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Fiction: The convoy passes


Lights went off. Thick and beguiled smoke interspersed with scream past the rooms and flitted the South Bombay humid air thickening by the night. Wheedling of a lone train away from the unusually crowded railway station where flies and termites hovered at the rooftop surrounding huge fans covered by the speckled dust.

The Arabian sea surrounding the city swarmed to a gentleness unseen in years birds and pigeons swarming merrily in the icy cold waters making a splash of joy. Maximum city verges from the fast speed to take the slow and timid steps as a lone masked face traffic cop whistled aimlessly and chasing away with the thick baton truant kids, holding slippers in hand scampered in different directions. The poor man had nothing to do on the deserted road and the whistle perched atop the crisp white shirt like a pet, uncared by the master.

A stare at the sight of four men, dressed in black and walking adjacent to each other in slow gaze leaped the constable off his torpor. An eerie wind howled past the sea and stray dogs barked at the sight of the men walking in silence and unfazed by the animals. The cop waited patiently for the men ambling slowly and ready to give them a threatening diatribe in exchange for fat, crumpled notes.  Such times pay, he valiantly trimmed his mustache.

Black coated rectangular box approached slowly adorned by a trinket on the top carried by four men and whooshed past the greedy man. He was stumped and at a loss of voice.  Scratching the hair, he cursed his luck as the Christian convoy carrying a dead man and holy water sprinkled on his face. He never saw it coming and fearful of the death procession. Taking steps back, he caressed the whistle on his pocket and wondered about being saved, as the image of banknotes eluded. None paid him a hefty bribe. The money skipped his pocket for days and months.

Wind chimed past the Arabian night as he fixed from afar the seawater, turtles floating and tinkling coins in the Khaki pocket. He longed to make a killing at the deceptive approach of men and the short-lived joy, suddenly becoming breathless and a cold sensation wafting through his knees, reaching the limb. He felt weak and nauseous. The dead convoy that passed through him gave a strange sensation and atoning sins of looting innocent people. The cop abandoned his post and strode aimlessly on the deserted road.

 

Love

V

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Short story: The little boy’s typewriter


Vaibhav stared at the tap writer! He moved swiftly like wind towards the laptop on the table and on the other end moved an inch to run his fingers smoothly on the old typewriter. Clang!!!! He repeated the movement oscillating from one to the other, one, two, three, four, ten, twenty and twenty-five times.

A shy boy trembled at the sight of the tall and fair man wearing a smile and unfolding his palm to gently tender coins in his tiny hands. The first token of friendship in the Mussoorie winter. Nanu! He never knew his real name. The little boy feared the man till the time the stranger man holding his trademark suspender on his white shirt smiled at him and they became friends. A popular writer and loved by everyone in the hill station, the old man tapped voraciously on his machine rattling with words, smoking his pipe in the garden and flapping the crumpled notes.

Nanu unfolds his palm every time the doting grandson visits with parents and treated him with toffee and dimes. The little boy raves about Nanu in his Bombay School and back home, he checks the coins filled in a white sock hanged on the wooden door. Daydreaming about holiday is his personal hobby and longing to be in the company of his favorite friend Nanu. Building stars in the air, the arms crossed and cupped to his head, he time traveled and dreamed of having his typewriter to pen stories like Nanu, crumpling papers and books sold like hot pancakes at the railway station in the countryside.

He always carried his sock ballooned with coins to Nanu’s sprawling cottage when one day Nanu folded his hand, “Will you give me this sock filled coins?” He was hesitant. A little voice cracked, “I will buy a typewriter with the coins.” Nanu broke in loud and uninterrupted laughter. “What if I sell you this typewriter?” He pranced, jumped sofas and zigzagged towards the room to grab the sock clutched to his chest and sprinted back towards Nanu, careful not to let the coins fall on the floor.

Nanu took back his coins. The typewriter’s burden was shouldered by the little boy. He crossed the seas, moved countries, traveled in the trains with his loyal friend. Fancy gadgets took over the typewriter with time and the old friend was moved in a dusted corner.

He tapped furiously on the keyboard and stared at the blank page. A bang fist on the wooden table. Less than one hour to submit the manuscript to the publisher, he was stuck at the climax and the idea to hook readers miraculously disappeared. He paced in the room and lit a cigarette. A bizarre force took him in the store and he lifted the typewriter when accidentally his hand touched something.

Tinkling sound and rusted coins fell on the floor. An old and fading sock lay on the ground. The idea struck. Nanu and the typewriter will move the story ahead towards the end.

