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Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The sun was setting against an orange crepe paper, spilling its last streamers of light through candyfloss clouds. It would soon be night, a time for the boogeyman, for all things scary to pop out of closets and scare them. Scare us.
The two of them were still out, playing in the mound of sand near their house. Innocence is like a toffee, leaving people bitter when it is gone. They came here everyday, building castles of childhood, mounds out of unanswered wishes, building them all with the sands of infancy. A fistful here, an occasional mouthful there. Their mothers would soon be calling and it would be the end of 'playing God' for the day. Other children of their age were already into other resources of entertainment, but the sands always beckoned them everyday like some unanswered prayer, gnawing at the subconscious. The last birds were almost nested till the coming day.A few more moments and there would be nothing to worry about. They would be safe and secure, comfortable in their own homes.Just a few final minutes. Just...

He always hoped that there would be something buried in the sands, like the pirate stories that his dad sometimes narrated; a lost coin, a broken wheel from someones toy, anything. He had been playing here since the start of his memory notebooks, but he was yet to be lucky. He stuck his hand into the grains and looked at the sky, almost unknowingly praying to the setting sun. Just then, his hand closed around something oval and smooth and a smile creased upon his lips, the first star appearing on the horizon.

His playmate was on the other side, creating a new galaxy, lost in his own personal cosmos. The crepe paper had almost been pulled down now, to be replaced by something a lot darker, like ink. The first star was also starting to receive company, a loner no more. The cosmos creator was wearing a cap, a gift from the uncle who looked like a cartoon duck, the one he saw while having his morning milk and sermons from his mother. He was oblivious to the discovery of his companion, something that would change the immediate future. His cosmos was made, and a smile similar to his companion was beginning to take shape on his lips.

The creator did not see anyone coming from behind; he really wasn't God now, was he? The rock was held tightly between his little fingers, as he sneaked up behind the little creator of universes. He still hadn't been noticed. A cat saw him, its eyes shining like broken glass, and chose to ignore the event. He now stood behind his companion, his hand raised, resembling a bowler stuck in action. With a final "Here it comes", he let the rock come down on the cap, perched on the creator's head.

The smile froze in its tracks. His vision turned hazy for a second and he turned to look at what had hit his head. He had not expected this now. Red, the color of his favourite pajamas, dripped out of his cap, staining his yellow tee. He just stared and blinked, blinked and stared. His companion stood there, rock still held between fingers, watching as his companion got covered in crimson. He gave his tee one final look and took off his cap.His head felt sticky and gooey. He slowly got up, trying to get rid of the stray grains of sand from his pants. He looked up and said,

"Mom's not gonna be happy about the tee and the ketchup!"

His conspirator gave him an "it-was-your-idea" look. They slowly got out of the mess and trotted towards their homes. Ink spill totally covered the sky, stars peeking through the tatters.Playtime was over.

For the day.


Friday, September 26, 2008


The Streetlight stared down at him like a one-eyed pirate, spilling shadows around him like stolen coins. The night was just about begun.

The city was a farce. Milling people, loud thoughts, unspoken actions. A Bad Attitude, ready to snap at you if you provoked it even slightly. The city was a hunter's trap, rusted out of corruption. The animals roamed free tonight.

He walked in slow measured steps, thoughts circling endlessly, bats caught in a disturbed cave. He walked down to the grub-joint, his morsel haven. He would not eat much tonight.

The people did not pay much attention. A dog barked somewhere. The night refused to go down quietly. Another fight tonight.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting the fight of the decade! On one side, we have the reigning champion, the nearly insurmountable Wit! On the other, the challengerrr, light yet totally menacing, almost death-like, we have the less popular Wisdom!! Brace yourself , ladies and gentlemen, as we get ready for another gut-wrenching battle tonight!"

