Excerpt – 1

The saint wondered, turning around to see his city for one last time. He sighed, “Perhaps, time will tell..”

Tough Love.

“I don’t have any stories for you today”, the Mother told the child, “You have been behaving very selfishly and inappropriate since the past week, so no stories for you from now on.” She looked at the child, who now had a puppy-like face, imploring her to read a story.

“Mom you are so mean. Why can’t you tell me a story? You tell me one every day. I can’t go to sleep without hearing a story! Mommy!”, cried the child as she pulled at her Mother’s dress when she was standing up.

“No Laila!”, her mother shouted, “You don’t know how to act in front of others or respect your elders. You need to go back to the starting of yesterday and remember what all you have been doing wrong all this time. I am sure you will realize, so tell me what it is, and I will forgive you. If you can’t realize, then I am sorry.”

Laila looked at her, punched her dress that she had been holding and shouted, “Go away. Idiot!”. Hearing that, the Mother became furious and shouted “Laila! Stop and Go to sleep. Right Now!” and she hurried outside the room.

Once outside, she couldn’t hold her tears. She could still hear Laila’s voice from inside, “Yes! Fine! I am going to sleep! Go to hell Mom!” The Mother just stood still outside the door, put her ears to the door. She could hear a faint sobbing, and after five minutes, nothing.

Laila has probably gone to sleep, she thought, why does she behave like that? What has come into her? Did I not raise her correctly? Did I spoil her too much? When will she understand that she needs to respect others? Perhaps I need to be stricter with her from now on so she can mature into a beautiful woman with a good personality. But I need to be strict with her, thinking this made her heart tight, that is the most appropriate thing to do if I need her to have a better future.

She walked back to her own room, so as to go sleep but ended up reading a story to herself, as tears rolled down her eyes.

-Siddarth

Routine Problems.

“Oh my God. Why? It was clearly written in the Invoice that I needed blue color, and now when the shipment has reached, you are saying that you have sent us black color? Are you serious right now?”, Chris yelled on his phone, talking to the supplier always made him frustrated and exhausted because of the number of excuses each one told for the mistakes, after a deep breath he continued calmly, “Please take your shipment back and send us the corrected items, I cant use this. Or please refund us the payment or we will have to work out something legal.” He cut the call after saying those words.

He knew fully well that it will take at least a good 15 – 20 days to resolve this crisis, that too if the supplier provides the correct color in a new shipment. What should I do, he thought knowing fully well that things might turn ugly initially when the upper management receives this information, But still what could I do? I sent the correct color sample, mentioned correct color in the Invoice and yet they made this blunder. Why is it going like this?

His phone started ringing again, it was the supplier again. Just looking at that name made it more frustrating for Chris, he cut the call and kept his phone upside down, not answering the messages or the calls. Of course, they would now be asking to give them another chance. Why should I? This is drastic, how can someone make such a mistake? Chris thought and remembered the value of the invoice again, but that is not all, the monetary loss is there of course, however, this is such a huge loss in time as well. Even if the supplier agrees to make a new shipment, it will probably take another couple of months to get dispatched and an extra month to get here.

The phone was ringing again but Chris didn’t pick it up knowing fully well who the caller might be. He tried to divert his attention by calling different people, asking about their work status. He didn’t feel like checking his email and got up to go for a jog.

An hour passed by, and Chris returned from the jog exhausted. Perhaps I pushed myself a little too much today.

He checked his emails and found an email from the supplier from about after half an hour after his phone conversation, marked at high priority. It must be probably for the balance payment. Why would I pay him when the goods aren’t even what I expected them to be, he took a deep breath and opened the message.

He could not believe it. The supplier had written that he made a mistake while stating the facts during their phone conversation earlier. Apparently black color was sent to another customer who had ordered black, and to Chris and his firm, they had sent the approved color only, that is blue. The supplier apologized again in the last line and ended the mail.

Chris was astonished. He was very happy, but still, how could the supplier have made such a mistake of telling the wrong information. He was so frustrated all day, but he finally took a deep breath and closed the email. He texted the supplier, “Got your mail. Thanks for the clarification” and went to sleep.

-Siddarth

Thankless Jobs.

I am like this piece of blank paper. I don’t know where my steps will lead me to, but I sure need to focus all my efforts into making this a success, Amish thought as he opened yet another blank page to write down the new chapter.

The bell sounded; someone was probably at the front door. Amish looked up from his laptop for a second, didn’t care and began to stare on the blank page again. A minute passed by. The bell rang again, and Amish repeated the same step of in-action.

As the bell rang for the third time, Amish got up with a sigh. Where is that secretary now. What do I even pay her for if she can’t even answer the door, he thought as he walked to the front door with sluggish steps.

He saw the person through the eyehole, was astonished a bit and unlocked the door. He watched as his secretary walked in with two heavy grocery bags, and asked, “Umm… What? Where were you Tina?”

