Creative Saturdays, Publishing, Saturday Specifics, Uncategorized

Excerpt- Second Chance : Saturday Specifics

So, I thought today I would publish here an excerpt from the manuscript I am working on at present. This would, roughly speaking, be the second or third draft and I feel that I still need to garnish it at places before it is brought out in the truest sense to be devoured. If you have stumbled upon this page, please feel free to go through this and leave behind your feed backs. I would love to hear from you. 

~~~

Second Chance-A short Story

www.malinymohan.net

Kartik worked as an office boy at a software company which was still in its inception stage. The better salary that he was offered, despite the fact that they had just started functioning had lured him into leaving his previous job as a conductor for a private bus owner.

 The office was accommodated in a three bedroom apartment in the heart of Mumbai. The atmosphere inside the office was comfortable and relaxed. There weren’t stringent rules or implicit motives like in many other establishments to disrupt the enviable amount of peace that prevailed inside. In fact, most of the workers in that office considered him as their companion or a confidant in many regards. They helped each other through the vagaries of their lives sans complaints.

 When the officers unexpectedly run out of cigarettes, Kartik made sure that he ran to the nearby shop to buy them fresh packets; he was the one who brought them lunch from the restaurant downstairs; he offered to drop them off at their apartments in his scooter if any of their cars broke down- the list was endless and in return they addressed him affectionately as Bhaiyya and celebrated his birthdays at the office, when there would be a cake cutting ceremony during the office hours and a party at the local pub late at night. They granted him bonus from their pockets during major festivals and once even bought him fresh piece of cloth to stitch a new pair of pants.

Today, as he sat stooped down on his table near the water purifier, Kartik could feel droplets of sweat collecting on his temple. The rumble of the air conditioner resonated with his emotions, lending an unpleasant rhythm to his thoughts.

‘You should try this at least once in your lifetime, Bhaiyya,’ Rakesh, the friendliest one in the pack had whispered it in his ears the previous day. Since then a recurring thought had been meddling with his peace of mind day in and day out for he was tempted enough to give it a try.

He had seen this place where his petulant mind demanded to go. The building was not conspicuous but sandwiched between two hardware shops in the busiest street of the city. People hustled in and out of the street at all times of the day, making the process of insinuating into the building hassle free. There was even a back door, which could be approached if one stepped onto the alley beside the street, although sailing past the same would be the hardest thing anyone could conjure to do for it had constantly kept its repertoire as the ugliest and the most stinking alley of the city, if not the whole world.

‘He would take the alley,’ Karthik decided. He couldn’t pave way for any risk, for he was a middle aged man who had lived a half of his life sans a smudge in his reputation.

~~

The walk through the alley was horrid to say the least. The air was infested with fleas which seemed attracted to him by his mere presence. Mounds of garbage flanked the path, which would be an undeniable source of the many infectious diseases that stifled the people of the city often. The atmosphere was stuffed with a repulsive stench, which started growing unbearable as Kartik moved closer and closer to his destination. Steering free of the fleas and the mosquitoes that yearned to attack him ferociously, he found himself standing at the summit of the tall row of steps that led to the place he was headed to.

~~~~~

 

P.S: This post is tagged with ‘Saturday Specifics’, a sub section of this blog where I put up something creative- a story, poem, haiku, Flash Fiction or a Book Review.

Beauty, Bits From Life, Life is such, Mid Week Quests, Uncategorized

Gateway To The Past – Mid Week Quests

12698688_1069498536405959_7966088164501212807_o

There is a small, beautiful, golden glazed, ornamental light fitting that unassumingly adorns the wall of my bedroom. It has been there since the day we moved in here fifteen years back. I remember gazing at the sheer, sufficing beauty of the masterpiece when I first saw it, for it seemed to exude the sort of charisma that a rare piece of art born out of the dexterous work of a gifted artist could bear. The inevitable charm had insinuated through the dilated peep holes of my eyes, deeper into the velvety pockets of my soul, spreading out to fill them, to enrich them.

But today, as I pause to ruminate, a question disturbs me deep and true. Why hadn’t the piece of sheer beauty evoked aforesaid emotions in me for longer, precisely to this day?

Worse yet, why did my eyes fail to register the presence of it all these years? Was it because I was busy growing up? Or was it because it had lost its lustre? 

Somewhere, someday, the delectable mote in me that sprang up in excitement at the mere sight of the slightest hue of beauty, inconspicuously, started to slide closer to the verge of endangerment. They rarely enticed the adult in me, the reason for which is vague and not quite fathomable in its truest sense even at this moment. 

Nevertheless now, as I stand admiring the art that stands erect in the most formidable point of my room, yet in an unfortunately secluded corner of my mind, I find myself being guided to the damped albeit soulful beauty of the long forgotten pathway to my past- my childhood. I feel fresh surge of bliss rushing through me. It evokes, at this moment, nostalgia like no other monument can or has. The embellished lighting, the little chunk of heaven which proudly carries the weight of an epiphany is, more than anything, an apt and impeccable reminder of the simple joys and subtler intrigues of the unscarred and pristine child in me.

