Lurking In The Shadows

Hey Everyone!

Saying that “It’s been some time since I last posted something” would be an understatement. I wanted to get back to my usual routine of writing regularly before the next year begins.

So, here it is! Sharing a “short” short with you under my favorite genre, Horror! Hope you like it!

You know about it. I know you do...

That feeling.

The feeling that someone is standing in the dark corner of your room at night while you’re asleep. Watching you constantly. It’s there all the time. Lurking in the shadows.

It’s waiting for you to shut your eyes so that it can make its move. It slowly moves towards you as your eyelids become heavy with fatigue. You can force yourself to stay awake but for how long? Sooner or later, you’re going to have to sleep and that’s when it comes out. You’ll never know what it wants. Why is it here or what will happen once you’re asleep?

It’s there too when you’re walking home late at night. Do you ever get that feeling that someone is following you? Of course, you do. It wants to be far enough to stay hidden but close enough for you to feel its presence. When you turn to see who’s there, you’re seeing right into its eyes. You stare into the blank for answers. It stares back.

It’s with you when you’re alone in an elevator. Standing right behind you, breathing down your neck. Watching you getting goosebumps. It’s there in the hallway when you’re turning the lights off at night. Watching you as you pace yourself towards the light of your bedroom, running away from an unknown threat, terrified for no reason.

Well, you don’t know that you should be terrified, for all your intuitions are true. I know its nature. It feeds off fear. It loves to just stand there and not do anything. Because it is having fun with you. You’re its little playthings. But it can strike anytime. Mostly, if it’s bored. I know it can do that and it will, eventually.

I know it…

I know it so well because it is me.


Lurking in the shadows….……….AND YOU’RE NOT SAFE


A Good Mother


Everything has changed since Luke died. Not actually, as in, we’re going to work, having dinner together, watching Netflix together on weekends like a normal family. Seen from outside, you can say we’re getting on track. It’s the little things which we usually don’t noticed have changed. I see it sometimes, when I’m talking to Dave and he’s not able to look me in the eye for longer than a few seconds. We talk but not actually. He talks about things like, “What should we do about dinner”, or, “How’s everything at work” and something similar but nothing remotely related to, “Hey! 6 months ago, we lost our 5-year-old son in an accident and both of us are still in shock but why don’t we ever talk about it?”.

Even Ryan has changed a lot. He has become this quiet kid. The other day, he was at his friend’s for a sleepover. Later, his friend’s mother called me to let me know how worried she was about him because all night he was sitting near the bedroom window. He hardly ate anything and she was sure she heard him cry near the staircase late night.

He has become this distant kid which is very annoying, especially for me. I cannot say if it is the same for Dave. It’s very frustrating even to think about how Ryan would be feeling right now. He has lost his younger brother and his parents are clearly not dealing with their grief properly.


I am a good mother. It is the one thing I knew from the day we had Ryan. Dave took a backseat when he saw how I took care of almost everything. He is a good father too, when he has to be. I didn’t mind it at all. I wanted my boys all to myself because I loved them to death. 2 years ago, when Ryan was 12, I decided to go back to work. Dave supported my decision and promised that he will put in extra efforts with the kids. I loved that he understood how he has mostly been an observer till then without me ever expressing that. But I realized I never needed any help even after I started working. I used to wake up early, make breakfast for them, clean up after them, pick them up from school. I was always early while picking them up from school.

Until that day.


Ryan was sick and had to stay at home. I was supposed to pick up Luke after school. I was 5 minutes late. Poor Luke, my innocent little Luke, who has never seen a time when his mother was not their standing at the sidewalk waiting for him with a smile, didn’t know what to do when I wasn’t there. Generally, the teacher stays with the kids at the door until the last of them is picked up by their parents. But Luke didn’t wait for a second. As soon as he got out and couldn’t find me, he ran towards the street to reach the turn to see if my car was coming from there. It wasn’t the teacher’s fault. He couldn’t leave 15 other kids to run towards Luke. Also, they told me it happened too fast for anyone to be able to do anything. No one saw the bus coming from the other side.


Tonight, I couldn’t take it anymore. When Ryan went upstairs after finishing dinner, tears came out of my eyes. Dave saw me crying at the dinner table and ask me what happened which turned my sorrow into anger. I threw the plates off the table and looked at his in the eye. This time he did not avert his.

