What to be?

2nd November, 2012- the day I posted something here last. 

Fifteen days without a blog post and I'm feeling jittery- like it's been ages since I produced something worth sharing. It's not that I didn't have anything to write about the past fortnight- with Diwali and the onset of Winter, topics are aplenty and I've had drafts waiting in my outbox since quite some time. But there's the difference between writing and blogging. Writing you can do anytime you feel like it, in any format, on any subject of your whim, but blogging goes beyond that.

Ever since I became a regular blogger (let's say May-June, 2012), I've had a lot of friends come up to me and tell me how they too like to write and have been thinking about starting a blog after seeing mine. On the risk of sounding arrogant, it takes more than just a love for writing to be classified a blogger. Blogging is about writing with a diligent frequency, on topics that might engage an audience of strangers and entertain them enough into visiting again. 

When I started out, writing was just a way of diverting my mind and getting rid of the stress accumulated throughout the day. It was something I could do without getting worked up; a leisure activity. So, I had lots to say, loads of creative energy to channelize. Before I knew it, I was hooked. I became a part of Indiblogger, interacted with a lot of people and the need to keep updating my blog grew so much that I was constantly surfing the blogosphere and looking for challenges. 

Then, there came desperation- I did not know what to do with my blog anymore! I looked at other people's blogs- most of them had an underlying theme, a purpose. I did not have any. I experimented with topics and themes- fiction, poetry, philosophy, memoirs. 
But I still can't figure out what I want this blog to mean to me. So, I figure it's time to take a hiatus. Take a break and come back with some perspective. I really like blogging and I feel it's time to quit fooling around and start doing it the right way. 

So, till I figure out what the right way for me is- Adios!

PS: Suggestions are welcome!

A Rush of Blood to the Head

Here is my entry for the second exercise of the Indian Fiction Workshop. You can view the plot here : http://www.indifictionworkshop.blogspot.in/2012/10/exercise-for-edition-2.html

Thanks to Sandeep Nair for the thought-provoking and challenging plot. I found it extremely difficult to write this one. Hope it hasn't turned out too lame.

Check it out:
It is a warm morning in the middle of September. I am lying on the floor, watching the rays of the sun seep in through the window, lifting and turning and twirling the tiny little particles it came upon…
‘Mr. Brawlerrr’ rang a sing-song voice. ‘What?’ I growl, turning to look at the person interrupting my reverie. It’s Vincent, the most twisted white piece of shit you’d ever come across. ‘You have a visitor,sir’, he leers, the sides of his mouth twitching just a bit.

I scramble to my feet and walk to the door, holding up my hands so he could cuff me. I could've just as easily wrapped them around that thin neck of his and cracked it into two but I was just not in the mood for that today. Instead, I submissively walk down the dark corridor, glancing at the cells that came across the way, housing the most notoriously infamous residents of the Arlington State Penitentiary.
An elderly woman, wearing a long shabby cardigan over an equally shapeless dress stood waiting for me at the counter.
'...Billy, my child! I'm so glad to see you...' the showers of love started as soon as I place the receiver on my ear. ‘As good as ever grandma! Shouldn't have bothered to come in your condition and all…'
'How could I've not? It's your special day after all, ain’t it?' She had baked me a cake. It had my favourite icing too. I thanked her and chatted with her till that leech came to take me back.
‘And what do we have here?’ he said, snatching the box out of my hand. Bad move. Towering over his menial 5'8", I drove my elbows in the back of his head. This got us into a scuffle right in the middle of the hallway, which was a good thing for me as it got us the attention of the supervisor.
'The hell is goin' on there? Vincent give that homo bastard his lunch box and get him out of here!'
Oh, and Vincent, get yourself some brains too, piece of white refuse.
'What's for dessert Billy? Where that cake of yours go?'
‘Bet it’s got weed in it'
‘You can't get that kind of shit past those sensors, you moron'

My buddies in prison, Luke, Shaq and Steve had got themselves all worked up about the contents of my package at lunch time. Even the other inmates were looking at us curiously. 
'There's none left fellas. Big billy got a big stomach'.
I got up to keep my plate at the sink, but found Bruce retching in it.

