Bulbu

Present

His hips were moving in motion with hers, it was a dance, tension filled. She slowly held his arms as he guided her with his motion. It was 11.30 and the whole city was going to sleep, but not these two. Breathing a sigh of breath, he went and sat down on the nearby chair, he let her go as she settled into a comfortable position of her own. He lit his cigar and relaxed his arms taking in the dark humid night from his roof less terrace.

She called him to come back and he did with a smile. Holding her from the back he pulled her arms and uttered something in her ears, only the dark skies and the warm air would know.

Tearing the warm air, an Arrow pierced its targets with precision. The archer didn’t even try to move. He was standing there in the same position, feeling proud at how the arrow went through both the targets, its tip now dripping red.

He slowly let his compound bow down to the floor. It hit with a “thud”.

Earlier that day

El was furious. El had stomped out of the meeting hall after threatening to kill Yu if he didn’t sign the merger as agreed before. In a battle of the wits Yu managed to outwit El in a deal by simply changing a clause which might lead to a major loss for El’s firm. Graduating out of the same university, they met a few years after their graduation in a business meeting. Yu fell in love with El’s sexy secretary, Bea. But Bea had been rejecting El’s offers for a date. Long story short, Bea and Yu are now engaged and El is enraged.

Added to his anger for their relationship he was humiliated when Yu pointed out the clause which ruled out the shares in the favour of his firm.

Off late, El was seen in his archery ranch practicing his shots with visible anger. And that argument in the meeting had sparked off his rage and he stormed off threatening to kill Yu.

Present

He revelled at how his aim did not miss the target. He suddenly sat down in the pranayama pose and began to meditate. From nowhere, a projectile hit his head. He slumped to the floor.

20 floors above and 2 blocks away, two bodies were dancing in the midnight sky. Yu was holding her from behind, putting her in posture. She was holding the slender hard thing in her hand. A slight jerk and Yu jumped.

“Hold the putt properly Bea

“What a weird game golf is!” Bea exclaimed as she let guide Yu guide her in swinging the golf putt. She swung it, her shot was powerful enough to launch the ball to the moon, but she almost let the golf putt slip away.

Next Day Morning

“Fuck off Bea, I’ll sue you both for this”, Yu banged on his hands on the table and motioned Bea to get away from his room.

He had caught her trying to steal some files from his cabinet.

Yu’s phone rang and his face was a mix of emotions. “El is dead”, he said to Bea, coldly.

Later that day

Though Yu’s plan didn’t go as he had planned, he was happy that El was gone for good. The sip of whiskey he took a slightly stung his chest, ignoring it he swung his putt. An explosion was heard. The explosion maimed Yu and he fell to the floor.

Hearing the blast, the killer hid himself and made sure that his gun’s safety was on. He did not want it to misfire like last time. He saw a disfigured Yu and breathed a sigh of relief, though both his plans had flopped, they both are dead now.

He called Bea to inform his success.

10 kilometres away Bea’s phone was ringing and she was convulsing and crawling on the floor towards the phone, but in vain. A diabetes injection lay there on the table.

CSI statements

Bea’s death

Though it might seem like Bea died from poison in her diabetes medicine, she didn’t actually die of poisoning. In anxiousness and urgency of taking her injection, she injected a rather large bubble into her system and it caused air embolism which gave her a heart attack.

El’s death It is weird how El died, His arrows were laced with poison and if not for his gloves he would have been dead long before the golf ball hit him. He was poisoned anyway.

His shoes had been primed to inject a poison into his feet.

But that’s not it. The golf ball is a modified grenade that didn’t go off like it was supposed to. One interesting factor is that this golf ball was dented hard, though golf balls are not dented buy putts, considering the situation I would say the person has a great swing.

The surprising thing is the golf ball didn’t kill him. He had a heart attack. Medical records state that it was his 3rd attack.

Yu’s Death

Yet another case where the victim was poisoned. Though unsure of why and the how, his drinking glasses and his gloves had trace amounts of poison.

An astonishing fact it that at the place of crime there was only one explosion heard but there are two points of explosion. One is his mouth where he must have had his cigar, and the second one was near the edge of the open terrace. The fantastic thing about this golf ball that hit him was a similar one from El’s death; It was a golf ball that was modified to explode on contact.

Unconvinced about his mode of death, I dug in deeper and found out that he was having a heart attack before/during the time of the simultaneous explosions. On doing biopsy I found out that the Cigar didn’t have enough power to kill him but only disfigure his face and the golf ball explosion was too far to have affected him, so he died of Heart attack.

