The Pickle Jar- Part 1

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I was ten back then when I found out about the pickle Jar. Was it a boon or a curse?

It was a long way back home, dwarfed by the immense power of destiny, covered in a muddied ragged shirt. I contemplate on my journey so far. The other side of the hill was longing for my return. Two hills away is where I come from, my small village and my home, a small hut built of mud and sand, the one that often shook when the monsoon winds blew. A spare key to the latch was hidden in the creeks of the southern wall over which wild flowers grew. The light hardly made its rays persistent in that dark space inside. It was always foggy and damp but warm. Warm because in it was love. My mother’s love who would often be found preparing a meal or cleaning that tiny space off the dust.

Draped in a cotton saree and her nose ring shining through the darkness, we would find serenity in her arms. I was ten back then. When her light brown eyes brimmed of tears when she heard me run.

“I want to go” I had thundered that night. Father was still in his deepest sleep, that was when his snores would deafen our ears.

“You are just a kid, you do not the know the world outside” She smiled at first, thinking it as a childhood rant.

I knew that smile. That was never going to change. It would be foolish of me to convince her. Naren uncle had promised a better life, better home, better food in the city. I would return when I would have got everything. Being the oldest amongst the four children. I decided to run.

Back then I thought I was brave and determined.

It was a five-day journey on foot and 2 days on the vehicle. Bandra, the city, a home awaiting my arrival. So that night, I packed my bags with curried potatoes, dry rotis and left over ragi ball that was preserved for the next day’s morning ragi malt. Now for that treasure that promised me riches. I steadily walked through the small place, hopping around the sleepy legs of my siblings. My mother turned in her sleep while my father’s snore had reached the cow in the backyard. everything was in place. I climbed the walls of the hut, it was a bricky and an easy climb, at the end of the rack above was an earthen pot, the big one that would fill water for the house for two days. I clenched my teeth and drew it near me. It was heavy and bottom of which creak-traced the muddied rack above.

There you go, I heaved as I pulled it closer to me. tied a thread around the nook and slowly left it down to the floor. Is it really the pickle, a tiny voice in my mind screamed. My parents would always talk about the pickle they stored on the rack above. The one that promised us a better life. We never tasted the pickle though.

It was the money. I knew it for father always used to climb up with pennies jingling in his pocket and climbed down empty except making a grinning face of how tasty the pickle was.

And one night I heard them talk about the money saved in the pickle jar and how it would help us all in the future. The future where I would be married off and my sisters to a well settled family. The importance of it faded as the vision of the tall buildings and luxury cars raced in my eyes. I wanted them all.

Thirteen years later, I am coming back home, to where I belong. To the place that taught me to smile and to trust. The place that was showered with blessings of a smile that guarded our family. It has been a long time indeed.

To be continued…

 

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The Lucky Star

“Twelve”

She counted on her tiny fingers, tracing the paths she had just taken in the villa. It was the most spacious thing she had come across in all her 10 years of life. The rooms were like cities, wide, alarming and drool worthy in all its architectural status. She called the big villa as her castle.

“Twelve, it is” she reassured herself and said it aloud, biting her lips, crossing her fingers and anticipating a broad smile from her new teacher.

“Are you sure, young lady? For If you must be wrong then you need to write 21 horses and their talks a hundred times.”

An old man with the receding hairline and graying beard eyed her with a hidden smile.

“Yes Teacher, it is 12, 2 in the hallway, 4 on the way to the biggest rooms in the castle and one each in all the six rooms” She had to be right. She shuddered at the thought of the 100 times she was to write the 18th-centuryfiction, short story, inspiration, writers, authors, oneshots poem.

Mr. Goving Aarya rose up, towering the tiny girl. With his glazing brown supporting stick and a well-tailored suit, he tried to look young but none of them did the charm except the pride that was now dancing on his face.

He had caught her.

“There are thirteen turquoise blue Italian jars dear, you forgot the one in this very room, there on the highest shelf” He held her towards the expensive jars and found her face drop in a second.

” A hundred times it is” She sighed.

“A hundred times it is, dear” He smiled.

Heaving a sigh of relief and studying the retreating shadow of the girl, made his face glow with a shine, a kind of shine one gets to see when someone knows their bright future.

