The Locked Doors – Continued

Sam frequently finds different doors in his house locked from the inside, without any reason. When the mystery unfolds, will Sam be able to take all that? Read on to find out.

Previous post:

https://justhokumhere.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/the-locked-doors/

He was running through the forest, veering and dodging the dense branches and trunks on his way. It was moonlit midnight. He looked back and saw the lights getting closer behind him. He must run faster, he must not get caught, they will come for him… he thought.

He got hit by an approaching branch and he lay flat on the ground, hearing the footsteps getting closer. Darkness slowly covered his vision.

A distant screech disturbed him and he opened his eyes. He stood up and jumped a few steps back in terror. He was standing on the edge of a mountain cliff. A step ahead and he would’ve fallen into a steep gorge. ‘How did I get here!’ he thought. He felt dizzy due to all this confusion.

He turned around and found himself falling towards the ground. The clouds were quickly rushing past him. He shouted for help and it all turned into darkness. He was flying into nothingness. He moved and felt nothing. He extended his arms, but reached on to nothing. Suddenly, a hand pulled him, a very warm and tight grip…

He woke up, panting and sweating. His head was pounding as if he was hit with something heavy, yet when he examined his head, there was no sign of any head injury or concussion. He dragged himself out of his bed and looked at the clock. It was Monday morning, December 18th.

He stressed his memory and could only remember his last day at work, Friday it was, a hard day, he had failed in a presentation, and Jenny had rejected… Wait! Slept for straight two days!

He walked, stumbled towards his bathroom. He grabbed the lock, and a sudden pain started to torture his head. He shouted and the pain disappeared. May be he fell sick or something, he thought, and went in for a hot shower.

He closed his eyes and took deep breaths to relax. A series of images flashed before him. His birthday party, his family, his dad’s retirement party, an evening when his mother was caressing his head while he was sleeping in her lap, his girlfriend, their first kiss, her body, their breakup, a weird set of eyes… He opened his eyes. Those eyes, those green big Bright eyes, were haunting.

A week had passed since his last two days straight nap. And he still couldn’t remember anything that would explain his stretched slumber.

On the weekend, his house broker visited him. A locksmith accompanied him and he inquired about broken locks in the house. A sudden burst of memories filled his head. Ache after ache, his pounding head started filling the gaps in his memory. He now remembered his last week and his struggle with the locks in the house. He remembered how things got out of his hands and he was forced to put hindrances all around the house to stop the doors from locking themselves. He remembered the Friday night, and the next morning, the mess spread in the house and those set of eyes. Those quirky, big, bright green eyes, staring right into his eyes, before he had been knocked out.

The internet flooded him with information, pages after pages, about hallucinations, schizophrenia, occipital, split personalities and all weird sorts of brain damage he might have. After the locks were cleared by locksmith’s examination and there was nothing that explained his recent experiences and those broken memories, those green eyes; the only sane explanation was that something was wrong with him. Probably he was taking too much tension of his work, his life; probably he was drinking too much, or may be he should stop taking those sleeping pills with his dinner as a dessert.

There were many explanations for his frenzy but not one that was convincing. He felt mad from inside but not at his fault. His mind wasn’t accepting this theory and constantly pointed towards some external angle, some external force who messed up with his head.

He pushed the front door of his house from outside, but didn’t go inside. He stayed out for a while, expecting something to happen. Nothing did. He walked in and locked the door, while slowly scanning the darkness inside the house. He stretched his hand to switch on the light but hesitated for what he might see.

Snap.

The lights filled the room and darkness vanished into the light, rather slowly than he could scientifically expect. He walked towards his room. The door was closed. He saw the knob, will it be locked, he thought. What might be waiting for him inside the room. What if that thing attacks him? He felt the cold knob in his hands for a while, took a deep breath and pressed the knob. It didn’t bulge. It was locked from the inside.

His heart beats were raised alarmingly. He was frightened deep down his nerves and sweat dripping from his forehead was blurring his vision. But he didn’t run away. He has to fight his fear. He knew none of this was true. It was all his imagination. The door wasn’t locked actually and he knew it. This will all go away if he fights against his mind’s tricks. He knew this because he had discussed this with his doctor. He just has to try again, press that knob again. This time it will open, he is sure.

