When I met God in a Bar

I was drinking beer waiting for my friend in a bar when this gorgeous girl walked up to me.

She: Hi! How are you?

Me: Hi! I am good. How are you?

She : Great. Can I sit here? What’s your name?

Me: Rohit. And yours?

She: God.

Me (coughing in my beer mug): Which one?

She (smiling): All of them, I guess. Rolled into one.

Me: Listen, can I buy you a drink, dear lord?

She: Sure Earthling. I’ll have a beer too.

So, God and I sat comfortably on the sofa sipping beer, eyeing each other. She was a pretty God.

Me: So, God. What are you doing here on Earth?

She: Just roaming around. Checking how you guys are doing.

Me: And how are we doing?

She: You want me to answer that? All right. You guys are pathetic. I am thinking of ending your race. I am thinking of bringing the dinosaur back.

Me: Really? That is a noble thought. But we are an advanced species. We have made such scientific advancements in the last 200 years. Why would you want us dead?

She: You guys are in such awe of yourself! It’s amazing how being in awe can make you blind to everything else. Tell me something. Point out one thing in the world you would like to change.

Me: Whoa! That is a very difficult question. Hmmm. Let me try. Weapons. Remove all weapons from the world. Yes, that would be perfect.

She: Your stock markets will probably crash if I do that and half of the nations will either be bankrupt or lose their purpose of existence. Anyways, that was a noble thought human. *She smiled* What next?

Me: Vaporize all the terrorists, I guess?

She: What about the people in the position of power who actually fund terrorism? Do you want them to be vaporized too?

Me (emptying my beer mug and ordering another) : Sure.

She: Do you even realize what you are asking for Earthling? Your whole system will collapse if I do that.

Me (realizing that she was getting quite serious) : Relax. You need another beer?

She: Yeah sure. What else?

Me: You really want me to keep going, don’t you?

She: You are angry, I can see it pulse inside you. Out with it.

Me: Okay. You asked for it. I want people to stop littering. I want the spit of a person to fly back in his mouth the moment he spits on the ground. *She giggled* I want people to respect each other’s decisions. I want freedom to express myself. I want girls to be respected. I want politicians to understand the gravity of their position. I want all the black money confiscated. I want honking to be banned. I want poverty to be eliminated. I don’t want to see a single human die of hunger. I don’t want any farmer to commit suicide. I don’t want a single child to be blinded to beg or a girl pushed into prostitution. I want all rapists to be castrated. I want peace. I want people to love this gift of life and give it the respect it deserves.

God stared at me for a while. Her beer arrived. She sipped it thoughtfully.

She: That was quite a mouthful. Now say all this in one sentence.

Me: Ummm. I would like people to be more helpful, to smile at each other, to be honest, to respect.

She: Do you understand now?

Me: Yes. Yes, I do.

She: Killing terrorists and destroying weapons will not solve your problems Earthling. They are the manifestations of decades of wrongdoings. You have to begin from the beginning. One person at a time. From here. *and she tapped her finger on my heart*

It was my turn to stare at her.

Me: Who are you, again?

She: I told you. I am God. *She gulped down her beer in one go* My second glass of beer is over.

Me: And you pick a random stranger one at a time to have a chat and drill your point?

She (smiling): No. Not one at a time. I can appear at a million places at one go. Surely you know that? And besides, I get free beer. 

My mobile beeped. It was a text from the friend for whom I was waiting. He was not coming.

Me: Do you want to walk?

She: Sure.

We walked for a while. The air was cool. It felt good. I slipped my fingers between hers.

Me: Can I call you sometime?

She: Of course you can. *She turned and faced me, moving her fingers on my cheek* You were my greatest creation Earthling. You can always close you eyes and call me.

With that she started walking towards the next turn.

Me (shouting as she turned the corner) : I was going to ask for your mobile number.

She smiled and turned. I ran after her. There was no one there.

I started walking towards my car scratching my head. I saw an old man walking by. I looked in his eyes and smiled. He hesitated and then smiled back.

[This post has been written for IndiBloggers Time to Change contest

http://facebook.com/sftimetochange]

Love smells burnt

Love

It was the silence that brought her back. Consciousness brought the smell with it and she retched. She twitched her hands and legs, stiffened by the duct-tape digging in her flesh. No one had bothered to unbind her. The door of her bedroom was still locked from outside. Her hair were all over her face, glued to it with dried tears. The screams were still floating around her, settling in the room like dust. She knew the pain in her heart will never subside. It was unbearable, clenching her heart like a hook.

Silence.

She tried to move her hands, her legs, tried to cut the tape at the edge of the bed. She had to get out of the room. Maybe there was still time. She tried for almost half an hour before she groaned and gave up. If somehow she could get it off her mouth. She looked at the light coming from below the door. The inverted flames dancing on the pale tiles were not there any more. That was the last thing she could remember before she fainted. And the screams. Oh Yes! The screams.

Then she heard voices.

Someone opened the door and a gush of air brought another sharp smell of burnt flesh in the room. A police inspector stood there holding a handkerchief to his nose. He looked at her. His eyes were blank. He ordered his subordinate to go in and unbind her.

Blood rushed back to her hands and legs. She was able to get up after sometime. There still were needles of pain in her legs and hands but what were they compared to what she had lost? She clenched and unclenched her hands as she stood at the door of the bedroom and looked out. He was lying there. A black, unrecognisable mass of a man who was her husband an hour ago. She did not avert her eyes. How could she? He had kissed her in the morning. She had looked into his eyes and thanked God for sending him.

