Saturday, October 30, 2010

The blue balloon

The young boy of ten years was at the window from the fourth floor watching down the busy road.The only door to the room was locked outside.A scary man with scarier mustache was sitting outside and peeping in once a hour.The boy was crying thinking of his mom,papa,his younger sister and the dog.It must be more than ten days since he was locked up.The only mistake he did was to stop on his way from the school to answer an unknown man asking for directions.The next moment a van pulled up by his side and he was dragged inside.He did not know where he was taken and why they brought him.

it was then he saw a blue balloon floating in the air wafting towards the window by the gentle breeze. He saw the balloon fellow on the road filling gas and letting them fly above after binding them to the cart.This one had escaped from his hands somehow.The balloon rested on the window sill when a breeze started moving it.The boy acted with alacrity in catching hold of the thread to retrieve it. it was quite big.for bringing in through the grill.He tied it there.He tore a sheet from the notebook in the school bag that was also dumped along with him in the room.He scribbled some note, tied it to balloon and let it fly.

Little Rohan who was dragged by his dad to the hairdressers for a haircut saw a blue balloon resting on the tree.He stopped by and insisted that his dad gets it for him if he were quietly to get the haircut.His dad managed to get a hold on the hanging thread and slowly got the balloon..The note was in his hands.

In the evening the boy heard hurried footsteps and loud noises outside his room.The room was broken open and policemen entered to rescue the boy. The scary man along with his accomplices in this ransom bid were seen in their custody.The scribbled note could not give the exact location but the boy was smart to describe the view from his window and the McDonalds shop across the park.

But then who is the real benefactor- is it the balloon, balloon man who let go the balloon by his carelessness, the unwilling Rohan for his haircut,his dad, the Mac Donald’s shop or the policemen?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

55 Word fiction


Policeman stopped the car

‘You jumped signal.Pay me Rs100’

No,I didn’t.It was green

‘I dunno.Either pay up or take the challan]

OK give me challan’

‘Show me your license’

‘See my ID card’

Vigilance commissioner
Government of ……”

Sir, excuse me.I didn’t know

Never mind.Show me your identity card

If you kiss her, you get the money you wanted

I don’t like it and in public

Take it or leave it

She may not like

She will say nothing and is within your reach

Why do you insist?

So you will not ask again

OK I need money

He produced a frog to kiss

Sunday, October 24, 2010

55 Word fiction

A weakness

A high ranking elderly politician though happily married with grownup children had a weakness for beautiful women.
Constant tours provided him opportunities.

In the sprawling meeting ground he saw the young beauty approaching him being stopped by his security.

He shooed them away by beckoning her .

He lifted her happily as she bent down.

Boooom…she was a suicde bomber.
The worried elderly woman brought the young beauty with her dark eyes .

The doc came out with grim face after examination.

“She is pregnant” he said

“Oh my god, I never allowed her alone without one of us.A sweet innocent thing ...How did it ever happen?”

"With dogs around, the bitch is never safe”

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The guilt

Every Sunday the blue car would pull up sharp at 6 PM at the parking lot of the nursing home.A young man in his mid thirties would emerge ,a routine that was never missed in the last few years.He would bring a basketful of fruits and spend an hour with a young and charming lady patient.There would hardly be any conversation.She was in no condtion to talk.She would be sitting on her cot with a vacant look in her eyes or even if she chose to look at him there was no sign of recognition.Sometimes she would excitedly scream as if she was passing through a nightmare but would become quiet soon after he gently caressed her with his hand. .He would be seen constantly wiping the tears flowing from his eyes.The nurses the orderlies and the doctors attending on her knew him as her guardian..But they had no more information whether the lady in question was his wife or a lover. Her general health was excellent except that she had lost her memory and senses..She has been here since the last eight years.There has been no sign of improvement.

One evening the chief nurse who was retiring from the next day came on her last round along with her successor, briefing her about the patients.She explained the tragic illness of the young lady due to an accident and how there has been no progress in her condition.When the new nurse saw the young man in tears and looked at chief nurse questioningly, she quietly led her away.

It was next Sunday.When the new chief nurse saw the young man in the lady’s room smiled at him and said”Can you kindly come with me to my room? I wish to talk to you.”

