Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Christmas Miracle

My mother would kill me... well not literary kill me, but kill me sufficiently enough that I get damaged. Damn it! I cursed. You know what I mean, you've probably experienced it too. My feet were moving as fast as I could move it. Retrace, retrace, retrace. The words furiously repeated in my mind. Step after step, my sandal skipped on the black tar road and hopping on to the tumbled footpath. The only thing left to do was retrace my steps if I hoped to find it.

The grocery bag was getting heavy in my arm. You’d think she’ll be happy that I’m getting some work done, but nooo, she won’t. I needed to find what I lost.

My eyes darted left and right, swiftly scanning the street. Could it have flown somewhere? Could someone have picked up and kept it for himself? Cars, motorcycles and wind were puffing on the street, it could have been blown away? If it was wind, then where would it have been blown? That garbage dump, the shop corners? The thoughts and theories stumbled across my mind and to each I had no answer.

I was getting closer to home, until I finally arrived in front of the elevator. All hope was lost, now I had to face her wrath. The elevator came down and as I stepped in, I remembered, there was a last bit I still had to retraced – the staircase. I had walked down when I left home. No, it won’t be there, I convinced myself, if it was going to be anywhere, I would have found it on the street.

There’s no harming in trying, another soft voice seemed to whisper. The bag had grown quite heavy under my arms and I longed to go up the elevator, however, if there was even a slight chance...
My feet were already taking me up the stairs.

On the third floor, it lay silently on the ground as if waiting to be found by me. My mom’s favourite cloth bag, it must have slipped out of my pocket. I slipped it inside and continued to my house, like nothing ever happened, like nothing ever got lost, it was just another Christmas Miracle.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Number One Title

Pete stood his ground, with his feet stretch apart and his head staring straight ahead. Raul stood across him, forty meters in front, staring back at him. The silver star glinted in the moonlight, the number one title. I will have it, Pete assured himself. He had practiced too hard to fail. His right hand was above his waist, hovering over the butt of his revolver which was holstered in his belt.

“Kid”, Raul shouted from across, “it does not have to be this way. I will kill you.” Pete tried to ignore that threat. The whole town was watching them, he knew. They may not be out on the street, but they were hiding inside their wooden houses, cautiously peeping through their windows. Pete adjusted his stance, and his leather boots crunched on the dry gravel.

He flexed his hand. The dry wind stung his face, but he could bare it. There were still staring at each other. Perhaps, Raul thought the first person who made the move would die. But he would not. Pete practiced too hard and long. He had to go back to his father; he would prove to him, that he could be more than just a miner’s son. Raul still stare at him. His face was impassive as his hand hovered over, his own holstered revolver at his face.

Pete felt his eye start to grow heavy. They would water soon and he would need to blink.
He did it, the gun jerked out from his hostler. Maybe it was two shots that rang out or maybe it was one shot that rang out. He felt himself throttle backward, hitting the ground. The revolver slipped from his hand, he did not even know if he managed to pull the trigger. Dust seemed to erupt into the air and into his face. Then the pain washed over him. He lifted his head up. He could see a wet red slick pouring out from his gut. His brown shirt was drenched in his blood, spreading over. He stretched out his hand and pressed his found. He felt a moan of pain escape his lips.

He heard boots approach him. He lifted his head up. It was Raul. He squatted down near Pete. “You think it easy being me, boy?” he asked. There was pain showing on his face. “You fools always come for glory, and each time I have to put a bullet in you. But no matter one day someone better than me will come and put a bullet inside me... that’s the burden of the number one title.”

Maybe it was during or maybe it was after Raul finished speaking that Pete drew his last breath.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Skirmish

The pick-up truck drove down the bumpy mud-path road filled with ups and downs, and protruding stones and debris. The morning sun rays heated up the dusty path. Three men were in the vehicle. Two sat in the front seat, while the third had propped himself up in the rear cargo bed of the pick-up truck. Their faces were wrapped in a dark coloured cloth. The third man adjusted the cloth to cover the whole of his face. He shut his eyes and tried to get some sleep, knowing that it would be a futile attempt with the hot sun pouring over his face. A Kalashnikov, assault rifle sat on his lap.

