The Silent Shriek…

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There was this sudden creak of the door. I thought I was dreaming, but then I felt my phone buzzing. Just then, I realized, it wasn’t a dream. I picked up my phone to check the time. There were one hundred and seventeen messages from just two conversations. Just when I was about to check who it was to disturb me so late at night, the door creaked again. I looked up to see nobody. There was nothing but the walls. I stood up, walked up to the washroom door, stood there for sometime, wondering what to do next. I don’t remember for how long I stood there, but I’m certain that it was not a short span of time. My head grew heavy, and my sight grew dim, but I somehow managed to switch on the washroom lights, went inside, opened the hot water tap ans washed my face. I felt relaxed. It had been a tiresome night. I looked at myself, my swollen eyes. I smiled at the mirror, switched off the lights, shut the door and went to bed. Checking my phone, I noticed something odd. I looked to the wall that stood to my right, saw nothing. Maybe I was just hallucinating. Shut my eyes, I went to sleep. It hadn’t even been a couple of seconds , when I opened my eyes wide again. Looked again to the wall that was to my right, and what I saw, sent chills to my bones. My favorite ‘Pink Floyd’ poster was missing! I was scared to death. Not because I heard that creak again (though I had locked the door earlier), not because my poster was missing, but because that wall was now three quarters of an inch ahead of where it was before. I locked my eyes upon it, and just when I realized what really was happening, my heart refused to beat!
I didn’t know what to do or how to react; I went numb! However much I wanted to move and run out of the room, my muscles refused to work. They were jammed. Somehow I gathered courage and tried to move. It was as if I was paralyzed. But I gave my mind all the reasons to instruct my muscles and bones to start working. And right then, I felt a sudden rush of blood to my face. My face turned red from pale. I rushed to take all my blades, needles and sharp tools, and while reaching for the door, got hit by something very hard. I fell down. There was blood coming out from the middle finger of my left foot, I could not help but cry. I stood up with determination, and very carefully reached for the door.  By now, all the walls were about nine inches ahead of where they were before. I tried to unlock the door, and caught the door handle. The door did not open. I pushed it hard, it did not move. I was locked inside….
 The walls were closing in. I could hear them laughing, laughing at me, mocking me. Apart from the walls, there was just visible darkness and nothing else. And right then, the window caught my eye. I reached out for it. Not surprisingly, it was locked too. But I was not going to give up this easily. I let the walls laugh. My room was now thirty by fifty inches wide. I punched hard in the glass, it broke and I could finally smell fresh air, the beautiful fragrance of the soil outside. I jumped through the window and felt free! I was hit, but sat down on the road itself and tried to reach out for my left foot to see how deep the wound was, and right then, I woke up!
 I was in my bed, with my friend fast asleep, beside me. I felt my facial muscles relaxing, It was a terrifying dream. I felt so loose and weightless. I wiped my face, which was sweating, walked up to the washroom door and washed my hands, feet and finally, face. I came out of the washroom, took my iPod and earphones and just went out in the balcony. It was somewhere around 0300 hours in the morning.
It was so beautiful out there, silent, quiet, peaceful, and most important, it was dark! There was something in the air that was hypnotizing me. It was making me lose myself. It seemed as if my soul and my body had departed. I felt so light, like I could float in the air, like I was in paradise…. I was comfortably numb and it felt great. The time had stopped. There were absolutely no thoughts in my head. I could hear the air. It went past me, whispering something really strange, in my ear. I could feel the grass, the wet dew drops that tickled my feet. I was in Heaven… I closed my eyes and tried to move my wrist to reach out for the black rose that was just inches away from me. But I couldn’t move. I woke up, again!
 I was in the woods, running, yelling, shrieking at the top of my voice. Screaming so loud that my vocal cords hurt. I was not tired, I had enough energy to cover a mile more, sprinting. I started crying, crying hard, harder than ever. I bumped into a broken trunk of a maple tree, and fell down. I didn’t stand up again. I rather hugged the tree and then sat beside it, sobbing, quietly. There were marks on my body. Marks of blades, needles and scissors. I was carrying all of these things in my left hand. I spotted some red spots on the ground. I looked up to find nothing. I looked at my foot, it wasn’t bleeding. I looked at my wrist, it was fine too. Just then I caught a glance of my left palm. It was bleeding. There was a deep cut caused by the scissors. I didn’t bother to wash it or cover it, instead I took the very blade that had been there with me all these years, and made quick, outrageous cuts on my wrist. I was trying to let my frustration out. I was yelling, there were tears in my eyes. I kept going on. When I stopped, my whole hand was red. There was absolutely no sign of skin. I started to peel off my skin from my fingers. I ate that skin. I was doing good, and was feeling happy, when I felt a hand over my shoulder. My eyes followed the length of the hand, and then the body, finally reaching the face. It was my favorite friend. At that very moment, I realized that I was missing him. He sat beside me and wiped my tears away. We walked and sang together. It was so much fun. But then he started off with cleaning my wounds. I wasn’t really liking it. I didn’t want him to do that. But he she me up! It was in his eyes, how much he wanted me to give in this habit. I made a false promise to him because I knew that he would never understand how important it was to me to be suffering from physical pain. He was glad. I was glad he was happy. We started walking out of the woods, singing, talking and laughing. It was a beautiful day. It was drizzling too. We were having a really good time together.
   With time, I started disliking him, rather hating him. I was getting emotionally attached to him. I did not want that. I have always been a loner and would very much like it that way. Nobody is important to me and will never be. I am too scared of getting close to anybody. I don’t want to be hurt! I did not want him to come any closer to me. I could not let him in. and so, I left. I ran away from him. I could hear his voice, he was calling out my name, looking for me. But I kept running. And I ran far, far away. His voice now grew fainter. Tired, I sat down and surprisingly, fell asleep.
  I woke up, again! This time, in my room, with music and books. I was in my favorite sweatshirt and had a pen in my hand. I looked around to find a notepad in which I had written some six pages. And then it dawned on me that I had fallen asleep while writing. I smiled at myself, looked up at the ceiling, realizing that I was now in the real world….
THIS POST IS WRITTEN BY KRISHNAPRIYA AGARWAL
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Nazaqat… by Sasha H. Singhal

