Category Archives: Stories

Twin joys, Almost! (Story)

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Vibha woke up in the middle of the night, checked on her daughters, and went back to sleep, hugging them tight.  It was a usual midnight ritual.   The following day seemed like yet another busy day.   She gave her twin babies Dia and Mia, a bath, carefully chose pretty dresses from their wardrobe, played with them for a while and started reading stories for them.  Dia, the elder child was the quiet one while Mia the younger one was naughty and gently reprimanded by Vibha every now and then.

 

Vibha stayed with her parents in a little village in India.    She seldom stepped out of the house, and her parents ensured most of her requirements were met.  Today as Vibha was telling the story of  Krishna and Sudhama, to her daughters, in the backyard, a ball came flying into her lap.   She noticed a young girl looking in the direction of the ball.  Instinctively, she went out and handed over the ball to her.  

 

“You must be, Vaishnavi, right?  It has been so long.  I saw you when you were a year old.  Now you must be 6 years right? “  “ Do you want to come and play with my daughters?   They have no friends to play with.”  The kid hesitated.    “They will share their toys with you.  Do come in.  They will be happy to see you” she pleaded.

 

Just then, Vaishnavi’s mom spotted her daughter with Vibha.  She rushed to the spot, and screamed at her daughter “Haven’t I told you, never to go this side and talk to this mad woman? “  “She is a mad,  mad, woman.  She has no daughters.  She is crazy.” 

 

Vibha crouched holding her stomach.  Vibha’s parents helped her in.  She went into her room.  Her babies were fast asleep.   She picked them carefully, held them tight and felt a shattering pain pierce through her as if someone stabbed her right across her heart.

 

She recollected the day.    It was her 20th week into pregnancy. The scan specialist said she was going to have twins.   Vibha was very very happy.  Even though it was illegal in India to disclose the babies’ gender, the doc on insistence from Vibha’s husband Ram, told them they were to be parents of two beautiful daughters.  Ever since then,  Vibha started building castles nursing her princesses in them.  She even bought two beautiful identical baby dolls to adorn her bed.

 

Her husband  Ram however seemed indifferent.  He barely spoke to her after that.  Vibha was too excited to let that bother her too much.   At home, that night, she recollected Ram and his parents being huddled together in a room for nearly an hour. 

 

A week later, Ram said coldly, she had to abort the children.  The heir to the heirloom had to be a son.  A son, who alone can light up a funeral pyre for his parents, a son for whom you never have to worry about giving dowry,  a son who would take care of them as years go by and a son, who will take forward their family business and thus their fortunes.

 

Vibha cried the whole night.  She contemplated calling her parents but Ram ensured there was no means to do that, by cutting off the telephone line.   The next morning, she was drugged and taken to the hospital where, where……..her daughters were unceremoniously stripped off their lives.

  

Vibha with her parents tried to take it up with the police station for justice, who harassed her even more.  They refused to even take down a complaint.  She left to her parents home with her dear possession, her two dolls.  

  

Vibha now fell down with a thud as the rotten memories came gushing down.    She regained consciousness the next morning waking into the eyes of Dia and Mia.  She had to bathe them.  She had a new book to read to them. It was going to be another busy day.

 

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Heart Attack ! (Story)

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A wife was watching her husband mumbling to himself, for the umpteenth time,  in the recent past.  She was looking at an old man, who was extremely demanding, demanding for love and attention.

 

In his prime he was a successful businessman, a very involved father and a socially active person.   However, now, over the years, he could barely manage himself within the confines of their sprawling house.   He was becoming a disgruntled old man.   Everyday he complained about life in general and about how nobody cared about him.  It was an unsaid understanding by his wife, that ‘nobody’ referred to his children.


They had three sons, all of whom were settled in different places.  The sons were periodically in touch over the phone, but this was not good enough for the old man.  His sons, he felt, agreed to disagree to all that he said.  His grandchildren, he believed, were completely isolated from their grandparents on purpose.  He yearned to see them, but felt his sons and their families did not consider this important.


