ArNumb Chakraborty's Stories

The Unfinished Coffee Mug.

Not all people are meant to last forever in our lives. Not all stories are entitled to have an ending. Our lives are complete in incompleteness. It was a similar rainy evening when she gifted me the coffee mug – her first attempt at doodling. All of us live with our past. All of us allow expectations to shape our future. But, some of us know how to shrug the past. I think that is who I am. The phone rang. It was her. I turned the screen off and resumed my reading, intermittently sipping from the unfinished coffee mug. .

The Lost Forest.

"Where are we? What is this place called?" A perplexed Suresh looked at his childhood friend Vinod. Fear and paranoia gripped them. "No idea man! The mushrooms are messing my head now." Two huge drops of sweat trickled down Vinod’s forehead. "Mushrooms?" "Yes! Have you forgotten?" Suresh gulped more saliva down his throat. The dense foliage around them appeared denser with every step they took. "Wait! Look the colours are changing!" "Oh! And the voices following me are growing louder..." “MISSING: Two youths reportedly went missing, nearby the mystically infamous forest ranges of Kodaikanal.” The newspaper headline screamed loudly. .

The ineffable cup of tea,

He tapped it thrice on the tip of his fingernail before lighting it up. Hiding behind dark shades, he exhaled the smoke profusely, engulfing in a bout of incessant laughter. "Who is He?" I asked the waiter serving tea. "Ah! A lunatic who comes here every evening, to smoke reefer." He replied, looking at him in disgust. “May I sit here?” I cautiously tried to invade his privacy. “Yes! What do you want man?” He asked irritably. “To help you!” I smiled. Raising him the sedative-laced tea, I signalled the surrounding men from the rehabilitation centre to take position. .

Innocent Betrayal

The city landscape screamed at my face as turbulent waves of love hit the shores of my wailing heart. I was drenched, waiting for my beloved. Sitting to my right side an overly amorous couple veiled fearlessly under an umbrella. Contrarily, an uncertain female couple discussed the societal acceptance of their love. Why do we have to seek an approbation for our emotions towards an individual? Why are we skeptical to express “love”? My overflowing eyes turned to the left awaiting “him”. “Where art thou, my handsome love?” The waves of turbulence washed away memories of an innocent betrayal. .

Violent Innocence

"Jat agitation creates mayhem in several areas of North India..." The news anchor monotonously announced the headline of the day setting my heartbeat quiver. "Several houses, dhabas (eating place) were savaged..." The reporter continued. My throat parched. Paranoia gripped me. “This dhaba is all that I have! Oh God! What would happen to my kids? What is the cause of this violence? Why don't humans realise we have enough to co-exist peacefully? WHY?" Stealing a glance at the empty cash counter I whispered a silent prayer. My sons innocently argued over their game of chess. .

The Kiss of Life.

"Now you may kiss the bride" A voice resonated across the dark openness. Gazing into each other's eyes, the couple passionately lip-locked amidst loud echoes of the wind through the wilderness. Union of two beautiful souls into the bond of true love sent colorful radiations across. The entwined pair stood motionless. Several light years away, a bright green colored sprig slowly ascended from the vast rugged ground. The tip ending in a bright beaming bulb appeared like the head of an infant. Gazing towards the distant blue speck-like planet, the newly sprouted seed of life smiled!.

Castles Made of Sand

A smile adorned my face as I watched him build castles made of sand. We were at the beach! Reflection of the sun and sky in the vast sea embraced the father-son duo. His animated features – laughter, dark hair, petite limbs - induced a plethora of flashbacks across my nimble mind. "Look daddy! This castle is for you, me and mommy." The curiosity in those eyes reminded me of hers. Memories fade away like wild waves. How to reveal a toddler the abstruseness of motherlessness? Kissing my feet, the sea waves slowly washed away the castle of nostalgic dreams! .

Childhood's Dream

A shooting star across the sea, a vision of ecstasy! Dream all whilst you can, while they clip your wings shouting, "Hey obey school’s rules" I laugh and run away to scream, All that I can still do inside my mind, While I shut my eyes to the eternal childhood’s dream. I have seen thy tears, Behold I will heal thee! Have faith, dive deeper inside. Baring myself, there’s none to hide. Sun shining o'er my face, Trees casting greener shadows, Over meadows far and low. Run away, hear they blow Sirens here, that shatter the eternal childhood’s dream! .

The Travel Bug.

