Tuesday, April 30, 2013

INDIA’S CHINA PROBLEM.....Time to Introspect


The newspapers are full of Chinese incursions, again, into Indian territory in Ladakh. The new age media thankfully is occupied with IPL match discussions and as long as china does not play cricket the television anchors will not give it more than a minute’s attention. So it’s left to the print media to remind us of china’s aggression and intransigent behavior. Fifty years after the debacle of 1962 when the Indian army was trounced by the Chinese hordes pouring over the border, the LAC or the line of actual control still remains fluidic and unmarked on maps. This allows the Chinese to claim that they are not crossing any international borders but are merely patrolling their own territory. And as long as the border issue remains festering with no demarcation on ground level, then the chances of any eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation escalating into something more always exists as a possibility. But while all this happens on the eastern border where are the guardians of our national honor? Our honorable politicians and ministers and ruling dispensation? Where else but looking west as always.

The tragedy of Indian foreign policy is the fact that the politicians who drive it are all obsessed with Pakistan. To put it more bluntly Indian foreign policy will not shift its Pakistan-centric views till an entire generation of old politicians who were born on the other side of the border have died out. Men like Manmohan Singh, L.K.Advani, I.K.Gujral (thankfully deceased now) were all born pre-partition in Pakistan. They are either nostalgic  for their places of birth and want peace at any cost or on the other extreme, blame the Pakistani's for partition and want revenge (re-unification). This sentimentality in dealing with an alien state interferes with the hard-nosed pragmatism which is the hallmark of foreign policy generally. So unless and until all these old politicians and Lahori-lovers die out, it would be impossible for any practical solution to be found for our Pakistan problem.

Pakistan is just one border state, just like Bangladesh, just like Sri Lanka, just like Maldives and just like China. Pakistan deserves no more or no less interest than all these other states. While the Indian foreign policy in regard to all these other border states is nuanced and practical, it turns emotional only when Pakistan comes into the picture. As an example, even Bangladesh was partitioned out of the older United Bengal province of British India. When was the last time that you heard any Bengali bleat about the age old links with Bangladesh and how Dhaka was their karma-bhoomi and how they are living to see the day West Bengal is re-unified with Bangladesh? Ever heard anyone say that? But you see this everyday with politicians born on the other side of the western border. And so unless a time comes when these ancient ‑­politicians exit the stage in favor of younger people who were born and brought up in India, we would be forced to endure these periodic Pakistan love-fests and the consequent neglect of relationships with all other neighbouring countries.

To come back to the current problem, the situation at the Ladakh border is not just about territory- about the 17 km or so that the Chinese army has encroached on the Indian side of the border. Its far more complex than that and we should not be making the same mistake we made in the Nehru era when rhetoric was mistaken for realpolitik. For those who are unaware of what happened in 1962 (or forgotten) - this is an action replay of the events then. The Chinese army had entered into Indian territory and on being  questioned about it in the Indian Parliament, the then Prime Minister Nehru had thundered that every inch of Indian territory would be defended and the Chinese army to be thrown out. Against better advice and warning from experts in the know, the Indian army under a political appointee, General BM Kaul (a Nehru family relative), who had to follow the dictates of his political masters over the wiser counsel of his subordinates, ordered the army to escalate the confrontation and throw the Chinese patrol out. The People’s liberation army of China which was looking for just such an excuse , was happy that the Indians had bit their bait and declared an all out war with the result that the Chinese who had before the confrontation occupied a few abandoned posts inside Indian territory had by the end of the war occupied over 4000sqkms of Indian territory in the Aksai Chin region. If this was a chess match, then the Indian king would have been forfeit after the Chinese checkmate. But Prime Minister Nehru survived and declared in parliament that there was no loss to the country because not a single blade of grass grew in those 4000 acres in Ladakh taken over by the Chinese. This was like saying that even if my wife got raped, thank god she didn’t get pregnant by the rapist. And even after this statement, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru continued to be prime minster happily till his death and protecting everyone involved in this debacle -which could have happened in no other country in this world except in Mera Bharat Mahan.