There were people in the room taking pictures, samples, fingerprints, going about their work as if her shattered life had blended effortlessly in their routine. She sat down at the foot of the door. Someone asked if she would like to drink some water. She mumbled something. She was still staring. The ambulance arrived. The inspector was asking  her something. They were taking the body away.

She was surprised by the wail that rose from her throat.

Her father and two brothers were arrested the next day. There was no remorse. They were proud that they saved the dignity of their family.

A bag of dreams

The moment the HR executive announced Aman’s name, his eyes witnessed a temporary blackness. It happens with many of us in the moment of sheer ecstasy when we finally achieve what we have diligently strived for. He just stared at her blankly waiting for the veil of blackness to lift and waiting for her to announce his name again. He just wanted to make sure that he was not dreaming.

“Mr. Aman, you have been selected by our company. Congratulations.”, the pretty HR executive repeated and smiled.

He smiled which made the tears in his eyes shine. Yes, he was not dreaming.

                                                           *  *  *

Aman came form a middle class family. His father had always been burdened by the dreams of providing his children all that he himself could never attain. Aman and his sister got everything they wanted for a better future without any compromises. Aman’s father was a government servant and had a very limited salary while his mother was a housewife. Loans and love went hand in hand as the children grew up. In a very tender age both of them realized that their parents went through a lot of hardship so that their children can reach a point in their lives where there are no sacrifices. 
Aman was always a focused child who had his priorities right from the very beginning. He wanted his family to be happy and he wanted to live a life with them where there was no thinking twice before indulging into something. Where no one in the family have to nip a wish in the bud. 
Today, he had taken a huge step towards that dream.

                                                              *  *  *

This was his first job interview and the hard work paid off. He got through the 6 rounds of interview very easily. The salary was very good and for a second a whole collage of his dreams passed in front of his eyes. Repaying all his father’s loans, marrying off his sister(something about which his mother worried a lot), sending his parents  for a world tour, buying a car, a house. They were very ordinary dreams. Something every second human you meet on the road dreams of. But they are the crux of their existence. They live their whole life just to fulfill them. Aman was one such face in the crowd. No, the dreams were not ordinary for him. He had lived them thousands of time spending each and every moment of his life inching towards them. The smile was not leaving his face.
He called up home to break the news.
“Oh! God is merciful.”, his mother said as tears welled up in her eyes. 
“I am coming back. Don’t tell father about the job. We’ll surprise him!”, he said.
“Ok. And bring some sweets too. Oh! I am so happy!!”, his mother said as she wiped away her tears.

Aman bought the sweets and took the local bus to home.

                                                              *  *  *

It took Aman’s family a long time to identify his body. It was completely charred. The blast was so powerful that his family had to take away his body minus two limbs. They were able to identified him with the help of a half burnt bag which was found next to his body. The bag contained his burnt degree certificates, the offer letter of the company and a packet of his favorite sweets.

—————————————————————————-

When someone gets killed in such cowardly attacks, he is not just a number. Many dreams die with him and many people lose the will to live without him. 
We all know that we are worse off than animals but lets strive to equal them atleast and ask all the “various” Gods for which we are killing each other to provide us with some sanity to achieve that. 

It has been a crazy day, a nightmare full of insanity.
Lets pray for all the Amans killed today in Mumbai. 

—————————————————————————-

The Cage

I was sitting on a mat spread lazily on the lush green grass surrounding India Gate when the cage appeared for the first time. It was a sunny winter afternoon and I was in a mood to sketch. My ten months old son was sleeping in a pram besides me while I had sent my husband to bring me an ice-cream. My husband laughed as he closed his laptop and got up because he too loved to eat ice-creams in winters, although they were hard to get. As I took out my drawing pad and pencils and looked at the majestic India Gate, I saw the cage appear in front of it, hanging in mid air.

It was white and big enough to accommodate at least five men. As people noticed it, then dropped whatever they were doing and started to walk towards it, as if in a trance. I too got up when my husband suddenly appeared and took my hand to stop me. I turned and saw two ice-creams in his hand. The traffic too stopped moving after a few seconds. While the murmurs were gaining momentum, the sky suddenly turned dark. It remained pitch black for a few seconds and then all the colours of a rainbow were splashed all over it, moving like molted lava. Something very similar to the play of colors we see when we pour oil over water. And then that thunderous voice which appeared to be coming from everywhere and nowhere.

I have placed 100 similar cages all over the world. These cages will be utilized to cleanse the Earth. I have given all of you enough chances but a few more years and I can kiss goodbye to any hopes of a better Earth. Over the next few months, the world will be in a huge turmoil but I am sure that those who will be left behind will be wise enough to find a path amongst the self inflicted human complexities. The ones, of whom the Earth would be cleansed are those who are devoid of even an iota of love and respect for the fellow Earthlings. Terrorists, rapists, molesters, poachers, murderers, drug dealers, corrupt leaders and corrupt Businessmen are the ones who would enter the cages first. All those who have even a small fraction of purity left in them and whom I consider worthy of creating a better future, will stay. All the cages will always remain on the Earth reminding you of what you all have become! As a parting shot, let me also inform you that I am removing all the weapons from the world. Goodbye.

The skies cleared and for a second it seemed as if it was a bad dream but the cage was still there, hanging in mid air and emphasising the reality. There was such an eerie silence that it seemed as if the Earth had stopped rotating. They say that everyone on Earth heard that voice in the language they understood. I heard it in Hindi while the British tourist standing next to me heard it in English. That was the day when the world stopped and screamed afterwards.

