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Friday, September 20, 2019

The Camel Rider


      Wednesday, September 18, 2019

      Monsoon Evening


          Monday, September 16, 2019

            Looking down the road one last time before I walked away, I noticed that the city had become engulfed in a dense fog. Cold winds from the north were already rocking the city and hardly anyone was venturing outside. 

            The streets and the shops wore a deserted look and most of the shops were closed even though shops around the station stayed open till late everyday to cater to the crowds that disembarked from distant town to make a livelihood. 

            Looking at the meandering river which flowed next to the road, the river looked so cool, refreshing and it seemed to call me out. I wanted to hop off and walk barefoot on the green grass and slip into the river to drive away the coiled up stress. Rivers always had a free and untamed look to it and it always seemed to hold me under a spell whenever I ventured near. 

            Looking at my own reflection on the still waters made me realize where once stood a young man now I saw a white haired wrinkled man who had the haunted look in his eyes.

              Friday, September 2, 2016

              Fleeting Moments

                Waking up from the deep sleep, I looked at the empty bed and wondered if it was just a dream. The wrinkled bed sheet, pillow that seemed lost in the corner of the room and the bed covers seemed to say otherwise. Throwing the bed sheet off, I sat at the edge off the bed at looked out the window. It was a misty morning and the sun was just starting to peek over the horizon. Electricity poles, town lights and small houses started to turn off their lights as the night lowly turned into day.

                My body was stiff and muscles sore from the events of last night. Looking over my shoulder, I called Mary out loud yet the empty house just echoed back my inquiring voice. The room was once more as empty as it was the previous day and wondered what happened and what my next course of action will be. Getting out of bed, I walked up to the window and looked out. Even at this early hour, a sea of humanity had started to flow past the window which I am gazing out of.

                Breaking my gaze from the lost souls wandering below, I wandered down to the kitchen. The coffee machine in the corner was happily brewing away a pot of coffee.  I stared at the half filled coffee pot, lost deep in a hypnotic trance, the hiss of steam and the ripples as the drops of coffee fell into the liquid below.  Images of my lost childhood when I was carefree floated in my mind. Time and images slowly floated by and my mind became agitated as I saw my present life unfold before me. Gritting my teeth, I drained the coffee mug, got dressed and stormed out of the house to cleanse my mind of my troubled past. Time flew by and one moment blended into another as I tried to forget my past. Life slowly lost all color and became shades of grey. It was as barren, rocky, desolate windswept plain as my mind and heart had become.

                Picking up the phone, I called up John to pick up the art works which had been lying in the attic for what seemed like a lifetime. The guy who had come by to check the paintings had quoted a decent enough price to tempt me to make the call. Time rolled on and the afternoon slowly turned into evening. I found myself at the museum at the newly acquired paintings on display. A tinge of sadness passed over me as I realized the memories came alive as I relived each and every brush stroke.

                 As I stared at my most prized painting which was no longer mine, a familiar voice from my past whispered “Mike, I missed you so much. How about a cup of coffee to catch up on the old times?”

                The heart seemed to stop for a moment as the throat constricts and I gasp for breath. Silence seemed to stretch into eternity as the floodgates of memories break through the dam I had built. Bitter moments start to pulsate through the veins. I felt like a flotsam caught in a raging river. The clock starts to tick backward reminding me of the events that led to this. Resentment slowly starts to harden the soul. Anger blinds me and colors my world red.

                 “Countless years spent together. Yet, trust and a relationship once nurtured with care gone up in smoke in an instant. You know I drew that painting and the subject is you when I first saw you running down the alley after a kite which was floating away. That day I knew you would be mine one day yet never foresaw the day when you would run off with another man. If I only knew that I would find you here, I would not have come here myself.” I mumbled as I quickly walked out of the room and into my car.

                In the now empty room, a woman walks up to the painting and looks at it as if for the first time. She glances at it as if she remembers the bygone era. Running down dusty lanes, knocking down bicycles, chasing chickens that were eating grains, running through clothes hanging on clothesline, getting chased by dogs and people while the eyes were glued on a stray kites falling towards the ground. The oil paints had faded as time had taken its toll except for:

                Fleeting moments
                One caught in time
                An image like a shrapnel blast
                One that lingers for a lifetime

                Pain that stills the heart
                Warmth gone
                Chill remains
                Bitter moments flow thru the veins

                which seemed freshly penned. Running down the hallway, she pushes the door open only to see a car leaving the parking lot. Sinking to her knees, memories of a failed marriage, guilt that she just couldn’t shed, bitter words which she promised never to utter, flowed through the tongue flawlessly which had receded into the dim corners of the mind all but forgotten, rushed headlong into her mind. Time passed by as the bright afternoon turned into evening. Leaning her head against the glass door, she felt lonelier than ever. The sound of a matchstick striking against flint and the smell of cigarette smoke snapped her out of the daze she was in. Her eyes widened with fear as she realized that she wasn’t alone in this empty museum as she heard a click of hammer fill her ears. Turning around, she felt a bone crushing pain as darkness enveloped her.

