Fear

darkness

I’ve been having many sleepless nights for the last couple of days- so, I decided to write what is keeping me awake rather than tossing and turning in my bed.

 

I think one of the major fears I had as a child was – absolute darkness- and what happens in the dark,  what evil lurks in the corners where our eyes fail to see? It always gave me the creeps and sent cold shivers down my spine. Nonetheless, I still watched horror shows and movies, so that I could get scared more?? IDK.

I was so easily frightened, that I used to not go to the bathroom at night, unless I knew (mom/dad/sis) someone was standing outside the bathroom to save me from the dark forces that were constantly behind my precious life.

*Hides face in embarrassment*

We sometimes get over childhood fears, as we grow older. I just didn’t realize when I got over this all consuming fear of the dark, did it happen all of a sudden?

Or I gradually stopped giving fucks because the darkness never actually hurt me?

I was wondering this, as I was trying to fall asleep, alone in a 4bhk apartment that I share with four other people. That night, I was alone- nobody was there in the apartment. The younger me would’ve shit in his pants in this scenario, but here I was- no fucks to give about being alone in the dark. I know this sounds trivial to all the people who aren’t or weren’t scared of the dark  – but for someone whose younger days revolved around this fear – it feels great. I could’ve watched the most scariest horror movie at that time, and still not feel a tinge of fear (I love horror movies right now, btw). When did this happen, I wondered?

What are the other fears did I grew out of, with age?

I’m still scared of heights, I reminded myself- but still, considerably reduced.

I did grew out of such trivial fears, I realized- but they were replaced with fears that had taken a much more grotesque form:

The fear of never achieving my true potential, to start with- how scary is that thought ? That you were capable of so much more, but you ended up falling way short of it. Your dreams remained dreams, and time just sped by.

Or, the fear of having the power to make a significant positive impact in someone’s life- but letting the opportunity slide- because some other selfish thing was busy occupying your mind.

I can go on listing such fears, but I hope I’ve gotten the point I’m trying to make across clearly.

It’s true that you might grow out of your childhood fears, but the new form that those fears take- would you grow out of them too?

This brings me to ask – what do you fear?

 

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A poem from the future

**Never like saying, it’s been a long time since I posted- but here we are again. Anyway, today I present something which is hopefully different…

 

 

Dear human,

I’ve been observing you since your birth,
just like I’ve observed billions of others,
silently but constantly,
not interfering, but watching,
not protecting, but mending.
I’ve seen you grow from a little bundle of laughter and cries,
to a complex being of unimaginable emotions,
that you always seem to hide.

I’ve seen you stumble, watch you fall,
hurt yourself in various forms,
I applied my healing touch for all the wounds that you did cause.

I’ve seen it all.
and I wish to tell you what a roller-coaster it has been,
being your constant companion,
but still not getting enough of your attention,
only in the moments of last minute panics,
of the last minute of a grueling exam,
the remaining hours of an important project,
do you remember to curse me,
and want more of me.

But, hey – I Never go slow or never run fast,
my pace is steady,
since my beginning, to the ending of me that you’ll never be able to see.
I don’t run fast when you are with your loved ones,
enjoying precious moments of me,
I don’t run slow, during the most boring and mundane tasks that remind you to constantly look at me.
my flow is smooth,
like a river that no rocks can stop,
like a stream that cuts down the biggest of mountains in its path.

I wish to remind you,
what a precious entity I am,
you share a limited amount of me along with billions of others just like you,
but I am immortal, indomitable and never yielding,
I am time, from the beginning of of nothingness,
till the ending of eternity ,
and the best friend that will never leave your side.

 

Najeeb

I hope I’m not too late for a 2016-2017 transition post

new-year-goalsI hope I’m not too late for a 2016-2017 transition post. But, never mind.

Here it goes-

There were two things in my mind about what to write on, one was the most overreacted things of 2016 and lifehacks for 2017. The latter obviously being mainstream. Guess, which one did I decide to write on?

