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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Crab



Three more inches.

Just three.

Crab strained his eyes. He could just see the tufty bit of root sticking out of the earth, three torturous inches away. It had been two hours that he had spent on his back, wiggling himself towards that root. And he had covered a single inch in all this time.

The root was his salvation, the only thing he could grab to get back on his feet. To get out of this dark dark hole. Three more inches. Crab forced his entire body to concentrate... Wiggle, man, wiggle!

Stupid. He had been stupid. The hole had seemed so innocent. So inviting. There was bound to be food inside, he had thought, and he would find it. Instead he had found himself on his back, as helpless as a silly turned turtle, and with no possible way to get out, except that stupid root he still couldn’t reach. He wiggled with all his being, celebrating each millimeter won with a gasp.

Two! More! Fucking! Inches!

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see a squirrel’s skull, yellow and fragile. So he wasn’t the hole’s first victim. But no way. No way. He wasn’t going to die here like that dumb mammal. He wasn’t going to die such a meaningless, ridiculous death, on his back with his legs waving, in a dark stinking hole with a skull for company. Wiggle, man!

He couldn’t die on himself now. He needed to see his lovely pond again, the pond he had spent his whole life in, the pond he used to think of with so much disdain.

And he never got around to telling that pretty pink thing with those cute tiny claws how much he liked her. What about his dream of building a house of leaves and shells on the east bank of the pond for her and the children they would have together? NO! Come on man! Wiggle!

ONE MORE INCH!!
And what about his biggest dream, to see the river all the ducks and frogs always talked about… Imagine a place where water moved on its own! And so much bigger than the pond! Crab was not going to die without seeing that river, no he wasn’t!! The skull grinned at him in encouragement. Move man!

Sweat trickled down Crab’s insides. His back was raw from the rubbing. His claws were numb with the straining. He seemed to be moving, iota by iota, only by the force of his mind. Then, suddenly, something touched his ass.

Crab didn’t allow himself more than a moment to feel relief and joy. His lower claw grappled with the root and began to maneuver his half-dead body. He didn’t stop to wonder where the strength was coming from; he merely remembered the instant when his feet touched soft earth. And then he was scuttling, out of that dark scary tunnel into the fresh, open world.

He could smell the pond before he saw it, orange in the sunset, his paradise of food and shelter. Sweet, sweet pond! Crab scuttled towards it faster than he had ever scuttled in his life. A fat pig, waddling homeward from her evening bath, stopped to toss him in the air and catch him in her jaws.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

111 paper boats came floating back to me:

Amal Bose said...

awwwwwww...
that was sooo sad..
you should have atleast given him something to cheer abt after all this hardship :(

but thats how real life is. Isn't it?

Really really really great work! :)

Mahesh Sindbandge said...

hoping i am the first..:)

Its beautiful amritorupa..
you have really put so much of thought in the description of feelings that were going in Crab's mind...
Its simply beautiful..

If you can do this, take this as an assignment... put up a story on a sliver fish which befriends a child and somehow comes back to the river ...

keep writing..:)

Mahesh Sindbandge said...

Ayyo i was second i guess..see i am very slow in typing :)

Chalo enjoy till then..i read both of your posts that i hadn't read from days because of my busyness..:)

keep writing

SGD said...

Oh dear!!!! Wasnt that sad!!
And I thought the crab's crabby dream with the little pink thing would come true after all!!!

Wonderfully written....you had me @ the edge of the seat!

Crab reminds me....chk out my foodblog
http://cookadoodledo.blogspot.com

and am making Crab bharta tonight!!! he he he!!
arent we bloody sadists!!!

chirpy-paaro said...

ohoo...poor crab he cudnt even celebrate his sucess!!!

Little Girl Lost said...

Amal- yes man, but i had to think about the pig too. just because the story isn't from his POV doesn't mean he doesnt deserve to live. :)
as you said, c'est la vie ...

Little Girl Lost said...

mahesh- i take up your challenge. waise bhi we bongs are a bit sentimental about fish... :)

Little Girl Lost said...

