FRAME 14 STORIES

Audition

Anand Halve

He tiptoed into the recording room, after everyone had gone. Stood in front of the mike, as he had seen the singers do hundreds of times. Turned on the equipment reverently, and sang the 'abhangs' he had heard as a child. Sang out loud and sang out long. The richness of his voice and the devotion to Vithoba reverberated mesmerizingly in the studio.
Then, breaking into sobs, he stopped. Took a deep breath and went out. Only the stone-deaf night watchman had seen the sweeper-boy at the mike.
Next morning the auditions for a new voice continued.

The Voice

Paro

"Salute"
The booming voice echoed. The cadets obeyed implicitly.
Everyone in the barracks called him 'The Stentorian'. He always waved away the Mic. Saying 'I'd rather rely on my voice’. It can be heard across the parade ground, raw, naked, and proud, just like the Greek Stentor whose voice reached across the walls of Troy calling men to fight.
He had just instructed 'About turn'. Every back was facing him. Suddenly Stentor's voice froze, his heart was failing, and he choked. His hand reached out, just a sound, a croak was all he wanted. He died yearning for the Mic.

Promises

Vikas

Why?
I have been here since last April. For first one and half months I was really happy. Everyone wanted to spend time with me. I saw couple of them with shaky legs mesmerised by my presence, one really angry man with rolled up sleeves, One talking to me for so long that I almost fell asleep. I thought I was making few good friends. Everyone promised they will never stop coming back.
It’s been six months but no one has come back to talk to me. I think I should go back to wedding circuit.

The Debut

Divya Iyer

The stage was set. He gulped nervously as he peered through the wings. The crowd couldn't contain its excitement, and the hushed whispers between the smaller groups, together sounded cacophonous. He took a deep breath and walked towards the microphone. He held it with both hands and cleared his throat. The crowd went silent, all eyes on him.
"Could the owner of MH12 GH7354 report at the reception? Your car is blocking the drive-way."
As he quickly walked back, the chatter started again. He spotted Shyam. "Where the hell was you?"
"Pee-break", Shyam grinned . "But you did well."

The Murderer

Chandini Roy

Like all other mornings, I walked past his cell just when the muezzin was heard over the public address system, expecting to see the familiar sight of him kneeling on his prayer mat. But this morning when I didn't see him in his usual position, I wondered why! When I peered into his cell, I knew why. He was a free man now.
In his otherwise empty diary, all that was written was, "For the love of God, I couldn't let them take my mother away for killing my father to save me from being killed!"

The Funeral

The Storyteller

The eulogies for Alex continued.
“Alex was a pain”. The audience chuckled. “It always seemed he knew more than me; I had terrible insecurity being his boss. But he was my go-to man for a tough task. He..” Martin sobbed uncontrollably and walked off the stage.
Finally, it was Alex’s turn. “Damn, holding your own funeral service is bad idea”. Everybody laughed. “But my terminal illness, gave me this rare opportunity to hear you out. Others may not be so lucky. If you love somebody tell them.”
Alex funeral service was a reminder about a basic lesson of life.

Ray of Light

Sejal

Amy was holding the mic for the first time, she was touching and understanding the device. She was seeming so confident about everything.
Whereas me, her mom I was all fidgety, I was continuously praying with one hand holding the seat tightly and other with fingers crossed was waiting for the show to start.
Teacher announced "Now our lovely Amy will read her poetry 'Ray Of Light'
Amy delivered a beautiful poem with a mic in one hand and her braille book in another.

The Reluctant Singer

Nikki

"Uncle, I can sing that song better!", Nikki, 12, said excitedly as she pretended to hold a mike and began singing. Ghosh uncle applauded enthusiastically but her father gave her a deadly stare.
That evening, while studying, she made mistakes as usual. Her father held a fistful of her hair and twisted her head around, as he shouted: " So you think you can sing?! Stop that nonsense and focus on your studies!"
Today, her friends say she sings really well, but she still dreams of singing on stage and hoping to catch her father applauding in the audience.

||SHRI RAGA||

Shivani

Modern age instruments are like Ironsmith's bellows. And keyboards, Harlot's skirt! Colourful. Shiny.
What copper reeds and scales they fixed them with, in those days, and what perfect music they generated. Gharana singers practiced the intricate Merukhand Paltas by rote. Impeccable finesse over breathing. Now crammed up four-five alankaras and 'technically pliable' high & low octaves fabricate playbacks. Piya Ki Najariaaaaa... vocal cords dismembering Raga Yaman, the local Mahavidyalaya sangeet teacher readjusted mic over her Tanpura from Meeraj, with perseverance. Two decades of 3:00 am riyaaz was Shri's keynote to withstand Millennium's Rockstar in International Music Festival.

