I stand between a jungle of concrete and bricks.
There are buildings covered with dirt, host to thousands of shops jam packed with people and products.
This is a market place, my eyes sensor, as they slowly move and assess the area around my body.
There are people, and all sorts of them, men and women, children and old timers. They’re moving in streams, and they all seem to be in a kind of rush. Vehicles are blasting their way through the main road that part this bazaar into two lanes.
Motor bikes, cars, donkey carts, auto rikshas, taxis and hawks cover every possible parking inch. People are walking all over the "walking-zone", scrambling their ways through the crowd and stalls, examining products on sale as they walk on.
The rush is so perfect, so crowded, you’d ask yourself if everything around here is free.
And the look on every face is common; proclaiming exhaustion, as if tired by an invisible claustrophic market place experience, weary of buying the same old things marketed in different new ways. The exhausted faces scare me so much I’d think about human stampedes in stoned jungles.
It feels like watching a castle of cards waiting for a cyclone.
My hands are lifting two heavy bags filled with all kinds of female clothes.
I’m wearing a denim blue jeans under a red polo t-shirt.
I look beside to realize.. there’s this lady with permed hair and huge sunglasses standing next to me.
I wince my eyes, as if flickering them against light – staring at her strong, careless expression.
And she says, "move."
Her enormous sunglasses reflect sunlight on my nose, and her dress is frilly and black. "What are you looking at?" she asks me.
"I’ve seen you before.. somewhere.. haven’t I?" I then ask her.
My voice is shaky, and it feels strangely subtle.
"Don’t need to talk much, just do what you’re told." she replies, consciously annoyed.
I realize.. I’m lifting two heavy bags filled with all kinds of female clothes. Her clothes.
I work in a shop around the market, I think.. because I’m just helping this woman get her stuff back to the car.
It’s a maroon mazda 626.
So I’m holding stuff she’s bought from me?
I scratch my head.
So I’m a shop keeper?
She unlocks her car, sits on the drivers seat and pulls the door lock behind.
Her eyes point backwards, as she says, "Keep it there. Thankyou."
Which obviously means, hurry up and leave.
I flicker my eyes, staring at her even more carefully.
She seems to notice me checking her out… and it makes her uneasy.
Her rude expression suddenly loosens up.
"Hurry up please," she says, smiling.
It’s fake, I notice, staring at the nervous eyes veiled underneath those glasses.
I open the back door and toss the heavy bags in the car, by then she’s already switched the car’s ignition on.
A growling roar erupts as the engine comes to life, generating a strong smell of diesel.
I close the door and smile back at her.
She doesn’t smile back, beginning to reverse the car.
A white haired lady with a basket of eggs walks towards me from the back, pointing the eggs at my face.
"Buy some eggs, buy some eggs." She repeats, staring at me with her freakishly dead eyes.
"I don’t need eggs."
"Buy some eggs from this poor woman, you’ll go to heaven young man." She says.
Her hair is so white, they reflect silver against the sun. Just like those enormous glasses.
And then a little hand knocks my back. I look behind and it’s a tiny girl holding yellow flowers.
"Would you like some flowers?" asks the little girl; not more than five years old.
The Mazda 626 slowly reverses its way out.
The little girls’ face hypnotizes me.
It’s like another hypnotizing situation in a day of long hypnotizing events.
"No thank you." I say.
The old woman shakes my elbow, urging me to buy those fucking eggs.
"I DO NOT WANT YOUR EGGS" I jerk, thinking about the girls’ familiarity.
I feel dizzy.
The girl knocks on my back again, gently saying, "Do you want some flowers?"
Being surrounded by a crazy egg selling bitch and a little flower selling infant – I keep staring at the lady with permed hair
and obnoxious sunglasses. There goes her maroon mazda driving its way out of this crowded place.
And I’m almost crazily starting to feel jealous by her freedom to leave. This market. My life.
Pollution and crowds and fucking A grade to B grade to C grade dipshits wouldn’t gnaw on my patience everyday with their fucked up
prissy customery attitudes. How much the fuck is this? How much the fuck is that?
The little girl taps on my thigh again, screaming politely, "flowers?"
I shrug my hand at her face asking her to go away until an explosion erupts behind our backs.
The sound is deafening. It’s a noise that sounds like a ball of thunder exploding into concrete. Then a surround sound effect of rocks breaking follows it. Literally surround fucking sound.
