The new man at the zoo

pablo-padilla-480505-unsplashRavi woke up before the simulated dawn in his enclosure. He had hardly slept that night. He had overheard the zookeepers say that he was going to get a new mate today.  He jumped with joy. He couldn’t remember the last time he had seen a human being. Actually he did, it was exactly two thousand four hundred and fifty days ago, when he had knocked on his neighbor’s door and told them to decrease the volume of their party. And the next day he had woken up in this house like enclosure being gawked at by slimy slug like aliens.

He had asked for a mate for a long time now. He just wanted to talk to someone human. But his display was not the most interesting one in the zoo, hence he was mostly ignored. That was until month ago,when he had had a nervous breakdown and thrown things around his enclosure and shouted at the slug like aliens. Continue reading

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No monsters under the bed

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Timmy woke up with a start, it was those noises from beneath his bed again. He wanted to run to mommy’s room and cuddle up near her. But he knew the strange man would scold mommy and mommy would scold him. And he would be back in the bed and the noises would continue. Timmy was tired and sick of the noises. He got out of the bed and pulled his wooden sword out of his mattress. He scrunched his face to make it look scary, held his sword hard and pulled up the bedsheet and peered under the bed. There was no monster there. But there was a door and it opened onto darkness. Where had the door come from? Timmy took his flashlight and pointed it at the door. There was a wooden staircase, he climbed down. After a long silent climb down he reached the basement floor. The basement was huge, his flashlight could not find the walls or the ceiling. Continue reading

The last wood nymph

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Yesterday, the last square kilometer of forest on the earth was destroyed, to build a mall. It was sad on several levels, we humans were no longer people of the earth, what we were going to be we still did not know, but we were no longer of the land. It was sad but few people lamented the loss of the last bit of forest. Several people were happy because the new mall would be air conditioned and would have a casino. I was the saddest person though, contrary to what Bhoomi believes. She feels an immense sadness wrapped in her loss, but I also feel responsible for her sadness, because maybe indirectly but I have been responsible for it. Bhoomi was a wood nymph. Sadly that sentence ‘she was’ is grammatically correct. She was a legend to me in the days when I was surveying the forest for my company. Continue reading

Hide and seek

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“No, no, no…” Kavita screamed as she opened her eyes and planted her legs on the floor with force. He feet were glad to touch the threadbare living room carpet. She could feel her fingernails digging into the varnish of the sofa. She looked at the balcony, not that she wanted to. Her neck just seemed to turn on its own. The balcony was empty. An angry orange sun was setting below the railing of the balcony. She forced herself to look away. To look at her son.

Her five-year-old son was staring at her with wide eyes. His lips were puckered up, his chin ready to quiver. He was leaning against the coffee table to support himself.

Kavita’s hand trembled as it rose towards him, “I am just afraid for him…” she told herself. She pulled Ravi into an embrace. “Did I scare you? I am sorry…” she whispered as she kissed his forehead, “Don’t be afraid.” She was not sure to whom she said that.

“The police inspector is at the door…” Ravi said in a small voice. Continue reading

Cow on call

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Mohanlal grinned wide like a yawning cow as he entered his office premises. The cow sheds behind his office building were already abuzz with activity. He could hear the cows mooing, the copious amounts of cow dung valuable hitting the floor, the litres and litres of holy gau mutra being splashed into special containers. He could hear the calves mooing for their mothers. And he smiled wider, all the sounded like soaring share prices to him.

He had come to love the smell of cow dung in the mornings, it smelt like quarterly profits to him. He bowed to the large statue of Lord Krishna that stood in front of his office and of course the cow that stood behind the lord. He would come back with a Pooja thali to offer a proper prayer in some time.

Mohanlal entered his office, switched on his computer and played the video that he played every day to start his day. It was a video of a reality show called shark tank from five years ago. It showed a naive Mohanlal, wearing the simple white dress of a farmer, pitching his idea of a start-up to a panel of venture capitalist judges. He had called his startup ‘Ghar Ghar Gau’. His idea was to supply cows to houses in urban areas. The customer would download an app and order a cow, the cow would visit the customer’s home and deliver milk, cow dung or the holy gau-mutra. There would be special packages for special occasions such as marriages and housewarmings where the cows could make a guest appearance. Oh, how the judges had laughed at him, how the hall had resounded with the audience’s’ laughter. Mohanlal also laughed with them now, as he watched the video. It had taken him five years but having the last laugh was indeed priceless. Continue reading

Ria auntie’s arrival

arrival.jpgI yawned at the arrival terminal of the international airport, trying to open my mouth as wide as the gates. It was a Sunday morning and I was at the airport to receive Ria aunty. There should be a law about not allowing relatives to travel on Sundays. I made a mental note to start an online petition for a such a law. I half-heartedly held up the homemade sign that read “Ria aunty” in glaring pink letters, that my sister had made. You see, I hadn’t met Ria aunty. Of course my mother said I had, at a wedding when I was five. But, I don’t remember it, the most I can recall is a silk saree clad wall of fat lumbering over to pull my cheeks until they turned red and tousle my hair. There might have been a bear hug that engulfed me in a cloud of cheap perfume and almost made me faint. I decided I had repressed the memory on purpose and didn’t dwell on it further.

The flight was announced and there was the usual flurry of people exiting the airport, but there was no sign of Ria aunty. As the last people from the plane left I felt my heart lighten. Maybe Ria aunty had suffered a heart attack, ok that was harsh, maybe she had just fractured her hip, whatever the reason was she was not here and that meant one less thing to take care of for the occasion. I turned around to leave when I heard the slow creaking of a wheelchair. Two of the airport staff emerged, one pushing a mound of luggage and the other pushing a figure in a wheelchair. I bit my tongue as I realised the figure in the wheelchair was Ria aunty. She was well dressed but looked pale almost like a wax statue. I felt sad for having thought so ill of her. I promised myself to strive to be a better person. I walked towards Ria aunty. Continue reading

A glitch in the matrix

glitch in the matrix“Dude, how long have we been best friends.” Akhil wiped the sweat off his brow.

“Since forever, what’s up?” Prakash said.

“I need your help…” Akhil whispered.

“Let me guess, it is to bury a body?” Prakash laughed.

After a few minutes, they were in the basement of Prakash’s building, staring into the bonnet of his car at what looked like a body wrapped in a gunny sack.

“Are you fucking serious?” Prakash soured and looked around the basement.

“I told you I was in deep shit…” Akhil said.

“Why would you bring it here though? You could have just called me home…” Prakash stared at the body again.

“I panicked…” Akhil shrugged, “will you help me or not?”

Prakash kicked the car tyre, walked around the basement and looked back at the body, “who is it?”

“No, the lesser you know the better,” Akhil said.

“Ok…well I am already involved. Might as well see to it you don’t screw this up…” Prakash closed the bonnet and got into the car.

Half an hour later, they were on the outskirts of the city in an old graveyard, hip deep in a newly dug grave.

“That should be deep enough…” Prakash said. They pulled the body out of the car and carried it towards the grave. Continue reading