Beside him,a pile of Kalashnikovs and a few rocket launches lay on the metal floor. The latest arms to pour in all the way from Libya. All for their holy cause. The man’s finger tightened over his rifle at such a thought. He was not Pakistani, but he was here, in Pakistan, just like he had traveled to Afghanistan, Iraq and even Syria. He would travel the world ten times over, if Allah allowed him to bring down his will to earth. He would be the hand and helper of Allah and do his will.

The pick-up came to a stop. They must have reached. He heard his comrade call out to him. He pulled himself up and the cloth slid from his face. A brown grizzly beard over a dark sun-tanned brown skin revealed itself. He smiled at this friend, as he strapped the cloth around his face. He sprang out of the pick-up.

Now, his full attire could be seen. He wore a light coloured kurta, and his pajamas were baggy. He stretched out his hand and pulled a Kalashnikov towards him. After all these years, he felt naked without a weapon. Men were approaching the vehicle similarly dressed like him, they wanted the arms to join in with their Jihad.

The man walked forward, he stared at the sun, he definitely wanted some sleep. Tonight would be a busy night.

He heard the rumbling of an engine far off. A vehicle was coming. He wondered who would be coming at this time, perhaps more comrades of Allah’s cause. He continued walking to the hut.

Maybe, if he had not been so sleepy he would have been more alert, but when the military vehicle appeared and poured out bullets on them, he didn’t have a chance. Bullets ripped through his body and he collapsed to the ground. Suddenly, darkness was pushing itself into his mind. He fought against it knowing if he went there, he would not come back. His gun, he needed to fire that once, kill one of these infidels before he left this world. His hand crawled out to the gun, but his fingers did not reach as death took him.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


He was sitting on a rough cloth. His eyes looked straight ahead at the crowded road. Once upon a time it used to be a challenge, but today this was how his life was. His right hand grabbed the handle and he pushed and pulled the chair’s rubber wheels forward. He could hear the honking of annoyed drivers, who always got on his nerves. He wished he could put on earplugs and block the noise. But that would hinder his already handicapped body in travelling on the road.

So his wheels pushed on, trudging the bumpy tar roads, hugging the edge of the road. With each push and pull on the handle, the chain revolved and turned the wheel. Once upon a time his metallic chair may have been shining, but now it was covered with a thin coat of rough red rust.

His knees throbbed, like a fleeting presence that once was, a shadow throb. He wanted to rub them and make the pain go away, but in the middle of traffic that was not a good idea. He passed by the signal and stopped pedalling with his hands.

He reached down to his knees and his fingers began massaging his knee sockets. The skin felt rough and hard. Phantom limbs that’s what it felt like, that’s what it always felt like, like phantom legs hanging in the air.  

He was not some war hero who had lost his legs, he was just a fool who had decided to cross the tracks.

And now both his legs were gone.

After a minute of massaging, the throbbing reduced and though it did not wholly vanish, he pulled up his hand.

He put his hands to the pedal and continued pushing and pulling, moving his chair-cycle forward. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Greedy Drunk

The man could smell the dirty stink, but he was used to it. It’s something he carried around. He could see the look of disgust around him. The girl twisted her her face and whispered in her girlfriend’s ear, both of them sniggered, staring at him. A mother pulled her child closer to her, clearing his path. He did not care about them. He stopped caring a long time ago.

His dark green jacket was torn and old. Cotton and fibre spilled out from some holes. His pant was tattered and kept together by patches. His black hair had turned wiry, knotted and brown with all the dirt.  He put his hand in his pocket. The layer of cloth was barely holding together. He felt the notes between his fingers and felt reassured.He worked hard to get those notes. His blue jeans looked white, and at some points it was held together by just strings.

The shop was not far away. He could see the Saturday crowd standing around it. Mostly youngster trying to get sloshed tonight. He pushed his way through the crowd and as people noticed it was him pushing, they on their own, took a few steps back, trying to avoid him, trying not to even make physical contact with him.