'You carrying my baby Bruce? aww'.
My cronies jeered and laughed as I gave Bruce's behind a nice spank.
Bruce was my bitch in here. When I first heard he was HIV positive too, I assumed he was homo. But when he turned down all advances made by me, I just had to take him by force. The inmates helped me assault him, better him than them, they figured.
From five to seven in the evening, the inmates were hauled for specialized programmes like religious service, gym, carpentry and so on. Two hours of recreation time to help us channelize our rage and reach to our inner self and all the bull-crap these psychologists dream up. I was directed to the library along with my gang. My decision to spend recreation time in the library had come as a shocker to all, apparently I was the only dangerously evil mass murderer who was interested in reading. But then again, I was not always bad. I was once this famous boxer competing for the state heavyweight title. I got into a brawl with a group of men in a bar and ended up killing three of them. I can't explain how I became this man. It's just that sometimes I get so angry. Like that green monster you see in the movies.
'Hey look Billy, we got you your play thing', the prison guard smirked throwing Bruce through the door of the library. Bruce normally went to the gym but looking at the condition he was in today, I was not surprised to find him in a place that did not require lifting iron. He looked at me with hostility and wandered off to a corner. To think that this wuss of a man, who couldn't even keep his hole protected in what were probably the last days of his sorry life, killed his wife by smashing her head in with a baseball bat is ridiculous. I'm sure someone's paid a hell of a lot of money to keep him in here. Anyway, that's not for me to speculate. Who's to say what's right and what's wrong. Life isn't fair. I turned to my business. 
‘It was no cake, you shit-heads’, I whispered to my men once I was sure Bruce and the guard were out of earshot. ‘And for the record, she wasn’t my grandma either’. Steve gave me a meaningful look as Luke and Shaq continued to look demented.

‘Whaddaya mean she wasn’t your-‘
‘Shut the fuck up Luke and listen to me’, I glanced around the library to make sure nobody was eavesdropping on us before feeding them the details. We had no plans of rotting on in this hell hole, which was why we had been working on an escape route- a tunnel in the library washroom since the past four months. It had all started when poop got stuck in one of the pipes there and the plumbers that came into repair it worked up a huge bill. Now, our Steve here is a very handy man. When he volunteered to fix the system the next time it broke down, the guards agreed to it without a question. After all, he was white and had always managed to stay in their good books. The idea of Steve having access to plumbing tools got me thinking. I may not have a college degree but I'm smart. I got Steve to hide some tools and that’s how we started on the tunnel. Every day, inch by inch, we were advancing on our pathway to freedom. Today, I procured our final weapon. HMDT- hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, a chemical explosive made from readily available household ingredients. Once we get inside the tunnel, we would use this explosive to seal the entrance so that Vincy cannot come looking.

We made our way discreetly to the toilet and slipped inside, one by one. Steve had already unscrewed the sink and removed the tiles covering the entrance to our handiwork when I got in. Shaq came in last, locking the door behind him. Steve was already inside the tunnel and Luke was gearing to go when we heard a loud bang on the door.
‘Open up! I’m gonna throw up’
I groaned. Why did this dick have to be here today of all days?
' Fuck off!”
'Open up, you animal!'
'Get lost, whore'
'Shut up both of you!’ It was the guard. Holy crap. The situation was getting out of hand, there wasn’t enough time for all of us to escape now. I motioned to the guys to get out of the hole and set the stuff right again. I hurried to the door and threw Bruce in. He went straight to the pot and threw up. The guard went back to his couch and book. Damn! We were so close!
'What in fuck's name is going on in here?'
Bruce looked at the lopsided sink and then at our perspiring faces. 