Love

V

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Fiction: Not just a love story…kissing on boulders


Trees whorl and formed an arc of shadow, lending shades on the sweltering South Bombay afternoon and flurry of breeze on sweating faces plodded on the parapet. Four pairs of hands intertwined and locked together, trodding silently and making small steps on the elongated pathway.

Struggling with words, he was dying to break the ice by flinging a silly joke but relented and she was amused tossing the eyes, right and left, veering towards the sea. “Say something, you idiot,” the heart thronged and wanted to break away from him. “Why the fuck are we holding hands?”

The sexual jokes swooped inside her head and wondering if she should fire a couple of them at him. After all, men like non-veg jokes and making the inside of his pants dangling. She thought, “The temperature inside his blue denim must be soaring and sweat of beads percolating beneath the zip and freezing his insides.” Shimoli wanted to kill herself for the dirty mind at play and imagination running wild for craving to make up with him in public glare. “Speak anything, unpull my bra, but say something,” she was fuming.”

It felt that he heard what’s brewing inside her head like a wavelet of the signal reaching his half-dead brain. He stopped abruptly. She was startled and almost turned to slap him, unlocking their hands. “What happened Shubham?” She said with a half-concealed smile, her saving grace to laugh at his name, wondering whether he was a hermit in past life, living on the mountain peak and grass, straddling in saffron robe as the perfect sadhu lost in a big city. You know…he hesitated. I wanted to ask, “What made you agree to meet me?” She pulled a joke, “Not enough fish in the pond” and cackled into riotous laughter. “Sorry! I was joking…okay bad one…I’d make a bad stand up comedian!”

Shubam took a step back and mustered a forced smile, “Nahin! I think you are right! Men are quite the scared specifies on earth right.” She shot back, “Now, that’s silly, right. Beti bachao! You know why! Female infanticide! Old fuckers don’t want daughters in their families and silly patriarchy, dude.” He regrets asking this question and wondered on yet another feminist, the jhansi ki rani type who would like sex with women on top.

Two weeks back, he spotted her at the tea stall, steam wafting from the glass blowing on the glass and effortlessly flicked the salty water dropping on her face with a finger and blew smoke held on the lip’s edge. He was struck at her confidence and was dying to pursue her but lacked courage. Intimidated by her beauty and easy-going nature of swearing chutiya on the phone and blowing a curled ring of smoke to men ogling at her. She was unfazed. He looked at her. She shot her eyes back at him, “What’s up dude! Never seen a woman smoking.”  Shimali skittered past him, turned back and shoved her middle finger to him, winked before disappearance like dust.

The man pursued her, dashed and jumped inside a random local at Churchgate, eyes longing for her sight and threw his body out of the jampacked Dadar crowd, to wriggle his way out and stormed in the next Andheri train. Love is madness. Attraction is fatal.  He wandered, aimlessly jumping train and BEST buses echoing the city guides to phoren tourists, Mumbai darshan and sweating to find himself sitting outside Infinity mall. Panting profusely and slouched on the stairs at the mall, he almost yelped with pain when a pair of hands pressed his neck with force. The girl winked at him and stood straight with eyes inspecting this face of a man. He squealed. She forcibly shook his hand, “Shimoli. So dude! Following me from Churchgate to Andheri. You got the balls.”

He protested and tried conjuring tricks to divert her attention. She winced, “By the way, I was inside the Churchgate local and saw you looking desperately around before getting out and now at the mall. Chakkar kya hai boss!” Shubham had no way but to spill the truth, “Ok! Sorry for doing it this way. I think I like you,” he fumbled. She lit a cigarette and mouthed, “Bhenchod! You think you like me. Bol! Bol! Don’t have all the time in the world, roadside Romeo. Btw, I have 5 minutes and if you don’t speak I will yell and shout that you are teasing me or better slap you tight.”

Shubham stammered, “Ok! I saw you at the tapdi smoking and playing with your curly tresses. Your intense eyes pierced my heart like a sharp arrow and almost peeing in my pant when you shot back the janleva looks.  I knew this moment. You are this woman. Independent, fiery and wanted to speak to you…didn’t know-how. Hate to screw it up and hope you will smile at me. I pursued you and was knocked down, got up and a part of me felt that we will meet up again. The steps took me towards you. Are you an enigma? Will you be my friend? Just one date, please?!”

“Shimoli, that’s my name,” she simpered and smacked his lip. “Tomorrow, let’s take a walk at Marine Drive and to know each other. Dude, your name.” He smiled, “Shubham.” “Aha! Interesting, ” she squirmed.