Once in her room she said “I am told that you are her guardian and that you are the only one visiting her for years.I can see the pain in your heart and have not missed noticing the tears in your eyes. I learn she gets excited after seeing you but subsides after you gently show your care for her.As one who is interested in her well being, I would like to know more about you in relation to her and why you cry every time..”

The young man was quiet for some time as he tried to recapitulate the happenings that took place long ago. He then slowly said” She is not not related to me.It was years ago in one January night I was returning in my car along the highway.It was dark with poor visibility due to fog I was in a hurry to reach home. She was travelling with her husband and her small baby and approaching from the opposite side.It was then the accident took place when my car collided headlong against hers.Her husband and child were killed on the spot.We were rushed to the hospital by the passing patrol.The shock of losing her dear ones affected her so deeply that she lost her senses since then”

“Why should you feel guilty as the accident took place due mainly to darkness and poor visibility?.Have you a feeling that it was due to your fault? You seem to have done your duty as a compassionate man by getting her admitted here and bearing all the expenses.Besides you have shown your care by regularly visiting her.Truth to tell, it is somewhat strange for someone to take such abiding interest in the victim of an accident..Is it that you have a feeling of love for her” the chief nurse asked.

“Yes, I have held myself responsible for taking away her happiness at such a young age when she was in early twenties by killing her husband and the baby and pushing her into such melancholy..No amount of my help or care would wash away my guilt” he said

“What guilt you are talking about? I heard you started visiting her only during the last two or three years and that initially you were not seen” she asked

He kept quiet till he was prodded again.” I was in prison serving sentence of five years for rash driving.I have started coming thereafter” he said

“Why do you cry everytime you come? Accidents happen despite best care..Do you hold yourself responsible for her sad plight?’she asked

“Yes madam, I am fully responsible for this situation I wish to make amends”

“Are you married?”she asked

“No, I am not married.I wish to give her a new life once she turns normal.I am waiting for it”

“Why do you cry? You have not said anything about it” she persisted

“I was the culprit.driving the car when fully drunk.I wish to atone for the grievous wrong I did to the lady and the two souls I killed" he said finally

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Flight to Miami

I took a respite and sat in a chair watching my colleague handle the traffic at the counter.Our gate at the New York airport was as usual busy with flights leaving every 30 minutes.After the gate is closed for one flight,,the boarding work began for the next flight immediately.I saw the old couple from India I surmised from the dress of the lady.She must be in late seventies and her husband in wheel chair looked past 80.The lady stood in the line for every flight at the gate to be asked when her turn came to wait.May be they were wait listed passengers or had the buddy passes that entitled them to accommodation only if seats were available after meeting those who paid for tickets in full.

I could see that they had missed three flights already.Whenever the lady asked something, I saw , my colleague was irritable and even said once “You have to wait.I do not know how long” She could not follow his accent with the American drawl.I felt both had a difficulty in comprehending one another and my colleague did not exhibit the patience and helping disposition needed in a front desk job.She lingered trying to explain when my colleague said with certain acerbity. "Please move away.There are passengers waiting in the line.” I could discern the irritation in his voice even from this distance.All eyes were on her.Embarassed the lady wiped her eyes with her upper robe and came near her husband in wheel chair.He looked sick.

I decided to do something.I am a very tall black American unlike my white colleague and when I went near her she looked so small.I bent low and asked her slowly word by word ’You seem to have some problem.I would like to help you.Please show me your tickets”

She looked at me wondering whether to hand over the tickets to me though I was in airline uniform with badges and name on it.Her husband nudged her and told her in whisper in her dialect to give me the tickets.When I saw the tickets I found they were bound for Fort Lauderdale and the tickets were buddy passes entitling them seats only when available..I told both the lady and her husband that I will take charge of the counter soon and that the lady should come along with her husband towards him when signalled.

I went to my colleague and released him for some rest.The next flight to Ft Lauderdale was full and there were no spare seats.The next flight had only one spare seat..I could see a slight disappointment in the lady’s face when the counter closed after those two flights. I smiled at her and tapped my chest to show that I was there to help her.

