Not a Lot of Words


“Chaos. When you can’t wake up before 9 but college starts at 7. When you want Coke but get Pepsi. When there’s no Maggi. When you run out of [characters]”


“The wife’s skull cracked open. Brains everywhere. He felt bliss.”

Continue reading “Not a Lot of Words”

50 Words – In the Barn

Toy car in one hand, biscuit in another, he walked into the barn.

The stench of blood filled his young nostrils.

“Do it,” said his father, holding a gun in his right hand, sprawled across the floor, his chest bleeding out.

He finished the biscuit.

The gunshot alerted their dog.

The Early Break

“Cameras at the front of the store and those at adjacent streets that he used, got satisfactory photographs of the culprit’s face and the number plate of the car he used”

The whole room was a mess. Papers covered the desk and much of the floor. The cabinets were overflowing. Files were precariously stacked on top of said cabinets. The whole scene indicated utter laxity.

“So, here it is,” said the hefty lieutenant.

“This is my cabin, sir?” the young policeman was apprehensive.

“What is it? Too cramped for your liking? You’ll get used to it, boy!” The lieutenant thumped his fat palm on the youth’s back and waddled off, still laughing at his own joke.

“Sure I will.”

Sarcasm. It was Mayank’s alter ego. Sometimes he used it more often than he knew. It’s probably a mixed bag when you want to be a detective. Useful at times and sometimes sarcastic is probably the last thing you want to be.

Mayank looked at the state of the room, wondering how its previous occupant managed to not choke on the dust. As he recollected, he had in fact choked. Not on the dust, obviously, but at the hands of a drug lord who the said occupant had tracked down. The family pleaded in court but the evidence, thanks to the drug lord’s heavy bribes, had been burnt. That’s just how the criminal law system works nowadays. You either deal with it or it deals with you.

Most of the files were outdated and many more were filled with cases that had been closed. They had to be moved to the archives. Mayank found a cardboard box under the desk and filled it with all the files he could fit in it.

“Hey! New guy! The boss man’s calling you,” said a fellow employee to Mayank just as he was emptying the cardboard box in the archive room.

“Oh. Okay thanks.”

“I’m Jai, by the way. Over at forensics.”

“Hi! I’m Mayank.”

“I know. Everybody knows. You topped the test.”

“Yeah. You’re new too?

“Pretty much. Been here two months.”

“Okay then. See you later!”

“I’ll catch you at lunch if you’re free. Vada pav?”

“Yeah that’s cool”

Mayank felt slightly less tense now that he’d made a friend on the first day. He knocked on the Inspector’s door and went in after a resounding “COME IN” emanated from within.

Continue reading “The Early Break”

Commotion at the Railway Station

“I sat on a stray bench…”

It was a hot summer day at Nagpur Railway Station. I sat on a stray bench, on a stray platform, beside a stray dog, as I watched the railway tracks glisten in the sun. I was waiting for the Mumbai – bound train to arrive. A thick bead of sweat ran down my cheek, neck and down my shirt. The gradual increase in the rattle of the tracks told me of the arrival of a train. It passed through without stopping and evidently wasn’t the train I was here for. Just as I had seen the last bogey disappear from the station, I thought I heard the shrill cry of a man.

I dismissed the thought as a random mixup of various noises of the train. A few minutes later, however, I saw a crowd gathering at the far end of the station, their murmurs growing louder with each passing minute, till it was no longer ignorable. As I figured I had at least a few more minutes before my train arrived, I decided to head over and see the cause of the commotion.

What I saw, eliminated the thought from my head, that the cry I had heard, earlier was just my imagination. It appeared a man had indeed emitted the cry. He now lay at the centre of the huddle of people that I had seen when I sat on the stray bench, beside the stray dog.

He was very young, probably in his mid – twenties. His entire left side was covered in blood – unfortunately his own – and his hand looked like it had been fastened by the uncoordinated hands of a four – year old. The left side of his face was devoid of most natural features and his sinew and blood vessels were clearly visible. His legs ‘looked’ fine, but an elderly man’s attempt at making him stand up, ruled out that fact very gruesomely, for we heard a loud crack from the man’s knees. His entire appearance gave a very vivid feeling and I began feeling sick in the stomach, the more I looked at the man.

For some time, I stood there watching, in complete disbelief. After a while, the people wanted to move the man to a safer place, probably the ticket – booth, where first aid could be administered. Some people had already rung up the boy’s brother, whose telephone number he had produced. It seemed as if he did not want to disclose his carelessness’s consequences to his parent(s). I helped the younger lot of the crowd to carry the man to the ticket – booth and just as I had finished doing so I saw the train, my train, rumble and grumble into the station. It let out a satisfying hissing sound as it did so.

I sprinted back to the stray bench to find the stray dog circling my bag and baggage as if loyally guarding it. I always kept some dry fruits in my shirt pocket. Smiling, I tossed a few groundnuts at the dog, despite knowing his taste, patted him on the head, picked up my bags and walked to the train door. I looked back at the stray platform, stray bench and the stray dog sniffing the groundnuts, said a small prayer for the injured man and boarded the train.