The knife shop 

The world is one big advertisement. 
Everybody imposed on everybody. 

But there is no one. 

An empty place. 

Crowded. 

And perhaps washed with the same ink?

Perhaps, waiting to be washed with the same ink. 

-Jia A. 

(@storyfried on instagram) 

___________________________

I’m afraid there will be no one to hold on to when I fall. Maybe it is a lie. For me, it is true. I live in an empty world packed with people – ready to chip away the parts they do not wish to see. And still forget about me. 

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Fishie, fishie in the sky

Dream:

If fishes could fly, I would chase them, catch ’em, and keep ’em in a cage under the desk lamp. Forever mine. 

But they swim. In my ceiling. 

One night I woke up to pee and found dad standing on my bed. Balanced on tiptoes at the edge of the mattress he reached up, opened his hand and a little goldfish flew by – its orange belly glowing in the dark. It rushed to join the others as they circled the ceiling. 

I laughed. “Where’d you find ’em, dad?” 

He got down and crossed his legs. “In the meadow behind the house. They were flying around in the jasmine bushes.” “Aren’t they perfect, Joshie!” he said and pointed up at a pair zigzagging through a net of stars on the ceiling.

“Look at them swim above your head. Little fishie in the sky. They’ll always be there to give you company,” he said and smiled at me. That smile is still warm in my memories – orange, like a firefly in the night. 

“No way! That’s wild! I’ve seen no meadow behind the house,” I said giving him a push. “You’re lying, dad. Where’d you find ’em? For real.” 

He fell down from the bed in an over-dramatic act. I laughed and bent over the edge of the bed. 

“Stop it, dad! Tel… ” 

He wasn’t there. 

I remember when we caught flying fishes with my dad in the meadow behind the house that night. 

I remember our laughter. 

And I remember the nights I slept under the sky and watched his little fishies fly by. Forever mine. There they go… 

One… Two… Three… 

____________________________

Hi guys! Been a long time. Hope everyone is doing good😊. 

A dream. Feel free to tear the piece apart and point out my mistakes. I’d love to learn and improve. 

Thanks for reading! 

Also I updated the look of the blog. Please do check it out if you have time. Would love some feedback – both positive and negative. 

​Another planetary revolution almost done! 

With the Earth successfully completing  another 365 1/4 days of dancing around the sun, still madly in love after centuries, my time on it this year has been filled with many firsts punctuated by moments of the lesser desired emotions as well. Here are a few interesting ones while waiting for a renewal:

1. Started my first job as a junior resident/ house surgeon whichever sounds more impressive and loved the superhero feel of it. Also conning my way to numerous paid leaves from my senior consultant was worth every cutesy dog face I made. I’m so glad he is not reading this. 

The family I found in the staff there and the blessings, laughter, pain, worry and the loss of the patients who were kind enough to let me into their lives will forever be with me. Though they might not be reading this post but I hope they get well soon. 

2. Got my degree. Yaay! 

And in the oath administered swore that all doctors are my brothers and sisters. Sisters I have no problem with, but brothers? All of them? There should be an exception clause. 

Wore a sari for the first time to the graduation ceremony and dreaded the moment when it would fall off. That stuff defies basic laws of physics. 

3. Separated from  my college friends who all started their own adult lives after graduation. 

I miss shopping, idle gossip and making fun of each other. Life is not the same. 

Beginning to feel like an adult. 

4. Started my first blog here. I was a bit reluctant at first but I’m glad I created this space. The love, encouragement and friendship I receive here from all over the world are irreplaceable. Thank you all for always being there for me. 

It feels so much like home that sometimes I forget we speak different languages, have different food, cultures and upbringing. Political borders appear to be just a state of mind in this beautiful world. 

5. Started writing seriously for the first time. 

Although I have been writing since I was a kid, but that was only to unclutter my mind. With this blog I started writing for others to read, hoping that my writing doesn’t taste like a piece of boiled broccoli. 

6. Got published and shortlisted on the Jaipur Literature Festival website. The first time I have been published or shortlisted anywhere. I’m proud that I made it this far but screwed up the Skype interview for it. My first interview and I made my ancestors proud by blabbing unnecessary woes of my life to entertain the interviewer. 

7. My best friends from school had kids and for the first time in my life I’m wondering which brand of diapers to gift them with or if ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ would be too advanced for four month olds.

