Sunday, 21 July 2013

Déjà Vu

Early in the morning

Corpuscular rays of sunlight

Filter thro’ the trees—and

touch me fleetingly

I can’t hold myself, slip into the veldt;

Foliage almost topical on the forest-floor

Entwine around my feet- what luck!

The rustle of the stag-ferns, the murmurs

of the torrent stream rushing with bushes,

twigs through the ravine; all play together,

to enlighten me…initiate me

- Puzzled, I peek around the bushes;

Whipping affinities, analogies…

And progress….

Time rolls by, as I keep picking

The mysteries through the gossamer

caught in yesterday’s frames; and


For a sip of that stupor or trance

I enjoy being released into the

Musty images of yesterday…

Screeches of birds, the gushing water,

the smell of moist earth,

the mass of green velvety moss ,

bird-burrowed holes on tree-trunks; they all

help me taking off the blinkers at last,

I spot the wooden arched bridge over a creek

And recognize…goodness me!!

A bubbling stream fleeting, swinging,

crashing over the boulders; transforms

my hearing and seeing –

Silence follows~

Play of sunlight rolls over the boulders

Gets hazy for a second…

Lo! It disappears again…

The old bridge opens windows of another world

I've been here before, I grasp - -- a dream Déjà vu..?

The yellow sunlight gets intense,

Each stone seems more dazzling than before

'Yes, such awakening is possible,

Déjà vu moment pitches in because images

dwell in our consciousness, as long as we live.


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No More Us

It took me four years to go back. Four quick years, all this time, I avoided facing what I knew I would have to eventually go back to. I was through with my mechanical engineering, there were stuffs, I needed to see through. Confusing and complicated was my life. More than my life was my emotion. So far, I had excused my absence back home with studies. Surprisingly everyone believed me.

Raurkela, my adopted city had devoured me, physically drained me and had me occupied. There was always something happening, always some lecture to attend, some projects to prepare or some movie to see. There was always someone to crowd my life. Friends in the canteen, batch mates in class and roommates in the hostel.

However, my village never left me. What they say about, “You can take the man out of the woods, but you can't take the woods out of the man.” My village slumbered somewhere between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack: tucked deep into nowhere. There were fifty houses and a high school. There was an all season stream and countable water pumps. A few street lights and no proper hospital. Surprisingly, my father, mother, uncles and aunts all were healthy and robust. There was no case of any serious disease or unnatural death that I heard of. Except the accident that choked my life.

In the name of a bus stand, there were a couple of tea stalls on the high way. It was 9 pm and I had dozed off, when I was shaken and shown the bus door by the conductor. I thanked him profusely and got off on a sour note.

No one was around, not like I was expecting an entourage. I had not bothered to inform my parents. I took the wiry track to the now famous wooden bridge and the stream underneath. Summer usually had more visitors to this place. The path remained muddy and slippery. This was the route for villagers to carry fresh water. It was a moonlit night and I could see each tree. I pulled at some branches to disturb sleeping birds. I spotted a few rabbits or were they mongoose; I was not sure. Yet their presence assured me of company.

It took me all of twenty five minutes to reach the wooden bridge and yes I was keeping track of the time. Once, I reached it, I knew I would lose my sense of time. Time took a timeout. This was where I had played hide and seeks as kids. Here on these planks, I had sat for hours telling stories. I had slept on this bridge at night looking up at the stars.

I walked to the bridge and watchfully chose my spot. Not too far from the center and not near it either. The barricade stood perfectly broken at the middle. I found the bridge damp as I rested my hands beside me. I hung out my legs and sat on my denim back. Water gurgled and made a contended sound. Early, rains had pepped the place with greenery. I wished, I had carried a few pebbles to throw aimlessly into the water. I sat there doing nothing. I had no clue how long I sat there. And then I saw her.

A first, she was a mere shadow. When I focused on her, she came into light. She stood at the edge of the water bed. I was relieved that she was there. I was getting fed up of myself. She wore an orange shalwar suit that looked like burnt red in the night. Her hair was tied loose in a pony and she was bare feet. I had often teased her that she had prettier feet than face. Right then, I realized, I was wrong. She had a most fascinating face. Her skin was silk and her eyes were pools of water.

I saw a touch of excitement in her eyes and some madness in her smile as she came and sat next to me.

‘I was kind of hoping you would be here’ I said.

‘I wouldn’t be anywhere else’.

