Short Stories

My own works of fiction

One

Dusk had fallen on the Himalayan peak. A white fog lay over the all-encompassing snow. A gush of wind blew across her pink face, ruffling her moist hair. Shivering, she tugged at the large collar of her overcoat and wrapped it tightly around her neck.

“Baby…” he breathed into her ear.

She turned around into his open arms and snuggled up to him. His warm breath caressed her flushed face as she felt him on her breast through the thickness of their woolens.

He looked down into her, his eyes darker and deeper than ever.

“On the toes no, my jaan.”

She took the first step. They were enveloped in white – white of the snow and white of the fog. In this world was nothing except him, her and the whiteness around them.

The only sound was of their hearts, beating together.

He wrapped his arms around her. She exhaled, and let go as she took the second step.

She had never felt safer. She had never felt more content.

Categories: Short Stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Fluids

“My baby…!” she cried as he lay in a pool of blood. His eyes belied pain. Hers grew moist.

Through her tears she saw him reckoning “Jaan, come here.”

She crashed into him, bursting into tears. Tears mixed into blood and sweat and became one.

It was impossible to tell one from the other.

Categories: Short Stories | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Wide Shut

“Thwat!”

She shot him an alarmed look as eyes turned in their direction. Surreptitiously fiddling with her bra in crowded malls got him off. This particular adventure under the hook, however, had gone a bit too loud.

With curious eyes on them, she walked quickly. She wanted to get as far away as possible.

“Well, even Amma would never have imagined me holding hands with her dad before marriage”, reasoned the bespectacled, sari-clad woman as her shocked expressions melted into a sigh.

Categories: Erotica, Short Stories | 24 Comments

Flame

His jaw dropped as she walked out of the trial room.

He could smell of her in the soft, lacy material in her purse she allowed a glance at.

Lightning bolts zapped through her as the raw silk of the topper rubbed against her tender, erect lobes as she snuggled up to him on the bike.

They were burning for his touch as he shut the door behind her.

—–x—–x—–

Inspired by the works of Kunal and Sangfroid.

Cheers!

Categories: Erotica, Short Stories | 18 Comments

3 Idiots

The wannabe photographer revved his bike. The speedometer needle pushed, and then finally crossed 90. And then, into the stillness of the highway night, he screamed

“AAAAAALL IIIIIIIIIIZZ WEEEEEEEEEELL”

And for that moment, he felt that his life wasn’t so bad after all.

The wannabe researcher pushed his cellphone into his desk drawer and banged it shut. He could hear the cellphone collide with the inside walls. And then with finality, he went out and locked his flat.

His phone rang after some time. To the beautiful tune of

“Saari umra hum, mar mar ke ji liye…”

“A good way to pretend that I am still doing research…” thought the researcher.

The confused software guy sat in front of his office PC. “Shit, WTF is the problem with the fucking memory allocation! ”

All of a sudden, despite the looming deadline, the memories of his first year in college, when he and his friends had mastered Malloc and Calloc together, came to him. And like every other memory of college, came rushing with it his friends the photographer and the researcher. And with them, their wild, free spirits and the fierce will to break free.

A  song automatically came to his lips.

“Behti hawa se the wo…”

Meanwhile, the balatkari was entering IIM for another two years of non-stop balatkar.

Categories: Short Stories | 21 Comments

Wake Up Sid

Anne French, Lakme Compact, Colorbar lipstick… he murmured as he squinted his eyes in concentration looking at the toiletries section of Reliance Fresh. Reading was difficult. The letters were difficult to frame into words, and the words weren’t exactly making sense.

And so much of variety of items in a single store…! Humans brains weren’t designed to handle so much data. What has the world come to… the worlds brains won’t be able to take so much data and will just go kaput. Maybe that’s what Pralay will be‘ His thoughts drifted away into a far flung territory, not very frequently explored by average humans.