His head felt light, thoughts scrambled like eggs. He could not, but he would have to. Shadows raced him, as he lumbered towards his shack. Something; anything out of the jumble. Clarity still came costly, and his senses were just about broke. Buying it out would be tough, but not impossible.

The lock yelped as he turned the key into it. "Mongrel lock", he thought and a fleeting grin almost formed on his lips.The door opened, a gateway to more turmoil, more thought. The guitar lay on one end, quite forgotten, procrastinating. No melodies tonight. The cooler came on with a grumble. He settled down on the bed, a novel lying neglected on one side. Desperation, the title said. How apt. He turned its pages, still trying to stack his thoughts, rumpled clothes upon a shelf. Sleep took over, stealing into his senses like old age.

Next morning was a blur; phone call, flash bath, tying shoelaces, flying down the road. Almost ran out of breath, like a kettle, wheezing a little. He crossed the road, now reaching the railway tracks. A train trundled past, listless faces looking at him like they would look at a caged animal. He crossed through, still trying to come up with something that would be coherent, something conclusive. A total muddle, fleeting ants on a forgotten crumb. At the lift now, waiting to go up to his office. Signed in, to realise its the last working day of the week. It would be a week today, so there would have to something . His personal deadlines danced in the back of his head, teasing him. Flashed his card on the slot and headed towards his terminal. He switched his computer on, and waited for it to boot. Words circled in his head, eagles, refusing to perch and just happy circling. Someone told him that Friday held so much promise since it was the last working day. He stared into the screen, a final thought almost screaming out,

"I must blog today."

He hunched over his keyboard and fired away.

(I seem to be facing some strange sort of a block. Its not that I cant write, there are a billion things playing in my mind, all wanting to come out at the same time. I just cant sort them out. I hope to come out with something more intelligent soon. Till then, I can just hope that the stuff above would give you an idea of the rigors that I go through to come up with something passable. The narrative is slightly inspired by Frank Miller's Sin City which I was reading sometime back. And yes, Desperation is a novel by Stephen King, which I am reading right now!)


Friday, September 19, 2008

Into the night...

Time slipped by, like a secret tide. The knight sat deep in thought,as the moon engaged itself in a battle of wits with the clouds outside his castle walls.

The storm Gods had been wreaking havoc since they put the Sun to rest for the day. All was nearly drownded and movement was nearly impossible. The kingdom lay wasted as men waded through dark waters trying to wind their way home. This was not going to be easy.

There were people. And they were braving the weather, waiting for him. Waiting for him to bring the scrolls that would free them of their cursed fate. The scrolls which would open their eyes unto the arts, unto music so sweet, that Apollo himself would look down upon them with wonder. He would have to take it upon himself to face mighty Zeus. The people were waiting. His people. And he would do it for them.

He did not have a steed; O what he would do to have one right now! Knights, as the folklore went, would not be so, without their steed. So much so for the bards. He would need to reach the people. A farmer on his way to his village was startled when a knight asked him for a ride that night. He dropped him off at the foothill of the grey hills, from where his path separated. The journey for the knight had just started.

Zeus seemed to have relented a little. The thunderheads did not look as ominous as they had some moments back, though the heavens cried its hushed tears. He walked on, scrolls secure, water threading down his face like curious streams. He did not have time to lose. The people had been sending him calls, echoing in his mind,reverberating screams on the mountain side. He hurried his steps. Time was growing shorter, almost aging. He had to go faster. Then it happened.

His sandals ripped and he almost fell, face first. Surely this could not be happening! This was unheard of! A knight encountering broken footwear to deter him in his quest? Surely this could not be the truth. The sandal stared back at him, now trailing, almost dragging along. He could not stop. He braved the elements, almost braved Fate itself and walked along into the blackness of the night, his wits alert.

Half a field away, another noble soul offered to take him a bit of the distance. He would do this for coins. The knight sighed. The old times were indeed passing by. The knights were not taken seriously anymore. His heart felt a twitch but then he hardened up. He would live up to the legends. Hell, he was a part of them. He would do it for old times sake.

