Category Archives: Fiction

Halcyon Sky

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Blurry circles and squares of light dimly lit the dark blue night that curtained over the city. She was hardly up this late. She’d sleep early but it was officially the last night before this summer would come to an end. She sat by balcony and let the light gusts of wind blow, slightly caressing her cheeks every now and then. The disturbing trademark summer heat was fading. Everything seemed to be uncannily still, tonight. She felt like she could even listen to her sister’s deep, slumber-ridden breaths from her bed.

She had never seen the sky like this before. She never realized how pretty it could be. Even though she wasn’t dreaming, it still felt like a dream. She liked dreaming. She was especially fond of making up her own dreams. She never liked the ones that would show up out of nowhere in her sleep. The dreams she would immerse into were always drawn on the broadest canvas she could imagine. Something like a huge frozen lake she could endlessly skate on, bare footed She didn’t know why but it made her happy. Dancing and twirling flawlessly on the ice for the world to see. Yet she would be alone. That didn’t scare her. She never felt the lonliness in being alone. She only felt the joy of being in her dream.

Such was the joy she felt by the balcony railing just looking out at the city. Then she lifted her head up. It seemed so humongous. It was so far away but as her small, round face was parallel to the sky, it seemed very close to her. It was as if her lips touched its surface. Her big, wide eyes looked straight at the bluish purple hues of the roof above. The stars were like pretty little glittery freckles that beautified the night.

She didn’t think more than an eight year old hazy eyed, sleepy little girl could think. But there was something she knew from thereon. That the night would be her companion in the years to come. That the darkness didn’t terrify her, no matter how dauntingly huge it was. That there would always be light to shine on her, no matter how small it was. That she would dance her way to her dreams alone and unafraid. She turned around and tip toed her way back to bed and cosily snuggled her much-adored teddy bear before almost instantaneously falling asleep. That night, she aspired to dream more and more, and fall in love with her dreams. That night, she knew how to feel alive.

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A Note on the Kitchen Counter

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I’m done, done, done! I seriously cannot do this anymore. My sanity is at the verge of combustion, bursting into burning orbs. Fragments of an existence that was once whole, once unified and once formed me, shall scatter into a void of some vast universe.

I’m gonna be gone, gone, gone… then what will you do? Nothing much can be done after that, honey. You’ll stay the same. Shed a tear or two, eh? Maybe. Please do so, after all you cared for me once upon a dream, right? Maybe an escaped gasp and bewilderment shall overcome you Maybe more than that but then what will you do? Will you look up at the stars and reach out for them in a failed attempt to grasp what is left of me? Trust me, my love. I am trying, trying, trying. So hard to fit into this mirage of unified humans submitting to conformity. But I find it terribly difficult to collect what is remaining of my energy to inhale/exhale for a purpose dictated by an imbecile majority. Gosh, these people make me puke. Ew, people. Ew, ew, ew! Humans think so highly of themselves that they consider every action of theirs justified.

Baby, I’m holding back, back, back. It’s like I’m falling into a black hole that’ll take me back in time. Retarded time and reversed tread. I have to control myself. I am not allowed to say what I think and do what I want. So here I am on this remote island gazing at this wondrous world where these humans are acting like animals and animals are being trained to act like humans. It’s a circus. Everyone’s putting up a show and strip teasing. Lust keeps oozing from the dribbling mouths of these hyenas. It’s like the uncontrollable wildness you see in the eyes of a madman, unsettling and perturbed. I am fighting, fighting, fighting. This is a war against my own self. Even if I win, I lose. I am struggling to adjust this veil that conceals my thoughts that I have from the thoughts I should have. Shush, shush! No one should know what I think of. Those silly thoughts shall lead to my execution! I let them control my life but hell no they won’t control my death.

But fuck it! I’m done, done, done. No one can save me. No one! No one!

Meda Bhara Saeen (My Master Brother)

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Oh hey there you fancy moustache-d burly young man in the fine boski ki shalwar kameez and kherri! What kind of animal are you hunting today; a deer, a swine or a whore from diamond market? Don’t worry, I won’t tell Papa Jaani. He already knows because that’s how genetics work. He passed on his honor with his semen into Ammi jee who screamed in agony as she pushed you out in to this big, bad world. But don’t you fret! You have those black ray ban sunglasses that you bought for 500 rupees (after bargaining and reducing the price from 800) from that adolescent Pathan downtown. They will save you from the UV rays of the evil eye, I am sure!