Suddenly a man appeared from thin air inside the cage. He started screaming the moment he realised where he was. He was pleading and asking for help from the bewildered crowd staring at him. The cage started changing colours and turned to orange. Amidst shock and terror, we all realised what was happening. The cage was heating up. The man started jumping up and down to find a cool spot to stand but soon his skin started to stick to the hot base. He grabbed the bars to pull up his legs but his hands got glued to the hot bars. The cage was turning red and the man was melting sending an overpowering stench of burned flesh amidst painful screams for help. My son was wide awake by now and started crying. My husband took my hand and we moved towards our car to get out of there. We sat in the car for five hours before the traffic finally started moving. By that time, the cage at India Gate had taken 300 lives and the screams were ringing in my ears. 30000 people had vanished from the face of the Earth in those five hours. The cage was killing one person every minute. 

*  *  *  *

On the third day from the beginning of the killings, my husband confided in me. He told me that as an eminent businessman of the city, he has given and accepted bribes numerous times. I sat there and listened to what he had to say. I knew all this already but I had accepted him the way he was because I knew that he was beyond repair. 

“I am transferring everything to your name. I might be gone any second. Please bring up my son to be a good man. Not someone like me. I am sorry, sorry for everything.”, he said as tears welled up in his eyes. He cried bitterly that night. For the first time, I felt sorry for him and cried with him. All the property was transferred to my name within the next 15 days. Although I wondered about the worth of all that within a year. 

*  *  *  *

By the end of a year 52,560,000 people were dead. Many of them were notorious criminals and eminent politicians. The world was in a chaos. The stock markets crashed, armies of all the countries were now unemployed and a few countries were left completely leaderless. Some people tried to destroy the cages, while some turned into believers. Despite the chaos, there was a serenity. A tacit calm. People were good to each other. They were hopeful that despite of what they had done in the past, Gods would spare them if they behave themselves now. Fear was driving people to love each other. 

My husband vanished 14 months after the killings started. That day we were having breakfast and talking about our son’s birthday celebrations when he disappeared from his chair mid sentence. I stared at the unfinished toast and the half filled cup of tea for a long time as I didn’t had the courage to switch on the television and see him melt. Those fourteen months were the best time of our marriage. He had completely transformed and I had fallen in love with him.

*  *  *  *

It took the world 30 years to come back to order. Yes, we survived somehow. It became a beautiful place to live eventually. The generation who is running the world now is of my son’s age and they are brought up in an environment were “love” is the only word, the only possible solution. My son got married some years back and I am a grandma now. I had never believed in happily-ever-afters but I am living one now. Of course, I miss my husband at times. I still have that cup and plate in which he had his last breakfast.

And yes, the cage is still there at India Gate. Its a part of that monument now, a part of our existence. But I don’t remember if it has been used since a long time. I go to India Gate at times to have a look at it. To remember the day when the sky turned into a molten rainbow.

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The Nebula Mindspin – Story and Epilogue

The Nebula Mindspin turned out to be a complete mindspin largely because my mind started spinning when I read the 20 comments which created the story. There were numerous dreams within dreams. Gandalf finally did his strip dance and Someone had the audacity to kill poor Kareena. The devil slipped over the hero’s pee which was peach in colour!!! Godzilla and a nine tailed fox also made an appearance while the protege slipped in and out of dreams, illusions and girlfriends.

Thankyou everyone for participating. Although I have warned that there might be a possibility that two people may write the comments at the same time, the story forked twice. I had to delete two comments because they came exactly at the same time and took the story in two directions.
So here is the complete story and don’t miss the Epilogue at the end.

The ship had started its descent on Planet AZ1104. We were 1000 strong with the state of the art Nebula Blue Laser Guns at our disposal. I moved the pin at the side of the gun to FULL. The blue coloured charge started to fill the sleek unbreakable glass container at the tip of the gun, ready to vapourise any form of threat. Planet AZ1104 was covered with a purple fog, which was going to make things more difficult for us. The ship landed smoothly as the hearts of 1100 army personnel inside that spaceship beat in unison. We were finally there. The doors started to open. It took 10 seconds for each of the 15 huge doors to open but it felt like eternity. The purple fog rushed in as we rushed out. Charging.

As we came out, to our surprise there was nobody in the visible distance. We were confused as we were expecting an attack immediately because our sources had informed us that the planet could give us a tough resistance. Then we came to know that our RADAR was wrong and we had landed in a wrong place which was very far away from the actual place. We started marching towards a nearby city to attack it according to our new plan. After some time we were facing a beautiful city which surrendered easily to us. We got a base on this planet very easily and our scientists captured the technology centers and started analyzing the enemy strengths and weaknesses. The enemy came to know about this attack immediately and started a counterattack. We were able to destroy many of their planes in no time. By this time our scientific group started attacking through viruses on their communication system.

But it was our genetically engineered super viruses that decimated the inhabitants of the city. Horrific combinations of Ebola and genital herpes left the city folk highly embarrassed before the inevitable bleed out left the city streets slick with crimson goo.Some of our people felt remorse for the horror we had unleashed, but most of us chuckled like demonic children as we watched the evil mess transpire over and over again on our collective mega-screen. We were humans after all,weren’t we? Well Mr. God, see, you might create so many other things, but we are plain smarter. Humanity rocks dude! Well what is that?  No way!!! This can’t be. There is a huge nine tail fox in front of me. The fox gnarled and charged at us, singing the haunting tunes of Cher’s new album, causing our un-shatter-able glass containers on the Nebula Laser Guns to break. We were helpless. In the distance, we could hear the horrific sounds of disease and illness that we had caused, sounds that added to our fear. Just when we were about to surrender to the foxy fox, we realized that there were 100 stowaways within us!