He was preparing a gem for the literature world.

Having published 20 books and a few accolades in his name. His skills had only sharpened as he had outlived his peers. A divorcee at 30 and kids in far away lands, none had inherited is writing skills. And deep down he knew he was the reason for it all.

His fame had him under its spell and that is why commitment was just a fun word back then.

But the raging time promised him the graying hairs, weakened knees, shivering lips, trembling fingers and sleepless nights.

He would barely write now, with creativity at bay, he longed for his family but it was too late. That was when he met her.

The girl on the streets, begging, trying to read articles out of scrapped papers, stolen glances to the textbooks of the wealthy school going kids. Govind had noticed her on his way to the park for his morning walk, intrigued by her commitment and interest. He once took her to the library and her sparkle in the eyes assured him of the hidden potential in her.

From then onwards, there was no turning back. He adopted the orphan, fed her with literature, put her to sleep singing Shakespeare and triggered the writer in her. He was on a mission., to carve out the best diamond from the nugget.

“She would remember me for this or maybe she will forget me one day like my kids but my heart is finally at peace.”

He retired to his cane chair, lost in thoughts while the future writer crooned on the long chair writing the poem a hundred times, savoring the intelligence of each line, lost in a world that her young mind imagined!

“I will always remember you for this punishment teacher” She yawned…

She just didn’t realize how her lucky star had brought her to her bright future, YET!

The Forgotten Window!

It felt fresh as the long night descended with a crisp of winter morning breeze. It whooshed its way through the broken glass of the forgotten window.

With my withdrawn eyes from the habituated look at the Ganesha idol on my table, I drift to the old teak cupboard situated at the north corner of my dim room. It was flaking brown, a bit of dampness at the back of it spoiled the edges of my neatly ironed shirts.fiction, one-shots, inspiring story, old-age, generation gap

A smile lit up as I knew they were never to be worn again, I was going back in time, flooded with memories of my childhood as the stream of morning light hit my light brown eyes.

My grandfather was still alive and healthy until I was seventeen. With the budding new mustache, there was a new love budding in my heart. Back then, every girl sporting long hairs and a bright smile were meant to be made for me. I smile at those days of daily crushes. And my grandfather was my guardian!

He was more a friend than the generation gap could define. He wrote letters and had me cycle my way near her house. He knew the art. After all my grandmother had fallen for all his efforts and still used to blush whenever she was reminded of it.

The cycle was a priceless possession for it came to me at the age of thirteen and I had cycled my way through the dense forests and roads bereft of people. The clink of the cycle gave me a strength that could have me face the fears of the silence in my world.

He fulfilled all the duties that my father thought was unnecessary. The same cycle took me to the barber shops, it took me to the Gemini circus where the monkeys had snatched my popcorn, it had taken us to the river banks that had crocodiles. My grandfather was an adventurous boy. Yes, a boy.

The best were the crisp night walks that we took after our dinner. He helped me break window panes and run like the little kids would. Even at the age of sixteen.

Then at the age of eighteen, I lost him and it was never the same again. I grew up and married. It has been so many years and he still stays alive.

As I look into the mirror, I smile for I resemble him. My grandson is sixteen now and it was time to meet him. For the first time.

They are settled in abroad and my son along with his family are to be here tonight. My wife departed a week ago and my son is arriving tonight!

I sigh, deeply hurt by the raging timeline!

But I promise that I will give the rest of my days to the grandson who has never met me. I will let him feel what it feels like to be adventurous and happy. I will let him know that the broken window panes give much joy than the seamless streaming of games online.

I will show him a new world through the forgotten window and things are never going to be the same.

I took my old camera, this will do the rest! I smiled as I drifted to a new dream!


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Weed In The Lucifer Garden

There wasn’t much chaos in the city that day, everything was on a regular scale. People laughed. People boarded buses, little crowds involved in their own little worlds of disconnected lives.

Well, two days earlier, the same normalized streets were filled with crowds. They had slogans blaring in the air and traffic halted with much consent. There were rallies and silent prayers. Few of them threw stones at the public transport. The crowd was agitated, angry and most of all hurt.

