Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Ugly Introduction

This post has been published by me as a part of Blog-a-Ton 56; the fifty-sixth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write.

The Ugly Introduction

He felt his body stiffening. He stood up with a jerk, the chair falling back and hurried to the bedroom. He could hear her calling as the door banged behind him. In the dark, his shivering body slipped down to the floor. No matter how hard he tried to hold himself together, the eyes that gleamed from the commercial had once again cracked opened the door of abyss. As his body sweated profusely and black and white screens flashed slow and fast, he shut his eyes tight trying to control its progress. Stopping himself from screaming, he turned himself into a tight ball. It was uncontrollable and unbearable as the eyes appeared from everywhere. His mind had stopped except for a desperate wish to reverse ... 

Andy looked at the watch, it was 1 am, never had he been out so late. He prayed to get the last train while he lazily stepped down the stairs into the underground train station. It was his daily routine but the change of hour, the empty passage and the silence transformed the environment into a far away and rather unpleasant setting. His body was tense, perhaps sensing something unnatural, when he heard someone laughing, some men, in between there were cries of appeal and threats. This sound was of woman. He stopped and peeped, hiding behind a pillar. The platform was almost dark but the flickering halogen threw light to the scene with sinister intentions.

He saw a woman shoved to the platform floor. There were four young men surrounding her in a circle. Three of them looking at her with their backs to him and one on the other side frisking a bag. Andy shuddered at the gruesomeness of the reality before him. He was an ordinary man with an ordinary life. His heart pounded and mind alerted at the explicit sensitivity of the situation, perhaps he should call the police. He took another look at the men. They all looked to be in twenties, strong, each throwing threatening vibes around. His jaw dropped when he saw one of them carrying a hockey stick, wiggling in circle at his feet. He felt all the strength leaving his body.

Perhaps he should leave the place, but he was a responsible citizen. Wouldn't a responsible citizen would call the police? Slowly he pulled the phone from his pocket, but his shivering hands slipped it off to the floor. He struggled to catch it but his body made enough noise before the phone clattered to the floor. Heads turned and all eyes were on him. His hands trembled as he dropped to the floor to collect the dropped phone and heart which had slipped with a skipping beat. He looked up as a pair of shoes appeared before his eyes and a hand fell on his shoulder.

“So we have audience, isn’t that interesting?”, the man before him said. He was handsome but his eyes beamed with malevolence. The man pulled him up and pushed towards the group. He kept his eyes glued to the floor throughout the humiliation, moving slowly and silently. His felt his mouth dry and sealed. “What should we do with this one?”, the same man continued.

The others looked at Andy in amusement. He looked at them, one after another. Each of them were young but their gestures were outright twisted. The outcasts scowled at him, perhaps pondering what good could be extracted from a boring man standing before them. One of them came towards him. He was burly and others stopped speaking as he moved. Andy guessed him to be their leader.

“Were you calling the police?”, he asked in a heavy hoarse voice, head tilted slightly. The question did not reach Andy’s ears until he tasted blood in his mouth. He kept mum but was now alert as the whole scene hit him with a new blow. There was a mix of bouts of laughter and cries.

“Are you a man?”, the leader asked.

“Huh?”, it was all that came out of his mouth as he starred at the leader. The others cheered at the question.

The leader took his chin and twisted it to face the girl. “Look at her, how is she?”, the leader asked and pushed him towards her. Andy almost fell on her but balanced himself, she let out another cry. “Please”, she pleaded. He gulped inside the metallic taste in his mouth.

Another bout of laughter, and more shouts rose, “Fuck her! Fuck her!”.

His wary eyes on floor landed on her feet, one was in high heel and other without. She stood awkwardly but her feet were white and beautiful, very very beautiful. His eyes hurried up making note of the curves and swells. She was young and extremely beautiful, her skin unnaturally white, as if moulded from milk. He took another gulp as his eyes registered yet another un-ordinary reality.

“Will he fuck her?”, the others were shouting, “Are you a man? Or you are just another shit from that fucking city?”

Andy's breathing was growing faster and there was something stirring inside him. Anger was rising. “I am not a shit! I am a good man!” he shouted turning away.

“Good Man?, more laughs erupted. "You are like us, inside. I will show you how good you are”, the leader shouted hitting him again. When the leader waved, the guy with hockey struck one of the lights. The leader came closer to him and whispered, “We have made it easy now”, a little too friendly that gave him goosebumps. Andy now looked at the leader with increasing obedience. The leader repeated calmly, “I can see it in you, you are one of us”. Andy shook his head. His anger was increasing, the laughter around rising. The young girl was pleading, her cries increasing. The whole chaos was grubbing his mind, his heart had already fallen out. Only a dim but profound sound from his mind seemed to be alive. It was calling, “Look at her, look at her”. He was angry but on whom?