I poured it all on him.


“What is going on between us! You haven’t said a word about Luke’s death since it happened. Tell me what is in your mind! I know you blame me! I know I’m not as smart as you but I can take a hint. You cannot even look me in the eyes anymore! I know how much you love to rub my mistakes in my face. You wait for the PERFERT TIME and then blast them all one by one to humiliate me during a fight. But it has been 6 months now! Lay it on me, Dave! But you know what?! I’m sick of you. I’m sick of you making me feel like I’m nothing and you’re holier than heaven, with your silence. It was like this even before all this! You let me do everything and thought as if you’re doing me a favour. I was here taking care of our kids all the time and you were doing whatever you like. Lending a hand here and there is not parenting, Dave! We still have a child and he has not talked about losing his brother! He is suffering and we’re not helping him! I was feeling empty like I had nothing else left in my life. You ever thought of that? How you never made me feel good? Like you never cared about how I’m feeling? But instead, you resent me for what happened to our child! Now go one, tell me how you blame me!”

It was a lot to take in for him. He sat down on the table with his head down. Finally, he spoke.

“I could never blame you for his death. It’s because I know for a fact that you’re the best mom these guys could have. I don’t resent you for that, I could never.”

This made me cry more. I sat on the chair and asked him slowly.

“Then what is it Dave? Because there is something that you’re not telling me. You need to tell me and solve this so that we can get on with our life and take care of the son we still have.”

Dave looked at me.

“I called you that day. In the afternoon to remind you to pick some medication for Ryan as he was sick. When you didn’t pick up, I called your office and they told me you left about an hour ago for lunch with your colleague Aaron. It wasn’t odd, I mean, I know Aaron and I know you guys have lunch together sometimes. I thought I would join you guys for lunch and pick up the medicine as well as I was done with work. I went to your usual place for lunch which is closer to Aaron’s house. You weren’t there. Later, I saw you come out of his building with him. He kissed you and you got in your car and left.”

Now, as I looked at Dave, I understood the look in his eyes. He continued.

“I know how much you love Ryan. And I understand that I can never replace you. That’s why I never mentioned it and kept on with our life. But I cannot hide it anymore, can I? You see resentment in my eyes? It’s not because you were late once while picking Luke, it’s because of your affair that made you late that day.”



I am at a stage of my life where I associate every bad thing in my life with the pandemic. Yesterday, I was cutting my nails and I cut my thumbnail a little too much and now it’s super sensitive. I HATE YOU, CORONA!

So naturally, many of my upcoming shorts are going to revolve around it some way or the other. I’ve taken a few liberties as this is a fantasy thriller (unlike my last one – Love in the Time of Pandemic). So, bear with me if the medical terms or the facts about the pandemic are a little deviated from the current situation.

Here it goes…

yuen mansion

After the successful eradication of Covid-19, thanks to the help from the Chinese government by quickly developing and distributing the vaccines, the world seemed to be much more peaceful than before. But as they say, the past catches on. Governments from all over the world wanted answers from China about the source of the virus which killed about 1% of the total world population. Looking at the hatred towards Chinese people around the world and continuous pressure from the UN, the Chinese government spilt their guts.

What they officially said made no sense at all. They said it was all done by a mad scientist who developed the virus and sent it out through his “followers”. They called him mad because he was a fanatic psychopath. He was condemned by the scientist community for having extreme ideologies. Still, he used to have highly dedicated pupils who believed in him blindly. Some sources confirmed that he had a research lab at his huge 2 story bungalow which is accessible only to his highly trusted followers. The government had put him under the radar for quite some time and knew that his ideas are developing into a cult. But as far as they know, no illegal activities were being conducted at his place to actually convict him. They finally got hold of one of his followers who told them about the virus but it was too late by then.

The world was shocked but everyone watched in silence as they waited for the answers to the questions everyone had in their minds?

Where is the mad scientist now? Have you caught him?

“……..Not yet. We tried our best but we couldn’t”

What do you mean you couldn’t?

“We’ve sent multiple units of the military to the house. None of the units came back.”

Can you not just blow the house with a bomb?!

“We need Dr. Yuen alive. He might have some information about the virus which might be beneficial to us in the future.”

We need help.

