This is my first one. Wrote it sometime in December'09. Never thought I would put it up. But what the heck...
"Why does time slow down like this?" he thought to himself.
The breeze was a bit cooler that night. His mind wasn't. He wanted to calm down. Why was it taking so long? 'Patience' he told himself. Everything will be as it is meant to be. He decided to stand up and just feel the breeze brush against his face. The purity of air gushing into his lungs made him want a cigarette. He sat down holding on to an iron bar which was firmly drilled into the concrete. His hands were trembling. He lit a cigarette somehow managing to hold the match against the breeze. The smoke made him feel better; it gave him the much needed patience.
The nicotine laced blood was calming him down. He relaxed and in the last moments of his life on earth, he looked back.
"Are the last few moments of life always spent in thought? Maybe they are when you know you are going to die. Otherwise, you would be living your thoughtless life and die just suddenly without even getting time to look back at what you have done. But I will not take death like that. I want to feel death in all its glory taking over my life. I want my death to be as purposeful as my life.
I still remember the day when I left home. At 7, I was over. My family was dead, killed by some racist who thought that we were a disgrace to the village. I ran away to my cousins in the nearest town. But my mind stayed there. I knew what had to be done.
They put me in a school. The brainwash of education with its biased view of history, the restrictive mathematics and the fake science was all that I had after 19 years of existence. What a waste! Spending the most critical years of my life being brainwashed by fools in a government school, whose passionless efforts to thrust down the so called 'education' into my soft mind were sadistic more than anything else. It was what the world called necessary education. Sheep follow the shepherd with blind belief that he would take them to greener pastures. Little do they know that they might be heading towards their death at the hands of a butcher. I knew better. I wasn't a sheep. I knew what had to be done.
I ran, I ran towards myself, towards the real me who stood behind the walls built by the fake world. When I broke through those walls to find myself, I was surprised. I wasn't what I had expected myself to be. I looked at myself and saw a bleeding soul, wanting to finish it all off and take it down once and for all. I saw myself as a soul tortured by the vanity of the world he was in. The walls had made me weak. This has to end. Before I could think any more I merged with myself. We felt strong, and we had found a purpose for life... and a purpose for death. We knew what had to be done.
Mumbai was like a human anthill. I was one of the million ants, living in a tiny hole. There were big decorated holes, sea facing holes, holes next to the airport or glorified holes called apartments in societies. At the end they were just one of the million holes in the ever decreasing space in the megacity. The hole I lived in was very tiny. My job as a waiter at the canteen of a research facility paid me just enough to cover my living expenses. The lab was quite advanced and the doctors working there were some of the best minds in the country. The canteen owner, an old fool, he was least bothered about me and my background. To him I was cheap labour. It was good that he did not care. I needed the cover.
I worked for 9 hours a day and studied in the library there for another 6. The subjects I studied made a lot of sense. Something that I was looking for since childhood; relevant subjects written well. Every subject took me into the depths of philosophy, science and human origin. I learnt what kind of research was being done at the lab. My interest passed all barriers and I became more focussed towards my goal. I was brain storming while serving tea, solving an equation while counting money and reading a doctor's essay in my mind when asleep. Slowly every aspect of my life was taken over by it. The first decision I ever took for myself was to leave home and come here, and it was turning out to be the best decision ever.
It was the 12th of September 2012, nearly 3 years since I came to the lab. What happened next was uncalled for. I did not need it. I was a fucking waiter for God's sake! I was the scum. I serve, and that's all I can do to make a living. Why would anyone ever want to talk to me about anything beyond the day's menu?
"What's your name?" her voice was very irritating. It had that shrill sound of genuine concern.
"Shiva" I said and walked away.
"Wait!" she said but I was at a safe distance away from her to make her feel she wasn't heard.
That night I hated myself. How could I lose control like this? I have never felt so vulnerable in life. What does she want? It had to stop. But I didn't know how. Now when I look back I think there was a part of me which wanted her to talk to me. But it was masked by the blindness of reason. I was soon to realise that rationale is just a facade; the human mind is emotional and weak. It breaks with something as small as a tear in the eye or a smile on the face.
Every day she was sat at that same table. Her eyes followed me everywhere in the canteen, and I felt like she could hear everything that was going on inside my head. I couldn't run anymore. We spoke again after some days, and then again and again. Her voice used to kill me. Every time I spoke to her, I felt a bit of me die and a bit of me reborn. Finally, one day I told her to not meet me. She said she will wait for me. I told her the wait would be futile. She looked into my eyes and I was puzzled by her calmness. She came close and whispered in my ear, "I know you are sick. But I can cure you. Give me just one chance." I slapped her hard across the face and walked out.
She did not meet me after that. I missed her, but I knew it was for the best. I could feel myself slowly recuperating from her pain, but there was something about her stuck in my head and it refused to leave.
10th December 2012
Everyday starting from that day, I decided to count down. It's easier to organise yourself when you know that time is running out. You run the fastest when your tail is on fire. So if you think you are not running fast enough, just set your tail on fire.
I lost all my sleep. I could keep my eyes closed but couldn't shut down my brain. Insomnia can exert great pressure on your body and mind. Stress is the food which insomnia feeds on, and in my case, stress was all that I had in my life. The human body reacts to stress like it would react to a predator, releasing chemicals in the brain that would keep you on your toes and ready to fight. The brain expects that the threat or stress would be resolved very soon, so it pushes the muscles harder and harder. So, if the stress doesn't resolve, Insomnia sets in. I stayed up every night with my eyes closed.
The access to the nuclear laboratory was highly restricted. I had to get in there very soon.
