All posts by madhavkuruppath

About madhavkuruppath

An engineering graduate by qualification, one who dreamt of working for the good of the world. But then came fun and the realization that only when you got money can you work for ideals. Shit that life gets you to do!!! However, besides engineering, I think the world is a wonderful place for people willing to culture multiple interests. An amateur blogger courtesy constant prodding by friends who have come across my articles, portraying life's idiosyncrasies and all the madness that comes along. Funny thing called life.

A good summer day

“So what happened the other day was partly my fault, but that doesn’t mean I am the only one to blame,” said Philip, in what he hoped to be his defence. Little did he realize that he had just opened a can of worms. Owe it to inexperience who else in their right mind would tell a lady it’s her fault as well that a date was cancelled owing to miscommunication. On a similar night somewhere in Ghana, Okagawe, hurling a blow at Ebine shouted,” Who are you to question me, I am the man of the house! I decide when I meet, whom I meet and where I meet them,” and things returned to normal, just as it had every single day Ebine retreating to her corner of the house, teary eyed.

There, now that I have all of you thinking I am a worthless MCP, let’s discuss the whole issue of what’s wrong with today’s society and it’s want for feminism. For starters, I’d clarify my stand on the above point, only somebody in their right mind would refrain from telling a lady that she is to take part of the blame for any mutual miscommunication. At least I would chance my arm on that one with a practical woman. True remains the fact that today, even in the most developed society there is some remnant of sexism. True to nature man must fight or face the circumstances and in a lot of states worldwide man or rather “wo-man” in this case have decided to step up and fight it out.

Enter: Feminism. Now the question arises, what is the very purpose of such a term? What was the requirement for the rise of this and how can one mitigate the already dreadful situation that we, as humans have at our hands. Enter: Racism, Discrimination. As we’ve very wonderfully come to display discrimination is one of our fortes. We don’t like something, let’s discriminate. Right from childhood, the more fortunate (are they really??) among us have had the privilege of discriminating. You don’t like a certain vegetable, don’t eat it, you don’t like a t-shirt, don’t wear it, you don’t like a person, don’t bother with them. This very attitude of avoidance is something that has lead to many of today’s problems, racism, wastage, sexism to name a few.

A few decide and the rest blindly follow, some after consideration feel it is a fairly viable prospect and hence follow. Why is it that we tend to discriminate? Has one ever considered what the real issue at hand is? Man has had an inherent inertia to change, some however embraced it better; they soon became outcasts. Anybody who went against the mob was now their enemy, and probably next victim. The insecurities that man had about women is what lead to them being downtrodden in the first place. The need to ascertain authority resulted in the usage of force to oppress opposition. Naturally the rich and resourceful succeeded better at this.

Even in today’s developed society, one can easily notice how it is generally the richer of the populace that’s more discriminating of coloured people. Why? Because they can, because their lives didn’t directly depend on them and they could be eliminated. When the United States of America, “”the land of hope” finally had a “black” president in America, slogans of the American dream becoming a reality were widely chanted. When he was re-elected much to the dismay of the wealthier folks and largely to the surprise of his own voters, the world witnessed a change. But we could all well say that this was an anomaly, primarily due to the absence of a worthy and untarnished opponent. This was the Americas. How long do you think we will have to wait for a “coloured” president in any of the well to do European states, Australia, or New Zeeland for that matter?

Leaving colour aside, how many of the developed states have Lady premiers? When Pratibha Patil, however dirty she turned out to be later and continues to be so now, was elected Indian President, India underwent a sea of change. Not much that Mrs. Patil did initiated it, but the very fact that she, a woman was today the President, the signing authority on the most important decisions regarding the country was reason enough for many a lady, to consider herself worthy of more than being a home-maker. No offense to the home-makers here, they do a fantastic job in ensuring that the house doesn’t fall apart while the man of the house is away working, but this realisation that their lives needn’t be restricted to the four walls of the house empowered many. Today we see a sea of change, women are at the forefront of any industry, but how many of them do we notice? That’s where the change has to occur and it is a change that is coming about.

