Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Just a Story

A bonny dog lifted its skinny head at the rumble of the gate and drooled away as if that one movement took away all the energy it had and it lay curled where it was. The stranger entered the deserted lawn which had by now turned a golden yellow resulted from the years under the beating sun. He was a traveller from distant land, going to places where his dark horse took him, he had a crooked nose, his lower jaw was set at an awkward angle, he had picked it up years ago while saving a rich man The man had died only a month ago. He lifted his hat and looked around at the gate, how long was it he had played around the lawns chasing around his sister, how old was she when she died, tiny drops of tears shone in the bright sunlight and rolled down on his sunburnt skin. He adjusted his glasses and knocked at the door.

A man in mid forties dragged his legs and opened the door, the room was in shambles it had not changed much from the day he had left, The wall had developed more cracks, a old photo frame hung on the wall supported by a thin thread, for a moment he thought that the eyes of bony cheeked girl in the frame was looking at him, he felt a chill go through his bones even under the mid summer sun. The man was now cursing, obviously at the lack of his answer; the voice was still familiar it had not lost a bit of its sheen, in all those years of hardship. He coughed a little and asked if he can come in. At a nod of the man the stranger walked in, he saw an old woman shouting at someone he could not see. He wanted to run to them hold them and tell them he had come back, but the little girl’s eyes came back to him she was staring at him as if looking through him. He wanted to make sure the old couple had not forgotten their son; they had forgiven his crime as a kid. He wanted to surprise them in the morning, tell them that the worries were over.

He opened the bag of gold coins and tossed few coins at the man who had opened the door, and asked if he could get shelter for that night and some water for his thirsty horse tied outside. The old couple were so poor that they couldn’t refuse the offer. He laid there on the cot his mind twirling back.

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He was twelve years old and the girl was a year elder, they had just had a heated argument and the boy was very angry with her, she was repeatedly making fun of his jaw, there were kids all around him laughing at him. In his anger he pelted stones at the boys and started hitting the girl, she ran and he chased her; he stopped panting, his thin frame would not carry him further, the girl who was strongly built for her thirteen years stood there and continued her fun at him. The boy held his breath, tears started to roll down his cheeks, he was furious with himself, he was furious with himself. In a fit of anger he rushed at the girl at once and pushed her, for a moment the world stood still ,in his anger and in her happy mood both the kids hadn’t noticed the well. With a loud shriek the girl fell in to the well. The world had turned upside down for the boy, he stood there for a moment and then realising what he had done, he had killed his sister, he could not go home, he feared the whip, and he feared the man who would hold it, his father. That was the moment he had made the decision, he had to run and he ran. In his fear he didn’t hear a loud splash behind

He woke up with a shudder, blood trickling down his neck, he could see three figures lurching on top of him and everything went blank after a moment.

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The man had just recovered from the fall from the branch where he was cutting wood , he had lost his balance, he remembered what made him lose his balance ,he did not waste a minute ,he ran in the direction from where the voice came, he could now hear it more clearly ,he then found the well and realised what the voice was, he jumped in saved the girl, it was only after he got her on to the bank he recognized her ,it was his daughter, he thanked the God for his good fortune.
The day turned in to dusk, the lady was worried, her husband was never late to come home and this day he had taken his kids with him and then she saw the light of the lantern at the distance, she muttered loud and went in to the house to get the dinner ready. Once the husband arrived she learnt what had happened, they waited the whole night and then the day after but the boy never returned and the girl could not recollect what had happened, they thought he was dead.

The village was hit by a severe drought ,food became hard to come by ,people travelled as far as a hundred kilometres to get some work and buy food, years started to roll by. Then one day a stranger knocked at their door. He opened a bag of gold and tossed a few coins at him asking for some food they looked at the bag of gold he was carrying with him. He called the stranger in and fed him.

They hated to do this, the stranger reminded him of his long lost son, but then wasn’t he dead, he had to feed his family, he had to survive the famine, it was then he decided that the stranger should die, he then entered the room the stranger was sleeping with his back facing the old man, with one swift motion the old man and his family plunged their knifes in his back. They buried the stranger, in the light of the moon with the hat gone from his face, the old man saw the crooked nose, No ! he thought this could not be his son, how could he be ; wasn’t he dead, a small breeze came through the broken window pane ,there near the bag of treasure lay a crumpled, time bitten photograph of the family, a boy with crooked nose was looking at the family with an innocent laughter.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Leeds Trip

So what is the difference between me and other tourists, well when all the others are out and touring in a beautiful English summer ,I sat out in my dungeon where I would always wonder where had the Saturday gone for all that I remembered during the English summer was what comes after Friday night is Sunday morning. So now back to the difference, last week end when cold winds were trying to chew of what ever flesh I had put on to my cheeks, we set out for a trip to Leeds castle.
The plan was to drive to the castle and come back by the evening, so what did we do we woke up on a morning that was entirely alien for us for months together, oh Saturday is a beautiful day, after our regular activities we started round 10:30 on our way, with ATLAS in hand and a driver who was on the trip only for one sake that is to be behind the steering wheel.

The map was pretty clear but the mind of the navigator was simply on the other end, we got on to the wrong side of the highway and the roads we took were all extraordinarily beautiful except for the fact that they would not lead us to the destination we set out, but who did really care, with the fuel tank full and windows tightly shut, flying at 70 miles per hour was always a good feeling. Finally after few lucky calculations we a hit the highway A12 towards Leeds ,but this was just not the day for me ,with a very weak direction sense ,I am sure I would have not identified west by looking at the setting sun ,We missed every exit we had to take went in search of the round-abouts,finally it was time I relinquished the seat to Vijesh and what did he do, every five minutes he wanted out driver Vivek to take a U-turn and get back to the other side of the road. Between all there was one soul (Shijo) which was not disturbed by all this hallah-bullah, He was in his own world gulping juice and asking for inns. After missing three exits we got out at a service station and took in to a pizza centre as usual we are out to take photos only to be questioned by a location officer, why did you want to take pictures here? Hmm that was an interesting question but the answer I had would have made him faint, what we take photos for…….We set out after accepting hi apologies for questioning us we set out on the hunt of correct way again.

Finally we got to reach M20 and it was back to me to take up navigator and we reached the Castle at around 4:00PM.It was an achievement in itself ,we felt elated hugged each other; we had finally done the 90 mile distance in about 190 miles and got down the vehicle to be greeted by a

OCT31 – MARCH 31

Perfect ending to a fitting journey, but then there is always a camera and we had a photo shoot with out car and got back behind the steering wheel, and back on way to room. We stopped for a dinner in a mallu restaurant at Colchester. The day had not been kind on us; it did not matter to us that the city did not have any boards posted showing where we are where we were heading to, for we were already blind and groping in dark or light was not actually going to make a damn difference. All said by the time we reached home it was with a great sense of satisfaction and pleasure we had done it at last; we at least went out together and that was a dream since my landing in UK.

I am still looking for the speed tickets we would get by the today.