Category Archives: short story

The Sound of Writing

There’s a mechanical drumming sound that doesn’t confine itself to a rhythm, yet is like an immaculate musical composition to her ears as she lies on the sofa listening to him type on a typewriter, in one of the many apartments lining the red-light district. The street is bordered by buildings in whose facades lie hints of the Mughal architecture’s richness, now veiled by multiple renovations and fled light. Numerous first floor windows stand open, and behind one such window lies the apartment. It is a small room, all vacant except a wooden desk in a corner, a patch of Sindhi rug sprawled in the middle and a sofa by a window that looks out onto the promiscuous moon jerking off its moonlight onto the filth ridden street where silence is punctuated by gasps, moans and throaty barks. He sits far off in a darkness soaked corner, with his back to her and a lamp on, illuminating just the surface of his desk. She sees his bushy head from behind, a fluffy cloud of black with a silver lining as lamp light shines through it. His tea gradually turns cold while awaiting a meeting with his lips which are busy mutely mouthing words he then hammers onto a page. His cigarette is now half burned, lying in the ashtray like a broken limb, its ashes swimming in water he’d filled it with to avoid them escaping into the air; like his volatile thoughts he lets nature chain the ashes too.

His long, lean fingers sit poised atop the typewriter’s keys like a Tarantula, ready to burst into a flurry of action any moment, followed by a pause before another outburst. He’s hunched over the typewriter, wearing a kameez and no shalwar, has a handsome, square face and a reason to write. She just lies naked on the sofa and thinks about what goes on in that cloud in the corner. Pinched up from an orphanage in Sindh for easy money by a pimp when she was abandoned by her guardians outside a mosque, she was brought up in the underbelly of Old Lahore, the heart of Punjab, and the Sindhi rug is the only reminder of that language she never spoke, the soil she never walked upon and the dull ache and longing for that life she could never live. But now as she lies staring into distant nothingness, her hand dangles down the side of the sofa, her palm caressing the soft hand made rug contemplatively, her thoughts are those of a past failed affairs with the Maulvi sahab of the neighbourhood mosque and a bank accountant, about how this gawky man is not what she had imagined her most regular customer would be like, and what’ll it all be like if it ends? He has stopped typing and the silence that settles seems to be trying to give an answer: heavy, expectant but empty. But she knows that there’s nowhere else she would rather be. She can’t even recall the upbeat, blaring Naseebo Lal songs, the dizzying red tint and the hoarse laughter of that mujra khana she works in.

Can he fall in love with me? Why does he bother translating everything he writes to Punjabi and narrating it to me like a lunatic? The way his mouth dribbles as he doesn’t stop to swallow the spit… the way his voice trails off as he runs out of oxygen in his lungs since he forgets to take a breath because the next sentence is just too delicious to allow him a pause? He loves me… He loves me for my flaws, she tells herself, not my tits, and for my soul he obviously couldn’t. His eyes can’t see deep into me, the tip of his penis never reached far enough inside me anyway. He loves my cheap smeared mascara, my red bloated lipstick and this scar beside my eye. I probably feature in his writings too, leaving a faint trail here and a soft stroke there. I’m important, I inspire art. But is it Heer or Bhagbhari that I want to be to this Waris Shah?  

As the intangible flows into him like crystal wine, and he dissects and strews it across the page, the Tarantula grows frantic. It jumps and crawls. Faster and faster. She lets her hand slide between her thighs and pleasures herself as the typewriter’s noises ascend. Quicker by the second. His brain tries to keep up with the mind. His fingers race faster still. She is close behind; her fingers are as fast as his now, tremulously frenzied, until she climaxes with a groan as his typewriter makes the ringing sound marking the end of a line. She stops when he does. Two heavy breathing sounds guide each other, knitting intelligently. She chuckles and reaches for the heap of clothes beside the sofa’s one end; he blinks without turning, adoring the way she’s driven to orgasms by his writing but abhorring the lack of subtlety she shows.