The next flight was for Miami.There were two seats available.There were others waiting with buddy passes.I ignored them and called the old couple..”This flight is for Miami. Please ring up your family and ask them to pick you up at Miami. It is not far from Ft Lauderdale.I hope you have a mobile.Give me their number .I will inform them.” They said they have a mobile and would do the needful. I took them inside and spoke to the airhostess to help the old couple who I said were waiting for more than four hours.She promptly put them in the vacant Business class seats though theirs were economy.

Before exiting the plane I turned to look at the lady. She waved her hand with a smile. It left me wondering whether I felt an affinity towards them because their brown colour was closer to my dark complexion than the fair colour of Americans or whether it was a natural concern in me for very senior citizens or my maternal grandpa’s Kenyan ancestry and his study in India. Be that as it may, I must admit that a thought crossed my mind what I would have expected of others had it been my mom in a far off Eastern land.

.The counter opened for the next flight for Ft Lauderdale and I got busy..

Saturday, October 16, 2010

55 word fiction

He touched me outside temple
I turned round.
“Please give me a rupee.I am starving’
I was angry the beggar touched me with his dirty hand.
I ignored him
He strode a few steps and fainted on road as a speeding car ran over him
The rupee coins meant for charity jingled in my pocket

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A scary night

His car broke down luckily near a sleepy village.It was only 10pm but all the lights had been put out and the viilage was totally dark. Fortunately he saw one house at the end of village away from other houses with a light on.When he opened the gate it creaked.The pathway was littered with dry leaves and dust.The plants looked withered in the dull light emanating from the room.He gently knocked the door.It opened after some delay by an old man whose eyelids seemed heavy with sleep.

“I am stranded here.Can I stay one night? I will go early in the morning”

“Why not? It may not be comfortable The rooms are dusty as servants are not there.You can occupy my room in ground floor.I will sleep in the first floor” he said

“Thanks for permitting me to stay a night here, Sir”

“In case you are disturbed during night, feel free to approach me” he said as he climbed slowly the rusty stairs.
The bed smelt stale.There were cobwebs and soot hanging all around.But he was so sleepy he had no mind to worry about them.He hit the bed and soon fell into deep sleep. It was around 1am.A clock struck some where.He woke up with a slight start.It was raining outside.He looked around and did not like the sight.He wished to get away.He had four hours more for the dawn.He decided to leave at 5am and hoped the car would start.

It was then he thought he heard the sound of someone gently knockng at his bed room door.He was not sure and waited to see whether there would be a knock again.There was again the knock.He wondered whether the old man wanted something.He opened and found none in the darkness around.He closed the door.In a few minutes there was again the knock.He kept his ears on the door.It was only on his doors.He quickly opened to see again none.A chill went up his spine as he quickly shut the door. He decided to ignore the knock till it was dawn.

Soon thereafter there was the unmistakable knock.He kept quiet.The knock became persistent and louder.When he opened he saw a figure that was not clearly visible.But he heard”Why do you sleep in my room?”

He replied with fear choking his throat and hairs standing on their ends”The old man allowed me”
The figure did not reply but vanished all on a sudden sending creepy feeling..He closed the door and turned towards the bed.He saw someone sleeping on the bed with blanket wrapped over the entire body.He jumped in fear and came out of the room.He ran up the stairs and knocked at the doors.It looked eternity before the doors opened.He was perspiring heavily and his shirt was drenched.But there was none in the room..Panic gripped him.He turned to go down and saw the old man climbing up the stairs.

“Hey what happened?I came down to your room to see whether everything was ok.But I found your bed empty and so came back wondering where you were” the old man said.

“You found my bed empty?” he asked

“Yes, did you see anyone occupying it?”

“Yes, someone was sleeping on my bed.That is why I rushed to you”

“I am sorry I should have told you before hand.That room is haunted.That is why I told you that I hoped you would be comfortable’

Oh my god, when I came to your room I found it was closed when I knocked. But then when the door opened strangely I did not find you also.I am wondering who opened the door.I am pretty scared”

“Oh oh.I am so sorry.That room is also haunted.I had no heart to turn you out when you came requesting for accommodation”

“How do you then live without fear in this wretched place that is haunted by ghosts” he asked

The old man laughed in a queer manner and said “What can I do? I only live here for as long as I can remember.No one visits my place.You are the first one after a long time.Go and sleep in your roomI will not disturb you again.I will go to my place”

When the young man heard the words” I will not disturb you again’ he froze in fear and found the figure had vanished abruptly again.He ran helter skelter towards the front door that would not open easily.He jumped over a window that had no grill and ran as fast as his legs could carry.The eerie and loud laughter was chasing him right upto the front gate.