Only thing I’m not able to explain is the hole in the glass window.

Killer’s Night out.

Buu was a Nepalese Bea had hired to kill El and Yu. She had instructed him to stage a kidnapping when she was with Yu so that she can use the staging to get the files she needed. Buu was also instructed to plant poison in El’s shoes.

But as fate planned something Else for them, he dropped his phone onto the floor in the dark and his gun silenced went off when he accidentally banged his hand on the table. The same call made Bea jerk and give more power than intended, making the ball float into the dark skies.

Buu who was two floors below fired the shot. The explosive yet defective golf ball didn’t burst when the bullet hit it. Rather it travelled in El’s direction with the help of physics.

1853

H.Gustav Magnus sees the effect of a ball curving due to difference in pressure around the ball.

With blessings from Isaac Newton’s ghost, the effect is named as Magnus effect.

#BULBU

 

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Condle

He followed her through dawn,
Unknown, unseen, hidden from sight,
The world figured, “its love”,
But he seemed alone always,
None accompanied, none around him,

His window was a door,
A door to her place,
He sat watching, drawing, Planning
Often lost in adoring her,
He needed to be reminded,

The headquarters did that often,
A voice said, “concentrate, concentrate!”
But her beauty was captivating,
Her curvaceous lips call seductively,
To join her, join her lust,

Clearing his head, he focussed,
He was here for brilliance,
A brilliance that created energy,
Unlimited energy, for my employer,
I was sent to steal,
But I lost my heart,
Called infinite candle, My target,
She had made unquenchable light,
A Wax maker by profession,
Scientist by passion, a shadow,

Infinite Candle was right there,
A bright white light glowing,
Unlike conventional candles, a scintillation,
Confused looking at the window,
Infinite Candle or Infinite Love?

Three months of courting her,
only a number I found,
a week passed, with love,
she seemed to have noticed,
Me following her, but unaware,
Unaware that of my intentions,
We fell in love, digitally,
Forgetting my task, I fell,
A date was due, inevitable,
We couldn’t wait, I knocked,

No one answered, creaked open,
There it was, the candle,
But something felt wrong here,
No Candle, nothing infinite, Led,
A single LED was glowing,

Eyes froze, stunned by fear,
A Call broke my shock,
the gruff voice said, “Window”
peeking, I found a face,
a Familiar face, her face,
Removing her wig, He smiled,
Holding my Laptop, he Mouthed,
But I didn’t understand, confused,
His writing mocked me, hilariously,
It said, “I love You”
A creep passed through me,
His files read, “Con, Rapist”

The Marriage

In an event of rare occurrence a Swami and a Nun we’re engaged to each other. The best man of the wedding was their best friend, a Fakir.

But the Nun’s followers didn’t want him to get married, so they deviced a plan to stop the marriage. Some big shots manipulated the fakir to plant another woman’s inner wear in the Swami’s room so that his fiancé thinks he is cheating on her.

The Nun knew there was a conspiracy going on from her followers and was very alert. They gave him multiple items to plant on the bed that the Swami was sleeping in. But the fakir being Swamiji’s best friend had a last minute change of mind so he made a plan. The fakir didn’t notice the Nun who was hiding in the balcony and her brother, a Pastor, who was hiding inside. He tiptoed silently up to Swami’s bed and began placing the clothes and a paper hidden inside telling all the details. They both caught him red handed, but he confessed. At that time The Swami woke up and saw the clothes and misunderstood the situation. Angrily, he attacked his best friend. The fakir now irritated, stopped Swami and showed him the note which explained everything. Now the followers who were waiting outside from outside the room were ashamed and asked for their forgiveness. The Swami directed them to his Fiancé but she didn’t forgive them and told them the Lord will take care.

A writer was was seeing all this from the next building. He was sleepy but his deaf wife wanted to know what happened. So he shortened the whole climax and said in his own comical way,
“You fakir! She Swami!, I ran Pastor”
The wife asked about the woman, he replied
“Fucks given: Nun”

Red Wet Bed

Aishu was excited, because she going to meet him after 4 months. Vijay, her love, her husband. She was finding it hard to hold her excitement about surprising him. She was laughing about how Vijay was complaining about his hotel neighbour being a noisy one. When she arrived there, She told the hotel staff of her surprise plan and waited for him in his room. It was beginning to get late and she texted him as if she wasn’t in his place. Vijay said that he won’t be going to hotel cause he was staying at one of his colleagues place nearby for the night. In thoughts of surprising him early morning, she went to bed smiling. The bed was peculiar and felt like it had pebbles under it. Midst her sleep her dress began to become cold and wet. Opening her eyes she saw a figure dancing above her, two arms falling and making soft tapping noises. Her heart jumped and she adjusted her eyes only to see a khaki colored shirt that was hung near her bead. It’s buttons were tapping against the wood.

