Nikhil Uprety

Volume 1, Issue 2, pp. 26-28

The pain of separation was there, but what was hurting him more was the fact that he had been relegated to a number. And he was not the number one choice.

The black clouds hovering above were looking ominous, to say the least. He kept staring at them. He had nothing much to do anyway. He had been confined to his swanky flat, which was on the topmost floor of a twenty-story building, located in one of the posh locales of the city, since the fateful morning when Vidya had told him about her decision.

I need to go. I am sorry but I had to choose between you and him, and I have made up my mind,” was all she had said. Mihir hadn’t questioned her. Anyhow, she hadn’t waited for any answer.

He had taken a three-day leave, with a weekend falling in between, citing some medical reason.

The pain of separation was there, but what was hurting him more was the fact that he had been relegated to a number. And he was not the number one choice.

I had to choose between you and him, and I have made up my mind.” The words kept coming back to haunt him.

He turned around on his bed. It was around seven in the evening and dusk was about to settle. The room was in complete darkness. The rain-laden dark clouds finally opened the flood gates, and it started raining heavily. The rain drops kept hitting the window panes right in front of his bed with a heavy bang. Mihir was in a world of his own. He kept staring outside, as if the clouds were also feeling for him and he was opening his heart out to them. Suddenly there was a loud bang on the window pane. This one was surely different, as it made him come out of his state of trance.

He got up from his bed and came close to the window. The city seemed busy as usual. The traffic had come to a standstill, due to this sudden downpour, but otherwise the life down below was normal. He gazed at the horizon and it looked quite murky. He was about to turn back when, once again, a loud bang on the window glass shook him.

What the f@#$,” he fumed. And suddenly, he saw the reason for this bang. A pair of crows was enjoying their time out in the rain. Their beaks were meeting each other, as if they were kissing passionately. The male crow, in all the excitement, was hitting its head on the glass of the window and that was making the banging sound.

Mihir, with the kind of mood he was in, got irritated and slid the pane just a wee bit to shoo the crow away.

He waved his hands in front of the male crow and closed the window behind. The rain drenched his hands up to his sleeves. The pair went away and Mihir jumped into bed once again.



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The raindrops kept battering on the glass window the entire night. Mihir had taken sleeping pills so as to keep his nightmares away. He slept like a dog, until a loud bang, almost threatening to break the glass window, threw him straight out of his bed. He opened his eyes gingerly and looked out of the window. The horizon was black. Clouds were still roaming over freely with a sense of authority. It was still raining though the downpour had subdued a bit. He walked to the window and once again saw a pair of crows sitting and savouring the moment. He knew it was the same pair; he could recognize them from their beaks, very distinctive than the other crows he had seen sharply pointed but circled around the end abruptly.

Let me teach them a lesson,” Mihir got infuriated by the intruders and jumped towards the window. The male crow gazed back at him and, as if poking fun at his state of mind, banged his head once again on the glass.

That was it!

You scum of a creature, just wait and see,” he murmured, opening the window pane, and latched on to the poor crow, as the female counterpart kept cawing at the top of her voice. Mihir grabbed the male crow in his right hand, and with all his might and disturbed state of mind, started pressing its neck with full vigour. His facial expressions changed while doing so, as if he was not the same Mihir but some diabolical entity. The poor male crow started flapping its feathers violently while the female creature kept cawing with all its might. Mihir felt a sudden pleasure in what he was doing. The pressure on the neck of the crow kept increasing, and then something gave in and the crow went quiet. Blood gushed out of its neck region and the crow died on the spot. The female crow gave a final cry and flew away. Mihir felt strangely sadistic as if he had taken his revenge by ending the mating period of the pairliterally separating the two love birds.


It was around nine in the evening when Mihir sat down facing the window and glanced down with a glass of whisky in his hands. For the first time since the day Vidya left him, he was feeling a tad comfortable. He had made peace with the fact that she had moved on and so it was the right time for him to do the same. He took a large gulp of whisky and let it flow down his throat. Flinching his eyes, he savoured the taste and glanced down the window pane. The neon lights danced around his eyes. The city was getting ready for Saturday night.

A gust of cold wind assaulted his face and he turned back to get another drink, when, out of nowhere, a sharp and pointed object pierced the back of his neck.

Ouch!” A loud cry parted his lips, as he turned around, immediately. There was nothing outside that he could see. He caressed his neck with his hands, and felt pain. A trail of blood had oozed out from the cut around his neck. He opened the half-closed window pane and glanced outside. Just then a crow came and hit him on his forehead.

You bastard! How dare you?” Mihir shouted, as if abusing someone in rage, but here he was shouting at a crow. Even at that hour when the light around the window pane was not that clear and bright, he could recognize that it was the same female crow, the one whose male counterpart he had killed.

Mihir pushed the pane shut fast enough to keep the crow out. He rushed towards the bathroom to get a glimpse of his forehead. He felt a burning sensation over there. A big red point had bubbled up over his forehead, and a little trail of blood was coming down.

