This is for the Picture Prompt competition. The story is about Ajith, a boy of 21 working in a NGO. He along with his friends take a visit to the exotic islands near Andaman for a capturing the beauty of nature. But, it is they who are captured.


11. Let the credits roll


I woke up with most of my dizziness and fatigue evaporated, but there was still that quotient of tiredness in me that kept nagging me. I scrutinized my surroundings and found myself sitting in a yacht that was big enough to house five people. The six officers were fragmented in twos in the three boats. The company I had bought minus the traitor were in one boat and the three tribes were being contained inside what seemed to be a transparent sarcophagus. I looked inquiringly at the chief who was seated beside me.

He understood my query and replied, “Some kind of life preservative those doctors brought to make it to the mainland”,

“Why did he do it”, I asked.


I nodded.

“Money, the driver of all the macabre and maladies”, he said melodramatically crafting his hands to symbolize money, the figure of fingers counting.

“Right”, I ended the conversation, I had much of the turmoil still bridled inside me, I had to vent it out internally.

The first thought that flashed across me were the doctors. The gods who had bequeathed with the powers to heal, those who had acquired it, but it was an endowment of god, nonetheless. I knew not what the reason was, money, could be one, but it was passion, cruel passion. I knew not how a profession where compassion was the heartthrob encapsulated within its womb a relentless thing such as passion. I wanted to ponder the answer, brood over it, but the answer was as lucid as the waters. The doctors I was witnessing were not those doctors who adapted the concept of altruism to veil their inability. These were creatures designed by God himself to be doctors. They were not the kind of people who wanted to enjoy the frills packaged with doctoring. They were substanced with genius; they would not succumb to the high pay for a mundane job. They did it for the thrill of it and I was sure they could pull of even the avalanches of medicals. They were born to create, architectured to invent.

Maybe it was the unacceptability the shell people cocooned themselves in, the inability of people to accept the change. If only the people knew that they had to break the cocoon to string silk, the answer was right in front of them, but they never took it. The people, the so-called pioneers were accustomed to the patterns of success, the safe side. They never were ready to embark on the dark, unexplored unhindered darkness that could reveal a simple hair dye to cause cancer had within its voluminous pockets secrets that could only be unraveled by the daring. When the rare species did come, it was dispelled as insane.

I was so engrossed with the injustice shot at these doctors that it took a moment for me to realize that the boat had taken a leak. The water started swashing in with ardent conviction. The chief was applying all his faculties to stall the flow of water. The leak was peculiar and was nothing like I had seen, it was as if some splintered boulder had hit the hull.

The chief suddenly realized that there was a boatman on board and turned to him for advice who was staring at the leak, his face grim, he shook his head.

The chief quickly understood, he knew it was experience speaking and he could not counter it.

“What can we do”, the chief asked.

“Jump to the other boat, that’s all we can do, the kit seems incapable of handling the crisis”, the boatman said, his face displaying the cool calm of a seaman. Had it not been the acumen of a peer, this idea would have been ridiculous, but we were peering through decades of practice.

The boatman signaled at the bigger dinghy, which embodied within it Raj and the two officers, “We will have to transfer one of you to the other ship, it seems capable of holding one more, we will then jump in there”,

“What should I do now”, the paddling officer asked, his lack of knowledge imminent.

The boatman signaled to the other boat, “Bring it near this one, let Raj jump”,

The boat neared the other one, Raj whose reluctance was brighter than the sun was forced to jump to the other boat, and there he consigned to the corner of it.

We first wanted to transport Sasha, for her leg was broken. The boatman said to me, “You’ll have to sling her and jump with her”,

I did not know why it was me who had to do it, but reckoned the boatman had good reason to vouch, so I just nodded and prepared myself for the ordeal at hand, I was being handed the stake for two lives. I was a burden unworthy of carriage for myself. I decided to throw the self-deprecating thoughts out of the window just for a minute.

The boat was neared and the boatman jumped too early, but his skill carried him through unscathed. The boatman took the rows and aligned the boat with mine, but it was not too near.

“3, 2, 1, JUMP”, the boatman shouted.

Maybe it was the jolt on impact or it was my inefficiency fuelled by my dubiousness. I sailed through, but Sasha upon landing fell back into the water. She knew not swim, which became eminent the moment she started flailing her arms. For a few seconds there was no Sasha. In the frozen seconds of horrified aquatic atmosphere, I was almost killed by the guilt. At that moment, a head bobbed and a call came out, I pointed towards her, short of words as I was, but my indication was enough for the boatman, I knew he was the finest reader of subtleties and its nuances. He navigated the boat towards her and I held out my hand, searching the reaches of the water for  Sasha.  Just at that moment a hand connected with mine and I unleashed all the energy I could muster and within a few seconds she was home. The next few seconds were a blur  of formalities. After they ended, I found myself a seat at the end of the yacht. I sat back and gazed at the meandering other boat.

That was the materialistic constituent of Jagadeesh. He had left us just like the boat. The gutsy invisible youth was not the soul that bore us but he was the glue that had bound us. He was the catalyst, the reticent character that bragged about only one thing, it knew the power of silence. Jagadeesh could almost fade into any background, he could infuse it with color, incite all swirls of emotions without ever having to speak. I had never known him much, we had all been united under an halo for a purpose that in no way was earthy, but I had come to know that being sober did not necessarily mean tame. I had seen aggression in his eyes, I had seen tranquility, yet there was much more density to that soul empowered creature, he was not the God who created us, he was the mystical saint that guided us in our dreams. He was the embassy of the god. I knew I was not the only being feeling the sourness, for Raj jumped.

The officers were about to sniff his trail, when I said, ‘He doesn’t know to swim”,

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