You walk stomping in an urgent pace 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 shoots up and sweat trickles 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. The fine hair in the back of your neck stand hard, hard enough to cause a subtle, buzzing pain down your spine.
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
“Om Shanti”, my forty something mother stared down at me, daring me to respond to her in like. I cleared my throat and spoke, deliberately disobeying her, “ya…see you later.”
“Kahan jaa rahee hai, itni raat me? (Where are you going, this late in the night?)” she asked, suspicion marring her, unusually high-pitched voice.
“Khana khaa ne (To eat something)…mom.” Well, of course I could have made another bunch of thousand excuses, to save my mother the trouble of imagining my meal, and more importantly the acquisition of it. But then again, where was the fun in that? Continue reading
‘I bet you can’t climb this tree and jump from the highest branch!’ said the new boy. I sat there lightly caressing Candy’s back, and smiled when she purred in approval.
Tom, stared at the new boy with suspicion and anger. No one, and I cannot insist this enough, no one spoke to Tom in that tone.
“Of course, I can.” Claimed Tom. Although I had never in the twelve years of knowing Tom, watched him climb the peeple tree and jump from its highest branch. But then again, what the heck, who was I to contradict Tom, our leader? Continue reading
I laboured myself off my bed, it took exactly ten minutes for me to lift my legs and place them on the ground beneath. Parts of my body, I never knew existed, had been aching in pain and anger since five years now. I trudged to the mirror to take in my sunken eyes, chapped hollow cheeks and smoke stained teeth.
Last night’s binge drinking and smoking pot was not helping me in any way. For that matter so wasn’t the night before, or the night before that.
I loved my routine, the routine that involved replacing food with alcohol and water with weed. It allowed me to pass out night after night; in a drunken stupor. Just what the doctor advised. Continue reading
Across the road, thousands bustling by the busy street, light snow trickling down the sky, her eyes met his. A moment of vast nothingness where all stood still, an eternity flashed them by, and she blinked. She blinked.
His lips twitched in an uncertain smile.
The eyes were old, they were wise with knowledge of her, a lost soul seeking the comfort of home. Home in each other.
Her foot shook and etched towards him, his tremulous smile an invitation to join him. Explore the tethering thin golden rope that connected their souls. Souls that knew memories from lifetimes ago. Continue reading
It was when Jack found his hands and legs tied unceremoniously to the gigantic cross, crumbling under its damned weight, sweating in the harsh June sun, that he realized something. He was in trouble, big time. The sentry nearby threw the whip again his sweating body.
“Ok, Ok. I’m hoisting up. It ain’t gonna happen if you keep slapping that damnation on my back. And, you don’t have all day, mate.”
He managed to stand up, his leg wavering like a ship on a stormy sea.
“How many leagues from here, matey?”, he asked the sentry. Continue reading