Friday, March 23, 2007


MANY STORIES AWAY Sumona Chakravarty



You believe it. Don’t you?

I mean… you must remember.

You must, at least, remember believing it?

Or did they take it away from you forever? Your parents, your teachers, childhood friends who told you Santa Claus didn’t exist and it wasn’t the storks that brought you home. Did they make you stop believing? Did they make you forget it all?

How, the story of ‘how-the-world-came-to-be’ is really just that. A story.

You’re a part of it. A part of a grand adventure, the character in an epic tale.

Someone wrote it.

And believed in it. And it came to be.

That’s it. that’s the big secret of creation everyone’s searching for. Who are we? Why are we here? Simple. We, and everything around us, are a product of someone else’s imagination, dreams… and faith.

That’s the way it has always been. Faith.

At one point, the point, at the beginning of everything and the end of nothing faith was all there was. But faith moved away from the point. With nothing to hold it, nothing to contain it, it drifted aimlessly.

A story was spun around that floating faith. Faith filled it and infused it with pulsating energy. The threads of imagination that had created the story, then burst out of its fabric in a dazzling brilliance of light. In a haze of infinite colours they wove together again to form- reality. Faith spilt out and drifted again.

But that’s just how it began. The story goes on. From the first story was spun countless others. Stories within stories. Water, earth, wind, fire and ether created stories. Animals created stories. Even ordinary people like you and me had stories to tell. Dreams, they really wished would come true. Each story became a reality. All it took was a little faith.

“You say it’s true then?” you ask me. “That I could cook up any cock and bull story and there is enough faith floating around to make it come true? Or does the faith you speak of work only in ‘a haze of infinite colours’?”

Really… no. You can’t spin any old yarn and try believing in it. Your story must be born out of your deepest desires. It’s got to be genuine, something you really believe in. Not to sound corny, but it should be… umm… from the heart.

Do you believe now? Now that you know the secret? Do you at least remember believing it?

If you do, you won’t be sitting here. You’d stop reading and start writing. You’d start writing your own story. And with the final full stop you would know, that somewhere, many stories away, your story would be coming true.

Today something extraordinary happened.

I wrote my story. Believed in it. And with the final full stop it shall come to be.

My story. Well my story is about a song, a light, a fight, a letter and a truth. It’s about how the secret of creation was discovered anew, eachtime, in different universes through these. How spaces seperated by time and distance were connected by a single Story. And how the secret lived on through this Story, moving from one universe to the next, many stories away.


Sometimes, when they take everything else away from you, all you are left with is your story.

I remember that day so vividly. I had just watched her die.

She looked at me with a smile in her eyes. A deep golden glow filled her. I couldn’t stop ranting, screaming crying. How could she just leave me? But all she did was smile.

And then I heard a song. It seemed to come from within her. The light that filled her pulsated powerfully with the rhythm.

I could only look on helplessly. Quietly sobbing.

It dimmed and grew brighter. Dimmed, and grew brighter and brighter each time. Till I couldn’t see her any more.

As the song neared its end and began to fade away, the light left her body. It diffused, filling her room, flowing through every object in it. Her bed, the books in the shelf, her dog-eared cook book on the table, the table, the rickety stools, her walking stick, her plants, the weather-beaten rug on the floor- it passed through everything for one fleeting second, and in a flash moved on. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

And then it entered me. No words can describe what it felt like. I felt lost, weightless, anchorless. Like I was drifting and there was no direction. Like everything my life depended on was actually not there. I felt divine.

It lasted an eternity and yet was over in the fraction of a second.

She was gone. Only her smile lingered.

That night I told my wife everything. She knew that I needed to talk her, that I needed her to listen.

I told her about grandmamma and how she died. I lay down with my head on her stomach. I could feel the baby moving inside. Could he hear me?

Her songs. She always expressed herself better in song. She sang me to sleep every night. I would crawl into bed and watch her finishing her chores. She’d blow out the light orbs, gently lie down, and draw me towards her. She always smelt like wildflowers.


A quiet hum. Then in hushed whispers she would begin her song.

Her songs were not peaceful lullabies. They weren’t fairy stories to keep me happy. They didn’t put me to sleep.