Click.

The door unlocked easily as if it wasn’t locked at all. Relief drained out of his body in the form of sweat and he went directly to his bed. Just a few more days now. His strong fight against his imagination and the medication will surely give positive results. He went to sleep almost instantly. The drugs started their work, whatever it was.

Just besides his bedside table, the curtains were swayed back and forth by the wind coming from the open window. Nothing was visible outside the window or inside the room. The opposite apartment’s lights went on and a dark shadow appeared behind the curtains. It was half the height of Sam, and a little wider. The curtains took yet another flight and Sam could have seen the Green, round eyes if he had been awake.

The lights went off in the opposite apartment and the windows of Sam’s room closed themselves with a thud. The hatch locked itself and the green eyes disappeared behind the curtains, while the darkness took over in the room. The eyes were happy that Sam was slowly forgetting his memory of the Saturday morning. Soon they will be irretrievable. And soon this mess will be fixed. Just a little more wait…

… …

To be continued…

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Good Night

A story of a man staying as a paying guest with one family and the series of unfortunate events that turn out to be direful.

A

bus came rushing towards the withered bus stand and stopped with a jerk. After years, someone was climbing down at the station Bholgadh, a place one can not even find on any map. Mehaar climbed down the bus with his two big trunks. There were no seats at the bus stand, just a wall with cracks spread all over it like a wallpaper, and a shade over it, which no longer gave any shade due to its broken shape.

Mehaar was broke and had finally accepted his friend’s offer of staying at his place for some time till he gets back on track. So, he waited at that desolated place, away from the city, for his friend to come pick him up.

A rusty car came rushing out of the woods, and came to a halt, making a thud by slightly hitting the road sign-board. Mehaar greeted his friend, Kiaan, and got in to the car. The car moved along the narrow dirt track while wobbling along the bumps and potholes on the road, which kept Mehaar holding on to the dashboard. Mehaar looked sideways with dubiety on his face, to which Kiaan replied with a laughter. The bumpy ride gave them enough time to recall their past memories and laugh at them.

Kiaan’s house was a century old mansion, two-storeyed, damaged, but with a grand appearance. The front yard was filled with mud and dirt due to last night’s rain. There was no other building nearby the house. It was surrounded by tall trees, which had grown in a slipshod fashion. One could not extend the gaze past a few meters as the trees blocked the sight.

The car slipped a few meters in the mud before coming to a halt. Kiaan got down energetically, while Mehaar was cautious about his shoes and the mud. Kiaan got Mehaar’s luggage out of the car and welcomed him to see his family.

Kiaan’s mother greeted them as they entered the house. She was an old lady, who loved to read all day while sitting in her rocking chair. Kiaan’s wife, Sana, came out of her room and was disturbed to see Mehaar in her house. But she didn’t show her agitation and welcomed Mehaar to their house nonetheless. But she must talk about this with Kiaan afterwards, she thought.

Mehaar entered the house, looking in every direction, as if searching for someone. The house was as grand on the inside as was from the ourside. The entrance hall was huge and led way to the staircase going to the top floor, lined with several bedrooms and guest rooms. From the hall, separate corners led to the kitchen, the dining area and the backyard. Only dining area was within one’s visibility from the stairs.

Kiaan showed Mehaar to his room and left Mehaar to take some rest. All the while, Mehaar was thinking about whether it was a right decision to come to his friend’s house; after what had happened the last time he was here…

Sana was worried about Mehaar staying with them as she always found Mehaar eerie. She placed her clothes in the wrong direction while arranging her drawer, and should have gotten very upset about it. She had places and directions for all of her things and wanted them to be exactly the same. But this time, there were more pressing issues in her mind.

Kiaan lifted her from the behind and gave her his kind of romantic spin. She screamed in shock, which gave him a self-assuring pleasure. Kiaan threw her on bed and started unbuttoning her shirt, while slowly kissing her. Sana tried to take control of the situation, but Kiaan’s love was deluging her. Kiaan had just reached under her bra, when she got up with a serious face.

