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shitijsharma24

A story is only as good as the storyteller.

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BLOODHOUND-I

I used to think that I understood what this was about, what my life was about.But with the passage of time, my perspective changed as well.Still, it happened far too late. Had it changed but a year earlier I might have been on the different road today, living a much simpler life. But then again we are all victims of time. So what right do I of all people have to complain?

I am a survivor.I used to think that was what life was about, survival, the strength to stand against the odds of the world to live another day. I was wrong.I despised heroes because most heroes tend to die young but survivors do not.

I having lived longer than most, now wished that I too had died a hero rather than be branded as a coward. That, however, is a lie. Survival too takes courage but more than courage it requires cunning which heroes lack.

They had destroyed my way of life by killing the people who helped me live it.I had hungered for revenge but the survivor within told me that I would not survive the confrontation.

Now years later I have returned to take my revenge.I have not lived for I have not loved since the day they took away my ability to love. In that, I am a coward for love is too painful…

I look around.The door is ajar which is highly unusual for the paranoid Mr.Hussie. I peer through the window of the living room which is slightly open, yet another anomaly. The room seems to be empty.I cautiously creep through the open doorway and up the staircase.
And there he is.The frail old man is sitting in his bedroom. His proud head is buried in his hands.His hands are shaking.

“What’ s the matter Mr.Hussie,”I ask.He sits upright all of a sudden, startled to hear the sound of my voice.

“Get away. You have taken everything from me, what more do you want now?.

“No not everything,” I whisper softly, taking in the surroundings. But maybe he is right, the only thing he has left to sacrifice is his life and that does not seem to be worth much after all, at the very least not to him.

His shirt is red and damp with blood but the blood does not belong to him. There is a human carcass lying mutilated on the rug. It’s his blood that is on Mr. Hussie’s hands and on his shirt but figuratively it’s on mine, the hands I mean not the shirt.

to be continued…….

While I am working on this story, you can check out my novel here – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LDFM9EK

 

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THE UNFORGIVEN

The unforgiven

Chapter  1 – The meeting

I first met her at my mother’s fortieth birthday.It seemed as if she had got it all wrong. She was still hugging me and my shirt was damp from her tears. She stepped back to look at me. She was now laughing and crying at the same time. “Abdullah”, she shouted , ”I found him, I found my little boy.” A refined looking old man who had been in conversation with his peers broke apart from them and rushed over to us. “I’m so sorry”, he said. He held the gently but firmly by the shoulders and turned her around to face him. “It’s not him”, he said. “What?”, she stammered. “It’s not him”, he repeated. She looked at me more closely, realization dawning on her face .the light went out of her eyes. “I’m sorry”, she said , “it’s just that you look  so much like him” , and then she collapsed.

I caught her before she hit the ground. I looked up at the old man. I had been speechless all this while. “I am sorry, I have no idea what she was talking about”, I said. He brought up his grief stricken eyes to meet mine. He asked if I could help him carry her to the car which was parked nearby. Together we lifted her out to the car.We put her in the back seat. He told me that he recognized me and was a good friend of my mother’s. He gave me an  address and asked me to meet him there for dinner and with that he got into the passenger seat. They drove off.

Chapter 2 – The letter

I arrived at his place a little after six. His house was huge, a haveli situated on the outskirts of Delhi.A servant opened the gate and led me inside. My host was there waiting for me but the woman who had hugged me was nowhere to be seen.

He introduced himself as Dr. Abdullah Zaffar . Over dinner he told me his story. The woman i came to know , was his wife Dr. Riya Zaffar. They had a son , he told me, his name was Suhail . Suhail had always been quiet as a kid. They had sent him to a boarding school in Nanital . He had been studious and sincere. He never complained. A few months after his nineteenth birthday, he left home. In a letter he told them that he was going off to fight for Islam.

It came as a shock to his parents. They had never been very religious. They both attributed more to Science than God the workings of the world. His father kept the news a secret from the world and told all their friends that they had sent him to study abroad. It had been five years since he left.

Mr .Zaffar suddenly became silent. He poured himself  another glass of whisky. My wife’s resting upstairs just in case you’re wondering”, he said. I did not reply. “ I received a letter from him a few months ago”, his voice was barely a whisper. “He said that Allah was nowhere to be found, only talks of him and acts that would repulse the only one true god, acts that he had been a part of”, he looked directly at me, “My wife does not know any of this. I burnt the letter but kept this”. He took out a photo from his pocket.

“I want you to burn it because I cannot.”

He slid the photo across the table to me. In the photo there was a skinny young man in uniform. He was standing on a chair and there was a noose around his neck hanging from a fan in the ceiling. I turned the photo upside down. On the back he had scribbled,

‘The forgiveness which I will never find in your hearts I go to seek in heaven’.

REALITY CHECK

distorting-reality03

source – google images

“We never stop to consider that our beliefs are only a relative truth that ‘s always going to be distorted by all the knowledge we have stored in our memory.”-Miguel Angel Ruiz

