We took our positions and surrounded the base.

Five hours later, three elevated figures appeared far away. The humanoids looked identical, shaped like an ideal human. We started shooting at them with our laser guns. It was a futile effort.
Their silver suits were made up of technology never seen before-
Nanotech? Biotech?
It was nowhere near as simple as that. Its material was inserted with an integral DNA of living organisms. Customized artificial neurons were working in conjunction with their nervous system. Those metallic suits responded to their thoughts. It was an amalgam of biotechnology and mechatronics. They were controlling it perfectly. Our laser beams were easily blocked by their techno-organic armour which altered itself automatically to create a shield in order to obstruct the trajectory.
They were close. We were scared.
None of my shots were even close. I was just another scientist holding a gun and wearing a power-pack, stupefied by their alien technology. One of them was now floating in air facing me. I shot at him insanely, to no result. He extended his hand fully towards me, keeping his arms straight and locked. His palm a few feet away facing my head. Suddenly he turned and shot a spherical ball towards Andy. The ball appeared out of nowhere on his palm. As if lots of molecules on his palm assembled to form that sphere. As it reached Andy, the sphere disintegrated into the air. Andy's power-pack failed and then a few moments later Andy dropped dead.
I could predict that this superior race had already harnessed Technovores- Synthetic alloys and unknown biological entities that invade the system compromising power source and life out of the cells of the host. The silver Technovore shield was made entirely of nanobots. It had the ability to disassemble itself into a stream of nanites which carries a copy of the entire viral personality, and implying that the whole entity can reconstruct itself from a single unit. It absorbed technology into itself, adding the abilities of consumed technology into its physical being. It was a bio-tech warfare, probably the first and the last mankind would ever see.
The alien turned his head and looked directly into my cold eyes.

SpaceX Moon Colony | Maria Levita, Moon | 2779 AD

Bruce and Sam started running towards the escape pods kept at the edge of the colony. But when they reached it was already too late. The five pods were already carrying eight families. Bruce was holding Sam's hand standing in despair. They could see the SilverMen on the other side of the colony shield.
The pods launched.
SilverMen positioned their palms shooting hundreds of globules into space which disintegrated on contact with the surface of the pods. Three hundred feet above the ground those pods annihilated.
Sam could not bear the sight. He hugged his dad and started crying. Right now he felt just like the Oranghy – alone, entrapped and helpless.
“Dad, are we going to become extinct?”


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Sunday, 9 June 2013

A Future World Order

Topic : After World War III, the female survivors decide that, as men caused the war and did most of the fighting, it is simply too dangerous to allow them to be in control of the governments any longer. Men are banned from government and military service and, after a few years, banned from voting, having an education or having a job outside the home. A young boy, depressed by his limited prospects at home, decides to pose as a girl so he can join the navy.

This is a short story


‘Daddy I hate this, why can’t I go to school like Sara my sister to learn, play games and have friends?’

John was rolling out the pastry, but the pin instead of rolling on slipped away and disheveled it into a rugged lump. ‘Damn it’, he swore at it and lamented, ‘I will never make it right’.  It rung inside the big kitchen like an echo of his self-doubt that had been cram-ming into him for some time now, the doubt about himself as to how worth his life had become in the new dispensation.  In the previous dispensation-when the roosters ruled the world.- he was a police officer and had earned badges and accolades for keeping law and order in a big city immaculate. He held his both palms, over the rugged pastry lump and doubted, ‘how have they handled live ammunitions once, if they cannot use a silly rolling pin now?’

Mary had earlier messaged him, ‘John, please arrange lunch for two more people; they are my seniors and do not disappoint me this time’. Why can’t she take them to some fancy restaurants, he thought, she knew, I could only disappoint her. He was only doing what she had asked him to do, not on account of his preference, and there was no chance for he getting better at it. Since he received Mary’s message his head was pounding in a headache.

‘Dad, answer me, I want to know it now?’

Job has been asking that question for some time now. John felt pity for his son. Many a time he got himself ready to tell him everything but had retracted doubting whether Job would take them easily or had time come right.

‘Ok, I shall answer you Job, but after lunch; now, how about let me do this pastry. I am trying to make a special dish for lunch, your mummy messaged, there would be two guests for lunch’

‘Is it a promise Dad?’

‘Yes it is’.

John turned on to the pastry. When done with it, he spread an oilpaper over it, rolled it packed into a plastic bag and shoved into the fridge.

Then he opened the deep freezer and stared at the packets of vegetables and non-vegetables he himself had stored in. ‘How could I make that special dish that wouldn’t disappoint Mary?’ he had no idea. In the end he picked up a packet of red mince and thrust it into the microwave before pressing the defrost button.

‘Daddy, I am thinking about you as well, how come that you never get a chance to go outside like mummy? Are you happy here, to stay always in the kitchen and indoors?’

The question brought tears into Johns’ eyes, his son talks like a big man, he had only passed 17; using the apron towel he wiped the tears off his eyes. He wouldn’t show his pain to Job, he was already depressed.

‘You are right, sometimes it frustrates me too, but’

‘Have you tried to get out of here?’



‘That is a big story’

‘You can’t tell me. I am strong enough to hear your story’.

‘Ok, I will tell you everything after lunch’

Job looked happy. The Kitchen Maid by then had finished her round. He pulled open its handle, unloaded its contents -plates, dishes, spoons and glasswares –and stored them away into the designated places in the cupboards. Since the time the father and the son started managing the kitchen they had agreed to share the home chores between them.

He picked up the laundry baskets from the bathrooms, lifted them to the laundry room, sorted the linens according to their soil, loaded the first batch into the washing machine, added soap power and fabric softener, set the dials and switched it on.  Then he moved on to feed the pets- two Labradors and one Ceylon parakeet.  The Labradors wagged their tails and jumped around him while he dropped the pellet feed into their bowls.  The parakeet made a lot of undecipherable noises from its cage, when it saw him.

