Cursed Land

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It was a land of dreams, people of that small kingdom believed in content. They never chased stars or envied others. The land was kind on them too, it overflew with crop and other gifts of nature.

Morning came with song of birds, promise of a beautiful day, evening softly glided in with the sound of conch shells sounding from small homes scattered all across the kingdom, women lighting up diyas and placing them in altar.

Then they came, hungry wolves inside human torso. They deserted their own kingdom and entered their neighbouring one.

They did not seek help, they demanded it, when they did not get that help they stole it. Slowly they rose to power for the God fearing people of this kingdom knew nothing of wickedness.

Soon they were ruling this kingdom and then they announced there is no God, no religion, they instilled this poison in every possible heart.

Their poisonous words corrupted the air, the water and the earth. The green land started to dry up, fruits, crops and vegetables started to disappear.

It was a night of thunder and monstrous clouds. The whole kingdom was shaking inside their houses; fearing end of the world.

A voice rang out overpowering the thunder, every single ear in the kingdom heard it, “You loved me and followed my ways, that’s why I was with you. Now you don’t believe in my existence. I can see that only few of you still cling to me and my ways.”

“I leave you to your own decision and its consequences. This day onward only evil will breed in this kingdom, my children will follow my way; their children won’t see this crooked world.”

“I will be back only if you repent and start following my way again.”

The clouds cleared life went back to normal; evil started to breed in that country. Good people either perished or escaped.

The dark sun was on the rise.

Sharmishtha Basu
1.9.11

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Crystal eye

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It was an amazing beauty. He wished he had the face that held it. A crystal eye, with a sense of purity and a strange stone studded as iris, which reflected every colour of rainbow when one looked into it, no matter how feeble the light was it reflected colours, not creepily- beautifully, soothingly.

He kept it on his bedside table, in an ivory box, softly lying on a piece of soft velvet, spreading its lovely sparkles from whatever light it could gather.

He had a dream. A very vivid one, he saw a woman in the dream, sitting beside a river on a rock. A group of wild animals and birds around her, grazing peacefully or pecking the food she has scattered for them. Her face was of such purity and calm that he never forgot it again.

He woke up in the morning with a deep sense of peace in his heart.

Next night the dream returned, this time she was sitting in a palace, by the window, looking out of it, a soft beautiful smile played on her lips as her fingers played with the Veena on her lap.

Her eyes sparkled like the crystal eye he had, only there were two of them on that adorable face.

He was blessed with an all seeing eye, the girl could not see it but he could see it- a shriveled old man standing in the bushes watching her.

Her very face told him that she was in love with someone and his face told him that he was obsessed with her.

Then things started to change, the girl lost her smiles and started to age prematurely. The man in the bushes was a Tantric (one who practices black magic); he used his spell on her lover to make him believe that he, the Tantric made a fool of him by wooing him in her disguise, that he has been fooling himself for a old man disguised as an adorable woman, that broke his heart and he left the kingdom; then he used it on her to convince her that he was her real lover, who wooed her in (her actual lover’s) disguise because he was ashamed to let her know that he was an old man. But his love for her was pure and true.

Heaven only knows if she would have fallen for him but someone else was watching the entire show and interrupted- she did not had the power to show up or warn the girl but she could send her dreams, and in those dreams she told her of the treachery. That made her not to fall for the old man.

He settled his score by evil spells; he did not allowed any other lover or loving being in her vicinity, slowly she reduced to a shadow of herself she passed away in a few years.

Her parents made a beautiful statue of her to be placed in her memorial. The artist worked magic on her eyes. They almost captured the beauty of her soul.

Sharmishtha Basu
20.11.11

A ghost story

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He was walking quickly, it was already late. He missed his usual train, and his friends on it. Now he will have to walk alone all the way to home. The cycle stand closes at eleven in night and he descended at half past eleven.

A slight light from half moon was spreading a strange, eerie light on the road. He quickened his pace; weird stories have been spreading in the village lately; stories of attack by a mysterious beast.

It has been raining here it seemed. The road was filled with small puddles of muddy water. The bushes and trees were dripping water.

His breath stopped, right in front of his eyes he saw a footprint forming on the soft soil of the road. The foot prints of a dog, but he could not see one. One after the other the footprints became visible, as if an invisible dog was walking in front of him.

The broken nail reminded him of the dog he used to feed every night, it was a brown coloured dog that lived in the station and was quite popular with the daily commuters like him. It used to walk with them till the first house of village, whenever one of them was lonesome, like he was today. It meant a lot for them during these late night returns, the village was about a kilometer away from the station, the road was deserted and there were no houses on either side.

Trees, bushes and crop fields stretched to horizon sure made the most robust hearts a bit unsteady. He used to appear like a God sent angel to relieve them.

Suddenly the invisible creature stopped and he heard a small, distinct growl, even the growling sounded familiar.