“I won’t!” he shouted. The leader grunted and shoved Andy towards the girl again, this time he felt over her. She shoved him away but it was too late. The current has passed through him and he was all over her, clinging her body, his weight holding her down. The dimness was making it worse, there was new uncontrollable feeling rising inside him. “We are going”, the men laughed. “He is worse then us”, he heard them, laughing, banging around with the hockey. The sound of the feet moving away was slowly registering in his mind.

The girl was shaking all over as she cried, “You are a good man, please let me go“. He sat over her, his eyes devouring the torn clothes, exposed skin, pink lips curled down. What shook him were her eyes, which were like an overflowing pond. He saw a reflection in the tears which pierced through him but only for a moment. Just like a stone thrown in pond creating ripples, the tears blurred the reflection and the man in them lost it’s identity. He was some body else now. The girl cried and pushed him but the outlaw inside him was now in control and the body under him real. He did what a good man would not have done.

The voice was returning albeit in a drool as he got up. He looked at himself and buttoned his cuffs, pinched the collar together and tidied his pants. the mess that he had become, trying to reverse the inside out. He walked towards the exit of the tunnel avoiding looking back. Perhaps the tunnel was sinister, it had sullied him, he shouldn't stay they any longer. When he reached the stairs and was to cross the threshold, he looked back. The girl was wobbling on her unsteady feet, half unconscious, hurt and bleeding. Was that me? A horn sounded behind her with the headlights flashing. She was too close to the edge. In the light he saw her eyes and in them, a reflection. He ran away from the tunnel.

Six months had passed. Those eyes still came back without any warning. He stuffed fist inside his mouth and shouted with all his might. Slowly his breathing was getting steady and body recovering. When he opened the door, she came running towards him, “Are you okay? What is this that happens to you? Why don’t you tell me? Perhaps I can help”, she was pleading. 

Thoughts ran inside his mind, he knew the secret was eating him. But he couldn’t make himself look at her, he was afraid of another teary eyes, afraid of the reflection in them, of the animal who he thought he had left behind in the tunnel.

“Stop it! …Forgive me...”, he cried and ran out of the house. He kept running wherever his feet took him. But even as he ran, he knew, he can run forever, but what he is running from is inside him, the tunnel with flickering lights. But … even if he wants, he cannot kill the beast. Because... he was a coward, he was a good man, but made of flesh, of weak will, or perhaps there was someone else hiding behind the drapes.

What can he do? He has a heart but it fells off, a conscience but it gets lost, with convenience

He stopped, turned back and dragged himself towards his house.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 22.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

You can always come home

Some songs speak the truth. A truth which is well-known to everyone. You, me, her, him... But how much do we understand. If I say I understand Truth, I am only pretending I know. I love the song 93 million miles' by Jason Mraz. It's a beautiful song where Mraz sings it simply over a guitar.

93 million miles

93 million miles from the Sun, people get ready get ready,
'cause here it comes, it’s a light, a beautiful light, over the horizon into our eyes
Oh, my my how beautiful, oh my beautiful mother
She told me, "Son, in life you’re gonna go far, if you do it right you’ll love where you are
Just know, wherever you go, you can always come home"

240 thousand miles from the Moon, we’ve come a long way to belong here,
To share this view of the night, a glorious night, over the horizon is another bright sky
Oh, my my how beautiful, oh my irrefutable father,
He told me, "Son, sometimes it may seem dark, but the absence of the light is a necessary part.
Just know, you’re never alone, you can always come back home"

You can always come back

Every road is a slippery slope
There is always a hand you can hold onto.
Looking deeper through the telescope
You can see that your home’s inside of you.

Just know, that wherever you go, no you’re never alone, you will always get back home

93 million miles from the Sun, people get ready get ready,
'cause here it comes it’s a light, a beautiful light, over the horizon in to our eyes…

The below lines strikes a chord in you. Every one of us have been there, the tiring path up the hill or groping for hold over situation in the dark. Many of us have asked the questions, what is the meaning of all this?

"Son, in life you’re gonna go far, if you do it right you’ll love where you are
Just know, wherever you go, you can always come home"

"Son, sometimes it may seem dark, but the absence of the light is a necessary part.
Just know, you’re never alone, you can always come back home"

"You can see that your home’s inside of you."

That sounds true. If I do it right, I will love it. The darkness does bring meaning to the light. And after all there is always home to come back. But what is home? What does the word mean? What if you are still searching this place called home? What is one suppose to do? 

Do you know?


