You walk steadfastly through the corridors of the old school. Your footsteps echo throughout the abandoned building intruding a comfortable silence that reigns.
What was it like? You wonder. What was it like when I studied here? Garish laughter, childish screams, pitter patter of tiny feet assault your memories and a loss of the days long gone envelops your being.
Your foot steps slow down and you can almost hear the clanging of bells just like it did for lunch break. Another ten minutes, that is all it will take. You tell yourself. The huge sack you carry on your back weighs you down.
You hear a light giggle from some where behind you. You turn around, your heart rate shooting up and sweat trickling down your forehead.
“Who is it?” You ask. Loudly. Louder than you actually meant to. “Who is it? Who is it? Who is it?” Your voice echoes through the empty corridors mocking you. Your own voice reverberating, ricocheting off the walls, reminding you that it is truly YOU who is the intruder here.
You wait for the echoes to die down and shine your torchlight all around you. All you see are tiny rodents skittering about in search of another rodent to eat.
“Isabel, stop staring at your reflection in the window and come back here, you vain little slut” Shouted sister Mary. Just in time for Isabel to shiver at the pure vehemence in Sister Mary’s voice, and start trudging reluctantly towards the rest of her class mates. Sister Mary was the reason twelve years old Isabel hated school. It wasn’t just the fact that the old crone, with her gnarled fingers, wrinkled face and hateful words, was always out to get her. It was also because every story that Sister Mary told, from the bible, gave Isabel nightmares.
Right from the stories of Job, where a poor God fearing man was tortured by Satan for years. Job braved it all, from loosing his children to being physically tortured. All because God had a bet with Satan, that Job would go through every imaginable torture, yet not curse his God.
“Who does that?” Isabel would think. Who does that to their disciples?
The most fearsome of Bible’s tales was the obliteration of Sodom Continue reading
I recently went on a temple trip with my parents. The right word for the trip would be a pilgrimage, but that makes me sound like a pagan from prehistoric times so I am not going to use it.So, we started the trip by getting on a bus. Why a bus you ask, why not the more comfortable option of a train or flight journey? Because we were going to a state in India that is still stuck in a time loop in the nineteenth century.
Now, I don’t want you to assume that buses in all of India are horrible, far from it. In several regions you can get buses that boast services on par with a middle eastern airline. But not in this state, here the buses are still designed to imitate medieval torture chambers. But that is assuming that they are designed at all, there is an all real possibility that they are actually remains of some ancient civilization that are being put into use by the state government. Continue reading
You are assaulted by the acrid smell of piss, puke and the stench of waste. Not the best way to wake up from deep slumber, you think. You wake up on hard ground, with your legs entangled in those of a complete stranger. Not even of the opposite gender.
(Artist: Kalansh Gala)
You curse and you spit at the man, secretly thankful that he is still passed out. You look around, only to find yourself surrounded by a melee of entangled bodies interwoven to blur any lines of gender, age and color. The darkness surrounding you is partially because your eyes are yet to focus and because you are in a giant dome that barely lets in any light through the massive stained glass windows near the ceiling. Continue reading
We sit huddled in three corners of the room. Our bodies emaciated, our skin withered, our bones jutting from odd angles, after days of starvation. Our eyes skitter from one to another in rapid succession. We do not trust each other; we are terrified of the ground that supports our gaunt bodies, the ceiling that shelters our fading existence and the walls that hold up our wilted selves.
We have given up any thoughts of leaving the room, moons ago, or is it eons? We don’t know, how long have we waned away in this room.
I look at her, sitting across me, holding a rotting child in her arms. Her eyes bulge, what was once smooth, silky skin, now corrodes in flakes and falls all around her cadaverous form. I try hard to recall her name, but all I can remember is the word “Babe”. I used to call her Babe. I think she Continue reading
“When was the last time you indulged?” my therapist asked. The rim of her glasses sat at the bridge of her nose, and her piercing blue eyes penetrated mine as if she already knew the answer to her questions. Daring me to defy her, daring me to lie.
I swallowed, hard. Well, it had been long, long enough, since I indulged. Definitely, longer than the government prescribed abstinence period.
“Answer my question, Anya.” Her voice threatened to drown me in her fury. But somehow, what comforted me was the fact that I wont have to face the brunt of that fire vividly raging inside my therapist. I decided to be truthful. Continue reading
Karthik took a deep breath, counted to five and then opened his eyes again only to stare at his tail. At his tail, his dark fur and grubby little hands that had pudgy paws instead of fingers. He touched his face with his paws, he had a snout with a large wet nose, small pointy ears that he could move each on their own. He turned his round beady eyes onto the rest of his body. All he saw was a big brown ball of fur sitting on its hind legs. His mother’s curse had come true! He was reborn as a mouse. He took his thick rope like tail into his front paws and screeched. Continue reading