Spy of Beijing

I hail from Beijing and became a double spy. During my tenure as double spy, I had to chose one nation to stay alive but somehow…Well, let me begin with how I became a spy.

I was a 23-year-old boy. A young officer of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army). It was during 1962 war, I accidently crossed the border. I killed many Indian soldier, for which I feel sad now. But, while I crossed the border, I kept going deep inside the country. The war ended a few days later, it was then I realised that it was time to come out in the open and stop playing hide and seek, but it was probably too late to get back to my home country.

I landed up in a small village. After that, I was taken to prison by locals as they assumed I am a spy due to my Chinese dialect. I spent few days in the cell but somehow managed to escape from there. I was desperate to get back to my country but how was the bigger question. Security forces would even stop me at the Chinese embassy in New Delhi. While I was on the road, I met a man exactly like me. He asked me a question in Hindi, the language was alien to me back then. He then confabulated in my language. I asked him for help and told him how I got here but– all he said was ” It ain’t that easy”.

I learned the local language and four years had passed by now. I wanted to visit my family in Beijing but it wasn’t possible as I did not have a phone back then at my place and had no passport either. My friend, Suraj, asked me to get married to someone and with that I would be able to gain Indian citizenship and after that boundaries are open for me. At first, his idea sounded outlandish but then I thought this was the best deal that moment. I got married, had a kid and was all settled to get my passport made. While I was at the counter, a man tapped on my back and asked me to follow him.

Stranger: Do you work somewhere?

Me: No

Stranger: Do you want to work as a Spy?

I went blank. The stranger told me to ponder over it for a couple of days. My family often asked me the purpose of my passport and I had to lie to them all the time. I couldn’t tell my wife that I had a two month old baby and a wife in China. Taking the job of a spy was the best option for me as it would have been easy to trace whereabouts of my family. Finally, I said “yes” to the offer of the stranger.

I underwent 6 month training in which I was taught Chinese, Urdu and various other stuff a spy should know. I accomplished many tasks for R&AW but couldn’t trace my family. All I had was an old photo of my daughter and didn’t have a photo of my wife in the wallet. While I was doing my task in Lahore masquerading as a Chinese citizen, I was nabbed by ISI but it was actually the Chinese officials who were keeping an eye on me for quite some time. They never offered me anything all they ordered me was to work for China and bluff the Indian authorities.

It wasn’t going to be easy at all but I wanted to trace my family and they were aware of it. They promised me that I would get to meet my family if I accomplish their tasks. This made me kill a few men of R&AW. The Chinese officials one day showed me my daughter at the airport. She looked like a corporate girl, was dressed up in a stylish suite. I thought the authorities there were playing with me. I asked them for proof. On the radio, an officer in front of me, asked my daughter her childhood. She described her house, named her father and all that her mother told her about Indo-China war. While this was going on, I had to take care of my Indian family. I made sure money reached them at the right time and they were taking care of themselves. Obviously, the Indian family was very close to me but my child Chynna was my first love and always will be.

After two days, I got to know my daughter is an officer in the Chinese army. She wanted to do something for the country just like her father but her father was probably betraying two nations he dearly loved. While I was thinking about this, I saw my first wife with my daughter. I wanted to approach and hug them and as I did so, an officer stopped me as he didn’t want my daughter to know about a ‘traitor’ father. He said this might divert her mind as she considered me a hero. The officer was right.

I decided to move on with my Indian life. Just when I was about to leave, I got a message from someone at PLA.

A man entered my room in a mask and said: ” Kill Tony (a Pakistani spy) tomorrow at 12 and leave Beijing. Mayur will meet you at the outskirts of the city. He will take it from there.”

I knew my task and I was prepared to be back to the country that gave me life. I wanted to tell RAW the truth and had prepared my mind for that and was ready to face the consequences. The next day, the target was eliminated and as I met Mayur, people of PLA reached there. In one shot they killed Mayur. I somehow took charge of the car and just kept driving until my military daughter chased me.

She kept targeting me but missed the bullet every time. Eventually, after a long car chase, my daughter tracked me down. She abused me, tied my hands but I wanted to kill myself because if she traced my entire history while I was alive, then I would never even make an eye contact. I had a secret small pin, which I pinned right through my neck and I departed.

I am sure she would have known about me and I don’t know how my Chinese wife would have reacted to the entire incident.

Love Shouldn’t be Blind

I am now pursuing my post graduation. My life has been very simple until now. All I did till the age was 25 was to focus on my studies, work and my family. The only wrong this I did was not to have an affair till the age of 25. Some may think its right, but let me tell you what went wrong.

