Be A Man

The world of chaos and havoc called out to him

To prove himself worthy, to vindicate himself of his name.

 

Men don’t cry, Men don’t feel, Men always stay strong

This dictum was far from being fair.

 

And yet there were the fathers, the husbands, the sons

Who played by the game where breaking rules were rare.

 

The misfit that he was, he fell out of place yet did nothing but oblige

But in the hour of mayhem who was he to really blame?

Video

Lost

The one person in our life whom we take for granted and are yet somehow oblivious to this fact. Why does it take a special day or special circumstances to make us aware of Her and her immense role in our lives? Even as I say this, I am equally in guilt as the rest of you now reading for I too have failed to notice and appreciate Her being there for me always. Maybe that’s what makes us look past the things and herself, she being there for us always.

One could argue she’s a Mom and she has to be around. What if that changes?

What if you lost the most important aspect of your life?

Can’t possibly picture that, could you? This life of ours, we owe it to Her. And yet She doesn’t ask much from us.

So what are you waiting for ? Go give Her a hug and let her know how much She means to you !

Magic Mirror

Although with a few cracks and chipped off paint, the dull pink walls were adorned with movie posters and few photo frames. The small white bedside table displayed books stacked up unsystematically with a laptop that played a pop love song and a mobile phone that flickered at intervals denoting unread notifications. A fictional horror novel lay open on the undone bed.

This room belonged to Viola, a girl of sixteen. Humming to the song that played, Viola was enjoying her evening coffee. While humming, a change in the tune made her realize that her phone was ringing.

Her heart leapt and she caught herself flushing as she saw the phone display ‘Ryan calling’. She cheerfully picked up and said “Hello” ……… “umm… Yeah I am free, why?”  she flushed a little more …… “Sure. Could you come pick me up” “what? The red dress? But why are we going somewhere? …… “Okay. Meet you in 15”

As much as Viola was happy receiving Ryan’s call, she was equally perplexed. ‘Sure Ryan likes that dress on me, but why does he want me to wear it now? He never made such requests before’ Knowing that she could trust Ryan wholeheartedly she chucked her doubts and hurried off to get dressed. She took one quick glance at herself in the mirror on her way out and being satisfied with the way she looked, she left the house. Outside she found herself facing Ryan at the opposite end of the lane.

Ryan and Viola had been friends for more than four years now. They enjoyed each other’s company and often spent their time going to the movies or took a stroll in the park. “Hey there! You look pretty” Ryan waved at her as he walked towards her. “Thanks. What’s up with the dress anyway, I hope you aren’t crushing on me” Viola asked trying to keep her tone as casually as she could while she nudged at him. “Not a chance!” said Ryan with a nod trying hard to conceal his blush. They both laughed at their stupidity and walked together down the lane. Ironically enough they were unaware of the mutual feelings of love they shared.

“So what’s up. Where are we headed?” asked Viola. “I have a surprise for you” smiled Ryan. “And since when did you start giving surprises!” she asked him bewildered. “Hold on a second! Ryan if this turns out to be one of your stupid pranks I am going to kick you. You better not kid with me “. Ignoring her threat, “You’ll see. And you will love it” he said rather cheerfully. Viola looked at him with a raised eyebrow and her expressions such as demanding an answer. “Okay fine! It’s a place.” He paused and looked at her, when she didn’t show any amusement to the answer he continued “an abandoned place”.

A smile grew on Viola’s face and her excitement was clear. Viola found eerie things and places quite amusing for her liking to horror movies and novels had led her to believe in paranormal entities. Thus she was almost always in a quest to discover more about the unknown dimension. “And you sure no one would chuck us out from this place?” she asked. “I don’t think so. No one really dares to go there, not at this time at least. It is supposed to be haunted.” he smiled at her knowing that such things interested her. “That’s great! How did you find it?” she asked quite impressed by him. “I was with my brother when his car broke down near the woods. I went to see if I could get some help and came across this place. I didn’t quite know at the time that it was abandoned. I just thought it was empty because kids no longer played in parks. Then a man who came that way warned me to stay back and said that the place was cursed.” “So it’s an abandoned park!” Viola cried in amusement. “Oh shoot! I spoiled the fun!” Ryan said in a tone of disappointment. “Look we are nearing the woods. Where’s the park now?” asked Viola, her excitement growing with each step she took. “Over there. Come quick. “said Ryan pointing towards a bush.

The place was now filled with a bluish tinge and they realized that the sun was setting. “It’s going to be dark soon. We should hurry” said Ryan with concern. “Oh! Don’t act like a kid. It would be fun when it gets darker.” said Viola assuring him. “As you wish” sighed Ryan. Having walked for about a few minutes into the woods, they found themselves at the entrance of the park. The cool dark ambience of the place had an eeriness to it as they saw their surroundings under the pale moonlight. Most of their surrounding was visible as a silhouettes while a few portions being highlighted by the moon light. Few benches appeared to be broken and the slides and swings remained still at children play area. As they moved further, they noticed that their steps produced a rustling sound for the ground was filled with dries leaves and they were forced to walk slow with caution.

