(A short story by Sidharth Vardhan First written on March 22, 2018) 1. He was so very careful with his steps. From very early on, he has decided one can’t be too careful as one walks to one’s destination, for one can so easily fall within a momentary carelessness on these rocky lands. And so many people had told him that they didn’t manage to reach the destination in time because they had fallen. Because, and it is a well-known fact, how people, once fallen, may not rise again for years. Too scared of the answer he might get, he didn’t ask anyone what it was like down there where they fell. But one can easily imagine how much they were suffering even now, when they had finally picked themselves up, from that look on their face. Something in the corner of their eyes sung the saddest songs he had heard. One could see scars all over their body and their complaints about pain in left side of their chest were quite well known. And he was sure he couldn’t stand that. Though he pretended to be strong, he knew deep in his heart that he was fragile and weak.
(A short story by Sidharth Vardhan First written on March 28, 2018) 1. From my earliest memories I have had this cusiosity regarding how the experience of this world differs for people with physical disabilities compared to others. Does a person who has been blind all his or her life know what colors are? How do we define the concept to them? Or does the person who has been deaf all his or her life understand the concept of music? And what about someone like Helen Keller! how lonely a life hers must have been, with nothing but touch and smell to make her conscious of other person’s presence. If you ask me conversations are the only most delibrate way in which we feel the presence of other people and enjoy their company; but it is hardly the strongest (that place goes to touch) or most common (which is sight). In presence of right kind of company, words aren’t neccesary to hold a conversation – in fact, best of conversations are often held in silence and words are superficial. That is why the dialogues in dramas and literature aren’t most effective when realisitic – they can only cover a marginal
(A short story by Sidharth Vardhan First written on January 28, 2018) 1. No one has noticed it yet, that is except for Shradha herself but soon they all will. People will only notice it over time – as she will get more choosy with her dresses, want to see more movies etc but those will only be more visible symptoms of the giant change in her values – a change that needed only six hours starting from the beginning of the movie show that caused it. The cause of change – a Bollywood movie, and a mediocre romance at that, is going to be more shocking for those who have known her at all.
(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan February 17, 2018) It is only because of King’s James’ personal dislike for dogs that nobody knows about Canis and Chien – for no accounts of our parents can ever be complete without mentioning them. When Adam and Eve were exiled; Canis and Chien – the first dog couple followed them, trailing not far behind them. When out of paradise, the dogs didn’t look back longingly to paradise.
A tribute to Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities) and Damien Rice (Cheers Darling)A short story First written on March 26, 2018) As usual, she had her beautiful smile on when she opened the door and she greeted him with her daily question, addressing him, as she always did, with his last name “How you are doing today, Carton?” He greeted her back – never ever answering the question, asked her after her husband and went to meet her children. The children were waiting for him to arrive as he was their playmate and played the game with the same excitement as they did – only losing deliberately to his younger rivals. “You will never learn Carton” the young girl would say with a shake of the head and using his last name much like her mother. “You just wait and watch, I will surely beat you two tomorrow.” He would say pretending to take the challenge. Soon they all took their dinner and then it was time to put the children in their bed. As per ritual, he told them a bedtime story – a new one every day as their parents would watch and once the children were
(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan April 7, 2018) I am imagining what a tree would think if it could. How it would look at the seasons as they come and go – the spring that brings with it flowers and birds, the winters that take them away – how with death of every flower would be for it like dying a little too and how with birth of new one, it would be reborn to that extent. Does it get tiring for trees, this perpetual cycle of little births and deaths? Is that why their branches are hunched so often?
(First written as a fun review of The Prince (1513) by Niccolò Machiavelli on Goodreads August 4, 2016 by Sidharth Vardhan) I don’t know how come I never reviewed this one but recently I was visiting this friend of mine in south India, Pramod (yes, the one from Goodreads), when he showed me this not-so-popular smaller piece, allegedly written by the author in his last days, ‘Le Gente’ and never published – for common people about how they can succeed in social life using diplomacy.
Woke up with the worm, couldn’t eat, Music won’t do, Books won’t either, Something cruel is in the sunlight today, And ignored dog looks sad too. Know that will be crying today. Woke up with the worm, Hope it will kill me today. Can’t get you out of my mind, don’t want to love you anymore, Don’t want to think of you all the time, Don’t want the never-ending communication with you, That fucks up my mind, and oh hell, I am doing it now too. Know that will be crying today. Woke up with this worm That will kill me today. Reproaches in my head Wanting to tell you ‘Are immature, careless, stupid Reproaches – mean and childish no right to make them Yet gonna make them. Reproaching you all the time Wanting to hit you all the time And yet whatever the reproaches are They are nothing, nothing But same old one, One reproach, different clothes. That I loved you And you didn’t love me back. Know that will be crying today. Woke up with the worm Why won’t it kill me today? (First written as a Dedication for Khaleesi AKA Alex on March 20, 2018) Copyright –
(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan March 3, 2018) He had to ask her out the very day she was having her ‘those days’ – that is what she called it in her mind, the technical words and other euphemisms were too alien or repulsive for her to even use in her own mind. She took the wrapper of sanitary napkin she had just put on and buried it deep with the dustbin covering it over with a polyethene – a habit her mother had taught her, or “Ravi (her younger brother) will be asking questions.” So these are what they call ‘old wives tales’ she had thought wondering at the secrecy of it all – she had often wondered what they mean by ‘old wives tales’ – how come they are only about wives or women? Why not men? She knew, of course, of other more-fun tales – when in their women-only meetings they will act mischievously, flirting with each other, spanking each other, talking about men as if they are some sort of consumable dishes etc. Even her mother who, as soon as a man entered the room, was the picture of a lady.
(A Short Fiction by Sidharth Vardhan February 2, 2018 Part two of two – the first of this story can be read here.) Back in their home Daya had kept returning to the subject of the corpse for a while and mother had kept asking her to not think about it until finally mamma was irritated and told her to never mention the subject again. Of fear of her mother’s scolding the child didn’t mention it though she kept thinking about the corpse. Then finally she was distracted by her favorite cartoon serial. Though the memory of the corpse kept on seeking the attention of her consciousness but, with time the later find it easier to not give too much attention to the memory as the physical evidence was no longer there. It was while she stepped out of the car upon their return from shopping trip (her mother had avoided the corner where the corpse was when leaving for the mall and while coming back) that the central event of this second part of this story took place. She saw Toffee running towards her to greet her. And in its mouth was what she thought to be a polythene. (He