Sam was excited to be a part of the special unit chosen to infiltrate the house. Special agents were sought out from all over the world to create a 25-member team for this task. Sam’s wife told him he is the most qualified to be in the squad. But he thought himself as lucky to be in it, after being spent such a long time in the hospital, recovering.


The world was watching them. News Broadcasters were broadcasting the news live for everyone to see the developments as they happen. The world leaders wished them luck and the team went in.


For Sam, it was mostly a blur. He remembered that his team lost touch with each other. The place was dark inside and the only light came from their flashlights which broke one by one. He surely remembered screaming, bodies flying here and there and blood, lots of it.

After about ten days in the hospital, recovering from his injuries Sam woke up. His wife informed him that none of his team members remembers what happened in the house. For them, it’s like they never went to the house. It was weird for Sam as he definitely remembers some of it, it’s not totally blank for him. One thing he surely recollects is that there were casualties. His wife said all the 25 members were alive and well with their families. They were tested negative for Covid-19.

Then it hit him. Every memory came back rushing like a tsunami. His eyes went wide with horror. He asked his wife to give him her phone. He called the commanding officer for the team.

“We need to gather everyone from the team! It’s important. Isolate them right now!”

“What are you talking about?! Wait, do you remember something?”

“Yes! And we have no time! They have the virus! We have to deal with them”

“But we tested them! They all were negative.”

“It’s the other one! Listen, I met Dr. Yuen. It’s a different virus. Covid-19 was only a distraction. His aim was to gain international attention to his mad theories. He has infected the team with it, Sarge! He calls it Bloodbath. It spreads from a bite from the infected. The symptoms include an insatiable thirst for blood. He and his followers were all infected. They bit all of us and somehow, after that, the team members started obeying Yuen’s orders. As if they were his disciples! Then he left all of us to go spread the virus all over the world!”


“What are you saying! Have you lost your mind?! You’re talking about actual vampires! I’ll call Simon and Abdul from the team and prove you wrong.”

After about half an hour, the commander called back.

“Listen, Sam. We’re sending you a helicopter. You are to come immediately to UN Headquarters.”

“Did you call the guys? Abdul? Simon or Sonia? Anyone?”

“None of them picked up. I asked our local contacts to check on them but after a few inquiries, seems like all of them have vanished into the night. Also, we found Sonia’s husband dead in their apartment. He was drained out of blood, Sam. We want you to come right away.”

“I’ll be there.”

“One more thing I wanted to ask you.”

“What is it.”

“You said Yuen’s followers bit you too. But why weren’t you infected? Or are you?”

“I have a theory around it.”

“Share with me.”

“This new virus is closely related to Covid-19. It might be a mutated version of it. It may be the hunch but I feel anyone who was infected by Covid-19 once and recovered might be immune to it. I recovered from Covid-19 last month.”

“So, anyone who has not contracted Covid-19 can catch this thing?! You’re saying about 97% of the population can get this?”

“Not really, most of them will die as the number of infected increases and they start draining people of blood for their thirst.”

“The problem is, they have a headstart of 10 days!”



Tiger King – Murder, Mayhem and Madness


This review contains mild spoilers but as it is a documentary, most of the information is present all over the internet.

Tiger king is a new Netflix 7-part documentary which revolves around the life of Joe Exotic – the owner of the G.W. Zoo. What feels like a straightforward story about an eccentric big cats lover soon takes a surprising turn towards a murder for hire plot. But wait, there’s more!

Tiger Kings is far from being a generic documentary. It’s crazier than what we’re led to believe in the first few episodes. The last time my mind was this boggled after watching a crime documentary was when I watch HBO’s “The Jinx: Life and Deaths of Robert Durst”. The best part is, the Tiger King’s life, without the “murder for Hire” allegation, was full of drama. He was a gay Zoo owner, who married 2 guys at the same time and ran for governor later on. His life was no less than a movie. He even had a villain, Carole Baskins – owner of the Big Cat Rescue, who was fighting against the private ownership of big cats like lions and tigers.


But the story gets crazier by the episode. Carole is not actually an angel sent from heaven to save these poor cats, also, she is not the only villain in Joe’s life and then suddenly, FBI comes into the picture!

