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


Almost everyone has this kind of day. No one wants to do anything on that day, just sit on a bed of grass and look up at the stars, relaxing and wondering just how big the universe is. But exactly how could he say that to his parents, will they understand it? Have they ever had a day like that? Probably not. As Leon was thinking on this, his phone rang again. This is the 5th time in the last 15 minutes isn’t it.

He picked up the call again, nodding and replying appropriately, let out a sigh and put the phone, screen down, on the table. The work isn’t that much frankly, rather I want to do more, but I can’t find any motivation for it.

It was 7 pm at office and everyone except him and his secretary had left. He called out to Elsa and asked if there were any more important matters to be attended for the day. Elsa went outside, checked her calendar and diary notes, came back in and said, “I believe everything is done for today. Do you need me to schedule something for dinner?”

Leon looked at his watch for a moment and replied, “No it’s okay. You can leave as well. I will be going home as soon as I am done going through a few documents.”

Elsa asked again, “Are you sure you don’t need me to order dinner or snacks?” to which Leon politely denied. She greeted him and left.

Now it is all quiet here. This feels like when I started this. At that time how many people were there? Around 5 including me. Now this firm has more than a hundred people, and yet it still feels the same. I wonder whether that is a good thing or a bad. He shrugged as he thought of this.

He turned around his chair and saw the main street though the full-length glass window. There were a few youngsters walking with a can of beer in their hands, some office goers sitting on the steps talking to each other and going through their mobile phones, and he also saw his secretary, talking to someone on the phone and laughing much. I don’t think she will ever dare to laugh like that in front of me. He thought. Or for that matter, has anyone in office laughed like that in front of me. The thought made him both, prouder as well as a little sad.

He picked up his wallet, shut down his computer and went outside the cabin. While turning off the lights he glanced another look at his desk, the computer screen was still throwing a blue glow on his desk and chair, perhaps from the shut down screen. He chuckled a little and left.


Forgotten Soul.

“There is a sound in my mind, it wakes me up, it talks to me when I am feeling low, it asks me to eat when I am hungry, it tells me to drive slowly and with caution, it scolds me when I make a stupid mistake and it consoles me when I lose something”, Richard told his psychologist.

The psychologist was listening to Richard intently and couldn’t help but smile. “Please go on”, he told the 30 year old man, sitting on the sofa, explaining his situation.

“Is it just me? Does this happen with other people as well? I am thankful for this voice but it creeps me that I don’t know who it is. Why does this happen?”, said Richard, resting his forehead on his hands.

The psychologist was intrigued. He didn’t know if Richard was plain stupid or too innocent.

Richard continued, “It is always there for me, helping me out in every situation, celebrating with me when needed. But I can’t even thank this person because I can’t see him. I can’t even ask him why he helps me out. It is just… there.”


Richard looked at the doctor and asked, “Can you say something? Please?”

The psychologist was quiet. He was staring at Richard and couldn’t think anything else but this: It’s so simple. People always look for a person outside, but they can just meet the best possible person with there soul. It sounds so simple and yet, most of us have already forgotten or lost the meaning of soul. And even more of us have lost the voice of soul.

After a two minutes of silence, in which time Richard has asked him to say something at least five times, the psychologist replied at last, “You are so lucky.”

This surprised Richard. He hadn’t expected an answer like that. How on earth can he be lucky? Did the psychologist not hear a single word that he just said? Ah! I knew this was going to be a waste of time. So no result in the end.

The psychologist repeated, “You are so lucky.” He looked straight into Richard’s eyes and continued, “Not many people, in fact it is very rare in the times we are living for a person to hear that voice. It is, no doubt, the voice of your soul that is guiding you. But sadly most of us, including me, have formed a habit to ignore that voice and with continued ignorance, that voice has stopped saying anything to us. Many of us are living a hopeless life searching for an external source to remove this loneliness. But you are so lucky Richard.” He closed his eyes, took a deep sigh and looked at Richard again. “I actually learned from you. I need to try to start communicating with that voice again. I am sure if I am persistent, it will respond.”

Richard heard all this and couldn’t help but smile. “I didn’t realize this. Wow. I don’t have any words to say.”

And the conversation continued for another ten minutes. After that the bell rang. It was the end of session and time for him to chat with another patient. He said his goodbyes to Richard and walked back in, preparing himself for the new patient and… forgetting about the past.

⁃ Siddarth

Humans Evolved.

Alex told her that it will not be possible for him to come to pick her up. It was a Wednesday and he was too tired after work to drive again.

