A DUSK IN THE PARK.

A DUSK IN THE PARK.

His old brown coat mixed well with the surroundings as he entered the park. The brown trunks of the trees camouflaged the man who never wanted to be seen, anyway. He always found the hour of settling dusk as the most peaceful one. People returning home from their hectic days. Children winding up the playfulness of the park. The elderlies taking them back home. But among those, there were certain he always had his observing eyes for. The ones for whom dusk was the beginning of being in the park.

Today when he settled on a wooden bench, he saw a boy quietly sitting in the darkest corner of the park. ‘Must be a teenager waiting to meet his friends,’ he thought. But there was nobody to be seen around. Nor the boy had an electronic gadget in his hand, unlike many other boys of his age. From the boy’s expression, he could make out that he was sulking.

‘But what has this young lad got to be sad about,’ he wondered. ‘Maybe he scored fewer marks in mathematics, but students these days hardly care about their grades. Maybe his mom scolded him. Maybe he has had a fight with his teenage girlfriend or a crush. Just maybe, he has no friends, been a victim of bullying in his school and needs someone to talk to. Maybe.’

Shifting his gaze, he produced a tobacco pipe from his coat pocket, put it in his mouth and lit it. The first whiff of its smoke made him oblivious to the presence of the boy for a while. At that moment, the park keeper walked past him towards the centre of the sitting area and turned on the last of the lights that were left to be turned on. As faintly as they lit, hardly making much of a difference, they might’ve mattered to the lonely keeper who had to spend his fifteen minutes of each day, walking the perimeter of the park, turning on the lights of every segment. ‘He has a strange look on his face’, the man thought. ‘Peaceful. He looks peaceful. How? Bit of a masochist if you ask me. Who stays peaceful at a job like this, being alone in this dark?’

As the darkness was rising overhead, the park gradually got deserted. This time, he kept the tobacco pipe aside and lit a cigarette. He was not sitting any far from the gate when he realised that a car had screeched to halt and a young woman had walked out of it. With her long strides, she had already entered the park within seconds and started running. He smirked at the irony of her visit. ‘If you wanted to exercise so diligently, shouldn’t you have walked from your home which is four blocks away from the park?’ His generation was so different from these youngsters who were only fooling themselves with this fraudulent act.  

For a moment he only kept staring on the now empty path. He desperately wished to find someone new in the park just so he could have something to shift his attention to. On eventually failing, he heard his worst thought, ‘Was it worth?’

It’s impossible to not have this thought in contemplation, in loneliness. A man can sit by himself and try not to wander to the same dark places of his mind; he can sit and keep observing the surroundings, the people around him, but for how long? There comes a moment when eventually the consciousness loses the battle and gives in to the one question that’d keep haunting it. In this man’s case, ‘Was it worth?’

However, he’d certainly find solace in these dark alleys of the park on a wintery night. The temperature was dropping but he still sat there, on the cold wooden bench. He usually walks around or two around the park and then settles down, but today, he realised that he has aged. His frozen knees couldn’t tread further. His breaths grew deeper and he now thought he shouldn’t have smoked up. Remembering the things that he shouldn’t have done, the list went endlessly.

‘Years ago, when I’d started losing more than I could bear, it was my choice to hold on to the few remaining ones. Loneliness scared me. But trying to lace my fingers with a closed fist scared me even more. So when everything began being unreciprocated and I decided to snip every thread, it was my choice. Yet now I’m contemplating, thinking if I should’ve held on, no matter how fake they became, just for the sake of company. Months have passed and I still see them when I sit here every day in this empty park. I see the disturbed teenage boy, presumably stressed over his broken relations; the park keeper, trying to find the little forceful positivity in his dead-end job and the lady, too keen on pretending to be fit. I’ve told myself over and over again that they’re not there. It’s just me seeing what I once was. Someone disturbed over a relationship, someone trying to stay positive in the meaningless job and someone as keen as a young girl finding joy in physical exertions.

