"to you, from me"

A story about a scientist and an intergalactic commander.
The story is in form of letters from the commander to the scientist. Give it a go.
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Quick Reads

  • A cup of tea

    The city was quieter than ever before. The Sundays had become lazier and the work consistency for Shalini had gone up the roof. She had a small cosy apartment. She spent most of her morning trying to call her mom. She swept the entire apartment and did her laundry for the week. Had instant noodles for lunch and decided to take a nap in the shadowy comfort of her room. She woke up at 4. With her hair messed up, wiping her drool off her cheeks, she walked out of the room. The windows brought in the golden light from the mellow evening in her apartment. The rays hit all the pillars, sofas, ottomans, tables and her seven succulents perfectly to cast deep shadows, as if it were the glare of medusa capturing everything in its vision and making it completely still. The dark corners almost had a life. She got to the living room. On the coffee table, sat a used, teal cup of tea, with an unnatural yellow glow around it. With the stain ring on the table and the teabag hanging out. She made a note to put it in the sink. Right after, she sat at her desk, located in her home office, which was just the corner of her living room with multiple plug points and a bookshelf at the back. She started reading the documents and making the charts which obviously made her drowsy. She woke up wide as she hit the keyboard. It was late in the evening now. She needed dinner. As she was walking to the kitchen she saw the teal tea cup, giving out an aura, with the tea bag in it, with its stain ring on the still around it, on the sofa armrest. She must have forgotten to keep it in the sink earlier. She picked it up and put it back in the sink. She made some more instant noodles for herself and took the bowl to the hall, put her tv on and started watching Supernatural. the intense music made the room seem smaller. Although it was night the outside seemed surprisingly brighter, bright enough to make shadows. But it’s just Mumbai. It’s always lit up. She looked in the kitchen corner, the dark corners of her house seemed to be watching Supernatural with her. She kept watching episodes after episodes until it was finally time to work again. Walking towards her kitchen sink she saw her bedroom door open. She went ahead to close it, but there it was again, basking in a light unknown, the teal tea cup. On her side table. This time, it worried her. She clearly remembered putting the cup in the sink. Throwing the teabag away. Cleaning the stain ring. But there it was again. She slowly walked towards it. Took it in her hands, for the third time this day. She thought of putting it back in the sink, but this time her emotions ranged from a variety of scared, angry, cautious and dauntlessness and she threw the cup right out her window.

    She woke up in her bed. She looked around for the cup but it was nowhere around. She took a deep breath of relief. 

    “It didn’t actually happen!”

    It was a lazy Sunday but she had work on her mind. She decided to crawl into her living room throw (a smaller blanket) and work while being absolutely pedantic about her office presentation next morning. The light was brighter today. Or were the shadows darker. As afternoon set in she noticed the teal cup one the bookshelf. Had it been there all morning? It was just like her dream though, teal cup of tea, with the stain ring at the bottom and the teabag hanging out. She was flooded with an incongruous emotion. If it were possible to see emotions her living room would filled with paranoia as the gardens in Holland are with tulips. She took it to the sink, again and started making her instant noodles. The sun was right over head at this hour. Although it was at no angle to possibly cast shadows, the corners of the house were shady and the windows were burning yellow. Her post lunch nap was longer than she anticipated it to be. Had to be, her mind was exhausting her. The cup, the god forsaken, sinner, doubtful, unfaithful, wretchedly cursed TEA CUP. She came back to her living room, oh how bright it was. She rubbed her eyes while walking to her home office. But there it was again.

    No. No. It can’t be. It was just a dream. Dreams coming to life is too clichéd. This can’t be happening. 

    She ran to it. Stabbed her toe on the hall bottom and bruised herself. Shalini grabbed the teal cup tight and headed to the balcony. It was the same golden light as in the dream. This was preposterous. She stared at the cup. Looked at the cup as one would look at the love of their, who went on war and were presumed dead and are now standing right in front of them as if there was no history, no heartbreak, no suffering,  no desperation, no fear. This was unreal. She had to snap out of it. Without thinking twice Shalini threw the cup out of the window yet again.

