The Cosmic Void

“Antha Chocolate puthussa?evvalon?” 30 rupees. He didnt quite like the way his pocket felt empty,and Chocolate was a luxury he couldn’t afford. But then,his daughter meant the world to him. No suffering was too grave to forgo looking at that lovely,lovely smile..It was a million dollars.


She loved chocolates. The way her eyes lit up each time he surprised her with a bar of chocolate, such occasions were few and far in between, sent him into raptures of joy, and for once made him feel truly contented and free from all trials and tribulations life threw his way, and life was certainly very liberal in that respect, a village barber struggling to sustain his own offspring, his bundle of joy, problems were aplenty. He barely scraped through each month, and then it was a whole new month of uncertainty, toil and frustration. There were times he felt glad that…

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Inside Out

Roof tops, her favourite haunt. She had learnt from the best. Though, there were always things that could be improved upon. This was their world, which loomed below her. This is no tale about charming men with leonine manes prowling alleyways or the same men revealing their grotesque carnivorous faces to unsuspecting victims. She was none of those. She was just a voyeur. A voyeur who has mastered the art so well, that the only way forward was to capture those beauties. Shedding the passive observant role, she took part in life actively. Eyes cast around the perimeter where each red bricked chimney mirrored the ones surrounding it. She was hunting. It was getting tougher for them all these days. There were certainly many others waiting to pounce right away as she circled her new territory. A house was becoming absolutely necessary. It was certainly time for her to fly off the nest as most homes cannot stand the presence of two alphas.

She had no troubles talking to people. Human beings loved all the attention they got, especially from the raven haired beauty that oozed radiance. She watched them all first, a lesson learnt that from her father. His work was of precision, of vigilance, of subterfuge. Shadowing him she stepped into the world of voyeurism. She was trained young, like many other little ones in their families. They watched, just like vultures eyeing carrions. Her mother pointed out how father kept all his tools in the contrabass case. His methods were drilled into her impressionable mind. First they had to lull the prey into false security, and then their venom was shot right into the human pores. With an inert body at hand all they had to do was flay the tender skin and choose the best cuts. The best days in their lives were when her father came home with a heavy case. Laid out carefully in the case would be the hide of the finest specimen found in the streets of London. Each line she saw on their faces, the scent of fear that still permeated from their languid body and the taste ever so divine that drove them to such extents were never forgotten.  Like dark enclosures etched with the cave man’s drawings many more humans awaited their discovery. She too hunted them each down with great pride.

Although, it wasn’t obvious to anyone that behind every bewitching smile she bestowed and every favour she did there was towering tab waiting to be collected. To them she was the young lone female with all but her music for company. Humans believed in whatever that kept their world stable. This was precisely why they never questioned why the contrabass was never heard playing even though she seemed to lug it around everywhere. No one ever entered her house. They would’ve found the damp smell in the room strange. They might have found the pond in the living room quirky. Why, they might have even found the creepers clinging to the walls beautiful. But, they would never know. When the neighbours’ son didn’t return from school no one suspected the lone female with her face brimming with innocence. How could they when she was kind enough to bring over the most delicious cottage pie for the deceased’s family? Nor did they have doubts when the old lady in the house opposite disappeared without any trace. A young woman would certainly have nothing to do with the exuberant cocker spaniel found dead with its throat slit. The thrill she got out of killing right under their noses was certainly going to her head. Her pride was reaching its limits. With pride came fall and it did seem that it was just around the corner lying in wait for her. As hunger was the clawing monster that tugged every string of her plotting brain, it sure did cause her slip up every now and then.

Each house was being canvassed by the police. Questions after questions were being repeated. No one had any answers and the one person who did was in no mood to give any. She had stored enough food for months ahead, yet the monster didn’t like lying low. When you start considering hunting as a sport, a day away from it becomes excessively irritant. Kids were easy enough, so were overpowering the elderly. What she needed was young meat that would struggle against her strength. Food which would put her raging mind to rest. Her methods now were much cruder than the ones employed by her father. He killed them while they lay unconscious as his venom spread thoroughly.  For her, it was an all-consuming carnivorous ritual. She killed to conquer. It is precisely when you forgo the purpose of your abilities that you make mistakes. She was about to make one, a huge one.