8. Started baking while retaining my ability to burn water. Isn’t that genius? 

9. Tasted rainbow cake for the first time today. 

10. And I’ll be boring you my first book project in the next post. Beware! 

Bye bye

Gateways Of Relativity

His father was gone. Forever. 

It was hard to believe, the unanswered questions on his face said. Was it even true? With eyes too proud for tears, he held onto the widow for support, for once losing that pride. 

He must not. Must be strong. For her. 

He tucked her head under his chin and closed his eyes, perhaps paying the first visit to this new graveyard. They stood alone in the chaos of the emergency room, each in a different world of grief. And I wonder standing here… 

Where was that exact moment when he was and suddenly he wasn’t? 

Is it that abrupt? Is it that absolute?

There is a last breath, yes, with a static heart. That is not where we step into the underworld – stationed at the banks of Acheron – glancing at our watch.

It is at this time that resuscitation pumps the heart from outside. So you should make a point of encouraging those around you to go to the gym once in a while and learn CPR. Who knows theirs might be the muscles that keep your heart beating (no pun intended). 

By this time his heart could have caught up and started pumping blood on its own. But it didn’t, pronouncing him legally dead after all these efforts failed. Yet again, I wonder is this where he left his wife and son with the echoes of his loss? 

The definition of all the aspects and processes of death involve a single most important word ‘irreversible’. Everything that happens now is irreversible.

His soma ceased to be. There was life in the millions of cells, and the molecules fueling them, that made up his body. Ever so slowly, like a hesitant drop falling off a closed faucet, each of them died one by one in two hours or three. The news had reached the embraced pair long before that miniscule warmth left his last cell. Once the whole body gave up there was little those cells –  that glued together to form him –  could do, except use what was left and die. Is this where the angels of death took him away? Or was it somewhere in between?

I wonder standing here. Where did he die for them? Or has he? Will he ever? 

I wonder standing here. Where will mine give up on me?

It is all relative you see: for them, for me, for a stranger, for every individual.

 Absolute does not exist.

Why I will never allow my child to become a doctor in India – GODYEARS

Written by Dr. Roshan Radhakrishnan (anesthesiologist) this article captures the image of a doctor’s life in India with a scalpel like precision. So much so that it gave me a panic attack today. 

Beginning my journey in the same profession I can ascertain that every word he has written is as true as the fact that I have never held a bagpipes rock and roll concert in the middle of Antarctica.

A pup was walking down the street when it came across a group of young boys. The leader of the group spotted the dog and pointed it out to his friends. Seeing the boys, the dog too wagged his tail and barked, looking forward to being petted and making new friends. 
However,even as the pup wagged his tail, one of the boys picked up a stone. The boy turned to the others and told them how dogs are bad because another dog had bitten his grandfather years ago. As he nodded, a second boy picked up another stone even as he spoke of the incessant barking of stray dogs in his neighbourhood at night, disturbing the sleep of his family. A third spoke of how dogs are bad because of religious reasons. The others realized the wisdom in their friends’ words and each picked up a stone, aware now that breeds like this could not be trusted. The pup stood where he was, confused as he watched the boys come closer to him.

By the time night had descended upon the land, the boys had dispersed and gone to their individual homes. There was a sense of accomplishment, having stopped a menace from entering their streets. Lying bloodied and brutalized, the pup that had wagged his tail in hope of giving and receiving love licked its wounds. It was too young to know that the physical wounds would heal in due time… but it was now old enough to have learned to distrust the species of stone throwers. The most selfless creature since time immemorial now knew to hate… because that was what it received for no fault of its own. For the crimes of others, it had paid with its body and soul. 

That, in a nutshell, is the reason why I will never allow you, my child, to become a doctor in India.

Still confused, I guess? It is okay. Take a chair and sit down… this is going to take awhile.


Increasingly, I find myself watching and talking to doctors across two generations and various specialties these days. And increasingly, that sense of despair and disillusionment is writ large in their words. They find themselves wondering where things went wrong even as they struggle to bring a smile on their faces. With 0.7 doctors per 1000 Indians, the doctor:patient ratio is far below that of other comparable countries like China (1.9), United Kingdom (2.8) and United States (2.5). Spain’s 4.9 seems like an absolute luxury in comparison, I must admit. What this means in layman’s terms is simply this – that you are always going to be swamped with patients beyond the logical human capacity in India. 


