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10 Minutes Short Stories

Smruti Bodhi

Taste of Jealousy

“So, how did it feel to see him with someone else?”, she asked her as both friends walked on a calm evening beach.

“It felt… it felt as if… you know if somebody had pulled my ribs apart, saw my heart beating hard and then ran a sharp straight knife over it… I could feel the warm blood pouring out and still not die… you stay alive knowing what’s happening to you… but you cannot do anything, just stand there in agony… speechless, actionless… 

Ahem!

it kind of felt like that.”


“You could have just said ‘jealous’ you know”, she said with terrified eyes.

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Dragon got tamed…

That one feral child,

Who always lived free in wild,

Got caught from her own kind,

Left confusing questions in her mind.


Experienced her first human touch,

Was she feeling too much?

No no, this is different

Different from the rest,

His welcomes were exciting but goodbyes felt painful, was nature on some weird quest?


She craved, craved the feeling of being around him, always longed his presence, even waited for him at places once they met.

She couldn’t contain it, it was excruciating,  she broke the boundaries of her wild kingdom and rushed to castle where he was heard to be found.

She fought the soldiers, got stabbed on chest, held captive for a week before stumbling onto him…

Him… here he was! ‘Prince’ is what they referred him as… she didn’t understand, she didn’t care, for he was her other half, result of her prayers.

What is this attachment, what is it supposed to mean?

She didn’t understand any of it, just followed her instincts…

Was it love or pity, but Prince showed some kindness, kept her in castle, claiming her as “one of” his mates.

It was hard, she knew it in her bones,

this wasn’t her life, her people she wanted around,

It was different, painful, agitating, senseless.

She yelled and cried and begged and hurt people but could neither stay nor live.


One day, finally she decided to go back where she belonged, her kingdom, her home but one sentence from the prince melted her heart, “please dear, don’t leave me alone.”

So she stayed, knowing the mistake she was making, knowing what she would go through.

She changed herself, forced to look compatible, suitable for the prince, was always on alert if she’s not making prince feel more ashamed,

She murdered her soul for love, butchered her feelings but all people could see, people could say was,

Finally, the dragon got tamed!

Mumbai… a place you’re destined to fall in love with.

Mumbai… a place you’re destined to fall in love with.
The only place I never wanted to go was, Mumbai.

I dreamt of going to Pune, Delhi, Kerela, Dharmshala the whole effin North-east… but not Mumbai, nah never!

National geographic was our default channel at home. Every now and then they would telecast a very disturbing documentary of Mumbai. They showed how people traveled there, talk to each other, a very vivid gap between poor and rich and the problem of garbage… uhhh GAAR-BAGE, my first no-no.
Well, circumstances changed in such a dramatic way that I was left with no option but to rush Mumbai. Traveled from Vidarbha Express, nervous for my admission somehow I reached. As the train passed Kalyan station, I saw what an ideal hell must look like. Train was moving slowly and all I could see was colorful plastic bags and stinking garbage in its worst form outside. Try to understand, it was hard for me; I never experienced anything that extreme. Continue reading “Mumbai… a place you’re destined to fall in love with.”

Munni…

Half day, Saturday.

Tap tap tap tap, fingers running on my office keyboard and suddenly my mind sparked *BING*

MUNNI!

I should call her, I thought.

Took my cellphone – Tap on Contacts – Tap on Search box – Types M-U-N – “No search found”.

What???


Munni… a friend as immature as her name, an eccentric personality, a weird relation. This creature had beautiful brown straight silky hair… I loved them but hated her brown, never-to-be-trusted surma filled eyes. She was basically Kareena Kapoor from “Jab We Met”, just subtract the hidden logic and sensibility. Continue reading “Munni…”

Calm Fire, Burning Sea: A Tale

One dark night, near a beach, ignited FIRE in the form of bonfire, surrounded by youngsters, hooting and cheering!


FIRE :- “Yow yow, so looks like the humans have called me ag…. shit! Not again…”

The moment fire opened his eyes, he saw a very angry Sea… rumbling hoarsely wearing a scary frown on her forehead, eyes fixed on Fire.


SEA :- “So you came again! To over power me I guess. Even after uncountable encounters and failures you have faced, you haven’t learned anything, have you?”


“Nonono, no no Sea. I’m innocent as always you see. I mean no destruction, no violence I promise, these humans have created me for their amusement not to burn more trees!”

, said Fire in a childlike tone.

“You think I’m stupid, Don’t you dear fire? Last time we met you burnt all the circuit wires.

Always I have to rescue, I’m fed up of this work; more than running in waves, I’m crammed in hosepipes, my life  sucks!”