Sharmistha- YOU are a bloody sadist. YOU are making me fantasize about pizza and i'm eating papayas for lunch :(

Little Girl Lost said...

priyanka- but i'm celebrating the fact that you commented... this means a lot :)

Arv said...

wow... lovely story and it has a very beautiful message...

hard work and dedicated effort is rewarded... and at times, with that lil push from luck :)

kewl one... loved this... cheers...

Little Girl Lost said...

arv, why do i get this feeling you didn't read the story till the end?

Arv said...

lol... my mistake... i thought that toss had landed it near the water and it helped it to reach it...

lol..

well... my comment still holds true... in the sense... the luck deserted it :(

chirpy-paaro said...

I comment only to those things which I understand...previous posts were useless for me.. :)

Little Girl Lost said...

Priyanka- in which case, pat on my back for writing a likable post :)
on re-reading this story, it just makes me think , you never know where life will land you :)

i had been getting some complaints that Rivers was fast turning into a poetry blog.

Creation said...

Since I completely suck at commenting and since I'm extremely sleepy and since your "wake up..." actually woke me up at a time when I should be sleeping coz I only slept for friggin 2 hours last night I won't leave a GOOD comment (go ahead, call me mean... ;-) ). But I have the following things to say-

1) Could totally relate to the crab. The fucking holes always seem so inviting!

2) Why is there always a stray root or some branch sticking out from somewhere. Why is there always a ray of hope? You were stupid enough to have fallen in a hole. You should bloody die!
*sigh*
I guess I know the answer... heard about second chances anyone?

3) Crabs sweat?!?!
That's a new one, certainly!!

4) When stuck in such a situation, why do we always dream of all that could've been had this not happened? That tends to make you even more miserable!

5) I HATE PIGS! HATE THEM WITH A PASSION. Especially the one in this partisular story. Couldn't she leave the poor crab (no, I don't like crabs either.. but that's a different story altogether) alone?!

6) Kudos to you for coming up with this brilliant piece! The fact that it made me type this epic-long comment even when I'm dead sleepy proves how striking the parallel was (or perhaps it just proves how nice I am.. lol).

In any case you deserve a good round of applause!!
Cheers!
:-)

*jemima* said...

Poor Crab :(

Yeah your blog is lovely :) I love the title of it, it is very poetic plus some of your blog entries are funny :P

Creation said...

oh btw.. the crab in the picture.. is SUPER CUTE!

Aniket said...

Again late to join the party am I?

Do Pigs eat crab? Well I know little of pigs and crabs anyway.

I agree to most of the points Kriti made. But I like a few pigs.... Ello's one is cute. :-)

Also my roomie has a roommate finding website business of his called www.pighunt.in which is quite cool too. :-D

Crabs, I only like Sebastian from 'The Little Mermaid' :-)

Liked this poor soul too. When you try to achive something with all your heart, destiny tries to kick your ass while you are at it. :D

Its hard to keep the reader intact with a complete narration post. But you seem to have managed it quite well. :D

Little Girl Lost said...

Kriti- crabs sweat. they also smell.
and what is this Pig-hate thing? pigs are good. especially pink american pigs...
I WONT have pig-haters here, i tell you!!

Little Girl Lost said...

Jemima- poetic and funny, that's how i like to think of myself. thanks for the visit...

Little Girl Lost said...

Aniket- welcome dude, you get to sit next to the pigs for being so late...
FYI, pigs DO eat crabs. i checked with my mom. i do my research, see.
ello's pig is cute... and that pig muppet is cute, com'on american pigs are all cute...
i was worried about putting this up. i haven't done too many short stories before. the response has been encouraging.
Btw, if it means anything, you sort of inspired me to write this...

Harshita said...

Uhuh! :(

Wish he cud have made it in the end.. in a way he did but he lost it all.

I simply love it... it is really really good.

abhinandan said...

Tragically funny!!!
Just loved the last sentence....

P.S: I envy the pig for havin sumthin lyk a crab for a casual meal!!!

P.P.S: Salute to da li'l gal!!!

Creation said...

Since I know you've been to Delhi Amritorupa and since I also know you're familiar with the area I'm talking about, I'd just like to remind you of the yuckiest pigs (no pun intended)that are seen roaming around either Khyber Pass or Pratap Bagh. Ever seen them?