You can easily realise that the whole rivalry between all these big cat eccentrics has been sensationalised. A type of mystery was created around there life to spice up the whole story. But in the end, it all feels justified as each character involved is so colourful that you cannot take your eyes off. If you were not aware of the whole thing like me, there is no chance you can predict what they did. It baffled me when I couldn’t decide who’s side am I on. I, as a viewer, was not able to trust the words on any of them. I was asking myself, do people like these really exist? The only ones who you’d feel sympathy towards were the animals because as one of the persons involved explained, “all these fights were for the cats, but none of it helped their situation. Not one of these fights benefitted the animals involved.”


There are hundreds of such sanctuaries in US alone where tigers and lions are living in the captivity of cages. They’re used for breeding to produce cute cubs with whom you can click pictures to post on social media and feel good about your lives. When they’re old, they become useless. The show successfully put this reality in front of us as well.

I would recommend this show as the best documentary there is to watch while you’re locked up at your homes. As compared to the uncertainty around the future of this Pandemic, Tiger King will definitely feel more unreal. After you’ve seen it, do let me know how do you find it. Also, do you think Carole really did it!


If you liked Tiger King and are looking for similar crime documentaries, you can go for HBO’s The Jinx that I mentioned before. It is about a big real estate personality, Robert Durst, who was a suspect of multiple murder charges. The ending is still one of the most surprising I’ve ever seen. Also, you can watch Making a Murderer by Netflix. It is about how Steven Avery, who was wrongfully accused of rape because of corruption in local law enforcement found himself being considered as a suspect in another heinous crime.


Love in the Time of Pandemic


I’m Ayesha. I’m one of those for whom nothing changed after the lockdown as we anyway stay indoors as much as we can. Instead of going out and ‘socializing’, I’d love to snuggle in my blanket and play video games all on my own. I keep in touch with the few friends I have. I do realise that they are in agony over not being able to go out and hang together but I really can’t understand it. I mean why is it so hard if you’re not able to meet someone for a few days?

Well, it all changed for me one unfortunate day. It was late at night when I decided to take a break from playing Skyrim. I made myself some coffee and took a chair to sit in the balcony. All of the lights were off in the building right in front of the balcony except one. It was the flat two floors down from mine with some peculiar fairy lights hanging from the ceiling of the gallery. It caught my eye because the lights were like someone froze water droplets just before they were about to fall. They were beautiful. I don’t know for how long I gawked at them, but then I heard a whistle.

I looked down and there she was.

Holding a book in her hands, she was standing below the lights staring directly at me. I understood that she must’ve seen me looking like an idiot and whistled. I froze for a second as I don’t usually know what to do in such situations. Then, she smiled and waved. I waved back, almost involuntarily. I saw her lips move as if she was trying to say something. When I signalled that she’s inaudible, she screamed at the top of her voice, “WHAT’S YOUR NAME?!”

It scared the hell out of me. Lights went on in several flats and I saw her running inside. I ducked in my balcony and laughed so hard that tears came out on my eyes.

Same time next day, I went to the balcony and there she was. Her look confirmed that she was waiting for me. She was a night owl just like me. She went to the switch of the fairy lights and turned it on and off several times. I didn’t get it. I signalled her again, spreading my hand, gesturing, “What are you trying to do?”. She looked confused for a minute and then looked at me for 2 seconds before shouting, “MORSE CODE!!!”.


The same routine took place. She ran inside, lights went on all over, I ducked in my balcony and laughed for even longer. I was exhilarated that she was eager to communicate too.

Next day, I took a pen and notebook to write down the code. Also, I copied the Morse sheet from the internet and borrowed a torch from my father’s toolbox. She was waiting with her hands on the switch. She was pleased to see my whole decoding setup.

I was rusty at first, but it became easier as we chatted almost every day for hours. Her name was Rhea. She was reading ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. She loved going out. Her ultimate goal was to taste the coffee of each and every café in the city. In many ways, I found her very different from me. But one thing matched. No one mentioned exchanging contact details to make this conversation simpler. I guess both of us loved our old fashion way of chitchat. It was electrifying, romantic even. It was clear to me after some time that I’m falling for her.


I was never going to tell her that. Years of training of being an introvert has made me weak. Besides, I had no idea if she would be interested in a girl like me, or girls in general. But it was becoming hard every day to stop myself from telling her how much I longed to touch her face.