Composing herself she, sat up right and rolled the shirt and threw it into a corner. The scarlett draped bed wasn’t wet anywhere but her dress was changing into fresh clothes she went back to sleep again to be woken by a screeching noise and keys jingling.

It was Vijay!

She acted as if she was sleeping and waited for him to come to bed. She waited and waited and dozed off. During her sleep she felt his arms playing over her skin but didn’t say anything. It was so typical of Vijay… But throughout the night, she felt as if something was dripping somewhere near here. She even felt something drop on her often.

She woke up startled early morning, Vijay wasn’t there. She open the main room door, to find Vijay coming out of the opposite room. He seemed surprise and said that he didn’t know that Aishu was there to visit him. At the exact moment the concierge came in running and said ‘I gave the wrong key, ma’am, this room is off the limits’. The concierge was breathing up and down, Vijay had a fear that was evident in his eyes.

Before we could ask him more questions, He continued, “Two years ago, there was a serial killer who stayed in this room. He killed his victims dug out their eyes and skinned them alive.”
Vijay’s Jaw dropped and Aishu’s legs began to tremble. Vijay started to say something, but the Concierge interrupted and continued.
“He has killed hundreds of people and has done the same modus operandi of skinning them alive and removing their eyeballs using kitchen knife only. He hid the eyeballs in his bed and hung the skins over the bed. The police told us that he enjoyed getting soaked by his victims’ blood as it dripped on him.”
“H..h…aa…has he been caught?” blurted Aishu.
“Oh yes, he was caught.”
Vijay and Aishu sighed in union
“ ‘was’… but he escaped…”
“ The police also found out that he often disguised himself as a Hotel staff”
The Concierge Smiled.

We know

Short horror
I shouldn’t have survived! I SHOULDN'T HAVE SURVIVED! 
I lost my twin daughters to a frozen lake 8 months ago. 
I write this in hopes that my death will be a release from this torturous 
life. 
- With maximum guilt, Ria.
“Riaaaaa! What are you doing in there! Open the door! We can talk about this! Don’t do this. Please don’t leave me alone here. Please!”. Ravi was screaming and banging on the door frantically.

“Sheesh! Such a drama queen you’re!”, I let Ravi inside hesitantly. Though I was mad at him for coming late on my birthday, I couldn’t be completely angry at him. It was 3 months since I tried killing myself, I could not finish it. I had to pick myself up and get back to life. I met him 2 months ago and he knows everything about Anitha and Anisha and my previous relationship.

Ravi was dressed handsome and he reminded me of my Ex-Husband.

I pulled him inside and planted a kiss. Ravi surprised by my change of mind presented me with a pretty box, wrapped in gift paper. I opened it eagerly to find two bundles of bubble wrap.
“Wait before you open the wrap let me tell you a story.”, Ravi held my arms ever so softly.

The lights flickered and banging noises were heard from the floor above. Ignoring it Ravi started.

“In a faraway land there lives a hag, she was given a peculiar curse. She was immortal but she will keep ageing like a normal human and lose all her health and beauty like everyone else. She lives in the outskirts since everyone was creeped out by her and the only company she has are the dolls that resemble her kids. The whereabouts of her family are unknown. It is said that she sees faces beneath surfaces, faces of people who ask her for help. One can hear her screaming now and then when they pass by her shack- ”

“Honey why are you telling me this story? I don’t understand. You haven’t even wished me happy birthday”, I said a bit confused.

“Let me finish darling. She is often seen sitting in the old car holding the rusty steering wheel in one hand and the other holding her nose.” The smile from Ravi’s face didn’t change.

“Ravi, get out! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE NOW!”

“Wait my dear, it is said that the car and her old house has messages written all over but they all are inverted, like this.” Ravi didn’t stop but his smile faded.
His pupils went behind his head and he lifted his T-shirt. And some words began to appear on his stomach and chest. They were inverted. He began to say something slowly, “….”
“Ravi…?”
A voice of multiple personalities boomed, “We know”.
Ravi fell to the floor like a log.

