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The Power

So he came out of this old hangout place high on all the stresses of the world. He had started to be like that all the time now, probably after he had to resign; maybe that was the reason for all his worries, but then again, he was like this even when he did have that not so highly paid job. But it’s easier to live by when you have something instead​ of nothing at all. His head hung, maybe because of the weight of the millions of thoughts that ran through his head. He had a family to look after, some promises to keep, some debts to clear; and some other things that he wanted to do for himself too. He had nowhere to go. He turned his head towards the dead end on the right as he walked out of the noises and the light, into the darkness and dumbness of his life and waited for a few seconds to stare at the wall at the end of the alley. How spontaneously your mind connects your life with the random things like a dead end : nowhere to go! So he turned his face to the other side and started to walk out of the alley when he heard someone call his name and it had been a very normal thing had the voice not come for the dead end of the alley. He turned to have a glance. An aged man with grey hair, in a shirt and trousers stood there with his hands in his pocket, looking at him and smiling.

” Do I know you?”, He almost mumbled.

“You do know me. But you don’t know that it is me.” The old man said with an unimaginable calm on his face.

“What is that supposed to mean? Who are you?” He spoke, losing to his irritation.

He smiled and started to walk towards him, crossed him and stopped at the mouth of the alley where it opened into a street and turned to look at him, “It’s going to take a little long for you to understand that. Care for a walk?” He said raising his hand towards the street and covering his face with an inviting smile. To his surprise, he felt all of his irritation go down just like that and he felt calm. He walked on.

They took the street and started to walk on the footpath. The old man and himself walking beside each other, the former with a smile on his face and facing the world in front of him, the latter with a frown on his face, his head bent looking at the ground. He lifted it though, to feel the jealousy that arose in him from the serenity on his face. But that wasn’t strange. What was strange was the quietness that filled the street. There were no cars on the street, no people walking, no noises coming from the TV sets in the apartments on either side of the street or any noise for that matter. It was like the world had lost its sound; except for the sound of their shoes clicking on the concrete. It was strange for this time of the evening. 

“Strange, isn’t it?” The old man broke the silence that prevailed.

He came out of his reverie and asked, “What?”

“You’re finding it strange, isn’t it? The silence. Don’t you like it?” He asked as if he had created this silence specially for him so that he would be more comfortable. 

“No, it’s fine. But it is strange that it is so quiet at this hour of the day” he said raising his hand to look at the time on his wrist and then he let it has hand go back to rest beside him. 

The old man turned his head to look at him with a mild smile on his face, “How ignorant you all are, how naive. How smoothly you let things pass by without even noticing. It has been so long and yet..” he shook his head slowly, “You all have such a long way to go!”

He looked at him as he spoke, bewildered. He didn’t understand a thing that he said. “What are you saying? Look man. I don’t have time for this. I have other things to attend to…”

“Your wife and your daughters? I know! And don’t you worry about the time son. You’re not going to be late. It’s not in play right now.”

“How do you even know about my daughters and my wife? And what’s not in play?” He was starting to get frustrated now.

“The time. The time is not in play right now son. You looked at your watch a few moments ago and you did not even realize that your watch wasn’t working. But it’s not your watch that’s not working; it’s the time.”

He frantically raised his hand again to look at his watch and saw that he was right, it wasn’t working and then he started looking here and there, everywhere around him. He could se no one, he could hear nothing; and that is when he realized that the place wasn’t only silent, it had just become still, it had just stopped.

“Calm down, son. Everything is alright.” He said with a face so calm that it made him calm. “You may not know that it is me but I know who you are. I know you all; each one of you. I have created you.”

“Are you… NO! How can that be? How is that even possible! You’re only a man!”

“This!” He said, placing a finger on his own chest, “is a man! I, am his creator.”

“No that’s not possible. How is it possible! How can God be like this, like a man.”

” I am not. But then again, according to you, how would God look like? Or who is God? What is God?”

He stopped, unable to give an answer. He stopped walking. The old man stopped after two more steps and turned to look at his bewildered face. “You don’t have to be like that. Come, walk with me.” And started to walk again. He caught up with him not understanding why he was doing so.

He tried to be calm and composed himself, his expressions, his gestures, everything normal but his breath which he couldn’t stop from being fast. “So you’re God?” He asked with a mixed expression on his face.

The old man looked at him with a smile and nodded with his eyes closed for a moment. 

“But you’re not…”

“The way you imagined me to be?” He said half mocking him and continued. “How childish you all are, even in the most mature age of yours. The concepts that you make about things you know nothing of. I must say, at times, I find it adorable.”

“I don’t understand a thing! I’m so confused!” He said holding his head between his palms.

