The GREAT Escape!!

 

Well, if you are a known person to me, I am 95% sure that I have narrated to you this epic story with Dolby Atmos effect. In case I missed it out let’s relive it again…

 

Just 9 short years ago, it so happened that we went on a family trip to Musoourie (in Uttarakhand). The trip would have ended sooner, hadn’t our driver shared with us a piece of valuable information that a national park was close by. We had never visited a national park before, and so the desire grew stronger and swept us off. I thought it was Jim Corbett National Park (famous in our school text books), and started hallucinating with scenes of tigers roaming around us in free space like those shown in Discovery and NatGeo. I still recall what my mom said about that,’You want to die being eaten up by tigers?’

But then it was not Jim Corbett we were heading too. It was Rajaji National Park. We drove in; signed some documents; paid the fee; sat in an open jeep; and then it started. For the first few miles what we saw was only few deers and an elephant at about 400 m away from us. Nothing phenomenal was bound to happen, for my first open jeep safari was going boring.. very very boring. When we had completed three quarters of our journey, something unusual removed our boredom. We could see around 25 elephants ahead of us, and some 7-8 of them were blocking the narrow path from which we had to traverse.

Our vehicles were at a stand still, our drivers gave perplexed looks to each of us. We learned the harsh truth that our jeeps were unarmed, and that the explosives which were there had also been soggy due to moisture. I hardly felt any of these were hardly necessary, as the elephants showed no signs of attacking us. But then some of them caught my mind voice and started acting in a weird way, breaking barks of nearby trees and spraying mud through its own trunk. It did feel as though they had been attacked by some invisible zombies.

For a moment, the joy from every visitor’s face had faded out as if they were being sucked by dementor. A bunch of few crazy elephants had just made 4-5 jeeps to wait for more than 45 minutes. I still remember some people praying for these elephants to clear the way. The only fear that crossed our minds were, that they must in no way turn their focus towards us. In better words, the thought of attacking us should not cross their minds. The video clips of elephants stamping villagers on their route to banana plantations, were flashing in a fast forward mode through my mode. Worst was imagining yourself, in place of those poor villagers. There was a fairly good probability for that to happen as well.

 

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Yes!! It came this close!!

No sooner our prayers were heard and answered!! Our way was being cleared in slow motion by the protectors of nature. Our jeep was the first one to move in the que.

All of a sudden one of the elephants started chasing us. It chased us for about 50 m and our accelerator was on full load. Had the accelerator failed for a second, or any other unfortunate event had occurred because of our vehicle, I have no idea where our fates would have led us too. Maybe this blog post would have never been written 😛 The good souled elephant  spared our lives, and withdrew the chase sooner than anyone had expected!!

The saddest part of this adventurous story is that we couldn’t capture any of it in our lens. Our digicam had all its power drained out when this journey began, but then had we managed to capture that, it would have resembled the above pic very closely.

The level of thrill I enjoyed that day, till date remains to be the best of all the records I’ve had so far. The small distance that was left over between life and death, gave me some sort of enlightenment.

 

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You definitely know that after reading this, which among these is the most dangerous???

P.S. In the name of all old gods and the new, this is a true incident!!!

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# 5 Who’s NEXT???

The story so far…

#1 A Haunted Memory

#2 Three Strokes of Red

#3 The Red Saree

#4 Black Heart

 

From here my story starts…

 

The absurd painting with three red strokes was lingering in Prakash’s subconscious mind. Lissy dead. Mary dead. Annie missing or in better words Annie also dead. He woke up stressed. It was seven minutes past 12 noon. He had spent the night before searching for Annie. But there was no clue of her.

‘Catherine must tell me more about both the paintings.’

He dressed up hastily and left for the art exhibit. While driving, the only scene that was playing in his mind was the painting joke from actor Kaarthi’s latest movie ‘Thozha’.

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Masterpiece 😉 😉

‘The world likes random strokes of a lunatic and calls it a masterpiece, paying millions for it. 12 Lakhs for just 3 strokes. ‘

Dumping that thought away he drove faster into the parking area beside the exhibit.

‘Maybe Annie is the third stroke! ’, he ran inside the hall and stood near Lissy’s painting. Catherine was not there.

The security guard walked in and gave him an envelope.

‘She told me to deliver it’, and he departed.

The next is your dearest ROSE. Come at once to the place where you met your first Rose before. Seek her alive.

It was the same handwriting. Prakash didn’t want to lose Annie at any cost. For he knew the haunted place which the killer mentioned. It was just one end of a deserted tunnel near an old mansion. He had met Lissy there for the first time, 10 years ago when he accidentally knocked her off with his bike.

He reached the place in 45 minutes. There was a familiar silhouette at the end of the tunnel. Prakash went closer to get a better view. It was a woman. He had held out his revolver in case he needed it. But the woman standing ahead was walking away him now. Her face was crystal clear in the light.

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The W.O.M.A.N.

A ray of joy erupted inside Prakash. For the woman was none other than his beloved Annie. He ran as fast as he could to hug his love, for her absence had made him mad. At once he wrapped her in his arms and suddenly there was a feeling of excruciating pain from his abdomen. Blood was flowing profusely when he touched his belly.

He pushed Annie away and there was a bloody dagger in her hand. There were tears in Prakash’s eyes now. The love of his life had just, sweetly murdered him. Gravity pulled him, and he lay helplessly now.

He saw Annie for one last time with his blurred vision. She grinned, perhaps too happy on her achievement.

A man with a majestic style of walk came along and stood behind Annie.

‘Know who the third stroke is, you fool?’ he said with a laugh.

Prakash recognized him instantly, making no mistake this time.