As I initially mentioned, we as a species do not take kindly to change, and hence it is only understandable that any change would take its due time to materialize. So why the hurry? What’s the point in hurtling abuses at the opposite sex and labelling them feminists or MCPs? What we need is a tolerant and equitable society, one in which people listen more to reason than emotion. One in which we can look beyond the colour of the skin and more into talents hidden within.

But then again, whom am I kidding? We’re gonna stay as messed up as we are, coz we have now become comfortable in our discomfort and are afraid of how we may react to a comfortable life. Everybody likes a good summer, but nobody likes to sweat.

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Dead or Alive

So let’s say you just died last night. Pop, someone’s just opened the freezer and you see two people standing above, staring at you, a shake of the head and one of them exclaims, “what a sorry way to go!”.  “Well, it coulda been worse.” interjects the other, all this while not realizing that you are capable of listening to them.

“What do you think his last thoughts were?”, the taller of the two, his ID card saying Walters thought aloud. “Could’ve been anything, such a full life that he had lived, wonder if he had any regrets”, said the younger, smaller and evidently inexperienced Birch as he fiddled around nervously at the tweezers at his disposal. “First case here? Let me bring you up to speed with this business,” said Walters. “It’s only common to shudder in thought of the deceased, but that ain’t are job. They got family for that. We look at them, these sorry departed souls, dress them up and make them prettier than they were born, so that they can been put six feet under. WE give the family some solace in showing their loved ones as pretty as could have been, that’s it. This ain’t no place to get emotional with your clients, ain’t good for your sanity boy.” Turning towards Birch, he smiled, patting his shoulder he continued,”The first one’s always the most difficult; you get used to it with time. Don’t try making friends with them though, they’re here but for a short while.”

Birch stared blankly, confuse and visibly dazed by the nonchalance with which Walters was speaking: all this with a body right in front of them. Multiple thoughts occurred to him in an attempt to come to terms with what he had just been told. The job of a mortician wasn’t something he had taken up by choice, or courtesy an interest, well he was pretty much scared out of his wits at the prospect of being with the dead and dressing up corpses. In a room set to a temperature of 8 degrees Celsius, one could still see the beads of sweat on his forehead. You look at him and wonder why the kid was here in the first place. “Would he in all his nervousness and fear distort your already distorted body?”, you can’t help wonder, can you? You want to shout out to him, tell him that it’s alright, tell him that he needn’t fear you, but try as you may he can’t hear you. Well can he? Is he just ignoring you or can he really not hear you? What certainty do you have? Not like you’re an expert on dying now are you!

You, a first timer and him a first timer, sounds like a match made in heaven, doesn’t it now? Two novices trying do as best as you can, to be good at that one job that you’ve been given. “Please stay put,” you hear a voice say. Looking around you see nothing, not a single soul, but the voice sounds again, “Stay put will you!” You shudder, ever so slightly, a shriek follows. Some more noises: you hear someone stumbling and steel crashing onto the floor. “What’s it Birch?? Get a hold of yourself, go wash your face,” that must be Walters.

“That’s not dead,” exclaims a visibly shaking Birch much to the dismay of Walters. “What’re you talking about?” he asks, making his annoyance very clear. He points towards you “That person there, is no longer a person. Been declared dead  all of 24 hours boy! Nothing moves,” reemphasized Walters. “Hang on there,” you say, a mumble at best, but that’s good enough to have Walters’ attention.

Flummoxed and lost for words, he stares in disbelief. In his career of over three decades, never, not once had he come across a corpse that spoke. “Call 911, NOW!!” he spoke, still shaking. The scalpel in his hand falls to ground, and he throws up.

You move, ever so little, extremely weak, but still you survived this one.  The man who defied death, they called you. In the week that followed, reports of three deaths came by, Walters was gone, Birch as well, so was the doctor who declared you dead. From the “Man who defied death”, you’re now looked upon as the “angel of Death.” Do you still want to live on??

Why the fuss??

So for starters, I’ve been trying to avoid topics that may at some point be distasteful to a larger section of society or even spark a controversy for a long time, but today however seems to be an apt time to delve into opinionated posting once again. What surprised me the most and inspired me into writing this was all the noise about the BBC documentary “India’s Daughter” that was posted on “youtube.com” the other day. This after protests in India and also a ban on the documentary being screened in the country. The parliament was abuzz with MP’s going crazy( always fun to watch the circus isn’t it?) All the more surprising, all this two days after banning beef in Maharashtra.