Ria’s heart pounded, she slipped from the sofa and sat on the floor. Her mind raced back to a year back.

“Everything was set, The final task that needed to be executed was for her to kill him and the immortality serum will be hers” All she had to do was court him for a few months and get the codes into his lab. Though it took 2 years, a marriage and looking after his twin daughters, she did that flawlessly. She found the codes to his lab. But it’s the killing part Ria had messed up. Unaware that the kids were hiding in the boot space of the car, she drove the car into a frozen pond. Kids were not a part of her plan.
Narrowly escaping from the prickly cold water, she stood there watching the car drown slowly.

For some reason her heart decided not to budge when one of the twins banged from underneath the transparent sheet of ice. Even she doesn’t know if it was for the raging desire to achieve the immortal serum or if her heart was stone cold.
Her perfect set up to do a Suicide in front of the Billionaire Ravi worked perfectly. Her plans were working flawlessly, until this moment.

The lights went off.

“We know, WE KNOW!” Multiple voices bellowed through the room.
Ria laughed maniacally.
“You can’t kill me you idiots! I’m immortal now! I will have eternal youth, beauty and strength! No one can kill me!”
“We know” random inverted words were appearing all over the house.
“You can’t do anything to me! You can’t hurt me or do anything to me! I’m a God on earth!”, Ria screamed psychotically at the house.
“We know”

A paper flew from somewhere and landed near her. It had something written over it, it was inverted. She turned the paper and read. “The serum only makes people immortal, but people age naturally”

Ria’s heart stopped.

“the only company she had was the dolls she had from her youth…”
“We know”, It was a man’s voice.
The bubble wrap popped from inside and a little doll’s hand came out.

“We know” mouthed the dolls as they crawled slowly towards Ria.

