Escape


‘Trust.’

The word is almost as beautiful as the feeling of being able to completely rely on someone. The feeling that you can hand a gun to someone citing all the reasons why they should pull the trigger but knowing well, that they never will even if their own life depended on it. Amazing, right? A tad bit exhilarating too.

But, in this day and age, how many people do you trust? How many do you think would pick up your call at three in the morning and be there, no questions asked? How many do you think would shield you from the harm’s way? How many do you think would catch you when you fall? You could probably count them off on the fingers of just one hand.

All because you once trusted someone so much that they used it against you. They pulled the trigger of the gun which you handed over to them with the ammo. They corrupted your safe haven which you both built together. They left you alone and vulnerable with nothing to protect yourself with. They left you dejected and feeling miserable with walls higher and stronger than before.

In 2004, it all began when Anika was just three years old.

She was his baby girl, his angel, she always did as he asked, listening to him more than her own mother, always trying to please him. For in him, she had finally found a father. He didn’t have any children of his own which made him extremely protective of his little angel. She was the apple of his eye.

He always made sure that she never went anywhere without his permission. Anika’s mother used to mock him that she came second in his life after Anika. But, in reality, she was just proud of him for loving someone else’s child this deeply. Maybe, that was because she wasn’t quite aware of the depth of his feelings for her daughter…

He used to get up every night after making sure that everyone had gone to sleep, to make his way to Anika’s room, where she laid waiting for him. She used to get rewarded with chocolates afterwards for being his special girl. She felt joy in knowing that her father ‘loved’ her more than her mother.

It wasn’t until she began school and started speaking to her friends that she realized how wrong it was. How the other girls weren’t their daddy’s ‘special girls’, how they slept with their clothes on and in a different room from their fathers, how they weren’t given chocolates for letting their fathers touch their special places.

She started feeling disgusted with herself and with him. She began to hate him with an inexplicable fury. She thought she could escape it by telling her mother. But, even she dismissed her as a call for attention.

She was trapped and so very lost. She felt like running away but where could she go? She felt so alone in this world with no one to save her. Not even her own mother believed her. She wanted to escape this and it seemed that there was only one solution left. But, could she bring herself to do it?

Yes. She had to.

On the morning of 3rd October 2015, Anika’s mom found her daughter lying in a pool of blood, a note next to her.

‘This was the only way to be free.’


Does Anyone Love Me?


ANUSHKA CHOKHANI

23.12.04

It was around 5:00 p.m., when little Jia’s cousin brother, Abhi, who was returning to India for his holidays, called up her aunt (his mother) and said, “Mumma, I have reached”. His mother knew that it was just a few more minutes before she would see her son again, and with this thought she lighted up and checked for the last time if all arrangements were properly done or not. Even Jia got excited and she ran to the balcony and was watching out for the car to arrive.

At 6:30 p.m., the car arrived and she ran to her aunt to inform her. When the doorbell rang Jia’s aunt opened the door while Jia hid herself behind her. Her brother took the blessings of his mother first and when she took him into a hug, he hugged her back tightly, while he ruffled Jia’s hair affectionately. After that, they all went into the room.

There everybody sat comfortably and everyone was having snacks and small talks with him. Jia sat at one corner, feeling shy. Abhi noticed her and told her, “You have grown so much in a year. You look like that actress. A tiny bit.” She shook her head in denial and looked down instantly, blushing. Later when he opened the bag and started distributing gifts to all, some got chocolates and some other mugs; he called her while taking out a woollen jacket. Handing it to her he said, “It was only you whom I remembered while shopping.” She was really very happy, because at that instant she could not remember when she had received such a special gift from anyone. She was happy because he made her feel special. He made her wear that jacket at that instant, and when he did so; she pledged to herself that she will not let anyone take that jacket away from her, that she will never give it to anyone else.

One has said, “Happy times need to go so that they can come back.” But it is not always true. Sometimes when happiness is lost, it never returns. Even after months of Abhi’s departure, the house did smile, until one day when they received a call…

18.05.05

It was the call of one of Abhi’s colleagues. He just said, “Abhi is dead, he is no more.” Those words were like a sudden, violent storm, and when it passed, it took away with it the smiles of the house. Although there was bright summer sunshine outside the house, the inside turned completely dark, everything motionless and everyone speechless. A freak car accident had not taken only Abhi’s life, but it also took a bit of everyone, here, thousands of kms away.