Sana shared her fears to Kiaan, who was listening to her quite keenly after being dropped from the action. Kiaan explained to her that he wished to help his friend in his difficult times. And he assured Sana that nothing could possibly go wrong.

Kiaan’s assurance was not assuring enough for Sana, as he didn’t know about the last time… They lapsed back to loving each other, but she anyway was not going to catch a wink that night.

The night was shiny; the stars twinkled more compared to the city nights. It reminded Mehaar of something from the past. He jerked his head to let go of those thoughts and started unpacking his trunks.

While Mehaar was busy, the door to his room opened slowly. Mehaar was unaware of this and was lost in his thoughts. Someone came in, closing the door behind. Those arms started making way towards Mehaar, ready to take the better of him. Mehaar, suspicious, turned in instinct, and grabbed those arms. But soon was balled over to find out who it was.

The past that he had moved on from, the memories that he had buried; it all came up again right in front of him.

To be continued…

An Unexpected Call

He approached a dead link, or so did he think; with no expectations in return. And he had almost forgotten about it, till he got that unexpected call…

… …

While swiping through the photos, either left or right, sometimes without even looking at the pics for more than a second, he tried hard to keep his eyes open. His vision was getting blurry due to the tears accumulating in his eyes. He had yawned for almost the same number as many profiles he had visited.

He had almost swiped the profile left, when his half-opened eyes were stretched fully open. His mouth was open and he couldn’t lift off the thumb from the touch screen. He slowly, carefully moved his thumb back to the centre and the profile was almost saved from being rejected.

He skimmed through the pictures in the profile and found them very interesting. It was a profile of a person from outside this country. In the bio, she had mentioned that she was here on a holiday. And except that the profile was ordinary. There wasn’t something exceptional, a beautiful display picture or a clever bio, just a plain simple profile. But he felt some different sort of pull towards her. As if he already knew her. Or maybe something else. But he wanted to talk to her.

She had mentioned profile ID from another social website where one could find her. He promptly opened the app and found her. Quickly, he sent her a message welcoming her to this country and inviting a casual chat.

And as soon as he had pressed the send button, he felt awkward. He shouldn’t have sent the message. She doesn’t even know him. She’s not even from this country. And she’s definitely gonna swipe him left. And the message! Such a loser… It doesn’t even sound right.

He had already imagined several scenes in his mind of her rejecting him, some very insulting. And with that depressing movie in his head, he went to sleep.

Next morning he woke up with the embarrassing incident flushed down his memory. He casually went to work and sank in to the huge pile of unreasonable deadlines and undervalued appreciation. The best he had expected for the day was to find a decent place to sit alone at lunch, beside a pillar so that no one can see him existing in this world.

His colleagues never gave a damn about his presence in the office. He was a shy, weird and truthful person, who didn’t believe in pleasing people or faking expressions. And as a result, he could never befriend anyone. Some even felt pity for him for being this lonely that he used to send instant messenger pings to himself. But then it was easy to make fun of him than to offer him their friendship.

He stretched his arms and legs, while his mail was being sent. His work for the day was done and he still had half a day to pass. Today he wasn’t in the mood of continuing with the online course material. So he opened up the social site for getting a glimpse or two of his friends and crushes.

He skimmed through the notifications, ignoring half of them. But a message from someone caught his eyes. It was from her, the profile that he had checked out last night. She had replied to his message. It has to be a hate reply, like a hate mail or a bad insult; the one that shatters every last bit of self-respect.

He opened it and read the message in one quick look. Then he took a deep breath and read it all again.

“Hey there… Yes, I’m on a holiday here and am traveling to different parts of this country. And I must say, your country is very beautiful. So much more than what I had expected.

Anyway, I’ll be going to some extreme points and might not be available over web after two days. Today, I’m here at <place>. Come meet me if you like.”