He reached up to the counter. He removed the notes from his pocket. They were crumpled and rolled into a ball. Using his rough fingers, he stretched them from the ends and tried to flatten out the notes on the palm of his left hand. The lady at the counter glanced at him. She gave him an ugly look. “Bottle of rum, 80ml”, came his rough voice through his unruly beard. She took his notes, careful to avoid his fingers.

A few minutes later she shoved a bottle wrapped in a paper bag.

It felt good to have the bottle in his hand. He felt the hard glass and the liquid shaking in it.
He pushed himself through the crowd and came outside the shop. His fingers pulled down the paper, twisted open the cap and then took a sip greedily.

80ml was less, but for today he could forget his sorrows, he could forget his loved ones, he would forget the world. He took another sip greedily. Warmth spread through his body, and light-headedness spread through his mind.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Liu and his Ricksha

On the edges of the street a stream of people walked and flowed through. Some were busy buying their wares from the open wooden stalls that surrounded the street, while some stalls were in the process of being opened for the morning trade. The middle of the stone cobbled street was cramped with rickshaw carts, their drivers and their passengers. The carts seemed to move only an inch every minute due to the pedestrians who overflowed the street. Such was a congested street.

Liu pulled his rickshaw slowly in the crawling paced traffic. His wooden wheels rolled over the stone-built path which was worn out, with constant holes and tiny craters in it. His passenger was a Gweilo, a foreigner. However. unlike other foreigners, this one sat silently on his seat, dressed not in the strange clothing of a pant and a buttoned shirt, but of a purple silk robe. The lapel of his robe stretched from his left collar going to the right of his skirt, and a sash was tied around his hip. The purple robe was embroidered with a golden outline of flowers and petals. Such were the latest style of fashion which even the nobles dressed in.

Dredging his ricksha he pulled it out of the street, and Liu slowly began to change his pace from a walk to a jog, pulling the cart as the Gweilo looked on ahead with his white skin hidden under a cylindrical hat with a flat board on top from which hung beads; a Mianguan hat. So expensive was this hat that only the richest of the nobles were able to afford it.

His passenger sat with his legs outstretched and his arms resting on his laps, with his back erect. This was a posture of a patient man noted Liu. Truly this was an interesting Gweilo.

As Liu dredged forward two cycles appeared in front of him from a gully lane. The men sat on the black worn out seat and pedaled forward. Both the cyclist wore rough cotton robes and their heads were covered with a cheap tapering hat. Workmen off to work, thought Liu to himself.  Thinking back, Liu felt he should have noticed it. The cycles slowly eased back from ahead arriving at the side of Liu’s rickshaw. When the event occurred, it took Liu a whole minute to realize what had transpired.

The Gweilo sat on the ricksha waiting patiently as it proceeded through the traffic. He sat still, not moving throughout the journey, but his eyeballs kept darting about in his socket, looking about.
He noticed the cyclists, as they slowly and conveniently positioned themselves beside the ricksha he sat in. He dug his fingers in his knees. He was not sure, he would wait for them to make their move first, if they were who he thought they were. Suddenly both the cyclists lifted their hands off the handle bar. Their right hand slipped into their left sleeve. Without hesitation, the gweilo jerked his hands from his lap and pulled it up through the air. His right hand rose up to the right and his left hand rose up to the left. The springs on his wrists were already in motion as two small single barrel pistols appeared in his hands from his sleeves. Without hesitation and without wasting a second, his fingers pulled the triggers.


Both the cyclist tumbled off their seats and they were thrown to the ground. The gweilo ignored the stunned ricksha driver and the civilians who began to flee from the area at the sound of the pistols. He jumped off the ricksha and went at first to the one on the right. He ripped opened his robe. A dragon tattoo was painted across his chest. He dipped his hand into the left sleeve and from it he pulled out a small arrow head.

He then hopped on to the left to the other cyclist finding a small arrow head in his left sleeve.
The gweilo pulled out a leather pouch which gave out a clinking noise of the jingling of coins.
He dangled it in front of the stunned ricksha driver. “A hundred silver coins if you complete the journey”, offered the gweilo speaking in fluid Cantonese.

