Friday, May 26, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
The shorter guy whispered harshly. "Don't touch that."
"Why?" The taller one, who the other guy kept calling 'sting' for whatever reason, replaced the black velvet form on the floor. A small 'mew' escaped its lips.
"Cats are evil", shorter said.
"But he's so...he's so warm" sting said. "And fuzzy." He looked puzzled and even slightly disappointed at having to keep the cat back.
He sighed and continued stuffing the huge gunny sack with other 'important' things like the mantelpiece clock and littered jewellery like a bracelet and ear rings. The owner of these was surely not bothered about theft, it was obvious.The black furry animal blinked at sting once. He smiled in the semi darkness as the two glowing eyes met his.
"Nick," Sting said. "What if the folks come back sooner than we know?"
Nick waved him away. "No they won't. Trust me? Now hurry up and stop gazing at that beast. We've a long night ahead of us. Remember we've to rob at least 5 more houses to keep us going this month."
Sting shrugged and continued stealing. Then something caught his eyes. "hey."
"What?" Nick almost jumped. "Don't you ever scare me like that. What is it?"Sting pointed to the corner of the room, on the other side of the huge bed.
"Yeah, it's a computer. So?"
"Aren't we gonna take that?"Nick looked at it for a minute. It wasn't a very good looking one he decided. Moreover, he had a bigger, meaner machine back in their dump.
"Nah." He shrugged. "It's no good. And nobody's gonna buy it anyway. That's the funny thing about these things. They're not valued for their appearance. or even price. The juice is in the software, memory and such. And this one's a goner" He chuckled.
"You think so?"
"Well, you're the boss."
They were almost done. A half hour later they were gone like they'd never come in here. Outside on the dark street, you could hear a 'mew' every now and then from the house.
The local newspaper carried a picture of two local thieves a couple of days later. Nick and Sting. The report said the two were identified by a video of theirs, captured in a webcam.
Salma stroked her fingers gently over the fur as she gazed at the blue light in her monitor. The house slept. She'd logged on as usual to write her online journal and check emails. But the events over the past few days had baffled her. She still didn't have an explanation. The police had had no trouble nabbing the two thieves who'd burgled their house. Her webcam was on when they were going about their job.
"But...I thought I'd shut it off," She'd stammered when the cops had come sniffing.
"But evidently it wasn't, ma'am", the bushy moustached officer had beamed. "You must've been video mailing someone and left in a hurry. Maybe you could ask your cat, he was there." He laughed heartily, his belly heaving.
"Well, thanks to you, they're ours now."
Salma had placed an icon of the webcam on her desktop and all she had to do was click on it. The thing came on. Yeah, she video chatted with her friends now and then, but...she was puzzled. She was dead sure she'd switched off the computer the other evening before heading off for her cousin's wedding. She never forgot to do that. Never. If Devil could speak, he'd say the same thing. He was always watching her when she sat in front of the computer.
She nuzzled her face against Devil's "What do you say, Devil? Did you switch my cam on?" She said, and laughed at her own silliness.
She looked at Devil. He blinked and mewed. She could swear she saw him smile, as he leaped off her lap and settled on the bed, looking at her from there. She turned to her monitor and opened her mailbox.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Karthik just looked at her and proceeded to his room. She pulled him back.
"I said what happened? who did this? Who did you fight with?"
Funnily, he didn't seem to be in great pain despite a bleeding lip and bruised cheek. Like some big cat had mauled him.
Vanaja took off his shirt and immediately pulled him to the bathroom.
"I knew it. I knew one day this would happen. Picking up fights with classmates, fighting..are you a boy or are you a...?" She ran the hot water and prepared the scrub, while searching for the Dettol. Then she turned to look at him. His eyes were red, and his lips quivered.
She pulled him close and waved her hand over his ruffled hair.
"Oh, I'm sorry sweetie..."
She held him at arm's length, studying the wounds.
"Does it hurt a lot?"
"Oh, my poor baby.." She washed the wounds and gave him a bath.
"I've told you na chinna (darling in kannada), not to pick fights with the other boys? This time see, it's hurt you so bad."
"I wasn't fighting with the boys."
Vanaja placed the milk cup on the table and sat beside him.
Karthik bowed his head.
"What? Who was it then?" She found her voice rising again. She sighed deeply and turned his chin up.
