Sunday, September 30, 2012


                                     RIDER ON A STRIDER 
                                 PRADIP KUMAR BISWAS   
This story is an entry to Fiction writing workshop. This story is developed and based on a Plot given by The fool and is linked to the following link.
(About me: I write what my characters speak among themselves or to me, so I am not a writer to but a steno to my characters.  I move out for my day to day work and the persons or places whatever I see creeps in my subconscious mind forming a dream sequence. When the dream ceases, I see the characters once again and they start talking. And there starts my stenography. I have many published and unpublished stories and one published novel “A Trek to Unknown” by Bibliofil.  Prior to this story, I never developed any plot of other. Here also I failed at first, but coincidentally, I met with two characters recently,   who installed and trained us for  two software packages that our company bought. One was an ordinary but very sharp software technician and another was V.P, also  known as ‘Hunterwali’ by her officemates. This story was based on their interaction with me.I am a geologist   by profession and lucky enough to visit places and persons around India and world for mineral exploration and mining. They all love me very much and I am their obedient Stenographer.)                   

Suddenly Meghna found, her horse has moved too fast and she is now isolated from her companions. An enemy warrior in black dress came out from a bush and his horse blocked her way. In quicker reflex, her sword flashed and she tried to defend the attack of the tall man by hitting his shoulder. The man helplessly lowered his head, only to be beheaded. However, just before that, he threw his javelin towards her. A tall dark man on a white horse appeared from nowhere. His Horse galloped high, his sword flashed like a lightning, and blocked the Javelin.  He looked back and raising his sword signaled the Artillery behind him to start firing at the direction of the bridge on the river. Now, Meghna  had a glimpse of the Warrior. His face was covered with the protective hanging iron chains from his golden headgear. The bright embossing on his golden helmet and bright crown silver mark on his dress marked him as the strider of the main clan. As a leader of the sub-clan, she saluted him and he reciprocated and  his horse carried him away fast 
The “boom- boom” deafening sound of the shelling started from their side were enough to pull her from her bed. Meghna opened her eyes and   she heard clearly the sound of another bomb. She got up and looked through the big windows. The smokes can be seen still. It is from the main road.
Today is 20th September, the day of “Bharat Bandh”. There could be a clash between the ruling and opposition political parties. Somewhere from her room there was a clatter of breaking glass panes. She was now afraid and looked around. 
The morning TV live show was showing the activities of miscreants pelting stones to a bus and breaking the front glass into pieces. She was trying to recollect how she slept here.As usual, she got up early only to remember that it was the “Bharat Bandh” day and she might not be able to go to office. 
She opened the TV to check the News but found none. Keeping the TV on, she opened her computer to play her favorite online computer game of MMORPG but soon was asleep. 
The game she was playing currently is the War-Game led by a strider of a clan and Ex- army head of a country, now in exile. The queen, a foreign national, opened the country free for traders of her motherland. The Army head opposed the idea and he was banished. 

The general soon found out patriots like him in exile, united them, and formed a clan. The aim of this clan was to free their own country from the clutches of the queen.One can join the clan and be a member of the sub-clan depending upon the resource and the challenges the person can opt for. 
Meghna was inducted in the guerrilla warfare sub-clan and upon destroying two strategic positions; she is currently the group head of the sub clan. 
They are now near the border of the country. They have to capture a fort occupied by the enemy on the other side of a big deep river. There is a bridge on the river approaching the fort. But this heavily guarded bridge is covered by the artillery from the ramps of the fort.  Casualty on their side could be very high if they want to cross this bridge. 
Meghna was watching the move of their strider took to capture the bridge and the fort. She played the game upto this but soon she fell into sleep.As she woke up, she found an excellent move was taken by the strider. The enemy side kept the prisoner of wars (POWS) in front, led by a Captain from the Queens side. The tyrant captain compelled them to make a do or die fight with Meghna’s clan. The main force of the enemy with artillery coverage was behind the bridge approaching the fort and in the rampart of the Fort. 
The Move taken by the Strider.
·        The brave warriors sub clan on horse back swept past the POWs guarding the direct entry to captain’s arena.
·        Captain was isolated.
·        The POWs now surrenders to Striders clan. 
·        The artillery clan successfully demolished the bridge.
·        The enemy force was isolated.
·        POWS guided them to cross the river through a narrow and shallow part.
·        Meghna’s guerrilla sub-clan was given a cover to cross the river along with them.