…Revlon Nail paint, Elle18 Nail Paint Remover… Wait, what was the first thing I saw?” He went back to Anne French. What he saw from the corner of his eye told him that a female, who had been looking in the same direction as he was, had moved just a fraction of a second before him in the same direction. Before his brain could register what that meant, he heard an exasperated sigh.

Turning behind, he came face to face with the female standing behind him.

WTBF!” her eyes seemed to scream at him.

And then he realized it. He had been looking up and down the same rack of female essensuals, thinking about human brains and their capacities for almost the past three minutes.

I’m sorry, uh, I was looking for face cream.” mumbling something like that, he walked away, away even from the line of men’s toiletries displayed in the next rack. He had been lucky. The WTF expression on the face could have as well been verbally expressed. The exasperated sigh could as well have been a kick on the ass.

The Mary Jane + rum and coke he had had last night was still having its effect. He was alright when he left home for shopping. The five minutes’ walk in the sun had caused him to dehydrate. His eyes were burning now, even in the air conditioned store. He wanted to go home. He felt like shit.

“No,” he told himself. He couldn’t give up like this. “Whatever happens, I will finish shopping against all odds.” Although he knew that in his present semi comatose situation, the survival instincts he had learned in his harrowing Himalayan adventures had to be stretched to the ultimate extent to achieve his goal.

He went and stood before the frozen foods section. The refrigerator had no door. The cool waves wafting from it soothed his eyes, and what seemed to him, his soul. Consciousness returned to him.

He picked up a packet of frozen Afghan Parathas and checked the price. Hmm, 60 bucks. How many were there in the packet? Can’t be more than six. The Afghans were huge people, with very little money. Six parathas would be nothing for them. So, to feed the Afghans, the parathas in Afghanistan would have to be cheap. Here, people were making money in the name of Afghans. Imagine how would an Afghan feel if he came to know that 6 parathas are selling for sixty rupees, an amount he feeds his entire family for a day on…

He realized that his thoughts had drifted again. ‘WTF’ he mouthed to himself. The next moment his brain registered that the female he had come across in the cosmetics section had been standing beside him. And that his ‘WTF’ had been loud enough to be heard by her. And that she was now staring at him with her mouth popped open.

He felt it his duty to make the situation somewhat normal. ‘What to do, what to do…’ his mind raced as fast as it could given its situation.

Um, would you know how many parathas come in this packet?

Four.” She pointed to the number written in large font on the face of the packet.

Oh, I didn’t see that. Thank you.

Dumping the packet in his basket, he turned around. He wanted to get the hell out of there as soon as possible. As he was turning, he could almost feel the female shaking her head in disbelief. “Wake up Sid,” he could make out a feminine whisper behind him.

He wanted the floor of the store to part, so that he could disappear inside it. He wanted to bolt out of the door, climb his bike and roar away into oblivion. But his Himalayan instincts told him otherwise. Grinding his teeth, he went back to shopping.

Standing at the beginning of a passage between two closely cramped racks, he was concentrating hard. ‘Wake up Sid’ was still echoing in his mind. “Plain Kellog’s corn flakes, 70 bucks for 300gm, Mango flavoured ones, 85 for 250 grams…WTF 15 bucks extra for just a mango flavour. And it won’t even be real mango, just some chemical which smells similar to mango…And gosh! What all have I bought?’ He looked at his stuffed basket. ‘Can I pay for all this? ‘ He tried to recall how much money he had in his pocket.

He could swear no ‘excuse me’ was uttered.

As he stood there, confused once again, he felt something brush against his back. Something round and pointed and soft and wonderful. That something was joined by another something. Both the somethings were there together, and pressed against him for an instant. Then the first something brushed by his back. The second something followed suit.

In a second, all this began and got over.

He saw the female he had encountered twice walk from behind him to what looked like her husband at the end of the rack. She never looked back. Her gait had been natural as ever. They began what looked like a husband and wife conversation and disappeared into another line of shelves.