That's what makes me hate pigs.
The lil pink ones are quite cute... agreed!

And well, now I like three crabs... Sebastian (duhh!!), the dead crab that I photographed in Goa (although he's sorta.. erm... broken.. he's a real beauty! and yes.. I like to think of him as a 'he' :P) and now the crab here...
Planning on christening him sometime?

deepazartz said...

AWWWWWWWWW...the poor one!
Whats this l'girl I didn't expect that! Poor carb:(

It was a BEAUTIFUL narration,,very delicately presented with apt words. I think this is by far(from whatever I've read)your best.

Great:)

Kabbo said...

....*silence*...*a sigh*.....*silence again*.....its real.and lucid..i could see the crab infront of my eyes...and feel what he felt...*sigh* and this is life too...*silence* wonderful prose...

coffeeismypoison said...

oh god dammit!!!
WHY???
I henceforth HATE pigs :'(
I was really rooting for Crab.
Now i hope u realise how good a writer u are!
I could feel the sweat running down the insides of ME.
I'll not forgive u till u write the next one!

coffeeismypoison said...

btw.
ur now on my blogroll!! Now more people can read u and be delighted. or pissed.

coffeeismypoison said...

@Aniket : Wasn't sebastian a lobster??

Hopeless Romantic said...

hehe...that took me by surprise ...very nice one !

keep it up!

PS: A suggestion - Either change ur comments format or reply to comments with different colr...it becomes difficult to distinguish between the comment n the reply ...hope i am making sense :) ...if required i cn elaborate :)

Cheers! Keep writing !
Amit

Jennifer said...

LGL, I really liked this--your description is vivid and unique and makes the reader keep reading. And the ending was perfect. Made me laugh and then think. And since my brain is muddled with MIL garbage, laughing and thinking are in precious rare supply these days!! :)


It is so nice to see you turning to poetry and flash fiction. I still am admiring your poem for Cat's video montage.

Jennifer said...

I just noticed comment mod is on--I hope you are not having similar problems!!!! :(

Anik. said...

khub bhalo hoyeche lekhata...simple kintu khub sundor presentation

jason evans said...

Damn, I had a feeling crab was going to get it.

I have to applaud you. This was different. And the strong writing held me!

buno mainak said...

seisob purusera jonmo jonmo kamonar tore....gorte dhoke...beronor chesta kore..ebong finally berobar pore somajer dwara pododolito hoy

not a classy piece,indeed.to write simple is quite difficult,and that obnoxious hole is allegorical,i think.:P

n.b.-pigs do wat crabs,even their young one.
and dont talk bout' those pinky sams,indian wild boar is farmore tasty.
i luvvvvvvvvv pigs...ghhhowk ...ghowkkk

atanu nath said...

when a crab dreams of his children... he is actually preparing to face the death...thats the story of a crab after all... !!

atanu nath said...

I was related to the crabs in the age when I was more related to the ground... and this was the realization that to give a meaning to the life we run faster towards that...and whatever may be the cause.. death is always meaningless... that may be a pig or no pig... doesn't matter... it could be his children too...because they come to the light of the world breaking out their mother's chest...and then its the death of the dream to live with her... in that dream nest...!!

sawan said...

amrita, yaar wer do u get these ideas from?? :) god work grl :)

lafemmereva said...

hey nice post..all this talk abt crab reminds me of how you put crabs in ab ottle and as one tries to get up the rest pull it down. more apt w.r.t the corporate scenario :)

Little Girl Lost said...

harshita- but at least he died free :)

Little Girl Lost said...

hasi - *bow* thank you dude.

Little Girl Lost said...

Kriti- i've seen yucky pigs and yucky pigs, but i can't get over the roung, cute, rubbery smooth pink l'il pigs i have seen in cartoons and story books (remember the three l'il pigs?)

and as coffee points out later, sebatian was a lobster :)

Little Girl Lost said...

deepa- thats such a wonderful thing to say yaar :) my best :)

Little Girl Lost said...

akash- nice new name man, *sigh*
thanks :)

Aniket said...

