Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My attempt at very very short story writing

The movie playing, inside the city's largest theater, was nearing climax. The protagonist and the villain were engaged in confrontation. People were cheering the protagonist. Suddenly a loud sound of explosion came from the front. The cinema stopped. Momentary silence descended on the cinema hall. Then came the cries and yells from the crowd. Panic engulfed everywhere. Bodies of the dead seemed like islands amidst the blood strewn all around. Ram, a doctor, felt that he would be of help to the injured. He asked his wife to go back home. She, though not in a mood to leave him behind, respected Ram's decision and decided to leave. There was commotion near the exit. There were people shouting at each other. It was a mad scramble to save one's own life. Amidst the chaos, tragedy struck again. Another explosion near the exit. More blood, more bodies and more mayhem. Anxious about his beloved, Ram, caught in the midst of bruised and critically ill, could not help but rush to the door . To his unimaginable horror, he realised that terror had ended his thirty day old marriage life. The magnitude of the cataclysm was so huge that it transcended every form of expression of pain. Movies end. But here, not just the movie, the life of his love too came to an end.
Dreams of a beautiful life to be lived were shattered by those who had death in their minds.

It was post-terror-attack-morning, as usual, the next day. Newspapers, politicians, 'intellectuals' condemned the attacks as ever. They, as is the tradition, asked everyone to maintain communal harmony. Police was under pressure to nab the terrorists. Next day they released computer generated images of the suspected terrorists Nadim and Salim. The faces were shockingly familiar to Suhas, Ram's friend. Feigning themselves as engineering students, they had deceived Suhas to rent his house to them. He immediately called Ram and told him about this. Off they rushed to the police station. Suhas told whatever he knew about them to the police.

A fortnight passed. The two terrorists were caught. Sufficient evidence surfaced against the suspects. Their links with terror organizations, their radical leanings, and their elaborate plan of attack were thoroughly brought out through investigation by the police.

The pace with which the police moved in this case rattled the media. 'Police torturing innocent students' screamed the newspapers and television news channels. There were protest rallies led by human rights activist Ms. Ratnakar. Though sparsely attended, these rallies were described by the media as huge. 'Is our police justified in harassing minorities under the pretense of fighting terror?' asked Mr. Desai, a leading television news anchor, in a tone so shrill that it would have put off the bats in the vicinity that night. Watching this, an otherwise calm person, Ram burst out angrily. In his rage he smashed his television. Suhas, who was then beside Ram, was moved by this magnitude of helplessness of a terror victim. Suhas' eyes went moist, but the moisture glistened in the ray of determination that became visible in his eyes. He made up his mind to organise people and stage a counter protest rally. People came in large numbers. Media condemned it as interference in the 'due course of law'.

But the wheels of justice moved forward unperturbed. The case moved to the courts. The prosecution argued their case diligently. Soon the judgment day arrived. "The two men, Nadim and Salim have been found guilty....This court sentences them to death", came the pronouncement of the judge. Joy that justice had been done, intensely macabre memories of that fateful day and the resulting anger against the murderers filled Ram's mind. Little did he know that the battle was far from over.

The case moved on to the higher court. Verdict remained the same there too. Finally to the supreme court, where too the death sentence was upheld.

'Justice has been unfair', came the media's foul cry. 'Mercy by the President is the only way to soothe assuaged feelings', wrote Ms. Ratnakar in a leading daily. She again hit the road. Violence was manufactured to show, 'the sense of hurt, that was inflicted in the name of religion'. Trivial electoral considerations forced the Government to falter. The convicted terrorists were pardoned.

'Nadim and Salim vindicated', screamed the news channels. Ram, watching this, boiled with anger. The other day there was no expression that could express his pain, today there was no expression that could express his rage, his disgust, his helplessness, his sense of having been denied justice. Memories of his wife swelled up in his mind. He could not save her then from the jaws of death. Now he was unable to see justice done to those who took her life. In his pathos, unable to compose himself, he ended his life.

Few months passed. Another terror strike. This time its prey was the country's home minister. The investigation was high-profile. 'Police arrest Nadim and Salim - main accused in Home Minister's assassination' - read the headlines few days later.

[Due thanks to Guru Anandh for helping me edit this 'story'.]

8 comments:

wanderlust said...

art imitates life?

Liosis said...

And vice versa.

Very bloody. I expected it only to be a paragraph, as it was meant to be short.

Harish said...

[wanderlust]Very much so. In this case,very insipidly.

[liosis]Very bloody indeed.
One paragraph is way too short even for a story as predictable and as thin-plotted as this.

Siri said...

Good stuff.

Some extrapolation would have made it nicer, IMO.
Cheers

Arjun Sharma said...

I had read this before its publication online and duly commended it and you.

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Sandeep said...

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Ramesh BV (ಉನ್ಮುಖಿ) said...

been through your all writeups here.. Liked your sense of choosing topic and your views. You have superb talent of writing..
keep hitting more and more nonsense things. i enjoyed reading.. thank you