Why I will never allow my child to become a doctor in India GODYEARS

Thou shalt sacrifice your time, parents, spouse and child.

Getting a 63 hour a week schedule (7 days x 9 hours) is a blessing and most of the young guns who join in fresh after post graduation know fully well that a 100 hour a week schedule is par for the course once you begin working. And sadly, this is advocated and in fact encouraged by most hospitals too – who wouldn’t want to have workers in a contract which states 8 hours a day and then get them to work 14, stating that ‘this is how it is for all doctors and besides, we are in the business of selfless service.’ You would never allow a taxi driver to drive you for 24 hours continuously but asking surgeons to do that every third day is fair game in India, apparently. 


For those who wonder why the doctors charge such high fee here: Rs.200-500 (~$2.92 – 7.30) – almost the same as a plumber’s charges for fixing a broken pipe. . . 


And for those who appreciate the years worth of sleepless nights behind those lines of prescription, please read the complete article below. 


http://www.godyears.net/2015/05/why-i-will-never-allow-my-child-to.html?m=1

The Third Mistress Of Time 

​If my eyes held all the stars, 

I would close these eyes forever, 

Keep them safe, just for myself. 

*

If every dust mote inked its story on me, 

I would don a midnight blue gown, 

Keep them chained, just for myself. 

*

If time ever knocked on my door, 

I would, with eyes still closed, 

Sweep him off for a dance. 

*

If he dared a look at me, 

I would offer a gentle smile, 

Hiding his secrets forever from him. 

*

If the warmth of his hands ever coated my skin, 

I would still keep these eyes shut, 

Or would I? Just for myself. 

*

Any second now, 

He will be here, 

Let me gaze at those eyes once, 

Let me read another word, 

Just for myself. 

Then I am his. 

***

Picture credit:pixabay

A bottleful of singing nymphs

The day before I was out on my weekly expedition, exploring the Sahara desert (see O’ Shine! I have been there.) 

Well, I can’t really call it exploring. I was on a secret mission for the local vampire community. They were in acute need of unicorn poop (come closer, let me tell you a beauty secret: they use it as a face mask to keep their skin crispy clean and fresh. Contact me if you need some.) 

Now, I know even daredevils like me die in the great desert, so I took precautions. I finally bought a tube of sunscreen, a pair of kickass round silver sunglasses and I brought along M (he is the one behind the blog mcos). Just in case I did get buried under the sand or become a wrinkled prune due to dehydration or a handsome ancient Egyptian discovered a time machine and were so smitten by my beauty that they decided to preserve it forever by making me a mummy, then he could fight them and bring back my body for a proper funeral. Plus he had expressed interest in finding unicorn poop when we first met. So I let him tag along.

Out on the mission, in the middle of nowhere, lying prone on the afternoon sand, roasting ourselves alive, we were scanning the area for any evidence of the black one horned mythical creatures. “I’m thirsty. Could you pass me the water bottle please?”, M asked. 

You would think that I’m a fool, if I tell you that I forgot to bring one myslef. To be honest, I can live without water up to thirty-eight days, tried and tested. But M being not as awesome as me, needed water. Shocking, right? 

I reached out for his pack lying by my side and fished out the bottle. About to pass it to him absentmindedly, a tiny glint caught my eye. I looked around  thinking I had found a unicorn but there was the same barren landscape that blinked back at me.

M looked at the bottle and gasped. Each and every inch of the water within was embedded with twinkling bubbles. I have proof see…

bubbles-confabler

But that was not all. Curious, we looked closer. Focused at just the right point the bubbles turned out to actually be millions of water nymphs.

air-bubbles-water-confabler

I know you guys, like M don’t have my centuries worth of experience. So believe me when I tell you that they are very, very very rare beings, found in water bottles since the beginning of civilization. They dwell only in deserts when the bearer of the bottle has no other water supply.

The nymphs started dancing and celebrating when they saw me. They were old friends, you see. We had first met a long time back when they used to live in wine bottles. Recently they had decided to quit alcohol.

“Shh! Keep it quiet guys,” I said. “You will scare away the unicorns.”

Through a scintillating musical number they told me that they would not, because the unicorns were having a party over at the northern oasis.