He too froze. He could not dare to walk past that invisible beast. His heart was beating like a hammer. With dry mouth he begged to God for someone to appear.

He heard another sound the hiss of a cat, and then a strange commotion started in the road in front of him. He could see two invisible bodies wrestling with each other, splattering the puddles. Then the feline gave up with a loud squeal and bolted the dog on its heel. He ran the last few meters and sat down at the doorstep of the first house.

Sharmishtha Basu
21.6.11

STORY OF A MEDICINE…

11153874-a-woman-takes-a-pill-capsule-medical-care-drugs“Eureka! At last my experiment finishes. Now no one will die because of typhoid.” He had tears in his eyes; tears of happiness. He was my father and he was very happy. He was working on me since his own mother died of this deadly disease.

Next day he sold my formula to a very big medicine company. They were very glad to get me. I felt proud on myself. My red shinny body was shinning a little bit more that time.

After all those happy moment, I reached the production house to give birth to too many others like me. There I got a nice packing on my body and a MRP tag. Now I was ready to help those who are in need.

I reached the shopkeeper and immediately my buyer was in the shop. Tensed, worried lady wearing a cheap saree waiting to buy life for her child, her dying child.

That greedy shopkeeper sold me to her after making 200 percent profit. May be the lady knew that she was getting cheated but, she needed me badly, so she doesn’t argued.

Now I was at home. I saw the lady’s child and immediately a feeling which cannot be explained in words was within me. I was happy that now, I will do the work for what I was made.

Lady took one of my brothers from the packet of my family of 10 and gave it to his son. He took my brother inside.

“Yakk…!!!! It tastes like hell.” He said.

“I know my son, but it will enable you again to play with your friends.” Mother said to him innocently while playing with his hairs to console him.

Mother was worried about her son but doesn’t let him know. I wanted to say to lady that ‘don’t worry now, I am here’.

One after one my nine brothers came out of the packet and when it was my turn, I heard a cry. A mother’s cry. Her son was dead. He was no more. I failed. All the efforts resulted in vain.

After some days, that lady came to me, took me in her hand, and watched me as if trying to remember something, and then she cried. I too cried. Tears of her mixed with mine. After all that she threw me in the dustbin.

A little kindness

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It was twisting and turning helplessly on the rocks when he first saw it. Its silver sparkles caught his eyes as he was walking cautiously on the rocky banks of the mountain river.

The river was roaring and foaming as it dived to the valley below.

He quickly reached it; it was a small fish that somehow landed on the rocks.

He picked it up and released it in water.

He was standing in the valley below half an hour later; a little distance away the river has formed a calm pool. The water was absolutely still and tempting. He has discovered this spot yesterday during trekking.

His friends were sleeping in the camp, too tired to move, as per their repeated complains; thus he decided that he will utilize the time they spend sleeping.

He quickly changed into his shorts and slipped into the water.

The water was truly refreshing. He stayed close to the shore because he did not know how to swim.

All of a sudden he felt something tugging at his leg, it was a violent pull and he lost balance, he saw a mysterious creature, it had tail of a fish and torso of a man, its eyes were like fish and had claws in its hands.

It started to drag him deeper and deeper, he tried to tear free but it was far stronger.

Suddenly he saw a shoal of fish attacking the creature. They started to hit it from all directions, soon his leg slipped from its claws.

A pair of big fishes gently nudged him to the shore. He scampered outside and ran as far as he could and then crashed on the ground.

“What are you doing here babu (Sir)?” a voice startled him out of his exhaustion.

“Did you enter that pool? Thank God you are alive. That pool is cursed. It kills anyone who dares to enter its water.” The little shepherd boy said gravely.

Sharmishtha Basu
8.11.11

A LOVE STORY…

 

1322931530_1361539388.gif“We are loosing her…… One more shock.” My body responded to that electric shock but because my soul has lost the body, I was still dead. Doctor’s voices were slowly getting rejected by my ears and flash back of my life was now in front of my eyes.

“I am waiting for you outside in the car, do come.” I read the slip, he sent to me. I was getting ready for my wedding with him. We were about to spent whole life together but he wanted more time with me. Somehow I escape the crowd and reached to his car.

 

“If someone saw us like this I’ll be dead.” I said to Raj.

“Don’t worry; I’ll join you in the heaven.” He said.

 

“I have plans for our honeymoon. I want to visit my birthplace with you. The whole month there just you and………………”

 

BANG.

 

I was thrown out of a misbalanced car and hit the divider. The last scene, I remember was her moist, red, swollen eyes, trying to come near me.

 

“I want to go back to Raj.” I told to the heavenly figure standing in front of me. Maybe he was the God.

“But your time has come, Shikha.” He replied.

“I can’t live without him.”

“You are already dead.”

I cried as loud as I can.

