“Welcome to the shock-o-shock-win-the-jackpot” said the clown. 22 participants came on the stage while the spotlights circled on dem. The whole crowd clapped wildly while the music thronged……. Everything ws becoming crazy and crazier… “nobody could claim the jackpot till date… so the amount has now doubled to 5 crores.” Shouted the clown. Loud music accompanied his tone.It ws raining heavily dat night. ria drove fast in dat rain. Ria continuously looked at her watch. She didn’t want to be late. Aftral she ws also a participant. Tonight ws the last show and she had to join it.On the other side one by one the participants were introduced. Some college guys in the audience were saying among demselves “re yaar dis is like fear factor” someone else said “yaya wht to do, now a days no animals in circus so human beings r called in to entertain ppl hahha…” sach me its so funny….said another, while a hand tightened on his shoulder…. He turned irritated. kaun hai be tu? As he asked he saw that from nowhere appeared the clown who ws announcing on the stage….with a clowny smile he said “100 % more dan fear factor…..i swear I will leave my job if u guys r not horrified by thwe show” he snapped his fingers and within seconds he disappeared from dere and next the spotlight ws on him.he ws back on stage. The college guys looked at each other…hw ws dat possibl????? A dumb expression ws on their faces!!!
Ria entered the circus ground. Universal circus had come dere for only one week, and everybody ws swearing by it…no other circus is as good as dat. Ria hurried to the show hall, showed her participant card number and as she entered a huge spotlight fell on her and the clown smiled and introduced “welcome our very last participant Ria Mathur. Journalist by profession, her hobby is to go on adventures…” Ria froze at once….she wnted to hide the fact dat she ws a journalist!!! Infact in the form she wrote dat she ws doing bank job….so hw did the Clown know about her??....ria stood shocked, the clown came by her side and whispered in her ears “I know everything Riaaaa” as she turned her head the clown had vanished and now he ws standing in the centre stage…..”so lets begin our game Shock-o-Shock-grab-the-jackpot!!”
he shouted Seal the entrances…….”now the audience and the participants r trapped inside dis huge hall….and wht u will witness tonite u will never forget in ur li.. suddenly the current went off it ws pitch dark and not a thing ws visible…though it ws show for the once only above eighteen….evrybody shrieked like children, there ws chaos……some fell some got stampede….and everybody rushed nowhere and evrywhr… Ria thot it ws safe to stand at that spot whr she ws until the generators were on. Someone very close to her ears hissed “ria why r u not running???” Ria ws so shocked hearing dis dat she ran like hell. The state ws nw to her so were the ppl and in dis pitch dark who knew her so well?? Wht the hell!! She bumped into pp, stumbled, fell from the stairs and holding a chair wht it felt like she again got up.
The lights were back. The crowd stopped. Everybody looked around thwe whole hall it seemed has changed. On all the walls large screens had been put up and around the stage appeared 23 doors. The clown stood in the centre. He winked and said “so hw ws the frst shock??? Hahahahahaaaa…. Time taken only 2 mins” Only he laughed. The audience ws shocked. It felt as if de were stuck dere for half an hour and yet whn they checked their watch..barely 2 mins had passed. “audience plz take ur seat. The crowd as if hypnotized sat down at once waiting to see wht else ws in store for dem.
The participants came back on the stage and each had to pick up a number for a door…. “And wht lay beyond the door nobody knows….. wht de face will be shown on the giant screens. And if they failed to come out de wud miss the jackpot. Only the one who wud tolerate all shocks can claim the jackpot. Said the clown. Beautiful girls showing gymnastics circled round dem and wished the participants best of luck….the crowd cheered and each participant went towards their door. Ria moved towards the door. She remembered the clowns words “no one has yet claimed the jackpot dis ws nothing bt lie… 22 may Delhi Rakesh ahuja crossed the final level bt as he ws coming out a huge spotlight fell on him. He ws spotdead. 30th September,nainital, Tina Giri….National champion- athlete..also won, bt whn she came out of the door she ws insane becoz of the shocks…26th November, Kolkata, Ratan Chatterjee banker won the game bt in the centre stage as he stood hehad a fatal hrt attack… immediately admitted to hospital bt ws dead. Ria came out of her thots. She now stoodin front of gate no 14. The clown said “time limit 30 mins. All of u hv to make it to the golden door….u will meet each other and also get separated…..bt here no one is frnd run for the gate else u r….eliminated!!! best of luck contestants!!!!” each one opened the doors wid the keys given to dem and entered into pitch black behind the doors slammed shut by an automatic mechanism.
