Wednesday, August 15, 2012

METAMORPHOSIS - A Story for Independence Day

Short Fiction - A Story for Independence Day

From my Creative Writing Archives: On the occasion of our 65th Independence Day, here is a story I wrote a few years ago ... simple, patriotic ... do tell me if you liked it ...

"How was your day?" she asks.

"Terrible," he says.
"Everything is rotten out here! This country is going to the dogs because of this bloody corruption! They must do something about it."

"They? What they? Who is this 'they'?"

"I don't know. And I don't care, because I am getting out of here once and for all."

"Sanjiv, come on, how can you be so sure things are better out there?  At least here, in our country, we are treated properly."

"Treated properly? My foot! Only the corrupt and powerful, the rich and wealthy, are having a ball. If you're honest, life is hell. They treat you like dirt. But one thing is sure. Once I'm an NRI, I'll be treated better. Look at way they pamper these NRI chaps ' the top jobs, the dough, the recognition, the honors. It is pathetic, the way we put them on a pedestal - they enjoy best of both worlds and we even bestow them with all sorts of accolades and awards!"

"What rubbish! They must have done something for the country."

"Oh, yeah! Sure. But which country? All they've done is make money for the company they work for over there, earned glory for themselves. But what have they done for India?"
"Come on, don't be so bitter. Just forget all this Sanjiv and think positively; you've got a chance to stay here and do something, haven't you? Sanjiv. Don't go. Please!"

"Don't go? Please? Come on, Nalini. What's wrong with you? Why the hell should I stay here?"
"The IAS is the best thing in the world." 

"Oh yeah! Tell me. What's so great about rotting away in some back of the beyond town like Jhumri Talaiya, or Beed, or Marwar Mundwa, which you only hear about on Vividh Bharati?"

"Come off it, it's not all that bad."

"And the bloody groveling and kowtowing the powers that be all your life?"

"The pay, the perks. "
"Pay, Perks? What are you talking about? I've told you about the mind-boggling amount I'm going to get out there, haven't I?"

"So it's Seattle, not Mussoorie?"

"Yes. It's final. I've nothing left here now."

"Nothing?" tears start to well up in her eyes.

He puts his arms around her and says, "Please Nalini don't make it difficult for me."

"I'm thirsty. Come, let's have some chilled milk."
Hand in hand, the man and the woman cross Marine Drive, and amble to the Jai Jawan stall, and order some chilled milk.
Suddenly a cop arrives, bangs his lathi on the counter and shouts rudely at the old man inside the stall, "Abe Saale, Hafta kyon nahi deta?"
"I am a war veteran disabled soldier," the jawan says proudly stamping his crutch on the ground in anger.
"So what? Just pay up, you one-legged cripple, or I'll shove that crutch up your... "

Something suddenly snaps inside Sanjiv and he is filled with rage. He suddenly turns, catches the cop's collar, shoves him roughly, and shouts, "Just get out "
The stunned cop slowly recovers, talks on his cell phone, and within seconds a police jeep appears and they are all whisked away to the police station.

"Saale," the inspector says menacingly, "assaulting a policeman on duty... "

"Sir," a constable interrupts, "we found this in his pocket."

He hands a paper to the inspector.
The inspector reads it, looks at Sanjiv, and goes inside to his superior's office. They discuss and reach a conclusion. There is no point taking punga with IAS types, even if he is just going to be a probationer.
"You are going to be IAS. You shouldn't do these things," the inspector says politely to Sanjiv. The cop undergoes a total metamorphosis in his demeanor and sends his jeep to drop them back at the Jai Jawan Stall on Marine Drive.
"Thank you, saab. We need young people like you to sort things out," the soldier at the Jai Jawan says gratefully, as they sip the deliciously soothing chilled milk.

"Hey, let's watch sunset," Nalini says.

They cross Marine Drive, run to the parapet and watch the breathtakingly beautiful spectacle as the tranquil blue sea begins to swallow the orange ball and the crimson rays dancing in the sky slowly dissolve into twilight.
"Your last sunset in India, isn't it?" she says, tears in her eyes.
He takes her in his arms, and they kiss, slow and prolonged, as if it were there first and last kiss.

And when it is finally over, he looks into her eyes and says, "Nalini, I am not going there. I have decided to stay here...where I belong...join the IAS and do something for my country and my people..."
"Really...? Why...? What happened...?" Nalini exults in incredulous delight.
Sanjiv does not answer. He looks into Nalini's eyes, then he tenderly puts his arm around her and together they watch the awesome metamorphosis at sunset. 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this story?
I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


Sriram said...

A little anger and the fire to change the country and we could see a better India. Wonderful story :).

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Sriram - I agree

Unknown said...

Really- Its us, just us who can change India...only thing needed is a slight alteration of our attitudes