Friday, February 28, 2014

Stars in my backyard - 2


6:42 p.m.

           If you think this world is the most ideal place to live in, then I might have something different to tell. This guy Krish, who is lying down there, is a victim of this society bathed in heinous crime and vicious people. Selfish people who loves to complain the government about bad roads and at the same time never cares about littering their neighborhood. He never believed me when I warned him about the darker side of this world. He used to mock me saying, "Stop it Phantom !! don't be so pessimistic !!"   

            For them, we are a group of maniacs living on our own agenda. They categorize people with logical values, as eccentric guys. They brand them as 'depressed souls' and they fail to understand that, one way or another, they had been responsible for our unprecedented melancholy. Krish was never like this, until he saw the true color of his fellow men. 

               "it was a Monday morning and you can pretty much understand how we would have felt. We were too reluctant to start our day, but still we pushed ourselves to move on. Our mornings are usually spent in Aachi mess with the aroma of idlies making our mouths to water. Soon we realized that aroma and taste were two different entities that never goes hand in hand. Idlies were so awful that we had to swallow in chunks, with a sugary sambar to dip in. 

                    it wasn't the idlies or the samber that kept us so loyal to the mess, but it was her. Mrs. Geetha, the mess owner, who was so kind enough to give us credit that ran deep. She was a plump woman in her early fifties and often carried her best smile, with giant kumkum on her forehead. Every morning she never forgets to advice us, "nalla padikanum kannu" (study well!!) On that day, I was itching to comment on her idlies, but Krish pinched me to shut my mouth.

                     The sky was cloudy with humidity levels soaring up and sweat trickling down Krish's face. An elderly lady with a straw bucket full of jasmine garlands was at our mess doorstep.She was all geared up for her day's business. with a small box filled with bundles of green twine and a rusty blade. Every morning she used to offer a garland at the small Ganesha statue that sits under the banyan tree across the road. 

                         Today was no exception, with the jasmine garland in her hand, she was halfway across the road, before which the hands dropped the flowers and went on to grab her head. Only then we realized that she was about to pass out. Before our reflexes could sense the gravity of the situation, a speeding van stuck her. The impact was loud that she was thrown away a good 20 feet. There was a deafening silence which seemed to engulf everyone on the road.

                         We ran towards the slowly mushrooming crowd and we had to wriggle to move past them. The old lady lay motionless with her arms twisted at an awkward angle. Slowly, a pool of blood was masking the tar road. Krish went near the lady and turned her head. Her temples were wet with blood and she gave a deep sigh with her eyes rolling upwards. That's when someone from the crowd,

" Thambi !! Don't touch her !! It's an accident and we've to wait for the police to come by" (1st guy)

"We don't 've time for that, the longer we wait, we're likely to lose her" said Krish.

"Can anyone call the ambulance?? " (2nd guy)

"It's 108!!" (mumbled the 3rd guy) 

     No one seemed to be responding, except being spectators. I could see that Krish was losing his head now and the sight of blood gave me a dizzy feeling. With the old lady resting in his lap, he flicked his mobile phone, but to his horror, the phone had no charge in it.  

"aayyyy !!! you are getting into unnecessary trouble. If she dies, you will spend the rest of your life shuttling between the courts and the police station!!" (4 th guy)

"She isn't dead !! we can't leave her like this!! Can someone call the ambulance or at least help me to carry her to my college hospital ??" pleaded Krish.

     No one gave a damn to Krish. There was a steady murmur in the crowd and the old lady was losing her blood rapidly. I could see that in Krish's blue shirt, it was turning dark now. Krish could feel her blood close to his heart, begging him to do something, that's when an autorickshaw came near to us. The driver helped us to carry her to his auto,

"Anna, please go fast, her pulse is feeble. VSB medical college, anna !! Take the first left from the bridge and then on to your second left.... "  trembled Krish.

       The auto driver signaled to tell us, that he knows the place. The auto shrieked, jolting us with the vibrations and it began its ride with the three of us into the busy traffic. 

        "Just when we thought we had hope, things took a dramatic turn in our college hospital. We had the lady in the stretcher and rushed her in the corridor. A male nurse came from no where to stop us. He had a hand on the stretcher to prevent us from going further.

"Accident?? is the police here??" asked the male nurse.