RATING
COVER —3/5
TITLE & BLURB—4/5
CHARACTERS—3.5/5
STORY—3/5
PLOT & THEME—4/5
OVERALL—3.5/5

OVERVIEW 

The  Story proceeds as flashbacks narrated to a writer whom naazani (the protagonist) has hired to write her biography. She appreciates literature and firmly believes that literature paints eternity .She was bought up in the isolated ambience of Dehradun as a daughter of an army officer, later shifts to Delhi for higher education. Only internet accompanied her through the childhood ride. The mega city Noida thr Series of changes rolled and she chooses prostitution as her profession, unlike other gals who are   forced into it for money or so. Sex is a superior grade fun and entertainment held in her own high self-esteem and probably way to explore mundane. On a stroll one night she saw a group of call girls being arrested by police, which stroke to her very senses of conscience and humanity. She decides to take a stand for complete legalization of prostitution in India. She is good of resources and money that leads to opening of a food chain ‘joy foods’. There is lot huge drama and thrill that leads to an unexpected climax, baffling the reader.

REVIEW BY CICAS

The title and blurb let my  thoughts grapple against each other, each time guessing a new story but reading it was kind of different. The book stories a stupendous blend of drama, thrill and fantasy. Author has beautifully characterized the protagonist (Naazani singh shekhavat)   ramified into three different personas (naez,naazani & nazaqat). As the story proceeds, protagonist reflects great qualities of self-independence and rationalism defying dogmas of society. She is opportunistic and reluctant to be chained in love or relationships.The writing style is lucid with normal English used. Thera are various amazing one line  definitions that will certainly push mind in caves of ponder.The narration delicately touches issues of feminism, prostitution and homosexuality .It gives reader a great new perspective and an insight into existing varied spheres of society. Author should be praised   for poetic justice and antagonism mirrored,though poetic justice was incomplete. The story line and the plot is well crafted .

It’s an excellent read and classically enthralling.

Beauty of the book

  •  The cover Title and blurb is amazing urging to be read.
  • Issues of homosexuality ,feminism and prostitution are delicately touched and portrayed.
  • One line quotes by SASHA H. SINGHAL  are Thought provoking.
  •  Strong reflection of a modern self independent girl.
  • The book urges reader to to ponder over legalization of prostitution in India.
  • Unexpected climax.

REVIEWED BY SHUBHAM SINGH

If only forgetting was easy……

It was a stormy night, or so she thought. It certainly was windy, and also looked like it might rain. Time and again, a stray yellowed maple leaf would get entangled in her hair, and she would retrieve it with slow deliberation, and toss it to the raving winds.

