Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A stranger, an old whore and a city to die

I am going to tell you a story. I guess that makes me the narrator. I always like being the narrator. Because then I can be god. I can be omnipresent, in and around my characters, my protagonist. It is appeasing to see the dilemma of my protagonist, his tears, his amused smile, because he has no idea how it’s going to end, his story is going to end. I am the one who peels it skin by skin.

It’s late in central Calcutta. Shovabazar traffic is thin. The street lights sprayed its orange light on the rain washed streets. The uninhabited Rajbari cries silently in the nostalgia of its lost grandeur. The rikshawallas were sleeping in the shadow of their hand-pulled rickshaw to find peace in the darkness of its shadow. Mongrels tired of fighting over the city roughage also curled up to hide their face under their half filled bellies. Chotka is again drunk today, sat by the lamppost singing songs of Dev Anand and Uttam Kumar. And I stand on top of those depilated buildings of English-era that serves as slum in today's world. Its high ceiling rooms partitioned by cheap cardboard to give them fake privacies often violated by the small holes at the edges.

But they don’t concern me as I stood on the roof and saw my protagonist down on the street. In the stillness of the night, he walked with a hunger in his eyes. Such was the longing that it showed as pain on his face. His pale face and his black eyes. He walked carefully avoiding the glare of the street lights, as if the light intrudes his dark inner privacy. His long overcoat scraped the dirt of the footpath, making noise as if a snake slithered.

"Ohh look who is sad, should I make you happy", she snickered.

She was squatting under the closed shutters of the Homeopathic shop. Hidden in the darkness she was witnessing the nakedness of the city under the neon lights.

He stopped for a bit to find the source of sound. And abruptly without raising his face, he quickened his pace.

She smiled at herself. It was Monday night. Less business. Apparently most of them are religious enough to abhor non-veg and women for 1 day. They thought that made god happy. If only god cared.

But the nervousness in his eyes betrayed him. She could sense he needed her. She has got her prey for the night.

"It is indecent to ignore a lonely woman in such a dark night", she shouted back.

He turned and looked at her for the first time.
The kajal and the foundation did a very bad job hiding the visible wrinkles of the onset of old age. The red lipstick, the kind they sell on local trains was smudged at the corner of her lips that now smiled broadly at him. The thinning hair overflowed behind her.

Her fake chiffon, with the silver glitter was like a distant city skyline of high-rises. The deliberately pulled down sari oozed out her ample cleavage, where the sweat and talcum made ripple patterns as if to camouflage her identity.

"It’s a very dark city, the kind that kills you. Kids like you shouldn’t be roaming around alone. Let me invite you to my place, it’s just around the corner”, she declared mockingly

"No thank you, please don’t bother me", he tried to squeeze out the words so it does not betray his growing pain.

The hunger was not spreading throughout his body. The pale skin felt like parched earth in mid July summer in Gujarat.

An uncontrollable giggle erupted from her, echoing in the darkness around her.

"Am I bothering you? I don’t think you are roaming in the darkest alleys of Calcutta in the dead of night, in search of god"

She regretted it as soon as she said. She can’t afford to lose his only hope of income. If she doesn’t pay Rana da in the morning, he will again beat her. For the past few months she is losing deadlines. Maybe old age is forcing her into early retirement.

"I like you kid. Tell you what. I will give a discount rate. Come with me. Haven’t you heard some sick man is killing off beggars and lepers on the street? This city is drowning in blood and filth"

This time he sniggered.

"This city is not drowning in blood. It is getting drained of blood"

He could smell her blood, gushing though her veins like a whirlpool. He could almost feel the warmth of her body engulfing him.

But he knew he could not do it. Those beggars were different. When he looked into their eyes for the last time, he could see the gratitude they felt of being relieved of this punishment of life. He just helped them, but I guess people don’t understand that.

But she is different. She is fresh; there is something about her that repeatedly says she has not lost hope on life. She is the warrior-kind.

"You cannot satiate my hunger. Leave me alone", he was getting tired of his efforts to save her from himself.

"Is it so? Kid. There is no hunger in a man which I can’t fulfil. When after a day filled with hypocrisy, men comes to this underbelly of the city, I have fulfilled their true animal hunger"

"What if I say, I want to slowly dig my fangs in on the soft and moist skin, below you ears, and drain you of every bit of life you have inside you. SO that you are left behind as a dry and lifeless body and a bad aftertaste in my mouth.” he sniggered.

"Hah! You have to pay me double than. My aftertaste is worth it", she tried to be bold, to hide the uneasiness building inside her.

"You don’t get it do you? None of you humans ever get it. I did not kill them; those amputated pathetic creatures, which you "humans" shunned out of your brightly lit high-rises. I just sucked their life out of them because it fulfilled my hunger of blood and their hunger of death"

The horror slowly descended in her eyes. The first beads of perspiration started to appear from nowhere on her forehead. He could sense the slight shifting of her foot, which looked like as if she was floating away from him.

He smiled satisfyingly, he liked predictable people. Who feared him and loathed him. He liked to act monster in a world of monsters.

She did try her fair chance to run, but no one can really run away. I saw as he dug his fangs on her soft flesh. I also saw the first trickle of blood from the corner of his lips. I did not missed to see the teardrop rolling down his cheek, because he knew he liked her, he knew she did not deserved it.

But still he could not let her go. Maybe he too was selfish. Maybe there is a little bit of human hypocrisy in every vampire.

P.S : Before u judge me, I would like to mention that I am trying to write in a new kind of fiction which has active narration, as in the narrator is the part of the story and also some dark sarcasm. Hence I felt pretty awkward writing it out of my comfort zone and cant quite judge the quality of it....So i request the junta to let me kno dere honest opinions in the comment section :)

Btw sorry for being such lousy and irregular regarding my post.....its not dat i am busy or sumthing...i m just plain lazy!!! :P