Every other news channel telecasted a show on how the most upright policeman, Mr. Raghavendra was hunted down and slaughtered to death. This man was the real hero to the most of the city. Be it the hour before sunrise or that scary moment after midnight. ACP Raghavendra was always for the city.

Twitter garlanded him, the state government gave him laurels and Facebook gave him all the publicity. But the tiger was always focused on its prey. With his leadership, most of the illegal activities reduced down in scale. Murders and kidnaps were rare. Burglars became bankrupt again. And that is when everybody planned an assassination.

For the record, they weren’t petty roadies who hunted him down. But the media portrayed so. He wasn’t into any drugs, yet the postmortem doctors described it so. He wasn’t into any gambling and drinking yet his close ones portrayed him so.

Being a journalist myself. I couldn’t handle the wrong information the powerful media was spreading.

I had the proof.fiction, oneshot, short story, policemen, society

It was the government itself which had him eliminated. He was a weed in their Lucifer garden. Many of you have heard it. I will conclude it. Yes, there is a black government that runs after dusk. All the illegals meet, plan, target and eliminate people.

ACP Raghavendra was one of the many targets. The video file in my hard disk still lay in my backpack. But I’m still an intern. Will I be able to convey the real truth in comparison to the two-headed false new the society has accepted?

I clenched my teeth, for my own father was into the media, one of the best journalists ever. But anger seethed in me as I realized his true colors last night. An anonymous person had emailed it to him, and he chose to ignore the truth. I have vowed to deliver only the absolute truth, but here I stay as a witness to the crime. I am a greater culprit if I stay a witness and keep my mouth shut.

I reached office early, to redeem the truth. To set free a pure soul and protect his real identity.

“What are you doing here?” Mr. Madhavan. The best journalist in the whole world, to me.

My father.

” Nothing, just working on ACP Raghavendra’s case” I bluntly threw it on his face. Something I had never done. All these years I had great respect towards him.

“Sindhu! Stop it and give me the files” His voice growled. The first time in years.

“Oh, so you know! How can you do that dad” I confronted him and rushed to my cabin. The faster I upload it, the better chances for it to reach the crowds.

10%…20%…40%….

………………..

It was another day, and there was another weed to be eliminated. The evening newspapers carried the news of a love-struck young journalist who had jumped from the seventh floor of the Tony Media companies. The daughter of the legendary journalist Madhavan, who seem to have lost his mind and admitted to the asylum unable to withstand the loss of his daughter.

The truth was buried again!

What Sindhu never knew was that she was monitored the minute she entered the building. Her killer, the watchman, man from the lucifer garden!

And there still remains many such lucifers in the society. Should we ignore the atrocities or be another Sindhu!

In a dilemma, the new generation strives!

See Life In Death’s Eyes

As I stepped into the elevator, nostalgia hit me with a jolt. It was only yesterday, we had laughed here, tickled each other and made nasty jokes. Tears were wiped and happiness had grabbed the air around. This apartment was more like a home to me. The elevator, in its mechanised voice, chimed the second floor and the door split into two and glided away into oblivion.

My legs trembled as I stepped into the granite-floored hallway. It was streaming with people, a few surprised, a few shaken up and a few more dressed as officials from the police department and few people clad in whites. This place looked nothing like the last memory I had of it.

The last night was peaceful as I helped him draw to open the curtains and call his mom. Arnav, Amol and I were close friends from a long long time. Vamshi was the new one to the group.

“Rana, see what has happened to Amol, Yuni jeo naa, Shundar Chhele” Amol’s mother out in pain , it galloped her with all its might.

Amol was basically from Bengal and had settled down in New Delhi. Arnav was the son of the chai chacha down the road and I was the only son of my deceased parents. I now lived with my grandparents but most of my growing years were spent in Amol’s house. Palok aunty was more like a mother to me. As she cried her lungs out, I could no longer contain the devastating emotions erupting inside of me.

Amol had drunk into the void last night as he could no longer find himself a job and was ditched by the girl he dated for four years. He had leaned on me and whispered Marana, death into my ears. As Arnav, Vamshi and I carried him to the small flat, Amol had laughed and sung over his failures, we laughed with him, consoled him and counselled him. It was only a few hours ago. When my friend Amol was healthy and alive.

