Monday, February 27, 2012

Story: The Clever Coward

[DISCLAIMER: Entirely fictional. Any logic errors? Sorry I'm new at this.]

One fine week day evening. Dusk was drawing. Best country's greatest airport. People bustling in and out of the largest airport of the country. We look at one of the scanners in the entrance. An officer at the scanner guarding and policing the on comers. Both sides of the scanner were to be found two security desks. One manned with officer Neel Natt in charge of security personnel, in charge of confiscated items, hazards and danger tactics team, and in charge of bomb squad. The other desk is a sit-out-for-fun desk allocated to Customs and Securities Head Peter Paveley.

David one of the junior officers under Neel is sitting with Neel. Peter Paveley the boss-of-all is doodling in the opposite desk. David is particularly energetic today. One of the airport labour personnel in the red uniform passes their desk, with an ugly bundle wrapped in sheets in his hands; smiling at Neel and David but didn't stop at the desk and headed straight for the scanner.

"Hey, you again? Are you trying to enter again? Hey wait, we didn't check you!" David shouts at him.

"What is it, David?" queried Neel.

"He had a suspicious package a while before and tried to enter the gate. But we sent him back. Now he is there again."

"Well, let see what the scanners say." yawned Neel.

Scanner went crazy at that moment. The officer at the scanner pushed that guy out. The labourer in red shirt panicked and dropped the bundle in front of the scanner while running away. Officer David acted quickly and alerted other security in the direction where the red shirt ran off to. He also quickly recovered the bundle and put it on top of Neel's desk. David hurried opened the bundle and found a huge pack of black soil spilling out. No need to tell him that it is an ordinary soil, however many solid things also came off the mud. Small white rocks. Metal pieces. David inspected them very rapidly.

"What the heck!" said Neel and joined along with David to inspect the mud.

"Sir, these white things, I think I know what they are." Said David

Neel squinted at them.

"It's a chemical compound that settles in electrolysis rods sir."

At that very moment as though to tell the truth, a shiny yellow glowing thing came off in David's hand from the mud.

A piece of gold, of a thumb nail's size.

"Smuggler!" shouted both of them and ran in the same direction where the worker ran off to.

Peter who was watching Neel's desk from the moment the scanner went crazy, is no longer doodling; now looked very alive and took the matter in his hands.

He called his assistent Frank who was inside the nearby office and started giving instructions to him.

Suddenly the whole neighbourhood went serious and everyone looked at the security desks. Neel and David returned empty handed and reported that the worker vanished using his worker pass.

A gunshot made Peter, Neel and David jerk their heads back from the Peter's desk. The same worker holding a magma high calibre in front of them, trying to recover his bundle. That's it. He touched the nerve.

David hands in his pockets turned to face the worker. He pulled the trigger inside his trouser pocket aiming the workers toes. A rush, a hole in David's trousers, a hit, then a few of the worker's toes blast away. The worker dropped his gun in pain and staggered backwards. Quickly he steadied himself and jumped into the luggage chute nearby. Blood oozing all over the floor and over the luggage converyers, which sent the officers to high reactive mode. All of the 20 or so officers guns in their hands reeled off and jumped into the baggage chute which takes them directly into the airport baggage loading area in the ground floor near the planes bay area. Peter in the lead now. Peter ordering the whole airport and the perimeter line guards, and sniffing dogs, chasing vehicles, ground control centre to do his biddings in his walky while sliding down the baggage chute.

The chasers landed, and came out to the airport grounds. Planes moving sluggishly around trying to reach the run-way or coming from run-way. A figure in red was nowhere to be seen. Blood trails missing.

"Activate ID Bug!" shouted Peter Paveley in his walky.

"Hand over the tracker".

Neel handed a palm size disply device to Peter.

"ID Bug" is a radiation device that is embedded in every employee's ID card and can track their physical location. It is just a small sand grain sized object sitting inside the ID card's plastic molding. Nobody knows about it except for higher officials.

Now since no one knows that the ID card is of such device, they wouldn't bother with it. So, Peter believed that the worker should have his ID still hanging in his neck.

