“A Life of Pretense” 

10732080996_3b9d641c68_o

I laugh a lot. People take me for a jolly person. it is rather sad that 90% of my giggles are to please my fellows only. I do not restrict my insincere show of emotions to laughing. I have cried for others too. Some of my tears were genuine, others? not so much! If I ever disclosed which was which, I would risk my credibility as a human being.

Heck! I have even pretended faith. Not a long time ago, I had been into madrasas and Majalis. I had been a part of congregational prayers more often than I would like to admit; it was all action-no feeling. The one emotion, however, that I truly felt is agitation. When anxiety hit me, I was alive.

I have pretended to be alive for several years. One day, I decided I should be able to feign death. Thus, knowing it would end up in a failure, I ventured forward. I went to bed and slept. 16 hours later, I was disturbed and forced out of my bed. I couldn’t tell them I was dead for that would kill the purpose. I persuaded a doctor to admit me to a hospital, but they didn’t declare me dead either. I knew in my heart I was more dead than alive but it was easier to pose life than the demise.

Descartes said, “I think; therefore I am” so I stopped thinking, and that robbed me of my anxiety. Now, no part of me was alive, and they continued to believe in my existence!

My final thought, which is a proof I had lived once; why is the world so apt at calling your bluff of dying but not of living?

Image Source

 

Advertisements

Tell me a Story…

Hello peeps!

Now as my ‘about section’ will tell you, I am crazy for stories. I read them, write them, adore them, inhale them, exhale them… you get the idea! For me life was going this way until kismet decided to do me a favor, which given my history doesn’t happen too often, and I met this awesome woman, Midu Hadi, who shared my passion for stories.

Long story  short (see what I did there =P), we became friends. One thing led to another and now we are here to further our dreams that every story-enthusiast will share with us.

How?

The aim is to tell a story! This is as simple and as complicated as that. However, there are no rules. It can be prose, poem, art work, or anything. As long as it tells a story, it floats our boats. This makes it that easy and that hard. Okay, I should stop doing that. Here is the deal:

We will be sharing a story, every week with our lovely friends here but with a twist. I will give you a link of her story before sharing mine!

Read what Midu has to say

And then perhaps find out what happens…

When a Heart Fails

Once I had a brain,

With various thoughtful trains.

It housed a guy called Cerebrum,

Who was aplenty quarrelsome.

He was a big shot

And had important jobs.

Thanks to him,

The sounds made sense

The colors felt dense.

I talked, and could interpret

Without a lot of fret.

He also had a Maiden

Whom he called Cerebellum,

Who was the Master of pose!

Made my movements flow!

There were some other players too

Who mostly connected these two.

They also had in their control

All my actions I couldn’t patrol.

In short, they all performed!

Then I met your wretched form!

Kaboom! It was the big bang!

All over again but nothing had formed…

The house in my head was now a broken home.

It was an empty dome.

The gray matter

Turned into gooey batter.

And it leaked out as poison

At the slightest provocation!

I thought I’d die of this depression

Instead, I met a myocardial infarction!

P.S: Don’t forget to share what you think about it.

 

The Vegetable

“Hahahahahhahahhahahhahahhaahhaha”

His laughter echoed as the sharp ends of his wits ricocheted back from the hollow walls of the building. Wits were all he had at that moment for his form was reduced to an awkwardly arranged construction of weak bones, confined by means of ropes. However, he didn’t know that, for he couldn’t feel a thing. Every inch of his body was throbbing uniformly and had crossed the pain threshold to the point of numbness. His senses were affected. He could not tell if it was a day or a month, since they had captured him. He felt as if he had not looked at his reflection in a long time. However, he knew it could not be more than a few days though because his chin only had a few bristles. Good, he thought, at least my brain is working even if my body is broken.

The dark room had just a single candle in some far corner. Its light was throwing a bleak ray on the protruding spine of his naked, humped back. His face was lying limp between his small trembling knees, while his hands were tightly secured with a rope at the back of the chair on which he was being forced to sit.

“Bloody pathetic”, the big man said, wiping the spit from his mouth that had found its way there as it often did whenever he got too involved in his duty. Mr. Aubergine was a huge man with a narrow face and shoulders that somehow enlarged into a bulging tummy, giving him the look of an eggplant. He had a reputation of being a bully and was hated by those who worked under him. One of them had once bedded the same woman as him. She ended up sharing a few intimate details about Aubergine’s physiology with him and he, in turn, told his comrades. Ever since then, Aubergine was called ‘the eggplant with no eggplant’ behind his back.

