Inktober 2017 – Day Eleven Entry – Emptiness of Silence

Today I was re-reading some of my earlier writings. For example, the one I am about to share with you was written in November 2016. And before you end finding similarity between this and, “A Love Story?” Let me save you some trouble. There are lot of similarities. After all, first novels are always auto-biographical. I wanted to write my own story and I did started with this short story (Though there are heavily fictionalized scenes). Somewhere in-between writing this, I gave up on it and simply stopped writing prose altogether.

In that particular period, I only focused on poetry. Now, when I stared, “A Love Story?” it was a random experiment and I ended up using this as a framework for certain scenes. So bear with me if you think I am a horrible writer. Other than that, enjoy.

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Emptiness of Silence

Part One

It’s an old saying, “It’s the darkest before dawn.” Well I’m still waiting for that first ray of sunshine. It’s my story and I’ll tell it exactly the way I want to. If you’re asking why so gloomy, well it’s because my little adventure on this little shitsville has been anything but a gloomy Sunday.

Continue reading “Inktober 2017 – Day Eleven Entry – Emptiness of Silence”

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The Dying Land

“And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered; the weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.”

The Soldier’s Dream – Thomas Campbell (1909)

Civilizations have grown and so they have fallen. This is the bitter truth of our planet which has seen its fair share of civilization since the first settlers settled on its brazen land. The times couldn’t have been rougher. The world couldn’t have been destroyed more. For the basic instinct of mankind ultimately lead to its demise. But the will to survive in face of such adversity is what separates us from other living things.

The war was almost over by then. A finite struggle that dragged until infinity. Almost five months of agony, five months of struggle. The news couldn’t have come at better time for it sure seemed like a storm was coming. But on that night, the sky was beautiful, as beautiful as the night can be. Shimmering stars, floating clouds. The veil of night finally lowering on the harshness of the sun in that scorched land.

Continue reading “The Dying Land”

A Love Story? – Chapter Thirty One

Well, my heart is beating slightly faster as I’m posting it. So many emotions. My dear readers, um, you know what, just read this, we’ll talk after this. A little side note, it’s a slightly longer chapter, two thousand nine hundred eighty six words, to be exact. Don’t blame me later, you were warned.

Read Previous Chapters Here

**

There isn’t a beginning or an end. There are just moments from which we decide to look back and look forward. Mere moments. Just chapters. In the same breath you finish one so does you begin the next. The last few days had seen a chain of events spiralling out of control, events I had no control over and yet they changed so much. But through all of this, there was just one thought that kept nudging my mind over and over again, I needed to find myself once again. My silent friend, if you’ll ask me how, even I won’t be able to give you a true answer. But I simply decided I needed to be true to everyone. I needed to be true to Radhika, I needed to be true to Sandhya, fuck, I needed to be true to myself. I needed to soothe my guilt. I simply needed to talk. Talking always helps, talking, not gossips. Maybe that’s why I quit.

As I was walking out of Kabir’s office, Sandhya looked up from her desk and her gaze met mine. I gave a gentle smile and started walking towards her.

“I just quit.”

“What?” Sandhya said, giggling.

“I said, I just quit. Why the hell are you laughing?”

“Shit, sorry. You’re serious, right? So we are really doing this, this whole independent thing?” She asked, stuttering with excitement.

“No,” I said, as I shook my head.

Continue reading “A Love Story? – Chapter Thirty One”

A Love Story? – Chapter Thirty

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Once we were done with our coffee and rants, we started walking back to our chamber of solitude. When we entered the floor, one of my colleagues told me Kabir was looking for me. I whispered to Sandhya that I’ll be back in a while and started walking towards Kabir’s office.

Through the window, I could see Kabir hunched over his desk, writing something in his notebook. Once He saw me through the window, he signalled by his hands for me to come inside.

As I entered his office, he looked up at me. He wrote something in his little notebook for few seconds and closed it. Kabir’s office was somewhat of a relic in time. No matter who walked through that door or when they’d always find the room to be exactly the way it was on their previous visit. His house, on the other hand, had another story. Four walls which define what we are to do in certain designated spaces. Curtains were drawn, little if any sunlight filtering through. It was shady and cold by the air conditioning.