I dragged my feet, elbowing the curious crowd that had hived in front of the door. I spaced myself between them, crossed the no-entry sign and plunged into his tiny room.

Guards shackled me in their strong arms and held me on the ground as I fought with all my might. With all the struggles I barely took a peek into his room. It was spewed with red blood all throughout the walls. He had slashed his neck, the gloated neck was a grotesque sight. He had a beautiful dimple that was now hovered by flies, his body was mutilating!

I could no longer see his plight. What was life for? To ruin it like this. Amol had no father, his mother loved him more than her life. But what worth has he given her?

” Rana, get up!” Vamshi helped me

“Look at him man, we were here last night, he was singing! He was dancing, I removed his shoes and put him to bed. That bastard left me!” I cried into Vamshi’s arms. Without my knowledge, my legs weakened and I sunk into the ground. He probably cried too but my senses went numb.

I looked at Palok aunty who was now surrounded by their relatives and consoling her, having lost her only son, she sobbed uncontrollably.

“Oh,,,Shit! What have you done Amol” Arnav came running and comforted aunty.

” How can he do this to us? So what, he didn’t have a job. Am I not like a brother to him. Wouldn’t I support him? So what if garga left him, Am I not there to find him a better girl!! ”

I cried and cried some more. he was always there for me when I needed him. The times of the ice-cream truck where we had robbed twelve icecreams and shared it with our community friends.

Had he forgotten the laughs we shared when all four of us had flunked the exams.

Had he forgotten the midnight times when we had long discussions about life?

Had he forgotten how worthy he was to bring the smiles on our faces when we were at our worst?

How did he forget that we shared the same uniforms, how did forget that we bullied the class topper into completing our assignments. How did forget that he is the apple of Ma’s eyes? That bastard left me with nothing but guilt.

The guilt of not staying with him all night.

Everything would have been fine if a call hadn’t come in the middle of the night. A good news of his far cousin delivering the baby had made Palok aunty leave her son to sleep his mornings.

Vamshi and Arnav accompanied her to the next city. I had stayed back to put him to sleep!

I should have stayed back!

Instead, I returned to my place to have a relaxing sleep.

“My fault, It’s all my fault” I screamed my lungs out. I had never ever cried and this bastard had challenged me that he would make me cry!

I didn’t know he was serious about it. I never knew it would turn true so quickly.

After the decease of Amol. Things never turned normal. Palok aunty too passed away after a year unable to accept her son’s death. Arnav is in London. Vamshi is into law and moved to Bangalore. I sit in the same old apartment where his body lay. The ordeal stays back!

I am a freelance counsellor now, counselling young people out of the trauma. They need to live. Live to realize that they matter to so many people around them. Their life is precious.

They need to see life in death’s eye and realize that everything is perishable and let everything go!



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The Universe Answers It All!

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Cladded in the most modern outfit, tresses left aloft. A red lipstick streaking her face with confidence, she walks the place.Every one of them thinks high of her, she might need nothing but the wealthiest man, she might crave for a luxury world. She must be a spoilt rich brat. She doesn’t deserve the happiness she walks in.

A few whispers in the minds of her circle are clearly heard to her. She gazes down the valley there, amidst the sophisticated bantering city life. Her mind is soft, she likes peace and believes in god. Solitude has been her faithful friend.

Leaving everything behind, she walks the path bereft of people, catching the first bus that passes by her, she doesn’t know her destination but she is already feeling it.

“Why am I here? Why did I catch this bus at this time and every second feels different, every second is a place I have never been before.”

She mutters. And so she wanders places high and low, beautiful and ugly. She believes in destiny and fate. She was a believer of science. It took her to her belief, to her god, to her universe.

The butterfly effect would have to be something. She would travel and smile at people, gather the homeless street animals and find them the shelters. She would pick up the litter and have them treated. She was a walking phenomenon. She knew that her one smile would move hearts, she knew her one good deed would melt hearts. But she never knew of it’s outcome and so she waited.

One other thing she believed in was the importance of questions thrown to the vast universe. Whenever she smiled, she asked a question.