In the darkness of the night she was luminous as she sang. I could see her ensconced in a soft cocoon of light.

I heard the same song every night. The same story- sometimes just parts, sometimes the whole of it. But it never failed to keep me captivated.

It always started at the beginning.

There was an angel. She had no form- yet she was beautiful. She sparkled and the light broke into rainbows. A free spirit. She didn’t need anyone or anything.

The whole world used to be full of magical beings like her. It was barren, yet charged with their energies. Idyllic. Pure. Full of song and always in motion. A never-ending dance.

No attachments. No loss. No pain. No anger.

But something happened that changed things forever.

I heard the rest of it in bits and pieces.

She was spiraling, vibrating, singing when suddenly she heard something. A sound unlike any she had heard before. She tried to ignore it but it wouldn’t go away. It seemed wrong, it scared her but she couldn’t help herself.

She followed it, all the way to the other end of the world. And that was where she found him. A baby. Abandoned. Crying. She didn’t know what or who he was but she could feel his little heart aching for love. Stranger still, she felt drawn to him.

I want to pull him close to me. Pour my happiness into him. Wrap myself around him. Feel his innocence. I want to feel love. I want to feel his sorrow. I just want to feel something.

She did try. She gathered her energies, the iridescent light that sparkled around her and flowed tightly around him. But she slipped straight through him. She tried again. She tried to soak into him. Soak him into her. In vain! Again and again she tried in vain.

And then she felt.

Pain. Frustration. Anger.

That was when things changed forever. Her entire being collapsed to a single point, and from that point a new creature emerged. She saw her body take shape, mould itself to the likeness of the baby. It matured, evolved. In many ways it started looking different from the baby. It was over in an instant.

She planted her feet firmly on the ground. She could feel its hard coldness. She walked towards him slowly, cautiously and knelt down next to him. Her heart pounded violently within her. He looked up at her and stopped crying. She picked him up and held him close, felt him draw warmth, life and comfort from her.

It felt perfect.

But she wanted so much more for him. Her world was barren, unfeeling. She wanted to fill his world with colour. She wanted to infuse blues and greens into the grey earth and sky. She imagined a world full of wondrous objects for him to touch, smell, taste. She wanted to create mysteries for him to uncover, new lands for him to explore.

Cradling him in her arms she walked for days over the endless barren expanses.

Where do I go? Where can I find a home for us?

Her anxiety drove her mad.

One day, she just stopped. She stopped searching. Stopped hoping. She dropped down on the ground, Her baby curled up on her lap and drifted off to sleep. He looked so peaceful, so beautiful. She couldn’t help but smile. And after a long time she felt like singing.

She closed her eyes and poured everything inside her into this song. It was the story of everything she wanted, all that she was searching for.

The ground, the sky and the rocks reverberated with the music- as if alive. She could sense something changing around her.

At the end of the song, she opened her eyes. She couldn’t believe it had actually happened.

Grandmamma never really told me what had ‘actually happened’ but I could picture it so clearly. She saw her creation. The world she had built for her little boy. The image remained with me every night as I drifted off to sleep, and entered my dreams.

I knew, even when I was little, that there was ancient magic in Grandmamma’s songs. She told me later, when I was older, how the songs came to her in her dreams. And much later, a year before she died, she told me the whole truth. She really shouldn’t have told me. I would have been better off not knowing, not believing.

She told me about the lady in her story.

And how her story was really… not just a story.

She was like a ghost in Grandmamma’s life. She never spoke a word and appeared at the most unexpected places. In classrooms, at the market, the ball, at my parents’ wedding, the scene of their murder, their funeral, and finally at my Grandmamma’s place the day I moved in with her.

That day, at night when I was asleep, she spoke for the first time. She reached out and held Grandmamma’s hand, stroked her hair and sang. She told her story, starting at the beginning.

She told her one other thing. She said it was my destiny to find a story. A story that would change the world.

After that she only appeared in her dreams.

Could I do it too then? Could I create my own world my, own story and watch it materialize? Could I want something badly enough to make it come true?

I became obsessed. I had to find the answers. For a year I shut the rest of the world out of my life. I had to find my story.