No points for guessing. Obviously a mixture of two, coz I’m diplomatic af, fam.

2016 has been an awful year, personally and as well as for the world. Political instability, tragedies, wars and deaths.

But, I’m just going to talk about stupid things that garnered way more attention than they should have.

Let’s start with the 7 overrated/overreacted things of 2016.

  1. Mannequin challenge. I mean, I do this challenge for half of my day and not put it on social media. Peeps, WTF?
  2. Samsung tried so hard to prove that Galaxy note 7 was the bomb, jeez. And people couldn’t get enough of making jokes on it. (like me)
  3. What happened to the creepy clowns roaming in the forests? Didn’t that just turn out to be a hoax!? Kids of this generation, I tell you. Can go to any extreme to shut schools. Save your parents some money, and just drop out of school.
  4. Give celebrity couples a break man. People reacted to Brangelina breaking up as their own. It’s one thing to feel sorry for others, and something else to take up their sadness as your own. I’m sure there is a lot of mess in your life that you have to care about.
  5. Harambe deserved much more. Can’t make jokes about this. Harambe is living eternally through those memes, and I’m happy for that. R.I.P. #GoneButNeverForgotten
  6. Also, fuck that Homewrecker Penguin.
  7. What the hell was with Hillary Clinton losing the election? Wasn’t she supposed to lose anyway? Right? Right, guys?  GUYS?    ANYONE?

Moving on from the jox. Let’s get down to some lifehacks, I’ve devised for myself through all the things that I’ve been through in 2016. Time to get emo. Yeah, that’s right.

  1. Learning through failures is the toughest and hardest thing to do. Believe in positivity at times when you can’t think anything but negative. Believe in hope, when you see none.
  2. Comparing yourself with others can be never ending. Don’t fall in that trap. Humans cannot be measured like monetary values, we are way more complex.
  3. Everyone you interact with has flaws, just like you. Look at their good side and ignore their flaws. Unless the flaw includes putting their slimy hands in your popcorn tub. Dude, that’s disgusting.
  4. Stop sleeping so much Najeeb, FFS.
  5. Contentment will come from how well you do, what you do. Let that define you.
  6. Passions are things to be followed and acted upon. Not just topics of a healthy conversation.
  7. If you are ever getting bogged down by problems, imagine the universe and its vastness. Your problems will feel a little less fearsome.
  8. Stop worrying about world politics so much. I know Trump winning is like an apocalypse alarm bell, but you’ve got your project deadline coming up.
  9. Anything that is holding you back presently, will not be there forever. It’s a matter of time, always.
  10. Acting on impulse can be a good thing, don’t rely on it too much though.
  11. Help a random stranger, it feels good. Even a smile can do. Just don’t be creepy.
  12. Also, avoid falling like an awkward pile of heap every time someone compliments you. Take it with some grace, jeez.

That’s a wrap to this shitty year.

I hope that 2017 is a great year full of happiness, contentment and satisfaction. Here’s to wishing you a great 2017.

Sayonara.

P.S- This blogpost was also another way to make everyone notice my new blog theme. Howazzit? 😛

Childhood Validation


Childhood memories are usually funny, stupid, embarrassing or weird, but -this one memory- it’s poignant as well as funny, stupid and embarrassing.

3When I was young, maybe around 12 years old, that age when you’re supposed to act a bit mature but obviously not a lot. During that age, I had this one peculiar weird habit among a sea of them, like most of the people around my age would have.


My room had those intricately designed patterned window grills, and every day, before sunset, the sun directly shone through those patterns casting beautiful patchworks directly across the wall. The timings used to change from season to season, but whenever the time came, I forgot about everything else I was doing and immersed myself in to this. I was beyond mesmerized as a child. I loved playing with those brightly lit shadows, loved the fuzzy warmth as my fingers played, made weird noises and gave every shadow a name and character. I was twelve, man.