"We're losing her. can you alert the nus station about the trauma case??" shouted Krish.

"Nothing doing. We can't take her in.. you are a student! don't you know that we can't handle such cases without the proper consent from the police?? take her away"  said the guy, still holding the stretcher.

"Fuck your shitty procedures, Don't you see she is dying here?? I'll be fucking responsible if something happens" yelled Krish.

            The whole hospital was watching the acrimonious duel between Krish and the staff. The lady at the reception rapidly punched the nos. at her phone. Every now and then, Krish was feeling for the pulse in her, and he was losing hope. Soon, a middle aged doctor with a pot belly came towards this commotion.

"What the hell is happening here? Don't you people understand this is a hospital?? we've patients here !! " said the doctor.

"Professor, this lady met with a accident and she has a head injury. We need to treat her but no one seemed to understand the gravity of this. Please professor admit her, please !!" pleaded Krish.

       Meanwhile, the male nurse whispered to the doctor and the doctor nodded his head in approval of that.

"I see your concern but we can't treat her here. She needs to be taken to a government hospital. Your a second year student and you have to get through a lot. So I'm advising you to stay away from this." said the doctor.

"what?? why do you need a government hospital?? what are we then?? " shrieked Krish. 

"Are you nuts?? are you going to ruin your career for a stranger, who is going to die?? shouted the doctor.

               I could sense that the situation was way beyond my control and Krish was going crazy. He chuckled,

"Screw your fucking degree" yelled Krish and we moved out of the hospital towards our auto driver.

                    The auto driver promised that he would take us to the nearby government hospital. Krish sensed something wasn't right and I could see that in the old lady's face. She was turning pale and there was no warmth in her body. Her eyes opened wide enough to look at us. We felt something for the first time in our lives, a soul leaving the body. She was calm with her eyes half open and dried blood near her temples. 

                   The auto came to a halt by Krish's shrill cry. He was sobbing and tears were rolling down. We have lost a soul in our hands, something which could have been avoided. We killed her by our fellow men's fucking attitude. The whole auto seemed to be filled with Krish's cry and the fragrance of jasmine. The driver turned towards us and said,

"This is an ugly world and its definitely not for her " 

7:22 p.m.

                     Krish was never the same after that accident. Even though she was a total stranger, the sorrow left him with a void. Before he could recover from it, he had to pick up a brawl with Mahesh in the cafeteria. When I had things under control for him, his dad had other plans. I know how it feels, when someone like your dad, whom we have been idolizing all our years does something shit like this. This is world is sick. Hang on.. I guess, Krish is waking up,

"Krish!! Krish!! are you alright bro??"

                      His eyes looked bloodshot and the eyelids were half closed, he was trying to look at me. He was constantly swallowing and his Adam's apple moved rhythmically.

"I'm all good man, but my mind is fucked up" said Krish.

"I can see that bro. The driver was fucking true, this world isn't for us!!" and I hugged him.

"Let's go somewhere where we can meet some real people. What do you reckon?? Shall we ?? asked Krish.

                      I nodded my head and we both moved towards our balcony. The city looked electrifying with million lights and a buzz of traffic. We stood there watching the horizon in front of us. A world where people were doomed by hatred and spreading the sickness. They consider us as psychic and if we don't leave this place, in few years time we would be filled hatred. Krish smiled at me and I stepped on to the steel grill of our balcony. The cool air blew across our faces to welcome our new journey and we jumped into the new world that was waiting for us.


          The auditorium was quiet except for the group of press reporters occupying the first row of the hall. In few minutes time, there was a buzz in the hall. The Principal of VSB college and the Inspector of Police entered the hall and without the slightest hesitation, they jumped onto the diaz. The Principal was not happy to see his college to be flooded with media and press. That was the last thing he needed at this stage with his retirement in few months time. With a stern face, he gave the sheet of paper to the inspector. The inspector then began his address,

         "It's a moment of grief and agony for all of us. Last night, one of the med students from VSB Medical College, Mr.Krish committed suicide by jumping from the seventh floor of men's hostel in the campus. The hostel guard had seen him standing on the balcony grill a few minutes before he made his jump. It is said that Krish had shown signs of mental disorderliness in the last couple of days.

