Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mrityunjay --- The final episodes

This story is in continuation with the past story blog below, entitled - Mrityunjay.
Episode Four :
Hero of the Battaliks

The bedazzlement of the first window was now fading, that made Mrityu mind come back to the usual thoughts.. “I think its getting late.. I need to get back home.. Is this a dream? Well in that case I have been asleep for long. I think I must now return to real life… but how??” He tried to pinch himself and pull his hair off his scalp! But he remained suspended in this place away from home .. maybe his dream

With all his attempts proving futile, Mrityu made headway towards the door which had now almost disappeared in the uniform greyness of the space he was in. Just when he was trying to locate it.. He heard droplets of rain tippity-taping on dry leaves. The sound grew louder and louder until it merged with the bright light that came from the second window which also blew gusts of stormy winds. The winds were icy cold, something Mrityu was not used to in his tropical life. It was perhaps similar to the winter gusts that Mayo had experienced back at Domar La. but felt familiar from a far, long lost past that still had its dwindling fingerprints in his mind. The rain drops showed through the fading dazzle of the second window where mrityu could now see another beautiful valley dotted with pine, deodhar and other conifers. The sound of droplets grew louder and louder till there were loud thundering sounds too accompanied with fire and smoke with the shrills of whizzing bullets. It was ammunition indeed in its fiercest form coupled with the snow storm. Mrityu found himself in half sleep there till someone shook him awake.. “Maqbool!!! Do you want to be buried here in the rubble of the bombs and mines?? We need to leave this place.. The army is here to help us out!” Mrityu now found himself standing and staring at the same wrinkles of the wise monk and his co-passenger in the train!! But this was Majid, his caretaker.

Maqbool standing tall with his Himalayan built running on 20 years showed no signs of budging from the land which held fond memories of his parents who put in all their efforts and sacrificed a lot bringing the child up. He stood by the window looking outside to the once-was flower garden whose soil was now poisoned by burnt remains of ammunition and the blood of his innocent parents who were killed in the stray fire. Grief and revenge filled Maqbool’s heart, while Majid kept on nudging him off his trance that looked beyond the snowstorm and heard through the loudness of the ammo.

“Barf aur gole khoob saath baras rahen hain chhote ustad,. Yahaan khatre ke dayre main rehna thik nahi. Chalo beta jaate hain” (The snow and the shells are showering alike, its not good to stay within danger. Lets leave lad). A gentle caress followed by these words shook Maqbool, as Mrityu in his skin was reminded of the Jawaan’s pat on his shoulder. When he turned around, Alas, it was the same Soldier!

Just when Maqbool stood amazed, he was shook off the ground as a shell exploded few feet away triggering a wall of snow into an avalanche. Even before Maqbool could get up, the mass of snow got the better of him with its whiteness raging closer and turning into the mysterious grey where Mrityu found himself yet again.

Three windows, and those elements in the train now found a place in his past, but Mrityu pondered to himself, where was he?? Why did the place feel as though it was neither the past, nor the present with future out of question? This was perhaps an empty dream, which he caught while sleeping in the train. It was time to wake up! “Mrityu.. wake up fast, wake up, wake up” he chanted

Final Episode
Mrityu Awakens

“Mrityu wake up.. wake up”.. desperate but futile attempts went on just when, with a loud creak the door from where he entered opened with a peeking gap.

He could see the train crawling into the station with its melancholy horn signal.. two short and one long toot.. the announcement on the platform shrieked.. “On duty porters… on duty porters… please report to coach number three”. He wanted to cross the door and walk back into the train which had now halted on his home platform, Ghatkopar. Just when he was about to do so, he saw a bloodstained body being carried away from coach number three, and thought to himself, “Oh dear yet another victim, let the body pass and I shall walk back home through this door”

Just when the stretcher with its bloodstained cargo was taken to the far end of the platform, to the dead-body room, there were people who shook their head, so did a warm summer breeze that blew the cloth off the head of the body which was surprisingly the only part of the poor body that was not mangled beyond recognition. The face sighting knocked Mrityunjay in a state of shock, “That face… that’s mine.. how can it be!!?”

The heavy thought of departure from yet another scene of life sunk into Mrityu, “Is it really all over?? Were these the hidden answers?? The Monk? The Soldiers? And my undying quest for the truth, may it be in the icy mountains?? Or maybe the dark breezy Mumbai night whizzing past me in the train and bringing me to this grey chamber!! Alas!! Is this the world I will need to dwell forever. That aint have no colors but grey with its occasional white streaks!! This is worse than death!! Or is this what people call death??”

