They had never seen a monster like this before. The one who came from within and destroyed the entire village. The half human-half dolphin looked enormous. Some said there were two of them while some believed it was just a dolphin. All said and done, the preachers said it was a new avatar of Lord Shiva and suddenly, the waters became the new Ganga..
The school bag was kind of heavy today. Kiran, who was walking beside me, had an idyllic smile on his face. We were supposed to meet the guy near that deserted dockyard. I could smell the sea as we got near the place. There, in the shadows of a ramshackle boat, stood our stranger. On reaching he surreptitiously passed on a packet which I safely deposited in my bag. Then he gave a small pack to Kiran. “A test dose for you boys,” he said and left. An exhilarated Kiran turned to me and said, “Let’s do it”! .
I couldn't look away.
It was the third day. And the body would surface today. So said folk wisdom.
I hoped it wouldn't. I hoped it had been washed away into the deep, unforgiving sea.
I hope the sea was as unforgiving as me as I slit Rohan's throat. I could forgive him everything but the betrayal. I loved him so.
The other man was making me uncomfortable. Why was he standing there? I wish he would go away.
I watched as he waded into the water. And then, he turned and looked at me, with Rohan's unforgiving eyes..
Binod is putting that sack inside the boat. He is in a hurry right now as the sky is getting darker. “You are free,” he mumbled on his own. He simply got out from the boat and lit a cigarette with those hands with blood marks. He said again, “You wouldn’t be mine so you are not anyone’s!” He started to laugh. “I disturbed you? I was the one who wanted to marry you! YOU ARE FREE, MAYA!” Binod rubbed his foot over the cigarette. The eve teaser’s smoke slowly went up to the dark sky and blended in..
The economy of the small village predominantly thrived on exporting fish to the adjacent town. The earnings of the village dwellers was hit hard as the fish refused to come out of the lake. Thus started the eerie reports in the local newspaper. A man was supposedly lost, only to resurface in the lake tangled in shredded ropes of plastic. The villagers had identified the monster and did their best to clean the lake. What had they done to deserve the toxic garbage from the town to which they innocently supplied fish?.
“Fair enough,” I muse as I finish bringing colours to the old black and white photo my grandpa gave.
I distinctly remember the story he told me. The people of his village had spotted a long–necked creature a few times. Some said it was a rare breed of dolphin. They raided the lake but couldn’t find the local mythical creature. Why would they? The bashful giant was safely put into the sea by a certain teenager. The lake had started to become small for it..
Each morning they went out into the blue waters of the sea. “The fish must be caught before the fiery sun rises,” the wise old man would say. They knew if they were late, they'd return with empty nets, to empty kitchens and pangs of hunger.
But the sea is a mysterious creature. You never know the secrets she holds. This morning they had left early, as usual. The fish they caught fueled not their kitchen stoves.
He was 19 and wore a skullcap. She was 16, the pundit’s daughter. Their corpses, stiff, still held hands.
"This is definitely a Chinese technology but how did it reach here in Kerala some 400 years back?"
"It was out of love, my friend, pure love."
"You mean to say one Chinese man settled here after falling in love with a local woman and taught this fish catching technique to locals. Fascinating!"
"No, stupid, a bunch of them stayed back for toddy and never returned after getting hooked. You should also try it once."
It had been a long day and a bit of writing always soothed him. As he stared at the image, he knew people would jump on the piling waste and alluring sea monsters. He wondered if they would see the picturesque landscape and soothing blues.
Lost in thought, he gazed out through the balcony. Even the roaring city had now donned tranquillity and was at peace. They blamed it for causing the pollution. What about the explosion they were causing in the name of employment and business? The city was once peaceful too. He sighed at the revelation, signing off. .