Tag Archives: horror

Plunged into darkness.

Sudipto was driving home late one night – later than usual, at least. The clock was ticking closer to welcoming the new day. The roads, broad and empty of the never-ending stream of cars, lit with street lamps on both sides, white and blue fairy lights trailing the silver poles. There were no buildings, no civilisation laying home along this road – only roads, statues and a wide, green patch in the middle of the city, fondly called the city’s lungs. He pushed the clutch and rammed the car into the fourth gear as he approached Red Road. Parts of his twelve-year-old ambassador creaked at the engine speed falling a decade or so short of a ton. He could never drive at such speeds with a passenger at the back – they called it rash driving – but this was when he enjoyed his bread earning life choice. It was always the bus and taxi drivers who drove rashly, never the rule admonishing pedestrian or the swerving bikers and honking and overtaking private cars.

He took the circuitous path home through Red Road, choosing to enjoy the wind rather than hurrying to park the taxi in the garage. The window on his side was already open, so he leaned to the left to roll down the passenger window too. The wind rushed into the car from both sides, driving out the smells of the day – the food, the sweat, the leather. He threw open a few more buttons of his front open shirt, unzipping his pants. The sudden touch of air on his sweat-caked skin made him shiver, a rarity in the humid city.

The next right would take him towards home. As he approached the turn, he still honked on the deserted road out of practised caution. The next moment he got distracted by someone waving out from the extreme left side of the road – he saw it out of the corner of his eye. He had slowed down for the turn but his head was now craned towards the left to see if he could help the person. He saw glimpses of white and then nothing more. Just like that, there was no one there anymore. He blinked his eyes rapidly, not sure if he was hallucinating before or now. His hands turning the wheel right and legs controlling the speed, he’d made the turn and sharply looked right to check again towards where he’d seen the hapless soul but nothing anymore. He’d heard stories of hauntings before but had never believed in them. He wasn’t afraid. He dismissed the incident and looked ahead to find the lane plunged in darkness. As if on cue with his sight on the road, the car’s headlights flickered off and the engine sputtered to a stop. Now he was afraid.

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Graciously Yours!

Surviving the horrors!

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Coming up is a survival guide if you are being forced to sit through a horror film on the 70 mm film on cinema screens. For those of you bold and brave people out there who stepped into the halls knowing your dreams might not be as pleasant in the nights to come, I have put together a list of life hacks to, well, make life simpler. Isn’t that what life hacks do? Also, I have specifically picked up cinema halls because at home, you have a way out that is not 100 metres away shining in bright red reading ‘EXIT’, devilishly grinning at you while you sit crouched in fear as people scream and shout for their lives on the screen. Not that I was sitting crouched in fear. Anyway, let’s get to the point.

And the point is, or the points are:

  • Help comes from above:

Have you ever noted what the ceiling of a cinema hall looks like? When we go to museums, temples, mosques, churches, palaces or even when in the open, we look ceiling-wards or skyward to opine about the place. But why not a movie theatre? Well, for starters, obviously because you don’t go to admire the interiors of the theatre but the quality of their audio and visual. I get it. But you should try looking up too, you know? I did and I ended up counting 13 rows and 24 columns of tiles. At least. While the film was playing. It was difficult counting with the play of light on the ceiling. So rest assured, I spent a good amount of time not looking at the screen, while Annabelle Creations was being played.

  • Friend in need:

Always, and I am telling you this very seriously, always go with someone who’s worse than you at watching horror films, who screams at the drop of a hat or well, knife here, who jumps at every turn the protagonist takes, who bites their nails or digs them into the neighbour’s arm! That way the limelight is on them and their rather audible gasps and you leave unscathed from being the butt of jokes in your friend circle!

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  • Know-it-alls aren’t shy:

Keep your eyes closed if you want, but your ears open. There will always be one of those know-it-alls in the audience who will try to predict out loud what happens next and sometimes they’re correct too, being experts having watched way too many horror films over the years. That way you’re prepared for what all might happen next and your heart doesn’t jump into your throat at times odd and even.

