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THE DISAPPEARANCE OF A MISS NO ONE AND OTHER SHORT STORIES
DUSU P SIRIUS
Copyright © Dusu P Sirius All Rights Reserved. ISBN 978-1-68509-506-2 This book has been published with all efforts taken to make the material error-free after the consent of the author. However, the author and the publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. While every effort has been made to avoid any mistake or omission, this publication is being sold on the condition and understanding that neither the author nor the publishers or printers would be liable in any manner to any person by reason of any mistake or omission in this publication or for any action taken or omitted to be taken or advice rendered or accepted on the basis of this work. For any defect in printing or binding the publishers will be liable only to replace the defective copy by another copy of this work then available.
For all women.
1. The Disappearance Of A Miss No One.
2. Sons Versus Daughters
3. No Land For Women
4. A Desert Of Misery
5. Nice Pic Dear.
6. Dear Sister
7. Deshpande’s Debate
8. Bollywood Boy
9. Dating A Machete Man
10. Husband Killer! Husband Killer!
11. Train To Delhi
12. The Unwanted
13. On The River, I Float Now
14. Yellow Cakes
15. The Special Princess
Also By Dusu P Sirius
Preface Men may write books about women and make movies about them but no man on any creative level can truly feel what a woman goes through. Men can only have perspectives and half the actual value of sentiments that women experience. The same can be said about this book. It’s not a motivational book by any means, and that I regret, although if by any chance it inspires you to stand up for justice or to be strong, I’ll be more than blessed. It would be wrong to say women aren’t free today, because they are, constitutionally. But true freedom for women comes by the assurance that they are safe. And that brings me to limelight incidents of national shock which I need not mention. Until such savagery exists in our society women aren’t truly safe or free just by the assurance of guaranteed education and employment opportunities, or by the prescribed- right to equality. Freedom means much more for women. This freedom is tested by the section of men who make it difficult for women to breathe. They are those deluded with the perception that women are just sexual objects because they are not. What to do of such freedom when despite having decent jobs and status academically and by profession, women are molested in workplaces, groped in crowd, eve teased and stalked, raped and killed in unimaginable ways? And women. They have tried. They have followed precautions. They dress, interact and hang out cautiously as they have been advised, yet they suffer the most horrifying of fates from time to time, which makes me believe, that the fault is never with the way they dress, or their need to be in the open in unlikely hours but in men who have decayed mindset. It’s not the women who need to restrict themselves, but men who need to behave. Men need to see women as humans first and not as romantic partners or a thing of beauty. Women are humans who deserve to be treated as humans. The vague objectifications have enslaved women within the bars of a mere few adjectives. They are more than that.
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For long, women have fought against injustice, against rampant inequalities in social systems. They have been fighting against constipated mindsets and lascivious intentions for centuries. They have fought for their respect and recognition. Their merits have been questioned, their calibre doubted. This is a never ending struggle they endure and it has been a battle that never ends. No greater human tragedy has lasted this long. No greater error has ever occurred in human existence than to consider women as the inferior in the species. Even at the peak of human endeavour, nothing much has changed, as women still become victims for being women. The stories within were developed from my own personal research. I dug the internet deep to derive inspiration and, followed non-digital sources for the same, but the more I did, the more horrified I became with the atrocities that women have faced. The list is endless, and as you read this, some women or girl is already a victim elsewhere; of sex-related crime, domestic abuse and work place molestation or honor killing, and in many cases sex trafficking. These aren’t just movie concepts, they are happening for real as we speak. The solution? It’s hard to come by, no matter how many fast track courts we have set up, no matter how many policemen patrol our streets. They provide justice and do not prevent it though their presence is assuring. Even the countries with the harshest forms of punishment have violence against women. Fear of the law isn’t enough. Prevention, therefore, is the only cure, and it starts right at the individual level, by changing how we see our women, by honouring their dignity, to look beyond their gender. It’s hard, almost impossible but we can make a start. Let’s teach our children to respect women, that’s a brilliant place to begin. Every criminal that ever was, was once an innocent child, just that on the way some ideas, some ill-minded acquaintances, some source and circumstance polluted that innocence. Women are humans too! That’s all we need to remember. The author.
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Acknowledgements A heartfelt thanks to the women that have supported me in this pursuit. I have the deepest of gratitude for my uncle without whose support I could have never launched myself as an author. To my freelance resource for the first read review and the participation in the creation of stories- I’ll be forever indebted for your guidance. This is as much your book as it is mine. Above all, to the people who read A Paranormal Life I, this book is the result of your encouragement. Thank You.
