April 3, 2020 (22:00 hours)
Rumbling clouds seemed to be in an agitated mood that night. For the last 3 hours they had been exchanging thunderous lightnings and were scaring the soul out of all life on earth.
Arjun was lying all alone in his single room worn down cottage.
Life had been pretty unfair to him. Right at birth, sixty years ago, he was disowned by his biological parents probably because he was a product of unwanted conception or maybe because his parents did not have the means to care for him. He was left to his own outside a temple in the historic town of Kannauj. There,a priest who used to serve in the Mahakal Shiv temple,took pity on him and took him to his home.
The priest though unmarried took great care of Arjun. But as you would know, India in 1960 was not as liberal as it is now and as a result the benevolent priest was socially ostracized for taking care of a child without having been married. There were rumours that maybe the priest had an illicit affair and now to cover it up he was taking care of the child as repentance.
Nevertheless, the priest raised Arjun as his own child and provided him with love and care, something which Arjun’s parents didn’t do.
At school, Arjun used to get teased by his classmates who used to call him names. They used to call him an illegitimate child and used to insult his father(the priest).
One day these taunts became so unbearable for Arjun that he hit his classmate with a metal rod and ran away from school.
Upon reaching home, he found that the priest had collapsed. He called the neighbours for help but unfortunately none came forward to help them out and as a result the priest died from heat stroke leaving Arjun to be an orphan again.
Arjun,though heartbroken, composed himself and took up work in a small canteen at the edge of the town. He worked hard and his diligence and his penchant for ensuring cleanliness impressed the owner a lot.
Life seemed to be going well for Arjun till tragedy struck his life(again).
A general emergency was announced in the country and the owner of the canteen was arrested for organizing protests against the dictatorial rule. Arjun was stranded and he was contemplating his life as to why all the misery had to fall upon him.
He found residence in a single room desolated cottage on the banks of River Ganges,which is the same in which he is lying even today, all alone just like he was 45 years ago.
April 4, 2020 (02:00 hours)
Arjun’s sleep was disturbed by a crashing sound followed by rattling of utensils.
He got alerted, as to who it might be, as even the thieves in town knew that Arjun had nothing worth stealing except a few cutlery and some cash.
He grabbed his stick,which he had started using once his vision started diminishing 13 years ago.
In the dark he saw a murky figure who had an evil grin on his face.
Mustering courage Arjun asked “Who are you?”
The mysterious creature replied in a dusky hoarse voice “I am death”
Arjun was unflustered as he had faced enough in his life. He thought it was an ill-humoured prank and switched on the light.
But what he saw shocked him to the core.
The creature who stood before him had a round pot belly and multiple protruding masses jutting out from all over his body, which made for a very horrifying sight.
The mysterious creature : “Even you are terrified. Aren’t you?”
“But I admire your courage old man. All others I visited, of your age, met their death out of fright. You are still alive and staring right into my red blood shot eyes.”
Arjun : “Tell me who you are and what is that you seek from me?”
Creature : “I am Corona, the prince of Viruses. I have come here to spread terror.”
Arjun : “Ok but why have you come to my house? That too in the middle of the night…”
Corona : “Well I had come to terrorize you but now I see that my mission gas failed miserably. Well old man I see you are all alone. Will you like to be my friend?”
Arjun : “Well I haven’t had many friends in my life. The only one I had died last month. So I guess it wouldn’t hurt to have a new friend, that too someone who claims to be a prince”
Corona : “Ok so I will keep visiting you every night henceforth…”
Arjun : “Alright! But next time come through the door”
Corona : “Oh ok, as you command, new friend”
Months kept ticking and the friendship between Arjun and Prince Corona kept increasing.
June 4 , 2020 (23:00 hours)
Corona : “Friend today I touched new heights of success. My strike rate seems to be improving every day. And now after the restrictions of lockdown are being lifted by Unlock 1.0 my effectiveness has been increasing as more and more fools are venturing out to meet their doom.”
Arjun : ” I feel happy for your success but I do not exactly understand your modus operandi”
Corona : “Ah that! See there is a species named Homo sapiens who inhabit this earth. When this planet was creates everyone was equal powers and equal responsibilities to safeguard this planet. But this species being highly ambitious, snatched the powers and freedom of the other species, who cohabitated on Earth.”
Arjun : “Damned be the usurpers!”
Corona : “I, my friend, am a child of Mother Nature’s frustration. I have come to restore the balance of power to its original status. As you see due to the distortion in the balance of power distribution, Homo sapiens have started treating all other species to be inferior to them.And that my friend is a cause of great concern as it has made Earth vulnerable to attacks from multiple enemies both within and extra-terrestrial.”
Arjun : “Ah! Now I get it. You are a hero who has come to save this planet from extinction”
Corona : “Yes right my friend”
Corona justified that he had come to protect the planet and continued wrecking havoc. The entire world suffered from grave economic crisis.Man was forced to remain confined to his home for months.The other organisms felt a bit relieved as they partially got back their freedom.But this happiness was short-lived as Man returned with greater vengeance and with no regard for Corona’s authority. It was now an open challenge to war.