, finished Sea with a tinge of anger and disappointment.


“I-I-I-I’m very sorry sorry sea. You know I’m a toddler who often makes mistakes, but humans don’t handle me well, not even for their sake. 

What shall I do? I don’t mean to cause trouble, but destruction is what my nature is, how long can I control it? ,without help and proper supervision.” , said Fire submissively. Continue reading “Calm Fire, Burning Sea: A Tale”

Memories…

​Because memories makes me sad…” , she said complaining.

He :- “C’mon… aren’t they supposed to cheer us up?”

She :- ” Are they?”

He :- “Dear, I’m talking about the good ones…”

She :- “So am I…”, she replied with a sigh.

Kill me when I’m Dead!

My dear 60 crossed Life Partner,

Please kill me when I’m Dead!


There you’re sitting on the chair, beside my hospital bed,

Holding my hands, which are technically living but you know they’re life less.

See how far have we come, in the journey we started long back,

The promise you did to stay till the end with me, you have fulfilled, then why are you still sad?

Brushing my white hair with your fingers, as I lay here with oxygen mask covered my mouth,

You’re waiting for me to wake up eagerly, but the drop from your eye which just rolled down knows the reality.

df

I know it’s hard for you but doctor told you how I’m almost dead,

so please unplug the life support machine and free me from this humiliating miserable fate.

I’m asking for a lot, asking you to take my life, I know but you know I’m selfish,

I want to cause you pain, you to cry, you to feel devastated for a while.

old

Why?

Because now you have hope sweetheart, you have wish but slowly it will fade,

When you won’t see me recover for a long time, someday you will wish if I were simply dead…

I don’t want that, I don’t want your last feelings for my breathing soul to be that,

I want to feel loved, to feel missed by you, not relief inside your heart covered with overt grief.

So my dear, my love, I know enough has already been said,

But please show some mercy when the time comes,

Give me the pain I deserve and kill me when I’m Dead…

♦♦♦♦♦

Beef & Me : Tale of a Wannabe Vegetarian

6th std. Passed my term-exam. Celebration time.

Yay! Papa brought Biryani!

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Mmm…. this is SO good! Biryani from Mominpura, always tastes SO good! It’s different from the rest you know… I mean, meat is comparatively way more juicy, I love this.”

My parents exchanged looks, smiled to each other.

I kept licking my fingers innocently.


7th std, To my Grandparents village

After a few hours when we reached, my grandfather brought a Hen. White one. I liked her, she was beautiful. We all like anything which is white, don’t we?

For some reason she was bound in the backyard. Seeing me play with her, my grandpa suggested me to feed her, feed her well.

I did.

That hen and I spent the whole afternoon and evening together. I was trying to mimic her voice, just then my grandpa dashed in with some weird looking knife, grabbed her by the neck and slit its tiny, soft neck smoothly in front of my eyes. Blood dripping from the incision he made. Continue reading “Beef & Me : Tale of a Wannabe Vegetarian”

A Sight Of Blood

Visualizing blood and confronting it for real are two different things.

It’s not watery thin as shown in some low-budget T.V. shows, it’s also not muddy thick or bright red like ketchup…

It’s Red.

Red with a shade of orange, a yellowish tint… and that is what’s the scariest characteristic of blood is. That is what makes it Real.. a real blood of a living being.


Usual route.

Thane Station.

Listening to my “Upbeating” playlist, dancing in my mind, elbowing people whoever came in my way, I was cheerfully headed to home.

Missed my 6:30 pm FAST local, Shit!

Looked up.

Indicator on Platform no. 4 blinked with 6:34 pm local.

Shoving earphones in my ears I walked hastily towards the downstairs.

*4 baj gaye lekin party abhi ba….*

Song got interrupted.

As everyone was looking down at the platform… my gaze followed theirs.

Eh.. nothing, again! Somebody must have fallen from train… and as always, I’m late.” , I thought to myself.

I hardly descended 6 stairs when I saw a group of people on the platform yelling words like ‘police’, ‘hospital’ hovering something.

Damn! It’s for real.


Between the space of people around him, I caught a glimpse of a BLEEDING HEAD.

His blood was running down the slope, a thin streak it was, but scary.

I could smell it… once again horror of having an hypersensitive nose made it worse.

I hate that feeling, it’s almost as if I could taste it.

“What to do?” , I thought to myself anxiously.

Police la bolva”, yelled a woman.

Some people ran for medical facility, some just stood there watching this man wiggling in pain.