“One can’t help but wonder, what the government prioritizes more, the safety of cattle or that of women in the country. While it is rather heartening to see them give such importance to livestock, what happens with the women is a different issue all together, such a pity.” a friend of mine remarked recently. I  do understand the sentiments of the beef eating public and why they would take to such statements, I mean, I must admit I do love my hamburgers as well! I, however for once would not say the government prioritizes its cattle over women. Getting to the more important issue at hand here, what was it about the video that warranted its banning? Or is India just going through a ban anything and everything phase right now? I mean, PMS-ing women are more consistent with their behavior. Oops, did I touch a nerve there, no offense to all the women, you’re all wonderful people( most I’d say) and then there are also those monsters 😉

To all you out there who may already know this, I must confess, I am an Indian and I am a man. Putting two and two together, voila, I am an “INDIAN MAN!” Does that make me a rapist? Do I look at every lady on the street and otherwise artfully violating her in different ways? Oh no I don’t, but then again, male hormones do come into play every now and then, and you appreciate beauty for what it is, women, cars, bikes, everything :boys, they say will be boys!  So yes, like every living creature, I appreciate beauty, women as I’ve been told check us out as well. I bet you didn’t know that!  Do I feel strongly about the need for punishment in such cases? Hell yes!

So India’s daughter! The documentary, one hour in length was banned by the Indian government. What makes it more interesting is that it was a BBC (read imperial) production. In a country that’s been ever so moderate and welcoming to all sorts of influences and people, such a ban seemed out of the ordinary. This documentary , about the gruesome rape of a medical student in the capital of the country in 2012 and more so about what happened after: the views and statements of the prime accused, the defense lawyers on the case, the victims’ parents, families of the accused, judges on the case and also analysis from people who’ve been in some way part of the call for justice for such cases. So what was it that made this particular incident special? It was one of the most documented and publicized rape case I had come to know of in my lifetime, we’re keeping in sync with India here.

The sheer brutality of the incident makes me squirm, the sociopaths that were part of it should most certainly be punished. but a question that haunts me is, why make such a documentary it, about the people involved in it? India, a country of 1.2 billion people and so much diversity, differences in opinions is commonplace. Also, once must understand that taking into account all the unemployment and frustration among people crime is commonplace as well, not just hose against women, but any sort of crimes. In the past year and a half that I have lived abroad, one thing, I’ve understood for sure, crimes take place everywhere. Crimes against women, also take place everywhere, but do we get to here about it? We must possibly rethink that! If statistics are to be believed, crimes occurring in other so-called developed countries (USA, UK) is way higher than that in India, consider this, and also the fact that India’s population is so many times larger than either of theirs, why do we get all the attention I worry.

The documentary showed nothing one would not expect from the accused. The above said sociopaths, had no remorse for what they had done. Contrarily, they seemed very much to enjoy all the attention they were receiving and the chance to be seen on TV worldwide. These nobody’s of yesterday from the lower strata of society who barely made two square meals a day now had the opportunity to be famous. There is no such thing as bad publicity they say, holds true I guess. Irrespective of what they said, they’d still be shown to the world, painted bloody criminals. So why not put up a brave face, right? What pained me was the content of the show. If it was awareness that the BBC wanted to create, what exactly about was this awareness? If it was a social change they wanted to make, to send out a message to all potential criminals out there that they must be very careful about what they do, they sure made a mess of it.

Typical sociopathic behavior suggests a social outcast craving for attention, exactly what we’ve now managed to give them, in the process very conveniently tarnishing the image of a developing nation, that seems to be the center of a lot of foreign investment in the near future. If it was awareness that they wanted to create about how the mentality about rapes and crimes against women in the country was changing, they sure haven’t documented that. Instead you have excerpts from what the criminals and their defense attorneys(equally disgusting views) had to say. In a country and culture where women have always been cared for and looked after with utmost respect, a society that has lady “goddesses” literally, these words are disgraceful and contrary to the value system.