“I don’t expect you to, son. You can not. You’re too young to understand the power, the mysteries of the universe. There’s so much for you to learn to make yourself capable of even understanding what I have so beautifully created for all of you. You still haven’t understood the mysteries of your own world. You still have a long way to go.” He explained each and every single word clearly to him and continued again, “But how exactly did you think I would be?”

“I don’t know.” He said with hesitation, “huge maybe, with white hair and beard and sitting on a throne; with angels around you to serve you.”

“Well that’s an interesting one, but you thought​ of me as having a body? You imagined me to have an appearance like you, so that you could relate with me.”

“Is that wrong?” He asked.

“Not on your part. No. If it gives you the comfort you require. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I had to come to you in this body of this man; so you could talk to me, be comfortable. Just like I made it silent and stopped the time for you.”

“For me?” He asked, surprised.

“Of course. You’re special. Each one of you. I have created you with so much of love and compassion. Don’t you know that? I created the whole universe for you. I gave you this Earth, made it exactly suitable for you all, so you could live. I designed the universe in such a way that you may not feel the lack of anything. I have worked so hard for you all, because I love you.”

“So you’re not the way we imagine you to be?” He asked confused.

The old man laughed, “No son. Not at all. You think of me as a being. A being has to be born to exist. Isn’t it?”

He agreed.

“But I didn’t take birth. I have always been there. I have always existed.”

“So how long have you been there for? And where? Since there was nothing there before you made it all.”

“I don’t need a place to exist son. And this measure of time that you asked me, I have created it, the time. I am not dependent on it. I never have. I created it for you, for the universe, so it could work.” He paused. “Like you make laws, so that everything is in order. That’s why I made time. So everything would be in order. So it’ll be easier for you all.”

“So when we say you’re everywhere, that’s true?!” He asked curiously.

He smiled, “This might be a little difficult for you to understand. Your kind has not reached that level of understanding as yet. You probably never will. But if I may put it in simpler terms: these words everywhere and all the time refer to a place and a point in time which, for you, are the laws that you can never escape from. You are governed by them. But I am the one who has created these. I am not governed by them or if I must say, I govern them. So I am not bound by them like you all are.”

He looked at his face as the old man spoke trying to understand the things that were too hard for him to understand or for anyone else for that matter. “So if this is not your true appearance, how do you look like truly?” He asked thinking deep about it with all the seriousness on his face. 

“Look?” He paused, “you can’t see me; not with those eyes that I have given you atleast. See, when you perceive things by touching or seeing, it is because they have a body, because they can’t exist without one, just like you. But I do not need one to exist; because if I did, I would need things to be there so I can live. But I don’t. I’m not dependent on anything. So you can say that I am merely an existence and you can’t really categorize me or put me in a class of something, because there is no else like me. I was the only one when there was nothing, and I will be the only when there will be nothing.”

He stared at his face, the way he spoke, like he was above everything and everyone. The expressions on his face convinced him more than the words of the old man; and suddenly he broke down, inside. “Why have you been so unfair to me then? Do you not love me? Do I not deserve happiness? Have I done something wrong that I am being punished for?” He almost cried.

“Oh no son! Not at all. I love you all the same, each one of you, even more than the amount of love your mothers could ever give you. You cannot imagine how much for you can never love anyone like that. I have made all of this, this entire universe only so you could exist; and I have made the happiness and the troubles and all of the luxuries of life that each one of you truly deserve but it would still be unfair if I just gave them all to you. Miracles are too simple a thing. I didn’t want it to be like that, so I kept mediums; hope and hardwork, perseverance.”

He stared back at him trying to understand and absorb every word said by the old man. “So my part of luxuries and happiness is out there too?”

“Ofcourse, they’re out there, waiting for you. Waiting that you work for them and open a path for them to come to you. Hope, so that they can live and wait for you. So you see son, it’s all on you. All the happiness and all the luxuries were made for you. Not only this world, but the entire universe was made for you. All you need to do is hope and work and never give up.” 

He suddenly felt lighter and hopeful for the first time after so many years. His face lit up with a smile. 

“I even made the time for you.” The old man said with a smile on his face.

He lifted his hand to look at the watch once more and saw the second hand moving again. “Hey, it’s in play…” He looked up and no one was there. He looked around; no one. He realized that he was standing right in front​ of his house.

He turned to go in and then stopped again. Looked at his watch, at the moving seconds hand and then looked up at the sky with a smile on his face, like he was looking at all the happiness waiting for him and he felt filled with all the hope that those happiness needed to wait for him. With the smile retaining on his face, the hopes new in his heart and the ownership of the whole universe, he went forward and knocked at the door. When the door opened, he saw their faces and the happiness that his presence brought to them. He hadn’t realized this before but he did now; the happiness that he was looking for, he was it.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2017 in short story, theory, Uncategorized

 

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The Wanderess

A laptop on the coffee table waited for her, along with the rest of her belongings. An old TV which was always there when she needed it, a bulky one seater sofa which resembled that she was all she had, a small wardrobe that held all of her moods and a laptop that she could never convince herself to switch off. It was a one bed room apartment in the outskirts of the city where the rent was cheap and which certainly cannot be called the most suitable place for a girl like her, young and beautiful. 