It was August 2017. It was great to be back in college after working with dad in family business for a year. I wanted to do something different from the usual and boring family business. I was enjoying campus life. It was a life I wanted to enjoy to the fullest since I knew the clock won’t turn back when I pass out from here.

Daisy my teacher

All was going fine until I attended the Marketing Management class. My teacher, who must have been 10 years elder to me, was extremely gorgeous. Daisy was her name. I focused in all classes except for this one. I just used to stare at her. I didn’t see the black board. All I saw was her voice and beautiful face. Even after college I kept thinking about her. I wanted to come close to her, wanted to know more about her. My friends didn’t have any such information and her Facebook profile didn’t reveal much.

One fine day she introduced her husband to the entire class who had come to give her the house keys. This did not hamper my love for her. Probably it was love at first sight. It was a feeling I couldn’t describe. I was quite impressive in the examinations and results were a testimony to it. Daisy walked up to me and congratulated me. I was shell shocked. Now, we started talking and even met outside for coffee or movies. We came really close. I felt I found my soulmate and in November 2018 I proposed her.

She was shocked but in a friendly manner rejected my request. I failed to fathom why? She was still friends with me but… I never gave up despite knowing she has a husband. After a while, she separated from her husband Steve. This gave me immense happiness. I had nothing against Steve. He was a nice guy but I was meant for Daisy and that was clear.

Me: Daisy! I still love you. Please marry me. So what if I am your student, please…

Daisy: Rahul! You are a nice gut but I can’t be with you. I have different goals.

Me: I will forever support you in your goals

Daisy: You can’t.

Me: Trust me. My love is real and I love you the way you are

Daisy: What if I change? Will you still love me

Me: Yes, nothing can change my love for you

Daisy: That’s a lie hon!

Daisy walks away. She told me she is heading to Canada for further studies and will be back after a year. I assured her that I will wait for her. She did not give me her number but we often confabulated over e-mail. After 8 months, she mailed me saying she is coming back.

I was elated. I told all my friends that I would be getting hitched soon and I couldn’t contain my excitement. She gave me her flight details and I was waiting at the airport. One man was staring at me while I was scanning the crowd at the exit gate. He came closer and closer. I asked him to move away as I was not one of his type but he chose to remain mum and I continued to look for my lady.

After 5 minutes, the main taps on my shoulders saying, ” Hey didn’t you recognise me?”

Me: No, not at all.

Honey, I am Daisy. At first I thought it to be Daisy’s prank but then the man doled out conversations that took place between Daisy and me and they were quite deep rooted. I asked him to tell me the reality and all that the man said was he is Daisy. I was in garboil and the man said he was the same Daisy whom I loved. It was just that she, rather he, got her sex changed.

I ran from there, I just ran and locked myself inside the house. I didn’t know if that was real of Daisy never wanted to be with me and played this terrible joke. This was my affair that went wrong. If I had affairs it would have probably given me the strength to handle this one. Yes, love is blind but it can’t be this blind.

My scary friend

My child was in no sleep mode. After all, his exam were over and he was in mood for some fun. I told him to call it a night but you know how kids are. That night he asked me to tell him a short story.

I told him a couple of them but it failed to catch his interest. I then thought to tell him a horror story “My scary friend”. It was December 2019. Bone-chilling winters had grappled Delhi and people were trying to adjust to the cold weather conditions which the city had not witnessed in the last 100 years.

Photo by Nicolu00e1s Jaramillo on Pexels.com

I worked as a part of the maintenance unit in one of the high-rise edifice of Noida. It was a foggy morning. I went up to the 13th floor. My friend’s house was on that floor but he wasn’t in town. I returned to work after a 10-day break. As I reached the 13th floor to check the electrical wiring, I found the door of Rahul’s apartment half open. At first I thought there might be a burglar inside but, as I opened the door, I spotted Rahul confabulating with someone. He spotted me and came outside. He hugged me and we chatted for good 15-20 minutes.

Then I saw an identical Rahul. I was confused but he introduced me to his identical twin. He never told me about this. The two were sitting on the staircase and talking while I was doing my work. After my job was done I started walking downstairs. Right after taking the first step I heard the noise of a basketball. I turned back and there was no ball. Rahul also wasn’t there. I told my junior to fix the wiring and hand over the electricity bill to Rahul. He was shocked! “What happened?” I asked.

My junior- Don’t you know?
Me- Know what?

