The evolution of a belief

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The sun dragged itself lazily over the horizon. The ocean seemed to yawn as a large wave crashed loudly on the beach. The wave receded into the ocean to reveal a small fish, it pulled itself on the sand with the help of two fins. It opened its mouth wide as if gasping for air and finding that it burned its gills. It looked around itself with large wet eyes.

There was a long low noise that sounded like the electric farts of a artificial intelligence that couldn’t digest its own thoughts. A large rip appeared in the air of the beach, and when it was large enough several hooded figures stepped out of the rip. These figures wore long robes that covered their whole bodies and hoods that covered most of their faces, around their necks were chains from which hung insignia of their religions and they chanted in a low rumbling voice.

After the hooded figures a chair emerged from the rip, it floated effortlessly in the air and seated on it was a man in a black flowing robe. He was bald and dark-skinned, his eyes were bloodshot, his brows furrowed and he looked like he was about to yawn. Behind the flying chair, a head poked out of the rip, it had curly hair and eyes that looked magnified behind glasses with lenses that belonged on a microscope. The head looked all around itself, sniffed the air took a gingerly step out of the rip and finally stepped out. He was wearing a white label coat and carried a flat device that he constantly checked.

“There it is…” one of the hooded figures shouted pointing at the fish.

Everyone stared at the fish, the fish took a step back into the ocean.

“Indeed…” said the scientist, almost to himself and took a step closer to the fish, he adjusted his glasses to zoom onto the fish, “fascinating…” he clapped his hands.

“Your honour…this is the fish that we intend to destroy…” one of the hooded figures said.

The judge squinted at the fish hard, he sat back in his chair and yawned, “ tell me again….why do you want to destroy it…”

The hooded figures huddled closer to each other and whispered, then one of them said, “this fish is what led to evolution…”

“Aha, so you do believe in evolution…” the scientist scribbled on his device still studying the fish.

The hooded figures whispered among themselves, “what we meant, of course, was that this fish led to the development of the stupid idea of evolution. And we firmly believe that it is against our religious beliefs. Hence we would like to destroy it…”

The judge had almost closed his eyes but snapped them open again, “wait a minute, you will destroy this fish because it is against your religious beliefs? I cannot allow that…”

The hooded figures huddled again, “what we meant to say of course was that we would like to destroy the idea of evolution, which is quite clearly holding back the spiritual awakening of our civilization. Destroying this fish will help us prove that the idea of evolution is pointless.”

The judge’s eyelids drooped again, “when you put it like that…I can consider it…”

“Of course not your honour…” the scientist stood up and looked at the judge, “we cannot allow that…” he looked back at the fish, “what we are looking at is the ancestor of us all. This fish gave rise to all life on land. We cannot destroy it or else we will destroy humanity and life as we know it.”

The hooded figures began to bristle, “I find this highly offensive.” One of the hoods shook violently.

“This is a hate crime, the scientist must be punished for it” another hood shouted.

“We were not born from a fish. We were created by a loving God” another hood spat out.

They whispered to each other again and one of the hoods stepped towards the judge, “your honour, this is the very point we are trying to make. We firmly believe that destroying this fish will not make any difference to human life whatsoever. When we destroy it and return back to our own time we will be happy to return to our families and have a blessed meal knowing that God made us who we are. And these scientists will be silenced once and for all about evolution. You have to allow us to destroy this fish. We claim it as our religious right and our spiritual duty.” The hoods all murmured loudly.

The judge rubbed his eyes, “ok, so if we do this and return back to our time…that will be it. You will look at the result and believe them. There will be no further debate on this issue?”

The hoods huddled for a long time, they turned to the judge and in unison said, “yes, your honour.”

The scientist stepped in front of the fish as if to protect it, “but we cannot allow that, your honour. Evolution is a fact. There are literally tons of data to prove it. Destroying this fish can change the course of all history as we know. We are not sure if we can reverse the effects. We would lose everything just to protect some crackpot sentiments. You cannot allow this, your honour, for the sake of all humanity. We will destroy all our ancestors, us and all of our children. You cannot allow this..”