           He had been found talking to himself on most occasions and his friends have ascertained this. As per the Dean's statement, it is highly likely that he could have created an imaginary friend to fight his solitude and anguish. There has been no suicide note left in his room, but the walls of his room had been scribbled with a name called 'Phantom'. We are assuming that he named his altar ego or his so called friend to be 'Phantom'.

            The body has been sent for postmortem and we've informed his dad about his suicide. Once the report comes, we will have a clear evidence on his death." said the Inspector and he began to move outside with the reporters stalking him like a fox for some more blood and gore. In the mean time, the sky outside grew dark for a shooting star to began its journey into a horizon.






Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Stars in my backyard - 1


3:36 p.m

        The room appears to be silent, which is quite unusual for its occupants. Martin Scorsese was smiling at us from the huge wall poster that was stuck in the faded beige wall. A small cot occupied most of the space available in the tiny room and Krish was lying on the mattress. He is a second year med student in VSB medical college. He is just another typical guy whom you are likely to find among the millions in our country.
          He was staring at the ceiling with his arms and legs positioned like Leonardo da vinci's-Vitruvian Man. He has been waging a battle in his mind with a high tide of emotions. He talks to me every now and then, to discuss his issues, but often he tends to go inside a shell. Today, he has promised me that he would vent out and so I'm here to listen to him. I'm Phantom, his room mate and I've another name too (which isn't really important now).

'Still staring at the ceilings, Krish ??"

'Sorry man. I didn't realize that you were here. I feel like talking to you, man' said Krish.

'I'm all ears,bro. Hope you have got something to say'

'Yaa.. yaa man. No games and I'm dead serious this time'. said Krish and he was staring at his knuckles to begin his story.

        'I'm pretty much sure that you are the right person to share... nope.. confess my last two days. There has been a series of events occurring during the last two days and it has left a void in me. Before bringing the events into light, I would like to tell you something interesting. Most of my friends in the college call me a nerd, because of my ideas and visions. You know about me, I'm not the stereotypical guy and my rationale is put to shame when I find people wrapped up in themselves. They call me a jerk, geek and all terminologies found in the vocabulary to degrade me'. 

          'Do you think, I look like an eccentric guy?? To be honest, I don't 've a charming or a pleasing look either. I'm a typical guy, who thinks that every girl that passes him is beautiful. What's your go about that, Phantom??' asked Krish.

'You mean the girl or your eccentricity. I was just kidding, I don't think you look like a nerd but....'

'I know what you mean Phantom, the other day I came home with a broken cheek bone. Is that what you are saying??" said Krish.

I nodded my head in agreement and Krish chuckled. He sighed heavily as if preparing for a lengthy speech and he narrated the event behind that bruise

            'All the conventional or the so called symptoms of a normal guy have been slowly wading away from me in the last couple of days.They (supposed to be my friends) told me that I'm behaving in a weird manner. Let me tell you something that happened at my cafeteria on Wednesday (day before yesterday), which will give you a rough idea.

It was just another day at my college cafeteria with students buzzing all over. Couple of my friends and myself were occupying the table at the corner of the dinning hall. It has become an unwritten rule and we were squatting that place. The chit chat began with our assignments, anatomy lectures and our mockery about the guy, who passed out at the sight of a cadaver ('cadaver' means dead bodies).

              Everything was so good and seemed so hilarious until one of my friends, Mahesh passed a remark about a girl.

"Did you see that girl in yellow salwar ?" said Mahesh.

"Are you talking about the voluptuous one or the gal over the phone?" said Sebastian.

"hahaha.. You have a craving for buxom clad ladies,!!! My man, you are right, it's her" said Mahesh

"What's interesting about her, bro? did you screw her?? said Mahesh 

"you mean fuck her?? no way!!! I saw her hanging out with our bio chemistry lab technician" and Mahesh chuckled. 

" aaahhhhhh!! now I know how she made  20 in her pracs (practicals).. Holy shit, man !!! What do you think she would 've done to him" said Sebastian.

         All my rage came pouring in when Mahesh made a vulgar reply to Sebastian and the whole crowd erupted in laughter. I could tell from the stares across our tables, that the comment would 've reached many ears. All I could manage was a single comment that was implosive in nature.

"Do you want to hear about your sister Rekha's dirty secret??" 