I always did this in seclusion, no one knew about this and I liked it this way.


One day, my evil sister walks in on me playing. Her immediate reaction was to burst out laughing loudly; and say “WHY ARE YOU ACTING LIKE A FIVE YEAR OLD. BWAAHHAAHAHA, Wait till I tell mommy”.
Right.
Because twelve year olds were supposed to be spouting philosophical ideologies and not play with shadows. But my sister was also young, so she was full of shit anyway.


My initial reaction was of utter embarrassment. From the next day onward, the whole moment lost its sheen somehow. I never felt the warmth the same way, the shadows seemed plain and boring. The time of the day that I used to wait for so eagerly seemed uninteresting and most of all PLAIN STUPID.
“How could I be so stupid to play with fucking shadows that kill each other,” twelve year old Najeeb thought? I’m supposed to be matured!
Vowed to start reading Plato the next day. No kidding. (Never got around doing that, that’s another thing)


I was reminded of this whole stupid incident of my childhood only for one thing, my reaction to my sister finding out that I do stupid stuff. Would I have continued playing with those shadows, had my sister not found out?


I’ll never know that, but I realized one thing- what had stopped me was- validation. I never sought validation for my action when I was playing alone. The moment someone found out and labelled it as stupid, my need for validation came out swinging in full force.


Would I still play with shadows if no one is watching? Probably not, because a twenty year old acting like a five year old would raise concerns about his mental health. But, just maybe, maybe my need for validation is not all that strong right now. And maybe, it should be the same for you too?

Why lazing around may not be such a bad idea

 

                                “It’s not that you’re lost, you’re just waiting to be found”                                                                                                                            -I made that up myself

 

I really don’t even know what that means, it’s one of the silliest things I can come up with; which can make sense to some or sound like total bullocks to others. But, the point is- I can come up with all these random ramblings- why? Simple, I waste a lot of time. Or maybe, I have too much time.

Now, this essay maybe the biggest antithesis of productivity and motivational articles that are out there. So, if you’re looking for motivation.

STOP. RIGHT.THERE.

GOOD.

GO BACK.

WAIT.

YOU’RE still here.

So continue reading. 🙂

I don’t want to be the reason for lazy people blaming their laziness for something that they’ve read on the internet, in a parallel world I would love to get the credit though.

In this Day & Age (awesome album by The Killers), most of us just want to be so productive. We try to squeeze in everything possible in every minute, every hour of life. There are so many articles on motivation, productivity and success out there in the internet that if you try to read a lot of them, it’ll actually start counter-affecting you. That’s what happened with me at least.

The more I try to be super productive. The harder I fall.

Off to sleep.

(I’m going to take this moment and applaud for those chic looking tumblr posts, which have men in suits and the text goes like – “Success isn’t about money, it’s hitting the right spot” some bullshit like that. You got to give it to them, they try hard.)

This is not me being a loser and giving up or something. This is me realizing, how bloody important it is to relax. Not chill. RELAX.

Relax, like there’s not a single care in the world. Relax like you own a pasture in the NoFucks Country.

Relax, most importantly, because you can and you should.

There are so many chores that we handle every day, numerous interactions that we have and another thousand emotions that we ignore. When you just take a “real break” from the daily routine, even for a few minutes, it really helps to gain some valuable perspective.

And there’s a big difference between relaxing and chilling. We all chill in a myriad of ways when we’re alone. TV, Books and ____  and  ____. These are just ways of escapism which are awesome. But, it’s essentially mind-numbing escapism.

Laying there on the bed with some soothing music, has given me the most insightful revelations about life. I have traversed through enough mind palaces to write a book on Philosophy (at least in my mind) and it could probably be the next best seller (at least in my mind).

This is NOT meditation or yoga, where you actually try hard to keep your thoughts out. This is you and your thoughts out in the open green fields playing catch and cook.