  • Scope how you cope:

What’s your coping mechanism when fear settles in? Fight or flight? Well, reality check. Here, both won’t work. You can neither fight or flight. So what could work? Laughter! I picked up random scenes and separated them from the context – voila, the comments were such that my friend was in splits while the rest of the hall was intensely silent. One such chain of thought : Talking to myself, Tune out the audio, girl. That is what is scaring you. Tune out… Tune out… Auto tune… Shirley Sethia. And friend is in spilts. Google ‘auto tune and Shirley Sethia’. You’ll know what I mean.

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  • Phone a friend:

And if nothing else works, then whip out your phone, dim screen brightness, make sure it is on silent and start browsing through the multiple apps which have reduced our attention span, narrowed our world view while expanding our reach worldwide, update your interests on FaceBook, add a few snapchats in the dark, use some Instagram filters. Or like me, SMS (yes, it still exists) another friend sitting three seats away who was complaining about the film being boring! Boring would be the last thing I would call the film. I wonder what he’s made of.

These are my life hacks. What are yours?

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : Want more life hacks? Tell me the topic in your mind and I’ll work on it for you. 😉

The House That Wasn’t. Part 0

Continued from

5 years, 2 months and 19 days ago – 7:30 PM.

Pankaj was trying to close shop as fast as possible. The skies were overcast. He’d decided to leave this town too. He wasn’t sure how safe it was for Tara now. The residents were getting suspicious. Tara was his daughter. He’d lost her mother to a witch hunt three years ago. He was afraid of Tara’s fate too. She was nine but her thoughts hadn’t progressed accordingly. Just like her mother’s. The ‘doctors’ said she was mad. He didn’t believe them. But he didn’t tell anyone about his daughter either.

He made the last sale of the day and hurriedly cycled down to his place. He couldn’t figure out why he was a nervous wreck. He felt something ominous would happen. He shut the door behind him.

Tara’s voice was drifting from the floor above. She often spoke to her toys. “Tara, I am home,” he called out.

She didn’t answer. He walked into the bedroom, onto her toys strewn all over the place.

He could see his daughter hiding behind the bedpost. Walking towards her, he kept asking, “Where is Tara today?” She giggled. He happened to glance outside the window to see a group of people walking towards his house.

Picking her up gently, tickling her so she didn’t protest, he explained to her slowly, “Daddy and you will play a little game now. I’ll hide you and you will keep quiet for five minutes. Okay?”

The bell rang.

“Did Tara understand?” he asked hurriedly.

“Yes, Daddy,” she answered softly.

The bell rang again.

Hoping she had actually understood, he put her down behind the bed again.

Now they were banging on the door.

He hurried down.

There were some kids hiding behind the men. Questions rained down on him. “What have you done to the house? The children say they hear voices from the house. The house throws stones at us, they say. Our children are afraid to come to this part of the town.”

“No, there’s no one in here except me. I am sure your kids must be mistaken!” He sounded confident but didn’t look the least.

Just then, he faintly heard Tara’s voice. He hoped the others hadn’t! To douse it out, he began, “Now if you’re done, excuse me, I have to make my dinner.”

But they had. “Wait. What’s that?” He prayed, she would remember he’d asked her to be quiet! But as fate would have it, she spoke again. This time louder. It spooked out the men. The children ran away to a distance.

“That’s nothing. Just the skies perhaps.” He tried shutting the door, but they were quicker. They barged in. Two men pinned him to the door.

“There’s nothing to fear. Please leave me alone,” he pleaded. He looked at the children standing a few feet away. They looked frightened – of the house or the brutality, he wouldn’t know.

The men split up to search the house. Some took out knives, some had hand-held pistols. Hearing all the commotion downstairs, Tara peeked out of the room. The little child thought they were playing hide and seek with her! She ran to another room laughing!