Antigone's Last Wish

Aime

The show started at the same time.
December, hence only a few turned up. "Sophocles's Antigone "
She transformed into Antigone , trying to bury her brother, Polyneices. Endlessly pleading with thebans & creole. Her sobs & cries would send chills across the audience.
She never did films ; She was Antigone.
Twenty years have passed in pleading & characters kept playing their roles.
Creon found a Job & Haemon was going home.
Tonight is the last Show.A multiplex replaces the theater.
*Microphone Crackles*
Antigone : "Enough! Tonight I'll bury my brother & I won't ask anyone"
*Empty Chairs *

Sound of Silence

Neil

She tucked herself a little bit more into her cashmere shawl; a night full of thunderstorm and lightening, that burning lamp-post, the only one, flickered a bit. She looked at the parallel tracks of rails, expressionless. Even the station ignored her existence, for it was too busy enjoying the symphony of rain over its rustic roof. She reciprocated, for she was rehearsing her own song, the silence, the only thing she ever heard. To her it was a blessing; else who would want to hear the sound of a bomb going off? Especially, if you're the one.

One More Story

Matilda Briggs

Steve held the mike and said, "As CEO of Apple, let me tell you one more thing! Connect the dots and find out what you love." As a kid, his father had taught him that microphones required an electronic amplifier. But, when he spoke into Larry's carbon mike, a speaker amplified his voice. His father was wrong. So, he presumed that he was unique and smarter than his parents. That memory always stayed with him and made him feel special. And now, he was addressing an eager audience, hanging on to every word falling from his mouth.

The doors of perception

Gairo

Was he a reincarnation of a famous American singer who’d died young or a hoax? According to his parents at the age of six he sang his first foreign language melody in an illiterate family. He sang his way up in the society in a heartbeat but obsessed if he really were a rebirth of a lost soul? He never felt any trans-mundane epiphany about this, no perception of his own. At the same age, on the same day he disappeared. Some say “he died”, “Aliens took him”, “He achieved Nirvana” and some just hope that he may return to rock their worlds.

My story when I was eight.

Keya

It was impossible for me to sing. I had a shrill voice and wasn’t musical either.
My friend convinced me to participate in a rock and roll competition.
I agreed.
Backstage everyone was practicing. When my turn came, I was handed a mic with a pink dot on it.
I pressed the dot.
Suddenly I felt as if I am a different person.
I started singing and my voice changed miraculously and went on to win that competition.
I believe there is a power around us that always makes impossible possible.

Rock Star

Roshan D'Souza

I remember those teen fantasies of wanting to be a rock star. To stand up in front of a large live audience and sing a mean Guns N Roses rock anthem. It’s been a couple of decades of bathroom singing and here I am on Baga beach, Goa at St. Anthony’s karaoke shack when the DJ announces “Up next, Roshan with GNR Patience”
I grab the mike and belt it out with gusto. Thank you! Thank you! You can now call me Axl Roshan!
That’s one off my bucket list and suddenly every karaoke joint is in danger.

Stage Fright

The Oddfather

His hands were clammy as he held the mike, the mainly black audience looking up to him with hope and despair in their eyes. He wondered if they could see how shaky and nervous he was, the Great Black Hope, standing up on this historic stage. Martin had always been unable to cope with stage fright ever since he was a child. But this was certainly not the time.
There was too much at stake! With a great deal of determination, and there was certainly no scarcity of that, Martin Luther King continued, “I have a dream...”

