While the Devil blew his Trumpet… 

There was an Old billionaire, who lay on his death-bed.
His entire immediate family had been called home, and had gathered in his room.

It consisted of 26 people, which included 6 children from 3 failed marriages.
His children’s better halves, accompanied with their own 10 children (some from,each ones own failed marriage), his three ex wives (2 came with their brand new lovers and one directly from court, after filing her latest divorce papers).
And of course the old mans latest 24-year-old wife, the “one true love”of his life (as he called her).
The family’s loyal Butler, Doctor and Lawyer were also in the room.
The only three people, who were never replaced by the Old man.

The family was in a somber mood, gathered around the death-bed, as the doctor left saying “I guess it’s time..”

The old man was real estate tycoon, having made billions in land deals. He was lauded as a shrewd businessman by people who had the misfortune to work with him day in day out. Everybody else considered him a philanthropist..
‘A Narcissistic-sexist-land grabbing-money laundering-tax evading-inconsiderate-devils own offspring’ philanthropist..
You could even call him, a modern day Robin Hood,who stole from the rich, duped the poor and gave back to the society peanuts, in the name of charity.
 
His favorite hobby, according to many,was to trample upon the happiness, of as many people as he could. He found divine satisfaction in destroying dreams,crushing hopes out of people.

With such qualities,he grew up from a below poverty line family of 10,to be the Tycoon he is today..Thus, for whatever hellish qualities the man had, everyone did consider him, a success story.

But here he was now, staring into the eyes of his family. He wanted to say something,but found it horribly difficult to open his mouth. He slowly raised himself from the bed. His latest wife and his eldest son came closer to him,hoping to hear what he wanted to say. Instead  with all the might left in him,
he let out the loudest stinkiest fart,his million dollar bungalow ever had to bear ..

For a moment everyone was shocked and didn’t know how to react. The old man just smiled looking at their faces. In return the family, one by one started giggling. One thing led to another and they together burst out in a loud laughter…
As this was going on, the old man smiled and motioned his butler indicating him ‘2’ lifting his two fingers…

The butler promptly threw away an envelope into the fire and brought another one to the eldest son.
The son opened it and found a poem written by the old man.
He started reading it out aloud –

“I Leave behind a smile..

The world is already weighed down by enough sorrows and problems for anyone to even smile, 

So I leave behind a smile, 

It has become a precious gift to gift anyone now.. 

The infectious toothy grin,with simple assuring wink or just a loud laugh, 

I leave behind a smile..”

The entire family had tears in their eyes. Wondering, finally it was Death that had been successful to humanize the Old mans heart.

Just then the son discovered, that there was another part to the letter.
He turned it over..
It said –

“Ps : Glad you all liked it.
But guess what,this is not a poem. It is my will.
I am actually leaving behind only a smile, for you emotional fools..
My entire fortune (including this house and other assets and stocks) is to be donated to charity,created in my name..With small arrangements made to pay off my trusted lawyer and doctor their fees and a lifetime salary to my butler.

Thank you for keeping me entertained my entire life, now good luck fending for yourself.
With Love,
– Old Fart” 

The family was stunned.
Only the butler, the lawyer and the doctor shared a muffled laugh.

As the old man passed away in peace,with a satisfied smile plastered on his wrinkly face..
somewhere up above, the Devil couldn’t help but wonder,if he should be proud or scared,
for one of his perfect creation,was coming home again.

THE END.

Guilt Trip

I.


“Let’s go on a trip”
He heard him say.. Him, his eternal best friend, driving the car through a road unknown, a land unknown…
They were laughing and speeding through a dense forest..
Wait a second! This is a familiar forest he thought to himself..
Where are we
That’s when he saw it, the cabin by the lake..
An old house it was made of wood. A century old maybe, still stood firm..
But how could it? Didn’t I…?
He found himself walking now. Deeper into the forest. The night was getting darker..
He felt, fear starting to grip his heart..
Suddenly, a shadow ran past them and for a fleeting moment came up to his own face staring straight at him..
A burnt, yet a beautiful face
It disappeared
He remained stunned!

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?

He heard someone,somewhere cry..
His head started spinning.
He saw then,when he had seen them,”the happy couple” together, the last time..
Everyone is fucking happy, No one cares, letting me suffer alone..
He walked up to them.Started running when they stared..
Anger burning his cheeks, he continued thrashing,like a man possessed,
He ran with all his might..his feet killing him but he didn’t care. He had to run…
There it was the fire, the fire that burnt away every last bit of his sin..
He ran with the rod in his hand and jumped into a pool.
A pool of cold dirty water..
It was a mistake, he started crying,
If only he could… Why didn’t he just…Why? Why did he have to?..
He cried and cried and suddenly found himself, in a dense jungle,with his friend face to face, looking him straight in the eye..
He knows! But How could he?
It was the perfect plan.. Yet the anger was evident

WHY? WHY DID YOU?

His friend screamed.. he had the bloody rod in his hand,
I Am sorry, sorry for this, he cried

*Bang*

He was dead.
Collapsing into complete darkness for a split second….

II.

…Only to wake up in a tent,in reality.He was confused but realized soon,
Where he was, with Whom he was, and
Why.
He checked the gun lying by his pillow.

“BAD DREAM?”

He noticed his best friend, from the dream, sitting by his bed side with his hands in his pocket..
All he could do was muster a half guilty smile and ask,
“Did not sleep?”