What good did this video do? People say we are afraid and disgusted to accept the problem within, hence we ban the video. My question is as to how much more should we acknowledge the existence of the problem? That’s something we’ve been actively doing for quite sometime now. But what action is being taken on it? If that’s the awareness that you wanted to create, probably that’s the kind of documentary you should have made dear BBC. Fellow people, if I may ask, what’s your beef with banning this video? Don’t we all know that the problem exists? Haven’t we demonized these criminals enough? Isn’t it time, we let actions talk instead of protests.

Why are we sitting and streaming the views of sick people when we know that we could very silently go about the business of delivering justice? And the Brits and the Americans would do great if for once they focused on the troubles in their lands instead of poking their noses into how we dealt with matters. We must as well realize that as a nation, we have great troubles that needed to be sorted out and this must be a call for social change, in a consistent but quiet manner.

I repeat I do not for one moment sympathize or empathize with these criminals,  but I do not subscribe to giving them undue attention. They are what they are, criminals with mental sicknesses, its high time we dealt with them that way, giving them absolutely no unwanted attention. The safety of women in our country should never be in question, it should be a priority of every citizen of the land after all we do pledge “ALL INDIANS ARE MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS”. Mutually we can grow, and help, but mutual inactivity will only kill us slowly.

Brothers and Lovers- 1

“Why was Nina crying?”, Julia questioned. Alfred stayed mum, eyes fixated at a blank spot on the wall, emotionless. “Alfy!”, yelled Julia, “this has gone far too much!! It’s high time you were institutionalized,” she shrieked. It, however fell on deaf ears, Alfred sat there, no change in demeanour whatsoever.  Red with rage, Julia stomped towards the chair, Nina stood up suddenly stopping her. Engulfed by disgust for her, she brushed her aside advancing towards Alfred. “How could she still stand up for him after all the abuse he had meted out to her?”, she wondered. Sobbing uncontrollably, Nina reached out to her, “There’s nothing you can do anymore”, she said, “we’re a little too late.” Julia turned towards her, concern replacing rage as she slowly moved towards Alfred. Quiet ensued, followed by another shriek and then even more silence.

Yanking the phone, she punched in those dreaded numbers. “We need an ambulance at 91, 1st street, Greenidge urgently”, she said, calming herself, then hanging up. The three minutes that followed seemed like an eternity. On arrival, the paramedics spelled out the obvious; something she had repeatedly denied to herself. He was no more. Dead on arrival, they would term it. In no condition to drive, she got into the ambulance, Nina besides her. Her brother had always been an eccentric, one she had despised for his brilliance, more so for the way, he had wasted away his gifts under the influence of drugs.

An overdose was an eventuality she had long prepared herself for, but that still didn’t make it an easier to accept. Dean met them at the hospital, a friend, not just to Nina and Julia, but one of Alfred’s own. Composed as ever, he took upon himself, the responsibility of all the paper work and anything else that needed to be done. Not a sign of pain or anguish on his face, he looked rather calm for somebody who had just been informed of the death of a friend. “How could he be so stoic under such adverse conditions?”, she wondered. Julia had always admired Dean, his demeanour today only established it  more so. Broken, she could hardly speak, staring at Dean, like a child at a toy she missed, she felt ashamed. A dead brother, and she couldn’t help thinking about his friend who was helping them out.

“They were planning on conducting an autopsy, it isn’t debatable”, Dean announced, a little discomforted. That was the first display of any emotion on his part all afternoon. A little taken aback Julia asked Dean if everything was alright, he shrugged reassuring her. “Just not very comfortable with the whole idea of somebody cutting him open to see why he died, when we all know that it was an overdose”, he said, as he walked away towards the coffee dispenser. Raised as orphans, Dean was the closest semblance to family they ever had. Alfred and Dean went a long way back, to the days when they were in school together. She couldn’t help remembering the first time she had met him, it was also amidst a 911 call, her being the casualty that time around. She’d fallen of the swing at school, and Alfred had been called from his class, Dean accompanying him. Alfy had burst into tears seeing is little sister lying in a pool of blood, Dean running besides him, consoling him. He had always been the calming influence to her brother.