Just when Mrityu was getting agitated he was turned around 180 degrees from the door towards another blinding light. He could feel himself getting accelerated. The blinding light and the speed, took all his memories and his past, back into the cold mysterious subconscious where it would stay preserved till a later day of revelation. The speed and the white dazzle grew until Mrityu found himself getting compressed and coming to a abrupt halt.

He could feel fluids within him, in his eyes, his mouth, his ears which could hear those strange hums that you hear when you are submerged in water. His eyes could see a reddish white dazzle that he may have seen with his face to the sun with eyelids closed. He coughed to get the fluid out of his mouth and nose, gasping for his breath. He could hear whispers around him. In an attempt to throw up the fluid he cried but with a surprisingly higher pitch than his usual broad voice.

Just before he could open his eyes to broad daylight, someone held him in her arms and said, “Congratulations Madam, it’s a healthy baby boy!!”. A healthy new born baby he was indeed, embarked on a new quest for life, after having overcome yet another death

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Rendezvous

The moment she got out of the train, she saw him. And he was the last person she wanted to see today. After a long tiring day at work, a short cat nap in the train she had slept past Vile Parle station. And the moment she got down at Andheri, she saw him. The tall imposing personality, dressed in his usual crisp style. At that moment she wished she would vanish into thin air. Or just tap her toes and rush to Oz....or anywhere, but here. Her mouth went dry and beads of perspiration soaked her forehead. Her heart was racing. He invoked all the old memories in her. Of her last meeting with him, the pain, the despair and the trauma. And there was no way she could have avoided him. She stood rooted to her place till the jostling crowd of passengers pushed her and she almost fell.

So the moment of confrontation was here. "I'll pass by him, like I never saw him." And if he does recognize me, or call me out I will face him. She suddenly developed a spring in her walk and with an air of confidence marched towards the bridge, to face him-- the ticket collector, confident to explain why she was at Andheri station, while her ticket was valid only upto Vile Parle.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Girl went to the temple with her mother, fiance and older brother. All with sincere devotion in their minds, and prayers on their lips. It was a very auspicious day. Standing in front of the Lord, hands folded in reverance, heads bowed, eyes closed each one had just one favour to ask from the Deity.

Fiance, "Good Lord, when is she going to consent for the marriage....can't wait so long. Need to get hold of all her money soon. You know that Almighty, don't you!! How much more will you test my patience?"

Mother, "God, give my daughter some sense, why is she marrying this good for nothing fellow? Please make her understand that she must marry the guy I have chosen, he's richer than us.She will be happy.."

Brother, "Oh Lord, let sister marry that boy. Mother isn't too happy and she will leave all her property in my name. She won't leave that oaf a penny, I will ensure that."

Girl, "Oh God, you have been so nice to me!! Loving parents, doting brother and a wonderful husband! I don't ask anything for myself, grant all their wishes for me"

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Wild Imaginations of Nagesh and Varsha

This is a tale written by us, Varsha and Nagesh in collaboration. No discussion about the story line, just posting, each one at our own pace. First episode written in jul and the last one in september. So do check out whats the outcome, and give us your feedback. And make a guess, which of us has written which episode. Won't be tough if you have read our individual blogs.

Episode 1:

Nita knew that she had no choice but to do what she was doing. She had spent days pondering over her decision. Will he understand her? Leave alone supporting her...
It was not easy...not at all easy ....but did she have much of a choice? She knew the tough decisions she was taking now will make way for a greater love and happiness in the future...a future that was not too far. But till then she had no choice but to face any hardships that might fall unto her. She clutched her handbag closer to herself and started fiddling with the zipper..a sign that reflected her anxiety; her own slightest doubts in the plan. she dragged her feet along the uneven path beneath her feet, which were shaky from the long walk and the rough weather.

Episode 2:

Resting his head on the not so cozy cane chair, Naresh was lost in an equal ponder. He was already done with the foot-dragging march on the rough pavement on his way back home. The thoughts in his Sinusitis-struck head were deep with its echoes shrill, that ended with a bold question mark. "Whats troubling you Nita?". The thoughts were supported by Jagjit's Ghazal playing on his PC singing "Kya Gham hai jisko Chipaa rahe ho.. tum itna jo muskuraa rahe ho". Naresh pondered hard to extrapolate the reason behind the grey tension that vieled his beloved Nita's fair happy face. Or perhaps, it was her fair face veiling the dark stress showing its gruesome grey.

