Mez (Table)

Chote se kamre main kone ko ek mez rakhi hui thi. Raat ka waqt tha toh andhera laazmi tha. Us kone wali mez par ek lamp rakha tha. Us lamp ki roshni se mez par ralji kitaabe dikhi aur baaki samaan bhi. Woh kamre main ghusa aur dekha ki kamra thanda sa tha lekin pankha band tha. Mez par pahucha toh dekha khidki khul thi, neeche ek sunsaan gali thi jisme do kutte bhaunk rahe the.

Mez par kuch 6-7 kitaabe, 2 diary aur kuch lifafe padhe the. Ek diary uthai toh usme se ek syahi wali kalam giti. Lamp lekar usne kalam uthai aur wapis diary main rakhne laga. Ek pan-na khola toh us par kuch likha tha. Paas rakhi kursi kheechte hue usne diary ko tawaj-jo (importance) se padhna shru kiya….

Diary main likha tha, “Chote se kamre main kone ko ek mez rakhi hui thi…….”

-Jafar Rehman

Incidences in Fahistan

This dates back to 27th of February 1952 and it happened to be a leap year when Mrs. Singh gave birth to a baby boy who’d grow up to be the protagonist of this story.

The boy was named Rajendra Singh and had a pleasant childhood despite the fact that he was a thin boy who always looked 3-4 years younger than he was. An average student in school who was later pushed by his parents to study in one of the prestigious university of the country and that is when he left his home for the city called Fahistan.

This city of Fahistan was far more developed than any other in the whole country. There were better horse carts in the city and paved roads for them to go around smartly, even the houses were made of bricks and cement. The university attracted brilliant minds from all the places and Rajendra was lucky to get admission there. It was a little difficult for him to adapt to this new style of life where people spoke differently and also ate different kinds of meals but 4 years of his life passed easily.

Now it was time to return home and see what he would do next. From many options he could join his father’s shop and expand the business or he could go and work for someone else and possibly earn more. Little did he know that luck had something else in store for him and that is precisely when the trouble struck and due to a series of events he couldn’t go to his hometown.

One of his acquaintance had called him for an important matter during the last days and on arriving he realized that it would take him months to solve the problem his acquaintance had ventured into. He could have said no and turned his head but that’s not how he was raised. He sent a telegram to his parents in the village and told them that some important matter had come up due to which he won’t be able to come home early and he let them know that he was safe and sound which wasn’t completely true.

Two months had passed but the rounds to the police station and court didn’t decrease, they even contacted some influential people in the city of Fahistan but no one helped. Left to their own, Rajendra and Shamshad fought for themselves or say Rajendra and Shamshad fought for Shamshad.

After 4 months, it looked like they might win the case and go their ways happily but something had to happen again. One night both of them were returning from the small hotel, two men on motorcycle came to them asking for an address when the pillion rider took out a gun and shot Shamshad in the chest. They sped away while Rajendra stood there too shocked to react and when he looked down he realized that Shamshad had died and was in the pool of blood. As he leaned in to shake Shamshad, he saw his reflection in his eyes which still held some life.

Rajendra couldn’t stay in the city of Fahistan any longer and soon returned to his hometown. He joined his father’s business and tried hard to forget what happened to Shamshad. But he never could.

 

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That call

None of them believed me, for the thing I told them was of a very strange nature. Most of the people would have never heard such a thing and imagining it was beyond the capability of many. After I was done speaking, I realized my throat was dry and the strange silence had enveloped us all. Suddenly the telephone rang and broke the silence and the occupants of the room looked at each other with puzzled looks wondering who would be calling at this odd hour.

Mr. Anderson finally got up from his comfortable leather chair and picked up the phone, relieving us of the terrible sound. He said ‘Hello’, and then exclaimed how could this be possible? I soon realized that he wasn’t talking to the caller but to all of us in the room.

Things were beyond the level of my belief, the confusion was now overwhelming and the face of Mr. Anderson told another story which we all were guessing now. I could now see the tension and the fear building up amongst the occupants and realized that I wasn’t only one afraid in the room. This thought was both comforting and scary in a way.

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Duty Calls- Short story Part 1

This morning he was sitting in his jeep outside the government hospital. He had parked under a tree beside the gate, a few steps away from the bus stop where in every 5 minutes a bus came and a hoard deboarded the bus. A few went into the hospital while others rushed towards the metro station, he saw all those people but did not focus on anyone particular. He was just seeing a group of people moving from one place to another, in the distance, an auto waited for the customers in front of the gate. He thought how he is to stand right there, wondering what would happen if an ambulance was to come, or someone who had a heart attack was rushed in through the gate. He sure was unaware that he could be the reason of someone’s death and the worst part was he might not realize that and would do the same thing again.

He knew that he was losing his focus and was instead looking at people, complete strangers, auto-wallahs who came and stopped and looked for customers followed by a bus. He looked in the rearview mirror of his jeep and saw his sweaty and a tired face, then he looked at his uniform which he didn’t get time to change for three days because this investigation was sure a different and a difficult one. He looked around, checked his dying phone and decided to step out of the car and stretch and have a cup of tea. He thought he deserved a cup now, at least.