It was a regular path, taken regularly, to complete a regular task, but
quite contrarily, this was not going to be a regular night, if, of course,
the word ‘regular’ had any meaning…

***

Jenny wrapped her shawl protectively around herself. It was beginning to get cold, and a drowsy mist suggested that the raindrops too were on their way.
She did not exactly dread getting drenched, but a walk through muddy puddles was hardly what she fancied. A few drops descended on her face as she looked up at the heavily clouded sky. Her heart suddenly skipped a beat, as a similar scene from a few years ago floated in before her eyes.

Hadn’t this been the first place where she met him? , she asked of herself. The wretch who made her suffer, who was also the person she loved with all her soul. How could she ever forgive, and more importantly, forget, him?

For, people who live inside your heart will never leave you, even if they themselves break your heart.

She had been a foolish seventeen year old then, full of romantic stories of the cupid and was easily impressed. Falling in love with a man nearly seven years elder to her, was easy, to say the least, and marriage, then, was a mere celebration of love, something that took place in every movie and mushy novel, and had nothing to do with responsibility. All marriages were happy marriages, since how could two people who loved each not be happy living together? , she had asked herself. She would have prevented a catastrophe had she asked anybody else.

How madly in love she was, and how easily awed by his mannerisms! And how triumphant too for having found the perfect man for herself at the mere age of seventeen! How happy, how delighted, how overjoyed with love!

Her joy, however, had proved too good too last. She could not recognize, in a few months of marriage, the devil she had consented to being wife to. Her joy broke down into sorrow when she came to know that there was a violent streak about him, a tempest of a temper and irrational views when it came to giving her the freedom she so desired.

She divorced him, but it was only after suffering 4 years of hell and
getting inerasable marks, both emotionally and physically. It had been a month since they parted ways, yet it was the torture of those painful memories that would not let her get on with life ‘normally’, and she feared that they never would.

***

Tears mingled with the raindrops on her face as a vivid picture of her life a month ago flashed before her eyes, making her shudder. She had lately started to become an emotional wreck and would often stop in the middle of the way when she found her eyes flooded, and give way to tears. However, today, she wiped her eyes and continued on her way.

However, the road did not seem to be familiar any longer. Wherever had she wandered off to? This certainly was not the way to her home. This path seemed to be almost deserted, except for a few startling movements in the bushes along the road. Fear flooded her. Something told her that she was being followed, but nevertheless, she could not fully believe in her conscience, since it often deceived her with a picture of her former husband, evil and malignant, charging towards her with a diabolic glint in his eyes. She was paralyzed with fear by now, but decided to run as she had never run before, to wherever the way may take her, since it seemed the only
logical thing to do. She ran for a good half an hour, not worrying that the path grew darker along the way, nor either that the rain battered down hard on her. She was determined to follow the path God had led her to, even if it led to her to the devil.

She eventually reached what seemed to be a large pool of light at first, but on further inspection, she saw it for what it was – a huge lamp post, underneath which stood a boy of about eight. She was startled at first to see him in this solitary place, but relaxed when she saw him smile sweetly.

“It is you I have been waiting for all night,” said he, “not that it is
particularly you. I knew it was somebody in distress.” Jenny, who very much detested the concept of ghosts, just as she detested marriage, took the child’s hand in hers, and oh, what bliss it was! What lovely bliss to feel the satisfaction of having someone by your side, to take in the love he radiates, to share with him her feeling of security! How reassuring to know that there is someone to accompany you when the path is dark and fearful!

This really was a strange night, she thought, never before have I lost my way here, and I am certain that there is not a path in the area that I have not travelled before. In silent reverie, in tender hopes, in thoughtful musing – every path has been taken before for a walk to appease violent sensations. And yet, here I am, walking this deserted path at a time which seems to be somewhere between midnight and dawn, with a mysterious companion whom I know nothing about.

But wait, have I not seen his face somewhere before? In a dream? In images inside the mind? In abstract patterns? In…..God??

Was he a savior, somebody divine?

“I’m not”, said the boy, who seemed to have read her mind. Jenny, startled by his sudden speech, drew a long breath to calm her mind. Meanwhile, the boy had started to speak again. “It is not me you have to think about,” said he, “It is you. Your life, has it not been in a mess for the past few years?
Recall. Try to recall- what went wrong? , and whose fault was it? Pain and suffering is what everybody gets, but a few of us get more than the share we deserve. Is it fair? No. But thing, is it worth learning something from?”

