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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Character Assassination

“Vani woke to the incessant crying of her newborn. Today was a long and exciting day for her and her hubby, Vimal. The nine months of anticipation had finally culminated in the Labor Room of the Little Flower Hospital. Vimal was on cloud nine ever since she had told him that she was expecting. He had taken it for granted that it would be a boy. That months that followed saw Vimal googling frantically for top baby boy names. A hundred sites showed a thousand names, but he was not content with any of those. Vani came up with Aditya, and Vimal gave the thumps up. They would lovingly call him Adi. Vani decided not to tell him that Aditya was her ex-boyfriend.

Vani got the shock of her life when she realized that fate had other plans for them. She expected Vimal to break down as the nurse announced that the baby was a girl. To her pleasant surprise, he seemed normal with the news. He even joked that now they would have to hunt for a new name. If Vimal was faking his emotions, he was doing it proper.

The excitement of the day was beginning to take its toll on Vani, who was feeling drowsy. The baby girl was peacefully at sleep in her crib near Vani’s hospital bed. Vimal looked exhausted, yet he sat there reading some magazine. All was well until the quiet of the night was disturbed by seemingly terror filled shrieks of the newborn.

Panic registered in her head when she felt the crib vacant. She started looking around, and the sight she saw brought her heart into her mouth. Vimal stood by the window side, holding the baby by its feet. Apparently he was tossing the baby out through the window. She wanted to scream out loud, but the shock had seemingly paralyzed her, strapping her to the cot.”

***

‘Deekshith stopped typing and went through what he had written. The sense of satisfaction that usually fills his mind was missing. He shook his head and had another handful of roasted peanuts. He ate peanuts whenever he wrote. It helped him think better. And he wrote quite often. Deekshith had another shot at the incomplete story, and he identified the problem. The story was simply depressing. He started musing on it. He felt that there was too much negativity in the real world already. The local newspapers daily reported instances of rapes, murders and robberies. He need not add new miseries on top of it. A writer ought to give people hope – the philosophical light at the end of the dark tunnel. Feeling determined, he started typing again.’

***

“Vimal tossed the baby out of the hospital complex, and then Vani woke up from her nightmarish dream, sobbing. Her hands were trembling. Vimal, who had fallen into a slumber, came running towards her.

‘What’s wrong, love? Why are you all shaken?’

Vani checked the crib, and was insanely glad to see the baby fast asleep.

‘I – I had a bad, horrible dream, Vimal.’ Vani was now in tears. ‘I dream that you were disappointed with the baby being a girl, and were tossing her out through the window.’

‘Oh that’s a terrible thing to imagine. Why would I do something so demonic? Sure I was a tad disappointed, but I do love my daughter as much as I would have loved my son.’

‘I know. Forgive me, dear.’

‘It’s okay, honey. You know I have been thinking a lot on what name we should give her, and a few are on my list. What do you think of Janaki?’ Vimal did not tell her that Janaki was the name of that girl from his college, on whom he had a huge crush.

‘Janaki is perfect, Vimal. We shall name her Janaki, and we could call her Janu. It’s perfect.’

‘I knew you would like the name. Now get some sleep.’ He kissed her goodnight, and went outside for a coffee.’”

***

Wait a minute. I have this feeling that most of our stories follow the happily ever after adage. In most of our novels and films, the hero marries the heroine, the loser achieves success and all problems simply make way for a happy life. Alas, the reality speaks a different story. Anyway, our story does not end as it is…

***

‘Deekshith was contended at the way his story had ended. He proofread it to make sure no errors had crept in. He was all set to post the story in his blog when he felt a sharp pain near his chest. A vein near his lungs had suddenly busted. He got up in pain, but his legs gave in. Soon he collapsed onto the ground. After struggling for some minutes, he succumbed to the pain.’


(Thanks Shrestha)

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