Sure as hell, the tracker device showed brightly in green arrows. The direction of the worker. Arrow pointed towards the compound wall near by and a bushy forest beyond the wall and was moving.

Peter ran to the wall, everyone followed.

"Open the chase Exit!" told Peter in his walky stopping dead right at the wall.

A small square of block moved at the bottom of the wall leaving a small opening. Peter Paveley crwaled inside and got out into the forest, still all his officers following him through the hole.

"The target is moving and just a few feet away" said Peter to his team.

"Neel! Divert to right side and enclose the path right ahead of us from right side. David, divert to left and enclose this path from left side. Everyone else, drop one officer for every few meters while we move in this path ahead."

Instruction was carried out. Officers spilling and surrounding. Peter sprinting forward. Soon Peter realized that the target is not moving in a single direction. It moved to left, then right, then backwards, then went in circles in front of him.

"Everyone, leave your guards and span out face forward into the forest!" shouted Peter in his walky. All officers, David and Neel obeyed and filtered-in through the forest bushes.

David who is fond of swords always carried a sword on duty with him. It is long and sleek, dangled in his shoulders. He unsheathed the sword, the silence around the woods getting on his nerves. He spotted blood drops on the floor but no foot prints while his own foot prints are so clear on the ground. Puzzled, his mind raced settled in super serious mode. Something moved ahead. The movement easily told him, that it is not a trained officer's standard chase move. Every officer in the tactics and chase team is forbidden to move like any ordinary people even when they are wounded, and there is a certain coded body language that has to be exhibited all the time during the duty, by all chasing officers and he knew all of them are chasing officers including Peter and Neel, the bosses. He tightened his grip on his sword, ready to slash the bastard at the sight of a tiny flesh of his body. Moved towards the moving figure. The movement took off to right side. David followed. Behind the tree, surely the target's movements only. Like a cat he moved forward. Jumped from behind the tree, to find nothing there. Cheated, David sweared vulgarly and followed the rustle to his left side.

5 minutes of the chase into the dark woods, officers were getting uneasy and rattled. Target is still moving around sneakily escaping from the 20 or so officers.

'Peter now positively started panting from his trots throughout the chase. His mind tired along with his body. He racked his brain about the motive of the smuggler and his excellent escaping skills. Somehow, his sit out desk in front of the scanner kept coming to his mind. The worker ran away from the scanner towards his desk only. While he ran away, he threw his hand towards Peter just when he crossed his desk. His doodling subdued his attention little bit. It appeared like, the worker was eyeing towards his desk only, all the time. While he was trying smuggle the package, and while he was holding the gun, while he ran away, all the time he looked at Peter's desk. He has never seen such a bold and also a stupid criminal, and then such quick skilled one in his life. Now, why is he thinking back in time, while he is chasing an escaping criminal. Wait a minute?! Did the worker drop a handbag at his desk when he ran off first time? Was he the worker who is known as half-witted lunatic? How could he have escaped from security and then suddenly appear with a magma in front of us? And then disappear after the baggage chute? And how could he come so quickly to this forest with wounded foot. It would take at least few minutes of running into the airport field to reach this wood. Did I trust the ID Bug too much? Someone should have helped him. And the target this device is showing is not the worker. Why am I so curious about the team of officers I have at hand now chasing in this forest at this very moment? It somehow feels like I'm at home with this team right now. Like a group of friends. Like a family fun together, I'm chasing a criminal with only my fondest officers. None of them are of vaguely known officers. I know every single one of them personally who is in this forest now. I have respect and love for them. Like my children. I believe in them with my life. They are my diamonds. I know for sure that every one of them knows that they are my diamonds. I speak to them like that. I've let them know that, they are like my family. And if I'm not there, my eldest Neel Natt will care for them. Neel Natt is my ghost. I know the nuts and bolts of his mind. If you respect me, then that respect should go to Neel after me. This is what I've told every one of my precious officers who are now panting like me in this dark forest to catch a criminal. We are all having fun, aren't we? After a long time, a good chase and an excellent skilled target. Everone is excited to catch him. Hold on. These feelings of team-manship, is not just for me. One more person is here who feels the same way. My ghost, Neel! Neel loves this team as much as I do and Neel is the most trusted person in this airport because he heads all of the critical departments. A position that can't be trusted to any other officers. The very safety of the airport lies in Neel's hands, and I know just how to nudge him to do my things.