                  Thursday, September 1, 2016

                  Four Rambling Thoughts

                    1.) At times I wish the Google+ site had a comment section like the one we had at Multiply or the "Write Post/Share Photo" option of Facebook. This site is good and seems to suit alot of folks, yet if this sites borrows a few features from other sites like Facebook then more users will probably start using it on a regular basis and hopefully pose a challenge to FB one day. 

                    2.) Does anyone else feel or has observed that many folks are lacking common sense and social etiquette when interacting with others? Take a look around and you'll see that folks have a short attention span, short tempered and have a hard time interacting with others.

                    3.) The days are getting cooler and shorter. Winter will soon be upon us. Sooner or later, quilts, jackets and sweaters will be pulled out. Peanuts will hit the market sometime in December and other winter vegetables will follow soon.

                    4.) Time and the change it brings is the only thing constant in our lives. Events happen. Some minor and others major occur in every persons life. Some things are life altering events like birth of a child or death of a family member. How much have you changed in the last decade?


                      Tuesday, August 30, 2016

                      The Day The Cursed Sun Went Black


                        Looking out the window, I see the sun that never set glaring at the land below and the nearly deserted town. No matter where I looked, all I could see were empty streets and the town seemed deserted except for the few drunks sprawled under lamp posts and the stray dogs that were busy chasing a few cars that passed through the town main intersection. Taking a deep breath, I started to close the heavy curtains to shut out the burning light and wisps of smoke started to rise from my skin. I started to curse out loud and thought about doing something about that cursed yellow object.

                        Wandering down the dimly lit hallway, I made my way to the far end where the lab was located. Tripping over a pile of coiled wire, I fell face down onto the floor. Getting up, I felt pain shoot through my head and grabbed my nose only to realize that I had bloodied my nose. A loud explosion was heard and smoke started to pour out of the room. A bean stalk thin man wearing divers goggles and hair standing on ends stepped out, flipped me out and yelled “Why oh why did you have to short circuit my equipment? Now go away before you mess up something else.”

                        Feeling a little sorry and guilty at the same time, I looked around mournfully wondering why I had even come wandering down this hallway when professor Smith was busy with finding a solution on how to reduce the strength of the sun so that the creatures of the night can safely walk out. So far, he was only able to get half the equipment to work and the other half simply refused to light up like a Christmas tree. The service tech guys came, did some fiddling with the dials, gave a bill with a smirk and told us that they’ll come back once more as another bill was handed to the professor. This process had been repeated three times yet no solution so far.

                        My eyes wandered down the hallway where the wires finally ended and the bank of wall sockets started. All plugs were plugged into the sockets except one and one was partially pulled out. With what seemed like the weight of the world on my shoulder, I wanted to find a solution to the problem I had caused. Walking up to the wall, I pushed the loose plug back in and inserted the plug lying on the floor into the socket. I heard instruments hiss, crackle and pop. I felt the house shake as the huge dish on the roof started to move and align itself towards the sun. A loud excited voice was heard wanting me to come quick and lend a hand. Stepping into a dark room, all I saw was bright lights flashing, dials and needles flashing all types of numbers. Opening the blinds just a wee bit, I saw the sun go dark. As I drove off, I turned around a final time to look back and wondered if I’ll ever be back at this place. The streets and the shops which had worn a deserted till awhile back were starting to fill up with customers. People were seen on the sidewalks were rushing to catch an elusive bus or a taxi.


