Saturday, June 12, 2010

Origin

"I think I can take him." said Vic, rubbing his wrist with his right hand. "Hell no! You'll die before you even lay a hand on him." scolded Arya.
They were travelling from the southern parts of Rajasthani lands, to the lush greens up north, when they'd chanced upon a pair of robbers roaming that area in search of unarmed travellers. They looked like a married couple, the robbers, and when Arya studied them closely, they didn't seem that bad either. But then, as she gazed into each one's eyes, all she could see was nothing. No emotions, just a cold calculating mind. They were the eyes of killers, of one who had learnt to survive with nothing but their partner and the clothes on their backs. It wasn't a pretty picture. The woman walked with a catlike grace, almost as if she could slice open her throat before she could even realize she's moved. Her face was covered with a black cloth that draped around her shoulders and down her back, not unlike the famed Bedouins of the Arabian deserts. Through those drapes, Arya could see a long silver thing, probably a dagger, sticking out from her belt. The man, similarly clad, was more hefty and his arms were scarred beyond recognition, some thin as if cut from a sword, while some were deep gashes lining up his arm as if he'd single-handedly wrestled a desert wolf. 
As they approached the robbers, Arya tensed. She didn't like confrontations of any kind, let alone a fight. She was more of a peace lover. A diplomat so to speak. As far as she remembered, she had shied away from fights, even given up things just to avoid raising an arm, and it had worked for her till now. But the way they looked at Vic and her, she was certain there would be some exchange of threats, and most probably from the ever loose-tongued Vic, and she could not afford that. But then they could not afford to give up anything they had with them either. The deserts were merciless and supplies were essential.
The couple approached them. 
"Well well well...what have we here?" said the woman. 
"So clichéd." whispered Vic to Arya and rolled his eyes.
"Come on Vic, overconfidence killed the cat as well, not just curiosity." Arya thought and then wondered what made her think of that.
"A couple of travellers, like you two." said Vic.
"That I can see smartmouth. Anyway, I ain't one for small talk. We need supplies, you got them. Hand 'em over. Quick!" the woman said, her voice flat and emotionless, so much so that it took the two of them a second to realize the threat she'd implied.
"It's not a good idea to go up against them right now. What if Vic gets injured? Hell, he no doubt will get injured. Just look at that brute behind her! I bet he wouldn't even flinch if I kicked him in the groin." thought Arya. "Can't we negotiate...er..." she started.
"Riz." prompted the woman. "The name's Riz and this 'ere is my man Pasha. But what's in a name, eh? Now, HAND 'EM OVER!"
Arya observed that her raised voice had a distict edge in it. She most certainly was losing patience, which never was a good thing. And so was Vic. She felt his grip on her hand tighten as thoughts of a fight raced through his mind. Vic never was a thinker, and it was mighty hard to control him once he let go.
"No way, Riz or whatever your name is, these are OUR supplies and WE need them. If you think we'll just give up our food without a fight, you're bloody well mistak...!" Arya didn't even realize when Riz had moved, pulled out the silver dagger and held it against Vic's throat even before he could finish his bold challenge.
"Listen here boy, we have little time and even less patience to spare. Do you want to see your girlfriend here die? Or would you like to go first? Do as we say if you know what's best."
Vic wasn't a slow one himself. He sidestepped to his right and in the same fluid motion tried to grab Riz's arm, hoping he could twist it into his own grip but the moment he reached out, he felt a sharp piercing pain in his forearm. He jumped back a step, saw something move out of the corner of his eye and ducked just in time to see a silver blur fly past his ear, taking a bit of his hair with it. Riz was faster than either of them had imagined. She'd countered Vic's move with a short quick slice from her dagger, cutting into his arm, all the while anticipating his movement and thrown her dagger in the direction Vic would have landed had he not noticed it in the nick of time.
All this happened in a matter of few seconds and then, "VIC!!!" shouted Arya and rushed to his side. Vic kneeled there, clutching his forearm while blood slowly dripped through his fingers and onto the ground. "Stop it! Don't hurt him anymore!" she shouted, tears now welling up in her eyes. "Take whatever you want! Just don't kill him. Please!!"
Vic growled, an almost animal rage taking him over. "Stay out of this Arya..I won't let these thugs take away our food and water. Now stand back!" He roared, pushed her to the side and charged forward towards Riz who was now unarmed and watching them with a hint of amusement, as if she didn't believe in this drama.
"WATCH OUT VIC!!"
But it was futile. Time almost slowed down as Arya saw Vic charge towards Riz while Pasha unhooked a huge whip from his belt and pulled back.
CRACK! 
As a gunshot, the sound rang out in the air and suddenly things came back into perspective and she saw Vic flung upwards and then flat down onto the ground from his own momentum as the long black whip wrung his neck like a Mamba about to strike it's prey down. He lay on the ground, gasping for breath, tugging at the whip, writhing in pain and from lack of oxygen.
She could bear it no longer. Tears escaped her eyes as Arya fell to the ground, begging for mercy.
"Please let him go, I beg of you. He will die if you don't let him go. Let him go!" She collapsed on the ground, sobbing, got up again, trying to stand. Her mind was in turmoil and her body did not listen to her. Her friend was dying and she would no doubt follow him. Or get stranded in the middle of this desert with nothing to eat or drink. She could see Vic turning pale, his soul trying it's best to hang on to his body while the death-noose pulled it away from this world. She didn't know what to do. All she could say was "Please let him go. Please. Please!" Suddenly she found some strength in her an flung herself at Riz, she didn't know why. Riz raised one hand and brought it down hard against her face and she went flying back. She felt giddy, nauseous from the punch. Her face stung and blood flowed freely from her nose which was now bent in a way it shouldn't. She lay on the sand, watching helplessly as Pasha put one leg on Vic's chest and pulled the whip, a crooked smile on his face.
"This can't be happening. Not now...No.. no.." she repeated to herself.
Riz walked over and picked up her dagger. "Now what can we do with this thing. I wonder..." she toyed with it, tossing it up in the air, twirling it between her fingers as she casually walked up to Vic and knelt beside him. "You do have a big heart, boy."
"Please Riz, let him go. You can take all you want from us." pleaded Arya.
"Trying to save your food and your girlfriend..."
"Don't hurt him..."
"Let's have a look at it right now, shall we?" and she raised her dagger.
"No...no...NO!" Arya saw the hilt of the dagger gleam in the light of the setting sun.
Riz tensed her grip and brought it down on Vic's chest.