On normal days, when he was done with his chores and John with his coking, they two settle down with their learning and teaching session. John kept the session a secretive affair and had asked Job to keep it that way. Why should, it be so, Job had asked him many times; but he wouldn’t give a straight answer other than promising, one day he would disclose.


That day they did not sit down in the morning for learning, but after lunch.  Job was looking forward to hear that big secret from his father as he had promised when he entered into the learning place. He liked hearing stories.  He was seventeen, if he had gone to school, he would be in grade 10 or 11.

‘Ok dad the lunch was excellent’ Job told to boost up his spirit.

‘But your mommy was not impressed’

‘Why can’t then mummy cook for one day or at least show you how to cook better’

‘Um, she is busy’, Job thought his father said that to please him.

‘But she liked the dessert’.  John was pleased to say that.

When the two were settled, John started the long promised story.

‘It is not a story as such Job, it is the blatant history of our human race, a shameful one though, shameful for the majority of the male population that lived here and lives on, the majority among the lived are now dead and what they did forbids me even to mention their names’.  That was how he introduced it.

Then he carried on and a brief summary of what he told was like this:

In the beginning, there was the land and then came the people. They were modest, respectful, gentle, just, loving and caring. Humanity thrived in its every endeavour. There were good and bad among them; but the good always prevailed over the bad; and the bad bettered themselves or tried to be better.

Perhaps in the process of evolution the evil begot more powerful evil; the evil always wanted to bring calamity into the world.  For that, they created gods, devils and religions.  Gods and the religions ruled over the weak for them and the devils organised the strong and the powerful for them. In the past 3000 years, there happened an incredible increase in the god’s population and in the spread of religions; their secret roles in war and conquer, many haven’t grasped yet. But the nexus between religion and politics is not a secret. One of the lethal discovery of that nexus in the 19th century was racism; it classified humans into super, best, better, worst and useless objects, with females confined to the last.  Females fought against it, but in many cases they could not find success and so, gave up on it. (True many females joined their male counter parts in oppression) Theories of racism and oppression were made and justified, books were written to eulogize discrimination, deprivation and aggression.

According to the best of those theories, occupation and territorial aggression became the right of the civilized and the powerful that belonged to the so called ‘super races’; what evolved out of that was the most criminal human on human exploitation-colonisation. World Wars happened as a direct consequence to that. Already three WWs, I, II and III were fought and the last one started in 2030 and ended in 2032; it would have continued if the supply of trained men hadn’t stopped.

One notable thing was that all the three WWs and the situations leading to them had happened under the leadership of men. All organisations and institutions that directly or indirectly involved in carrying out and supporting the wars were men or women who thought like men.

So when the WW III ended, the majority females all over the world got united and decided to take over the world leadership on condition that men were banished from all positions of leadership and responsibility; meant they were banned from all public places and offices.

Now, 13 years have passed after the banning was finally ratified into orders and in the meantime, females have made remarkable improvement if not turned this world into a perfect one. The most important of their reformation was to banish all world leaders including heads of states, into distant islands where they were asked to settle down with the farming under female supervision.  Another excellent action from their side was the banning of all religions and of the god men and the women, the leeches that thrived on fabricated lies like human sins, otherworld, heaven and hell and the destructive constructions like holly rituals, holly cross, holy war, terrorism, etc were also packed away into the farmlands.  As a result, now the food-shortages and poverty have become a thing of the past.


Job gave a big sigh when John had finished the narration.

‘So Dad, are you saying that this is a fair dispensation’

‘It is, son; if the men had continued ruling this world, it would have become a lost land by now’

‘But what have I done, dad, why am I banned from having an education?’

‘You are right. They are unfair on you and many like you. So I have a made plan for you’

‘What plan dad?’

John unveiled his plan before Job.  A week ago, he watched on the TV that a girl’s navy recruitment team was visiting a nearby place, in the coming week.  He wanted Job to appear for the recruitment.

‘But how could I, I am a boy’

‘Listen you become a girl’


‘You can be Sara, your sister. Look at this’, he pulled out of his apron pocket, Saras’ ID book, opened its font page; there was a photograph of Sara.  ‘If you change your hair style a bit, you are Sara’.

Job looked at Saras’ photograph, Sara was 15 when she took that photograph; she looked like a boy in it because there was no make up on her face. It showed she was in a tea-shirt.

‘But what would Sara do?’

‘She can report to the police that her ID is lost, when she finds it out, and once the police had established that it was lost she could apply for another one’

‘This is the only chance for you, you have to make it good’

Job thought, his father was right.

‘This is Sara’s old cell phone’. Job took the phone in his hand and turned it around; so far he was not allowed to use a cell phone.

‘From today on, you are Sara, you have to mentally and physically accept that, is that ok’

Job agreed.

‘So next week, I am leaving you Dad?’ his words got chocked at his throat.

He moved towards John and hugged him. The separation was unbearable to both.

‘Who is going to help you once I am gone, dad?’; he was sobbing.

‘I will manage; Job and you too will manage. You are a brave boy’

‘And when I am gone, what would you tell mom’

‘Don’t worry; I will tell her something, what, I have to find out. But you get ready for the recruitment’.


At the Navy recruitment centre a week later:

There were more than 10 applicants. They were asked to take seats in a hall and were given application forms to fill in their personal details. Job filled in all his details searching through Sara’s ID book.

Once they had filled in the application forms, each had to face an informal interview. After the interview they were seated back in the hall and in a short while the result was announced. Sara Johnson Smith was one among the new recruits.

Written By : Prasanna Raghavan
Original Post at : India Blooming