New Home

The home we left had no doors or windows. That's where we ate, slept, and procreated.  Anyone on the streets could peep into our lives. We felt like animals in the zoo. Then they came, with a promise of salvation. All we had to do was to trust them. Now, look at my new room... Continue Reading →

The Promised Land

They alighted the rickety jeeps at midnight. The man to whom they had bequeathed their money pointed the way forward and quickly vanished. They walked through the desert, wary and weary, under the cloud cover. Abuela was the first to die. Thirst. His wife had developed a septic wound and passed away next. His darling... Continue Reading →

Box Office

He left his home to become the first filmmaker of South India. He faced obstacles at every corner. He lied and schemed his way to learn filmmaking. He sold his land and set up his production house with the money. Ten years later, his dreams came true. He made the first Malayalam film. He stood... Continue Reading →

The Burden

Usually, I’d have left long back. A honeymooning couple holding hands, whispering and giggling without a care in the world. A harassed young mother trying to feed, what looks like goop, to her bawling kid while her husband runs toward the smoking room for one last cigarette. An unkempt young man dressed in shockingly horrible... Continue Reading →

The Kettle, The Iron Box, and The Ladle

‘Ma, not these again!’ I cringed at the the old item trifecta displayed prominently on the showcase of our new home. ‘Why? What’s wrong with these?’ ‘They are old and ugly!’ My mother smiled and said, ‘My arranged marriage was stopped by the groom’s mother because we couldn’t give these as dowry. My father had... Continue Reading →


Bart was supposed to be a star! Scratch that – a superstar! Coach used to claim that Bart’s mother had somehow mated with a sailfish to produce him. That nickname stuck. He was that quick. Once, he lapped the person who finished second in the 1500m freestyle – thrice. The guy who lost wept openly... Continue Reading →

The Tipping Point

The barbed wire fence was cut after the war that had raged for half a century came crashing to a halt. People from both sides rushed to the centre and hugged each other. Tears flowed openly, there was no shame or enmity anymore. Task forces were created – farmers, craftsmen, and tradesmen were hurriedly assembled... Continue Reading →


'Grandpa! Look, It's snowing!' Five-year-old Emily jumped in glee, her little hands coming together in a joyous clap. I smile at her and run my hands over her hairless scalp. The doctors had given her only three more months to live. 'Grandpa! Is it Christmas again?' Her smile drove stakes through my heart. Emily's generation's... Continue Reading →


‘It’s all about your core and balance,’ Ralph murmurs. ‘Parkour is tapping into the courage you didn’t know you had.’ His voice was mesmeric and I nod eagerly, eventhough I knew everything he just said. Heck, I have said the same things before. ‘I know you can make the jump, Mikey!’ Ralph steps closer to... Continue Reading →

Hate Prevails

‘Do you know that Hamburg was nearly wiped out of the map during WWII?’ My parents were impressed. They had come from India to London, where I worked. I’d planned a short trip to Hamburg. ‘More than forty thousand died. They said that there was a tornado of fire that night.’ ‘Why are humans so... Continue Reading →


They said that he never remained married for long and his wives vanished mysteriously. When his eyes fell on me, I was repulsed. I begged father not to agree to our betrothal. But his wealth, our poverty, and my family's greed won over. On the way to his castle, he warned never to open that... Continue Reading →

I’m Done

Thank you for your best wishes and concern, my friends! Unfortunately, I haven't enjoyed a moment of this year's AtoZ. Last year's fun, frolic, bonding, and camaraderie has been replaced by apathy and quid pro quo. I'm a writer and I don't wish to be a part of this poultry market. It's apt that I say 'I for... Continue Reading →

Hand-holding and Handhelds

The short vacation after the term tests came to an end just as it appeared it had started. The little monkeys of Vanarapuri dragged their schoolbags and their feet reluctantly into the school. Suri missed the vacation already. He could sleep in late, watch his favourite cartoons whenever he pleased, and most of all he... Continue Reading →