Post-mortem analysts had extensively commented on how unprepared the Indian army was for battle at high altitudes and how incompetent the military leadership was in leading the battle. And as time went by news  emerged (from western sources) that the Chinese had not been specifically looking for war as such but had merely been interested in browbeating India and establishing their supremacy in Asian affairs and the Indians had walked into that trap with eyes wide open. This is a perfect example of what happens when sentimentality intrudes on clear headed thinking in foreign policy.
And now to come back to the current situation- the parallels with 1962 is eerily similar. The Chinese army- the People’s liberation army has trained and trained and is at peak levels of efficiency. They have developed their Tibetan territory with roads and railways to move troops and weapons for any rapid response tactic. While our Indian army is still pathetically dependent on foreign weapon purchases, most of which have been paralyzed for various scams. According to informed sources, the Indian army at current levels of preparation can at a pinch beat the Pakistani army, but not the PLA. Humiliating though it is to admit, that’s the solid truth. And this makes it imperative that we look for a political situation for the current impasse rather than going all jingoistic and try to use the situation to score political points as already some politicians are doing.

But, what do the Chinese want? Why are they going all aggressive on us at this juncture is a question which has to be asked first. The answer is simple- money as always. Like the rest of the world, the Chinese have their economic problems too - their economy is stagflating badly and they think to bully their way out of it. In recent months they have been on a path of confrontation with Japan, Vietnam and Taiwan. India is just one more to add to the list. As world wars 1 and 2 proved, wars are good for the economy if you are a military power with an indigenous weapons production capacity (look at how the American economy thrived from those wars). The new Chinese leadership wants a war. They want to kick start their economy with a war effort. They want to raise their international prestige with a military victory. And they want to put all the pretentious little kids in their place just like any school bully. So they pick on the be-spectacled little nerd, to provoke and then beat the crap out of, as a lesson to the other kids. The wiser heads at the foreign office realize this and hence are trying to cool things down despite the escalating rhetoric of armchair warriors, of whom there are plenty in India.

 Finally, how does India escape this opprobrium of being the kid who always gets picked on? Only by concentrating less on talking and actually doing something. The world respects real strength and not pious words and good intentions. When and if the Indian defence industry becomes self sufficient - the world will pause and take a better view of India's strength. The failures of the DRDO (the indian defence research and development organization responsible for weaponisation in india)- missiles which fail to fly and useless entities like the LCA and Arjun (main battle tank) have just made us go with begging bowls to the arms market. Unless and until we start building our own tanks, planes and guns in-house- which should not be difficult with so many engineering colleges in the country- we will always be the laughing stock of Asia and have to go around afraid of being picked on by every bully boy looking to make a name for himself. Currently, we ask the world to respect us for our democracy and our population (market size). But unfortunately, international politics does not work that way - only strength begets respect. And i hope someone dins this lesson into the ears of the powers that be. 

p.s. I am open to debating this issue in more detail, if you can just leave your comments in the comment box

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Posting For A Friend....An online confession.

Posting For A Friend
Disclaimer- I received a strange e-mail yesterday containing a candid confession of a friend of mine (obviously inspired by all those facebook confession pages) who asked to borrow my blog temporarily for posting that confession online. As it is, I hesitated for just a bit before allowing my blog to be borrowed for such a purpose. But I finally decided to help out my friend and so am posting this for a friend without a blog. All opinions mentioned in this post are the friends own and are not personal.

 Hi, Facebook friend, first of all, Thank You. Thank you for letting me know that you are interested in taking our friendship forward. I am honored, I truly am. And if I didn’t tell you this immediately, it was because there was a power failure at our house and so my computer shut down (damn UPS hadn’t been charged) and not because I switched off my Internet connection to avoid answering you immediately. Honest. Anyway after the power came back, I spent a long part of the night thinking about what you had said and I am honored that you selected me especially to deepen friendship with. I truly am, you know? Honored. But. And before I get to the “buts” let me confess right at the outset that I, for quite a long time, have had a big, big crush on you. Ever since we met for the first time last year in the midst of all our mutual friends, I have had a massive crush on you. Who wouldn’t? You looked so radiant that day, the day when we finally met in real life after a year or so of facebook friendship, that you stopped my breath with your first hello. I wanted nothing better than to hold your hand all day, that day and I was so reluctant to let go of you, to go pump hands with all those other damn people (which I did perfunctorily) while all I wanted was to save my hands with their remembrance of you. And later on, I have always thought of that day in fond remembrance whenever you updated your facebook profile page with new pictures of you, as the day I finally got to touch you in flesh after all the online salivating.

