Friday, December 16, 2011
So, uh, thanks PV, for this:
(I'm sorry, I'm just horrible at formatting all this stuff on the web, so guys, please ignore the alignment, composing of the image etc. Maybe you can help me out here, PV?)
I'm really bad at receiving these accolades. I just don't know what to say! But I'll say this.
PV's a helluva writer herself. If you guys don't believe me, just go here. There's something 'spidery' about her writing. I know, that word sounds morbid, but what I really mean is, her stories just pull you into a web of feelings and thoughts.
So, thanks once again to the PS girl! You continue socking those rocks, huh? ;-)
Rishi lit his third cigarette and stood in the cemetery. He looked at his watch. 1.30 am. Fifteen more minutes. He chuckled. “One thousand rupees, here I come”. That was the bet.
Rishi almost swallowed the cigarette. Heart pounding he turned.
“Could you please put that out? That’s what killed me you know.”
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Hostel basement. The TT room noise was getting to Saurabh, who was trying to study in the adjacent hall. It was nearly 1 am and these guys were still playing? Enough with it, he decided and marched to the TT room.
"Hey fuckers, why don't you...?" He stopped.
There was no one in the room.
Monday, December 12, 2011
"Yes, sir?" The house inmate peeped through the partly open door.
"I need to come in. This man here says you're trying to kill someone, says he watched it all from the opposite building. Said you'd tied someone to a chair and...what's up anyway?"
"What? what nonsense..." Then loud laughter. "Oh, that. We're practicing for our office annual day play, sir. It's a murder mystery."
Cop hadn't expected this. He frowned and turned to the other man. The neighbor cringed and then said, "Oh...but..."
"You just did what you had to, sir. Not to worry, it's ok," the house inmate said, smiling. "Happens all the time."
"Sorry,I...well, from the window it looked so real..." muttered the neighbor, barely audible now.
The man inside laughed some more and stepped back. "But please sir, why don't you come in and check for yourself?"
"No, don't bother. Carry on," the cop said. He glared at the neighbor and walked away, scratching his crotch, muttering something about jobless fellows.
The neighbor turned to leave too.
"Sir, why don't you come in for some tea at least?" The man from inside said, stifling a laugh, or so it seemed to the neighbor.
"Uh, no..it's ok. I'll be off," he said sheepishly. "Sorry once again, for the confusion."
The other man winked and waved his hand. "Tata."
"Can you beat it? They thought I was trying to kill you, even called in the cops."
He pulled the curtains and turned to the other guy again. "Ok, I think we should continue like this now. Too many peeping toms around I see."
He adjusted the silencer over the muzzle and pointed it at the tied man. "This'll win you a filmfare award. And this..." he said looking at the muzzle, "..will make it look authentic, what say?"
He pulled the trigger. A second later he was looking at the brownish red mess on the wall behind. Oh well, he had lots of time to clean up. But sometimes he hated this job. So much more cleaning to do when you killed someone inside the house. He preferred doing it outside - point blank, out in the open. Let the cops clean up after. Sigh.
He looked down at the body. "Too bad, you can't do this once more. You know, like in those village dramas, where the audience shouts 'once more, once more' when a guy dies very convincingly?" He laughed at his own poor joke.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Arati swerved left to avoid an autorickshaw who suddenly, for no good reason, tweezed himself in between a biker and her, and now trying to overtake.
"Moron," She scowled at the rick guy as she passed him. He growled back.
It was too late, she was already at the turning and there was no way she could apply the brakes. The huge truck was blaring, but it was somewhat muffled due to the loud music she was playing. She brought both her hands up to her face, screamed her lungs off and passed out.
"This had to happen. Why did that idiot Nikhil agree to keep the car if he couldn't keep it safe for two weeks?"
"I don't know."
"Maybe we can do some fire fighting here. What does her log say?"
"I don't know."
"What do you know?"
"I don't...err..wait, let me check." A brief pause and a soft whistle followed. "It says here 84. 86 at best."
"Now what's that supposed to mean, 86 at best?"
"Can't accommodate beyond 86, is what it means. But we could appeal, right?"'
"For what - like 86 minutes? You were supposed to keep a watch on her. It's what we all do. We don't mess with that."
"Nothing. Yeah, let us keep a watch. And the car?"
"I don't know, we should try to spook her somewhat. Make her ditch the car. It's not good for her."
"You know what it means, right? Those guys will come after her. Sooner or later. It's all there in the book, isn't it?"
Arati could hear someone banging at a door from somewhere far away. The ringing in her ears hadn't died down yet. She slowly opened her eyes, ready to face heaven. Wait a minute. It looked very much like earth.
She turned. There was a mass of metal piled up on her left. People were milling around it. But a huge crowd was onto her, ready to torch the SUV.
"Oh great. Now it'll all be over in 86 seconds. You know, for an angel you're quite something. You were supposed to make that accident not happen in the first place. Now look what you did."
"What'd I do?"
"She's unscathed. BUt the truck's a mess. That never happens, you know. It's not destined that way. And you see Simon there? The truck driver's angel. I can see that frown on his face turning into a red mass of fire."
"What do I do?"
""I don't know, and what do I do"- is that all you know? I think I'll have to handle this myself. Get me the rewind hand-set. I'm going to get penalized for this, I'm sure. Newbie" He grumbled under his breath.
Arati opened her eyes slowly and found herself parked in the same place where she'd started out from.