Pateto - Pataaato... Tometo-Tamaato!

I don't eat either and I know they both can sting. So doesn't make one difference to me. :D

Little Girl Lost said...

Coffee- you are so right sebastian was a lobster :)
leave it to aniket to mess up entire species :)

and thank you for rooting for crab. poor thing ...

Little Girl Lost said...

Amit- thanks for the suggestion man, i'll see what i can do...

Little Girl Lost said...

Jennifer- do you know, the one target i have in most of my writings, especially this one, is to make people laugh and then think. i'm so happy i could do that to you...

Little Girl Lost said...

anik- :) i write for you. you know that :)

Little Girl Lost said...

Jason- this was the first story i've ever put up, and i was so worried what veteran writers like you would think about it...
your praise means a lot :)

Little Girl Lost said...

Bokom- why do you get excited whenever i use the word 'hole' :D

and what is this pig-worship? do i sense a spot of narcissus complex here?

ghowk ghowk...

Little Girl Lost said...

atanu- seriously, what???:D

Little Girl Lost said...

sawan- i steal, dude, like everyone else :) i stole a bit of this from kafka, and a bit from abanindranath tagore...
(i'm so glad nobody ever comes back to see if i have replied to their comments...)

Little Girl Lost said...

lafemmevra- yes girl, deep down we are all crabs, thats why i think so many people could relate to this story...

Little Girl Lost said...

aniket, sebastian would beg to differ, i think :)

(and so would i, if i order lobster and they serve me crab :)

Aniket said...

Yari Yari! Like I care a damn about either... :-D

'Eat Pani Puri, Save Lobsters'

Little Girl Lost said...

Aniket- one day you'll be eating pani puri on the beach and a nice fat thing with claws will get you where it hurts, and you'll be yelling "A THING WITH CLAWS GOT ME BUT I DON"T KNOW WHAT ITS CALLED!!!!" oh, you'll frigging care then, won't you? :D
and me, i'll be rooting for the lobster :)

Aniket said...

And one day you'll just swallow one of the claws of a lobster and it'll get stuck in your small intestine!

And then when you'll be screaming in agony I'll eat my pani puries in delight! Victory shall be mine!

Little Girl Lost said...

aniket-

There is a lobster calling me
ever, always,
Towards the sea.

In the curry,
Covered in spice,
It promises to taste
Very nice.

Thers is a loobster telling me,
It would be very sad
If i chose pani puri.

(Joaquin is going to run a rusted sword through me for this)

atanu nath said...

@Little girl lost...
have you seen crab's life... ? they die giving birth to their children... thats nature!! now can you feel how are their dreams would be... living together with the children...!!

atanu nath said...

but that least matters in the view point that you wanted to show... but after all to me it signifies.. the utter meaningless ness... pig or whatever... !

Little Girl Lost said...

atanu, really?? i had no idea!!

this sounds like matter for another story... thanks man :)

Little Girl Lost said...

and i understand what you mean by meaninglessness. that is in fact what i wanted to convey, that life is not governed by logic but by fatal randomness.

Chronicwriter said...

when i firts read" three more inches" i thought you were talking about something else..

then i read the post

:)

chriz

sawan said...

i do :) so dnt be so happy :P

Catvibe said...

LGL-Great story! I was so happy that he got free, I couldn't believe after all of that he had to go be eaten! Fresh and fun, and really well written. I'm sorry I was late. I try to spend as much time off the computer as I can, I get body pain from too much computer use, so sometimes I am late to visit my friends...Please forgive my friend.

craftyshines said...

hey LGL!!! i found u! :D
i didn't get ur complete url when u left me a comment on my blog...but i found u thru coffeeismypoison's comment section! hee!

girl..what a narration!! me likes!
in spite of a risk of being termed a sadist, i confess i love morbid stories :|
its just that i find, so is life, most of the times.....

i read ur list of limericks, ignoring my work (!!!) u write like a charm...missin out on good writing is the saddest tragedy ever...saving myself from it n blogrolling u this second! :D

Margaret said...

LGL - Great story, I loved it, very well written.