A loud wind blew like a conch in temples thrust and whorled human masses, twisting heads right and left at the elongated pathway at Marine Drive. Shimoli jerked and the head caked at the cusp of Shubham’s face. She pulled  away, “Don’t get excited and ain’t kissing you.” She dragged him and he lugged behind her, trudging past the boulders, braving the wind to finally reach the peak, overlooking the city. It felt like a tornado. He asked her, “Is this a sexual fantasy to climb atop with the violent wind stirring and shaking humans?” She splayed her body on the rocks, “Nah! Trudging the rocks is pure and unadulterated sex. You wanted an answer, right, why the fuck I agreed to the date, silly boy?”

He bobbed his head, gazing at the sky, flashed a wide smile and wore a serious look at the same time, unsure how to react. She was getting impatient and said in a jest, “Kuch toh bol madarchod.” He raised his hand towards the sky, “That’s my father.” She laughed hysterically: “I don’t wanna be with an asshole showering expensive gifts, jewelry and flashy cars on me. I need a guy who cares for me passionately, zigzagging inside trains, hurtling on the busy Mumbai roads to woo me.” Shimoli pulled him towards her, tore his shirt button, plant her lip on his face. He didn’t hold himself. They kissed passionately and with force, exploring every inch of zones and lines on hungry lips.

Love

V

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fiction: Hostage trail, city’s on edge



Thick air billowed in the Mumbai sky. Burning sensation trickled in the humid air and the usual sweltering afternoon where vehicles ambled slowly in South Bombay. The Jamun trees lingered at one end of the road, juxtaposed towards the gentle, still the Arabian Sea and on the other, sprawling buildings and the luxurious hotel giving an aerial view of the iconic Air India building towards the edge’s end, Nariman Point.

A gunshot was heard from afar provoking chaos, fearing a terrorist attack in the city. Commuters at Churchgate station ran in the opposite and aimless direction for their lives where some jumped off the locals stationed and jettisoning off the platform, jutting across the busy road, sweating blood.

The police vans and beat marshalls screeched at the altar, surveying the road and careful not to raise an alarm to provoke panic in the city. Persistent gunshots splayed and deafened eardrums. Who was doing that! The new Chief Minister held meetings in his plush office at Nariman Point and running against time in his official car, swirling past the crazy traffic towards Matoshree in Dadar and back to South Bombay. OB Vans were stationed and cameras stayed put to relay TRP to TV channels on the move, updating breaking news on the unnamed and invisible foes threatening the country, clamoring about the city assailed by conspiring powers after a decade. After all, who was behind the mayhem? Another enthusiastic TV channel broke the news on a UFO sashaying in the island city and bringing everyone on its toes.

The loudspeakers thronged to occupy space in front of the residential buildings and advised occupants not to step out because of the danger lurking where cops are pulling all strings to protect the people. A loud thunder bulged the sky and cloud menacing the inhabitants, slowly breaking the particle of heat and a sudden outburst of rain wrecked at a frenetic pace. Heat has suddenly subsided, relieving the burning skins to beat the scorching sun and water freckled at the range of arrow shots resembling the Ramayana epic battle.

A giant step moved the sky and taking the form of a thick mound straddling, forming a thick foam encircling the creamy layers percolating the cloud. Dark and grey mist moving in human form and shadow lurking behind, turning into the blue Neelkant sent a tizzy on the ground and blizzard to human eyes, tears percolating on cheeks. Burning sensation felt as a commotion made of human masses ambled chaotically on the streets. The lal batti cars stormed past the vehicles taking a serpentine form on busy road and street, suddenly turned empty seeking refuge inside homes. Gun aim was taken towards the menacing sky.  Don’t shoot recklessly only focus, was the high command’s order.

The terror threat was brushed aside in Maximum City. The TV channels didn’t pay heed and announced a huge terror hijacking the city. The fight between the cops’ eyes darting like a radar against the menace in the sky continued uninterrupted for hours when darkness encapsulated the sky. The city slowly subsided into silence and a far cry from the hustle-bustle of Mumbai. Thunder unleashed at midnight and flood captured every inch and space, rising at sea level, road and buildings washed ashore. Day’s chaos turned into a seastorm at night’s fall.

Siren wailed early morning. Sleep was furtively put at an end during the early 4 a.m. Local trains stationed inside moved and slowly rattled within distance on the railway track signaling the mundane early morning activity.  Red buses and black-and-yellow cabs slowly moved as fritters, Vada Pav, tea sellers lingered on both sides of the road to quench thirst and hunger of early revelers. A body drenched in blood was slowly lifted by the huge crane from inside the Arabian Sea where the lifeless body reeked of alcohol and tobacco stench. Forensic experts, police commissioner and the Chief Minister flocked to the spot and exuded a triumph of victory for saving the city and sinking in the ingenuity of beating TV channels, scribes and news reporters to conceal news of the day.