So with that true confession out of the way, let me come to the point. Whenever I think of you, the first thing I remember is your favorite dialogue "let them go to hell, I don’t care". And although I may not have told you this in any of our fascinating chats, I have never wished anyone to go to hell, at least not for differing with me. Such steadfastness in belief, well, it’s just not in me. Do you remember what I always said to you whenever you said "my foot, if they don’t agree, let them go to hell"? I have always told you that each one of us has their own point of view and it’s not up to us to damn them just because they think different than us. It was my duty as a true friend to point that out- even at the risk of making you angry. And that’s the nub of it. You are a charming free spirited girl bold enough to make your own decisions and stick by them. But me, I am a compromiser by nature, I listen to everyone. I adjust, I compromise and I prefer leading a peaceful life rather than telling the whole world to go to hell if they don’t agree with me. Oh, don’t take me wrong, I am not a wimp to let others ride roughshod over me. It’s just that I simply pick and choose my fights and let the insignificant ones go by while I put my foot down only when it matters, when it really matters and not for everything which annoys me. It’s that damn conservation of energy thing drilled into me in physics class which has made me so slow to anger (I also follow diligently the law of conservation of mass-as evidenced by the size of my tummy) and I never tell others to take a hike over any differences of opinion but always reach out as far as possible to try and find a middle ground which is quite opposite to what you keep telling me to do. I give, I give a lot and then, only then, ask to take, which would not suit your firebrand nature at all.

You know, if you had asked me to deepen our friendship some ten years ago, or maybe even five years ago, I would have leaped at the chance and in ten minutes stood outside your window strumming a guitar to woo you. But now that I am all old and mature with a receding forehead and graying temples, the fire has gone out of my ardor and I take my time to think things through before I jump into them. And such thinking has told me that you would be very disappointed in the real me. Your life is full of adventuring, traveling and photographing (is that even a real word? if not, I call dibs on it), while mine is waking up, going to work and coming home to sleep all days of the week. On Sundays I sleep half the day and watch TV the rest of the day for these old bones need rest more than anything else on weekends. And so trust me when I say you would be bored with me. All those facebook photos which show me having fun? My friends drag me to them with threats, for I never go willingly, so it’s not really me and let that not give you any false impressions about my fun routine. In reality, I am a boring, boring person in daily life and it would be a disaster to waste your time with me. I am one of those persons who works and earns and takes care of the family and kids and am not the type to run off with you for a mountain trek in the Himalayas at a moment’s notice. I am too responsible for that. Plus, I prefer stability and a peaceful family life more than constant excitement and novelty. In short while you are a ranging wolf, I am just a homely pup.

So in short, as much as it pains me to say it, honesty and commonsense tells me that any deepening of our friendship would be a recipe for disaster. So let’s forget that you ever said that, OK?

(P.s. it took me all these words to put my thoughts into clarity and it didn’t feel right to just message you with a decision, so I took the liberty of asking our mutual friend to post this on his blog which I have heard you say that you read regularly. He is just the messenger so don’t shoot him for the mail)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Udhayam NH4- Not a Review- அட சத்தியமா இல்லைங்கோ'ன்னா

Udhayam NH4- Not a Review- அட சத்தியமா இல்லைங்கோ'ன்னா 

Genre :Comedy/Spoof
Stars - 5 star/dairy milk/alpenliebe/kinderjoy.

Last Saturday an old friend turned up suddenly and insisted we go to a movie. When i demurred pleading an earlier appointment, he rode roughshod over my protestations and dragged me off to watch a movie called Settai- the Tamil remake of Delhi belly. But last minute movie plans always have a hitch in them, namely you don’t get tickets at the counter. In these days of online booking, nobody gets to watch a movie on a whim anymore, everyone picks their tickets and seats a week earlier online and pays by credit card. The unfortunate few who want to watch a movie unplanned have to either watch it on pirated DVDs or stream them online from torrent sites. Does the movie industry which always bleats about the issue of piracy ever realize that they are the ones who are encouraging the trend by totally denying tickets over the counter? Except for flop films which have no takers? For that is what precisely happened to us. The movie we wanted to see was house full and there was not a single ticket available over the counter. And my friend who was in the mood to watch a movie, any movie, rather than go back home  disappointed made a bad and instantaneous decision to get tickets for a film which had released just the day before and was already running to empty- and hence with tickets available in plenty at the counter. And that’s how I ended up at PVR cinemas watching the movie - Udhayam NH4, starring Sidharth as hero,  Kay kay Menon as villain and a new face as heroine.