“Have you heard?”

“What?” I asked, suddenly worried what was Kabir expecting me to know.

“Guru Sarbhans has been convicted of raping two of his followers,” he said sourly.

“Well, there isn’t a surprise there,” I said, with a sneer on my face while I shook my head in disgust.

Continue reading “A Love Story? – Chapter Thirty”

A Love Story? – Chapter Twenty Nine

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“What are we going to do about the article?” Sandhya asked, suddenly bringing our attention back to the topic that started the entire debate.

“I do not know Sandhya. We can try posting it online anonymously,” I said, completely uninterested with that particular part of the conversation on that moment.

“We can always start fresh, you know, start our own newspaper or something?” Sandhya said, I guess jokingly but then again her smiles were often confusing.

“Really, do you even know how difficult that would be? The kind of financial and moral support that we’ll need? Starting a news agency is practically impossible these days,” I said, being my usual pragmatic self.

“How about we start a news website, you know, small steps,” she said, with a shrug of her shoulders, as if she just figured out the solution to our predicament.

Continue reading “A Love Story? – Chapter Twenty Nine”

A Love Story? – Chapter Twenty Eight

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Sandhya’s face was filled with a look of confusion by my last comment.

“What do you mean by that?” She asked me hesitantly, almost fidgeting nervously around me.

Under normal circumstances, I generally preferred speaking my mind but when you know that the words you want to get out of your head would start a storm that you would have no control over, it’s difficult to speak. It might not be accurate but I guess it would be like speaking when you have a gun to your head.

“By what? That how I couldn’t I love you? I’m not sure what to say about this, I, uh, I don’t know Kid, I’m just trying to say that anyone can love you, you know, all you need is a person who shares your interests.”

“I already know that Atul. Are you forgetting that you do?”

“I do, what?”

“Share my interests, you idiot.”

Continue reading “A Love Story? – Chapter Twenty Eight”

A Love Story? – Chapter Twenty Seven

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The people you least expect to, they are the ones who surprise you the most. Surprises comes when perceptions are wrong, only when perceptions are wrong. Who would have thought that behind all the cuss words, boyish charms, no fuck attitude, advocacy of free speech, would be a girl, a human being who survive sexual assault. An overbearing forty something man, who looked to be the most judgmental person you’ll ever come across in your life, a man who edited or censored every word that his journalists wrote, an editor everyone started comparing to censor board, who would have thought that he felt the same anger, same despair, who had the same ideals that he suppressed because he didn’t wanted anyone to hurt more than they should. Who would have thought Kabir will make me speechless with his trembling hands? Radhika, my dear wife, it’s strange, I’ve known her for eleven years and yet there isn’t one bad memory that I can recollect, maybe she is as innocent as she claims to be. Maybe my love for her doesn’t let me dream or believe that she can be broken. I couldn’t know for sure, I only know as much as she told me, I always give her her space, when she wants to talk, I’m always there to listen.

Me, the poor old me, a rude arrogant egoist everyone believes to be an asshole, an asshole that listens to music in middle of the day, while everyone slaves writing another piece of fiction, a spiced up version of reality, a man who always wears clothes one or another shade of black, a piece of shit that has his life figured out, a close friend of the editor, husband to a beautiful woman, a man that seems content with all that he has, a man around whom women always feel comfortable, and yet I’m the most conflicted one. I’m the most broken one, even more than Sandhya, I guess. At least she seems to have moved on, she seems to have regained her voice, and I still struggle in every breath.

Continue reading “A Love Story? – Chapter Twenty Seven”

A Love Story? – Chapter Twenty Six

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“For the last time, Atul, I’m not going to publish it, I just don’t understand why is it so difficult to understand,” Kabir said in a high voice as he threw the stapled pages on his desk after reading them.

“I don’t Kabir, maybe I find it hard to believe that we can be scared of telling the truth,” I said, as I was sitting on the chair in front of his desk.

“We are always scared of telling the truth. No one wants a revolution Atul. You’re still a kid in that regards, we tell the half-truth because honesty always hurts,” he said as he started moving towards the cabinet attached on the left wall.