He lay on the grass far away from the house for the dawn to come.The air was chill but was different from the chillness he had felt in the house.When the morning light came slowly he turned to see a dilapidated building half broken with no roofs, no doors and no windows.Spooky he thought,as he walked towards his car.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kindness repaid

Molly was in a hurry as she walked past the lounge to her room.The lounge was crowded with many candidates. There was a traffic jam today. Though it happened at frequent intervals Molly never fretted as she invariably used such compulsory waits to listening her favourite music.She got no other time at home.But today she was not amused at the traffic snarl.She had to be at her desk at 10AM sharp for the series of interviews she had to take as Head of HR.

As she walked in the long and spacious lounge her eyes caught the figure of an old man in his Sixties.When she came near him ,she found a familiar figure but she could not place him immediately.When he stood up with folded hands she saw the two inches long scar on his forearm and the name Palani in Tamil..She recollected and holding his hands asked him “Palani, are you keeping well? You have not changed much except for the creases on your face due to age.”

He blinked.”Amma, Sorry I cannot remember you readily” he muttered

“Palani, how could you forget me.Not once or twice, we had been meeting daily for four solid years both ways to and from college.”

“Sorry, my memory is failing me these days.Where did you board the college bus, amma?”

“Samiyar madam, Palani.That was about 20 years back”

“Were you the only girl in the bus stop.I remember you as a frail little girl in Salwar suit.Could not remember you immediately.You used to come late making me wait.”he smiled

“Yes Palani, I am the same Malathi.What brought you here?’she asked

He showed a young man standing by his side."He has been called for interview and he is an engineer.We call him Manickam. Do you know anybody here?” he asked

“OK Palani,I am late.Nice to meet you after such along time” she replied and hurried to her room

Once seated in her large comfortable chair in the AC room,her memories of her college days rushed back.She told her PA to give her 15 minutes before sending the other committee members and the candidates.She recalled how her mother with her arthritis problem was slow in getting up in the mornings and in preparing breakfast and lunch.Molly invariably ran from her house to the bus stop about 100 yards away.Many days she was delayed by even ten minutes.Never did Palani leave her.He waited patiently and gently and smilingly remonstrated with her that she should hold others like this.In her four years of college,she had never gone except by bus thanks to the patient and kind Palani.She had not seen him wait in other bus stops for students who failed to come in time.

The other members of interview committee joined her and the candidates started coming one after the other.More than 30 candidates had come and gone.Still she had not seen the papers of Manickam.She remembered the name.It was already nearing 2PM and time for lunch.Her PA announced only two more candidates were waiting.She asked them to be sentin.Then she saw Manickam enter as last candidate.His resume looked reasonably good.She put some simple questions and he answered correctly.She told him “Don’t worry.You will hear from us soon”

Palani was waiting anxiously and when Manickam said the interview was over,Palani said”Let me find out the girl who took my bus daily and ask her whether she can put in a word for your selection”

Manickam said “Daddy,it is only that lady who took the interview.She is a very big officer here.She told me not to worry and that I would soon be informed.You should not meet her.Come on ,let us go”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

55 word fiction

“Hand over the wallet” barked the man
Raju saw the cold pistol staring at him
Unfazed he laughed uproariously.
“Why do you laugh, you fool?”
“See where you are standing”
The man turned his gaze down
The next second a thunder blow struck his chin as pistol fell
Raju an encounter specialist grappled the man

A motor bike with a woman on pillion whizzed at breakneck speed
Another one with a man hurried behind despite red signal.
The policeman stopped him
Are you colour blind? Don’t you see red
I am in hurry to catch him.
Then pay Rs.200
Don’t you see he is abducting?
Abducting? Whom?
My wife, his lover

