Sidharth Vardhan

Raag, the garden city

(A Short Fiction) For good or for bad, you will never forget your first visit to the garden city ‘Raag’ – yes, you must have heard about it, people talk about it all the time. It is a strange city, you can’t direct anyone to it, it can only be discovered accidentally, and discovered only when you are looking for it in pairs. It is only in pairs that you are allowed entry, for it is a city of pairs. The butterflies, sparrows, and squirrels are all only to be found in pairs. Even the flowers smiling to the sunlight have their faces close together in pairs as if whispering secrets to each other. Raag’s popularity with the poets has made it so attractive to people that everywhere one finds people wandering around in pairs specifically, though often also secretly, looking for it. Though, at times, found after a great wait and though it is often advised otherwise, the travelers who reach it often seem to be in a rush to explore it all at once. Maybe it is just the excitement at the sight of the city’s impossible beauty – even though the very objects that make the city

I have got something to say

(A Short Fiction)   You ask me the reason of my restlessness, you ask me why I  always seem so annoyed, so disappointed at things. I don’t think I can explain my problem to you. The thing is, you see, I have this very strong feeling that … how to put it? …. let us say that I really want to say something, it is as if there is some sort of thought or idea is stuck in my throat, not exactly at tip of my tongue, do you understand ?an expression which presumes consciousness of previous knowledge, all I’m conscious of is a need to say something – something very important, at least very important to me … though, yes, sometimes I wonder if I’ m just exaggerating its importance and that perhaps it is something rather trivial or of no value at all. Still, in the end, it doesn’t matter, the fact is it won’t let me rest until I say it. And I have had this feeling, you may call it an itching inside the throat, a painful desperation for years – this desperation has been the biggest motivation behind most of the decisions I have taken

Modern Adventures of Baron Munchausen – Part 3

I see people still seems to be thinking that my I just tell tall-tales. Now if you visited my town, you would have known the fame I have for my honesty, they swear on it –if they want to praise someone’s honesty they will say he is as honest as our great lord Manchurian (since that the title they use for me) or if they want to assert truthiness of something, they will say ‘believe it as if our great lord M. has said it.’ The Roman people were even better- they named a whole month after me – of course it later deteriorated from Munch to March but hey, it is the gesture that counts. And of course Johnny Depp, whom I was just talking with, could have told you – but he is won’t be seen with me. He says he feels eclipsed by my presence. I said if it is any consolation DiCaprio feels the same. Of course sometimes one have to lie, I mean if kids comes to me and say how much they like Arybhatta for inventing Zero or Vinci for his paintings or Mozart for music he created – I can’t help nodding while

Modern Adventures of Baron Munchausen – Part 2

I have discovered that a lot of people are taking what I have said as mere tall tales when, in fact, if ever I was guilty of lying then it was because I couldn’t do away with my habit of modesty. For example, this once, back in very old days – it was just a week before I handed those commandments to Moses; I participated in this village wide game we were playing where you have to throw rocks, and person whose rocks hits the ground furthest would win. May be I just happened to pick up too big a rock but I lost the game. Now tell me, would I be a tall-tale teller when I say I was a distant last in among hundreds of players? My throw was, in fact, so terrible that rock never landed; it just stayed out there in sky – people call it moon. Funny name! isn’t it, for a rock? Once I was on this ‘moon’ – I often go there in search of solitude; when what I see is this vehicle lands near me and a man comes out of it in a clownish white silver dress and starts saying some

Modern Adventures of Baron Munchausen – Part 1

It is, you see, difficult to stay connected with old friends. That is why I once created this website where you could find and meet your old friends. I was in a good mood that day and since it hardly took me an hour to create it, so I gave it to this young boy – try as I may, I can’t recall his name Mark something, he was pissed off after his GF broke with him. I can’t recall his last name zuck … berger … bug… Anyway I wouldn’t have mentioned it if this same website was not used by some of my enemies to exaggerate my little powers and thus ridicule them. If there is one thing I can’t tolerate – it is deviation, even slightest deviation from truth. One of them said that I once lifted an anaconda with a single hand to save a child in its grip and threw the beast away. It is such a stupid lie – How can people believe that? I could barely lift the animal with both my hands. Anyway it spoiled my mood and I happened to be presiding this interplanetary conference that day. When representatives of Pluto