'Neel, dare to do it!'
'Neel, show me that no one can jeopardize the security under my very nose'
'Neel, is that what you can do?'
'Neel, are you really that stupid?'
'Neel, do you think you are such a nice guy?'

Damn me! Peter came out of his trance. I took too much shot at him.

Peter looked at his watch with awe, the time is 6.55pm. In 5 minutes it will be 7pm. Damn. Neel you are a crackpot!

"Frank, Frank!" panicked Peter shouted at his walky his mortal fear apparent in his voice.

"Yes Sir!" answered Frank.

"Life Danger Mode! Forget this world and do as I say!"

"Yes sir!"

"Take a UAV that can carry a few kilos of weight and reach my desk under a minute now!"

"Unmanned Aerial Vehicle with remote control at your desk sir!"

"A bag in front of my desk?"

"Yes sir"

"Positive check for a bomb?"

"Yes sir, running below 4 minutes to deadline sir. Very crafty one at that sir."

"Bomb to fly to the forest and rise above it to the sky forever NOW!"

Clanking and Clicking. "UAV in the open sir."

"Good pickup and torque sir. I love this UAV bud sir!"


"All, abandon search and reach the pathway of the forest now and find me" instructed Peter to his officers.

"Above the forest raising. Altitude 2.3 kilometers sir." Frank on the walky

"Altitude 5 kilometers sir, deadline in a moment sir!"


The living souls on the ground shook and fell silent. The forest top glowing in red. Sky sporting an enormous red shiny cloud.

The team gathered around Peter, looked at the sky with fear and astonishment.

"Officers! Restrain Officer Neel Natt right now."  said Peter somberly.

Neel didn't move. Neel was restrained as told, and weapons cleared; confusion in all of their faces except for Neel and Peter. The two looked calm and serious.

"Chief Officer Neel Natt, I arrest you for trying to bomb the facility and for disobeying the order at duty!" barked Peter.

Neel hung his head eyes looking down.

Silent fell over the surrounding officers. No one spoke for few minutes. Peter looking at Neel. Neel looking at the ground. Silent continued.

Peter continued to look as though he is buried deep in thoughts trying to assess the situation.

"Criminal offense...." said Peter Paveley slowly.

Mr.Paveley looked at others and said, "Neel orchestrated a smuggle at the scanners by manipulating a dull-witted worker and planted a bomb at my very desk under my very nose. He intended to kill the millions of lives in the airport and destroy the entire airport and the flights. He wanted to prove a point to me. He is a psychosis patient at the beginning stage."

The entire team was taken aback, their eyes wide in disbelief. Nothing makes sense at this moment for them. Neel is like a son to Peter. They couldn't believe the very words coming out of Peter's mouth.


"Now Neel, take a walk with me. Officers, station here until we return. Order a banana bunch; keep it here on the ground and stand aside." instructed Peter Paveley criptically; no one could understand.

When Peter and Neel returned to the same spot after 10minutes, the scene had changed a little bit. Frank was here apparently who brought the banana bunch. Group of officers. Nearby, the banana bunch at the ground. A monkey treating itself there with an ID card hanging around its neck. Its hands full of blood, and a plastic pouch from the monkey's hip dripping blood all over.

Now everyone took a note of Neel's face. He looked as though he went through hell and ran for his life from a terror, shaking all over. His eyes fixed with fear. He was the expression of fear itself at this time. A child that escaped a moments ago from a lion which tried to rip him from limb to limb. That was how Neel stood there now.

Neel's mind was racing. The scattered bodies. Rubble all over. Smoke filled waste land. Millions of human beings scorched and torn. Suddenly the souls moving bodiless all around. Fried gigantic black birds on the field with their wings unfold and burnt in that state.

Peter, has painstakingly taken Neel through the aftermath of bombing supposing that the blast occurred in the airport instead of the sky.

"Neel wanted to destroy everything, except his friends" said Peter Paveley aloud.