                          Monday, August 29, 2016

                          Ship In A Storm

                            Groggily I woke up from the deep sleep whose tentacles refused to let go. Still under the sheets, my arm crept out from under the bed sheet, groped from the snooze button as the radio blared out some song as the faceless voice moaned about the changing weather patterns and sudden storm which might hit the town in the night. Failing to switch it off, I stuck my head out and looked at the world through my bleary eyes. Not liking the world view, I hid back under the sheet and hoped that it would get better the next time I stuck my head out.   
                            Getting out of the bed, I wandered around as if in a daze to the dining table to pour myself a shot of whiskey. Nursing my only constant companion these days, I lifted the mug, took a long sip and then poured myself another shot. Looking out the window, I see a vast forest that seems to stretch for miles upon miles. The activity in the small trading town some distance away is in full swing and I can hear the dim voices of men in the street. As my gaze drifted to the wide body of water in the bay, I see a ship had pulled in. The phone started to ring madly. Picking it up, I said “Hello.” 
                              “Sir, Captain Cook is unavailable for todays journey. It seems like he had a run in with some wild beast and lost his hand. Could you step in his place for todays journey?” Asked a nameless voice from the Shipping Corp.    
                            A short time later, I found myself at the pier. The ship which I had seen from my home loomed ahead and I stopped momentarily to marvel at its huge size. Anchors were being pulled in and it was being untied from the dock. The crates and barrels for the outward journey were being tied down and the crew was in a mad rush to leave before the storm hit the island. A whistle and then a holler broke the spell and I hurriedly walked down towards my own ship. The crew was in full force and someone hollered for me to hot foot to the cabin as the ship was pulling anchor and heading out of the bay.
                              The waters were getting choppy and the ship was swaying and heaving even though the crew tightened the ropes and the goods. A storm was brewing and the harbor offered no safety. Anchors were raised and final calls were made. The sails soon caught the easterlies and became taut. As the ship start to move away, I felt my lungs draw a deep breath of the salty air and I felt alive once more.   
                            Time passed by and the land we left behind became a distant memory. The ocean stretched from one horizon to the next and there was no land in sight. Looking upwards, I could see nothing but a few stray clouds as they floated past the bright sun which seemed to blind me with its light. The screech of the sea gulls which ebbed and rose seemed never ending, yet seemed to break the deadening monotony. The ship rose and fell as it tried to ride out the storm and the creaking sounds from the hull below my feet made me wonder if it would last this storm.
                              Lightning flashed in the distance and one could hear the gentle booming thunder even over the waves which crashed against the hull. The rolling and churning clouds made their way from one end of the horizon to the next. I really don’t know how much time passed by, yet when I came back to my senses I noticed that the wind had died down. There was utter silence all around. A sailor in the crow’s nest was hollering while the sailors in the sea water swept decks were barking and cursing in return. It was still pitch black outside and it started to rain heavily. The sudden downpour soaked me to the bone.  
                            Minutes turned into hours and not even a speck of god forsaken rock appeared on the horizon. Looking up, I saw a pale yellow moon appear on the horizon. Turning around, I made my way to the cabin for a shot of whiskey to still my beating heart which seemed to beat so hard as if it wanted to pop out and seek shelter elsewhere.
                              Upon entering the room, I flipped the lights on. Total darkness prevailed yet my hand persisted in flipping it back and forth hoping the lights would come on. Down below, I felt the generators kick in and the intercom blared that the hull had been breached and the pumps are on. I felt the ship tilt to one side as it struggled to regain the balance yet failed. I lit the hurricane lantern and hung it in the corner. The constant swaying of the ship was starting to make me uneasy and I grabbed whatever I found nearby to steady myself. As I neared the intercom, I flipped it on and asked for a status update. The future looked grim as we faced certain death as I started to pray to all the Gods I knew.     
                            The darkness began to clear as I groggily regained my senses and claw back from the nameless horror pits which I had been dragged to. I woke up after what seemed like many eons with every inch of my body screaming with pain and I slowly started to sit up. I was wondering where I was and what happened to the ship. A sunken vessel with debris around it drew me as if I was in a trance. There were small school of fishes and at times a lonesome shark swimming in and out of the open port holes As I near the deck, some memory ignites and I realize that this sunken ship was my own. The ship which was once proudly sailing the seas was now lying on the bottom of the sea, its sails tattered and torn, its hull breached and the crew dead. As I floated around, the cabin door which had the company emblem gently swings in the currents as if inviting me to enter. As I swim past, the dead crew seemed to look out wanting an escape which they’ll never get doomed to be trapped in this watery grave till eternity.
                            The heavy knock on the door and the persistent loud voices woke me up from a horrible dream. I woke up with a gasp as I realized that it was early in the morning and the sun was burning away the last remnants of the dream I was caught in. Sweat was pouring down my face and into my shirt which was soaking wet. The dream was so persistent that the visions seemed imprinted into my mind forever. It seemed to pursue me into this world as I toppled backwards and fell out of the chair.
                            Opening the door, I saw my Bill standing at the door giving me the puzzled look. Drawing the ship port curtains aside, I saw that the city life was in full swing as the ship neared its destination. As time wore on, the lingering effects of the dream faded.  Time flew by, I felt the ship dock at the pier, heard the loud curses as the ramp was lowered and help was ought to unload the shipment. Taking a horse drawn carriage to the city where I grew up, I left for shopping district hoping it will be tame compared to the dream I had. The first thing which I will be doing is hitting the well maintained children parks so that I can use the swings and slides for a few hours to dispel the persistent dream.