The judge rubbed his eyes and massaged his back, “curse the guy who invented time loop judiciary. Look I know what you are saying. But how long have we been debating this case?”

The scientist looked at his device, “over two and a half years now…”

The judge sighed, “see and I know in the real world it has only been a minute, but in here it feels like an eternity. So you know what, if they want to destroy the first of all of our ancestors, so be it. If the world was created by some intelligent God who wants you not to wank then so be it. Either way, I am tired of this whole mess. What is the worst that would happen? We will destroy the world and all of humanity? At this point, it doesn’t sound like a loss at all. I will allow it.” The judge nodded and there was a clear sound like an invisible gavel had been hit.

The scientist shook his head but stepped away from the fish.

One of the hooded figures pulled out what looked like a metal stick and pointed it at the fish. There was a thin arc of electricity and the air was filled with the smell of fried fish. The fish gasped one last time and fell to its side.

“Ok, now that is done. Let us return to our own time. And remember, whatever we see that is the final verdict.”

The all stepped back into the rip and returned to their own time.

The stepped back into their world, but instead of a court building, they stepped into a great forest. The hooded figures, judge and scientist looked around themselves.

The scientist began to tap vigorously on his device.

“There is no sign of human life anywhere on the earth. Take that you morons…” he punched the air in glee, “I just hope this is reversible.”

“So there is no life? How can this be?” One of the hooded figures said.

“Why has god forsaken us? Why has be not made man?”

“Actually it is not true that there is no life. Sensors indicate that the forests are full of large octopus-like creatures and they have huge settlements. In fact, there are large cities under the oceans with advanced technologies. It seems the octopuses evolved in this timeline, and have become the dominant species on the planet. This is great, this proves evolution again.” The scientist said.

“But there are no humans. This is no good. What do a few octopuses prove? Nothing.” One of the hooded figures said.

“Why has God done this? He must be angry with us?”

“The octopuses are trying to contact us. They want to meet us.”

“We have got bigger problems than talking to some octopuses. We have to figure out why God is angry at us.” One of the hooded figures spat angrily.

“Seriously?” the scientist squinted at them.

The hooded figures broke into a frenzy and chanted their scripture and shouted at each other. This went on for a while. The judge dozed in his seat. The scientist tapped at his device.

Finally one of the hooded figures shouted, “my dear brothers and sisters. Of course, God is angry at us…”

This seemed to calm the hooded figures, they all gathered around this figure, “we have committed a sin. We have asked our Lord to create his creation on the foundation of a murder. We murdered that cold-blooded fish in cold blood. Of course, our loving God is angry. He will not create his creation from murder. The fact that humans don’t exist proves that God made us in love. We were just too blind to see it. In trying to prove the scientists wrong we have forgotten our God’s love. We have sinned. We need to repent.”

The figures all shook their hoods and agreed with each other. They turned back to the judge.

The judge sighed “whatever…” he clicked a few buttons on his chair and the rip reappeared.

The returned to the beach just back to the exact moment. The figures approached the fish, it took a few steps back into the ocean, “Live little fish, in the love and mercy of our Lord, live.” The fish gawked at them and gasped.

Everyone returned back to their own time. They stepped back into the courtroom.

“It is a miracle, our Lord has returned humanity to us. His love is infinite. This proves we were created by a loving God. Praise be.” The all hugged each other and cried.

“Really? Even I could not have designed a better experiment to prove evolution. How can you still claim we were made by a God?”

“That does it…I have wasted enough time on this case. I am throwing all of you and this case out of my courtroom. The decision is…I don’t care. Just get out” The judge’s gavel made a sharp sound and everyone was thrown out of the courtroom.

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

 

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

Shall we eat Dick, instead?

“It is all about reiteration, recognizance and following up relentlessly to ensure that your work gets done. You feel me people, do you feel what I am saying here?” Dick looks around, his voice rising in decimals, his back straight and blood shot eyes wide enough to cover Rita’s generous boobs.