To Be or Not To Be

Monica Serban

The dominant color was red.
The textures varied though: moist, soft, moss like, but also some hard ones.
In the background, a rhythmic, but slowed noise buzzed.
The grey matter spoke:
“I know some bad things happened to you. I know you were ignored and sometimes beaten and intoxicated. I know you want justice and you want to retire into silence. But I do not think it is time yet. So why don’t we all make one last effort and show her we are still alive?”
The woman who was about to be disconnected from life support woke up.

Alcoholic Anon-Animosity

Zeeshan Ali Akbar

I had to give speech.
It had been resilient 5 weeks since I didn't ingest the nectar of the gods. My AA director insinuated that public speaking will help me and may inspire others.
It all began when I was intervened by my wife and daughter.
I stayed up the whole night, constructing the speech; the poignant moment of that November night.
I woke up late and somehow managed to reach the podium on time.
Before I could commence, I was booed by the crowd. Accidentally I wore a JackDaniel T-shirt.
I needed bourbon as I gawked at microphone.

Of Free Cost

Iyer

An audience waited with bated breath. Where is he? I hope this is worth the money.
Backstage, a lone figure stood. Blurred images and a thumping heart, he looked at the spark of light that shimmered. He let himself take a deep breath as the bait and walked up to the stage. As the white noise turned to an uproar of black, he couldn't help but smile as he felt his ego nurse his now lost soul.

Wordless Emotions

Harleen

She walked up to the mic, the stage was set for her. It was the moment for her to unfurl her dreams. Destiny laughed in her face. His father wanted to see her there, always. He was sleeping peacefully in his grave. She shed a tear and walked away from the stage. The dream died the moment he had closed his eyes.

The Sound of Silence

Vijay Gupta

The contestants sang one after the other. Every performance had ended with applause. Now it was her turn. The little girl smiled as she turned to face the audience. Music started playing. The microphone was useless for her because she didn’t sing. She rose her arms instead. She gestured. In the moments that followed, her movements 'sang'. When she was done, the audience paused before applauding. A pause when they stopped to think, "Her silence can speak louder than our words."

Voice It

Akshay Kokane

Finally the day had arrived. The day when the world was going to see him. The world was going to hear her. The world was going to know that, they exist.
His voice narrated all the screaming silence and hers a silencing scream.
Together in that moment they lived.

The Visitor

Anand

He came every night,
to sing his lullabies.
As a ritual,
for his angel.
Hall echoed with his whispers,
but no one clapped,
expect his heart.
Microphone stood still,
with his shaking hands.
Yet to complete,
the charming end.

Black gown and the microphone

Parekhit

She didn't quite like a black gown. She always had a thing for pearly whites. She never chose to wear anything black. For black reminded her of darkness. And she was a lady full of light. For 60 years- Christmas, first prom, first date, wedding; pearly white gowns enhanced her immaculate beauty. For 60 years, her radiance, her enigmatic smile kept making people believe in love. Today, her eyes are wet, the smile has vanished. She wears a black gown and readies herself to speak on the microphone. The funeral speech for her dead husband.

Cacophony

Aadya

It was the night when she reached the pinnacle. There were hundreds of people, maybe thousands, she wouldn't know. It was all she had dreamed off. Her voice echoed the hall and walls shivered as she steered through the musical ups and lows. She was as if hypnotized by her own performance. She sang her last note and took a bow. The crowd remained silent before bursting into a round of applause. They had witnessed brilliance. She walked amidst her standing ovation to never return back. She was at the zenith. There would never be another performance.

Prologue to a Song

Sayantan Goswami

The cluster of dancing lights, blurred and floating, carved some footmarks in me. I was trembling in despair, in peace, in stillness, in chaos. I could see the microphone shining like a holy stone, an amplified baton for the voice. A maroon tinged shiver was slowly scribbling my spine. The walls of the auditorium seemed to breathe like a gigantic piano accordion. I was about to open my moist lips, to move my tongue, and gently tear a mesh of notes to sing a song that originated from her kiss.

Truth

Ahi25

They announced her name. And she noticed thousands of people are staring at her. They were eager to hear her. Today for this crow, this society she is the hero. For whom, for ages, she was an omen. But now when court gave her justice they want to know the truth from her. The same truth which they refused to listen from years.