Now the audience turned towards the screens. The lights of the stage went off the clown vanished. They cud see the contestants moving in the dark. As they moved further each one shouted coz the floor ws full of nails…and de were barefeet. Their feet started bleeding. Some contestants ran back to the door to open it. “I quit” they shouted…..bt the door didn’t open…. The clown said “no turning back” and there ws horror in dere eyes. “time is lapsing… if u fail to make it to the golden door u stay dere for the nxt seven days hahaha” his tone had changed. From the happy clown he now sounded terrible! Ria had to move on. It ws her assignment. If she cud give a report her job wud be permanent and over dat 5 crores wud be hers.
While some contestants ran fast on the nails, others failed… and only a fw cud notice a rope they had to hang to it and move further. The clown comforted dat “nothing to worry the nails r all sterelised….” By the time the contestants moved on they were tired like hell. Among the highest scorers were 8 participants…and ria ws one of dem. Only if she knew wht lay ahead. The eight moved on to the next level. The light in the room turned to red….. adding to the horror of the audience. Now wht they were seeing on the screen ws unbelievable! The eightentered wht one shud call the puzzle. Each one cudnt find dere way out…the time limit ws now reducing…..13 minutes left….they ran hjere and dere and the lights kept changing from dark violet to bloody red..the whole ambience created a kind of fear in the participants heads..they felt lonely as if they cant come out of it!!! Running frantically and coming back to the same spot….Ria started losing hope….She ws feeling scared…. She cursed herself y did I come here……and she ran…suddenly in the air the clown came beside her and said”ria wht if u don’t get out???? Wht if u r stuck here for the whole of ur life??” sweat tricked down from Ria’s forehead…the clown vanished…
Ria tried hard bt cudnt time finished…same ws the condition of the other contestants……. Some guards came in and helped dem out…all stood on the stage…the clown now spoke again “all of u failed… so now lets do something…we will put u all inside a cage full of hungry dogs. De will feed on u…(the crowd ws shocked)… either u kill dem or de will kill u….and ya jackpot amount now rises to 20 crores. So adding to it is not only do u hv to kill the dogs bt injure ur opponents and run for the key kept at the end of the passage…. Grab it and open the door…the fittest will win. While many wanted to quit….some out of their greed wanted to continue….Ria said aloud “I quit..” 3 others said the same thing…bt the clown insisted de play the whole game as they had signed the contract….bt I don’t wnt dis dangerous game…I don’t want bloodshed.. ria thot….an idea suddenly struck her. She felt inside her pocket and found the lighter… on the other side all the participants were being taken one by one into the cage. Ria ws standing at the side…. She lighted the lighter and lit a single curtain of a door jst beside her. being synthetic it caught fire immediately. Seeing fire evrybody ran………dere ws chaos…..Ria ran….as she ws going out thru the exit she looked back and found the the clown looking intently at her…..it ws scary….he knows she thot…..and ran. As she drove in her car the flames reached the sky. Ria cursed herself…….hw s dat possibl? She lighted only 1 curtain hanging single wht hv I done!!! Such a fool I am. Shud I go to the police station?no de will think I deliberately did it. I only wanted to stop the game. O god I m so sory for the heavy loss de will face. I will pay for it…..i will give them money for my wrong doing….i will sell all my property god I m sory I m sory. She came back, in heavy rain took many sleeping pills and went to bed.
Nxt days newspaper headline …… universal circus burns down.death of 52 members along wid the proprietor “the clown” ria cudnt beliv the news….she felt herself the murderer she bunked office and locked herself in her flat. Each and evry moment the whole scenario came to her mind. She saw the clown looking intently at her. Hw will she hide her crime……? She wnted to go to the church and confess it, bt yet she didn’t hv the courage to do it. Ria had a very imp project presentation at office, the phn rang several times yet not once she picked up the phn. She didn’t eat anything the whole day, neither she cud sleep. It ws 12 at nite and her eyes were still wide open. It rained heavily dat nite, she cudnt evn see a doctor. Ria looked at d sleeping pills…..grabbed the bottle and ate many pills. She only uttered the words “I didn’t do it purposely”….kept on repeating it…slowly her eyelids became heavy and her vision blurred…she ws looking at the ceiling fan whn suddenly something colourful appeared before her eyes…something white…red spots on it…she tried to look carefully…. Widening her eyes she shrieked…right on top of her ws bending the clown……his eyes peering into her mind….she perspired……no nono..dis isn’t real….he is dead…I m sorry…. The clown raised it’s hands and covered her face…she gasped for breath… her lungs felt as if de wud burst….she frantically moved her legs wid her hands she tried to remove the hands of the clown from her face and den aftr a few minutes, everything ws still. Her hands and legs moved no more…. The clown removed it’s hands.
