Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The right glass.

This post has been published by me as a part of IBL; the Battle of Blogs, sponsored by WriteupCafe.com. Join us at our official website and facebook page.www.indianbloggersleague.com
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The right glass.

Since the past eighteen hours, all I can see in front of my eyes is a man turning away from the jail bars in front of me and walking away, and he’s been walking away the whole night, and I’ve been watching him leave.

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Frenchmen are often celebrated for their impeccable taste in wine, and their sensitivity towards every shape and size of glasses that is made for every taste and brand of liquor. 
Well, Cyril Galtia was a sorry exception, however a perfectly happy one. He had the eyes, nose and nails of a Frenchman. But his body had a tan of the tropics and his soul thrived in a prideful summer house tucked away in Pali Hill, Mumbai; where the man fled to after a mid-life crisis that didn’t promise revelations of any worth.
Cyril Galtia was my husband.

Like most romances, ours was ordinary. And like most couples, we thought it was extraordinary. We lived in that very house in Pali Hill, a house that was a little too immodestly huge for the two of us, the limp gardener, and the cook with a fat bronze wedding ring.
For four people, we were a loud bunch. My husband and I were a little embarrassingly clamorous about our conversations and lord save the neighbours on the occasion of an argument. Our gardener was a pessimist who limped around the house more than the garden, muttering grunts about his Polio stricken childhood and his evil step mother. And our cook, well he was a potbellied jolly man who obsessed over the precision of the things around the house more than the spices in the cooker.

Often our friends would come over for drinks, and jokes about our marriage would fly around the lounge. About how in the world did a mid-life crisis stricken Frenchman fall in love with an Indian woman half his age, about how all an old lad like him needed was a coquette like me, and how I’d run away with all his money someday once his arms aren’t strong enough and his wrinkles older than the day before. It was controversy among his friends initially; eventually it was all in good humour. His parents were long dead, and he had a sister who was leading a blissful life of a hippie in New Delhi.

Cyril was a loud Indian man stuck in the body and with the surname of a Frenchman. He ate more spices than my stomach could ever hold and he licked every end of his fingers only after which would his meal be complete and would he be content. 
I remember this one particular night during one of our weekend get together, I saw Cyril sip on beer from a wine glass. I jibed at him in a friendly way about how the first and the last thing that was expected out of a man from Paris, such as himself, was to at least ensure the appropriate glass for his liquor, and his response came after a hiccup or two; “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.
The response was apparently a revolutionary one for it was the butt of every punch line for the next few parties and it had everybody rolling in fits of laughter, except our poor cook perhaps who broke accidentally broke a china dish in anger and almost barked at Cyril about the specificity of everything in life, and how it was just as much of a sin to have liquor from the wrong glass as it was to encourage blasphemy. All our senses were a few drinks behind, so the cook was shouted at rudely and he scoot away into the kitchen, left alone to entertain his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder baggage! 

Perhaps it is because we had such an ordinary life that everything seems like a blur, and just one night comes to my mind when I think about Cyril. April 15th, was it. It was another of those weekend parties at our house, and it was a particularly drunk night. Cyril was annoyed at the gardener all day for he had ruined the rug from Kashmir in the corner most room by leaving mud stains on it. Work wasn’t all that great either; he had lost a client to another agent.
It was about 8 in the evening when he asked me to get him a drink, to perk up his mood since the guests started coming in. I was a little agitated due to a heated argument we had earlier during the day (and so were the neighbours), so when the cook handed me Cyril’s glass of red wine, it almost slipped. Another stain would have made its way on another Kashmiri rug had I not grabbed the lower end of the glass firmly, I had thought; relieved.
I took Cyril’s drink to him and eventually, he slipped his fingers into mine. We walked around the lounge joining our friends in-between conversations and puns when I noticed a rather unusual guest; It was Mr.Bomfry from two blocks away who was a regular recipient of our chain email invites for the get-togethers, however he chose to never come and wasn’t quite a man in our grid. Cyril and I walked upto him and told him how kind it was for him to join us that evening and all he did was nod at us and the man went back to his sushi.



