Note: This story is based on beliefs and concepts buried under the sands of time in Hindu culture. Time is a circular wheel according to Vedas, where there is beginning there is an end, and after the end, again a new Beginning. The following story is a short side-story using the characters from my ambitious new novel Kalyuga (working title) hope you enjoy it.
I am lost in time. I stand here caught between moments, caught between what was, what is, what will be. Where do I go? How do I go?
And most important...what do I do?
Before me is my beginning.
Four boys drag a little boy into the house. The little boy is tied and gagged. They throw him into the house and bolt the door from outside.Behind me is my future,
'Now we have to call his father,' the oldest one speaks, 'Is he tied securely?'
A man is standing facing a mob of policemen who are holding weapons on him.
'Its over, Bhairav,' the inspector said, 'You are not as young as you used to be, son, your bones are weak. Surrender now, this shouldn't end this way.'I stand here caught between what is and what may be, with the potential of changing it all. I can jump into my past and unlock the door, free me and the poison that entered my mind that day, will never enter, undoing all the deeds I did after that. I can jump into the future, take down the mob, its easy for me now, I have done it before and free me.
But I wait, to see what happens next in my future.
'I was waiting for you,' future Bhairav said looking behind.There is, I can enter my past, change what happened and restore my life as it was. No longer killer, no longer enforcer, no longer Hitman. I would grow up to be a normal kid like others.
'Who you are talking to?' the inspector replies, 'There is no one there.'
'I know this would happen all along,' future Bhairav said, 'There is nothing you can do to stop it. There is no way you can prevent this from happening. There is no turning back,'
'I cannot tell you what is going to happen, because it is better this way,' future Bhairav replies addressing to me, 'There is no better way to go down, than go down fighting.'
'Listen, don't do it,' the inspector said, 'I can save you. You are old, there are too many people killed already, don't put your blood on my hands. Come with me. I know you killed the Hooded Clan, all of their members.'
'Its over buddy,' Future Bhairav replies, 'You can get away from here, take a walk, don't turn back. There will be bullets fired, all in self-defense. If I survive, its my fate, if I don’t you won’t feel bad'I see him remove safety lock from pistol behind his back.
'You don't have to see it. Take a walk...,' future Bhairav said, '...brother.'
The inspector rubs his eyes, puts his hand on the shoulder, 'Mom always loved you more. She knew you were alive, she searched for you all over the place. I feel sorry for mom'I should do something, I felt the creeping sensation of death looming around.
'She lived well, mom,' future Bhairav replied, then turned his face towards me, 'Do me a favor will you? When you meet mom, tell her, I loved her. Tell her that always, whenever you get a chance. Tell her every night, that your life would have been much better if we had not been separated in childhood'
'A true master takes nothing back from life,' future Bhairav loads his gun, 'Thus, he is ready to die at any moment. Death is just another event in the grand plan…Just for the record...'I can still stop it, I can do something... I look at my past, from behind the dumpster. The four kidnappers will return soon, I must act fast, I must rescue myself..
'Men,' shouted the constable, 'Ready. Don't show mercy. He has killed many and he can slaughter us all in a jiffy, fire at will...'
'... I didn't do it..' saying the future Bhairav jumped into the mob and bullets fired… blood splattered.
'You cannot do anything...' the words echo in my ears.
I can.. I should..
The four kidnappers return back with no good intention, I know what happens next, they strip me of my clothes and...A blinding light surrounds me, my past and future vanishes. Everything is blank now. Hello?
Where am I?
'Can you hear me?' a voice echoes in the darkness.
Who are you?
'I am sent down here to remove you from this limbo,' the voice says.
Oh my, I did mess a lot.
'Now, we have to bring you back to the present and restore the time-line that is bend...before time flips again.'
A blue flame is emerging at the horizon. Is this time flip?
'The time will flip again, it has taken me a lot of meditation to reach you now, we must hurry. You should see a blue light coming towards you anytime now. I am slowly twisting the samay chakra, the blue light will indicate me which time you are in, we have to twist it very slowly or you will be lost in time'
I have already seen it.
'Let it guide you. I are turning Samay Chakra now, it is a painful process, do not give up on me. Do not loose hope. Stay with me. Aum'
The blue light grows larger and it enters me.
A blinding flash of light and everything changes.
I remember this. Three months later after my kidnapping in Dharavi, they were teaching me how to beg. But... this time I am me, I am not watching it from distance, I am not the spectator, I am the person, I am living the moment....again.
'Will you beg?' the eye-patched man held a red hot burning rod in his hand, 'tell me.'
He burns a scar on my hand. I scream, the agony, the pain, I am reviving all over again.
'Aa-uu-mm,' the voice resonated.Again the blinding flash
The day I killed my captor, I was 16, was tired of his torture, my body was numb from scars and pain. I had no soul and the soulless monster kept torturing me for 8 years even if I begged for him and was underfed. But today was enough, he tortured me too much, I remember I had brought a butchers knife with me while coming.
‘You have come, kid, where is today money?’ the eye-patched man asked drinking from the bottle.
‘You pig,’ I hacked him to pieces using the butchers knife, ‘You…spoilt my childhood for your dirty desires…you…’‘Aa-uu-mm’ The voice echoed.
‘…spoilt my childhood'
The butchers knife in my hand turns suddenly turns into a baseball bat, I was trashing the local mafia at age 17, becoming an enforcer.
This time I met mob boss, Sultan, the unseen, mob-boss of mumbai docs. He is offering me a chance to work for him.
The gold smuggler rules the doc of Mumbai, I readily agree, as it will give me chance to gain power.'Aa-uu-mm'
Age 20, I committed my first murder for money.
'See the man sitting with his family, we attack him,' explained Param, the right-hand man of Sultan sitting in the hotel.