December 4,2020 (21:00 hours)
Corona : “Well friend all these months you have been a great support to me.Even when the entire world is bent on defeating me, you have shown faith in me. You have cheered me in times when I have felt as though I would lose to Man.Thanks a lot,my friend”
Arjun : “Oh don’t embarrass me Prince. I have just done what any other friend would do.”
“You see I haven’t had many friends in my life.So when you came I happily accepted your offer of friendship.People have forgotten my existence. You were the first visitor I had in months. Before you I had a friend named Anil who used to regularly visit me and used to keep me updated about whatever was happening in the world.”
Corona : “Oh what happened to him? Doesn’t he visit you anymore?”
Arjun : “He is dead.”
Corona : “Oh I am so sorry to hear that”
Arjun was a young lad of fifteen years when the Emergency was declared and he was left jobless and homeless.Though quite young,Arjun had gained worldly wisdom in all those years of suffering. He had developed a certain hatred for mankind for the way it used to treat good people.It was then that he met Anil, a twenty year old unemployed man, who restored his faith in humanity.
He helped Arjun get a small one-room cottage by the side of River Ganges.Anil was trying hard to get a permanent job but due to the political unrest in the country was unable to find one. He used to do menial jobs in order to get two meals a day. Arjun became good friends with Anil probably because he could relate to his sufferings. It seemed as though Anil was a future projection of himself. Arjun and Anil started working together.
After the Emergency was lifted, they both got job in a small grocery shop.Slowly their payscale improved and Anil got enough money to start his own shop with Arjun’s assistance. Life seemed to be going smoothly for both of them.
10 years later, their shop was now a wholesale grocery vendor. They both owned pucca houses now.Anil had married and had a son.
January 4,2021 (23:00 hours)
Arjun : “How was your day today?”
Corona : “Not good.”
Arjun : “Why?What happened??”
Corona : “This species is pretty reckless.They have stopped following the precautions. They have again gone back to square one.They are throwing the used masks into rivers and streams.They are burning trees to create areas for building concrete forests.”
Arjun : “Oh so your mission isn’t going as per your plan?”
Corona : “It’s going diabolically opposite to what I had imagined.It seems I have to step up my plan of action.”
“Well tell me how are you?”
Arjun : “I am a bit disturbed by flashes of events which took place 35 years ago.”
Corona : “Oh what had happened?”
On a fine autumn evening,Arjun crossed paths with a girl who immediately caught his attention.She was a cute girl, twenty and three years old.In her red dress which flew with the breeze,she looked something like a divine incarnate.She had recently moved into the colony with her parents.Earlier they used to live in Allahabad where her father worked as a District Collector.After retiring they had decided to move back to their hometown Kannauj.
Arjun started having frequent encounters with the girl when she came to buy groceries from their store.Over the next few months Arjun started developing emotions for that girl named Anjali.He consulted Anil as to whether he should approach her parents with the proposal of marriage.
Anil asked him to be patient and to wait for a few more months before making the move.
3 months later……
Cold waves from the North were freezing every single soul.Early risers were out for their morning walk.Some were sipping onto piping hot tea to ward off the chills.All were draped in woollen shawls and cardigans.Some were having intellectual debates over national as well as international topics while some were busy reading the newspapers.Anjali had started dance classes for young girls to help them develop their artistic instincts.
Young Arjun was now sure of his feelings for Anjali and was gearing himself for the ultimate day when he would approach her parents with the marriage proposal.
But he had forgotten that his life was written when Lord was in a bad mood.
So his life had only one constant thing and that is Misery.
It was a fine winter morning.Anjali was returning after her dance classes.As she was crossing Arjun’s shop,four loungers surrounded her and started passing lewd comments.Upon seeing this Arjun tried to intervene.
But those scoundrels overpowered Arjun and Anjali.It was a shameful morning for the entire town.Even the mist hung its head in shame as those devils unleashed their lust in the most heinous way.
Arjun had to be hospitalized with grievous injuries to his head and chest.Anjali gave a brave fight to her tormentors but her resistance was broken and she was left for dead after each of the four villainous creatures took turns to outrage her modesty.
She succumbed to her injuries two days later.
Arjun was scarred for life.He was so disturbed by this incident that he shunned the world and confined himself to his old cottage which seemed to be in a dilapidated state now.The only point of contact he had with the outside world was Anil who used to bring food for him and also provided him updates as to what was happening in this world.
March 4,2021 (22:00 hours)
Corona : “Today I launched the most aggressive counter-attack in Maharashtra. Man will have to pay for his atrocities.”
Arjun : “Yes they should pay back.They have wronged each and everyone.”
“It’s been a year since my friend and his wide died.Yet neither his son came nor his brothers to give him the last farewell he deserved.They said that there was some mysterious disease that was spreading and that is the reason they couldn’t come.