He locked the jeep and walked and told the auto-wallah to move and not obstruct the gate. He ordered tea and a cigarette, asked for a Gold Flake and lit it, a few puffs and he realized that this was stupid of him, to smoke near the hospital. Before throwing it, he took one long puff and held the smoke in while his lungs burned. He threw and squashed the cigarette under his brown shiny shoes, he wondered how come his shoes were still so clean. He had taken a few sips when he got a call on his phone, he took the call and got to know that the suspect has left the hospital and entered the metro station. He was also asked if he saw him, he took a gulp and said ‘I think I did’, he had to lie.

He threw a fifty rupee note at the chai-wallah and ran towards the metro station. At entering the stations, he saw a long queue and started wondering that the suspect could be anywhere, he could have already boarded a train. He felt useless and irritated but tried to take control of the situation by taking deep breaths. He had heard somewhere that it helped in situations like these.

He came back to the jeep and took three long breaths before finally calling his senior on the phone and telling him that he lost him in the crowd. He turned the key and the engine came to life but he stepped out of the car and went to chai-wallah and asked him for the change before finally leaving to the police station.


Note: I might write a second part of this with a different perspective very soon. Let me know your views about this. Thanks!

As the smoke rose up

I think I could have done a better job if I had my camera with me but anyway I like this photograph I took. Looks like a scene from some movie, where a bad guy is standing at a train signal and waits for the train to pass. As he waits, he is smoking a cigarette or a cigar as I like to imagine. Tell me if this photograph triggers a story in your head as well. Now I could write a story on it and it would go like this-

He had committed a heinous crime and after that he rose up from the ground and kicked the body and grabbed the curtain to clean his hand. After cleaning his hands and removing the blood, he took his phone out and called someone and said, “I am coming out.”

He came out and found his friend waiting with a motorbike and they both nodded their head. He then took the motorbike from his partner and drove it away from the town and arrived at a railway crossing. As he waited for the train to pass, he took out a cigarette and lit it, hoping that it would take some of his headache away.

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I hope you liked what I wrote. It would be great if you could avoid looking at the mistakes if I made some. Let me know your views. 🙂

Man behind the door

I had been sitting on the sofa for some hours now with my laptop in front of me with no charge left. I had been without electricity for hours now and had been sitting in complete darkness. I heard someone climb the stairs and they sound seemed to stop right in front of my door, I expected a knock but it did not come and everything went silent, same as a few minutes ago. The only difference was that this time the silence wasn’t comforting and I had my doubts.

I got up from the sofa and went to the door silently, like a burglar in my own house and very careful with sound. I put my ear on the door and tried to listen and heard some sounds, someone was whispering on the phone or might be talking to himself but then someone else spoke too. By the time I was sure they had some motive and I tried to listen more carefully and pressed my ear against the door. They talked for some time with faint voices and I couldn’t make any sense of it. Then they stopped talking and everything went silent once again and  one of them knocked on the door and I jumped back.

I had to draw a long breath before going towards the door again and heard another knock and I slowly undid the lock and opened the door. There stood two men, their faces not visible in the dark, then one of them stepped ahead and said – “Hey, we are your neighbors. Do you have an extra candle?”

That’s all folks. 🙂


P.S. Copied it from my diary, wrote it earlier in the evening.

That house

Date – 27Dec 2015 11:13pm

Entry 1

The weather is cold and it is a moonless night. The wind is fierce tonight and I hear a wolf howl somewhere in the distance.

I am writing from the haunted house where I have been stuck for weeks now. There are no doors and I see no way out but I find food on the dining table everyday and all the other necessary things one might need.
To be honest with you I find this place nice but I would need someone with me here because it gets alone and the days seem like years.
I hear people going about in the hall when I try to sleep in my room but I never see anyone in the house.

Date – 30 Dec 2015 11:45pm

Entry 2

Little did I know that it was me all this time. I was dead and that was a normal house, there were people alive there but they couldn’t see me like I couldn’t see them.

You must wonder how did I arrive at this conclusion and I must tell you about it ……

The man

There was a man
Standing outside a shop
Under the streetlight
He had a cigarette in his hand
Which he puffed every other second

The smoke mixed well
With the fog
And the cold night
Gave it a more mysterious feeling

He didn’t hurry with his cigarette
It seems he enjoyed it
After a while
The door of the shop opened
A man came out
And called him inside

Everything fell silent
Then two shots were heard
Followed by silence again
The door opened
But no one came out.
– Jafar Rehman

Life Line

Daily Prompt

You’re on a long flight, and a palm reader sitting next to you insists she reads your palm. You hesitate, but agree. What does she tell you?

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I really wanted to complete this book I had been reading for weeks now. The flight was long and I had nothing else to do, so after getting comfortable in my seat after the plane took off, I opened the page 334 and started reading my book. The lady sitting next to me had been silent till now and then she turned to me and introduced herself. She told me she is a palm reader and since the flight is long she would like to read my palm and tell me what does the lines say.

I never believed in them because of the fear maybe, that the predictions could be right. But I avoided these sorts of things. She insisted and I finally gave up. She read my palm for a long time, I thought several hours will pass and she will continue reading my palm.

It didn’t take her long and after reading she looked up and stared at me like she had seen a ghost in my palms. I asked her what was it and she stayed silent for a while and took a deep breath and whispered in my ear-

“You wouldn’t be able to complete this book on this flight”

And then she laughed. :p

The Pyramid

Mr. Mankell died of cancer some weeks ago. He is one of my favourite writers, having read several of his Kurt Wallander series I decided to pick this one up. This is where you get to read about how Kurt became a detective, read till page 70 and so far it is good.
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Lastly, he was and is an inspiration to me.