Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

A Love Letter

Posted: January 10, 2014 in Stories

(This  is a letter from one street to an other parallel running street in the adjacent village)

Dear Love,

It is true that we have never met. Nor shall we ever meet – for we are nothing but mere parallel streets running through two rival villages. Not that they were enemies since time immemorial. They were rather in most friendly terms as far as I can remember. But as they say that happiness donot last forever, those loving villagers turned foes one very fine day. Well, I was saying, maybe we shall never meet. Nor can we ever connect – for humans seldom mend ways or change courses. They would rather move forward than make time for reconciliation, friendship and love. I know they will rather move on (move forward than spend time in connecting us and the villagers).

Do you remember the first day we saw each other? Maybe not! You were too young to remember that day. I was just a trail of soil and stones, created by trampling of feet over my chest, over years and years. People from both the villagers walked/passed through me. I was their backbone. I was the heart of the two villages. I liked it when they would meet and chat as they walked on me. I loved to listen to their conversations… I especially loved it, when two little kids would walk on me, run about and pick stones from my chest… and sometimes decorate me with wild flowers picked from the jungle. I saw them growing… Little did I know that they would fall in love. I was happy when they kissed for the first time, standing by my side.

But soon one day, I saw their bloodied bodies being dragged over my chest. I had stones all over me. I could not absorb their pain but rather inflicted more. For the first time, I regretted being a street. I wished I had grass and flowers on me to soothe their bruised bodies that were being mercilessly towed away. The kids were from these two villages. The villagers turned enemies from that very day. It was then when they created you. The other village was no longer allowed to walk on me. I cried bitterly to see this hatred. I missed the “loving pair” but I never saw them again, anymore. I heard few passersby talk about them once in a while. From what I could make out from their conversations, they were both killed and thrown into the river Sonali that flows through both of us.

You came into being as my enemy. But I could never find a reason to hate you. Rather I am wording this letter to confess that I have fallen in love with you. I often ask Sonali about you. She says, you are beautiful with pretty daffodils blooming by your side and shiny pebbles and stones strewed on your breast. I look at you every day. I see the villagers walking on you… I wish I too could be united with you and unite the two villages, once again!

But I fear… What if they come to know about my love for you? What if they destroy us just the way they destroyed those lovers? But still, I would choose to remain optimistic… I long to remain your lover and unite with you one day! I long to see the villages unite again. And I wish that we give birth to hundred other streets that connects everywhere – criss crossed, zig-zagged and what not! I wish, no barriers could seal us but rather we grow and lovingly intertwine with each other in every possible manner without any trace of enmity and hatred. I wish there exists nothing save love within us! I hope you shall reciprocate my love!

Yours Hopeful Lover

The Parallel Street of your adjacent village




“Rishi beta, receive the phone.” Anuradha shouted from the Kitchen. It was 6.30 am in the morning. She wasn’t expecting any long distance calls at this hour. It seemed important but her hands were covered with wet flour dough. Her husband Sarang was out with their younger daughter Asha for his morning walk. Rishi, the eldest son was brushing his teeth whilst checking songs in his new I-pod. This is the busiest time of the day for Anuradha. Cleaning up, preparing breakfast for the family of four, preparing lunch and packing lunch boxes for her husband and the kids. She doesn’t even have the time to breathe at this hour of the day.

Sarang is a Maths teacher at Kendriya Vidyalaya, in suburbs of Nagpur. He had finally managed to obtain a transfer to this new school almost a year back. Before this, he had been teaching at KV Imphal for a year. But the unrest, militant insurgence and constant violent incidents forced him to bribe few officials and get a transfer to Nagpur. In fact, it was Anuradha who coaxed and begged him to get them away from Imphal.

The phone was still ringing…

“Who could it be?” She thought “could it be Jiten.” Everything seemed so surreal… Their one year stay at Manipur and their close bonding with the Singh family.


She had heard of the beautiful North Eastern states and often curiously looked at the advertisements in Doordarshan. She wanted to visit the seven states once in her lifetime and had expressed her desire to Sarang once. Few Months later Sarang broke the news to her “You can start packing now, Anu. Your dream has come true!” he had said with a smile.