I know all are liars and all deserve to die.I came out of my self imposed isolation after almost three decades only to bid goodbye to my dear friend and his wife who had both been very kind to me.”
“And his own son couldn’t come to lift his pyre.Such a shame!!”
Corona : “Well how did your friend die?”
Arjun : “They said that he died of some mysterious disease,the same which his son and brothers used as an excuse, to give a miss to his funeral.”
Corona : “What were his symptoms?”
Arjun : “He had normal cough and weakness. I am telling you it was normal flu which worsened because the Doctors didn’t treat him properly.”
“These days the doctors are like that only.Earlier they were like Gods who saved lives and snatched people out of Yamraj’s jaws.But nowadays all they do is loot the common people in the name of tests and admission.My friend Anil told me everything about how corruption has spread into the medical sector.How people get their work done by bribing the officials.This world has lost all It’s morals and deserves to come to an end.”
Corona : “By any chance was the disease named Covid-19?”
Arjun : “Ah yes!”
“But how do you know about it?Isn’t it a fictional disease?”
Corona : “Well please be patient my friend!”
“I am extremely sorry for your loss.”
Arjun : “Tell me clearly what’s the issue”
Corona :”Well you see Covid-19 is my weapon which I use to cleanse this world.I am sorry but I think your friend and his wife died inadvertently when I shot Covid-19 arrows to announce my arrival. The arrows hit those who were old and weak or had other diseases like Diabetes and Hypertension.”
Arjun: “Are you saying you murdered my dear friend?”
Corona : “It was an accident not murder,my friend “
Arjun : “Please go away now before I harm you.I don’t want to see your face again.You murdered my friend…(Arjun started sobbing uncontrollably)”
Corona : “But listen to me, friend…”
Arjun : “Get out!And don’t call me a friend.You are my friend’s murderer….”
Prince Corona felt guilty and was saddened by the loss of the only friend he had on this planet.Nevertheless he respected his friend’s wish and left the place without further ado.
Devastated and enraged with himself,Corona became a tyrant and started killing people mercilessly in scores.
Arjun was heartbroken.He had faced enough in life.But this time he decided that he had tolerated enough.He decided to avenge his losses.He started plotting and planning as to how he would do so.He started following the rapists and kept track of their daily activities.He also started spying on his classmates.
April 2,2021 (23:00 hours)
First he went to the bar,where all those who had a role to play in separating him from the only girl he ever loved,were drinking.He killed them by piercing a dagger through their hearts in the dark of night.
April 3,2021 (22:00 hours)
Next he went to the house of his classmates who used to tease him.
He invited them to a party where he drugged them and then threw the unconscious old men into River Ganga and then fled to Allahabad.
Now he had only one more death to avenge.
His friend Anil’s death…..
April 4,2021 (11:00 hours)
He started consulting intellectual people in the city.He knew he was racing against time as police had been alerted and a manhunt had started for his head.
From whatever he could gather from people he found out that Corona’s weakness is alcohol.
April 6,2021 (21:00 hours)
He rented a room in a hotel.He then called Prince Corona and asked him to come and visit him.He told him that he had realised that it wasn’t Corona’s fault that his friend died and that he believed it was an accident.
Corona,unsuspecting of what was going to come,came to his hotel room.
Arjun offered him drinks and over shots of Vodka told Corona about how he had avenged all the wrongs in his life.Corona said he was happy that Arjun finally stood up for what was right.He said that those wretched creatures got the death that they deserved.
Arjun kept observing as Corona started getting intoxicated slowly. Arjun was not drinking but kept pestering Corona to drink more and more.Corona,egged on by his “friend” Arjun kept drinking without limits.
Taking advantage of Corona’s inebriated state,Arjun mixed a higher concentration of industrial grade alcohol to Corona’s drink.
This caused Corona’s throat to start burning incessantly. He asked Arjun to give him some water.
Arjun mixed detergent in the water and gave it to Corona. After drinking the water,Prince Corona fainted and froth started coming from his mouth.Arjun decided to unleash the final weapon.He smothered Prince Corona till he was sure that he was finally dead.
After having killed Corona,Arjun started crying.He had lost all that he had in his life.
He had lost his family,his father-figure,his friends and his love and now finally his humanity…..
He had turned the devil he despised and hated.He started feeling nauseous as he reflected on what he had done in the last few days.
He realised that he was no longer a Human and had turned a Devil.
But he also realised that Hell would be a better place as all the Devils were roaming freely unchecked on Earth.
Reflecting upon all this,Arjun jumped from the terrace of the Hotel.
As he embraced Death he felt an eternal relief.He felt a sense of tranquility which had eluded him throughout his life.
“Not all who suffer are meek
Some do revenge seek
Never think someone to be weak
Just because they don’t speak
Might just be waiting for the perfect week
To unleash the fury which had reached its peak”