That night when the old man went to bed, he mumbled yet again, quite loudly this time.   He seemed to be conversing with God, asking him to take him to His holy abode.   He pleaded with God to give his children some good sense.   Finally when he slept, his wife noticed unwiped tears in his eyes and she felt the pain in his heart.

 

Life changed soon for the old man.   His sons called in almost every alternate day to speak to him.  The old couple got inducted into Skype by their family friend, recommended by their youngest son.  They then started conversing with their grandchildren during the weekends.  He was no more a disgruntled old man.  God had heard his prayers and he thanked God every day for that.

 

One day, the old man was euphoric, as he called out to his wife to tell her that their eldest son had called in to say that he and his brothers were planning visit them with their families, in two weeks time.  

 

Arrangements were made soon, in full swing to welcome the families.  Maids and helpers were hired for specific activities.  The couple made a list of things to do, detailing every small aspect to be considered – including surprises for the grandchildren, logistics for the families, etc.  The old man felt so much joy in coordinating and doing this.  The contrast in him was picturesque. 

 

The three families arrived as scheduled.  The families bonded like never before.   Everyone made an attempt to be nice to each other.  Shrills of the children filled the living rooms.

 

The old couple had the best time of their lives.  There was a lot of enthusiasm and positive energy around.   Finally, the day before the sons’ families were to leave, the old man  had a heart wrenching conversation with his sons  and stated repeatedly as to how happy he was.  His happiness was contagious and his sons reflected the same.

  

That night the old man thanked God for his family and specifically thanked Him for his wife who was always there for him.    His wife was listening to his prayers.  Then he went to sleep.  When she went closer, she noticed unwiped tears again in his eyes.  This time, she could tell, they were tears of joy.   

She then went to have a private conversation with her sons.  They together recollected the morning they received a call from their mother, informing them of a heart attack their father had had, the previous night.    She had insisted that they work out some way to visit him  soon,  as his health was failing.  She had urged  them to refrain from referring about the heartattack to their father, considering his sensitive nature, as this  would only disturb him further.  They had agreed immediately and appreciated this sentiment.  

Now, the sons thanked their mom for the good times they had and wanted to discuss about the way forward for their dad.  

The woman broke down to tears and almost started saying “There was no heart attack…I made it up” but was interrupted by a scream from the old man’s room.   The family ran to his bed side.  The doctor was summoned.  He arrived shortly and pronounced the old man dead from a heart attack.  

The woman had wanted to confess earlier, but there was no point now!   She now  felt no guilt,  just a sense of fulfillment  for  having done her bit for him, till the very end.

Thengaa, Maanga, Pattani, Sundalllll! (Story)

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“Thengaa, Maanga, Pattani Sundalllllll”  the little boy’s voice was reverberating in his head while he woke up.  The time was 4 pm when this voice woke him up from his weekend midnoon nap.   He quickly got ready, put on his jogging shoes and headed towards the beach.   He loved the sea breeze and everything else about the sea.  Familiar territory though, he would generally only jog around the periphery and stayed off from venturing into the sands or the water.   Today was different.  He headed straight to the sands, took a deep breath and sat down.   He closed his eyes, shutting off the world surrounding him. 

He envisioned hectic activities happening around him.  He could see scores of people like scattered islands.  There was horse riding, balloon shooting and even a molaga bajji stall.    Amidst the packed crowd, he spotted an young boy about  6 years old finding his way through the crowds.  This boy stopped near a group of children who were animatedly reciting rhymes.   The boy paused for sometime watching them and longed to be a part of this group.  He yearned to be able to go to school and read books.   With an invisible sigh he picked up his snack tin meant to be sold and had just started to scurry along, when all of a sudden he tripped on a bag and fell down while his tin of snacks scattered all over the sand.    His humble earning for the day for his family was gone and this was happening for the second day in a row.  His dad would beat him. His mom would scream and cry.  He found himself surrounded now by the same group of children who were watching him with curiosity.  He broke down. 