He had bought 720gm potatoes, 5 apples, 3 packets of slim milk, 2 packets of frozen parathas and a dozen eggs. All these would together cost 308 Rupees and 28 paise. He did not need corn flakes although he could pay for them, and more through his credit card. He had been in the store for 20 minutes. It would take him two minutes on the checkout counter and another five to walk home. It was 10:30 now. He had one hour before he had to be in office.

The words “Wake up Sid” kept ringing in his head all through the day.

Categories: Short Stories | 9 Comments

My Name is Khan

Blang! The glass door was shattered. Three terrorists, carrying backpacks and automatic guns spilled into the production floor of the IT company.

“Oye! Hands up kar lo saare ke saare, aur khade ho jao! Nahi khuda kasam, ek ek ko bil mein ghus ke soot kar diyaan!” Boomed their leader in thick Lahori Urdu, over a round of machine gun air fire.

From the cubicle nearest to them, stood up a tall, fair-skinned man, shivering with fright.

“Suno bhai saab”, summoning all courage possible for him, he addressed the leader.

“Ki hoya oye suar! Chup chaap raheen!” the terrorist thundered, poking his gun at the man’s chest.

The man wet his pants, but looked into the terrorist’s eye.

“A-actually, my n-name is Khan!”

There was a moment of silence, as they both held each other by the eye. The man bent his head slightly and brought his shaking finges toward his brow.

“Chal, Nikla baahara!” The terrorist quietly pointed towards the door.

The man ran out of the shattered glass door. He could already hear the guns booming downstairs by the time he reached the terrace.

Categories: Short Stories | 14 Comments

Fishing

(Vivek and Aish are chatting.) 

Vivek: Hey Aish, I hope you didn’t mind what I said last night. I wasn’t totally in my senses, you know.

Aish: It’s alright vivek. I don’t think that much.

Vivek: thanks Aish. You’re a honey.

(A few minutes pass)

 

Vivek: Hey Aish, you don’t think too much na. Good.

Vivek: You were looking positively beautiful yesterday.

Aish: Hehe Thank you thank you.

 

(Next day they meet each other in a Store)

 

Vivek: Hey Aish! Surprise! Wassup lady!

Aish: Hey Vivek! Hi. You know what!

Vivek: What?

Aish: I don’t think too much.

Categories: Humor, Short Stories | 9 Comments

Rape(Concluding Part)

Story so far: Abhishek, a software engineer from IIIT is trying to kill a friday evening alone, when he chances upon Neha, a past acquaintance. He finds that Neha is in distress, and as they talk, Abhishek finds out that Neha is undergoing a break-up. During the course of their meeting, Neha breaks down.

Neha jerked herself free from him, and stood up, facing him. The light from the street washed her and got reflected from her tears, and in the backdrop of the ink-black Hussain Sagar, she looked ignited. “What can you understand, huh, Abhishek? What can you understand?” She was shouting at the top her voice now. “Can you understand the feeling of being used for six years? No, you cannot! You’re not a girl. How can you understand this feeling, this feeling, of being raped?!!“

Neha burst into a fresh bout of tears, and started walking towards the edge of the sixteen feet high embankment. Abhishek sat on the bench, paralyzed. Neha’s last sentence was still hanging in the air around him, and he felt himself getting crushed under its weight.”

Abhishek sat on the bench facing the shimmering Hussain Sagar, his mind numb. He was a sensitive guy and never had had much proximity to any girl. He had no idea about the amount of grief women can hold in their hearts, and when Neha’s floodgates opened, he couldn’t help being overawed with her emotions. Neha’s words had entered his head and had refused to come out, any which way. “He raped me Abhishek, He RAPED me!!” her voice rang out in his head. Immobilized, he stared and stared at the Hussain Sagar.

Somebody screamed, “Maidaam, hey, maidaam!”