We all nod our unenthusiastic ‘hmms’ and scroll down the screen to the next point in the agenda.

“It is like my son, you know.” He continues. Rita, almost groans out loud but then saves her ass by pretending to cough. “Every single morning I lift my son’s sorry butt and plant it on that atrocious fluorescent green and yellow, plastic potty. I sit there with him for five, ten, even fifteen minutes, squatting just like he does and grunting loud and clear to make him poop in that potty. And when he does, only then does he get rewarded by his favorite fruit loops.”

A strong whiff of chicken steak, tiramisu and the smell of someone’s butt crack invades my nose and almost makes me throw up in my mouth. I realize that Dan, who is sitting next to me, has let out a silent, yet smelly fart.

I pick up a glass of water and cover my mouth and nose with it, while giving Dan the evil eye. He shrugs and whispers, “What?”

Ah, I think, the fucker ate before the meeting. This goddamned meeting was supposed to be only for half an hour, and already we are at the ninety-minute mark with sixty minutes of the single dad’s potty training anecdotes.

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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

Pinnochio, the Fairy Tale – (Malabar Version)

Once upon a time, there was a wizened old king by the name of Sultan. In his younger days, he was once the most eligible bachelor/playboy there ever was in the flagrant town of Malabar. He’d reached power through a series of devious plots, and then had been King for the longest, got all the best action there was, and by the time he’d figured out the importance of true love, he’d turned into a lying scum bag, obsessed with corrupting the land with his greedy heart. Not really the ideal bachelor type. Still, like all kings, he desired a Prince to take over his kingdom, and and since he was too old to be hitching himself up with a fair Nawabi princess, he fashioned for himself a wooden figure of a boy with the fair impish glance, and prayed desperately and fervently, forgetting all his previous secularist sins, until the figure turned, quite expectantly into a human living child, to warm the old man’s heart in his final days, and take his place as the King.

News that the king now had a son, travelled far and wide, and may dignitaries arrived to lay their eyes on the mighty prince of Malabar. Since the boy was now 5 years old, and additionally of immaculate origin, there was much mumbling and grumbling in the kingdom, especially from sections of the society that had claims to the throne, and had been safe in the knowledge of the king’s licentious behaviour. The practices of dark arts were a common occurence in the kingdom at that time, and the not-so-well meaning relatives of the old king summoned up, by means of chicken blood and goat hair, a strange creature, a magical one, and duly issued him an invitation to the royal Naming ceremony.

Of what form or nature this magical creature was, perhaps even the royal relatives did not know: just that they followed some grandmother’s recipe of summoning a Djinn. What they did know was that Djinns preferred looming in the murky shadows, travelling through the darkness of the night, and could sometimes be used to scare the living shit of a man who took the wife-beating a tad too far. But most importantly, Djinn morals were questionable. And this for the relatives, was reason enough.

At the naming ceremony, the Djinn appeared after his travels, taking the form of a disco light with eyes, high up in the auditorium of the summer palace of the King, where all the dignitaries had convened. The DJ took this as the cue to start the music, and began the drum beat of some new Sufi hip hop, when the Djinn raised his magical hand, a symbol to stop. “I am here to grant a wish to the boy,” said the Djinn in the loud booming voice of a base speaker.

There was a hush of incredulous silence, as is customary when a Djinn of this stature and size appears with no magic lamp in toe. Where had the Djinn come from? What did it want? These were the hushed whispers that seeped through the crowds like mystic snakes. “I give this boy, the Truth. A boon or a curse, only time can tell. But he shall speak the truth and nothing but the truth, and may the dark lord be my witness. Prince Pinnochio, he shall be, and he shall be the truest king of the land. ”

There was cheer in the land. The political commentators that doubled as drunkards by the night, rejoiced. At last, a good dose of honesty. The people deserved the truth, didn’t they! And Pinnochio, was the truest of them all. When the princess of Travancore were sent to him as play dates, he called them fat and overdressed and impolite, with mouths that smelled of town gutters. This was quite true, agreed the commentators over a hearty drink, the town gutter did smell that bad, but truth or not, it also meant the end of a political alliance (and perhaps dalliance) over an issue as slight as stench.