“Where are you transferred to now? I am so tired of shifting places. Once Rishi completes his 10th boards I will settle down with the children at Jabalpur at our own house… Your transfers will ruin their studies…” she rattled on.

“Come on dear, don’t be upset now. We are going to North East this time. I am posted to Imphal, Manipur.” He replied, excited.

“Really?” she glowed, but her face fell immediately. She had read about terrorism in Assam and other states, the immigration issues, unrest and border disputes in Manipur. She had read about Irom Sharmila, who is on an endless fast to end the Armed Forces Act in the state. Sight-seeing was fine but living in such a volatile place with two little children for God knows how long… It was the last thing she had ever dreamt of. She looked at him in despair.

“What? You had always wanted to go there! I have spoken to few other teachers and they say it is a great place indeed.” He tried to raise her spirit.

“That’s alright, but… Is it safe?” she inquired.

“Of course it is… do not worry.” He tried to cover up his own concerns now. He was worried too. But this was a final order and he had to leave in a fortnight’s time.


She had been to different parts of India before but Imphal was very different… More importantly, the children loved the place. Situated at the bank of a grand moat and surrounded by beautiful green hills, it was paradise on earth. It was at the amazing Mother’s market* that she had met Rachna, Jiten Singh’s wife. They bonded immediately and the two families’ attachment grew. The Manipuri family welcomed and adored the Mehtas as if they were their own kin.

Even Rachna hadn’t visited many places in Manipur and hence her husband, Jiten planned a week long Manipur trip for the two families. He also used his connections to attain ILP** (Inner line Permit) for the Mehtas so that they could visit the underdeveloped tribal regions and explore the unseen culture, crafts and resources.

Just a week before the planned trip, the fateful Manipur blockade began. Violence and insurgence became a common thing. The Highways were blocked and inflation was at its peak. Strikes and clashes followed. They decided to postpone the trip until the blockade was over.

Days became months but the unrest showed no sign of settling down. It was heights when she read an advertisement in leading Daily newspaper. It read “Buy a Sony VAIO laptop and get a LPG cylinder free”. LPG and fuel scarcity, inflation of food items and long strikes were still fine… as long as the people were safe. But Anuradha went berserk one day after she read in the local newspaper about the clashes and attacks on non Manipuris. She would not risk her family over Sarang’s posting. She didn’t care how beautiful Manipur was anymore!

She coaxed Sarang until he obtained a transfer to Nagpur. Jiten had ensured that they safely crossed the Manipur border. Before they parted Rachna and Anuradha wept, hugging each other. It was then when Jiten announced – “The trip is withheld temporarily… But as soon as it is over we shall all tour together. It’s a promise”. Sarang nodded in approval.


The phone was still ringing. She looked at Rishi. He was sitting on the dining chair, his ears plugged in with headphones and swaying to the loud music which was lightly audible to Anuradha as well. She thought of receiving the phone call herself.

Sarang entered the very moment and reached for the phone…

“Hello, Sarang Mehta Speaking…”
“Hey…. Good morning… what a surprise!!!” Sarang exclaimed “I was hoping you would call us… we are always so worried about you people…”
“I know I know… Landline was dead. How is the transportation system doing? Are they allowing vehicles from other states? How is the inflation… ”
“I am so glad, it has ended now… Pray that it lasts forever now… A year long blockade… can you imagine???”
“Kids are good. Your bhabhi is doing great too… We are all fine here… ”
“This month? Oh… I don’t know… I haven’t thought about it…”
“Is that so… sure then… we shall be there in a week’s time…. It’s a promise!!! Ha-ha… sure… Bye”

Sarang placed the receiver on the cradle. Anuradha came running from the kitchen and looked at him with queer eyes. Sarang smiled with pressed lips adding to her suspense…

“Will you tell me what’s going on? Was it Jiten?” Anuradha couldn’t resist asking.

Sarang sat on the sofa and stretched his legs… grinning widely.

“Fine, don’t answer me… I shall see who takes care of your morning tea and breakfast today!!!” She displayed fake anger.