“We have the autopsy results madam”, said an officer in uniform “It may be better if all concerned would be in this same room” he continued. She looked around, no trace of Nina or Dean. Composing herself, she asked the officer what it was, “Your brother has been murdered ma’am, he did not overdose himself there will be an investigation, following which you may be able to take back the body”, he said. Questions flooding her brain, Julia broke down crying, feeling alone for the first time in her life. Nina and Dean: her two pillars of strength had suspiciously gone missing and she was now a suspect in the murder of her own brother.

 “Was everything she ever knew a big lie?”, she couldn’t help but wonder. Faced with the prospect of jail-time for a murder she didn’t commit, it was now her prerogative to bring out the truth about her brother’s untimely demise. All she could remember was the concern on Dean’s face when faced with the prospect of an autopsy. “Was he the killer?? Or was it Nina? Where were the two of them?”, the questioned wouldn’t stop…”Dean, who was a brother to Alfy, and the man of her dreams wouldn’t do that would he? But if not him, then could Nina: a devoted wife to his brother, a sister to her, she had been her confidant for as long as she’d known her do it?” Fazed by two equally scary possibilities, Julia had decisions to make and quickly. She couldn’t bring herself to let the cops know what she felt, but if it was them, she wanted to be the first one to know of it as well. Never had she gone against law, this time however it involved family.

Life as she had known it, would never be the same, but how would she progress was a call she had to make.

Adult-hood.

As sunlight wrestled against the curtains, coming in ever so little only to fall upon her face, Katherin looked up a smile on her face and gleam in her eyes. She hadn’t slept that well in the past two years. Price had that effect on her. In his arms, she’d come to feel secure, a calm that completely enveloped her internal turmoils restoring tranquility in her tumultuous life.
The judgement had been passed last afternoon. The verdict in her favor, pronouncing her not guilty on any account of the homicide of her ex- boyfriend whom the cops had found hacked to death in her apartment. The relief she felt as the verdict was pronounced was something out of the world. The weight that she seemed to be carrying that of confusion and uncertainty had suddenly been lifted off her shoulders.
The early morning sun-rays today reflected her life, nature’s way off imparting poetic justice one would think. The dark circles under her eyes that had until yesterday made her appear old and frail today attenuated the radiance like scars on a war veteran, reflecting maturity and wisdom and the ability to fight it through a rough patch. Proof of her will and determination and more than anything , to the world, of her innocence. The tears she’d cried, the prayers prayed had all payed off.
Today she was not just a free lady, but one who had been victimized by the judgementality of society. Looking outside she some children, little girls probably on their way to school, smiling and waving their arms bidding their goodbyes. She recollected the last time she had smiled like that, full and carefree, it was exactly two years ago, as she bid goodbye to Philip as she left for uni.
Reflecting back on the day, she couldn’t help but frown at the reality, “Could adults ever smile carefree in true innocence? Or had they lost that capability to children alone?” Marred by deceit, conspiracy and forever worried by the uncertainty we’d enslaved ourselves to fear.

THE CHASE

As a toddler, you were taught how to crawl and then walk by someone, most probably close family unless they were super busy with their lives that they had no time for you, your birth shocked them into death or you were thought to be extremely capable and hence abandoned at birth and left to fend for yourself. If it were for your parents, you’d have more often than not been told to follow something. You were probably a part of their fishing experiments as well: they showed you bait (candies, toys etc.) that were further away, asking you to get them for yourself. In your earnestness to get what you loved you progressed better, and voila, your suddenly walking.

That’s probably the first time you were forced to chase something to conquer it. For those of you in the orphanages, you had hardcore competition, I understand and you were probably well acquainted with Darwin’s theory of “Survival of the Fittest” even before you knew alphabets. In and out of foster homes, you’d have learnt one thing if nothing else, you got to have your own back and you got to chase things and chase them best. Stake outs, as cool as they sound are time-consuming and more often than not failures coz hey, the guy who beat you was actually chasing and not just sitting inside some molehill waiting for you to come around.