In support of cannibalism

(A Short Fiction)   “I think the story starts when, as a kid, I was a neighbor of this family of slaughterers for a short while and, though they did their work within walls of their house, still sitting inside our home, we could hear the cries of goats, full of pain, as they were being slaughtered. These cries would go on for several minutes. It was unbearable for my family to hear those cries day after day. Personally, I found their reactions more annoying. I have never liked these kind-hearted people. Animals have always been slaughtered, and most of them never show concern except when it happens right in front of them, which is when their hypersensitive imagination starts working and they suddenly grow compassionate. Their compassion creates an inconvenience when things happen in their backyard, an inconvenience which they will have removed. They can’t care less for animals. They won’t mind if it happens at some distance, away from their physical presence. And this is true generally, even when we are talking about the suffering of humans too. There is a reason Europeans do not want immigrants from middle-East. There is also a reason why it needed an hours-long

A Nightmare

(A Short Fiction) Part I 1. Twelve years later, V___ wakes up tormented by the nightmare. An unsatisfied, undesired feeling that will not go away – all these years and, for no reason that he can think; he has tried hard to remember if he had talked about, thought or alluded to her yesterday; anything which might have caused the dream but, no, nothing whatever comes to mind, then why should she be intruding into his dream again and giving him restless mornings? 2. He still remembers how he had been rude to her initially; perhaps what he felt was the result of guilt from same. Yes, that will make sense. The left-over of the feelings are the waste that is most harmful to the environment of the psyche. But what could he have done? Just last year he had changed school as he had come to stay at his grandparents’ home after his mother’s death following a long  period of illness (his father had died a few years back). He was a highly reserved skinny new admission to the school with a tragic background and so he got attention for all the wrong reasons. There must be a look of sorrow

The Bell

(A short story first written on June 26, 2016) For generations, we have lived in this jail, in this hole – so long that we might as well have imagined that this is the only world, had it not been for the stars, visible in the oval blanket over our head, which show us the glimpse of the unknown worlds. And stars are the hope, every child in this hole is taught to look up towards them and somehow they fill us with this hopeless hope that keeps the life going. But why are they there? Forever there, filling us with temptations to make fruitless efforts to grab them. Are they just another addition to the suffering of this hole? Why were we given hope? Are there better worlds which hope teaches us to look forward to? Or is hope just another part of the punishment? Perhaps it is neither, rather it is the jailer who makes sure we don’t try run away from this hole. And it is successful, isn’t it? After all, how many of us ever try to escape? This hope keeps us from trying to escape.

Vani

(A short story by Sidharth VardhanFirst written on June 24, 2016) “Papa, Pa-Pa, Pa, Pa” he has rolled the variations of the word;‘Daddy’ or ‘Dad’ too, but he wishes that Vani will call him papa. It has just the right kind of sound to it. It has always felt like a big responsibility – inwardly he still has a lot of mischievousnesses, immaturity in him. ‘Will he make a good father?’This fear has been in him though he hasn’t shown his nervousness to Taruna – not purposefully; it is just that with her around, he just forgets his worries; there has always a reassuring wisdom in her eyes; as if she held a sort of secret, a secret that will ensure their happiness, which she has kept so gracefully from him. Even now, if only she was around, he would rather be focusing on –‘Today I’m going to be the father’ version. But she is not around. She is in operation ward with doctors and he is waiting at the door of the room pacing up and down like a character in his position in a typical Bollywood movie would. He still can’t see her in pain. And especially not in

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