Monday, October 11, 2010

The secret

How could you do this to me?
I saw your hubby leaving.
But it is highly improper, you know
It is okay occasionally. Don’t you like it?
True, but you tempt me frequently.If it comes out I will be in soup
Don’t worry.It will remain secret
Sweets strictly forbidden,Lalitha.I am diabetic.Hubby will hit roof

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The payback

It was dark and drizzling.Sakthi was speeding home in his motobike along the desolate road.He saw a young lady standing alone in the shelterless bus stand.Taking pity, he stopped the bike and asked her“Where are you going? I can drop you.It may rain heavily.Buses are also not frequent on this road”

She replied ‘,”Velacheri, near Vijaya nagar Bus stand”

“OK, sit behind, Hold me carefully” he said
She was around 24 looked attractive with a good figure though slightly dark in colour.

“Do you work nearby?” he asked

“No, I came to meet my grand ma” she replied
“Aren’t you afraid to stand alone in this lonely road alone?”

“Yes, I was waiting for the bus for a long time.” she said

“Where do you live?” she asked

“In Pallikaranai, a few miles before Velacheri.Do not worry.I will drop you at Velacheri as I have some work there” he said

She kept quiet.Vicious thoughts sprang in his minds.His wife is away at her parent’s place for delivery.He was attracted to the girl and thought she might be an easy lay.

“Are you married? Any kids?” he asked

“Yes, no child” she replied

“What is he doing?” asked Sakthi

“He died six months before”

“Oh,oh,are you living alone? What do you do for living?”

“No, my grand ma stays with me usually.But she is not with me for the last two months.I am looking for some job.Actually I am struggling for income” she said

How convenient Sakthi thought.After riding for some time,he stopped the motorbike opposite to his house.I have to take some parcel to Velacheri.It will take ten minutes.Won’t you come in?” he asked

“Is your family inside?”she asked

“No.they have gone to village.I am alone.Do not fear” he said

After a few minutes he thrust Rs.1000 in her hand and said “Keep it with you.You said you are in difficulties”.When she hesitated, he put his arm around her and said”Do not worry.I can give you regularly”

She tried to free herself .But he did not let go his grip and pulled her closer.

She said ”Please do not proceed .Stop it.It is not proper.”

“Please my dear girl,do not spurn me.I will take care of you always.No one will know”he said as he drew her face towards him.

“Please stop.You will regret for your action.You are already married with kids” she protested

“Never mind..I need you”he said and imposed himself on her.After some resistance, she let him have his way.She was quiet thereafter.He took her in his motor bike and dropped her at her residence.

“We will meet regularly here henceforth.You will no more have any financial worries.You told me your husband died six months before.What work was he doing? Was it in an accident or what?”he asked

“No,he was a lorry driver”she replied

“He was not a good man.He died of Aids” she mumbled

The earth below appeared to give way as he realized the Himalayan blunder he had committed.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Room No.15

It was already 11 pm. It was the only hotel in that small town. There was a No Vacancy board on reception table. I woke up the snoozing clerk at the reception counter. It was clear he was upset at being disturbed from the frown in his face .

“I need a room for the night” I said

“Sorry sir,all rooms are occupied. Haven’t you seen the no vacancy board?” he said

“True, I have no place to go. I see in the board behind you agaisnt room 15 the keys are hanging. Please help. Just for one night.”

“That is not for letting out, Sir. It is vacant for six months . You won’t be comfortable there”

“Please do not refuse. My body is aching. I need to sleep. I don’t mind any discomfort so long there is a bed and a fan”

“Sir, er….. there was a problem and for six months it is locked. But we clean it daily in the day time”

“I don’t mind whether it was occupied or not. I need a bed. Please give me the room” I insisted

“Ok Sir, you should not shout at me in the morning. Here is the key. You can open.” he said

When I turned to leave for the room with the key, he said "Here is a bottle of water. Keep the lights on in the night"

I switched on the lights. There was a stale smell. I opened the windows and put the fan at high speed. I sat down on a reclining chair and started smoking a cigarette. I kept the door open as it was sultry and fresh air was blowing from the door side. I heard the clock strike 12 somewhere. I decided to hit the bed when I saw a young man in lungi and vest in his thirties enter the room. I was startled.