Patience they say is a virtue one must generously and regularly practise. Knowing when to shift gears, is something that’s even more important. The boxer maybe patient, he may take in blows waiting for the opponent to tire out so that he can knock him out with one blow, but he’s also taken in so much that he’s pretty “beat up” by the end of the fight which he did eventually win. Today, I came across this little girl chasing a butterfly; arms outstretched, something that reminds us a lot of our childhoods as well. Children- the symbol of innocence they say, yet the intensity in her eyes startled me. Focussed on the prey, with the eyes of an eagle, there she was running around. Give her wings and the butterfly was dinner. Luckily for it, the butterfly lived to fly another day.

In pursuit of the butterfly, the girl was only applying what she’d been taught all through childhood: to chase. The same girl will tomorrow chase her dream, something more significant than a fluttering butterfly. The dreams will get fancier, achieving them more difficult, some she shall conquer, some she shall concede defeat to. An old man once on being asked what kept him going cockily remarked “it’s uncertainty my lad. Today you chase something, tomorrow your being chased.” I couldn’t help laughing as I heard the words coming out of his mouth. However reflecting on them, he’s hit the nail right on the head!

Fear is what inspires most of us to look ahead and run along. The chase in itself is something that stems from the fear of losing something. Something which was initially tangible later becomes more of an emotional prize. People chase dreams to social gratification, companies chase new technology to  ensure supremacy over competitors, romantics chase love to make themselves feel good about themselves, scientists chase knowledge ( you got to make the world a better place you see) and Buddhists chase happiness 😀 (Pardon me for I don’t care about religions).

At the end of the day, everybody is chasing something, primarily to survive and due to some inherent fear. This is exactly what the Neanderthals did as well, or rather we assume they did. Well if that’s true, how much have we progressed on an intellectual and emotional level, if it is the chase that still drives us? The hardwiring of this system is still so primitive, with appearances changing over the years, once can’t help wonder – “What has changed so much? How are we any better than those apes that walked the face of the earth early on?”

“The chase is still very much on, what’re you chasing today?”

Shotgun

The sun was finally out and this time not just for show, it actually felt warm enough to toss away the jackets. Post the brazen cold of the winter which for some odd reason waned away rather slowly this time around the sun was a welcome respite.

Jane was in the garage, she’d been there all morning greasing the chain and checking the brakes and pedals; biking was one thing she’d always loved, for company she had Lana with her. The wet nosed bundle of energy was the only other thing that got her to beam from ear to ear the way she did.  “Breakfast is ready Janie, grab a bite when it’s warm”, called out Martha; her mother. Rodriguez, her husband was just back from his morning run. His breathing seemed heavy to Martha, but then again he was just back from a run, more so he looked worried, and strained out. “What’s wrong, something’s troubling you”, she said.

He looked at her, opened his mouth to speak and fell to the ground. Shocked by what she witnessed, Martha let out a cry as she rushed towards her husband. However no sound escaped her throat. Hearing the commotion above Lana rushed up, barking frantically, closely followed by Jane. Seeing what had happened she rushed towards the phone, called for an EMT and started out performing CPR the way she’d been taught at camp, however to no respite. 

What had dawned to be a beautiful day was suddenly filled with gloom. The EMT members arrived ten minutes later, only to spell out the obvious; her father was no more. They put him into the ambulance, with the family following close behind. He was declared dead on arrival at the hospital, the official declaration was now out. All hope dispelled.

Meanwhile the county hospital had received another EMT assistance. Lucas had experienced a fate similar to that of Rodriguez. They had been the best of pals since either of them could remember, going for runs in the day, drinking at night, hunting, vacationing or just grabbing a bite with some conversation. They were never short of topics to talk about. As the Rodriguez family watched, Lucas was brought in, on a stretcher, Linda and Gabe following closely tears streaming down their faces.

Another death, for people who’d known them it only seemed fitting that they departed together having spent pretty much their entire life’s together. Only that very morning had they gone out running together. The pancakes in the Rodriguez house had cooled down, flies now feasting on them.

A post mortem was in order as part of the procedure despite them appearing to be routine cardiac arrests. The dual death did leave room for speculation, not many had given it a second thought. Dr. Thomson was in for a surprise, the autopsy reports said a different story all together. Both the victims had been killed. Poisoned, with care, using a poison having a very specific residual time.