The ricksha driver fumbled and mumbled for a moment before he could give his answer. He stretched out his hand and grabbed the pouch. The gweilo sat back on his seat and Liu raised the bars of the ricksha on his shoulder and continued pulling. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Coin that Fell

Three coins lay in the palm of her right hand. Her left hand fingers counted the coins making sure she had collected the correct amount of change. Her feet were taking her across the road. Beside was her friend. Her index finger separated the coins, flipping them over and checking if they were a one rupee coin or two. Two years ago, counting coins were easy, now, the government produced one rupee and two rupee coins that looked and felt exactly the same. One coin reached the edge of her palm, a small voice in the back of her mind warned that it would fall, but she had almost finished counting the coins, so the warning was pushed aside. The last one was.... one rupee coin. Her hand tilted, the coin at the edge of her hand fell off.  

It definitely hit the ground, but it took second to discern the metal from the black tar ground. Her right hand rolled into a fist, tightly clutching the coins were still in her palm. Her left hand grabbed hold of her friend, stopping her from moving forward. She saw the coin and bent down to pick it. However before she could achieved the task, smaller fingers swooped up the coin. 

A boy now held the coin. He was off ragged clothes and a smell waved into the air that told off a lack of bath. The girl sighed; a homeless boy held her coin and with her friend pushed forward she continued to their destination. 

The boy stared at the coin, wondering who had dropped it. A lady haggled with his mother who was sitting down beside him. After much bargaining, his mother thrust some vegetables in a thin plastic bag and handed it the lady. The boy shoved the coin in the lady’s hand assuming it she may have dropped it.

The lady held the one rupee coin in her hand, wondering why the boy had handed it to her. She glanced at her watch and shrugged her shoulder. She had places to go. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Bat... head... smash
Bat... head... smash
Bat... head... smash

He heaved the bat above his head, and he swung down with his might. 


More blood splattered on his face and across his body. 

His hands did not relent. The thoughts in his head did not relent. They, his two hands and the bat, were like a moment frozen in time repeating itself, the bat went up and came swing down.


No tears rolled out his eyes. No hisses and grunt of pain from his breath was heard. His eyes did not pop out, and neither were they swollen red. No beads of sweat were rolling off his face. His face was not twisted in an expression of rage. Neither was there a show of panic. Blank is the best way to describe his face. No furrows or burrows on his skin. His eye balls did not swirl around wildly in their sockets, instead it remained still and straight. His body did not shiver and jerk with emotion, it was steady as a rock.

He looked down. She was there. Not withering, not shivering, not moving, just still. She was long dead before these words were typed and this scene was told. 

Yet the thoughts in his head never stopped and just repeat in a loop.

Bat... head... smash
Bat... head... smash
Bat... head... smash

Her skull was caved in. Gooey brain matter dribbled and squirted out of her smashed head. Her face was pressed against the ground, and if someone were to turn it upward, they would find scraped skin, raw exposed pink-red flesh,splintered bones and a blasted nose with a crushed cartilage. Not a pretty site in entirety. A pool of blood lay spread across the ground. His brown canvas shoes were already soaked and painted in her red blood. His face, his clothes was smeared with blood and brain matter. 

“Whore!”, he screamed at her as he stopped his feet and for a second a hint of rage was exposed on his face. 

The bat slipped from his hand and he let it fall to ground. He walked away from there, from the kitchen and went to the living. Slowly, he sat on the couch. He felt his emotion try to burst out, like an overflow at a dam, he kept it in check. 

His hand grabbed the remote and his thumb jabbed the on button. Some comedy show was going on and he sat there staring at the screen. Just like he was sitting here an hour ago, waiting for her, his wife, to come back from her sex club. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gone Wrong

He clutched the Glock in his hand. He heard the thundering of the machine guns behind him. He felt the vibrations and shock that spread out through the concrete wall that was behind him as bullets impacted it. He had only a magazine left. He wanted to cry. He did not want to die. He pressed the barrel of the gun to his temple. Maybe it was better to get killed by your own bullet. He thought of his mother. His good Catholic mother, it would shatter her heart if she knew he died by killed himself. He lowered the gun. He heard a machine gun’s cock. It was out of ammo. He slowly edged out his hand from the wall cover and let out a few shots. 

