Mirage Of A Murder



Before I begin, I would like to make it very clear that whichever qualities I may possess, imagination is certainly not one of them. Rationalism and practical thinking pervade my life, leaving no space in mind for airy-fairy thoughts, pleasant or otherwise. One of my acquaintances is of the opinion that I could easily fall asleep in a horror movie, though I will not offer my views regarding that particular topic. To my insular outlook, any incident which cannot be explained and/or justified by the general laws of science did not occur at all. Such episodes are merely attention-garnering antics for those poor souls desperate for their five minutes of fame on some equally news starved media channel.

Nonetheless, one particular occurrence considerably rattled me, and forced me to question myself on my adopted stand on what people term as ‘paranormal’ or ‘supernatural’. Once again, I will state before you the bare facts of this singularly outlandish affair, without expressing any of my personal views, since I have none. You are free to judge, form your own theories, even doubt my sanity, and come to the conclusion of your choice. And if there is any feasible interpretation on your part other than branding me a hallucinating lunatic, please do feel free to let me know.

For the time being, plod on. Bizarre it may be, but by no means is it banal.




The New Delhi railway station, as usual, played with panache the role of the overcrowded starting point of my annual summer journey to Kolkata. After dismissing the customary bunch of porters vying for my single duffel bag, I proceeded to the platform assigned to my train. It was early in the evening, and the ubiquitous tea sellers were doing brisk business. I sat on an unoccupied bench, a rare commodity at that hour, and dully noted the hubbub around me. After the initial jarring effect, you simply get used to the ruckus. Period.

Local trains came and went, ferrying commuters to and from the outskirts of this great metropolis; each one bringing its own share of additional hullabaloo with it. From my bench, I observed the opposite platform through the windows of one such train which had just chugged in. Amidst the usual haste of the people to board it, I saw something which was completely incongruous to the situation. There was a man….and the flash of metal and the telltale shape in his hand as he got shoved by the throng was enough to tell me that it was a gun. I started, got up, and moved closer to the train. I hadn’t imagined it; by now, the gun was in full display, he was pointing it at an unfortunate fellow’s forehead, and yelling. The victim’s face was suitably scared, and he too was babbling something. I stared in morbid fascination at the pair, as though watching a movie. The train, which was the barrier between me and the homicidal maniac, had started moving, and I observed the scene through the windows that now kept flitting past me. He pulled the trigger, and that made me jerk back to reality, as I dashed towards the nearest overhead bridge to take me to the next platform. Maybe that lunatic could still be caught.

It was then that the extraordinary thought struck me (yes, pardon my sluggishness); a man commits murder in front of a thousand other people, and nobody even bats an eyelid. Yes, the others in that selfsame platform did not even seem to notice that someone had just been snuffed out a couple of feet away. It was like…they were invisible to all except for me. I tried to dismiss that farcical notion and reached the ‘murder’ spot.

Nothing out of the ordinary. No blood, no body. Not even an alarmed face. It was just as before. Vendors hawking their stuff, people milling around waiting for the next train, a regular railway platform, unhindered by insalubrious criminal activities. And that perturbed me even more. Like I have mentioned, I do not approve of imagination, at least not as large-scale as this. I certainly had not invented the victim’s hawk like face, the killer’s heavily bearded countenance and his yellow shirt.

For all practical purposes, there was no reason to raise an alarm. When a hundred people, who were closer to the spot than you were couldn’t see what you could, the only logical conclusion is that your mind was playing tricks on you. But this wasn’t the regular kind of chicanery, I had to admit. No sane person visualised a murder of some random unknown individual in a crowded station.

By now, my own train had arrived. This time I was part of the boarding crowd, which was thankfully devoid of gun-toting assassins, imaginary or not. I found my berth, and with some difficulty, fell asleep.


Two weeks later

My dull holiday had done little to dispel the memories of my unsavoury vision. As the train entered New Delhi station and crawled to a stop, I was annoyed to note that it was the very same psychopathic platform once more.  Alighting, I hadn’t taken even two steps when I saw it. Hawk-face from my ‘vision’ was lying spread-eagled in a pool of blood, in a small space now cordoned off by the police, who were busy controlling the chaos. I caught phrases like ‘morning’, ‘gun’, ‘two bullets’, ‘clean through the head’, ‘got away’, etcetera, etcetera from the mayhem. I had had enough…..as I made my way towards the exit, a hand rested on my shoulder. I turned around to find myself facing a burly cop holding a photocopy of a rough sketch of a heavily bearded man with shrewd eyes, someone who by now was very familiar to me.

“Seen him? Wore a yellow shirt, according to witnesses….” He asked.
I stared at the photograph for a while, and finally looked at him.
“No,” I replied shortly, “No, I haven’t”.
The policeman was evidently expecting more curiosity from me. However, I shrugged noncommittally, and hefting my duffel bag, I made my way out of the station just as it started raining heavily.


*This piece of fiction is the result of reading too much of Edgar Allan Poe  :)

38 comments:

  1. Thank god you mentioned 'piece of fiction' LOL

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  2. :O :O *drinks cough syrup* :p :P

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  3. Why Why Why did you have to burst the bubble and tell us that this was fiction. How you ruined my awestruck expression.

    Loved it so much!

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  4. @Mayank- I'd written it for our society magazine :P

    @Priyanka- *Doffs hat* :D

    @Ananya- Benadryl? :)

    @Red- Well, I didn't want people to accuse me of living in the Matrix :D :D Thank you so much, do visit again!! :D

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  5. Ok dude, You have a gift. This was majorly gripping and had me at the edge of my seat... Are you in the process of writing a fiction novel? If not, you should seriously consider it. This was brilliant!

