Saturday, 29 August 2009

Short story competition-Edited and Improved

As I had mentioned in my Zombie chicken AWARD post, the Short story competition starts now.

To quote from the above post of mine.. ... “All awards (recognitions) come with greater responsibilities....So does this...a Short story competition is coming up for the winners. I would give the topic and probably the plot too. All you have to do is to write a story.....So watch-out...”

The first nominees are Ms. Gayathri , the youngest in the group and Ms. Neha. The rules of the competition are:

a) Strictly to go by the mentioned plot.

b) Narrative style and the narrative could be adopted to suit the Short story. For eg. Story need not follow the given linear mould. Beginning could be the end or end could be the beginning of the story.

c) Names could be changed from the regular ZB names. Arun need not be Arun.

d) You have a week’s time. To write. The story shouldn’t be in more than 2500 words.

once you write it, you will have to inform me, and i will create a post, linking the story to your blog.

Okey, Then....

The Plot:

The story starts with Priya, a girl of 22, attending her mother’s funeral. She is completely devastated .Her only relation in the world is dead. She has a father, who is apparently alive, but has left them a long time ago. Whole her life, she was brought-up by her mother. She is in state of shock and mute. She is cut-out of the world, and sees signs of her mother communicating to her. She can see a flock of pigeons fly towards the sky. She believes that it’s her mother. She shifts to a reverie.

Rest of the story is a monologue.

3 years back, Arun had walked into her office. At that time, She was working for a Cell phone service company ( Airtel) . She attends him with his complaint. He starts visiting her office regularly in the pretence of cell phone queries. She avoids him, but he pursues her. Then one day, he asks her out. She refuse.

He feels hurt. He stops following her. Few weeks pass. She begins to miss him. Finally, she misses him so much that she goes to his office to meet him. She asks him why he wasn’t coming to her office, to meet her. He proposes her; He tells her that he genuinely loved her and wishes to marry her one day. She avoids him, confusing him. He wonders why she was avoiding him, and then comes to meet him when he tries to end the relationship. She agrees to go out with him for Lunch.

During lunch she opens up. They get closer. She tells him her stories. He tells his. But she tells him that she doesnt want to have a relationship. She tells him that she is not ready yet. He continues persevering, and believes that she loves him too, but her circumstance has made her not trust a man. They continue to meet; they go out for lunch. They continue being just friends.

After around 6 months, Arun loses hope and breaks down before Priya. She reluctantly accepts the fact that she loved him too, on a verge that she might lose him forever. She tells him that she doesn’t know yet, if she was in love with him.

Then one day, her mother falls sick and out of other options, she calls Arun, late in the night to come to her house. They take her to hospital and she is cured. This brings Priya closer to Arun.

Then after few months, she is transferred to Bangalore. He too joins her, resigning his job and persuading his father for higher studies( Journalism). They come real close, their distance vanishing completely to a level that she, in a moment of desire, gives herself to him. They make love. She realises that she has positioned herself in a state of no return. She tells him that she loves him completely, and never again she can love another man.He convince her, asking her to stop crying and believe him, trust him. He would be with her in life, and even after (Literally in the story).

Then tragedy strikes. Arun falls sick and is admitted to Hospital with Hepatitis. Priya takes care of him. His parents are called. Her mother too arrives. Gradually he gets very serious and shifts to coma. After few days in ICU, he dies.

The world has trampled for Priya. She slowly starts to lose herself. After the funeral, when she was all alone in her hostel, she slits her vein. She loses her consciousness after much blood lose.

She is found in a critical stage, and is rushed to a hospital. She begins to recover slowly. She is later declared mentally ill. She develops manic depression and schizophrenia.

After a year of Treatment, she recovers. She is adopted by Arun’s parents and they send her for higher studies. She goes on to complete her Masters in Journalism from University of Colombia ( ala Barka Dutt) and become a renowned Journalist with a national TV Channel.

The twist in the story is:

Unknown to the world, When after slitting her vein, she is lying in a state of coma, undiscovered by the world; she shifts to the edge of life, the point after which Death takes over. She sees Arun standing besides her, crying, telling her, why she did this, why did she try to kill herself. He tells her that he would always be around her, watching her and living his life through her. He tells her that she should be a successful woman and do all that he failed to do in his life. She promises him that she would live, She would live life for him.

She smiles at the world for calling her Mad, when in reality Arun was indeed present beside her, when she was close to death. She was sure of that, yes, he was present. He had talked to her.