“I saw the light after a long time. So I thought fit to have a peep and say hello” he said

I showed him the chair opposite to me and asked him to be seated. When he sat down I offered him a cigarette. He didn’t light it though he accepted.

“Do you stay in the hotel?” I asked

“Yes, I live here”

“Since how long?” I persisted

“For more than six months” he said

“Do you work in this town?” I asked

“Actually I came here to work some months ago. But something unexpected happened I could not get the job” he replied

“I am sorry. Are you still trying for some job? May be I can help you in finding one” I said

“That is nice of you. But I don’t think I can work any more” he said with some exasperation

“Why, you look healthy and strong? By the way in which room you are staying?” I asked

He said "I am staying in room number 15 only” as he put the cigarette in his mouth. "Can you light the cigarette?" he asked

I was puzzled. "You seem to make a mistake about the number. We are in room number 15. It must be some other room” I said

“No, I am certain. I have been staying in this room for several months. I have not vacated. You have actually encroached into my room”

I was taken aback. "How come? The reception clerk told me the room was empty for six months and gave it only after lot of persuasion”

“So you believe him and would not trust me. I will explain. Please light the cigarette with your lighter”

I gave him the lighter. I could hear the click of the lighter and the flame come up. What I beheld gave me creeps. The lighter was burning in the middle of the room with the dull fire at the extremity of the cigarette hanging mid air. I ran into the verandah screaming like a mad man. All doors opened with lights on and men came out with their angry eyes glaring at the clerk who had also come. "I warned him sir, He only insisted” he said amidst sobs.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The trap

Raju and Arvind were drinking in the bar late night.

“I have to go now to pick up a lady employee at 12.30 am in BTM layout.I must rush It is already 11.50 PM” said Raju

“Raju, will you do me a favour? Here is Rs 1000 you wanted.Let me go in your uniform and pick her up. I have seen her once when you dropped me at BTM layout one afternoon when you went to pick her up.I wish to befriend her.I like her face.I promise I will be a good boy.Please inform her that you have taken sick and that a substitute is coming in your place.Give her some assurance that it is safe for her to travel with me..’ said Arvind

“No, it is not permitted.If the office comes to know I will lose my job.Sorry”replied Raju

“Take another Rs 500.I will ensure no harm comes to you.Won’t you do this for a friend’s sake?”asked Arvind.

Lured by the money he agreed and told him.” Here is her address and mobile number.Tell her Raju from Idiyur lake area sent you.You can tell her that I gave her name as Supriya.Please avoid any mischief.Just drop her at her office and come back.I will be waiting for you here.”

Arvind rang her up immediately telling that he was coming in lieu of Raju of Idiyur lake area who had taken suddenly ill. He expected her to raise some objection but was relieved when she said “ It is all right.I hope you will be here in 30 minutes”

Arvind’s intentions were not honest.He was gloating that in an hour the girl will be under his control and possesion.When he reached her house it was dark out side and he could not see girl’s face as she got into the vehicle. There was a nip in the air outside. She was wrapped in a shawl that half concealed her face..Arvind started the vehicle and proceeded towards Electronic city. After driving the car for about 30 minutes silently, he turned the car into a dark and desolate road.

“Why are you going in this road? Aren’t we supposed to go to Electronic city.Are you new to city or what?” she shouted

“Supriya, do not scream at the top of your voice.I know where I am going.You will reach your office no doubt but after a hour.Let us have some fun on the way.I have been wanting you for long. Be a good girl.There is no one around here and none can hear you.The doors are locked.Please understand and do not resist.Otherwise you may not reach home alive”Arvind said in a soft lecherous voice.

She was silent for a few minutes thinking about the piquant and dangerous situation she was in before she answered ”OK,stop the car.and come to the rear seat.You should not take more than 15 minutes.My office will start searching for me”

He stopped the car under a tree and jumped in joy to the back seat.The next moment he was on her imposing himself to molest her..He did not know what happened to him when a sledgehammer like blow descended on him.Before he could even let out a scream, there was a rain of blows on him totally immobilizing him.