I can say that in my head every day and yet I will see them every single day in this dark empty park, telling me that loneliness has driven me mad.’

Lunatic as they inferred him to be, but he was just like the people, finding solace in the darkness of the park in their heart which was once lively.  

 

Collaborated/co-authored with 
Vatsal Thakore
Blog link: theinceptedpath.wordpress.com

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Standing at the door of a Brothel!

Standing at the door of a Brothel!

That night, I reached the brothel earlier than usual.

Brothels are a lot like chameleons. They look different during different times of the day.

Once the night has set in, brothels look like a marketplace of sorts. Different kinds of skins are put on display, and the customers carefully choose one (sometimes, more) depending on what they prefer. The music always plays loudly, mostly to mask the noises coming from the many rooms. Even the noises vary. Sometimes, it’s the general rocking of rickety beds and bed-posts. At other times, the bawling of the fatherless babies of the prostitutes. Occasionally, it’s the sharp cry of a young virgin forcefully entered.

But that night, I had reached the brothel before any other customer. The place was surprisingly clean, and mostly empty. A young woman was sleeping near the doorway, presumably tired after a hard day’s work, cooking and cleaning for the residents of that brothel.

“You are early today,” the owner remarked. She was a thin, pale woman, dressed in a simple saree and her hair neatly tied in a bun. Without her dark red saree and all the make-up that I usually saw her in, she was hardly recognisable.

“I was told that the early birds get the prettiest and youngest worms,” I replied, looking around to see if any pretty young ones were close.

“Pretty ones don’t reach here. Young ones, yes. How young would you go?” she asked me, getting up from her chair.

“Umm…” I wondered what to reply. I liked them young, but how young was I willing to go, was something I had never considered.

 It was difficult for me because I never got an appropriate choice. People like me are hard to find. It’s not that I have been a choosy kid, but the truth is I have never been given a choice.

Even as a child, I did not get to pick the children who played with me. I was always a choice. All my past lovers left me because I was always an option for them and not a “priority” or a “preference”. I have been treated like a leftover food item which is never given a second thought before discarding. Thus, for a person like me decide to choose anything becomes difficult.

However, retreating from the flashback, I registered that the owner was still gazing at me looking for an answer.  Even though she knew that I didn’t have a choice being the only “girl” looking out for a “girl”, she eyed me questionably. And this was the harshest truth that I had to accept.  I had no choice on my sexuality. Therefore, as usual, I couldn’t answer and unlike any other customer, paid her without receiving any service.

 I had been early to brothel most of the nights, in the fear of getting caught. But today was the earliest.

/* Backstory Alert:

So, a few years ago, somewhere around 2016, I took part in the writer’s search organised by theanonymouswriter.com. Having cleared the first round, I was assigned the task for the completion of a story in the second round. The story you read below is the second round task and the content written in red is provided by the esteemed writers of theanonymouswriter.com and the content in purple is written by me. Also, TMI but I cleared this round as well, making it to the third and the final round for the writer’s search however not clearing it. The story is fictitious and holds no relevance to any person or entity living or dead.

Now that you’ve read the story above and the backstory, I hope it is relatable. */  

Featured image credits: http://testofwill.blogspot.com/2006/12/dark-house.html

The malevolent fuel.

The malevolent fuel.

I was really thinking whether this idea would work or not. Skepticism was something that I had inherited. My father was skeptical about my career, my mother was skeptical about my future and my sister was skeptical about my food habits. There’s always a ‘maybe’ factor attached when it comes to something related to me. And this idea was something that had been hovering around my mind for the longest time.

Though it isn’t something too rare. People have tried walking that path and there have been successful ones. Let’s not get into the ones who failed. That’s a whole different perspective, I’d choose not to see. For me, as of now, there’s either success or giving up.  So with that motivation, I begin to gather the basics. The information, the knowledge, all I needed to know. You see, to make a monument, an everlasting one with all it’s glory, you first need to gather the bricks and stones. What I wanted to do might not be monumental-ish, but would definitely clear paths for my monuments to stand.

