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  • Writer's pictureVadhan

The One Minute Story

Eshwar was enjoying the rainbow. One of his favourites, the play of colours and elements that created a bow. A natural mood booster. Sometimes he needed mood boosters. Today, he needed a lot of them. It was one of those days. He had been in a conversation in the morning with his name sake. Only the initials were different. He was P. Eshwar. The other was S. Eshwar.

Their roles in the scheme of things were different. He was the provider. The balancer. S. Eshwar was…yes, a troubleshooter. You could call him that. Literally a trouble shooter. He shot people full of troubles wherever he went. He was a walking disaster zone. Yet, he had a place in the scheme of things. He had a role to play.

S was the stone heaver. He heaved stones at windows, people went about looking for that someone who can fix their windows. They invariably turned to P. He was always around. Business flourished. But it had its bleak moments. Like when both Eshwars had to speak about their respective roles. These days it was happening more often that P would prefer.

“If someone caught me at it even once, I am done for,” said S. Eshwar.

“You haven’t been caught yet.”

“They even pray that I don’t hit them.”

“So would I, if I were them.”

“Do you know how much of cussing and cursing goes on when they know it’s me? Why should I go through with it? Why can’t we exchange places? You have a great job, the great benefactor, the man of the hour. And me, the pestilence, the pain in the ass, the man everyone loves to hate.”

“Well, that’s your lot in life, S. It was the luck of the draw. You always knew everyone’ll hate you.”

“But…I hate to do it to them. Why should I?”

“What, are you growing a conscience all of  sudden?”

“You bastard.”

“Language, you know how I am about language.”

“Screw you. The other day, the fat merchant I hit lost everything. Apparently he had under-insured. He’s on the streets. Where were you?”

“Your job is to hit them. What happens thereafter is not your concern,” P said.

“It is my concern. I hit them so they turn to you. If you don’t pick up the strings from where I leave them, the whole thing is redundant. Got it? I am done with your games. I quit.”

P became agitated. S couldn’t just quit and leave. The man was trouble from head to toe. Literally.

“Listen, the merchant will get back whatever he lost. It’s just that the price is a little steep for him.”

S shook his head.

“He bore everything well. He did not waver. He did not lose faith in you. If you let him down…I can never forgive myself. My work’s already tough. People pray that I don’t go to them. I am more hated that Y. And everyone hates Y.”

“Yeah, but then, if Y hits, people don’t get up again. IF you hit, they wish they did not get up again. Which is worse?”

“You bastard.”


S gulped, but stood his ground.

They sat in silence. Presently Shaneshwar simply walked away. He did not look back. It was defiance. But it was no good. It was his job. He had no choice. Parameshwar felt for his old friend but there was nothing really he could do. Rules were rules. He thought about it and the rainbow came up. He smiled again.

He felt the presence before Y made it to the bench to take S’s place.

“Yes, Yama Raja, how are you?” said Parameshwar.

It was going to be a long day…



Shaneswar- Demi-God of  bad luck

Yama Raja- Demi-God of death


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