Note : This post is a part of the Guest Post Series.
While attending the induction training at my first job, I would wake up every morning quite early, walk a little, take a share auto, take a thirty minute bus ride, and then take another sixty minute bus ride to reach my training centre. Uncoordinatedly, Arun would be usually end up in the same bus towards the end of my journey. He was from my college but we had just met. We would occasionally discuss film making and leave it at that. Much later, thanks to Facebook, I discovered that Arun holds views that are similar to mine on things such as purpose of life, or the lack of it. I don't exactly remember how he became a reader of the blog, considering that the first post I remember showing him was a movie list that I am not too proud off. But he did. And soon, both of us started exchanging random write-ups and story ideas for each others' feedback. We both expect each other to be brutally frank when required and he has helpfully dished out a few of my story ideas which had false starts.
Arun is a big movie fan, a photographer, and a traveler. He reads a lot too, and spends much of his time reading on subjects such as psychology and philosophy. His book recommendations -- The Bhagawad Gita and comics by Alan Moore -- are high up on my to-read list, and I will start with them as soon as I trust myself to be able to interpret them not-too-wrongly. Arun gives you perspectives you will never have by yourself. Check out his post Anamoly, where he questions our trivial lives. Read his mind-boggling The Loop System, which can have zillions of interpretations. Or read Statistical Miracle, his passionate (and uncharacteristically direct) plea for treating women well. He has a fantastic interpretation of the Lord of the Rings, and you can have a sneak peak at it in his short poem Of Sauron and the Untold Story. In what seems like an alien characteristic for a subtly-attention-craving me, he has written wonderful things he does not intend to show to a lot of people. And more trivially, he is capable of typing out whole stories on his mobile while travelling in Chennai city buses.
Arun's writings demand attention from and challenge you as a reader. He intentionally leaves large parts of his initial idea unwritten, forcing you to fill in the blanks. He is a big fan of open endings. If you want a story not to be completely dished out by him, just take out the climax and mail it to him. Along with Shyam and Vidhya, he is also a part of the short story collection we are looking to self-publish; for which he has penned down a futuristic psychological thriller and is working on a fairy tale. This metaphorical and imaginative write-up is by itself a great example of Arun's writing, so read on.
From HellShe stood there unperturbed, in front of the burning gates of hell. She was not at all moved by the ominous sight it presented. She had seen worse. The golden flames burnt away everything at sight. There were no roses, no trees and no gold. There was a gate, black and ominous and then there was fire and more fire, at the end of which were two thrones. She stood alone in front of the gate and she stood there as though she were going to drag the devil out and shoot him. Of course she was in that kind of a mood. This visit was not planned, she was forced into coming out and seeing the devil. At a very young age that too, she had no tea to serve this time.
Hell was empty, everybody went to heaven. God had been forgiving, very much so. The sinners of heaven were thrown out and they finally made their way down to earth. Earth was full of them now. Even hell would reject them, ask Irene, she would tell you.
She flung open the gates and stood unfazed as the burning coal ate away at her feet.
"I hurt people, I make people cry and I enjoy doing it. I play with people's souls, make scars that never heal. Whenever I am alone I think about this and laugh. And I am alone most of the times", said he and started to laugh.
"Are you the devil?” she asked
"Yes", he answered
"Are you the epitome of evil"
She had been asked where she wanted to be, heaven or hell. She did not bat her eyelid even once when she said hell. Everybody is given a choice, and everybody chooses heaven, everybody wants to reform, everybody don't.
"Lucifer!” She shouted, she was not older than 14 maybe.
"Come on out you dirty devil", she shouted again
"Who dares open my gates and wake me from my deep slumber", cried Lucifer
"It’s me Irene, your bride to be. Come forth Lucifer, marry me, consume me, now", she ordered
There was deep laugh from within.
"I am very ugly", said Lucifer.
"I have seen worse" answered Irene
"I torture people", said Lucifer. "
I have seen worse" answered Irene
"I do not respect women”, said Lucifer.
"I have seen worse" answered Irene
Irene hung her head down and in a low voice asked, "Do you rape women?"
Puzzled, Lucifer asked, "What is that?"
Irene stood up, tears rolling down from her eyes and said, "I have seen worse"
"You call yourselves a devil, aren't you ashamed of yourselves? While you were deep in slumber, many have surpassed you", She said sadly.
Lucifer began to stutter, "What, What do you mean?” he asked
"Do you want to know what real evil is"
"Yes, yes, yes", he shouted
"Make way for me Lucifer, let me take that throne beside you"
With fire gleaming in her eyes, she seemed crying down fire. She turned back and said in a high monotonous tone.
"Open the gates of hell, you may,
And I shall show you the way,
For I have some hatred to share,
Each and every one of them I shall bare.
They tore me apart, those men,
These evil started from whence,
I have seen them, their souls they sell,
It’s not you, I am the one coming - From Hell"