And So It Began

Nameet Shetty

This was it. The big moment. The big break. The years of training, the hours of straining, had all boiled down to this single minute in the abyss of oblivion which was my life. I saw the sea of people in front of me, here to see me paint the silence in the air with my song. A bead of sweat caressed the back of my ear. A wad of saliva peeped down my throat. It was time. I sipped on some purity out of a bottle. I grasped the microphone. My lips parted … and so it began.

The Final Will

Liz

Never imagined that the first time I would be speaking on a microphone will be to record my final will. I’ll die tomorrow.
My Will:-
My dear countrymen and women, I stabbed a man who tried to rape me.
But If I wouldn't have then, he would have. You would have found my naked body lying in some garbage. You think I made the wrong choice? If a girl being raped should attack in self-defence to save herself only to die in a prison or let the rapist rape and die each day?
Bring out the change.
Thank you.

Once upon a time

Rahul

"Good morning principal sir, teachers, students and my dear friend"
This seemed to be a pretty easy and small sentence but Rahul took ages to complete this.
He was studying in 9th grade and he stammered a lot. As soon as he finished this line he started crying and everyone in the crowd were laughing and to add insult to his injury his teacher screamed
"We don’t have time. Speak faster"
Everyone was literally laughing at him.
He ran from the stage and committed suicide.
Still people are laughing at him.

A Quaint Lover

Ankita Chauhan

Suddenly she held me tight, seemed a little hesitated though, and still shared his timeless beautiful intonation with me.
“That sense of unspoken words,
That distraction causing your veiled eyes,
That thin crescent moonlit on my lips,
And collision of our heartbeats
In the dark folds of night,
Love consumed two souls
You and I.”
I got awestruck! Almost in love. My silence slept off into the echoes of thunderous claps. Her questioning eyes were searching for single glance of her inspiration that dimpled monsieur. And once again I, a quaint lover was being left as another Connoisseur.

Innocent girl

Srujana Adhikari

She was standing on the stage facing the empty seats. Being a singer her dream was to perform here but not like this. He had got her here tying her hands and legs, wrapping a cloth on her mouth and eyes. He had unwrapped the cloth on stage and to her surprise asked her to sing. She started singing her last ever song hoping someone would turn up to save her. After few minutes people walking outside heard a loud sound but no one cared just walked on. One more innocent girl, one more prey to ruthless serial killer.

A Freudian Fraud

K. Sahasranaman

I can’t recollect who pushed me. My knees had gone weak when my name was called out. Standing under the unforgiving glare of spotlight, drops of sweat formed rapidly on my brow. My eyes were glazed over, but I sensed the all-women audience appraising me in the cold darkness.
Was I supposed to speak? Or sing? No, I had to tell a joke, a dirty joke.
And suddenly the mike came into sharp focus, taunting and challenging.
Ladies, I began, today I plan to shed my inhibitons….
The catcalls were ringing in my ears when I woke up.

The little voice in my head

Avani

I am just a regular person,
who loves a real laugh
who dreams of a stress-free world
who craves for a good meal
who looks out for friends
who stands up for what's right
who wants more money and less work to do.
But I am also the regular person,
who hates violence and deceit
who believes in love
who wishes things could change
who has a lot of questions
who has answers too few
who doesn't understand why
I am just a regular person,
who wants to get her voice heard

Her Concert

Apoorva Mathur

Fifteen years later.
"It wasn't like a physical crush, Naina. I wanted to talk to you, be with you. A bit like that PhD comic (was it?) on friend-love. But I could never say it to you. The book is about that."
"It was different for me, Rathin. I didn't feel the same way. I wanted to breathe you, smell you, taste you. I wanted to clasp you hard and never let you go. The 'Maahiya' in my songs is you.

The Song of Resurrection

Bharat Gupta

I saw her walking towards the mic and the last decade flashed before my eyes. I knew she was born to perform, to sing from the first time I met her. Her young energy, her free spirit; she was an instant success. Today, I see her shiver, unsure if she could ever sing. But it was time to forget the past, time to erase the painful love and sacrifice. She wasn’t walking to the mic, but towards a new life. As she cleared her throat, we were ready for her voice to become a part of our lives again.

