Monday, 17 April 2017

7 Stages of Love-Maut(Short Story)

"Princess! Princess please wake up!", the guard repeated from the shades outside the room
"Who is it?", she asked waking up from her half sleep. "How dare you disturb my sleep at such late hours?"
"Princess! We have an intruder."
"Well take him to commander-in-chief then."
"He says he wants to meet you. It is urgent."
"Why is it so urgent for him to meet me and not my father? Who is he?"
"Prince of the Mewat kingdom.", he said as she was surprised at the revelation.
"Send him in. I will meet him in the gallery."

"Its not very gentlemanly to meet a young girl in the mid of the night like this, Prince.", she said as he turned towards her.
"I have come to warn you. Your life is in danger."
"My life is yours since three years.", she smiled, "Why, you have finally arrived to claim it?"
"I am serious. My father has collaborated with other neighbouring kingdoms and is planning to attack you early next morning. He will destroy the temple outside the city gates that your kingdom so absorbedly worship. It will be enough to break down the morale of your people. The rest will be done by the vast Army."
"If that happens, my dear, your Princess would be ready with her armour at the gates of my city, ready to fight for the pride of her kingdom."
"I knew you wont understand. I know about you since we studied together at the Gurukul. Consider this a request from someone who loves you more than himself."
"I love you as well. But the honor of my Kingdom calls for my blood. Thanks that you made me aware. If not the temple, atleast we will be ready before your Army attacks the city."
He nodded his head in disbelief. "Wont nothing I do change your decision?"
She smiled at him, "It was our fate that we were born in warring clans. Our love was never meant to be completed. But, I am content, our love would live forever.", she kept her hand on his chest, "In your heart.", she said. "Now let me pass the message to my commander-in-chief and get our Army ready.

"The Prince is not in his tent, Maharaj."
"And his horse?"
"The horse is in his place.".
"He is an idiot in love. Well, no more from today. Are our armies ready?"
"Yes, Maharaj."
"Lets start the attack then."
"Maharaj, its still two hours before we planned the attack."
"My idiot son could make a plan or two of his own to spoil the party in the evening. We surprise them if they are prepared."

As the Army reached the city gates, the King turned towards his Commander-in-chief.
"We will not kill the priest of the temple. Set him free so that he can go back to his kingdom and let people know their temple and the deity has been demolished.", he said.
Once inside, the Commander-in-Chief set the priest free and gave him a horse to go back to the kingdom. As the priest left, the King smiled at the deity and picked up his spear. He stood in front of the deity and aimed at the stone made eyes. He pushed the spear with all his might as the spear pierced as deep as it could. All of a sudden, the King let go a cry of fear as he saw blood oozing from the stone deity's eyes.
"Cursed! The temple is cursed! Abandon the attack! Lets go back or we are doomed.", he shouted out of fear as the Commander-in-chief followed him.

A few minutes later, the Army was retracting its progress. Inside the temple, behind the statue of the deity, a lifeless body was stuck to the wall by the spear in his head.


Sunday, 16 April 2017

7 Stages of Love- Junoon(Short Story)

"What happened? Why do you look so tense?", he asked as she sat on the chair across him.
"Its nothing.", she said as the waiter presented them with menu cards.
"So, what would you like to have? Your regular Mojito?", she asked putting a smile on her face.
"Tell me whats wrong. You are not your usual self.", he said. As she looked back into the menu he pulled the menu away from her and folded it. He signaled the waiter and gave the orders. The waiter collected the menu back from the table.
"Now tell me, whats wrong?"
"I think someone is stalking me since a few weeks. I think I saw him following me when I was on my way."
"You think it could be him? Now that he is out of jail?", he said thinking over what she said.
"Thats what my first guess was, as well."
"Why dont we complain to police? He tried to attack you once and guess an year worth of jail time wasnt enough for him."
"But, I am not sure it was him, its just a guess. I am scared for you.", she said and put her hand on is.
"Why would you be scared for me?", he smiled at her.
"Those words, and that look in his eyes echo loud in my heart. 'I will finish him and you will never get him.' Thats what he said for you."
"Listen, I am not scared. Lets complain to police anyways.", he said as their coffee arrived.