The laughter spooked them. The men rushed upstairs, each scared but none admitting. The peals of thunder and flashes of lightning were not helping!

“If only Tara would sit quietly in one place,” Pankaj thought. But as soon as she saw a pair of feet coming up the stairs, she braced herself to scare her father. Giggling, blissfully unaware of the danger looming on her and her father, she jumped out of her hiding place, peals of her joyous laughter pulsating through the house! She wanted to scare the man whose feet she’d seen, but death scared her instead.

Screams were followed by thunders outside and cocked guns inside! One of those bullets hit the child and it was the last time laughter was heard in that house.

Until… 5 years, 2 months and 19 days later when…

“She had stopped laughing but the house hadn’t.

Fear crept in her eyes too.”

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Graciously Yours!

The House That Wasn’t.

dark_ancient_house_by_sand3rr“What is it that is stopping you?” she asked. “Come on in! I am sure the place isn’t haunted.”

He stepped in. His torch was slipping from his hands due to sweat. In the eerie silence of the house, the buzzing quiet of the night outside seemed favorable. All those stories he’s heard in his life of 19 years came back to haunt him.

“Will you even move?” his girlfriend whispered.

“How did she even manage to get the keys?” he wondered. He took his first step forward and his shoes clicked louder than ever. Coherent thoughts were giving way to fear again.

“Couldn’t you wear sports shoes or rubber slippers?” she whispered angrily.

“Well, you never told me you’re going house hunting today,” he retorted, scared of his own foot step.

“Take your shoes off,” she said, “or you’ll scare the ghosts away!”

“I am not going to do that,” he said.

“Fine. Then try and be less noisy,” she said with gritted teeth.

“If you could be less nosy,” he mumbled under his breath.

She held him by the wrist and walked around. The furniture was strewn all across the floor. Cobwebs shone into the torch light, dancing around him. The musty smell of the place was getting on to him. He spotted a cracked mirror hanging on the wall ahead. He averted his eyes lest he saw something he wasn’t meant to.

She kept talking to him but not one word got through to his conscious. His mind had its own set of defenses in place. His body was tense and alert. She stepped on to broken glass. His scared jump had a feline touch. She laughed at his reaction. Her laugh echoed in the house. It was scary. It wasn’t the laugh he had fallen in love with.

Soon he’d know why. She had stopped laughing but the house hadn’t.

Fear crept in her eyes too.

Continued…

Graciously Yours!

Picture Courtesy : Pinterest.

Screaming in horror. Almost.

 

This is a rant post. Don’t blame me if you feel like screaming in horror after reading this. Read ahead at your own risk.


 

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What’s real about pictures anymore?

So Google tells me there are selfies of various kinds from #Ussie, #Uglie (Why? Oh why?), #Belfie, #Helfie, #Delfie, #Felfie, (I swear I am not making these names up.) #Wealthie and I’m tired!

Adding to all of those trending hashtags is a new way to click selfies – with the Vibe S1 (I am not sponsoring the product. Geez.) which will let you change the backdrop of your selfie. Wait, what?

So apart from the fact rumour that most selfies are staged and photoshopped and airbrushed and filtered and doused-in-all-other-photography-technology-related-words, we can now change our selfie backdrops.

Wanna bet which is going to be the most trendy backdrop? The Oscar red carpet pitched against the Eiffel Tower of Paris with your loved one? Or will it be snow capped peaks competing with the Victoria’s Secret runway? Who wants reality anyways?


 

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Intolerance? Us Indians? Nah. Never.

For all those unaware, India has been discussing exactly how intolerant we are, as a country, for the past couple of months. Bans are trending, people are giving back awards felicitated on them by the Government (irrespective of the fact that the awards were given by political parties which are currently not even in power), people are being killed for their eating habits, politicians are rallying for food choices and animal (read : cow) protection like never before.