The angel was intently watching as Alex told this to Sharon, how Sharon replied with nothingness from her side and cut the call. He flew up to Sharon’s location and walked up to her.

The angel looked at the human for a minute, and then asked, “Why is it that no one wants to take that extra step nowadays? How come everything has changed so much now.”

Sharon replied, “Yes. You are right. No one wants to take that extra step. Whether it is family, friends or strangers, no one wants to walk that extra mile to help-out the other person. Why is it so? And when did the new generation become like that? The world was already getting destroyed by pollution and humans didn’t think of Mother Earth as important. But now the vicious cycle has come to a point where a human doesn’t even consider their fellowmen, their neighbors or even their family members as important.”

The angel was a little sad to hear the human’s response and replied, “Why did it come to like this? What was the reason for humans to fall in such a deep pit that they couldn’t even ask for help from other people? Does the pit block out all noises from outside or does it not let the victim’s voice reach out? Will humans become accustomed to this loneliness and just keep embracing… themselves?”

“They already are.”, said Sharon as she went her way because of the un-productive questions that the angel was asking.


Wander Away

Seeing the stars in the night,
Strangely I miss the sun;
There are thousands in the sky but,
That ‘one’ glows brighter than anyone.

And I keep searching for that,
As I walk through this endless night;
I wonder if it is something or someone,
That keeps asking me to continue this fight.

At last, I see your soothing smile,
But is it the real thing or is it fake?
The questions lingers on in my mind,
As I continue to stare at that face.

The worries evaporated, the mind calmed,
Clearly, you are no less than an angel;
As you walk past me, I stutter,
And gather the courage to ask your name.

Before you say anything, it is broken,
The dream was lost as I was awoken;
With tears rolling down, I raise up my arms,
Still trying to hold on to that feeling.

I come out of the shower and clean the mirror,
Slowly, shivering, staring deep into my eyes;
Wanting to know what is this empty feeling,
I keep standing there, waiting for an answer.

The phone rings again, and I come back to life,
Knowing what’s going to happen today;
I wear my clothes, and pack the office bag,
Picking up a doughnut on the way.

Still another day that I need to pass,
Another day to have the food truck lunch;
As your colleagues talk about life and work,
The mind wanders away with those feelings again.


A silent room. A silent night.

Sometimes I can look through you. Yes, that is me. How can I remain silent after watching you, watching the mess that you created, watching the storm unravel, watching the violin shriek. How could I leave you alone in this position. Ever., he thought.

Nothing changed. The time felt as if it had stopped. The slight breeze coming through the window was still playing with the curtains and filling the room with an atmosphere that made you think about life. The white walls still tried to maintain peace in the minds of the occupants of the room. The flower vase kept on the side-table tried its best to fill the room with a sense of joy and rejuvenation.

But still. She still lied down on the bed, unchanging, unflinching, just like she had been since the last two years. A deadly virus had caused her whole body in a state of Paralysis, but according to the Chief doctor, she could hear, perceive, and think. She just didn’t had anyway to show her emotions or state her opinions, well maybe just the increase or decrease in the rate of her heart beat.

He stared at her, not-knowing what to do or say. Can she really hear me? The doctor did say she can’t, but I just want her to reply. Just once. That one word from her mouth can keep me going for years. I just want to know that I haven’t lost her.

Right then he realized there was that usual beeping of the machine in the room. Oh yeah, the machine counting the heart rate. She is alive. He didn’t know what expression to show, and ended up with a forced smile.

He had been coming to the dampened room everyday. Everyday since the past two years. Wishing for a change, wishing for a miracle. But the doctors had told him that they hadn’t come across this disease as of yet, and they will do their best possible. As of then, they needed to monitor her state. Yeah, right. They had been monitoring her state since the past two years and haven’t been able to come up with a solution. What am I supposed to do. Could I have done anything if I had graduated with a MBBS degree rather than a BA.

He had graduated at the top of his class in Acting. He was a well-known actor. He could have gained more popularity and fame worldwide, had he continued his career. Well in a way, he still acted, but just in small advertisements. He had lost his motivation and passion for acting after he realized about her situation. It had just been an year in their marriage and this news had broken him. He didn’t know how to react. That’s very strange. I have acted so many times, yet I don’t know how to act in this situation. What should I do, I need to stay strong for her, but when I look at her, I can’t come to terms with myself. Why did this happen to her. The disease could have just chosen me instead. Why her!