 

“Here child, its alright.  Have this”  thundered a voice.  He looked up to see a tall young man in a green shirt with a remarkable moustache thrusting him a 200 rupee note.  “I understand.   Give this to your parents”.  He asked the children around to leave and sat down with this boy.   “Whats your name child?” he asked.  “Mani” said the little boy in a meek voice.  He spoke to the boy for some time and made a decision.

 

The green shirt man approached Mani’s parents and offered to pay them Rs.3000\- every month in exchange for having Mani to go a school, his friend manages. This was too good an offer for the parents to refuse.  Mani proved to be very earnest and progressed in studies.  He moved on to a boarding school the very same year.  The man in the green shirt was his mentor and guide all through – supporting , motivating and most importantly funding him till it was required. Finally this boy graduated from a prestigious management institute and found his way into a well paying job  in a Fortune 500 company.  

 

“Thengaa, mangaa, pattani sundallllllll!” “Do you want some sundal sir?” spoke a little voice.   He zapped out of his trance instantly, and noticed a boy in front of him holding a tin of snacks, like he did, years back.    Miracles do happen and he was fortunate to witness it.  Good Samaritans do exist and the man in the green shirt proved it.    Now it was payback time, to the world, that made him what he was.  “Sit down child.  I will buy this whole tin from you.”  “Let’s talk” said he to the little boy.  He started making his first move towards making his world a better place.

  (PS: Thengaa, mangaa, pattani, sundal – a lip smacking snack sold in beaches in south india)

When Gods Went Crazy – (Story – Part 2)…Sequel

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The Gods transitioned from heaven to earth, in a snap, shedding all their super powers looking forward to spending a day like a common man. They spread themselves like scattered seeds throughout the length and breadth of the globe. I decided to follow You to your destination. You landed in the land of ‘spirits’uality, current fad being ‘demo’crazy.

You land up right outside a hut narrowly missing the gutter. You are engulfed with the stench of the surroundings. You try to approach the inmates of the hut. In the process you stumble upon two baskets covering the chickens, one after another. Hell breaks loose with the chickens running in every direction and you in between. A lazy dog amused by your act joins in with his loud barks as a cheerleading gesture adding fuel to the entertainment.

However the dog’s bark is misinterpreted by the lady next door. She watching you enter the hut screams “Thief! Thief!”. The time is 6 am and you have had an exciting start. The members in the house – a man, wife and three children rush out and bump into you as you enter in. The family looks at you, questions you to infinity and all you say is “God Bless!” with a smile. Soon the entire neighbourhood is out there sizing you up. They finally conclude that you seem harmless and you are probably lost.

They ask you the next logical question “Where are you from?”. You respond “Heaven” no matter how differently the question got phrased every time. They decide to give up on you. Some think you are drunk and some think you are insane. They ask you to leave immediately. You take this opportunity to flex your physical self a bit and spontaneously start running as if you are on a sprint race. After several hundred metres, you halt and pant. You look around. You seem to be on a busy lane.

Across the road you see men gathered outside a small shop sipping a cup of hot drink. You are overcome by an urge to taste it immediately. You are reminded of nectar. You step into the road and walk across, totally oblivious to the vehicles around you and the directions they come in. You cause complete pandemonium in the process, with people vociferously calling you names. Names you are hearing for the first time! Amused, you move on.

You reach the shop. The ‘Snake Bar’ as it is called, has hot drinks and deep fried snacks. You step inside and order a sample of everything you find there – from the groundnut candy, to bajji and vada. You realize that even heavens don’t provide such greasy, tasteful and expressive dishes. You grasp that you have been on a health diet all along and in a mood to indulge now. In sometime, while you are still busy nursing your hungry stomach, you find someone nudging you with a piece of paper and asking you to pay. You had not anticipated this. You say you do not have anything to pay. You are asked to step aside. You are given the task of serving food to customers for the next one hour.