Later, when Pinnochio touched the throbbing teens with his eyes on many a fair maiden, Gengis Khan, an old friend of Pinnochios’ father decided to come down. But Pinnochio, unable to control his truthful tongue, declared that Genghis Uncle, with his affinity for virgins, needed to stay out of the territory as a means of population control.

After that, it was a truth spree. Pinnochio began with the lesser royals working his way to the top notches, outing the strange habits in the most of his flagrant speeches, Duke Hussain loves little boys a bit too much, shouted Pinnochio after a royal visit, King/Uncle Phiroze liked dressing up in the queen’s clothes, King Shoaib wanted to be tied down naked in his dungeon. King Fazil loved hiding while guests used the royal restrooms. Every perversion was out in the open for the world to hear and enjoy.

King Sultan was now desperate. Malabar had become the loneliest of all kingdoms. And the only reason they were not being attacked was the embarrassement of heads-of-states, unable to lift their shamed heads enough to rile up the masses into a frenzy that was needed for war. Everyone knew of Pinnochio’s curse. Every royal in the vicintiy was terrified of Pinnochio. And it was soon decided. War may not be possible. But a plot could be hatched to get Pinnochio killed at the earliest.

Sometimes, plots of the kind have a strange tendency to redemption, and to put it succinctly, instead of killing Pinnochio with a bottle of poisoned wine, his lying father succumbed instead to the oldest trick in the book, and Pinnochio is crowned king of Malabar, much to the chagrin of the royals.

His ascent as king was followed by a series of sanctions, from Rajput to Travancore, from the Arabs in the east, to the whites everywhere else. Nobody would trade with Pinnochio’s malabar, until he ended his truthful blaze.

Now Malabar was a land of laziness, and when the noose of trade sanctiones tightened, Famine hit the realm harder than war. Riots ravaged the kingdom, Pinochio was to blame, the rioters screamed. Enough with truthfulness. Bring back the lies. Bring back corruption. Bring back peace.

King Pinnochio informed his own people, that instead of blaming the king, it was about time they got off their asses and worked for a living. He washed down the streets with the barrels of wine that the land was addicted to. And since he liked the sound of it, he introduced a few GetOfUrAss schemes, that gave people money for labor.

This was met with a lot of resistance. To work for a living? It was unheard off. The people of Malabar did not work as a practice. It was their cultural right. A heritage, sort of. And Pinnochio was robbing them of even that.

Desperate, Pinnochio called upon his old friend, the Djinn, who had now acquired a nice studio apartment inside a magic lamp. The Djinn was smoking up, a nice pot of Ganja, since wine was not much in supply. “Ah” said the Djinn, letting out a few smoke rings over Pinnochio’s face, “So long since I had a royal visit.”

Pinnochio nodded curtly, and told off his problem. He begged the Djinn to help him, to absolve him of his curse, his boon. The Djinn shook his head, launched his guttural laugh, and told Pinnochio that a boon given at birth can never be revoked or reversed: truly it was not in his power. Dejected, Pinochchio wept at the fate of his land, wishing that he was dead instead of living like this as a useless king. It was a few hours of tear-jerking and bawling later, that the Djinn, tired of the sound, took pity on Pinnochio and whispered into his ears, if not a solution, perhaps a workaround.

The next day, Pinnochio took the pulpit, amid the rioting masses, and declared in somber tones of a soothe-sayer, a fore-teller, a prophet even, that Malabar was going to be the richest land in the world. There was much hush and awe-struckness in the crowd at this declaration. But that isn’t the only part, says Pinocchio. Any land, east or west, that refuses to trade with mighty Malabar will seep into poverty worse than any ever, famines and floods shall ravage these lands, and only death shall thrive in them.