It was the first time that his casual comment or approach was taken as a casual talk and was responded with such casualness. Otherwise he had only expected her to block him or to report him as a probable stalker or even an online offender, so much for saying ‘hi’ he always thought. But this time it was different. He had probably made a new friend and he definitely wanted to meet her.

So he took an abrupt sick leave and drove some 100 miles to see her. He found her exactly at the location she had mentioned. They exchanged formal greetings and she invited him over a cup of coffee to a nearby café.

Over the cup of coffee, they had already exchanged a few years of history from each other’s lives and he had offered to show unexplored places around, which she won’t find in the tour guide she was carrying. She had cheerfully accepted his proposal.

He mailed a formal leave application to his office from then and there. And they started planning her last few days in the country, shortlisting places she might find interesting.

It was an instant involvement for the two. He hadn’t expected her to even reply to his message and she hadn’t expected this unknown message from a stranger to turn into a travel expedition with him.

The two selected the best places they could cover in the limited time available and left for the first place the very next day.

After they had seen the “must-visit” sites of the place, he suggested something different to make the memories more interesting for her. He suggested to make a story at each of the place they visit and to film it with them being the characters in the film. The story could be anything, comedy, drama, adventure or even romance. But the film that they would shoot will make it all more entertaining then a plain sightseeing experience.

She found his idea weird but thought to give it a try. And then at each place that they visited, they will together make some funny, clumsy story and try film it using the front facing camera. It was difficult than they had anticipated. They were no real actors and had no cinematographic skills. But nevertheless, they tried.

And the first one was so interesting and totally funny, they spent the whole night watching it on repeat, over a bottle of beer.

As soon as they got back to the network covering areas, she started posting their creative videos over social sites, and even tagged him in her posts. Her friends went crazy over her posts. But it was different in his case.

His friends were jealous of him either for his creativity, or for his travel expeditions, or just for the fact of him enjoying with her. Some even taunted him of finding someone out of his league. But he ignored all their reactions. He had already blocked all his friends from giving any comment on her posts.

Days passed quickly and soon it was time for her to return. They both knew this that their time together was limited and probably they were never gonna see each other again. But none of them ever thought about it once. They spent even the last minute they had together with frivolity and feeling of adventurous titillation.

At the airport, when she crossed the security check, she turned back to catch a last glimpse of him. Over the last few days, he had become the most precious part of her life, but a memory nonetheless as they lived in different countries. She couldn’t stop the tears from falling off of her beautiful brown eyes. But she was happy to have met him and have spent a quality time with him.

He watched her go towards the boarding gate, tears in her eyes. But he didn’t let her tears mirror in his eyes. He fought hard to keep his tears away. He acted their favourite Robot part from one of their stories and they smiled remembering the incident. It was probably the last time he was seeing her. But he was happy that this time someone actually saw his pure intentions without blaming him with their prejudiced assumptions.

The flight took off, leaving both of them in tears, and smile at the same time, as after so many years, they both had found selfless friendship in their lives.

The next day, it all went back to normal routine for both of them…

While a beautiful story had ended, rather a little bittersweet end, the story was definitely eating for them. A story, they wanted to write their own versions to.

Bonus: *Not so interesting though*

After a few months of online chats and video calls, she suddenly called him at night. He got up from his sleep and tried hitting the green button to pick up, but instead ended up hitting the red one. She thought that he must have fallen asleep, so she kept the phone down and postponed her plan to propose him. The next day, she quashed the idea altogether.

When she called, he waited for a few minutes, saying “hello” “hello” over the disconnected call, eventually dozing off, not knowing that she was having the same thoughts that he had started to have recently. But he had always ushered those thoughts away, presuming rejection due to their differences.

Later in the next year, he had gathered courage and had planned to propose to her on her birthday. He had a ring ready in the birthday cake he had baked for her. But when he wished her birthday over the video call, her friends never gave him a chance to get her undivided attention.

One night, while both of them were staring at each other’s profile picture, both of them together thought of confessing their love for each other. And they both started typing the the words, in a race to type first before the other person’s ‘typing’ indication changes. And they both ended up proposing each other at the same time.