'But, he has kids with him,' I speak.
'We spare no one,' Param said, 'The kid will grow up to take revenge...we have to dice him'
'But... the kid is just seven,' I explained. I feel scared of killing a seven year old.
'We have to,' Param said, not bothered at all.
We all attack at the same time at the table, I see the look of horror in the kids eyes as I have to shoot him.'Aa-uu-mm'
The time flips again and again, and I see my victims, I see orphans who lost their parents, widows who cried, men who lost their family. I see them all, all over again, and I realize I cannot stand them now. So many families torn apart because of me.'Aa-uu-mm'
Every time the time flips, my legs grow weaker, as time moves on, I feel drained, lost... I feel the mountain of my sins mound on my back. With rivers of blood flowing downward. The dead now haunt me, as I relieve my life again... I realize, the magnitude of crime I created...'Aa-uu-mm'
'Wait,' I shout and everything around me blacks out, 'I can't take this. All the things I did in my life, I cannot bear them.' I collapse, my legs give away, 'I am not a good man. Greed motivated me, it was my greed that made me enter the sacred sun temple and try to steal the Samay Chakra (Wheel of Time). I deserve to die. Please kill me.'
'Son,' the voice speaks, 'You are not to decide what you deserve. Some wounds are only healed by Time. It flows continuously, beyond infinity, there is always a zero. Time does not stop, so does not your deeds. You may have bad time, but you know you also had good times. Time always gives a second chance'
I look around me, there is nothing around. Blank. Void.
'I did all I could, to survive. I had to. I was left with no choice. My life was shaped by that way by destiny..'
'Destiny is not as easy as you understand, the event you saw till now, shaped your destiny. No one can tell, what you will end up after few years, not even God. The decisions we take, the choice we make shapes your destiny. No victory is written in stars, neither is any defeat. Time is giving you a second chance...you cannot waste it. Don't get lost in time.'
I still stand a change to take my life head-on. I can undo it all...this was my redemption. My rebirth,
'Are you ready?' the voice asks.
I stand up on my feet. With full strength and a new energy flowing in me.
'Bring it on...'
'Aa-uu-mm' the voice enchanted and time flipped again.
I realize my family had assumed me dead long back when the kidnappers had kidnapped at. The hunt for my family has haunted me since long, after hunting for them, I realize that my four captors are lost with time. Who where the four kids no one knows, but today at age 23 I found one of them, he is my boss... Sultan.
He began with kidnapping at age 14 in the slums of Dharavi and after selling children, he moved to Dubai and became the biggest gold smuggler in the world.
I am sitting there in my room, gazing at the weapon the man gave me. It is loaded with six bullets and I vow today to empty it into his chest and the three others if I meet them'Aa-uu-mm'
Age 27. Sultan is running for his life, huffing and puffing, as I chase him with the gun, he had gifted me. Ironically we are running towards the hut in dharavi where my life began.
'You can run, Sultan, but you cannot hide,' I shout shooting a bullet into his leg, 'All your gang members are dead, so will you...'
Sultan falls on the ground, I can see fear in his eyes.
'Don't kill me, please,' Sultan said, 'I will make you rich, beyond your dreams.'
'Before you die,' I ask, 'Tell me who are my parents? From whom you kidnapped me?'
The words hit hard on my ears, I was kidnapped to take revenge from my father, the then Police SP.
'I taught you...' Sultan pleaded.
'And you taught me well, you taught me killing, you taught me leadership, and above all you taught me...'
I press the trigger hard and pump his heart with all six bullets.'Aa-uu-mm'
This time, I find myself hiding in the bushes. Once I realize who my family is, I search for them and I finally find the house. I have a surviving mother and a brother who also is a police offer like my father.
I am hiding in the bushes, to take a closer look at my house, to take a closer look at my mom.
I still do not have the nerve to visit them, hence I am staying far away and observing.
How ironic, that I am here looking for my family, when I have destroyed so many families in my life.'Aa-uu-mm'
There is a news in the market, that I am retiring. After a bloody life of more than hundred hits, I finally settle down. I decide to change name and go into hiding, when a last job calls me back on the street.
A hooded stranger is willing to pay well to steal the golden wheel from the Sun temple. Their clan are sworn enemies of the temple. I never had a religion, no one told me about it. I never knew nor understood God. Stealing the wheel was a difficult task as it was hidden behind a cryptic under the temple.
All I had to do was steal the wheel and escape, but the moment I touched the wheel, it turned and...I collapse on the ground, where am I? I am back into the present. I look around, the stone temple stands firm while the wheel is back to its position.
I look around for the source of the voice, no one, but this revelation has shown me something. I should protect the wheel at all cost.
I have to get out of here and pretend this thing never happened. I have a rendezvous with my client in the evening, till then I need to clear my head of all thoughts.
An old man enters the temple and rings the bell as I exit the doors. The enchanted voice of the bell reaches my mind and I realize my destiny.
I can see him standing there with hood on his face.
'Where is the wheel?' he asks.
‘I did not steal it, I won’t do it for you,’ I reply to him, my gun ready to fire incase he attacks.
‘I cannot enter the temple, you have to get it for me. I have paid you well,’ the man argues.
‘I will return your money with interest,’ I reply, ‘I won’t let you have it.’
‘You do not realize who you are dealing with….you made the deal with the devil.’
'You are not getting it,' I reply firmly, 'I will make sure it remains there.'
The man speaks nothing for a while, he looks somewhere at the distance 'You messed with the demon, you will pay for it. The demon lord won’t spare you.'
'...I will be ready for it...' I reply. This was my redemption.
A few distance away from Bhairav, where the hooded strange glanced, the old man is walking bend on his stick, he looks at Bhairav standing upright to the hooded messenger. A smile comes on the wrinkled face and he vanishes into thin air.