It should have been an in and out job. But that bitch had to betray him. Now she was riddled with bullets and it won’t be very long that he will be too. He looked across at her. Her body was lying in her own pool of blood. He could get a glimpse of her face, which was covered with her hair, resting on the marble ground. He felt he wanted to cry. He missed her. He could have even forgiven her. She showed him to accept himself, to take risk. 

Maybe it was time he joined her. He felt the vibrations increase on the wall. It was slowly becoming thinner. He cursed the damn Russians who were shooting at him. This would not work out like the movies he saw; where the hero would jump out from cover or sprint from cover and somehow avoid a hail of machine gun fire. He saw the black bag that was near his feet, the one that Kate tried to run off with, a million pounds in cash. 

“Gosha”, he screamed. The firing did not stop. “Gosha”, he screamed once again. The firing still blared out, no signs of stopping. 

“Gosha! Gosha! Gosha!” 

“Oh, God”, he thought “I hope they hear me. Please God”. 

Then the firing stopped. He was going to pop up behind the wall, his hands raised, in surrender. That’s what he wanted to do. Until he heard a clank and roll of an object towards him. He looked at the ground. A small green ball object, he recognized it from the movies, a grenade. He did not have time to dive out of the way, like the movies, or throw it back like in the games. It just exploded. Shrapnel rip through his body. 

Exploding pain, the ringing in his ears, the blurred vision of blood everywhere. He felt his last few dying breaths as his body collapsed to the ground. “So, this is the end of Felix”, he thought about himself. 

He wanted to smile like the heroes in movies, but all he did was cough up blood.

And then the last of his breath left him.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Professor who Begs

He was dressed in a formal shirt which was tucked inside his pants. A bag was strapped on his shoulders, hanging against his back. In his arms he held a plastic box and a folder stuffed with sheets of paper. He stood on the platform, waiting for the train to arrive. The crowd jostled and pushed him from the side, but he ignored them. He focused on what he had to do.

The train slowly arrived on the platform. People got ready to jump in so they could get a seat. The minute the train arrived; there was a rush of people hopping in. He held onto his belongings tightly and jumped in once the train came to a stand still.

He looked inside the compartment. People sat on the seat, people stood at the side, all just busy with their own lives.

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen”, his voice boomed from his throat, “Namaskar. My name is Professor Desai.”

A few heads turned.

He continued, “I am the professor who begs”.

He pulled out an article from the folder which was headlined, ‘The professor who begs.’ His hand stretched forward and flashed the paper piece to all those who would see.

“I collect money for my students”, he announced.

From his other hand he brought forward the transparent plastic rectangle box. There was a small pile of notes lying inside.

“I beg for education” he spoke loudly. “I need money for my students, to educate them.”

As he spoke his hands shuffled through the laminated papers from his folder, revealing news articles on him.

He walked across the compartment. From one end to the other his voice boomed out his cause.
For a beggar, he was well-dressed. For someone begging for a cause, the stack of articles he held was impressive. Times of India, DNA, Hindustan Times, Mumbai Mirror and many more newspapers covered him. Such coverage would be impressive to anyone. Adding to that, the articles gave credibility to this beggar that this cause was not a scam. Not a scam of beggar’s ring or not a scam of financial fund.

It is not out of pity that money was put in his plastic box, but because this professor, many would agree, managed to sell his idea through a convincing factor of trust.

The train slowed down at the next station, and the Professor jumped off. The train passed by and he waited on the platform for the next train. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Karif held her baby in her arms, pressing the child against her swollen breasts. She looked across the river and far off in the distance like a tiny clay toy, she saw her village. A village she was forced to flee, she and the rest of her community. “Amma, amma” her son called out to her, tugging her hand. He was pulling her hand, trying to pull her with the rest of the trail. She looked up, a trail of thousand walked through the road. The road... created by her ancestors of old, and maintained by them now. Maybe if they had not built these roads, the white devils, the invaders would not have come. But then neither would they have prosperity.

Her son was pulling her hand with all his might, trying to make her move. Her husband, his father had given the family responsibility to him, and he was trying to live up to it. The child did not truly understand what was happening, yet he sensed it, the great evil that had befallen on them.