“When did you fucking sold your ideals, you idiot?” I said, while I was grabbing the printed pages from the desk.

“I didn’t My friend, I learned how to ignore. You know there is a reason why we say ignorance is bliss.”

“I don’t know Kabir, I’m trying to, I, um, I’ve tried, now I’m just struggling. Maybe it’s my frame of mind, maybe it’s all the other shit that is just going ignored, I don’t know, I’m confused, you know. But this, this shit, it was the reason I survived, it’s the reason I get the strength to get out of my bed, I guess, I’m just tired of being a hypocrite,” I blurted out while staring at the pages in my hand.

Continue reading “A Love Story? – Chapter Twenty Six”

A Love Story? – Chapter Twenty Five

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**

Just looking at Sandhya brought so much emotions to my face. A fake smile might have saved me but then again, that was Sandhya, she would have seen right through me, so all I did was pass a little grin as I looked at her. She offered me the large cup. Coffee, the sole reason I can bear with idiots, extra strong, black with very little milk and sugar. She tried that once, I don’t why but she did. The laughter we broke into once she ended up spitting every little drop was unbelievable.

I took the cup and held it against my lips, taking a big sip. Damn, I really needed my coffee at that moment.

We didn’t spoke for a while, as if talking through our eyes we started moving towards the office.

Walking into my office with perfectly ironed clothes, perfect creases and shiny shoes is important. You’ll never find someone as hypocritical as me. There is a boy, some ten year old, who works as a cobbler some hundred feet away from our office. I started moving towards his little stall, well a carpet to be more accurate, a carpet surrounded by litter, torn newspapers. His hands were black, definitely from polishing the ego of overbearing jerks. I was about to become one. The hands of a ten year old in which there should be a book were frantically running the brush over the shoes of one fat looking idiot, who wasn’t anyone special for me to notice.

And when I reached his carpet, Sandhya walking along side me, coffee in my left hand, I started taking off my shoes and asked him to polish them.

Sandhya looked at me with pure disgust and asked, “Seriously you can’t do at home by yourself.”

In that particular moment, her words simply pierced through my skin. As I told you, my silent friend, you’ll never find a bigger hypocrite than me.

Continue reading “A Love Story? – Chapter Twenty Five”

A Love Story? – Chapter Twenty Four

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Well, I was sketching the whole day, so by the time the Daily Prompt was released I was quite tired. So my dear readers, hopefully you’ll understand and forgive me for writing a shorter chapter.

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A five minute walk. That’s the last remnant of solitude before I end up becoming a part of the fiction that we like to call news. Five more minutes before I would be face to face with the confusing reality of Sandhya. Would I still be awkward around her even though she appeared to be normal, at least in texts or would I try to reciprocate the terrible humor we were engaged in the last hour? Even I didn’t knew.

I know it sounds selfish and maybe it is. I have no idea but sometimes it’s easier. My relentless need for solitude is easier. Among the sensory overload of cacophonous sounds of traffic, unharmonized symphony of sneakers hitting the side walk, incoherent shouting of everyday life, my solitude is the only thing that makes sense.

My guilt is different. I know for sure I didn’t killed my mother and I know for sure I’ll never intentionally hurt Radhika or Sandhya yet every action that I take, every word that leaves my mouth somehow seems to do that on its own. For some reasons, I feel as if I’m to be blamed for all the wrong that I witness around me. I don’t know, maybe I do take “Not doing something against the evil is an evil on its own” maybe a little too seriously. There is a reason why I never said anything to Radhika, you know about my past. I told few, when I was young, and once I did, every single one of them looked at me differently. Maybe they felt pity, sympathy, or maybe they felt disgust. But whatever they felt wasn’t my doing, my shitty life wasn’t my doing, then why did every single one of those duplicitous bastards ended up distancing themselves from me? It does makes me wonder sometimes. Maybe I was worried Radhika would feel the same about me, I rationalized that if I did ended up telling her all about my past she’ll judge me too, maybe not like the others but her opinions will change too.

Continue reading “A Love Story? – Chapter Twenty Four”