The declaration has an immediate effect. The lands are terrified that the words of truth sayer Pinnochio might take effect. Immediately, all trade is resumed, and the town of Malabar prospers again.

Years later, when Pinnochio himself is old and wizened, with a boy of his own, flesh-made than wood, he tells the boy of the whisper of the wily Djinn. The trick that saved them all. That even though Pinnochio could not never lie about the present or the past, the future is and would always be his veritable play ground.

Mother ate herself…

Are you asking for Mother?

Well, you won’t find her here. You can search all you want.

Go look into her closet that smells of rotten berries and starch.

Raze her bed; raze it off the sickly sweet whiff that permeates from the sheets.

Take a peek inside the kitchen; you won’t witness her breaking that soft loaf of bread,

Her ample behind busying itself around the kitchen, fretting over the crumbs, a sweet song lilting off her luscious lips while her legs tiptoe in a light tread.

You won’t find her here, just like the cops didn’t.

What happened to Mother, you ask?

Oh that’s easy, she ate herself into a tizzy and then dissolved in a whirlpool of pity.

Do you think I am joking, about my own Mother?

Oh, you didn’t see what I saw?

And you didn’t do what Father did?

At first, it was the song that perished on her lips. It died, died in her tongue because she bit it enough to bleed and burn.

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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

A Sibling to Boss Around

 

Kabir was a fine man, the kind that was loved by everyone in the village, helpful to the poor as he was to the rich. He had only one fault. He loved his children, all four of them. A bit too much. And he would do anything for them. His youngest one, Muhassin, wanted a younger brother. Someone to boss around, the boy said, standing all of his five years tall before his father. Kabir laughed at the boy, pulling his snotty nose, “If my son wants something, I shall get it for him!” He promised.

But later, in the kitchen, when he bounced the idea off his wife Shahina, she bristled her nose, “Kabir Ikka, you have a litter of four! By Allah, if you want another one, I suggest you give birth to it yourself!” Now Shahina loved Kabir, but really, the man believed that child rearing was all about love and toys. What did men know about the troubles of a woman? Shahina meant business, and Kabir knew this in the way she squinted her eyes, and threw the rotis forcefully onto the plate, like a slap on his face. So he tried a different way. “Alright fine!” he said, “Then I am going to Chavakkkad to buy a teddy for Muhessin. That shall be his younger brother.” And Shahina threw another roti, saying nothing.

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The scavenger

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‘It stinks…’ the voices whispered in Aryan’s ear.  ‘I can’t breathe’ a voice choked in his throat, Aryan bolted upright in his bed, trying hard to catch his own breath. It was way before sunrise, the sky outside his window was covered in a thick carpet of dark clouds and the carpet was leaking. It wasn’t a strong rain, the sky wasn’t weeping and shouting at the earth, the sky was murmuring obscenities and threats. And it had been going on all night long. And that meant the ground was overflowing with the rainwater and that meant the drainage was clogged. Continue reading

How to Skin a Human Alive….For Dummies

She lay on the plank. With her disgusting nudity. You might think that sort of thing excites me. But no. I am not in it for the screams. Sometimes, you need to do things cos you gotta do it. Expectations were abound. And often times, you did things out of peer pressure. Like skinning someone alive. At least that’s how I started.

I’d agreed to do her because of the baby fat on her face. I liked that sort of thing. Besides, she was a pretty one. But then, adulteresses usually were. I had to admit that I did wonder how she’d looked without…you know… her skin. Don’t judge me, but honestly, I am sure everyone wonders the same, how someone looks like that…skin out and screaming. But I gotta tell you, its not as great as it is made out to be. The folks, they faint way before that. But, despair not, I am here to tell you there are ways to keep them awake for the longest.

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Date with a writer

The other day I went on a date with a writer, you know because I am a writer, and I do have this weird notion that writers are good in bed.

I connected with him on Facebook. He sent me a friend request and I read his poetry where he pushes the books off the desk and his woman shatters the glasses kept on the study table, they throw away the clothes scattered on the clothes line and clean the bed off all pillows.