So Aamir Khan said this “Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India? That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day. That does indicate that there is a sense of growing disquiet.”

So who really was afraid of India’s increased activities of intolerance? Kiran or Aamir? From whatever little English I understand, I think he just conveyed what Kiran said. And probably what millions of us say in the confines of our homes and safe havens of our thoughts. But refuse to admit openly. Because we are tolerant.

And for a country which is bashing Aamir for wrongly calling intolerant, are we in reality being tolerant towards his right to free speech? Latest updates show he’s being asked to leave India and his religion (of course!) is being held responsible for his thoughts (which, surprise, were actually Kiran’s thoughts.) Why did we not rise in defiance the same way when politicians said the most disgusting things about women being responsible for being raped and calling rape a ‘mistake’ which boys are allowed to commit? Why did we not ask for them to be thrown out of the country or ask for their resignations? Oh, right. Because WE ARE TOLERANT.

By the way. #IStandWithAamirKhan.


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Are you bleeding? Get out. Oh, you can’t bear children? Get out.

With due respect to everyone’s religious sentiments, why would you infringe on a woman’s privacy and her faith in such a drastic way? For a country which celebrates the union of the fertilized egg and sperm in the grandest ways possible, we do treat the unfertilized egg as harshly impure. In spite of science having busted the menstrual taboos and myths over and over again.

#HappyToBleed, yes. Always.


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NYC subways have rats! Eeks.

Another selfie news? No, no, not at all. Didn’t you notice the most important bit of information in this piece? Even NYC subways have rats! Time we globalized the Clean India Campaign?

Oh and confession time. I did scream at horror at what the rat did. Almost.


Graciously Yours!

P.S. : Do share what you think after reading this. I really, really want to know if you screamed.

A dream too real?

Smiling in her sleep,

She dreamt her beau cupping her face,

Caressing her hair and her cheek,

His finger lingering at her lips.


She felt a hand up her neck,

She brushed away the tickling fingers,

Only to wake up, horrified.

She was sleeping alone.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. I hope you love the new look as much as I do! Feedback awaited.

Diwali Post!

There are more than a couple of reasons why I am writing this post :

Firstly, to wish you all a really happy Diwali! It is an age old Indian festival depicting ‘good wins over evil’, traditionally celebrated as the Festival of Lights all over the country (which unfortunately, over the years has become more of festival of sounds with all the lights from the fireworks only adorning the skies.)

Secondly, my mother is not at home and this is the prefect opportunity to take a break because once she’s back with the flowers and all, the entire house needs to be decorated for the puja in the evening! (I’ll put up the photographs for y’all tonight!)

Thirdly and most importantly, Caesar (due credit to VJ for coming up with the name) is missing! That, below there, is Caesar!

Caesar

And when I say missing, I mean, this soft toy of a monkey which was sitting at the dining table at 2 am in the morning before I went to sleep, is missing from our home when I looked for it at 11 am today! It is not there. Not in the rooms. Not in the kitchen. Not in the balcony. Not in the washrooms. Not even in the cupboards and windows!

Which leaves me perplexed! And scared. I knew I should never have watched horror movies! Specially those with walking and talking dolls! Yikes!

Can a soft toy get up and walk out to celebrate Diwali? Considering we’re not bursting crackers this year at all to reduce some of our carbon footprint, did it get attracted to the fireworks-lit skies and decided to go for a stroll outside and lost his way back home? Or did not want to come back home?

Or did my granny hide it in some unchecked nook or crevice of our home just to get back at me for having scared her by placing the monkey near her last week when she was sleeping?

Or did my mother give it for dry cleaning and is not telling me because she is enjoying my bewildered, perplexed, puzzled, shaken reactions?

The last one makes most sense, but then where’s the fun in that!

Happy Diwali to everyone! May every day of your life see good winning over evil.

Graciously Yours!

P.S.: Where do you think Caesar is?