She looked around. This couldn't be happening. Where was the huge truck crash. The mob? Where was it? Was she dreaming this whole thing? When did she doze off? Last she recollected was cursing the autorickshaw
....and just then the autorickshaw passed by, the biker behind him. But...
She was shivering. She called Nikhil again.
"Where are you?" Nikhil asked gruffly.
She gave him directions and got out of the car. Nisha called.
"Nishu, you won't believe what just happened to me..I'll be there in a while sweety." She hung up and sat down at the culvert, still shaking. She looked up. She was sure she was going to die. It was all so real. How could it have been just a dream, for God's sakes? She looked up and thanked her lucky stars.
The senior angel muttered, "You're welcome."
Then he turned to his junior. "As for you...be alert. For the next 86 earth years, yeah?"
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Arati felt like she wasn't alone in the car. She looked at the rear view mirror and her heart stopped for a minute. Was it her imagination or did she just see someone duck in the last row of the SUV, as her eyes fell on the mirror?
"Any...anybody there?" She mumbled feebly, feeling stupid the moment she said that.
She slowly pulled the vehicle over near a park and killed the engine. She lowered the window and looked around. It was a bright and sunny day, traffic milled all around her, pedestrians walked by, giving her and her ride the usual curious looks, doing as they normally do looking at something different on the roads. She just sat there for a minute soaking in the atmosphere, feeling normal.
She chuckled. "Aru, you're a nut case," she said out loud. What could possibly be wrong in the car?
Her brother's call again startled her. She cursed him under her breath and picked up the phone this time.
"Aru, I'll kill you...where are you?"
"Relax, chotu - am fine, and..what's with you? What's the big deal if I took the car, huh? Your friend's not gonna return today and snatch it back, right?"
Nikhil was the younger sibling. And she could bloody well take his car when she wanted. She shook her head and disconnected even as her kid brother was shouting on the line.
She looked at her cell phone for a moment. What if he actually had a good reason to stop her from driving it? Nikhil was known to have some rich kid friends who she suspected were involved in what would otherwise be perceived as nefarious. Could be anything - incriminating evidence...maybe controlled substance of some kind. Boy, this kid.
She turned and looked around the SUV. It smelled nice, surprisingly. She hadn't noticed it. She'd have thought it reeked of alcohol or cigarettes. None of that. Pleasant fragrance. Manly, she noted especially and smiled. On a hunch she released the boot and got out.
She looked around and slowly walked over to the rear of the car. She clutched the handle and slowly opened the door. Nothing. It was clean. Hmm, that was strange. She could've sworn there was someone. "Shit, Aru, now you've really lost it. That happened only in movies."
The cell phone on the front seat rang out again. She swore and walked over to the front again.
It was an unknown number.
"Get out of the car now, and walk away."
"Excuse me?"She frowned and turned. Was someone watching her?
"listen girl..you don't want to be in that car now. Just walk away."
"Hello, you listen. Just fuck off ok?" She hung up and dialled Nikhil's number.
Funny, now he wasn't answering. She looked around for some more time, then got in. She half expected cops or commandos, or whoever it was they showed in the movies, to surround her from all over and command her to exit, their machine guns pointed to her. She laughed at the absurdity. "Too many films, Aru, too many..." she chided herself.
She sighed and brought the car to life. Sweet. Oh boy, what the heck. She'd always wanted to drive one of these. She stepped on the gas and roared into the main road, leaving behind a cloud of dust.
(Now...what could happen next? Watch this space)
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
"Ok, did you hand over the cheque to Pa?" Mom shouted from the kitchen.
"Shit," Arati muttered under her breath. "I'll do it on the way, ma..."
She could hear her mother grumble something inaudibly from inside, but she was way past the living room to the corridor that connected to the garage.
She pushed through the door and flicked on the light of the garage. Her favorite hatchback of 3 years sat gleaming in the tiny bulblight. She patted the bonnet lovingly and was about to get in, when she stopped. Turning back slowly she discovered something. She looked at it, and then at hindsight went back into the house.
Her mother, oblivious to the world...turned and jumped when she saw her daughter standing in the kitchen doorway.
"Aru..please tell me when you come and stand like that," her mother said, a hand on her chest, breathing heavily. "You scared me. I thought you'd left."
"Ma, whose car is that?" Arati said, ignoring her mother's protest.
"Ma,come on...that one sitting beside mine."
"Oh, that. belongs to Nikhil's friend's. He's handed it over to your brother temporarily."
"The friend has gone to the Us for a few weeks, so he wants Nikhil to take care of it." she mumbled something else and continued her work.
Arati looked thoughtful.
"Why has Nikhil not taken it to work, then?"
"Arre I don't know. Ask him."
Arati turned back and headed to garage, dialing her brother's number.
"Nikhil, can I use your friend's car for today?"
"Aru, no, no no...don't touch that car - I can't give it to you..." he hadn't even completed the sentence. "thanks," Arati said and giggled.
She pulled the keys from the key-chain hanging by the garage door. All car keys hung from there.
She blew a kiss at her car with a short 'sorry baby" and got into the friend's car. It was a huge monstrosity she'd always wanted to drive ever since she'd learned driving a couple of years ago.
She revved the engine and let out a long whistle. Her mobile rang. It was her brother. She disconnected it and backed the car out.
A little past the first traffic circle, Arati turned right. That was when she noticed something was wrong.
(I know, I know....but to be continued)