She opened the door as the bell rang.
"What happened, you called all of a sudden. You look pale."
"Its him, its definitely him. I saw him working as a plumber near the ground floor. That creepy smile that he passed. God! How would I forget that?"
"Did you call the police?"
"He hasnt done anything, What will I report? I am not even sure its him"
"If he is acting creepy, you should report.", he said All of a sudden there was a heavy knock on the door. He looked at her as she appeared scared. He signaled her to wait and opened the door. There was no one outside. As he was closing the soor back, he saw flowers lying on the floor. He picked up the flowers, when he saw a sharp knife. Picking them up, he closed the door behind him.
"What is that? Throw it away, please."
"If he has placed it, these are evidences enough to frame him. Call the police now.", he said as she dialed the number.
"They will arrive in five minutes.", she said as there was another heavy knock on the door. He moved slowly towards the door with the knife in his hands and opened it with a jerk. There was no one as he saw cuttings of newspapers.
"These are news of his arrest published in inner pages of Hindi dailies.", she said as he closed the door and she scanned the papers. All of a sudden, he signaled her to remain quiet and calmly unlocked the door. He stood near the door with the knife as he patiently listened for any noise. All of a sudden his eyes lit up and he opened the door with a jerk.
She screamed out of fear as she saw the familiar face and the creepy eyes. He pushed him inside and ran towards the stairs. They heard the sound of police siren.
"Ask the cops to reach terrace", he said as he dashed out following him. In a few minutes he reached the roof. As he looked around, he saw him standing near the edge smiling at him. He stared at him hard as he came near the edge as well.
All of a sudden, he saw a deep wound on his neck bleeding heavily, as if cut from a knife. In a flash, he jumped off the edge.
He was still in a state of shock as she arrived with the police. She was shocked to see him standing near the edge of the roof. As they looked down, they saw crowd gathering near the dead body of the man. The cop turned towards him, "We arrest you for the murder of that man.", he said and pushed him towards the door of the roof. All his pleas and appeals fell on deaf ears as she remained standing on the roof. Those words were now very clear to her.


Friday, 14 April 2017

7 Stages of Love - Ibadat(Short Story)

"I have great respect for you, Uda Bhavat, and consider you next to only my mother. But what you say today about my wife crosses the fine line of the respect and honour of our royal family."
"Devar Sa, if you dont believe me, why dont you ask Padmini? She has been with her since childhood and was sent here to accompany her.", she turned to Padmini. "Padmini, tell him the truth. Do not fear  and reveal what you know."
"Bhoj Raj Sa!", she stumbled and stuttered.
"Padmini! Tell me the truth!", ordered Bhoj Raj, his eyes fiery red with anger.
"I have heard her singing...", she paused.
"Singing what?", he was furious as Padmini shivered with fear.
"Singing songs of love, songs of affection.", she said.
"Devar Sa!", Udabai interrupted. "Now do you trust me? The honor of your family is in imminent danger. I have even seen random men entering her room. Taking undue advantage of her powerful hold on the subjects, she entertains men in her chambers."
"Uda Bhavat!", he was shaking with anger, "If what you say is true, I will chop her head off to protect the honor of my family and heritage.
Bhoj Raj went to his chambers out of fury and looked at the wall in front. He reached for a long case and pulled out his heavy sword in a flash. He went back to Udabai.
"I will kill her for all the dishonor to my family and the deception that I faced because I trusted her.", he said out of fury and stormed towards her room. As he neared her room, he heard her sweet voice singing a love song with occasional carefree giggles.
Swollen with hatred for his wife, he tore into her room as she turned around with a jerk, her singing stopped.
"Where is he?", he asked out of ferocity.
"Where is who?", she asked calmly.
"The one you were singing the love song for?", he asked.
She broke into giggles again. "He is everywhere. He is my love and all around me."
"Where is he right now?"
"There he is.", she said pointing towards his back, "The thief of creams, stole my heart.", she said as Bhoj Raj turned around, to find an idol. He turned back at his wife, confused
In that one moment, she looked divine, "Mirabai loves only her Krishna, and as long as she sings, there will be Krishna in those songs"