But M, being the scientific mind that he is, couldn’t believe that I was talking with mythical water nymphs. He took the bottle and tilted it this way and that. Against the sunlight…

bubbles-bottle-confabler

Stuffed it in his bag and examined them under torchlight…

water-bubbles-confabler

“Look at the sparking droplets on the top.” He said, pointing towards the neck of the bottle. “I have never seen condensed water glitter in so many colors.”

water-drops-confabler

“Yes, that is just your torchlight reflecting off the water beads. Not everything is magic. Now come on lets go. The unicorns are in the north.”

To cut the story short, after three nights worth of travelling, surviving on scorpion meat, a century worth of gossip with my friends – the nymphs – and arguing endlessly with M over the color of unicorn poop, we finally reached the northern oasis where the party was still in full swing. 

It was not very difficult to ask a drunken unicorn to defecate in a bucket. I was right by the way,  unicorn poop is rainbow colored, not dark as M had suggested. 

Picking up our bucket we were almost through the desert when a giant troll suddenly materialized before us. He glared at me, then at my precious bucket and was about to attack.

Survival instincts soon kicked in and I pushed M in front me and ran away as fast as I could.

He called yesterday to tell that he was still fighting and it will probably take a few days for him to like this post. Don’t blame me, he had volunteered to go along. 

Via: the daily post’s weekly photo challenge: shine, h2o. (yes, I took those pics myself. And yes, nymphs are real)


One more important thing: I would like to thank PoojaG for nominating me for The Sunshine Blog Award. Thank you so much.

War! War! War!———–War!

Today my dearies I have attained enlightenment. I am blissfully one with the world. The reason for my current state is a cooking show I saw in the morning. They made oats with orange, it’s zest, raw cocoa beans, honey, chocolate bark and some more goodies; yum, yum , yum…( salivating)

***
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

-The folks over at goodreads say this was by Albert Einstein. I’ll confirm this with him later. My Ouija board is a bit dusty.

***
Yes; this is a story not an essay.

Ever since the day the miracle of opposable thumbs was bestowed upon our hairy hominid predecessor, they found full use of the grip thus developed to hurl stones at competing mates. Later as humanity entered its infancy, tools and arrow heads were chiseled out of those stones and again hurled at enemy tribes.

You know the rest; swords and rifles, press a button and boom goes the missile; just war, war, war. We have always loved guts and blood.

Nuclear weapons were in vogue in the recent past. The concept was basically to hoard as many nukes as possible and when the time is right just detonate them on the same planet both the fighting parties live on. To emphasise the point, I have made an awesome sketch below (took me hours.)

img_20161006_141824-02-01

But realizing and accepting the idiocy of our methods took great courage. This is the future. We have ditched those obsolete technologies and found a better way to fight, with full use of thumbs of course.

‘Welcome to World War III,’ the handsome young guy with mike announced.

“Oh, just give me my mike back,” the host shouted snatching it and kicking the guy off the stage.

“Welcome to World War III. Respected Presidents please follow your guides and proceed to the Combat Room and no don’t; President Mambi please, no more eye poking.”

The herd of black and white penguin suited presidents with their bodyguards followed the pretty girls beaconing them forward to enter the aforementioned Combat Room where another announcer greeted them.

“Welcome angry world leaders. For the past few months you have all wanted to rip each other’s throats apart. But the great thinker Confabler pointed out the errors in your ways and proposed a method to resolve conflicts with no violence. Generations to come will remember this historical moment and thank her for it. No more unnecessary deaths. Let the population grow happily in peace until we exhaust our resources and migrate to Mars. Everyone please be seated.”

All the Madam and Mr. Presidents then planted their butt cheeks on the soft plushy cushions of the couches in their respective flag’s colors.

“This is a Real Time Strategy video gaming war. The rules are:

1. You have all been given six months time with beginners’ instructions to develop your army and base.

2. Fight each other’s armies online and conquer their base.

3. A country is victorious only if the fluorescent green victory flag is hosted on the enemy’s headquarters.

4. The result announced by the mediator is final and non-negotiable. Don’t try to kill him if the outcome is not in your favor.

5. A peace treaty will be signed for the next hundred years between the conflicting nations after the results.

6. You may form alliances with each other in the game and multiple parties of winning alliances may win.

7. Only the presidents themselves will compete against each other; representing their countries. Opponents will be chosen on the basis of which countries they hate the most.

8. Bodyguards or anyone else will not help the presidents in any manner.

9. Chips and coke are provided to each and every nation in equal amount and of the same quality. Don’t fight over them. We have a bunker full of them.