“Why did this happen to me, why does this happen to people”

She waited while the universe silently decided to answer her.

A few months ago, when her team mates called her names and gossipped around, she had quit her job and rode the first bus she opted.

In that very bus, in a corner seat, there sat a man, eyes sunken and cheeks with traces of dried tears, his vision didn’t last long, he had taken that bus in a haze. Unknown of the destination himself, like her. He was a man in his early sixties, just returning like a homeless man, hairs are gone grey and legs gone weak. He was returning from the burial ground where he just buried his youngest son. Out of the five children his wife bore and breathed her last. One went lost when she was five. Four others died year after year after they reached twenty.

It was a black luck bestowed upon him. He hated his life. With no family, meagre saved money and only memories that wretched his heart. He had decided to end himself. For the soul would then search his loved ones in the deepest of the soul realm.

The very same day, he witnessed a pickpocket in the bus. But neither of his rightful emotions nor his senses reacted. God had robbed him off from the greatest wealth he had. But there was a hustle in the bus, a girl in her early twenties fought with the thief. Her smile never left her face. Calmness prevailed in her beautiful face.

Her smile eluded the old man. Hit by curiosity, he decided to see what she does with the ten-year-old thief who was beaten black and blue by the crowd. Yet she fought, fought with all the people to defend the boy.

As the old man left his bus and followed her, for he had no destination but this girl with a heart of gold had caught him off-guard. He would solve a mystery, she was one. He would die later, he concluded.

What happened next made him fall in love with life again. In her, he saw his lost daughter, in her smile, he could feel his wife being happy. The girl took the boy to a hotel and fed his hungry stomach. The old man thought this would end there. But she then came over, took him to an orphanage, registered him there. and then applied to own the orphanage. She would adopt all the kids there!

She seemed quite wealthy to him, she seemed perfectly fit to have her own life, like any other kids of this generation, but this girl just had adopted an orphanage. She seemed to share his interest in social service.

He used to take a part of his pay and donate it to the saffron orphanage. She reminded him of his life and the services he has done. He cursed the God for robbing his children away from him.

He had blessed the girl and joined her in all her missions, travelled with her, fed the dogs and helped the poor. But never for once, he asked her about her family nor she about his. A few months later, he loved her as his own, they both brought a house and stayed in there.

The Universe smiled as it had solved her question. Everything had happened for the father and daughter to meet and save each other.

She was the lost daughter who was brought up in the saffron orphanage where her own father had donated his savings for social service, unknowingly all along. A part of it was used for raising the girl child who turned out to be a child prodigy and secured herself a double degree and an amazing job that paid her lakhs per month.

But the blood they shared, the smile she gave and the bus she took, everything was an answer to take her to her rightful place.

They now live a very happy life, she sees her father in him and loves him the most, he has made her the apple of his eyes. Both never got to know the truth!

The Universe reveals the answers but only some know of it and only some can be brave enough to believe it!


So, my stories help me grow and to be a better person and mulling over deep thoughts have always made me more open-minded to the people and situations that I face.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/open-minded/
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Story 2- We are all Just Potatoes

My post from the platform betheprotagonist.wordpress.com that helps in creative writing.

This blog focuses on telling your story with a twist to the world. You can contribute as a storyteller by sharing your experiences and as well as a writer! The submission guidelines are all on the website main page.

All creative writers, join your hands for weaving stories, be the protagonist, put on their skin and walk for miles and create a story with the character’s strengths and weaknesses!

 

Raining Stories

“You are porcelain white and the most beautiful girl in the whole Universe, dear!” My mother impersonated a movie star mother while she lovingly pinched my cheeks, dressed me in the most expensive flowing dress and flaunted me to her whole friend clan. They were all bewitched by my beauty, I could sense!

Yes! It was then, at that tender age of eight, I realized my beauty was my prized possession and as years passed by I dwelled on narcissism. A verbatim of my mother’s praises echoed in my ears every night, I tiltered as I could sense the absolute truth in it! Beauty was all that I had. It could get me whatever I wanted.

A sweet smile bought me two ice-creams instead of one.

I was never punished for my untimely acts.

I was never denied of anything I asked for.

And Everybody wanted me in their groups!They were friends of…

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