In Between

Aathi was narrating the whole story to the new-born twins, as they listened intently as if they understood everything, “I was dodging. My eyes were on the analogue clock that seemed to be counting down to 2 minutes eternally. 70 more seconds to the next time out, it was only the 6th round but I was already blacking out. Blocking the opponent’s punches against your face isn’t an easy thing, you know?”
This is not how Aathi intended the match would go. The Opponent better known as ““The Russian”” was leading the round with 4 points.
“This is exactly the opposite of what I had in mind. I was supposed to breeze through the Finals. Being the Reigning champion and considering that “The Russian” was inside the ring, only because another challenger got disqualified after the referee was “accidentally” punched during the Semis should make me the obvious winner, but fate had other ideas. In that fraction of blackout, I had let down my guard. A Red boxing glove was floating towards my face. I tried my very best to dodge and move my head. Time slowed down at that moment, a moment every boxer fears. I see the red glove’s shining fist travelling towards my face, my cheek, in fact, in slow-motion.”
Aathi stares into the microcosm, paralysed with shock. The whole crowd pauses as “The Russian” delivers an astounding blow.
“The red glove transforms into fingers. A soft hand whose palm felt like the softest cloth you’ve ever felt. The thin Silver ring felt like an Icy Kiss planted on my cheeks, the caress of the fingers felt warm. It was the most confusingly comforting feeling. It was as if the hand was asking me to lie on its palms and to take all the rest I need”
Everyone including Aathi’s coach was gasping loud. The punch had sent the mouth guard flying into the crowd. The Super welterweight champion’s face had taken one of the strongest punches ever witnessed. No one expected a punch so hard from “The Russian”. Aathi fell like a log on the ring floor. The crowd erupted as the referee began the knockout count.
Ishi continued the flip side of the story, “I was on the other end of the city, I was tapping my feet frantically, my final chance to prove myself to the world was right beyond that curtain. It was the showdown between Myself and Bharathi, Ishi “the Drumming Barista” and Bharathi “the Ballet”. I’ve always wanted to be a drummer, my whole family was disapproving, even my sisters whom I thought I was close to, didn’t support me when I told them I’m going to take part in, “Are you ‘The One’?”. But here I was, a simple coffee shop assistant, in an international stage against one of the best drummers in the world. I will win this.”
The crowd was booing when the host announced Ishi’s name. It was because of ruckus that happened during the previous round. Ishi had challenged last year’s winner of “Are you ‘The One’?” and it had ended in an exchange of harsh words. The screen lifted and the competition officially had begun.
“A.R. Rahman was in the front row and he gave me the warmest of smiles. It reminded me of Aathi’s. The Judge struck the gong, the sound of which took me back to the first time I saw Aathi. The boxing ring was echoing of grunts and moans, of people getting punched in face. But inside the ring was a dancer, the most graceful dancer I’ve ever seen. A dancer whose eyes showed me myself. Dodging the opponent’s jabs and punches with such elegance was Aathi. As Rahman’s Jeans theme ran through my head, I began to fall in love with Aathi’s movement. I must say that I’ve never seen someone so charming and powerful at the same time. Little butterflies popped up in my stomach and my feet and fingers began drumming some random music. For some reason, boxing became my favourite sport at that moment. And something inside told me that I had to get to know more of this person, or else my head will burst. Right after the match, I asked Aathi out. Yes, I did ask that boxer out for dinner. It was a positive answer.”
Ishi’s thoughts were disturbed by a countdown from the crowd, Bharathi would always start her piece after a countdown of 10, and the crowd followed her. She was called ‘The Ballet’ because her fingers in close-up would look as if they we’re dancing over the Drum.
One.
“It was unexpected, but that caressing touch was what I needed at that moment. Though it was the first date, and I’ve never let anyone touch me, I loved the feel of Ishi’s palm on my face.”
Oneeee! Echoed into the crowd.
Twoooo! Crowd followed again.
Aathi’s Coach was screaming, “Aathi! Get up, get up Aathi!”
“My head was spinning from the punch I had just received. I was trying my best to push myself up. It was as if the world was moving faster around me. I put my gloves to the ground and pushed myself up, I was not able to. My body had no strength. I blamed myself; I was too pompous and too distracted to do the training. But how would I be able to forget my darling Ishi? That baby face, those glowing eyes and the quivering lips, I was not able to get that face out of my mind. I was reeling inside my mind; my body did not have the strength my Mind had. How I wished Ishi was here, cheering”
Threeeeee!
Four!
The counting stopped abruptly
“I got up and adjusted myself and my position on the stool. Distracted by my sudden move, Bharathi continued her counting, now I could see a little stress on her face now. I was thanking Aathi for this. ‘Boxing isn’t only about physical strength and fitness, it is also about psyche, every movement of yours will affect the opponent’s psychology babe. Something as simple as a sneeze would put the opposite party out of function momentarily. Use it.’ “
Fiveeeee!
“I got up. Somehow pushed myself up, I stood”