"NO...NO....NO!!!" 

Arya sat up, screaming, as she saw the dagger slice the air as it moved swiftly towards his chest. Her mind could take it no longer. Her vision blurred...

Suddenly, there was a searing pain in the back of her head, as if someone or something was pushing at it. From the inside. Her mind screamed and she threw back her head, screaming along with it. The pain originated from the base of her skull and shot across to the top of her head like a bolt of lightening. She saw Red. Violet. Magentas..colours she could not name. Her entire spine was ablaze with heat. She heard her bones crack..no, crackle, as if they were paper being crumpled and crushed. Down her spine, the bolt of lightening pain moved down to her legs and back up again into her groin.
She let out a feral scream and her body began to change.


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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Friends, Drinks and Rains

It seems that nowadays, the only times I blog or write is when I'm high. Which is why I blog less these days :P But seriously, words flow easier when you're drunk. Be it words you say or type. Although typing becomes a problem and I'm thankful for my awesome predictive text programme to correct my shitpot English when I type drunk. Anyway, as I was about to say...and as I've said many times before, what better way to get high than on life and with friends?
Well, I got selected to MICA, which is arguably the premier institute for communications management in India, and I couldn't be happier! My dream is becoming more and more real. Slowly yes, but surely it is. Two more weeks and I leave my home, my friends and childhood memories in Mumbai and shift to Ahmedabad for two years. MBA is gonna be a huge step for me, and however much I may downplay it, I'm nervous as shit. Hostel life's definitely something to look forward to. And since I'll be gone for two years and then get placed God knows where, this will probably be the last time I'll meet some of my friends here in Mumbai. I met a bunch of them today, and they gave me two awesome ties to wear at MICA, so a BIG thanks to all of you.
You guys rock!

Lately, I've been spending major time at bookstores, reading this wonderful graphic novel series called Buddha by Osamu Tezuka. Him being the godfather of Manga n all, it really lives up to his reputation and expectations. I'm on the fourth novel and can't seem to wait to read more. Sadly owing to my broke state of finances, I really can't afford to buy these books, so I read them on the couches of the nearest Crossword bookstore. I do plan to buy them though in the near future. I used to think Buddha's life was all about preaching the values of Buddhism to his followers(boring as I saw it to be) but NO, I was so wrong! His life was as exciting as it could be! You guys should really pick this one up!



Also, THE FIRST RAINS ARE HERE! We got a nice drizzle going here in Mumbai, and the Earth smells heavenly! I can just sit at my window for hours listening to the rain and the sounds of nature. Luckily(and unluckily in some ways, though I won't elaborate on those) my home is in a very green part of town, so much so that we have all kinds of insects, animals and lizards all over this colony. So much so that it's almost like a mini jungle out here. I'd found a seven foot rock python under my car last monsoon. I found an amazing variety of insects taking shelter from the rains under the stairwell leading to my doorstep...now usually insects creep me out, but these? They were beautiful! Vivid Violets, brilliant blues, emerald greens, magnificent magentas even! I couldn't believe the myriad of colours that were crawling about on the ground! I wish I had my camera with me so you guys could check them out. Maybe next time.

Anyway, I'm quite buzzed now, and need some shut eye. So with the crickets singing me my lullaby and the rains pattering on my window, I bid you adieu and hope I write more often so that I get to talk to you guys sooner!

Cheers and happy monsoons!

P.S. Some great golden oldies playing on the radio. I'm loving this day more and more!