Further ahead, there was chaos. People, caught in the midst of various errands, huddled and hurried at the same time, in a wild frenzy. A shadowy figure on a dark horse cart, waited patiently for an erring customer, who would need his services. He hadn't expected a knight at this hour. "Seventy coins", he muttered, his whip silently cutting through the cold night wind and finding the horse. The knight, grumbling, got on, finally hoping that this would be the last person he would be talking tonight. Only if he had a steed!!

The night opened its mouth wide to swallow them as they rode on in the darkness. This would be a night that would not find its way into history. This victory of his would remain etched only in his mortal memories. And the people who would be saved. Hopefully. The calls had been louder now, like a seagull, making him realise that time was indeed short. They raced on, hoping to just make it in time.

"I told you I am coming, its all bloody jammed man!", I told a drenched Anil, as I stepped out of the auto. Anil totally ignored me and kept bickering about time lost, concert started, blah de blah. I took out the passes and we walked in into the concert of Shafaqat Amanat Ali, drenched to the bone. My brother and his pal kept quiet, probably realising that I had come through hell to reach the concert. The concert was yet to start so everyone was happy.

They all walked out of the mad night and into the soothing confines of the pantheon. Lights glowed, dispelling the darkness like a tide receding. The knight had made it yet again. This would not go down into history, but the name of the knights had stood the test. A smile almost formed upon his lips. He felt a chill down his spine and noticed that it was cold. A slow shiver racked through his body like a forest fire.

Some one turn the AC down!!!

(This was written when jane reminded me that I had not written for a while. The concert was one of the best ever. The only setback was a broken Reebok slipper, which I dragged along in to the concert, and post it too. The following idea struck me on my way to office today in an auto. What I would give for a bike!)


Thursday, September 11, 2008


Not exactly a manuscript,but it sure looked old and worn out.It smelled of bad memories.

She opened the journal.

Oct 3 1925
I dont like ma.She keeps beating me.Baba keeps beating her.I dont like Ronu.He throws stones at me.I ran away from school today and sat near the pond.Some ducks came and pecked at my toes.Some were on the branches and singing.

I like the birds.

They talk to me.

Oct 9 1925
Today Ronu threw my lunch in school.The dog ate it up.I dont like him.He went and told everyone that Baba meets some other woman.I dont know.Ma was telling him about it the other day and he threw a bottle at her.Baba does not talk to me.I went by the pond again.The birds seem to be happy.It rained today.I am going to get muri for them tomorrow.


The handwriting was clear ,like the hand of someone who was sure with words.She had picked it up at the Sunday market in Daryaganj, planning to tear away the written pages and make her own journal out of it.Now, here she was, reading it like the work of a great scribe.The light from her bedroom lamp created strange shadows .The words seemed faded at places, a strained memory .What would have been a few yellow pages in the bin had suddenly become a secret peek into someone's life.It was like looking into your neighbour's house at night.Not that it mattered.She was liking this.It was like a story she kept at some hidden corner in her mind.

It sounded like a known story.

It sounded like her story.

She turned a few pages this time.A little over a month passed in the journal.


November 12, 1925
Today Monai mama brought jilipi but did not give me.He told ma that she cannot stay at this house forever. He said she is married to baba and should stay with him.Ma started crying.I dont like Monai mama . He reminds me of Santosh Sir.He slapped me when I told him that baba tore my copy.I went to the pond again.

The ducks were there.

They said they will tell me something in a few days.


She flicked away the tears that were on her cheek like careless whispers.She did not care about being sad.She wanted to know who this girl was.She did not like suspense.She hated it.Infact she hated it more than she hated her father.She turned to the last written page.


February 13,1926
I told Ma that I was leaving.She laughed at me when I said the birds at the pond told me I could stay with them.I dont care.I like them.They said they would wait on the terrace for me when the moon came out.They would show me how to fly.I see the moon.I am going to meet them.I can hear them calling me.