The coroner’s report had reached the sheriff, and it had been clear that this was a double homicide. A rather carefully planned and executed one. The County of Willowhall was not one known for atrocities,  peaceful county, one where pretty much everybody knew each other, a rather closely knit community,  it was. The public unrest and tension that such a news would cause, if it went out is what worried Sheriff Woodbridge the most.

Two of the county’s most respected people had been killed in a rather efficient manner. What could be the motive behind the murders? Would there be more to follow? Who killed them? The endless stream of questions had the sheriff sweating. This didn’t look like something that was in his control anymore, giving up however was not an option. Those were friends of his who were dead;  good citizens who had done enough and more for the development of their county and people.

“How were they poisoned?” The coroner’s examination hadn’t presented him with any leads with respect to that either, he needed to have some answers before he could disclose the news to the grieving families. A thorough examination of the bodies revealed puncture holes behind the earlobes of either victims apart from which there seemed to be no other sign of foul-play.  

 

Lost..

As the sun set on the coast,

the wind brushed past her cheeks,

cool, moist but calming,

she dropped a flower into the sea,

the sky burnt orange.

As the flower was carried further away,

along with the tides; into the sea,

she couldn’t help the teardrop which had now settled on her cheek.

She did not know her, but she didn’t deserve to die this way,

afar and above, the red sky gave away into the dark of the night,

it rained; the heavens wept.

Some distance away,

he sat looking into the vast emptiness his life had become,

a flower in hand,

“would it ever be the same?”, he wondered,

and then she saw him and him her.

Colour or Black n White?

Image

Dominic looked around, everything was either black or white. Looking into the mirror, he saw himself ashen faced, the kids sat in a corner, quiet and motionless, Natalie refused to show signs of life. She was all he had ever wanted, his childhood sweetheart whom he had gone on to marry and raise a family with, today, she looked dead. “What had happened to her?”, he wondered, “what about the kids?”. They were never quiet, the little bundles of energy, they were the centre of his universe.

Now he was all but a tree which had lost all it’s leaves, no flowers remained, no birds to sing and sit on it. He was dead while being alive. “When did the colour go out of our life?” He looked around only to feel even more convinced about the death of his near and dear ones. He was today a man who had lost everything he had. One who had nothing more to lose, he seemed lost; he frantically rushed out of his house. He could not see the light of the day, nor the stars and the moon.

He felt around for things, had he lost his vision?? Lost in complete self doubt, one that by now had consumed him in his entirety. Then in the distance, he saw a hue, a silhouette, what of he recognised not, but a sense of relief now engulfed him. He could now be sure that he wasn’t completely blind, as long as he wasn’t hallucinating. He had to be sure, he moved on forward, as fast as his feet would carry him: he seemed to be dragging dead weight. “Why weren’t his feet moving quicker?”. Only a day before, he was the nimble footed athlete, now he felt like a sloth.

The anxiety grew as he approached the silhouette, it now seemed to be in motion. He tried to move faster, only to feel even more burdened by his own weight. He felt his legs give away, thump! He was down, on the ground. He looked up, away into the distance, there was nothing there anymore. Suddenly, he felt light once again, like he was now being carried, his body rose, drifting about, squinting his eyes in an attempt to make sense of what was happening around him, he felt betrayed by the world around, he was now passing at speeds quicker than he had ever imagined.

“What do you value the most?”, asked a voice out of nowhere. “Think hard before you answer, for you have only one shot.”, the voice said. He thought hard, his entire life passing through right in front of his eyes. He saw James, his younger brother playing in the park with him, Champ, their Labrador, who had died when he was 15 was with them too; he was just a pup then.

Then he saw Natalie, how everything else suddenly seemed irrelevant, how the sunset was no longer just another routine, it had become “their thing”, it was no longer just the setting sun, it was a hue of different colours the yellow, the orange, red, the cool blue, the light breeze, more than anything else, her smiling face resting on his shoulder, talking about random stuff and then diving into absolute silence, delving in themselves, more like absorbing each other’s souls. Then he saw their own kids, Stephan and Lily, the twins, who had brought so much joy in their lives. All the smiles, the late nights, taking turns to stay up cleaning diapers, and feeding and playing with the kids, the grumpy morning’s after. The smiles, that stayed long, despite all the troubles they had.