“Heaven is ready for you….” He said and left.

“Let’s try one more time….. 3-2-1… GO….” My heart jumped back from a long sleep.

“Pulses are back…. Heart is responding. That’s a MIRACLE.”

I heard that doctor’s were discussing about my lost legs outside the ward to Raj. He cried, I cried. Then he came in, wearing the fake smile. I too responded with the fake one.

He then hugged me. He hugged me as strong as he could. We both cried this time. No fake smile, nothing. Just a true feeling, that everything will be fine.

“Heaven is ready for you.” I remembered the god’s last words. Thank you God……   

The Stranger

The Stranger

It was a mid-july afternoon & Mr Kent was on his way back home. The weather was really hot but the car’s AC made it look like a chilly autumn’s noon. Mr Kent parked his car near the old book store. As he stepped out he realized that it was still summer outside.

He reached for his favorite magazine, The Author’s Blog, and walked towards the counter. Money was exchanged between Mr Kent & the shopkeeper. He drove off again towards his destination.

Moving towards his house Mr Kent observed a strange thing. There was a stranger standing near his garden with a blank face. He wasn’t really doing anything; he just stood there in the scorching sunlight. Mr Kent chuckled at encountering such a strange fellow and moved on. He encountered yet another thing as he moved inside the house, a bad news. Their beloved pet, roofy, was dead. Mr Kent’s little angel camela was crying madly & her mother was trying to console her. Mr Kent felt really disturbed to hear the sudden demise of his lovely pet. He sat near his wife & daughter & passed those moments silently. They buried roofy the next day.

6 months later…

Mr Kent was returning from a business trip. It was a late evening hour & he was all wrapped up in thick clothes. The chilly winter’s wind was entering the car through the half-open window but Mr Kent was too tired to realize anything. He parked his car near the front porch & stepped out with his suitcase. The weather was really cold, so he decided to light a cigarette before entering the house.

Taking a deep drag he closed his eyes to let the moment settle in. Enjoying the cigarette his eyes fell on a strange figure standing near his garden boundary. Mr Kent moved a little closer to take a better look. For a moment he thought he recognized the face. It was that weird stranger! Mr Kent shook his head, dropped his cigarette & crushed it with his right foot.
“It must be the cigarette…. Now I am seeing familiar strangers!” he whispered to himself.

He moved towards the front door & placed the key inside the keyhole. As he entered the house he heard a loud scream. It was his daughter camela. He rushed towards the kitchen. Mrs Kent entered from the other side. There was blood on the floor & camela laid motionless on the floor. Blood was coming out from camela’s forehead. Mr Kent covered her forehead with his hand & in a grunge voice asked his wife, “What happened?”

By now Mrs Kent was all covered in tears. In a crumbling voice she replied, “I……I don’t know…”
“She was looking for her chocolate cookies & I……I …told her to look in the kitchen cupboards.”

“Hurry! Call the ambulance. She’s loosing blood.” shouted Mr Kent.
The ambulance arrived in ten minutes. The doctor & the nurse checked camela & frowned.
“I am sorry sir but she’s dead”

2 years later…

“We miss you very much”. Tears rolled down Mr Kent’s eyes as he placed the flowers on camela’s grave. He stood there for the next 15 minutes reliving every happy moment spent with his daughter.

Mr Kent moved out of the graveyard & started walking towards his house. It was a nice spring morning accompanied by a cool breeze. Mr Kent used to regularly visit his daughter’s grave, sometimes alone & sometimes with his wife. Reaching the front gate Mr Kent saw him standing past the garden. That was him, the stranger! Mr Kent remembered the face & this time he was sure about it. He started walking towards the stranger. After 3-4 steps Mr Kent stopped & his face turned pale as he realized something. He rushed towards the front door screaming, “Sophia……No……Sophia!!”

He entered the house furiously screaming his wife’s name. But there was no one there., Sophia wasn’t there. Mr Kent looked out of the window, the stranger was still there. Mr Kent took out his phone & called Sophia.
“Hello”
“Where the hell are you?”
“Calm down. I am at the shopping center…”
“Are you okay?”
“Yes. Is everything’s alright there? Why are you so furious?”
“Nothing I just entered the house & you were not there, so…”
“But I told you I will be out for shopping after 10.30… before you left… remember?”
“Sorry I forgot. You continue shopping I will meet you at lunch”
“Ok bye”

Mr Kent felt very relaxed after talking to Sophia. He pulled out a cigarette & placed it between his lips. His right thumb rugged against the lighter but it didn’t lit. He looked up & his eyes rested again on the stranger through the window. The stranger had a sly smile on his face. Mr Kent’s thumb rugged again against the lighter. This time the flame lit up…… and… … BOOM!

 

The Evening News:

A House on Network Street burned to ashes due to heavy gas leakage. The owner, Mr Paul Kent, burned with the house.