The Tourist

After a brief pause, he opened his eyes and inhaled. He was soaking in all of the beauty. One look at the landscape around the river flowing across the village and his face lit up radiating all of it. This was a much-needed break. A solo trip before he got hitched next month. He pulled out his camera and fixed the lens.

Click, Click, Click, he went.

Just as he clicked, a few boys from the neighbouring tribal village ran up to him. They kept staring at him as if they had just witnessed an alien invade their village. He paused. Looked at them and greeted with a warm ‘Hello’. Their expression made it clear that they did not understand his language. He gestured to ask if he could click their pictures. One boy from the group smiled and shouted, “Tooooorrrrrrrriiiiiiissssttttt, Tooooorrrrrrrriiiiiiissssttttt!’. And then all others posed for pictures. He was glad that they accepted tourists happily.
Tribal boys

He was continuously clicking their pictures with the river in the background, when he was startled by the screams of a female voice in an unusual language. The boys ran closer to the river bank. A few minutes and they turned back and started pelting stones at him and raising slogans in their native language. From behind them emerged a young tribal girl clad in traditional clothes. Water dripping from every part of her body. Before he could understand what was happening, the girl reached up to him, slapped him, screamed her lung out, snatched his gear and threw it into the river. He barely escaped the wrath of the boys who ran behind him with bamboo sticks for quite a distance.

It was only after he returned to the hotel that he realized that they had mistaken him for clicking pictures of the girl taking a bath in the river. He vowed never to click a picture or go on a solo trip ever again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This post is written in response to today’s prompt ‘Tourist’ by The Daily Post.

The Magic Show

This was his thousandth wedding. He recollects that very well. And yet he is not a married man. What an Irony!

~~~~~~~

Source Linked

It was the first day at school after the summer vacations. The school bell rang. Bhola cleaned his slate and put it inside his navy blue sling bag along with his books. He did not eat the mid day meal at school that day. He just ran without even waiting for his best friend Pinky. Pinky had so much to tell him after the two months that she spent at her Nani house. She had also brought some laddoos and other snacks that Nani had secretly packed for her best friend. But Bhola was no where to be seen.

“He is no different from Baba. Moody and selfish. Should I break my promise of marrying him? That would be years later. For now, let me just try and find out what is troubling Bhola.”, Pinky thought to herself.

Bhola was unstoppable till he reached the doorstep to his house.

“Amma! Amma!”, he called out. 

His mother appeared from behind a thin curtain from the room above. He ran up the stairs and caught the man with his pants down. One, two and three…he kept striking again and again till Daadu caught him by his collar.

One, two and three…the scissors went back and forth. Blood was flowing like a flooding river.

Amma ran upto him, snatched the scissors from him and screamed, “Run Bhola. Run. Don’t ever come back. Swear by me.”

He ran and ran. He did not stop till he got into that bogie of the goods train.

The seven year old in him could never forget that last vacation and what he saw on the last two nights before the school reopened.

~~~~~~~~~~

“Bhola, take this money. Go watch the magic show.”, said his loving Daadu every single day of the vacation. 

After Baba, Daadu had taken care of his mother and him very well. Baba never gave him money to buy toffees or watch circus or magic show.

That day, the magician fell sick and the show was cancelled as was planned by destiny. Bhola came back home unexpectedly only to find Daadu accepting money from a stranger and letting him inside Amma’s room. He then locked the room from outside. Little Bhola was hiding behind the well to scare Amma. His innocent little eyes witnessed everything that they should not have.

At night, Daadu picked him up from the bed and put him on the cot outside. He got into Amma’s room and locked it from inside.

The next day it happened again. Daadu sent him for magic show. He hid inside the cowshed. Another man. Daadu counted the notes. The man was let in. The same room.

Bhola kept looking at Amma’s eyes. He always thought she was sad because of Baba’s demise. Now he knew why her eyes were permanently filled with tears.

~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s almost fifty eight years since Bhola reached Delhi. Initially he worked at a tea stall near the railway station. Then he got into a few provision stores as helper. And finally he ended up with Aggarwal Bandwala.

Those creepy childhood memories never allowed him to look for a relationship. All he wanted to know was whether Amma was fine or not. But he never gathered enough courage to break his promise.

As the groom’s mother blessed the newly weds, Bhola’s eyes filled up even as he continued playing the instrument.

Source Linked

 

Trapped with Him in the Elevator

Anakha got down the bus. Her Mumbai tour was quite good. She got almost six new leads for the start-up company she had joined recently as a marketing manager.

She walked across the lane to enter her society. Watchman Kariappa wished her and she wished him back. He handed over a few envelopes addressed to her. She walked towards the elevator while browsing through the letters. She pressed the elevator button. As soon as the elevator reached the ground floor, Anakha got in and pressed the button for the nineteenth floor where she stayed, still focusing on the letters.

It was only when she sensed the sound of another breath, a fast one, that she noticed the other occupant of the elevator. She felt a little uncomfortable. She knew him. He stayed in the same society. But she was afraid of him. She moved away a little bit. She wished the elevator reached her floor sooner than usual.

And then she realized that the elevator got stuck somewhere between the sixteenth and seventeenth floors.

He moved closer to her. His breath falling on her skin made her feel quite uncomfortable and irritated. He kept staring at her and the door continuously. She wanted him to disappear. She wanted to ask him to stay away. But the more he came closer to her, the more her words defeated her. She was so scared of him.

Anakha was almost at the verge of crying. She could no longer bear it. She tried reaching for the emergency alarm button as tears rolled down her cheeks. And before she could press it she found him all over her. She couldn’t tolerate his touch. She screamed with fear written all over her face. Her tears could not be seen by anyone. Her screams did not reach anyone.

Shortly afterwards, the elevator started moving. She heaved a sigh of relief as the door opened and he jumped out as soon as he saw Mrs. Fernandez.

A look at Anakha and Mrs. Fernandez could understand the situation.

She turned to him with a stern look and said, “Jacky, say sorry to Anakha.”

He wagged his tail with his tongue hanging out and hung his head in apology.

“Yes, that’s like my good boy.” said Mrs. Fernandez.

As she walked towards her apartment, Anakha couldn’t help but smile at her own silliness.

########################

This story is written for the PROMPT: Your character gets trapped in an elevator with someone he or she is afraid of (you decide why).