The man who brought the city to a halt for days, weeks and months after killing mercilessly and blood-soaked letters which were written all over the decrepit wall was finally dead. The Beer Man’s body floated and choked. Later, news splashed all over TV channels with expert panels, raising questions on the fate of beer man and questioning the system for violating human rights, unfolding the veiled of the conspiracy helmed by cops of taking their duties too far.  Who killed Beer Man, they asked? No one knew who killed the murderer. Mumbai police were clueless so were investigative journalists. The city stopped living in fear of the dreaded killer and civilians didn’t give a hoot on his murderer.

 

Love

V

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Fiction: When the wind blows!


Walls lingering on four sides and furtive look at the roof, bobbing tiring eyes bearing a unique secret, slouching on the bed and tossing left and right. A touch on the shoulder and a voice shrieking into the ears flung me on the floor. I lay still and the sensation of crashing on the icy cold floor. Incapacitated and shackled to the mattress, I can’t move an inch.

Wind blowing louder and conch like siren blowing in the temple swirls past my earlobe. A feeling of gentleness breaks everything loose and unfettered by the force incapacitating me. I breathe slowly and flits with ease, legs spread on the sprawling bed. Am I real? Feel like a ghost whose soul is finally set free. I close my eyes, breath easy and listening to the pitter-patter of rains on the window sill, transported to the past life whirling at the same breadth and pace of the fan rotating above my head.

I am panting and striving to hold in my palm, the tiny drop of water, seeping through the finger space to disappear inside the soil. Am I dreaming? The haunting past and running to save my life, leaping behind the train in Maximum City, jostling past the crowd aimlessly to save myself from gunshots and feet avoiding blood print and corpses scattered. Footsteps zeroing close to me. Head dangling in the air and thrust upside down. I want to yell. A magnetic force pulling me and suppressing my voice. I have no emotions and cannot cry but legs flailing in the air at jet speed.

Newspaper flapping furiously on my knee and sat alone on the deserted parapet at Marine Drive. The wind rising in intensity pushes me backward and pressed legs, hands to the calcified cement. Three-dimensional lives, chased by enemies, sitting undisturbed by the sea and spread on the bed feels like time traveling across oceans and shores.

The ship moving furiously in the storm and weather, directionless and jettisoned by the wind, thrusting upward and splashing downwards. Moans! Pair of breaths cut short! I feel suffocated. Who has sex inside a doomed ship thrust to the jaws of death! I look around to see none just invisible voices shaking on the opposite bed. The cold is killing me. I Skin growing thick and shivering. How I hate floating in the sea bearing its own secret of death and doom, claiming lives!

Alcohol flowing in glasses and we make out inside the club, skins caressing each other, passionate and intense kiss with bodies pressed together. Head twirls and the earth-shaking furiously, blurry light, doors flapped wide open and the earth moving at frenetic pace hovering above the head. I break loose from the hand of the stranger women, zigzagging right to left and crashing on the floor, blood seeping like ice cubes and sputtering on the head, face, limb, and legs.

I lay on the bed. Groggy eyes and slept for days and nights, traversing a myriad of emotions, traveling the world, encounters and braving storms. A thick beard growing on the youthful, chiseled face turning into wrinkles and scars. Closing the eyes witnessed 1000 years and reincarnations, the soul shorn from the flesh, turning into ashes.

 

Love

V

 

 

 

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Words and scars!


Words and stroke play!

why they comfort!

soothing emotions,

unpeeling the mind’s vagaries,

rubbing on the wound,

hiding scars,

wiping tears,

sealing injuries,

balm to sufferers,

why can’t we let them be!

flowing towards the unknown,

weaving syllables,

the flawed expressions,

perfecting the art is fiction,

messy sentences make for real,

non-conforming to silly grammar rules,

reality and fiction,

unseparated as they are,

let chasm grow,

just plain words!

 

Love

V

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Do apart the unreal and random fiction


Blow into pieces random thoughts,

repeat a small prayer,

say the shit ain’t real,

brush off the fiction tales,

ailing it may,

dust off the unreal inside the brain,

stay in the cocoon if you may,

run away to an unknown destination,

take a lone trip,

chuck out the baggage,

unburden the shoulders,

walk along the Only One,

The You,

don’t battle the wounds,

It shall heal,

as you sit in stillness,

ease out with the flow,

create time and space with the YOU.

 

Love V