The purple fog turned denser reducing the visibility as we saw the fox’s eyes glow like thousand LED bulbs.I turned around but realised that we were engulfed by the thick fog when I suddenly saw a trajectory of the flash created by the two eyes of the fox as it jumped over us. Hell broke lose and we started running. Dead bodies hurled and flesh scattered. The fog vanished dramatically and we couldn’t see the fox anymore. To my surprise, all the dead people were the 100 stowaways and I saw a note stick ed on the flesh of a body – “These 100 damn rascals already carry Herpes with them”. I took the note in my hand and turned back to show it to the other crew members when I felt a sudden thud on my back. I saw a thick furred animal pounding at me. I took a deep breath and thanked God! All this was a dream and the thick furred animal is my sweet little doggy trying to wake me up!

I woke to find everything unusually quiet in the house. The dog had started howling and following me everywhere I went. I freshened up and dressed ready to go out now; the maid hadn’t come yet, she had fallen into this habit of coming late everyday now. When I switched on the TV, the language on the TV channels was strange. I couldn’t make out anything from it when suddenly the TV went off. I decided to take a stroll outside. Just when I came out from the building, everything outside was a mess. There was not a single person in sight. All the building, houses, stores, restaurants were burned up and smoking. Just then I heard a huge crashing sound behind me. I turned around and saw a huge Godzilla with a burning tree in his hand which he was using to burn buildings. It came charging towards me and I started running. Making my way through alleys I was trying to escape when I suddenly heard a girl’s cries coming from a car. I reached the car and to my surprise it was Kareena!! Apparently the door lock was jammed. I broke the glass windows with my bare fist and rescued Kareena. The Godzilla had come upon us by then.

We ran into a nearby building, trying to open one door after another. I knew that we would find resistance so I put my hand in my pocket and I found the very same gun from my dream. Finally a door opened and we barged in. There in the room was Gandalf strip teasing to Touch Too Much by AC/DC as dwarves looked on. Just as the last garment was coming off I fired my gun and zit! all of them vanished. I took Kareena inside, we looked into each others eyes, and then we kissed. Suddenly I heard a weird noise, my gun powering up! Zap! And Kareena was nothingness.My act left me shocked. I was filled with remorse. I reduced Kareena to nothingness. Oh my God! I was wondering what would I tell Saif! What would the entire film industry do! My mind was buzzing with Herpes virus, if that’s possible. I felt like aiming the gun at myself and turning to nothingness in hope of kissing Kareena once again. Suddenly, there was a loud explosion and a bright light filled the room.The light was so sharp, it blinded me for a minute. I opened my eyes slowly and was surprised to see what was in front of me.

I had had a dream within a dream. I was actually not on my own planet. I had dreamt the waking up sequence, and even the Kareena kiss and the Kareena death. The reality was this: We were on another planet and we had destroyed the inhabitants. Our guns had done strange things to them…and worse. We ourselves had changed. I looked around and saw that all of us had changed into an animal. That fox we had seen was actually one of us! We could not differentiate the aliens and my own mates. Suddenly I had a flash of memory triggered by something i could not make out. They were images of disaster .. buildings burnt down and earth in the hands of the aliens. I then realized that this was the way the aliens attacked. They superimposed images in the human mind so that it becomes confused and dazed.

Superimposed images! Yes, that was it. My mind had superimposed Kareena and Saif’s images on the images of aliens. Uff..We are so taken by our movies that we can’t think straight to save our own lives. Not only this, my imagination or is it my sight could conjure a time machine. Did I say I could make out a silhouette of time machine? But I have never seen one. Yet I can think of an image! It must be those Hollywood flicks. Here I am saddled with world’s biggest problem at my hand and I think of Hollywood and Bollywood. Shucks! How dare I even think of “Bollywood”! People will ostracise me of using this word Bollywood. It is degrading word, Amitabh Bachchan says so.

Stop it. Concentrate. Think what should be my next step?

Closing my eyes, I said a secret word and summon the Devil. On seeing the Devil in front of me I got mean and summoned God as well. I tried asking for advice from both of them, but they got into a damnation fight. They hit each other and after five minutes realised that I had summoned them.The devil was pissed off with me as he had to leave the creation of a new sin and mailing to the religious heads for later. God was angry because he was cleaning his house and his girl friend might now ditch him as she was a cleanliness freak. Peace. Peace. Yes, so here we were, in a room, God, devil, God’s girlfriend and me. We all are having this heated discussion about who will give me an advice and the reasons behind it.

God said, “I made the world, I know what to do next.”

Devil said, “You can create any world, I will destroy it in a minute.”

Gods girlfriend said, “I am with God.”

I said, “Freeze!”

I couldn’t believe I said that. It must be the fear of Herpes moving to sacred Gods. But devil and God’s girlfriend could do with it. Now I was thinking like God, I chided myself.

Meanwhile, all of them were staring hard at me. Devil lunged at me, I tried hard to remember where was the Herpes Virus petri dish. Fool, it does not transmit through petri dish. Before devil could reach me, he fell with a thud at my feet. My mouth opened in a perfect circle, barely registering the recent events. I realized that in my fear, I had lost control over my bladder and pee’d all over the floor. The devil has slipped on the slippery pee and fell down, now covered in a layer of stink. I wrinkled my nose and tried hard not to laugh at him, but I couldn’t. I burst out laughing. I laughed till my sides ached! Meanwhile, the stink was becoming stronger and stronger. The fluid on the floor seemed to glow. There was something… something was terribly wrong with the pee… It was changing color and slowly, it became a shade of light pink. It wasnt pee anymore; it was now the colour of peach! I was shocked. I realised I am allergic to peach. They cause my eye to itch! And then I saw the devil furiously rubbing his eye! And i realised…the devil, in his attempt to destroy goodness in the world, had taken over my soul. But me being the powerful God, had cheated him. All he had now was an itching eye! And when that smile of victory slowly pulled at the corners of my lips, i could see the defeated devil’s expression.