She knew this wasn’t her game but she needed the change. The old woman she killed last didn’t even scream out as the claws ripped along the trembling vocal cord. The overworked heart stopped beating before that. She was put off by the faint musty smell and the dry skin. The body shall be pushed through the pond into her world after a few bites. There would be others who’d be more than happy to receive it. Her Aunt Esk sure did stock up on all the octogenarians. She remembered seeing those bodies lined up like terracotta soldiers. She never wanted to turn out like that. She lived for the present that kept pulsating vigorously with each passing moment. Every person she hunted became a part of herself. The faint scent of orchids you smell if you ever came near her was from the little girl she once met in an alleyway years ago. Oh, and the raven tresses that keep cascading, was courtesy of a beautiful young woman encountered on the tube. Why, even the tattered contrabass case she carried had belonged to the man who busked in the underground tunnel at South Kensington Station. She was only a little girl, at heart anyway. While humans walked around showing off, the green-eyed monster on her raged. It made her do so many things, so many vile but exquisite things. She had hoped to gain the old lady’s peace from the last kill. Such abstract concepts didn’t seem to transfer so easily.

Mistakes will be made at every new attempt. That’s why you needed to experiment countless times. She was about to try again. The cheerful woman brimming with life had caught her eye on day one. While the happiness seemed infectious, there was only so much that could be shared. As she crushed the cookies brought over and listened to the incessant talks about her adorable son, all she craved was for the joy bursting through the seams. She wanted the inside, out.  She knew she’d need that blissful porcelain skin as her hands brushed against her jovial neighbour. Most importantly, she knew that the monster jumped up with joy encountering a new prey. The thought of waking up with a mind at ease and a smile on face played intricately beautiful symphonies in her heart. She had started noticing how no one talked to each other. Even her smiles were spurned. She knew this was to be her last hunt here. Vigilance and hostility were slowly enveloping the hearts of the inhabitants of this quiet suburb.

She crept along the wall towards the back of their house. The cold air sent a chill through her. She longed for a fire, strong enough to burn down her desires. The quietness irked her and was slowly diminishing her resolve. It was so unlike the street. The ambience was adapting itself, similar to the time when she lay quietly on a hunt. This silence seemed almost too well constructed. It couldn’t have been any quieter as she helped herself in through the window. She was agile and the darkness posed no trouble, but the unnatural regularity in the prey’s breathing baffled her. She found her way easily and pressed her palm violently against the woman’s mouth. The glaring lights went on abruptly and it shimmered of her sharp fangs. There were too many eyes glowering down on her. In their eyes she saw treachery reflected. The first stone was cast. They had caught her out.

As she fled the room, they chased her into her own lair. The eyes said it all. There was revulsion, there was disappointment and there was pure burning anger. She knew they would tear her to pieces. She knew she had to escape. She needed to the rush to the pond, into her world; into the safe haven. They were all around her. Closing the doors on their faces wouldn’t help now. The house was in flames painting a dominant picture over the quiet sky. Smoke found its way through to her slowly. She felt slight splashes of water as the house tumbled down brick by brick.  There were ear piercing screams. Screams that caused your heart to ache with melancholy. Charred remains of a body were found. It was enough to calm their inflamed hearts. No one wanted to be on the desecrated land a minute longer. No one wanted to turn into a monster. They let the fire burn until the remains were no more. They slept peacefully, their losses avenged feeling quite warm.


Somewhere a few miles down emerged a raven haired beauty from the slow moving Thames. As the water trickled down her slender frame the rays hurt her singed arms. Clear water weaved its way through her, leaving debris on the surface and what could be a scar was no more. She shook her long tresses and walked along with a resolute face. Life on earth had its pitfalls but there were always scores of opportunities here. The bell tolled on the shop’s door and she walked out with a new contrabass case. If you looked carefully, you could see the smile that sets the tabs towering. As humans believed in whatever that kept their lives stable she had many more chances to transform them, inside out.