Abhishek snapped out from his shell with a start at the sharp call addressed in alarm to a woman. And the first thing he noticed was that Neha was nowhere about. Somebody again screamed, “Arey, KAHAAN TU BHI DHYAAN HAI MAIDAAM!!!”. He followed the voice to see a young Hyderabadi teen calling out from at a distance of 4-5 feet to a female figure draped in a black dress standing almost at the edge of the shore of the lake, which ended abruptly in a sixteen foot fall into the crocodile-infested Hussain Sagar. The woman was totally oblivious to where she was standing, that a boy was screaming at the top of his voice just at her back, that if she lost balance, that would be the end. She seemed to be lost, staring into space. And to his horror, Abhishek realized that the woman was Neha.

“Fuck this boy, why doesn’t he just grab her arm!” were Abhishek’s first thoughts as he scrambled to his feet. Running like a bolt of lightening, he pushed the bewildered boy aside and roughly reached for Neha’s wrist and pulled her towards himself. Neha was jolted as Abhishek couldn’t control the fit of rage that he just felt at her. “What the fuck, Neha! Have you gone crazy? What do you think you were trying to do?” Neha’s wrist was clutched in his fist, and her face was inches away from his. Her black, round mascaraed eyes stared at him, terrified. Her 24-year old face bore the expressions of a 2-year old child who has just come to realize that he’s in unfamiliar arms.

As Abhishek looked at those eyes rounded with terror, the fit of rage passed out as soon as it had come. The guilty realization came that he was hurting Neha the way he was holding her, and the way he was talking to her. Coming to his senses, he noticed several pairs of Hyderabadi eyes upon them in their secluded corner of the lakeside. And then it dawned upon him why the boy had just kept on shouting from at a distance at Neha. He was a Hyderabadi boy in his mid teens, and going near a woman in an evening dress, leave alone pulling her by the arm would be anathema to these conservative people. Slowly, Abhishek loosened the grip on the delicate wrist. Neha was feeling weak. Abhishek took her arm and guided her to a nearby bench. The Hyderabadi boy kept looking at them incredulously, and then turned his back and left.

Abhishek gently helped Neha down, and then himself crashed on the bench beside her, exhausted. It isn’t everyday that you listen to the naked rona-dhona of a dumped girl, and then pull her away to safety just as she’s getting suicidal. The thinking part of Abhishek’s brain, which had helped him code his way to glory, told him to abandon this baggage there itself, and look for more interesting ways to while away an otherwise promising friday evening. But the students of IIIT Hyderabad, Abhishek’s alma mater, are as much taught in their syllabus to ‘feel’ as they’re taught to ‘think’. Not that every student learns whatever he is taught, but Abhishek was a sensitive guy, always eager to help. And it just wasn’t acceptable to his conscience to leave Neha in this condition.

So they started to talk. She, rather. And very soon Abhishek wished that he hadn’t met Neha, or talked to her in the first place.

For women hold grief into their hearts and hide it and not let it out so easily. As a result, it accumulates. And when it does come out, it becomes difficult for the woman to handle. And for any person who wishes to console another, getting inside the skin of the other is essential. He has to put himself in the other person’s shoes, feel exactly what she is feeling, and then think on his own as to what he should say which would soothe her. Needless to say, the listener’s job is no mean business. It can be very exacting. It takes sensitive hearts to think and feel like the other, and often the flow of emotions can be a bit too much to handle for those selfsame sensitive hearts.

Neha poured out her story. The fun she and Rajat had had; but she quickly came down to the bitter part. How she’d made sacrifices for him, how she’d told lies to her parents about extra classes to spend time with him, and then in college, how she’d saved money to call him and to go meet him whenever possible. She’d given in to his whims and fancies, she’d given up on her social life as he had disliked her talking to other guys, and so on. With each passing incidence, Abhishek felt increasingly sad. Two people in a relationship were like intertwined creepers, he reflected. You could not separate the two without much bleeding. And no amount of balm can instantly soothe a bleeding heart. It has to take its own time.