You want to think about some problem that you’re having in your life? Stress, exams, money, relationships. The best option would obviously be talking to someone close who could help you figure out stuff. But, if that doesn’t work. Take a step back. Retreat to a safe spot, where you’re alone with your thoughts and relax. Doesn’t matter even if it’s for just five minutes.

Just don’t go off to sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A horror short story.

What is Real?

 Questions about life, death and reality have meddled with my mind lately, and after undergoing great pain and ordeal, I’ve finally found an answer to one of those questions. You all need to hear my story first, to start off-

When was the last time you bought a DVD off a DVD rent store?

Long time ago, right?

Some of you might not even be able to recollect. But, my life has changed working in one.

I worked for Ben, a nice, pot-bellied guy with a walrus moustache, who could wear a smile on his face at even 8 in the morning. He owned a DVD store in Atlanta.

Three years of my early Twenties were spent in that store, West of Atlanta. The store was huge, if not vast. The collection in the store was surely vast though, ranging from the comedy, drama, and adult to the horror section. Entrance to the store from the main door was met by, a corridor of DVD movies, on the left, stacked in shelves. All of them belonged to the Horror section. The walls were decorated with posters of classics and cults, Ben made it a point to change the posters on a yearly basis.

Horror movies, old Ben loved them, his collection in this genre was especially curated by himself. It had the most unheard movies, movies with different languages and some of them were also privately filmed. Many of the movies added to his collection were gifts and presents from close friends and associates, who were aware of Ben’s interests.

Though, nobody knew how deadly this interest could turn out to be.

Business was running good for some time, the store was one of the most popular in the neighbourhood. But then came, high speed internet and torrent sites, and well, it ruined everything. The only people who still kept coming were creepy teenaged boys, even they stopped after some time.

We were forced to shut down that place. Ben started a pub down the street. He told me, “pubs never run out of money”. Instinctively, I wanted to follow Ben into his new venture, but a thought struck me, “Why not take some time out and meet my family and folks, been a while”. So, that made me shift back to Ohio with my girlfriend Jane.

They were nice 2 years in Ohio, with family and Jane, worked in a convenience store during the day hours. Life was simple, but happy. Whenever I spoke to Ben, he was happy too.

One day, I got a call from Ben, late in the night, this wasn’t the usual chit-chat calls that we often used to have, he seemed more than terrified.

“Bruce…BRUCE… something weird is happening, please help me….PLEASE!” The last thing I heard was him screaming at the top of voice immediately followed by dead silence.

“Hey, Ben are you okay? TALK TO ME BEN.”

No response.

The police found his body lying on the floor of his house, left wrist slit, it seemed as if, he had committed suicide, but I knew that was far from the truth. He was the last person, who would even harm himself, let alone committing suicide.

I told the police about the phone call. The police tried retrieving the contents of the call for investigation, but to little or no avail.

Ben had no surviving relatives, and I wasn’t very surprised to see Ben mention all his private DVD collection to my name. His house was taken up by the state.

Being strong is definitely not my forte. The death affected me a lot, losing a close friend and that too under such strange circumstances. It kept me awake at night, wondering whether Ben was murdered or he actually did kill himself. Just imagining that there would be no lively face to greet people in the morning, made me sad.

A few weeks passed, before normalcy could resume, after another hectic day at the store, I came back home to see my wife watching TV. She was so fixated to the screen, she didn’t even notice that I had come home or maybe didn’t bother to notice- which ever one it was.

“Hey Jane, what are you watching?”

“Honey-? When did you come home? I was just going through the DVDs you got from Ben” She immediately shut the TV and got up in a hurry.

“Let’s have Dinner, I’m sure you’re hungry, aren’t you?” She smiled awkwardly and made her way to the kitchen.

Jane had this habit of smiling awkwardly whenever she liked to hide something from me. It never lost my attention. Ever.

“There’s leftover steak from lunch, you want some Bruce?”