The day before yesterday, I got a bit late as my parents were up and we were talking for long. When I came to the balcony, Rhea was sleeping on her bean bag below the lights. I brought the chair and sat there, looking at her for hours. Next night, she told me she saw me sleeping in my balcony early morning. I apologized for being late. She said it’s okay but she missed me.

I felt like a light turned on in my heart. I stood up and flashed the torch, telling her that I missed her too. I told her that I almost wanted to wake her up but she looked so beautiful sleeping that I couldn’t.

We both were silent for a while. She turned, I thought she’s going inside but something stopped her. She turned back and went to the switch and flashed. I copied the code and read it.


“When the lockdown ends, would you like to go on a date, gamer girl?”

I was smiling ear to ear. I came to the edge of the balcony and shouted, “YOU BET!”

Lights went on! But we stayed still, looking at each other smiling while people were shouting all around us.

Now, I’m waiting desperately for this virus to die down and the lockdown to end so that my parents would allow me to step out of the house. But most importantly, so that I can meet her. Now I understand what my friends feel like when they’re not able to meet someone for so long. It’s agonizing, for sure.


Again, totally fiction! But if there is someone like Ayesha out there, I hope you meet your love soon.

The Floor Below Mine

woman cover her head with pillow

Those who live below me at my building are excessively loud. The kids are evil incarnate, watching TV at the maximum possible volume. The wife has such a high pitch that I’m sure she’s accountable for some of the glass shattering noise I hear almost every day. Also, I’m pretty certain the drunkard husband hits the wife at night.

The building is the latest addition in the society and I was the first one to inhabit it. When I moved here, I couldn’t comprehend the gravity of the situation. It was stupid of me not to investigate about the emptiness of the apartments, most of which, have been sold before I came. Later, after a month, when a handful of apartments on the first two floors were occupied, I was content that surely there is nothing ominous about this building.


The trouble started about a month ago when the downstairs people started generating a ruckus. No one lived on my floor. Hence, no one understood my condition. The security guards, the society committee, the builder and the caretaker, everyone looked at me with exasperation whenever I mentioned this complication.

I have nowhere else to go. I have put most of my savings to buy this flat. This is my singular possession. The story about the people below has spread like wildfire and I’ve confirmed with countless brokers that the flat has literally no value in the market because of them.

So, today I’ve decided to take the situation in my own hands. I’ll be going down and deal with them myself. I felt it be important that I keep a record of the events that forced me to take these steps. 


You see, I live on Floor 9. The floor below me is actually the dedicated Refuge Area of the building. According to the building and construction norms of my state, every building has to have their 8th floor as the Refuge Area. Hence, no one is allowed to live there. According to the builder, the caretaker and the public records at the municipal corporation no one lives on this floor as well. 

Well, I disagree!




Don’t Open the Box

The short story below happens somewhere in my favourite superhero universe, the X-Men!


Transcript from Doctor Xavier’s 3rd Interview with Lead Investigator, Don Parsons, for Case E1123.

Time of Interview: 0130 hours

Date of Interview: April 3, 2021.

Don: I’ve called you today as we have new evidence. We are now certain that the massacre at Central Park had strong connections to your sessions with Adam at your school on the night of September 21st, 2004. Adam’s wife, who is out of coma thanks to you, told us that Adam was shouting, “They opened the box!’ again and again before he ran away towards the park. 

Xavier: This is impossible!

Don: What is, Doctor! This is getting out of our hand! To be honest, I understand that you want to help but 320 people have died in that incident. 320 is a big number. The whole nation is in shock, enraged actually. They want your head on a spike along with all your mutant students. Its time you stop concealing facts and let me help you.

Xavier: …………..Adam was a special child. Not only was he exceptionally bright, but his powers were also category 5. You and I both know about the case of Jean Grey who had similar powers and her life was hell. Similarly, Adam gradually developed an alter ego which was exactly opposite of the sweet child he generally was. There had been multiple incidents at the institute. Once, I found him terrorizing a dog just by looking at it. When I stopped him, the Adam we knew came back and cried for hours holding the dog. I had to do something to save him. And save others from him too……

Don: Keep going.