Other than that, the evening proceeded perfectly with Cyril sipping on beer from a wine glass for cheap thrills and I kept teasing him loudly yet again about how an inappropriate Frenchman like him shouldn’t be given any alcohol. So I didn’t find it too odd when Cyril vanished into our bedroom for over twenty minutes, however I did find it odd when I got a text from Cyril saying; "Bedrum, pliss”. He never misspelled words and most definitely hadn’t called me to the bedroom while the house was full of guests… nevertheless, I did find it rather romantic and I opened the bedroom door with a playful coquettish smile…
And that smile stayed, frozen.

Cyril lay staggered next to the bed, the right side of his head blood read and his left wrist slit with strange words scratched with glass on his still arm which held the broken end of a wine glass. 
Cyril was dead.
Eventually a friend walked in and found me sitting next to the dead body with cold eyes and the broken glass in my hand. Eventually, everybody found us.
The police was called, and suddenly from humorous jokes, I actually became the coquettish woman half his age who wanted to kill him and run away with his money. The broken end of the glass that was the source of the strange scribbles on his arm had strong finger prints of mine, only nobody knew that was because the glass had almost slipped from my hand earlier in the evening. And the scribbles only accentuated the allegations of my so-called deranged doing;

“YOO MUST DRINK FROM D RITE GLASS. BEER NOT FROM THIN GLASS CYRIL”

I had nothing to say. I was accused of being the obsessive wife who nagged about his habits, I was called a cheap money hungry woman who ran behind a man double her age for ulterior motives, apparently I had a lover tucked away somewhere, I was supposedly mentally sick with OCD… and all such allegations were crafted by our “friends” who got drunk every weekend at our house.
The police found my gold chain broken and lying a few meters away from Cyril’s body with hints of blood, they found a single earring and a fat ring which were found in the periphery of the body. 

The fingerprints were mine, the scratches on his arms were my words, only misspelled. And my shocked silence that went on for days didn’t help. I was deaf and dumb throughout my trial, I hadn’t spoken a word. I was sentenced to be locked away in jail for 13 years and I hadn’t spoken a word.

I hadn’t spoken a word until yesterday when my cook came to drop my tiffin and I noticed his ring finger holding the jail bars… it had a fair band of bare skin around a tanned hand, and I realized his fat bronze ring was gone. Only then did I remember the police finding a fat bronze ring from the room, that lay very close to Cyril’s dead body. When he saw me staring at his finger in shock while realization finally hit me, he said; 

“Cyril should have used the right glass, madam.”

And he turned around and walked away.
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-Nil. 

40 comments:

  1. You're getting better. There's a certain maturity that's slowly creeping in.

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  2. Had me captured right from the first sentence. Brilliant!
    Go KKW!

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  3. A gripping plot and the ending was really good . Best of luck for IBL :)

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  4. And the cook did it. Wonderful narration and nice read. All The Best for IBL.

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  5. Awesome story! Gripping suspense, broken in the 2nd to last line!

    Will the cook get caught?

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  6. Excellent Story. You write very well.

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  7. Well, if she had only used the right words, Cyril might just have used the right glass! I am rather intrigued by the murderous tendency of the cook though... but then the world is made up of all sorts of people.

    Nicely written story... hope I too write a murder story soon. :)

    Arvind Passey
    www.passey.info

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  8. Fuckk. Awesome. Yes, just awesome.

    and did you omit something before "bedrum, pliss". That got me confused for a while. No one's commented bout it. I feel stupid now. :s

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  9. I listened to this with Edith Piaf's 'Soul Le Ciel de Paris' in the background. Definitely fitting.

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  10. Hi Nilanjana

    First of all, thats a very nice name :) My first visit to your blog :)

    Very well written post. Kept me hooked till the end and even I thought there is some typo near 'Bedrum,Pliss'. Good Luck for IBL :) Loved little things you added hear and there like the gardener muttering about his polio and step mother.