Everyone thought I was losing my mind. They agitated and conspired. They used to hate her. Now they hated me too. “He’s taken after his loony grandmother!”, they said. I didn’t care.

And then she died. I lost all hope.

That night I lay talking to my wife, I felt my baby moving inside her.

It was then that they barged in. They broke the door down, threw me off the bed, pushed her into the corner. They kicked and cursed and stripped me bare. They twisted my arm behind me, gagged me and tied me up. They took me away from everything. They took everything away from me. I could only hear her screaming.

I’m sitting in an empty, dark, windowless cell. I can’t see anything, I can’t hear anything. Just the cold wet stone beneath me. That’s all I can feel.

But that’s not all I’m left with. I’ve found my story.

It’s about my son.

I want him to find a better world for himself. For us. I know he will. I want him to be strong. I want him to fight for his dreams, against all odds.

Did he hear me talking that night? He can’t believe I’m mad. Can he?

I hope he heard me.

A messenger from another dream like world,

Whispers into quiet slumbers

The secret of creation.

A father holds the secret dear

For he knows it must pass on

To his son.


I hope she’s safe! What could have stopped her from coming? Or did she… didn’t she want to come? Does she too think I’m a lunatic? Then it’s good she stayed away. Would she have scorned me like the rest? Her hatred…no. No, I could not bear to see her hate me. Am I a lunatic?

I hope she’s safe. Good she didn’t come. Would not have been able to leave. Will she miss me? Oh but to see her one last time!


Why is this happening to me? Why me?

If I hadn’t wandered off that day. If I had only stayed with the rest, none of this would have happened.

But the situation was desperate. Another hunt in vain. Back home. Well, back home there was nothing. No food. Death. Pain. A strange disease was spreading insidiously in the waters, slowly killing everyone. The Reef itself was gradually dying.

I had promised her that I would come back with food. Promised her, I would find a better world for us to live in, to start our lives anew. Had hoped I could go back and ask her to marry me.

I left the hunting group behind. They were too scared to go further. They wanted to go back to the Reef. But I swam forward recklessly into the depths of the uncharted, murky waters. As I said, I was desperate. I couldn’t go back empty handed. I had promised I wouldn’t.

There was no turning back.

I swam for days. Was I going in circles? How could I tell? All I saw was darkness. Dark, silent, lifeless water stretching endlessly all around me.

Till something began pulling me. It was as if the water itself had come alive. I felt weightless, almost.

And then I saw it.

After that it was easy to find my way back home. I had to spread the news. First I would tell her. Should I then immediately ask her to marry me? She would say yes. I knew she would. Right?

I didn’t even get to see her. They got it out of me. They called me mad.

‘He’s a lunatic.’

No… listen!

‘It’s the curse.’

‘The same curse that had killed his father.’

What! My father died in a hunting accident!

‘Remember he too had wandered into the uncharted waters.’

‘Oh yes! Poor fellow.’

‘Poor fellow indeed. He tried to brainwash everyone into believing that the waters pushed him to the end of our world.’

‘Fool! Madman!’

‘Something about how the waters ended, wasn’t it? And how a new world began!’

‘He saw the sky, he said!’

Yes… that’s what I saw!

‘The sky? But I thought that existed only in ancient fables!’

‘Ya, he never grew out of his grandmothers stories! The fool!’

‘Give him a chance and he would have claimed to have seen land as well!’

No wait!

‘The madness killed him in the end.’

No you don’t understand.

Send him away! We don’t want him polluting our minds and scaring our children! Yeah! Send the mad man away! Yeah! Banish him!

They screamed. They cursed. They crushed me with their frenzy.

For two days they put me behind bars as they debated over my fate. For two days I waited for her to come.

Then they banished me forever from the Reef.

My father? Was this the truth? He saw it too? Then it must exist. No. I’m not mad. They can’t make me believe I am. I’ll find it again. I’ll go back and show it to them too.

There! The pull. Please take me there again.

I see it! The darkness of the water breaks. Slivers of light brighter than I have ever seen before dance across. Endlessly this dancing veil of light spreads above me. It’s so so…

It’s beautiful.