Now the Strider ordered Meghna to make a successful operation to reach the rampart of the Fort.  Her sub-clan either silence or capture the Guns and pave the way for the gunner sub clan to start shelling at the enemy guarding on the spire road approach to the fort with minimum casualty and complete the operation before dawn. He also warned her that there is a full moon light in the sky. 

Looking at her watch, she left the game for sometime and  got to her feet. She must freshen up before the production report from the mines and progress reports of the Solar Power arrive. Soon a call came up. Thinking it as a call from the Port, she looked at the Number.
This was from her friend Tanya, the chief editor of BP Group. Tanya was her classmate at IIMA. She joined the BP group and Meghna in DFC Bank. 
After initial exchanges of welfares on both sides, Tanya reminded the interview Meghna promised might be held today. Tanya could send her representative Jona at her residence.
She said, “Do not worry about her. News people can reach any where at ease even during the All India Bandh. Right now Jona is giving live coverage in a locality close to yours. If you are comfortable now she may visit you within half an hour.”Meghna said “Send her, we shall have breakfast together.” 

Jona said “Congratulations Meghna. We all think that you long deserved this award of the Top Executive of the year by FICCI. How do you feel about it?”
Meghna “I consider this as recognition of Shyam Group as a whole. I only played my role as Vice-President of Business development and strategies”
 Jona “Before you joined, the group was plunged in debts and a bad achiever in Stock market. What strategies are implemented by you to pull it up?”
Meghna “Before I joined. Shyam group was in only Mining business, which was reeling with recessions. We diversified ourselves in Steel making, Solar, and wind Power. Diversifications in right and Pioneer areas brought in bright results in the balance sheet of the company.”
Jona “FICCI observed that your strategies alone made the Shyam group to turn around. How do you feel about it?”
Meghna bit her lips and paused a while and gave a diplomatic reply “We act as a team, some one initiates and others participate. The team develops and implements it to further.”
Jona “Do you initiate always and others…”
Meghna “I can not divulge company trade secrets.”

Meghna could not say that she found none so far.
None, including the fat CTC earners of few crores, the COO, directors and her colleagues senior and junior to her, has the capability to initiate or wish to do so.
Every time she has to initiate and face the lone battle of bottlenecks in each piece of new ventures that has brought the company to limelight.  Nobody ever participated in strategy, Business development, or Vision. They only criticized her but eat the cake every time merrily at the end. What she has got, apart from a good package? She knows people down or up her line call her “Hunterwalli”.

Jona broke the pause “Meghna, there is a   query from our readers and viewers. You are very much selective in your core team. Each member has to be bright, graduates from top institutes like IIMs and IITs and good connections. What is your comment on this?’