Whn Ria cud breathe again the whole air seemed heavy and full of dust….she cudnt breathe properly…she tried to breathe wid her mouth bt the air ws so polluted dat she ws coughing. Whn she opened her eyes she found herself in a strange place. She es lying on a heap of ashes….. wooden poles here and dere still burning, the place ws smoky and she cud barely see anything….whn her eyes became accustomed to dat smoky surrounding she found broken galleries…chairs falling here and dere, the stage crashed from the centre…. First ata loss she wondered whr she ws bt den she understood….it ws the circus… rather the skeleton….of the cicus which met it’s fate becoz of her nuisance. Out of the smoke walked towards her the clown….dere ws something bout the clown which made Ria uneasy rite from the beginning….and now it terrified her….
The clown ws actually drifting in the air….it came to Ria ria closed her eyes…..how is it dat I m here? She thot. The clown as if reading her mind answered in a hoarse voice “becoz I want u to be here” it now swirled round Ria “wht did u think? U cud save urself from th game like dat? Remember u signed the contract???? “ the clown started dribbling 3 balls .den 5 balls…den numerous balls…. “for u my circus has burnt down so now its u and only u whpo will play the game… Shock-o-shock-win-the-jackpot” saying dis he snapped his fingers and the balls vanished….suddenly grabbing Ria by the waist he flew higher and higher…. Until he reached the trapezium pole…. Ria shrieked….”no no..i m scared of heights.plz…..” suddenly many boys and girls appeared and strted their show….moving, hanging from one rod to another…. The clown grabbed one swing and swang to the other pole….”ria u want money isn’t it???? Jackpot now 60 crores….wont u play it? “noooooooo……. I don’t wnt to win any jackpot plz let me go….” “ok as u wish” Saying so he loosened his grip and ria fell. She felt it ws her last suddenly two strong hands held her hand threw her to another swing…evry body ws playing wid her… like a ball she ws thrown from one side to other….Ria felt dizzy…she wnted to vomit……she strted vomiting…..the hands now left her and she fell straight on the net below…
Ria cud barely stand on the net, clumsily she crawled her way to the side stand….the clown suddenly appeared infront of her “well done ria u hv crossed level one” very cautiously she climbed down the rope ladder… as she reached the ground….the clown waved her hands in front of her and suddenly she found flames all around her…below her….she rubbed her eyes…..the audience gallery looked so small! Whr am i? wht am I doing here? How did I get on top once again? There ws a long rope connecting her stand to the other stand in the other end…….the clown came in the middle and said “ria now u hv to hold da stick and balance urself on the rope….move from this end to the other….. u fall u r engulfed by the flames and become one of us…or else save urself… Ria screamed for help bt no one came to her aid…ria trembled the clown pushed her from the back…..she tiptoed on the single rope afraid to look down..once she fell dis side and den again she regained her balance…..bt its not possibl for any person to cross the rope widout any training……Ria fell..the stick fell from her hand…..she grabbed the rope…..now she ws hanging from the rope….she looked down to see the flames rising…..the clown as if gliding came on the rope….rite above her ria stretched one hand and said “plz help me!!”…..he gave an evil smile…..and saying “goodbye Ria” kicked hard on Ria’s hand. Ria fell….down into the flames she had closed her eyes and waited for the flames to engulf her……bt nothing happened…Ria opened her eyes…dere ws nothing…..Ria ws now sitting in a dark room…..wid grey walls and hard cemented floor… the clown appeared …..”hello Ria” hw ws the shock…..?
