Trouble With The Parts

I saw a man scampering like a dog with his tail between his legs. Having walked similarly a few minutes ago myself, I knew the reason for his unusual gait. But his robes piqued my interest; a patient was allowed to roam outside after sunset.

“Hey, how come you’re here?” I inquired.

“Ahhhh, sweet God, I needed that. Are you happy now?” he said with a sharp tone.

“Huh?”

Lecture him on public urination…

Wind Breaker

Ranjit was visiting his cousin. His niece was a difficult girl but had always been fond of him. He didn’t boast many skills, but having a stabilizing effect on his niece was one of them. It was with little hesitation and great relief then, that his cousin asked him to accompany Riya to her parent-teacher meeting.

Accompany the kid(s)…

SlapJack

“SlapJack strikes again!” Vipin hurries to squat next to Ranjit. The two read the news about the recently active ‘SlapJack’ of New Delhi – a white guy slapping pedestrians who cross roads without adhering to traffic norms and rules. He holds a Jack of Clubs in his slapping hand, which is often imprinted on the victims’ cheeks, inducting them into the Club of Jack.

See the cards…

We’re All Equal

 

Meeting a patient confined by a straitjacket was strangely appealing. It was the first time my erstwhile idea of a patient in a mental institute came alive. Despite the synchrony between my mental picture and the patient in front of me, I trod cautiously. Unpredictability was the only certainty within these walls.

“Hi there! Mind if I have a word with you?”

The patient stopped pacing and turned to face me. Her eccentric braids flew and whipped her throat. The sound of a flagellant’s instrument echoed through the sombre quarters, her purple lips stretching in a sinister smile. I gulped.

Take a look, cautiously…

SOCKer

The sound of flush loudened. Ranjit was sitting at the chabudai sipping his morning tea when Vipin came out of the bathroom.

“I sure am using my right hand an awful lot these days!” he said. Ranjit paused with teapot in hand and looked at his flatmate with knitted eyebrows. It was not the sort of conversation starter he would expect from Vipin. He cleared his throat and resumed pouring tea for his flatmate.

Meet the HANDYman…

Sweet Surrender

The aroma of samosas sauntered up his nose as Ranjit turned the corner near the local sweet shop. He smiled. His sister was to visit him and she loved freshly made jalebis. But he was smiling because he knew he could munch on a couple samosas while waiting for a fresh batch of jalebis.

Although he knew what he wanted, there was one going through a decisional crisis, his face tenser than a bomb squad member’s.

Read story…

It’s Only Love

“Hi, there,” I greeted with the best smile I could manage.

“What do you want?” The words were intermixed with a sigh. The night outside the cell was intrusive, silent.

“I’m just going around visiting patients for a project, to know about the…their…um.”

“Madness,” he said turning towards me. The springy bed didn’t make any sound as he turned, doing its bit to make the room dingier.

Read story…

Tree Hugger

Ranjit has a history of waking up in bizarre places. Most of those instances were from childhood when he used to live in the village. While other kids have tales of falling asleep in school during class or exams, Ranjit can recount tales of waking up on the back of a walking bull, on top of a slowly rotating ceiling fan, and on a bicycle going downhill. For the longest time, he thought he was a somnambulist. It was years later that he learned it was his cousins’ doing.

Read story…