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Sunday, 27 March 2016

The First Consequence, A very short story by HAC

“It wasn’t really a great idea to invite me over for a drink right after your break up this evening.” She placed the bottle on the coffee table and comforted him with a hug.

He looked pissed, still hugged back, trying to be cheerful.

“What happened to your eyes? Someone made you cry or didn’t sleep last night?” he seemed really concerned. “I am extremely sorry, I didn’t know you were in such a bad state, else I wouldn’t have called you.”

She opened the bottle in response. She was too tired of answering people, when they already knew it. “Let me bring the glasses,” he excused himself, noticing she didn’t want to answer. He came back with ice, two glasses, and snacks.

“Since when you started to drink it neat?” he questioned, seeing her putting no soda or water in it.

“Since the day my boyfriend started behaving like a real d*ck,” the glasses were clinched and she found her throat burn, as she emptied it.

“Don’t remind me of my girlfriend,” he gulped down his sorrows too and corrected himself, “Ex-girlfriend.”

“Why people fall in love? It was really a stupid idea to make him my boyfriend. We were good as friends.” It was a long conversation and the bottle was almost empty by then.

“They fall in love because they are unaware of the consequences,” he kissed her out of nowhere. Their lips met, and she kissed back. Alcohol here was to be blamed.

“And, what are those consequences?” she broke the kiss only to kiss him again.

“If we were aware of them we would never fall for each other repeatedly,” the glass fell off the table as she leaned over him and lay on his chest.

“I’m sorry for pissing you off,” she finally said.

“I’m sorry for making you cry,” he too didn’t keep her sorry for too long.

They both slept right there on the couch. It was the most comfortable nap for both of them. “We can never fall out of love buddy,” she blabbered before surrendering her mind to sleep completely.


“The first consequence,” he closed his eyes and disposed a sigh of relief.

-Himanshu Appie Chhabra
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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Grenades and Soap Bubbles, A short story by HAC

“The fault in our stars,” he chuckled. She looked at him as a murderer of the moment and went back to reading. Their flight was delayed, while he was getting bored, she almost drowned in her book.
“I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up,” he disturbed her again with a quote from the book and waited for her to complete it.

“And I would like to minimize the causalities, Okay?” she completed it with a smile.

“Okay,” he smiled back.

“I didn’t know you had this quote still in your skull, what else do you remember?” he has her full attention.

“I remember that no one told Hazel Grace that she was not a grenade, instead she was a soap bubble,” he chipped wafers in his mouth.

She waited for him to explain. He didn’t. But kept looking at her.

She gave it a thought and put her opinion on it “Soap bubble? Yeah! I guess. She surely short-lived but didn’t hurt anyone. Like a soap bubble, she floated through everyone’s life and spread happiness. Everyone around her carried the same spark in their eyes that one can see in a kid’s eyes, laughing and clapping at a soap bubble,” she closed the book and ran her fingers on the cover, as if feeling it.

“No, I meant somebody blew through her mother to bring her into life,” he laughed. “But you make sense too.”


She laughed with him, and declared him a total jerk. Totally unaware of the fact that he had seen her cry while reading the book. And, he chose to be a boy first that could make her smile with lame jokes before being a man who could comfort her in his arms and wipe her tears off. Because, wiping off tears is soothing, but making her believe that tears do not exist… is a whole new story. 

-Himanshu Appie Chhabra
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Thursday, 11 February 2016

'SNOW BURIED PROMISES' A tribute to the martyrs of Siachen Avalanche.

More than anything else, the promise was to come back.
But up there, the mountains had different plans. They moved, as the unforgivable snow came sweeping down the terrain in threatening waves, shrouding the brave lives with a cold jacket of death. However, they stayed just like that – meeting death in its eye below the frozen earth; crushed by the snow; blood slowly ceasing in their limbs, as life kept company of their mangled bodies, no better than that last leaf on a withered tree in storm. It was waiting, fighting and trying to live, even when death had long owned them. And I am sure it was nothing, absolutely nothing but their lonely will to survive, the power of the prayers their loved one’s muttered in devotion through every single day of their being away on the frozen mountains, purchasing peace with life and those promises above all, that kept dragging their gritty heart to its next possible thump.

The name itself rose terror – Siachen Glacier. 20,000 feet above earth, lost in snow, right up at the Line of Control between Indian and Pakistan, along the eastern Karakoram Range of the great Himalayas. A place where life is not programmed to survive and hence, any existence there in a temperature of -60, with the hopeless sky almost falling upon the icy blue mountains, came at the very mercy of death.

No sooner than the news of an Avalanche rocking Siachen was sent out, rescue teams, provided with every life supporting amenities were flown in to the land of devastation – deployed with the seemingly impossible task of recovering those trapped, fighting souls from under the enormous covering of concrete snow. As electronic saws and drills rattled the glacier, the Jawans united by the mad compassion of rescuing their fellow mates, it was only the frozen, lifelessness that, one after another, started to reach up their searching hands in the sea of cold.

