Wednesday, May 7, 2014

'Thanda Thanda, Cool Cool'

This short is a little different from what I generally write. It might be a little gory for some. So read at your own risk and do share feedback.

He lovingly cradled the two tubs of ice-cream he was carrying in his arms - vanilla for his wife and chocolate chip for his three year old son. He smiled as he remembered his son's latest antic of touching any cold surface and saying softly, "thanda thanda, cool cool," over and over again. A phrase that he most probably would have picked up from some advert. He made a mental note of limiting his TV time. He was going to start school soon, he should not be wasting his time in front of the idiot box, he thought. He decided to have a talk with his wife.

As he reached his apartment, with great difficulty and maneuvering of the ice-cream tubs, he rang the bell and waited for his smiling wife to open the door, for his laughing son to lunge at him and then upon seeing the tubs, snatch them and run away. When even after five minutes the door remained closed, he rang the bell again. Silence. Generally he could hear the TV blaring from the elevator but not today. He instinctively knew that something was not right. He put the tubs down and took out his key to unlock the door. 

One step inside and his worst fear came true. The house was in a disarray. The furniture was moved around, the showpieces scattered on the floor, the broken shards of picture frames littered the living room. He immediately rushed to the bedroom. The locker of their sturdy steel almirah was open and empty. All his wife's jewellery, the cash, everything was gone. He sat down with his head in his hands when he heard a faint murmuring sound coming from the spare bedroom. 

He ran in to see his wife lying on the floor with her arms outstretched. She was naked, stripped of her clothes and jewellery, except for her saree flung over her carelessly, covering her only partially. Her eyes were open and there were scratches and bite marks all over her body. There was a wire wound tightly around her neck, strangulating her. Looking at her, he realized that people lie when they say their loved ones looked peaceful as if they were sleeping when they died. His wife looked anything but! She looked scared and angry and helpless and in agony. 

He finally turned his head and looked at his son. He was nestled on his mother's outstretched bare arm, his back towards her mother's bloodied body, her vacant eyes. He had a long gash on his face with some congealed blood. He was not wearing his shorts or underwear and was lying in a pool of blood. His cheeks bore signs of being slapped and his father could see streams of dried up tears disappearing beneath his chin. He was caressing his dead mother's arm whispering slowly, "thanda thanda, cool cool."
 
The father stood frozen with silent tears making way down his cheeks.

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