Razi Shaikh

Unraveling Life. One Story At A Time.

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The Rich-Poor Paradox

Short Story 09

The new shampoo claimed to have 3 fruits in its concoction. She felt the change in the texture but she wasn’t sure how effective it would be. The water slid down her shoulders, down the drain hole and finally out in the sewers.

There, a young child waited for her mother to return from home. The sewers was no place to stay but for someone who didn’t have a shelter over her head, it wasn’t a big deal. Besides, she could always scavenge for some leftovers near the trash dump. Last evening, she had found the peel of a few fruits, which had sufficed as her dinner.

The lady, now that she was done bathing, had a light lunch as she was gaining considerable weight. She watched TV for a while, where the news of some slum-dwellers protesting over the highway over the demolition of their homes, was being splashed across all news channels, She switched off the TV, worried that she...

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Out Of The Pigeonhole

Short Story 07

“I’m leaving home. I’ve had enough.”

“But you cannot. You’ll die out there. It’s a bad bad world out there.”

“So? You want me strapped to the walls of this house forever? Don’t you think it’s about time I start taking my life my own way?”

“Let’s not get there. Your life, your way is an oxymoron. Your life is never yours alone. And your path is never yours. Someone has already carved it out for you. And how you choose to walk on it determines the fate of so many others.”

“If that is so, then take it that I’m walking on the pre-decided path.”

“How do you know it is the right path?”

“How do you know it isn’t?”

“Go if you must. But I know you’ll come back.”

“No one really knows. We think we do.”

“If you’ve lived as long as I’ve, seen as much as I’ve, then you would disagree. Of course you never know. But if your eyes and mind are open, you’ll see patterns.”

“I’m sure as...

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We Need To Talk : PART II

Short Story 06


I’m glad you opened this conversation. We couldn’t have had this conversation face-to-face or via WhatsApp. Truth be told, we’re so used to instant communication that we forget some things need time. It took us time to fall in love, to get serious about it and it will certainly take us time to deal with the bumps and crashes that come our way.

We make choices, not the other way round. Or that is what I would like to believe.

She took a deep breath, trying to conjure her next words. After a few seconds, she went back to typing,

We’ve reached a stage where we’re using words like ‘reconsider’ and ‘reconcile’. We can take this as the stagnation of the current or the harbinger of the new. Because only through an upheaval can the new emerge. The question is, do we seek to continue and evolve? Or do we wish to separate and quit? I would stick to the former. Because as...

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We Need To Talk : PART I

Short Story 06


‘Time, distance and space, these things best make sense in a Star Wars film. But not in love.’

It was a fancy start to the all-important letter he was writing. It could make-or-break his relationship. Arranging his thoughts in his head, he went back to typing,

‘You would know that emails are something I detest. But today, when I seek to speak and understand, I have taken leave of WhatsApp. There, I read to reply, not to understand. And maybe that, my inability to differentiate between the two has brought us to this stage today.’

He read it twice, hardly believing what he was writing. It was as if the mere change of medium had changed him. He went on writing,

‘We can separate, we can go our own ways and we can spend a lifetime to think of what went wrong. Or we can take a break. Reconcile with who we were once and what became of us. I realize that as time passes...

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When God Came For Lunch

Short Story 05

As with all auspicious occasions, this one too was marked by invoking the name of God. He was the savior, the hope, the despair and the joy. The devotees were in a trance as they bowed before him, as they heard stories of his greatness. To show their gratitude, they had assembled to pray and seek his blessings.

The function was nearly at its end. Finally, the servants of the house came out to distribute the sweets to the beggars who had lined outside the house. The inmates and guests of the house, now that they had thanked their Lord, went for lunch.

Outside the house, a poor girl was waiting patiently for her turn. When she was handed over her share of the sweet, she thanked the servant. She ran back home.

Here, her three siblings lived with her. Taking out the sweet, she handed it over to them. Huddling around her, they ate it with a silent thanks. When it was...

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Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

Short Story 04

There was a pin-drop silence in the open ground. Hundreds had gathered at the place, not out of concern or compassion but out of a sense of revenge. To them, the day was important, for it ascertained the beliefs they had been bred and fed with.

“Kill her, kill her!” The crowd had started chanting, as soon as the victim had been brought out. Without a look at the victim’s face, without the slightest idea of her crimes, the crowd was baying for her blood. The executioner remained unperturbed though. A moment later, in one clean swipe, he had fulfilled the crowd’s wishes.

The entertainment for the day was over. The crowd returned home.

Hundreds of years later, the forerunners of those people stood in the same place, where a busy street had come up. In the tea shop, the crowd was milling around the television, which was presently showing the latest news. A woman had been...

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This Child Will Never Grow Up

Short Story 03

Picking up the remote, I jumped on the couch and switched on the TV. Surfing through the channels didn’t last for long as I finally came across one of my favourite TV shows. My favourite television character was on air and in a classic case of Inception, he too was sitting in his living room and watching cartoon! And he too was bursting into laughter every now and then! Relatability reached an all-time high when his mother came up to him and scolded him for watching so much of television.

I was watching this, when my own mother walked in and gave a ‘won’t-ever-improve’ look to me. Me and to the TV. I think I didn’t notice it though. I was busy making a paper rocket from the newspaper, while I waited for the ad break to end. It did soon and a few minutes after that my show ended as well. Shin Chan had finished watching Action Kamen and he was back to his antics for the...

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Always A First Time

Short Story 02

Trains were whizzing past the platform that day. So were people, rushing in and out of the station. But to the two of them, it didn’t matter. They remained oblivious to it. No, they weren’t in love. Not yet.

It had started with a timid walk back to the station, which they both used to commute to home from their schools. Years and years after seeing each other at the same station had finally made them realize that they needed to move beyond their silent words. That day, they took a leave from their friends and together made their way to the station. A slow and measured walk, during which they tried their hand at small talk, picking up a few random topics every now and then. Finally, at the pani puri uncle’s stall, they actually started talking. Once they were done, they came to the platform where silence settled once again. Only when the train had come, when they had...

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When The Devil Came

Short Story 01

“It’s no good, to fall for it time and again. We should exercise some restraint, you know. Or at least pretend to.”

“You’re not a saint and heck, you don’t even know how to fake being one. May as well give into your passions.”

“The price is heavy. Literally and figuratively.”

“You would know.” I winked at her. She was touchy about that issue.

“And you wouldn’t. Once you fall for it, there’s no way back.”

“But sins are not infinite, you know. You can always pull the brakes sometime.”

“That’s like falling for a drug by saying that you can control it. How do you know something that you have neither seen, only heard of?”

“That drug analogy makes sense. Wait, I’ll jot it down.”

“I knew!” Her exasperation was showing. “Instead of telling me to walk away from here...

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Moving In

I’m not sure how many people in the blogosphere recall that I too was a blogger once. I may add that I took leave from it, something like a year back. But the good (or the bad) news is that I'v decided to make a comeback to it. Albeit in a slightly different avatar. Then again, we chose to do things differently over time not because we wish to portray that we’ve changed but because we realize that as time passes by, change remains the only constant.

I just went through the first paragraph and it is with resigned hopelessness I admit that such relapses, of sinking into random musings are way too common with me. The good news is that here is where this new blog will differ.

Before that, a quick lowdown on what I was up to while roaming in the wilderness.

I’ve been more or less a heretic in the past one year and that has been more out of choice than anything else. I’ve been in that...

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