A CATastrophic Meowsing on Life

I sat in the moonlight today for about five minutes. As cliched as it is, sometimes I like to just sit outside and think nothing. The absolute worst thing that can happen in a time like this is that some human decides to join me. Or calls me.

But that’s not the point. The point was today. It was rather therapeutic, as always, but five minutes is a short time. The reason I went outside was to look for a red sock. But then I saw the clear night and decided to stay a little longer.

There was nothing fresh about the outside. It is hot. The air smelled stale and horrible, perhaps because the kitchen door was a few feet away and right outside it lay a bag full of very garlicky garlic. And it was too early in the night to be peaceful. The azaans for the night prayer, isha, had ended and the men had come back from the Masjid. You could hear people talking and shouting– tv or otherwise– how delightful it was to live in these flats. And of course, that one kid who was always crying. Always.

But even all this is not the point of this writing. There came by a cat. Sniffed the old bowl, found nothing. Looked at me but probably realised my non-cat-friendly nature. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if it wasn’t getting too close. You see, there was this other one called Rani that my sister had befriended, and she was faaaar too clingy. Always trying to rub against my back as I sat on the floor. And I would always push it away.

But this cat, this was the Egyptian. We called it that once, and the name kinda stuck. This cat was different because it never even cared what we did. I could stroke its back and it wouldn’t matter to her. I could ignore her and it wouldn’t matter. It could be starving, dying but it wouldn’t matter. Eventually I stopped looking. Then I realised I couldn’t hear it anymore. I turned around and what do I see? It was sitting beside me in complete silence, careful not to touch me but still as close as possible. When it saw me looking, she started licking herself. And it felt nice.

It was nice to have her by. It felt like this unspoken bond formed by the sheer force of my overactive imagination. A quiet sitting together. Two souls, conflicted in themselves, finally resonating with another mortal and this universe. I wish all cats could be like her. And all humans too.

She comes by every now and then. Sometimes I don’t see her for months. But I rather like it — the presence of either one of us has no effect on the other. We can see each other and not be emotionally attached. It’s quite liberating to have a like minded cat stroll by every once in a while.

Oh, you thought this was an intellectual piece? I beg your forgiveness. I really must stop rambling. I say, where did my meds go again?

Advertisements

Off to Work

The alarm went off. Again. He rolled over to his side and switched it off. He was still so tired. Maybe he should’ve just taken one sleeping pill instead of two, he thought. Oh well. He stretched his arms and yawned. Then slowed pulled the blanket off. He stood up. As he tried to walk, he stumbled and almost fell, but then balanced himself. He scratched his chin as he went to the door and looked through his mail. Just the usual: a few advertisements, and a faded yellow envelope with his name addressed in red, bold letters.

He washed his face and made himself breakfast. As he took a bite of his nearly- burnt toast, he opened the letter.

Another call of duty. (It ran) This time behind the post office.

Middle aged, grey hair, brown worn out coat. Confront in the rear end of the alley. Use minimal force — do not disfigure. Insert knife through the second rib on the left and then withdraw. Impose mild concussion to head. Do not leave until death has been made certain. If successful, you will find payment behind the third sack in the next alley. Use same sack to hide body.

11:45 a.m.

Just another day. How tedious it was, he thought. Working, working, working. Six days a week. Perhaps if he saved enough money, he could take a week off. Go up north perhaps? Somewhere people didn’t display their vulnerabilities out in the open. Somewhere real people existed, not just sacks of blood and muscle and tissue.

If only he could meet his contractor again. But he didn’t know where to find him. Just another day. It was really hot today. Nevertheless, he took his coat. It was supposed to rain. At least that’s what the weather forecast said. Off to work, he thought, as he locked his front door. Off to work as he walked down the road with cherry trees. It was already half past eleven.

And people called him a murderer.

Contradictory Thoughts

We had lasagne today. Coincidently, the T.V. was on during dinner. And while I indulged my taste buds in such luxurious tastes, the news came on.

Images of malnourished children. Images of children dying. Around 100,000 cases of cholera in 2017. Millions in need of humanitarian aid. Millions homeless, struggling to survive. Traumatised children. The men and the women… all those people, just… dying? Dying? Left out there to die, while we… what are we doing?

Do you know how much suffering it takes to die of disease? Do you know how starved you have to be to die of hunger? Do you know how much it takes? It is an extreme. Extreme circumstances. Circumstances that leave a person dead.

Dead.

Millions dead. Dying. Millions. Come to think of it, there’s so many individuals in a million. And then that too as a plurality. If that isn’t horrifying, I don’t know what is.

And there I was, in the middle of it all, taking an extra piece. I felt horrible. It’s such a disgraceful fact — the fact that we can just continue like nothing happened. I did that. I had another piece… and another potato. I saw those images and I should’ve felt so horrible that my appetite should’ve finished.

And I look at myself. Here I am, sometimes praying, sometimes ranting, sometimes arguing with other people about how nothing’s been done. And here I am, turning a blind eye to it all?

So is it me? Am I the fault? Am I the reason multiplied by thousands of individuals who have the capability to live normally that the world is disintegrating? Am I the cause of someone’s misery? But when I look at it… what can I do? At an individual level. If I say this to anyone in real life, they’re likely to give me a fifteen minute lecture (at the very minimum) about how it’s pessimistic people like me who are responsible for the plight of man. About how individuals come together to become a force. And that force brings change.