And then in clutter free room they make passionate love.

Well, if that weren’t an indication of his raging, intense libido, nothing would be.

We chatted; I told him that he writes well.

He replied, “Once written I don’t own it. Your eyes and soul make it beautiful.”

I smiled because even with a writer, you need to wade through a ton of bullshit before you can have an actual conversation.

And then he ‘opined’ the ‘postulate’ that since we were in the same city, we could perhaps meet sometime.

His ‘opining’ and ‘postulation’ wasn’t really necessary because had he not asked, I would’ve suggested a meeting myself.

I had been depraved of a good romp in bed for so long that lately my bidet was my favourite gadget at home. But that didn’t mean I was into one-night stands or friends with benefits. I really needed to get to know the guy well and to be courted, before I even started anything. I am old school like that.

We met at Starbucks, where I walked in a Mango dress carrying my Fendi bag and wearing Aldo shoes.

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It did not take much to recognise him there, the only man sitting in a corner furiously typing away.

He was the kind of writer who would buy kurtas from FabIndia and then poke holes in it to fit into the ‘struggling writer’ stereotype; the kind who would carry his Macbook Pro in a jhola and order Pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks.

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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

The Bride who was late

I was born late. I mean I stuck around mother’s womb a week or two, just to float listlessly in that rapidly constricting sack of amniotic fluid and critically analyze my life choices.

Which pretty much set my life’s precedent for the next thirty-five years. I don’t remember a single day at school when I wasn’t late. And I can’t forget my graduation day where my shame faced dad had to go up there on the stage and collect my certificate. I mean it wasn’t really my fault; I had to stop the traffic outside my college to let a family to turtles cross the road.

Or the fateful day I almost got married. I turned up after the guests had left and found my fiancé, Dan, busy doggy styling the wedding planner. Well, all I have to say is that when celebrating your Bachelorette the night before your wedding, never start a bar brawl with another woman who had come for her own Bachelorette. It is like a gang war between two families of hyenas; too much screaming, manic laughter and too little punches.

My only consolation was that I had messed up her nose as bad as she’d messed up my marriage.

But that’s not what this story is about. Definitely not about my life choices when I was alive. This is a story about what happened when I died, and died late at that.

You see I had just turned thirty-five when I walked in late to the altar of our summer wedding, and found out that all the prospects of a happy marriage had upped and left, but not before sampling the hors d’oeuvres.

The last ten years flashed before my eyes as I stood staring at the empty church. Every single bad date I had ever had, belched at me, and all those credit card receipts for premium membership of dating services, danced naked before my eyes.

The thought of having to go back to the Tinders and Ashley Madisons of the world; and having to sign up again, made me groan so hard that my heart stopped several beats. The next thing I remember was standing in room #13 of Chicago general hospital, and watching a hot doctor with an ass straight out of heaven, resuscitating me.

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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

You are late

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Ah, why am I late? Well, in fact, there is a very interesting story behind that. But, do you think we have the time of that now? Oh, we do, is it? We have time for a long story, but we don’t have time for me being late by a few minutes, is it? Ok, I see how it is. Well fine, I will tell you the story.

Long, long ago before there was anything, Father time had just begun seeing Mother space. They had decided to go on a date that day. This was before they had moved in together and Father time still lived at his own place. Father time was very different then, not the busy, bossy, no-fun time we know now. He was young and relaxed. He had flowing black hair that needed a lot of care to style. And so by the time he took a nice long shower, styled his hair, picked out his outfit, and reached the venue of their date Mother space had been waiting for what seemed a very long time to her.

“You are late!” She shouted when she saw Father time. Continue reading

When I became a therapy dog…

“I thought Labradors are the best therapy animals “, I said as I stirred a cup of tea that I had made for my visitor; one that I did not quite enjoy a visit from. Not because he wasn’t easy on the eye, it was because every single time he walked through the threshold of my door, he carried bad, terrible, unsavoury and in this case, positively damning news.