You humbly take it up as a task to be accomplished. You hum a tune along as you serve. You are so engaged. You change the mood around. People are cheered by your angelic smile despite your undesirable circumstances. The place seems to be crowding up. You win their hearts and you are allowed to go and even offered some tips as bonus.

You stretch under a tree. Soon you find yourself in an island surrounded by chickens. You flee to the sea. The sea is filled with a chocolate coloured liquid and you swim across it to reach a boat. The boat is made is of a spicy snack. You start savouring it while you are pushed down by a unknown hand. You resist and in the process wake up gesturing hard. You’ve just had your first dream!

 (Watch out for the sequel on what happens next in my subsequent blogs)

When Gods went crazy!……….(Story – Part 1)

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A beautiful rainbow fills up the sky and stays glued. Birds and flutter-bys of every kind prances around  making a beautiful rhythmic dance. Every road is laid by colourful flowers from trees adorning the sidepaths. A little walk down the flowery bed fills you with fragrances that engulfs you, almost setting you in a trance.

You are in a blissful state. You never get hungry yet you indulge in eateries as a hobby. All you do to grab a bite is to enter the divine kitchen that provides you any dish you recall from top of your mind. The kind of beverages you sip here are nectar like in quality and ensures your freedom from death is multiplied every time you take a sip. For a little music and dance you just make your wish and stunning apsaras drop out of nowhere to dance to the tunes of your music. Their roles were created with the sole job description of satisfying your entertainment needs.

Holy HOW? After all, you are a God.…a God amidst Gods living in Heaven. If You don’t get to live like this, who does?

While am at this, a phenomenon happens. You get a strange feeling for the first time, in the last hundred million years you have lived here. You are pinching yourself. Its happening and its true. A feeling, an emotion, that’s unsettling you. You check with your fellow Gods and they all seem to be searching for their itch spot as well. It seems to be in the air. After a quick discussion you all approach “Encyclobrahma” the Know It All God who never steps out as he has too much to catch up with.

On entering his abode, he takes his eyes off from the I-Ogle for the first time again in a hundred million years. He takes a glance at the seemingly forlorn faces surrounding him. He obviously knows why. The Gods have been bitten by a bug, a viral one. It was contagious and spreading fast. The EncycloBrahma commands them to leave at once, just in case the bug catches up with him, but, not before announcing his verdict. A foreign object has entered this paradise. His judgement was thus : a particle one zillionth in size of an atom, had somehow perpetuated into the walls of paradise causing a phenomenon only familiar to the lesser mortals – it was BOREDOM. The only way, he predicted, to get over this, was to kill it.

The Gods needed time to recover from this shock. The Gang o’ Gods got back to their conference table. The flowers, the fragrance, the birds and even the dainty Apsaras made no difference. Sitting on lotus petals with hands stretched out on a giant banana leaf and heads down, they were trying to think of an action plan. The brains, you see had to be exercised and needed to be booted. As the booting process was taking place, they were jerked out of their petals by a weird noise. Everybody looked up to see the source. It was YOU. Your lips, parted wide, on opposite directions let out a meek noise that was trying to make its way……YAAAAWWWNNNNNN. That was it! It terrified in a funny sort of way. Everyone tried to flee. But it was too swift and caught up . Soon there were series of yAAAAWWWWWNNNNSSSSs. Other heavenly beings like the Apasaras and the birds gathered around, and for once felt thoroughly entertained.

The brain booting process was complete. The Gods unanimously came to a decision. It was time….time for action. They took a bold move. Boldest indeed, across galaxies. For they decided to swap their abode for a day in earth, rubbing shoulder to shoulder with humans to catch all the excitement and kill their boredom.

(Watch out for the sequel on what happens next in my subsequent blogs.  In the meanwhile I would love to hear from you your ideas on what could  possibly be happening next.  Feel free to leave your comments, ideas  – crazier the merrier!)

