Friday, November 22, 2013


The disciple prostrated reverently before his guru in the ashram. Three years back he had come seeking spiritual knowledge. After severe regimen of learning and penance he felt his tutelage had come to an end.
 “Swamiji, I think my learning is complete and wish to embark on my journey in search of god on my own”
So, you think you know it all and are confident?”
“Yes, Swamiji. Thanks to you I have the knowledge to realize the Ultimate”
“Are you so sure?”
“Why Swamiji? I have faith in my ability?”
“Wasted tutelage. You have not shed the “I” in you.

Written for 100 words on Write tribe

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A lesson learnt

The library contained only old and donated books with none for children. There was no one when I went.
I took a copy of Walter Scott's poems and another one not knowing what to take. There was no register to record.
When the smell of old books assailed my dad’s nose, he asked me where I got them.
"Are you a member?"
"It is free"
"Did the librarian lend these for a 10 year old?"
"I brought them .He was not there"
“You petty thief, return them tomorrow with a fine of 10 rupees and show me the receipt.

Fiction in 100 words written for Writetribe Wednesday. This time the prompt was the smell of old books.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The onslaught

The train slowly departed from the noisy junction. It was past 10pm.The compartment was not crowded. The passengers were getting ready to sleep. Some lights had been switched off already. Three young men who looked ruffians and who had possibly boarded the train at the junction walked through the aisle looking presumably for vacant seats. They were in tight black T shit, red scarf around their necks tattoos in their forearms and metal bracelets on their wrists. In one of the bays, they found a young woman in her early thirties lying on the berth with her body except the face fully covered by a bed sheet. There were two passengers sitting on the berth opposite to her. The ruffians saw her and stopped there.
“Go to another bay. We intend to sit here. Do you understand?” addressed one of them at the two passengers.
“We have been occupying these reserved seats from the originating station. It is ours” murmured feebly one of the passengers. While one ruffian pulled out a pen knife, another held his hand. There was a hard slap from the third ruffian at the passenger who demurred. He was lifted by his collar and pushed out of the bay. The other passenger stood up trembling in fear.”Get out fast if you wish to remain unhurt” bellowed one of the evil men. That passenger too collected his things and scampered fast to another part of the train. The few passengers on the side seats and from upper berths were shocked at the rude and violent behavior of the ruffians but had not the temerity to question them. Some of them pretended to be asleep while many others kept silent.
Emboldened the three bad guys sat on the berth before the woman and started talking among themselves while one of them lit a cigarette. They were all the time eyeing at the woman making small talk among them and passing lewd comments obliquely at the figure opposite to them. She seemed to ignore them completely and appeared sleeping as her eyes were closed. One of them lifted a bag and making it look accidentally rubbed her with the bag. Startled she opened her eyes and looked angrily at them.
“Sorry, madam, the bag came into contact by accident. I think I have woken you up from your sleep.”
She did not reply. Irked by her silence, he said “You seem to be upset. It was not deliberate. Anyway how far are you going?”
She stared at him still in anger but chose not to answer. The guy was determined to provoke her and said “You look more beautiful when you are angry. Sit down, we can while away time chatting. I am feeling bored” The other two companions laughed loudly.
When she adjusted her bed sheet to cover herself fully, the hooligan stood up and shook her shoulders to ask “Are you deaf-mute? I have been talking to you and you are indifferent”
“I warn you and that too only once. Do not mess with me. You will get hurt” she spoke softly but firmly.
There were muted giggles accompanied with apprehension of what is likely to follow from the other passengers. This infuriated the guy much. He said to her “Look here, you common slut, it is you who are going to get hurt when the train stops at the next station. Mind what and how you talk to us” and tried to lift her into sitting position by clasping her shoulders.
It was then her leg hit hard his head like a sledge hammer and the man fell down on the floor and lay unconscious. One of the other two hooligans rushed towards her only to be dealt with a similar blow with her leg around his shoulder and neck region. This man too crumpled down on the floor. Dazed at the sudden onslaught from what he considered a frail woman, the third hoodlum was cautious in approaching her. She was still lying on the berth and beckoned him to come closer if he had the guts. He looked around at the amused faces of other passengers and his ego would not permit him to retreat leaving his companions on the floor.
In a fit of bravado he approached her pulling out a pen knife and screaming with his hand raised “You bitch, you will pay dearly for this defiance” In a quick movement of legs she hit his hand that held the knife with one leg and the other leg whacked his back. The onlookers heard a slight cracking noise as the man folded up in acute pain and fell down with no attempt to get up.
The other passengers rose from their seats and tied the hands and legs of the three wicked men tightly with clothes and ropes that they could lay their hands on. A few dared to box their faces and slap them too when they were immobile. Someone went in search of a policeman and attendant
One old person asked her”Are you trained in any martial art? How bravely you immobilized them with your deft and quick attack when all of us men were frozen in fear? Do you belong to police?”
“No uncle. I am an ordinary woman and handicapped too. Look here” she said and lifted her sari to reveal two Jaipur legs made of wood attached to the stumps of her legs with metal and leather.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