10. Check your bladders. No bathroom breaks once the games start.

11. You may fight with as many nations as you wish. Go crazy.

12. Last thing: the game can’t be hacked. Please tell your hackers to stop trying to break into our system otherwise you will lose by default.

If you have any doubts or trouble please contact our seventeen year old technical advisers.

May the Gods bless your thumbs.

Welcome to the future. Welcome to World War III 2017.”

***
Day 3 of 3 day quotes challenge as nominated by fauxcroft. Thank you for the nomination and don’t forget to visit his/her place if you haven’t already.

Mr. Einstein left a lot of room for imagination.

If you like my idea, then please raise your voice so that we may fight our wars without real bloodshed. This will promote the development of artificial intelligence to improve our gaming experience. The machines will one day take over and start killing humans. Then we will move to Mars.

yoda-1091030_1280

Pic credits: pixabay

The Twin Pools Of Mermaids

“Ever let the Fancy roam,

pleasure never is at home”

-From Fancy by John Keats (a surgeon by training and a poet by heart)

Now here is my story inspired by the colorful imaginations of the great poet:

***
Ancients say there are two pools, conceived together in the early days of inception. In a forest deep and dark, veiled by the fluttering skirts of white veined leaves, they laugh, they sing an enchanted song; the twin pools of mermaids.

A forgotten lullaby, sweet and sour, with tears three mermaids sing; daring wandering mortals to drown in the waters, one mucky, one deep.

They say the place is sacred. Pilgrims of mind visit it often, for the twins hold secrets. In their depths the stars once twinkled, the first seeds grew, seasons changed and fire long ago was found. The twin pools of mermaids, they hold every thought of the time that is past and of the ages to come.

The silent mucky water in one cradles sleeping thoughts; woken when whimsy dies.

In coral water of the other we bathe when the mind just won’t stop.

The mermaids are kind but they sometimes kill. The forest conceals it all; in its bosom are two pools…

But I wonder; am I right or wrong?

“Was it a vision or a waking dream?

Fled is that music:-

Do I wake or sleep?”

-Quote from ‘Ode To A Nightingale’ by John Keats.

***
This was day two of the three day quote challenge.

I thank you, fauxcroft for the nomination and for the lovely poems you share.

For when you cry…

Welcome my fellow minions! I have been asked to quote so here I quote with a little story:

“Before I got my eye put out

I liked as well to see-

As other creatures, that have eyes

And know no other way-“

– Emily Dickinson

The entire poem carries a different interpretation; in more of an aesthetic sense originally but my frail attempt to mould the first stanza into my own understanding of the world goes thus:

***

The husband and wife stood outside in their driveway arguing.

“You should have at least asked me. But noo, you had go and spend all our money on that stupid scheme of yours,” shouted the wife, following her husband to his car.

“Our money? Our money! I earn that money. I work hard for that money, scurrying around like a dog all day and you just sit and enjoy the comforts I provide. It’s not our money. It’s my money. I’ll do whatever I want with it.”

“Is that so? I sit around all day, huh? Then who the hell do you think keeps the house clean and working. Who makes sure you don’t starve? Who takes care of the kids, you?”

“Oh, not you definitely! The servants do everything. You just shout at them all day; do this, do that.”

“If that is so easy, then why don’t you it a try one day. Let’s see if you can make those lazy bums do anything.”

“Whatever. I don’t have to ask for your permission for everything. It’s my money and I’ll do as I please. Remember your place, you are my wife not my owner.”

She stood dumbfounded. Had he actually said ‘remember your place, you are my wife.’ What on earth did that even mean? ‘Remember her place.’ She was his wife, not an errant employee who had stepped out of line.

The snap of his car door brought her back.

“I know it won’t work out. Your idiotic scheme. I just know,” she shouted back just in time as he reversed his car and flew away in anger.

“And then you’ll lose everything, all your money.”

An unwelcome spasm of sadness threatened to burst through her eyes as she stood alone in front of the white marble covered arched entryway of her house. But not yet; she steeled herself. Not in front of everyone, not in front of the servants. The betrayal, the belittlement she felt was private, not a public display for the help.

With a quivering lower lip masked by an expression of superior indifference she walked through the house quickly to reach her room, never once lowering her eyes to meet a daring glare.