Sunday, June 14, 2015

The garlic soup

This post has been published by me as a part of Blog-a-Ton 55; the fifty-fifth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. In association with ​Rashmi Kumar, the author of Hooked, Lined and Single and Jyoti Arora, the author of Lemon Girl.

The weather had been unchanging for past few days. Monsoon was supposed to be romantic for many. But for me it was a reason of my bad health. My head was hurting so badly I was afraid it would split open the very moment. However it didn't and kept on hurting more. I put down the bottle of aspirin on the table and walked to the window. It was pitch dark outside. The clock above the window showed 9 pm.

I watched the rain coming down in sheets. As if the heavy sound of downpour was not enough, the waterfall some distance away drummed like an attacking tank drawing closer, inch by inch. When the lightning flashed, followed by a deafening thunder, my head almost cracked and I cringed. But just a split second before my eyes closed, I saw something. Or someone. In the veranda. Under the berry tree.

Like I said, it had been this way for past few days followed by nights. However I hadn't seen anyone under that tree earlier. I remember this clearly because it was planted by me in my childhood and I have watered it and have seen it grow to a big red berry tree. It is my favorite pass-time to watch it, shutting down my mind. So there was no one near my house a few hours back, rather nobody wanders in vicinity of my house. So coming back to this person, yes it was a person. I wondered who would it be. I have last seen a person months back. I have all the necessities stored in the attic. I live with myself, alone.

Still wondering, I switched on the lamppost, I saw it was a female.
As I walked to the drenched woman, I saw her eyes changing emotions and I was lost in thoughts. What was she thinking? Does she fear me? Is she relieved. However I couldn't really make out. When I reached the tree, I held the umbrella over her head and we walked back. However she stood by the door while I entered the front door of the house. When I looked back at her, the question she asked confused me. Water was dripping from her head and face. She asked me, "Will you be fine if I come in?" Why would she ask? I just nodded and went inside to get her some dry clothes.

Later when she was back into my dry clothes, to my surprise, she asked for red wine and said she can prepare garlic soup for me. These are my favorite, something I would want to have served over my deathbed. I nodded again, thinking how this lady would know about them, trying to recollect her face. But I couldn't. No matter how much I tried, I simply couldn't. I finally resigned and asked her if I knew her. Yes, off-course, she said. "But you wouldn't recollect now. You would soon", she said. I shrugged and waited for the soup to arrive.

We first had the soup as we sat by the window and watch the rain fall. "Life has not been that pleasant for you, isn't it?" she asked. I didn't say anything. Who knows who she was, it was better she did the talking. I was sure over the conversation, I would figure out her identity.

"Do you still go out to the ravine back towards the waterfall? How is the kind woman in that hut. I still remember the day when you hurt yourself falling down the tree stealing the fruits from her orchard. And when she treated your wound and gave you garlic soup, you were all smiles. I still remember your happy face. Do you remember?"

I looked at her and laughed out loud, I don't know why. All I remember then was the woman's corpse floating in the waterfall. She was a kind woman, I could remember though, but albeit distantly, little more imaginary than reality. I told the lady so.

"That indeed was a tragedy", the lady said with a loud sigh. As we finished the soup, I poured ourselves wine. As she held the glass she looked beautiful, any guy would have fallen for her. I told her so to which she asked if I have fallen for her.

It's beyond my capacity, I said to myself and instead asked her, "Aren't you afraid?"

She gave surreptitious laugh and whispered something into my ears which I couldn't comprehend.

"What did you say? How do you know about me?" I asked her worriedly.

It was very queer night, and the woman strange. I felt insecure as if she was binding me. The time seemed to have stopped into the night and the rain had swept us along with the house into a sea typhoon. Everything seemed to be tumbling, up and down. I looked at the glass in my hand, it was straight up but my hand was shaking, perhaps in awareness of something my mind couldn't comprehend. I looked at the woman one more time and asked again.

"What did you say? How do you know about me?" I was getting hysterical.

She smiled. And as she did, I felt something was heaved up from my memory dump. And I writhed in an anticipation. Stop. I wanted to say. But she kept smiling. And then she came close and looking into my eyes, she spoke in a very soft voice.

"Martin, just listen to me. You are important"

I looked at her puzzled. But her smile and her words were soothing and somehow calmed my anxiety and surprisingly I was feeling at peace slowly. I looked at the wine glass. It was still full. It wasn't the alcohol but the woman who's demeanor was working on me.

But was it true? Am I important? It was unfathomable. I kept quiet.

"Yes. The lady, she was so kind, wasn't she?", she asked.

"Kind. Yes. She was. But what did she get in return?" I asked, "Bruises and black eye?" My voice was getting edgy again and I feared I will snap. To calm myself I closed my eyes but the woman's corpse floating in the clear river water kept flashing before my eyes. I almost screamed.