The Locked Doors

Sam frequently finds different doors in his house locked from the inside, without any reason. When the mystery unfolds, will Sam be able to take all that? Read on to find out.
… …

The alarm rang and Sam got up in a flash, as if he was waiting for it. It was a big day for him. After all, you don’t get called for an interview at the most reputed management school everyday! He rummaged through his drawers and ran for the bathroom. He pressed the door knob inside to open the door, however, he couldn’t press it. ‘Not again!!’ he had exclaimed.
He had moved to this place recently. His earlier apartment was on sale by the owner, so he had to terminate the lease agreement abruptly. But he was happy as he was compensated for the premature termination properly, which helped him lease out this bigger and better apartment. Every thing about this apartment was fancy, except for the door locks, which were tricky.
The bathroom door lock had no key hole on it. It could only be opened or closed from the inside. And he used to scratch his head, trying to remember if he had accidentally pressed the lock button before closing the bathroom door while coming out. But this had happened several times now, and it was definitely not him, but the faulty lock.
He ran in to the store room and got the tool box out. It took him more than an hour the first time he had picked on the lock from the outside. There was one small hole on the knob from where a wire and proper jolts could prick the door lock. Now, it took him hardly a few minutes to do away with that lock.
The door swung open and he was relieved to not be late for the interview.
Later that night, he was sitting in his balcony, listening to his favorite tunes on the radio. He loved the radio shows broadcasted at night, especially the scary stories in between the songs. The narration was good.
He got up abruptly. He had fallen asleep outside in the balcony. He walked to the French doors and pulled one of them, but they were locked. Damn! These sliding doors could be locked or unlocked only from inside the room. And from the balcony he had no way unlocking and sliding these doors open. He tried a few times but he knew it cannot be done. He had been in similar situation before when he had accidentally closed the sliding door from the outside. But this time he didn’t remember closing the door. But still, if the door’s closed, he must have done it, right?
He spent the whole night outside in the balcony. In the morning, the maid opened the door for him as she had a spare key for the house.
He slogged towards his room, half undressed already. It was a hard day for him, so many events turned against his fortune. He slapped his fist against the door to open it but got hurt badly. The door was locked from the inside. This time it made him furious. He shouted and swore in solitary and cursed the time he had decided to lease this house. He cursed himself for being so careless to leave door unhinged to the wall.
He slammed the door several times with his hands and shoulders, but it wouldn’t bulge. And he hadn’t learned to prick this lock, unlike key-less bathroom locks. And the key to this room was inside the room itself in his cupboard. So he had no other option. He knocked down the lock using a hammer and slouched on his bed in exasperation. He was on the verge of crying, but somehow, he stayed strong.
Some time later, he got up to go to the bathroom, but found the bathroom door locked. Extremely vexed, he broke all the locks inside his house with that hammer. Exhausted, he sat on the couch and fell asleep immediately. The temper actually helped him in letting it go.
In the morning, he woke up and walked towards the bathroom. He opened the lock and went inside, but then stopped in shock. The lock didn’t look at all as if it was slammed with a hammer a night before!
He checked on all the locks of the house, feeling helpless. How did the locks get repaired in a night, by themselves! And why were these doors getting locked from the inside without his intention? Something was seriously wrong with this house… His stupefaction was beyond the limit of normal tolerance.
The next day he offered the owner to take the lease back. The owner found no issues in any of the locks or any other part of the house for that matter. And Sam had no other option but to continue staying in the house, as he had already paid the lease in advance.
He checked on the Internet, but found no articles relevant to his problem. He had started to have sleepless nights. And the frequent lock malfunctions were killing him.
One day, he kept all the doors open and had put hindrances in between the locks and the door-frame. He had kept a close eye on all the doors in his house from the living room for the full day for something to happen. But nothing had happened. At last, he got tired and flaked out.
When he woke up, all the doors in the house were closed, and his obstructions were dispersed around in the room. He fumbled towards his bedroom door, turned the knob and pushed the door open. His eyes fell out to see what was inside his room. He was not alone in his house…
… …
To be continued…

When God met a Kid

God was unable to solve a simple problem in his world, which had now grown in to a big issue. Just then, a Kid gave him an innocent view, which God strongly felt as the need of the time.