Monday, 10 April 2017

7 Stages of love- Aqeedat(Short Story)

"The burritos were awesome. Who recommended the place to you?"
"Was just checking for good restaurants serving Mexican food in my app and found this place. Its quite new actually."
"We have never been to this part of the city, anyways. And if you ask me, a long drive is always more than welcome. The food was the cherry on the top.", she giggled as he smiled and continued driving.
"So, where to, next? In fact", she fetched out her mobile from her purse, "Let me see if there are some good movies playing nearby."
"Actually", he hesitated a bit, "I am feeling a bit tired, so lets go home and rest."
"Come on Atharva, we dont get many long weekends like this when we can go out and enjoy. Otherwise its always long hours for both of us and we are tired like shit on weekends to even think of going out."
"I am actually tired, last weekend was heavy in office."
"You always do this, Atharva. It was heavy for me as well. And thats why I was looking forward to this long weekend."
"Why do you always have to argue when I am saying I am not feeling like it? What if you would be feeling tired and I would be pushing you like this?"
"Ohh! So, I am pushing you now! Great! We dont talk on regular days as we both are busy in our work and when we get a day to talk you want to go back and sleep."
"Why do you have this habit of always calling any random issue as a serious life problem? I just need some rest and is it too much to ask?"
"Fine", she interjected him.
"No, listen!", he tried to speak.
"Stop the car!", she said.
"Whats wrong?"
"Stop the car now!", she said as he halted the car on the side of the road. He looked at her with frustration.
"You want to go and take rest. Fine. We will go home. But I need five minutes alone.", she said and before he could speak, she opened the door and took an unknown road near some shops. She folded her hands as she walked shaking her head furiously. As she reached the end of the road, she saw a clean shaven man sitting near a closed shop smiling and waving at everyone. He was sitting on the floor of the pavement. As he turned towards her and smiled, she looked away from him. She noticed a watchmaker working next to her. She moved towards the watchmaker as she saw the man on the pavement again smiling at strangers.
"Whats wrong with that guy?", she asked the watchmaker.
"That one?", asked the watchmaker. "He is mad. he has been doing this since an year."
"Mad? He looks fine to me.", she said and after a few seconds of dilemma in her mind, started to walk towards the man. As she reached the man, he gave her his biggest smile.
"Its a beautiful day!, he said and smiled as he stood up watching her come over to him.
"Yes, beautiful. Who are you? And what are you doing here?"
"Me? I am waiting for my girlfriend. We meet here on a daily basis.".
"Your girlfriend? Whats her name?"
"Sanjeeda. She would be coming in a few minutes.  She is a bit late today, maybe because of her sick mother as she may have to undergo some tests."
"What happened to her mother?"
"She has a hole in her heart. Doctors discovered it pretty late, so chances are critical, she told me."
"She told you? Havent you met her mother?"
"Never got a chance, its been only three months since I met my girlfriend anyways. She met me here in this market itself."
"Really? What was she doing here?"
"She was here for some medicines for her mother, as it was during that time itself that she came to know about her condition. My girlfriend is not that well to do, so she was worried. I helped her buy medicines that day as well."
"De often takes money from you?"
"Yeah the last time we met, I gave her fifty thousand for her mother's operation. I hope that is successful now."
"You gave fifty thousand to a girl you met only three months ago because she told her mother was ill? You have her number?"
"I have it but whenever I dial it someone else picks the call. But not to worry, she must be coming in a few minutes.", he smiled
She nodded her head in disbelief, "You buy those roses daily for her?"
"Whenever we fought. The last time we met, we fought as well, so I bought these roses for her."
"What did you fight about?", she asked, smiling.
"Normal little things. Which every couple fights about. I would ask her to travel across the town, and she would get tired very early in the day. I always have to cancel my plans. Even when I bring my car, she would get tired and make excuses not to come. I want to spend time with her, talk with her, and she makes these excuses. So, I got pretty angry on her last time. These roses are for the same.", he said as she shook her head.
"Well, I am getting late. Nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you too, when my girlfriend comes, I will tell her about you.", he smiled as she came back to the watchmaker.
"Poor soul.", she said to the watchmaker. "The girl fooled him for fifty thousand with a fake story of her mother's illness, and he waits for her for nothing. Why cant anyone trace the girl and bust her fake story?"
"The girl is dead, Maam", said the watchmaker calmly as she looked at him surprised. He was still busy in his work. "The girl had a hole in her heart. She needed fifty thousand for her surgery which he arranged but Doctors could not save her. He couldn't bear the shock that his love died, and in his mind he made up a story that it was her mother who had the ailment and not her."
She couldnt say anything as she looked back at the man on the pavement who smiled back at her. She walked back the entire road wiping the little drops of tear forming in her eyes. As she sat in the car, her husband looked at her.
"Listen, lets go to the movie. Its a long weekend and we can take rest tomorrow. Search for...", he couldnt complete as she hugged him.
"Lets go back home. Take some rest.", she said.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

7 Stages of Love - Ishq(Short Story)

She opened the door as she saw her friend standing at the door with a big packet wrapped in a shiny paper.
"Happy Birthday Meher!", the girl said as she came inside and hugged her.
"Thanks Sanjeeda. Glad you came."
"Here is your gift.", said Sanjeeda as she handed her the packet.
"Come on, Meher. It was not needed. There is no party. I just called you so that we can have a quiet dinner with my family."
"Its Ok. You will anyways like it, something you wanted since a long time."
"What is it? Can I open it?"
"Later. Come on now, lets meet uncle and aunt.", she said as she pulled her inside.