Hawa soda!!”, again yelled the same woman, who by this time was holding his head.

Her voice broke my not-so-helping anxiety and I almost ran 9 to 10 feet away from him.

Train Halted.

And the pictures of people hurriedly getting down from train, running and pushing each other… yes, their “innocent” rush-hours behavior swam in front of my eyes.

Aey Uchhlaaaa….” , screamed people, complete terror in their voice.

They lifted him up and somehow managed to drag him close to the wall of the staircase.

People who were getting down from train looked concerned and hesitant. They were very careful while walking to the stairs.

*Phew! The images mind shows you sometime…*

As I said, train halted, but I did not feel like to get on it. I felt as if I was abandoning someone I shouldn’t , so I stood there… rooted.

2 minutes passed, but due to this accident, the train won’t leave. I saw people with first-aid kit running to my direction. Feeling quite relieved and retelling myself how I’m no help; I finally got on train where ladies were already talking about this incident and incidents related to it. Some yelled solutions like “Don’t give him water” etc and then cheerfully bragged about it among their friends. I got a middle seat from where I kept looking outside the window, him, squirming.

Finally train left and weirdly, I felt quite relieved and tensed at the same time. As the train caught speed, we saw him having a seizure and all of us gasped, doing nothing but see him disappear from our sight as the train sped up.

Some women on the door were still enthusiastically sharing their experiences looking more than amazed.

I looked concerned but the girl sitting beside me, miserable.

A fair-complexioned freckled woman in her late 20’s, who was sitting on the opposite seat facing us tried to look worried too, but after 5 minutes, when I still looked engrossed in my thoughts and the miserable girl next to me, who by now had sunken her face deep in her scarf; she probably decided it’s better to shove earphones in ears and resume her movie than joining the “devastated team”, looking rather guilty.

I was thinking something… probably to write it down because what I was feeling was too intense.My head would implode I thought.

But Why? No idea.

By the time we reached Ghatkopar Station the atmosphere inside Ladies coach had changed completely. A random middle-aged aunty started knitting; coeval girls had their heads dumped in cellphones; an eunuch with his annoying “de na, de na” chants and forceful blessings was hovering people and a familiar “5 ka kilip, 5 ka kilip” sound of a female vendor was audible enough to get distracted… everything went back to normal, so normal! (except the girl beside me, she was scaring me now)

I felt unsettled.

Now I’m not this sensitive usually but today was different.

“Somethings not right!”, words kept flashing in my mind.

This is not how it should be, how should it be then? I didn’t know.

Guilt for a crime I didn’t commit.

Anger for people who didn’t deserve.

Compassion for a guy I didn’t know.

Hate for situations I had no control on.

In an irritable mood, I walked to the door… holding the pole… when suddenly I drew myself back, almost in a shock realizing the heck I was doing!

Keeping a safe distance, I stood away from the door. Hard wind from every direction was blowing my hair, the moist scent of drizzling rain… it was refreshing!

Just when my eyes caught her sight. The “miserable weird girl”, as I had been addressing her in my mind.

She had pulled up her face from her cottony white scarf, eyes red from crying, lashes drenched with tears, her soft sobs… and gaze fixed out of the window. Why? I wondered.

Perhaps it reminded her of someone she knew.

Somebody with the same fate, just not lucky enough to get the medical facilities at right time.

Lucky enough?

How can I be so sure? So sure that he might have made it.

I don’t know that. I honestly didn’t.

She was still looking outside the window…

Her pain was immense. I didn’t ask her but somehow knew that sniveling was the cause of some personal loss. Someone close to her.

Close?

I also have people close to me. A few, but people who will surely be devastated if I die. Oh god, really.. I can’t even imagine how they will feel… seeing me like that, on some station, twitching and turning with excruciating pain…

If I die, after some time, they will look like her, labeled by some random smart-ass like me.., won’t they?

One thought,

one smile,

and I retreated back to my seat slowly nodding side-to-side.


What I want to say?

I don’t want to say that people who fall from train are always to be blamed… but I do believe that it’s mostly in our control.

  • May be the irritability I had was on that guy as his current situation probably could have been avoided.
  • May be those running thoughts were nothing but introspection, a closer look at self.
  • May be, agony of that girl was a lesson I needed to learn.
  • May be that sight of blood was a check on reality, a dark one.

 

No wind feels as better as our healthy breaths…

No place is late enough to reach than our never moving dead body…

and no rush is exciting enough to be bet on tears of our loved ones…

Dangling near door is not an act of courage, it’s reckless, senseless, thoughtless and a proof of foolishness.

Kindly avoid being a fool.

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