So they sat and she talked and he listened and listened. A good-looking, made-up girl in attractive clothes, bubbling with smiles and laughter enchants the senses. And a howling girl, sniffing on your handkerchief, mascara from her eyes running down her puffed up cheeks is almost as repulsive. Abhishek had been listening to her, with a patient ‘yes’ and ‘no’ occasionally, braving it all, bearing it all. Because he knew that he could not let another human, who had trusted in him, down. It had been way past his dinner time, way past his smoking time. And then the stories started to repeat…

  • It was late night now. Neha had stopped sobbing. Also, Abhishek had started talking. He told her that she had to pick herself up, however difficult it might seem to her. That she had to do it, as nobody else could do anything in this regard. and then he finally suggested that it was late and that they should both be heading home. At this suggestion, Neha asked him to come closer and when he did, she hugged him tightly, and started weeping. It felt nice to be hugged by a girl. But as the convulsions started coming again, and the tears started flowing, and he felt the back of his shirt moisten, he wished that she would just let go. It wasn’t such a great experience being hugged by a weeping girl after an emotionally draining evening.

    Finally she let go. Abhishek sat quiet, looking at his feet, as he heard the buckle of Neha’s purse snap open. She took out an anti-puff cream and applied it to her puffed cheeks. Then looking into her tiny, folding mirror, she wiped off her mascara and reapplied her lipstick. After a whole evening of howling and sobbing, she seemed much at ease now. Abhishek was famished, sleepy, emotionally drained and his shirt was ruined from the mascara stains all over it. Still, he thought drowsily, the evening hadn’t been a waste. He was happy to be able to help someone. Besides, he’d earned a friend that evening, he thought.

    He saw Neha walk confidently towards the road and hail down a taxi. With half closed eyes, he saw her get inside it. Suddenly, he realized he had forgotten something.
    “Hey, Neha!”, he called out and ran towards the taxi. The taxi had started but it stopped as he approached it.

    Neha looked out from the window. As he stood face to face with her, he sensed that the Neha of ten minutes ago had been replaced by a much more confident and self-composed Neha.

    “Oh, I forgot to thank you Abhishek”, she said, “thanks for being so patient with me”.

    Abhishek smiled in relief, and then put his hands on the window of the taxi. “Aren’t you forgetting something”, he smiled, looking inside. “We forgot to exchange contact numbers”.

    At this, Neha looked into his eyes, and for some reason the thought struck Abhishek that everything wasn’t as he was perceiving it.

    “You know Abhishek” Neha looked straight into his eyes, “I’m getting engaged next week. And the marriage will take place the day after.”

    The words made Abhishek snap out of his drowsiness. If she’s getting engaged, what’s she doing around here, clinging to me like this, he thought. Also…

    His thoughts were interrupted by Neha as she continued, “surprised, haan? well, his name’s Rajesh, and he lives in Germany. I won’t be coming back to India for a long time now, and I thought it best to dump away the bag of unpleasant memories of India in India itself.”

    Abhishek stood straight from his bent position, his mind racing but still not knowing what to make of what he had just heard. It just didn’t make any sense. Neha smiled at his demeanor, and then continued,

    “You were a patient listener, Abhishek. Thank you for making things easier for me. And as for the contact number, well, I don’t give away my number that easily to strangers. After all, we only met this evening after eight years.”

    The taxi rode away, melting into the night. Abhishek fought the urge to fall to his knees in the middle of the road. Somehow he dragged his feet to the side of his road and leaned against the railing. He was beginning to realize that Neha had used him. To get rid of her emotional burden, to let it all out before beginning a new life. She had wanted a patient, understanding ear and a strong shoulder to lean on and feel secure, and he had been foolish enough to provide whatever she had wanted. She had taken advantage of his emotions. It was a new experience, something he had never heard or read about. He had been emotionally used.

    He lit a cigarette and started walking back towards the Prasad’s complex, where his bike had beed parked. Neha’s words once again rang inside his head. “He raped me, Abhishek, he RAPED me.” For a moment, Abhishek wondered if he could say the same thing about himself. But as he crossed the deserted, flood-lit IMAX chourasta, leaving the glittering Hussain Sagar behind him, the fact slowly began to sink in. That this evening, it was he whose emotions had been played with. This evening, it was he who had been raped.