A man reading newspaper on a bench fifteen yards away hits his head against a pole at the edge of his seat.
Windshields; glass doors; windows; tyres; people… They all transform into tiny splinters of waste.
The ground vibrates, shaking like an earthquake.
And just then I slip to the floor with the old lady tripping over my back and splashing her eggs at my face.
My ears begin to ring with egg yolk sliming down my face.
I think a bomb just exploded or something.. I don’t know, really.
"I’m not paying for those eggs," I tell the unconscious old lady.
Thirty long seconds later there are people covered with blood and missing body parts running in every direction.
And some headless bodies, well, exploded bodies, or, pieces, or things, well they lay on the road behind.
What’s worse is that there’s a little stampede of zombies (or injured citizens) heading towards me.
My eyes pop out in horror and before I even know it I’m standing on my feet.
So I get up lifting the girl with flowers and begin to run forward. I sort of check my body for missing legs and hands and literally touch my face to see if it’s all intact. I feel a little thick something dripping down my cheek, so I wipe my hands with it and look to find it’s egg splash.
Thirty yards forward, I see the woman with obnoxious glasses and permed hair limping her way out of the crumpled
mazda. I stretch out my hand to her, like a hero in those movies.
She doesn’t hold on to me but starts running with me. Her face is tense and she’s crying I assume.
We don’t even know why we’re running. We’re probably just in shock.
We take the first left and enter a narrow lane with parked cars and exploded windows and busted tires.
Running forward, we enter another market with stuffed shops and people running in all directions screaming "Bomb-Bomb-Bomb."
I have this urge to stand there and dance with them and scream "yes, bomb, bomb, bomb, BOMB!"
But I keep running with my new friends instead.
It’s amazing how a crowded place empties up so quickly incase of a riot and then fills up even quicker when the riot is over.
About a hundred and fifty meters of running into crazy people, we end up on a T junction.
All the roads are blocked by cars and there are no people sitting inside them. Seems like they’ve run away or something.
I see a media van rush in from the far end of the road.
A few seconds later the ambulance sirens become distantly audible.
So we just stand there for a second and I look at the lady beside me.
I can see a lot of splinters of the Mazda’s windshield stuck to her face. There’s a deep cut on the side of her forehead.
She’s taken off her sunglasses and I notice her eyes don’t flatter to deceive; she looks prettier – Barring out the circumstances, no offense.
The girl in my arms is unconscious. Her little arms fall flat around my shoulders, but I can feel her breathing.
I pass the girl to the woman and tell her, "Everything coming them wait there."
I realise I’m shivering, and what I meant to tell her was that, wait here, I’ll get some help.
Surprisingly, the lady nods.
I open my mouth this time and clear my throat saying, "I’ll get some help stay here."
And she nods again. So I run forward, dodging the parked cars towards the ambulance leaving them behind.
I’ve traveled about fifty yards, not to measure, before I hear another explosion, once again, behind my back.
I bite my tongue literally flying off the ground as I smash my head into a car’s door, simultaneously losing my sight. There’s that
deafening sound again with more rocks breaking around, the echo, the surround, the ground shaking, more tires bursting, more windshields exploding, more windows crack into tiny specs – car horns going crazy by themselves.
Maybe it’s the machine’s way of screaming.
Twin bombs, I know it. The terrorist psychology.
Detonate one bomb, gather people, then detonate the sister.
It’s called, setting up a stream of chaos in order to build more chaos.
As I pull my face out of the car, my heart starts beating. And it’s not reincarnation. It’s adrenaline.
My heart’s in my throat – it seems. And I don’t want to look behind.
I gather my thoughts only to find out the worst, I left the lady and the girl behind me, right from where I felt the explosion.
My ears are still ringing, and I turn back to watch with my hazy vision and blood soaked face: I only find fire and smoke.
I fall flat on my knees again, instinctively checking if my head’s intact again – and I feel it is.
I rest my head in the pool of my own blood, staring at the smoky sky. There are crows and eagles circling around in chaos.
I also hear ambulances distantly.
I blink and breathe, remembering the last sight of her, how pretty she looked without glasses.
The little girls’ flower hangs out of my pocket.
I blink again wanting to die, losing my vision.
Moments later, I see faces from the sky, staring down at me.
An old lady talks into my head "Would you like some eggs?"
I lay between a jungle of burning cars.
There are buildings covered with smoke, fire and dirt.
And It feels like I’m a castle of cards just struck by a cyclone.