Xavier: So, when in September 2004, when Adam was 10, I performed a specific exercise with him in a series of sessions to suppress his alter ego. He was having trouble containing his other side, which was becoming stronger day by day. So, we created a metaphorical box in his mind to contain it. Adam was having trouble to visualise a box so I showed him a physical box and ask him to trap the other Adam into it. It was just an exercise which helped him create a similar box in his mind for the purpose. After the sessions were complete, Adam has successfully locked the dark persona in the box.


(Xavier Paused to have some water)

But there was a side effect. Adam lost all his powers. That sweet little child, he had no regrets. He was just happy that he wouldn’t hurt the dog anymore. Soon he left the institute to live a normal life. I used to meet him occasionally. I was there when he got married and when he had his daughter.

Don:……….Where is the box now?

Xavier: The box doesn’t hold anything. It’s just a representation for Adam. Still, I told him I’ll safeguard the box.

Don: What happens if he finds out that the box has been opened?

Xavier: Do you think that’s what happened? Someone told him that the box has been opened and his alter ego came back?

………….This could be. But, I don’t think he will believe anyone other than myself if they told him that the box has been opened.


Xavier: Detective, now it’s your turn to tell me the truth. I can see on your face that you’re hiding something. (Banged his fist on the table) Don’t force me to read your mind.

Don: Adam’s wife told us one more thing.

………..Adam was playing frisbee with his daughter in the park. His wife was sitting a few feet away from where the daughter was. She saw a man approach Adam and said something in his ear. She wasn’t sure but she says it looked a lot like you, Doctor. She waved the thought away, as she remembered that you’re always in a wheelchair.

Xavier: (under his breath) Mystique…….

Don: I’m sorry, Doctor. My hands are tied. We have to apprehend you for aiding the murder of 320 innocent people, including Adam’s daughter.

Xavier: But Detective! We need to stop Adam from creating any more havoc.

Don: Adam is dead! He exploded in the park.

Xavier: No Detective, I can still feel his presence. He’s not far. The explosion at the park was just an energy surge. We have no idea was he can do. Neither does he. We need to help him. He would be scared, not knowing what to do. Where to go.

…………The Institute!

Don: Sorry Doctor, I cannot promise you that if he’s alive, the police will try to help him this time.

Asur – A Unique Cocktail of Forensic Science and Indian Mythology


The story is about the hunt of a serial killer whose victims are influential people from diverse factions of the society. It all becomes a little more intricate than that when the lives of the forensic investigators searching for this “Devil” get intertwined with the case.

We are from the generation which adores movies like “Se7en”, “Zodiac” or shows like “Mindhunters”. A thriller where you have to catch the murderer before he makes someone else his target is really something which keeps us on the edge of our seats. Asur is certainly that but a bit more as well. It creates an exceptional cocktail of modern forensic science and mystic Indian mythology. So basically, it gives the audience a taste of future advancements as well as make them wistful by referencing the stories we heard from our parents/grandparents.


Every episode has the power to keep you hooked with a highpoint leaving you wanting more. It is undeniably something you can binge in one go. The star cast is well suited in their respective roles. Watching Arshad Warsi in a stern avatar was a delight. He played his part with finesse, so did Barun Sobti, who had to showcase a range of sentiments throughout the series.

The only thing that feels like a little drag is that all the ecstasy of watching a unique series could not hide the fact that how easily foreseeable the climax was. Also, there were quite some questions the season left us with which might be answered in the next season, possibly, but they feel more like loopholes that the Asur writers just overlooked and moved on fixating on how to make it more appealing.


I love how Indian creators are now producing inimitable series with the dawn of web hosting applications like Prime Video, Netflix and Voot. Some are winning our hearts, like, “Sacred Games” and “Made in Heaven” but rest all are getting lost in the plethora of content getting dumped on these platforms now and then. The premise of “Asur” promises to be different, which it absolutely is, but in turn, it compromises on some truly essential aspects of a good television thriller. I would definitely give it a go if I were you, hoping that season two solves all the ambiguity and answer all the questions we have.


Next stop, “Special Ops”!

Careful – Innocent Pranks can also be Dangerous

Totally fiction. No part of this is true! If it was I would’ve died of a heart attack right after!

The narrator is telling this story to his children some night in the near future, let’s say 2025. The pandemic has ended and everyone has so many stories to tell.

Someday, after many years, we will bring this situation in a joke.