Walk with me, Bhai Jaan. Oh that strut of yours, you dandy peacock! Your stride is kingly; proud and erect as if you own this town (you sorta do). All the girls will be smitten when you push your sunglasses up your nose to conceal your brooding gaze and twirl your moustache with your fingers. They’ll gasp at the misconception of your vaguely reciprocated semi-grin. Then they’ll giggle and whisper mischievous conspiracies after they’re done dreamily gazing at you from behind the curtain of their balcony window until you disappear on your royal Honda City. Which reminds me maybe you could borrow Papa Jaani’s Reborn for that wedding we’re going to tonight? After all, society demands vanity, my brother! We must display it. It is in our blood. How else shall the common people know? When Daadi Jaan was feeding us from a golden spoon, Daada jaan was signing fancy paper work on his death bed and gift wrapping a whole village full of land to you.

The society (particularly the population who are related to us directly and/or indirectly) is so unfair to expect so much from you though. Accept my condolences that you were born with what is not only between your legs but also enclosed in your skull. It is a phallic tumor that is malignant, spreading inside out and rotting your mind to the core. I understand that this is exactly why some days you just don’t want to be the righteous Hatam Taai. What if you just want to be a shadow of Tyrion Lannister? Someone who is royal yet not bothered by the family (unless you have to pay a debt), always to be found in the brothel fucking prostitutes, drinking wine till you pass out and then ultimately waking up next morning to a horrid hangover and optimistic amnesia. But you won’t read books like Tyrion.

What would you with that rubbish? Build a career out of it? No, dear no. We shall not burden you with the responsibility of actually making an important decision about your life all on your own! We’ll leave your decision-making skills at the designer attire or branded shoe store.

Why would you not like that? Everything is being handed to you in a platter. You were always taught to do as you were told otherwise you would be considered a good-for-nothing son (that you are) who doesn’t give a shit about his parents (that you aren’t). But you are an obedient son and were a loyal grandson till the timely demise of Daadi Jaan – the first time you cried. So you are usually busy buying 3 kilos mutton, 1 kilo boneless chicken, yoghurt, tomatoes, onions, eggplant and not to forget 1 and ½ liter bottle of coca cola and sprite respectively. This is your gesture of affection for your 5 ft 1, soft spoken, perfectionist housewife Ammi jee who shall reward you with subtle tokens mostly in the form of food. Unlike Daadi Jaan she does not have the edge to defend you in front of Papa Jaani. I know you miss her.

Now the verdict’s been declared! You shall become an engineer or get a degree in Commerce or something related to computers. Then we shall hand you a ticket to some place in the Middle East with a 14 year old virgin girl handpicked from the family. Worst case scenario, you’ll end up majoring in Humanities at whatever Godforsaken ABC institute that will accept you with your grades in the gutter. In high school, you were too busy inhaling the perfumed smoke from sheesha in your friend’s attic or getting the hook of cigarettes because addictions are cool! You know what? Fuck that shit altogether! You’re not going to pass anyway so you should spend your whole day at Papa Jaani’s main market shop and spend every weekend at the Farmhouse surrounded by people who smell of cow shit and gold leaf cigarettes. (You’ll still get the preteen virgin nonetheless)

All day you’d scratch your crotch, spit on the road, befriend the owner of the shop that is neither a book shop nor a general store and maybe hold a grudge against the guy who reeks of supari and nicotine at the 2nd hand T-shirt shop across the street. You’d watch crude humorous stage dramas on a small TV set in upper corner of the shop right in front of your counter then regurgitate third class jokes to your new friends and laugh like drooling hyenas. Sometimes you might casually get together with a selective bunch of your old friends in an attempt to remember the young boy who wanted to become a pilot since 6th grade; once dreaming of flying far away from here to unknown lands and worlds. Instead you’d go out to secretly gulp down bottles of booze smuggled at your friend’s “extra” house, or the farmhouse of a friend’s friend, smoke a few joints and hazily whirl to the beats of loud bollywood music. Thus letting your days turn to nights and nights to days fading away moment by moment.

