Melancholy Moments

Hickory Dickory Dock - A Clock Reminisces

The rocking chair squeaked rhythmically. I hummed along in tune as I gazed at the frail old woman who sat on the chair. Silvery white strands of hair glowed in the darkness where the moon beams found their way to her head through the open window. There was a time when the beams would have been sucked into the darkness of these strands. Time! Isn’t that the unseen, unheard deity that reigns over the lives of mice and men? And who can know time better than me who has dedicated his life to this most powerful entity of this universe! READ MORE

The Heart's True Music

The summer had lasted too long. The sun was blazing and the earth was parched. There was no sign of clouds. The workers at the plantation toiled on in the heat and the dust, collecting the tobacco leaves. But they did not appear to tire. They rather seemed to be enjoying themselves. One could see a blissful expression on their faces. The reason for their joy would have been evident to anyone there for they themselves would be drowned in similar ecstasy. Divine music was emanating from nearby. Music from the heavens to invigorate worn out spirits! Soul’s true music that could even awaken the dead! READ MORE

Jewel of the Jungle
He was in love! With the jewel of the jungle! He was totally spellbound by her enthralling beauty and the mesmerizing tunes of her song. It was truly a heavenly bliss standing still and gazing at the graceful form oscillating to and fro to the rhythm of the crickets' songs on the swing hanging from the large Banyan tree. Her hair glistened like newly formed pearls. Her gown seemed to radiate an aura that no material on earth could possibly produce. Her face shone like the moon. She sang softly and her tunes seemed to resonate with the sounds of the forest - the rustling of the dried leaves, the chirping of the evening birds, the chattering of the monkeys on the trees, the far cry of the lone wolf! READ MORE

The Lonely Bus Stand

The sun was blazing away in all its fury. The wind was trying to compete with the sun, blowing its top swirling dust all over. The rocks however just held their ground completely oblivious of the efforts of the sun and the wind. And like the rocks, was the lone man waiting at the bus stand – calm and unperturbed. His long matted hair and beard made it difficult to guess his age. The lack of grey hairs indicated he was probably less than 50 years of age. The dirt and grime made any attempt to deduce the color of his shirt abortive. His Dhoti had however somehow managed to withstand the grime better. A cloth bag hung from his shoulders. No bus seemed to be in sight. But he seemed in no hurry. READ MORE

A Toyol's Tale: The Real Monster

Congratulations, master.”

The large man’s dark eyes flared up in fury on hearing the sing song voice of what looked like a toddler with grey mottled skin.

“Why do you look at me like that, master? I would think you no longer love me.”

“Don’t set your evil eyes on my child, you monster.”

“You call me monster? Such unkind words from you are daggers to my heart.”

His brown face seemed to pale at the sight of the fiery shine the toddler’s red eyes had taken on.  READ MORE

The Masterpiece
Loser! The one word that describes fifty eight years of my existence! My entire life has been an exercise in futility. Failures! Failures! More failures! That is what I have seen all these years. I should have listened to my father and taken up that job he wanted me to take up. But no! I wanted to go chasing after fleeting dreams of grandiose! What has it got me? Nothing but frustration! My brothers are all well settled today – they have their own cozy homes, caring families and respect in their limited social circles. And me? What have I come to? I am just a drunken old man living all alone in this dingy little studio. I don’t even have money to buy myself a proper suit. And respect? Even fellow artists smirk when I talk of my coming masterpiece. As far as the others go, even my own brothers’ wives wrinkle their nose when I come near their home.  READ MORE

Riot of Colors
“Akka, I need 10 days leave at the end of this month.”

“What! Only last month you took fifteen days off. This won’t do.”

“I am sorry, Akka. But we have Balu’s exhibition in Delhi. Ramani Sir says it would be a great occasion.”

She rolled her eyes. She was used to all kind of innovative excuses the maid servants came up with for not turning up at work. But this was the weirdest yet.

“What art exhibition?”

