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College Park, Maryland, United States
Elusive by choice.


Enter the Dark Side

“The crime rate in the city has increased manifold. … A 45 year old was hacked to death as she tried to fight the chain snatchers. … The identity of the girl has not been established yet. We suspect rape but the forensics has confirmed there were no such signs. … The body of a toddler was found rotting in the drainage”
‘What has the world come to?’ he wondered as he sipped his latte and waited for her. He peeped through the paper once more just to make sure he doesn’t miss her. ‘I can’t decide whether it is the sensational press or people have truly turned diabolical’ he sighed. There was not a single article devoid of gore. Even page 3 was riddled with stories of hate and conspiracies.

‘Ah, there she is now. It was not usual of her to come this late.’ She was evidently upset. Maybe it was the missing waitress, someone he knew she was very close to. ‘Let me give her some space’ he thought as he went back to reading the paper. He was not interested in reading the crap on the first morning of a beautiful March. Then again, he had nothing much to do while waiting for her to get into a better mood.

She lay there in his arms. She would be easy pickings for a womanizer of his caliber. The month of tryst to get her did not justify his repute. Now he felt that he had finally fallen for her. The time he spent pursuing her made him realize that this love was much beyond the lust he had been lavishing in all these years. He never pursued women for sexual fancies, but he had made a habit of achieving it with every woman that caught his fancy. This girl was different. She had opened his heart to possibilities beyond the act.

He met her on the campus. She worked at the cafeteria for some pocket change. He already knew her as the brain behind the ‘low frequency bandwidth efficient video streaming system’ which created a buzz on the campus. Even as a student research assistant, it was her encoding technique that provided the security and bandwidth efficiency to the system that the professors were taking credit for. She was not the Greek goddess that one would fall in love with easily. Her charms were restricted to her occasional smile and glee in her eye. Her vulnerability made her an easy target for predators like him. Besides, she was the ‘Helen of Troy’ for him, considering his desire for the intelligent woman.

“So, Can I take you out for coffee sometime?” he asked. His charm would have worked on any lady.
“Sorry, but I’ve got all the coffee I need in here” she smiled as she retracted to her workstation.
“How about dinner then? Everyone has to eat sometime.” He had a plan; a process to woo women.
“No, I can’t. I’m too busy to go out on dates right now.”

She was not the easiest prey after all. He smiled as he moved her mop of hair over her face. She had blue eyes, deep as oceans. They were always concealed behind thick spectacles. Always, except for now. Maybe it was her eyes that he fell for, or was it something else?

She had dismissed his every advance with a polite ‘no’. He would not let her rigid stance dishearten him. He would have to try again. She definitely had a weakness he could exploit. It was Valentine’s Day. He could not go wrong today. The fine folk at the ‘Hogwarts for Geeks’ had decided to celebrate it in the only way they knew how. Gaming contests, spiked punch, a foreign language movie and a lot of tech talk. She sat at the console playing battleships. He concluded that she was a veteran at this after looking at her play a few rounds. The guy in the console in front of her gave up and vacated. He had his shot now.

“How about a wager? I win, I take you out for dinner. You win, and you’ll not see me again.”
“Sounds good to me. I’ll miss your annoying presence for sure.” Her sardonic response was an icing on the personality he had come to adore and admire.
“ B5, Submarine DESTROYED. Player 2 wins” the system boomed. Lady luck had been on his side. Or had she lost on purpose? He wouldn’t care. He finally had a date tonight and nothing else mattered.

It was 15 days since. On the final day of February in a leap year, he had her lying in his arms. He couldn’t take his eyes off her. He had changed. She had changed him. He would never want to let go of her. As she came to, there was a sudden panic in her face. He could see a fear akin to that of a guilty child in her eyes. She hurried and dressed up muttering indiscreet expletives at herself.