‘You look unreal’.

‘What? I take good care of myself’ she burst out in giggles.

‘Strangely funny’ I joined her in laughing.

‘How have you been, Su?’ I asked.

‘Susanna is my name. Su is no more’ she teased me.


‘Do you miss me? Did you miss me in the city?’

‘What kind of a question is that? I loved you…deeply.’

‘I did not understand you like I understand now’.

‘How so?’

‘Now that it is all over, it does not matter whether you loved me or not, belong to me or not’.

‘Oh’. I was pensive.

‘I know, I love you and nothing could change that’.

‘You still love me, after all the trouble I put you through?’ I looked into her eyes.

‘Trouble does not trouble me but love still weakens me’. She looked away. Was she crying?

‘You weaken me, Su’ she did not mind me calling her Su again.

‘I know, I am here to tell you, it was not your fault. It was nobody’s fault’.

‘I should have caught you. Better still, I should have jumped after you’

‘Yes, you could have. The bridge is low height. Fear did not stop you, shock did. There is a difference’.

‘Low height, hun? How come, you were hurt’?

‘I hit on a stone, that one over there. Some people are plain unlucky’.

‘Did that hurt a lot’?

‘Nope, it was quick. My last most dominant emotion was the excitement of your mouth on mine’.

‘But…’I tried to reason.

‘It was an accident, accept it’.

I love her, I had always loved her. Our homes were as entwined as our destinies. Our parents worked in the same farming field. We went to the same school. We were born a few days apart. We grew into adolescence together. She was the one for me and I always knew that. Often, I would force myself on her, in the field, near the bridge, in the river. She would threaten to spill the beans but she never did. I knew she loved me too.

My engineering admission was done with. I had always been a bright student. I did not want to go away. I did not want to be away from Su. She was upset and had not been talking to me for almost a week. That was my last night; I had plans to get close to her.

At night, we met on the wooden bridge, our common meeting place. I was all excited. She was still upset. I was impatient and she was awkward. She did not realize time was running out. We ended up fighting. She tried to detangle herself, I caught her and pinned her hands behind her. I pushed her into the barricade as she struggled and tried to bite at me. When I kissed her, she eased against me.

The entire village was sleeping and I was living my dream. I felt all grown up. I release her hands to cup her face and then she kicked me. I got all worked up and pushed her back. The old wooded bridge creaked and complained. I was too far gone to care. The middle of the barricade opened up and she fell, her back facing the river.

I wanted to hold her back, to collect her into my arms. Instead, I could only balance myself from falling. I had let her fall and hit on a stone, while I stood there breathing abnormally. She hit her head first and there was a distinct sound of death that came from her.

‘I sat there looking at your body, until morning.’

‘I know.’

‘I never confessed to anyone about how it happened.’

‘I know.’

They believed it was an accident. Everyone knew, we kids always came here at night’.

‘I know.’

‘They found me on this bridge, too. I had not moved from the spot’.

‘I know.’

‘There was a big scandal. Some people said you were pregnant’.

‘A scandal or two does not hurt the dead. It only makes them famous’. She was smiling. I could not take it anymore, I needed a hug. Tears were forming in my eyes and clouding my vision. I turned to her after wiping my tears and she was gone with the winds. Soon, it was going to be another day. I got up, dusted myself and was on my way home.


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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Round 2 Results

The results for Round 2 of IBL 2.0 were announced on 14th July. We are an extremely proud team right now on achieving the second place and cruising to the Semi Final which will be held from 15-18th July.

Check out the results and wish us all the luck, dear readers!

The Human

(The 3 ingredients used in this story are - An Orphan, A Building on Fire, The Last minute[of my life])

“Are the reports out Doc?” asked Pooja as she took longer than her normal strides, trying to catch up with the head of Neurology at ARC [Advanced Research Centre].

“We are baffled, his brain is one that every human would love to evolve to,” said the doc.

“Are you telling me that he is not human? “ asked Pooja and the doctor stopped and looked at her for few seconds and said with a smile, “He is more human than what humanity accounts for right now.”

Two Days Back

The MAANAV neighbourhood that is generally desolate had turned into a live wire with the sudden blast that was reported early in the morning. What people believed to be an uninhibited farm house now housed corpses of an old couple and an unscratched and unconscious teen. The whole town was talking about the teen now, as reports of every electronic device malfunctioning within his vicinity started to spread like a wildfire.