So it all started when I got stuck at my friend’s place during the Lockdown. The Coronavirus was spreading like a wildfire and the government had to take major steps for taking control of the situation. Hence, the Lockdown – no roaming in the streets, going places, meeting people. Social distancing was the key to fight the pandemic. So when it all happened I was in transit from Pune to Ujjain, my hometown, and got stuck in Indore. All the transports to Ujjain from Indore were shut down the same day. I called one of my friend who was more than happy to accommodate me for an unknown number of days.


I was in very good terms with his wife. But mostly, I was excited to meet their newborn baby who was 3 months old at that time. When I met him, I knew my days here will be as delightful as ever.

The baby took a liking to me and used to cry whenever I was not around. I used to take care of him when my friend and his wife had to do office related chores. I loved the extra attention from the baby. I used to carry him all around.

Then the day came when our prime minister decided to boost our morale. He urged us to come to our balconies at exactly 5PM clap for 5 minutes, or show any kind of appreciation, for healthcare workers who are risking their lives by tending to the infected. I loved the idea. My friend used to live at 11th floor. So I would get a good view of people from all over our neighbourhood clapping and banging utensils together!


Right before 5, the baby started crying. He was hungry after a good sleep. My friend’s wife used to arrange milk bottles for the baby. Both of them, my friend and her wife were downstairs at the community house, trying to solve an issue with the water availability at the society. I grabbed the baby, picked the bottle and went to the balcony. I thought the baby would love some fresh air and a little change of scenery than the ceiling.

Exactly at 5, people from all over started clapping. The neighbourhood was filled with wonderful enthusiasm.


My friend’s wife thought that it would be a good joke to scare me by making that sound so loud that I jumped. She did not notice the baby while doing it. It all happened so quickly…


I lost my balance. I lost the grip on the bottle which was dropping when I tried to grab it instinctively. It was like I wasn’t in control of my body and my reflexes were doing everything and my brain went out for shopping.

While trying to catch the bottle, the baby slipped from my left hand. I grabbed the bottle with my right, bent my knees and grabbed the baby by wrapping both of my arms around it. The bottle was still in my right palm.

My friend’s wife watched it all went down with horror. She and I were so shocked that we did not speak for the next couple of seconds.

Then my friend entering and closing the front door brought both of us back to earth. He looked at us and asked what happened. Without looking at each other, we both said, “Nothing”. He gave us a puzzling look and went into the kitchen to grab some utensils.

It had been around 10 minutes but the people were still clapping.


Keep the Lights On – Heartbreaking tale of a Doomed Relationship

Hey Guys! It has been a long time since I wrote something here. As all over the world, people are under lockdown because of the fear of Covid -19 spreading at an alarming rate, I am too. So, I felt I should start again the one thing which has the power to keep me sane till it all ends, writing. 

My heart goes out to the victims of the virus and I hope the world overcomes it soon.


Keep the lights on is a story about Erik, a filmmaker, who falls in love with Paul. The movie is about their decade long relationship with many highs and lows and how their lives, tangled into each other’s, gets affected by the choices they make.


First of all, hats-off to the direction by Ira Sachs. The film is shot in a very sombre manner which states that the men were never meant to be together to begin with, without the characters explicitly saying it in the film. I am excited now to see his much spoken about “Love is Strange” if I wasn’t before. Another thing which I liked is the character development of the protagonist. As he is a filmmaker, he is depicted as eccentric who follows his desire but at the same time, we see him getting entirely overwhelmed by not being able to handle his relationship. As if he is putting so much efforts to make it work but it doesn’t seem to be happening like he wanted which makes him furious and forces him to say or assume something which makes the whole situation even worse. Erik is played by Thure Lindhart. I haven’t seen any of his other work, but I’ll sure keep a lookout from now on.


The movie occasionally takes a very slow pace which might be a turn off to some people but I’ll recommend one and all to stay fixated as all the other times, the movie is truly heartbreaking. The truthfulness of the characters, the amber cinematography, the contemporary demeanours but still yearning for traditional facets of a relationship like having a child, are the things which triumph for Keep the Lights on. It’s the absence of emotional transparency between the couple which makes it one of the most moving films of its time.

Do give it a go if you’re a fan of watching budding romantic flings on-screen and are not too afraid of watching it all shatter as well in less than an hour and a half.