“I never say no to steak, darling”, I met her gaze, and she smiled, not awkwardly but radiantly, and after a long time, it had truly felt happy to be alive.

During the dinner, there was an air of anxiety looming around her, she seemed worried, and that was very unlike Jane. Times like these, I had learned through experience that it was best to leave her alone. If Jane had decided to not tell something, she wouldn’t. Even the steak wasn’t properly cooked, this isn’t the right time- I had quietly kept the thought to myself. After the dinner, I collected the dishes and made my way to the kitchen.

It was my turn to do the dishes that day, Jane went to the bedroom to rest. Doing dishes could be one the most boring jobs on the planet, I can be sure of that. Jane and I always kept turns for doing the dishes, just so that, the temper and mood swings in the house were kept in balance.

“AAAAAAAH…” a pain filled scream echoed through the house.

That was Jane’s voice, in immense pain.

I swiftly ran towards the bedroom. The sight left me sick. Jane was lying in a pool of blood, left wrist slit.

“JANEEE, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!”

“It wasn’t me, Bruce, it wasn’t me…”her voice was fading.

“Stay with me Jane, you’re going to be alright, just stay with me”, frantically, I called 911.

“Hello, my wife…my wife has a wound on her wrist, she is bleeding uncontrollably, and please do something, please”

“Sir, please keep calm and try to stop the bleeding. Hold her hand straight up and apply direct pressure to the area above the wound till the bleeding stops, tie a cloth to help you with it. The paramedics are on their way.”

My heart was pounding, I was in panic mode and I couldn’t think straight at all.

Jane was giving up.

“NO JANE, NO. PLEASE NO.” I wrapped my shirt around her wrist, and something inside me knew that, I can’t stop her from leaving me.

“You’re going to be alright, everything is going to be alright”, I lied, her head was on my lap, I kept stroking her blood laden luscious hair.

By the time, the paramedics had arrived and declared her dead, it wasn’t a shock altogether. Miracles, is something that I’ve always believed in. I hoped this was the day, my belief was confirmed.

But it wasn’t, Jane passed away, in front of my eyes, and there was nothing I could do to stop her.

Her death was so similar to Ben’s, the only difference being – I didn’t see Ben die helplessly.

There was no coming back, Jane’s void left me so helpless. I would often wake up every day with tears in my eyes. There was no reasoning in my head that could justify why Jane had taken her life. Why would Jane harm herself? The thought kept running in my head, till the point of insanity.

After a couple of days, I decided to switch on the TV to take my mind off things. The DVD showed there was a disc inside, switched to DVD and the disc started playing.

The movie’s name was “The eyes of the Watcher”, it was written in crimson red and had glittering eyeballs jumping around it. A typical old and low on budget type movies.

It surely seemed, homemade. Ben and his taste in movies, especially horror, was weird to say the least.

The eyes just kept moving all over the screen. What bullshit is this, I had thought then.

There was no production house name, no name of the actors, the terrible animation continued for a minute before I thought of shutting it down, then-

The scene, all of sudden shifted to Ben in his apartment, sitting on his sofa, reading a book.

“WHAT KIND OF A JOKE IS THIS”, I screamed.

This was going to be worse, when I saw myself appear on the tape, slowly approaching Ben with a kitchen knife, and then, with calmness only a murderer could possess, I sliced his wrist and left him lying there. Ben offered no defence, let alone seeing that an intruder had come.

“IT WASN’T ME, I DIDN’T DO THAT”, I yelled at the TV. Ben looked so surprised on the tape, he kept looking around and then immediately called me, exactly like the night it had happened.

My phone started ringing, it showed Ben on the id.

This couldn’t be…this isn’t real…please stop ringing, I kept wishing.

It didn’t.

I picked up the phone, it was the old familiar Ben’s voice.

“Bruce…-

“WHY DIDN’T you call 911?” it just felt strange screaming at a ghost.

– …BRUCE… something weird is happening, please help me….PLEASE”

“WHYYYY” I broke down.