“Well, my dear… we are going to Imphal next week… as soon as summer break starts at school. Jiten has planned a trip for us – whole of Manipur, parts of Meghalaya and Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary of Assam…. Finally the blockade is over for good.” Sarang dropped the news.

Anuradha’s jaw dropped…

Rishi and Asha had already picked up a fight on who shall take the window seat on the plane…

“Isn’t that news worth a cup of strong tea, Anu….??? And my tummy’s growling for breakfast…” Sarang added smilingly.

“Ah…. Yes… it certainly is….” Replied Anuradha… still shocked, confused and surprised… but she was happy.

“It certainly is…” she murmured and walked into the kitchen hastily to prepare tea for Sarang. She had to be quick… she had to finish everything quickly… there was shopping, packing and so much to do… for her dream vacation…!!! There was no time left to waste.


* Mother’s Market – This is an all-women market run by more than 3200 women under one roof.
** Inner Line Permit – A pass (like passport) issued to Non Manipuris (non domiciles) to enter certain regions within the state to prevent exploitation of local tribal. You will be surprised to know that you cannot enter the state of Arunachal Pradesh without an ILP, unless you are an Arunachali.



An attempt to capture the reality of North East Indian States, plight of locals and non locals. This is how people live while the center and the national news channels sleep.

Kindly comment on the content, reader engagement as well as the style… honest and sincere criticisms and literary suggestions are welcome.





Dr. Anurag was examining a patient’s medical report in his cabin when head nurse Seema dashed in without even knocking. Anurag looked up. Her worried face clearly meant – an emergency case. He rose immediately and waited for her to gasp and speak.

“Doctor, Police case… suicide attempt… ICU 4…” She spoke in broken words, catching up for breath.

Anurag signaled her to follow and both were soon walking down the wide hospital corridor towards the Emergency Wing. Even after eight years of medical practice, emergency cases still managed to shake his heart which was otherwise very strong. The faces of relatives waiting outside… teary and fearful eyes… with all their hopes resting on him… All this always touched his inner being somewhere. It definitely wasn’t a very comfortable feeling.

“How bad is it?” finally he asked.
“Very bad sir… slashed wrist and overdose of sleeping pills.” replied Seema.
“Damn… Flushed the intestines?”
“Yes. Nurse Eva is in-charge… poor little thing.” Old Seema was always full of sympathy for young female victims of physical abuse. She never called any patient “poor little thing” otherwise.
“So, not just suicide attempt. Physical abuse too?” He inquired.
“Physical and sexual” she answered.
“No… Well Yes… her husband.”
“God!!!” Anurag exclaimed in disgust.

He tried not to look at the faces of the patient’s family members waiting outside the ICU. He went in quickly. The patient lay there with the Oxygen mask on. She was on the ventilator… There were bruise marks above the left eye. There were many old as well as fresh marks on her neck and shoulders.

The Nurse removed the cloth covering the patient’s body… Red and blue scars covered almost every portion of the milky white skin. The body was covered with scratches and teeth mark everywhere… as if a wild animal had tried to tear her apart.

He examined every wound carefully. There were many old scars and few fresh ones, clearly indicating regular physical abuse. He checked her heartbeat and pulse… it was terribly slow… The ECG monitor showed an almost horizontal line… He signaled the nurse to increase the oxygen supply.

After instructing few things to Seema and Eva, Anurag left the ICU.


“Hello Doctor, How is the patient?” A police officer asked as he walked out.

Anurag looked around to see the anxious family members. “Well. I cannot say anything right now Inspector… it’s a 50-50 thing.” he felt there was no point keeping the family in darkness.

“Can we speak doctor? We need to talk.” The inspector asked.

“Sure… At my office?” Anurag suggested.

The Inspector and a constable followed with a bunch of paper in his hand.

Anurag sat on his chair and waited for the police officer to speak. The Inspector sat and stretched himself on the chair. Then he read out “Well doctor, patient Gurpreet Kaur… age thirty three… Where are the other fucking details?” he growled at the constable standing next to him.

“Gurpreet Kaur… thirty three years…” Anurag suddenly grew restless… the name was enough to make his heart skip and beat faster. “Gurpreet… thirty three years old… was it her? No. She might be some other Gurpreet…” he tried to convince himself. He looked at the inspector for rest of the details trying not to appear too desperate.