You might be wondering what I’d wanted to do and it is really simple. I just wanted to commit a murder.

What? Were you expecting something cliched? That’s the thing about this world. You want to bring new people in the world, it’s all okay, even if they cause new kinds of troubles, take up space, exhaust resources, but you want to remove some ‘unwanted pests’ kind of people and everyone starts judging you.  

My soul has been tormented for enough amount of time. I’ve decided to end my worries, once for all. Why does one want to live with the problems or either run away from it when you can kill. The stain of his blood and his cry for mercy will assuage my burning blood and calm my anxious nerves. I cannot tell you enough about my feeling of contentment.

Him, yeah. The one I want to kill is a him. I’m a ‘her’. It’s been years since his ‘peaceful’ ways have been torturing me from within. It’s been months since I’ve been trying to convince myself that I was the bad one to have reacted harshly to his mistakes. It’s been weeks since I’ve realized that he was a far more evil person than I had thought. I used to look at him and wonder how he always let go of my mistakes with a calm mind and a sympathetic smile on his face.

Enough of his ruling around the ways and enough of him overpowering me with his actions. With this murder, I will show him that I am greater than him in every aspect. I will show him that he cannot just ruin my life and go away with it. If he has dared to hurt me, he will have to face the consequences. I have gathered courage to nurture the new life after I am freed from his reign of terror. However, he will watch me take away everything that he has, including his life. And that’s the first thing I’m going to take away and he wouldn’t be alive to see the rest. Will he?

I sit down on my desk and start planning every event that will go on, step by step.

  1. Buy the tool, from at least 50 kilometers away from the locality.
  2. Sneak up on him and find out his schedule.

Schedule. This word sent my mind in a frenzy of depressive thoughts. Everything always had to be on his ‘schedule’. I remember one day when I could not make it in time to his lunch plans, he did not scold me, he did not shout. Rather he started ignoring me with a smile. “You gotta pay the price for your mistake, sweety”, he said. And then I had kept trying to apologize to him, trying to get him to talk to me, but he was already eating his lunch, with a video call going on with one of his female colleagues. It was like he had everything planned. He knew how to make me suffer. I sat there all day, not eating anything, watching him talk to her and then curling in a peaceful sleep.

The day of murder is nearing and a wave of nostalgia runs through my mind. I reconsidered the option of fleeing as my lover would readily agree to do it. A murder was something he horrified.

A day before the murder was actually planned, I began to foresee my future, without him and with him. Every possibility seemed dark and I began to lose motivation. That day I cried my heart out. I cried for all that I’ve been through and I cried for him- for his death, that was going to come. My face had grown pale and my mind weakened, until I saw him, his wry smile and his bizarre touch. I was sure of my intentions then. I wanted this man dead.

On the day of the murder, he walks up to me and has the same smile on his face. The evil one from within. He hugs me, “Hey! Long time. How have you been?”

That hug was enough to trigger me. In that one second, I remembered everything that led me to do this. I push him away and hold out the gun which was hidden underneath my pyjama.

“You are too delicate to handle this, darling!” he says, with an absolute horror on his face.

I smile and say, “I’m strong enough to bear you and the mistakes that you’ve committed. And now, you gotta pay the price for your mistake, sweety”.

I pull the trigger, he hurriedly kicks me in the abdomen and something dies inside me. We fall down in the pool of blood, not knowing who is killed. My baby or him?

 

Collaborated/co-authored with 
Vatsal Thakore
Blog link: theinceptedpath.wordpress.com

 

The classic struggle between a person and time!

The classic struggle between a person and time!

As she runs, trying to board the train that had just started to leave, she struggles for her balance and manages to get on the train. She sighs and mumbles to herself, “the daily struggle between a person and time”. The train then starts to pick up speed with a jerk. Looking up, seeing the same old faces smiling at her, she continues in the compartment, contemplating the monotony of her life.