Tina was surprised by the question. She replied back, “Can’t you see these grocery bags? I just came from the grocery store. I bought eggs, milk, fish, snacks, Oreos and some drinks as you requested. You asked me to just a while back?”

“Oh yeah, I did, Didn’t I. Well good that you are back. Can you cook me some omelet and pour me a glass of wine? Thanks Tina”, and he walked back to the study before Tina could even reply.

Man, what a tiresome person he is. Does he actually appreciate this or just finishes the statement with ‘Thanks’? I have been here for more than two years now and he hasn’t changed one bit. A good thing is that he still writes amazingly well. Although, those questions from him regarding the stories he writes, and knowing the story way before than others makes it worthwhile, Tina was in thought when she heard Amish ask for the omelet again. She sighed and went to the kitchen.

-Siddarth

The courageous singer.

“Mom, I will be back by 12 in the night. The concert gets over by 11”, an excited Tina told her mom as she was leaving the house with her friends, “Don’t wait for me, just go to sleep if I am late.”

Her mom looked at her. She looks so excited, then again it is the first concert she will be attending. And she says she will be back by 12… I mean which concert gets over before 1, her mom thought, oh my girl is so innocent. She waved Tina goodbye, and asked her to carry a cellphone at all times.

Tina and her friend reached the venue around 9, and found some local singer singing. They were told that the lead singer always comes late in such concerts and won’t be coming before 11-ish. All they could do was wave their hands in the air just like others, admire the celebrity whom they didn’t come to listen to.

After an hour of standing, they found a place to sit next to the bar and ordered a couple of drinks, and some potato fries. It was yet another hour to 11. Let’s just wait here for the lead singer, they thought.

Another hour and more than four drinks down, they heard people shouting in excitement. It seemed the lead singer had finally arrived.

The atmosphere has changed suddenly, even the beats have changed. Woah. So, this is what happens when the lead walks in, Tina thought. She grabbed her friend’s hand, who was still half tipsy, and pushed towards the front of the crowd. After reaching the desired point, they put their hands in the air again and began to move with the tune if the music. This is amazing!

No one even realized as another hour passed by, and almost everyone was doused in sweat with the constant dancing and singing. And no one even realized as it started, at some point of time, a man carrying something heavy came to the front of the stage.

He shouted at the top of his voice, “It’s my show now”, as he was taking out the semi-automatic from his bag.

The lead singer was the first to notice, and before anyone could question, he jumped off the stage with his guitar and BAM! He hit the guy with such force that the guitar broke. The loud noise went over the place through his mic, and then he yelled for people to call 911.

The man was bleeding profusely, and even the semi-automatic he had been carrying seemed like a ton now. Dropping the semi-automatic, he held his head with one hand, and took out a small pistol from his pocket. He looked at the singer for a second, and then shot him in the chest before passing out on the ground.

The police and medic reached within five minutes, and fortunately there were no casualties.

-Siddarth

Please people. Pray for the souls that have lost their lives in such shootings and condemn such hatred toward society! We need to help each other out and do everything in our power to prevent any such shootings from happening in the future.

The Office-sphere.

I want to create something new, something interesting. Something worthwhile for people as well as for my employees. But I just have this thought, that too every morning and then I can’t find a solution for that throughout the day, Aniruddh thought again today, Perhaps I am not satisfied with what I am doing currently. I need change. This business, I did inherit from my father but even after working here since the past five years, I still want something more out of life.

Yet again Aniruddh got lost in thought as he was having lunch at the office canteen. He had been sitting there for an hour and none of the employees had dared to ask if something was wrong. How can they ask the Director of the company if something was wrong.

It took another thirty minutes, when Aniruddh’s phone beeped of the next To-do task for the day. He looked at the time in his phone, checked again on the wall clock, got up and hurried back to his office cabin.

Man, I don’t want to be late for the general meeting. How does it look when the Director himself is late for the meeting. And then there is the issue with Production and Maintenance team, always arguing with each other. God, will there be a time when these two will get along, Aniruddh thought as he picked up his diary and walked towards the meeting room.

As he reached, he could already realize the sounds of ‘subtle’ arguments. Maybe somethings don’t ever change, he thought and smiled, and now there will be complete silence.

And so it was, as soon as soon as he entered the room.

⁃ Siddarth

Lazy Writer.

Today has been so lazy. I didn’t do anything productive or completed a worthwhile task. I didn’t even feel like typing all this, but it needs to be done, so I dragged myself to write this script”, said an exhausted writer to his secretary.

“Why are you like this today? What did you do all day that you are so tired? I want to know”, the secretary asked wondering what the reason could be.

“What did I do? Well I went and studied for a couple of hours, talked to a couple of managers regarding the production and then…well…”, said the writer as he recalled his activities for the day.

“Well…?”, questioned the secretary curiously.

