February 13, 2009

Short Series: Milana

She stood there motionless staring into nothingness. She had been standing like that for a while now. The light from the window slowly filtered through and fell on her hair. That was the only source of light in the room. She didn't blink, she didn't move, she didn't talk.

"Welcome back to Tit-for-tat", said a voice shreaking out of the television screen from the adjacent room. Ricardo was watching some meaningless television. He did that to take his mind off things. He was in line to be sent off from work and he didn't like that feeling. He had been working in that company ever since he quit high school. He got married to Milana during that summer. She was pregnant at that time. It was a marriage that happened out of the blue, they didn't plan for it. He was wild, she was beautiful. He got drunk and she got pregnant. Ricardo got kicked out of his house when he told his parents about Milana. They didn't want to support a son who quit high school and his pregnant girlfriend. His parents were very orthodox. They had a good reputation in the neighbourhood.

The baby was crying. The shrill noise shook Ricardo out of the couch. He threw the ciggie down on the floor and got up cursing the baby. "A man can't watch some TV peacefully in this house", he barked while he took a big swig from the beer can he clutched in his hands. The baby was crying in the room next to the TV room. The noise from the TV was louder than the baby. He stormed into the room and lifted the baby from the cradle. "Shut up, you little piece of Shit. Shut up!", he screamed at the baby. "Why the hell do you cry all the time? And your mommy that witch never bothers about you". Milana had stopped talking to Ricardo. It had been 5 months since she uttered a single word to him. She never left the house. She was silent. Her world had crashed. She didn't want to exist... In that house... With that mad man.

"I'm pregnant", said Milana in a soft tone. "What?", Ricardo was shocked to hear those words. "But,how? I mean, I did use it!", he swallowed his words. He didn't know how to react. "I don't know, Ricardo. Maybe it had a hole or something. How am I supposed to know? And moreover condoms are not 100% safe all the time",clutching Ricardo's hands and shivering while she said those words. He was breathing hard. He was still in high school and he didn't know what else to do. He had to do something. He took a few deep breaths and got up and hugged Milana. "Don't worry baby, I shall work something out". He had no clue about what he could do.

"I think I should quit high school, then maybe I could check with Jack at the store to see if I could work there or something", Ricardo told her while repeating those words again louder in his mind, so as to reassure himself. She stood there next to him. Looking into those eyes that seemed like it had gotten pale. Lifeless. Afraid.


He carried the baby in his arms and walked around the house to find something for the little one to eat. He opened the fridge and saw an old packet of milk, lying cold. He brought the packet to his nose to check if it had gotten spoilt. He didn't really care much. He poured the stale milk onto a bottle and shoved it to the baby's mouth. "Eat this. Maybe that would shut you up for a while".

This happened everyday when he was at home. He had to babysit while Milana chose to stay locked up in her room. He wondered if she took care of the baby when he was not around. He knew certainly that she wouldn't bother whether the baby cried or not. That arrogant witch, he thought to himself. The phone rang then and he placed the baby on the couch and went to answer the phone. It was Jack from the store. There was some emergency and he wanted Ricardo to come to the store immediately. Something to leave this mad house, Ricardo thought as he stormed out of the house.

The baby began to cry again. This time with a lot more pain. He had thrown the bottle down and the bottle lay there with it's lid open and sour milk dripping from the opening. Milana had heard the door shut and snapped out of her trance like state. She slowly closed the blinds on her window blocking the little light that was seeping in. She took a deep breath and began to move. Slowly.

She lifted the baby into her arms and held her closely. She looked deep into the baby's eyes. Tears were rolling down her cheeks. She gently placed her fingers on the little one's face and wiped her tears. She kissed her soft on her forehead and whispered, "Don't worry my little angel. It's all going to be fine. Mommy's here now".

26 comments:

Imp said...

When is part 2 coming?

Rajeshwari Ganesan Iyer said...

Beautiful....
Waiting for sequel...

arvindiyer said...

To Imp

What makes you think there is a part two? My short series are just mere short fiction with no sequels or prequels:) They just come by and try and create an impact.

arvindiyer said...

To Rajeshwari

:) Thank you. Sorry to disappoint you. There shall not be a sequel to this.

Nivedita said...