He writes to keep his sanity and dates a hooker in that room every other night to make himself feel better, and because he loves everything about her but her. Writing and fucking are what he does best. Got himself the professional typewriter for the prior, and the professional hooker for the latter; both ladies clad in red, he can make love to any to satisfy the other. He therefore brings along the typewriter for a threesome at every visit. He sips the chilled tea now; it tastes bitter than the brittle reality of his self; cold like the shrill hum of his automatic days and manual nights. The Lipton teabag and the crumbled cigarette are like her, he thinks, used and wasted. His eyes sail down to the typewriter and the page once again. The page is the door, beyond it heaven, and those print heads just knock to get through somehow.

He turns around his chair, faces the sofa and the window, keeps gulping the tea but lights a new cigarette. She has slipped into a dreamless sleep. The windowpane hangs beside her sofa like a painting on the room’s darkest wall, the night’s ink black scene framed and preserved. He gets up and approaches the window broodingly, like an observer getting up from an art gallery bench and becoming one with an artwork on the wall they’ve delved their heart and poured their mind into for long. He looks out the window, as her silhouette lies woven into the crimson velvet of the sofasofa, and with a heaved sigh, flings the teabag out through the window and into the night; the Lipton teabag smears the kinetic nocturnal painting. Leaning against the windowpane the vandalist looks at her. He realizes how she is a desert in greyscale under the moonlight of the late hour; her undulating naked body is as graceful and natural as the dunes of timeless sand slumbering upon the vast land of Thal, perpetually shifting, crumbling, trickling, on and on.

As a soft wind pours in through the window and plays with his hair, he drinks in every curve of her beauty and feels his eyes moisten. Lahori nights may be beautiful but never as filthy gorgeous as this hooker, he thinks, and smiles.

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Disobedience

 

(The following short story is written by me. Hope you like it and do comment.)

Ali was a fifteen years old teenager and had a wild craze for bikes. When he passed his final exams the previous year, his parents had bought him a new bike of his choice. He had been very pleased at the time and instead of thanking his parents, got himself on the bike and revved up the engine. Then he rode off, never looking back at his parents. His parents had thought that he was just a teenager and it was alright that he didn’t thank them and instead went to his best friend Zain’s house instead.

His parents had often forbidden Ali from riding the bike at high speed or doing one-wheeling etc. but he had never listened to his parents and went out riding bikes with his friend’s, racing. His parents had often feared that Ali would have an accident which he did, but fortunately not a fatal one. He had scratched his knees and had some wounds on his head. He was immediately taken to the hospital where his parents were called too. At that time his parents had scolded Ali but he seldom took any effect. He had to learn the lesson the hard way……

It was a chilly and foggy winter night and Ali’s parents were away for a wedding. They were coming home late and had told Ali not to leave the house. As soon as his parents had left, Ali had called his schoolmates and told them that he was free and his parents were out attending a function. His friends soon arrived at Ali’s house and asked Ali to come with them. Ali willingly accompanied them with his bike. His friends used to roam around in the city and this time Ali had also decided to go with them. With a feeling of guilt in his heart, he reached the speed of about ninety and shifted his weight backwards, causing the front wheel to rise. The fog was making it difficult for Ali to see anything ahead on the road. It was at that time that Ali heard a screech of a car’s break being pulled on. The next moment Ali was flying in the air and then hit the concrete road with a loud THUDD. At first, he couldn’t feel his limbs. They were all numb. He laid their, unconscious for a moment and when he was fully conscious again, he felt it….the pain. He hadn’t known that pain existed to such intensity. He cried and he shouted until his voice was gone but the pain wasn’t. Some of his friends’ had called the hospital for help. Soon the ambulance arrived and Ali was taken to the hospital. Ali’s parents soon arrived at the hospital and were inquiring about Ali’s situation from the doctors. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Ali’s right leg was all swollen and the pain was unbearable for Ali. On the other hand, the doctors were telling Ali’s parents that Ali had broken his right leg in the car accident. It was after some hours that Ali’s parents were allowed to enter the room in which Ali lay, moaning in pain. Ali’s mother sat beside Ali on the bed, holding his hand in hers, while his father sat, holding his head in his hands, on a sofa. “I’m sorry. I didn’t listen to you and disobeyed you. Please forgive me,” Ali said, almost in a whisper. Tears were pouring down his mother’s cheeks and she bent down to kiss Ali on the forehead. Then Ali asked, “Will I be able play soccer again, mother?” “You will, my son, you will….,” replied his mother. And at this point a nurse entered the room and asked Ali’s parents to leave the room so that the doctors could check Ali for further treatment. The doctors had told Ali’s parents that Ali had a bone fracture and everything was fine.