… …

God was frustrated with the way Humans had messed up with the world that he had created with such craft and devotion. God thought that the cruel face of deaths and despair of innocent creatures will somehow touch the humane in humans, but even when it did, humans couldn’t do anything to stop the mess.

Oceans were polluted, rivers dried up, species got extinct, but people were fighting over issues made by themselves. Humans turned into savage beings, didn’t care for anything, anyone but themselves, their things and their desires. Human wants had turned into inhuman impulses.

He sat at a deserted riverside, sad, thinking over the whole architecture of his creations – wondering what went wrong. The place was devoid of humans, and anyway no human soul could see God now, as those souls were not pure anymore.

A kid came running towards the riverbed chasing a squirrel. The squirrel quickly climbed up the tree beside the riverbed. Kid got angry at the squirrel and threw a stone at it, missed it. Then he sat at the riverside, sad and crying.

God’s heart was still God’s, and He couldn’t see a kid crying like that. So he changed his appearance to a man and went beside the kid. He asked the kid about his problem, to which the kid replied, taking out a nut from his pocket- “I am t-… I am trying to give this n- n- nut to that s- squirrel… but she j- just doesn’t stop! Why doesn’t it t- t- trust me? Am I that bad?!”

God smiled at the innocence of the boy.

“Look kid. The squirrel might have had a bad experience with some other person before. That’s why she is afraid to trust you. She might be thinking that you will hurt it and so she’s running away from you. That doesn’t make you bad. Rather, your intention to give the squirrel food is what makes you a good boy!” God said patting the boy’s back.

Boy took a while to stop crying. And then said “But I don’t want to hurt it. My mom says that if I hurt someone, God will hurt me back. And will help that squirrel. Doesn’t squirrel know that?”

God said “It is true that God helps good souls. But still that doesn’t mean that good souls won’t get hurt. Sometimes, God takes time to help someone.”

Boy’s face turned inquisitive and said “But in that time, the bad guy would have done bad things. What’s the point of helping after bad things have happened?”

“Sometimes, bad things ought to happen to allow good things to happen.” God said smartly.

Boy couldn’t understand that, so he just shrugged his shoulders and said “I don’t get that. Instead, why just not allow bad things to happen.”

God said “Not everything is in God’s hands. We as people need to change for making things right.”

Boy said “I would just advice God to restart the world and make things right this time. Put only good things in people’s mind, and devoid their abilities to do bad. When I am not able to do something, I also just restart with my work, with a fresh look at it.”

Saying that the boy went on with his little world… But God sat there thinking about restarting the world. Is that the solution to his problem? Rebuilding the world, while destroying the current world? Is that acceptable? Or just the need of the time?

The Red-light

At the traffic signal, a man used to count the time in his mind along with the displayed countdown, waiting eagerly for it to turn Green again.

Read on to find out why he used to count the time along with the timer and why once he wanted the time to stop there.

… …

He turned the accelerator knob towards himself, and trying to turn it more and more, wishing the bike to run faster. But it didn’t. By the time he could cross the puzzle of other confused newbie drivers, the traffic signal had turned yellow and the traffic police had raised his hand signaling the vehicles to stop. He was diligent towards the law and so he slowed the bike to stop at the red-light.

He was the first one at the signal. All before him had somehow got past the police and had rushed past the cross roads, some even breaking the red-light. Slowly the empty spaces around his vehicle and the crossing in front of him started to fill up with more vehicles. He hated those drivers who went past the stopped vehicles, only to stop ahead of them, blocking the pedestrian crossing area.

He started whistling. It took him away from all the noise of horns (which made no sense as the signal was red, no one was gonna fly out of their way), heated engines of cars (which made no sense either, the signal was gonna stay red till a few minutes), the cries of the kids in someone’s lap, sitting pillion to the rider (which made no sense to him, the kids, they are just stupid to cry all the time without any cause, he thought).