Testing

Shakti Shetty

Feet tremble as they approach the stage. Flashlights are blinding too. And like on a cue, sweat breaks on his brow. Funnily enough, he feels cold though. There are goosebumps in him trapped like never before. They want to escape but don’t understand how to create a Mexican wave on his skin. However, he trudges towards the microphone before taking a look at the crowd. The silence is noisy enough to make him forget the lyrics of a song he had sung a thousand times without skipping a beat. But now is different. Something only his quivering fingers know.

Beautiful Silence

Akshaya Pai

Gangster's moll they called her. She sang at the club. She would always sing her heart out. Not for the gangster, but for the stranger who visited every night.
As nights passed, he was a stranger no more. His smile warmed the cockles of her heart. She would dedicate songs to him. But he never acknowledged. Little did she know he could never hear her. Or anyone else. He just loved to look at her beautiful face as she sang, knowing he would never be able to enjoy her voice.

Frozen

Ranjeeta S

Veronica was frozen with the idea of 1st time on the stage…LIVE!! Yes
Isn’t it something that she waited to happen for all these years, then why is she not happy?
But at this moment ,all she wanted was to run away , to where her heart was pushing her…To Neil’s way…to the airport to beg him not to leave her , not to go …to stay with her ,forever!!
…and the next minute there was just the announcement, calling out to her name, while she knew that she has a new dream and a new life to look forward to…

A new address

Santosh Gupta

One day a middle aged lady came to my school office and requested me to accept her books .She narrated, when I insisted, that she had to move to her younger brother's place ,whom she had brought up after her parents' demise .She did not marry but got her brother married.
Now she had to move there but without the baggage, the things which she thought were her own.
When I thanked her for her books her teary eyes smiled .She was relieved that her books too have got a New Address like her.

Banshee

Cristina Sasu

It was following her everywhere. In her purse; in the grocery bag; in her gun’s holster. It was driving her insane.
“Can’t get rid of the bloody thing! She says throwing it out. “I don’t need this! I have a little boy to find!”
Granny smiles.
“You will!”
Home, in bed, the phone rings. She reaches to grab it and finds the cold microphone. She’s had it! Angry, she screams so loud all the windows crack, then slams it on the wall. Silence. Suddenly she hears something: a muffled cry… a scared heartbeat.
“God! I know where he is!”

Chimanlal Masala Television Guilds Awards

Venkatesh G

KJo pouts for the cameras onstage and says ‘Nominees for Best Television Actor award are..’
Downstage, the nominees ponder:
Gautam: ‘I have already taken 3 rebirths in last 2 years. If I don’t win, then I will take rebirth as a woman’
Sushant: ‘If I win, I will go onstage and kiss Karan. He may then take me in his next movie’
Ronit: ‘Thank God, atleast I am nominated here and not in Lifetime achievement category’
Jay: ‘If I win, I hope Ekta finally starts paying me as an actor’
Dhaya: “I am nominated! Huh?”
‘And the winner is…’

Word for Word.

Priyanka Dey

Fear has a strength of its own. Yes it derives power by burning into our souls but it gives us that little push we need to take flight. That day I probably would have not spoken amidst the great but patriarchal minds of our country. But I had to, someone had to! The men who think they have reigned our lives for eternity and will continue to do so, who have decided to speak, think, believe and act for us will have to stop and listen. Take note of our choices. Word for a word. Hand for a hand.

Scholarship

WoMania neverborn

"Amy, ready ?" Asked Sir.
No... I'm not, please cancel it...I thought. "Yes sir" I said.
Today I had fight with him. He's going his hometown today for 2 months. It was pre-planned, unplanned was our fight today, 1 day before my presentation. My scholarship depended on this.
Heart was limping as i stepped on stage. I addressed gathering in low voice. Suddenly door opened. Million stars shone in my eyes as i saw his silhouette. He cancelled his flight.
My mic turned alive, explaining complicated matters in simple manner. Audience gave big applause.
My scholarship... standing at door.

I hear you!

Harshad Mokashi

Silence; it's my worst enemy and my best friend. I am standing behind the curtains ardently waiting to take the stage. Although I can't hear them, I can sense a sea of people filling the auditorium. I sneak a glimpse through a small opening. All I can see is a lonely mic standing steady, anticipating my voice. I have been waiting my whole life for this moment, to show the world that I may be deaf but I have a talent too. Don't call me underprivileged, I don't need your favors, pity or false sympathy. I too can sing.

