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Wednesday, May 7, 2014


( New World is happy to publish a beautiful short story written by Mr. Shaji John an excellent writer . Our respected readers can expect more short stories,poems and plays from this talented writer.We thank Mr. Shaji John for sending us a literary gem for our publication)

Death alone is immortal

A middle-aged man was hurrying along the road in that morning to reach his place of business as early as possible.
“Oh, get lost! You bad omens.” He came to a halt sighting a few coffins which were displayed in front of a coffin shop.” You eagerly wait for death to have your sale. Death means sale of more coffins and thus more profit,” he barked at the coffin seller.
“If what you say is true, the thousands who had died due to Tsunami would have enjoyed the luxury of being buried in the coffins. You know those corpses did not have that last rights. Thousands were dumped together into the pits,”
"Then why do you run this deadly shop?"
“Circumstances forced me,” setting his eyes at the far of hills, which hid the rising sun, the old coffin seller said. “I took up this work when I was just 15 years old. There was a wide spread poverty in that time and people were dying of poverty. It affected our family too. Insufficient food made me weak and pale. People were dying everywhere. I thought about my death. People did not have a penny even to do the burial.”
“I don’t have time to hear the story of a coffin and its seller, I am hurrying,” The middle aged interrupted.
“Unfinished stories cause more tension than the finished stories,” saying he continued.
“In those days we had to walk 12 K.Ms to get a coffin. I did not want my people in troubles because of the absence of a coffin to bury me. I harnessed all my strength left in me and gathered all the bit of wooden pieces available in home and went on making a coffin for me. But before it became useful for me, it had turned useful for some one. Indeed I got a coin in return.”
“Thus the making and selling of coffins started and those coffins have been helping you and your family not to be buried,” the middle aged man again interrupted.
“Since then I made thousands of coffins. But every coffin was made keeping my corpse in mind. In fact for the last 60 years I have been making coffin for my corpse,” the old man clarified.
“Nevertheless no coffin turned to be yours. You make a living out of this.”
“I pray let this one at least be mine. It has a significance, it is the 20000 th coffin of me.”
“May be. As every coffin from you this one also searches for a victim. No…no…I do not want to be near to it,” frightened he edged back. His reddened visage became in the grip of tightened muscles. “It is you who bring death, your coffin brings death…see! See! That coffin beckons me.” He was looking aghast.
"I curse that moment that prompted to take up this decision to go along this short cut route. No, no, I do not want to open the shop today, if I open it is definitely lose, terrible lose."
As he edged back he got struck against some one’s back. He sprang towards shuddered and confronted another man. They both stood staring for a brief moment until their visages paved way for a relieved expression.
“Thank you gentle man for making turn against those terrible coffins,” the first opened his mouth.
“Same to you gentle man,” the second one said. He was a well-dressed youth. “I have been searching for a fine coffin since yesterday. You have helped me to locate one.”
“Oh!” The first man threw himself back very alarmed. ”Now I am in between the sea and the devil.”
“What? What are you murmuring?” The second one enquired.
“Why do you need a coffin?”
“Indeed to bury a corpse.”
“Who died in your home?”
“Then for whom!”
“For me.”
“Ha!” For the first man it was unbelievable. He felt giddy. “For you! But you are not dead.”
“If I am dead I can not have a coffin of my choice. It is better to choose one when one is alive.”
“I never heard anything of this sort.” Uttering these words, holding his head in his hands, he came down on to the street.
“What a poor made are these? Although attractive and smooth out side, very hard and coarse inside. Why don’t stick something to the sides and the bottom for the smoothness and softness? How do you expect any one to lie down here comfortably?” Inspecting each coffin the second one remarked.
“These are made for the deaths. They don’t have the life to feel comfort,” the old coffin maker replied gently.
“But I have the life,” the second one shot back.
“The coffins are brought for others. The people take home those no matter whatever made are those. If people start choosing their coffins in their lifetime, I would not be able to satisfy a single ones demand. Better I should quit this profession.” The coffin maker explained.
“Any way, I am taking one. I will make the necessary adjustments such as to suit my comforts.”
The coffin maker did not say a word. Simply he smiled in reply.
After a thorough checking the second man finally selected one and paid for the bill. He had the coffin lifted up on to his shoulder, one arm around the coffin and the other in his trousers pocket, and strode away.
“Hay…. hay…. hallow man. Have you become a statue? You might have seen who brings deaths.” The coffin maker cried at the first man who was yet squatting at the roadside his head propped up.
“This coffin I make is the 20000 th one. I shall be lucky if I am buried in this” the coffin maker once again expressed his wish.
“You are a fox who makes profit out of deaths,” still the first man was irritated with the coffin maker.
“If profit is my motive, I would have made my son to join this work. I left him to do another work. He makes cradles instead. You may find his shop, a little away, along this same route.”
“When you are a Yam man, your son is a Brahma,” saying the first man got up and slowly moved along the route he came through...

After a few days there was a burial procession passing along the side of a main road. The first man who happened to be passing along that main road stopped and watched the people in the procession. He noticed that the old coffin maker was one of the persons who carried the coffin. He was stunned.
“Who is it dead?” he enquired to one in the procession.
“It is the only son of the coffin maker. He had a heart attack last night” he replied and hurried.
“The Brahma is dead!”

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