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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 Graves

His 45th birthday! A day which mocked him yet again, reminded him of the time that he had wasted, all those years that he had not utilized. He sat up on his bed, resting back at the headrest, staring at that face of her’s, which was still beautiful. Oh! The love of his life! He had done everything right in his life. A decent job, a decent lifestyle, a decent income and a decent family. He had fulfilled all of her needs and of his sons. They respected him and loved him and so did his parents. They were proud of him. He had fulfilled all the promises he had made to them, and all of those promises he had made to her; but what of those that he had made to himself! He sat there, his eyes drifting towards the darkness, thinking the same that his eyes could see, nothing! When else was he going to be that bestselling writer that he had always promised himself he would be. Where is that fame that he always thought he would achieve. Where are the fans. Where, the luxury! And when he thought about it, he realized he had actually achieved nothing in life. He had merely wasted his life. Those big plans, had never materialized. Those dreams, never came true.

He got up, breaking his reverie and snailed across the room into the washroom. The sound of the water from the tap filled his ears. He collected as much water as he could in his palms and splashed the water on his face trying to break out of the negativity that was drowning him. He stared right into his eyes in the mirror. It was suffocating. This monotonous breathing of his. He moved away from the eyes and stared at the wrinkles on his face. The futility of experiences that he had gathered, locked among these wrinkles. He stood there blank, without a frown or a tear or a smile, for he did not know what to do nor what to think of himself. He had wasted it all. All his years; in achieving everything! In being one of the rest. He wasn’t any different. He wasn’t special. Bound to be forgotten. He couldn’t face himself anymore and so he turned and walked into the darkness of the room again; the darkness which resembled more the inside of his mind. He got into the bed as slowly as he could and stared at her face once more. His treasure. She opened her eyes slowly and looked right into his eyes. 

‘Something wrong?’, she asked.

‘Nothing at all!’, he smiled with all the strength he had left in him and kissed her forehead.

She closed her eyes and buried her face in his chest, into that heavy heart of his. He held her close. The only fan, the only achievement of his life, his only treasure.

And then he went to sleep, with the love of his life and the graves of his dreams and desires.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2017 in short story, Uncategorized

 

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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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Dark Love

She merely saw the bright side of it in the darkness that she sat. Her smile, her face, brighter than those headlights that were on the outside of the cab that she sat in. Those posts that ran backwards so fast only seemed to glow brighter now, probably to compete with the glow on her face. The rest was just darkness; darkness that seemed to freak her out before, made her lonely; but not anymore. She felt safe now, she felt the companionship of someone. She felt that there was someone who would save her from everyone else, everything else that would try to harm her. Someone who will always be there. Those were the promises that were made by those few texts. She will never be able to forget them. She will never be able to explain them to anyone either. How stupid and silly; yet so deep and beautiful. She rested her head back and closed her eyes and went back in time.

*beep beep*

1 unread text message.
The light from the cell phone lit her face up like the sky of 4th November. It was him.

“It was very nice meeting you!” She read out loud to her friend.

The girls smiled at each other and quarreled at what the perfect answer would be. But before they could finish, the phone lit up again. Yet another message.

“Gotta tell you something!”

“Hmmm…” she wrote.

“Roses are red.”

“Oh I didn’t know that! :P” she wrote and overflowed with giggles.

“Facebook is blue.”

“Tell me something I don’t know”

“I love you”

Her eyes widened at the screen. Her friend moved her eyes to her friend’s face. She herself, was stunned. Her face showed a mix of all the feelings that one could possibly imagine; all of them, all at once, on that young little face of hers. She blushed and half smiled and fear filled up in her eyes. She could hardly breathe. How exciting, how terrifying; the million possibilities filled her up. Her face lit up once again with the smile and then the fear took over; then came the comfort of some sort that she had never felt before. It is as if we are born with the depth of love; only in need of someone to show it to us, to make us feel how deep we are. How deep our feelings can go!

Oh the comfort that she found even his absence; the feeling of safety in this crowded little world even when he wasn’t holding her in his arms. It was inexplicable. She was too young, too inexperienced, too short of words to even try to speak of it; so she settled for tears. Words were kept safe in her for she could not let those feelings out; feelings that were a result of him and he, was too precious now.

But she only saw the bright side of it. The beautiful expectations, those dreams that take over someone’s mind along with the heart and take you to great heights are not always fulfilled; but she did not know that. How could she know, she was only a kid; a kid of 16. How could she possibly know the darkness of love. How could she know how black it becomes when the intensity of red increases. She was unaware of the lengths of the nights that one cries through. Unaware of the sufferings you bear when your love doesn’t understand you; when he walks out on you, when he gets over you. How could she possibly know the wicked schemes of the cupid or about the evil that resides within the beauty of love. She was unaware of the darkness of love.

She opened her eyes and stared at those three words. They made her smile. There was only so much she could do now. She replied back.
“I love you too!”

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in short story, Uncategorized

 

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