His whistle soon took over his mind and him away from all these noise. He enjoyed the ups and downs, the variations on the scale of the song, the beautiful tune that several sounds made when joined together, the words that he spoke in his mind while whistling. It all was beautiful, the music was.

This was his routine. But that day, someone else was also listening to him at that time. He didn’t notice. But a girl on her bike, standing right next to him, was listening to him with her full attention. She had even removed her helmet to hear it clearly. She enjoyed music too. And this was something different, yet musical and amazingly beautiful. There was a smile on her face all the time she listened to him.

The countdown was still twenty more seconds, and people had already started inching past the yellow line. Only he waited till it actually turned zero before starting his bike. He ignored the people around him, punching their horns at him, giving him angry looks. He started moving and looked to his left in surprise, someone was staring at him. He gestured her to move and went on with his way. But in his mind he thought about her all day.

The next day, the scene was repeated. But this time, he saw her while whistling and had stopped instantly. The girl gestured him to continue whistling and he had continued. He loved whistling and she loved him doing it. They met every day at that same signal at the very same hour of the day, where for one-two whole minutes they would share a musical moment.

From watching the countdown, waiting to race away from the traffic signal, he started counting the timer in his head, wanting it to run slower, wanting the time to stop. He wanted to just whitle and watch that girl give him the most amazing smile he has ever seen in this world. There were people who loved his whistle, but he had never felt the way he felt for her and her love for him whistling.

As the timer in his head reached the last few seconds, he would gracefully end his song and bade goodbye with his eyes, to which the girl would reply similarly with her eyes. They spoke nothing, yet it felt to both of them that they had an amazing conversation with each other. They went on with their opposite paths from that signal, with a smile on their faces, a rare sight for that crossing.

From loathing the signals on that road, he started loving the red-light and the traffic. He wanted the rush to stay. He wanted it to be like this forever. And the day when they didn’t meet, he felt very bad that he didn’t whistle at all that day. Those two minutes at the red-light made or broke his day, all depending on if he meets her or not.

And a similar day came once when he couldn’t see her. He was late, and would surely miss her if he didn’t drive fast. So, he went past several shortcuts, didn’t wait for pedestrians and dodged his way past confused newbie drivers to reach there on time. He was just a crossroad away from that signal. But there was a lot of traffic at that signal. People were gathered on the middle of the road and there was total chaos of vehicles.

He took a detour, and reached his signal, ditching that jam-packed crossroad. He checked on his clock, for a hundredth time now, and sighed a breath of relief that he had reached on time. But she wasn’t there yet. So, he waited for another red-light, probably she was late too. But she didn’t come, probably had taken a day off. He left for his routine, restless to meet her tomorrow. He was finally gonna ask her out, tomorrow for sure.

The next day, it was raining. He reached the spot on time. The traffic was less, and signals were empty, but she was not there. Probably she would’ve gone early today due to the rains, he thought.

The day after that, he reached the signal again on time. But he couldn’t meet her. And it was the same news the next day, and the day after that too. He felt sad and wanted to find her. But he didn’t even know her name or contact number. His days went sore and in distress, as he was helpless, unable to find the mystery girl whom he wanted to share his life with.

One such time, he was restlessly looking around at the red-light for a sign of her. He didn’t even count the timer in his mind this time. All he wanted was to see her again. An old man came riding a bike and stood right where she used to. He was bothered that now even if she comes, she won’t be able to stand right next to him. He looked at the old man in anger. He saw that the old man had a sad face and probably, tears out of his eyes. Or may be it was just due to the wind while driving.

He looked at his bike. And for a moment, he couldn’t believe his eyes. It was hers. May be he was mistaken. But that same rusty chocolate color, that lightning sticker on the side, that broken leg-guard and a golden cloth tied up at the mirror clamp. There was a newly formed dent on the front body and the side-light was broken, mirrors skewed. But it was definitely the same bike. He wished he could remember the license plate number.

He looked at the old man and couldn’t resist asking “Umm… Sir? Morning sir. If you don’t mind, may I ask if this is your bike or borrowed? A friend of mine owns a similar colored one and I am a little confused about it…” He couldn’t complete his sentence. The old man broke down and started crying right there at the signal.

