Scent of the rain

Short Story by Akansha Bhardwaj (Entry No. 4)

Strong winds blow my hair from my face, soothing my body. Giving me the feeling of someone being there, patting my head as if saying: “it’s okay”, “you’re okay”. Being in the rain, staring at the clouds, brings back the memories of those days where I used to slide across the rooftop with my brother, carefree and spirited. The scent of rain used to reach us way before the rain ever did. The excited giggles that used to fill up our home, the loud footsteps and shrieking, betting on who would reach the rooftop first, are now mere memories I look back on.

Were those the good days? I wonder, now standing on the very same rooftop with the absence of those footsteps and a presence of silence that defines my closed-off relationship with my brother, the same scent of rain brings me solace as if telling me to let go. And so, I step into the pouring rain. It feels nice, cold and warm at the same time.

My clothes stick to my body, and then I laugh. I laugh as I feel the rain around me, making me wish I was a child again. The rain does this to me, making me feel whole. I question myself did I change or was it, my brother, that now we won’t even look at each other? Did we finally grow up? Was this how growing up feels like? Is it time to let go of my childish wish for my brother to once again push me across this rooftop that now I stand on? The rain hits me hard this time, bringing me back to reality, me standing alone in the middle of my rooftop. I lay down and close my eyes, letting the rain and its scent make me feel safe again. That’s where I am now: a safe place, lying with my eyes closed with no worries about what tomorrow brings with it, where I can cry and blame it upon the rain. Ah, I think to myself, “if I could stop the time, now would be the perfect timing”. It feels ticklish, though now that I’m laying down facing those dark clouds, afraid of the thunders that are sure to come by any second now. I think to myself, “I better get up and head downstairs”.


“Are you planning on staying there forever?” I hear.


Keeping my eyes closed, I smile to myself, recognizing that irritating voice. If I open my eyes now, would he know that I had cried or would he too pretend to blame the rain? I hear footsteps. Not long after, I feel the warmth of a body lying down beside me. I turn my head and look at him. He sure did grow a lot, looking tired from the last time I met him. I feel him grabbing my hand and squeezing it.


“How did we end up like this?” he said.
We stayed like that for a long time until we could hear our parents shouting for us to come down.
We laugh hearing those familiar words.


“It feels nice,” he says, and hearing him say this, I could feel the melancholy leaving my body just like that.
“It sure does,” I reply, and as the thunder starts to hit, we get up to leave.
I turn back and look up at the skies and think, “maybe not that much has changed” the feeling of a hand squeezing mine, I turn back to look at my brother looking down at me with warmth in his eyes, and I smile back.
The scent of rain that lingers after the rain now holds memories of my home feeling whole once again.

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Past Tense – Part 3(Symptoms)

Before you Start – Do read Part 1 and Part 2 of the story.

Day 11
After disposing of, the letter, I started my search for suspicious things. But everything was so quiet and straightforward. The staff worked like nothing ever happened. It was impossible to differentiate between who was the part of the experiment and who was conducting it. I wanted to escape. But, that would make Anisha’s efforts and sacrifice worthless.


Day 22
Failing to find anything inside the Hospital, I decided to head outside. It was really easy to go out and roam all day. The thought of running away was becoming more assertive. Outside of the Hospital was quite an empty place. A society was there, around 2 KMs away.


Day 33 –
I wandered for ten days and found nothing useful. My nights were becoming sleepless.
I was walking in the corridor. At the same time, a doctor requested me to deliver some files, he held in his hands to Room No. 78, as he had to attend to an emergency.


The room was on the 7th floor. As I was going up, it was getting colder. As if ACs at this place were set at very low. It started becoming uneasy. A chilled wave, as if some whisper, went through my ear. The corridor on the 7th floor was nearly empty. I entered the room. A young woman of around 24-30 was lying there with eyes closed. The machine reading showed her moderate pulse rate. Oxygen and glucose pipes were attached to her hand. I kept the file near her table and headed outside the room. While closing windows, I was looking at her through the glass. Her head moved towards me, and she opened her eyes directly, looking at me as if she knew where I was. She smiled at me, pushed her right hand, took out the oxygen pipe attached to her, and then the glucose pipe. There were tears in her eyes, a smile on her face and blood coming out of her hands. She kept on looking at me. I realized she wasn’t moving anymore.
Some of the rules in the Hospital were weird. If someone died here, they needed to be cremated in hospital premises or buried in a graveyard 3 KMs away from the Hospital.