‘Noel’, he said breathing his last….

 

The main pieces of the unsolved puzzle were still missing!!!

Who was the third stroke?

Where was Catherine? Was she alive or dead or a ghost??

There was only one person alive who knew some real part of the story, and was passing his time inside a prison now. Sarvesh the crackpot. But who would believe him???

 

Lakshmi continues the story now and you can read it here

 

P.P.S. The above story is an entry to the Tagged Contest-2 by author Kaarthikaa and The Chennai Bloggers Club. Karthikaa’s book ‘Tagged’ releases on May 29 and you can get it from Amazon.

Witnessing it LIVE!!!

Sometimes life breaks silence by taking you through tumultuous times, and the way you look at things changes forever. It was a regular day, the regular sun, the regular college, the regular chats and eventually the regular evening was about to begin. I did the petite favour of accompanying my mom to the green grocers when, on my way back I noticed Ram and Shyam (who lived in our vicinity) engaged in a bitter feud. I crossed the drunken brothers to reach home. After a while I was strolling around my terrace for time pass I observed the quarrel grew louder and a new element of violence was induced in their process. A reluctant crowd had gathered around to witness the big fight and I joined along with them. In a fraction of a second raged Shyam ran into the house and returned with a dagger. Everyone thought that he was only going to threaten his elder brother with it.

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The bloody wrath.

In the next second unexpectedly, he plunged the dagger into his brothers abdomen, not realised the repercussions of his act. Ram was bleeding profusely and I saw a fear gripping in his eyes: the fear of losing his life. Seeing this everyone in the crowd started running in all possible directions, dispersing quickly in a moment. I stood still, unable to overcome the shock I just got. I could hear my mom screaming to the top of her voice calling me back. I just couldn’t move. And I was the only soul left back in the scene from the crowd. Ram’s son came running towards me, held my hand, with teary eyes he told me, ‘Anna (brother) do something!! He just stabbed my dad!!’ I stood speechless and frozen. He went back to his dad who was slowly dying now and living the last few movements of his life. Meanwhile my brother came in and dragged me back home abandoning my chances of helping Ram. Trembling already, I immediately rang up the police and ambulance, the least I could do. The police arrived after half an hour and the by the time ambulance arrived Ram was almost still as dead. En route to the hospital Ram breathed his last and was declared dead. I felt shattered as my efforts to save Ram went in vain. Had I taken him on my bike, today he would have lived.murder_death_blood_sparks_24412_2560x1440

Life’s value cannot be estimated easily. Seeing a life being taken away in front of my eyes was the most disturbing thing I could ever imagine. I made it a point, that in future if I ever come across a similar situation I will step forward with my presence of mind and lend a hand, instead of running away like the herd of cowards did that day.

From the eyes of: Chris G

Disclaimer: The names of the people involved in the scene have been changed to maintain privacy.

The Final Destination

It was a delicious menu in the house warming ceremony we attended few months back in Coimbatore. The aroma of non-veg led us to a different kind of trance. The time was exactly 1:30 PM and we had a train to catch at  2:20 PM in the railway station a few kilometers away.

I came along with my uncle and his family from Chennai, as my parents were in Trichy. After checking the PNR status just five minutes before we had learned that our tickets were confirmed. So now it was time for a hurry bury pack up. After biding a Good bye to all our friends and relatives we quickly loaded ourselves in a car that nearly squeezed us, due to lack of free space.  We were already five in number and another uncle of mine who were to drop us had a family of four. Struggling to breathe with at least one person in each of our laps along with our luggages, we strode off to the railway station in haste. The car hustled in the beginning before gaining momentum and while taking reverse, we could feel the topsy-turvies.

After a while my cousin said that her dad (the driver) didn’t know how to take a car in reverse properly even after driving for nearly seven years. I was dumbfounded at this because my uncle was experimenting with us. To the pedestrians it seemed as an over loaded automobile rolling on the road with great difficulty.

It was an inauspicious day for us as we were caught up almost in every traffic signal that day. To increase our agony two bikers nearly crashed our ways as the RTO waved his hands in both the wrong directions.

We reached the railway station just three minutes prior to the departure of our train. Our destiny was yet to be reached. In haste we unloaded and began to race for the platforms. My uncle told that the he had seen the digital board indicating platform number four for our train. Making our way through busy crowds of people we ran mercilessly in the subway with everyone staring at us. My sister had even dashed on a few people with her luggage.

After reaching the platform we were awestruck to see the site. An engine with only two coaches was settled there. My brother was screaming, “Where is the rest of the train?”

A porter came to us inquiring our misery and yelled,” Sir it is platform number two not four!!! ”

All of us turned towards platform two in unison to see our train standing there still.

My aunt groaned and struggled to take a breath. She gave a stern look to my uncle who got on his nerves now. “Platform two!!!”, he screamed.

And we cruised in the reverse path to reach our final destination. We could hear our train honking now. I was at my best 100 metre record after school athletic meets.We completed our journey to the destination and we were on the train now.

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We reached our seats when the next disaster awaited us. Someone else was sitting in our seat number 42. He even showed his train ticket to us which was printed in Tamil. My uncle was fed up this time thinking now did we get into the wrong train after the platform fiasco. He went to check the charts; the train seemed ready to move now. It had already delayed its departure by five minutes only for us.  My uncle returned with a stern face claiming our seat. We again checked his ticket to discover the truth hidden it. It was his mistake. It was not the seat number but his age that was indicated in Tamil as 42!!!!

He vacated our seat and left.

Now everything was finally over. We laughed for at least half an hour recalling our hilarious journey from our home to the train.