“Well then I played about four hours of game. And it got me mentally tired because I had to repeat a rank because of a couple of stupid mistakes. I mean, why? People aren’t playing good and then we have to suffer as a group. A team needs to work together and in a disciplined way to attain victory”, the annoyed writer spoke.

The secretary smiled after hearing this. “I suppose you can act normal as well at times. And yes, mistakes are stupid. Even worse are cases when you get dragged down by others not performing well. That happens all the time and no one can control the actions of another person. That’s just how it is. So you need to deal with it, no other way around”, explained the secretary calmly.

“You are correct. I don’t play much, but for some reason I played for four continuous hours today, probably because I wanted to win after those bad matches. And yet, I couldn’t catch a single victory today”, chuckled the writer as he spoke about his own loss.

“And anyway you shouldn’t play this much. Focus on writing something better for next time instead of wasting time like this. You need to get back to your senses”, scolded the secretary.

“Fine, you don’t have to tell me like that. It was just today, a spur of the moment if I might say, it won’t happen again. I am already thinking of the book I was planning to write, and thanks to the games, I finally got an idea of what could I include in that book”, said the writer proudly, “It will be about this world, and the games we all play with each other.”

-Siddarth

Mother.

“I have a headache mom, please get me some iced tea. I need to calm my mind.”, shouted Mori, “Or coffee should be good too. Just need something cold.”

“No Mori, you need to drink something hot if you have a headache. Why don’t you take a break and lie down for a while.”, said the Mother calmly, “I will get you some hot tea and then we both can talk and drink.”

“Mom, please just bring me what I told you. I need some iced tea and I need to finish up my work. Please.”, yelled Mori.

“Do you want hot tea or not?”, said the Mother calmly.

“Fine! Bring whatever you want to. I can get something cold later. Damn it. Just bring it quick.”, Mori yelled back.

Thank God she accepted to take the hot tea. She shouldn’t drink cold stuff when she has a headache, better to have something warm. But why is her head aching? Is everything okay? Did she eat something bad? No, No. It is probably due to the constant mobile and laptop she watches. She does all her work on it as well as play games on it. That is why it is aching. All the reason clearly points to screens. A worried Mother made made the tea, tasted it, heated it again for a few seconds, added some sugar and tasting it again. I am sure she will like this.

Mori’s voice reached again, “Mom have you finished preparing the tea? Can you bring it over to my room?”

Mother sighed a little, murmuring “This girl…” under her breath and took the two cups of tea to Mori’s room.

“So how is the tea? Is the headache better now? I am sure it is much better after drinking something warm. Isn’t it?”, Mother asked.

“I am fine, Mom. Thank you for the tea. I will just take a medicine and take a nap for 15 minutes”, replied a calmed Mori.

“Sure. That’s a good idea. Here is the medicine”, Mother took a tablet out from her pocket, “I got it for you, just in case.” Mori, on seeing that, sighed a little and smiled slightly.

-Siddarth

Infatuation.

“There is this song that is stuck in my head since tomorrow. I have listened to it countless times now hoping that it will stop reverberating in my mind but that didn’t help. What should I do?”, said an annoyed Paru, “I can’t even get my mind to study properly.”

“Which song is it this time Paru?”, asked a in-surprised Disha, “How many times has it happened with you now.”

Paru looked at her with a grim face and replied, “It’s the new song Call Me Maybe. Don’t taunt me like that. This song is different. I feel more one with this song. I feel..”

Disha interrupted, “I feel this song had something unique about it. It attracts me to it.”

“Yes! Correct! I knew you feel the exact same way as me!”, Paru relief with excitement.

“No. It‘s just that you have told me this for the 25th time now, each for a different song. Isn’t that amazing?”, said Disha plainly. Looking at the seriousness on Paru’s face she added, “Although it is good to be attracted by new things. After all that is what fills the void in life and makes it more exciting.”

  • Siddarth

The Denial.

There are times when I just want to be left alone. Dan thought as he typed the new article for the job given to him. There has been increasing amounts of work since the past few days, or is it just I have been feeling more tired so it seems like the work has increased.

After giving it a pause, he sighed and spoke aloud, “Yes, I need to get out from this city and from people for some time. Too many people isn’t a good thing either.”

Dan went to the window and looked outside. He could look at the shining stars as well as the bustling crowd on the roads getting ready for the Friday night. He looked at people walking hand-in-hand, friends laughing with each other, women in beautiful dresses and men with beer bottles, and kept on looking for another fifteen minutes wondering how it would be if he was there as well with friends.

He was brought back to reality as the alarm on his computer went off, the fifteen minutes break was over. Woah, really? I just got up. Well whatever, as I was saying, I need to get out of this place where there are less humans so that I can think peacefully, he thought and started working on the article again.

It was a long night, and Dan enjoyed working alone, from the comfort of his home, as a freelancer.

⁃ Siddarth