Wednesday, May 05, 2010


The curtains made way as a gentle breeze sneaked into the dimly lit room. It slowly dragged itself, hugging the grey walls and the darker corners. A few pages of an open book fluttered as the breeze continued its journey across the room. Using its last burst of energy, it swept across Vivek’s sleepy face causing him to open his hesitant eyes. It was his first visitor in the last 6 hours.

His family was out for a get together at the colony’s amphitheater. He was invited to join, though not persistently, by his mother. He had declined in a politely indifferent way, an art he had mastered from his childhood; an art known only to him. He avoided gatherings like vampires avoided garlic. His mother knew it; his father too; and so did everyone who ever had the pleasure or displeasure of meeting him. Asking him was a mere formality that his mother followed. The answer had never changed over the last decade and a half - one of the reasons why he had few friends, claimed his mother. And even fewer enemies, was his occasional retort.

A live talk show chattered vehemently on a tiny television set in his room, fighting the overwhelming silence. He stopped staring at his toes and turned his attention to the blabber. The topic was, unsurprisingly, the prospective end of the world theory. The year was 2012. And more importantly, it was that fateful December night. In an hour or so from now, if the most intelligent civilization to ever live on Earth were good with their math and science, and the current, right with their interpretation, the world would end.

A few men young and old were engaged in a chaotic exchange of unpleasantries. A middle-aged woman was all over the debaters as she pretended to put some method into the madness. Doomsday was the hot dish on every discussion table these days. From news channels to restaurants, from kitchens to boardrooms, from bars to confession rooms, there was only one topic. The common man doubted it, the religious accepted it, and the escapist waited eagerly.

He fell into the latter category. The world had never been kind to him. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. A thick dilapidated paperback flapped back a few chapters in his mind. It was full of black and white snaps, all Polaroid shots. He stopped at the one with his parents. It was the one where he was being adopted. He was five back then. Then there was Tina, his first love. She’d left him for his best friend; best friends rather. Bitch, he swore to himself through gritted teeth. Then there was Rahul, the childhood bully. He gently rubbed his nose as that image flashed past. Uncle Ram, the bastard who wouldn’t stop pinching his bum. The snaps kept coming, flurrying faster than his mind could process them.

He woke up as if from a nightmare, sweat beads rolling down in tiny little streams down the sides of his face. He jumped out of bed, as if with a purpose. He looked at the window and angrily stomped towards it. He looked out. The streets were buzzing. The purpose on his face faded a little. He pulled the window shut. There was calm again. He traced his steps backwards and stopped in front of the mirror on the wall. He turned to face his reflection. He stared and stared as the minutes ticked away and blurred images from his nightmare came tumbling back. A look of disgust flashed across his face.

He’d always been the silent types. A volcano waiting to erupt is what he called his state. But in truth, he was a coward and sadly, he knew it. He never raised his voice, not even once, at the million atrocities life threw at him. He just shared his frustrations with his best friend Prashanth, his only friend. But over time, even he had lost faith in all those hollow threats and pledges. Maybe, just maybe, even he lost a bit.

This time around however, it was going to be different. The world was about to end. It was a Mayan prediction. They weren’t like Nostradamus or any of those prognosticators who took shots in the dark. Those guys were smart. His science professor, the great Mr. Abraham Thomas swore by them. He looked at the television screen again. Fools, he muttered angrily. He turned to face his reflection again. The disgust was replaced by determination and even a tinge of anger. This was it, he thought. His time to get back at those imbeciles. For all the things they had forced upon him. For all the pain he had silently endured. This was his day. This was his final chance.

He sat in front of his monitor, his eyes firmly locked with those of the ageless Marilyn Monroe. With a little difficulty, he broke away from the captivity of those bewitching eyes and switched his modem on. He looked at the clock on the wall. It was 11.30. Half an hour before it was all over. He opened his new mail window, his stiff fingers caressing the keyboard. He closed his eyes and re-opened his mental album of memories. One by one, he typed in the addresses. He had quite a few of them in his address book. The rest of them would spread the word, he whispered under his breath. He carefully flicked through the pages. No one should be missed, he thought.

He meticulously typed down the names of the ones who had wronged him. Now that was quite a few. His unsuspecting parents perched comfortably atop the list. Then came his so-called friends – the ones who knew him and the ones who didn’t. And then came Tina. The bitch. And those two friends. Bastards. The school bully. And his uncle, that bloody pervert. And his math teacher. His Karate trainer. The scroll bar became smaller and smaller as his busy fingers worked hard and the pages of his album flipped. By the time he shut the old fat book, the scroll bar was as good as invisible.

He slowly dragged the cursor to the top and placed it against the names of his parents. He took a deep breath and began. “You were the worst parents in the history of the universe. If you really wanted to have a pet, why couldn’t you assholes get a dog. And listen you bastard of a dad, your wife is not as saintly as she appears. Check with the neighbours if you don’t believe me.” He hit the enter key with so much force that it almost came off. His fingers raced around the keyboard furiously. He was typing with a vengeance now. One by one, the hate figures felt his wrath. It was raining fire and sulphur. He was god. Nobody escaped his fury. It was apocalypse time.

It was 11.55 by the time he finished the last of the entries. He placed the cursor on top of the send button, took a deep a breath and let go. Click. It was done. He had done it. He got up, throwing the chair back in the process and ran to the window. He threw it open with such ferocity that the glass almost shattered. A fresh gush of air like never before stormed into his room, and it seemed, into his life. “TAKE THAT YOU MOTHERFUCKERS,” he screamed into the dark and indifferent night. He screamed and screamed till his throat ached. He came back, satiated, and fell like a log onto his bed, the largest grin of his life separating his ears. Casually, he looked at the clock. It was five past twelve.


Anonymous said...

hmmmm.. Intense!

Koyelia said...

lol! awesome one again.. loved the "escapist waited eagerly" bit!! :)

phoenikhs said...

@koyelia - :D