Wednesday, June 29, 2011

55 W fiction

Chain snatching
I was taking evening walk alone in the lonely road. Two men in their motorbikes suddenly ambushed me and sped away after snatching daringly my chain. I neither resisted fearing harm nor screamed to attract attention. Instead I smiled to myself.
I use the glittering brass chains for my walks

They were young pretty girls clad in jeans and T-shirts.
When I stared, one of them said “Just 200Rs Sir. You will be happy for the visit”
I was hesitant wondering at the open soliciting.
“Come I will myself attend on you” she offered
My wife nudged and said “Try, it is a new salon”

Beating death
It was a complicated and long heart surgery for four hours.
The cardiac surgeon emerged triumphantly announcing ’Operation success. I can beat death”
He told his assistant ‘Keep things ready for the next surgery. Will be back after a short rest”
After an hour, assistant was waking up an inert doctor. Death was laughing

Man delivers baby
In the exhibition the marquee screamed “ONLY 25 Rs.SEE A MAN DELIVERING A BABY
With disbelief people rushed in to see the strange show
When the hall was full, the showman ordered silence. Lights focused on stage.
A man walked from behind the screen and placed a basket with a new born babe in it

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The smile

Miss George was not a bad teacher. In fact she was a conscientious and a good one. She took great pains to prepare her lessons well in advance. She burnt mid night oil to correct the homework the same day and give remarks in each and every note book. That the comments were trenchant was no fault of hers for she wrote what she genuinely felt without any effort to be nice. To an outsider her remarks may appear rude and discouraging in nature though they indicated where the students had gone wrong and what the right answer was. But the children en masse disliked her but she was not perturbed. Her class was always serious with no light hearted aside and she came down heavily on any kid trying to be flippant. She never touched any child but her tongue was rapier like. She was not good looking though many held she was ugly and that was why she remained a spinster. She was lean and scrawny and the thick glasses she wore made her hunched figure not a pretty sight. Sadly she paid no attention to her dress also.
Her colleagues in the staff room gave her a wide berth though she did nothing to merit such a mean treatment. As a result she was seen sitting alone in a corner poring over a book or a paper while the room was filled with riotous laughter and banter from others. She never smiled either in the class or in the staff room. Her eye brows were knit in what looked a constant frown. In short she had no friends.
That particular day her mood was nastier. That was the last period for the day. She asked questions on the lessons she taught the previous day as she always did. When the boys and girls failed to give satisfactory answers, her anger erupted and was followed by a stern order asking them all to stand up with hands folded for the rest of the class while she revised the lessons she taught earlier. The children were not amused and one could see the hate in their eyes. When the bell rang there were loud shouts of relief and joy with the children making a beeline for the door.
Praveen saw the hunch backed teacher walking slowly with a bag heavy with note books of the children. She was seen stopping every ten steps and shifting the weighty bag from one shoulder to the other. He felt pity for the teacher though he was also the one amongst those who stood the last hour in the class. He hurried his pace and walked up to her and said”Ma’am, can I please carry your bag up to your home?”
“I can carry my own bag. I don’t need your assistance” she replied curtly.
“I know ma’am. I still wish to carry it for you as you seem to find it heavy” he answered her.
“Don’t pester me. Don’t you understand that I do not need your help? Go home” she said with certain irritation and finality as she started walking
Praveen kept following her at a safe distance though he should have turned left to reach his home. It was then to his shock, he saw his teacher trip over a stone and fall flat with the note books and papers spilling. He ran towards her and lent his hand to make her sit. He collected the scattered notebooks and papers and put them in the bag and hung it on his shoulder. She stood up and slowly trudged her way home with the boy by her side. Not one word was spoken. Probably she was shattered and in pain.
When she reached her small home, she asked the hesitant boy to come in. It was a one bed roomed tenement but neatly kept.
“Please wait. Let me change my clothes after a wash” she said as she switched on the fan.
The boy found pictures of Jesus on cross, Virgin Mary and a few other saints on the wall. There was a bible on the table with candles on the stand. He could see a rosary along side. He thought to himself she must be a devout lady though he could not understand why she was always serious.
She brought a plate with some cookies and a glass of fruit juice.
“Have it. Thank you very much. You were persistent in helping me. I would have struggled but for your help” she said with a smile. That was the first time he saw her smile and she looked better with that smile.
“Thank you ma’am for permitting me to carry the bag. You can give me any errand in the class. I would willingly do.Sorry, we could not answer your question in the class. Yesterday’s lesson was tough for all of us” he replied
“Some one could have told me. I would not have made you all stand for an hour. I was in a bad mood today as I got news of my grand ma’s death in the village. But I should not have shown my personal grief in the class like this” she said
The boy was touched by her frankness. He decided to tell all his classmates how nice Miss George really is.
The next day as Miss George entered the class all students stood up and said in a chorus with smile on their faces “good morning, miss”
It was the first time she received such an hearty ovation and welcome. She smiled at them for the first time and saw the happy face of Praveen from one of the benches.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The meeting at the restaurant