“Oh, by the way doctor… she is a doctor… MBBS… but never practised… her family got her married to a NRI businessman eleven years back. She told her family about all this many times. She wanted to file a divorce too. But her parents wouldn’t listen… Family honour, you know… divorced daughter is a humiliation in the society. Now see what happened?” The inspector explained…

“Gurpreet… thirty three years old… MBBS… married for eleven years…” Anurag tried connecting the dots inside his head, it is definitely her. He remembered the deep dark mole on her left wrist. Yes it was his Gurpreet. Blood rushed into his head and his heart pounded vigorously. He rose from his chair, excused himself and almost ran towards the emergency wing.


“She’s better now. Stable enough.” Seema pointed at the ECG monitor and left.

He walked towards the bed as the nurse left. Tears welled up in his eyes as he stood beside her. Memories gushed in… Gurpreet… the fiery feminist. The tall, slender and unassuming girl who had thrashed a senior in front of the whole college one day. He had been stalking and harassing her best friend. Anurag was among the mute spectators watching his frail classmate Gurpreet pin down that giant fellow. He had fallen in love with her that very instant.

She was bold and confident… enthusiastic in sports and extracurricular. She was the first one to raise her voice when any injustice or bias happened. She had relentlessly pursued the management to approve publishing a quarterly women centric magazine. Gurpreet was the editor of “WeMan” and it was published regularly for next five years despite constant ridicule by boys and certain girls as well.

Anurag sneaked in the “WeMan” every three months into his hostel room and read the blazing editorial that Gurpreet wrote. She wrote about strong single women, body hair in woman, cosmetic market, portrayal of women in advertisements and a myriad of feminist topics. He used to hide it in his drawer after reading and locked it safely to avoid his roommates finding out. He wasn’t as bold as she was!

He could never collect enough courage to confess his feeling in five years. By the time he had gained enough strength to propose her, she was already engaged to a NRI businessman. She said it was her conservative parent’s final decision and she could not do anything about it. That was the first time he saw her surrendering to typical social norms – that too for something as significant as marriage!

He looked at the fair face with dark curls… she looked beautiful even with the oxygen mask on and tubes all over her body. He moved closer… stretched his hand towards her face… he wanted to touch her… at least for once!!!

Was he misusing her helplessness and unconscious state… he asked himself. He pulled his hand back.

“You love her. It is OK to touch her as long as you do not pity her. She would have hated it if anyone pitied her or her circumstances. Go ahead… she deserves a tender touch of love. Touch her with love, not with pity.” another voice in his head spoke.

Anurag stretched his hand and gently touched her face… with his index finger… He smiled at her although he knew that she could not see it. She was still unconscious. Once she gets well and is completely cured, he decided to propose her again…!



Kindly comment on the content as well as the style… honest and sincere criticisms and literary suggestions are welcome.




The buzz stopped suddenly. Everyone fell silent. Every spectator held his breath.

The final moment was here. The moment of ultimate penalty!

Every eye was fixed on Raghubir. He looked tensed. The most significant moment of his life and career.

“Please God, Raghubir should not miss this. He deserves it so much!” Lalita closed her eyes and uttered her final prayers.

Right now, she missed Jeniffer, her only daughter who was born three months after she was widowed.

“Raghubir is found guilty in rape and murder of eight year old, Jennifer. The court awards him Death Penalty.” the judge pronounced.



The Wait…

Posted: September 4, 2012 in Flash Fiction, Stories
Tags: , ,



She dashed into the hall to grab the front seat.

His independent movie was acclaimed by critics. She knew he would be here today. If he won, she could even hear him – his acceptance speech! She hadn’t seen or heard him in past seven years. He was an aspiring director then.

“One of the nominated directors.” whispered someone sitting next to her, pointing at the door.

She looked out with a throbbing heart.

There HE was! Charming as ever!

He walked in. His right arm around a beautiful woman; His left hand held a little one to his chest!



My First attempt at Flash fiction – less than 100 words!!! Comments and criticisms are welcome!!!