As readers of my blog know, when it comes to films i am a total fan boy. I am the guy who hoots and whistles when the hero stamps his foot on the ground and causes an earthquake which sends a dozen ruffians flying into the air. I am the kind who claps continuously for punch dialogues and repeats them to everyone in casual conversations. As such, I never go to any movie with a critic’s eye and to note down with pen and paper all the faults I can spot. With me, it’s the other way around, all I want is to be entertained, just paisa vasool for my ticket price. If you keep me from getting bored for the next two hours, I always give five stars. But even so some movies baffle me and make me scratch my head on why they were ever made. I mean it must have cost a bunch of money and taken a lot of time and work and sweat to make the movie. If so why didn’t someone take a good hard look at the script before deciding? Did they find this script in the back of some old cupboard where it had been lost away for twenty years or more and suddenly decide to make it?

For make no mistake, Udhyam-NH4 has such a jaded look that it looks like the movie must have been made way back in the early nineties but released now. I don’t know how that’s possible but I make a guess that maybe the hero, heroine and director decided to make a period film and to make it all the more authentic they went back in a time machine to the nineties and actually made it with a nineteen nineties script. That would explain a lot of things about this movie. Like how the characters speak on screen and wait for the next few minutes till the sounds come from out of the time warp- cool special effects I must say- delaying the dialogue and making it non-sync with the actors. Or like the fact that Actor Sidharth plays a seventeen year old, first year engineering college student. Or like the fact that when a seventeen year old boy (the hero's) legal guardian (his elder sister) advises him to  lift the girl (the heroine) and bring her home where she can stay as a guest till they both finish their education, get a job and then marry- however many long years it took for them both. Seriously? A sister like that? In this time and age?

Which brings me to the lifting dialogue. The very first dialogue in this movie is about a group of people advising the hero to "lift" the girl. And at regular intervals in various points of the movie right till the end, the same dialogue gets repeated often, everyone around talking about "lifting" the girl as if she was a pair of old dumbbells at the gym. Close your eyes for a bit, drift off for a few minutes and chances are the first dialogue which penetrates your ear when you wake up is "avala thookanum" or lifting her (I lost count after the 77th time). The way various people talk about lifting her might confuse one into wondering whether they are referring to a human being or about cattle lifting.

Ok, I don’t want to turn into one of "those" critics and keep pointing out just the negatives. Are there no positives in this movie? I can hear you ask. And so i answer yes, a lot of them, if you can fit this movie into the category of a spoof film and not a serious film, if you enjoyed meet the Spartans after watching 300 or if you enjoyed scary movie after watching the exorcist, then you would definitely love this film- it’s a total laugh riot, an out and out comedy film if you can just spot the sly humor. This film spoofs college life movies on so many levels that I find it hard to pick out just one or two instances. For example, all college students spend every single day drinking alcohol and love happens in first day orientation in class, and seventeen year olds run away to get married but wait till the clock strikes eighteen and they become major. The humorous scenes run on and on, more fun for the fact that the director has hidden them under serious scenes and springs it on to you suddenly when you least expect.

But the best humor is reserved for the last scene- the climax, where a tough encounter specialist who has been chasing the eloping pair throughout the movie (which takes over two days/48 hours to get from Bangalore to Chennai- which normally is a 5 hour journey for you and me) and the cop finally corners the pair on a deserted and empty road (the NH4 in the title of the movie) in the middle of the night and just as he is about to kill the boy and take the girl back to her politician father, the alarm beeps in the hero's mobile, he pulls it out and sees the time and says to the cop "its twelve'o clock, she has turned eighteen, she is a major now and you can’t do anything" and the fearsome villain cop, puts his gun back into his pocket and walks away without a glance back, leaving the love pair to kiss happily and credits roll for the end of the film. I rolled out of the theater laughing too and wondering whether i should really be ROFL'ng - roll n the floor (the aisles) with laughter?

(P.s...This is a heartfelt request to all the new wave directors and film makers of Tamil cinema...I know you are all born geniuses and education would have hampered your creativity and so you chose not to get a formal college education. But please do visit some college campuses and talk to real life college students next time you decide to make a movie based on college life. Reality in college is quite different from what you have heard. Not all college students drink or do drugs daily. And not all college students fall in love and marry their classmates compulsorily. Sometimes they even fall in love with their juniors or seniors or even students from other colleges also.  College education is hard and filled with big, big, books and regular exams and students do occasionally study too. OK boss?)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Girl In The Yellow Dress- Part 3