“I knew that a devil lived in that house, things moved on their own and I would often hear strange voices,” spoke the area postman into the reporter’s microphone. There was not a single channel that wasn’t reporting about the MAANAV mishap and the mystery that surrounded it.

“The doctor said that the boy is breathing normally and his pulse is normal too, but for unknown reason he is unconscious and we cannot electronically monitor anything… Forget MRI even an electronic watch won’t work around him,” quipped Inspector Gautham into his mobile and right then the nurse arrived with the news that the survivor has gained consciousness. That was exactly what Gautham had been waiting for, so he immediately sprang into action, grabbed his notepad and started walking fast towards room number 314.

“Patient is still under shock, just 10 mins Inspector,” said the nurse and left.

Gautham was looking an athletic teen around 6’1”, jet black hair that were curly beyond explanation, deep and well set eyes with high cheek bones and a long pointed nose. As he was wondering how to address him,

“Mithun” said the boy, as though he as reading Gautham’s mind.

“What? …. I mean .. Hi, am inspector Gautham, Can I ask you a few questions?” words stumbled from the inspector.

“I have no place to go in this realm, no parents, never knew them. I also know that my caretakers are dead, so am all yours.

No, I am not responsible for the blast but what I know is that it’s not advisable to keep me here for long.

Yes I have lived in the farm house all my life.

Yes I am fine and will always be.

So you can tick the last question on your notepad , I have answered them all,” said a smiling Mithun, leaving Gautham gaping like a gold fish . He wanted to ask many more questions, but he simply couldn’t and for once he was scared.

Few minutes after Gautham’s report , Ms Pooja Vishwanath from PET [ Paranormal and Extra-Terrestrial Wing] arrived.

“Hello Inspector, let this be something solid and real as you claimed,” said Pooja in an authoritative tone.

Room 314

“So .. Mithun is your name, eh? How old are you?” asked Pooja with a plastic smile.

“It’s not advisable to keep me here for long, you are risking lives.. I would be more than glad to answer you in a less populated, rather secluded place,” said Mithun and right then the hospital lights started flickering . “Too late already,” he quipped.

The static screeched in Gautham’s walkie talkie.

“716 reporting fire, 2 blocks from ARC , SICAL warehouse, over.”

Gautham immediately responded with “I will be there in 5 minutes,” and stood up to leave when Mithun called out his name and like an insect attracted to a light source, he moved towards Mithun. As Pooja watched he held Gautham’s wrist and the inspector twitched, not in pain but as though something very bright and blinding hit him.

“Are you OK inspector? Let him go, kid,” panicked Pooja.

Right then she heard herself saying “Its OK .. He knows what he is doing,” as if her subconscious was talking to her and she couldn’t help but keep quiet and watch.

In a few seconds , the inspector nodded and left the room. He was on his way to become a national hero .

A DAY Before

What was regional news yesterday has become a national sensation today, Inspector Gautham saved 19 students from a burning warehouse.

They were not mere students, they were the intellectual elite picked from INDIA as “Child Prodigy”, a part of the ruling party’s anti brain drain campaign that was initiated a year back and was a grand success. Everyone in the country talked about it. Gautham has become a national hero by saving the greatest intellectual asset that the country possessed. Little did people know that the whole rescue mission was planted into Gautham by Mithun!

“Are you serious? He literally showed you what to do in your head?” asked Pooja with utter disbelief. All Gautham could do was nod.

“We have to run tests on him, but how? No equipment would work on him.. What is he?” Asked a frustrated Pooja.

“Maybe ask him his permission, this was his last note to me,

‘You have to ask me when you need something'
That didn’t make much sense then, but now it does,” said Gautham without looking up at Pooja, his gaze fixed on the question mark pattern that the marble flooring had.

They both walked to room 314 and as they entered they realized Mithun was not in his bed. They knew very well what Mithun is capable of and knew he can walk out anytime he wanted.

“He kept saying it’s not advisable to keep him here for long, we didn’t listen, now …”

Before Pooja could finish the sentence Mithun walked out of the restroom and smiled at them, “What? I am as human as you are” said Mithun with a wink , “…and yeah… You have your permission” he winked again!

“Permission for what,” asked asked pooja with PUZZLED written all over her face and Gautham gently squeezed her forearm and said.. “To run tests”!