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  6. Thank you so much, Nim. And no, currently I'm in the process of undergoing a supreme crash-and-burn in my upcoming sessional exams :D To be honest, I've always thought of writing something, but I really am out of ideas what to write about, so as to sustain the interest of a reader for a sizable period of time. Its really difficult to make people read these days you see :D

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  7. I don't hate you for being practical and wanting money in life :) Stop writing that :) You should be proud that you want to earn it by legal means :P

    I'm sent here by your comment on I-Topia's new post :)

    Sorry, this has nothing to do with the above write-up :(

    Love :)

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  8. @Serendipity-thank you so much, and do stop apologising :D I maybe very wrong, but I guess there are very few people who actually become what they wanted to be, in purely professional terms :) Do visit again :D Cheers!!

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  9. Hi :)
    Just dropped by your blog, and I love it :)
    Very well written. The scenes were fast moving and the descriptions were very clear.
    I'm surely coming back to read more of your work :)
    Keep it up :)

    And I love you 'About Me' section :D

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  10. Hi Philo, thank you so much for stopping by :D Glad you liked it, do visit again!! Cheers! :):)

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  11. As for the 'About me', I'm a big fan of those jobless citizens, honestly :P

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  12. haha... I wanted to burst on the comments and explain my theory of reversed Deja-Vu.. but you killed my intentions at the end :/

    fun read, and quite an interesting blog title

    aJ

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  13. Dayum man, you HAD to kill it. You should have left us hanging and begging you to tell us what happened:D

    Poe has probably possessed you, that I am sure of.
    Near-perfect narration, something I haven't seen in a loooong time wrt to fiction.

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  14. @AJ- I'd like to know more about reversed deja-vu, if you please :) :) Thank you so much for stopping by, do keep visiting :)

    @Priyanka-LOL! people would think that I live in the Matrix then. Thank you so much for the comment and the follow!! :) :)

    Cheers!!! :D

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  15. Fiction? Damn you!
    It was mindblowingly (pardon my sluggishness) beautiful :)

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  16. You scared the shit out of me! Thank god you mentioned it's fiction! :D

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  17. UN-F***ING-BELIEVABLE...!!!!! MAN...!!! YOU ARE A GENIUS..!!!
    RESPECT..!!!
    too good writing boss... keep it up..!!! n keep reading more to give us more.. :)

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  18. I'm soooo glad I came across this in 'Confessions of the Chocolate Obsessed'! Brilliant story!!!!!! The way you narrated the whole story gave me the goosebumps! Loved it! :)

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  19. shit! you almost had me! until u decided to be satyawadi harishchandra....but nevertheless you will have be....(dont go crazy!!) as a follower, i meant.

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  20. Hi again :)
    Thank you for stopping by too =D
    I've done a follow up of my story :) Do come by again!

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  21. @Soumya- It would be cool, wouldn't it,if one could see crimes before they're committed? Do watch the Tom Cruise movie 'Minority Report', where psychics called 'precogs' actually have visions of future crimes. Thanks for reading and the follow :)

    @Rachana- Haha, if you like ghost stories, try Perceval Landon's 'Thurnley Abbey', its one of the scariest I've ever read. Thanks for dropping by and do visit again :D

    @Superrrnickkk...!!!! - :D naaa, I still have miles to go before I even come close to being called a genius :) This was just an amateurish first attempt at this kind of writing. Thanks all the same, and do keep visiting. Cheers!! :D

    @Loony- Thanks to Priyanka, she's awesome :D Thanks so much for dropping by, and do visit again!! :) :)

    @HijiBijBij- Glad you liked it, and had it been true, I would probably have been a part of some X-Men like group :P :P Thank you so much for stopping by, and the follow :) :)

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  22. Hey Philo, I'll certainly whiz by to your blog; thank you so much :) :)

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  23. Hello once again :D
    Why don't you direct the movie :P Maybe we can add up a murder scene with your imagination :D

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  24. ummmmmm...ummmmm...nummmm... nummmmm... no where else to bug you (after my dramatic departure from fb) :P :P also , waiting for the next post :P :p KABOOM!!

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  25. @Philo- It'll turn out to be a real Mahesh Bhatt potboiler :D

    @Ananya- You got your wish :P

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  26. Holy shit! You write some amazing stuff dude! :)
    I was like, what's next, what's next until the last line when I said Oh no man, Fiction! :D

    Hi five for the suspense you created :)

    Love, Risha :)

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  27. Holy crap! That was brilliantly written. :D
    You should've maintained the suspense, and burst our bubbles in the next post. :P
    Damn. I love the way you write. It's pretty darn crisp. :D

    Love your blog! :D

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  28. @Risha- Thank you so much, it was my first shot at this kind of writing :D :D Glad you liked it so much... cheers :D :D

    @Shagun-Thanks :D :D But I didn't want people to think tha I live in the Matrix :D Do visit again!! Cheers!! :D :D

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  29. although I got the feeling that this was fiction from the beginning itself, it still was very gripping.. Superb...:-)

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  30. Thank you so much Kanthu for dropping by :) :)

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  31. interesting posts! :D
    thanks for stopping by my blog :)

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  32. You dont write for the sake of writing. Great writing skills., awesome imagination .. Gripping till the last word. Subscribing!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Harisankar, it's one of the reasons I can't blog so often; lack of ideas, see :D

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