    She woke up with the sun hitting her eyes from the east window, warmer and saturated. She rushed out to her kitchen to check for her teal cup. Her toe was hurting.

    How could an injury from a nightmare hurt in real life, not like it was an emotional hurt.

    She was now sure that this wasn’t a dream, because if it was then she would have snapped out of it by now. Shalini opened her kitchen cabinets to search for the cup and confirm her hold on reality. The absence of the teal cup and the abundance of instant noodles threw her off her grip on life. She searched for the cup all morning. Her apartment was ransacked. It was Sunday and she had to get her work done for tomorrow but in this situation of utter agitation, she couldn’t possibly be working. She suspected a self-diagnosed PPD. She ran to her door to get out of the house but it wouldn’t for the last strand of strength in her was curled around the teal cup. The hunt for the cup continued. She entered the bathroom and there it was, sitting on the rim of her basin. Next to her cosmetics and under the mirror, lay the cup of agony. She smashed it in the floor, leaving it in pieces, scattered on the yellow marbled floor. With slight relief she went out. In desperation of wanting to break her dream routine, or whatever it was that was happening, she decided to step out with the excuse of buying something other than instant noodles packets. She went to her room, the golden light from the outside made her room look like it was right out of Narnia or a Tolkien Fiction. Either the outside was brighter or her insides were getting darker. She wanted to take a picture of it, beauty knows no time, but as Shalini pointed the camera it showed nothing but a very bright glow and not the beauty that she could see.

    Never mind.

    She grabbed her wallet from the room and headed to the front door through the narrow passage that led to it. She walked through the light and shadows of her house feeling surrounded by what she assumed, were her thoughts. On her desk she saw it, she saw it again, after it was smashed. After it was turned into pieces, after it was nothing but trash. It was in its original form, teal, stain and teabag. But she noticed something different this time. After it having appeared to her so many places in all the different times of the day, this time she noticed one difference. It was now sitting in shadow, unlike all the other times when it was in the golden light. She grabbed a knife from the kitchen for now she was well aware of her not being alone in her apartment. Fear took control and she stumbled across the room, knowing off everything was in her way, hurting her and causing negligible scars, physical ones. As she reached for the cup, time seemed to stand still. She took it in her left hand while the right one held onto the knife tightly as one holds on to their life. She took it in her hand as a superhero would grab on to the dying breath of their enemy. She opened her apartment door. 

    And for the first time it opened. 

    It opened, not leading to a road or a hallway or any form of land for that matter. All there was outside the door was total and complete emptiness and mind you it wasn’t a dark pit of animosity. It was just a bright yellow light, with no end in sight in any direction. It was as if her apartment was standing still on a triple axis grid. Afloat. In abyss. Panic ran down her veins. Shalini had no idea about what to make out of such an ominous series of events. Her only reflex and the only solution she saw to problem was dropping that cup into the infinite fall. 

    As she let go of the teal tea cup, she ruffled through all the events that had led to this, her waking up to the exact same day every time, her having to do all the chores over and over again, the cup haunting her, how there was nothing captured in the camera, how she never stepped out before and how she always woke up to a new start of the same day every time she unknowingly threw the cup in the abyss. 

    The cycle had to stop. 

    Maybe saving the cup could save her from the imprisonment. Maybe, just maybe the dream would end, that is if it is a dream. Realising that saving the cup is her only way to an alternate end, she dived in with the cup, out the door, into the nothingness. She knew nothing of what this trap was, who set it or even of the now doubtful fact that she might not even be alive.

    Falling down she looked back up, to her apartment door, something appeared to be moving, but now standing still at the door, watching her fall and enjoying it. It was not a person, it was not a creature, it was just a shadow. Only a shadow. It had limbs, holding the door open to watch her nullify. It had eyes, to see her pain. It had a smile, that enjoyed the torture. Things were almost making sense to Shalini now. 

    There was never light in her apartment. The existence of this creature, if not creatures, made illusion of light. It grew darker everyday as it took in all her paranoia and her doubt and her fear. There was never light. There was only darkness.

