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Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Blast - My First Short Story

The tranquil misty winter morning seemed a bit new and different but Sarika’s schedule was same as it has been since she married Manoj a decade ago. She woke up early, prepared morning tea lovingly for him.

She came out in the front yard of her house trying to absorb the few rays of the shy winter sun. Sipping her morning tea and planning the hectic day ahead, she heard the desperate cry of Sammy, the old dog of her neighbor. Sammy was callously left behind when the family shifted residence to Meerut, simply because it was old and required care. All day it would sit outside its old house in biting cold in an unending hope that some day its family will let it in. Sarika felt pity for it and would occasionally tossed bits of left over food towards it. She again saw it trying to get inside the locked house through spaces and crevices in the locked iron gate. “Anyways, what can I do, suffering and pain is the destiny of this dog. I have got a thousand things lined up of my own and on my own, and who has got time?” She stared at the dog blankly while sipping tea and came inside, something she was doing since the owners left.

One late evening, Sarika came to shop for some groceries with Manoj in nearby market. She was hassling as usual, and Manoj stood at a distance smoking, unconcerned, for he considered bargaining one of the signs of being effeminate. Suddenly there were two loud gunshots. The people all around got panicky started running in whichever direction they could. The fear of getting killed is worse than death itself; people carrying their children in arms, old people struggling to hold each other, everyone started running for cover. The market was not that crowded though, but a sort of stampede followed. Two gangs of goons were on their way chasing each other. After the goons left, the crowd started coming back from their hidings. Sarika too came out of a shop through its half closed shutter and looked for Manoj. Her hand reached for cell phone but it wasn’t there. Perhaps it fell somewhere. She fretted around but to no avail. Sarika felt her legs shaking and an uneasy feeling crept in. The market came back to normal within some time but Manoj was nowhere to be seen. Fearing the worst, she gathered all her might and visited the temple nearby to pray for the well being of the man she loved so intensely. It was also the moment of truth for her when she realized how deeply she loved him. Her confused mind pictured her tensed husband searching hysterically for her as she rushed home to intimate her family and well wishers.

She barged straight into the house panting but got her breath back when she found Manoj relaxing on the sofa, watching cricket, completely unruffled by what had happened in the market.
“Come on Sarika I am here, nothing can happen to you, my brave babe. In fact I have been praying for you ever since I came back. Actually I thought you would be at home so I came back searching for you only” he said, as he saw her.

“I could have got killed in the stampede” replied Sarika controlling her tears, after staring for a few minutes at the man who appeared so blasé and chilled.
“It wasn’t much of a stampede, you could take care of yourself. And you are not a five year old who needs constant protection” he said trying to hide the discomfort that started to appear on his face.  
“What if I were killed? I have returned so late, weren’t you worried about me” said Sarika as if trying to remind him of his vows that he could die for her.

“Where were you? I looked everywhere, couldn’t find you, and so came home. I knew you would make it to home safely.”
“But I could have got killed!” Sarika said trying her best to fathom his intentions.

Manoj avoided any eye contact, for the eyes sometimes speak the naked truth. But sometimes the mask itself reveals the real face of the actor. He scorned and switched off the TV, banging the remote on the table and went inside while she stood there frozen in time and feeling slapped on the face. She felt like crying but only a few tears rolled down her cheeks. She remembered the days when she would pray for his success and health, when she would pick up quarrels with relatives for him, all those delicacies she would prepare even when she was not keeping too well and a storm of such nostalgic memories swept through her mind. And here was the man who claimed that he could do anything for her, sitting shamelessly leaving her to die or get lost somewhere in the crowd. Sarika got all her answers. She could now piece together his every word and that in fact created an ugly picture.

Wiping her tears she came out and sat motionless in the porch. Sammy was there as usual. She could now feel an uncanny bond with it; they both stared at each other for a while but this time the stare was definitely not blank......


PS: This is my very first attempt towards writing a short story. Hope you will like it!


Image courtesy: http://www.pawsandbones.blogspot.com/

25 comments:

  1. superb... splendid piece of work :)

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  2. For a first time writer, this has come out rather good...You've tried to show how one small but significant incident has made a woman realize the hard truths about the man she loves...based on any real incident?

    Since I too have tried hands on a short story, I can imagine how much effort you'd have put on this. This is certainly a good attempt, but not your best as I feel they are yet to come...so keep them coming!!

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  3. A tad bit filmy, but a very good attempt. I liked the connection you made between the abandoned dog and the lady of your story.

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  4. The only between the dog and her situations is that she is capable of taking a life changing decision, and the dog isn't. There's no love on the other side.

    Nice read.

    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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  5. Very well written AS...i could actually picturize whatever u wrote in my mind...

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  6. hey sm

    thanks a ton!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. hii Shakti!

    thanks re :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. hii Rachit!

    m so happy... thanks a lot for appreciating :)

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  9. hey! mOhan!

    thanks!

    will tell u in detail abt the story and inspiration :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. hii Punam

    thanks a ton!

    ReplyDelete
  11. hii BA

    thanks a lot!
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. hii Sankoobaba!

    thanks a ton!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. hii Gayathri

    thanks a lot yaar! this a very nice compliment indeed!

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  14. Splendid... sometimes God opens our eyes by making us go through uncanny circumstances.

    Once my psychologist advised me " Never love or trust any one to the extend they can hurt you. Love all but love yourself more"

    Will post the Hindi/Punjabi of the Amrita Preetam soon..

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  15. hii Stranger

    thanks a ton! m really happy that u got the true spirit of the story :)

    thanks! awaiting the poem :)

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  16. Wow! What a powerful story....

    Hoping to read many more...

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  17. hii Happy Kitten

    thanks a lot !!

    keep coming :D

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  18. The way you narrate the dog's loneliness is heartrending...

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  19. AnonymousJuly 24, 2011

    Hey, I just hopped over to your internet site via StumbleUpon. Not somthing I would usually read, but I liked your thoughts none the less. Thanks for generating some thing worth reading.

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  20. hii Anon

    thanks a ton!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Your first short story is as good as your first poetry :). Unbelievably proficient in arresting the imagination of the reader!

    You really have a heart to bleed unsaid emotions and feelings.:)

    Seriously I felt that you should have elaborated it further.

    On a completely different note, being a lover of pets myself, I think pets love you more than you yourself can because they are the victims of Stockholm syndrome and whenever they get a glimpse of true love or compassion they start believing that they achieved the destiny of their life.

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  22. hello Asif,

    hehe! thanks a lot :D

    Actually, I wanted to keep it short 'coz i thought pple will get bored reading longgg dialouges, that's why.

    yes, animals are so cute and innocent, i love them :)

    ReplyDelete

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