A trail of thousand mothers, children, grandparents, all fleeing their village. Some had donkeys on which they mounted a  few of their belongings, while the rest carried a few pots, or some food in their arms. A special cart carried their seals carved with their sacred cows, goats and their animals, maybe they could barter it, use it to build another village. Their God, Shiva Pashupati, his eternal statue was on that cart. Maybe he would protect them.  She had only her children.  “Karif, come on. We have to leave; it won’t be long before they catch up with their brown and black horses.” She looked up, it was her father-in-law. Old age had made his skin seem as dry as the leaves, she had tried to fatten him up, but his body seemed to be of skin and bones.

She took a step forward, allowing her son to drag her forward, with his little strength. “Maybe they will be stopped” she muttered trying to sound confident. “Stopped?” retorted the old man, “You have heard as well as I have. These white devils have swords that cut through our axes like butter. And when on horses, they are immortals that charge through everything. No... Karif, it would be cruel to give you false hope. My son... your husband, everyone’s sons and husbands, they are all doomed. They will only buy us a few minutes, before they are all cut down.”

She wanted to cry, she felt her eyes water, she felt the despair. They all felt the despair. She wanted to rub her eyes, clear them of the water filling up, but with both her arms she held her child, and like a dam that overflows, the tears trickled down her cheek.

The road, a simple path cut through a deep and thick forest. In the night, they would have to make camp, they would have to light fires to keep the animals away, but that would just attract the white devils. A trail filled with children, mothers and old persons... they would tire by night, and even if they did not make a camp and continued forward, the fearsome animals of the forest would attack them. They say the white devils fear no one, they do not need rest in the night and they easily cut down any animal of the forest. She looked at the dark-skinned hands, only they all looked the same except for their skin colour, she wondered is this what offended them, their skin-colour... is that why they killed them.

They were doomed, doomed, doomed, doomed, she reaffirmed to herself. Yet through all this, her baby in her arms, slept softly, her warm breath blowing on her breast, oblivious to the world.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ice Cream

Soft teeth bit into the cone, a tongue dipped inside and swirled licking the ice cream. The little girl savoured the vanilla cream in her mouth. It was cold and sweet. She sat on the scooter, her small legs not even close to touching the ground. Her back rested against her daddy’s back, while he too was busy enjoying his own ice-cream cone. Her father sat in the front, while she sat at the back. She enjoyed eating ice-cream, but her mummy would not allow her to eat more often. She said she would become sick. The little girl did not understand how something so yummy could make anyone sick.

She tried to take a bigger bite like how her daddy did, but her jaw would not open more. Her daddy seemed to finish the ice-cream in a few bites. His big jaw opened up and closed, chomping down at least half of the ice-cream. She opened her mouth too as wide as possible and took a bite. She looked at her bite, it looked like a nibble compared to her daddy’s bite. She wondered why mummy didn't come with them, it would be nice for all of them to eat ice-cream, yummy ice-cream. Daddy said she did not like ice-cream, the little girl refused to believe that, who did not like soft, sweet, creamy and yummy ice-cream? Maybe her mummy took some silly religious vow to God not to eat ice-cream.

The cone had become as small as her little finger. Her tongue scooped out all the ice-cream. Now all that remained was the tiny brown tapering wafer. She gobbled it up, lifted her leg up and spun herself around, holding the scooter from below for support. “We’ll go?” her daddy asked.


Her daddy pushed the scooter back with his feet. He kicked some metal stick and with a grunt it came to life. The scooter ran on the road headed home. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dark Murky Water

Dark murky waters, that was what he starred at - and maybe it was even muddy. He saw his reflection staring back at him, shaded in the darkness of the water. His knees were crunched on the dry leaves and his faded jeans got brown stains from the earth underneath the leaves.
All around him trees had shed their leaves. No wind blew, no rustling of leaves, complete silence reigned. For him this was his safe place away from the world. A life he rather not remember, a life he tried to forget whenever he dropped by here. His face was bruised, his left eye was swollen up in a colour variation between black and purple, a cut lip with blood trickling down and a reddened right jaw. Drops of red blood dotted his blue t-shirt which probably had come from his split lip.