Pretty words. That is what they are to me: pretty words, which have no consequences in real life. Right now, I have nothing to my name. Wholly dependent for my every need. But let us think of people who are not: surely they can do the “something” required to save humanity?

But no. They have responsibilities. They have duties. They have reasons. Every person is in one way or the other, bound by his own troubles. So who does the ‘something’ that will revolutionise the world?

And what is that “something”? I don’t know. That is my conclusion. As inhumane and desensitised that sounds, that is how I can conclude.

Incessant Dreaming

It had been a few days. Hunger and lethargy floated somewhere amongst these transitions of conscious into unconscious, reality into dream, clarity into haze. A constant thump thump of the raindrops on the tin roof could be heard. A fragile hand tried to move in the darkness of the shabby hut. Was this real? Was it a dream? Everything seemed a dream these days. How long though? How long had this incessant dreaming been continuing? Who knew. And who cared. Because it was true! An insignificant being dying in a dismal hut of hunger and starvation. It didn’t alter the course of the universe. It didn’t hinder the path of the sun. And it didn’t stop this monsoon rain.

The much needed rain. The rain prayed for, the rain begged for.

Yet what good did it do to a dying being? A dying being incessantly dreaming. For the world refused to acknowledge the being as human. But even so, the being had no control over its being. The rain drops seemed to be getting bigger and bigger now. The humidity was suffocating. Soon they were as big as that listless hand. The humidity might turn solid any moment now. The rain drops were bigger than the cars by now: every single drop fell as if a bomb attempting to destroy everything on the face of the earth. And then amongst all the chaos: a thunderous knocking. The door was weak, perhaps weaker than the inhabitant, but it put up a good fight. The inhabitant swore and tried to convince his brain to convince his body to move. The pounding on the door increased, the rain drops got bigger, the humidity got more humid. The being was gasping for air, all the while thinking why was it so difficult to breathe when there was a deprivation of food and not air? The door must’ve opened. The being heard a loud bang where the door hit the wall. Or maybe the door fell down. It was so difficult to tell what was going on. Was this even real? If only reality and dream would distinguish between themselves! Even vision was a burden. And then it was no more. Black.

The being gasped for air until it gasped no more.


Writing prompt:

Incessant dreaming (day 8)

Candy Wrapper

A ten year old boy holds the hand of a six year old girl. His sister, presumably. He has hazel specks hidden in the brown of his eyes. His hair is dirty from playing in the dirt all day. He wears a light blue shalwar kameez. He is smiling, and although his face is dirty, one sees the innocence in it. Now he gets angry, pulls his little sister towards him with a jerk. She had been trying to break free from her brother’s grip. The boy sees the cars along the road, he cannot let his sister be in any danger. Amma told him to take care of her. The girl protests in a loud voice. She has eyes identical to her brother, her hair equally dirty, her face equally muddy. She wears a traditional colourful shalwar kameez, which has tiny mirrors and stones sown into it. Right now, she is scowling. Trying hard to break free from her brother. Why doesn’t bhai let her go free anyways?! A six year old mind cannot fathom the dangers of a main road. He brother sees he has made her angry. He had been saving it for after dinner, when amma would put them to bed and then leave, but figures now is the time.


A little down the main road, a fancy politician sits in his black prado, amidst security escorts and protocol. He is to make an appearance at the local hospital, which had been sealed for the day. In one hand he holds a cigarette, which gently bobs up and down with the motion of the car on the bumpy road. He has a bored expression on his face, a thick black moustache with his thick eyebrows making him constantly look like he is scowling. His security officer briefs him on what must be said and done in the hospital, which wards he must visit, what expression he must have when the camera’s on him. The sirens of a security jeep continuously sound in the background. Three vans containing media personnel try to overtake the black prado, but fail to do so. Men from the security jeeps yelled at the drivers of the vans, threatening to report them to the Saab.


“O dekh! Gaddiyan jandi. (Look! The cars are going)” He said excitedly to his sister.

“Kitthe? (Where?)”

“O dekh na! Uthe.( Look! There)”

His hand had reached the bottom of his pocket. Out came the cheapest candy he could find, the two-ruppee-orange-flavoured candy.

“Ae le. Tere wastay. (Take this. It’s for you.)” he said.

Her eyes beamed with joy. She quickly snatched it from his hand.

The cars were coming nearer.

She let go of his hand. She opened the wrapper, and popped it into her mouth. She threw the wrapper in the dirt.

“Wekh ke guddi. (Be careful/look Guddi),” he warned her.

She was skipping now. Skinny six year old legs adorned with a baggy shalwar, skipping along the road.

“Oye Guddi!” He yelled, “Guddi! Gadiyan aandi pai(the cars are coming)”

It was too late.


The body of a young girl, the hysteric sobs of a brother, the nineteen cars speeding away that constituted the protocol and security of the fancy politician, the indifference of the politician and his subordinates, the lack of interest of the security personnel.

The Candy Wrapper that lay in the dirt.


Another writing prompt completed!

Check out the October Writing Prompts here:

https://zoyakubra.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/october-writing-challenge/