Category Archives: Short Stories

The survival of Innocence

“Show me your hands”, teacher screamed. And that stroke of the ruler on Jacob’s hand brought out the redness of his blood on his innocent palm. Jacob’s childhood was on the verge of arrest and tears rolled down his eyes. His thoughts made him forget the ruler-induced pain, because the his heart was feeling an intense pinch of a needle.

The scene before this incident was one of the best times of Jacob’s life. He was scribbling something on his notebook and the child sitting with him was smiling. Jacob drew a plump cartoon with a long, red nose and passed on the sheet to Francis.

“This is me”, Jacob declared to the questioning eyes of Francis. Unlike Jacob, Francis was not good at holding his laughter and he giggled slightly. Teacher observed the sound and Jacob got convicted of a crime which was heinous, as per his teacher.

The teacher roared, “Join a circus if you love being a joker”. This statement echoed in Jacob’s ears while he was walking back to his home. He kicked that rock but its sound did not reach his ears because his mind was preoccupied with more important thoughts. “Is being happy a crime?”, His mind asked his heart and the heart wept. Tears did not coordinate this time and he kept walking.

Francis had lost his grandma a few days back and Jacob drew his own picture to make Francis smile. Child’s heart get beguiled easily. Jacob presented himself as a Joker, and he got punished for this crime. When he reached his home, he went to his grandpa. Mr. Rockford was sitting in his armchair, lost in the tunes of his vintage music collection. Jacob entered his room and placed his hands on  Grandpa’s thighs, giving a child’s innocent glare to his eyes.

“What happened to my prince?”, grandpa asked, caressing Jacob’s hair.

Jacob replied with a question, “Grandpa! Is smiling a crime?”. Jacob explained the incident to his Grandpa.

This is what Mr. Rutherford said, “Being happy is the most difficult job and making other’s happy is the real challenge, man enters this world crying. Crying and sadness come naturally, happiness is the thing which is required. For his special works, God sends his children. you are one such special child. Your purpose is to make world a better place for others, making them happy. If you do not make people happy, then gloom will cover up this world and your purpose of life will not get fulfilled. This is a world where a gauche Stan Laurel and a pomp Oliver Hardy made waves by making fun of themselves. Charlie Chaplin used his underprivileged upbringing as his strength and never complained about anything. Education will make you survive, but such works will make you find the real meaning of life. Improvisation is the way to live life, make the most out of it.”

A silence followed, grandpa continued caressing Jacob’s hair and his mind found peace in his words. He was entering sleep, but had become aware of the purpose of his life.


Side Effects of Being Nice

“Ruth! This is not working anymore. You said that your mom will die if you betray her, I am going to die now. I will not ask you to choose my life over your mother’s. “…….Victor hangs up the phone and a deadly silence follows. Nobody knows him, he was still the unknown. That charming face had its secrets which were unknown to the world.

Are you curious about the background of this (love) story. I am not going to betray you here. Let me introduce you to the characters here, the main protagonists. Victor was a 18 year old lad, madly in love with Ruth whom he met at college at the age of 18. They have been going strong with each day. Ruth was this introvert and shy girl and she had no idea about relationships and this cruel world. Initially, Victor had just infatuation and it slowly turned into love. Gradually, Victor became an integral part of her life. He was her protector in this world where unkind ones outnumber the kind. Victor never compromised with her comfort and she became his priority in life. Every relationships has its demands, this one was not an exception. After few months, the incidences of the library stirred Victor:

“Give me your hand Ruth, you are my everything…..”, he hugged her tight and a emotional passion followed. His lips reached for those delicate ones of Ruth’s. She moved away and said, “I don’t like it”. Being the usual nice guy, he smiled and let her go. But deep within, this did not go down too well with him. He kept asking questions to himself. He devotion reached such extremes that he asked himself if he did anything wrong. Victor was from a family where no-one believed in expressing love and this was the first time when he felt the real meaning of hug. This teen kid began looking for answers. His wisdom had no answers to these. That issue became history soon, but not for Victor’s love-starved heart. As happens during teenage years, Victor started exploring affection in the outside world in order to find out if he did anything wrong by trying to kiss Ruth. He took a wise step and ask Ruth about her views about it.

“Physical love is fake, it has no real importance when two people have a serious relationship”, Ruth’s words echoed in his ears as he walked past that porch where they first met each other. The mental condition of Victor was beyond any logical explanation. He felt immense, unconditional love for Ruth, but his need for intimacy led him into the deep and dark trough called ‘Cheating’. His ‘Cheating’ was different from what we know. He tried looking for girls in the world and initiated conversations with them. He met a few, kissed some of them, had steamy chats with others. It all felt good to him. The weird part is that, he kept loving Ruth more and more but he explored his options for his need for affection and intimacy. This guy had just found a way to deal with his relationship. Amongst all these happenings, he came closer to getting laid with few girls but he opted out at the last moment. [At this point, I leave it to the readers to decide about the character of Victor. Be judgmental and try to be a good critic.]

This went on for about five years and the college was about to end. In the meantime, Victor kept on convincing Ruth about the need for intimacy in a relationship. Ruth was unaware of the demon he was feeding by being adamant. Finally, she did feel the need for the same when the college was about to end. Our romantic couple stayed together for two days and had some intimate moments, but again Victor found out Ruth’s discomfort with it and he stopped begging. For my curious readers, let me declare that they remained virgin”. Victor found solace in whatever little love he got and he controlled his inner demon and stopped chatting with other girls.

They went to different cities after college. Victor was a smart guy and his career got a shot in the arm when he got selected for a prestigious job. His career was well set at an young age of 23. Meanwhile, Ruth took up a job too. Then, Victor asked her about the future plans. She told him that she would never betray her parents and that is why she would like to discuss marriage it with her parents. Victor left for a far-off place and the relationship continued. Ruth promised him that she would talk with her parents and let him know about their decision. Victor had no choice, but to wait for their approval. The shy girl, managed to convey this to her mother and her mother:

“Mamma! You already know how nice he is. He has never let you down. Such boys are rare these days. He proposed me for marriage. I want you to decide about it”, her mother kept silence for a while and told her that she will think about it and let her and Victor know about the decision. Victor felt good because his Surname was different from Ruth’s, then too her mother considered him was a small victory for him. He waited for the decision.

“I miss you! Come here soon. You are all I need. My first and last desire in life”, Victor said in his usual romantic tone.

“I will be there soon”, Ruth replied. Victor asked, “How soon?”.

Ruth paused a bit, “Very soon my love”.

These were the statements which were said for innumerable number of times during the decisive phase. Victor never questioned anyone because she meant a lot to him. A decision never came for 4 months. One day, he got drunk and called Ruth:

“Ruth! This is not working anymore. You said that your mom will die if you betray her, I am going to die now. I will not ask you to choose my life over your mother’s. “

He is still waiting for the decision. His keeps on asking God about his fault, Is it because he kissed a different girl? Is he because he might be genetically programmed to need sex? Is it wrong when he feels the desire to have sex-only relationships? Is this his genetic makeup? Should he kill himself to end this genetic pool which makes him value physical intimacy? His mind is floating in troubled waters. He need some answers. This story can never end.