October 25, 2004 at 11:32 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Since I last posted. Am ashamed, I truly am!
A lot has happened since I last posted, some I would like to talk about, some I cant talk about (Superstition). Wat the heck, might as well. Had a client interview- did well! restored a lot of confidence that I had lost. Most normal people would probably start making arrangements to ship themselves off to “foreign” shores now, but knowing the way my luck operates, I shall wait until I get an express approval asking me to leave on such and such a date and by such and such airline and so on and so forth.
Have been reading practically nothing over the past few weeks- noting of any use, atleast. read the Rocking Horse Winner again. Its by D. H. Lawrence- to use my favourite term – The story has atmosphere! How is that for egoisim, I wonder. I quote myself!
Read a lot of short-stories, actually. The Lottery Ticket by Shirley Jackson. A couple of short-stories by Roald Dahl. Revisited some old favourites – “The Necklace”, “The cask of Amontillado”, “the Monkey’s Paw” among others. Writing short stories is a sublime art. The timing is really criticial. Typically, these operate on two paces. One is a starting pace, typically slow and relaxed. The last para usually puts on the “sudden-brake”, or spirals away in excessive speed, leading to a head-on collision. This of course, is exemplified by the likes of Roald Dahl.
Another kind is the Saki-type. This is usually characterised by a gentle even pace, that is just interrupted by a bump (of the speed-breaker variety) in the end, that however lets the “After the story” part proceed in near-about the same pace.

A story

October 1, 2004 at 5:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A pretty woman was serving a life sentence in prison. Angry and resentful about her situation, she had decided that she would rather die than to live another year in prison. Over the years she had become good friends with one of the prison caretakers.

His job, among others, was to bury those prisoners who died in a graveyard just outside the prison walls. When a prisoner died, the caretaker rang a bell, which was heard by everyone. The caretaker then got the body and put it in a casket.

Next, he entered his office to fill out the death certificate before returning to the casket to nail the lid shut. Finally, he put the casket on a wagon to take it to the graveyard and bury it.

Knowing this routine, the woman devised an escape plan and shared it with the caretaker. The next time the bell rang, the woman would leave her cell and sneak into the dark room where the coffins were kept.

She would slip into the coffin with the dead body while the caretaker was filling out the death certificate. When the care-taker returned, he would nail the lid shut and take the coffin outside the prison with the woman in the coffin along with the dead body. He would then bury the coffin.

The woman knew there would be enough air for her to breathe until later in the evening when the caretaker would return to the graveyard under the cover of darkness, dig up the coffin, open it, and set her free.

The caretaker was reluctant to go along with this plan, but since he and the woman had become good friends over the years, he agreed to do it. The woman waited several weeks before some-one in the prison died.

She was asleep in her cell when she heard the death bell ring. She got up, picked the lock of her cell, and slowly walked down the hallway. She was nearly caught a couple of times. Her heart was beating fast.

She opened the door to the darkened room where the coffins were kept. Quietly in the dark, she found the coffin that contained the dead body, carefully climbed into the coffin and pulled the lid shut to wait for the caretaker to come and nail the lid shut.

Soon she heard footsteps and the pounding of the hammer and nails. Even though she was very uncomfortable in the coffin with the dead body, she knew that with each nail she was one step closer to freedom.

The coffin was lifted onto the wagon and taken outside to the graveyard. She could feel the coffin being lowered into the ground. She didn’t make a sound as the coffin hit the bottom of the grave with a thud.

Finally she heard the dirt dropping onto the top of the wooden coffin, and she knew that it was only a matter of time until she would be free at last. After several minutes of absolute silence, she began to laugh. She was free! She was free!

Feeling curious, she decided to light a match to find out the identity of the dead prisoner beside her. To her horror, she discovered that she was lying next to the dead caretaker.

Many people believe they have life all figured out….. but sometimes it just doesn’t turn out the way they planned it .

While I like the story (in the sense, I think its well written, good plot, gripping, etc) I dont like the moralistic tone of the alst sentence. Hate all these I-told-you-so’s. Wonder who wrote this. The plot is quite typical of a Roald Dahl!

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