“Didn’t I tell you, Akka? My son is a talented painter. His paintings will one day sell for Lakhs and Crores of Rupees all over the world. You know like those of that guy M F Hussain.  READ MORE

Burning Love
What the hell is going on between my husband and that bitch?' Maya's patience was at its lowest ebb and she was ready to burst.

Sanjay knew that she was serious. “Look, Maya. There is nothing going on between the two of them. Just a little bit of healthy flirting, I'd say.”

“Flirting? Healthy flirting? Really Sanjay . . .” she rolled her eyes in disgust. “That's what you men call it? There is nothing healthy about flirting, Sanjay, not for a married man.”

“Healthy flirting is a term introduced by perverted men who want to lend legitimacy to their extramarital dalliances. Flirting invariably has a sexual connotation to it.” READ MORE

Orpheus and Eurydice
The fates are such fickle weavers. One moment it seems as if you are going to be the most important thread in the tapestry they are weaving. The next moment you find you find yourself cut and discarded. Who would know this better than I? It was to be the night of my life – the crowning moment of my life – I was to be the wife of the greatest poet who ever lived. And more than that a man who loved me more than life itself! What joy would life be with such a man! Life would be full of poetry, music and love! I was already floating in dreams of our years of togetherness when suddenly I felt a prick at my ankle. I looked down to see something slithering away through the grass. Within moments the pain in my ankle had become unbearable and I was beginning to feel weak. READ MORE

Cherian Circus had set camp at Palace grounds in Bangalore. The curious public looked on as the circus folks went about setting up their colorful tents. They were greeted by a bedlam of noises- growl of tigers, roar of lions, chattering of monkeys, trumpeting of elephants, neighing of horses and squawking of parrots.

“Get going, you lazy bones. We need the tents up before it gets dark”, boomed Mr. Cherian, a large portly man in his 40s.

“Ramu, get the tent pegs”, “Ramu, check if the monkeys are fine”, “Ramu, bring the vessels to the kitchen tent.” were some of the other voices that could be heard.

Ramu, a little boy of 11 with his dog ‘Lucky’ in tow was running from tent to tent cheerfully carrying out his chores. READ MORE

Space in her Heart
Hi. Aren't you Radhika?"

Radhika turned around. There stood a lanky youth in a smart blue T-shirt and jeans. She frantically ran a search through the database lodged inside her skull. But no records were found matching this handsome young face. The young man seemed to read the blank expression on her face.

"I am Vamsi from your IIT classes, back in 2003. Don't you remember? I was in touch with you on Facebook even till last year."

She knew Vamsi. Yes. But this was not how she had imagined he would look like. Looks can be deceptive, especially on Facebook. READ MORE

A Madness called Love
She stood before me in all her splendor and glory. Her frame was slender and she should have looked comely and vulnerable. But no! The red Sari covered the hour glass figure and gave her an aura of power. Her eyes were blood shot and burnt like embers of coal. Her dark hair had been let down like the wild hanging branches of a Banyan teee symbolizing her raw primordial power. It was the Goddess Durga herself looking at me from the mirror. Today was the end of Navratri and she had come down to destroy the evil Asura Mahisasura.

The Goddess was inside me. I could sense her power flowing through my veins. A fire burnt within my heart. Every man was an Asura and the Goddess came again and again every era to destroy them. READ MORE

Beauty and the Beast
Blood curdling roars echoed across the entire mansion. The whole mansion was in a mess. A huge brown animal that looked like a cross between lion, a boar and a bear was moving around like a typhoon destroying everything that stood in its path. But finally it met its match when it tried to bring down one of the pillars that held the roof with one forceful swipe of its huge paw. The paw met resistance and soon turned dark crimson as it started bleeding. The creature whined piteously as the blood started flowing. Its shoulders drooped down and it staggered out into the garden like a drunkard. It rolled on the mud and curled up under the rose bushes and began to lick its paw.

The few moments of peace calmed down its bestial instincts and a few human thoughts surfaced. READ MORE