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Disclaimer This is a work of fiction. Unless otherwise indicated, all the names, characters, businesses, events and incidents in this book are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Chang is a fictional place and so are the surnames used for characters. This book is not for kids.
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I The Disappearance Of A Miss No One. She was one of the invisible ones in Chang town. She worked in a quarry, smashing boulders to pebbles and pebbles to their appropriate sizes. Had she been in a more glamourous means of survival, she would have been the cynosure of many keen eyes with her youthful persona, which blossomed past puberty with such pace as would confuse most grown men. Well, a labourer at a remote quarry of a far-flung town called Chang, meant, she was no one of particular value or interest. Attraction for that matter was even more inconceivable for the disheveled rags she hid under. Most labourers like her are in fact invisible creatures not because they are formless ghosts, but because they, with their tattered rags, with their scruffy attires, and sunburnt skins, offend the eyes of those onlookers who have better means of survival. They are invisible phantoms, therefore, not by any science or craft of magic but by deliberate negligence. Their perseverance is dull and their lives- the most unglorified among all that exists, despite the wonders of the world they built, despite the roads they paved, and civilizations they alone crafted with their bare hands through sweat and blood, through heat and cold, amidst hunger and desperation. These labourers might as well be the living ●1●
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF A MISS NO ONE
dead among all the walkers of the living plane for they die each day to survive. They have become by their punishing profession, the forgettables of human civilization. It wasn’t Nina’s choice to blend with the faceless entities of the quarry. Desperate circumstances made it her only option. She was sixteen and left alone to fend for herself by a drunk father, dead a year ago and widowed two years prior to that. The delightful promises of education seldom appeal to starving individuals. So did Nina choose food over books and daily wage over the prospects of a respectable identity. Education would have been an accessory for her future but it could never be half the means as the quarry, when her present lay victim to the past. The biggest responsibility she had was to keep herself alive. And that mattered above all else. So, she toiled at the quarry with the labourers who shared the same philosophy of life. But she wasn’t altogether a generic victim as others to that idea of survival above everything. Despite the daily struggles she endured, her spirit was unbroken, and her fervour to live- undiminished. She shared the same occupation, perhaps the same philosophy of life too, but she never shared their state of being. Nina was unlike them in that respect. It was her mother’s fond memories that kept her apart from them. Her late mother had also worked at the quarry and people would often compliment Nina about the beautiful similarities that she shared with her. For Nina and her mother, quarry was freedom and quarry was a place of escape. It was a place that enforced equality. There was none that was more privileged. Black, fair or brown, short, tall or dwarf, lean, fat or perfect, Hindu, Muslim or atheist, they all blended with the dusty colours of the workplace for the same amount of wage. They toiled and the quarry paid. It was as simple as that. The harsh environment was also a place of forgetting pain, of letting go, as there never existed a workplace better than a quarry for lashing out one’s frustrations. No therapy or counselling for that matter could ever compare to what a quarry offers in its brute environment through its mindless hammerings.
DUSU P SIRIUS
The huge boulders that hung above the tall slope never frightened Nina and her mother as much as Biren, her drunk father and an abusive husband did. Home was a word hollow without any sense of longing or comfort for both the mother and her daughter. Not that Biren was always on the wrong side of affairs. There were occasions here and a few moments there and then, when he was in his best elements, and those were times when Nina felt happy because peace reigned at home; no loud arguments, no flying utensils, no strangling and scarring faces; just the calm of sober understandings. But those sober times were only as frequent as sighting a double rainbow. They sure were a loving duo once, dearest darlings to each other, but a few years into their marriage everything fell apart for the husband and wife. It was all about hurting each other with the harshest of words now. The husband never compromised, the wife never yielded. Love was lost, so was a happy childhood for Nina, their only daughter. Well, for the day, it was her mother’s third death anniversary. Nina hammered the stones alongside other older men and women who beat the lifeless stones, lifeless themselves. Her senior colleagues just had survival on their mind while Nina was mostly preoccupied with the loving memories of her late mother. Her occupation was synonymous to breathing. It kept her alive and brought her food. It was just a life process that sustained her body and that was all there was to it. But the reminiscence of her mother was to her spirit, what food would be to a body. It was her elixir of life. It only felt like yesterday when she was there after school while her mother offered her leftover lunch, usually chapatti with fried potatoes or boiled rice with dal and an omelette. She knew Nina would bring her hungry appetite from school straight into quarry. So, she saved a part of her lunch always. “Potatoes are poor people’s best vegetable. It is cheap and it fills,” Nina’s mother had once said. “What about eggs?” asked Nina.