The red-light had turned green and there were several horns blowing around them, telling them to move, but he was more interested in something else. He asked the old man “What happened, sir? Are you alright?” and slowly patted the old man’s shoulders.

The signal turned red again. And there were several curse-words being thrown at the pair from surrounding drivers.

“The… The bike is… was of my d… my daughter…” the old man uttered with great difficulty.

It was the old man crying, but he felt a choke in his throat. He couldn’t speak anything. He understood what had happened. He was stupid enough to not realize this earlier. The dents, the broken side light and the new scratches told him the story and reminded him of the day it happened. He knew what had happened, but he wished it hadn’t.

“It was my daughter’s. She recently met with an accident and she… she died. I am taking it to the broker… Brings too many painful memories. You knew her?” The old man asked him.

With some resistance at first, he shook his head, unable to speak anything.

The signal turned green and the old man slowly rode away. But he didn’t move. He couldn’t. He stood there, waiting for the red-light to turn back on, counting the timer in his head, and tears from his eyes…

Now he goes past the same traffic signal everyday, waits at the red-light, sees fellow riders around him, but doesn’t count the timer in his head anymore… Doesn’t whistle anymore.

The Bird – Finding a nest

A series of stories of a bird who leaves his parents’ nest and moves on to live his life in his own way.


While finding a dwelling place, he missed his home and remembered how it was on the day he left that place, forever.


… …

The wind was gushing past his dark brown feathers while he had his strong, young wings fully spread in the sky. He was flying since several suns now. And he hadn’t been able to find a place to crash so far. He flew from forests to abandoned buildings to rural campsites to urban localities. But all the places were either occupied or weren’t free from human breech. At all the places, he was either shooed off by other birds or by mankind.

He was in constant upheaval since the time he moved out of his parents nest. He clearly remembered that day when his mother had told him that now he had grown into an adult bird and had to go on his own path, while Dad had looked at him from his usual watch-spot, doing his duty of precautionary lookout.

Dad had taught him all the survival and combat measures. And mother had taught him to fly, to stay full and everything else. He had looked into their faces for the one last time, a long moment before leaving that old house-top, forever.

He had flown up into the sky with his newly trained, strong, young wings. He had pictured mother and father watching him fly away from the ground below, but had not turned his head to look back. It was difficult to move on. It would be impossible to go if he looked back. A tear had escaped his eyes and had flown in the gushing wind past his feathers in the sky, then had started to descend down towards the ground.

On the old house-top, mother had been strong so far. She was watching his son fly high in the sky, not looking back, his strong boy. But then she felt it. She felt a pain in her heart, she knew her son was sad somehow. She flew in a blink, the father was too slow to stop her. He was in his own dilemma. Dad watched his son fly, tearing the wind. He wanted to say something to him before he left. He wanted to bite him over his head and cuddle him before he left for his long journey. He wanted to fly a few miles with him, making sure he remembers his lessons. But he couldn’t. He was Dad after-all. He has to maintain his strong composure. May be next time he sees him, he will say things, he will let himself break emotionally.

The mother flew, but not towards her son. She flew on the ground in the same direction as he did. He shouldn’t know how she felt. That would only make it more difficult for him. But she wanted to see the most of him before his son was gone out of her reach. She flew right below him, giving quick glances towards him in the sky, while dodging all the obstacles on the ground. She took a sudden bent in her path to duck a street light and did a barrel roll. While she was half-way through the barrel roll, with her wings open towards the sky, a drop of water had fallen on her chest. And she had stopped right there after completing the barrel roll. Her heart could make out what the drop of water was – the same make as the one that rushed out of her eyes at the moment.

They would be proud, but scared as well till the time he proves himself worthy by living out in the open world without their protection, he thought. And so he moved swiftly, but without watching the path. His mind wasn’t in the flying, his wings were doing it for him. He will move from one place to another, till the time he found a safe shelter. May be some day, he will have a place where he could invite them to stay with him, if he sees them again.