Book Excerpt: The Dark Side Of Light

13/02/2016 12:26 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
There are so many good books in the world. I really need to dedicate more time to reading. A while back I sat and read through a certain 4 books (which shall not be named, yeah you know the ones), and I hate myself for it. I could have read any 4 books in the world, but I conscientiously chose to poison my brain with mindless drivel. The thought occurred to me to do a photoshoot of a book bonfire featuring those 4 books; I could have called it something about purging the world of evil or something...Oh well. I refuse to pay money for them. However, if anyone is willing to donate them to me for this purpose, I would totally do it. :) Bigger


The Dark Side of Light is a book composed of several emotions brought together in various stories narrated in the form of prose, poem and script. The reason behind their being more than one particular genre is because I believe, no one emotion is lonesome and they are all interconnected. For instance, the feeling of love leads to joy, even sadness, which could lead to anger, wrath and remorse. Soon, the sadness is eclipsed by a new or existing form of happiness, resulting in a ripple effect of emotions. The curation of the book is to create a heartbeat tempo for the reader with the endeavor of engulfing them in several worlds of fiction that are spurred by reality.

An eye for an eye is a short murder fiction from The Dark Side of Light which looks into the story and mind of an individual coping with the tormenting newspaper articles that result in him getting directly involved in preventing these murderers in feeding their appetite of slaughter. The excerpt below is the beginning of the story along with a look ahead into the solution constructed in order to cure this problem.


'Three students found buried near the teacher's parking lot.'

'Four children found charred in a playground near school.'

'Five women found hanged with conjoined daggers holding them together.'

The obituaries were taking up more space in the papers than the matrimonials. Times were even more invaluable and the uncertainty about the next second led to anxiety about what to prioritize. Each hug before work or a kiss to a parent was treated as the last; bringing urgency into everyday emotions like affection.

Parents finally made time to play hide and seek; but this time they knew they wouldn't find the girl who used to constantly beg them to find her. Now communities and neighbours came together, caught up in this relentless search. A handkerchief attached near their dear one's beating heart was used as a navigator when their prized possession didn't return from school. The cloth stuck near their name tags were the first clues towards a nightmarish identification search. Soon, the simplicity of sending their children to school became a gamble for nervous parents.

These headlines flashed like neon lights of an ambulance as they blinded everyone with dark thoughts, erasing hope for the future. A lifetime seemed to have passed as these grotesque murders contained no clues that the killer had been plaguing the world causing panic. The number of murders and unsolved crimes increased as if indicating they were a means to control the population. Doors stayed locked with constant prayers for them not to be broken through. Children aren't the only ones who check under their beds for unexpected visitors and knives aren't just used as cutlery.

I often wondered what happened to the murderer. What went through their minds after they ended their hunger? Do these murderers ever taste their own medicine? Why can't the news broadcast that? This curiosity began to kill me and I wasn't prepared to die.

The mind is selfish. It stores all the good thoughts deep inside making it easier to pick out the negativity from the top. We find ourselves ignoring the few seconds of happiness when our teeth are exposed to the light; completely disregarding the rare occasion when we smile. Like expecting to not feel low after being high, we demand guilty pleasures without any consequences. Decades are spent finding the meaning to life when survival is the only answer. To exist is to contribute, however positive or negative that might be. By taking away the meaning of life, or life itself is a sinful dictatorship many falsely believe they possess. If you can't help someone survive then you have no right to cut the source that enables them to keep solving this puzzle.

We all have a moment where we are pushed to the limits. Some are shoved; while most run into the wall fast enough for the pain to numb the sensation that overpowers us. A sense that leads you to drown yourself or tie stones to others as you push them. I had reached that level of insanity. We aren't here long enough to be good at everything; we need to be wise and cunning. As Mahatma Gandhi said, 'we need to be the change we wish to see'. You need to pick where you are king and that's what I did.

Like derby horses, we wear blinders against the evil and look at the brighter side of life. The smoke in the air is embraced as clouds. The echoing screams are taken to be children playing games in a park and the road not taken is trusted. Shaken up by these ghastly events in the present, we stop believing in the future we lie to our children about. The days are darker than the nights and we have started to fear living as much as we fear death. Our lives are not in our hands. They are controlled by some unseen force, trying to force us to live as long as we can. We're born and we're taught how to live and as soon as we get older we're told to make a living and not a life. We are told more things than we are asked. Even as we get older, the options around us increase but like empty boxes in a store room, only one box might have something we want. One is not a choice, yet we are conned into believing we are independent.

______________________ (Below is the excerpt from further into the story)

Today was a fresh start in my life. I felt like a gladiator entering the arena for the first time. Fierce and nervous, I wanted to make a lasting impression into a life I adopted while I held that 9mm black pistol, with an ecstatic expression on my face. He sat soaked in his crushed white shirt that was transparent with the buckets of sweat his trembling body produced. I put the pistol to his head. He shook like a leaf. Sitting in his office cabin where he was king during office hours, I felt like a lion over ruling his territory. His torso remained tied to the chair he usually pretended to be working in. I took aim with the tip of the gun that became moist as it was held against his temple, waiting for him to scream loud enough to compete with the noise of the revolver. My fingers felt more comfortable on the trigger than they did when I had held my wife's face to kiss her before she left for the recital. We all go through a struggle to live, so we definitely deserved a fight to die. I stood with the nozzle staring at him, as it soon got prepared to take away his right to breathe; the one act we are allowed to perform without consent. There were twenty minutes left for the next day to flash news of newer crimes and I felt responsible for preventing him from hearing such atrocities.

Yesterday's work echoed in my ear as it was a fresh day but my new interest led me to the same schedule, with a different person. I made her sit down on a chair too. She had a long way to go in life but time had run out. I wanted her to be comfortable. Nothing can be compared to a comfortable death and she deserved a memorable farewell. Her expression was much like the man's, mirroring the grim expressions I saw. Her insides were on fire and she would soon be, too; the moment she chose to stop breathing. Nothing comes easily in life and there is no better example than life itself. She sat soaked in kerosene while a candle was lit; it came steadily closer to her mouth, waiting to perform the last rite. Her lips, salted with tears fell from eyes that were staring straight at the fire; it reflected a hazy image of herself. She quivered with her body reaching a state of shock reminding me that in the end, fear is the fundamental emotion that stays till the very last second. I didn't want her to plead for her life because no life that you beg for is worth living. I wanted her to earn a prolonged life.

Tonight I worked under the light of the moon that added beauty to my work.

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