And then the screaming followed.

“Please stop, whoever is doing this, please stop, I beg of you, please…” I could barely control my tears.

The disc started playing again, this time it was my wife. Jane was relaxing on the bed, and I appeared like a shadow, again, with a knife.

Jane doesn’t sense anything, and I cut her wrist open and walk away.

“NOOO”, I broke the TV with a statue, picked up from the mantelpiece.

I removed the disc, and tried breaking it into half.

The disc didn’t budge, as if it were made of iron. Carried it to the kitchen, and kept it on the gas flame.

No change.

“THIS ISN’T REAL”, I flung it across the hallway in disbelief.

I went weak on my knees, and knelt at the helplessness I was feeling.

Realisation struck me then, Jane was watching this DVD the night she died, and it surely implies that Ben must have watched the same DVD before his…

And I’ve watched it too.

This shouldn’t imply anything.

No, but if the DVD gets in the hands of the police, they will wrongfully accuse me of all the crimes that I did not commit.

I have to save myself.

But, how? There is a blade lying near the side table, it’s becoming more and more tempting by every passing minute.

There has to be another way.

Voices, ring in my head which keep saying “It was you, Bruce, it was you”.

I know it wasn’t me, or was it?

No, it can’t be, I was back in Ohio when Ben died. This is a trick, and I’m falling for it, a pretty nice trick for one…

Slowly, I crawled towards the table and took the blade in my hand, slicing my wrist seems such a good option than facing the even thought of having killed my wife and my closest friend.

I can die in the way that they’ve died, and maybe…maybe I’ll be able to meet them.

There would be no life ahead of me, living with all of this….the guilt.

I kept telling myself that it’s all false and a big trick, but the DVD, it seemed so real.

The DVD is so damage proof, it’s unreal. Surely, some paranormal force is behind it.

That could even be an excuse, I’m giving myself to hide from the truth, what if I somehow actually killed them and don’t remember anything?

Somehow…

The blade is too tempting, I’m sure there will be a safer place after this…

Something, I can be sure of…. Or not…

That shadow…it looks like me, what if that shadow comes to kill me now?

I need to be aware, be alert.

It could try to creep up on me– but I’ve been forewarned.

With a kitchen knife in hand, I searched for the shadow behind curtains, in closed cupboards.

But the shadow, was found in the most unlikely of all places. So skilfully lurking around me, it couldn’t escape the reflection I saw in the mirror though.

My mind is clear and calm, just like the sea before a storm, there is only one way to kill the shadow and end this for once.

– Najeeb Qazi.

Epiphany.

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking”
-Albert Einstein

ah-ha
Epiphany or the feeling when realization dawns upon you, when everything just clicks for you, you exclaim ‘aha’ in your thoughts. Whenever such thoughts arrive, it is followed by a calm perception of the world, almost saint like, you feel you understand everything .Though such feelings don’t often come by, but whenever it comes, the effect stays for a long time.
The common ones being – “Life is taken for granted”, “Time is precious” and many more than I care to recollect, the point being, all these make a lot of sense and have to be put neatly in their niche, but what makes a good epiphany is something that feels out of the world ,even if it is for a second.