Day 34 –
I was growing weaker. The negativity in the environment was killing me slowly. I decided to run away. Early morning, around 10 AM, I took a taxi to the railway station. Around 14 hours of travel. Out of the bus, I ran towards my house. Rang the bell, but no one opened it. I noticed there was no lock at the door. I shouted for mom, no one answered, then for dad, but all I heard was my echo. I entered my room. It was the same as I left it. Fell asleep on my bed immediately.


Day 35 –
I woke up around 11 AM. I was in my room, the hospital staff room. How was this possible?


Day 43 –
I repeatedly tried to run away, every time, I ended up again in the Hospital. There was no escaping. No one to talk to, no one to share anything, even after being surrounded by so many people daily. It felt like I was all alone. The people who met me talked only about work. As if they had no personal life or life left outside except this Hospital.
During the evening, I heard a woman sobbing outside my office. I rushed out to see, as it was the only feeling or expression I had heard after a month. She was an old lady, small in height and was holding a broom in her hands. She might be in cleaning staff. I went near her and asked, “Why are you crying, mother?”


Old Lady said, “My son died here some days ago. He used to work in the accounts department. He was new here, and they say he fell from the building while talking to someone on the phone at night. I am a single mother, and the hospital staff offered me a job of the same pay as they were giving to my son.
It’s been a year since I met him, he called me on the night of his death, he wanted to meet me. He fell while talking to me. I found a letter while I was going through his old things. I cannot read it. No one here has the time to read it for me, and everyone is ignoring my request. I request you to please read it for me.”
She cried more while taking out the letter she kept in an old school bag, which she was carrying on her shoulders like a kid.
I started reading the letter, to realize it had the same contents as of Anishas’ letter. The handwriting was also insanely the same. My hands were shaking, holding it, not knowing what was exactly happening here.

“Please read it further”, the old Lady requested.

To Be Continued…

By Satyam Kumar Tiwari

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Suicide is never an option. Allow us to help you. Anonymously speak up yourself here – ‘Speak Up

© held by Author and Young Indian Revolution Journals Pvt. Ltd.

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Past Tense – Part 1(Experiment of Will)

An average guy with a below-average resume, “Sam,” said my father. “This is the 36th rejection you have faced from a company; I think we don’t have any more left here.” he continued. I knew that very well, and they never told me what the issue is. All they say is, “we will contact you.” My mom says my father started earning when he was 16, and here I am, 25. Getting a job is not at all difficult, but getting a job matching your passion was what I craved for.


A call brought some happiness to my family. It was a job offer. One of our tenants, we had good relations with, their daughter was working in a hospital as an assistant manager. She said that the hospital is going to need another manager, and she recommended my name. The pay is handsome, better than what others provide. She had left our house with her family two years ago; still, she remembered me and wanted me to work with her. That was my charm.


It took me around 14 hours of train travel and 2 hours in a cab to reach the place. A hospital in Noida named “Hope”. It was a multi-speciality hospital having three gates and some part still in construction. She was standing right in front of me, at entrance no. 2. Having a flashback of some part of my teenage, might be evident in this situation. Wearing her uniform, she walked towards me smiling. “There are rooms for staff in the hospital for stay, and I have already asked them to keep a room ready for you. It’s 31C, and you can freshen yourself up, take some rest and call me after that.” She said while walking with me towards the accommodation building.


After around 4 hours, I called her. She asked me to come to the reception. I have to walk straight from the exit and take the second right. “He is the guy you were talking about.” said the receptionist. I was given some forms to fill. Due to my experience, I filled 12 documents in 10 minutes. The basic pay mentioned was Rs 60,000 plus different allowances. The receptionist said my interview is scheduled after 45 minutes. By that time I can have lunch in the nearby canteen. I asked Anisha out for lunch.


Anisha has changed a lot, lost some weight, has more of a sad and pale face and talked a lot less. She answered my questions saying that it might be due to pollution and water in this city. “Working in a hospital is very different from working in any other sector. The people who come here are already stressed and on the verge of losing hope. You might feel their sorrow, pain. Try to give a hand in their mourning. But they might never believe you are doing it for real. Initially, I used to be sad all day, and slowly I started to adjust by becoming more emotionless, not much engaging. It’s a different life here, from the outside world.” These words by her were the only important part of our conversation, rest all was remembering our childhood. They postponed the interview, as seniors were busy, and I was selected on a provisional basis and asked to start work from tomorrow.