Here the boy stopped and looked innocently into her face for a while. Jenny tried to look away from his eyes, but there was something so powerful, so compelling about them, that try as she might, she could not look away. There seemed to be a bit of herself in them, but that could easily have been her reflection. The boy took a step forward, and smiling a bit, said, “No, I’m not going to vanish into thin air, as you think I will. Forget all about me, but remember my words – it is important that you begin a new life. Do not sit down to pity yourself. The darkness is only temporary – it does not stay forever.”

Before Jenny could even react, she had the strangest sensation of falling into oblivion, into darkness. Various images from her life flew into sight and vanished again – Jenny riding her first bicycle, laughing loudly and crying uncontrollably, Jenny on the day of her marriage feeling infinite bliss, and the days afterward-the tears, the emotional breakdowns and the violent arguing, and silently crying into the pillow thereafter.

She would try, but would never be able to find the deserted path again. Some things in life were best forgotten, she decided. For darkness was only the absence of light, it had no meaning if the term ‘light’ did not exist……….

Submitted by – Vanya Nigam
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STORY WITHOUT THE END…

‘The eerie silence of the night was like choking her breath as she forwarded on the lonely and dark street. Nobody can be seen, nobody can be heard. Her panicking breath was the only sound she can hear on her trail.’ Awkward. Why was she panicking? He thought while taking the sip of coffee. Is that the fear of dark or fear of silence or fear of the one who was following her? He again started to write.

‘She could feel the pair of eyes following her on the street. Someone was definitely there, hiding in the dark and waiting for the perfect moment to show himself.’ He lifted his weight from left side and leaned a bit to his right and then did the vice versa of the same on the chair in front of his laptop. He kept on thinking about the story he was writing but something was bothering him. What was she doing there in the dead silence of night? Why someone will follow her? What’s in their mind?

His mind was suggesting him so many things but nothing suited well. He had to write this one anyhow. After so many days he got one muse to write about and this time he doesn’t want to let it go. He was way behind his schedule of his next ‘To Be Bestseller’.

He was getting frustrated. He looked all over the place where he was sitting. The books, the lamp, the bed which was calling him desperately so instantly he withdraws his attention from the bed. Nothing encouraged him to write anything further.

He raised himself from the chair and roamed in the room for a while. Thinking but nothing came. The holidays were getting wasted; this was the last night for him to finish his book. In the frustration of deadline he pulls up the cigarette from his pocket and lit it using the lighter. The smoke helped him to relieve the nerves.

He opened the window of the room and saw the dark filled streets of the city. Barely one or two street lights were working. The city was sleeping at that hour of night and he was awake to fulfill the deadline.

Suddenly something shakes him. The thing was the sight of the street. It was the same as he just described and that lady trying to walk as fast as possible on the dark street was making the whole seen as realistic as he was describing in his book.

Instantly he decides to go after the lady on the street. He ran down from the hotel where he was staying to the streets behind the lady. Lady was panicking. But why and what was she doing here? He started following her to know the answers. Lady keep on looking behind, maybe someone is following her. But who? Is she expecting someone? He looked behind, no one was there.

She kept on running and behind her, he kept on following her, anonymously. He wanted to know the end and here’s the end lies. He was excited and she was afraid. The darkness was now playing with both of them.

Then in a flash, she disappeared. He got tensed, where the hell she gone? She was just there. He opened up his disguise and came up in light. He ran his eyes everywhere, but she was nowhere. The frustration came back. He wanted the answers; he wanted to know the end. This is not the way it should end. Every story has an end. Only she knew the end and now she is nowhere.

And then in the same way as she disappeared, she appeared and with her a sudden and enormous pain also appeared in him. She stabbed him. The knife got struck in the bones of his abdomen. He could feel his losing breath. Her face was clear to him but his questions remain unanswered, what was the end?

He could only whisper before dying, “This could not be the end.”

Rising Pains

Rising Pains

Somewhere beneath this plastic smile

the soul is crying

Usurped by emerging pain,

tears showering like rain

The shades of darkness

rendering with age

Scavengers of the past

thriving on rage

The world parting slowly

for the evil deeds

And the creators of past

enjoys the rain

The pool of memories

filled with guilt & shame

And the so called absolution

a myth, a fairy tale

In a world so selfish

one has nothing to gain

Just to kneel before self

due to the rising pain…. . .