Mind is your friend and your Enemy.
The biggest epiphany I had in recent times was realizing that many problems, totally unnecessary are caused by overthinking, we tend to overanalyze a situation, derive various conclusions and start imagining about it. We fail to realize that our view, belief could be totally wrong and no amount of hours of thinking can substantiate that claim.
The number of friendships, relationships altered or broken by this is pretty high.
Narrow – mindedness, pettiness and bigotry pretty much stem from these thoughts, though they are vast topics and have hundreds of reasons behind them.
What makes us think, makes us act too.
That’s why “Control over your mind, is control over your body” is such a famous quote.
What makes me write this article, what makes you read it, understand it, is all ‘The Mind’.
“It’s all in the mind” is apt almost every time it is said.
Sometimes, we worry about the future, the problems that might exist, the past, when we experienced problems. But in reality, those are not even ‘existing problems’. We are ourselves creating it, battling it and getting bogged down by the whole weight of it.
Life should be taken in the moment, it’s the only actual challenge that Life gives you, tackle it. Face the present however cliché it might sound.
Some of you’ll might have read ‘The Secret’ or the power of the subconscious mind, though I haven’t read both of them completely, both carry the same message of , roughly -“Be positive , because thoughts affect you, every positive thought will give you energy and every negative one will weigh on you”.
Perception and positivity are so strong that it makes you deal with undesirable luck or circumstances with a wide smile. A flat tire on your wedding day? No problem!
Our Mind, it’s a huge thing, biggest gift we could have ever got, that separates us from the other animals.
It’s also a sharp two edged sword.
Be sure to use the right edge, always.
The best way to end this piece is by one of my favourite quotes by an unknown person –
“The hardest prison to escape is your mind”

Instincts.

In the small town of Yellowfields,
A scream echoed in the by lanes behind, as he walked past. Natural instinct took control over him, and he started running towards his home. He ran, ran till he reached his house.

After reaching his house, he wondered, “why did I run so much? This time the scream was not anything related to my doing”.

A wry smile played on his lips.

Joshua was a small time crook and a 27 year old man, stout and heavy built. His long hair covered his forehead, his dark complexion somehow suited his persona.

He was caught thieving on various occasions, after some trips to the prison, he was now out on bail. But two cops that lived nearby, never let him off the tenterhooks. Almost every day he was harassed, he wanted to start a new life but saw no ray of light enlightening him to do so.

 

 Some 15 km away
Raju was cleaning a white Chevy, took a dirty rag and dipped it in water, when-

“RAJU come here, right now!” shouted the car wash owner.

Raju, quickly hurried up, throwing the rag on the ground. Apart from cleaning cars, he did small chores in the car wash like cleaning utensils and mopping up the floor. He did his job well.

He was a 16 year old young boy who eked out living for his old and ailing mother, his drunk father had long left them with no cash. Raju took up to provide for his mother.

He used to work from 8 in the morning till 5 in the evening in the car wash, then go home and cook a small dish for his mother and saw her up to sleep.

But what did Raju do after 9 PM, his mother had no idea.

Another 7km away…
In the small street, his confidence was enigmatic. He walked with style, a well-tailored suit looked splendid on him.

Zachary, a young man of 24, tall and fair skinned, his hair was tied neatly in a small pony, always good with words, always careful with clothing, the unsuspecting conman.

He knew how to manipulate people, take out information without the other person even realizing.

He was never caught by the police, and he loved the game. If robbing and murder were obstacles in his path, he wouldn’t even blink before brushing them aside.

On the 20th December 2002,

With the festivities approaching, the small town of Yellowfields was quiet compared to the neighbouring towns. Small population, made it quite a peaceful town.

But, a small house had gathered a lot of attention recently, a new owner had come, and with great gusto he had decorated his house beautifully.

In the festive season, he had gone a step further in decorating the house, with lighting all over the fence, two nicely decorated Christmas trees on the sidewalk near the house gave the small house a mansion type look.

The house looked a world apart in the town of Yellowfields, the neighbours even found the owner very friendly.

What was a lovely house, was perceived as a treat in the minds of the local thieves.  And to give a boost to their thinking, it was found out from the neighbours that the owner was leaving the house empty for a day, on the 27th of the month, to go to the nearby town of Bakesville, to visit his brother.

“What a party!” all the thieves around the town must have thought.

Zachary, was one such, he had kept a keen eye on the house for a month and tactfully retrieved information from the unknowing neighbours.

On the night of the 27th, when the house was to be empty, Zachary set his foot towards it.

Dressed in a tight black jacket which was tied to his waist to make minimal noise, wore leather boots with special handmade soles. With his attire and a mask on, he was set.