Noticing that Aathi’s mouth guard missing, referee declared a timeout.
“Yes coach, I just got Distracted, yes coach, I will concentrate”
Only Aathi’s body was there, soul wasn’t.
“Gritting the guard between my teeth, I charged forward towards “The Russian”. Landing three solid punches on the face, I proceed to do a pseudo-jab. But I was surprised by a lower hook that landed on my chin out of nowhere and time slowed down again. I saw the glove pull away from my face as I began to fall back and my reflex kicked in”
The red glove turned into a red rose pulling away from Aathi’s nose. Ishi appeared in sight sitting in front of me, giggling like a little girl.
“Ishi used the rose again to rub it in my chin because it tickled me. Ishi blushing, “Those are the most beautiful pair of eyes I’ve seen. Makes me want to keep staring into them.”
Aathi interjecting, put a finger on Ishi’s lips, and kissed.
“It was the most soulful kiss ever, we’d forgotten we were in a restaurant and we were lost in the warmth of each other’s lips.”
“That mixture of lipstick and bubble-gum flavour was still lingering in my mind. Bharathi had begun her bout with elegant tricks on the cymbal alone. I was unsure of how I was going to perform in the final round. 3 more minutes for her to finish her performance and It would be my turn to prove myself to the world. But my mind kept drumming that tune I picked up from Aathi’s box training rhythm, ‘thup-thup thup-thup thup-thup’. Now-disturbed by Bharathi’s mix of mridangam and Tabla, I began losing my confidence, beat per beat, as her fingers drummed, “tapa tapa tapa tapa”, my mind was empty, only the sound of a mridangam was echoing in my mind. “tapa tapa tapa tapa…”, reminding her of that day.
“‘Ishi, come here, I met Aathi today.’ I hear a ringing noise in my ears. Aathi had met my Dad, a martial arts instructor now, The Ex-Major General from Indian Special Ops. The person I fear & respect the most had met my spouse. Aathi had done it. Aathi had spoken to my dad, and I was standing in front of him, looking at his mouth moving, but only a ringing sound in my ears.
“We shall talk about the marriage if Aathi retains the title, and you, get a job or win that competition if you need my permission.”
Ishi knew that dad did not care about the title, but only about his child’s life. But Aathi, wanted to show him that the title won’t be lost. Aathi wanted to win the match only to show Ishi’s father that he was wrong in judging their love as infatuation.
The mridangam vidvan was on a roll, playing the most difficult piece in the raga. “tapa tapa tapa thuppa thup thup”
Aathi’s lips were bleeding.
“Missing a beat had almost costed my teeth and lips, I had to win this, this is my only chance to prove myself to Ishi’s father”.
Only 30 seconds was remaining, and If Aathi somehow manages those 30 seconds of “The Russian” barrage, the timeout would help to recuperate.
“I breathed a sigh of relief when the gong went off. I sat on my stool, waiting”
The crowd’s loud cheering drowned the gong.
The crowd’s loud cheering was stopped by the gong.
“Done waiting, I stood up from my stool, I could feel breathing becoming heavier after the gong went off”
I threw up left drum stick in the air, and struck the cymbal with the right one”
. . . .
“I saw Ishi. Standing there on the other side of the signal, the person I loved the most. The person I was ready to share my pizza with, the person whom I can cook for.”
“I saw Aathi too, standing on the other side like a dumb human, looking for someone; that someone was me. I tell you kids, I was very much ready to wash this human’s dirty under(you mean underwear?) for eternity. And I still do.
They both went running towards each other, and hugged. But the sentence they uttered to each other at the exact same moment was the most confusing one, even for me, the narrator.
“I won but I lost, Aathi”
“I lost but I won, Ishi”
As the Narrator, I rewound back to the part after the gong went off at Ishi’s competition.
Announcer: “The Judges have decided a contestant and Winner of “Are you ‘The One’?” Title, a house at OMR in Bustancia and a fully funded scholarship at KM College of Music goes to…. Bharathi “The Ballet”!!”
Amidst the celebrations, AR. Rahman Requests for the Mic, “I Would also like to offer a fully funded scholarship to KM College of Music and a position of drummer in my crew…”
“…Ringing sound again…”
“…My ears were ringing too… My opponent’s jab had landed on my left ear which left bees singing in my ears. Another punch, and I was Disoriented and was blocking my way into the corner. Referee broke us and started again. I decided to finish it and I sneezed. A Fraction later my punch knocked out Irvina Sokolov, “The Russian”.
Something as simple as a sneeze would put the opposite party out of function momentarily. Use it.
Or so I thought, she got up in the 9th count and won straight”
“Aww, that’s alright, but what did you win, darling?”
“We both did not make the required weights prior to the Match and the match was declared as a Non-title match, I still have my Championship title”
“Oh, you Devil”
They hugged the longest ever and walked with their fingers entwined.
Their Marriage Invitation read
“Ishant weds Aathira”
After this long story, the twins were fast asleep unaware that their Mother was a 5-time World Boxing Federation Champion and Father was regarded as the best drummer in the millennia.
Refer: WEIGHT AND WEIGH-IN CEREMONY * If both the World Boxing Federation Champion and the Challenger fail to make weight, the championship shall not be vacated at the scales and the contest will go forward as a non-title contest and the World Boxing Federation Champion shall retain the title, regardless of the result of the contest.

