Sidharth Vardhan

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

Diary of a Cynical Suicide – Part 6

(A short fiction by Sidharth VardhanSeptember 15, 2018) 126.Shakespeare is right, ignorance is bliss. It is true the other way around too. Bliss is ignorance. Unfortunately, ignorance can’t be regrown from where it is once unrooted by the weeds of wisdom. And thus happiness too once lost, can’t be regained. 127.I don’t think of youStopped it when you cut the callIn anger but no, Nah,You didn’t even feel thatNothing that is what you feelI don’t think of youBecause you don’t think of me.I don’t need you, I need nothingI don’t feel anything for you, I feel nothingI write this song try to pass that timeWhen, no, not, nahwhen I can’t help thinking about youIt is not thatI don’t know what it isBut it is not thatI don’t think about youIn fact, I don’t remember who you are 128.I am no romantic and do not hold any fancy ideas about my misery – it is a terrible thing and must be cured for sure if such a cure was possible. But I am alive and I am afraid of those mind doctors and other well-wishers who wish to reduce my misery to a chemical imbalance in my mind or a bad

Diary of a Cynical Suicide – Part 5

(A short fiction by Sidharth VardhanSeptember 15, 2018) 101.I return to these notes guilty as I have yet again failed to kill myself. Guilty as I have humiliated both myself and these notes, which are my best endeavor, to be honest. I won’t make any excuses. After all, to whom I am to make them. The whole point of talking to a paper is knowing that the paper understands. 102.There was a time when, after considering how much pain I am always in, I thought I would make a great artist. I mean think Van Gogh with his anxiety attacks, Proust with ridiculous sensitiveness, Woolf with her secret wings of imagination that she could not use to fly because she didn’t have a room of her own, Dostoevsky with his epileptic attacks, Kafka with his fear of never understood, Passoa with his self-imposed loneliness. I believed that everything beautiful must be born of a touch of a suffering hand. The mothers going through extreme pain give birth to children. A lover’s teardrops must surely have dropped, as that Sufi poet claimed, where flowers bloom now. But then I realized all of us are suffering to some extent – all seven

Diary of a Cynical Suicide – Part 4

(A short fiction by Sidharth VardhanSeptember 8, 2018)) 76.Apparently, I now have got a job. I look at people around me who have been working at this place for years – most of them angry at employers, yet no one leaves. Nine and half hours (it is 12 for labor) of work and another of transition in a day for six days a week – it seems as though their day revolves around work – which is keeping records of movements of things as dead as records. I, my self, have joined them. I, too, sit glued to a computer, gazing at things no one except machines should ever care about. I don’t like to work. I am just doing it to be finally self-sufficient. It seems that to earn living one must die a few hours every day (except on weekends). To stay human, one must become a machine for a certain number of hours every week. I don’t like these temporary deaths. I have always preferred more permanent solutions. 77.Now that I have a job, I have to put an alarm. The clock symbol which shows that alarm is on in my mobile states back at me every

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