Coming to think of it, isn’t it unfortunate that we fail to appreciate the beauty of all those unavoidable ingredients of our past – soul stirring events, obsessive inanimate objects, life changing incidents, and last but not the least, people who kindled sparks of change in us, people who made us what we are today, who, unknowingly or not are intricately linked to us for the rest of our lives- unless and until a day arrives when the blazing dusty flames of the same are thrown onto us once again out of the blue? What would happen then? Wouldn’t we be overwhelmed then? Would we survive the stupendous vortex of emotions that barge in on us that imminent day? How would we react? Would we smile? Or would we cry? Or would we be insensitive enough to ignore it and move on as if the trails we treaded could do nothing more for the supposedly proud and egoistic us even if we took time and try to dwell in those once again out of gratefulness?
More importantly, wouldn’t we agree, without thinking twice, with the vacuum of our hearts for once filled with utmost fervour, to be flung back to the depths of those memories a second time, to live, love, laugh, obsess, amaze and be amazed all over again?

~~~~

 

P.S: This post is tagged with Mid Week Quests, a sub section of this blog where I write on a Wednesday, about random nuggets from my life .

Bits From Life, doctor, Life is such, Mid Week Quests, New life, Uncategorized

Doc Diaries #1 – Mid Week Quests

IMG_20160210_085634

When we met last, I was babbling about my future prospects, the first baby steps of which were to be taken last week and sans hesitation, let me say that it was taken, on a warm note to my relief too. Although, one way or the other, I have been serving the Government for the past few years, as an intern first and as a resident later, this is the first time I feel that I have been imbibed into the otherwise enclosed and privileged terrain, without the constraints of time and bond limiting my stay. Am I happy that I have had a taste of what it feels like to be secured by the promise of a job for life? Yes.  But as they say, the fact cannot be denied that I still have miles to go before I sleep and the sheer rawness of the undeniable truth keeps me from relaxing at this juncture. My eyes are set on higher studies, one that will consolidate the professional in me.

The job is in another district, to reach where I have to travel for around 2to 3 hours. The place is calm and serene, as far as I have seen. But you know, a doctor confronts bloodshed and goriness day in and day out. They are mostly the first halt for assaults and medico legal cases, especially the ones serving Government hospitals and there in surface the darkest and depressing facets of the place we serve. One cannot judge a place by what we see in a quick glance. The undercurrents are mostly hidden, like the massive, albeit inconspicuous chunk of the iceberg wallowing beneath the surface of the ocean.

Sadly, there is absolutely no place to stay there, particularly for a few kilometers around the hospital premises and because of that I am forced to adjust my duties in a way that will let me commute for work in a comfortable manner, thanks to the colleagues who understand the wariness of the situation. 

As far as the commute is concerned, I get to travel a lot by train. And undoubtedly, I am delighted in that regard as well although I have never much travelled far and long for my job almost on a daily basis before. If you haven’t heard about the speciality of train journeys through Kerala before, the best way to imbibe the raw beauty of Kerala is to travel by train, a fact vouched by any tourist who has travelled the length and breadth of the state. The cold rush of breeze against the hair, the warm motes of sun settling on the inviting skin, the evocative and enticing sights of nature and the thrill of being on the move imbibing the nuances of life, both from within and from around sound insatiable indeed. 

Even when the matters were almost settled in my mind and heart, the first ever duty that I took in the hospital gave me reasons to worry. Because of the adjustments, I was to take a straight 19 hour duty, which I thought would be, if not a cake walk, at least doable with the amount of experience that I had in medical colleges where we serve for up to 36 hours once a week. Somehow, here, there was a seamless flow of patients, granting me little time to rest. The variety of cases that arrived left me astonished too. There was never a plateau phase as far as the depth of the cases were concerned.

After the duty, even though I had barely two hours of sleep, I found myself all peppy, happy and satiated. Having had my breakfast, smiling, I took an auto to the railway station and waited there singing a song and clicking photographs of the deserted station, sipping from a cold drink in between. But the vibrant time was not to last long. The train was supposed to come by 10.00 and there was no sign of the train even one hour after that. I was all sweaty and tired, my hair was shaggy and ruffled and I could sense distressing drops of perspiration starting to collect on my skin for the hot weather and my dreary body. On top of that, to make matters worse, the inevitable migraine kicked in mercilessly. Needless to say, I was a bundle of havoc  in no time. Before things got out of my hand and made me swoon, the train arrived, trundling in its own pace and I got in and settled without much ado. I came back home and slept 5 hours straight in broad daylight, much to the awe of my parents.

IMG_20160210_085727

Now that I realised I cannot trust that train, I have changed plans so that the dark episode wouldn’t happen a second time. Nevertheless, I am content that I am working and am hopeful that the initial hiccoughs would part ways, soon and forever. One learns along the way, isn’t it so? However old a person turns, he or she would still have so much to learn from the pages of life. Even though it is too early on the path to state affirmatively, I have a hunch that the following days would be liberating, both with regard to my inner professional and personal space. 

The last one week has been so utterly a busy one that I missed my Mid Week Quests, although, it should be stressed that I truly have been on one of the worthiest quests of my life. Seven days of weariness and the whole routine is threatened to be toppled down headfirst onto the ground. But I don’t think there is a reason to worry as long as something good is happening along the way. I can always write when I am settled. I can always catch up on my reading the next free day.

 One cannot live forever, relishing the gifts of life. Sometimes we need to strive hard to make those gifts attainable forever; simply that one needs to be sensible enough to realise when to draw the line and take rest to recharge.

~~

Now reading, mostly in train:  The Cosmopolitan by Anjum Hassan.

 

P.S: This post is tagged with Mid Week Quests, a sub section of this blog where I write on a Wednesday, about random nuggets from my life .