Tag Archives: sci fi

The Old Man next door

old man next door


The Old Man next door :

It was my wife first who told me about the old gentleman who shifted last night in our adjacent flat. But I hardly spoke to him, I was a busy man you see. Work at office kept me busy.

Slowly I started seeing more of him, reason being my kids Radha and Ravi were quite found of him. He used to tell them interesting stories, and ensured that they always returned with hands full of chocolates.

But I was a suspicious man, what he was a kidnapper or a pedophile, I talked to Rashmi,my wife, about it. Rashmi told me that the man means no harm and I should not bother much.

One day I saw him waving to me,he asked me to stop. He came down and said, “See, Mr. Mandal, try to spend more time with your family.This time might never come back.” I shrugged it off as an old man rant.

Time passed by, Radha and Ravi were in School now but their fondness for that old man never reduced.

That was year 2015, 1st January, we planned a picnic at nearby lake with office friends. While my kids were keeping their baskets in the car, I saw the old man waving at us again, I noticed his eyes were moist. I wondered, why?

I woke up in Apollo Hospital, last thing I remembered was the glass of our car shattering. We were hit by a truck. The first thing I wanted to see was my family. Were they safe?


Tears rolled down my cheeks, as that doctor told me how I was the only survivor. That accident took away everyone, My kids,wife,friends….EVERYONE.


I hardly wanted to go back home, after all it was no more home. I spent most hours in the lab and then at some random hotel.


Finally, after months I gathered courage to revisit the place we called home. A letter was waiting for me. It was from that Old man.

“Dear Mr. Mandal,

By the time you read it, I will be gone,Perhaps dead. You always wanted to know who I am? where I came from?

Mr.Mandal “I am You”. Your future self. That is the reason I asked you to spend more time with ‘our’ family.But, you repeated everything, every mistake. Alas! we can’t change the past completely.Never.

I left blueprints of time machine in my drawer. I spent whole life building it. But, with blueprints it will take you just 1 month.

Try going back again. Who knows this time we change the time.

With Love,
You. “



A Call To The Future – 2

A Call To The Future part 2

After that Vyom’s invention of that ‘future phone’ (we didn’t get any better name), everything changed for us. Exams were a piece of cake and so were our relationships with our girls. We were toppers,the sought after cool guys and we always knew what was on their mind. And money, was no more a problem.

The IPL season was there.And a small college like ours, IPL season turns the hostel tv room into a betting arena. And when you can call your future-self anytime, you are the king of the arena.

By the time IPL ended we both had over 20 lakhs in our pockets,it was more than we needed. Everything was going smooth.

But then all stories must end, so did this too, when that day came.
We were sitting in our room again, and then we called Vyom’s tomorrow self again. The phone was on loudspeaker, but on the other side we heard a sobbing voice of some lady.


Sobbing continued.

“Hello, who is it?”, it was voice of a lady.

It was Vyom’s Mother.

“ummm, Is Vyom there?:, said vyom,trying to change his voice.

Sobbing started again.

Somebody else took the phone.

“Beta !Vyom is no more.He died in a car accident yesterday”, said a male voice.

Vyom was dumbstruck. As if the moment freezed. I saw a tear rolling down his cheeks. He was too young to die and I was to young to see my best friend die.

Vyom was crying, I saw someone first time mourning his own death. That was rare. Rare and scary.

We decided to play it calm. Future can be changed. We decided to not go anywhere. We just had to spend a day locked inside.

The clock was ticking at its pace.I wondered is freedom of action is an illusion? Is everything pre-determined?Minutes passed and then passed hours. It was almost midnight again.

“Dude do you want food? I will go grab something”

“Yes”, said Vyom.

I stepped out only to fall down the stairs. My was half-unconscious and whole hostel was asleep. Vyom gathered courage and called the warden.He held me in his arms and started soothing me.

“Vyom, do you know how to drive? The driver is on vacation”, said the warden.

Vyom nodded his head. They both pulled me up and kept me inside the car.

“Vyom You don’t need to do it”, I said gaining some consciousness.

“ssshhh! I know. I know it well.”, said he.

We were almost near the hospital.


we were hit, the doctors and nurses on duty came running. I saw a line of blood flowing down Vyom’s hand and then it was all dark.

I was unconscious for 3 days, and I woke up a day after Vyom’s funeral. I was back in our room, Vyom’s stuffs were missing probably his parents took it back home. But the memories were still there.

Now that I look back, I have the answer to the “illusion of choice”. There is no illusion, we always have that freedom of choice. Vyom had a choice to choose between himself and me and he choose me.

There was no illusion, just friendship. A debt which probably shall remain unpaid till eternity.