    Categories: Short Stories | 22 Comments

    Karant Wale Balaji Ka Mandir


    Old City of Ekta Nagar. Janak Puri and Ibrahim Mohalla, two adjacent lanes off the main Chaurasta. Sitting like two ancient sages with their backs to each other, watching with eternal patience the hustle-bustle playing on in front of them. One lane was inhabited by Hindus, and the other by Muslims. While garlic and onions were stolen secretively into the homes of one, the smell of chicken roasting wafted freely through another. Young women from one lane burnt the midnight oil, studying for their PG degrees, while most of their former classmates from the ‘peechhe wali galli’ were busy tending to their ever growing brood. Cows restricted themselves to only one of the lanes, for they were no longer held sacred once they crossed their threshold and ventured into the adjoining one. Apart from this, the Gallis looked identical. Small, dingy double or triple storey houses, with small windows opening out into the the galli, the absence of anything remotely green throughout their length and collective breadths, heaps of rubbish adorning both their alleys, kids playing cricket in both of them, ever ready to run at the sound of rubber meeting glass. The same churan-toffee, biscuit-chips, cigarette-bidi, gutkha-supari, chudi- bindi, atta-dal, samose-kachori were sold from the generations-old shops, little more than holes on the walls really, which lined the two gallis.

    In both the gallis, people screwed in the nights, went to shit in the mornings, pissed 5-7 times a day, tucked themselves under quilts in the winters and turned the fans on in the summers. Red blood would ooze out if you cut through the skin of a person from either galli, and to each would it hurt just as bad as it would hurt the other.

    In Janak Puri, a red-faced kid monkey, in his restless playfulness, one fine eleventh day of the month of the Hindu Calendar, in front of the Ram Mandir of Janak Puri, decided to hold two parrallel running electric wires with both his hands simultaneously.

    As his charred, brittle remains fell on to the road in front of the Bhagwan Ram ka Mandir, and the smell of his burnt flesh carried into the homes, the emotions of the people welled up. And as usually happens in such situations, the flow of emotions quickly took a reverent turn. People poured out of their small homes in the Janak Puri to pay their homage to this incarnation who had decided to bless their galli by giving up his life on the Ekadashi day in front of the Ram Mandir. Some offered him sweets, other offered him money. While in his living avatar, the monkey would have lived his life bearing the brunt of the local children’s sticks and stones and surviving on stolen edibles, after his death he became divine. The local MLA promptly arrived at the scene, and keeping fully in mind the upcoming elections, announced, to the utter gratification of the gathered residents, a handsome grant so that a temple in the memory of the martyred incarnation be built.

    The temple was built, a statue was bought and a priest duly appointed to look after the proceedings. On the auspicious day, a group of higher priests did the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of the 3 ft high marble statue. The temple had been built exactly on the spot where the divine life had released its bodily prison on its way to meeting the Supreme. Of Course, the road regulations had been conveniently forgotten in this process and the new temple was built entirely on a piece of land where traffic had been running all these years. But devotion is higher than physical comforts. The pedestrians can hold their pajamas up and step into the drain, the motorists can slow down and pass through the already much encroached upon, and now further narrowed alley. They ought to slow down to pay a silent obeisance to the lord, anyways. The monkey, who would have been regarded as a nuisance in his life, was given a new life of the divine kind by no less than high Brahmins, the representatives of God on this earth. Every morning, carefully scrubbed Hindus passed walked through the muck of their lane, past the garbage heaps, to offer flowers, fruits and money to the ‘Karant wale Balaji’, a thoroughly clean and purified elevated ground at one end of which stood the small Mandir. The inconvenience of the motorists was compensated for by the divine happiness that each person who prayed to the Balaji felt.

    There was another galli, the one just adjacent to this one, to whose residents the Karant Wale Balaji made little difference.