The man was already there when I arrived. There was a gap among the railings where the man was standing. It seemed as if something had crashed through the railing carrying away a part of it. I passed by him unnoticed and moved on to the other end of the bridge feeling secure under the cloak of solitude.
He stood there for a long time. He looked like a statue frozen in time. He didn’t move a muscle, didn’t even move his neck. He simply gazed into the distance to whatever was waiting for him. Then he took a small step forward and plummeted into the darkness or maybe light. I felt a cool breeze brush against my skin and then I was falling. The still sheet of water parted like shards of glass as my body hit the water. I was drowning. The murky waters of the river were surrounding me, trying to blanket me in their embrace. How did I get here? It was the man who was had jumped not me. I tried to fight against the pull of the water but I was no longer in control of my body. My limbs no longer obeyed my brain.
I woke up, gasping for air. I was drenched in sweat. The fear of not being in control smothered me. After sometime my breathing returned to normal. I took a sleeping pill along with the glass of water kept beside my bed. Sometime later i fell into an uneasy slumber.
I woke up feeling light-headed, the fears of last night forgotten in anticipation of a new day. I called out to my wife but there was no answer. She must have already set out to drop over daughter off to school. I prepared breakfast for myself and then set off to work. I was the professor of history at the local college whereas my wife taught in school. She usually took the car to go to school and come back with our daughter while i took a cab as our destinations were in the opposite directions.
While sitting in the back my thoughts again wandered off to my wife and only child. She was a lively twelve year old. She was an excellent musician and could already play the piano quite well. Her music teacher called her a prodigy and said by the time she was old enough, She would be able to get into top institutions for music.
I ran into the Dean while walking towards my class. He looked sad and surprised at the same time on seeing me. He gently put his hand on my shoulder. “How are you?”, he asked me. I told him I was fine and touched by his concern for me. He looked sad but for some reason he always looked sad. He simply patted my shoulder and moved on.
For some reason I did not have a single class that day. I decided to speak to the Dean over this matter the following day but was content for the time being grading essays based on the French revolution. All of my colleagues were in a somber mood and more than one of them enquired after my welfare.
I returned home that evening only to find that my wife and daughter had not yet come home. At first I was worried but then remembered that it was a Tuesday and she had music lessons.
But as it grew late I began to worry. I tried to call my wife but she didn’t pick up. I decided to take a walk in the direction of their school.
I recognised the bridge from my dream as it was very similar. I walked towards the railing like a man in a trance. My thoughts returned to my family once more. What did my daughter look like? Why couldn’t I remember what she looked like? I had reached the railing by this time and was climbing over it when someone caught hold of my collar and pulled me back. I turned around to look into my father s face.
“The dean said that you visited the college today” he said,” I was worried”

.
I tell him that I was worried because my wife and daughter were late from school. He looks bewildered and says” There was an accident two weeks ago, your wife is dead”. I feel sick as if I am about to vomit.
” But what about her, where is she?
“ Her?”
“ Yes my daughter, where is she?”
He looks at me with pity and confusion,“ You do not have a daughter”, he says.

The ground shifts beneath my feet as I collapse.
Twelve years ago my wife gave birth to a daughter who was still born. We were unable to have any more kids. It was traumatic for both of us but we moved on, our love only grew. My wife died in a car accident which took place on the very bridge where I collapsed a week ago. The accident took place two months ago. Her car steered off the bridge carrying away a part of the railing while trying to avoid a collision with another car which had stopped in the middle of the road.
My psychiatrist tells me that it was the death of my wife which finally tipped me over. Reality was too harsh so I created a distorted version of it in which I had a daughter and my wife was still alive.
My father has moved in with me after the incident on the bridge. He looks after me. Most days I bear the crushing weight of my loss and come to terms with reality. But some days the weight is too much to bear. I call out to my wife and think of the daughter who is a figment of my imagination.

DUST YOUR HEARTS

It’s been so long since I last wrote to you. I don’t know where to begin but let me start by saying that I still love you. But love my darling is a superficial feeling based on our experiences and conceptions formed throughout our very short lives, influenced by lots of romanticized bullshit.But then again once we manage to dust away all of the above, we might be left with a shiny new feeling and that I believe would be the love which I feel for you.

Moment

I rolled down the windows and let the air caress my face and soothe my aching thoughts. She sat there in the seat right next to mine yet she was farther away than ever before.
Her head rested on the window’s edge and the wind messed up her hair.I wanted to say something but the words caught in my throat. All I can think of is her trying to smile at me through the tears streaming down her face.

 

 

 

Of WORDS AND BROKEN HEARTS

“Do you have something that you wish to say to me?”
“A lot of things actually”
“Then why don’t you say them?”
“I’m afraid that my words will drive you away.”
“I could be no farther apart from you than I’m right now”
“I don’t want to lose you”
“You never had me in the first place. You do want us to be closer, don’t you?”
“Yes I do.”
“Then say what it is that you wish to say, if it pleases me I’ll stay and if not, well then it would not really make any difference for I was never here in the first place.Now what are you afraid of?”
“My mind knows the truth but the heart is such a frail little thing, easily broken.”
“Well then, this is goodbye. Protect your little heart while I wait for someone who loves me enough to risk having it scarred.”

STRANGE PEOPLE AND STRANGER CONNECTIONS

People tend to connect over the strangest of things

shared misfortune

music

a misplaced smile

circumstances

likes

dislikes…..

shared hometown when in another city/ country(Somali K Chakrabarti )

 The same UNREQUITED love..(Divya)

that unknown helping hand amidst the crowd.. those random smile which are similar to mine (Divya)

the same heart beating around 24*7 but divided amongst borders!(Divya)

the same tears which are unstoppable upon the death of our Martyr!(Divya)

You are free to add to this list in the comments section and I will periodically update this post along with your input.

Dead and gone

To bury something, it is often considered either means the end of something or the passing on into the realm of the earth or the sky..only the dead could ever know. But it is not only the dead that we bury. We bury objects, memories, thoughts and emotions among other things. Contrary to popular belief burying something is not the end of it, because even though it is suppressed between layers of earth or self control, the dead don’t always remain that way and that is where the stories come from..the stories that haunt you for the rest of your no longer carefree lives.

Stay

It was easier back then, all he had to do was pack his bags and leave.

It was harder back then, he never had a reason to stay

Now he had her, and she was everything he needed.

But she was no longer there to tell him that.

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