Pooja and Gautham sat right opposite Mithun and he spoke,

“I'm afraid I might not speak to you again and have very little time, your tests would tell you facts from what is known and I am not from there. To reach to the unknown you have to travel in unchartered waters and you map won’t help you there.
What am I? A mere projection of the same thing you all are made of, but from a different part of this multiverse, to speak in a language you better understand you can call me a time traveller . If you tread right, all would evolve to be me”

“You sound like Lord Krishna ! Are you quoting from Bhagavat Gita by any chance?” Asked Gautham.

“Oh ! Do I? Maybe your Krishna too was a time traveller” Mithun grinned and winked.

“How much more technologically advanced should we become to evolve like you,” asked Pooja.

“True evolution can happen only when Humanity surpasses Technology and not the vice-versa,” smiled Mithun.

“Are you God?” asked Gautham unable to come out of the KRISHNA STATEMENT that was made few seconds back.

*Knock Knock*

As Pooja and Gautham turned, their last minute with THE HUMAN was over.

Good that he didn’t answer that. For it would have forever remained a gaffe!


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My Three Concubines

(The 3 ingredients used in this story are - Dead Tiger, Wine Bottle, Superhero)

I am called a disbeliever of love; they don’t know I am not. They don’t understand why I prefer to live alone, nevertheless I do. They say it’s ludicrous that I stay away from love; I am not away from love. They say I need a woman, a lover; they don’t know I am in love.

To be honest, I was never loveless in my life. Love came at various times, well of course to me, and not to the other side. After the death of my mother, I was probably never loved back in return. But love would never leave my side. Like a little plant coming out from a planted seed, love would always arise in some corner of my heart and in no time, it would fill my entire heart. But unrequited love is difficult, to say the least, if not homicidal. And all my life, I have craved for love only to be turned down by my fate.

The only love I ever experienced was from my mother.

My father was a good man, socially. I wanted to study and grow up to be like him. But I knew I couldn’t, for I wasn’t half as bright as he was, or as any of my classmates.

“But, you will have a brighter future” my mother would tell me when I used to cry for being dull in studies. It’s needless to say that my father didn’t think so. But my mother, she would always protect me whenever my drunken father would try to raise a hand on me. “Brainsick” he called me when I repeatedly failed to pass my exams for the third standard. Tireless efforts of my sick mother made me pass in the exams of the second standard. And when the results were declared and I returned home to tell my mother that I am eligible to sit in class III now, I found my mother lying dead on her bed. She had finally succumbed to the lung cancer she had been fighting for years.

“Mother, open your eyes, I am finally in class three.” These were the last words I spoke to my loving mother’s cadaver.

Ever since that day, ever since I reached class three, I was never loved again.

Class Three.

The word three holds a deeper meaning for me. For today I divide my heart and the love in it, into three. Yes, I had two concubines in my life. Tonight, I will have my third as I sit on the chair looking at her conveying my love for her and telling about the love we will make tonight.

I will be a man tonight, an adult, eighteen year old and I celebrate my birthday reminiscing my last two loves and I promise to love my third as long as I live.

I was an eight-year old when I fell in love with my first. Like I said before, I am not a disbeliever of love. I believe in all forms of love. I believe in the love of a mother for a child, I believe in the love of a child for a toy, I believe in love at first sight, I believe in love well-thought-of, in manipulated love, in material love, in unconditional love, in bounded love, in well-reasoned love, and in mindless love.

I saw him on the TV. Helping people, loving people, He was the proof that good wins over evil. He was the proof that if you believe in something it will come to you. He was the unsaid promise that if something bad happens to you; he will come to help you. And if for any reason, little children of my age or older take the wrong path, he will, without fail, come to stop them. He would teach lessons of morality. He would teach that we should always love the poor, the needy, and the weaker ones. He would say that treachery, theft etc is bad and you should never choose such a path. He would always say to love animals, for they will never harm you if you don’t harm them. They will always help.

He was the superhero of our country christened “Shaktiman” by the people, meaning a man of power.

It took me four long years to realize that he was just another fictitious character of the Television, a fake, a lesser mortal like all of us. He didn’t come when I had called for him innumerous times to bring my mother back or to come and love me and stay with me. Nor did he come when I had expected him to; to save my second beloved at her moment of dying.

It was love at first sight, my second love which somehow crept into the house of my heart, pushed the images of the Superhero aside and found its place to sit forever. Alas, the love was ephemeral. I didn’t even get an opportunity to know if she loved me back; I just imagine now that may be she did.

