Category Archives: fiction

The Joy of Tomorrow.

The page says “share your story here”, so this is my story…..

I was born on the day world war 1 began, I came out of the womb to the smell of gunpowder and smoke, to the shout of soldiers and the cry of the dying. I was thrown into a place that was supposed to be better, but was at that moment at its worst or so I thought.

I grew up with men without limbs as evidence of our greed and hatred for each other. I saw men blind from shrapnel but can still see the human heart perfectly.

I did not see war, I lived war. I have seen many wars including 2 global (world) wars. I have seen men choose hatred,fear, paranoia and selfishness over the inherent good that is in all of us.

But though my life was birthed in war and forged in conflict I have never lost hope ,” that the good in each of us will always triumph over the bad”.

And that’s what has kept me going all these years, the hope of a GOOD TOMORROW.

It makes me go through life’s challenges with courage and plough through my obstacles with strength. It encourages me to look forward and not backwards, to hold on to the future and not yesterday.

The belief that each of us has an infinite capacity for good keeps me on the road of hope and on this pilgrims journey.

It makes me not be surprised by the warmongering in our nations and our families but to look out for that sliver of hope in the midst of the chaos.

Like the picture of the 5yr old boy shielding his sister from gunfire in Iraq or the picture of the stunned boy rescued from a bomb attack in Syria. Glimmers of the humanity we desperately seek to diminish today.

And so I call on fellow men and women who are tired of “the fallen nature of man” to give a hand in this new revival, to breathe new life and resurrect our fallen nature, to once again make us look forward to “the joy of tomorrow”.

This is a mixture of fiction and reality tailored to give us hope and banish despair.

©Fr

Poverty of living…..

I once knew a man
Whose story will break your heart.

He was born at midday
He died at midnight 56years later.

He lived wealthy and connected
But he died having no friends and was buried alone.

His life was focused on pursuit
Not of happiness but of wealth.

Not of relationships
But of avenues to riches.

So he made his first million at 23
And a billion 10years later.

But the drive never waned
Neither did the desire for more lessen.

So he chose money over Human beings
And investments over family.

Was he happy?
I can never say, a part of him must have been.

Was he lonely?
Definitely, he was.

And so he missed living
Because he was chasing the things he thought were valuable.

He missed the beauty of the rising sun
The beautiful landscapes that flew by his car window.

He was still wealthy in money at death
But was strikingly poor in friends

He had money, more than enough.
But he couldn’t buy love and affection.

He couldn’t buy a genuine “how are you?”
By the time he understood what he lost,he had reached his end.

His last words were brief and deep.
“In my next life , if there is such, I will choose friends over money, love over wealth, family over investments for wealth without these is nothing but poverty covered with expensive clothes”.

©Fr

Vision thru’ a broken window

The earth’s about five thousand million years old.
Who can afford to live in the past?
Harold Pinter 

She has never felt like this before, what is this feeling that she can’t explain? Could this be love, she asks in her mind. And then she remembers and smiles.
This is how her life has been since they met, around him she always felt no need to pretend or to put up facades to protect who she is. With him she was happy being herself. Whenever she hears his voice her heart skips a beat, whenever they are together she yearns to be free like the wind. But in all her happiness she holds back never giving in fully. She is tied down by a haunting memory of decades ago, the memory of an incident that drove her to build walls round her heart. Walls that were meant to keep her from getting hurt. Since the day that memory came into existence she has trusted no man and with good reason too.

Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.
Christina Rossetti 

So now even in her joy and happiness, she is expecting to wake up and find out it’s just a dream. But she hangs on as if on tenterhooks wanting to believe and hoping it’s not a dream.
She can’t remember the last time she had a clear thought since meeting him, her mind is all muddled up and she wonders if she has not lost it. But then if only this feeling can continue she can give her mind for it. In the little moment of “sanity” she gets, she wonders what this feeling is that could break down barriers that are decades strong and still standing. As she begins to get lost in the feeling, the memory comes back more vivid than ever almost in high definition reminding her of what she has suffered and the pain she went through.
She knows the memory was forged in pain and her heart only seeks to protect her; but she must make a decision, either to jump or to stay.
Afraid of tomorrow unknown, guided only by a past experienced she looks at the world through a broken window. So the image she sees is always fractured, fractured by an experience forever etched in her memory. After what seems like an eternity of deliberation, she decides on a course of action.
She decided to take a leap of faith into the unknown, into this vortex of feelings she doesn’t understand she decides to give herself. She decides that her past will no longer define her; she has to live to shame the memory that haunts her and has kept her in chains for decades. She decides to love him as much as he loved her and to open her heart fully to his embrace. And since she took that decision, she has never had course to worry and has never looked back.

Dedicated to all sexually abused women who are finding it hard to give their hearts fully to another.

©Fr

Terrible Beauty

The sight before him was truly amazing. In all his years of travelling the world and visiting the ends of the earth; he has never been met by such a sight. He was transfixed to the spot held spellbound by what he beheld on his path. He thanked the gods, if they existed ,for the chance to come in contact with such an awesome and remarkable beauty.(the beauty was debatable)

The scene before him exuded strength and yet was surrounded by weakness and sorrow. In this one scene he saw the effects of war, the good the bad and the ugly. He saw the ravages of war on the populace but also saw the beauty of adaptation and survival as people thrived in this environment. Here survival was a reflex conditioned by influences beyond control.

He so wished he could capture the imagery as it was. He had a digital camera but instinctively he knew it will not do justice to the scene. And so he sat down and willed the image to be imprinted in his mind. So that everytime he saw the image, his mind will come alive with the nuances of the characters in the scenery.

Years later he will commission a painting to try and capture the essence of what he saw that day.

On this day the twentieth anniversary of that fateful sighting, the author once again narrated what he saw and what he felt twenty years ago.

On that day two decades ago, he saw strength coexisting with weakness, sorrow living with joy. He saw the strong being supported by the weak and the rich being fed by the poor. He saw children made parents and parents made childless. The paradox of that day was all encompassing as it was engaging. Even today he still could not forget the look in the eyes he saw. The eyes that held him spellbound and kept bringing him back to that little known place at the end of the world.

As the author ended his reminiscing, there was no dry eye in the room and everybody hugged themselves tighter because it seemed like a cold draft just blew across the room.

Dedicated to war survivors especially child soldiers scattered across Africa and the world. May your ordeals teach us to care.

Baron Munchausen

This is his fifth visit to the emergency room in the last month alone; he was only 25 but has been hospitalized for most of his adult life. His hospital file was as thick as an encyclopedia and read like a “Wikipedia” for medical diagnosis. From cardiac arrhythmias to pulmonary emphysema almost every organ in his body has been diagnosed and treated for one disease or the other. He has had three emergency surgeries in the past 2 years alone and all of them were inconclusive.

Today he was complaining of a left flank pain that migrated to the left groin, he said the pain was so severe that he couldn’t sleep. He was actually sweating profusely during the conversation with the doctor and was clutching the left side of his abdomen. The doctor prescribed strong analgesics for him, placed him on admission and wrote up a series of tests to confirm his presumptive diagnosis, since the signs and symptoms were classical for the disease in question.

When he came back to review the test results, he noticed the patient was more comfortable. He was chatting with the nurses and appeared to be pain free for the moment. On review of the test results they were all normal which surprised him. The symptoms were so classical and the information he got from the patients history corroborated his clinical diagnosis. He was intrigued. This will be his first posting in the course of his nephrology residency and he is getting this puzzle for a case. Believing his diagnosis was right and that the test results might have been screwed up somehow, he began treatment and ordered for more comprehensive tests.