Just when I was preparing my victory, the devil rose up as the peach color pee gave him strength to fight with me. He blew fire from his mouth and due to the fear I peed more. The more I peed, the more the color of peach the more the devil grew stronger. I had to find a way out to overcome my fear and not to pee. What should I do? Thinking..thinking, I saw a pool of water. I touched it and After that what all I could see was creatures who looked neither like monkeys or humans , but not surely unknown creatures,somewhere in my weirdest dreams I have seen .They wore metal covers which had alternate blue n white paint patches and soon they disappeared from our vision and then appeared the most beautiful ladies !!!!! All the chicks from bollywood were there. So I first moved towards Ashi and bingo they all turned into little devils, trying to pull me to the abyss. Now I needed some serious help. So I called the Vodafone help line and boom! everyone ran away. We had Captain Pug to the rescue, so I decided to switch from Airtel to Vodafone permanently but then the devil called the brand -Ambie of Nokia and that idiot started doing a stupid dance…and I fainted.When I woke up,I had my girl friend smiling at me telling me that I shouldn’t watch too much of Naruto.

Epilogue :

I had a sharp pain in my temple as I focused on my girlfriend. She was tied to a huge machine and there was a metallic pipe coming out just below her neck. I moved my neck sideways and felt the pipe behind my neck too.

“What did you say?”, I asked.

“I said, you shouldn’t watch too much of Naruto.”, she said and smiled. A sad smile.

“What happened?”, I asked Kareena.

“Don’t move your neck much. Its just a power failure. You won’t remember anything after a few seconds.”, she said and smiled again.

“Where are we?”, I asked, still groping with the sight of huge metallic pillars full of humans in front of me. It was a scene straight out of one of the classic movies which came 1200 years back. I could not remember the name of the movie. I guess it was Matrix…

“We were taken captive. Don’t you remember? After we rushed out of the spaceship, the enemy overpowered us. We were given false tip regarding their strenght.”, Kareena said as tears welled in her eyes.

I was getting flashes of the past. The purple fog, the huge goliath sized enemy force, the swift attack and the defeat. But then what happened afterwards? The dream, the takeover of the city, the fox, Godzilla, Gandalf, kareena…dying, the Devil, the God. What the hell was that?

“They have joined our brains together. And they put all of us to sleep by some mechanism. What you were seeing was just a superimposition of the dreams of the thousands of people lying here. Your brain was just picking up random dreams from all of us. The problem is that they are having frequent power failures of sort and we all wake up at times. The power will be up any time and we won’t remember anything of this talk till we wake up again by mistake and that might be – never.”

“But why are they doing this?”, I asked.

“Don’t know. But there are thousands of us here. All the spaceships which vanished before and all the missing people are here.”

“Can’t we….”

A painful spasm rose in my back and everything went dark. I was lying on a bed filled with white petals covered with white silk bedsheets. The bed was lying on a beach where the waves were coming and going beneath it. Then I saw Kareena, all dressed in white, coming towards me with the sunset bathing the whole white canvas into orange.

*                        *                        *

I woke up 6 years later when we finally defeated the inhabitants of Planet AZ1104. Kareena and I got married and lived happily ever after with our two kids.

The Nebula Mindspin

I got the idea of this post from an amazing post from Ashish, the Geek Wrestler, who a few days back wrestled the urge to empty his bladder. Sorry my Lord, couldn’t help it. 😀  So I am inspired(by his post, that is) and thus I am taking the liberty of using it. 😛
If you really want to have the laugh of your life, read this post by Ashish.
This is a harmless test of your wits/creativity/luck. Luck because the story will end on the 20th comment.
Those of you who can’t understand what in the name of Beelzebub I am talking about, here are the rules (Again copied from the Geek God‘s post with some minor changes) :
1. I start a story, you continue it in the comments.
2. Your comment is limited to TEN sentences. Please ensure that a comment does not exceed 10 sentences. [Arrgg!!! The IT language]
3. You can write any number of comments [within the limit of course] but you cannot follow your own comment with another one i.e. for example, Poonam can’t comment right after her own comment unless someone else posts a new comment just after her previous one.
4. The maximum number of comments is 20. I will post the 21th comment [an epilogue] so its the job of the 20th commentator to finish the story off.
5. Take the story wherever you want to [comedy, fantasy, even erotica!] just one thing, you are not allowed to finish it off unless you’re the 20th commentator.
6. It might be possible that when you are writing a comment someone else might be writing it too and both of you might fork the story. So it is advisable to write your comment in a notepad first and just before posting it, refresh the page once. Hence you would immediately come to know if someone else has just posted a comment.
7. Please don’t post any off-story comments till the 20th commentator finishes the story.
8. Have fun!

Here goes the story :
The ship had started its descent on Planet AZ1104. We were 1000 strong with the state of the art Nebula Blue Laser Guns at our disposal. I moved the pin at the side of the gun to FULL. The blue coloured charge started to fill the sleek unbreakable glass container at the tip of the gun, ready to vapourise any form of threat. Planet AZ1104 was covered with a purple fog, which was going to make things more difficult for us. The ship landed smoothly as the hearts of 1100 army personnel inside that spaceship beat in unison. We were finally there. The doors started to open. It took 10 seconds for each of the 15 huge doors to open but it felt like eternity. The purple fog rushed in as we rushed out. Charging.