When he opened the eyes the next day morning he found himself in a hospital with heavy bandages and plaster all over with his leg tied up to a stand .He saw a policeman standing by his side. Raju was seen with another policeman holding his hand .There was Supriya, her dad and another young lady along with a police inspector .One or two press reporters were hovering around. The doctor informed the inspector that there was a dislocation of the shoulder blade, fracture of hands and several fingers,and major injury in pelvic bone.It would take months for him to walk and may be limping thereafter.

The inspector turned to the lady and said”well done, Pushpa.” He then turned to the reporters and explained “After the recent murder of an unsuspecting lady employee of a call centre in the night, we had mounted the patrol. . There were such complaints coming frequently. We had also a night cell fully equipped to deal with such offences. It was good that Supriya’s dad alerted us on phone about change of driver.We had adequate time to send our Karate black belt holder to their place before the culprit reached..We switched persons and sent the police lady instead of Supriya in the car.She had been trained to tackle any miscreant on one to one fights.We were also following.This is again a lesson to lady employees not to fall into such traps and exercise abundant caution.”

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The premonition

“What is for dinner?“ she heard as he ambled along towards the dining table.Chandra said “Go and wash your hand before you sit for dinner”.This made him angry and he pounced on her.Chanda felt a slice of sharp pain on her arm as she defended herself from Navin.He looked scary with blood shot eyes, slobbering mouth and a scowl of hate in his face.”I hate you, you dare to talk back to me’ he said in anger as he raised his hand to slash her again.She hit him on his wrist and the knife jumped from his hand to a corner.He started blabbering and she was always afraid of hearing him talk of late.An alcoholic beyond redemption he was the antithesis of what she thought he would be a suave, handsome, diligent, upcoming executive and a loving husband.Her marriage was a total failure and luckily they had no children.
It was last week she remembered he was sipping his tea in the sit out while reading the paper.Suddenly he put the cup down and said “Check whether Peter’s wife is OK.She was admitted in hospital I feel.I have a queasy feeling”
Two days later when she rang her friend who was living adjacent to Peters she was shocked to hear that Peter’s wife suddenly took ill only the previous night around 1 am and passed away despite emergency treatment.Chandra looked at her sleeping husband with horror when it dawned on her that Navin had a premonition of the impending death.

She recalled how one day a few months back when they were walking in a mall, Navin pointed out to a middle aged man with baskets on both hands and said that he would fall down in the escalator.She felt Navin was talking insensibly when the man appeared strong and walking with firm steps.As they were climbing down to the lower level in escalator , she saw to her great shock the man suddenly folding in two and falling on the moving escalator few steps ahead of her.A crowd gathered and rushed him to emergency.She asked Navin how he knew he would fall.Navin said it was just a hunch and he really did not know why he felt like that.She dismissed the event as a coincidence.But Mrs. Perter’s demise convinced her now that he had some power to foresee events.

She looked at her arm as blood was oozing out.He did not stir but shouted instead ”You dare to hit me, you stinking wench.I hate you and am leaving you for ever.Take it from me you will see no more of me.You can romance unfettered with your office manager .Don’t think I am not aware of your shenanigans..I am fed up with you.”He went out blabbering nonstop till she heard his car start and leave the house.

She was outraged at his insinuation though there was no such romance except they were good friends liking each other.He knew she was married and maintained the friendship at decent level.She would often feel that he would have been a better choice than Navin but knew the mistake had been done.She did not feel like eating after Navin’s sudden exit and became morose that her marriage had entered the shoal of mutual dissatisfaction and incompatibility.All her efforts could not wean him away from liquor into a responsible and understanding way of life.She put her head on her arms on the dining table and fell asleep.She must have slept long for it was 11.30 PM when the telephone rang shrilly.
A sudden fear engulfed her.She did not like Navin talking of leaving her permanently.There was a cramp inside her stomach as she clutched the receiver to hear a male voice.”Is it Navin’s house….? I am sorry madam to disturb you..Are you Mrs. Navin?.... Oh oh….er …er.There has been a ghastly accident.May be he drove while fully drunk.Can you come to the hospital at…”

She did not want to hear anymore.She knew what must have happened as memories of the middle aged man falling in the escalator and Mrs.Peter rushed in her mind.