Archive for ink

The problem of empty ink bottle…

Posted in kahania with tags , , , , , , on September 12, 2009 by Naveen Bagalkot

This is short story – about 500 words, mostly inspired from the stories of Manto, that I wrote as an entry for a competition (500 word limit) last year. I just have changed the title…

It was a chilly December morning, when I spotted the young man hurrying across the dew infested pathway. As soon as I saw him, my tired sleepless eyes lit up; could this man help me?! He was hunched up, both with the fear of the physical surroundings and the December chill, and was literarily running to get away to his home as fast as possible. Ignoring this I mustered some strength and glided along the grass, rustling some leaves as I reached him. I held his shoulders and turned him around.  The first thing I noticed was sweat, maybe from his running or maybe from the fear one feels coming across the foggy blurred images that a cemetery creates in an early December morning. The sweat was pouring down his forehead along his brow and almost dropping into his eyes. Yet he made no effort to wipe this off – he stood frozen with his glassy eyes poring deep burrows through mine.

“Relax young man,” I said, “I am here seeking your help. I got to tell you something and it’s very rare that someone comes along this area at this point of time. You see, I never used to sneak unto people and bother them like this before; I had my journal to talk to. Well, its still there with me and also the pen with a golden nib, which my daughter had gifted. I loved to write, you see. I still do, but I can’t anymore! I have run out of ink and the stationary guy doesn’t understand that I need some ink! This is my first problem. The second problem is what has made the first one even more traumatic!  I wanted to write in that journal of mine to get some relief from my predicament and my inability to do so is weighing down upon me heavier than the tombstone! Hence I had to tell this to someone and you are here…”

Even though I noticed him getting more frigid and trying to wrestle out from my grip, I continued, not wanting to lose this chance of lifting that burden. “I am a Parsi and used to live in the Rehman Street. And after the riots last year,” As soon as he heard the word ‘riots’, I could sense a stroke of brilliance shine through his frozen eyes.  Poor chap, must have lost someone in those times, or  rather, as my sinister mind told me, must have killed some. I held him tighter with my bony hands and whispered, “After the riots last year, those stupid fools at the municipality buried me in this Muslim cemetery…”