That’s it. Get started people. Spin your minds. 🙂

I love you too

First of all, my apologies to everyone for not being a very regular reader of the posts of all my buddies for quite some time now. The reason being that I have shifted base to a new place and my office is an (un)comfortable two hours drive from my home. So, I end up being in the lap of my bus for four precious hours everyday instead of being in that of my lap-top. I have to iron out my life but don’t know how.

Having said that, this post is a short story which was lying in my drafts from the past three months. Its being a while I had written one but this one popped one fine morning in my brain due to a cerebral short circuit. I started wondering on the silliness of it and then thought of bestowing the readers with it. 😛

The title of the post, of course, belongs to the short story. 😀

Here goes :

What started as a drizzle was now turning into a downpour. She was standing at the entrance of her office, forcing the umbrella to stay above her head and waiting for a cab to materialize amidst the shards of water breaking from the clouds. She saw a car approaching but it was not a cab. The black Mercedes stopped in front of her and she saw her image roll down with the window. What appeared from the other side was one of the most enchanting faces she had ever seen. He was smiling with one corner of his lips curled up and ending up in a deep dimple.

“May I help you? Can I drop you somewhere?”, he asked.

“No thanks. I will prefer going by a cab.”, she replied as her brain received a smack from her heart.

“You would be needing a boat after sometime. Don’t worry. Just hop in and I will drop you where ever you stay.”

She hesitated for a second but the dimple was at display again. She smiled back as she sat in the car and closed the door.

“Thanks.”, she said tersely.

“No trouble at all. I am Daniel.”, he shot back.

“Margaret.”, she smiled back.

He drove silently for a few minutes and then suddenly shot a glance at her.

“What?”, she asked.

“I can drop you at a place only if I know where the place is.”

“Oh!!! I am so sorry.”, she laughed back.

She told him the address and soon the car screeched at her doorstep after snaking through a few water clogged roads.

“Would you come in for a cup of coffee?”, she asked as she picked up her umbrella. She was smiling and she was not looking at him.

“Yeah sure. Its damn cold and coffee would certainly do me good.”, he said giving his dimpled smile again.

She felt a warmth in her heart. She looked at him and suddenly she couldn’t remove her eyes from his face. She just wanted to be near him. Just wanted to feel his warmth…

She unlocked the door of her apartment and asked him to come in as she switched on the lights. The apartment was spacious and very tastefully decorated with artifacts and paintings from across the globe.

“God!!! You are rich. Why don’t you have a car?”

“Thanks. I had one. I sold it last week. Got bored or it actually. I need to buy another one this weekend. Make yourself comfortable. I’ll bring the coffee.”, she said as she took his coat.

“Can I come in the kitchen? If you don’t mind.”, He asked when she was halfway across the hall.

“Sure.”, She looked back and smiled at him.

He sat at the small dining table in the kitchen and watched her make coffee. Soon she was staring at the droplets of rain slashing across the kitchen window, lost in thoughts, smiling. Suddenly he got up and stood behind her, with his hands on her shoulders, squeezing them lightly. Then he moved one of his hand over hers and cupped her slender fingers.

“My husband might be at home anytime.”, she said.

A lightening bolt flashed across the window as she said this. His grip loosened instantaneously. He went to the drawing room, picked his coat and left the house. She stood in the kitchen and laughed.

* * *

The bell rang a few minutes later. She opened the door.

“Hi hon. How are you doing?”. It was her husband.

“Great. How was your day?” , she said flashing one of her sparkling smiles which her husband really loved.

“I was thinking about you all day long.” He said as he took her in his arms and kissed her.

“What!!! Aren’t you tired?”, she asked knowing very well what was about to come.

“Not yet. But maybe, I will be in an hour.”, He said as he smiled and picked her in his arms and moved towards the bedroom.

* * *

When she woke up in the morning, her husband was already up, fixing breakfast in the kitchen. She showered quickly and entered the kitchen.

“Breakfast is served.”, her husband said as he presented her with scrambled eggs, fruits, juice and bread.

“Thank you so much dear. What would I do without you.”, she said kissing him.

They ate the breakfast, chatting happily and later he went to drop her at the office in his car. As she got out of the car, he caught hold of her hand.

“What?”, she said turning around and laughing.

“It was fun last night. Wasn’t it?”

“Yes it was. But come to think of it, what the hell were we doing?”, she said as she laughed out loud.

“Just remembering the first night we met. Come on, its been exactly five years yesterday. What’s wrong in being a little playful?”, he said as he entangled his fingers into hers.

“Yes, but five years ago, you didn’t turn around and leave and I was not married.”, she said and winked. He looked at her for a few moments, playing with her fingers. Then he pulled her into the car.

“You are the best wife I could have asked for. I love you, Margaret.”

“I love you too, Daniel”, she whispered slowly in his ear as she hugged him and looked at the diamond ring on her finger, which he gave her last night. There were tears of happiness in her eyes.

She waved her husband goodbye as he drove away in his black Mercedes, giving her another one of his infectious, dimpled smiles.