For a tale along the same crooked path, do read On a 9 to 5 Day. Thank you! :)

Inside Out

Poisoning Me, Poison In Me.

Sending people off to this treacherous island had been the royal family’s hobby for eons now. The smirk slowly spread across their smooth faces as we left begrudgingly, knowing that most of us won’t make it back. It used to be a joyous game for them. Bets were placed on whether we’d bring back enough venom to murder the enemy’s barbarous armies. I know we weren’t the most innocent. I know I’m lying through my teeth as I say I don’t deserve this. Yet, somewhere deep I knew I won’t let this body turn to dust so soon.


I was kicked out of the cart. The guards wouldn’t even risk a few seconds out here. One of them would stay at the safe perimeters preventing any escape. I’d have to walk miles to get where they’d ordered me to be. The outlines of hell could be seen on the horizon. You knew you were bearing witness to death and utter melancholy. I knew I had to grab a bark of the Upas and get back home breathing, as soon as I can. That’s all I had to do. Poison myself slowly in order to buy my freedom. Why freedom, you may ask. The royal family didn’t just send common citizens to gather poison for their infamous arrowheads. No, they sent criminals, men with pasts unmentionable. In exchange for bringing Death home, we were free to embrace Life.

The bare tree in the barren earth that bore witness to the folly of men was much more visible now. It was a lone pole, standing defiant throughout all these centuries. A flash of lightning and I mistook it for a scythe. Surrounding it were ivory coloured skeletons adorning the dark infertile land. Nothing grew here, except the Upas. This was where life ended. The bodies of my fellow men laid out to display. The inert bodies do not tell you about their criminal pasts nor do the masks of horror on their decaying faces. Their bones clutched at their chests, grabbed at their necks. As strips of flesh peeled away, the poison slowly corroding into their marrows, you couldn’t help but falter and flinch. The cold stony crags have been accumulating Death for an eternity now. The sky slowly turned a deep Prussian blue and the sun went down on my hopes.

My steps started to falter. The key to my free life was in death. I had been holding my breath in for a while now. It was taking longer than I thought. The effluent was finding its way into me through my pores. It was slowly strangling my struggling lungs and trying to smother out the last few breaths of air keeping me alive. I wanted to gather the poison and go back to the palace and shove the vials down the King’s throat. I wanted to see how he’d like the taste of his own medicine. All that seemed like a mere fantasy as pain bit into my innards sharply. I kept saying to myself that I wasn’t weak. I could survive this. I could always run back and rot in the prison cell alone. That way I knew I’d live a few more years. Then again, imprisoned within four walls wasn’t exactly what you’d call life.

Making up your mind as death appears near is an easy feat. Arming up was necessary for this. There wasn’t any time to be squeamish or respect the dead. I grabbed the nearest bones I could find and sharpened up the end of a femur. I was leaving this place alive. I had always found it much more easier to retreat than to step forward. It had always been my tactic after every crime I committed. Shameless, you may say. To survive in this world, I had given up my pride ages ago. Clinging on to the rocks I edged towards the perimeter. I had an advantage. The guard never expects anyone to return from the Upas, especially not so soon. Not even he would’ve known what to do to a deranged man running with his arms flailing. I was transformed into something inhumane. As I struck the femur through his fleshy neck, I heard the spine crack faintly. The look on his face mirrored the horror I saw on my decaying comrades.

At this moment, I was the deadly Upas with venom trickling down my veins. I stood there alone in that barren land reeking of poison. Just enough poison to be drained into my specially made vials. No, I had no intention to get to the tree in the first place. I wasn’t your usual pea brained, head first think later thug. I’d walked just far enough, far enough to poison myself; close enough to hold onto my life. Leeches. I was putting all my trust on leeches. They were just like the greedy tax collectors who came knocking on our doors asking for more. They never had enough. Never enough, until someone decides to put a dagger through them and the piece of fat resonates a soft boom as they hit the dusty ground. That was the first crime I committed. With each one I did, it became easier.