The ending was brilliant coz so unexpected. I think everyone thought Crab was gonna reach the water with a smile on his face. :-D

slowtumblinglife said...

hey.. nice writing!!

a great blog, glad i came!! nice design too...

:)

- nikhil

workhard said...

Awww... hope given and taken away.. but very nice and graphical explantation...but it tried pretty hard didnt it..?

SSQuo said...

I like this one. Such ends make it all worthwhile. It has a tinge of Roald Dahl to it, and I happen to really really like Mr. Dahl.

On the other hand I like crabs and Pigs, both to play with and to eat! Yes, hypocritical!

Anorak said...

Beneath this story lies a philosophy of life...you know, I feel like this crab, so in pursuit of new horizon and dreams is scuttling ahead, waiting for a big pig to toss me high in the air and devour....that's life....
Anyways ... it is a very good post...loved it....

BTW...the last line where u introduce the pig...if you can make it a different para...i feel it would be better....

And about the song....i dont know why, but I had the song....Shohorer usnatomo dine....tomai dilam"
.... keep walking!!!!

Karen said...

I loved it, but you really got me. I thought crab was going to be okay. Survival of the fittest? The biggest? Just the way it is.

joaquin carvel said...

i was rooting for the crab too....must be an underdog thing, plus your writing made me root for him...but i also loved the ending - very darkly funny. such is life, yes....but even though a hole or a pig or enough time will get us eventually - it's not too sad - better to feed something than disappear, i say.

(even if i had a rusted sword, you would be safe...i thought that was great....and the thought of a lobster covered in curry makes me hungry)

(also, sebastian is, in fact, a crab - but he sings songs and works for triton, following a mermaid around - so no use in worrying about accuracy. and male crabs don't die in childbirth...so he could have shared the leaf/shell house with his kids...teaching them how to scuttle...but like you said, a pig's gotta eat too.)

Shravan said...

sorry for being late to comment, life's affairs,

and a beautiful post, but the ending was very sad.. know what? with the present mood of mine, i found me in the crab and life in the pig.

great work though, and the words, are perfectly placed.
latest post

Aniket said...

Yay for Joaquin!

About time someone took my side here... :-D

In your face LGL!!! Ha!

Aniket said...

Go an read this :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastian_(The_Little_Mermaid)

Sebastian the crab Okay!!!

Little Girl Lost said...

Chriz- seriously, man , you need to pay a tad less attention to that part of you.

Little Girl Lost said...

Anil- DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! now you know my secret...

Little Girl Lost said...

cat- no problem sweety, any time you come is ok by me as long as you come. thanks for liking :)

Little Girl Lost said...

Crafty shines- *blushes* thank you for coming girl... i'm sorry you had to go to so much trouble though...
and i love the morbid too. that probably is why both you and i love Calvin ? :)

Little Girl Lost said...

margarte- it makes me unbelievably happy that you came :)

Little Girl Lost said...

nikhil- thanks man... hope i see you around again...

Little Girl Lost said...

saara- he sure did... thanks for liking :)

Little Girl Lost said...

SSQuo- i love that you say that. Dahl, in fact was my inspiration. i'm SO glad someone spotted him in this...

Little Girl Lost said...

Anorak- thank you for the suggestion. but i kept it in the same para to give it a better feel of suddenness.

and that, in fact, is the song i had guessed you would say :)

Little Girl Lost said...

Karen- c'est la vie, you said it :)

Little Girl Lost said...

Joaquin- you couldn't hush that bit up, could you?
now i have aniket wagging it all over me. Grrrr.
and thank you for liking my story. that means so much, coming for you. i cannot tell you what your poem did to my day.

Little Girl Lost said...

Shravan- don't worry about it buddy, i'm glad you made it in the end... thanks :)

Little Girl Lost said...

Aniket- Yaak yaak yaak, shut your teeth.

Little Girl Lost said...

And how come nobody's talking about River's new look? and how about mine?

soulbrush said...

i am so glad you visited my blog...and we met..what a fabulous blog you have, and seeing as how you 'collect wierd people' you will definitely want to know me! tee hee...