He had tears in his eyes, but he controlled them. Even if there was a 1 percent chance that she was seeing him, he didn’t want her to see him crying. No, I can’t be weak. At least not in front of her. But considering how close they were, he knew that she could easily infer what was going on in his mind.

Another breeze came and the curtains flew a little higher this time. I suppose I should close the window. It might get cold for her in the night.

He looked outside the window, the sun was still setting but he could clearly see the moon in the sky. What has life come to, the warm and sunny path is vanishing away right in front of my face and the cold-yet-beautiful path is looking down on me. I don’t know which one to choose from. Is this some kind of a sign?.

He pulled the window, and closed it as quietly as possible. The breeze stopped coming, the curtains, eventually, came to a stand-still.

He went near her and kissed her on the cheek. He heard the heart rate monitor and the rate had increased to 140. He had a faint smile on his lips and whispered, “Still. Thank you.

He closed her eyes so that she could sleep and walked towards the door. On reaching the doorstep, he turned around to face the room. The room is actually at a stand-still now. He lowered his gaze and shook his head.

He left the handle of the door and put his hand in his pocket. The door closed shut.

The night was cold outside, and the path back home was long.

Who I am

The wise told the average listener, “It seems that I am working hard, it seems I am gaining things more, it seems I want to be the best in this world but I am slowly and steadily breaking down from being alone.”

A flight without loneliness

Now what? He wondered as he took his seat in the aircraft. This was his first time in the airplane.His friend looked at him and smiled, “Don’t get scared now. You promised for the trip, remember? You can’t back out now.”

“I am not scared. Just shut up. Be silent. At least till the aircraft starts driving.”

“Aircraft? Driving? Are you okay?”

“I mean just let the airplane fly. Damn it.”

“You are so hopeless. Is this your first time in an ‘aircraft’?”

“This is my first time in an airplane. So what? I am sure many people sitting here would be feeling the same way. Anxiety. It’s everywhere in the plane.”

“I doubt they will be terrified enough to change ‘flight’ to ‘driving’.”

“That was just a slip of tongue.”

Sure. Anyway, here…”

She leaned towards him and pulled out a pouch from her right jeans pocket. She unzipped the sky-blue colored pouch and took out a pair of earbuds. Then she took out a small candy wrapped in a… sky blue plastic.

Is that just a coincidence or…? He thought.

“It’s just coincidence. I am not insane”, She replied as if reading his mind.

He let out a forced smile and asked “What is that pouch?”

“It is just something I used a lot during my initial trips in a flight. You can call it a Novice air passenger’s kit.”

A novice air passenger’s kit?

“Well it has all the things you need if you haven’t travelled in an airplane much. Fortunately for you, I had kept it since I wasn’t sure if you would need it. But seems like you do need it.”

“I don’t need it.”

“Shut up and take it. Even though it’s just a two hour flight, you might feel a headache and earache.”

Just a two hour flight? What does that even mean? Two hour sitting at the same seat in an airplane. In an airplane! He was about to say this out loud but he thought against it. She will again irritate me with how unbelievable my-first-time-in-airplane sounded like.

“So now take it. Where are you lost!

She had already zipped the ouch and kept it in her pocket. He took the things from her hand, put the ear buds and kept the candy in his mouth. It was a rich mango flavor. He chewed the candy and ate it within a minute.

“The candy was good”, he said, “Thanks.”


“What happened?”

“The candy was to be kept in the mouth till it had completely dissolved. It wasn’t supposed to be chewed on.”

“Well I didn’t know that.

“Oh lord”

She put the hands in her pocket again, pulled the pouch out, and pulled another candy out. But this time also it was wrapped in a sky-blue plastic. She eyed him as if telling, it was a coincidence.

“Well…”, he didn’t know what to say. Or exactly how to say what he wanted to.

“Say a word regarding this and I will hit you.”

Okay okay

Take this, and just let it be in your mouth then. And don’t speak.”

“Yes madame.”

He tore the wrapper and out came the same mango flavored candy. He wouldn’t chew it this time. No. He shouldn’t chew on this. Just keep it in the mouth and all is well.

The airline crew announced that the airplane was ready for take off.

He widened his eyes and then turned to look at her. She had her eyes closed shut and was holding both arm-rests tightly. He smiled looking at her and mumbled Stupid.

He closed his own eyes and kept one hand on the arm-rest, and the other one on top of her hand.

She smiled. It was a two hour journey ahead but a month of vacation.