Everyone was shattered. When Jia’s aunt got the news, she almost fainted. She fell on the ground and started crying badly, cursing her luck. It went on for days, till Abhi’s corpse was brought, laid in a coffin, and with sunset his body was cremated with all the Hindu rituals.

PRESENT DAY

Years have passed since that incident happened. Jia’s aunt, does not say anything directly, but even after so many years she cries internally and just wishes that she could get her son back by some means.

Little Jia is a grown up girl now. Whenever she gets lonely, or a good scolding from her parents and she feels that she has no one in this world whom she can share her grievances with, or that she has no one in this world who cared for her or loves her, she recollects what had happened on 23rd December,2004. Thinking of it, she sometimes feels that it was nothing but her dream, nothing of that sort had ever taken place. But the very next moment, just to make sure that whether that cousin of hers was really a part of her life or was just one of her imaginary characters, she starts looking for the jacket. Having seen it she gets reassured that he was certainly a part of her life, a part of her reality and that…

She had someone on this earth who cared for her.
She had someone on this earth who really loved her, and that
She had someone on this earth who remembered her most amongst all…

THE EDITING STARTUP

Who I want to be? Who?


MANMOHAN SINGH

+ Manmohan Singh | @mannymanmohan


I Want to be an Author

‘So you want to be an author? Trying to copy Chetan Bhagat eh?’
This was the first thing the first person who I confided in told me. His smirk of condescension and his tone clearly showed what he thought of me. As if I am already a nincompoop for daring to dream who will surely fail in life?

Though what is life but a constant journey of discovering oneself? It is not like random thought on a random occasion took root in mind and has grown up to be the big kahuna this way. I started reading novels at the age of 12. The world of fiction fascinated me that how at the whims of the author the plot is manipulated, how a single word can be used to render a controlled explosion of feelings in the readers mind.

There is no pre-set requisite for elite and eye-catchy words.

I have to desire to write poems too when the words flow in the air. There is no need for a poem to rhyme or be lengthy. Why to make it so ?

This poem by Swami Vivekanand justifies the above mindset of mine,
I look behind and after
And find that all is right,
In my deepest sorrows
There is a soul of light.

Write something be it good or not. Show it to people whether they be critical or not. This is my creed and motto. To move towards achieving it, one must try however infinitesimally small your efforts seem to be.

THE EDITING STARTUP


Relapse


She sat on the rooftop breathing in the last of a very long and eventful evening, playing with the sharp knife painted crimson with blood. Her insides were screaming but no sound came out of her mouth. She was drowning in self-loathing. But, even in this turmoil, there was a sense of peace and contentment.

To her, she was nothing but a failure who had let her demons back into her life, yet again. After holding it together for two whole months, one week and four days. This time was supposed to be different because in her mind she had finally gotten it under control. She had done everything that was asked of her. She had found another outlet, a healthier one at that. She was finally on the path to recovery, all thanks to him.

People always viewed her as an outcast who wasn’t capable of forming bonds. They tried to keep away from her because of her dark aura. Nobody wanted to be close to her because she made everyone uncomfortable. And that served her purpose, they kept away from her which was safe. But, not him.

He was different from others, he walked her through her vulnerabilities and insecurities to embrace her with all her sweet imperfections. He had become her shield who protected her from the game of blades which had consumed her for most of her life. Their lives collided in a dark alley two months ago when he had caught her with a knife dripping red. She had looked beautiful even at her worst and he wasn’t afraid of her. That day forth, he helped her, helped her break free from her indiscretions, even though it was for a short while.

It had all changed today. She had fallen off her wagon yet again. And the victim to her transgression was the one that she loved. And herself.

He had come home to find her holding her old knife and lost it. She was his love, he couldn’t watch her go down that road again. But, she just couldn’t take his yelling and coming at her like that. She just couldn’t. She was overcome with inexplicable rage and clutching the knife in her hand, she let that fury consume her. His screams were music to her ears. She kept stabbing him again and again even after his eyes rolled back. And just like that, the fury left her body as she slumped to the ground next to his body. Her ninth body.

Most definitely not her last.

THE EDITING STARTUP