Pallav said...

shit...
\i m always late to comment...
see ths always happens with me
:(
poor i m ...
anywayss sabne hi keh diya jo main kehna chahta tha..
anyways..
i m wordless...
wonderfully written...

:)
Pallav

Pradip Biswas said...

What a story and how beautiful is the narration. It compells you to read till the end.

Kartz said...

Hmmm... Heart-rendering narration. Reality hits hard. C'est la vie.

Poignant and riveting.

Keep writing. Spread the voice.

Peace.

Shravan said...

the layout, well its kinda fine, but u need a width adjustment :) cheers :)

Sakshi said...

Warning ya this comment is gonna be as long as ur post....sigh!! am sure one day people will just block my comments..

I loved your blog's new look...makes me hum the song by pink floyd...another brick in the wall..

Learnt yet another three damn lessons of life from your story

1. Will never ever wrinkle my nose and stare at people here who eat pig in every form...will just think of ur crab and say ohh..that pig deserves to be eaten..

2. A story can end your constant craving for Kerala Masala Crabs in Coconut gravy for at least 24 hours

3. Shouldn't be too harsh on myself for being too lazy and creeping onto my couch at every possible opportunity.. after all poor crab's hard work ended him up to be the Crabbie Pattie of the pig..

Loved your narration and yeah you rock in whatever you write
hugsssssss

still thinking !!! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
still thinking !!! said...

A clever way of seeing life
Brilliant use of metaphor and sarcasm
The personification of the crab was awesome too

I liked the comments to.can relate to Amit’s and Atanu’s comments

Keep writing

joaquin carvel said...

poor sebastain...whatever he was....i heard pumba ate him after a long soak with nemo. sorry.

Tongue-fu Lady said...

never thought a crab could teach such an important lesson...but what an ending! waah! love it n i m so following ur blog now :)

Satans Darling™ said...

As I was reading this story, I thought this crab will climb out of the hole and then somehow fall into it again. But then it was eaten by the Pig :(

Sad story, thank god I don't like crabmeat and not even pig/pork :P

I am in love with your blog lady!

Nikki said...

Sad but life is such. I loved the way its written. I could vividly imagine this story.

I'll be back for more and please blog roll me.

Pradiptaa said...

Interesting post again... The words were well written. Loved it!!!

~Realistic
~Very vivid description.
~Very much relatable (This word doesn't exist, it means, which is easy to relate) :P

Did you see the movie "Perfume"? I'd like to know your opinion.

DPhatsez said...

you meanie! :)

great read! Rooted for the underdog only to have it all taken away! sigh! Life!

Ahem! as per your kind request, following you(nah! kidding i like yo blog).
Keep them coming! \m/

Arnab Majumdar said...

Whoa! The ending was swift and sudden... and lethal for the crab. Just the way I like it. It was great :)

First time on your blog, I'm sorry about the delay in reading this story of yours. Keep writing, would love to read more stories from your end. Cheers...

Ketan said...

Just amazing! But do pigs eat crabs, seriously?

muthu said...

that was poignancy winning over a clichéd ending.

It would not have been the same with the crab living.

kudos gal.. and the brab cursing and it s feelings, though funny in a sardonic way struck a note....

good going...

hmhm... i wonder could there be a better ending....

hmhmhm....

hmhm..

yeah may be it would have been funny, funny in a dry satirical way, if another crab had helped it and thus got stuck in the hole. and who else would be more appropriate than the crabs love to save it, thus sacrificing itself...


how s that 4 an ending....

muthu said...

that was poignancy winning over a clichéd ending.

It would not have been the same with the crab living.

kudos gal.. and the brab cursing and it s feelings, though funny in a sardonic way struck a note....

good going...

hmhm... i wonder could there be a better ending....

hmhmhm....

hmhm..

yeah may be it would have been funny, funny in a dry satirical way, if another crab had helped it and thus got stuck in the hole. and who else would be more appropriate than the crabs love to save it, thus sacrificing itself...


how s that 4 an ending....

muthu said...

yeah crabs don't help each other out of holes and they also don't usually curse with fuck... do they.... :P

Diptee said...

I started reading the comments as well.... and then gave up.

Brilliant story... wonderfully written. Lucky pig.