He stared at his image in the dark murky waters.

He opened his mouth and felt pangs of pain run through his face. The image too opened its face, though he doubted it felt pain.

He placed his palm above the water and he wanted to dip his hand in it, but he did not want to disturb the dark murky, calm water. His knuckles were raw, battered and bloodied. He was used to that.
He stared at the dark murky water and his image stared back at him. He wanted a permanent solution. Everyday out there in the world was becoming unbearable. He lowered his face, bringing it to the surface of the dark murky water. He could see his image up close. That disgusting black eye, the split lip and bruised jaw. He stared at this image, no, not image, he stared at his battered face through the dark murky water and then he pushed his head forward.
His head plunged inside the cool dark murky water. He could not see the bottom or maybe he saw it, brown particles floated all around him. This would be his solution he thought to himself, his permanent solution.

Ten seconds...

Fifteen seconds...

Twenty seconds...

He could hold his breath no more. Open your mouth, let the water come in... take the permanent solution he told himself. He opened his mouth, felt the air exhale from his lungs, he felt the water flood into his
mouth.... and then he pulled his head out.

He huffed and puffed gaining back his breath. His head was drenched in water, and his t-shirt began getting with wet due to the dripping water.

He could not do it, he was a coward, he could not take his own permanent solution that would cure him
of so much of pain. He was a coward.

He pulled himself up. It was time to leave. He would come back when he could again. Maybe then he would have the courage to try again.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fifth Day

Those eyes behind the glasses intrigued him. Every single time he entered that office, he saw those eyes lift up above the computer screen. His own eyes could not resist as he glanced back and at the same time, he walked forward. And through the lucid glasses, the deep dark eyes stared back at him.

As he walked pass the cubicle, he wanted to turn his head. He wanted to see who this girl was who peeked at him and whose eyes seized his own. Yet, something held him back and he did not turn his head. However he could not keep his curiosity at bay and from the corner of his eye he saw a shadow of the girl. He could see she did not stare back at him and it looked like her eyes were now focused on the screen.

He pushed open the door, entering another section of the office and sat down in his cubicle. Now that Jake was seated safely inside his cubicle where no deep dark eyes could follow him, he wanted to stand up and see the girl. Yet he did not. Four days had passed since he had joined the office and began seeing those eyes. He opened up the documents on his computer and turned his eyes back to the screen. His mind, however, flickered back and forth from the corridor. So these four days passed as such.

When the day ended, he got up from his seat and exited the cubicle. Even as he was pushing the door open and stepping out, his brain was deliberating. He slowly gathered courage to turn his head to the right and take a look at this girl. ‘I should do it. It’s just a simple look... a mili-second glance at the most’, he thought to himself. So his head right turned to the right. His mind held all sorts of ideas of a vague image in his head formed from the shadow he had seen from the corner of his eye. A tall girl, with possibly curled up black hair, of a moderate weight, of neither too skinny or too fat, and most of all somehow he felt she had a dark shiny radiant skin.

To Jake's horror his eyes witnessed something other than his imagination, and his heart felt the heavy blow of stupidity. The seat was empty. The computer screen was off. He should have finished his work earlier, maybe then he would have caught a glimpse of her.

So for the fifth day in a row, he exited the office with only a vague image of this girl, formed from the shadow he had seen.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bread Crumbs

The old man sat on the bench. He wore a long brown overcoat to protect him from the cold evening. His head hung from his neck as if asleep, and on top of his head rested an old brown faded hat. His hands were in his coat pocket, protecting himself from the cold. People walked about, some stared at this odd man, while children stopped by to take an intensive look at him. Yet he seemed asleep.

Then he lifted his head up. His face was wrinkled and furrowed with his skin stretched thin, exposing his old age. A thick carpet of white grizzly beard covered his face, which he now dug his fingers into and scratched his cheek. He put his hand back in the pocket and felt a hard block. He removed the object out to see, it was a bun he had got in the morning. It had become hard and dry. He considered what to do with it. His teeth were not strong anymore; trying to chew on this hardened piece of bread would only hurt his gums. Using both his hands he split the bun in half. While one half went into his pocket, the other was being broken into pieces and thrown on the ground.

