Thursday, January 26, 2012

Anything for you, Baby!


(Divya announced a Tell a Tale contest in her site. She gave the starting lines of a story. The readers were asked to complete the story. I was hesitant to participate; scared to take the challenge. Got some encouragement from her. The result is....)

Starting lines given by Divya:

“Coffeeee!! Teaa!!”
“Coffeeee!! Teaa!!”
The vendor called out as he passed the coupe.
“Thuddd!”
The baby fell on its knee trying to walk across to his mother.
The mother ran to pick up the child and is busy placating him.
Ravishing young lady sat across him checking her flock of hair in the mirror of her mini clutch bag.
The chatter from the group of young boys engrossed in a card game relayed from above.
The train had halted at Varnasi for 15 mins. He hadn’t moved or uttered a word from the time he got on.
The newspaper covered Sanjay’s face; his eyes peered through his bi-focal spectacles and his hair rested neatly combed sideways.
A pencil in his hand was losing his grip


This is how it proceeds...

15 more minutes for the train to start!

Sanjay was getting restless. The tea vendor winked at him as he passed the coupe. That was a signal- arrangements for his escape have been done. Sanjay dropped the pencil to indicate that he had done his job well.

His job?

He had placed his suitcase containing RDX beneath his seat and chained it. A small remote control device was waiting patiently in his pant pocket.

Once the train starts, he would disembark coolly and press the remote.

How else would Sanjay’s group teach a lesson to the opposition party? Just for winning the elections in UP, it had promised reservation for minorities. The party had to be taught a lesson.

What better place to teach the lesson than Varanasi!

10 more minutes!

Archana was looking into the mirror of her mini clutch bag and applying lipstick. ‘Beautiful! Dashing!’ She complimented herself.

But then reality sunk in.

‘Why are you doing this Archu? You’re going to die in the next half an hour. What’s the need for make up? Do you want tomorrow’s newspapers to describe you as ‘beautiful young lady’ while reporting your death?’

Tears rolled down her eyes.

‘Why did you do this to me, Rohan?’

After two years’ of relationship, Rohan ditched her to marry a girl of his parents’ choice. Reason? She was an orphan and that was not acceptable to his orthodox parents. She was pleading with his parents in the morning. Rohan remained a mute spectator. He did not utter a word in her support.

She felt something breaking inside her. Spineless, selfish Rohan! She walked out of his house. On the way to the railway station, she bought rat poison.
She had a good job; she was financially independent. But there was no desire to live.  

Why should she live? After the train starts she would go to the toilet and consume the rat poison. To be sure that no one tries to save her life she would jump out of the running train.

5 more minutes.

The three teenagers who were playing cards in the upper berth got down. They were college dropouts and members of a naxal group which operated from interior UP. While two of them walked towards the toilet, Puneet, the team leader stayed back.

Enough of fun.  Enough of trying to be casual. He was fuming. The UP government had arrested Ranjan, his leader the previous week .  Puneet was given the responsibility to secure Ranjan’s release.

After the train starts they would close all the doors and the pathways to the adjacent compartments. They would stop the train about 10 kms away from 
Varanasi. They had machine guns with them.  They would hold the passengers as hostages and start the negotiation with the government for the release of Ranjan.

With elections round the corner, the government would not dare to reject their demand.

4 more minutes. 

Sanjay  felt a soft hand touching his feet. He bent down to see the baby. He smiled and took it in his arms. He looked around for the baby’s mother. She was not to be seen. She was there a couple of minutes earlier.

Where did she go? 

He was getting restless.

3 more minutes.

He had to act. What to do with the baby?

“ha..ha…ha…..” The baby was playing with his moustache.

Innocent laughing face of the child! He forgot himself, his mission for a minute. Would his son Ajay be of the age of this baby? When did he see Ajay last? 3 months back? Would he be laughing like this baby? He felt some pain in stomach.

The baby pissed on his shirt.

He looked at Puneet who took the baby from his arm. Sanjay wiped his shirt with his kerchief.

2 more minutes.

When Puneet looked around for the child’s mother, he noticed a letter sticking out of the baby’s shirt pocket.

He looked at Archana who took the letter out and started reading aloud.

‘He is my baby. His father, my lover has deserted me. I have neither the will nor the resources to bring him up. I am ending my life. Whoever gets this letter, please take care of my son. Payal’

The baby circled his neck with his hands and kissed on his left cheek.

One more minute.

Vendors were getting out. Last minutes passengers were boarding.