They would gossip she was sure but for now she didn’t care. She collapsed on the floor near the foot of her bed and let the tiny drops rain down her cheek; silently at first, afraid that anyone could hear. But did it really matter? She thought as sobs of moist loneliness consumed her heart. She felt empty, like a wooden puppet. Did he really think so little of her? She had always caught a hint of dominion in his manner but isn’t that how all men are?

‘I am his wife’ she had always said with a tender pride; ‘You are my wife’ he had spat with a contemptuous command.

A soft patter of steps outside her room broke her musings. She looked up with tear filled eyes to find a little girl looking at her from behind the half closed door. Upon seeing that she had caught her attention the little one ran away.

Those urchins! She cursed. She had specifically asked the servants not to bring their kids to the house after the vase breaking incident a year ago. God knows how carefully she had to watch them lest someone pocket a trinket or two. No one could trust the maids already; they were forever in search of an opportunity.

With reluctance she made the decision to get up and close the door but before she could the little girl returned. Putting one unsure foot in front of the other she approached and presented her misery crusted self with a red rose plucked fresh from the garden.

With a soft smile the little one said,” You are so pretty mistress. Please don’t cry.”

And just like that the worthless became valued and the valued worthless.

***

A many thanks to fauxcroft for his/her kind nomination for the three day quote challenge. Do visit the site to climb the poignant constructs of poetry residing there.

***

I will be waiting to hear how you all found this piece.

Picture credit: pixabay

The Onion Hypothesis

Some say the universe is infinite. Let’s pretend it is.

Tier one (In The Video Game): The sacred hippo temple of village Leur is under attack . King Sordo with his army of fourteen men is trying to defend their hard won land against the brutal forces of Empress Citra. She is a legend; conquering every village, every vicious beast and every fortress of power the world has. Now it was their turn.

Sordo knows his troop of men would appear like a bleating goat before her battalion of fifty odd men in a direct combat, so he planned a sneak attack in the dead of the night.

Skilfully he and his men dodge all the night patrols around her army’s camp. With swords in hands they surround the grandest tent which their scout had confirmed earlier belonged to the empress.

Disposing off her guards he slits the back of the rusty brown tent and pounces on the feminine form sitting on a chair with maps in front of her, fixing the curved blade of his knife to her throat. Her whole body stiffens but she smiles. Oh how he loves that smile.

“Look around you,” she says.

Her soldiers envelope them on all sides while his bloodied, tattered men are dragged in with bound hands.

“We have seized the hippo temple, leave me or we will burn it to the ground.”

The sacred hippo temple protected his lands; if it was destroyed then his people would die too. It could not burn.

Taking advantage of this distraction, in one swift move his knife is in her hands and then in his heart.

Too late he grips her hand as he drops to his knees and blood soaks her nightgown right where his wound had been.

She looks at him with confusion and pain.

Realizing what he has done he drops her hand from his. His life ring had worked; the fatal wound inflicted on him had transferred to the one he was touching, his empress.

A silent cry and she is dead, lying at his feet.

But there is no happiness, there is no triumph.

***
Tier two (The Video Gamer): The boy hammers his thumbs around wildly on his ipad screen. His village is under attack. He started playing ‘The Battle Of Heva’ the previous week and is still on a lowly level six with a fifteen man army, one of whom died a few days back in an underground power dungeon while recovering a bonus life ring. This gamer who calls herself ‘Citra’ is a level forty- four player and is now out to conquer his village. He would never win. He devices a strategy and attacks her at night when her men are recharging their lives.

But it turns out she is expecting him to play this move, so she has already split her army in two parts; one half fights in the day time and the other at night while they recharge. Her night army takes over his hippo temple, his life-source, while he is out here to kill her. Ohhh! He feels so frustrated; he had her, he would have killed her but she holds out his temple as ransom in exchange for her life.

He is about to free her; no temple, no him; but she takes his knife and stabs him. Oh no!

But the bonus life ring! he remembers before he dies and activates it. His injury is transferred to her and she dies.

Yes! Victory. Her kingdoms and army is his.

The boy starts dancing on his bed.

***
Tier three (The Cosmic Magician): The giant red turban clad magician sits cross legged in the soundless space, serenely meditating, with the orb that is Earth resting in his hands. The threads of his magic travel swiftly through every heart on the planet.

He sees a boy immersed in a virtual game. The magician smiles and breathes triumph. On winning the game he fills the boy with joy and laughter; pulls a few strings and makes him dance.