Now he saw the the kids growing up, their first day in school, them running away towards their teachers and fellow toddlers: their new friends. The grey was just starting, he saw the first major fight after the wedding, how Natalie had cried all night long, he had finished the entire bottle of Chivas Regal, she had spent two nights at her friend Cindy’s. Things never got back to how they were after that day. The distance had only kept growing, they both loved the kids selflessly, the prospect of an eminent split however frightened them both. He had reached today..

“I want to go back to how we were great and loved each other. How Natalie and I waited for the moments we had with each other,” he said. “You’ll be late,” he heard Natalie’s voice, sunlight rushed in as she drew the curtains, coffee at bedside. he looked up to her and couldn’t help smiling. “Thank you, for bringing colour into my black and white life,” he said as he went in for a shower.

P.S: The photograph, is a painting by Bijna Balan, a friend of mine.

I see but do you??

She did wake up from her sleep all dazed! Where was she, she wondered, was not like she’d gone home with some guy last night, but nevertheless she didn’t seem to recognise where she’s woken up or what day it was. She looked into her watch rubbing her eyes and she saw it; a crack, a big one at that. As she looked around, she was greeted by surprise; shock more like to surroundings she did not recognise at all. “Where was she?”, she wondered aloud, “was it time to panic yet??”

It wasn’t the first time she’d dreamt of it, and for some reason she was sure it wouldn’t be the last. Laura paced around the room, she’d lost sleep for good. As she frantically searched for her pills, the truth that she’d emptied them out a few days before dawned upon her, also with it was the fact that she’s probably have to embrace dawn in the state of trance especially as she couldn’t get any sleep any longer.

It wasn’t the first time that Laura had dreamt of it, only to lose all sleep, the sedatives had helped so long but what would she do this night? She looked out of the window, nature seemed to be at loggerheads with the world, a storm was raging outside like a punishment suitable only for the worst of the sinners, was she part of them; she wondered. Was it her sin also that everyone else was paying for? The window shut with a bang, was it a sign from above?? She picked up the phone to call Marko, he had to know the answer to her question: after all he had helped her with everything else over this past year.

“Hey, what’s up?”, Marko said, half in his drunken stupor. “How can this poor humble soul serve you my highness?”, he asked. Something about Marko always calmed her, tonight however, Laura felt a chill down her spine. Marko was calm as usual, but the way he answered made all the difference apparently! Laura sat bolt upright on her bed, holding onto her knees for fear of the feet running away elsewhere. She lit a cigarette, she despised smokers and also the fact that over the past few months she did keep a pack at home. She’d started smoking off late, though it was restricted to only those nights that she felt this angst rise within her.

She coughed, a puff of smoke fleeing her nostrils. As she paced around the room she thought of the one thing that had always helped her. It was funny but it was effective, sadly though, she had no supply left with her. She thanked her stars for having chosen the telephone plan she had, she could call all her friends free of cost for an unlimited amount of time.”Hey sweety, what is it?”, answered a voice all too familiar from the other side, Her go to person Jess had obliged, once again. She did sound a bit woozy, but Laura couldn’t care any less at the moment. She’d discussed her dreams with Jess at length. Jess a student of psychology had always been intrigued by Laura, rather her dreams. She had made it her mission to find out the connection, rather the events behind her dreams, which she firmly believed to exist.

Jess had begun work on Laura’s dreams about a week after they met, it had been close to a year now, and she was still working. Every time she dreamt of something, Laura would call Jess and narrate the entire incident. What flummoxed Jess time over and again was how Laura’s dreams were all based in a war in Syria. She’d always dreamt of an escape from a war torn region, running her socks out just to ensure she lived another day while her entire family was destroyed by the war. Why a girl who’d lived all her life in Mexico and who knew nothing about Syria saw such a dream was what she’d been searching the answer for. Was there something in her past which she had been hiding from everyone? Was there something about herself which Laura knew not about??? The quest was on, with Jess hot in pursuit.