The only problem with Bhaskar is his inferiority complex. A highly qualified and well employed guy, he had everything a young man would wish for. He had an exceedingly charming wife, a nice apartment in relatively posh area and a couple of good cars. Tall and with good physique, he would have passed off as a handsome guy but for his big beak like curved nose that stood out prominent in the otherwise good features like a well aligned teeth, twinkling eyes, broad forehead and curly hair .The nose acted as a blot attracting unwelcome attention. Since his young age, he had the habit of covering his nose on some pretext with his palm or averting others gaze by turning his face sideward.
Bhanu his wife who worked in a foreign bank was bubbly and extrovert by nature. She had many friends and fond of social gatherings and parties. She would insist that Bhaskar accompany her but he mostly found some excuse to stay away. On a few occasions he had gone, she would be swarmed by both men and womenfolk attracted by her intelligent conversation, genial nature and witty banter. She would invariably introduce Bhaskar to one and all. There would be an uncomfortable silence for a short while before the noisy conversations resumed. Bhaskar hardly missed the amused look on their faces and Bhanu’s feeble attempt to suppress her embarrassment. Some of them would continue talking to him in an affable manner but most would slowly move away.
One night when they were watching TV lying in the bed, Bhanu said”Bhaskar, if you promise not to mistake me, I wish to tell you about the conversation I had with Kausalya this afternoon.”
“Why this prelude? Spill it out” he replied
“I don’t care what others think but I love you from the bottom of my heart. You are a blessing and gift to me” she said.
“You were talking about Kausalya. What is this then?”
“Okay, she was telling me about her cousin’s husband who had got his nose rearranged like the Tamil actress. It seems the deformity has gone and he looks totally different and looking very much better”
“Oh, you consider this as deformity. I never knew that you harboured such a feeling. For your information I had already checked with some top cosmetologists and ENT specialists. I was advised to leave it as it is as the outcome of surgery may not always be satisfactory especially in my case. I thought you never minded it as you had seen me before agreeing to marry me. This seems to bother you now, is it?”
“Oh my god!! That is why I asked you beforehand to promise me. I should not have spoken on the subject. Your nose does not bother me. I like you for what you are but thought if there is a way to make it straight why miss it. I will not talk on this subject anymore again.”
“You have said what all you wanted to teil.I know I am an embarrassment to you in your circle.. That is precisely why I avoided coming with you. If you so wish, you can find a better looking man for you. I will not stand in your way” he spoke in anger and stomped out of the room. He did not return but slept on the couch in the living room with the TV on. She came down after sometime, pleaded with him for forgiving her and finally took him with her.
Ever since his complex made him see unintended messages in her every action, he became quieter and kept farther than usual. She attended less parties and was closeted before TV. The usual gaiety was missing in the house. It was a stultifying and humdrum life.
One Sunday after lunch, she sauntered across the hall to the French window and was seen watching outside intently with her eyes wide open.Bhaskar curious went behind her and saw a green parrot sitting on the branch of a tree and pecking at something. She turned to him and asked innocently “Isn’t it beautiful?”
His face became red thinking she was taunting him and left the house without replying. He was seething in anger thinking that she disliked him and possibly her heart had turned towards someone else. He could see these days she had become cold towards him and rarely talked unaware that he was the one who had distanced himself from her He started suspecting and began to eavesdrop her phone conversations. When she was not around, he saw the calls she had received and made. He even stalked her couple of times.
It was then he saw an advertisement in a magazine. It read ‘Learn Hypnotism in 15 days. You can unravel the inner thoughts of the person you love. You can hear firsthand what is in her/his mind. You can use it to influence  too the way you want.’
Bhaskar knew this is harmless but sure way of finding out the truth without involving outsiders. The man who was to teach cautioned him that hypnotism worked best where the subject has trust and confidence and not in hostile situations. Bhaskar joined the class. He changed himself to appear loving. He cajoled her to return to her happy mood, took her out to films, had dinners at restaurants, and showed his affection in many other ways. Things became normal and happiness seemed to return.
After a month one Sunday afternoon, Bhaskar said in a jocular tone “I am going to hypnotize you for fun. Are you ready to subject yourself?”
“Why not? I never knew you are a hypnotizer. Where did you learn? What should I do? Why don’t you ask questions directly?” she asked
“No, I will induce to sleep and ask questions that you would respond from your subconscious mind. Are you willing? I learnt it long back”
“Yes, I have nothing to hide from you”
“Okay, lie down and relax all your limbs and body.Look at my eyes as  I  count one to ten. By then you will fall into slumber, deep slumber, sleep and deep sleep. I will ask questions thereafter”
“Bhanu, Bhanu do you hear me? You are asleep but subconscious is awake. Answer me, Bhanu”
There were some unintelligible guttural sounds.
“Bhanu, do you hear me?”
“Yes” she said in feeble voice
“Good, can you hear clearly what I say?”
“Tell me, do you love anyone?”
“Yes, I love a handsome man”
Shocked Bhaskar asked “How long have you been loving him?”
“For last three years”
“Does his company make you happy?”
“Very much, he keeps me very happy”
“Can you describe him?”
“Tall, strong, muscular and handsome”
“Any distinguishing mark about him?”
“What is his name?”
“You can call him,Surya, Aditya, Ravi,”
Shocked again “Tell me what his particular name is?”
“Bhaskar, my husband”, she said and suddenly sat up on the couch and asked in a bewildered tone “Hey, why  am I lying here on the couch. What are you doing? Did I sleep off or what?”
He smiled happily and hugged her showering kisses.”You were under hypnosis for a short while” he said
“Did I blabber anything?”
“Nothing except professing your deep love for me”
She jumped and embraced him without telling him that she was feigning all the while and that she never was lulled into sleep and that whoever taught him hypnotism was a fake.