I still feel the pull. This time it’s stronger. Holds me back. The sky lies just beyond. Just let me go. Let me see it!

I’m still floating. Is this the end?

I’m falling! The waters rushing away from me! It’s letting me go. I see the sky. Wait. Now I’m not falling anymore. Something firm is holding me up. Not water.

Light. There’s so much light. I’m still. I can’t move. The sky lies above me but what lies beneath? Could it be? Is this… land?

Everything feels so different. I feel warm. It reminds me of her. The warmth. I see new colours in abundance. There’s so much... life, here. Everything feels so alive, so vibrant. She should have been here. Our children could live in this wonderful world. We could all leave the Reef, and come here.

But why am I finding it so hard to breathe. Like there is too much surrounding me and I can’t take it in. I want to float, dive, swim but the sky can’t hold my feeble body up.

This is the new world. I know it. I know she will be happy here. Our children will roam these strange plains. They will hold themselves up. Soak in the tremendous vitality of the sky. They will leave the waters behind and find their place on the land. I can see it so clearly in my head.

Ah! I really can’t breathe now.

I found it!

Everything is a haze. It’s getting… it’s getting very… warm.

I know I’ve found it!

This- is the end.

And he knew, it was but, only a beginning.

To a son many stories away

The secret is finally revealed.

He creates a new world,

Where for generations after him

His people will live.


How did you like the boss’ speech today eh?


Hundred years since our grandfathers moved into this Valley! Amazing huh?


Not bad… My dad used to tell me about how our family moved here and began working in the fucking quarry. The company had made some grand promises then. They all came in hope of a better life. Those were the good ole days. Hah! Look what’s left of us! Bloody hell… what about you? Did your family come in after the depression as well?


Oh yeah! I saw your old man’s name registered in the old employee list. He died in the quarry didn’t he? So sorry. What about your grandpa? Taxi! One sec- Taxi! South extension? Yeah.You need a lift?

Uh… no thank you sir.


Yes sir. The bus will be here in a bit.

Ok then… see you Monday.

Number 42. I get on to the same bus every evening. From the same stop. At exactly the same time. Every weekday for the last twenty years.

6:25. As always. It screeches to a stop. Bloody obnoxious prick of a boss. I get on. No window seat. Again.

It’s getting hotter everyday. Where the hell did I keep that handkerchief? Ah! There! K.W.S.- my initials. Embroidered on neatly by her. That’s the picture of her that will always stay with me. Sitting by the window. Hair tied back loosely. A few strands falling on her face. Bent over her work. Sometimes a pillow cover, a tablemat, a blouse. Her needle swiftly flying in and out of the fabric. She realizes I’m watching her and smiles. Hell she doesn’t deserve a screwed up asshole like me.

Shit! Ah my head!

The bus stopped suddenly. I went flying. Hit my head. Shit!

But she’s such a drag. Like she’s dead or something. I hit her and she just sits there. I scream, I curse and she just… sits there! What happened to the spirited girl I had fallen in love with? She’s dead! She’s so fucking dead. Aah! Why? Why? Why why why? I hate the puny bitch.

My stop. I get off. Home’s five minutes away.

He walked through what once used to be the heart of the city. The early migrants had settled here. After years of economic depression and political struggle they had hoped that migrating to the Valley would help them start afresh. It was a new world- full of opportunities. Those first few years were so perfect. There was plenty of money, the city was beautifully planned, the business at the quarry flourished. Everyone was happier now than they had been ever before.

But it was short-lived. As more and more people moved to the valley- the horrors of the past surfaced again. There was no money, no food. Crime and corruption crept in. the city spilled out of its boundaries- dingy lanes replacing wide avenues, shanties instead of grand bungalows. The streets became unsafe.

Damn! The streetlights are off again. I refuse to file another freaking complaint. Somebody should shoot the dimwits over at the corporation. Bloody sitting on their asses!

Why is everything falling apart? Things at work… this place…damn, even things at home. We barely talk anymore. She says nothing. I just scream and shout my lungs out. Why doesn’t she say anything? It’s like she’s dead. Like I’ve killed her. Why can’t I just stop? I can. Right? But why can’t she stop me. Why does she have to take my shit! She’s so spineless, so lifeless. I could kill her.