I like!!
But I didnt like Milana at ALL. I sympathise with Ricardo, but if he was less of a loser it might have helped.
Haha maybe Ricardo can kill the baby can get kidnapped by a gypsy who raises it while the father gets married to someone else and has a beautiful daughter(provided that baby#1 was a boy) who meets the baby#1 years later and falls in love with him and after they elope they can figure out that they are actually step siblings and everyone can feel sick.
Sorry for ruining such a nice story, but hey, everyone wanted a sequel. Blame them.

arvindiyer said...

To Nivedita

Hahahahahahahahahaa. Awesome. I think from now on, I would like you to be the Sequel head of all my posts:) No one could have come up with such a sequel to this post. You are truly one of a kind:)

Rajeshwari said...

@ Arvind:
I just sought some more good read.

@ Nivedita:
THANKS!

arvindiyer said...

To Rajeshwari

If it is any consolation. There will be more of such Short Stories:)

Hatikvah said...

If its an impact, that you sought to create, you got a winner over here mate!! Dark, (almost Stanley Kubrick ish)and poignant!!! Waiting for similar short stories...

arvindiyer said...

To Hatikvah

Well the intention was to just write a story. Nothing more. Nothing less. Thanks for the compliment. Welcome to the blog.

Canary said...

This guy in hgh-school and girl pregnant story was there in almost all English films that I saw in the last 6 months, the latest being "Bucket List".. but you gave an interesting twist to it...

arvindiyer said...

To Canary

You seriously need to watch some good movies then:)

Pixilicious said...

I hate that good writing can tug at my strings like this :)

arvindiyer said...

To Pixilicious

I hate it when comments like yours makes me go awwwwww:)

Anju said...

Hmmm.. Interesting.. Very.. :)

arvindiyer said...

To Anju

Thanks. This is what happens when I spend too much time in coffee shops:)

Vinita said...

I read the story...

so? what's the point?

arvindiyer said...

To Vinita

Guess this is your first time here. I am pretty certain it is.

It's a story. So what's the point you looking for?

Vinita said...

The point is... is this story just a way of letting something out of your system? Are you trying to communicate anything? Everything has a reason you know... if your story doesn't, then the words in it are just bubbles floating in the air... which makes a non-apathic reader like me feel i could have utilised my time in a better way... have read your other posts... you are good with words... why don't you put them to 'use'. Jaago re! :)

arvindiyer said...

To Vinita

It sure is a story, there sure is a meaning or a certain something am trying to connect. I do write a bunch of things every now and then that are just pointless or rather its more of a dig at things or people. But the Short Series that I have been writing are exercises for a bunch of short scripts that I plan to make into movies. So the stories are settings for the bigger picture.

Thanks for the comment and well sorry that you had to waste your time reading this piece:)

Vinita said...

Arvind,

See? I've got my answer. You know, after reading Milana... i felt an incomplete emotional connect. Somehow, i felt the resolution was yet to be made. Now that you've mentioned that it's part of a bigger picture... it's easier for me to understand/connect to your post. I come from a film-making background... yep, the way how i visualise your post, it would make an interesting collection of scenes... but the collection by itself wasn't complete to my creative eye. Therefore, my comments.

I'm eager to see these posts come alive on the big screen. All the best! Write on...

Vinita said...

Have you seen L'enfant? The 2005 Palm d'or winner.. also Bed and Board? 'tis a Francisco Truffaut movie...

Milana, as a concept note, reminded me of these two...

arvindiyer said...

Vinita

I do believe that when one digs deeper there is always an answer that's clear and waiting:) Film background eh? What kinda stuff do you do? And with regards to the two movies that you had mentioned.. I haven't seen them, but have heard about L'enfant though. Hope to see it sometime.

The story (like the two earlier ones) sure is pretty visual, I like to think visuals and i try to communicate that through my words. Sometimes, it's more for the sake of what's on my mind.. but nice to see others who read have their own set of imageries.

Do you have a blog or something?

Vinita said...

i'm into scriptwriting, playwriting, and concept build-ups. Nope... i don't blog, although i do use a dictaphone and have a few memoirs taped...

arvindiyer said...

Vinita

Sounds good. Would like to see some of your stuff. And well i have a few of my works/film/ads put up on another blog. Have a look and let me know wat you think.

www.iyerworks.blogspot.com

Vinita said...

Okie dokie... will do!