Naresh knew that Nita had found her happiness in him, as much as he discovered his completeness in her. Inspite of his trials so far, he was unable to arrive at the reasons of Nita's distress. Naresh's thoughts ran through a series of eliminations.. "It couldn't be our parents, they have afterall given consent for our marriage" "She is almost through with her studies and is poised to get through her next level too!.. hmmm studies isnt the reason for her distress"

The suspense mounted deeper and deeper till it tranquilized Naresh to the darkness of the night, beyond the point where his sleeplessness couldn't hold him awake.

Episode 3:

Nita knocked on the door. The door which had the answer to her querry. A tired faced Makrand opened the door.
"Come on in.."
Nita entered. Sat on a not so comfortable low seat. A glass of water was served. She drank a few sips, as if just for formality. Her dry mouth needed more than the few drops she had. But then that was the last thing on her mind.
"So you are sure about your decision.....?" asked Mac, as he was called. His friends found his long name very cumbersome.
"Yes" she said in a shaky tone, which even a child wouldn't have believed.
"Nita....I understand its tough. But if your mind is made up, nothing else will matter. "
She mumbled a yes, which probably she didn't hear either.
"No force absolutely Nita..think it over." Mac said with concern.

Next to Naresh, only Mac knew Nita as well as he did. They had worked together in the art gallery. Nita to earn some pocket money for her studies and him, an art freak, passionate about his work. And he could understand Nita's concern. All the same he felt she was giving the issue more attention than it deserved.

"Mac here's the cash, she handed him a thick bundle. All of Rs.50,000. Each and every penny of what I saved over past so many years with you here at the gallery. Plus all my cash gifts, daily savings, small investments..all put together. Pack that lovely picture. Naresh will love it, the art connossieur he is. Although he will chide me about drowning all my savings for this. But as we both discussed, its worth more than what I pay. Just a little anxious to spend all of this at once. "
"Good going girl. Trust me you are buying a treasure. Its packed and ready, shall be delivered to Naresh in an hour. I paid Nattu extra for this late night delivery. At sharp 00:00, for his birthday, Naresh will recieve this lovely present."
"Thanks a lot Mac, you are just great...." Nita gave him a warm hug and left the art gallery with a lost smile on her face.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Thane 21 - 11.48 Hrs (Travelling slow between Thane and Mumbai CST)

The 9 coach train ratcheted lethargically out of platform number one, like a python crawling out of its den after lazing and digesting its prey. Seated in one of the coaches, Mrityunjay tried to feel the first few raindrops of the season that were trying their best to fall on the parched land of Mumbai, getting evaporated by the heat long before its fall! Mrityunjay's face was lucky to catch just a couple of them which diluted his tears by a fractional milliliter.

Those tears did not carry sadness, but stress and a petition from his mild-grey eyes which had spent many sleepless nights, partying out and also in lonesome ponder. Mrityu, as his friends called him, was not quite tired of sipping fresh fruit juice in a tavern full of boozards, his friends. But every night he sought a deep glance to the midnight sky through the grids of the train window grill. On the random patterns of the dim city-lit clouds, Mrityunjay tried to dream and project his future which seemed as bleak as those clouds and as uncertain as the rains that those clouds would have showered. He could see his engineering degree, the eyes of his first crush, Akansha and his plans to study further just in case he cleared his engineering.... and the dark veil of fear of the unknown and something even more dominating....the uncertain.

The train stopped at Mulund and the silence of the compartment was disturbed by a group of army men. A strange feeling swept past Mrityunjay, as though he just had a trim haircut like a cadet with the feeling of breeze tickling the almost bare temples. He felt unusual - as though he was a part of their regiment, till the train jerk shook him back to reality. The Army jawaans chuckled at this daydreamer and muffled his long hair. Mrityu gave them a salute as though he was actually reporting to them. But somehow did not speak or greet them. The train had passed Bhandup while Mrityu rose from his seat to stand near the door and enjoy the long stretch between Vikhroli and Kanjurmarg stations, with the train at its fastest.

As he stood there, he found someone waiting there at the door. An aged monk smiled with the himalayan wrinkles folding all over his face. Mrityunjay who would otherwise not care a damn, folded his hands in and unusual greeting and gave a bow. He felt a deep de ja vu, as though he had lived the whole train incident before. The army ... the monk.. and now the breeze of the train door that invited him to hang out!

Fading lights!