I couldn’t. I have loved her too much. But if she could just give me a reason… if I could just … love her again. Everything would be fine. Everything would be fine.

Number 74B. Home.

Inside he heard him knock. Ma! Dad’s back! He goes into his room and slams the door shut. Fuck! If he loses it again I’m going to… Fuck!

Why does he have to screw our happiness? How does she take it? She never cries, never shouts back, she’s so so strong. We should leave. Just walk out while we are still sane. Before he breaks her.

He turns the music up. Shuts everything out.

One sec!

Bang! Bang!

She quickly tries to finish the pattern. Fumbles as she ties the knot.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

She pushes the needle into the pincushion and runs to the door.

Hi. How was work?



Why the hell did you take so long to open the door?

She walks into the kitchen.

What? What were you doing woman?

He walks into their room. Her work is lying on the bed- spools of thread, needles tucked away, a blouse with the beginnings of a flower pattern.

He picks it up, walks to the kitchen and shoves it in her face.

Is this all you can do? Is this what you were busy doing while I was waiting at the door? Have you seen yourself? You’re a fucking hag! I work all day to support this family and all you do is bloody needlework! You’re useless! You hear me? You. Are. Useless!

He threw it down and walked away. She could hear the sound of the shower. The same thing happened each time. The sound of the shower. The faint sound of music from her son’s room. And she? Alone. Drowning in her silence.

I take it all, don’t I? I mean what more can he want from me? I’ve never complained. What more can I give him? What more does he want? I don’t know. I don’t know! What more…

Every time I hope. I pray that everything will be normal again. Not wonderful. Not perfect. Just normal.

She picked up the blouse and slowly pulled it apart. She watched it rip through the middle. She walked slowly to her room, opened the cupboard. One by one she took out everything she had made.

Pull and rip. The torn fabric piled up at her feet.

Pull and rip. Blouses, blankets, hankies, eiderdowns, pillow covers, napkins, mats.

Pull and rip. The sound of the shower. Pull and rip. Music in the background.

She picked up the scissor and ran it through the curtains. She moved from one room to the next.

She pulled out one book after another and ripped out the pages. The paper scattered everywhere.

The shower always helped him cool down. The sound of the gushing water blocked every thing out. He had done it again. When he had sworn not to. It was up to him to put an end to it. But he had screwed up again. Again!

I just want everything to be normal. Not wonderful. Not perfect. Just normal.

The sound of the shower seemed to calm him down.

Pull and rip. The shower stopped. She held her breath. He stepped out.

What the hell is going on!

She looked back at him blankly.

What have you done? Have you lost your bloody mind! You bitch! I’m going to kill you!

He ran towards her and threw her against the wall.

She looked up at him. He raised her hand- ready to strike her down. But for the first time he saw tears in her eyes. He stepped back slowly, looking straight at her. Stumbling.

The music stopped. But they didn’t notice. Behind them a door opened slightly. Quietly he looked through the crack. What the fuck is going on! What has happened? Is Ma dead? Did he kill her? No. She’s alive. She’s crying? But... but she never cries. She never cries.

He shut himself in again. The music started, louder this time.

I’m just trying to disappear. That what you want, don’t you? You want me to erase myself from your life. Right? Well… that’s what I’m trying… that’s what I’m trying to do. You sick sonovabitch! She screamed out.

They looked at each other in silence.

What have I done?

What have I done?

Things can be normal again. I know it can.

Everything will be normal again. It has to be.

And just like that- it happened.

He sat down beside her and put his head on her lap. She bent over and kissed him, her tears streaming into his hair. And slowly, softly they began talking.

A new world full of promises

Slowly starts to die.

But amidst the chaos

Man and woman, together

Find the secret.

It helps them survive.


Mom. Dad.

I had to leave. And I’m never coming back.

This place is a hell house.

Don’t try looking for me.

They found his note on the dining table the next morning.

Angry, lost, confused,

Their son choses a different path.

He starts a new story,

And shapes the world’s



News flash!

