Bullets.

There was a light breeze and it was drizzling.
It wasn’t a bright morning but the Sun proved its existence. Rahil was standing outside the bungalow. Hands stuffed inside his pockets, he stood there without showing any emotion on his face.

He was looking at the bungalow, thinking about his father. How everything changed after he lost him. He was remembering his favourite moments with him.

The moments when they went for a drive. When they watched their favourite shows together, when they painted together. Moments spent in the kitchen. Moments when his dad got emotional.

“Dad, you know what? I don’t think I’ll ever be as successful as you.”

“Why? Why not?”

“Because, I’ll be more successful.”

 “That’s like my son.

Teary-eyed Rahil, smiled and was still standing there.
A car honked behind him.
It was his elder brother, Zaayed. Zaayed honked even after Rahil turned and quickly moved the car ahead and stopped just before Rahil.

Rahil was still standing there. Without moving an inch.
He smiled at Zaayed.

Zaayed did not smile back.

The smile on Rahil’s face, slowly started to fade away as Zaayed’s car moved ahead.

Rahil was an adopted kid. He was barely 5 years old when he was adopted by the Muhanas. Mr. Muhana loved Rahil way too much. He never made him feel like an adopted kid, always pampered him and made him feel special.

Zaayed, for obvious reasons, did not like Rahil that much. Though they grew up together, Zaayed always seemed to distinguish him from Rahil. Rahil wanted to become an architect, and hence was sent abroad for few years.
When he came back, all Mr. Muhana could think of, was Rahil. There were preparations done for his welcome. The entire house was decorated with flowers and lights. It was a grand ceremony which Zaayed wasn’t very fond of.

“I don’t get it dad. Yes, I understand that he wanted to go abroad and study. But, yeah, good for him. Now that he is coming back, why do you want to spend so much on him? What’s the point?”

“Zaay jaan, he is coming after 5 years. We have all missed him. It does call for a celebration. If you were in his place, I would do the same.”

“Oh c’mon dad! You all missed him. I didn’t. And for God sake! Stop comparing both of us! You wouldn’t do all this for me. You have always loved Rahil more and it has been pretty evident.”

Whatever Zaayed said was true. Mr. Muhana knew that and hence didn’t utter a word.
The relationship between Rahil and Zaayed was always very difficult. When they were kids, Zaayed always cried for bigger toys as he was the elder son. But, both of them were always given the same toys.
Though Zaayed never accepted it, he had always been jealous of Rahil and the love that he got from their father.

Rahil had always wanted everything quickly.

Rahil would ask for something, and he would get it the next day.

On Rahil’s 20th birthday, Mr. Muhana promised him something.

“The day I die. All my money, property, my cars, are going to be yours.”

“Dad..”

“I promise you son. After I die, it’s all yours.”

After Rahil left for his higher studies, Zaayed and Rahil didn’t talk to each other for a very long time. They only wished each other on their birthdays and that was it. Though Rahil always thought of dropping in a message for Zaayed, he never really did.

On the day when Rahil came back, the entire bungalow was beautifully decorated. Right from the gates till the back yard, there were lights everywhere.

Zaayed couldn’t accept the attention Rahil was going to get on his arrival. He sat in his room, barely participating in the grand welcome. He sat there with a cigarette in his hand. He saw the smoke in front of his eyes and slowly blew it away. Every time he blew the smoke, he cursed Rahil and his existence.

There was a frame of their family on his wall. He looked at it and threw the ash pot on it. Within seconds, the glass was all over the floor.

Outside, people were waiting with flowers and gifts. Music. Balloons. Champagne. Mr. Muhana was happy like never before. Joy was everywhere. He held his wife’s hand and was extremely emotional.

A black shiny car arrived near the gate. It was Rahil, with his secretaries.
Zaayed was searching for something in his drawer.
He threw all his clothes on the bed. The tv was on. Some random channel, a movie on a serial killer. Zaayed was extremely frustrated as he couldn’t find what he is looking for.
On the other hand, Rahil was receiving what he was not expecting. Gifts, flowers, more gifts. As he walked out of the car, people stood there looking at him in awe.
A tall, good looking man Rahil, walked towards his mom and dad.
Mr. Muhana was almost in tears. He couldn’t get enough of looking at his son, who was now a successful man.