***
Tier four (The Dreaming Being): Millions of light years away a being sleeps; its body a concentrated cackling white light. It sleeps and it dreams. It dreams of a giant magician sitting cross legged in front of a blue and green planet, with eyes closed tight.

It dreams a smile upon the magician’s lips and empties his mind with peace. Extinguishing his thoughts with its white rays, he connects him to his thousands of kin.

***
Tier five (The writer): You know who the writer is; just someone who believes.

***
Some say the universe is infinite. The biggest dilemma, is it?

Let’s pretend we believe them for a few minutes and skip down the steps till its edge we reach.

confabler-the-onion-hypothesis

A witches’ brew to find everything

You shall need the following:

A safe haven wherein you forge your spell:

A bubbling bazaar under an overzealous sun with dusty, red brick lined shrunken lanes, cunningly tucked in banal corners; their narrow veiled entrances visible only to a pair of eyes curious or habitual enough. Dark heads, chattering tongues, clammy bodies crawl like insects everywhere, sucking in the sweat and perfume filled air of the streets. This is my territory, the place where I conjure.

Collect the ingredients:

A lost boy, A young thief, An ambitious lady preferably in her mid thirties and An old man with a hunched back.

Then wait for the opportune moment:

A lost boy about six years old wanders the streets, searching for the hint of white clothes that was his mother. Squeezing between the giant bodies of the crowd, he pushes forward, wiping his eyes and nose with his hands. He can’t breathe; it is so tight. The streets circle endlessly under his tiny feet. He is thirsty; he is tired and mother is lost but he searches and I wait.

A young thief of eighteen, born and raised in my lands prowls the marketplace, hunting for unsuspecting targets and the riches they hold. Blind to the color and wondrous haze, he leans on the electricity pole outside the corner purse shop. Spotting a woman engrossed in her shopping he starts following her and I wait.

An ambitious woman in her mid thirties enters the bazaar with urgency in her steps. She speeds past the cluster of shops selling shoes, the one with steel utensils of every kind, the tiny cloth covered shed selling lace, the hawker pushing a cart full of jewelry, the corner purse shop. Her eyes scan everything but her heart still yearns and I wait.

An old man with a hunched back and age masked by wrinkles, stops suddenly as he drops the pair of socks he is carrying in a white paper bag. He looks at the bag for a few minutes then reluctantly bends down to pick it up, while cursing his fused joints. As he rises again a crying child in the middle of the market catches his attention. He waddles towards him with a melting heart and I wait.

When the time is right you cast the spell:

I whirl, I twirl, in corners I curl;

an evil laugh, a soft moan;

I stun, I run, the spell is begun.

Enter your observations in your spell book for future use:

The old man finds the lost boy. He holds his hand, squats down and asks why he cries. The young one says “mom” and continues crying. With promises to find the lost mother both of them join the crowd. A pink candyfloss is offered and accepted, crying ceases and mother is forgotten. In front of a small shop displaying sequined colourful jackets embroidered with diamond shaped mirrors a dust devil forms sending them both inside the shop, rubbing their eyes.

The young thief follows the rushing woman with ease. She doesn’t suspect; an easy target. She doesn’t stop, nothing interests her. The thief starts making his move; walking fast towards her, his eyes fixed on her purse but she stops in front of a small shop displaying sequined colourful jackets embroidered with diamond shaped mirrors with a triumphant gleam in her smile. A dust devil suddenly forms sending her inside the shop with the thief following her.

Introduce yourself to the reader of your spell book:

I am the dust beneath their shoes. I coat their skin. I invade their breath. This is my land on which they roam.

I was their ash and now their sire;

I know their heart’s deepest desire.

Inference:

The little boy jumps with delight seeing the offerings of the shop. The whirlwind is now a distant myth; the rhomboid mirrors reflecting back his cherubic face the only truth. Everything is a djinn’s whisper, full of wonder and allure.

The young thief is not deterred. He nicks the woman’s purse and pockets the money with practiced ease as she is immersed appraising the bejewelled fabric. A hungry id and aberrant morals are everything.

The arduous woman finds what she seeks; a way to shine, to stand out and make her mark in the world. Trying on the jacket she feels unique. The world is her and her alone. The desire to conquer is everything.

The old man smiles while looking at the jubilant child. He must find the young one’s mother but for now he is content with the child pulling him along to show the marvels. The warmth of a touch is everything.