In a historic move the World Council has decided to invite the leader of the Rebellion to a special Session of Parliament. The members of the WC Governing Body are hoping that this will end the eight-year political struggle between the establishment and the rebel group. They will also address the accusations of corruption made by the Rebellion against forty-six members of the WCGB…

I was in my room at the Rebel Headquarters that evening. Waiting nervously for the news. What had happened at the Parliament Session? Had they agreed to put those bastards behind bars? They have to. They can’t ignore the corruption that has seeped into their establishment forever. Everyone knows the truth. The whole world is on our side. But they’re so bloody brainwashed, bunch of cowards. Shit! Before it’s too late… shit!

I was writing in my diary when she barged in. I had never seen her look that way.

They’re dead! My parents!


He killed them!

What? Who?

The bloody sonovabitch! He killed them! Shot them down! I would have killed him by now if he hadn’t killed himself! Coward!

Calm down darling.



Don’t tell me to fucking relax! He killed them!

What are you saying? Just tell me what happened.

Your best friend. He’s ‘like a brother’ to you right? I told you he was up to no good. ‘A brother’! Murderer! He fucking shot my parents!

What! When? How?

The much-anticipated Session of Parliament ended in violence last evening when an unidentified member of the Rebellion shot two members of the WCGB, killing them immediately. He then shot himself in the head. The session was nearing an inconclusive end when a few members of the rebel group got agitated and accused the entire Governing Body of being senile starting a shouting match between the two parties. Suddenly three shots were heard from the crowd…

We were driving back from the funeral. I tried to make conversation but I could make out she didn’t feel like talking. I knew she blamed me for what had happened.

“They were the nicest people I have known. They were the ones who made me believe that I had the right to fight for a better world. They chose to do this by serving the World Council. But they let me chose my own battle and supported my decision to join the Rebellion. Sorry Ma. Sorry Pa. I let you down. I didn’t mean to, but I let you down. I miss you. And it’s my fault. I miss you so much…”

Then she broke down.

My ma and pa. I don’t remember ever missing them. When I left home I vowed never to return. I hated them. I hated them. I hated the fact that the rest of the world loved them. I hated being my father’s son. My mother’s little boy.

But most of all I hated the way they fought. Behind their glorious public lives as Heads of the grand WCGB they had horrible, secret, private lives. They hated each other. They acted like complete strangers at home. They never had any time for each other. For me.

That’s why I left. That’s why I joined the Rebellion. I wanted to destroy everything they sought to protect. I didn’t care that they were the few people on the Council who wanted the same things we did, who were honest and were tired of the corruption they saw around them. I didn’t care! I just wanted to destroy them- make them powerless.

I was foolish. I was. But that doesn’t change anything.

I reached out and held her hand. Ei… it’ll be all right.

No. You don’t understand. I killed my parents.

Ya. I can’t ever begin to understand… I’ve never been in your position. But…

You have. You killed your parents the day you left. But you felt nothing. Your heartless. That’s why you can’t even begin to understand.

… Their daughter, an active member of the Rebellion, attended their funeral. There were over five thousand people outside the crematorium who had come to offer their condolences…

… The WC is using this tragic incident to win back the people’s sympathies. Several members have promised the people that the assassination of their favourite leaders will not be tolerated and that immediate action will be taken against this new face of terrorism.

… International Army has been sanctioned by the WC to round up all the terrorists and ‘smoke them out’ of their hideouts. The army has already bombed several areas in the northern part of the Capital where the Headquarters are believed to be located. Some areas have been razed to the ground. Food and water supplies have been cut off. Death count on the rise.

Sir, our people are anxious. They want an audience with you.


I was distracted; I barely heard what he said.



They need you.

All right. Give me five minutes.

I didn’t know how to face the people. I had nothing to say to them. I mean what can I say to people who have lost their homes and families because of me. That I’m sorry? Hah! Sorry! Sorry your daughter died. Sorry you have nothing left to live for. Sorry I can’t help you.

They look up to us to lead them. Now half of ours dead, some have fled. The rest of us? Lofty Rebel leaders have been reduced to terrorists!