‘Aubergine’ was not his real name of course but real names were not needed where he worked. Undercover names sufficed, and their leader had named the men based on their physiques or in some cases, functions. This has resulted in some ridiculous names. Aubergine’s partner, for example, was called Rhubarb being a thin man with a very red face. “What is he?” Rhubarb had exploded in anger when they were named, “A botanist?”

“His world, his rules” was the reply from his friend.

“Bloody Pathetic”, repeated Aubergine, “They always do that to me.” Aubergine found special pleasure in breaking bones of people-criminal or not! What he did not find pleasing at all was when his subjects entered a state, where pain couldn’t reach them and his forceful movements meant nothing but tiring himself uselessly. What enraged him further was the captor’s nerve to mock him by laughing at his helplessness.

“Not a single man had ever done that to me”, boasted Rhubarb, “And you know why? Because I fucking know when to stop.” Rhubarb was a shrewd man. While he loved torturing people just as much as Aubergine, he never lost control when at it. He would hit them hard but ensure their sense of pain was preserved. Then he would hit again when his subject was least expecting him. He knew how to be there. Always.

Aubergine did not reply to his partner’s jibes. Since the man they were paid to torture was far beyond their reach now, they knew it was time for them to leave. Besides, she would be coming any time now and Aubergine hated her. She was the only person in this whole system that wanted to soothe these rascals. Why can’t she just play by the rules?, he thought for the umpteenth time, and will you just look at that crafty stick sniggering and planning on to make a move on her. He was looking at his partner.

“What does that whore even see in you?” he decided to provoke him but that didn’t work.

“Oh I just know how to keep her awake at nights”, he smirked and added gesturing towards the figure tied on the chair, “That heightens his torture in a manner that’d satisfy every muscle in your body.”

“You are a dirty man”, said Aubergine that made Rhubarb laugh. The big man left the room since Lavender’s aroma had arrived.


“This is all very interesting”, said the doctor, “I’d diagnose depression and anxiety.”

“But it hurts me physically”, he was saying.

“Sometimes in severe cases, this could happen”, the psychiatrist elaborated, “However, what I really don’t understand is why would you see depression as some kind of eggplant and anxiety as what did you say it was?”

“Rhubarb”, he reddened.

“And sleep?”

“Fragrant Lavender”

“What are you, man?” asked the doctor mocking him, “A botanist?”

“No, a vegetable”, he mumbled.

“He knows”, the crowd of intern psychiatrists gasped in unison. The subject of their experiment was not brain dead!

Originally Published on Medium

Toothaches > Heartaches

 

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2742/4117987529_b8664cdc88_b.jpg

Tobacco, tomato, timber, and toothache.

Smoke it, hot, don’t burn, in pain.

Please don’t bother for my sake

Because I am pretty insane.

 

Human, you humane. Heartache!

Didn’t I tell you to refrain?

 

Nothing to offer, I have, I’m afraid,

Yet my blood, you continue to drain.

When the last few drops fade,

You come and feast on my brain.

 

My brain, my brain, my brain!

Is empty but frowns in disdain.

 

Chew your tobacco.

Clone a tomato.

Use the timber, build a canoe.

Sail and drown, deep in blue!

 

Heartaches, you may sustain

But curing toothaches? In vain!

Knock! Knock!

Image Source

I was standing in front of a wooden door on the porch of an old Victorian building. A flimsy mask made of rusting iron was hanging from it. It’s been a while since I had been observing the peculiar shape of the mask. I found it puzzling because I had never quite heard of any creature like this one before. It had an elongated top with wide sides, rounding at the bottom. From afar, it resembled the ‘screw you’ symbol that was rather popular among the youth. Only on closer inspection had I realized that it was a face. It had a single eye at the base of the elongated end. A snout tapering into a sharp end was dangling from its centre.

Another drop of sweat originating from the depths of my skull found its way to my temple. The night was too hot for my liking and I could hear the vultures gathering. I hated them because of their ‘eating the dead’ habit. I mean shouldn’t they respect the deceased?

