The Deadline

“What’s wrong with you? Have you forgotten your sense of direction?” Lokesh Babu shouted at his son. 

“Sorry, sorry father. I was thinking about the main character. I did not see you”, mumbled the confused man.

“Thinking, huh? That steady murmuring, that constant grumbling. You call that thinking! And for that gibberish, do you need to think at all? Now get off my way. I need to think,” waved away the father. 

“Yes…Yes baba,” repeated a sullen faced Dinesh. He did not want to get into another argument at that moment and ruin his thought process. “I wish I could get the idea right and crawl back into the blanket,” thought the writer. 

Lokesh and Dinesh, were the much celebrated father-son duo, who had given the literary society one of their best creations. While the former was known for thrillers, the latter ruled the hearts for his romantic novels. This time they were vying for the book published by Biva, the world famous publication. 

As they paced the room, on that chilly night, sleep was a far cry. They had one more day to file their submission. Nothing was working that night. The chewing gum had failed for Lokesh babu.The paan had failed Dinesh.

“The plot…the plot…if only I could get it right,” thought a frantic Lokesh babu. “The protagonist….wish I could sketch her better,” sighed Dinesh.

Scratching their heads, walking frantically, they decided it was enough. That’s when Lokesh Babu let out a loud cry. Dinesh jumped. He was about to shut his ears, expecting the never-ending tirade from his father, but heard none. He looked up to see his father smiling at him. “Strange, what has taken over the old man,” thought the younger one. 

“I have an idea. Let’s step out to the kitchen and grab something to eat and drink. Maybe that would open up our brain,” winked the older man.

They opened the door cautiously and treaded softly so that no one woke up. The household was quiet and everyone was sleeping peacefully.

Two cups of Darjeeling tea, fish fries from the evening snack party and some sweets – it was a grand midnight party for the writers. Rubbing their stomach, they went back to their room, closed the door and took their position.

A loud, happy burp indicated that Lokesh babu was almost done with his piece. A steady humming and Dinesh was wrapping up his. 

Next morning Ramu, the faithful servant of the household arrived on a mission. It was cleaning day. The key was turned in and the lock removed from the dusty door. Removing cobwebs, he stepped inside and turned on the lights. His eyes widened. He trembled with fear and his legs gave away. Ramu collapsed into a heap, mumbling ‘ram,ram,ram’. 

On the table sat two shadows, furiously scribbling.  “Let’s vanish fast son, before the entire household faints. Last time the accident stopped us from submitting and this time, that devil –Ramu”. The two men disappeared. 
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Sreemati Sen

Sreemati Sen Karmakar is a development professional and a mother of two kids. Travelling and writing are her passion. When she finds the time, she writes. Writing is catharsis.

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