Cosmic Connections!

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November 1, 2011  – Veena was at her wits end.   The day had barely begun and Shreya  was throwing tantrums and  driving her up the wall.   Fortunately for Veena, her dad who lived closeby , dropped in then to take Shreya to his home. Veena gladly let Shreya go.

Veena looked around.   The house was so messy.    Every room had Shreya’s stuff strewn over.  One glance around the house and one couldn’t miss the sight of Shreya’s clothes on the chair, shoes outside the rack, cycle in the middle of the living room, books on the bed, toys on the floor, crayons on the table…..the list was endless.  It left no trace at all of the efforts she had taken to spring clean her house the previous day.

Veena sighed!   This was a back breaking routine.   She plunked on the sofa.  Her head was reeling.  It was going to be a long day.  She had invited some guests later in the evening for dinner and had a lot of  personal work to complete as well.   She was trying to mentally organize her ‘things to do’ list when she realized she was sitting on what felt like paper.  She removed it and noticed it was yet another precious work of art by her dear daughter.  A little girl and a taller girl watching the moon.   Below was a line “Mom and Me”.

Veena smiled.  Shreya made her life so worthwhile.  And to think she could have missed it all, made her shudder !

26 December 2004 –  It was a Sunday.  Ram had gone for a morning walk by the beachside as usual.    Veena had not even woken up.  It was her day to relax.   The next thing she knew, was her parents waking her up, giving news about a Tsunami in chennai, a word she was hearing for the first time.   She just realized Ram had not returned.  The man she had courted for three  years and married about a month ago,  never returned home from his morning walk.   Search in every direction proved vain.   Everybody told her the Tsunami should have engulfed him.    Nothing of him was found.  Not even his body.

That left her in a state of shock.  She refused to believe that her Ram would have left her.  With every new day came renewed hopes of him coming back home.  She would never leave home for months hoping to be there when he returned.  She took a sabbatical from her work.

Days passed thus.  She felt soul-less.   She even took to alcohol and dope for a brief while, hoping hard it would help her  forget and she would go beyond. But nothing worked as it seemed.  So there she was holding on to her dream!   She would crunch,  she would crouch every night, as she wept.   She took pills to sleep, but they failed as well.   The scar created by her loss was so deep that she wondered if it would ever heal?

After about eight months she resumed work making sure there was someone at home just in case Ram returned.  She moved on in a very uninvolved robotic fashion.  Nothing interested her any more.  Not music, not books, not friends, not family.  She wanted to get away to a place no one knows.

Nearly two years from the fateful day, in November 2006, Veena ventured to take a break from the routine for  two weeks with her friend Maha who was with a NGO and had work in some villages in Nilgiri Hills. But two days after they arrived, Niligiris faced continuous heavy rains.  The televisions gave out horror stories of numerous landslides reported to have occurred at the early hours on 14th November in Niligiri hills, disrupting traffic in NH 67 and blocking of Mountain Rail track.

Once the rains subsided Maha and Veena joined several other volunteers around the villages to help out the landslide victims.    It was a heart rending sight to see houses and families displaced over night.   On one such visit to distribute food packets she came across a weary young woman who had apparently fainted in the middle of the road.   Beside her was a baby about a year old, crying and wailing.

The fainted woman was immediately given some water and food.  She became conscious briefly. The woman said she was looking for her son who was playing when the landslide occurred and was  missing from then.   They took the woman back to their quarters to nurse her to health.  Veena attended to the little baby while  Maha was nursing the woman with the doc.   Unfortunately  the poor woman passed away the very same night.    No whereabouts about the lady was established.

Veena was so filled with compassion for the woman who passed away.  She could identify her own feelings with those of the woman looking for her son with a baby in her hand.  Her plight suddenly seemed much lesser.

It was not certain if the baby clung to Veena tight or the reverse. Veena did all that she could to lessen the misery the kid must be going through without her mom.  The kid took to Veena almost spontaneously reciprocating her gestures.  Through her tears Veena would manage to smile and make faces to see that most beautiful smile on the kid’s face.