And herein your spell is done.

Picture credit-pixabay

I’ll meet you behind closed eyes

You are in an underground parking lot. A bright cloudless blue day awaits outside but here it is dark and glum with no difference between day and night.

In the artificial dim light of the parking you walk towards your car with keys in hand and your footsteps echoing down the giant hall.

Just as you are about to open the door you hear a man’s soft whisper in your ear.
” Please kill me,” he says.

Startled, you turn around with a thundering heart.

There in the shadow of the pillar just before you stands a hunched paper thin man.

Seeing that he got your attention he steps forward. In the light as you see his face you gasp. Large yellow bullae cover his face and hands.And where there are no bullae the skin is peeling off in dark heaps revealing raw red surface beneath.

As you take a step back, he faints.

You battle it out with yourself whether to go and help him or to run.

The kind side wins and you move forward both concerned and afraid.

Kneeling down besides him you call the ambulance and check him visually, too afraid to touch.

He slowly opens his eyes and looks at you. The pain and hope for a little help pierces your heart.
Your chest squeezes tight as if his pain is your own, a shiver runs down your spine and your skin tingles with the anguish that is his.

He gently opens his flaking lips and repeats
“Please kill me, it hurts.”

You close your eyes once and let the pain pass through.

” The ambulance is coming” you reaassure.

Every minute falls down heavily with a thud but you wait. What else can you do?

Then as suddenly as he had appeared you see him draw a deep shuddering breath and you just know that it is his last. He is no more, says a mysterious cosmic connection within you.

You go home and collapse on your bed after the harrowing long day.

You know you couldn’t kill him but still just once remembering his pleading voice, your heart wonders.

No,you decide. You could not. You are not brave enough to break yourself or anyone for that matter.

But the decision was never yours. Until the end there is always hope.

And hope remains even after the end.

‘Then slowly slowly we break’, you think as he visits you behind closed eyes.

confabler_behind_closed_eyes


This piece of fiction is a result of studying dermatology all day.

The scenario I imagined here is how any normal person would have reacted. Though there are many things I would have done differently but the most important one is don’t assume someone is dead until a medical professional confirms it. Immediately start cpr. Every second is important. You might save someone’s life.

This was a bit dark but otherwise I’m a very happy person who loves cuddly teddy bears, unicorn poop, rainbows, butterflies and chocolate chip cookies.

But I tried this point of view for the first time. Let me know if reading this had any affect?

The Ancient Saga Of Aliens And The Assassinated Sandwich…

Millions of years ago Jack’s ancestors had discovered the supertasty sandwich. Dressed in their leopard print underpants they had danced around it with exuberation after their success.

Little did they know that the mouth watering, taste bud tingling, spicy and gooey crunchiness of the sandwich would start a war between two planets. At that time they still believed the earth was triangular.

But day before yesterday the three eyed, green aliens attacked again for the third time in history seeking to destroy the supertasy sandwich which was the source of unlimited power to anyone who could eat it.

You see the supertasty sandwich protection society ( STSPS) was formed to protect it from villains. The alpha commando of STSPS ( Jack) was responsible for locking the sandwich in an underground bunker in the event of such attacks.

So that day, in the sheer panic and chaos caused by the alien attack Jack wrapped up the supertasty sandwich in a gold encrusted bag and went to the underground bunker.

But when he reached it, an alien stood blocking the door with a smirk on his face. He laughed the evil laugh and snatched the sandwich from Jack’s hands and ran away.

‘Oh no! Not the supertasty sandwich’ Jack thought.

Obviously he followed. He passed the screaming humans and snickering aliens; he ran like hell until he reached the green alien with the supertasty sandwich, panting and huffing for breath.

The alien did the unthinkable. He dropped the sandwich on the ground. No one could eat it after that.

But what the alien did not know was that Jack had licked the sauce off his fingers while he was packing it. He was now a superhero with infinite strength.

He flicked the alien aside with a single sweep of his hand and started beating aliens left and right.

They all left, scurrying away on their tiny legs and have not been seen ever since.

This story is based on an actual event but nobody is aware of the heroism Jack showed to save planet earth the day before yesterday. I request you all to spread his story all over the world so that Jack receives the credit he deserves.

Also he feels extremely grateful for the opportunity daily prompt provided to tell the saga of the supertasty sandwich.