Death had almost won and the promises all looked untrue; till on the sixth day, thirty feet in snow, life was found feebly pulsating in frozen veins. Military aircraft had then flown through blinding mist and that miracle survivor, Lance Naik Hanaman Thappa, was airlifted to RR Hospital in Delhi. What looked a futile search, a failed rescue operation till then, cutting through acres of ice round the clock atop one of the highest place in the world and finding brave heart Thappa down there, had suddenly brought the nation together in a sudden burst of joy. Not only was his extraction from 30 feet beneath the snow a magical, unbelievable effort by the rescue team, but also his being alive and the hopes for his survival, were just starting to be the much needed aid to the deep sadness of the death of all the other soldiers.

But at last death won. The iron soul succumbed. And sadness, like a pregnant wave, came rushing all the way from the mountains and closed upon the country in tears and shattered hopes. The blood, perhaps, had long became ice in his veins, but Naik’s heart continued to walk that extra mile. The bones sure had contracted to the point of crumbling, but the skin never fell off. And what really makes this possible, what really adds those extra hours to your existence when death had owned you, is nothing but the power love.

....If only love could breathe life back to the promises that all broke and died upon the mountains in snow. All the promise to be back home. To the familiar air of his village. To the moments of sitting together at meals with your loved ones. And to the playful trotting horse he became every time, Netra, his 2 year old daughter, propped up on his back.

© Sobhan Pramanik
‪#‎BraveHearts‬
‪#‎SiachenAvalanche‬
‪#‎RIP




[Write with us and get your stories, articles and poems featured here. Contact - iampurplepen@gmail.com]
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Thursday, 7 January 2016

PROHIBITED

'PROHIBITED'

Like wildlife reserves, even relations come with their own well demarcated, accessible and prohibited zones. There are these spaces where everyone is allowed. Every single soul, in their free, undisturbed roam can go wandering without any inhibition or even bothering to measure the consequences of their doings. Such spaces naturally come with an uncalled safety. There's really no one to probe you with the protectiveness of it all. Simply being
...there, letting yourself uncoil along the tide of your independent thoughts, you cannot help but feel immensely secured. And on the other hand there are these prohibited zones marked with red on your map, where we don't even desire to be present in person to feel the vulnerability. The very demarcation, the fact of being unguarded and above all, the fear in our heart, pursues our mind with an alacrity that manages to keep us away from such zones and their privacies forever intact.

I regret that I loved you from the accessible space in me. However, it really saddens me to absorb the idea of letting you into that region, coming right up close to my feelings. And just when I had my love plucked out of my heart, blossoming and fragrant and have kept it on your palm, hoping you would cherish it forever, the same way I did it for you, you closed your fingers and crushed those breathing petals. Killing me altogether.
But then, I also loved you enough to keep aside a prohibited zone for myself, where no one dared to venture. Not you. Not anyone. Up there in my protected solitude, where the most dangerous animals are believed to reside, my feelings wander free - untouched and true at its heart. And sometimes, when the fact of being killed by you on the outer spaces of my world becomes a regret, it is those very feelings in my heart that becomes those wild, feared animals that keeps the world at bay and you, tightly held against my chest.


[Write with us and get your stories, articles and poems featured here. Contact - iampurplepen@gmail.com]

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Saturday, 19 December 2015

Magician, A Short story by Himanshu Chhabra

“You are a charmer,” she said, curling up under my arm so that my hand rested on her head. She read an abstract from my laptop before concluding this statement.

Before I could give her a response, my mind stopped me to notice the beauty of how we were surrendered with the darkness and how she soaked all the light genesis out of my laptop screen. The light was evident of the intensity with which she was looking at me for the response.

“Magician to be precise,” I finally responded. With no clue why I said that, and what I was supposed to say next. She made herself more comfortable in my hold. And, in that particular marathon of second, I felt the glory of every new cell she touched on my skin and sadness of every cell she untouched. I felt my skin fragmented by the fragrance of her skin.
“I am a magician. Have you seen them doing their tricks? Have you seen how magic works? How they take all your attention to one irrelevant point and do something where your attention isn't. Same goes with me. I will look deep into your eyes, as if I will dig your soul out of them. I will neatly keep all your attention with my eyes. Your eyes quaffing mine and then I will put my palm on your waist. You will think that you got my trick. That I will do something with your waist. You will pretend that all your attention is in my eyes but your mind will secretly follow my moves on your waist. How limited I am with the way I touch you, soft and tranquil. And, I will do nothing. I will just hold you for a while and then move my hand away. You won’t have a clue that your heart isn’t there anymore. I would steal your heart with stillness of my eyes and coldness of my touch. That's how you will know that I am not a charmer but magician.