Call it hallucinations of schizophrenic, imaginations of a confounded mind, or nothing but blatant truth which mere mortals failed to observe....the world would never know...

(Who knows, we would only know after death if soul indeed existed)

The narration comes back to the day of funeral of her mother ( as in the beginning) . She smiles, happy that her mother would join Arun soon. How lucky mother was. She would have to wait longer to unite with him.She was on a wait. A long wait; Life was a long wait, a wait for death.

The End......

To give an Idea of Priya’s character, I am adding few monologues by her.

Priya Speak

The alarm rings on my Mobile phone. I had set it for 6.30, but I was awake. I couldn’t sleep properly the whole night. Father has not come home and mother is worried. I am sure she wouldn’t have slept too. Why does he have to hurt her so much? The only blunder she has done in her life is to have married him.

My mother, oh mother, why are you so kind to him when he doesn’t give you a damn? Why? Why do you still care for him, hoping that one day he would change his ways and take you in his arms, like those good old days. Has he cared to even call and tell you he is not going to make it for the night? I hate him; I hate him for spoiling your life, mother.

Why didn’t you divorce him mother, and care about your life inconsiderately. You knew about him from the second day of your marriage, didn’t you? You have told me these tales of deception hundreds of times, haven’t you: Making me abhor father so much more.

You had a career, you loved your job, and you needn’t have looked into anything so morbid in your life. You would have got a man for you far better than the man you make me call father, o mother.

What’s the point? You and your love; I am sick of it. Why did you make me suffer? Sorry mother, but wont I suffer seeing you suffer?

I wiped my tears. What a way to start a day, oh god, why are you so unfair to me, why?

I sat up to look at my mother sleeping beside me. I know you are pretending to be asleep, you won’t have slept the whole night. Whom are you trying to deceive mother, someone who has seen you all her life? You would have kicked him out of your life mother and I would have felt happier for you. Why do we need someone, who is only an ache in our life, mother.

I got up and headed for the toilet. Its going to be a frantic day, like any other day. I hate my job, stupid customers, my stupid boss, this stupid world.

Arun is the only good thing to have happened in my life. My long, lonesome, abandoned 22 years of life. I feel spiteful at the sight of father. His stench of alcohol and tobacco, what did my mother see in him?

I would have said yes to Arun. What if he leaves me? No, all men are good at conversing and convincing. Women shouldn’t believe half the thing men say. Probably my father would have said the same to my mother. He has spoiled her life, and mine too.

I feel envious of my friends when they speak about their fathers. I wish I too had someone to speak about. I wish I too had someone to call me and check with me when I got late to come home. My heart ached when my friends brought their fathers for their School annual day.Life sucks, big time !!!!duh !!!

@ Gay3: You don’t have to add the above part; it’s just to give you an idea of her character. I couldn’t make it further bollywoodish....Emotional atyachaar....Wish you good luck. :D

As suggested by Aparna, i am adding a word....and example as to how the story can be. The story can be even from the point-of-view of Arun. It need not be a poignant tale. It can even be humorous...

She had the most splendid eyebrows in the world, the luxuriousness that is trained into perfect black arches .She was part of the exotic breed, so it seemed when I looked at her. Her beauty was exceptional, convincing me of such a strong, persistent and universal appeal which would relate to anyone’s sense of aesthetics. She would have coerced the strongest of human minds by revealing possible cognitions, motivations and emotions to churn out poetry and masterpieces of literature, one after another...

Priya walked into my sleepy life as a …hummm…..strong cup of Nescafe in the morning(on bed)…the first drizzle after a horrid summer……long powerless ( electricity) hot & humid night when its impossible to sleep and then suddenly power comes and the fan is on, spreading cool refreshing air-stream….eating tasteless dal and dry burnt chappatis for a month and suddenly you smell hydrabadi chicken biriyani …….I cant think of more examples for now……… was such a change after her arrival…J

Our telephonic conversations were a training experience for me into ‘How to scientifically woo a young beautiful girl through tele conversation’ and I came out victorious, she found me interesting and witty (her words, and not mine..:) )and you know what she said about me during one of our long chats????

“You have made good use of the brain, god has given you” and for my “How”, she said “you are well informed and well read…you would go places..”

I know, that’s more than any guy with a bit of ego could take in a day and I flew like eagles and vultures in the sky……refusing to come down at any time…

P.S: anyone who wants to take up the challenge are welcome.In fact everyone in my friends list is hereby ordered to take part............Watch-out. :D


Aparna said...