ria ws too shocked to spk.she blankly looked at the clown…..finally she cud spk…… I am sory….. for me ur whole circus burnt down….. and now I m trapped in ur shock games!! She wept……the clown started saying “don’t cry the world laughs at u whn u cry…nobody cares for ur emotion….ur feelings……do u know why I call myself the clown??? I wsnt a clown I ws a normal boy….bt very ugly….nobody loved me or cared for me, my parents hated my looks, the girl I loved hated me….i went to suicide one day whn I found dis clown mask and dat became my identity. Hahahhaa and so I started dis game….whr I am the master of my games…..whr I deal badly wid ppl .. dose who cannot tolerate die or r mad….bt u bt u silly girl……u ended my game!!!! U burnt my whole show!!!! For u I died…bt see still now I m stuck in dis world.brcoz it rained hard my bodyburnt bt cudnt burn my soul….nd so is the condition of my circus members….. so now I claim ur soul….. ria ws shocked to hear such a thing….he grabbed ria’s hair and suddenly threw her into a cage…..let the tigers feed on u….see how it feels to be torn apart, into pieces….Ria screamed…3 tigers appeared and strted moving around her…..”ria u cn still win th jackpot if u kill dem…….see see nicely a dagger is lying at the corner…. Bt hw cud she go?? The tigers started licking the blood dat fell from her wounds…. One of dem suddenly pounced on her… ria shrieked in pain…..she wriggled struggled and somehow moved the tiger away.ran to the corner.grabbed the dagger and wid all her might strted injuring dem….”very good ria very good….” A sudden craze came ovr ria and she became more cruel….she stabbed each tiger numerous times…the cage door flung open and she came out wid the dagger still in her hand…
”very good Ria, I m impressed” I hv to do something…I cnt let dis crazy clown make a fool of me! She got an idea and suddenly attacked the dagger rite into the clown’s body…bt whts dis???? Dere ws no body…..the clown laughed loudly…..”ria u want to kill me haaaa???? Kill me ria I m her …. He vanished..at the far end of the room he stood.i m here.now again he ws in the centre………I m here…..right corner, left corner, in front of the door…..clown ws everywhere…..Ria closed her eyes….she concentrated…..if he is no more the clown.he cnt fool around…. Dis ws her last chance….. she opened her eyes and the clown appeared in front of her clown said the mask made him clown …so wht if I remove the mask?? His magical powers may go away.. thinking this Ria out of a sudden grabbed the clown’s face and pulle dit hard…..”wht r u doing Ria wht r u doin?/?”Wid all her might she pulled and den the mask came out…….The clown’s dress and cloak evrythign burnt…….”u hv won the jackpot…..ws his last scream…..” and dere ws dead silence……suddenly the clown mask gleamed…. Widouten thinking ria put it on her face.. o wht is dis o wht is dis……its tightening on my face….its cutting thru my flesh…ahaaaa it pains it pains…”leave me …leave me…..she screamed…..
She ws still screaming …leave me!!!!!!! She pulled at the mask………it ws in the midst of the action dat she opened her eyes the whole surrounding seemed to spin…den she saw something familiar….. it ws her own room… she got up…..much relieved to realize dat it ws jst a dream….outside it ws raining hard.. the clock alarmed 5 o clock.time to get up….. Ria went to the bathroom and washed her hands bt as she stood in front of the mirror a new realization dawned on her….nothing ws dream….it ws very real becoz her whole body ws stained wid blood…her face scratched blfrom her wounds.and her dress soiled and dirty…. Ria ws shocked…wht ws it? Wht did she go thru!!!!Somehow whn she reached office her boss Mr Ajay Rathod handed her a resignation letter which he had to sign.…. She ws thrown away from the job…..she pleaded bt wid no result…infact he made it clear dat he wud inform all the media houses such an irresponsibl girl she ws. life ws asking too much from her…….and to add to her sorrow…while returning she found her boyfriend in the arms of another girl…he said “ria look at urself..hw ugly u look! Hv a cosmetic surgery done before u talk to me”.. disgusted insulted ria climbed the stairs of the roof…. It ws raining hard…she ws wet completely wet….she wnted to finish her life…she jumped off the roof…..
Bt whts dis??? She didn’t fall..she ws soaring in the air.. and wid very little effort she climbed back on the roof…. She smiled at her luck evn death dsnt want her….returning to her apartment she found a letter ..opening it she saw the bank statement….someone has deposited RS60crores in her bank account….lying beside it ws some property papers… a property of Rs 100 crores..transferred to her name!!!! at once she knew who it ws….she smiled……out of astonishment and the grt irony thru wht she ws going she snapped her fingers and magic happened….5 colourful balls appeared floating in the air…..she bounced dem….she wnted seven and seven balls appeared……Hearing of her inheritance Ria’s boss personally met her and offered back her job…. Rahul..her boyfriend came to her plc wid a bunch of flowers…and an engagement ring….he ws eager to marry her. Ria spoke to dem politely and informed dem dat she wud let dem know her decision the nxt day. Ria stood in front of the mirror and said alous “today I am a rich lady….so my boss wil appreciate me and so will my lover… de will come back to me becoz of dere greed…….bt dese ppl hv made a fool of me I am a clown isn’t it!!! So let be it…..the mirror gleamed…on the dressing table ws the clown mask…Ria wrathfully looked at it and wore it on her face. She laughed wildly…..very wildly….the colours in the room changed from green to yellow. To white to red to violet…..hahahahhaahahahaaaa………hahahahahahaaaaa…… aftr dat nobody had hrd of her or seen her
3 months later an advertisement in the nwzpaper wid the clown’s picture…… Universal Circus returns wid its pomp and state….. a fabulous chance to win the jackpot game “shock o shock win the jackpot”Special invitation for participating to Mr. Ajay Rathod (Nova News Channel), Rahul Sharma(financial advisor R&K Company), blablablabla……Shock-o-shock-win-the-jackpot--- Jackpot amount Rs 60crores!!!!!Best of luck-The CLOWN…(proprietor)
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