Although the aura of the entire place was spooky and unearthly, Viola hadn’t fret a bit. On the contrary she was exhilarated. She looked around trying to figure out the silhouettes she saw. Then something caught her eye, a house like silhouette. With a feeling as to finding a treasure she turned back to look at Ryan. Ryan, she noticed was walking funny and his face looked much paler even under the moonlight. “What’s wrong? Are you scared?” Viola asked him surprised. “errr no, I need to find a washroom soon. I can’t hold any longer” he said embarrassed. “Oh go find a bush and get back soon” chuckled Viola. “You see that house there? Meet me there. I’m going in” she said happily. “I am not sure you should go alone. It won’t be safe. Wait here until I come back.” Ryan said sounding more worried. “Don’t you worry! I’ll be alright. Now go on soon before you create a mess here” with that said Viola headed towards the house.

As she neared the door of the house, she noticed something scrawled on the door. The shadows of the branches from a nearby tree was cast upon the door and she couldn’t quite make out what was written. She took out her phone and clicked on the flash, under the light she could read ‘Mirror house’. While she was reading she heard a rustling noise and she instinctively turned back. “Ryan is that you?” she spoke and aimed her flash light at the source of the sound but she found nothing. The rustling had stopped and she didn’t hear anyone retort back. To her own surprise she now felt afraid. Yet her curiosity won over her feeling of fright and she entered the house. She was welcomed by a female figure, average height, short black hair and who wore a red dress. Viola was startled a bit and realizing it quickly, she laughed ‘I was scared by my own reflection! How silly of me’ she thought. But her laughter died the next instant as she heard the rustling sound again. She now did not call Ryan nor did she move her light for she thought if it really was Ryan he would call for her and she would know. Making herself vigilant she walked inside the house guiding herself the way with the help of the small light source she had. Few mirrors in the house were shattered and the pieces lay on the ground. While few though intact had been covered with spider webs.

 Exploring her way in the house she found a door and she approached it. As she came closer she saw that the words ‘magic mirror’ dug out with some sharp object on the wooden door. She grew anxious and pushed the door. As soon as she threw the door open, she found herself again in front of the exact same figure as before, female, average height, short black hair and who wore a red dress. Only now she wasn’t startled by the figure nor was she afraid. She simply stood there watching.

Viola now had a huge smile drawn to her face and she cried in happiness “You are back!”. The figure that stood in front of her also had a smile mimicking that of Viola and it replied, “Well, surprise! The magic mirror works doesn’t it? Come out Ryan. You have failed. She knows” Ryan entered the room, stood near Viola and said to her “I almost had you. You know!” and he punched his fist on his other palm. Viola laughed at him and said “Another stupid prank of yours! You really thought I wouldn’t know my own sister?”

Roan

Roan could feel the wind against his face and he felt as if he was flying. He absolutely loved this feeling and in the greed of wanting more he would hit the pedals harder, making himself move forward with more momentum. Apart from football and fishing with his dad, he enjoyed cycling the most.

Roan’s mother would always warn him to stay closer to the neighborhood. But this boy of 12 loved riding his bike often to new places. Roan’s new founded place being the small village closer to his neighborhood was one such place he was often warned not to go to. He never understood his mother’s concern for he saw the place to be beautiful and he was eventually drawn to visit the place regularly.

Today was his third visit and the place looked heavenly with the sun sinking down and casting long shadows along the path he rode. A sudden realization hit him that it was getting late than usual. He wanted to pedal hard and turn back, but he was too tired to do so as the sun had drained him down and he was now thirsty.

As the sun kept sinking, Roan saw the place getting darker and he was constantly being reminded of his mother’s warnings. He tried to ignore them and thought, “Maybe I could ask someone for a glass of water in the village. Surely they would help me”. With that he walked with his bike towards the lane that led into the village.

With each step into the village he was being caught up with an eerie feeling as the place was unusually silent. To add to the creepiness, the place was poorly lit with only a few lampposts that provided rays of dim light. Roan tried hard to shake off his feelings and he made his pace quicker.

As he went deeper into the village, he distantly heard mumbling and whispers. “There are people nearby” he thought smiling. Nearing the source of sound, he found himself to be walking slowly and carefully. Roan was now trembling in fright as he saw a group of older boys in the corner of a shed. They were three of them. One among them being muscular and taller than the other two. Their hair was out of place and their clothes looked shabby. All three were smoking cigarettes and he could now hear them laughing and cooing. These were exactly those type of boys that his parents had warned him to stay away from. Although Roan never gave it a thought, today however he was feeling more afraid. He hung his head low and walked reminding himself to not to look at them.