It was a well known restaurant in the city. It was crowded and buzzing with patrons. A group of half a dozen boisterous girls entered the restaurant and were assigned a corner table at the far end. The girls were seen giggling for no reason and often broke into a riot of laughter interspersed with loud shrieks and hearty banter. It seemed the presence of others hardly mattered to them. They had all assembled to meet their college mate Amrita who had come from US on a short vacation.
“Look at the handsome bearer by the table to the left. If he were to join films, he can give a scare to the aged heroes still doing the younger roles” said one girl
All eyes turned towards the young man taking orders from the adjacent table. His face was turned away but one could not miss his muscular well proportioned body, the long hair that was curly and a tiger like gait as he walked towards the kitchen. As the girls drooled, Amrita wondered, could it be her boy friend Rajan, her heart throb. The gait and hair style was unmistakable. It cannot be, as Rajan was a class topper destined to succeed in life. No, no this must be his clone. Both were initially corresponding but lost touch with after sometime. He went for management course and she got busy with her studies. It was on the top of her agenda to trace him in this visit and renew their relationship.
She lost her mood for partying. Citing severe headache, she wanted to be excused and told them that they could meet on another day. Luckily he had not seen her and if he were really Rajan what an embarrassment it would have been for her amidst her friends. She sincerely hoped that he was someone else and not Rajan.
The next day she went alone to the same restaurant just to make sure it was not Rajan.He had a large mole on his temple and that should clinch matters. When she went to sit near the same table, she saw him from a distance. She stood and looked at him to draw his attention. As expected he noticed her and rushed to her side
“Isn’t it Amrita? What a pleasant surprise to meet you after such a long time? How are you Amrita?” he asked animatedly
She looked at him with the order book and a pen in his hand and said with some irritation in her tone “Yes, I am Amrita indeed, Rajan. But for your mole I would have surmised it is your clone doing duty as a lowly waiter in a hotel”
“Why speak disparagingly of a waiter, is it that you consider a waiter’s job demeaning? All jobs are honorable, Amrita” he said.
“I don’t know but I am sure I would not be a friend with a waiter. He doesn’t belong to my circle. I am very much disappointed. I came here to make sure that the waiter whom I saw here yesterday is not you. Sadly you are a waiter. All my hopes of having a long term relationship with you are shattered. Why did you have to take this poor job when you were a topper and I think did a management course? I am sorry Rajan, I have to bid you a good bye” she spoke
It was then one bearer came to Rajan’s side and said in a deferential tone “Sir, some visitors have come and are waiting in your office”
Rajan turned to Amrita and said “.Please come with me. I will send them away in a few minutes.”
Amrita was surprised. Why would they address a waiter as Sir and request him to meet the visitors in his office. Does he have an office of his own? Then what is he? With such doubts assailing her mind, she went along with him.
They entered a large air conditioned richly carpeted room with large mahogany table, matching chairs, well upholstered sofa set. He sat in the chair and disposed of the visitors in a few minutes.
Looking at the bemused Amrita he asked “Are you surprised? I own this restaurant. We have a chain of such places in the city. To interact with my patrons and also see how the waiters are dealing with them, I mingle with them once a while. To me work is worship and nothing is below my dignity. Did you not notice that I was not in uniform unlike others?”
“Oh Rajan, I am extremely sorry for my hasty conclusions. Please forgive me. I came to the city only to meet you and carry forward our friendship to the next level. Lucky I could meet you. All is well that ends well. Here is my address. My parents would like to meet you. I can come and take you when convenient to you” Amrita spoke.
“Lucky that I could meet you here in the restaurant for it showed your values in true colour.I am greatly disappointed with you. You are not the kind of person whom I would like to have as my partner in life. Let us be just friends. Thanks for dropping in “he said and stood up extending his hands for a handshake and goodbye.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The surrender