“NO, I WAS WAITING FOR YOU TO WAKE UP!”

Just then he noticed a photograph placed on his blanket..He picked up the pic,squinting his eyes to focus better..
he saw it!
He knew what it meant!
A cold sweat trickled down the side of his face, his mouth ran dry..
He knows it for real!

“WHY? WHY DID YOU?”

His friend shouted,crying,slowly pulling his hand out of his pocket holding a gun..
A moment passed.
He turned towards his crying friend, looking him straight in the eye,
all this while reaching for his own gun,
smiled suddenly and said,

“Let’s Go on a trip..”

They clicked.

*BANG*

One shot rang.
One slept peacefully, the other one tripped…
The choices they made.

THE END

Rain

As always the train had been late. Heavy rains had hit the city by surprise. Full one week earlier than predicted by our sharp MET dept. As i stood there on the platform, looking around at people trying to find shelter from the heavy downpour, couldn’t help but feel so victorious about carrying my blue umbrella. Better safe than sorry, that’s what dad says. 

             Just then i felt a tug at my trousers. A kid, no more than 8 years, accompanied by another “blind” girl, of maybe 12 years, were asking for money. I rolled my eyes and ignoring them poured my entire attention into my smartphone. 

          I had always been skeptical about giving money to the beggars. My dad always said, they are professionals, who would rather beg than work for a living. He would say,if any beggar troubles you, just look at it sternly and tell it to come work at our home instead. This would drive them away everytime.

So i had developed, a cold heart towards beggars. 

    Over the years of my stay in the city i also realized that not only were these beggars growing in number but that they seemed a part of an organization. You could see the same beggar at the same place begging for hours without getting any alms and still be there the next day. They were everywhere now –  traffic signals, train stations, beach, outside restaurants, on streets, etc.. they are like the people who work in shadows. Thus it lead me to even fear them as i grew older..

What if, this organization, they are a part of, in some way tilts the security scales of the city on daily basis.. trading information right from underworld to the police officials.. could be  possible! 

Such fears develop, when you live in a city with a major terror attack, on frequent occasions. Fear like virus keeps working from the back of your mind, always making you question the motives of everyone around you. In a way maybe killing a part of humanity.

        As i was thinking all this, i saw the train had arrived. It was time to set everything in action. Catching a train in the rush hours, was like playing rugby, with everyone against you. Tempers flying high, people catching hold of bars, handles, sometimes people themselves.. anything and everything that will help them stick together till their destination. Very very dangerous. Every time you have to do a risk assessment of Time to reach office and  Security of your life.. depending upon this you do, what has to be done.

   Today I was really late. I had to board this train, which was already full up to its max point. Quickly i closed the umbrella and jammed myself into the crowd. I got space to place one feet and most of my body in balance. Lucky! More people tried to get in, seems like everyone was late today. I was just glad to have found space. Had held on to inside bar, placed one feet above the other..we tried pushing in.. but everyone on the inside,is a squeezed lemon,pushing outwards for air. So a state of equilibrium has to be adjusted before the train starts.

         Just then the train started, a push from inside came outward towards us like a wave..I felt it before anyone else on the boarding rail of the train..i held on tight.. but the man on my left lost his balance and fell..frantically,he tried to hold on to something, and that something turned out to be my umbrella, on the side of my bag..He fell bad on his back just as the train started gaining speed..I saw all this from the corner of my right eye..saw my blue umbrella go with him, left behind.

But I got space to place my second feet now. 

          

Rest of the day in the office went by swiftly. Customers coming in and going,arguments all around, work being stalled due to electricity cuts, puddle of water in and around the office, boss shouting orders, employees screaming at each other..I Hate rains! 

I was already dripping wet as I reached,  the platform to catch the train back home. The wonderful part was, again it was the rush hour time..the usual crowd going back home. But this time along with all anger and frustration of their day.. so it gets worse. A regular fight or two, of raised voices, can be expected in such times. People venting out their anger, before reaching home.

All you do is stand there like a corpse, waiting for your destination to arrive, and get dragged out with the entire crowd, getting down..That is routine!

And so after 45 min of train journey, I stood on the platform waiting for the heavy downpour to at least reduce a little.. my next task was to get to the rickshaw stand 100 meters away. I tried asking people around, with umbrellas, if I could get cover, till the stand..

No one seemed interested, ignored me and walked by hurriedly.

I was tired and hungry. Longed for a good bath and hot dinner, with nice sleep.. but it was one hurdle away..I Hate rains!

Just then, I felt a tug at my trousers. I looked back and saw it was, the same 8-year-old kid from morning. He held my blue umbrella in his little hands.

I stared blankly. I was confused. He smiled and offered it to me.. all i could do was, with some sense of guilt take the umbrella from the kids hand. He blinked twice as we had our last eye contact and I turned into the rain to cross the hurdle to reach my home..

          But something in me didn’t feel right. I couldn’t take another step.. I stood there, few meters from the waiting rickshaw. Looked back to see the kid still there.. taking shelter under a small shade, with the blind girl by his side. I walked back. I had to.

I gave the kid my blue umbrella and a 50 rupee note. I still felt guilty, since all this felt not enough..

But the kid. He looked up and smiled with bright eyes.. 

               .. That was all it took..I turned around and walked back, getting drenched in the rain.

But this time with a smile. 

I realized, I do love rain..