This fusion of peculiar interests you’d adapt at the prime of your youth drowns the worry of a prospective future in this world. You do not need to contemplate over the possibilities and opportunities you should seize. You believe in pre-destined fate, right Bhai Jaan? It was all written, carved in stone from the moment you took a blow to the buttocks from the mid-wife and with your first breath you cried for your unfortunate life. That is why at every Friday prayer you bow your head in oblivion and pray for the power to tolerate your fate. What are we but puppets in the hands of God, brother?

So with these bottles of red colored cheap energy drinks, let’s raise a toast to you and your life that shall be a spitting image of your forefathers! Here’s to a meaningless and miserable life! Cheers, brother!

Worlds Apart – II

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In case you haven’t read it before, I’d recommend you to read the first part of this poem Worlds Apart – I and then continue here. Happy Reading and Writing! x

II.

The aroma of brewing coffee sensuously filled her morning
She woke up with a smile though she had another yearning
Groggily walking out of the room her eyes fixed on a sight
Living glory although not the sun yet still shining so bright

Bed-head hair, ruffled beard, furrowed brows and a crooked grin
Handing her the perfect cup of coffee was no one other than him
The one she once looked down on and sneered with such despise
Now stood there as her beloved with reprised love in his eyes

For he could see her beauty even when she could not
For she could heal his pain even when he was distraught
For he could understand and know even the words unsaid
For she could climb up his walls to know what’s in his head

This began to unfold the day his gaze fell on a book
A birthday gift from a sibling he’d initially overlook
As he eagerly turned the pages, his interest would invest
Unaware of the writer, he was keen to know the rest

At the end of the book, awestruck, he gaped at the picture of a lady
He had once known was now a writer who inspired him, maybe
In the spur of the moment, many calls were being made
Immersed in the memory of someone he did not want to fade

After three days and four hours in vain, to a call he woke
“I have kept an eye on you,” in a low, soft voice she spoke
“How passionately you’d work away your days and your nights,
Through the blinding darkness, I could see your house’s lights”

On and on they went, for days and hours, for months and weeks
Unveiling their layered depths to find what one always seeks
They learned to live and love regardless differences stark
Even when their lives were parallel; orbiting worlds apart

© Rosh Von Amber 2014

Worlds Apart

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I.

Navy blue suit, dark grey tie and his neat hair the darkest black
Loose yellow dress, messy brown hair; she was on another track
A resume at the tip of his lips, supposedly an impressive smack
Something top notch and fancy, ’twas everything she would lack

“A poetess?” he repeated, with a hint of sly mockery
She nodded slightly defeated for he laughed silently
A bit offended she asked, “Was it something funny?”
He shook his head and they both looked away defiantly

For he was the embodiment of all her stereotypical notions
For she was defying all his clichés, norms and traditions

For he was what she believed someone meant only for this world
For she was what he believed someone with dreams that twirled

Being the master of all trades, he was the jack of none
Strong, stoic and shrewd, possessing an ambition only one
To win the race on a road where many had before gone
For this was his success where he’d conventionally shone

Being the odd one out, she was misunderstood and misfit
Secluded, skeptical and scholastic, often alone she would sit
Around others she always wondered, why they did not get it?
Purging her thoughts on paper, to only writing she’d commit

Thus silently agreeing ‘twas nothing, just one more disappointment
They departed while immersing in their own versions of amusement

So he went back to his office computer, with data entries he’d proceed
While by her window with a glass of wine, she’d let her typewriter bleed

© Rosh Von Amber 2014

Zeitgeist

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I lay sprawled on my back, oppressed by the humid air that slaps my face continuously. I know where my mind wishes to wander but I shall put up a fight tonight, again.

I can feel your presence in my subconscious with the presupposed understanding of unspoken words. The sly grin that etches around the corner of of your mouth. You’re smug, as usual, with those dreamy eyes, slightly tilted head and a crooked chin. Steadily clouding up my senses with the ghost of your aura. My mind twirls up incantations to conjure a phantom of you. My lungs fill up with the air we once shared that hinted traces of your cologne. My lips slightly part and my mouth tastes of the hushed words we whispered to each other.

“This is all but a game we have played over and over, darling. Yet you seek something new every single time, don’t you? Oh no, I dare not complain. After all, the way you haunt the corridors of my mortality is the only way I can live with you.”