Now as they drank my blood, that part of me, that poisonous part of me slowly disappeared; or so I hoped. Coming face to face with death changes some men around. As I sped away in the cart, I was a man, an important man, a man who’ll be needed. Hung around my neck were vials of poison, safely contained in dead leeches. There were men out there who would kill for these. Then, there were men out there who would kill with these.

I belonged to the latter.

Note: The painting of The Upas, or the Posion Tree in Java by Francis Danby. My latest discovery at the V&A Museum.  

Poisoning Me, Poison In Me.


Sitting beside the window, all I could hear was the chugging. It would only take a few more hours. Had I been away for too long? I haven’t seen them for so long. I knew they would’ve picked me up if I let them know.

I first saw her on my first newspaper run in the summer. Uncle had shown me a new way around the village. Cycling past the broken gate, I could smell the lavenders. Like the wind chimes, her voice had that special clarity. I’d stopped and had a peek at her tending the gardens and talking to those flowers. Over the months people had to be satisfied with the late newspapers. I knew by the end of the summer what I had to strive for.

I moved forward tentatively. I’d wanted so much out of life. Every time I achieved something I knew there was something better out there somewhere. All this while I was away, I knew I’d find it somewhere far away. Was it too late to come back? Would she still be here? Why did life always pose too many questions and not enough answers? I could still smell the lavender and hear the wind chimes. I yearned to hear the excited young voices again.

Every paper round was special. There were always lavenders. They always looked lovely with her long, tender hands nurturing them. The days I didn’t find her in the garden, she’d be sitting under the oak tree, just by the stables with a book in her hand. She’d always be speaking to someone or the other. Sometimes, it would be to children to whom she offered the flowers rather too kindly. I’d hoped that one day I would be at the receiving end. Rather too often, I’d hoped she would notice me. Then again, a peeping tom wasn’t always welcomed whole heartedly. Though, life always did have surprises in stock for you.

Journeying home alone was certainly a new experience. Not knowing what lay ahead of me took me back to those moments when you’d wait keenly for that one girl you loved to say yes. This certainly felt like that and more. I wondered if it’d be more effective if I arrived again on a cycle. Though I doubted very much on whether I’d exude the innocence and charm of those early days. That scared me more than the changes that may have occurred to her. To me, she’d always be the girl I saw surrounded by lavenders, with the long auburn hair. On a nice summer day, you could see the rays glistening off the long locks. Today was one of those sunny days.

Summer was coming to an end. I’d been worried on what I’d do once I’d have to return. I was going to miss the flowers. I had grown accustomed to seeing everything in a periwinkle shade. I shall miss the voice of the one who tended those beautiful flowers. It was my last paper round. I had slowed down and treaded slowly towards the gate. The fragrance was overwhelming. Eyes wide open; I stared at the delicate hand stretched forth with a bunch of flowers. Then, I knew that this was only the beginning.

I could see the gate from here, it was still broken. Some things were always constant. There wasn’t anybody bearing flowers for me…yet.  I could hear children, those excited young voices. As I stepped past the gate they ran across to me hands outstretched bearing flowers. Whilst I realized that the joys of life were never far away, their mother smiled tending to her namesakes. From that smile, I knew that my life was always back here, with my Lavender.

PS: This one has been dedicated to my dearest sister Dhaya and our charming doctor Aaron who have been bugging me to write a happy story for ages. :)


I chose, to live?

Where was I? So many familiar faces. What were we doing in a church? The man was about to speak. Why were people leaving? I don’t understand anything any more.

We weren’t in the church anymore. There was a bus in-front of us. So, this must be a tour of some sort. They were taking a short cut. Looks like we are too. The road doesn’t even look usable. Was it even a road. It seems awfully too close to the edge.