A birthday worth remembering

Forever. That was what she thought. She had made up her mind. She couldn’t determine the end of the muddy road but she kept moving forward. I will keep going. There will be an end somewhere, and I will find a village there. She had been on the trail for almost five hours now.Initially she was supposed to take a bus but someone had stolen all her belongings including the jacket with the ticket, purse and phone in it. She staggered along the road alone. This was her birthday and she was spending it like this. It was the worst birthday ever.

She saw some smoke rise from a distance. At last. She sighed. Her legs got a new sense of purpose and started to move as quick as they could. Her spirit, though only a little, had lifted. She could have some food and water now.

When she was just a couple hundred meters away, she noticed that it wasn’t just one smoke column, in fact there were many columns of smoke. Maybe it’s an industrial city or a middle class prosperous town with smoke chimneys in many homes. At least the view assured her that it won’t be cold there like everywhere else. She moved on.

The outline of the place was now visible. The place looked like having small buildings and smoke was rising from almost all of them. That doesn’t look like an industrial town. Something is not right. What is going on. As she reached closer, she realised what she had seen. The very sight of the town made her tremble in fear. What the hell. Right in front of her eyes she could see buildings and small homes on fire. It was like the end of the world. Where was everyone. Had everyone died. Is this the Doomsday?! She thought about what was happening. The hunger, thirst and fatigue made her stomach rumble. Adding the mental stress made her feel lightheaded. Her legs couldn’t go any further, they gave up and she fainted on the dust covered ground.

Suddenly a siren started to ring as if something ominous had happened. Any soul within a km couldn’t have missed it. Soon two army trucks appeared out of nowhere and a soldier climbed down from each. Both were carrying semi-automatics and both pointed the weapon towards her. She was still unconscious so she couldn’t feel either the fear of trespassing in army area and the joy of being found by someone.

The army dogs sniffed her from head to toe, the officer checked her clothes and made sure that she wasn’t carrying any hidden weapons. Satisfied, they picked the body and took it to the truck they had just arrived in. There the officer gave her some water. She was still unconscious but her throats gulped down the much awaited liquid. The officer asked the driver to drive back to the army station.

The officer made arrangements to send her over to the general army hospital within the compound where she was to be given IV. Her heart was beating slowly and she had scratches around her feet probably due to walking continuously for a long time.

It was only after two hours rest that she opened her eyes. At first she was shocked to see people in uniforms around her and was astonished to see that she was in a hospital. She didn’t understand how did she reach the place or what was she doing here. Then she re-adjusted her thoughts, I was walking for a long time and had fainted at the sight of a… Burning town. Oh lord, I have to tell the officers. She pulled the shirt of the officer standing next to her.

The officer was a largely built man with big biceps bulging out of his shirt. Either the shirt was too small for him or he was just too massive. She said slowly, “The town… it was… burning.” And had tears in her eyes. The officer didn’t know what to do. He quickly took out his handkerchief and handed it over. “It is okay, it is okay.”, he exclaimed, “The town was just a model town. No actual beings were living there. That town is a part of our missile testing facility. There is nothing to be worried about.” She stopped crying. She felt stupid and small. The officer said, “it is okay, no need to feel ashamed. Anyone would have done the same thing in your place.” She nodded. I am okay and no one was hurt. It was a model town. I can go home now. The officer got a call from one of his soldiers and went away after fifteen minutes.

After almost an hour, about a hundred officers, men and women, came in the room, dressed in their uniforms but with a weird looking cap on each. They all seemed to be smiling and happy. Was something happening? Was the missile…test…a success?

A nurse brought a big cake. It was about the size of a truck tire. “All right”, said the officer who had been explaining to her just an hour ago, “Get up and cut the cake. It is not often that we get to enjoy a cake! It’s your birthday, you need to cheer up Adya!”. She had tears rolling out. She was astonished that they knew her name and about her birthday. The officer told her that he had to run a background check on her for security issues. Therefore they had taken her fingerprint while she was unconscious and were able to pull her information.

The officer said, “It seems you have been having a really rough day. Time to lighten up and celebrate. We can hear your story after that and will help you any way we can.” She had completely forgotten that it was her birthday. She nodded and blowed a single candle kept at the side. Everyone sang Happy Birthday in a chorus and she cut the cake. This might have been the worst and best birthday ever.

Chapter 27 – 1Q84 (Haruki Murakami)

They had neither the power nor the knowledge to know what they should offer to each other, what they should be seeking. They had never, ever, been truly loved, or truly loved someone else. They had never held anyone, never been held. They had no idea, either, where this action would take them. What they entered then was a doorless room. They couldn’t get out, nor could anyone else come in.