She couldn't believe what she'd just heard.
"Why would Rinki do this? And why did you have to go fight with her?"
Rinki was Karthik's music school classmate from two lanes down the road. And to think that music wasn't the only thing they practised.
"I was teasing her sister."
"Rinki came to her rescue."
Vanaja looked at her little tiger sipping milk. And then burst out laughing.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
"Oh, hello. I'm sorry, I was so involved in reading.. I.."
"It's ok." She smiled.
"What're you reading?"
"Oh, it's about Zen."
He smiled. "I'm Arun."
"New around here?" It amazed her how she'd so easily started a conversation with a blind person. She'd never done it before. But there was something about him...
They made small talk for a few more minutes before she rose. She had an early meeting to attend. She wanted to ask him if he needed help out of the park. But she knew how fiercely independent differently abled people were, so she let it be.
Arun was a nice guy with a great sense of humor. Jogging in the park was not just another morning routine for Geeta anymore. She looked forward to meeting him and talking with him. For more than a fortnight, the new routine was she finishing her jog, and then talking to Arun. Then they walked to the nearby tea-stall where he had his tea and cigarette, and then she walked him to the edge of the park, outside. She decided that it was time to call him home and bring him into her circle of friends and family.
"Geeta, it's fine, but..."
"Please Reena, you don't start that thing about him being blind etc." Reena was her close pal at office, who had started out with her around the same time in the city.
"I know, I know..but..hope you've thought about this, hmm?"
He wasn't there. Her first thought was, "I hope he's ok." And she now felt bad that she didn't know where he stayed. She'd told him almost everything about herself - where she lived, where her parents were, who her friends were, where she worked. And he'd never divulged anything more than his interests, not even his background. She suddenly realized she didn't even know if he lived in this city - he'd never mentioned it. Maybe his blindness had somehow stopped her from being more inquisitive than she'd normally be.
She finished her jog and waited on the bench for more than a half hour, but he didn't show up. She felt a pang of disappointment. She shook herself. "Relax Geeta, don't be so restless now."
He wasn't there the next day either. And the next, and the next. And the next. A month later, Geeta only turned to look at the bench while jogging, but was now sure that he'd gone. But she felt cheated. He could've at least come by to say bye. But then, well, he might've had his own reasons. She accepted his absence and carried on with life.
Sunday afternoons were the most boring, according to Geeta. As she flicked through the channels, her droopy eyes almost closing, the loud door-bell jolted her out of her senses. God, she must have that bell replaced, she muttered, dragging herself to the door.
He was looking different. And she realized he was not looking through her. He was looking at her. Into her eyes. It took her a moment to realize.
She gently pulled his hand and got him into the house, but his eyes won't leave hers.
"Yeah, that's right Geeta. I'm not blind now."
"Uh..." She didn't know how to react.
"I've come to invite you to premiere of my movie this evening."
"Yeah. I play the same character that you saw in the park all those days."
She sat down in disbelief.
"how was I?"
He smiled. "My acting. How was it?"
She didn't reply. She didn't know how to reply.
"We had to wrap up the shoot and the other post production work. So I couldn't come to the park. I wanted to surprise you by inviting you to the movie."
She just kept looking at him.
"It's my directorial debut. It's a small film, but...."
She was staring ahead.
"Look I'm sorry for all this...but...you'll come to the movie, won't you?"
He smiled that same innocent smile. She slowly smiled back.
"Of course, I'll come...you Oscar winner" She replied, hitting him gently on his shoulder.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
"If you wanna write, write. Don't think". That's precisely how the better half put things in perspective when yours truly cribbed about the 'bloggers block' and all that jazz about not being able to post for so long now. Well, taking a serious cue from that one, I thought, yeah well, if thinking about writing a story on my blog could lock up my fingers from writing just about anything else, then I probably shouldn't blog - I should maintain a diary where I jot down my so called stories and wait for eternity until the next idea strolled up my brain. But for now I'm doing just what the doc prescribed - just write. And this is something we as writers are advised and instructed to do, right from the time we learn that we could do some serious damage with the alphabet. But still we talk about writer's block as if it were some privileged five star condition that only we were entitled to. "Oh, I have writer's block." The common cold feet.
Wondering, should I post what I just wrote?
What the... well, here it is. Now it's just a matter of 'just writing' everyday. Hmm? I feel better already.