Achu!

Ashwin’s home
Achu! dei Achu, inga konjam vaayen, ammaku help pannu

“….”

Dei Ashwin! inga vaada”.

Yes ma, coming, iruu”, Ashwin walked lankily into kitchen to find his mother holding a karandi in one hand and a recipe book in another.

Ashwin was confused, she kept on motioning her eyes towards something but he didn’t get it. He didn’t understand why his mom didn’t use her mouth to tell it out loud. Before he could ask something-

Dei antha thatla maavu vechiruken paaru, atha eduthu inga mela vei, paathu edu”,

Ashwin picked up the plate obediently and looked at it for a moment, small red ants were crawling over it, “Maa erumbu maa”, before he could finish his sentence a glare distracted his sight, and he sneezed and immediately shielded his eyes.

Amma was standing there with maavu all over her face and hair, she sneezed quite a few times too, but it was an angry sneeze.

 

Ashok’s residence

Ashok, the Area inspector’s son, was laughing from the opposite house. He threw his binocular on the bed and was rolling on the floor laughing.

The feather from his hand flew outside the widow and landed on Ramya’s house 5 houses away.

Ramya’s Place

Her mother was tearing and Ramya was trying to console her. Though Ramya was sad, she was a strong girl. She knew how to handle grief.

 

 

Donald’s Mortuary

Mr.Donald, the illegal organ butcher, was removing internal organs of a brain dead patient whom he declared dead in front of his friends and family a moment ago.

 

2 days later

Mr.Donald was driving his Mini Cooper patiently, but the excitement made him speed up, he hit 90. A puppy came out of nowhere before his car stood there frightened. Trying to avoid the pupper, he turned his steering wheel to the right. A momentary lapse.

The puppy crossed the other side and started brushing itself around the owner’s leg. It felt loved.

Ramya started walking towards Ashok with a smile.

Ashwin stood there confused.

 

Today
Ashwin stood there, paavama, His mother’s archanai was not new to him, but the thing was he was not able to withhold his laughter. His mother’s scolding was harsh and she called him all kinds of animal names, but it waqs her flour covered face and hair that made him snigger externally and rofl internally. His phone vibrated in his pocket and he used this escape from kazhuvi oothings.

It was a message from Ramya, she had replied “Yes”

He was very happy that she had accepted and replied yes. But he really wished that this yes was also for another thing he wanted from, “One by one da achu, one by one”, he thought. But he was happy with the current situation. He felt as if his life was settled. He wanted to run straight to her home and hug her. But decency prevented him from doing so. Ashwin started waiting for 5 o’clock evening.

Ashok, Ramya’s best friend, received a message saying that she was going to meet Ashwin at Besant nagar. Ashok was infuriated. He did not like them getting close. Ever since she joined that class with him she started meeting ashwin him often and he felt that she began to ignore him. He hated the way everyone called Ashwin, “Achu, achu”. It was cute and he hated it with passion.

Ramya was ashok’s collegemate and he liked her secretly, but never got the guts to propose to her.

 

5 o’clock.

Ramya was wearing a pink saree and had a small gift in her hand. She looked decorated and pretty that evening. She was waiting at the corner of the busstand. She seemed excited and her eyes were searching for someone her and there.

Ashwin was there, He was wearing trousers and an oversized T-shirt. He had a bunch of roses in his hand and also had a small note in his hand.

aandava, ithula than ellathayum ezhuthiruken, ava eppadiyachum ithula irukartha purinjikanum”. He approached her with a sheepish smile.

He called out to her and waved his hand. She also frantically waved his hand at him. “Hi Achu— “ , A bike came in fast and skidded in-between Ramya and Ashwin. Ashok got down and started hitting Ashwin, and Ashwin was trying hard to defend himself. Ramya was shouting at the top of her lungs asking Ashok to stop but he did not listen. As they both rolled on the road, a siren sound was heard.

Hearing this Ashok, thought it was his father’s rounds he got on his bike. He warned him not to contact her again.

Ramya, confused now, was furious at Ashok, but she didn’t want to make a scene now tried to help Ashwin. But he refused and didn’t even look at her face.Shocked and frightened a bit, he walked back home. He threw the roses into a bin and walked back home rubbing his red cheeks.

An Ambulance whizzed through the road a few moments later towards Donald’s mortuary.

 

8 o’clock

Ashwin never replied to Ramya’s messages. Weirdly, he kept on sneezing continuously.

Ashok was uneasily pacing in his room, he regretted doing something like that 2 days before her birthday.

Ramya was scrolling through facebook, her feed was full of cats and dogs, a true pet lover she was. She hated that her pet dog was not with her now.

 

Ramya’s Birthday.

Ramya had texted Ashwin to come to the same place in besant nagar on the same time, They somehow patched things up. Ashwin glanced at that note lying on his desk.

Ashok was too excited and a bit anxious to meet her. He had bought her a puppy today morning and was going to gift it to her. She had not talked to him for the past two days. She somehow replied, “Yes” after he begged so many times to see her. Ashok wanted to tell two special things to her. About his love and about his superpower.

 

[Ashok’s backstory]
Ashok was the area inspector’s son. He was Ramya’s classmate and busmate in college, area mate too. He liked her so much but never found courage to tell it out to loud. All the four years they were best friends and he developed feelings for her somehow.
There is something special about Ashok. He has a very simple super power; he can make anyone sneeze. There are 3 conditions about the power.
  1. To have control over someone’s sneeze, they must sneeze themselves.
  2. They can control victim’s sneeze if it’s the only face they see. If they remember another face or see another face the control goes away for 1 hour.
  3. The power can be transferred onto another when the third person touches their tongue.
Ashok often used feather to make himself sneeze.