‘Our forests were much different than the ones around Vanarapuri,’ Fathi took a swig of fresh tender coconut water and continued, ‘The trees were not as densely packed as here, and the climate was much hotter as well.’ They were sat in the study of Mr. Angad’s tree house on Marmoset Street. Fathi was sitting... Continue Reading →

Fatty and the Flying Monkey

The next few weeks went in a blur for Suri and Nila. First, they had their term tests and the little monkeys were busy buried in their books. Suri, after the incident at the ruins, had become very wary of venturing outside. He had started to spend more time indoors reading books or playing on... Continue Reading →

Escapades and Excitement

The ruins of Vanarapuri were precisely that – just ruins. Though they did have a dark history attached to them, most of the younger generation of Vanarapuri were not aware of it. A decision was taken thirty years ago not to speak about the events that transpired in those premises. There were rumours about the... Continue Reading →

Desperate for a Friend

It was a cool Sunday afternoon in Vanarapuri. Suri woke up after his siesta and sniffed the pleasant smells that came wafting in. Eyes twinkling, he jumped from his bed and gambolled into the kitchen where his mother was busy. ‘Mumma! What are you making? It smells delicious.’ Tara turned to look at her son,... Continue Reading →

Cool Down, Cool Girl!

  ‘Nila, what is that you are wearing?’ A curious expression hovered on her mother Tara’s face. They were having lunch together in Tara’s staff room in the Vanarapuri School. ‘Oh, it’s nothing Mumma.’ ‘Here, let me take a look.’ Nila pulled her right hand behind her back in a swift motion. ‘Mumma, I said... Continue Reading →

Bets and Buts

It was a warm and sunny day in Vanarapuri. Suri was gamboling on the branches outside. His mistimed leap during his birthday tree race had made him determined to improve his skill level. Suri’s friends Eki and Unni were swinging along with him, making quite a racket as only little monkeys could. Eki, a macaque,... Continue Reading →

And, Suri Loses A Race

Inside a deep, dark jungle, hidden to the outside world was the beautiful monkey city of Vanarapuri. It was home to hundreds of monkey families belonging to different species. One such family was Mr. Angad’s. Mr. Angad was the Head of Security of Vanarapuri. His wife, Tara, was a teacher in the solitary school of... Continue Reading →


The monsters are killing us. We were a proud community who made fabric that was appreciated everywhere. We were the pride and joy of our land, not anymore. How can we compete against the monsters that produce cloth at a rate unimaginable compared to our hand-looms? Raw cotton prices have gone up as most of... Continue Reading →

Theme Reveal A To Z Challenge 2019

Time has indeed flown in a hurry. I had quite the eventful debut in the AtoZ Challenge last year (read about it here) and to say it was an absolutely phenomenal experience would be downplaying it. I made a lot of blogging buddies, improved myself as a writer, made a commitment towards writing regularly, and... Continue Reading →


Mom and Dad were already awake and bustling when I woke up. I lumber down the stairs to see Mom scrubbing the long-settled black goop out of an old vase, which until this morning lay undisturbed in Gran’s old room. Dad shuttles between Gran’s room and the garage – his hands full of dusty relics... Continue Reading →

The Legend of The Scooter Assassin

‘Ever heard about the Scooter Assassin?’ ‘Who?’ ‘Only the greatest hit-man ever.’ ‘Really?’ ‘Yup! Ninety-nine perfect kills. An absolute legend.’ ‘Wow!’ ‘You know what his M.O was?’ ‘Nope!’ ‘Single 9mm round right between his victims’ eyes, from close range.’ ‘How close?’ ‘They could’ve kissed him.’ ‘And yet he walked away?’ ‘You could say that.’ ‘But... Continue Reading →