In front of where he sat there was no such open area for feeding pigeons. Instead there was a stone path on which people continuously trampled. Some ignored the senile old man who threw bread crumbs on their path, while some huffed and sighed with annoyance, but none bothered to tell him anything, and all just trampled on the crumbs.
Surprisingly, a grayish blue pigeon with its beady eyes flew down and began pecking the ground, nibbling at the crumbs. A child who was walking with her parents, on seeing the pigeon caught her fancy as she stretched out her arms and ran to it. The pigeon responded by lifting itself up and gliding in the air avoiding the child. And the bread crumbs trampled underneath the child’s feet as she trotted by, imitating a gliding bird.

Once the child passed by the pigeon fluttered back down. And so like an aeroplane the child glided around to disturb the pigeon once again, and the pigeon once again flew up to avoid her and fluttered back down to peck the crumbs. The child turned to pass by again, but the steady hand of her father on her shoulder made her take pause and so she passed by without gliding again.

The cold evening gave way to a chilly night. The pigeon was no longer there. Black darkness had fallen in the park, except for a few far off street lights. There was no sign of life in the park, except for this old man. The second half of the bun was in his hand now and his fingers were in the process of picking that apart and throwing the crumbs on the ground.

This time there was no pigeon that arrived to eat for it was late. After a quarter of an hour, the bun was no more in his hands, and the path in front of him was dotted with bread crumbs.

He put his hands in his pocket, feeling the chilliness of the night set in. He twisted his body to the right, by lifting his legs. Now he was lying down on the bench. He pulled out his hand from his pocket, removed his hat and placed it on his face as he closed his eyes and prepared to get some sleep.

The crumbs were lying on the ground. No feet trampled them as no human being was in the park. No pigeon came to feast on the crumbs since night was not dinner time for them.

Yet a new group arrived and attacked the crumbs. A group of trailing ants stumbled on to the field of crumbs. Soon enough, an army of ants was transporting the crumbs back to their lair and by morning even the tiniest bit of bread crumb would have vanished.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Baby

The baby lay there. No human being saw her as she lay on the ground. Feet passed by and none bothered with the child.




The constant and routine movement of steps belonging to beings vibrated through the ground, like a disorganized and ill-orderly march. Many eyes passed over her, but the feet carried these beings on their way. The child’s eyes were open and she stared up to the sky. Perhaps her vision carried forward or perhaps it was blocked by the street lamp above her. Only the child knew what she saw.

Her mother was nearby, sitting on her haunches stirring some gruel in a vessel over a flame of charcoal. Busy she was preparing food and her child lay there on the ground.

Underneath the ground that she lay on, a sewage of waste flowed and, through a small opening of a nearby manhole, a disgusting smell arose, filling the air. Perhaps this smell was the cause for feet moving forward and not stopping. Some of the beings who passed clutched their nose as they passed, some did not bother with it, but all rushed by. A train horn blew in the distance. The child did not cry out or wail like it did when her mother first brought the baby here a few months ago. All the feet of passing human beings were headed to the train station. None bothered to stop and help this child. And why should they...

They had their own lives to live, like a constant flow, their feet took them to work or to school or to college and like a stream those feet brought them back, all these beings of moving, stomping and brisk walking feet ignoring the long line of homeless on the street.

A fly arrived and settled on her forehead. It was not that the child was weak, though her face was scrawny and thin, and her skin stretched like a thin paper across her face. It’s just that the child did not bother with it. The fly flew up and buzzed over her head. Her eyes followed its movement, until the fly settled back on the child’s forehead.

The mother arrived holding the vessel with her arm. She sat on her haunches. The disgusting sewage smell, of dirt waste, human excreta, rotting food that emitted from below the ground was something she was used to. Her free hand swung above the child’s head, shooing away the buzzing fly. She took the child onto her lap.Dark skinned, wrinkled and dry was her skin. It seemed like the skin on her limbs were stretched too thin. Her fingers dipped into the vessel and pulled out the gruel. She hung it over the child’s lips letting it dribble slowly into her mouth. And so the baby feasted on whatever food her mother dribbled into her mouth.

Sunday, April 7, 2013