Zachary had planned the intrusion very well, the house had one window pane which was slightly open all the time. Zachary planned to detach it and get inside. It was the only safest option, going through the chimney would be the last one for Zachary.

On reaching the house, he quickly leaped over the fence and landed softly on the cold and wet grass.

He tiptoed around the periphery of the house, searching for the window pane in the dark, too cautious to use the torch so soon.

As he tiptoed round the house, he sensed movement near the doorway.

Zachary held his breath for some moments to hear clearly, but all he heard was clicking sound of the beetles.

He slowly moved towards the doorway and saw a black figure, neatly hiding in a small space between a wall and the doorway.

Zachary moved towards the back of the figure, slowly, and quickly lunged at him and brought him down to ground.

The person had a mask to cover his face, with the person’s hand locked. Zachary removed the mask to see a 16 year Old guy’s eyes staring back at him.

The eyes weren’t innocent, they showed hunger, it surprised Zachary for a moment and slackened the grip on his hands.

Raju quickly seizing the moment, kicked hard at the groin area of the attacker.

Zachary fell to the ground in immense pain.

Raju deftly started running towards the exit gate.

Zachary was quick to get up.

With all the commotion happening outside, inside the house, Joshua quietly picks up the phone and dials the police stationed outside the house.

“Two crooks going to come towards the exit, be sure not to miss them”, he puts the phone down and smiles.

“The plan worked sweetly”, smirked Joshua.

“Not as sweetly as you would have liked”, Zachary said softly, approaching with a small pocket knife in one hand.

Joshua was taken aback, “But…You…followed….him!”

“Do you take me for a naïve person?  The house unoccupied for so long, suddenly gets an occupant who is so opulent, the neighbours so friendly to divulge information, and leaving the house unguarded for a day during festivities! How inviting!” spat Zachary.

Joshua fidgeted with his fingers, “I’ve just planned all of this to get the police off my back, I’m frustrated and irritated. If you wish to kill me, kill me fast for I have nothing to defend, but remember, the police is outside, murder could not only land you in jail but even put you on death row in this town”

“HAHAHA! You dimwit! How long would you take to realize a fact?  The police stationed outside are on my side, the bunch of lazy so called cops, they can be influenced” he shifted the small knife in his hands.

“I’m going to kill you, because you tried being like me, a conman, but you are too weak” and with a quick stroke, stuck the knife deep in Joshua’s chest and waited for his pulse to stop.

Zachary had lied, the police stationed outside were not on his side, but he would never let Joshua believe that he had won, even for a moment, even if it was before his death.

He quickly evaded the cops, by exiting the back gate, the cops were more focussed on catching Raju and beating him up.

Zachary then sat in his white Chevy Impala 1967, with a cigarette in one hand and steering wheel in the other, he opened his tied hair and let it loose and let the cold wind smother his face.

Instincts had what told Zachary that the whole thing smelled of a set up and instincts were now telling him to drive to a new start, to a new town and to a new beginning.

Zachary trusted his instincts a tad too much.

So You Want to Be a Storyteller?

Sam S. Mullins: a blog about anything

Really? Even if people won’t want to date you ever again for fear that you’ll one day talk about them on stage? You’re sure?

Okay. Welcome aboard.

Here’s a cheap glass of wine. Where we’re going, you’ll need it.

I’ve got to tell you – I think you’ve picked a great time to get into the story game. I mean, with the success of storytelling podcasts like The Moth, RISK!, Definitely Not the Opera, Snap Judgement and This American Life millions of people are now aware of the phenomenon of modern storytelling. Just about every city in North America now has a regular storytelling event, and there seems to be more opportunities for storytellers than ever before. For raconteurs like us, the getting has never been good-er.

But before you start speaking your heart into the crackly microphone at the local roti place’s storytelling event (at which no one is there to actually hear stories [they’re just there…

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