As she said, working in the hospital was different. My part of the work was to check if there is any communication error in the various departments and make sure everything goes smoothly. On my first day, I was given the dermatology department, as there were fewer sub-departments there than in other places. In between, I used to see people in pain, suffering, confused emotion. They were running from one place to another. Helping them was also an essential duty for my conscience. Anisha accompanied me to most of the places so that I will be familiar. She was doing it, in so much hurry as if there was no tomorrow. I had to carry a notebook and make notes of all the places. My first working day lasted for more than 10 hours, but she said, don’t worry, it is just for today.


After having dinner, she came to drop me at my room. While at that gate, I looked into her eyes. She held my hand and said, “take care, good night.”


Sending me butterflies in my stomach, she went to her room, which was on the fourth floor. I felt like my life was now setting itself up. I had a proper job, probably a girl who is in the same field of work.
It was early morning, and I heard some noise outside. I looked out through my window; there was an ambulance standing there. People surrounded a dead body, which was lying in what I assume was a pool of blood. Someone from staff jumped from the building. I wore my jeans from the last day and rushed down to see who was it. A moment of complete blackout struck me, realising it was ‘Anisha’.
The following two days were difficult, explaining to her and my parents what happened. Her parents didn’t attend her last rites; it was weird.


My father asked me to come back while I was looking at the piece of paper, which she might have put in my jeans, that night. I found it in my pockets after she died. It read –


“I am sorry, I had no choice. If you want to escape this fate, find the one who ran from here seven years ago. That person can only help you. I tried a lot to look for him, but my time was over. And don’t try to run. They will find you! They are running an experiment called “Past Tense“. Find our favourite place in my room.”

To Be Continued…

Written by Satyam Kumar Tiwari

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Suicide is never an option. Allow us to help you. Anonymously speak up yourself here – ‘Speak Up

© held by Author and Young Indian Revolution Journals Pvt. Ltd.

Shop on yirkart.com for stationary items and use Code ‘SATYAM15’ for flat 15% off on any product.

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A must read- The Be-Happy attitudes

(Book review) The Be-Happy Attitudes by Dr. Robert Schuller

𝑾𝒉𝒚 𝒔𝒆𝒆𝒌 𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆, 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒊𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒔 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏!

 Are you attracted towards materialistic things to keep yourself happy?

📖𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐁𝐞-𝐇𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐲 𝐀𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐬 𝐛𝐲 𝐃𝐫.𝐑𝐨𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐭 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫

.

📌𝗔𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗔𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗿-

Dr.Robert  Schuller was an American Christian televangelist, pastor, motivational speaker, and author. In his five decades of television, Schuller was principally known for the weekly Hour of Power television program.

📌𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄-

➡️In a society of quick fixes and instant gratification, it seems true happiness is just around the next bend or our ‘If’ step we take. We tend to attach our ‘If’ steps with materialistic things.

➡️The fact actually is the happiness of the world in cumulative will not offer the wholeness that makes one feel contented or satisfied.

➡️Dr.Schuller shares that this cycle of frustation, regret and disappointment can be overcomed by just 8 simple yet powerful “Be-Happy Attitudes”

➡️Don’t’ ever get trapped into saying “why me, why me?”. There are so many others in much greater needs than ourselves and only when we can look outward towards others can we begin to heal and feel the Grace of God.

➡️Instead of searching around for happiness, just reflect on your inner and you’ll know that the basic root value of one’s soul is happiness that lies within.

📌𝗠𝘆 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸-

🌼The book Be-Happy Attitudes basically is a self-help genre that revolves around the Christian literature. 8 positive attitudes are listed within the book, which makes us realise that these are actually our core nature of soul.

🌼The book somewhere made me relate with law of attraction. What we feed our sub-concious mind, what we keep repeating knowingly or unknowingly we are caught within that trap! Thus, think positive and  speak positive, and you will see the change around.

🌼Feed yourself with happiness and never make your happiness dependent on the outside world. You just live once, why ponder over things that make you sad?

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🌞 Looking for a light self help read and want a sort of relaxed vibes with positivity around, this one would be a best pick for you.

Written By – Sonali Sharma

Buy the Book – The Be-Happy Attitudes by Dr. Robert Schuller