She smiled.

“I don’t believe you.” She folded my laptop and we were accompanied by complete darkness.

“You don’t believe what?” I asked.

She held my hand and placed it on her waist, “That your hand will land between my second base and the third base and you will pull it away.” She pressed her lips against mine.

She was right. I didn’t pull my hand away. (I won’t tell you where they went. Ummm… Abracadabra, they disappeared.) The magician was amused itself the way he was tricked by his own trick.



-Himanshu Appie Chhabra
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Monday, 7 December 2015

Snowflakes and Samar, Chapter-2 by Himanshu Chhabra

“I will manage, you just take care of her,” He told his grandfather and he smiled in return. He was visiting his grandparents after almost a year. He wasn’t a guy who would visit his tiny village every once in a while. There wasn’t any railway station nearby, not even a bus stand. However, there was just one bus stop that somehow managed to stop two or three buses a day.

He checked his wristwatch and did a few calculations in his mind. He still had time. On his way, he bought a box of strawberries and filled his water bottle from hand pump.  He had a thing for strawberries since first standard. He used to believe that they are candies and are manufactured in factories.

A breeze full of sand hit his face and he brought out his shades. He ate the red part of the strawberry and left the green leaves in the air. Sun wasn’t at its best, but was playing hide and seek with the clouds. The clouds were all grey and black.  It could rain any moment. He reached the bus stop and almost leaned on the pole.

A humming distracted his thoughts and he turned around to find a girl. Hair tied neatly on the back of her head, he could manage to see her face quite clearly. With depth of black kohl in her eyes and the glow of pink on her lips, her face grasped his sight for a long while. Her ears held earphones that river down her waist getting lost in her denim’s pocket.  His eyes traveled through the wire. She was beautiful.

He tried to get her attention by walking to the center of the road and looking far away to spot the bus. She ignored him completely.

He got some attention when it started to drizzle and he opened his umbrella. She plugged out her earphones and looked around for a shelter. There wasn’t any except the umbrella followed by an attention seeking stranger.

“Hi,” she tried to initiate a conversation.

“Hi,” He pulled out his shades. Shades in rain, not so cool.

“Can I?” She pointed at the umbrella and then at the sky.

He nodded.

“Thank you,” she said and ran to stand next to him. He looked at her from the corner of his eye. The beauty was magnified. She pulled out the rubber band from her wet hair and rolled it over her wrist.
“So, do you often come here to listen to the songs,” He looked into her eyes and smiled.

“No, actually I was going back home with my boyfriend. We had a little argument, it heated up a bit and he decided to push me out of his car. But, look he dropped me to a bus stop. How sweet of him,” She said sarcastically. She was all okay when she starting the sentence but was almost fuming when she completed it.

“Look at those clouds, how beautiful they are,” there were these dark grey clouds with silver linings, decorating the sky.  “These clouds are same as humans. Not always white, not always grey. 

Sometimes white, sometimes grey. And those who are grey, carry thunders along. They break into drops and fall sooner or later and become white again. Same is with human beings. They soak themselves with too much of feelings and emotions and become grey. They hold thunder in their hearts.  When they become too heavy, they break down into drops and fall.”

The cracks in sky become bigger and the size of drops grew. He look around and found a box generally used to transport fruits. He places it near the road and then look around to find a stick. He found one.

“Can I have your hair bands?” He asked as a few droplets manage to slide down his cheek and neck.

She rolled out hairbands from her wrist and passed them to him.

He pushed an end of the stick in the soil and tied the umbrella on the other. The box was tiny but was big enough to accommodate both of them. They sat down and he opened the box of strawberries. He offered her and she pulled out one from the box.

“You have got green eyes,” she bluntly sliced the strawberry into two pieces with her teeth.

“Wow, and you have got a pair of black eyes…” He picked one for himself.

“Black are usual, green eyes aren’t,” she ate the second half of the strawberry she was holding.

“If you look at it this way, everything here is unusual. I have hardly visited this place twice in my life time. Same goes for you. It’s the fifth day of January. Have you ever seen a rainfall in January? I never carry an umbrella. It belongs to my dad. They left it here last year. It was his favorite so I picked it to surprise him. Not even a single thing should be here right now. Still, we are here, having strawberries in heavy rain under a yellow umbrella.”

“What else is unusual?” She was still lost in her eyes.


“And… If I have a choice to mark things unusual. I would say your eyes are unusual. It’s incredible how I can distinguish the black color of your eyes with the rest of the black colors in the world. Your lips, they are unusual because I have never seen any lips and then the very next moment imagined what kind of impressions they leave on everything they touch.”

“Damn! You are good…” she blushed.