Nirvana

Rajini Raj

He held her close. Lost in a sensuous embrace, he trembled. He lay down on his couch, while she owned him. Whispering into his ears tunes of truth, she consumed him, slowly but with growling domination. He could do nothing but submit himself to her. As the night grew darker, and the sounds of wolves echoed down the halls, she grew intense. Leaving him panting but asking for more. She bit into his flesh and watched as his soul bled with pleasure. He smiled.
LSD, you bitch. Let the show begin. For a rock star is born tonight.

To Feel Alive

Jayashree Aanand

Like a rich girl- who was a medium to reach the masses, who was got manipulated by those sugar-coated words, was got married, used, touched, abused, and then left alone when they were done; 'it' is standing still, in the middle of the crowd, to find the purpose of its life- serving them more than itself, haunted by the memory of those touches which once made it feel its existence, just to feel alive! Meaning of its life!

The Anticipation

Avinash

The camera panned towards the stage, a lonely mike plugged in, waiting for the leader to address.
The security was tight, every nook and corner of the stage secured. People were waiting in anticipation for their much hyped leader to speak.
There was a threat issued for this rally. Neither the people gathered nor their leader was concerned. The leader was on stage, and he starts off the shenanigans. From the chest pumping to the finger pointing every tactic used.
After hour of enduring their leader speak, the audience understood the threat.

Farewell

Mridani Shukla

With a trembling hand she adjusted the microphone to the level of her mouth, and fixed it at a distance where the breathlessness couldn't be heard. Having done that, her eyes scanned the audience from left to the right, the hall was fully packed. She closed her eyes for a fleeting moment, a tear trickled down from the corner of her left eye. After gathering herself, she began with the farewell speech. The roaring sound of applause was deafening.

Standing Ovation

Rutuja

She was standing there staring at the mike picturing the morning that was! Dreading why she didn’t stop him from going to that interview? Their maiden concert together, everyone was excited and the fans - in their awe.
He could’ve postponed it, cancelled it, hell, the whole world was at his feet. She pictured the trailer that hit his car on the way back home. Tried to imagine what he must have gone through in those final moments. Gone on the spot they said. How could her soul mate leave her to perform alone after stealing the standing ovation?

Shakespeare’s Antonio

Payoshni

She had always being shy or that’s what everybody told her. Under the shadow of her overachieving elder brother, her confidence melted. No debates in school, no elocution competitions, no drama, no quiz. She was a stage virgin. Till the day she fell in love with that wonderful man who portrayed Antonio perfectly in a college drama. The man, who would eventually get her here. Here at this stage where she was going to do her first slam poetry. In front of an audience. In front of this mike, far away from the shadows of the timid past.

Foreshadow

Rahul Saraf

I was standing on an empty stage that was filled last night. Maybe it is the next night. It was filled with artists of all age who were singing a mourning song for the ersatz palimpsest. And then that happened what should not happen on a stage. I knew it would happen on this very stage. It was death taking shape on an empty stage. I was staring through and standing on an iridescent stage, waiting for the next night, when I suspected, "What if they put me on display after death?"

Inquilab Zindabad!!!

Venkatesh

Inquilab Zindabad,Simon Go Back,Inquilab Zindabad. Those were the early years of Indian Freedom movement, The Microphone was the greatest invention for developing the courage in every common man to fight for the Nation's Freedom, to fight against the injustice. A non-living thing with its loud voice encouraging the people, giving strength, to join the Indian Freedom Movement. A strong medium to demolish the British Raj, to give a slap on their face by enchanting and shouting the rallying cries Inquilab Zindabad!! A non-living thing helping the common man giving him his own Strong Voice to fight against the injustice.

Nocturne

Adeel Ahmed

I wish to sing the song of my life, aloud this time. This song of mine is not mere a melody but it has the pain of past, despise of corpse hopes, glimpse of detrimental dreams, stained memories of the people who once sang this song with me. This particular song is the only tune which awakes the bitter sweet veins in my body.
At times, take to the acme & lets me fly and seldom suppress me below the ground & bury me dry. This song of mine is divine.