“Rahul committed suicide while you were away for a while”, my junior said. I initially thought he was joking but all told me the same thing and I just couldn’t believe it. I immediately took the lift to 13th floor. I reached there and found the door closed. I tried to open but couldn’t. I did everything to open the door but failed despite several attempts.

I turned towards the lift and heard the noise of basketball. I turned back and there was nothing. It all of a sudden became foggy at the 13th floor. I could see nothing, nothing at all except for the lift sign in red that was indicating the position of the lift. I stood there with my eyes closed and now I heard Rahul laughing. I again turned back and just saw Rahul’s eyes. He said: ” Won’t you come with me Sunny?”, and he disappeared. Somehow I entered the lift and as the gate was about to close a basketball hit me on the stomach.

Was my dead friend back? At least, it felt so
Photo by Martin Pu00e9chy on Pexels.com

I was hell scared. The next morning I went to 13th floor again. Today, I again saw the door half open and a shadow which kept getting smaller and smaller and vanished in few seconds. Now the sound of basketball was coming from inside the house and the door shut. I understood something was wrong here.

This was the end of the story, my son. Dhruv was a bit frightened. I told him its a real story but he was scared and turned his back towards me. I asked him to relax and went to the washroom. When I came back, I heard a laughing voice. The voice was of my friend Rahul. The voice was coming from my son. I held his hand and something hit me from behind. It was the basketball.

My son hugged me and I asked him why was he petrified. Without answering my question, he asked me to show him the photo of my friend. When I did that he told me I looked exactly like him when I finished narrating the story.

I sold the ghosts

This short novel is about a trick a person learns and then communicates with ghosts but how he sells them is something for the readers to find out.

Do read if you are willing to scan something out of the box. You will certainly give a thumbs up

I sold the ghosts by Shubhang Chauhan

The Horror Of My Apartment

I usually sleep around 11 pm but that night I was up till late. Don’t really know when and how I conked out. Around 2.30 am, someone rings the bell of my apartment. I did not get up at first thinking my mother would open the door as her room was next to the main gate.

I hear the bell again after 5 minutes. It was now 2.35 am. I got up to see who could it be at this point of time. Before opening the door, I saw the main entrance of my house from the small mirror glass. I did not spot anyone. As I turned to walk towards my room, I hear the door bell again. I spot my mother outside. I open the door in no time.

Me: Mom? Where had you gone?

My Mother: Rahul, I had gone downstairs. The cat in the parking lot is dying, get the medical kit quickly.

As I got the medical kit, my mother was not there. Someone that moment taps my back from behind. I spot my mother who looked like she just got up from sleep.

Me: How come you are here?

Mother: What do you mean? I was disturbed by the noises so got up but, what are you up to?

Me: Nothing really mom. I wanted to help the cat downstairs

Mother: Beta (son), go and sleep.

I went back to bed in a confused state. I was unable to sleep properly but…

Someone is trying to wake me up at 4 am. Son, get up, get up!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Me: Who is it? Let me sleep. Beta (son), its me, your mother. My toilet is jammed please help me. I get up walk towards her room. Since I had an idea about the room, I could figure out things in dark. As I opened the gate of the washroom, someone held my hand.

Son, you are still awake?

Me: Mom, how come you are here?

Mother: Son, what’s wrong with you tonight? Are you okay?

Me: Yea, I am but you were in my room right now.

Mother: Son, go back to bed I suggest.

I went back to bed but couldn’t sleep until morning. I slept when my mother and sister were finally awake. Now I could get a peaceful sleep. I get up at 12. My mother and sister are watching television news. I sit beside them.

Mother: Rahul. My toilet flush isn’t working please fix that.

Me: Mom. Are you okay?

Mother: Yes, I am dear. I guess you are in sleep, you need some more.

As my mother started walking towards her room she turned back, her eyes were completely red. She was staring at me. All of a sudden the day time turned into night. She went inside her room and I heard a voice from towards the right hand side where I was sitting.

My mother was there. She again asks me to fix the toilet flush. This was getting crazier. Now, my mother again walks towards her room before entering the room, she again turns back and asks “Why are you still awake?”

This incident was making me go crazy. I took sleep medicines to calm my mind and don’t know when I fell asleep again. Again someone tries to wake me up. I see my mother, I see her red eyes. I am now petrified. And suddenly bell rings. My eyes are shut because I am scared of my mother. But the bell is ringing and ringing. I open my eyes and my mother is not there.

