Sidharth Vardhan

The Seekers After the Sun

(A Flash FictionFirst written on April 25, 2016) “They are just wasting their time” “How” “They are looking for the sun.” “That is not a waste of time. They are bound to find it sooner or later.” “No. They won’t.” “And why is that? Sun can be seen anywhere. And it is a sight worth seeking.” “Yes. But they are looking for it in corners of planets and depths of books. In the darkness of caves or carved up rocks. Believe it or not, they are looking for the sun and have candles in their hands.”

Ugliness

(A short story first written on March 4, 2019) 1. His clothes were as black as the background. The place was marked by a complete lack of landmarks – trees, walls etc. Nothing but the darkness and, in it, that ugly man visible. but the darkness in the place wasn’t just a lack of light it seemed to have a material presence, it surrounded the place like a black fog and you could look in all direction without seeing far because of it. This fog like effect was produced by a lack of a visible source of the dim light that circumscribes one’s vision. This man whom he saw only in profile seemed so ugly to Manoj that he thought it won’t be an exaggeration to deny him humanity and call him a monster. The ‘monster’ was very heavy about his stomach, had a crooked nose and an almost albino skin shade with ugly black wrinkles spouting in the face. He smiled showing deformed, yellowish teeth. His eyes were of that undefined colour which Manoj quickly read as the colour of greed. The very sight of this man made a shiver ran down Manoj’s neck whose disgust was combined by

Diary of a Cynical Suicide

(A short fictionFirst written on April 3, 2019Find all parts of ‘Diary of a Cynical Suicide’ here ) 251. Today I know of the greatest frustration of all. My mind explodes with ideas and I am starved of paper to put them on, having run out of pages in my diary. If only it was possible to die of starvation of paper! I live in darkness devoid of electricity during nights…How bad it has to get until I realise that this is the time to end it? 252. Yeats once said that a thing of beauty of joy forever. In as much there is nothing beautiful as no joy lasts – that much I think I have talked about earlier. But the statement is ridiculous in another way. Even what goes down as things of beauty do not necessarily fill ‘normal’ people with joy. Normal people quickly reach out to pluck out the flower they find beautiful and thus starting it on its death, hill stations that were once seen as beautiful are now cluttered with garbage and pollution by those who find them beautiful and go there for trips or to live out of love for their beauty. A man

The Legends of Maltava

(A short storyFirst written on March 9, 2019) 1. The superstitions and the legends that are connected with the tribe of hidden valley of Maltava can all be traced to the fate of Mr. Robin Samuels. For the sake of science, one almost wishes that it was not so well known. Because ever since him, at least five different researchers  – including three women, a man and a transgender, who had gone to study the tribe have shown a change in behavior that follow the neurotic pattern of Mr. Samuelels’ fate. However, unlike with Mr. Samuels, the effects haven’t lasted for them after they were back in the civilized world – one wonders whether the quick return to the civilized world has cured them before it was too late or they were just imagining the whole thing. Another factor that might have affected them is the presence of Samuels acting as one of the tribe people. And The sight of a civilized person in such a primitive crowd can’t be comforting to one’s mind. A terrible thought catches with one – if Mr. Samuels can forget himself and start acting like them, what are chances it won’t happen to the

There is a body next to my bed

(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan First written on December 4, 2018) There is a body next to my bed. The body of a sick kid. A very, very sick kid. I call it a body because I am already thinking of it as dead. And that is how I write. Not as I see but as I feel. As an impressionist and not as a realist. And anyway, the only people who have any claim to realism have either killed themselves, gone insane or in jungles feeding the kids like these. The body. How it makes my life a nightmare! It wails and cries and moans and screams – and it does all that, I know it sounds absurd, silently. Every morning on waking up, I spend several minutes trying not to think about it. For what is there is to think? Earlier I used to be normal, more or less, before one day, this body appeared next to my bed and now when I am one of Kafkirs. Kafkirs, as you know, react to their misfortune in different ways the first time they see a body next to their bed. Many of them are too embarrassed by their

