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Category Archives: Tales Conjured

Weaving on the thread of imagination…

Whispers beneath the gossamer veil

The path of darkness awaits me. I will have to tread on it today.
Yes, today is the day I had dreamt of. Day and night.
When I would look like a princess. In the gown and the veil.
Yes, everyone says I look like a princess. But they haven’t seen the darkness creeping in, slowly devouring me.
When I would go towards the altar.
My heart is bitter, but I will have to swallow the poison. The moment I step on the aisle, the light that’s shining on me would be extinguished.
When I would be united with the love of my life.
My love has betrayed me. A stranger waits on the altar. With whom my stepmother traded me for money.
When I would utter ‘Till Death do us part’ with James.
James just made promises, but didn’t bother to keep them. Now, I wish Death would come soon. I await my union with death.

Because death would be an end to the darkness. And the ushering of a new dawn.

Again for POLO, who is making me regular at story writing and http://talesthursday.blogspot.com/

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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Tales Conjured

 

On the banks of Styx

Dear Mother,

The snow has melted away. The once-frosty River Styx is flowing again. The radiance of the yellow sun is being reflected by everywhere. Yet, why isn’t spring coming to the Underworld? The trees stand all bare, without a trace of green leaf on them. So are the Asphodel Meadows. It lies barren, no flowers bloom here. No birds chirp, all that I hear are the sighs of the spirits gliding past me. I didn’t dare to look into Tartarus. The anguish and pain of the sufferering spirits send shivers down my spine.
Mother, I am sitting by the Styx as I write this to you. I can’t cross it. Cerberus’s mouth foams with a poison so noxious, whenever I try to call Charon to this bank, that it stifles my breath.
Hades says I must get used here. He says I am the Queen of the Underworld. But Mother, I want to be away, far away from Underworld. I would better be a peasant girl in a kingdom of bliss, rather than the Queen in a kingdom where suffering is the only thing I witness. In fact, I had always been so. You had always kept me away from the machinations of the gods and goddesses, I grew up in my own way. Like a wandering river nymph. So why suddenly would I have to be the Queen of Underworld?
Mother, take me back to Olympus. To the meadows of Arcadia. Mother, please. Where I would pluck flowers again with the nymphs. Where I would sing in joy with the birds. Where the deer graze and green leaves bloom. Where the aroma of the rain-moistened earth  makes me smile. Where there is bliss.
I wish the air of the Underworld has not become heavy enough, so that these balloons may reach you. Take me back, mother, as soon as you read this. I shall wait for Hermes by the bank of Styx till then.
Your loving daughter,
Proserpina.

Demeter read the letter. Shed a tear. Salty drops of water rained on to the earth. No green, no grain. The earth had become a desert. The Spring winds were heavy with the sighs of a mother and a daughter.

Written for POLO and http://talesthursday.blogspot.com/

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2011 in History and Myths, Tales Conjured

 

Twinkle, twinkle

A sudden power cut in a cold, chilly night. No candles. No electric torch. Only a gripping darkness.

She went back to the past. When during power cuts on summer nights, everyone went to the terrace for the cool breeze. When she had been a little girl who lived in a world of her own. A world where fairies and demons, magic and fantasy lived hand in hand. A world where handkerchiefs turned into tabby cats.

And there was the world of stars. Dad had taught her about stars and constellations. The Orion or the Kalpurush. The Great Bear or the Saptarshi. And the names of each star.  The stories behind each. How the shining pole star became Dhrubatara. How pole stars guided sailors when there was no compass. She would listen mesmerised, starry-eyed. When grandpa died, he was supposed to be a star. That big one over there, she thought.

And then she was told stars are great orbs of fire which ultimate die as black holes. How they were present in the day too, but the sun’s light obscured them. How the sun was just another star. How the light of a star which had died thousands of years ago can be seen. How the Big Bang created the stars. About supernovas and all.

She felt the urge to go out and watch the stars once again. She opened the door of the flat’s tiny, narrow balcony and stepped out. Clutching the shawl tightly, her gaze shifted to the piece of sky caught between the two high-rise buildings.

The piece of sky was murky and dark. The stars had disappeared under the thick blanket of fog and smoke.

Or is it that a big Black Hole had devoured the world?

P.S: This is a story I wrote for the joint blog of stories snoozeabuse.blogspot.com . Polo had asked me to write a story around noon. I came up with this by evening.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2010 in Tales Conjured

 

Hunger

On a night like this, he would not have been out. But tonight, was different. This night had arrived with dark clouds and smell of jasmine. Not fresh jasmine. But the stale, wild fragrance of a potpourri. And he knew.  Another episode of the saga of hunger would unfold tonight. He, the old caretaker of the dilapidated mansion located far south of the town, would remain the lone witness to it.

He proceeded to the gate of the mansion. Trudging on the once-gravelled, weed-ridden path. His legs were heavy. Rheumatism. Old age. How old? He could not guess. He could never remember when he was young.

The night was violent. Lightning flashed often. Ripping the black breast of the sky with dazzling, purplish, zigzag lines. Clouds thundered, howling with all their might. Rain poured down. Hitting the shards of the window-panes. The smell of jasmine grew stronger. A blaze of lightning illumined the statue in his eyes. Inspite of his age, his eyes glistened. He observed the statue. Amidst the garden in front. A woman with a pitcher. Sculpted of white marble, pale as death. Yes, water was flowing from the pitcher. Like witches’ oils. Burning green, and blue, and white. It was time.

His weary feet reached the rust-eaten-iron gate. He opened it with a screech. Like the cry of a bird of prey. A young man, wet with rain, holding a lighted electric-torch, was waiting.

“Who are you?” asked the man, curiously.

“The caretaker, babu.”

“I want to enter the house.”

“Babu, go back. It’s dangerous.”

“I know. I want to explore.”

“As you wish”. The man entered.  His torch went out. He walked briskly to the door. It creaked as he opened it. He went in.

The old man watched. Through the holes of the moth-eaten, dusty, damask tapestry.  With a wry smile on his wrinkled lips. A candle was lit inside. Another brilliant dazzle. His eyes turned to the statue.

A vague, graceful form, draped in white, descended. She kept the pitcher on the moist earth. Went inside the mansion. Slowly, silently but surely. Scent of jasmine lingered in the damp wind. A thunder rumbled. Its roar seemed to be strangled. The candle’s flame flickered out. Not with a bang but a whimper. She came out. Walked to the garden. Took the empty pitcher on her hand. Petrified into marble again. Jasmine faded away. Lightning dazzled. He saw the fiendish smile gleaming on her bloody, crimson lips. It was over.

He retreated. He would not be out again until another night comes. When monsoon mingles with jasmine and witches’ oils. When the statue’s insatiable hunger takes another life. As it had taken his. Long ago.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2009 in Tales Conjured