It was alarming when those too came back normal. From the CT scan to the electrolyte panel, the MRI he even did a urography study and all of them came back normal. Now intrigue was replaced by confusion and he sat down to study the patients’ hospital file in greater detail.

Of all his admissions majority of the diagnosis has never been confirmed by any tests, the tests have been normal but he has still had symptoms that were pointing to specific diagnosis. It was as if the standard for making a diagnosis in this patient’s particular case has become the patient himself and not the different test panels that have become the gold standard over the years.

He also noticed from the file that in the beginning the patient used to demand for admission even if the attending physician or surgeon did not find it necessary. In his quest for answers, he spoke with one of the nurses that the patient usually converses with, trying to know his state of mind. She told him that he never has any visitors that he usually feels at home in the hospital and always feels sad when discharged. It was almost as if the hospital environment was satisfying an emotional need.

That struck a nerve in him and it all started coming together. Classical symptoms that are specific for the diseases concerned ,frequent hospitalizations, medical tests that were almost always  normal irrespective of active symptoms ,surgeries that were inconclusive at best, no family connections and some other small factors that were pushing in a particular direction.

He knew what he had to do but he lacked the power to do that, so he booked an appointment with the head of Nephrology. The task before him is immense very difficult to prove, has no test panels that can help him and he is standing alone in his decision. He was practically trying to prove that the poster boy for good patient behavior in the hospital was lying about not just his present symptoms but all the other ones before that.

He was going to prove that the man had Munchausen Syndrome; the only problem was that he was going to prove it to scientists and clinicians who deal in empirical evidence and not probabilities.

A Bargain in error

Objection.. My Lord, objection, I must object to this line of questioning my lord. There is nothing in evidence to corroborate this fact that prosecution counsel is referring to, it is based on nothing but hearsay my lord, only hearsay.

All eyes in the courtroom were on the defense counsel who seemed to be growing smaller by the day and today more than other days he looked weary and harried with eyes darting to and fro, some will say he was frightened but of what nobody could tell. This objection has become one too many, having objected to every question to the witness from the prosecution counsel.

The defense counsel meanwhile was praying more than he had ever done in his two decades of practicing law, that God should save him from this mess and he will never offend him again. He remembered how it all started. How on that fateful day, best described as a slow business day and with financial obligations pilling up he had wished for a miracle.

The accused had walked into his office that day and sought legal defense in a criminal case. He had been accused of embezzling money running into millions of dollars, accepting kickbacks from government officials and inflation of contracts. The accused had asked him a simple question, “can you get me an acquittal in this case” and he had readily answered with an air of arrogance “of course it’s a matter of knowing which legal trick to use”.

Skeptical though he was, the man had entered into a service contract with him that will see him getting 10% of all the looted money as legal fees if he got the client acquitted. Now he was thinking he should have been more economical in giving hope without reviewing the case against him.

He knew he was in trouble when he got the charge sheet of his client and the evidence they had against him. As the case had progressed he had been fighting for breath at every court sitting never having a moment of respite. It was a slaughter that the prosecution prepared for and nothing will stop them from getting it.

When his client had noticed his clutching at straws at every court appearance, being less than stellar in his renditions he had sent him a note to incentivize him, the note read, “ if I get convicted you will never see your 2year old daughter again”. The note had a picture of the little girl attached to it. That was when he knew he was beyond saving.

He was jolted back to the reality of the courtroom by the booming voice of the trial judge, “counsel” he said, “if you interrupt this proceedings again with another of your irrelevant objections, I will hold you in contempt and send you to jail. So think carefully before you make your next objection”.

Dejectedly he took his seat, mourning the inevitable loss of his daughter, a loss he brought about because of his greed. As a last ditch effort to save his daughter he concluded that he will hand himself over to them to do with him whatever they will if he lost, but to spare his daughter. But even that decision was not as comforting as he thought it would be, he had made the proverbial deal with the devil and he knows for a fact that the devil will come to collect.