Meghna “It is true that each core team member is not only bright but they are very hard working and sincere. We have both, pass out from top institutes and people like me who started their career with basic qualifications and gradually obtained some more professional qualifications.
 After+2, I worked as an accounts-assistant, passed through evening course and saved enough money for a coaching session for CAT and got into IIMA supported by Bank Loan. 
There is another Guy, Arup, currently our senior IT technician. He discontinued his studies because of family problems, began as a office boy but gradually obtained certifications and a degree in IT through correspondence course. Without him, we could not have ventured into our network communications linking the mining and solar power projects, installation, maintenance, and security of softwares at all the projects and our corporate office. In fact one of his brainwaves saved us a lot of foreign exchange for the computerized solar Power plant control room.”
Jona “ One  last query. What inspires you to your role?”Looking at the computer screen lying at her small desk, Jona further asked “Please forgive me. I am seeing an online role-playing game on your screen. Do you or someone else play this game?”
Meghna “I think you have answered your query by yourself. Yes, I play this game but in a small role. But, I learn a lot from the team members and from the Strider. Every time he makes excellent moves, compelling each to play their role and he also brings out the hidden groups that can participate. I think this person, who can play at ease with excellent strategies may be a very high and decision making executive in a big corporate sector. He cannot be any ordinary person. Someday I may be able to stumble into his identity and meet him in person.”  
Jona “Thank You Meghna, for sparing your time for this interview. I believe this story inspire our viewers and readers.”
Meghna said, “One moment Jona. Can you do me a favor? I think it shall be too unsafe for me to take out my car and reach office for a day like this. May you please drop me at your office?”
Jona “Oh yes Meghna, our pleasure. No one dares to touch our ‘Press’  vehicles” 
Meghna has a scheduled video conference with the manufacturers of solar photovoltaic modules at noon and she was looking at the last minute glance of the PowerPoint presentations. 
As usual, the attendance in the office was thin and she was feeling a bit nervous with the manipulation of control panel from the various video and audio outputs. 
She was missing Arup badly. Normally Arup and her secretary Zinta look after this. Arup anticipated his absence for the “Bandth” and showed her the necessary manipulations the server to connect, disconnect and synchronizations with mixers blending audio and Video inputs. He assured her that Zinta is sufficiently trained to handle this in his absence.
Zinta’s voice came over in the voice receiver “Mam, I am afraid. There is a snag in the system.   I tried all but it appears it is out of my reach”
Meghna said in her firm and cool voice “Come out of panic and get me Arup. Tell him to talk to me immediately” 
Arup was online within a few minutes. In his usual cool and confident voice, he said, “I told Zinta to put off the voice transponder for half an hour and run the antivirus programme. There could be a virus attack to copy our Solar operations files. It shall be all OK much before the CONCALL of US experts.”
Meghna said, “Could it be due to the computer games we allow during the Lunch recess?”
Arup said, “Mam, I check all the games that our employees play from their IP address. None found so far as malware. Any way Mam, I am trying to reach office by my Bike; I am already on my way.”
Meghna put down  her receiver. She had a sudden brainwave.  and called Zinta. “ Zinta, come to my room with a print out of the IP address and games logs  of all employees  from the server.  Make it fast.” 
Now she shall come to know whether anyone is playing that Trozan game or not. In this game, there is a chance you send hints to crack the passwords of the vital installations. 
She already doubts few and now she would  be able to catch their collars. Looking at the print outs, she suddenly stopped at the third page. Two people in the office are playing MMORPG games. One I.P is she but who the other is?
Looking at her pencil,Zinta said “Mam, that I.P is inside the server room. That is Arup’s computer.”
Meghna said “Do you know his passwords?” 
As Zinta nodded approvingly she said “Go, open his computer and I shall be there to get the links for the transponder response. After this, go to board room and check whether the video CONCALL is operating or not. Call Arup and tell him to join you in the Boardroom and further confirm. ”
Meghna saw Zinta moving to Boardroom arena and she hurriedly entered the Server room. Although unethical, but she exercised her right to know the details of the Game that any employee plays. She was expecting Arup might be playing at the best a supporting technical sub-head in this game.
Her heart thumped a   bit, Arup may come here at any moment. Within a second the game opened and her surprises one after another begin. 
This man Arup playing the role of Strider is just a simple Senior IT technician, not at least a HOD. She looked into the subroutines he designed for the possible and expected future strategies to put the Queen as a prisoner.  She looked at the glass doors and swiftly shutdown the computer.
The future game plan and strategies clearly reflect his hidden talent and potential to be an excellent decision maker. But all strategists make some mistake. He did a mistake about himself and his own career.   
Going back to her room, she was entering through the backside passage of Directors rooms and the Boardroom. Between the curtains, she glanced at the glass widows. 
Arup and Zinta are sitting near the console panel and they are sitting too close to each other. They are gazing more to each other than examining the console panels for the CONCAll. This is office after all; they should not forget the decorum. 
There are two long pending applications from Zinta and Arup. Zinta wanted a transfer to project side, close to her home. She recommended strongly and kept it in the out tray. Arup applied for the management quota to Study evening course Of MBA.
While she was busy putting the right words for the recommendations for Arup, someone inside from her talked.
“You are sure for the transfer of your efficient PS, Zinta. Are you Jealous?” 
“Stop talking rubbish. I am just helping my colleagues. Zinta should better be near her Parents and  Arup should not rot himself as  a senior technician of IT and talking to everybody. In case he faces any help for MBA programme, he should come to me. I am a good teacher.” 
“You sure only talking.”
“Yes only talking and often tips for a better role in MMRPG game. We are good friends too.”
“Only friends?”
“Oh get lost you buddy. I have a CONCOL to attend.” 
Arup just knocked outside her glass door. She felt as if her heart was beating too fast.  Has she become a rider on a Strider?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Making of my stories and Novel( Part 2)