The Girl In The Yellow Dress- Part 3

Chapter 3

 As he sipped on that tasteless hot water named mistakenly as tea and stood there thinking over what he heard, he reflected on how in every single village or hamlet you can hear a tale like this. A tale told to frighten the children from venturing out at night and a tale which often served the same purpose for adults too. He permitted a half smile to cross his lips as he thought about the backward customs and superstitions of this particular district which mandated the erection of a guardian warrior known as Ayyanar at the outskirts of every village to prevent the entry into the village of wandering evil spirits which are supposed to haunt the wilderness and crossroads after dusk falls. In the past, people used to take days for journeys and had to often camp out in the forest and wilderness and so told themselves such stories to justify staying and traveling in large groups. But all that had changed after the invention of the automobile for the dark nights now held no fear and you could traverse great distances at over 50 kms per hour speed and hence such stories were fit to frighten only old women and little children. Oftentimes in later years he wished that at that exact point in time he had changed his mind and gone on the national highway again instead of taking the shortcut.

Anyway, his mother-in-law wouldn’t let up once she had the bit between her teeth and she took up the old crones challenge “what do the travelers’ tales tell?” she asked in a breathless voice. The old woman, took her time answering and said “oh, that road has got a bad reputation ever since it was built, there have been many, many accidents there and a number of lives have been lost, especially children. People talk of seeing a strange looking foreign woman standing in the middle of the road, just before the accidents take place, clad in a yellow dress, with long yellow hair streaming behind her.. That’s why I told you not to take that road, especially at night time and when you have a small child with you. Haven’t you heard that some evil spirits are very much attracted to small children?” she asked and spit into a corner of her hut. He wanted to bawl the old women out for propagating such superstition nonsense and prepared to deliver a stern lecture but just then he heard the sound of a car, a car fast approaching them and glanced up to see who it was.

It was a large car of unknown (foreign) make and as it passed the small tea shop, it slowed down for an instant as if ascertaining its whereabouts and route but the driver had probably got his bearings right for he soon picked up speed again and roared past the hut towards the railway level crossing but in the instant that it had stopped in the light of the teashop, he had seen that the car had contained three occupants- a small family of three- husband wife and child. The husband looked to be driving and the child was seated on the mother’s lap beside him. They must have slowed down for the same purpose that he had stopped it seemed, for they too paused for a minute beyond the railway level crossing and suddenly the car swerved left and took the short cut via the rani kottai road. When he saw that he smiled with relief for it showed that his friend had been right about the shortcut and he too could follow the other car’s example and go the same way banishing any irrational fears and old wives tales. He gestured to his wife to get in the car and said “come, we have wasted enough time here, let’s be on our way”.

As he started the car and pulled out of there, his mother-in-law started the trouble which he was waiting for. As usual she spoke through his wife and not directly to him “Di, surely your husband is not going to take that road is he? We should go through the main road even if it takes a little time”. He laughed savagely at the suggestion and turning towards his silent wife said “a little time? Do you know that it will take us five more hours if we use the main road? Don’t be so damn silly, we will take the bypass which connects to the highway like everyone else and within an hour or so at the most we will be back on the highway and still save four or five hours of traveling time. Just go to sleep and I will wake you when we are near our house” he concluded in a firm voice which brooked no argument for that was the only way to shut up his mother-in-law when she was on one of her quests to dominate him. His wife as usual held her tongue for she knew better than to be a go-between when these two old enemies fought amongst themselves using her to talk in-between. She was a soft, pliant woman, used to letting him have his way with her and what’s more she trusted her husband’s judgment in these things and so she tightly clasped the child who had shifted to her lap in the front seat and closing her eyes feigned sleep.

 As he passed the level crossing and turned onto the rani kottai road he could see the dipping beam of the car which had passed them in the far distance. Some strange instinct for companionship compelled him to increase his speed to try and catch up with the vehicle in front so they could move along as a single convoy. He gradually pushed the pedal to the floor regardless of the dark and unknown road in which they were traveling and its bumps and throws. As he neared the other car he noticed that the driver had slowed down to a reasonable speed and hence decided to reduce his too to match up with the speed of the other car and keep it at a constant distance to the front. And then it happened, for no particular reason he could recall later. With a sudden screech of brakes the car in front stopped, swiveled sideways, rolled once and incredibly rightened itself to stop straddling the road halfway. Almost automatically he had applied the brakes on his own car and had stopped it just a few feet away but still his car too had skidded onto the curb hard rattling the doors open and almost spilling them out. When he glanced out to the car in front he could see that the other car had indeed suffered grievously and the doors were hanging open with the man in the driver seat slumped lifelessly in the middle of the road, thrown cleanly off his car; while the women was hanging upside down and half in and half out of the car but clearly unconscious and bleeding all over the road. But incredibly, the child who had been seated on her lap seemed unhurt and   was just crying out loudly for its unconscious mother. And then he saw something which froze his very marrow.