Ashok had called one of his friends to accompany him and asked him to take video of him proposing her from a distance. He had asked him to hold the puppy until he signals him.

Ashok crossed road to the place where Ramya was standing. He was irritated and angry to see them both talk but didn’t want to make another stupid move. He saw “Achu” hand her a note, a gift and a few roses.

 

Ashwin was standing on the other end of the road. He had a note in his hand. He approached Ramya slowly with a small fear, smiling, she came forward and held out her hand, “Friends?”. He wished Ramya happy birthday and gave her gifts and the note.

Pleasenga, konjam time kulla mudichi kudthudunga, Pona vaati maari sothapidathinga, inthanga rose.”  Ramya sniggered.

Ammava ketenu sollu” and walked back with a smiling towards Ashok.

 

[Ashwin backstory]
“Dei Ashwin, inga va”
“Yes sir”
“Itha ezhuthunathu yaaru?”
“Naan than sir”
“enda ippadi pulugura? Firstu 30 page vera handwriting azhaga iruku, micha page ellam inkla vizhuntha karapan poochi page mela ooduna maari iruku”
“Sir… athu vanthu”
“Po, poi marubadiyum ezhuthitu vaa”
“Sir….”
“Poda!, thooki adichiruven paathuko”
*Texting Ramya*
Enga neenga nalla record ezhuthuvinga varavinganu amma sonnathunaala than unga kitta kuduthen, paathi ezhutitu mudilanu soltinga. Kaasu kooda pay panrenga, puthusa ezhuthi thaanga please! antha sotta thalaiyan saavadikiran.

 

Ramya walks towards Ashok with a smile. She slowly goes near him and gives him a hard slap.

Fazed, Ashok stands demanding an explanation.

Enna, enna love panriya?, unna nalla friend ah thaney pathen, unaku kudutha respect ah ippadi than treat pannuviya? Avana ennamo ethuku adicha? Herova nee? Naa yaar kooda pesna unaku en erith–” before she could complete her sentence the sound of screeching tires were heard.

A puppy jumped from Ravi’s hand and was crossing the road haphazardly.

 

[Donald’s Backstory]
Donald was a what you’d call a Poli Doctor, though he studied medicine he never managed to get the degree. He failed in most of the subjects and was a drug addict too. 2 days ago he had received a request for a kidney for an elite VIP for a very high payment. But his bad time he did not get the right body or donor to steal from. Only a few moments ago, he received that message that a new brain dead body is there and he can take parts out of it. He has been doing this intelligently for years without anyone knowing.

 

He was speeding in his Mini Cooper until he, saw the small puppy wandering on the road. He slammed the brakes, and the car screeched to a halt. A moment of lapse would’ve killed the puppy. Ramya continued, seeing the Mini Cooper proceed in its way, “Engappa erantha bothu, I thought you were getting close to me out of friendship, but I never thought you’d do something stupid like this. Enaku un mooji ah paakavey pudikala.

[Ramya’s backstory]
Ramya’s father was a painter and often took painting contract of large houses and flats. He fell from third floor while painting Ashwin’s flat and was declared dead after 3 days. Ashwin’s mother, helped Ramya and family during the grim times. Ashok came to know Ramya, when her father told that her daughter has also joined the same college
But, Ramya’s father was only brain dead. Donald waited for 3 days and declared him dead so that he could harvest the organs from him.

 

Ramya took a moment to breathe. The puppy came near Ashok’s leg and sneezed. Recognising his scent, it started playing around his leg. Ashok lifted the puppy and gave it to her explaining her that it’s her gift. But the dog refused to go to Ramya and jumped back to Ashok. Ashok hung his head in silence.

There was loud noise, as if something crashed.

A Mini Cooper was on fire at a distance and people were dragging someone out of it.

It was Donald.

[Puppy’s back story]
The puppy had lost its mother 2 days ago, from a car accident. The vehicle was unidentified, but the puppy remembered that car. It was a Mini Cooper. Someone had taken the puppies to the local Kennel and handed it to them. Ashok had picked this puppy from the Kennel. Though he loved the way it was playing, he wanted to give it to her to prove his love. It kept on licking Ashok, when he slept, when he ate, when he peed.
Ashok never noticed that it had licked his tongue when it tried to wake him up today after noon.
He never realized his powers were gone.

Ramya walked away from the scene thinking of the guy she met two days ago, in her friend’s reception. “Of course, anyone would be impressed by that pink saree”, she thought.