Bye Bye Diary.

I am going to fly.


The page quivered like it was made of water.She looked at her dresser mirror.A little girl wearing a white frock looked back at her.She held the same journal.She put pen to paper and wrote something in her journal.A word formed in the journal outside the mirror.


She got up from the bed, and headed towards the stairs."I will be back", she told her mom and headed towards the open stairs.

She never came back.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Of passing time...

Alo! I have been around and I have been about, but yeah I haven't been close to blogging for some time now. It sometimes is amusing, like someone on a bus, to watch the world go by you, talking back, occasionally talking "black", but talking mostly.I did the same, watching all of you coming over, liking what I wrote, disliking it, thinking that I was totally whack and the types.
I liked all of it. Really!!:)

And what have I been up to? I have been a part of a weekend night out where we talked in and out about real ghost stories, and quite a bit of reading. There has been writing too, two stories actually, but they will be coming up later in the blog. There was another thing that I wanted to talk about to all those guys who read the gibberish from time to time. A lot of you probably think that I am some strange demented guy who eats frogs and lurks around alleys with a laptop, turning happy children stories and rhymes into works of horror. Sorry to disappoint, but then, however much I wish, I am not exactly a person fitting the above picture. I am just another guy, going clackety-clackety in my office and trying to fight out the mean world. Why I like horror is another story.
Everyone loves romance. Everyone loves mush. Everyone always hopes that there would be this killer place where there would be tons of dough and lavish cars and life would be like "Cribs". But alas, that's not the case it seems. There is always an anti thesis to everything good that has existed or will ever exist. There will always be the shadow behind your door at night waiting to jump at you. There will always be the wisp of air that brushes your cheek when you least expect it. There will always be the times when your hands turn cold and you don't know why. Mostly you would choose to ignore it, or turn it into a goth poem saying

"when the dark night lay weeping
I felt Satan's breath upon my shoulders..."

Maybe I shouldn't do poetry because I suck at it. But stories which make the hair at the back of your neck stand up, that I would do. As for the purists, I love the nursery rhymes and stories as much as anyone else. My intention remains honest; making tales that make you do a little more than just grin. And also do tales that would make you fall off laughing. I would do tales.

And I would do them just for you.

Sach tagged me to do a tag which seems interesting.She wanted me to do the tag under the pretext of trying to know"Just what kind of books do weirdos read". I will pretend to ignore it and do the tag instead!!:)

She wanted me to quote some favourite lines from some of the books I have read. I am doing a Stephen King special here because he remains my favourite author. Here are a few quotes:

"You cant be careful on a skateboard man!"
"In vain he thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts" - Bill Denborough at various stages in It.
"The magic exists" - Stephen King, Dedication to IT
"You don't f**k around with the infinite."

Pet Semetary (the latest)
"Sometimes, dead is bettah" - Jud Crandall

"The soil of a man's heart is stonier [...] A man grows what he can... and he tends it" - Jud Crandall, Chapter 22 (near end) .

Needful Things(my first Stephen King novel)

"The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool."


"If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die."


"Can I? Yeah. You bet I can. There's a million things in this world I can't do. Couldn't hit a curveball, even back in high school. Can't fix a leaky faucet. Can't roller skate or make a F-chord on the guitar that sounds like anything but shit. I have tried twice to be married and couldn't do it either time. But if you want me to take you away, to scare you or involve you or make you cry or grin, yeah. I can. I can bring it to you and keep bringing it until you holler uncle. I am able. I can." - Paul Sheldon, Misery Part 2, chapter 4.

That's that, a list of quotes that I could find. The tag is open for everyone.This is one last that goes out to all the people who think that my writings are "weird".Its in the words of Mr. King himself:

"People think that I must be a very strange person.This is not correct.I have the heart of a small boy.It is in a glass jar on my desk..."

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