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  11. What a story Nilanjana!! Power talk!Loved the way you merged the mental wound with the physical wounds. Liked the expert treatment!
    Amazing !!

    Cheers KKW~

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  12. Nil this is seriously printworthy stuff..the kinds i would expect to read with a cup of coffee, on a 24 hour long train journey! who needs company when this is what i get to read :) so proud of you baby sister !

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  13. Shocked by the climax. I will never ever hire a cook in my life.

    Ha ha, jokes apart, I really loved it. A short story with the perfect ingredients. My best wishes to you and your team for the IBL! :)

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  14. Superb !!! Astounding !!! Mind blowing !!!

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  15. brillaint work.... awesome dear :) keep rocking :)

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  16. Awesome is the only word which I have right now....and the narration is excellent... Loved it

    ~ Ste

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  17. WOHOO Nil Thoroughly enjoyed. THE COOK EH?! Never though of that :D And now after reading through the whole thing THIS -

    "Since the past eighteen hours, all I can see in front of my eyes is a man turning away from the jail bars in front of me and walking away, and he’s been walking away the whole night, and I’ve been watching him leave."

    makes full sense :)

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  18. Brilliant. No rambling, very crisp and direct. Like I said, love a good murder story.

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  19. "Since the past eighteen hours, all I can see in front of my eyes is a man turning away from the jail bars in front of me and walking away, and he’s been walking away the whole night, and I’ve been watching him leave."

    Dude.

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  20. My goodness....hai rabba...brilliant work Nil....absolutely perfect. :)

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  21. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuude.
    That was brilliant!!
    What were you whining for?! You had THIS!

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  22. "Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn." unless I am mistaken, isn't that an epic line from literature... was it Gone with the wind? I loved how you've built up Cyril, and chuckled over how the line was used. Brilliantly set!

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  23. Holyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

    Nil. Tui eta PHATAPHATI likhechis re. I can't tell you how good this was.
    ~Antara

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  24. Nilanjana...! this is great writing! such a perfect start for our KKW :)
    cheers my dear!

    we'll surely rock IBL!

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  25. Amaaaazzzziiingg!

    Rich language,surprising twist, mature characters in such a short piece. Do write more!

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  26. What a twist at the end !! Too good, I must say. And, love your choice of words

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  27. Nice!! Didn't see that coming!!

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  28. Amazing piece of work! I loved the way the story was narrated. The last sentence “Cyril should have used the right glass, madam.” reflects a behaviour which is cold yet a guilty one, which i founf really good! Keep up the good work and the best for IBL! :)

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  29. I am a bit late to comment but WOW. what a story!! amazing narration. you have pinned the topic of false accusation for murder BANG ON.
    hats off and i love you!!!!
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah i am so frickin excited after reading this!!

    PS: pardon me :P

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  30. Oh how I wish he had used the right glass. But all is lost now, the wine and the chalice.

    Beautiful post!


    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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  31. nil..i am speechless..purely magnificient and a crisp,superb piece of writing.You simply ROCK!

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  32. Nice flow to the screenplay, good scene construct,and decent presentation.As a reader,I'd want a bit more color to the characters,considering the drama that ensues,perhaps an early shade of grey somewhere..but thats just a thought..

    Nice read.

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  33. Wow. That was quite a response. Thank you SO much, everybody. You're all very kind and your encouragement keeps the fiction flowing. Much much love, and sure do hope you stick around :))

    -Nil.

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  34. don't you think the title added as a spoiler (or at least to me it did - maybe 'coz i read a lot of such stories )

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  35. You make me proud. Brilliant work.

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  36. That was a really delightful story. You brewed a heady cocktail with the right mixture of intrigue, suspense and light hearted humor. A very good read as you kept the reader hooked on with your gripping narrative. Very well written. :)

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  37. suspense fiction!! that is one of the most controversial fiction domain apart frm humour...just the right amount of tang is required....

    loved the careless mention of mr.bomfry to provide readers an alternate guesswork dimension...well kept suspense nil..well kept!! :D

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Pour out your thoughts on mine.... :)