Thanks to the vultures, a tremendous urgency to enter the house grew upon me. I had already tried the doorbell with no fruitful results. In my desperation, I leaned closer to that gruesome face on the door. That was when the eye blinked at me. Surprisingly, instead of running away, I blinked back at it or perhaps was it a wink. The door, however, remained unmoved by this eye contact.

Then I glanced at the end of the snout. Its silver sharp end gleamed in the moonlight. Whatever, I thought and placed the tip of my left hand’s index finger against its razor-sharp end. I closed my eyes and let the steel cut deep through my skin.

“Ow ow,” my howling pierced the silence of the night. I could not open my eyes. Plop, the sound of my blood falling on the floor haunted me.

And then I heard a clicking sound, and I knew the door was open. The familiar death of smell welcomed me. It was only when I heard movement, did I chance a peek. A skeletal hand was reaching for me and before I could do anything about it, they had shoved me inside the house.

“Every firkin’ year,”, I heard a woman say, “Open your eyes, you sissy.”

There was nothing I could do about it anymore. When the dead Grandma tells you to open your eyes, you must oblige.

“Happy Halloween”, an uncountable number of dead people greeted me.

I sighed, removed my coat, and went to hug my Grandma. Our bones made the classic clang that meant it was a cold-hug. My favourite type of hugs!

“What is that thing at the door, Grandma?”, I asked her.

“That is your young cousin’s take on the Jack-o’-lantern. He thought it needed some spicing up,”, she told me, “If you ask me, your aunt should not have let him study fine arts. I mean what is wrong with the dark arts?”

Before I could reply, the party had sounded the gong. It was time. The air rang with screeching sounds as fingernails from all over the world scraped on chalkboards.

My imaginary skin that I kept to avoid boredom in the living world had vanished. I was among my people!

Originally published on Medium 

Riddle Me Out!

Image Source

And once upon a time,
I was a piece
of a jigsaw puzzle.
But not the corner one —
that is always unique.
I was more of a left mid one.
And there were many others like me.
Thus, I was
Easy to misplace.

The child to whom I belonged
Threw me away
out of neglect one day.
The sweeper swept me away
Into the dustbin, I dwelled.
Until it was time,
for the waste to be taken away.

The garbage truck
was almost at the door.
The family has put,
the dustbins in the streets
I will be incinerated, I believed.

Fate, however, had other plans
For a stray dog came running
I was stuck in a piece of meat
And was taken away by the beast.

He ran away with his prize
Took me along too on the ride.
The mad guy didn’t look around,
and crashed
straight into the truck on the road
There was a banging sound!

I was thrown away, once again.
This time I landed into a gutter
But not quite so!
For I was stuck in its grill.

Nobody paid me much heed.
Autumn, Winter, Summers,
and then Spring reached.
Coffee, ketchup, acids,
All of them, I tasted.

Then one day,
a guy came along.
He opened his zipper
and peed all over me
while humming a song.

Stinking me was still stuck.
in the grill of a dirty gutter.

Then I saw a hippie
He was walking towards me.
“What will he do?”
The thought frightened me.

He was glancing
everywhere
Up and down
Left and right
As if he was searching
for treasure trove.

‘I am not what he wants’
I thought.
Yet his gaze lingered on me
He kneeled down and picked me (?)

He whiffed and smiled
To my surprise!
In his pocket,
I was taken!

Now I sit,
as an art piece.
Considered the best
in the gallery.
The artist has made me a celebrity!

The Shark’s Den  

Once upon a time, sharks flew across the sky and what a sight it was!

Hue — the painter produced the finest painting of his life while Click — the photographer captured an inspiring shot. Bard — the poet crafted the most memorable couplet of his life.

Finally, Cloe decided that something must be written on the beauty of this view as well and Cryptr was hired to write an awe-inspiring piece on the magnificent scene.

In short, everyone was so busy in imprisoning the moment that they failed to notice the happenings that unfolded next. Had it not been for a small girl standing on the shore, the vanishing act of the sharks would have remained a secret. However, as it so happened, Zaph — a 6-year-old, inquisitive girl witnessed and reported the incident.

“MYSTERIOUS VANISHING ACT OF FLYING SHARKS, REPORTED BY A KID”

The headlines of the newspaper next day were definitely far from routine.

“Mommy, where did they go”, asked the little girl from her visibly shaken mother.