Striking a Chord

Madhuri

It was crying, a non-living thing was feeling emotions!!!!
Millions of people had stood behind it used it to express and share moments of triumph or ignite passion in masses throughout centuries.But it had been unmoved.
Arjun was only 6 years old but all gungho about his maiden spellbee competition. It was the last event to be held in ASR Hall soon to be demolished.
It had seen the kid prepare hard to get over his stammer for hours and lived every moment of his anxiety when the final buzzer sounded and the word was "Demolition"

The Swan Song

Febin Mathew

The microphone screeched. She tapped it, once, twice, her fingers shivering nervously.
The taps resounded, and a silence settled over the room again.
She began to sing.
The sound was plaintive, almost mournful. She sang of dying, and loss and letting go. The simple notes twisted through the circle of life, weaving a tale of untold sorrow, birth and death intertwined as one, with no beginning and no end, but one long continuum. A hymn of conclusion.
She ended with the song on her lips. No applause was heard.
She had sung the audience along with her, into death.

Heavenly Duty

Onkar

“Hey, you should go for it. You have always been hit with the masses.”
“They just admire me. But they are in love with you ever since eternity.”
“Oh, they are obsessed with you. You should perform now and enthrall them”
“They worship you. You shouldn’t break those hearts.”
“No, you...”
“Whoa, please Mr. Dylan and Mr. Presley. Someone quickly grab that microphone and perform your heavenly duty.”
“But Mr. God...”
Their chatter is broken by an ecstatic yell from the crowd. They looked towards stage.
“Ah, that’s my boy Kishor Kumar! Always on the job!” God blissfully responded.

My Solo Cover

Trina

The insane chants in the crowd to get Rukmini on the stage made me nervous. The empty dais with the sepia toned spotlight on the microphone caught my novice eyes.
I was being conveniently elbowed around as I hanged a Trainee tag, but the microphone made me feel at home. I focused my lenses on her.
A few shots here and there, but my camera focused on the petite silver frame with black finish. Songs brought life to the microphone.
My first assignment and this was the shot that adorned the newspaper next day. My solo cover

The Transcendence

Megh Shah

For the last time her eyes tried to search him amidst the huge crowd before her. The next turn was hers. She took the stage and closed her eyes. A soulful rendition of "Lag Ja Gale" was in the air and the audience went into the complete hypnotism. Her voice transcended the physical dimensions and touched every single soul present there. And when she opened her eyes, he was standing there,below the stage,in front of her,with his arms wide open. To transcend the boundaries. For once and for all.

And a Silent Tear Rolls Down My Cheek

Ullhas B Kulkarni

“Mic please!”
People always stand behind me
Talk, sing, laugh, perform
I take their sounds to the audience
That’s how important I am
Emile Burliner created my first ancestor 14 decades ago
We changed with every generation
The modern generation is so different
I am the good old mic
Some people shake my insides
With their jarring notes
I do my job for them too
But then I remember Rafi, Kishore nostalgically
I grew up on their sweet notes
Ever delightful
They never abused me
And a silent tear rolls down my cheek
For never will they come again

The Breaking News

Ravi Matah

The microphone stood alone on the Podium and presented a lonely look.
No speakers, no audience.
For once this Public Address system had no takers.
Then suddenly a Politician walked in. 'WOW, look at the lovely microphone'. I have so much to say. I can now speak endlessly.
Walks up the Podium, grips the microphone firmly and starts speaking. Suddenly he realises there is no audience.
He had the best chance to vent his pent up feelings with no one to oppose him !
Takes out his mobile and calls the journalists.
Come here, I have some Breaking News.

Abandoned

Sugandha

As she left the fair ground, Roshni heard an announcement on the microphone. “A 2 year old girl in a blue frock has been found near the food stalls. Her parents can collect her from the security room.”
The familiar sobs of “Maa…!” reached her and she turned to look at her daughter one last time. She had a son now and couldn’t afford to waste money looking after a girl.
If only she had known that by the time she got home, her newborn son would have fallen out of his cradle and she would be forever childless.

COPYRIGHT OFS 2015. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.