            Everyone fell silent, before Mahesh in an anxious tone,

"what the fuck are you talking about?? shouted Mahesh.

"About Rekha, your cute little sister. If you guys are interested I'll show something kinky about her? 

             That's when I realized a blow has landed right across my cheek bone. Mahesh was all over me, swearing and trying to wrestle with me. Soon, everyone came around to watch us bleed. Sebastian pulled me out of the brawl and he had to literally drag me out of the hall. With the sick taste of blood in my mouth, I was trying to stroke my swollen cheek and Sebastian came near me,

"Are you nuts? asshole !! why the hell did you talk to him like that??" asked Sebastian.

"why not??"  

"Because it's her sister. Don't we all know about her?"

 I laughed, "Don't you people realize that even the girl you were mocking is someone's sister???"

I could see the reaction in Sebastian's face, full of fury and defeat.

"you are a fucking freak, Krish !!"

                 'Now you know why I have a swollen cheek and a cut lip' said Krish and he began to search his anatomy textbook. I knew what he was after, something that I've been hiding away from him.


5:52 p.m.

               Krish was humming a song with all smiles and I could sense what's happening in him. The amphetamine is doing all tricks in his brain. If you are a med student, its not difficult to find such drugs. Krish has told me a lot about it, how students take drugs to suppress anxiety, but I've seen the worse side of that drug. Last time, he couldn't find it, but on this time he was clever enough to find it out my hiding place. Damn !!

"Phantommm !! what's bothering you man ??" asked Krish.

"It's you man, you, asshole !!. I've been warning you, not to use that bloody drug, but you never listened to me. You fucking asshole !!"

"Yeah! Yeah!! stop it man. I'm not listening to you" shouted Krish.

"Do you know something, tomorrow is your birthday! your dad has sent a gift for you, Krish. You are on to fucking drugs" and I gave him the gift wrapped bundle to him. Krish hesitated to get the gift from me and his palms slowly began clapping,

"Birthday gift from dad!! great !! great !!" chuckled Krish.. "I wouldn't touch it man. Its full of sin and its sickening to see that. Throw that  away, Phantom!!" shrieked Krish.

"What's now?? you can't be complaining about everything. I'm seriously annoyed with you man".

"Yeah, Phantom !! Do you know when a son hates his dad??" asked Krish.

           "Do you remember the last time I went to my home, that's when I found out, why he wanted me in a hostel. It was his birthday and I thought I would throw him a surprise without realizing the nightmare waiting for me" whispered Krish.

            "Our house was never the same, after my mom's demise. No matter how elegant or expensive the furniture were, it always bore a deserted look. I was across the hall and I saw a school bag lying on the couch. It was half open with few textbooks scattered aimlessly. I picked one of the books and it was labelled as 'Sheila X- A'. That's when I heard a loud laughter from upstairs and I could definitely tell that it was my dad's.

              I climbed the stairs all the way towards his room. His door was half open and I could hear a woman's voice. I pushed it open to witness the sickness staring at me. I saw a girl with a bare back on top of my dad in his bed."

"Fuck! fuck ! fuck!" yelled Krish.

"Can you believe it, Phantom?? My dad is a pervert, who fucks 16 year old girls. Shit man!! shit!! shit !! said Krish with silent tears rolling down".

 I felt like giving him a hug, but I couldn't do it. I never had the courage to go near him and all I did was watch him sobbing. A little later he passed out, with a trickle of drool leaking from the corner of his mouth.


6:42 p.m.

           If you think this world is the most ideal place to live in, then I might have something different to tell. This guy Krish, who is lying down there, is a victim of this society bathed in heinous crime and vicious people. Selfish people who loves to complain the government about bad roads and at the same time never cares about littering their neighborhood. He never believed me when I warned him about the darker side of this world. He used to mock me saying, "Stop it Phantom !! don't be so pessimistic !!"   

            For them, we are a group of maniacs living on our own agenda. They categorize people with logical values, as eccentric guys. They brand them as 'depressed souls' and they fail to understand that, one way or another, they had been responsible for our unprecedented melancholy. Krish was never like this, until he saw the true color of his fellow men. 

               "it was a Monday morning and you can pretty much understand how we would have felt. 

          (more in  the sequel of stars in my backyard - 2)