“Now, now dear”, her mother had replied, “Sharks do not simply vanish into thin air. I wish you had not inherited that ghastly imagination from your father’s side. Sometimes you talk exactly your Aunt Muriel and God forbid she is 26 and unmarried. What a disgrace!”

Hogwash, thought the little girl, the sharks had definitely gone to some place fun and mommy just simply do not want me to go there. I will find the place though.


20 YEARS LATER at THE SHARK’S CLUB

Image Source

Shuh shuh shuh

A woman with a perfect hourglass figure was swimming in a corridor that was full of water. Suddenly she stopped in front of a room as a tingling sensation engulfed her. She inhaled and an acrid metallic smell welcomed her nostrils.

Blood… raw blood. She realized.

I will probably just throw up, she thought but she could not give up now. She had waited and worked for 1.75×10^5 hours to prove to her mother that all of it had been real and she was not going to let it slip through her hands now, even when what she saw was more disturbing than her mother’s demeanour. The scene was shocking enough to rob anyone of their senses — a group of sharks were playing poker in one corner while the others were tangoing. The dancing made them look even scarier than their usual appearances.What really made her hair stand on end was what they were eating — steaks — human steaks! She knew this was the place the mysterious sharks had come to when they had vanished 20 years ago. She could see a portal in the room and every now and then, sharks were zapping in and out of it..

She fumbled with her shapeless bag for her digital camera and found it after a while. It was waterproof. Holding tightly on to it, she took several shots. Some were vivid enough to serve her purpose and satisfied by her efforts, she decided to call it a day and swim away from the lair of danger. Her oxygen/nitrogen mixture was depleting fast and she knew she must hurry up to reach her crew in time in order to avoid detection by the shark bodyguards protecting this mysterious underwater club.

However, before she could so much as take a step, she saw 50 rows of teeth. She was tempted to swim right inside her.

Is that a smile or…? Her thought just trailed off as she heard the deep manly voice.

Source

“Henrie I smell a human”, declared the most handsome Shark sitting on the throne, “Catch the prey, bring me some fresh food and do not forget to play with the prey!”

She was caught and tied soon. You cannot out swim a fish, for god’s sake.

“We are about to eat you, Miss”, said one of the sharks.

Now they are stating the obvious, thought Zaph. Finally, they told her to sign a document, which was written in proper English. This was an educated lot. She read the document. It was an undertaking:

Dear future Homo sapiens,
I, a breathing human of my time, confess to have brought the wrath of nature upon you and myself. All your miseries are a direct manifestation of my careless liberties with the Mother Earth. Now all the creatures are raging a war on you because of my atrocities. I pray you lose.
Yours not-so-truly,
A loathsome human.

Zaph blinked in disbelief.

“I’m not like the others, Sir”, she began but had no idea what name to use for addressing the gigantic shark sitting in front of her. He bared his teeth giving her a clear view of his power. Struck by inspiration she said, “Sir Mighty Fangs, you are the owner of the best and the sharpest cutters in the world. May all the fine edges of the strongest swords turn blunt in the face of your fangs. Please, let me go and I promise I will work for your cause.”

There was a pause.

“She is a human and they are naturally shrewd and cunning creatures”, counselled one of the sharks.

“You should not mind planting a spy among my kind.”

“You must return our photographs”, said one of the Keeper sharks and snatched away Zaph’s life work away from her.

Reluctantly, they relented to let her go.

“Look at how your double chins are showing in this picture, boss”, chuckled the Counsellor shark as he commented on one of the photographs captured by Zaph.

That was the last she had heard of the Shark world.

A FEW YEARS LATER

“Zaph dear, eat some. It is just fish you know.” Aunt Muriel was saying.

She replied with a “No, thanks.” It has been a while since she had been declining such invitations. Every time when she even pretended to dig into any form of meat — red, white, or any other, her knife would break. Apparently, the curse was real.

Dissuading her Aunt, however, was not easy, she realized after being tempted to relish the seafood for the third time.

She finally said, “I’m a vegetarian, Aunt Muriel, so no thank you.”

Zelda — a Venus flytrap was growing nearby but Zaph did not notice its presence even when it caught a spider and emulsified it with its digestive juices. The vicious plant communicated something to the cultivar thriving nearby. The news broke fast.

“So she thinks we’re delicious?” said the old Mr. Elm.

“I would love to show her my delectability”, said the Cactus.

 

 

The Story was originally published on Medium