Archive for April, 2010

Dus Kahaniyaan is back, with 2 more stories as promised. Although, promises made regarding timely publication could not be dealt with. Date problems, u see.. 😛

In case you wish to read Dus Kahaniyaan Part 1, click here!


The Accident
— Mohit Jain

“Sit at the back, Kaushik! How many times have I told you to not to drink beyond your limits! I am fed up of carrying you home after every damn party we attend. When would you learn”, Sneha erupted a volcanic burst as they reached their car after Mr. Mehta’s party.

Kaushik Bhatnagar was an eminent businessman, dealing in cotton exports. He was widely known in the region of Kolkata. People called him “the cotton king”. Sneha and Kaushik had been married for over 15 years now, living a blissful life, with 2 kids, a boy of 12 and a girl of 7 years. The only differences they had ever had were all for one reason, Kaushik’s drinking or, one could say, the excess of it. This was one such instance.

“Let me drive! I am not drunk”, Kaushik retorted, snatching the bunch of his car keys from Sneha. Poor Sneha’s timid body could barely stand the push of “overflowing-from-the-seams” Kaushik’s burly frame, and gave up without much resistance. The steering wheel turned crazily under the weight of Kaushik’s arms. The car zoomed ahead like an overzealous bull devouring any litter that came its way. “Slow! Kaushik, for god’s sake, slow down! You will kill someone.” pleaded Sneha. Kaushik was too engaged to hear a word, and carried on with his callous drive.

The LED ticker displayed 2200, as he passed by the unusually quiet market place. As he raced past the Natraj Dance Academy, they heard a loud clatter approaching. “The Imperial Cinema’s evening show must have just ended”, she thought. “Kaushik, slow down a bit, there might be a crowd waiting at the next right!” prayed she. But Kaushik had no mood of being lectured, and pushed the accelerator with all his might. “Nooooooooo”, a shriek emanated from desperate Sneha’s lips, as she saw their car hit a cycle. “Bloody kids, can’t even ride a cycle!” cursed Kaushik, as he put all his weight on the race. The rear view mirror carried fading images of a child lying on the road, dripping in blood, and a mob circling around. The salt of Sneha’s tears had completely eaten away her makeup. Kaushik’s hands palpitated, but he kept driving, albeit a little slowly now.

In 10 minutes they were at the “Bhatnagar House”, a magnificent villa located amid the plush greens of “La Exotica”. Charan, their servent came running to open the door. “Charan, bacche so gaye?”, asked Sneha. “Memsahib, baccha log to bakery gaya tha, wo Imperial Cinema ke pas! Aane wala hoga!”, he hesitated to say. She looked towards Kaushik, and stood there dumbfounded. Behind him, the television screen blared loudly “Breaking News! Hit and run case! 2 kids die on spot! Identified as children of Kaushik Bhatnagar, the cotton king!” The ticker below carried a question, “Do you think business rivalry led to their sad demise? Sms us your opinion on 56161.”

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The Irony
— Mohit Jain

The cotton of the stained cloth rubbed fiercely against the front right window pane of the cherry red BMW X6. In three swift circular moves, Amit had managed to carve a clean portion to have a look outside. A starved kid knocked at the window, chanting an incoherent plea for food, other arm pointing to his hallowed stomach. He howled at him and shrugged him away. Observing the long array of cars around solemnly, he cursed under his breath. It had been over an hour, and he longed to reach his home, to see his wife and his 14 months old granddaughter, Sukanya.

It was then that his eyes caught him walking across the pavement. He walked slowly, with a patterned limp towards the newly erect M.S. Subaiya building. Of course, he knew him! The images flashed on his windscreen, clear as crystal.

They had been classmates, 30 years back. Amit and Mahesh! Mahesh had always insisted, “Study Amit! Fooling around would not get you anywhere.” And he would invariably respond, “Studies are for the average. I am made for bigger things.” During one such argument, things had got heated up, temperatures rose, and Amit ended up throwing the iron chair on Mahesh’s leg. “You go and study! See how luck plays out. I will be big one day”, he had said. The limp had persisted since then.

He honked to scare away the pigeon settling on the bonnet, while his gaze followed Mahesh’s endeavor. He saw him leaning forward, but the crowd obstructed any further view.

The 12th results were out and Mahesh had topped the district. Amit sulked at the far end of the assembly queue, as their Principal Sir greeted Mahesh, “You have made our school very proud of you, son. You will be very successful, one day”, and hugged him.

It had been 24 years since then. “Did he care about the results now”, he thought to himself, tuning in to FM City. It played some advertisement about some new apartments coming up. “Crap, these radio channels, there is no music these days”, he murmured. From the corner of his eye, he saw Mahesh approaching him. A sense of satisfaction engulfed him, paving way to a smile, a relieved smile.

“Driver, take me to Carter Road! There is just one more inauguration to attend, and then you can call it a day”, said Mahesh, absorbing himself in the comfort of his BMW’s back seat. “Yes Sir!”, said he, turning the key in.

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(I would publish 10 stories, 2 a piece. Your stories are invited, jus’ keep them short, within 500 words, and a mandate is a twist in the tail of the tale, however predictable and clichéd it might be.)

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