The Dangerous Criminal

Posted: August 29, 2012 in Stories



“How could you let that scoundrel inside the park? Throw him out right now.” yelled a young man at the gardener and caretaker of the community park. He removed his Ray Ban glasses and tucked it in his Nike jogging suit and looked at the small crowd that had gathered around him and the caretaker.

“He was here since yesterday evening. I saw him sitting on the same bench yesterday. Is this what you are paid for… to let scoundrels prowl all over the park?” shouted another sophisticated brand wearing jogger wiping his face that was sweating after his morning run.

“We have women and children coming here at early hours and late evenings. This is a community park. How can you be so irresponsible?” yelled another shrill voice.

“He won’t understand this way. Throw him out of job. We shall find a new person, someone more sincere.” Shouted a charged up obese young lad, sipping glucose from his Milton water bottle.

The caretaker stood with his hands folded. He was almost in tears… too scared to utter a single word. He felt as if all these rich and well bred faces were hungrily coming towards him to devour him. He was scared to death. He did not want to lose his job. He already had a family of four to be fed with his meager four thousand Rupees salary…

“Sir, he said he was lost sir. He had nowhere to go sir… Sir he begged sir, to let him stay sir… Sir when I asked him to leave…. He had nowhere to go sir… I took pity on the old man sir… I will never do this again sir…” Finally he spoke in a shaky voice.

“Shut up” retorted another angry face “Does this park look like a dharamshala to you… Do you pay for the charity?”

“No sir… I am sorry sir… He was too old and sick to go anywhere sir… He says his son left him in the city to beg. He is from a faraway village sir… his son left him here to die” the caretaker muttered with downcast eyes.

The old man coughed violently… The loud phlegm filled cough was clearly audible even from the other end of the park. He had spent the whole night under the banyan tree on a stone bench. He was cold and pale. The crowd looked at the old man at the other corner of the park. The gardener looked at the poor man…his frail body shook violently when he coughed.

“Son left him in city to beg! What kind of story is that? And you melted to his story? He may be a part of the chain snatchers gang. Who knows?” Another gentleman stepped in to put forth his CBI skills. “He is acting sick and old. If he finds woman and children alone he is fully capable of robbing gold chains. His gang members may have plotted all this.”

“We should not be surprised if this gardener too is a part of the gang. Who knows.” Yelled the obese lad. He looked at the other heads in the crowd for approval.

The gardener looked up. His hands were still folded. He was on the verge of breaking down. He had never for once thought that letting the sick old man sleep on a stone bench of Community Park would land him into so much trouble. His pale old face had reminded him of his own father who had died of tuberculosis three years back. He could not afford medicines to keep him alive. He himself was forced to leave his drought affected village in search of livelihood. Four thousand a month meant a lot to him… He remembered the face of his old paralyzed mother, his two little children – pale and rickety. He remembered his anemic wife who was seven months pregnant. The government hospital doctor had warned him to feed her meat, eggs and spinach every day, lest she should die of childbirth… His eyes welled up again.

“Do not show your crocodile tears. Do you want us to call the police? If these kinds of people are ever seen in the park we shall put you in jail.” Shouted the Ray Ban guy.

“Go and throw him out right away if you want to continue working in this park. We do not want criminals loitering in here anymore.” Someone shouted.

The gardener was relieved… so they were not throwing him out of job? He looked up with eyes filled with gratitude. He had otherwise already determined inside his head this time to get on his knees and beg to save himself from losing his job.

“Thank you sir… Thank you. I will ask him to leave right away sir… I will never let criminals lurk in here again. Ever.” He said with his folded hands…

The angry mob followed the gardener as he walked towards the old stone bench under the Banyan tree. The old man still lay there. Silent and still… tired and exhausted. He had been coughing the whole night. Now, he was fast asleep. The gardener touched him gently but he did not open his eyes. He looked at the crowd behind him – they were getting impatient to chew him like a pack of wolves. He had to save his job so he could not take pity on the old man anymore. This time he shook him with some force… pretending to be violent.