ZB I will be busy till Sept 10th. Daughter's exams and project submissions going on. Will need time to think. Keep my name last.

kavita said...

Interesting plot...can't wait for the entries.Looks like we have some interesting weeks coming up...congrats for such initiative.

Neha said...

dude, not fair...award gone and story writing gone too..humph..i m boycotting your blog for few hours...come outta your relief mode and erase the memory of me gettin an award recently..

hope the guilt has taken over again...

Gayathri said...

Sounds a couple of days at the most :)

ZB said...

@Neha: You are next. I thought you would back off. Glad to hear that you would be interested.I thought it was a good idea to torture.hehe. You are next, so prepare urself :)

Gayathri said...

Btw zb,pls pls word limit :(

ZB said...

@Aparna: No isues. Neha will replace you, and once you are back you would be given a plot. TC, all the best for your daughters exams. :)

@Kavita: Thanks :)

@Gay3: But 2500 words are quite a few....anything more than that would make ur story very-very long. Okey, if you want it, without compromising on quality, yes, go ahead. :)

The abstract scientist said...

Hey ZB,
Great story man. I am waiting to read different takes of this story from different authors.
Your idea is awesome and merging different time spheres at different parts of the story is a cool tactic. I am inspired.

ZB said...

Thanks AS. I am glad. You want to take it? I wasnt sure about you, since you dont write too often. Go ahead, write this story. Let me know.....Thanks man. :)

Neha said...

ok I am back here...I would love to write one on this plot...don't promise a master stroke like you always come up with...but will try my level best...:)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....this will take time....he he....Do let me know when its my turn or time limit.......and everyone writes on the same story line???? This should be interesting....

sujata said...

Have just taken up a job as editorial asst, its a bit hectic at the moment..but will do the story..sounds interesting and will be a welcome break from cut copy paste office work!!Need about a week..

Aparna said...

Just a suggestion...why don't you give an opening line or a few words and ask every body to write on the same thing instead of giving different topics to different people.That I feel would be more interesting. Anybody can write instead of just the award winners.

ZB said...

Thanks aparna: Yea, its a good idea. Initially i thought i would give different stories to different people. But then to judge best story wouldn't be possible that way.

I dont want to give opening line or few words...that would make stories monotonous. You can start any way. you can even say the story from the point of view from Arun.

Ok, i would put a word or a line about the story from the point of view of Arun. But you need not stick to it. Thanks :)

ZB said...

@Sujata, Jyothi, Neha....One week is absolutely your best. All the best :)

Zeba said...

I am sooooooo lost on what's happening. Anyway, how r u?

Babli said...

Very very interesting and lovely post...You are a very innovative person...I like each and every post of yours.

The Panorama said...

Nice plot, ZB. I really like the part where she meets Arun again while she is battling for her life. Looking forward to reading the entries.

You a popular guy on blogsphere, buddy:) I like your ideas a lot ...keep it up!

Neha said...

hi ZB, my post is there..:)

Anonymous said...

Hey this looks interesting...Will keep a watch over it :)
Would have loved to try it out but sadly am really pressed for time right now.

Kaddu said...

Baap re!

Thank God you haven't asked me to participate in this competition! It's worse than giving the Sun Java exam! Phewwwwww!

But I really envy u guys u know... those who can write abt feelings! If I were to write a fiction ever, it'd be all events and practically no or very minimal feelings!

All the best to all you brave ones who decide to participate in this contest! :D

numerounity said...

I guess me too figure in the list of wannabe attempt makers for this contest. But unfortunately I just saw this post. Blame it on my “no blogs for few days”..”too much work to handle” or even travelling. But I am trying to be back and see if I can take this upJ

But don’t you think the plot is a story in itself? I mean you have given the entire short fiction a form of plot…let me know what should I pick from here to write.

Also, I would need your help in few tamil/malyalam translations vave…game?

numerounity said...

I guess me too figure in the list of wannabe attempt makers for this contest. But unfortunately I just saw this post. Blame it on my “no blogs for few days”..”too much work to handle” or even travelling. But I am trying to be back and see if I can take this upJ

But don’t you think the plot is a story in itself? I mean you have given the entire short fiction a form of plot…let me know what should I pick from here to write.

Also, I would need your help in few tamil/malyalam translations vave…game?

numerounity said...

Hey Zillion baby... I have kept my words and posted the story finally.

I hope you will have a look and your oipinion on the same.

What more? I have tagged/ linked all your friends who have attempted the same.

Have a look and have a nice day!
The link is-