After a week  Veena and Maha had to  get back.  Maha planned to take back the little girl with her and leave her in an orphanage run by her NGO.   All through the train journey Veena and the baby were inseparable.  The love and warmth Veena felt over the last few days from the little one was beyond description.   The kid refused to go to anyone else.

Two hours to reach Chennai, their destination, Veena made up her mind.  Here was a soul just like her , pining for love and attention, as she was.  Here was the one who could make her laugh and cry at the same time.   Veena felt every streak of life in her getting back with an enthusiasm to have the kid grow with her.    A feeling that could match none other.

That was how Shreya came into her lap.   It was a rebirth for Veena.    Life had never looked back after that.  With a tiny tot to attend to, Veena gave her all to make sure Shreya had the best mom in the world.  Destiny brought two craving souls to meet, compassion bound them together.

Creepy Cow ! (Story)

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A white van on its way to Masinagudi was rocking with the guffaws inside.   The atmosphere varied from loud chuckles to intimate discussions to  cat callings and largely interspersed with the stench of beer. Here was a team of 15 on their maiden trip to a jungle resort in Masinagudi. 

One gang in this team comprising Nikhil, Arun, Karthik & Jeevan were particularly having a whale of a time .   They were fully geared to enjoy the stay….2 nights,  3 days away from work.   An all sponsored holiday by their organisation on their project’s successful completion.  Just what they needed after many months of hectic work schedules.

Nikhil especially was looking forward to capturing his moments with his new high powered camera.  

On reaching the resort, they cleansed and had dinner.  They were adviced to get to bed early.   The next day was expected to be the action day filled with activities, sight seeing and safaris.   But impatient Nikhil had fixed up with a local guy for a night safari on both the days. 

It was quite late when their safari jeep arrived.   There was a guide, a local, to accompany them.  They set off into the jungle.  They were adviced to talk in low volumes and refrain from photography.  They were told about prospects of spotting   jackals, tigers, bisons, big cats, etc.    It was a full moon night making it rather a good day for better viewing.  But even after twenty minutes into the jungle they could barely spot a thing.  

Strange, said the local guide.  It was quite unusual.  They decided to get back and return the next day. Nikhil suddenly  spotted a white cow in the distance grazing in the jungle.  How uncanny he thought , at this time, a cow grazing in the jungle!  It seemed to look in their direction.

Nikhil :  “Hey guys look – who would believe we are seeing a cow in a jungle safari”
Arun   : “Where da?”
Nikhil : “Turn around”.  “Oh shucks.  It seems to have gone now.”
Jeevan : “Man, are you the kind who gets a hangover over a sniff of beer you had 8 hours earlier!!!”
Karthik : Ha ha ha. 
Nikhil :  “No way.   I swear I saw it.  Keep looking you might spot it as well.”
Karthik : Next you are going to see a bunch of chickens….you watch out!
Ha ha ha !

But nothing came in their line of vision and they went back disappointed and tired.  They crashed out immediately….all except Nikhil.   He was very restless and finally when he did manage to shut his eyes he had visions of an accident he had about three years back.  

Next day, the team woke up to the chirping sound of the birds. The day looked promising.  Soon after breakfast there were events organized in the open.  Then they head off to a lake not too far away.     It was so beautiful and untouched.   They were chilling out and engaging themselves.  Nikhil was busy strolling around with his camera and taking shots.  Three elephants were marching towards the lake.  The team watched from a safe distance.   The pachyderms left after drinking the water.  Then came a flock of cows.

They were grazed out by a shepherd.  All but one.   One cow decided to stay over.  A big white cow.  An extraordinarily white one.  Nikhil had just about taken a picture of it when it came charging towards him.  He looked around for the gang only to find that they were already settling down in the van. He ran as fast as he could and just about made it to tell his friends about his great escape.  His friends looked out only to discover that there was no white cow again.