Standing in the center of the road, just where the other car had braked was a girl, a girl in a yellow dress, who stood there just staring at them. So she was the reason the driver of the crashed car had braked so suddenly, sending his car into a skid and a spin and crashing it. But how could she stand there so calmly, such a little girl as she looked and not be frightened by the narrow escape she had just had. And it was then that he saw her truly and clearly. The girl looked to be around 10 years old and incredibly had blonde hair and fair skin and looked every inch a foreigner, a blonde foreign child in the middle of a godforsaken road at midnight. Could it be true? What the old crone had said about the foreign woman dying close by the rani kotai road? He shuddered at that very thought. But what really rattled his bones in his body was that when he looked closely at her, he could see the road beyond her clearly through her body and her yellow dress and she was clearly, truly transparent. Incredible as it seems it was true and he rubbed and rubbed his eyes.

The girl just stood there, or stood was the wrong word, she just floated there for he couldn’t see where exactly she hovered over the road and she looked like an insubstantial moonbeam in the night, but glowing brightly for all that. And the look on her face. That cruel mocking smile froze him to his seat and made him almost wet his pants. Everything he had heard and read about ghosts and evil spirits came tumbling through his head. For the first time in his life he understood that there was really some truth in old wives tales and that there were things beyond mans comprehension in this world. Too late, he thought ruefully, for this knowledge to come. Like a stubborn ass he had not only put himself into danger but also his family. As he glanced sideways beside him, he saw that his wife was unhurt and staring rigidly at the strange apparition in the road with a face frozen with a repressed scream and wondered whether his face looked the same too.

The ghost in front of him, for he had accepted that’s what it was the minute he saw how transparent it was and how he could see the road beyond it through it and would be simply cheating himself to deny the evidence of his own eyes, made a sudden ululating sound like a call for a pet dog. And the child in the crashed car got down all of a sudden from his unconscious mother’s lap and started walking forward towards the calling spirit. He never knew where he found the courage then, but he had his own door half open and was getting out to stop the child, save that child from the monster in a child’s garb floating there in front of them, no matter what it took, when with a sudden pull on his arm his wife stopped him. “No”, “no” she whimpered like a hurt animal, “she can’t have him” and then he saw the horror beside him. Their own son was fighting with his mother to get out of their car and go to the call of that monster out there. For such a little man, he was fighting so fiercely with his mother, pushing at her restraining hand, biting it and was frantically trying to get away from the safety of their car towards the siren call of the ghost, just like the boy in the crashed car had done. His mother-in-law who had strangely kept quiet till then, suddenly screamed in a falsetto voice “get us out of here, maapla, drive back, drive back now, don’t think to help them or she will get our kid too”.

He sat there paralyzed in dilemma for the few seconds it took the kid in the crashed car to reach the evil hovering there in front of them. As the kid reached her, she took his hand in hers almost affectionately and then she looked up straight at his car and smiling sweetly like the 10 year old child she looked she gave the same crooning sound again. And this time, he himself almost got out of the car and walked up to her, such was the hypnotically powerful pull of that call of hers. He was in such a fog filled daze with every base instinct inside him wanting him to go up to her as the sound of her cry promised him pleasures unimagined in this world or  the next. But a hard yank on his hair from the seat behind courtesy his screaming mother-in-law and his wife’s terror filled cries beside him, finally broke through the fog of his thoughts, and he saw with shock that his son had somehow slipped out of his wife’s grasp and was on the point of  jumping out of the car onto the road. His parental instincts awakened powerfully by the imminent danger to his kid, he leaned over and in an instant pulled the little brat inside and slammed the car door close and averting his eyes from the dead and dying persons lying on the road in front of him and steeling his heart to the strange call filling his blood with lust, he turned the ignition key to switch on his car and in one screech of tires he fluently reversed his car around and went haring back the way he had come.

As he drove back as fast he could to the main road, he took one last lingering look in the rear-view mirror and he could still see the girl in the yellow dress standing there holding hands with the other kid and looking balefully at his fast departing car. He was struck with enormous guilt for abandoning the wounded and the living to such an horror, especially the child, but he had made his choice, he had done what any parent would do in his situation, be practical and save his own family first. But he vowed to himself that this would not end here. This long un-dead foreign fiend cannot be allowed to continue killing people like this. He would be back and next time he would  come prepared, he promised himself, as he drove away never to return.

(to be continued……)