                   The Making of my Stories and Novel  (Part 2)
This story “Feathers of Jungle Fowls”was another stenography from a person Budhia and others. The story in summary goes like this. If you are interested in reading the detail please click the following link
Budhia loves the nature and moves in the forest.. Massod, the guest house keeper, negotiates with him and takes the whole lot of Jungle fowls. That night Massod earned a lot from a guest by providing him roasted jungle fowls in the dinner and arranged Somebari to entertain the guest in his room. Somebari was the proposed bride of Budhia but due to a trick pulled by Masood, the marriage could not take place. In that chilly night, Budhia’s father, an asthma patient, became very sick. Budhia needed firewood to keep his father warm. He ran to guesthouse where Masood stockpiled firewood. He was about to stumble on a red sari near the Sofa just opposite the closed bedroom of a guest and heard the moans of Somebari from the room of a guest. He recognized this red sari which he gifted Somebari just before the marriage. In the back yard of the guesthouse, he found out the firewood and heaps of the peeled feathers of the killed Jungle fowls. He took the firewood and the feathers also. He thought that firewood and the feathers burnt together might keep his father warmer.(Read more for the full story)  

I was working for a multi-national company for location of iron ore in Chhatisgarh along with one Australian colleague. One afternoon almost at the end of our work we saw a man down the valley. He was doing something to pull a chord for bird trap. Very soon, he vanished in the forest cover.

We were staying in the forest guest house on a hilltop after crossing the valley. As we were approaching the spiral way towards hilltop, we saw our guesthouse keeper, Masood was making a hard bargain with a person having two basketsful of live Jungle fowls,(Bon-Morag). Seeing our Jeep, Masood slid away.

We easily recognized the seller. He  was that man  busy with the bird trap.  He is Budhia, the local “Vaidji”, who sells medicinal herbs in the local weekly market. Few days before, we met him in the forest and he gladly guided us

Masood is a money lender also. He  cheats the local tribes by  lending money with very high interest in a never ending EMI and  also compel to agree them to his terms of complicated barter exchange. 

But this man, Budhia was talking so much about nature and now he was doing something illegal. He caught the Jungle fowls by laying a trap and he was bargaining  with Masood to sell them.   We were surprised.

On that night, we heard Masood yelling loudly. He caught a thief. We came out from our rooms and found Masood caught Budhia for stealing firewood from the guesthouse and each calling each a thief.

We settled this matter and told Masood to leave him along with firewood. Budhia went away without taking the heap of firewood.