“I will call myself honest,” he chuckled and they both laughed together.

The conversations didn’t end that day. They missed the last bus. It stopped right there in front of them. It even waited for them to tag along. They didn’t. The sky was stuffed with clouds, but they were seeing the sunset of their lives.

*****

A yellow Volkswagen beetle stopped in front of her building and he dialed her number. He came there to pick her. They were visiting the same village, the same bus stop once again. She had chosen the day they met to be the first day out of the five days she got. However, nothing was going as per her plan. He was already down and she had no clue what to do. Everything she had planned now seemed impossible. One just can’t plan the unusual.


Her phone rang. She was too scared to take the call because if today she failed, there won’t be any beginning to their story. There won’t be any Snowflakes in summer. 

...to be continued...



-Himanshu Appie Chhabra

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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Snowflakes and Samar, Chapter-1 by Himanshu Chhabra

Snowflakes and Samar

The metro honked and paced out of the station. They were still standing there. With her sobs dying in his chest and tears surpassing the holes in his sweater, leaving salt spots on his soul. He filled the gap between his fingers with her hair and supported her head. Her little arms were trying hard to lock him in them. “ Don’t go,” she fisted his sweater with both hands and hugged him with all the energy left in the universe. 

She could feel his dim heartbeats one after the other. Until he decided to depart. His hands trailed off off her back and her eyes constantly pushed back the tear shores hitting the dryness of his eyelashes. The next metro was already there on the platform. He had to leave now.

“Please don’t go,” she screamed her heart out. The station echoed for a while.

“I Love you December…” His soul muttered. Yes, he was still in love with her. The love that was so pure that it refused to ski down his eyes.  However, there was no way it could last forever. There was no way Samar and winter could happen together. They were all opposite, always fighting with each other. He still remembered the day when he gave her this name. When he called her ‘December’ for the very first time. The day when Amber became December. He still remembered the exact words her said to her, “Amber, oh my December. You are the one where every season ends. You are the one always beside summer. No matter how many years pass by, we would still be there accompanying and always before and after each other. We are the seasons that control time, sunsets and sunrises. We are the seasons that make this world move upside down.”

He remembered a lot more than that. He remembered every breath they exhaled on each other’s skin. He remembered every whisper over the phone call, witnessed by so many nights still hidden somewhere beneath the blankets and pillows. He remembered every dress she wore. Every word she ever said, as well as every word she was about to say.   

The metro honked and he knew now was the time. He scooped up his bag and hung it on his shoulder. A door opened right in front of him and he left. He left without looking back at her. The last thing he could hear was a sentence badly wrapped with tears. “Please stay for one more day… Please.”

The metro started to move and soon he was out of her sight. She had lost him. Her cellphone that was already lying on the marble floor lightened up with a text.

Samar: We need to talk.’

She quickly picked up her cell phone and started to type a reply. However, sooner she realized that the text was sent an hour back. There was nothing left to talk about now.  An hour back, when things were different. An hour back, when they were still together, madly in love. An hour back, right before the moment that made them apart. An hour back, when the ‘Stay’ did not split into two words- ‘Don’t go’.

She fell down on the floor and stared at her cell phone screen for a while. All she could read was his name over and over again. His sweater was no longer there to soak her tears. They fell on after the other on the floor. All lonely and distant from each other. A stranger helped her to stand again and handled her bag and cellphone.

“Thank you,” she sobbed. The stranger was gone before she could thank him well.

“You want one day from me, and I can’t spend another day with you,” someone was standing right behind her. The voice was familiar. The fragrance was familiar. It was Samar.

“I want you to tell me five words.  The ones that could convey exactly what you are feeling right now. I don’t want sentence. I don’t want stanzas. I just want five words from you. And, in return I will give you something.”

She turned her head towards him and went completely blank for a while.  He always had this effect on her. He held the power to stop all her senses with just a blink of an eye. She wiped her tears and ran to hug him.

He stopped her. “Five words…” he said.

She stood still with tears in her eyes and finally spoke after a couple of seconds later. “Sorry… Love… Silver… Again… forever.”

She said the first five words that hit her mind. The feelings were conveyed. His mind filled the space around those words with more words. Words that formed sentences and stanzas. Words that couldn’t make him stay but made him say. “Five days… You have got five days. Not from the future, because I cannot see any future with you. Not from the present, because we are nowhere near each other in the present. I give you the power to spend five days with me from our past. Any five days that can make me fall in love with you again. Any five days that can make me stay. I promise I will behave like a person I was that day. There won’t be any adulteration in feelings from my end. Just try to make every moment count.”

He finished and started to walk towards the staircase. “And… don’t play it as a game. There is always someone who loses in games. And, you won’t want any of us to lose.”

He finally disappeared.


...to be continued...



-Himanshu Appie Chhabra


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