I was fifteen then and she was beautiful. The first thing I noticed about her was her pair of divine green eyes. Next her hair, brown hair yet black in some parts. With great serenity she looked at me back and walked towards me. I stood there dumbfounded by her beauty, by her presence. I knew I was in love with her. She walked towards me and I fell in love with each step of hers. She was only a few inches away when I heard the loud sound of a gunshot. It was our guide, Tiwari ji, who had fired the gun to kill the tigress in front of me, the tigress I fell in love with, and probably the only tigress we saw in our whole trip to Corbett National Park.

I had cried that day, I had cried for a month; and I had argued with our guide, with the teacher who was with us as an escort and with father.

“He went to jail for killing that tigress. He went to jail to save you. You are to be blamed. Don’t you get it?” My father had scolded. But I didn’t understand. I thought the tigress loved me. I thought she wanted to be loved in return, for a change, just like me. I thought we were supposed to love animals, like my fraudulent superhero had preached. I thought they don’t harm you if you don’t harm them. Either by my former love or by my father, I was lied to.

It took me a year or two to forget her, my second love. It took me another year to hate my first love. My heart till now was divided into two – the fake superhero whom now I hated, and the tigress for whose death I was to be blamed. It’s pity that I never got to know if she loved me back like I loved her, if she too fell in love at first sight.

Sometimes people fall in the wrong company, sometimes in the wrong love. May be the choices I made were faulty. May be I fell in love with the wrong ones. But God knows that I never could love anyone else. I was made to love them; and I was made not to be loved in return. I was made to live a melancholic life. I was made to beat myself up for somehow killing a poor tiger. I was destined to hate the Superhero I so believed in. And above all, I was destined to hate myself.

But, I am in love again, and I will make love tonight. I have parted my heart into three for her. And she sits tonight in front of me, flaunting proudly herself to me, telling me that I can’t help but fall in love with her. I am now looking at her entire body; I am planning to make love tonight. I am planning to make love with the beauty in front of me. I am planning to make love with the color red that she contains within her. I am planning to be in love with her forever. I am planning to love her - the bottle of wine, red wine, forever.


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The Metal Box

(The 3 ingredients used in this story are - Old Metal Box, A Reclusive Billionaire, A Recurring Memory)

It has been quite a long time since Mr. Morrison’s death, but it still feels like he talks to me in his usual grumbling manner. Mr. Morrison’s story is the only crawling truth that I’ve ever come across in my whole working life. I am a psychiatrist by profession and I have dealt with many kinds of mental illnesses, but Morrison’s was unique, I must say it literally challenged my education and practice. I don’t exactly remember who referred Mr. Morrison’s case to me, but I owe a lot to him.

My first encounter with Mr. Morrison proved to be a fiasco. As per his wish, we were scheduled to meet at a strange, unheard of café at the end of the town. Well, I usually do not start the sessions anywhere outside my chamber, but Mr. Morrison was an exception. He happened to be a member of the elite-class, and of some billionaire clubs, owned some antique gold pocket-watches, suited in the most expensive linen, owned several Ferraris, Limousines and, of course, Rolls Royce. Keeping his aristocracy in mind, I decided to fulfill his wish, but I was dumbfounded when I came to know the venue of the meeting. Why a rich and affluent person like him wants to meet me in an obscure place was beyond me. Maybe, he was afraid of being recognized.

When I reached the café, I saw some people pushing Morrison and trying to get him out of that place. I chose to watch from behind one of the huge pillars there. After the whole hullabaloo, I quizzed a waiter about what happened. He informed me that Morrison was caught red handed while stealing their cup-cakes and donuts. I was confused to comprehend why a respectable person like Mr. Morrison had to steal the food. I was aware of his misfortune; of the fact that he was bankrupt, his estate having been snatched from him, and how his debts engulfed his nest egg. I didn’t meet him that evening, but tried to sit back and think the incident through.

The very next day, I woke up to Mr. Morrison’s call. He spoke uncouthly in a muffled voice, and told me that he wants to meet me at my place. I wasn’t too keen to, but agreed nonetheless. The moment he entered my house, I was taken by surprise to see the change-over in him. He was profoundly different from how he had appeared at the café the previous day. He was very well behaved; attired in a suit which was, though old, scarcely ruffled. Taking his seat, he asked me for a cigar. But I wretchedly satisfied him with a cigarette instead. After releasing the first ring of smoke, his tale began.