"There is no meaning to this existence! If you were unwanted from the day you are born. Do you know how it feels when everyone abandons you? When people look right through you? When your existence does not matter to even a single person?" My voice was low, trembling.

"You were never unwanted. Do you really think otherwise? Do you remember the school-boy you saved from drowning. What would have happened if it was not for you to jump into the river and save him?" I looked at this lady who was churning my memories and bringing up what was hidden below the heap.

She was still smiling. She continued. "You say nobody cares for you. But when you ran away into the woods, who was it who came searching for you?... She searched you every where, calling your name, while you hid in that trunk, listening. You did wanted that woman to find you, didn't you?". When I looked up, I saw she looked right through my defiance. I found my own reflection in her. I did wanted her to find me. I wanted love. I wanted a mother. I wanted a normal life.

"You remember the her bruises. But you do remember the smile that spread on her bruised face. The tears flowing from the swollen eyes the moment she saw you. You ran to her and hugged her tight. Didn't you? Do you remember?"

"Yes. I did. I really did. She called me son. And I tugged her like a new born. I never knew my biological mother but when I hugged her, I became her son". When I closed my eyes, her face appeared, without bruises, her face smiling, calling me son. I can hear her voice. "Are you hurt? You are trembling son. Don't be afraid. I am here. For you". Don't be afraid. I am here. For you.  Don't be afraid. I am here. For you.... the words replayed on my mind, the voice filling the void inside me.

"She tended the tree with you. How will you feel if that tree crashes? Do you want that? It has to be strong, no matter how strong the wind blows. Do you think it will survive this storm?"

"It will survive. It will survive". I kept muttering. Don't be afraid. I am here. For you.... the words still running on my mind.

When I opened my eyes, I was alone. I felt calm spreading through my body and mind. Something had changed. My heart was light and my mind clear. I felt the urge to have garlic soup, it's warmth passing through my body just with the thought.

When I looked out the window, the storm had passed and even while it drizzled, it was unusually calm. The cool breeze was flowing but it carried some fragrance which filled me with contentment. I looked at my hand, it was steady. I realized my head no longer hurt and deep inside, I was feeling at peace.

I threw the bottle of aspirin in the dustbin, it wasn't my last day after all. I made myself a garlic soup. As I drank it spoon by spoon, I watched the water dripping through the leaves and branches of the tree. It had survived the storm.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 21. Image Credits: Monsoon by Yann (Wikimedia Commons). Shared with GNU Free Documentation License CC Attribution-Share Alike.

Saturday, May 09, 2015


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 54; the fifty-fourth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

I want to soar high! the young bird said. His words inspired awe among his peers and his parent's chest swelled. Attaboy! they cried. What would you look for? they asked.

He thought of the question over and over. He looked at the rising sun, the rays stretching and reaching the darkness and vanishing the opaque. The landscape was gaining clarity and so was the dream in his eyes. He flapped his wings, moving restlessly in the nest. 

Love! I want to find love! he had answered. Love? they asked with amusement. So you want to soar to search partner? What a waste, they grunted and flew back to their nests.

He didn't mind they taunts. They do not understand. The truth was he wasn't sure himself. What is he after? Love? Did he want to search love? He couldn't convince himself. 

He flapped his wings and looked back. His parents were with his younger sibling, contented. It was his last glance. He whispered goodbye, spread his wings and took flight. 

The woods were dense, he cut through them reaching higher. The world was beautiful, at times ugly, mostly amusing. As he flew up, he looked around, questioning, is this what he left his nest for? But the answer was never definite. He soared higher and higher. Every where he went, his eyes searched trying to figure something. He knew it was indefinite, the endless, it was beyond his understanding. But he believed, it existed.

As he crossed the various woods, the sizable mountains, the vast oceans, he took rests on some shady branch or clay rooftops. His wings had gained strength yet there was some weakness entering him every time he left one place for the new.

As he pecked into the small green fruit, he looked at the mountain that stood before him, at the pine wood that spread. Is it foolishness? Is it time to give up? Will he have to search forever? He thought but he was without answer. His wings were fluttering in indecisiveness. The moment was pulling him into silence, it's gravity inescapable. The world before him was infinite, with millions of possibilities, and disappoints but also of hope. While branch he was sitting was haven, that his tired body asked for, a relief. Warped in an ugly tug, he hovered up and down over the branch, his wings fluttering... shivering...what should he do?

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 20

Wednesday, April 29, 2015



You ask
They stay mum

You wait
They smile

The clock ticks
And matches your heart

You ask
They stay mum

You be yourself
They be themselves

You wait
They smile

You ask
They stay mum