“Labradors are on the brink of extinction, Thanks to another breed of cannibalistic canines, who deemed Labradors, a delicacy.” He spat out, and if looks could kill, they would’ve; but thanks to my completely oblivious attention span, I was busy trying to throw a badminton racquet at my seven year old, who had suddenly decided it would be fun to slide down the railing and not take the steps.

“Mom, where’s my Loreal ultra soft moisturising tick and flea shampoo?” Screamed my fourteen years old daughter, from her room.

“It is in your bathroom, right next to your fur conditioner, that cost me my monthly salary and the perfume, that made me want to give up my first born.” I shouted back as I sipped my tea.

“Can you come and give it to me, please?” She said.

I swear to God, if I hadn’t turned almost vegan a year ago, I would’ve eaten my own progeny. Forget Labradors, nothing tastes better than chewing your own flesh and blood.

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Eat your cake, Alice.

cake-chocolate-chocolate-cake-132694Alice knew she was running late when the March Hare overtook her, checking his watch and mumbling, “I am late..” to himself. Alice ran after the hare, she didn’t like being late for the tea party, but more importantly, she was hungry and would have loved some cake right about then.

She opened a door and walked into the courtyard where they always had their tea.

The Mad Hatter sat at the head of the table with the March Hare and the left and the dormouse to his right. The dormouse was busy typing away at his typewriter, though why a tea party needed its minutes recorded Alice did not really know. Alice noticed there were new guests at the tea table as she set her flamingo down and took her usual seat opposite the mad hatter.

The March Hare passed her a cup of tea and Alice thanked him as she took the cup. She snatched glances at the new guests at the table as she sat down again.

There was an angel with a halo around his head. And a bear who kept lifting his club up and down in one hand as he daintily held onto his teacup in the other. There was a large colourful parrot that was turning the pages of a book at a fast pace. Alice gave them all a smile and sipped her tea.

“Had a good round of your game, I hope.” The Mad Hatter said pointing to her flamingo.

“Yes, I did indeed. Managed my best score yet.” Alice smiled at the hatter.

“That’s my girl, the hatter smiled back.” Continue reading

Write Club Magazine – Edition 11

The Chronicles of Jim and other stories” marks the eleventh edition of Write Club Bangalore Magazine. You can read it for free under Kindle Unlimited, if not, it is just INR 49.

It starts with a darkly disturbing series of diary entries, by a troubled young man in “The Chronicles of Jim, written by Ashwin Kumar.

Moves on to the riveting Mythological Fiction called “Monster” written by Write Club, Bangalore’s recent enviable talent, Yedu Bose.

The series of stories then takes a dramatic turn and entices us into Romance with Kartik Patiar’s, “The Hot Cup of Cappuccino”.

Of course, now that you have read mythology, psychological horror and romance, you wonder what else does this book have to offer. And we don’t disappoint you with Anjali Torgal‘s fantasy/sci-fi short, “The Tree Whisperer”.

Since, we can’t get enough of sci-fi, we have ensured you get enough of it. Read on to “The Sporulation of Sarpanch Sam”, by, undeniably, our favourite writer Pavan Kumar. If you can’t get enough of Pavan here, follow him on Instagram for his surreal poetry.

Now that we have set the atmosphere of strange, it is time to bring out the big horror guns, with Amel Rahman‘s “No Cats”.

You must be wondering about how twisted we are, with just one romance and everything else is horror and fantasy. No, we are not twisted, at least not much. We do love a good splattering of romance in our imaginary worlds. So, read on to get your mushy on, with Isha Shukla’s “The Stone Bench”.

What did I tell you about our obsession with a good sci-fi?

Ankit Jha, our resident writer, editor and compiler, delights us with this fantasy/sci-fi short called “Wrath of Gods”.

Next up is “The Diary of a Womb”, a socially conscious piece about the conversations of an unborn girl with her male twin, general fiction by Nidhi Srivastava.

Finally, to end this embroiling book is a story written by me, “Raja and Mia”, about a young tiger’s love for his keeper. Genre: Drama.

Read an excerpt here.

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