    Back in the apartment the shadow looked down on Shalini as she suffered the infinite fall. It was consuming the fear, the torment and the paranoia from the apartment. The insanity that rose in Shalini gave it life. Soon Shalini disappeared in the fall. The shadow turned around to face its companions in the room, the dark room with contrasting patches of the light from the abyss. The fallen Shalini had re appeared on her hall floor, unconscious. One of them carried her to her room, two of them cleaned her messed up apartment to look like nothing had happened there and another one refilled her cabinet with instant noodles. They all went back to their corners behind the pillars, under the couch and in places the light would never reach. They were the shadows after all. Shalini was now on her bed, no knife in her hand not one scratch on her body. it stretched its hand out the window, grabbed another cup, another teal tea cup, and put it on the coffee table. All the shadows were in place. One last thing to do, they all whispered, 

    w a k e   u p …

    In her purgatory.

  • Under the Gazebo 


    There was a time I used to like the rains. Letting my perfectly good hair get wet and enjoy it. The puddles splashing at us and the roads getting so slippery that time and again I had to hold you up from the puddle. मी म्हणाले होते, तुटकी चप्पल घालू नकोस And you never listened. You with your bright red cycle in one hand, walking with me under the rain, with half a raincoat over your bermuda and shirt on you and my red umbrella with some really extravagant outfit on me. We were really killing it in the rain. You never let me walk alone on the streets, even in broad day light. Most of our conversations happened on that walk under the rain. You ranting about how your choice of music is better than mine, but we both knew the only valid rain song, in the whole universe is रिम झिम गिरे सावन. There was a time when I liked to step out of my gazebo, because then I would be with you. You me and the rain on the free streets.
    I know we were just friends. We were. Definitely! Maybe.
    I don’t know. You used to come inside for tea, because our raincoats and umbrellas were always useless, we would always be shivering. We would then waste a nice chunk of time drinking that hot chai in the veranda, some of that heavenly water still splashing us. We didn’t mind it. And as this turned into a routine रिम झिम गिरे सावन turned into तुमसे ही. Remember that gazebo from The Sound of Music, they are dancing around in the rain. The sweet bloom of their young love. Their sweet solace from the thundering rain. Their alone place from the chaos around them. That’s what rain meant for me when I was with you, always imagined we would start dancing somehow, but you were too proud and so was I to admit to anything. As the rain descended so did you, as we found a new weather, you found her. I know you knew. I also knew you loved our gazebo. But I think some things are best unsaid, unaddressed and unencumbered.
 Now I forever sit inside my gazebo. Don’t really like the rain. Don’t think I ever did. I liked the red umbrella and the red cycle in the rain together. When it rains I stay inside the gazebo, drink my tea and away from the chaos, in my happy place.

    Lonesome

    I don’t have my laptop with me tonight and it feels weird. It’s not that I can’t sleep without the little fucker or that I need it’s light to glow on my face with all the colours Doctor Who can provide; in fact I have, on multiple occasions, survived without it for days. But that was my choice and today it’s not- the adapter of my charger blew out and now it won’t charge- and it’s driving me towards insanity.

    Anyways, it’s the feeling of not being in control that’s driving me mad. To give a not at all relatable example, when you drop off your kid at summer camp you sleep well at night, maybe a little different but you sleep nonetheless because you dropped it off. You were aware of the decision. But now if your kid runs off to  it’s companion’s house without a warning you are bound to feel restless, out of control and extrEMELY FRUSTRATED AND PARANOID. That’s what I am tonight- a paranoid suburban mom with a bratty child. 

    Having control of things feels safe. Having control of things feels normal. But is it though? Is it normal? 

    Chaos is normal, you finding solutions through it is you being unique. Your control over your thoughts and feelings and actions is a power that you posses. And once you’re powerless it feels awful. You become the very thing you swore to destroy, chaos. 