They had lunch followed by events.  It was so fun filled that Nikhil had forgotten the episode.  That night the jeep driver came again to pick them up for the safari. The guide was not present this time.   Nikhil’s friends dropped out as they were too tired.  But Nikhil, hopeful of spotting animals atleast today,  decided to carry on.  He wanted to make the best of the trip.  He got into the jeep and was all set to explore night life in the jungle.

They were about to enter the jungle when Nikhil spotted a man with matted hair, with one hand and one leg trying to crawl across the road in the middle of the night.   It was eerie.  They barely crossed a half kilometer when a ferocious dog started following the jeep barking loud.  In close quarters he realized the dog did not have one ear…seemed to have been bitten off by a wild beast.

They were slowly entering the wilderness.   He spotted a pack of wolves at a distance feasting on a carcass of what looked like a bison.   Then again nothing for a full half hour.   The driver decided to head back. And then Nikhil heard it….. a deafening sound.   It was an agonizing cry of an animal.  It got louder and louder.

He asked the driver what it was but he guessed he couldn’t possible hear him in this din.  They were anyway getting back.   Nikhil felt the noise getting closer, closer closer and closer.  Suddenly he realized there was a fallen tree ahead.  It was not there on their way up.  He called out to the driver but again he was not sure if he heard him.  The jeep stopped.  The driver got off the vehicle.  Nikhil was inside.  

Nikhil realized the agonizing noise had stopped.  The only thing he could hear was his heart beating so fast.   He stepped out to check on the driver.    He had barely taken a step forward when he realized there was something behind him.   It was making a gruesome sound like an animal panting.   He turned around….

It was THE white cow.  He felt numb.  Its eyes were blood red.  Nikhil was trying to move but his body wouldn’t cooperate.  With great difficulty he started walking backwards.  He tripped and fell.  The cow did not move.  It was right there watching him.  The wolves were howling at a distance.  Something was pouring down the cow’s eyes which resembled tears.  Nikhil tried to reach the driver’s seat and start the vehicle.  The cow was still.  Just as he was about to start the ignition the cow positioned itself right in front of the jeep.   It let out the most agonizing cry that echoed through the entire jungle.    Then it came charging towards the jeep.  It pushed it down with extraordinary strength and out came Nikhil.  It was about to maul him once and for all……

When Nikhil came to senses he was in a hospital.  “What had happened to the cow? To the driver?”  were his first thoughts. 

He looked around and his parents explained.    The driver had brought him back from the safari.  The driver had stated that that they had not spotted anything significant and were returning after half hour. That was when the driver  had stepped out for a biological emergency and when he got back he found Nikhil screaming and shouting.   Nikhil’s friends had called his parents who had rushed down.   He had been running high temperature for the last few days and had not woken up at all and was on drips.  

“What happened to the cow?”  He asked repeatedly.  

Nikhil was treated by a psychiatrist for some days.  The doc’s verdict was the trouble was not the cow but his own scruples.  It was to do with the accident he was responsible for a few years back.    He was returning home after a party.  He was drunk and was listening to loud music in his car.   He was driving at a high speed.   It was too late when he suddenly noticed a white cow and a little white calf inching across the road.  He avoided the cow but couldn’t help banging into the calf.   What followed was a horrible sight.  The cow was mooing loudly.  But he just sped away with some help..…..The white cow’s calf he had killed years back had triggered off his worst fears and the misery Nikhil narrated was an outcome of his guilt.   Nikhil tried to believe his doc’s theory.

He was back to work in a while and the episode was forgotten……almost!  His friends never brought up the subject.  Then one fine day he vaguely remembered that he taken a pic of the ‘cow’ drinking water. He rushed back to check his camera downloads.    There it was  – a beautiful lake – a huge white cow drinking water – with blood red eyes.   He rushed to show it to his friends but all they could see was a little white calf beside the lake.

The nightmare began all over again!!!!!