Bloody hell! I am not going to leave this creature. Let it come once more and this time I am going to kill it,” he shouted while applying Dettol over his wound. He gulped the remaining whisky while staring back at the closed windowpane. He could feel his heart banging against his ribs as if threatening to burst. A strange fear engulfed him at that very moment. He started pacing inside the room from one end to the other, his restless silhouette being visible even from the terrace of another skyscraper just opposite to his flat.


The comfort of the fact that the sleeping pills were well inside his system also failed to do any good. He was sleepless and anxious. He was used to staying all alone ever since being sent to the boarding school. Then during his college days too he used to stay in a single room. And now since moving to Mumbai five years back he was staying all alone in his flat in this skyscraper provided by the multinational company he was working for. He was no stranger to solitude – even then never ever had he felt the way he was feeling since his encounter with that violent crow earlier in the evening. The lights outside were fading slowly as the darkness was engulfing the city in its obdurate stillness. He kept staring at the windowpane, waiting for something to happen, as if the crow would return back to take its revenge.

Angry, though he was, but deep down somehow he was regretting the fact that he had killed a harmless crow just in a fit of rage.

It’s just a crow you fool,” his mind said to him. Angry, though he was, but deep down somehow he was regretting the fact that he had killed a harmless crow just in a fit of rage.


The rain had stopped and now there was no sound whatsoever outside the glass window. Mihir got hold of his cell phone and pushed the earphones into his ear while turning on the music app. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and was about to settle, when the shrill sound of a crow cawing pierced his eardrums. It sent a shiver down his spine and he pulled the earphones out in reflex. He could feel a trickle of sweat down his back.

You are going to die you ugly crow…I am not gonna spare you.”

A moment later he realised that there was nothing out there. The sound of cawing was reduced to subdued cries, and it was coming out of the earphones. He threw the earphones on the floor and stood up on his bed. He caught a glimpse of his own reflection on the glass window. He was looking like a hunter, waiting for his prey.

Or was he the hunted? the thought plagued his mind.

Another drop of sweat ran down his spine. He slowly got down from the bed and went towards the window. At that very moment a loud bang on the glass repelled him back almost throwing him off balance. It had returned; the female crow was out there banging its sharp beak on the window.

Come on, let me show you who I am.” He looked menacing as he said that and latched on to open the window. A gust of wind wafted inside, and with it the crow rushed inside like a bullet. It collided against the wall at the opposite end. Mihir jumped to get hold of the creature, but the crow dodged him. Mihir closed the window so as to trap the crow inside.

Now you are not going anywhere, you fool. I am going to break your neck just like I did your friend’s...ha ha ha,” Mihir barked like a lunatic. He was getting to take another jump towards it when the crow suddenly came back from the opposite end and pierced its beak right into the middle of his forehead.

He cried out in agony. Drops of blood dotted his face. He started flailing his arms and legs in the air randomly hitting out, like someone possessed. The crow made a loud cawing noise and once again bit him on his right hand. This time, it was more damaging, as it took away a large part of the flesh around his forehand.

You bastard!” Mihir shouted. The crow was now sitting on the windowpane once again. Mihir held his right hand with his left one and gave a menacing look to the crow. He ran towards the pane and tried grabbing the creature once more. He pushed his hand towards it and with the other, slid the pane open. At that moment, the crow struck hard one last time on his forehead, the same place, same wound. And this time, it dug its beak deep inside his flesh almost touching the bone.

Mihir let out an agonizing shout. Even in that state of pain he managed to get hold of the crow. Grabbing its neck with all the strength he could muster, he pressed it hard. Blood gushed out of the neck and the female crow died there and then. Taking a deep breath and wiping his brows, Mihir threw the dead crow out of the window.

There were rashes all over his forehead, where the crow had savoured his flesh; they were black in colour and had a strange odour emanating from them. He took a painkiller and an antibiotic and threw himself onto his bed.



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Mihir got up a bit late the next day feeling quite groggy. The last few days were no less than a nightmare for him. He did not bother to glance outside the window and went on to freshen up. He hadn’t shaved for the last fifteen days or so. He stepped down his bed and while going towards the bathroom, glanced towards the window. It was all peaceful outside. No crows!

He went inside the bathroom, switched on the lights and turned the tap clockwise. He was about to gather the water and splash it on his face when he saw his reflection on the bathroom mirror. He froze, unable to recognize himself. There was no Mihir standing in front of the mirror. It was a crow with a sharp pointed beak, circled around the end abruptly. He wanted to shout, he wanted to cry out loud. But the only sound that came out of his throat was the sound of a disgruntled cawing.

Bang opposite Mihir’s 20th floor flat was a terrace of another skyscraper. From that day onwards people could only see the silhouette of a crow pacing inside his flat, from one end to the other.

About the Author:

Nikhil Uprety is a teacher by profession and has worked with a private university in the Department of Business Management. He is currently pursuing PhD from HPU, Shimla. He has nine years of experience with MNCs in Mumbai . He has a few short stories published in various anthologies, and his novel, On the Verge, was published in 2015. He has also published an anthology of poems in Hindi.

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Nikhil Uprety


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