‘If I take the passengers into hostage, I will take this baby also. Will it stand the prolonged negotiations with the government? Is Ranjan’s release worth it?’ thought Puneet.

‘If I blow up the train, will this baby also not die? If someone is irresponsible and reserves some seats for minorities, why should this baby die? Is it worth?’ doubted Sanjay.

‘I was wondering why I should live. I have found the reason. I do not want this child to be an orphan like me. I’ll bring him up,’ decided Archana.

All the three looked at one another.

They sat down in their respective seats.

The train started, so also a new chapter in their lives.


My Tags:
Bharathiraja
Krishnapriya 

48 comments:

  1. Nice story. Beautiful narration.
    Also a good and touching climax. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. I see that you are also participating in the contest. All the very best

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  2. அருமையான கதை.. உரையாடல் அருமை

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    1. உங்கள் கருத்துக்கு மிகவும் நன்றி. தொடர்ந்து ஆதரவு தரவும்.

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  3. Wonderful story that circled between three life takers and a baby. They three were going to die for the what the selfish motives they had in their mind for without thinking about anything else. But the baby and the letter saved them to take a different path and changed their lives completely giving them a new reason to live life.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. It was somewhat difficult- I was given a beginning; trying to fit characters and story into the same. From your comments I feel I have done a reasonable job.

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  4. Thanks for the participation and you have come with a brilliant story :)

    I liked the way you made use of every character in an interesting manner and the story was well paced & gripping.

    All the best!

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  5. Oh sir.. you made it :( i am yet to come up with a story !
    Nice story and almost you have used everyone :) :)
    NICE TITLE :P attractive !
    Dee..

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    1. Thanks. Title- when I wrote I didn't feel anything special. After you pointed out the same, yes the title looks attractive.

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  6. Sir! I did know you could write story so well.

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  7. Actually I also do not know. I just tried. I can't believe that some of you like the story. Thanks.

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  8. :D Wow ! Really wow :) They say god resides in a child's smile :)

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    1. Thanks. My first short story. I am glad that I am able to impress some readers.

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  9. Great sub-plots. And a innovative title :) I see that this is your first story. That makes it a much more commendable attempt.

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    1. Thanks Asif. It feels good to get such positive feedback.

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  10. Awesome! So many things told with such simplicity! :)

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  11. lovely story....all the best with the contest

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    1. Thanks for the good wishes. After a long time...

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  12. nice story and i like the narration and the way you showed the each minute act.

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    1. Thanks. Good to get positive feedback like this for my first short story.

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. Beautiful story... n loved the narration. all d best :)
    - Shanoj

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    1. Thanks for the good wishes and positive feedback

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  15. Thrilling one :)
    Very nice turn of events. good job.

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  16. Thanks. Glad to note that you liked the story.

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  17. Ah Hariji.. that is wonderful.. I never thought of such a plot.. the parallel narration was really good and so was the ending.. :) I am so sorry that I got to know about the contest so late.. :(

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    Replies
    1. Thanks you liked the story. Actually short story is your forte.

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  18. Spanking story, sir. I felt the idea of your stories is retained viz. hope amidst the crumbling society.

    This one is not as gripping as The Journalist, but it's a lot more touching. Awesomely maneuvered!

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  19. I can understand. I had to proceed from the starting lines and make a story.

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  20. Sir, the story is superb. It has all the ingredients of a thriller.

    And, thanks so much for suggesting my name and the confidence you had in me. But, I am extremely sorry for not having come up with my story before the last date, i.e. today. Last couple of weeks have been hectic on work front. Sorry and thanks again. :(

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    Replies
    1. I am happy that you liked the story. I can understand the work pressure.

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  21. this was a super story Sir. so glad that you took up the 'challenge' & hapy that she motivated you to participate :)

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    Replies
    1. Glad you liked the story. In fact it was my first attempt. I was nervous.

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  22. It was thrilling story... Characterization was beautiful.. All in all I enjoyed reading it... Cheers!

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  23. creativity at its best, Hariharan! Looks like you have wonderful future in script writing!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. Honestly I feel flattered. This is my first attempt and I am happy that you liked the story.

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  24. Interesting story weaved from a simple set up and amazing things which we tend to ignore within our mundane lives :)

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  25. I was hooked till the end. Life maybe easy to take but nurturing a life is not an easy task but still they preferred doing the latter instead of the former...
    Amazing Story sir...

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  26. wowwwwwww............what a story Hariharan bhai...:-)

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