Of Past Things

'Do you see that old building there?' Don nodded eagerly to his Grandmother's question. 'Si, Abuelita! I do.' 'That was where I met your abuelo for the first time.' 'Wow! What was he doing?' Abuela had a wan smile over her wrinkled visage, 'He was stealing bread from that deli.' 'Ha! That's funny.' Don had a funny look, 'Abuela, what is... Continue Reading →

Glass Roses

The package arrives precisely at 3 PM. There is a ‘Fragile’ sticker plastered on it. Sometimes, I wonder at his maniacal attention to detail and his obsessive punctuality. Next Second, I curse myself. I unwrap the usual layers of cotton-wool and bubble-wrap and cradle the beautiful and fragile glass rose between my palms. This time... Continue Reading →

Spark the change

I saw a spark and decided to keep it safe in the hollow of a forest tree. The forest smoldered and reduced to ashes. For that is the prowess of fire, be it a spark or an inferno. So said the poet Bharathi. And I concur, fire is fire – all consuming, purifying. And a fire... Continue Reading →

The Car

He walks at a steady pace, tapping his cane on the mud-caked road. The car is still there, a grotesque bas-relief amidst the scenic greenery. It was his car once, his prized possession, his black beauty. He walks towards the car and runs a loving hand over it. Twenty years ago, his wife, her mind... Continue Reading →

Not Today

I began 2019 with a nice trek on the Himalayas. We saw the snow-capped magnificence of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third tallest peak in the world after the Everest and K2. After a week well spent in the mountains, its time for yet another edition of Friday Fictioneers hosted by our delightful host Rochelle. This week's... Continue Reading →

My First!

They never said it would be this messy, and bloody! All they spoke was about the pleasure and the orgasmic high once it's done. How do I clean the sheets? Mom's gonna kill me. I'm so done with murder!


‘Hello…’ ‘Good to hear your voice…’ ‘Yeah! Yours as well...’ ‘Does it bother you?’ ‘What?’ ‘Talking to me?’ ‘No! Better than the silence.’ ‘Same here.’ ‘Had your tea?’ ‘Yes! You?’ ‘Having it as we speak…’ ‘Alright! Until later.’ Static filled the tent that had been his home for the past six years. The barbed wire... Continue Reading →


She sets her little wooden chair next to the grave of her beloved and after a session of sighs and tears, she starts reading from the book he once loved. Fresh chrysanthemums adorn his grave, filling me with jealousy. Sometimes, I wish someone comes to sit for a moment next to my grave. I know... Continue Reading →

Stan’s Boots

After a very travel-heavy week during which I couldn't get any reading done, this week promises to be a little slow. Hopefully, I'll be able to read most of the entries this week and reply to the comments on my last week's post. Another Wednesday and another edition of Friday Fictioneers hosted by our delightful... Continue Reading →


I met my estranged sister after two decades and I have to say that we cried quite shamelessly in the middle of the plaza. Growing up, we were almost inseparable until our parents’ acrimonious divorce dropped the figurative Grand Canyon between us. I still remember her as an eight-year-old, the last time I saw her,... Continue Reading →


Nero stared at the bleeding man bound to the worktable. The man grunted and moaned pitifully, his sobs choked by a ball-gag fastened around his mouth. He was missing fingers in both his hands. Scratches, welts, and bruises covered his naked torso. Nero looked at the poll results on an encrypted website, ‘We have a... Continue Reading →

Match Made In Heaven

It was a convention like none other – men and women from different countries had come together to find themselves the perfect job and the perfect partner. Few were nursing drinks, and a few were just loitering around, but almost everyone had their eyes peeled, searching for that one soul they could connect with. Nero... Continue Reading →


I'm but a child watching a chess game. I can see the players concentrating hard, thinking five, six, even ten steps ahead. Moves and countermoves, bluffs and double bluffs. One troop here, another there - all maneuvers towards the end goal. Towards the big prize. Big wins requires big sacrifices. I see the pawns lying... Continue Reading →