"So he brought all his friends to this wood today when the bomb was about to go off. But he missed Frank. Frank stayed at the airport at my orders, otherwise, he would have been here too safe with us."

"I have given Neel a taste of what it would have been if his plans had succeeded. We know him for who he is. I want to give him a chance to be a man again. So I can fool the law showing that Neel has nothing to do with this. I want him to serve again as he was serving and repent his mortal mistakes. Is that fine officers?" asked Peter.

"Aye...!" said every one of them in a single voice without a doubt.

"Now, Neel, are you ready for this?"

"Well, I don't want to...." said a small voice. "I want to go away somewhere unknown...."

"No you can't. You can't escape this time. You have to face your deeds Neel" taunted Peter. "I don't doubt you even a bit. I can sleep well again if you fill your position again. Officers?"

"We trust Officer Neel, Sir!"

Neel did not answer.

"You can't trust yourself?" asked Peter already knowing the answer.

"Hand him a gun."

Neel held a gun in his limp hands now.

"Now, shoot yourself in the head if you think that, you don't trust yourself and can't come with us to fill your position again!" barked Mr.Paveley

Neel still stood with his head hung. He knew that every pair of eyes was looking at him for answer. His fondest buddies are all around. His best soul scanner, mentor and father, Peter is here. He thought about it. Could he go and be the same person? Could he? Can he hold his spurious mind from doing disasterous things? What his friends would think of him now? How it has to end? His hand raised. Gun kissed his temple. Shewk! Neel's limp body landed on the forest grounds.

"Neel.........!!!" burst of cries of men around. Peter jumped over Neel's body and held him. No longer lives Neel, his brain dead.

A body was being carried through the air field. Group of officers around walking silently.

'Neel what a waste this confiscated bomb. Put it safely.'
'Neel today is also a boring day huh? Nothing tragic? Our boredom is good for everyone else, hahah...'
'Neel imagine someone planting a bomb under our very nose, and taunting us for fun.'
'Neel why people only smuggle gold all the time?'
'Neel the bomb boy, it's your baby now. Put it in your backyard for me, will ya?'

Officer Peter entered his office and shut his door behind. Frank intently fixed his eyes on his boss' door. What goes within who knows...

'Neel you know, 7 is a great number. For all aesthetic reasons and the most peakest hour of any day is 7pm'
'Neel if you are a bomber, you would select 7pm for maximum casualty, won't you? Think like a criminal'
'Neel think of yourself as a god who holds the lives of millions of people entering this airport'
'If god hated us, he would have wiped us long back'
'Neel the good person knows not the goodness of being good until he sees himself in the bad and returns to good'
'Neel I know, your mind is spurious, and one could categorize you as a nutcase, hahah, we are all, right?'
'Neel this'
'Neel that'

"Neel, it is not that everyday we catch a criminal who tries to bomb the entire airport on a busy day. Today too, is a dull and boring ordinary day and we have to do our work. So look alive!".

Peter Paveley holding a gun against his head in his chair. I'm the reason Neel committed what he committed, before he died. I'm the reason he had a chance to die. I told him to die.

His finger twiddling the trigger. One pull, a metal thing will pierce through the skull cutting nerves. Would brain shutoff immediately? Or half damaged would I enter coma and be in bed for years? would it pain to have your skull pierced? Will the mind feel the movement of the bullet in the head? Or would my body organs fail and I still live on? Would they say Officer Peter Paveley died, a good man but no more? Why would he do that? What a pathetic person, well we are all fine without him? Oh, once there was a man called Peter Paveley and he died I think. Peter Paveley? Who? Oh that fellow, did he commit suicide? I always knew he was a nutcase. Oi, he was a brilliant officer! Not bright enough to live... Oh forget the stories of some guy and get to work! Who is this Peter guy, anyone knows? Who cares how some bloke died? "Some bloke?"

Peter Paveley lowered his gun. His eyes pouring tears, but he chuckled, "Coward". At least my twin soul Neel was brave enough to pull the trigger and was okay to be no more on this planet.

Well, let me live this pain as a life. Things to settle with law as well. Cover-ups and lies, here I come.