The doorknob turned and the door creaked open as she entered the apartment after a long day at work. That smile looked out of place on a tired face. She took off her coat and threw it at the wardrobe, probably expecting it to catch it. Her keys and her bag almost fell on the coffee table and she, on the sofa. She turned her face towards the laptop that had her list of mails on the screen and stared at the resignations she had sent over the years- all for one simple reason, because she was leaving the city; because she was moving.

She had changed occupations and workplaces more than a common man would have gone for vacations through out his lifetime. But it wasn’t about the occupation to her. It was about the life, a way of living, how you adjust to a given environment, in a given locality, in a given city, in a given state; in a given country. She had lived so many lives in that one lifetime of her’s; and this still wasn’t the end. She longed, for experiences, for novelty, for something that would be out of the ordinary, at least for her. She was like a tornado, blowing around, in a chaos, who didn’t want to come to rest. She wanted to get more from life than what it had to offer. She couldn’t think about staying, leading her life in a monotony, her whole life, in one place, with the same set of people, with the same routine, over and over and over for the rest of her monotonous life.

It was time again. She had stayed here for too long. Her last day at work, she had made it a point to say goodbyes to everyone she knew. Specially the ones who were closer to her; but she couldn’t stay back because of them: she loved herself a little more than she loved them.

She picked up her phone, took out the cover followed by the sim card and lay it gently on the coffee table. They’ll never get to see her again, she thought to herself. But she was used to it by now, all of it. The goodbyes, the pain of leaving, the memories of the people who cared about her; but she could never get enough of the excitement, of the anticipation, of the risks and the possibilities of the future. She touched the mousepad and reached for the inbox that showed a plus one. The first one was the appointment letter for her new job. She smiled, got up picked up her coat from the floor, her keys went inside the bag, and the bag on to her arm and she opened the door. A final glance she took, turning back at the apartment, which resembled the life she was leaving behind and closed the door after her. 

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2016 in short story, Uncategorized

 

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Love Truly

A beautiful face with a golden complexion that literally shone in the sun. Hair that could defeat the darkness of the darkest of nights. A body that could be envied by the goddesses. She was perfect. “What do you buy someone who is that perfect?” he asked this middle aged man who stood on the other side of the counter. With a sleek figure, he stood almost in the perfect centre while his eyes ran a marathon across the showcases in the most expensive jewellery shop in the city; a place where one could find the rarest of stones, for the people who were closest to one. He was a decently earning man. Yet he had had to make his wishes wait because the wishes of the people you love always come before your own. “We’re about to close sir!” interrupted the person who had been waiting on him to choose that perfect gift for his perfect wife. “Can I have a few more moments?”, he requested with an expression that was hard to overlook or turn down. “Sure”, he had bought himself a few more moments, but the question remained, “What do you buy someone who is that….. ” there it was. A beautiful necklace that would be highly complimented by his wife’s neck, because nothing, according to him, could possibly compete with his wife’s beauty in his eyes or nearly represent the amount of love that he held in his heart for her. He was delighted, overwhelmed by this beautiful finding of his, that would make his dear Cassy, so happy. He could not keep himself from wanting to call her up and tell her that he’s got something special for her and that she should be ready for it. It had to be special. After all, it was their anniversary. How could he forget. He never did. She might at times because of all the work she had to look after at home and at her office but he, how could he. They had been in love for 2 years before finally getting married and it had been 2 more and oh! How happy he was with her. How he loved her. He just couldn’t think of a life without her.