21st December 2012
He was a very strange guy. His hair stuck to his skull like it was held down by the gravity from his brain. His face was large, and his body small. He looked like a caricature of himself. I had never seen him to talk to anyone at all. I had heard from people that he would win a Nobel someday. His life was inside that lab and very few knew what he was doing inside there. I was one the very few.
The house was located around half a mile from the main facility. At 2 in the morning, the only things moving on that road to his house were me and my shadow. But something was wrong. Remember that feeling you have that you are not alone, I was losing my mind! I looked back, but the road was empty. I ran, as fast as I could. His house stood there in the darkness, rising like a white block of snow.
I gathered my breath. I had to stop my hands from trembling. The door was not locked. I entered, my hands still trembling. His bedroom was easy to locate as the fan was making quite some noise in the otherwise silent house. His face was really big. My trembling hands strapped the chloroform filled cloth on his nose. He did not react at all. Shit! How do I even know he's out? But I had to take the chance. If he wasn't out, I would have to kill him. I pulled out his hand from under his head. My hands were trembling all the more now. I took another deep breath and one sharp stroke chopped of his thumb. He did not move. I took out the bandage from my pocket and wrapped up the wound as tightly as I could. I did not want him to die of excessive bleeding. I picked up his key card from the side table and ran.
It was 2.45 AM. The blood from his thumb was making me sick. I wanted to open the door and throw away that piece of flesh before I passed out of nausea. The finger print reader blinked green, and the door opened. I was the man who now controlled the fate of Mumbai. It weighed more than a 100 kilos. It was placed on its trolley. I walked out pulling the beast behind me. My hands were not trembling any more. I had finished the first phase.
It was 3.30 AM and I was more awake than ever before. I walked out dragging the bomb with me and passed the security guard whose blood now was thick on the floor. He had been easy to deal with. I guess you tend to blindly trust the person who feeds you every day, just like sheep. He was just another sheep, who had to die a few hours before the rest of the city.
I pushed the trolley up the inclined board into the back of the Jeep. Dragging 100 kilos up was as difficult as I had thought it would be. I climbed in and drove away. The main gate was guarded by 2 security men. But, they were sheep too. They were sleeping. I opened the gate quietly, and drove away into the night.
That feeling again... Was someone following me? I drove fast, to leave whoever it was, far behind. But the feeling stayed. I was losing my mind. On that cold night, I was sweating. It was 5.00 AM. I was there standing below the 'to be tallest building' in the city. The lifts used by the construction workers in the back were the ones which went up to the topmost floor. One of them was kept operational at all times for safety reasons.
I am the bad guy. I chose to be the bad guy. What is good and what is bad? It's all very relative. Think about it, good and bad just two views relatively opposite to each other. If there is no bad, how can there be any good? Just like there cannot be any construction if there is no destruction. I want to be the destructor. Just like Lord Shiva, who opens his third eye and annihilates everything that he sees, just to give rise to a new beginning. I want to do that. I want to hit Reset.
He snapped out of his thoughts. He had finished his cigarette. The timer on the bomb read 25 minutes. He just sat there with an empty mind. He was the one who was going to make the prophecy come true. On 21st December 2012, his world would be sent back to Stone Age.
Suddenly, it started raining. Every heavy drop lashing onto his body was giving him immense hope. Or was it pleasure? Maybe it was just relief. He didn't want to think about it. Sitting on the top of the tallest skyscraper in Mumbai, Shiva was looking down at the entire city. What a moment! He had imagined this very scene everyday for the past 3 years. 3 years of his life, everything had gone as planned; now was the climax, fitting in perfectly. It felt like God, sitting on top of the world, watching it crumble.
The lift went down. He sprang up from the parapet and ran to see who was trying to come up. But it was still dark .He stood with his back on the right side pillar with his knife in his hand. No one was going to stop him now. His breath was muffled. He tried to keep up his weary mind. It was just a matter of a few minutes, but those last few minutes were turning out to be the longest.
The lift stopped with a jerk. He turned and dashed into it. He looked inside the lift and almost immediately he felt weak. He was scared. He tried to run out of the lift but he tripped and fell down. His eyes were red, and he felt like screaming. But he couldn't. Backed up against a pillar, he was looking dumbstruck at that figure coming towards him.
He felt her eyes penetrate his soul. Her face was calm. In that early morning light, she was shining brilliant. What was she doing here? 'I am just hallucinating. This happens. She isn't here.' He thought to himself but in vain. She put her hand on his and sat next to him.
"How much time do we have?" her voice had a disturbing peace in it.
He wanted to respond but the words were just not coming out. Finally with all his might he blurted out "8 minutes".
"I just wanted one chance to set things right" She managed a smile. "But anyways, I would have hated dying alone. Now I have you. You will be with me when I die. You will help me die."
He was numb until she put her head on his shoulder. He felt her soft hair touch him. A tear rolled down her cheek and touched his shoulder. Her hand on his hand felt warm. He was hypnotised by that feeling, something that he had never felt in his life. The lump in his throat was growing. He put one hand around her and held her. His mind was calming down again.
The lump in his throat burst out finally and tears rolled down his cheeks. She looked at him and wiped off his tears. Then, she kissed him.
He opened his eyes as she pulled away. Suddenly he felt something hit him in the stomach. He sprang up and ran to see the timer on the bomb.
He stood there helpless. Disarming that device would take him a few minutes, and he did not have the time.
The best decision of his life, the goal of his life, had gone bust. He could see his soul laughing at him. Now, he wanted to live. He wanted to be with her, right there in the vanity of this Earth. His rationale and reason for life had all fallen apart. She looked into his eyes and at that moment she knew what he was feeling. She came close to him and whispered "Life has just begun." Then she hugged him tight.
There was a noise that was beyond human comprehension. They felt the eruption tear just for that obscure iota of time. For them that little spec of time was eternity.