Reema was a working woman with two children and a loving husband. She had already gotten so late for her work and yet again the railway added to her misery. Usually, she was good at keeping the track of time and getting everything done before the clock struck 8. But today as she took a little more time enjoying her morning tea, rotis got burnt and so did the pohas which was her children’s favourite breakfast. And eventually, cooking everything from the scratch took more time and hurriedly she left her house rushing towards the station.

Finding herself a seat, she thought if she was not even worthy of the little more time that she took. It wasn’t like her husband or the children ever complained to her about anything, but now it seemed that she had set some boundaries for herself. Just then, as the train reached the next station, a girl, in her late teens, boarded the train with two of her friends, all laughing their cheeks off.

This daily commutation between Kalyan and VT (present-day CST) was a tiresome task. But her encounters with the fellow passengers made this journey easier to bear. She hadn’t really known these girls who were standing in front of her but she had seen them often in her journey. She used to grin unknowingly seeing them as they reminded her of her own college days and her college friends who were now distant.

Today was no different, or so she thought. When one of the girls turned to her, they both stopped smiling and blankly looked into each other’s eyes for a second. The girl turned her face back to her friends and started laughing again as though nothing was wrong. It was now, that Reema realized that something about their presence was ticking her off.

She had seen this face before. She had seen these brown, almond shaped, shiny eyes before. And they were not hers but someone else’s eyes. The train arrived on different stations and departed, her destination was still far off but this new likeliness of the girl to someone she knew was troubling her. She was confused. Surprisingly, no one else seemed to notice them.

The girl looked back again. Reema couldn’t recognize if it was just a delusion or was a face that temporarily coincided with the girl’s face that she was remembering from her past. That very moment, when the girl again looked back into Reema’s eyes her train of thoughts ushered in the reverse mode.

She was back to her 19 years old self, laughing with her two best friends, Geeta and Tanvi. The three of them were walking towards the railway station, discussing the English class of the day.

‘The classic struggle between a person and time, ends in time winning’, what a boring theme to write a story on”, Geeta says.

“I think it’s cool. Might make us realize a thing or two while discovering its depths”, Tanvi replies.

Just then, Reema shouts, “Damn the lecture, our train’s leaving, hurry!”

With that, the three of them rush towards the train, that was starting to pick up speed. Reema and Tanvi manage to get on quickly, while Geeta was still trying. Reema, oblivious to this, smiles and says, “forget classic, this is the daily struggle between a person and time-”

As she says this, she hears Tanvi shout. Turning back, she realizes what went on. Geeta, failing to board the train, fell on the railway platform, hitting her head on the concrete pavement. Everyone around started shouting and they stopped the train with the emergency brakes. Reema and Tanvi rush down and run towards Geeta, who sees them nearing and says, “I-I shouldn’t have rushed. I shouldn’t have struggled… I-”, and goes silent.

 

Reema blinks and is brought back to her present self, staring at the kiddish, laughing eyes of Geeta, that tried to send her a message. She blinks again and the three girls are gone.

The twenty years old lesson comes to an end, as she wipes her tears away, and thinks to herself, “I shouldn’t have struggled. Not today, not twenty years back. Because in the end, time always wins.”

She ascends from the train on VT station and advances towards her workplace which was beside Saint George’s hospital, but firstly, she had to visit the hospital. She buys a bunch of flowers from the street vendor on her way. Geeta loved mogras and what more could she want, 20 years after she’d woken up from the coma. The smell of mogras and the smile of her best friend was what she had missed all this while.      

Collaborated/co-authored with 
Vatsal Thakore
Blog link: theinceptedpath.wordpress.com

 

Mélancolie de la pluie

Mélancolie de la pluie

Mélancolie de la pluieMelancholy of the rain

 

The roaring clouds, the pouring clouds.

This turmoil’s instability.

The fervour of the cold winds.