As he hung out of the door , tightly holding the door-bar of the train, he could feel the breeze forming vortices over his face and fondling his flowing hair. The night was very dark, the breeze blew, while he could hear the himalayan chants of the monk very distinctly, as his lips mysteriously synched the monk's chants! The gusts of the breeze got stronger as the trained passed through the empty stretches of Godrej property at Vikhroli.

As the train whizzed past at its fastest possible, everything that Mrityu could see outside fuzzed with motion blur, as though a beautiful painting almost drying was smudged in one particular direction. The blur of the place outside, as well as the sharp sight of the insides of the coach, including the wrinked monk now seemed to ... merge....

Merger.... not with the darkness of the outside... nor with the bright fluoroscence of the inside lighting... but a combination of both... A mysterious Grey. Mrityunjay felt a bit relaxed with all his tension being relieved part by part.. as his focus moved towards this Grey shade that was filling up gradually... everything that he could see..

The trees and the tracks outside.. turned grey... The monk and his smile turned grey.. The sounds of the merry-making soldiers faded too.. all of a sudden ... Mrityu's entire line of sight was filled with a fluttery curtain of Grey! The tracks .. the train and everything beneath his feet... they dark sky the fluoroscent lamp and everything over his head... disappeared surrendering to this shade of Grey . Mrityunjay found himself floating with approximately the same speed as what the train took him.. He could still feel the acceleration of the train giving him butterflies in the stomach.. Or was it the TRAIN that moved??.. for NOW there wasnt any train.. Just the Grey matter in which he was suspended.

------End of episode one-----------

Episode Two
Open window and the narrow crevice

"Ether??.. space??.. white wilderness??" - random names sped past Mrityunjay's mind as he tried to name the colour and the experience in which he was suspended. The chaotic rattles of the train and the gusty breeze was transformed to an unusual calm state of rest. He could feel his feet now gaining firm ground even as his eyes filled with Grey couldn't make out whether he was downside up or upside down. The dimensions were all lost and even his body was getting consumed gradually by the Grey mode, just when he could feel his thoughts holding his shape and not mixing up with the mysterious.

Mrityunjay was almost convinced that he was permanently doomed to see and feel only lonesome grey for the rest of his Life .. or whatever unknown state that was. At that moment when fear was about to turn the grey to dark, Mrityu felt a gentle assuring caress of a white dazzle from behind him. It felt as though the light came from a door that he had left open and walked ahead. Indeed! when he turned back there was a crevice that resembled the open crack of a partly shut door, that was almost in half-mind whether to shut .. or not. Mrityu was glad to se that ray of white which was slightly brighter than the rest of the monochrome grey everything… grey everywhere ……but the opening of hope.

Before he could get tempted to open the door, his feet were dragged towards a series of other glimmers that came from a chain of windows that were further down, away from the door. Releasing his glance from the door.. Mrityu was tempted to take a dekko at one of the windows. Mrityu paused near one of the windows, which by itself opened wider with an immense blinding white glow emanating from it, that gradually faded to show a scene. Looking at this Mrityu got a deep intuitive feeling that one of his closely guarded questions would be answered. The questions were linked to the repeated sighting of monks and soldiers throughout his life before Greydom. One of those answers was now smiling wide at him through the window, with its dazzle gradually toning down to show the scenes it held.

He could gradually see hopes of many more answers smiling at him through the other windows too. The maindoor from where he entered however was to wait longer for him, since the best part of the show was to be savoured last.. with the biggest mystery awaiting to be unveiled. A little more about the symbols that flashed in Mrityu’s mind that coincided with his sighting in the train - The Monk and his wrinkles, little less shrivelled though and the Same Group of Soldiers, but in a different uniform. The question however was why did Mrityu's mind seek "answers" in these symbols that flashed while the loudest and fastest element--- the train was forgotten!

------End of episode two-----------

Episode three:

Reminiscence from the first window

Mrityu’s sight got anchored back to the first window where he could now see a beautiful scenery that kept him spellbound, as much as he felt familiarly at home with it. The landscape it showed was a scenic Himalayan village, fortified by the gigantic snowclad peaks with ribbons of glaciers turning into rivers. Melting.. trickling.. flowing and roaring rivers.. straight to the village, which gave Mrityu a deep sense of Deja-vu, as though a scene was brought out alive from his past… as though he still remembered the taste of the water from the streams and the sounds it made as it gushed down the valley. He could now see the villagers who dotted from the village enjoying the dawn, including few of them rushing to the monastery across the rope bridge that connected the village across the river. He felt one among the villagers, despite never having visited that place in his life! Perhaps the present life! Perhaps the life which he would be in when he would wake up from this Grey dream. He just wished that he could see the whole scenery carefully as it told him a story, before he would be awakened back to the real world.