Sunrise

She was staring at the sun. The sun was taking its last breath before it would die in the ocean and give way to the cover of the night and then would be reborn again like the Phoenix the next morning, in another part of the world, in another ocean. The vicious loop which would snail everyone towards their end. Faintly luminous stars were visible on the other end of the sky, where the dominance of the sun was loosing its grip. She smiled as she gazed at the ball of fire about to taste water.
“Isn’t it beautiful?”
The voice completely shocked her out of her wits. She was sitting on the corner of a bench at a secluded area where all she could hear was the sound of the lapping waves and the occasional gush of the soft wind from the sea. She gave out a small cry and moved her hand towards her heart.
“Oh! I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to shock you.”, the stranger said as she stared at him.
He was around fifty. He had jet black hair with soft streaks of whites in-between. The lines at the ends of his eyes were prominently visible as he smiled. He was wearing a black overcoat, a black jeans and black shoes. His smile was infectious and so were his light grey eyes. He was sitting at the other corner of the bench.
“I am fine. Yes, it is beautiful.” She said as she faced the sun again.
They sat staring at the Sun for a few moments.
“Do you ever wonder why humans are here?”. The stranger asked her.
She turned and stared at him for a while.
“I am 20. Do you really think that I need to think about this?”
“Try.”
“Ok. hmmmm….lets see. The earth was at a perfect distance from the Sun which lead to the evolution of life form. Then human species came and took over the world as they were better equipped to survive and as the Dinosaurs were, thankfully, already extinct. That’s why they are here.”
The stranger was silent for a few seconds.
“Now let me ask you a few questions.”, the girl said.
“Ok.”
“What is the purpose of all this?”
He looked at her and gave one more of his infectious smiles.
“The purpose is to enrich the souls with the experiences on this Earth.” He said.
“Why?”
“So that the souls learn and evolve, so that they can enrich the one and only source.”
“Why?”
He stared at her and blinked twice.
“There is no why after this. It is the ultimate truth.”
“But think about it. Even if there is a source to which all the souls return, as you say, then why is that source enriching itself? What is its purpose?”
“You ask me questions which are beyond my domain, young lady.”
“Try.”
“Hmmm…maybe the source is some monster who enslaves the souls and feed on their experiences. Maybe that’s why souls never remember their previous experiences, because they are all sucked out of them by the source.”
“Now this is imagination.”, the girl said as she smiled.
“Maybe this is the truth. What we think is God, is some monster soul master.” The man whispered as he eyed the Sun.
“Ok, now try to be a little more optimistic.”, the girl said.
“Ok…maybe the source…I can’t think of an explanation. What can be the purpose of the source? I never thought about it. I never questioned it.”
They were silent for a few more moments as the Sun inched towards the ocean.
“What is your name?”, the girl asked.
“The Angel of Death.”
“oh!!! Really? Then you must be knowing all the answers to my questions. You must be close to God.” She said as she laughed.
“I am not supposed to ask questions which are beyond my duties.” The man said and gave her a wink.
“And what are your duties, my dear Angel of Death?”
“I ferry people. When the soul leaves the body, it does not remember the path to the source. I take the soul back to the source.”
She was finding it extremely amusing and laughable.
“Why are you here today?” She asked.
“Oh!!! I came here to ferry a soul. A girl is going to die on that road in a few minutes.” He said pointing at the road far off at the other end of the beach.
“I must go now. Its time.” He said as he stood up.
“Hey!!!won’t you wait for the sunset?”
“No. I must leave now. It was nice talking to you.”
“Same here. Bye, Angel of Death.”
“Bye and see you soon.” He smiled back as he waved.
The sun was halfway in water now. It has splashed its golden red colour all over the ocean and the sky as the rotating earth hid it completely from view. Sunsets always warmed her heart. She considered it as God’s best art work. The girl sighed and smiled at the sight and stood up. She started to move towards the road.
As she reached the busy road she saw the angel of death crossing the road. He was so absorbed in his thoughts that he didn’t hear the blaring horns of the bus approaching him. As the bus hit him, he was thrown high up in the sky, and died instantly as he hit the ground.

* * *

As he opened his eyes, he saw the girl standing in front of him.She was smiling at him. He felt really light and realised that he was floating in air. As he looked down, he saw his body lying in the middle of the road surrounded by strangers crying for help. The girl was wearing a long white gown now and had huge white feathers and a halo on her head.
“Who are you?” He asked her.
“The Angel of Death”. She said.
“Come, let me show you the path to reach the source. You shall find the answers to all your questions there, as you have found them a million times before and you will forget them just before you enter flesh, as you have forgotten them a million times before.” She said as she took his hand and moved up high in the sky. As they flew up, he saw the sun rise, moving away from the waters of the earth and shining with all its brilliance and might.

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Pandora’s box

I slowly opened the door of daddu’s room. It was a small dingy room with paint coming out at various places, wide blotches of water at the ceiling due to the heavy rains two days back. There was a cot at one end of the room, a small table at the other end with a dirty plastic jar and a cracked plastic glass on it. There was an almirah at the foot of the bed. The doors of the almirah were open and all that it contained once was packed in a tattered suitcase lying near the table. The sunlight was filtering through the sole open window and was bathing the Pandora’s box lying on the bed.

I had the key in my hand. I had always wanted to open it and see what was inside but today I couldn’t muster up enough courage. It was a wooden box with carvings on it. I moved towards the bed and sat on its edge. I moved my fingers over the curves of the box trying to figure out the secrets it held. Tears were welling up in my eyes as I inserted the key and opened the lock. Everything was blurred and I couldn’t see anything at first. Then I wiped my tears and took out the contents.

* * *

I was born Zahir Shirazi in the city of Kanpur. Zahir is an Arabic word which means “radiant”. The name was given by my grandfather Wahab Shirazi whom I fondly called Daddu. Daddu used to tell me that when he saw me for the first time, he found my face as radiant as the morning dew glittering in sunshine. When I was born, mother was already very weak but my father was too euphoric because of my presence to notice that. Daddu was always on her side taking care of all her needs but everything turned futile as she took her last breath two months after I was born. She was the daughter daddu never had and somehow he couldn’t get over her death for the rest of his life.