Next day we heard Budhia’s father, an asthma patient expired. It was a chilly night in December. Possibly Budhia was stealing firewood to save his father from the cold. We could not trace Budhia after this incident but one night he came in my dream and narrated this story. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012


               Making of my short stories and the Novel “ A Trek to unknown”
                                                          ( Part 1)
I am not a writer but a steno to my characters. That is my straight and simple confession to all the persons who kindly read my stories and the single Novel for  patiently for the entire content/  laugh at it/  throw it out in the waste paper bin.

Sometimes, a few among these kind persons either call or write to me. Most of them ask me what the background of the story is. I think a time has come up to blog about it than answer it individually.

As I go out from my residence to market/workplace/ and vice versa, my subconscious mind starts shooting. At night when I finally go to bed and close my eyes, the movie camera rolls back. I go on seeing the happenings of the day until a cold wave flows from the bottom of my leg and puts me to sleep. Any insomniac may try this.

However, in some night, this movie runs in a different way. As the movie progresses, suddenly a freeze shot appears. It could be a person of any age or a place.   I may be able to identify the person or place, but only the first part. In the later part, I see persons, inside or outside of a house or building, or some alien place or country which I have never seen before. Soon these persons start interacting among themselves. They talk, argue, smile, weep, cry, laugh and I listen to everything and very soon, I am compelled to get up. The characters start their activity once again and like a good steno, I write whatever they whisper among themselves. I cannot change anything on my own. If I do, they protest.

With this background I am now telling you the making of  two of my stories and the single novel “ A TREK TO UNKNOWN”.

The Story  “A meet with my would be” goes like this. To read the story, please click the following links.  
A property agent, during site visit finds that the current owner of this house Shantanu( a dam engineer and civil contractor) , was the same man with whom her marriage was finalized but could not take place. His mother died soon after the baarati party left for the marriage house and the marriage was postponed.  Shortly after this, Shantanu left his house and never returned.
While she was leaving, Shantanu explained that deaths in the family one after another made him too morbid to start a new life.  He avoided the marriage and ran away. She was not convinced but avoiding the argument, she only told herself “You fool, you should have come to me, I would have shared it and it could have been lessened or wiped out.” Just near the gate Shantanu saved her from falling. She thought they could have walked like that throughout the life but it did not happen Why?
Shantanu escorts her to Station to see her off. As the train was entering the station, the blows of whistle were as if the postponed tune of Shenai of her marriage with Shantanu.

This story dates back to 1980. I was doing prospecting work for copper in Singhbhum and stayed in Ghatsila and Mossabani area. Just near the railway station of Galudih( between Ghatsila and Tata) I saw a hill house on a flat land. One day I saw a couple coming down from that house. The woman was in front and the man was behind her. Suddenly she missed a step or so but the man extended his hand and saved her from falling. That day in the evening, while we were returning to our camp, our jeep saved a head on collision with a truck in the NH. Fortunately, only the jeep was damaged and we had only minor injuries and shock.  The accident site was near to railway station. We decided to catch a train from there to reach Ghatsila. The only train was in late midnight. I spread my body in a bench on the dark platform. I woke up on hearing some whispers in male and female voice. The female voice said, “You ran away like a coward, leaving me alone for whole life. I found you here but now tell me what to do” The man did not answer. A goods train was entering the platform and the engine light was flooding the platform. I now could see both of them clearly. They were the couple whom I saw in the day going down the steps from the Hill house. Who are these characters? Were they ex-lovers?
 In the following few days these two characters came in my dream who talked at length and compelled me to write this story. This was written in a bound field notebook and the last few lines were smudged. “Walking behind me, you extended your hand and saved me to fall. Like this, we could have walked in our life but it did not happen. Tears now rolled out from my eyes, no dam could prevent that, not even this Dam engineer.” While taking the dictation (not writing, as I said earlier) for this line from the character, tears rolled down my cheek and fell on the notebook smudging the last lines. I had to rewrite these lines. That’s what, happens to me every time, I also share their emotions.
 ( Continued in Part 2, the making of “ Feathers of Jungle Fowl)