When Rahil approached him, Mr. Muhana went into a flashback of his childhood.

Memories met him again.
Little Rahil, who didn’t even know how to draw a line, now knew it all.

Zaayed was staring at them through his window and had something in his hands. He had tears down his cheek while his eyes were burning red.

Rahil stood in front of his dad and they both looked at each other.
Mr. Muhana touched his cheek and smiled.

Rahil smiled and shut his eyes.
He bent down and touched his father’s feet.

Mr. Muhana was shot three times.

Zaayed ran down looking at what had happened. People got scared and started to run away. Some people rushed to Mr. Muhana and called the police and the ambulance. Some stood at a distance, stunned. Mrs. Muhana collapsed on the floor.

Rahil cried holding his father’s hand, while Zaayed kept staring at the dead body with tears down his cheek.

The relationship only grew bitter with time. The police was trying hard to figure out who shot Mr. Muhana that night. Unfortunately, there were only few clues. It was obvious that the entire murder was planned and well timed.

When Rahil came inside, Zaayed looked at Rahil and said,

“You think the world is as stupid as you, Mr. Rahil Vinod Mehra? If I am not wrong.”

“Rahil Kabeer Muhana, Zaayed.”

“How shameless can you be?”

“What are you trying to say?”

“We were never taught to touch dad’s feet.”

“As in? What are you trying to..”

“What do you think Rahil, I don’t understand? I don’t see the obvious things?”

Rahil stood there without saying a word.

“You couldn’t wait for him to die. Could you? Your habit of acquiring everything too soon pushed you to that extent that you decided to take my father’s life. What do you think? I didn’t know about the pact dad made with you?

I die. And it’s all yours?”

Rahil’s hands were shaking.

“You touched his feet that night. That night, I was looking at you through my window. I had a gun in my hand. I was not in my senses Rahil. I was planning to kill you. You bent down to touch his feet and dad was dead. I did shoot a bullet. And, I know, out of the three bullets, that killed dad, the last one was mine.”

“It’s stupid when people say that bullets are made out of lead or copper or whatever. No, bullets aren’t made out of all that.

Bullets are made out of jealousy, greed and hatred. And trust me, that’s exactly what it takes to kill.”

Scream.

“I didn’t want to be there anymore, probably because I could sense how badly my heart’s gonna wrench.
I wanted to get up, shout at them and literally disappear from there within seconds.
But, was that even possible? That required courage, and I simply didn’t have that.
I didn’t have that shameless bravery. I was weak. I didn’t know how to stand for myself.
So, I never did.
Every time they bullied me, I sat there, tears down my cheeks, not knowing what to say.
I hated myself every moment, a lot more than I hated them.
It wasn’t their fault, it was mine.
I allowed them to rag me. So, they did.
Some things are never taught in school.
They never teach you how to help yourself when someone’s trying to put you down.
The maths never formulated, the science never assisted. Language didn’t help too, because I just couldn’t speak.
All I wanted to do is get up and run.
But, I didn’t.

I never told anything to mom and dad. I started to write about it in a notebook.
Grand mom visited us for few days during Christmas. I wasn’t very close to her but she was extremely approachable. A night before the new year, she sat next to me when I was crying outside our house. She held my hand and said, “Don’t wait for someone to fix your life. Nobody will. You have to find the strength to fight this alone Phil. Throw it all out.”

I just nodded, and acted like I didn’t know what she’s saying.

When I went up to my room, I quickly started to look for my notebook. It had a note saying, “SCREAM.”

It continued for a long time. Every time I used to go to the canteen, they used to look at me and laugh. I used to be called everything, but my name. I avoided looking at them. But, my hands used to shiver while holding the plate. I could hear them laugh. Loudly. When they laughed together, it sounded exactly how it sounds when dogs growl. I used to get really scared.

As things started to turn worse, I stopped going to the canteen. I used to stuff dry fruits in my pockets before going to school and survive on that.