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. We were supposed fight with our intellect not resort to crude guns and bombs. We were fighting as equals, dammit! Now we are petty criminals. With blood on our hands.

Sir. They are waiting.


Thank you sir.

Wait. Where is she?

Who, sir?

Has she left?

Oh. Yes sir. She left last night. Sir?


May I suggest something? Wouldn’t it be helpful to approach your parents now? After all…

That’ll be all.

Oh- ok sir.

Terrorist troops have attacked the capital from all sides threatening to destroy the city unless the army is withdrawn from the northern areas. Fighting has broken out throughout the Seven Nations. The WC has refused to back down resulting in a drastic increase of terrorist insurgencies throughout the world. It seems like the tension that was building up ever since the start of the Rebellion has now exploded uncontrollably and is threatening to destroy the world.

“ We beg you to stop. We beg you to surrender. For the sake of our world”, said former Head of the WCGB…

I was sitting in my room at the Headquarters when I read this article. The only sanctuary that seemed to be left in this ravaged world.

I cut it out and opened the drawer. Keeping it away with the hundreds of other articles. I had been collecting since the day I left home. Any tiny report that even mentioned my parents found a place in this drawer. Ma at charity meet, addressing the parliament, Pa’s thoughts on new-age opera, his International Unity Day speech- everything.

I used to collect them because I wanted to analyze their every move. Plan how to destroy them completely.

‘I’ll never miss them’ I proudly told myself. I don’t need them. I’ll never be like them.

But that was the day I realized I really did miss them. I did need them. And that I am, and always had been, exactly like them.

That night I went home. I found myself at the front door in the wee hours of the morning. But I couldn’t get myself to ring the bell. I stood at the front porch like I was waiting for it to open. The place seemed to be frozen in time. Nothing had changed. Even my bicycle was parked at the same spot. Which meant that at five thirty ma would open the door to keep the flowerpots out.

I waited.

She recognized me immediately.


She stopped.

Help me with this pot, will you? She finally said. And we both started laughing. And crying.

I’ve come to do whatever it takes to set things right. A new beginning.

Pa, everything is about to be destroyed. The world as we know it is being ripped apart. I know we can do something. Together.

I couldn’t stop ranting.

I can’t sit back and watch. People are dying. There is so much hate. It’s madness. It makes me want to scream… ma…


Pa… you…


We understand, son.

But now you have to understand.

What? Understand what? Do you know what we can do? How we can help?

Son you have to understand that often the end is the only beginning.

I don’t under…

Listen. We have to end this world if we have to start a new one.

What! You mean kill everyone and… And then what? Nuclear war? Transport two of each species to another planet on Noah’s ark? What? How are we even saving people?

Death is not as final, or as terrible as it seems.

So we start a genocide?

No son, you have to believe us. You must believe in it.

In what ma? Pa?

Believe it is possible to change the world, by believing you can. Possible to start a new world, by believing you can. Possible to transcend above this world into new spaces. Possible that destruction can also mean creation.

They were sitting across me, at the breakfast table when they said these words. Ma reached out and held my hand. And just like that they disappeared. Vanished. Poof! Into thin air.

Former Heads of WCGB missing! All evidence points to assassination by their son, a Rebel leader.

The news of the disappearance has pushed a world already in turmoil into a state of complete chaos. Everyone is waiting with bated breadth for the trial to be held tomorrow. Many feel that if he is proved guilty the terrorists will suffer a major setback and be forced to withdraw…

It would be my turn to testify soon. The world was watching. What would I say? I don’t know what happened myself. Magic? Did they die and become stars in the sky? Was it an illusion? A hoax? Vanishing cloaks or some such shit? What had happened that morning?

I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

But what is the truth?

Your Honor. Umm…

That’s when I chose to believe. I spoke out. And hoped that the world would believe me.

“You have to believe that often the end is the only beginning.”

Somehow, I knew they believed me.

He’s gone! Where did he go?

The whole world saw him disappear. His last words echoed in their minds. Believe… the end… the only beginning.

And that was how the world disappeared. It ended. But if you believe in it, you know, that was really how the world began.

A lost son finds his way home again.

His story ends here,

But begins anew

Many many stories away.


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