“Hey! What happened?”
“No. This is not right. I’ll be expelled. I don’t want to get caught.”
“By whom?”
“My lover. The dean. I will be expelled. This should have never happened.”
“The dean?” How could he not have known that? He had never been this careless.
“Yes, the Dean. I am so sorry. Please forgive me. This is a mistake.” She was ready to leave.

He was dazed by the sudden turn of events. He knew his deviance from a higher cause had led him to this misery. The love of a woman had blinded him and he had to save the situation before he was too late.

“Wait.” He said. As she turned around, she was greeted with a slash to her throat with a military knife. He was preparing the chain saw as he watched her lie in a pool of blood. She choked on her own blood and he had to act fast. He used the chain saw to rip the skull apart at her temple. He had to watch the pain in her face. It would not let him forgive her for breaking his heart. It would not let him forget his mistakes and repeat the same. He went through the motions without as much as an emotion in his face.

He plucked the brain out and moved it to the petri-dish. He opened the door to the alter chamber where the brains of his past victims were stored. The cryogenics cost him a fortune. But research demanded such sacrifices. And more.

“THE CHAINSAW MASOCHIST STRIKES AGAIN- Serial Killer on the prowl after a month’s hiding” he read the headlines again. He was not a serial killer. He was not a psychopath. He was obsessed perhaps. He was the Scientist that would help decipher the human mind. He was the person who would find the cause of genius and replicate it in every other person.

He glanced through the paper again at the Dean. She may not be a genius. But her brain was a must for his collection now.


After Life

Paradiso by Gustave DorĂ©

Oh, the day had come, the one of judgment.
I wasn’t prepared, I hadn’t believed.
Some said there was one and others many;
Now I depart this world, I still wouldn’t believe.

So I set on the journey, to meet 'em at the pearly.
It wasn’t long, there was no wait.
I wondered how and about the rituals we make.
But there were no cues, no queues, suppose I needn’t wait.

There was no man though, to greet me, or punish.
I stood there, confounded, for a voice, a sign.
Do I enter, would I transgress, what difference doth it make?
Never for one was I, before today, to believe in a voice or a sign.

So I set forth in my quest, my destiny, I would self make
A voice yonder, perhaps many, command(s) me, “Stop, there, son.
Life awaits, but you are not ready yet. You've wandered many years.
So tell me now, did you like purgatory young one?” 

P.S: After a long hiatus, I'll try to write more often. 
Book to read: Divine Comedy.


The Stranger

It was an odd summer night, for there was a cool breeze in the air and on the barren plains. It was almost a pleasure waiting on the platform after another hard summer day’s toil. Unfortunately, she did not have to wait long, as the train arrived soon; and once inside, she took a deep breath of the controlled environment that she was so used to now. Five stops home, she thought, as she took a seat on the midnight train- the last one for the night.

As she sat there in the near empty carriage, looking at the few and comprehending their lifestyles and behavior, the train pulled to a slow halt at the next stop. It was going to be as eventless as any other night, she thought, as she stole a glance at the doors for a familiar face.

The couple entered, mindless of her presence, or anybody else’s. They seemed to be lost in a mild conversation, or perhaps an argument, she could not really say. Her steady gaze on the door and the man amongst the two, shifted to her lap as casually as it could. She would look up occasionally at them, or maybe just at him, and slowly let her eyes settle back to her lap, and then to her phone, that she now seemed to fiddle with, restlessly.

As another stop breezed by, she could not really wait to get back home, to the comforts of her lonely bed. As she gathered the courage to steal another look, she could sense him behave nearly in the same way as her. For a brief moment, and in that, it was the shortest of time spans that you could barely measure or name, their eyes met, and then fled back to a different interest. She was confused whether to smile at this exchange or withhold any such feeling.

The train seemed to have slowed down as time refused to budge, to make the journey of two stops longer than it was. She tried to take her mind off of him and looked around for familiar faces. She was not really hopeful, but she did crave some company at the moment. There was not a comforting face in that thin crowd, let alone a familiar one. She could sense, or maybe she just seemed to think that he was just as curious and uncomfortable.