One day, I was extremely hungry and had no option but to go to the canteen. When I went there, they all started staring at me. Slowly they started coming closer. I tried to walk faster towards my classroom. They followed me while saying mean things. Everyone looked at what’s happening but nobody bothered to help. I ran with tears on my cheeks. I could barely breathe.

I didn’t know what to do, so I just started screaming till everyone could hear. When I screamed, all of them ran away. They got scared of the alarm I raised.
Teachers came to help me and got hold of the situation.

All of them were suspended.

That day I learnt the importance of raising your voice. That day I learnt, if there is anyone who’s going to help you in times of trouble, it’s you, yourself.”

– Diary of a survivor

Raw.

My soul desires for love; it craves for it every night
Love that will burn like fire that devours raw wood
A love that will come down pouring through the sky
My soul knows no promises,
it believes that they never come true
But, my soul believes in love that is raw;
Love that never promises,
but does what it is exactly supposed to
A love that doesn’t try to be something that it is not
And has never been defined in books
Instead thrives on the pages that were never read
And has survived in corners and nooks
Don’t be the kind of love that conceals it’s weakness
And boasts of it’s strength aggressively
I urge you to openly admit to your mistakes and flaws
And be okay with it becoming a part of your identity
Don’t waste your time in seeking perfection
Perfection doesn’t interest my soul
Instead become my pillow when I need to sleep
or glance at me through my cereal bowl
Show me your wounds,
In fact go flaunt them with pride
Reveal all your secrets to me
My ear is a safe place for them to hide
But never you promise me something you can’t fulfill
I’m afraid of dreams that break into pieces of despair
I urge you to be genuine and raw
Darling, please play it fair?

Let your words show me the way.

Let your words show me the way
Let the first letter pull me towards the other
Let me find myself between the spaces between them
Let me take a break at every comma
And breathe;
Let me stumble upon every semi colon
And hang there for a while
Let me find my place between the line breaks
in your paragraphs
Let me come through the gap of your colons
Let me sit inside the curve of your question marks
Let me wonder and ponder
 about the answers you are looking for
Let your exclamatory marks make me wonder a little more
Probably surprise or shock;
I’ll take a nap inside the loops
Merrily jump on every dash
I’ll slide through the brackets
Or maybe, every other slash
Let me rise a little to hold the apostrophe
And fall slowly into the gap of your ellipses
Full stops will tell me that the ride of the sentence is over
But promise me, that your words will push me ahead
towards the next.
Let your words show me the way
Let the first letter pull me towards the other. 

I don’t understand – Let me go.

I understand the pain your heart feels when it pours
I understand the tears that roll down your cheek at 1 am
I understand the emptiness you feel when the phone doesn’t ring in the morning
I understand why you look out of the window and stare at the sky
I understand why you stare at the spaces between your fingers
I understand that the only wish that you have, is to be remembered.
But, I don’t seem to understand how
someone can possibly forget you.

Dont think I am lost
I am dreaming of an another world
And am constantly being found there;
A world where people don’t care about right or wrong
A world where no one dies feeling lonely
A world where scars are considered to be a sign of living
A world where pain is turned into a beautiful song
A world where people aren’t afraid of breaking their walls
A world where no one judges your tear drops
Don’t disturb me
I am finding peace
Don’t try to get me back
Darling, please let me go
For once
I think I’ll be happy with life
For once, you know?

Don’t.

Don’t look at me and smile. Don’t hold my hand when we cross the road. Don’t laugh on almost everything I say. Don’t keep your head on my shoulder when you get bored. Don’t pull my cheeks when I make a mistake. Don’t come closer when it gets cold. Don’t call me at night when you can’t fall asleep. Don’t take my name so softly when we are sitting away. Don’t remember little things about me. Don’t listen to my favourite song over and over. Don’t whisper sweet things into my ear when I am occupied with work.

And don’t you dare look into my eyes and not say a word. Because, boy,  that kills. Everything you do makes me want to fall in love with you.

Don’t stop. Don’t you dare stop.