Ali was free to go home about a week later and had still problem in walking. He had to take a bed rest of about three weeks before he could go to school again. Ali had realized that he had been very disobedient towards his parents and the outcome was very bad. From that day on he started to follow every instruction of his parents and respected them very much. He had learned a lesson of obeying his parents. We should also obey our parents as whatever they say it is for our own good.

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I was sitting on a park bench and when I turned around I saw….

“ZZZZZZ…..” I was fast asleep. Some saliva was drooling from the corner of my mouth. It was a sunny afternoon with a baking sun. The small park bench was occupied by me. With all those horns around me, I slept on, undisturbed. Somewhere on the road ahead was crying a boy and shrieking to his mother that he had lost his ticket to the film which was about to be shown in about five minutes. I had nothing to do at home so I decided to come here and do some “sun bathing”. Okay, so that’s a bit boring beginning but that’s how the story goes….
Suddenly a piece of paper flew off the grass and glued against my face because of the strong wind. I woke up with a start. I took the paper off my face and looked at it. An excited yelp escaped my throat. It was no ordinary paper. It was the ticket to the Christian Bale’s latest released film “Batman-The Dark Knight”!!!
Suddenly I realized that I could hear an excited crowd. I turned around and saw an excited and eager crowd of women. In the center of the crowd, I could see a gentleman, dressed in black three piece suite, with blonde hair. Standing just a few yards away, on the road, in front of the cinema, was my dream hero, Christian Bale himself!!!
Christian Bale had come to watch his movie’s first premier. I could see the poster of his film. Batman, in his new costume, was standing on the edge of a building under the dark sky. And there he was the legendary Joker, Heath Ledger with a gun in his hand on the poster. “Although he couldn’t live a life long enough to see his film released, even then he had made his place in everybody’s hearts….. I moved in with the crowed to the cinema. Once we were inside and our tickets had been checked, Bale had to choose a person from among us, who will get the opportunity to see the movie with Bale in the VIP compartment! His eyes wandered from one end of the cinema to the other. All the teenage girls were blushing, as though Bale has already chosen them. Suddenly his eyes rested on me….my heart skipped a beat….and the next moment I could see Bale pointing at me! My eyes were like that of a boy who enters a candy shop and finds the shopkeeper fast asleep.
The next moment I was walking towards the VIP compartment with many envy eyes following me. So finally I was the “chosen one”. In the compartment I not only took his autograph but also a picture with my eight mega pixel Samsung mobile’s camera. I watched the whole movie with him. Once, when I was so near to him, I could smell that he had put on the new “Mont Black Star Walker” deodorant. He looked really handsome and talked very politely. He told me about all the funny incidents and the making of “Batman”. (Although it got very emotional whenever the Joker’s scene was shown.) I couldn’t resist admiring the acting of all the actors in that film. Finally the three hour movie came to an end. “Nice to meet you sir,” I said. “I had pleasure watching the movie with you. I hope you liked it,” Bale replied, shaking my hand. “Liked it??? I LOVED it!!!” I exclaimed. I took his phone number which he rarely gave to anyone.
Once I was outside and Bale’s Limo. had left, I rushed to a water tap nearby and splattered some water on my face. This was done to make sure that all this wasn’t a dream. It was not! Two miracles in one day! First, I got the ticket and the second; I watched the movie with the Batman himself!!! It was just unbelievable! Now, I can easily declare that that day was one of the best days in my life.

(It’s off course fiction)

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