However, within a few a steps he could feel himself looking directly at them. Roan stopped dead as the muscular guy among the three looked towards him and nudged the guy nearby to say something that made them all chuckle. They put their cigarettes down in a hurry and walked towards Roan. Roan stood motionless with fear gripping him as he saw the three of them march towards him laughing. As he heard them laugh again Roan withdrew his hands from his bike and leaped forward for a run.

He found himself trying too hard to run but nothing seemed to move and he realized that one of them had grabbed his shirt from the back. “Haha this little prick is so light! I could toss him off right away” said the one grabbing Roan’s shirt. Roan turned is head back to see the three of them surrounding him as the muscular one among them held his shirt. With tears pouring down his cheeks Roan managed “Please let me go”. “Let me go he says. Haha. How dare you even set your foot here! We don’t entertain new turd faces like you!”

“I am sorry. Please let me go” Roan cried trying to free himself. As he did so one of the thinner guys gave him a blow at his head that made him fall down, facing the ground. Roan heard them laughing at him as he lay down there helpless. With his body still on the ground he raised his head and at a distance he saw an older man hammering a nail at his door.

With a hope of getting some help Roan yelled “Help! Please help me”. But to his utter surprise the old man didn’t even flinch at his cry. Roan yelled again with all his might “Help me! Please” and within seconds he felt another blow that made his head go even low. Everything around him now seemed blurry and Roan felt himself losing his senses as he no longer seemed to hear anything.

“Get up boy”. The voice, Roan noticed was different also it seemed like someone was now holding him in their arms. Roan opened his eyes slowly and the face that stared back at him was the old man’s. “I am sorry kiddo. I am a deaf old man. It’s when I saw I realized those boys were troubling you. Are you feeling okay now?”

Roan nodded and motioned his thumb towards his mouth “water” he managed saying.

Bus Ride

The small table clock bellowed with its usual tone as its arms ticked 6.00 am in the morning and Bertha reluctantly hit the clock to shut it down. Forcing herself to wake up, she strode through her usual way out of her room to the kitchen where her eyes caught upon the note stuck on the fridge.

“Aunt Gabby isn’t keeping well and I am off to meet her. I will be late. Take little Cindy along with you and drop her at the nursery. Take the public bus. Have kept money in the cupboard. Love Mom”

Bertha stared at her mother’s hurried writing and let out a sigh as she read the words ‘Take the public bus’. Bertha never liked the idea of travelling to her school in a bus solely because that would mean a walk of extra ten minutes from the stop to her school.

“Bertha isn’t this out first time out alone! Would you take me to the ice cream parlor?” asked little Cindy sounding excited to her elder sister. Bertha smiled at her “The ice cream parlor won’t be open at this hour Cindy. I’ll get you one while coming back home.”

Hand in hand Bertha and Cindy walked the alleyway and reached the bus stop. The bus arrived a little late than usual. ‘I am getting late for sure’ Bertha thought, as she and Cindy boarded the bus.

Almost all seats of the bus were taken and Bertha noticed only one seat that was empty and could be occupied apart from those empty ones reserved for the older and handicapped. Quickly she allowed Cindy to take the seat and she herself stood beside her.

Bertha noticed that the conductor was average tall, dark, his hair curled up awkwardly at places, his beard looked shabby and thick and his uniform neat. Bertha felt a weird chill as she noticed him.

Few moments later, Bertha held out the ticket fare to him and asked for a ticket.

 The conductor’s eyes lingered shamelessly on little Cindy. His eyes she noticed would trace Cindy entirely from head to toe.

 The conductor repeated his act again and Bertha stood there puzzled with mixed feelings of disgust, fear and anger as she clenched her fist impulsively.

“Half ticket for the little one too” he said smiling with his brows raised.

“Oh!…Sure” Bertha sighed. Sounding more of a relief than disbelief.

‘Appearances can be deceptive’ she thought.

The talk

Sun kissed, she wakes up to the morning light. Today’s morning was no different from the others, for she wakes up to the very thought that she has every day.

“Would he say it to me today?”

It’s been a few weeks that this question is being resonating in her head every now and then. Even in her dreams she would wonder and try to find answers. ‘Funny how that works!’ she always thought.

That boy she is smitten with was the only thing that seemed to matter more in her world of mayhem.

She was clearly mesmerized by every bit of him. His eyes, his messy hair, his gait though weird she found it amazingly cute.

She still lay in her bed when she heard a little cry at the edge of her bed. She worked her leg towards the voice and there she stood gazing at him.

He lay there eyes shining bright with a cover of tear. She picks him off his cradle into her arms. The boy finds comfort and a smile draws across his face.

“Mama”

Thunderstruck she stared deeply onto him and happiness fills her. ‘He did it’ ‘He said it!’

‘My baby just called me mama!’