I can not help but shudder at the thought of your absence. My mind fails to comprehend the infinite abyss where my only companion is oblivion. How ludicrous was that thought that entered the periphery of my mind that I would be able to walk away from you? How dare I even conceive such a sin? No, no, no!  I’d lose myself. I’d lose you.

“Promise me you shan’t walk away in your crimson-blotched suit? I hate that suit. The bloody red drains the colors of your skin from underneath my fingertips. The ocean of your eyes, that never fail to drown me in them, drowns in a void of nothingness. You won’t ever be wearing that suit again, right? Promise me you’ll be dressed all in white, angel. Just like always.”

Before Sunset

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She lit another cigarette. With another smoky exhale, it was affirmative. She had made up her mind. She was going to leave him. Somehow that notion made her smile. To immerse herself in the fancy idea of being in love was a lost cause. But damn, was it a guilty pleasure or what? This bond that they shared was lovely. Like most things that impart pleasure, this was strong and effective yet short-lived and volatile. I guess the realization that they needed not to extract something exquisite out of this, made it what it was.

The mortality of everyone and everything associated with everyone invoked a pragmatic cynicism in her. Of course she desired things that had stereotypically been associated with “girly notions”. The last time she checked, her lady-parts were intact. What was the use of suppressing her socio-psychological femininity, anyway? As she exhaled the last bit of grey dust from her poisoned lungs, she smothered the remaining of the consumed cigarette in the ashtray.

She looked at herself in the tainted mirror and pouted her full lips as she painted them in crimson. She rarely yet occasionally beautified herself in a manner that would, by conventional means, give an alluring impression of sexual attraction. Yet when she did, she made sure no stone was left unturned. Hence, the black, slightly revealing velvet dress and the leather jacket which was somewhere in between what a rockstar-wanna-be and a sophisticated artist would opt for. She tousled her hair carelessly as she grabbed her purse and car keys. She stole a final glance at the mirror and smiled, satisfyingly. When a tragedy is inevitable, one might as well put up a show to remember and beauty has the power to paralyze the pain as it diverts your mind. That was the weapon she was going to use tonight. Words had become a weary old tactic.

Driving through the brightly-lit city this evening, she created an air of detachment. Her focus was on the escape to freedom she had been craving and striving for so long. It was finally so near, so close. But what was this curve that crept around the corner of her lips? A frown? She felt a dagger icily pierce through her shell. Why did his world have to be so different? She shook the thought and blinked away the pre-mature tears. She consoled herself with the words of Oscar Wilde that women ruin romance by trying to make it last forever. She snickered and took a deep breath. She had no time for this shit.

She parked her car in the driveway of some forgettable fancy place to dine and made her way inside. Her eyes patiently sifted through the crowd, casually greeting a few familiar faces and acknowledging a few acquaintances. She found it absolutely irrelevant that many pairs of eyes were attentively, even curiously, fixed on her. This bored her as the only pair of eyes she was concerned with was her own, as they began to impatiently wander around the hall.

Her hands were cold and her face was warm, nothing unusual yet it irritated her. Her eyes had stopped waltzing as they lit up and admired the view. He was ordinary by all means yet exquisite in his own way. He stood there, unaware of her presence. She felt the dagger inside her shift uneasily because she knew he would always be who he was right in this moment. For when you love someone for who they are, change is unnecessary. They already possess the qualities that need no amendments. Any change whatsoever would turn him into someone who he was not but who she wanted him to be. That is why she was leaving him. They were parallel, by each others side, yet their paths did not cross. He was not meant to change his course of life for her, regardless her selfish desire for him to be so.

Then the moment she dreaded now dawned on her. His eyes met hers and within a time frame enough for a single breath to be taken away, she saw the “look”. It was the look she first noticed almost year ago. It was what ladies devour their hearts on. Yet for her, the timing could not have been more terrible. For it was the look of a man who has surrendered his heart yet refused to leave the fort he has built for himself. But the fort failed to conceal what his eyes made so obvious. She loved him, but he was in love with her. So she smiled, made her way towards him without losing eye contact and stood beside him. They did not exchange a single word. She silently slipped her hand in his and felt the warmth radiate in her existence. One might as well bask in the sun before the dark night engulfs the sunshine in its dark, black hole of infinity.