' I was born here, in this very castle. They named me under this domed roof. I used to play hide and seek in the hidden corridors behind the alcoves. I fell in love under this roof, married and made love to my beloved, welcomed our first child... so many good memories.' He smiled wryly, 'It was... Continue Reading →

My Friends of #MyFriendAlexa

Open e-mail Click! Check today's list Click! Who's on the list? Shrug! Pick one Click! What's it about? Shrug! Where's the like button? Click! The twitter share? There! Click! Did I put my #HASHTAG? Oops! Click again! Yaay! One down, Nine to go Hey, what about that comment? Oh yeah, that's there right? Click! Comment... Continue Reading →

Almost Enough!

Eight thirty in the morn surrounded by a thousand cars blowing their horn Packed lunch getting soggy Already! Smartphone beeps Email questioning excel sheets and power point presentations ready Slog, slog Responsibilities come hard, hard Twenty hours a day spent unappreciated Four hours of peace Negated! The minority majority run on artificial Duracell Loans, Card... Continue Reading →


I look out, and see them just standing there, not speaking, accusing, tormenting. The bag with the money, and the gun lies on the bed. The reason and the reason. My head starts pounding. They are still there. The peal grows louder. Only option - apology. Break. Window. Jump.

Atlas Shrugs

A baby is born branded for big things A bright-eyed sapling destined for greatness Does his parents think a second about his wants?   The boy is doused with fuel of high expectations and burned in the bright flame of failure The boy dies and from the ashes rises the wingless phoenix of a bitter... Continue Reading →

Mirror, Mirror! – Friday Fictioneers

'Grandmother, what is it?' 'It's a magic mirror, love. It shows what your heart really wants.' 'Really?' 'Well, that's what my grandmother's grandmother told her.' 'Have you taken a peek?' 'But of course, love. Quite the few times.' 'Did it truly show your heart's desire?' 'That's my little secret, love. Do you want to take... Continue Reading →

The Cursed Dog! – FFfAW 180

'Bradley!' Rubina calls me by my full name only when I'm in trouble, 'What is that?' I grin and unwrap the delicate packaging. With a flourish, I place the object on top of the table. 'Once again, Bradley! What in the blue hell is that?' 'Glad you asked. It's an 300 year old authentic Chinese Cursed... Continue Reading →

Goodbyes – Friday Fictioneers

The crowd gathered on the banks of the holy river was a living, feeling organism in itself. It ebbed and flowed mimicking the dirty brown water and it glowed with spectacle not unlike the river. Some cried, some laughed, some were relieved, some took selfies, and some just stood there taking in the scenes. Most... Continue Reading →

Superstitions – FFfAW 179

Professor Mehta turned around and addressed his students, 'This pathway here is forbidden, reserved exclusively for the Gods.' Praful scoffed, 'Yet another superstition! This is ridiculous.' The professor smiled, 'I've always enjoyed your views, Praful. But you do not have to scoff at everything contrarian to your views.' 'Really, Professor? Why load the current generation... Continue Reading →

An Interview With My Favorite Author

It was nothing like what I had imagined. I found him rocking forward and backwards on his famous cane chair, a cigarette dangling between his parched lips. The ashtray on the table overflowed with snubbed butts. There were sheets of paper, scrunched into balls, discarded all over the place. I opened one, and read. It... Continue Reading →

Car Cemetery – FFfAW 178

'Grandpa, what are cars made of?' Al considered his grandson Ron's question. 'A lot of different stuff, dear. But, mostly steel.' 'What else?' 'Well, the newer car engines are made of aluminium alloy and the windows are made of glass. The tires are made of rubber and the consoles have a lot of plastics and... Continue Reading →

Options – Friday Fictioneers

Take any street, it's a microcosm of the entire world. You can find animals and trees, churches and sewers, saints and predators, happy and sad people, running fast, minding their own businesses, not really pausing and looking at others and their plights. So, I know you are not looking at me, eventhough you see me... Continue Reading →

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