Diary of a Cynical Suicide – 9

(A short fiction by Sidharth VardhanFirst written on January 25, 2019) 201.My last wish that I don’t see ever getting fulfilled is for someone to hold my hand and tell me “I understand.” That is perhaps all I need from all my friends. But perhaps they aren’t friends. Perhaps I just don’t have the luxury of friends. 202.I don’t even how to make effort or in what direction to make. I don’t have it in me to walk another mile to find happiness. All I want is for this suffering to end. Everywhere I see, there are people … Living things suffering. I don’t want this anymore. No more of this world in my eyes. I must close them to the world and close them so that they are never opened around. 203.Pain Letter – 18I guess you did listen to me and delete the last letter. Well, delete this one too. I will make it short. I am never gonna find any self-respect again – ever. And for the rest of my life, I will never be able to open up before another person knowing that they will walk out the second I learn to look at them for

Possession

(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan First written on December 4, 2018) “It started suddenly one day. We – me, my brother and husband, suddenly heard her screaming in her room. We ran to her room, the door was shut but not locked. She had developed a habit of spending more and more of her time alone in her room and often locking it. We thought it was all a part of growing up but this time the door was not locked.” John the priest entered the house. A large old bungalow probably made during British Raj time and which in fact was once a place of residence for British colonials. The place was too big for a family of four and as is often the case with such houses wasn’t well lit. “When we entered the room, she was scared. Her eyes were widened in shock, frightened. She kept telling us about a ‘him’ – we soon realized there was some sort of evil spirit in the room. That he was smiling at her, was going to ‘touch’ her. He touched me, mamma, she kept on insisting with a stress on word ‘touch’ …. She was too naive to

Diary of a Cynical Suicide – 8

(A short fiction by Sidharth VardhanSeptember 15, 2018) 176.I look for peace in this world where everywhere I see imaginary wild red fires. I no longer hope to find it so I don’t know why I go on. The habit of breathing can be so addictive, won’t leave you till death do you two apart. 177.I listen to people talking about things I can’t get interested in. Sometimes I wish I was piece of furniture – gets whole credit of existing without being troubled by related misfortunes and listens to everything yet can stay indifferent without raising offence of those speaking. Now that is life! … Or well lack of it. 178.This desire to be furniture reminds me of Vonnegut talking about a person in comma if I remember right “not feeling a thing, yet getting the credit of being alive” . How I yearn to live rest of my life in comma! 179.The crows roam around in joy of easy access to free food given to them as Shradhs have decided and Hindus feed them believing that in feeding them they are feeding their dead ancestors returning for a meal. I try to enter their imagine and see from

Fighting Like An Old Couple

(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan First written on November 6, 2018) “we fight and it passes the time.” – Ernest Hemingway 8 p.m. Major Baldev Singh, the fifty-eight old advocate, returns home. He had been playing chess with his friend ‘Sharma’ for the whole day. He returns home to find it locked and curses the whole universe in general and his wife, Simran Kaur in particular. Why can’t this woman stay at home? He kicks the door. He hates it – not finding her home, waiting for him with cooked food. He waits for her sitting on the stool just outside their main door and he doesn’t have to wait for long, though it seemed long to him, for she is here in five minutes. She has whitening hair like her husband. While his legs, one of which had once received a bullet, are giving in; his body is still muscular. She on other hand can still run around like a girl of twenty but has a pot belly. He secretly hates her for going fat just she openly calls him lame when they are in arguing. “Where were you?” He lets his anger show in his voice. “I

Diary of a Cynical Suicide – Part 7

(A short fiction by Sidharth VardhanSeptember 15, 2018) 151. Pain Letters – 5Why did you hurt me? You knowingly, repeatedly hurt me. Most of the times it was redundant. At others time in doing something that could be done in a better way. You are not a bad person, are you? I don’t think so though I can’t be sure. I want to keep asking you this same question repeatedly knowing no answer that you might give will satisfy me. I want the ability to hurt you so that you should know how much you have been hurting me. Perhaps that is why I was so rude, so rough to you – was a sadist in that little illusion you left me with. You will never understand and I have stopped trying to show… At least I have stopped trying to show you. I hope this time my effort won’t fail. 152.I am not a very easy approachable person – well, more like I am not a very attractive person. Neither looks nor personality. If I have a few friends, then that is because everyone seems to believe that I am a perfect patience stone. I have to admit that I

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