    Not getting to make this a proper post is chaos that I’m trying to manoeuvre into a solution right now. Having it break down one day before I leave was getting almost superstitious for me, so surviving this has been my final boss level for the day and now I am done. I will leash control tomorrow. I’ll get a new charger and I will also start watching “The Office” on Amazon Party with Sudeeksha, but right now, at this very fucking moment, I am Thor without Mjolnir and it sucks. 

    I need to access Midgard but until then, chaos runs amok. 

    And I lived

    I don’t remember what year I was born. How do you keep a track of years when you have been living forever? Of course you enjoy as you live because you get to see everything, from Cleopatra to the day man landed on the moon. But it all turned around for me when I finally came to France in 1813.

    One day, in May 1815, while working at a grocery cart I was approached by a group of built men, they said something really fast in really fluent French and seeing their confidence I said, “OUI” and the next thing I know I was in a uniform, with a bunch of other men ready for battle. I was in Paris for a good time, but when you are an immortal you tend to run into complications once every decade. As the battle of Waterloo goes, the French lost majorly and I was one of those losers. I died twice on field and I lost one of my dearest ami.

    I came back from the war lost, drained, exhausted and, first time in my existence, emotionally paralysed. I never left France after that. 1940, when the Fall of France took place, all the headlines read out how this was ‘the heaviest war of all times’ ‘worse than Waterloo’ WORSE than Waterloo? Then I remember throwing a fit in the middle of the streets, as an old lady threw her baguette at me as she yelled ‘tais-toi’, making me stop and look at the mess I made on the roads. The newspaper I was reading was in shreds and the baguette was, lets say, unedible. 

    Although I kept moving around, people had started noticing something different, something odd about me. But I manage to keep up with the times so as to not stand out. Finally in 1974, I worked at a lowly music store in Lyon. The store has a purple stained glass door and carpeted floor with polka dots. There are stacks of vinyls. The pillar next to the cash counter had a poster of Véronique Sanson with her popular releases next to it. Everything is more colourful, so much more graceful now. The streets are cramped with youngsters and their new music. And that’s good for business.

    The delivery lady entered in with the records of a new hot song by “ABBA”. The store had rush today. I decided to pop this new record for the crowd.

    Not that I had forgotten English, but after a century of living as a Frenchman I couldn’t really make out the words in the beginning. Did it.. did it say “Waterloo”. No. Couldn’t be. I started billing as the song, restarted…

    Oh la vaCHE! NON!

    “The song, is called, “Waterloo”! WHY in god’s name would you make a ‘cheery’ song on the accounts of Waterloo. Its isn’t funny! Get it? Not FUNNY!! We lost men. We lost brave men! History has us known as cowards, whchi we are NOT! What are you staring at garçon, you think this is funny? I lost mon meilleur ami. But what does that mean to you huh? Oh no. Don’t look at me like that. Its MON store. I will rip this poster if I want and now watch me rip that one too.

    Huh, mademoiselle, you are scarred, this isn’t even HALF of what happened at Waterloo, même pas la moitié. It was bloody! Say what? Your father was in the French war? It was bad he says? Genre!! I died deux fois there, twice. Now you want to teach me history, I have already lived?

    Sors d'ici!! Get out I said.”

    I looked around my store as I was trying to regain my calm. The curtains were on the floor. The isles had all kinds of record shattered around. I started to pick them up. “La Vie En Rose, now that’s a good track. “Waterloo”. What kind of fame are you searching for?” I could see my customers slowly leave. C’est nul, they will never understand.

    “Waterloo”. oh putain!

    Never.

  • Duality

    My duality of wanting to be a soft ass Disney princess and an apocalyptic warrior needs to stop. I want to be both. And I'd like to think that I am both. Choice is such a pressure. "Oh. Are you surely bi then?" "Dont you want to run a business? Why are you still at that job?" "Are you sure you want Jimmy Choo instead of Prada?" 

    STOP TRYING TO RUSH PEOPLE INTO A CHOICE. STOP TRYING TO LABEL EVERYTHING.

    I don't want to say that you come from insecurities of having made some decisions that did not suit your life better and that's why you try to mend it for others by making them prioritise, but if that's so, talk to someone, talk to me, and know that whatever choice you made that has made you so anxious now has still kept you alive.