Why am I outside? Did I chose to walk? Seems like I wasn’t the only one. She was talking as the guys were taking pictures. The bus was moving slowly. What was it that I saw on the driver’s face? As they fell I saw so many faces pressed against the windows trying to get out. Did I hear myself scream or was it them? Smoke. “Somebody call an ambulance.” I stood at the edge screaming at them to get out; get out before they went up in flames.


Did I cry? Maybe, I did. All I could feel was his strong arms around me. I was warm and safe. I didn’t let go of his hands all throughout the questioning. I told them how I saw it fall, how I stood still as it fell, how I only opened my mouth after the bus nose-dived down. Why were we outside, they wanted to know. I was, as I was scared. The others thought it might be more fun to walk across. Did I laugh? I don’t know.

So many bodies went across. So many young lives. I knew some of them, very well. Too well. Should I ask? Were they all dead? Do we continue this journey? We’d lost so much on that bus. Was I selfish? I worried about my luggage, the pendant she gave me to remember her by. Maybe, I should have been on the bus. Did the others feel lost too? I’m sure they did. We were the ones who got off despite the co-ordinator’s disapproval. They’d chosen to stay in the bus, did they choose to die?

We were at the hotel. Our floor was so quiet. So many empty rooms around. I wondered if the ones in the hospital would make it back. Would they stand at the balcony, look down and laugh at how small everything looked? She asked if I wanted food. No, I needed air. There were so many windows here. So much glass. I saw their faces pressed against the windows trying to get out. She said she’ll bring something for me as she walked down with the guys. I’ll be up, I said, getting some air.

The 23rd floor. The terrace. It was cold. Was it this cold earlier? I stood against the railings. Did they fall from this high? Will I step up on to the edge? Will I choose to jump? If I did, will I feel like them falling? I could choose, they couldn’t. I couldn’t look down anymore, I knew I fell. Where?

I was warm and safe in his strong arms. Walk forward, move on? Maybe we did.



Note: I dreamt up half of this on an uneventful birthday morning, hence the incoherency.  Also, I’m on the lookout for this guy who gives nice warm hugs. Such a lovely thing to wake up to.

I chose, to live?

On a 9 to 5 day.

I’ve been trying to write something different for a while. Hence, this. Though, reading it over, I do feel like I should stick to my usual topics. I’d love it if someone took the whole idea and wrote up something a whole lot better. 


Few months ago, I used to sit on a rooftop waiting for the sun to go down; I’d be spotting fat bankers, giggling schoolgirls and all those men and women rushing off with their Starbucks coffee. No, I wasn’t people watching. It was all part of my job. Things were always better once the sun went down. Then, they had to go and change my work hours. I mean, how on earth was I going to stun your average 130 pounds weighing mass of flesh, flay the skin and dismember the organs in broad daylight? I even had to go through six months of training to even walk relatively like a human. Even after all that it was hard to shed the innate hostility I had towards them.

Listen, I know that being a professional means having to work untimely hours. Yet, what you don’t understand is how easy my work used to be after sundown. I used to be quite the predator. Even if you pounced on these delicate beings, their shrieking echoes would go unheard in this city where no one looked for trouble. I could’ve done this along any street in London and still gotten away with it. Though now, even I had to mark my territory. Right now I had placed dibs on Stables market. The place was amaze and certainly a gem in the streets of Camden. People of all kind flocked there and hunting sure was easy. The place was a maze and I could even risk revealing myself without being screamed at. Though, lack of stealth isn’t looked too kindly upon by the Council members. I got fined last week for appearing in a sci-fi magazine. It wasn’t even on the front page. It was just a measly column towards the end highlighting Camden’s finest freaks. Though, I won’t repeat that ever again. Living on human food for a week sure didn’t agree with my body.