NOTE: If you like, “Keep the Lights On”, you might also like, “Happy Together” by Kar-Wai Wong.









(Review) US by Jordan Peele

Did you ever get a feeling that however normal your life seems, something sinister is always lurking around. Something, hidden in the shadows, is observing you and trying to get closer every second. That feeling came true for Adelaide when she revisited one of her childhood vacation place with her present family. Suddenly, the sweet family getaway becomes a fight for life for her family when they are attacked by some home invaders who share a close connection to them. They ARE them.

Jordan Peele has done it again. He has made another movie which will be remembered in the history of times as a movie which made everyone ponder over it longer then they should. With Get Out, he made a clever satire about the inherent dark side of the elite white families in US. I liked the way how subtly that point was put that many still don’t see it that way. In US, he has gone one step further. He has made a movie which can have multiple interpretation for anyone who’s watching. Any interpretation you go with, one thing that we are sure of is that it’s not just a home invasion movie.

US has layers like an onion. On the front it seems like a horror thriller featuring a family being terrorised by their doppelgangers. But when you dwell more, you’ll see how it presents different themes. Saying anything more than that will spoil the experience of those who are yet to watch it.

One great thing about US is that it is a perfect blend of horror and comedy without actually being a horror comedy. It’s very easy to bifurcate both moments in the film. You’ll be laughing at one moment and in the next you could be extremely terrified. This energy keeps you hooked to it. The performance of almost every one is beyond great. The centre stage is held by Lupita N’yongo and she does everything with finesse. She is almost unrecognisable in as one in both her personas. Other things that make the movie an amazing watch are it’s background score, the story and the climax.

Although, like Get Out, I found the big reveal tad bit predictable but it is clearly visible that the reveal is not just the one thing which is holding it all together. Everything about the movie contributes to the big picture and makes it a cinematic marvel.

Leave all the things and go watch US in theatres. It is one such film which has the power to strike long debates. What it more exciting that watching a movie which stays with you even after you’re done watching it?!

The ‘final’ final blow…


Sitting in my car, I didn’t know what to do next. The car was standing in the middle of the road. My phone was ringing. Someone was calling but I was just not in the state to answer. I didn’t want to think the answers to where I was, or where have I been or what have I done. After some time I realised I was unable to move. The shock was so intense that it had paralysed me. I couldn’t believe how, so suddenly, everything in my life has turned upside down.

A few months ago, I found out that my company will be shut down at the end of this year because of some stupid regulations made on the other side of the globe. My wife, after threatening me for months, finally left with the kids. Somehow, she found out about my latest fling with my secretary. I owed a lot of people a lot of money and not all of those people were as amiable as I would like them to be. Then, for the final blow, my business partners colluded against my back and started a new venture with our clients.

I was totally zoned out when I got into the car that day. The rain was pouring like hellfire. I was angry at my wife, my partners and at myself. I didn’t realise I was driving so fast. When the girl came in front of my car, there was nothing I could do.

Now, it had been at least 10 mins since I hit her. No other car went by since then. It was a late night and the rain was blinding so it seemed like a logical explanation. It was a high chance no one will come down this way. I tried moving and when I did, I got out of the car and turned around to see the aftermath. The skid marks from my car were clearly visible. Even in the rain, I could see the blood. The girl was lying on the road. I was rummaging through my thoughts to find my next step.

Then, the anger took over. I was literally at the bottom. Everything had been taken away from me. If I went to jail, I would have no choice left then to die and I wasn’t ready for that. I had to do something, something to make this all go away. So, I decided the body has to go. She was already on the side of the high road. Just a little push and she would’ve gone downhill, never to be seen by anybody. The blood would wash away and I would be long gone. I walked towards the girl, sat next to her and pushed her a little. A faint voice startled me. The girl was still alive!

I retracted a bit and looked at her. She turned slowly and stretched her hands towards me, asking me to help her. There wasn’t any choice left for me after that. I just couldn’t go to jail. It was either her or me. As I was the only one being able to make a decision, I made one for her. I pushed her down the hill and turned immediately, closing my eyes. I should’ve saved my ears from listening to that awful scream she let out while she fell down.

Today, as I’m telling you this story, I have a gun in my hand pointed towards my head. I still hear that scream. It’s stuck in my head and is just not fading. I have to stop it. This is the only way I know.