The strongest petrichor.

This turmoil’s inability to sooth.

 

While the love of the pluviophiles

Soars high above the clouds;

The land beneath suffers a havoc

Getting drowned in the rainwater

And the noise of the chaos caused thereof

 

As a single drop slides on the window,

And someone’s gloomy eyes glued to it,

The mist is simply a reflection of the condition,

Of someone’s mind, of someone’s heart,

Or just turmoil going on in nature.

 

This lacking solace of nature

So shared by the heart, makes wonder

If the claps of thunder are the screams of joy

Or the cries of anger, led

By the daunting streaks of lightning

 

And then the night crawls in,

The changing hues of the sky,

Orange, pink, purple, indigo,

The shimmery stars are still dimmed though,

The rain is still boisterous though,

But the darkness hiding the dark clouds,

Tells everyone that the turmoil will end.

 

Why was suddenly the darkness

A sign of hope? The silence that it brought,

Better over the sound of battering rains?

For once, there were wishes of a harsh sunlight

In the sleeping night,

In the hopes of it vaporizing the flooded chaos.

 

But nature takes its own sweet time,

Time to weep, time to unwind.

Collaborated/co-authored with 
Vatsal Thakore
Blog link: theinceptedpath.wordpress.com

‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’

‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’

‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’

What do you interpret from these lines? Would you be afraid to do something that you’d like to do? Do you have inhibitions in your mind regarding something that is completely normal?

The above questions are legitly being asked by your brain to your heart and all you do is shut these thoughts down and bury them in the darkest corners of the subconscious mind.

But, yet again, to my mind, I ask, Why? What is it that inhibits me?

And this time, instead of answering my questions, my mind drags me deep within the self-doubts. Something that I’d thought of as a petty thought and buried, was a seed that grew into an enormous bush, now trying to tie me in its entangling branches.

Slowly and steadily, I start getting my answers. Some things, I never even knew would bother me, had me getting afraid of doing the thing that I loved.

I look outside my window and hear the rustle of the leaves. Look at how freely they wander and go with the flow. I feel a sense of realization on how the filtration and constant evaluation of each and every thought has created a huge block inside this tiny brain. And inhibition has a huge role to play in it.

Even now, when I want to pen down my thoughts, I can’t. I want to go out there and explore, I can’t. I want to close my eyes and sleep, but I can’t.

I am inhibited. I am obstructed.

But, yet again, to my mind, I ask, Why? What is it that inhibits me?

And, yet again, to you, I ask, Why? What is it that inhibits you?

Collaborated/co-authored with
Vatsal Thakore
Blog link: theinceptedpath.wordpress.com

 

Completely Opposite!

Completely Opposite!

In this technology-driven world, I sit behind this 15.02 x 10.08 inches gadget typing something and then deleting it again.

My creative space is somehow invaded by this thing called noise. The construction going on outside my window, on the ground, three floors below my house is creating a lot of it.

I’ve always been fond of silence. Silence doesn’t kill me neither it creates a void. Silence provides me with the clarity and transparency of my soul. My soul has been tormented for a various reason but silence provides me with an escapade. This is because I am a loud person, I am an extrovert and I am someone who’s just curious all the time.

You know, sometimes, you need something which is exactly the opposite of you. You need calmness if you’re a whacky person and you need a hint of craziness if you’re someone who prefers to stay silent. The fact that opposites attract is applicable in the majority of the cases here.

That is because somewhere or the other your soul is a mixture of both the things. You can’t just be or have one single thing and hold it for the rest of your life. Accepting the fact that a human is made of both good and evil is seldom done.

Things change, right? You experience and you turn into a better person. And this will only come when you figure out all the aspects of life and not grip on to something which is singular.

As fondly said, ‘Change is the way of life’, and I hereby abide by it and say that ‘indeed it is’.

Be different. Be completely opposite of what you are. And there my friend you will find all the stories and the experiences you tell to your future self.