Too Human

Ishaan Lalit
Published on: 21st July 2014
The Delhi traffic was inching ahead at a snail's pace. There were cars everywhere. It was like the whole world had gotten out on the roads. The exhaust fumes were bursting out from rusted exhaust pipes filling the morning sky with smoke. It was morning and everybody expected the morning office rush except for one young man on a motorcycle, who was swerving in and out the jam. He was late. It was Mahesh's first day for his bank job and he was already late. His father who lived in his ancestral bungalow in a village in Haryana had used all his might to get Mahesh this job.

Mahesh's life had already been decided as he remembered his father's word "You are educated, you will work in a bank and then I will get you married. I will collect a handsome dowry and then put it in my paint business which you will succeed me in." There was no discussion on this topic. His father's words were law, not only for him but for his family and the poor girl Mahesh was to marry. Mahesh didn't want that kind of life but what was he supposed to do. Mahesh's father had spent a lot of money to school him in Dehradun and then put him through higher education in Delhi. Now it was time to pay his father back.

'That was the duty of every son.' Mahesh could hear his father say the words even over the honking and the curses flying in every direction. There was definitely something wrong with the world today. Mahesh stopped at the New Friends Colony red light and looked at himself in the rear view mirror of his bike. He was repulsed by the idea of going back to the village and working in the paint shop but at least today he could work in the swanky bank office "If I ever reach there..." he murmured.

The light turned green and after three goes of the jam packed traffic, he had finally reached the light. He tapped the ignition button on his bike and heard the bike's heavy metallic grumble. There was something wrong with it. Mahesh could sense it in its vibration under his legs. Then it stopped. Mahesh groaned as he tried to switch it and then kick it back on, but it did not give in. He was expecting a horn from the back anytime. Delhi was obviously famous for its road rage but he wasn't hearing any. He got off the bike to try and drag it to the side but then his attention got diverted to the rest of the traffic. Nobody was moving. He looked at a man who was turning his ignition again and again, in a panic. In another car a driver was hitting the steering with his palm but it wasn't having any effect. Even the horn didn't make a sound. He could hear the frustrated screams and the panicky gasps from all around him.
too human,situations
Mahesh dragged his bike to the side and then looked around. Everybody was at a standstill. He looked at his watch to check the time, it wasn't working. He proceeded on to his mobile and his cheap MP3 player, everything was off. Something was definitely wrong. Then he heard a violent thunder from a clear blue sky. He looked up and then saw people get out of their cars to look for the origin of the sound. After a few seconds, his eyes focused on something bursting through the day sky, it had a tail. Suddenly a piece had broken of it followed by another loud, ominous thunder. Behind the comet everything was dark. He expected it to shoot out fire but it was shooting out something like a green-purplish gas.

People began to run scared but Mahesh knew there was no point in that. An object falling from the sky sure like meant the end of the world, or at least his world. He wondered why didn't the government say anything about a comet and then he looked around, people were panicking, running trampling each other in a frenzy. One of them even bumped into Mahesh as he ran full pep towards the buildings in the distance. A lot of them had run under the bridge to take refuge over there and now they were fighting for space.

He looked down and reached in his pocket for his packet of cigarettes and lit one up. He could hear his mother's words "Cigarettes are not only against our culture but they are bad too. Either they will kill you or I will!" He took a puff and smiled. He blew the smoke into the air then his eyes caught the sight of a little girl. She was trapped inside a car, abandoned and alone. He could see the helplessness in her eyes. She looked back at him and muttered something. Mahesh walked to the car maintaining his eye contact, opened her seat belt and held out his hand. The little girl took it and muttered, "Thank you!" They both walked back to the side walk out of the way of people running haywire. They both heard a brutal thunder again. Mahesh looked up and saw another part of the comet had broken off. This one looked like it was heading straight for them. He smiled at the little girl and looked around. Everybody had either run off or had hid, trying to protect themselves. Mahesh knew that was foolish. He knelt down on one knee and looked into the little girls wet, scared eyes and said "Don't worry, I am here."

Mahesh followed the little girls gaze and saw the rock fall to the ground in a purplish blaze and felt the tremors under her feet. It had fallen of a few kilometres away and shook the the whole earth. Mahesh saw the little girl had fallen to the ground and now tears were falling down her cheeks. Mahesh wiped her tears off and held her head away from the sight of inevitability. In a calm voice with a reassuring smile he asked her, "What is your name?" The little girl answered with her shaky eyes clutching to the little golden cross on her neck "Monica."

Mahesh had heard a lot about Christians from his father, "They are evil! Not only did they enslave us but they converted us." Mahesh saw nothing evil in the little girl in front of him. Her tears, her trembling sweaty palm and her shaky gasps reminded him of nothing but love. But it all was coming to a screeching halt. 'I could die, hell everybody could die, the world might end but still, why would anybody leave a little girl in the car?' Mahesh thought.
Mahesh could see the purplish gas flying towards them. It covered the tallest building and drowned the horizon, sucking up all the life in its wake. Mahesh could see nothing past it and all he hoped for now was that whatever was coming, he just wanted it to be quick. Not for himself but for the little girl. He hugged Monica, she clung back to him scared shivering in a white frock. Mahesh in a calm voice said, "Monica I am Mahesh, we will be okay. I promise! Just don't let go of me." Monica closed her eyes and yelped as she felt the air thicken and before they both could even react they were drowned by the gas.
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