Tuesday, April 17, 2018

O : Once Upon A Time #AtoZchallenge

This picture below intrigued me. It is amazing how things change beyond recognition with time. The changes are not necessarily material in nature - like modern constructions, technology advancements etc. Some changes are non material - like family structures, social set-ups etc. This picture is juxtaposition of both kind of changes.

May be that is why when a story starts with 'Once upon a time...', we get hooked right away. Because it holds intrigue just like this picture. It makes it clear at the start, that things have changed since the story took place. We are interested to know what change took place, why it took place and how it took place. And that makes a good story.

So here are three short stories, that start with 'Once upon a time...'

Each story draws from my own experiences and observations but are fictionalized to hide identities.

Story 1
Connecting People 

Once upon a time, lived a young man, who had a telephone. The black one. The one with a rotary dial.  The magical thing that can connect you to your loved ones by just dialing a set of numbers in a particular sequence.

Ajay was not only young, but he was also lucky. Shruti, his beautiful neighbor, used to come to his place every Friday evening, to talk to her mother, who was working in a far flung town. Ajay was the only one in her colony who had a telephone at his home. That fateful Friday when she dialed her mother's number 34789765, Ajay noticed her long slender fingers, going inside the holes of the finger wheel, rotating it exactly 8 times. He wished with a sigh, that the number was 16 digits long. From the corner of her eye, she noticed Ajay ogling at her; his face was red with some emotion she couldn't fully understand. She smiled. His face was now on fire. Red hot fire. She realized the power of her smile that day.

For next few weeks, this ritual repeated every Friday evening. One day, Ajay asked her to marry him. She agreed.

They have been together for twenty five years now. They have two grown up kids who spend most of the time outside home. Her mother died long ago. The black telephone went out of fashion ten years back. Today, they both have their own mobile phones.

Every Friday evening, like every evening, they now lie besides each other on their bed and keep tapping on their mobile phones for hours, without looking at each other. They are happy. They will live happily ever after.

Story 2
Living Dead

Once upon a time, lived an athletic man, with a royal name. Mohan Pratap Singh was the best footballer in his college. Every time he used to dribble the ball towards the goal, his leg muscles were fully stretched and his sweaty torso pushed against the fabric of his shirt. This sight -sweat and sinew - made the girls in the crowd go weak in the knees. But he had eyes only for Kavya. They were madly in love with each other. Every weekend, they used to go to their favorite ice-cream parlor, and had their favorite chocolate ice-cream from the same cone.

Garima was in love with Mohan and jealous of Kavya. She hatched a plan and waited for the right moment.

One day, Kavya was sitting in the college park with Gopal. They were fooling around. Gopal was pulling her hair and she was laughing. Somehow Garima called Mohan in the park at the same time. Mohan saw this sight and without understanding Garima's machinations, he went off in a huff. That was the first hit. Garima was not done yet. Next day, she tried to comfort Mohan and hugged him tightly. It was not a coincidence, that Kavya was passing by. Garima's cousin Gopal had played his cards well. A series of misunderstandings followed, cleverly orchestrated by Garima and Gopal. Mohan and Kavya stopped talking to each other. Mohan went into a depression and drank poison after a week. Kavya jumped from her roof, when she came to know about his death.

Garima and Gopal, lived in fear and guilt throughout their lives.

But the story doesn't end here. Mohan and Kavya took rebirth as Mohnish and Kavita. Incidentally, they joined the same college when they grew up. They met and fell in love with each other. Few days later, Mohnish was checking out Tinder. And he swiped right. Kavita has also downloaded the same app.

Story 3

Once upon a time, Akash used to be a happy person. He was at the top of his game. People sought advice from him on almost everything under the sun. He was CEO's favorite employee. After all, he was good with numbers. His data skills were unmatched. He could find solutions to several accounting problems in double quick time. As he climbed the corporate ladder, he made several enemies. But he never bothered about them. He was unaware that his biggest enemy was not going to be a human being.

CEO's daughter Vineeta, had just completed her MBA and had come back to India. She brought a computer along with her. This changed the dynamics at Akash's company very soon. Vineeta clearly told Akash, that he is not needed anymore. Akash was put on a notice.

Twenty Years Later

Vineeta and Akash are happily married and they have set up a successful consultancy,  that deals with Big Data and Analytics.

Akash never gave up. He learned about computers during the notice period and developed an accounting and taxation application. His tenacity impressed Vineeta. She knew Akash was for keeps. Akash is the happiest person in the world today.

My last year's challenge post from letter O was about my brother and his adventurous childhood. Read it here.

My theme for this year's #AtoZchallenge is all about writing stories, anecdotes and observations from my life in form of easy to read listicles. You can read the theme reveal post here.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting stories. While reading I was feeling that I am watching some movie---Ishwinder

Charan Deep Singh said...

Thanks ish. Yes, written fiction after long.

Unknown said...

Good narration! Liked the phone/mobile irony story the most

Charan Deep Singh said...

Thanks Minal 🙂

lissa said...

the first one is sweet but kind of sad that people are more glue to their phones than to each other. the second is sad. the third is realistic, machines replacing people, happens a lot and I suppose no one can avoid change.

have a lovely day.

Charan Deep Singh said...

Thanks Lissa for stopping by. The second one is partly inspired by a true incident, sadly.