Frank was relieved to see officer Peter coming out of his office wiping his cheeks.

Friday, February 3, 2012

First Loves are meant to fail

When I look around, none of those who enjoyed the privilege of their mutual first love are married to their lovers. Some broke after few years; some broke due to long distance issues; some broke when it came to concluding it to marriage.

It is just my observation from my relatives, friends and acquaintances.

There are several kinds of love. Some experience attraction very early when they are little kids; of course it is not a love with force and desire. The love we are interested in, starts from teen age to just before marriage. Yes, love can bite you even barely before your marriage plans.

Lets give LOVE a notion about. Love is a desire to have someone who appreciates you as a person, who cares for you, who nurtures you, whom you can protect and cherish and while doing so, you feel being a man in fullness (in the sense of taking care of a delicate female to whom you can give the sense of security in general, in life), and most of all who if they love you back, you will feel elated.

The last part of the love is very critical. When your loved one says 'I Love You' for the first time, you are thrown to the sky. What is there under that feeling?

When we are kids, we depend on our mother and father; and our family. We want them for security. We love them. If they are absent even for few minutes we are terrorized. We cry when mom is not around. We tag along with mom everywhere and always. But slowly, we go to school. Make new friends. Learn a thing or two about people. We notice good things in other people either characteristic or otherwise. We slowly tell our mom not to pester with small things. We tell her that we can take care of ourselves. We slowly go away or grow away from our family. Have a cozier life with friends. Life with friends is full of fights and fun. As we come of age, we just barely broke ourselves apart from our parents, but suddenly fall in love. A desire to depend on other person again. The ego is ready get the reward of getting total approval of who you are, even appreciation for being YOU from other person(lover).

What happened in between? We transition from Mother to Lover.

Now this first love, coming out of the total desire to get appreciated by the other person; the exciting feeling of knowing that there is one girl who likes you. Oh my god, am I that good?

Now lets pause for a while. How did you choose your first love? Heheh, I didn't choose. It just happened.

Now this first love, was not chosen with careful consideration and assessment for whether both of you can live together till you die. No character analysis. No horoscope. No financial and social security assessment from the girls point of view (some guys expect financial security from his girl; they are different breeds of men). No family assessment. No talent assessment. No career assessment. Nothing nothing at all about the life partner you have just chosen.

Wait a second. Did you say 'life partner'? No. It is not life partner. It is first love.

That's it. We never chose anything let alone a life partner.

We just acquired 'First Love'.

The process of acquiring first love has a completely different Objective from our parents' search for prospects to us. And it is completely different from our marriage partner search as well.

What men and women expect when they search for prospects for their marriage(not for love)?

Guys: Girl who is good looking. Whom I can have in control.
Girls: Handsome guy. Safe job. Safe financial background. Good character. Easy to live with family. And I will own him. In total, a Jackpot for life ;)

Now if you look at the girls' side, it is pretty complicated. May be justified because they are the ones who have to leave their family & life behind and start a new life in a new place with a new family.

Now tell me. Why the First Love is stupid and meant to fail?

Honestly, when you look at match making, except for horoscope matching, parents desire so many other worldly specifics than love and bond. Especially, those parents who refuse their children's love by default, but go out and randomly select a partner.

Some go on waiting for their true love. God only knows whether they will find theirs.

Not everyone can find a good match. Some might get a good life partner by luck. Most of us settle for and with a partner who we can bear to live with. When I see some elderly and above 40 couples, either they both ignore each other in order to make peace, or one of them become mute to let the other reign over, or they both constantly negotiate over everything, or rarely they keep their understanding polished on the on going basis.

Lets come from another road.

What happened to our first dream?
What happened to our first toy?
What happened to our dream profession?
What happened to our goal in life?
What happened to our childhood comic books that we loved more than anything?
What happened to our favorite childhood TV show?
What happened to our dream of becoming great singer?
What happened to those love verses we wrote?
What happened to our first bike/car?

Most of us say, "if I didn't become this, I would've become that".

All those first things, mark a turning point in our lives. They are meant to stay special and be cherished for lifetime. But they will no longer be in our lives.