She’s walking out now. I’ve had my eye on her for a few months now. I could smell her. She’s had another tattoo done. The smell of blood kept pushing out through her pores. There was some mercury and cadmium in her too and something that smelt unearthly. She’ll go into the passage soon completely unaware of how she’s wasted 60 quid on something just I’ll see. Maybe I should peel off her skin and take it as a keepsake. The poisoned darts were out. Yes, I am a little old-fashioned like that. It just looked like she was sleeping. The scalpels and knives were sharpened. Time was ticking. I should’ve flayed her skin by now. There were more people to prey on by the end of the shift. However, I couldn’t. I dragged her into my double bass case and got walked towards the tube station. People paid much less attention to you on the tube rather than on the bus. Oakwood was a while away and the Northern line couldn’t go any slower. I was nervous. I hadn’t gone through the usual routine. All I could hope was that I wouldn’t be disturbed till I got to the house.

The case fell a couple of times, I feared it would open and I’d have to stare into her grey eyes once again. It was a dash to the flat from the tube station. Rigor mortis would set in a couple of hours and I knew I had to get on with it.  She wasn’t anything special. Just another bruised human who’d be shipped down through the stream. Though, it was worrying. I’ve gotten a lot slower, a lot more compassionate. Living with these humans, was I turning into them? No. She was here and I had a dead body in the living room. This body that shall be broken to feed this hungry soul.  As I peeled off the cling film, the phoenix emerged. Couple more weeks and it would have looked more magnificent.

Now all she will be is a beauty to hang on the wall back home.



Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this, Inside Out might be your cup of tea too! :D

On a 9 to 5 day.

Dance, Monster, Dance.

With every word he wrote, I became a monster devouring his memories. Those ink stained fingers moved furiously. He seemed upset; it showed through the words he penned down. He didn’t want me to speak. He made sure there was not another peep from me as he stitched my lips shut.  I felt no pain. I was too cold hearted to feel any. I don’t know if I’m supposed to have a heart at all, he’s never spoken about it. It was made of gold, once upon a time. Nonetheless, not even the silence satisfied him. In his solitude, he remembered the words, the sensual voice, and the graceful walk, all that he used to picture me with.  He hated those memories. All he wanted was to forget, forget the fiery redhead he always wanted.

He was madly in love with me. He wanted me to sit upon a pedestal and stay there. He loved how I changed according to his mood and moved along with his beats. He loved how I never strayed away from his fixed thoughts. But, he fed so many thoughts into me that, I was overwhelmed by him. I didn’t want to remain a parasite, leeching away at his soul. Once where I couldn’t stop talking to him was only silence now. When he yearned for peace and quiet, I ambushed him with crass fantasies. I was turning out to be nothing like he imagined. I was an abomination to him. He wanted to shut the monster in me deep down. He wanted to tame me, but I belonged to the wild. I wanted to move along with each thought and skip a few and make new ones. With each step forward I wanted to move erratically. I wasn’t going to be rooted down to a mere pedestal. He tried clothing me in satin and silk and pile embellishment upon embellishment. They restrained me while I soared from one branch to the other. I was that figure leaping away in the moonlight, adorned in shreds of luxury. He kept writing. That was all he could to get rid of my image. Papers piled upon each other on the floor. His frustration and his inability to change me were all too evident in the crumpled pages bleeding ink. Meek I was, long ago. He saw flashes of that ingenuity occasionally as he wrote. Never could he pin that image into a sentence. I transformed into a ravenous monster running wild in his mind, just before each full stop. I had no regular movements, with each step my dance grew more irregular. I couldn’t be relied upon.

So, once again he emptied the bottle of vodka onto his failed attempts at shackling me down and lit the match. I burned and the auburn locks turned ashen. The flames engulfed me leaving the inked thoughts underwhelmed. Burn! He screamed intent on wiping away every image he’d conjured of me. Though, even I knew as the flame crept upon my twisted smile that I’d run amok in his mind once again. As the last flame died down, he seemed to realize that too. So, more papers were drawn, another bottle of vodka opened and I was unleashed. Wild as I was, I danced on those white pieces of paper, splashing ink everywhere. With every word, every drop of ink, he smiled, smiled at the monster he was creating. My lips unstitched, I drained every single thought from him. I danced and danced until there was no immaculate pedestal or no leash to tie me down.

Dance, Monster, Dance.