He could now hear the people speak as they approached the Monastery, which had tall gold-clad statues of the Buddha. There were scores of disciples busy chanting, and among them was a fresh student Lama by the name of Mayo. Eversince his childhood, Mayo seemed disinterested in rearing sheeps like his father did. His mind stayed concentrated on the West peak named Domar La, where he was hoping to find answers to some of the questions he had about life and his existence. He was fascinated about the peak and was thrilled about finding out his answers which he believed were hidden in the majestic presence of the peaks. He was undettered by the record number of lives that the peak took toll of, some of them mountaineers and few of them.. seekers of truth too.

With hopes of keeping their son safe and alive at the same time to drive him into a Holy life, Mayo’s parents entrusted him to the Zydong Monastery under the guidance of the great Master there. He was forced to lead a super-disciplined life that made him eat the same diet daily, wear the same clothes and chant the same verses.. over and over again. The routine was killing Mayo and he started feeling being more and more distanced from the answers that he sought. One morning he stood gazing at the great Domar La peak, when the great Master asked him about his fixed gaze. Upon hearing Mayo’s belief about the peak, the Master laughed and said that the peak was nothing but a burial ground of snow. Mayo felt hurt since the Master hit directly at his closely nurtured faith.

At this moment Mrityunjay could sense not just Mayo’s feeling but also his heartbeats that was in absolute synchrony with his. All of a sudden he felt as though the window was gone and he was in the Monastery looking at the scene through the tearful eyes of Mayo. He could feel Mayo’s footsteps which were now escaping the monastery towards the moonlit forest. He was careful to leave behind an apology note and a prayer wheel to his Master. Mayo had decided to find his own way to Domar La and the truth.

During his lifetime Mrityunjay did have a couple of dreams of the colorful Tibet and had a desire to visit the place too. He found himself now walking in Mayo’s shoes.. in his clothes.. in his body and soul. He breathed the fresh icy air of the forest, with his gaze fixed at Domar La, undettered by the call of the snow wolves to the hazy full moon. Mayo maintained his walk .. he slipped… stumbled.. even found a torn flag of an unknown nation with an ice sickle , but no mountaineer who could hold it! The haunting spirits of the forests couldn’t hold him back from the even worse hazards of the lonesome trail beyond. Finally dawn broke… with the dark of the sky turning into that familiar colour of Grey. Mayo and not surprisingly, Mrityunjay had now a deep feeling that their answers were just at an arms length away, when their attention was caught by the grey haze of the dawn break.. it even blanketed that of the snow. Through.. Mayo’s eyes Mrityu saw the grey grow and bring him back to the corridor where he was…. From where he could see himself now separate from Mayo who now Lay on the bed of snow, just few feet before he could reach the peak of Domar La. Before any further questions could reach his mind and bind him to the place Mrityu thought had lived before as Mayo, the window shut with a great blinding dazzle that made him almost forget the whole sighting.

But what did remain in his mind unshaken was the wrinkles of the Monk in the train that was fold-to-fold similar to that of the Master who had warned him against the fascination of the Domar La peak.

The sighting was over like a two hour movie, except that here Mrityu was on the other side of the screen living and experiencing the whole scene as real as living it... being brought back to the state of Greydom at the end of it. But he had few more windows to go through where he could perhaps find the answers to the unanswered riddles of Mayo .. the riddles of his own past.

The story will be continued... watch out for this space again in sometime or leave your mail id in the comments!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tired of Reality?

Ah Fiction!

All of us like to take a break from the shackles of "biting" reality.

Writers have used fiction to express the colours of their creativity.

As children we have cooked alibis big and small either to escape beatings or to get that big share of attention.

As adults we have made stories or read someone else's imagination to make our kids happy, or lure that kid within us.

We love to stare at the open skies and see the birds fly high by themselves, and give names and cognizable shapes to random lumps of clouds.

We love to retreat and draw our fantasies in the fluttering canvas of our chaotic mind, which sometimes freezes to a mysterious calm awaiting to host the next great dream.

We vent out our frustration imagining ourselves armed with much more might punching every problem that stands like a goliath before us with its agents of turmoil.

Since the last six months of my writing i have blogged enough on real-life lessons. Its high time i wear scuba gear of my imagination and dive into the not-so explored realms of imaginative writing... Muggles call it fiction .. isnt it?

"All that we see around us is created twice.. the first time in One person's mind ... and then in the real world"