    HOW BAD COULD IT BE?!

    I'm here for you honey, no matter if I know you or everything that you've been through. You are a survivor. Your decisions kept you afloat. Be a femme fatal who wears sundresses and sips on sangria. Love whoever the fuck you want, don't need a label for it. Be a news reporter by day and a superhero later in the day. Who cares. Do everything you want to do. Be mediocre at it. Do it only because you like to do it. Do it with the hope of being better at it some day. You don't have to keep deciding between two things. If you have time to do it all, then do it all. Anyone who wants to judge you can go fuck themselves, actually judging you is their choice LET THEM BE JUDGEMENTAL. But just put an end to stereotyping and the pressure of choice.

    Sinful Beauty

    Today I read something, (on Tumblr), an Arabic quote (in English) which paraphrased to, we do not know our genuine reactions to dire situations that we once asked for unless we are thrown into that situation by nature. That's when I realised how leniently I use the term "I want to die" Because I clearly don't want to. Every small disappointment in life has one solution and that's kill me now. And I think most of us do. At what point did talking about death get so easy. Who was that person, that was sitting in their dead end 9-6 job, with a newly slapped file on their desk said, “Wish l'd just drowned" and the person in the next cubical just went "same bruh" : that's how I imagine the conversation went.

    Or maybe it was just a bunch of hazed out people and one of them said, "LIFE IS A SIMULATION. I wanna die." And their friends said 'Amen'. There are so many ways we just use the word 'death' without consequence.  "Go kill yourself" said while casually flirting and dismissing a joke or "I literally could have DIED" said after a nerf bullet hits your shoulder. Don't even get me started on the word, literally. People literally use literally when they figuratively always mean figuratively. Using the wrong words at the wrong time and place is a passion and exaggerating it, is the driving force.

    We have some meticulously curated slangs like ROFL, when you are not even smiling at your screen yet alone rolling on the floor. Then there is yoink, opposite of yeet where none of the two make sense but we know exactly what they mean. And this makes me miss Shakespeare. He talks about death with pain and passion and not with petty stress. He calls death a “sinful beauty" and "Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death" and "For now they kill me with a living death" and that gives life a hell of a lot meaning. I am not saying that I will stop using yeet and nor have I gained any divine insight on "our personal doomsdays" But I will learn to respect the fragility of life. I will not, for anything in this world, joke about it.

    Because "she is an uncertain beauty.”

    Flux

    We've seen how casually people say "I love you". I've heard people say "I love you" to about a 100 different inanimate things around them, that will never love them back; like the ice-cream in the fridge or a pink Prada wallet. And I'm okay with that. What is underrated, is "I hate you" The minute someone says this, the world will pound down upon them. It's Okay to hate things you know. It's okay to hate people. Not every person suits your liking. Some people test you, knowingly. Isn't that just so fucking diabolical and I'm not even allowed to hate them because it's a strong word according to you. I'm a 45kgs girl and I pick my 53kgs brother up with no efforts, so thanks but I can lift my hatred up too. You can't go around pretending to like everything and everyone. Rather you shouldn't. Why instil false feelings and hurt them in the future? And I'm not saying that you should go about announcing your hate, just don't pretend to care about something or someone because you mustn't use a heavy word. That's just way worse.

    "How can you hate sushis?"

    "How can you hate dogs?"

    "How can you hate Tom Holland's Spider-Man?" (This one I support though. No one should hate that sweetheart)

    Don't correct yourself to "dislike" when someone gives you an odd eye for "hating" rap music. It's okay. You can't pledge your loyal love to all forms of music. I do hate a lot of thing and a few people and they are valid for hating me back. And without my hate for them I will never understand my extent of love for others, like my parents, my brother or my two best friends. Personally I would love to have a nemesis, my sworn hater. I imagine them to be a person of a short temperament and a fairly shrill voice. We charge towards each other with our swords and entertain the fuck out of all of you. 

About me

Up-And-Coming illustrator.
Works in multiple mediums and styles.
Comic nerd.
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