As I grew up, I sensed a constant rift between daddu and abbu. I could never understand the reasons. Abbu was a very eminant lawyer and didn’t had much time for me. Daddu used to take me to the park where we used to run till I was left breathless. Daddu was very energetic for his age and he always used to encourage me for going into sports. This was something unacceptable to my father. He wanted me to be a bada aadmi (successful man) and a career in sports was a path I could not tread.

Once when I was 9, I went into Daddu’s room and saw him sitting next to the wooden box. He was holding something in his hands and as soon as he saw me, he just dropped it back in the box and closed it hastily.

“Had your lunch?”. He asked.

“What are you hiding daddu? Show me!show me!”. I tried to take the box which he had hid behind him.

“No, Zuhu. Baba, this is the Pandora’s box. Children are not allowed to look into it.”

“Pandora’s box. What’s that?”

“Its a box which contains evil things. If it is opened, then it may unleash something which is not good for anybody. That is why it should be kept shut.”

“But you just opened it!”.

“Zuhu…Ok. We both shall make a promise to each other. Ok?”

“Ok”. I was somehow a little sceptical but consented.

“I will show you what’s inside the Pandora’s box when the time is ripe. That’s my promise. Your promise to me will be that you will always listen to your heart and do what you think is right for you. Ok?”

I stared at him for a while. He was looking in my eyes and I knew at that moment that he would definitely let me see the contents of the Pandora’s box someday.

* * *

As I grew up, I saw Daddu many times sitting with the Pandora’s box just staring at it.

“When will you show me the Pandora’s box?”. I asked him several times.

“You will see it when you need to see it.”

I was good at studies but was better at sports. I used to run like a cheetah (that’s what Daddu used to say). I won a lot of competitions at school but somehow father never used to encourage me. There were times when my trophies were smashed against the walls and I was slapped hard. Things went out of control on that fateful day when I won the Racing championship of my district. I was 14.

“This is how you will become a successful man? Running and jumping like a buffoon?”. My father said as he slapped me hard on the face.

“Your son has won….”. Daddu tried to intervene.

“You…you, just keep out of it. Thanks to you, he is neglecting his studies and winning these useless trash of trophies.”

“They are not useless…”

“Is it? Who can know this better than me?”. His eyes were blazing red and for a second he stared at Daddu. Daddu lowered his eyes and went out of the room.

A few days later when I went into Daddu’s room after coming from school, it was empty. Father promptly told me that Daddu has moved in an old age home.

“I cannot allow him to live here anymore. You can meet him once a week for one hour.”. He said as he promptly closed the door of his study.

* * *

I was devastated. Daddu was the center of my existence. I used to stare aimlessly at walls for hours and soon lost my appetite, but my father was very firm. Daddu was not coming back. I used to meet him on Sundays. He was his radiant self and used to cheer me up a lot. We used to race till the end of the park and then drop down and laugh. Oh!! how I missed him.

“Do you still race at school?”. He asked me once. I lowered my eyes.

“My poor boy!!!”. He said as he gently moved his fingers on my cheek.

We met like this for 4 years till father decided to send me to USA for further studies. Daddu came to meet me at the airport. He was very happy. Father moved away as he saw him coming. He told me that he will be back in 10 minutes. Daddu kissed me at the forehead.

“When will I see you again?”. He asked. I embraced him and started weeping like a child.

“Do you remember the Pandora’s box?”. He asked.

“Yes. But I don’t want to see whats inside. My life is dark enough without opening it…and I was not able to keep my promise.”

“You will see it someday. And don’t worry about the promise. Some things are not meant to be.”

* * *

I was in USA for the next 12 years. After completing my engineering I got a job in a good multinational company there. I fell in love with Audrey. She was half French & half English. We married against father’s wishes but I was not bothered. Soon we were blessed with a baby boy. All through this happy phase of my life, I was constantly in touch with Daddu. I tried to persuade him to come and stay with me but he always laughed at the idea. I came down to India every year with my family to meet him. He was growing old and fragile and I was worried for him. He was not ready to leave the old age home.

“This is my home. Don’t ask me to start life afreash at this stage, I don’t have the courage”. He said whenever I tried to bring up the topic of his coming with us.

Then one day, while working in office, I got a call from his Old age home. He had died peacefully in his sleep and had left a key for me.

* * *

As I pulled out the paper cuttings from the box, I saw photographs of Daddu when he was young. Daddu running on tracks, winning medals, smiling, waving hands, laughing. As I tried to look for more clippings in the box something metallic hit my fingers. I pulled out a handful of medals from inside. There were medals won in major National events and even Asian games. I could not believe what I was exposed to. Somehow the pieces of the puzzles of my last 30 years of existence were falling in place. At the bottom of the box was a letter. Daddu has scribbled a few lines for me.

Dearest Zuhu,

Your father never forgave me for following my dream and neither did your grandma. Running was my passion but it was not enough to live a luxurious life. I gave it up but somehow it was too late.

I never wanted you to see all this, as it would have fuelled your father’s anger. That’s why I called it a Pandora’s box. I was tempted to show it to you many times, when I saw that you had the same fire, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I couldn’t let your life end up like mine. I couldn’t pass my curse to you.

Don’t burden your heart with too much thoughts. You are wise, successful and happy and that is all that matters.

Always be happy my child.

I will always love you.

Your Daddu.