‘None of your goddamned business!’ 
'I know what you're trying to do'.
 Fear gripped me. It is one thing to lose your secret, but to lose it to the one person you've been traumatizing for the past six months, that's self-destruction. 'Look, Bruce, don't do anything stupid or I'll beat the living hell out of you'. Aggression. ‘I am a dead man already'. Oh, right, he was getting executed in two days. 'Come with us'. He looked away. 'Bruce, come on, don't rat us out, what you gotta gain?’ He looked at me with a mixture of disgust and anger before walking away.
I spent the night in hell. Cold fear running down my spine, paralyzing me. I was expecting the guards to burst in any moment. I did not talk to Bruce again after leaving the library. I did not know what route to take, how to reason with him. I tried weighing all the choices he had. He could rattle to the guards. That would feed the hate he felt towards me and restore some of the self-respect I'd helped destroy in him. One cruel act of fate and he had got me, his tormentor, pissing his pants. Or he could use the information to blackmail me, take a swing at me- rape me, perhaps. That could be his death wish.
He could stay silent, of course, considering ratting me out won't do nothing to change his death sentence. But I had raped him. There was no way he was exiting without making me suffer. I wondered what would happen to me if they found out. Would that speed up my execution process? Or would they put me through some extensive torture ritual? The latter would suit their sadistic personalities better.
There was another option. He could join us, escape from prison with us. That could make up for the raping and stuff. But what does he have to go out for? No wife, no kids. HIV positive, gonna die in a few months anyway. Unless, there was some unfinished business. I knew he hadn't killed his wife, but whoever did, is probably still roaming out there while he suffers. Was Bruce the kind of guy who would be interested in revenge? I couldn't say for sure, he seemed to have given up on living long back.  His wife was a whore, the real one who actually gets paid in money. In all likelihood, she had given him the AIDS.
I had to incite him for revenge. But I had to choose just the precise moment and attitude for it. I had to do it just in time for the execution of my plan, to make it all the more difficult for him to resist the temptation.
Bruce did not as much as glance at me during breakfast next morning. He was in a world of his own, cocooned far away from his surroundings. It was driving me insane. I just couldn't guess what was going through his mind.
Once back in our cells, I hear noises coming from the direction of his cell. I rush to the door. Bruce is talking to Vincent but I can’t make out a word of what they are saying. Bruce’s tone sounds urgent. My insides turn to liquid as I see Vincent approach my cell. The sound of my thumping heart deafens me as Vincent cuffs me and enters my cell. He starts beating me with a cane. I cry out, my fists balling up in rage. But there’s no use resisting now. I am locked up in this jail for a long time now. Bastard got me in the end. Suddenly the beating stops. I look at the maniac and he spits on my face. Then he un-cuffs me and walks out the door. 
'I'll send someone with your meds Bruce. Hold that shit in', he shouts as he disappears down the corridor.
What the hell was that?
Two hours later, in the shower, I see Fat Gibson trying to force his fat cock down Bruce's throat. His face is badly bruised and there is blood flowing down his temple. Another person is pinning him down. I stand there, unsure of what to do. What if we blokes could just kill Bruce here, suffocate him or something? Won't make no difference to them police folk, would it? Would get the execution sin off their head, if anything.

A blood curling scream breaks my thought process. Bruce bit fat Gibson! A fight breaks out but it's like a dormant monster inside Bruce has just unleashed itself. He is kicking and fisting everything within his reach. He disengages himself from his tormentors and walks away, limping. Just as he is about to reach the door, he comes towards the place I’m standing and spits on me. I am on him in no time, punching his skull as he lands blow after blow in my gut. The rage possessing me is indescribable. I am hitting to kill. But the guards rush in start caning every part of our bodies they can reach. They manage to separate us.
‘You bloody impotent man, no wonder your wife screwed around for money. I only screwed your anus, while that man out there, he’s screwed your entire fucking life’.
‘So you want to spend your last evening in this world in the library, eh?’ the guard chuckles as he lets Bruce in through the door. He looks at me with an indiscernible expression and walks off to a corner.
I glance around at my mates. ‘I reckon you should go and talk to him, find out what he’s thinking’, Steve says. I get up and walk towards Bruce. He’s looking at me. He’s waiting for me.
‘Can you arrange a weapon for me once we get out there?’ he whispers as soon as I get close enough.
I look at him, take in the resolve in his eyes and can’t help beaming at him. He has made the right call, after all.
‘Sure thing, Bruce’‘Can I trust you?’
‘How do we go about it?’
He said I'm gonna buy a gun and start a war
If you can tell me something worth fighting for
Oh and I'm gonna buy this place, that's what I said
Blame it upon a rush of blood to the head
And honey all the movements you're starting to make
See me crumble and fall on my face
And I know the mistakes that I made
See it all disappear without a trace