    A bearded, skull capped youth once during the time of the evening Aarati, was riding through the main road after shopping for his dinner. Nafees never entered the Hindu Galli without any purpose. But the shop on the main road was out of green chillies, and he knew that a Mali in Janak Puri would be the only one selling it at this hour. Blissfully unaware of the existence of the Karant Wale Balaji, he entered the Hindu Galli at the usual speed.

    He saw what he was about to hit, but never got the time to react.

    The left bumper of his motorcycle rammed into the side of the elevated ground on which the devotees were standing and singing their evening Aratis. From the impact, Nafees was flung at the feet of the devotees, and he felt a warm sensation inside his mouth as his bearded face hit the white marble floor. The packet of his dinner shopping flew straight through the small gate into the Mandir itself.

    As Nafees steadied himself, he felt his mouth, and as he opened it, one of his teeth came out. Unable to control it, he watched helplessly as a stream of blood mixed with saliva flowed from his mouth on to the sacred chabutra. In the meanwhile, a huge ruckus had arisen at the mandir gate. A full freshly culled chicken, the output of Nafees’s evening shopping was lying at the feet of the Balaji. Some blood from the dead chicken had joined the coat of saffron paint adorning the Balaji’s profile.

    The devotees, with their ever so sensitive devotions, could not stand this outrageous and unacceptable insult to their deity. Not only had a lowly, filthy Muslim destroyed the sanctity of their Balaji by spitting on his Chabutra, he also had had the audacity to flung a dead animal at His divinely alive statue, thereby corrupting their religion (Bhrasht their Dharma)! The floodgates of rage burst out, and among feeble protests from some ‘weak’ members of their community, the members of the vegetarian group wreaked havoc upon the hapless Muslim man.

    This scene did not escape a group of Muslim boys standing at the end of the Galli, smoking cigarettes and enjoying a cricket match at the Pan shop. While a group of more hot blooded boys hastened to show to the vegetarians their true place, the mobile phones of a few others became active. Soon, a large group of Muslim men, armed with whatever weapons they had at their disposal assembled in Ibrahim Mohalla. The group of Muslim boys, some beaten black and blue, and others bleeding, were slowly trickling back into their Galli. The few Hindus going about their business in the Muslim Galli sensed the danger, but for some of them it was too late. They were caught by the Muslim mob, and thoroughly beaten up. A hindu thela wala managed to escape, but his wares were looted by the mob and his thela hacked to pieces. A Hindu Auto Driver, who was dropping some passengers to Ibrahim Mohalla, was beaten up and his Auto Rickshaw set on fire. The lone Hindu shopkeeper in Ibrahim Mohalla was stabbed and his shop plundered and later put to arson. Similar was the fate of the Muslims who had had the ill-fortune to be present inside the Hindu Galli.

    The police had been notified soon after the riots had started, and as night was falling, both the Gallis were put under curfew. The Karant wale Balaji had stood a silent spectator to the ruckus. A small portion of the side of the Chabutra had broken off, where the motorcycle had hit it. The Blood from the chicken had been cleansed off from the Balaji’s profile even through all this confusion. On the Chabutra, the blood from the first muslim mouth had got mingled with the blood of several more from his ilk.

    Ramesh had been one of the hapless few caught up by the Muslim mob in Ibrahim Mohalla. A stave had hit his head, and his skull had burst open. He was admitted in the City Hospital, fighting for his life. It was late night, and the Gallis were still under curfew. A young woman stepped out of one of the houses, taking hurried, tentative steps towards the broken Chabutra of the Balaji. She was Sujata, Ramesh’s wife. In her hand was a lota.

    Looking left and right, she quickly climbed the steps and walked into the Balaji Temple. Hurriedly, she poured the pure milk from the lota at the feet of the Balaji, and with folded hands and closed eyes, the pallu of her sari firmly on her head, she proceeded to fervently pray ‘Hey Karant Wale Balaji, mere pati ki raksha kerna, hey Karant Wale Balaji, mere pati ki raksha kerna…’ (O Karant Wale Balaji, please look after my husband, O Karant Wale Balaji, please look after my husband…)

    Categories: Short Stories, Spirituality | 22 Comments

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