"Hi Sanjeeda. How are you dear?"
"I am good uncle. How are you?"
"I am good as well. Come, lets have something to eat.", he said as he pointed to the food kept near the table.
"Who is it?", they all turned as they heard a faint crumpled voice. A pale, rickety old man sat in one corner of the room.
"Dad, its Meher's friend, Sanjeeda."
"Who is Meher?", he asked as Meher giggled.
"Your grandfather doesnt recognize you?", asked Sanjeeda with surprise.
"Shhh. Keep watching for the fun", she whispered to Sanjeeda.
"Dad, Its Meher's birthday today. Sanjeeda has come to wish her."
"Strange. Abida never told me.", he said. "I am tired. Where is my room?", he asked.
"Wont you like to have food, Dad?", he asked.
"Who is cooking food? Abida?"
"No, Dad. Its Nida."
"Who is Nida?"
"Never mind, Dad. We will get your food in your room. Come, let me take you there."
As he helped the old man get up, the old man turned towards him, "Thanks for helping me, dear boy. Your parents must be very proud to have a son like you.", he said as Meher and Sanjeeda giggled.
"Whose house is this, anyways? How much rent I am paying?", they heard him say as they disappeared in the room.
"Whats the matter?", asked Sanjeeda, amazed.
"Alzheimer's disease. My grandfather was with my uncle when he his memory started to fade away. Last month he got a sharp attack and he forgot almost everything. He kept lying there like a statue, not sure where to go and move. It was then decided that we would bring him here for better treatment."
"And your grandmother?"
"She died a couple of years ago."
"Stranger! So, he doesnt remember anything?"
"Nothing at all. Not even his name. You saw he wasnt able to recognize his own home that he built in his time."
"But, who is Abida? The name he keeps calling?"
Meher looked at Sanjeeda, "My grandfather was a young boy of fifteen when he was married off to my grandmother. His father had passed away and my father had to support his four siblings, his mother and his newly wed wife. They stood like rock supporting each other in times thick and thin. When I was born they were not that old, and trust me, I never saw them fight. I always saw them together, laughing, talking, taking evening strolls hand in hand. They built whatever little fortune they left for their children, but they did it together. He doesnt even remember his own name, but remembers my grandmother. Her name was Abida."


Friday, 31 March 2017

7 Stages of Love-Unns(Short Story)

"And that lady, you see there? The one wearing black with a little girl by her side? She comes here once every week. The little girl is least interested and tries to run around on the grass, but her mother always manages to pull her back. One candy outside the gates is enough to bribe the little one.", he giggled and looked next to him while seated on one corner of the bench. Not getting any reaction back, he nodded his head.

"Angry? Aren't you? Come on, after all this time? Speak up something.", he insisted as she was still sitting silently on the other side of the bench.
"You came to meet me after so long. The last time we fought I almost thought you would never want to see me again or talk to me. And here you are, spoiling a fine colorful day sitting here and just not talking to me at all.", he said as she started sobbing quietly.

"No, no. Please don't cry. I am sorry, I shouldn't have spoken such a thing.", he said, concerned, looking at her as she looked away from him and kept crying.
He took a deep breath. "Sometimes, I wonder, if we can get another chance to meet for the first time, the first dates, the first kiss. I wonder if one day we could play it all back. One day, we can fall in love with each other again. Without any presumptions, without any conditions. Another chance to fall in love with you.", he smiled.

"I know my words wont reach your heart after what I did to our relationship. But your being here gives me hope.", he said as she stood up all of a sudden.

"Time to leave already?", he wondered as she looked back.

"Please stay for a few more minutes. You know I wont be able to follow you because of the accident. Please talk to me, I want to listen to you. I promise I wont be in a hurry like always. We have all the time of the world.", he said as she didnt react and kept looking back.

"Please.", he pleaded and started crying himself when he found she wont stay any longer.
She took the flower wreath held in her hand and kept it on the grave. Without looking back, she continued walking as he wept alone on the bench.