I walk towards the main gate and to my surprise, I spot my mother, sister and myself. I couldn’t believe what I am seeing. I looked at my mother’s room and she wasn’t there. I looked my sister’s room, she also wasn’t there.

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

I opened the gate and shockingly, after my mother and sister, I also enter the house. The three are talking to one another and not me. I shake them but it had no effect on the three. I rush towards my mother’s room and I spot her. She says son ‘please fix the toilet flush’. I plead her to step outside with me. She did so but now the three who entered the house aren’t there. I turn back and even my mother is not there.

But from my mother’s room, I could hear the flush. I approach the washroom in a scared manner. The light is already turned on, the room is dark. As I come closer to the washroom…

My mother: Son, what are you doing here?

Rahul: I am here to fix the toilet flush.

Mother: What happened to it.

Rahul (Me): You asked me to fix it.

Mother: Son, you must have seen a dream. Go back to bed.

Before, I was leaving the room my mother says ” Son, were you dreaming or…” She laughs and then suddenly I see her angry face with red eyes. I run towards my room and jump on my bed.

Son, are you mad, jumping on the bed like a toddler. “And did you fix the toilet flush?” My mother asks me.

I Lost My Only Friend (Dog) Due to Coronavirus

Cute dogs

I am not giving ideas for short stories with this. It is a story about love, once can call it friendship love.

My journalistic career demands me to switch my mind and places in no time. While I was enjoying my time in New Delhi, my editor asked me to move to Mumbai for at least six months.

I couldn’t contain my excitement of moving to a new place. The vibe is completely different and I was looking forward to explore every aspect of the city. I rented an apartment in Mumbai and my journey began in the financial capital of India. I was adjusting myself to the new conditions in the very first week.

Weather conditions in Delhi were cold, while here in Mumbai the climate was pleasant and so laziness was at bay. There was a shop just outside the entrance of my society. I often bought household stuff from there. One day, it must be around 9 pm, I spotted a cute little homeless angel outside the shop.

Shop, outside my house

Image for representation

I tried to talk to him but he was quiet and just kept staring at me. The next week I just spotted him for one day but after that, I spotted him daily while I was returning from office. I played with him, cuddled him, fed him but it wasn’t enough to build the trust. This continued for around a month.

Once I just picked him up and brought him to my apartment. Like Mumbai was a different world to me, this angel was looking at all corners of my house. It looked like a foreign land to him. He inspected every corner just to make sure he was safe.  But I dropped him outside the shop after giving him food because I was concerned about his comfort. He found solace there. I knew some percentage of trust factor was still missing.

He would play with me for hours. I even took him for a long walk on a Sunday afternoon in Vashi. I fell in love with him. But suddenly a disease called Coronavirus engulfed the globe. Roads started to become empty. People started to migrate to their home town. Even I was asked by my organisation to do the same.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

While all this was happening, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced lockdown in the country in no time. I immediately booked a flight for Delhi and went to meet my friend.  I had named him Doggo. He wasn’t there. I looked around but could not find him. I searched the entire area and asked everyone around by showing his photo but, no one had any clue. With a sobbing heart I landed in Delhi, thinking about my pet friend in these tough times.

Empty Roads in lockdown

Image for representation
Photo by Jiarong Deng on Pexels.com

The roads were empty. All the humans were confined to their homes. The poor child must be hungry and this thing kept bothering me all the time. After a month of lockdown, government eased restrictions. Now, I was asked to shift base to Delhi and hence, I had to fly to Mumbai to get my stuff.

I reached there in these testing times. Forget humans, I could hardly spot animals on roads. I did not spot him at the shop. After packing my stuff, I searched for him the entire day. It was getting hard to talk to humans because seriously, no one cared. Humans were hardly helping me and I don’t blame them. Doggo was nowhere to be found. All I wished for was his life and happiness. I could do nothing in this situation. I blame coronavirus for it because had it not attacked the world, doggo would have been with me today living life in a peaceful manner.  

The dog’s journey in my life was for a very limited time but I will never forget him and the cute face of the dog will be installed in my mind till my last breath. I hope someone must have adopted him.

Here’s How My Friend Wished Me Happy Engineers Day

I am a journalist and my life is very hectic as there is always a paucity of time in life to do other things. In fact, we often don’t have time to invest on our happiness and due to lack of time, I am not able to repair the minor issues in my house be it toilet flush or fridge or other basic things.

One day, a close friend gave me a surprise visit. I was pleased to see him after five years! We chatted for a while but then again, I had to rush for reporting. Life of a reporter is not easy. Most of the times you reach home at 1 am and the next morning you report to office at 8 am.