Life is indeed a journey. I get to demystify myself every time I set out for the unknown. Traveling is not a choice, it is a purpose. A higher purpose than dragging your body through the mundanity of life. Imagine this life to be a grandeur book, with each of its pages meant to be etched with the choicest of experiences. What better way to garner such moments than getting an opportunity to step out from the rustic cobwebs of complacency to kiss the unknown. Step out you must while you can. Each breath is precious, make it count! .

The Man Who Sold The World,

The very idea that I am going to die "someday" is extremely liberating. Find death before it finds you, echoed my inner voice as I left those fake dreams behind. They said, I am the inheritor of immense ancestral wealth and fortune. Consciousness is awakening from this strange dream. Nothing is real, nothing is false. It is what you imagine it to be. As for me, all I know is I know nothing. It’s not destruction, it’s deconstruction. I must have died alone, a long time ago. I am face to face with the man who sold the world! .

The Gypsy.

I am a gypsy. Look at me, what do you see? Eternally embracing thy bright light, guided by intuition be always right. Fingers twirling at green glowing grass, this sick society’s labelled to upper-lower class. And all this painful pain be an illusion, don’t you defy thy delusional confusion. Tell me why the fight o’er whose right. Or wrong, all be in your head till you drop dead. I am living, alive and breathing, feeling His presence, I am unwinding. Dizzy, dazed or confused, what may I be? ‘Coz I am a gypsy, look at me, I broke free! .

Mountains Calling!

Some say I am lost, losing away youth to nothingness. Some say I am a dreamer, dreaming away life into wilderness. To them I sing, not all who wander are lost, The mountains are calling and I must go! The sun soars in the east, hides to the west, when was last you gazed nature at its best? My home's an illustrated book, many doodles diving through, and many miles to walk, before dreamy dying eyes watch without clue. Not the killing, but disorder - the inner disorder we must do, The mountains are calling, and I must go! .

Brothers.

“Besides hard work, perseverance and tincture of luck, what gives us the opportunity to stand here is the unfathomable faith we had in each other. Every passing moment we leaned onto each other’s shoulders, cherished every success together, rebuked each other during pitfalls.” I choked while staring at the last picture of the slide. “This couldn't have been possible without you brother. Thank you for giving me the shoulder. Wish you were here Mr. CEO!” With tear filled eyes, I gazed endlessly at our favorite school photograph as the audience gave me and his garlanded picture a standing ovation. .

Happy Birthday!

The stage was set, a gala ceremony in progress. Fancy faces wearing fancy dresses surrounded me, as I sat cross legged waiting for Him. Fire engulfed offerings and wiped tears off. A part of me was happy. He walked the aisle amidst loud cheers. Many congratulated the groom and appreciated my father’s selection of birthday present. A pair of fingers kissed my lower chin. I looked up to meet his wrinkled face. His grey hair sparkled as he whispered Happy Sixteenth Birthday to me. I shyly glanced down as tears trickled down on to my mehendi-decorated fingers. .

The Black Swan

“What kind of dance form is this?!” “How majestically her body swirls like a swan!" Several awestruck spectators resonated with thunderous applauds. The spotlight dimmed, as an ambient tone filled the jam packed auditorium. Scintillating display of body-movements left the audience cheering for more. She obliged with a smile on her face. As the music faded out, the black swan descended with her walking cane and black shades. She chose not to be escorted. The beaming smile on her face narrated tales of satisfaction as she bit her lips to prevent tears of anguish flow from her veiled eyes. .

Rise!

It happened during one of my retrospective sojourns by the lake side. Glancing down at my reflection I pondered upon the age old conundrum, “Who Am I?” I remember briefly closing my eyes. An unexplainable euphoric joy gripped me. White light flowing over the surface of lake, created intricate ripples all over! A hollow voice echoed hence, “Rise my son! For what you seek, thy must turn inwards. Rely not on the physical eyes, the light shall enter through the third…” A reflection gleamed across the steps below, slowly dissociating amidst the ripples. I had risen! .

Mother?

“Dad, when is mummy going to come?” An inquisitive glance waited patiently for his father to quench his curiosity. The sisters stole silent glints at each other. Ravi walked taciturnly. Glimpses of her face flashed across his moist eyelids. His lips motioned in Godly communion as he entered the white plastered building. As instructed, the siblings patiently waited outside. Adorned with clothing to appease their mother, the sisters chose Jasmine for hair embellishment! Several moments later, a dismayed Ravi walked away with his three jewels. A sign board outside the white building glistened “Mortuary” under the fresh morning sunlight. .

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