As the train arrived at her destination, she hurried to the door, and stepped out in a great hurry much before the doors fully opened. The calming breeze had now no effect on her. She got to the exit perspiring and not stopping or looking back. She hoped the bus that took her home from there would be at the stop, ready to leave as she got there. But luck had decided not to smile on her that night. As she waited at the stop, she saw the couple emerge from the station, and head towards her. She could sense through the darkness that they were looking at her and speaking animatedly. She decided not to wait for the bus, and turned on her heels to walk home.

It was a strange encounter, this, but barely an encounter with a stranger. Despite how they acted, they were no strangers to each other. Having known each other for years now, and until a month ago, they couldn’t bring themselves to acknowledge each other’s presence. In a world full of strangers, adding someone known to that list was a strange experience indeed.


Self Inflicted

Perched high on a mountain top, you are screaming-
at times commanding, and some pleading.
You hear a thousand echo what you said.

The grave injustice, that you are handed out,
imprisoned by the world around;
you crave freedom from the invisible shackle and chain.

You speak now, the voice of a many people;
The suffering they had to endure!
You are concerned for their future and today.

Standing tall in your moment, you announce a sacrifice.
The one of self, for your cause, to take the dive, to open eyes.
You take the plunge for what you believe is right.

The descent now, barely took a moment.
In that moment you see your life, pass and fleet-
from your grip, makes you smile and then a cry.

There you hear a baby laugh, born free, a long time by,
There you hear a young boy’s heart, daring to dream,
There you hear a young man’s soul hard at toil, you smile.

There you hear all the freedom you had;
no quill on paper, no master’s whip could hold you back.
Yet now bound in the hands of death, you cry.

As you open your eyes, for one last look at the peak,
you see another imbecile mounting your perch.
Singing your tunes to no audience, pleased with his own echo.


The story of a Life

When he was born, some said he was the product of love and the cynics called him the result of lust. But he knew he was merely the birth of two souls in one. Whatever you might think, or say, or even allow him to believe, he was created, given a form, and allowed to live. Creation has forever been a point of contempt for scientists and spiritualists alike. But he knew where he came from- thankful for his existence; and the mysteries of existence were not his concern, nor something he would ever learn or care for.

Unfortunate events, for no better words and lack of a genuine explanation, forced a new set of parent figures in his life. He wouldn’t really question why, for they nourished him. They provided him a life. Now creation and nourishment are two different things; yet life has no meaning without either. He obeyed their commands; forever he was indebted to their shaping him, his character and his being. He wouldn’t question their eccentricities. He would quell his mistrust and doubts; he reckoned that they were doing the right thing. If he questioned their intent, he would be questioning his self, his being and all that was him.

But time is a slave of no master. As he aged and the fleeting overseer took his guides, his masters, away from him, he was left alone, a destitute. Soon, it would be his time to go. His deteriorating health and a displeasure at losing the capabilities that he once prided, his youth, made him sick, irritable and annoying. It cannot be confirmed whether it was euthanasia or that he had no say in it, finally he was put to sleep. He was relieved from his misery, his life, or what was left of it, an existence that made less sense as each day passed. He was thankful for this too, for life had no meaning without death; he realized that creation and destruction go hand in hand. If the clueless scientists and spiritualists had to see eye to eye, even for a brief moment, it might be over this- the end.

His tombstone read out his name in bold and a eulogy paid as much respect to him as a dog’s life was worth. It didn’t talk about the parents that had given him birth, the society that had shaped his life or the benevolence that had provided him death. It spoke about his qualities, his traits, some probably exaggerated or even fabricated; nonetheless, it was one devoid of references to his creation, nourishment and destruction. It might have been a dog, the protagonist of this story, or any other creature for that matter. When his story will be told and retold, his life would probably be buried under rubble, just as he is now. But a question still lingers- was he who he was, by birth, by existence, or by death?