‘I have had a bad past.’ he said, ‘that still haunts me everywhere; my dreams and even in real. It ruined my life, my successful life; I now am nothing but a destitute, penniless, pitiable eighty-years-old lunatic.’ That was the time I got to know about his age for the first time.

He continued his anecdote. ‘I was almost twenty or twenty-two; dynamic, vigorous and a very bright young lad when I started studying in New York. I had always been very sharp as a student, so my parents wanted to send me off to the city’s best college. My life was very mundane, I prepared my own meal, cleaned my own dishes, laundered my own clothes; the amount of money my father used to send was very little to be invested in restaurant-bills or paid laundry. I was very displeased with my stereotyped life. But then I met Sally Moore. Sally was the wife of Ronald Moore, a well-to-do business tycoon back then. He had a couple of industries to his name and owned a palatial estate-cum-house on the outskirts of New York. Mr. Moore was in his late sixty’s then, and Sally was a third his age. Sally and I were classmates, we were friends, and gradually we fell in love with one another. We used to hang around, talk a lot and have our meals together. She took good care of me, lent me money whenever I needed, fed me, cleaned my dishes and laundered my clothes, much like a committed ‘wife’. Neither of us had the guts to marry or live together, partly because Mr. Moore was at the peak of all powers. He had the money, and the connections to kill us. So, we waited for his death, which was expectantly not so far.’

He stopped suddenly, stubbed out the remainder of the cigarette and asked for one more. I hurried gave him another, as I was so very excited to hear the next part of his story. After lighting the second cigarette, he resumed.

‘Where was I? Oh, yes, Mr. Moore did not really know what went on, but he had his own suspicions. Whenever I went to the house, mainly to take my books back, he had several questions in store for me.

One day, in Mr. Moore’s absence, Sally invited me over to her house. That was the only time when we were so close; I felt her from every dimension. We made love, relentlessly chatting and caressing all along. Sally drew out a metal box from a chest underneath her bed and placed it in front of me. When I asked about it, she said that her father had given her the box when she was married. The box was filled with precious antique jewelry. She had never mentioned this before. She even went on to say that after Mr. Moore’s death, we would not need to touch any of his valuables; and that we could happily live with the contents of that box.

All of a sudden, the door flew open. Mr. Moore was standing, anger seething across his face. I thought this was my end; my life was about to draw to a close. But, strangely he let me go. After that day, Sally did not come to college for a while. Sometime later, I received a call from Mr. Moore, who said he wanted to meet me. I was both worried and excited to meet him. When he told me what he actually wanted from me, I was astounded. He actually wanted me to kill Sally and grab that metal box, which Sally had hidden from him for long, for him. And, he also offered me a huge amount of his fortune and a palace to live in. I staggered for a few hours after he left. Then, I brutally decided to go for the fortune rather than love.

On that very day, I blindfolded Sally and kissed her, then thrust the sharp blazing knife into her chest vigilantly. Her gown was drenched in blood in no time. As per Mr. Moore’s command I took her body to the woods and carefully buried her without a trace.’

‘So, this is how you become what you are now’, I quizzed him. But he didn’t say a word in reply, but merely continued his monologue.

‘Now, it has been almost fifty years, I have almost forgotten about the old days. But she has not forgotten me.’

‘Who is she?’ I asked.

‘Sally, she is back, and she is haunting me all over. A few months back, I got that metal box at my doorstep. All of this started after that. I am about to become insane. I lost all my riches in drinking. Please save me, she will kill me. Every night she calls me by the name she gave me, ‘Billy’. She leaves everything that I gave to her on my bed-side table; a red scarf, piles of letters and a few dove-feathers. Please save me, save me.’

I was not so amazed to hear his problem; I met several people every day with the same problem. But what made me amazed was his story of gaining the royalty. I knew it was nothing but his hallucination, maybe because at this point of lonely life and over-age, he was repenting his atrocious deed. Maybe his conscience badgered him. I gave him a few anti-depressants and told him to plan a vacation. But, he would not listen. The next day, I got to know that he got suffered a cardiac-arrest and passed away. I felt sorry for him; he was a very noble man, apart from the heinous crime that blackened his past.

I was invited to his funeral. Many aristocrat, ministers and socialites were there to pray for him. I was zealously moving around his house and suddenly I saw something at his bedroom. There was a metal box, aged but still dazzling, a red scarf, a pile of letters and a few dove-feathers lying on the floor.


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