The time was past 1am. Her shift that was to be over at 11pm but dragged on as she could not leave till her reliever came. It happened often like this. But today it was and dark drizzling when she entered the parking lot in the basement. There was no one visible. She was always afraid to go into lonely parking lot alone. If she saw someone, it gave a scare instead of relief. Her mom has been telling her to take up a job in the general shift even if it meant lower salary. But the pay was good here and she was getting much visibility and name.

The road was deserted and she had to pass through a lonely stretch before she can come to the city proper. She could not see many cars and the few she saw sped away fast. She had an old jalopy that did the service of a car. She had already booked for a new car and was expecting a car loan from her bank. Though it started instantly after she inserted the ignition key, it showed signs of a rebel after a short distance. She coaxed it gently and drove along. In another 20 minutes she would be out this bad patch. There was the long subway a little ahead that got flooded even after a slight rain. Once she crossed the subway, she would be safe on the highway where cars kept moving continuously even at this late hour. As ill luck would have it, the vehicle came to an abrupt stop no sooner she entered the subway.. All her attempts to start the car yielded no fruit. She was scared to get out of the car in the dead of night and she did not also know the car mechanism. It was dark too. She closed her eyes with her hands and started praying not knowing how to get out of this mess. No car came along. Her husband was away on tour. To make matters worse, her mobile had nil credit.

It was then she saw silhouettes of two well built men with wooden logs approaching the car from either side of the road. They ambled along evidently drunk. Their wicked intent was crystal clear. There was little point in screaming. Beads of perspiration ran over her body. Fear enveloped her as she thought of their breaking the glasses. It is not the likely loss of money or car that bothered her but the harm they could inflict on her. Her mind became numb as they came very close to the vehicle swinging the logs in their hands.

Not knowing what to do, she resorted to the only thing that she knew. She prayed intently,”Oh, Krishna, Guruvayurappa, I totally leave it in your hands Please save me from this predicament and I will pay my obeisance to You at Your shrine at the earliest” and turned the ignition key. Lo, the car came to instant life as if by a miracle and as she pressed the accelerator the car whizzed past the two crowding men taking them by utter surprise. It did not stop till it reached the highway when a police patrol car screeched to halt by her side. Tears ran down her cheeks in wonderment at the compassion of the great Lord.

“It is such comfort to drop the tangles of life into God's hands and leave them there.”

Thursday, June 2, 2011

55 W fiction

What I do not like about Rinku is her going gaga over every hunk she sees. I am in love with her and want her to play straight. I hate cheating girls. I killed my wife because she deceived. I will warn Rinku tomorrow at our rendezvous when her husband is away.

A touch of compassion
I am don’s sidekick. He sent me to bring forcibly a young woman he had seen for his postprandial fun. I saw through window her nursing a babe in arms. I saw a mom in her and whispered “escape immediately by back door. You are in danger” and tell myself no one is at home.