He completed his transaction and rushed outside; jumped into his car, took out his phone and gave her a call. It rang till it got disconnected automatically. Working at an office isn’t an easy job after all. Why didn’t he think of it earlier! He could give her a surprise. Oh! How happy she would be and how she would blush. The red on her face would shine like the perfect apple from the garden of Eden. The engine roared and he drove off to see his beloved wife and the tyres screeched right before his house in excitement. He jumped off the car and ran to the door and suddenly stopped. All the excitement fading away including the smile from his face. How thoughts play with your emotions. He shrugged off all the negativity that had come upon him and gathered his smile back on his face again, took out a key from his trouser pocket and entered into the house yelling out her name, “Cassy! Cassy! Look what your baby’s got for you!” He heard a noise from his bedroom and shouted out again, “Baby?! Are you in the bedroom?” He heard the bedroom door shut as he was climbing the staircase that led to the section of the house where their bedroom stood with two other rooms out of which one was turned into a small office in which she would spend her time completing the works that she could not complete at the office. He stood right outside the bedroom door, his face white and furious and sad; holding the door knob he asked softly as if hoping to be wrong or wanting to avoid something, “Baby? Are you in there?”. He heard the nervous voice of his voice, “Baby I’m changing, Just 2 minutes.” His head bowed down he waited, as he heard noises coming out of the bedroom until finally the door opened and he saw her. How beautiful she was, how he loved her. She looked tired and out of breath. He took out the necklace out of his coat pocket and gave it to her. She opened it and hugged her out of joy. He held her in his arms, his whole world at once. That was when he saw a man’s watch on his bedside table and he closed his eyes as a tear rolled down his cheek. He wiped it off and asked her to get ready for the dinner. She went off with the necklace in her hand as he stared out the bedroom window that overlooked their backyard where he could see a silhouette of a man sneaking out. He stood there with his hands inside his trouser pockets and a heavy heart inside his chest. He just stood there without an expression, without a word or an action, staring out the window. He could not forget happy he was with her. How much he loved her. He just couldn’t think of a life without her.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2015 in short story

 

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Alternate Lives

“I’m glad I went through all those miseries.”, he said half waiting for her to ask the reason.

“And why is that?”, she asked, just as he had predicted she would. She was a curious one; intelligent and fond of crazy theories just like him. He liked forming them, she liked listening to them; and they would have long discussions on concepts that may never exist; a whole world based on merely one single assumption. After such a long time, he had found her; someone he could be completely himself with.

“When I think about it, I’m glad I have you.”, he said and looked at her smiling through the corner of his eye. “Look, I have had so many choices over the years and I have taken so many decisions during the years that I have lived, right?”, he paused for her to understand, “And for every option that I had, my life could have been so different. So, for every single option that I left out, there would have a been a completely different life that I would have been living. A different life, if I did take the options that I left out.”, and his eyes stared at hers; begging them to understand what he was saying.

“Alternate way of living?”, she asked.

“Close.”, he smirked, “Alternate lives.”

She nodded. “So?”

“So what if, for every single combination of all the choices that you make in your entire life, there is a change in the life that you live. And what if every single one of these alternate lives is completely different from the other; and there can be unlimited combinations of choices, right?,” she nodded. “What if, for instance, this is the only combination of all the choices in my life for which I would have you in my life?”

“A coincidence then?”, she asked seriously thinking about it and glared at him through the spectacles that reflected her intelligence.

“Isn’t it?”

She merely nodded. So many thoughts going on inside her. What if he had never noticed her? What if he hadn’t told her that he had a crush on her? What if he hadn’t broken up with every single girl that he had ever been with in his entire lifetime? What if anyone of those relationships had worked out? What if everything hadn’t gone south in his life? How coincidental their love was. How coincidental this entire thing between them. How she would’ve meant nothing to him had it been for one different choice. The thoughts just wouldn’t stop. There is a downside to being intelligent. You just can’t stop thinking.

She slept with a heavy heart that night not knowing whether she should be grateful to fate or to be scared.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

And this time he did not go to that party which was on the night before his exams. He studied the entire night; and he did well.
He did not have to go into some crappy college; and this time, he went into a renowned one.

He boarded his usual train back home from college one day and as he was getting down, he stumbled into this beautiful girl who missed the train because of him. He kept apologizing, over and over again, and waited for the next train with her, to compensate for what he had mistakenly done.

She found it really sweet, he was in love with her beauty already too.

They fell in love.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

And this time he walked into a coffee shop with his friends; and they dared him to talk to the pretty girl who sat there with a book and a coffee on her table looking outside the glass window. A bunch of rich brats having fun; how typical.

He couldn’t just back off; so he went and stood right beside her table. He mumbled instead of talking and turned twice to look at his friends while standing and trying to talk to her. In a manner of joke, she gave him her number on the tissue she had on her table; just play a prank on those rich brats who had created a mess in the coffee shop.

He thanked her a million times over the phone that evening for not making him look like an idiot in front of his friends. The evening talks grew longer and the drifted through the nights. They slowly grew fond of each other.

They fell in love.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

And in this one; his first love had just broken up with him and he had no one to go to anymore. He was in tears and heartbroken and did not know what to do with his life anymore. He was devastated and alone.

His first love’s friend genuinely thought that he was a very nice guy and that he never deserved this. No one deserves to be heartbroken. Or maybe she just couldn’t bear to see anyone in pain. So she consoled him and told him that he would find the right girl and that maybe she wasn’t the one.

She was right. Her friend wasn’t the right girl. She was. It took them some time to realize it, but they eventually did.

They fell in love.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

For every choice that he made, there was an alternate life. Thousands of choices and thousands of lives; and he had her for himself in every single one of them. In every single one of them, they were together.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2015 in short story

 

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