Well, coming back to my friend. I asked him to stay at home for a while and even he requested for the same because he had a flight to Lucknow in the evening. He didn’t belong to Delhi. I ordered food for him and promised to be back home at around 6 pm. I wanted to spend more time with him but it was an important day as Parliament Session was underway.

At 5 pm, my friend calls me-

Akshay: Yes, Arjun! I will be at home at sharp 6.

Arjun: Naah, I got to rush so I handed over the keys to your neighbors.

Akshay (Me): Why? What happened?

Arjun: Office work, will call you later.

And then he hangs up. I was today relieved on time since I requested for it. I went home straight seeking solace. When I entered home, it turned to out be completely neat. I was astonished looking at it wondering what had Arjun done. My toilet flush was working fine, my fridge was fine. There was some issue with television set and washing machine and that was also fixed.

Best part is the fixed things didn’t look as if money was put into it. It was fixed with some odd props. I immediately called my friend and told him that it wasn’t necessary and he was here to rest.

All he told me was Happy Engineers Day, friend! Arjun is an engineer. When I opened my closet, there was a surprise. It was a key remote. I called my friend again and asked him what’s this. “By this, you cal control all the electronic things of your house, sitting miles away,” Arjun said.

Arjun: I will call you back, working the new flyover being built.

All I wondered was, we always say how would life have been without friends/pets but, imagine how would life have been without engineering even so many computer functions wouldn’t have been available.

Real Hero: Filmstar Sushant Singh Rajput Or A Soldier

I am a former Brigadier of the Indian Army. As a retired person, I take care of my family, my house and myself. For me, it is always “Nation first”. This should be with every Indian.

My son Rakesh, a soldier of the Indian army, died last week in Siachen. There was a small article about him in the newspaper, a tweet from a news agency; some channels did pick it up but, the news was crushed by the ongoing investigation in Sushant Singh Rajput’s case. It is a case that grabbed eyeballs across the world as the actor of Bollywood (Hindi Cinema), died in the month of June under mysterious circumstances.

Family of Sushant Singh Raput, the actor who left for heavenly abode, is fighting hard for justice and so are people and the news channels. You see the top 10 news channels of India, all have one thing to discuss, that is Sushant’s case. In India, people treat filmstars, actors as above everyone else.

Way back in 2014, at Delhi Metro station, I was with my son and there came a big Bollywood actor. My concern was that everyone rushed to greet the Bollywood actor but, not even one person came to meet my soldier son, who was in Indian army uniform. My complaint to the youth is treat actors as only actors and not real heroes or even a hero.

Delhi Metro underground station
They don't fight at the borders, they do not treat coronavirus patients. Posting a picture with flag on Independence day on Instagram is piece of cake but, celebrating Independence Day while guarding the borders of the country is real heroism.

When we boarded the Delhi Metro train, the youths were chatting, clicking selfies with the Bollywood actor but, no one paid attention to the jawan standing at the gate. It is really easy to write lines on Twitter for a military man martyred in the service of the country but the youths are failing to pay respect to the heroes. I am not saying youths should have offered a seat to my soldier son but I see CRPF jawas, BSF jawans and others standing at the train gate.

This hurts me because they are the ones keeping us safe and we can’t even give them comfort when they are not on duty. They give us comfort round the year and a filmstar takes away all the credit, why?

filmstars, filmsets

Yes, my nation did unite during Pulwama terror attack in which many jawans/soldiers were martyred but what about when one soldier dies, then people hardly pay respect or attention. If a youth follows a filmstar how would he/she consider a soldier successful?

I daily see on television that filmstars are successful, businessmen are successful but, according to people soldiers, who earn less then them, are unsuccessful. I feel so because no one talks about their success. Even I want Sushant to get justice but, what about farmers, soldiers who are dying on daily basis? When youths can’t offer a seat to a soldier, or regard them as heroes, how would he/she understand the meaning of life?

I am sorry but mentality of Indian youths is “Run for glory“. People will open, comment and salute on Rhea Chakraborty’s Instagram or Salman Khan’s but, how many youths have actually written a letter to a soldier, saluted or even clicked a selfie for Facebook? I know you don’t have the answer.

Justice for Sushant is a burning topics these days but how many tried to know soldiers/jawans killed at border, don’t include the border skirmish with China. You again don’t have the answer. People discuss about hardships an actor who was no part of industry faced. Do youths have any idea about the hardships of a soldier?

OPINION: The views offered by an author are imaginary and from the point of view of a soldier