The old man fell from the bench and rolled on the ground. But he did not move or open his eyes. His old wrinkled face had turned blue and semi dry phlegm was oozing out from the corner of his tightly closed lips. He lay there motionless on the ground, his hands still clutching his old plastic bag tightly to his chest. His face showed no pain anymore…

Every leaf on the Banyan tree was silent and still. The squirrel sat still on the branch. The sparrows had stopped chirping. They seemed to be mourning… grieving a death. Death of humanity!



A Rain Dance

Posted: August 29, 2012 in Stories



“Ah! Another bloody kitchen done!” Rashi sighed with relief and closed the tab on her computer screen. This was the third kitchen drawing she had finished drafting that day and had no intention of starting another one.

“Two more hours to go” she grumbled under her breath. It was 4.30 pm in the evening. She looked around the office to see all her colleagues busy in phone calls and typing mails. Everybody was engrossed in work and seemed so happy. She was bored to death.

After graduating from design school Rashi had joined a reputed company as a Furniture Designer. She had cried and fought with parents against studying medicine or engineering after securing a seat in a reputed design school. She had appeared for the design school exam without informing them.

Design school was fun – sketching, painting, graphics, art, movies, photography, ergonomics, creating new concepts and products… It liberated every soul that studied there. Life amidst so many artists and teachers was enormously fulfilling. Most broad – minded people she had ever met. The classes were interactive and insightful against typical college education. This experience had widened her horizon… where race, region, culture, gender, sexuality, societal norms bore no significance… where everyone was different… where she learnt to respect everyone for what they were. She loved being an artist exploring life and design!


After four years of stimulating, exciting and creative college life she was excited to step out and start her career as a design professional. She hoped to break free and create something new everyday – a piece of art for every client of hers. But soon she realized the stereotype and monotonous things that people were so used to. No one wanted change. No one wanted to experiment. Every client wanted a tried and tested design – a safe stance!

“I want an L shaped kitchen you know. It should look very modern and classy. The Hob point is here, sixty inches from this wall. The sink is on the other corner. Suggest me some nice colors – red and white should look good. Right? The kitchen should be the center of attraction of my home. After all we are spending so much money on it.” Her first client had rattled on without a stop.

She looked at the floor plan of the customer – a six feet by eight feet kitchen in a tiny 1200 sqare feet apartment. She began brainstorming the best way to make the kitchen ergonomically correct and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. All she needed was maybe a day or two to brainstorm, sketch and to create. Then she will need few hours to finish a well rendered 3D model.

“How much time do you think you will take to design this? I can wait in your office till you are done. It should look beautiful you know.” The client chirped excitedly.

Rashi gave her a sheepish smile and looked at the zonal manager who had introduced her to the client. She was expecting him to explain to the client that designing something is not a half an hour joke.It involves a thought process followed by extensive research and that aesthetics always comes last.

“Rashi Madam, give Mrs Mehta a fantastic design with best accessories possible. Make it colourful. Her kitchen should look the best in whole of Bangalore.” He proudly stated.

Mrs Mehta blushed and smiled at the flattering comment. He had already boasted to the Mehtas about the freshly hired IIM and NIFT graduates as managers and designers. It stung Rashi. She felt more like an accessory of the company and less like a designer.

“She will design it in an hour’s time madam. She is an expert designer. It will be done in a jiffy.” The Zonal Manager answered and requested them to his cabin to discuss the rest… sales related stuff.

Rashi got it. She was smart enough to assimilate what he meant. Her job involved nothing more than making thoughtless and brainless 3D models – coloured and rendered perfectly to attract customers. Nothing more. No thought, no art and no creativity. A stale life!!!


It was 4.45 pm now. Rashi was sick of Facebook and it wouldn’t be appropriate to play games either. All colleagues seemed busy to start a chat.

“This fucking Bangalore rain!!! I had to cancel my meeting with my customer” A sales executive loudly grumbled as he entered the office. He had just returned from a customer’s site.

Rashi looked at him. He was drenched in rain. She looked out of the huge glass window. Yes IT WAS raining!!! The noise of AC, constant phone calls and keyboard noise had not let the beautiful sound of rain reach her ears.

Other colleagues were worried about the rain. Some had to pick their groceries on the way. Some had movie plans. Few had kids to picked up from schools. A low commotion of grumbling session had begun in the office. No one wanted the rain.

Rashi smiled at herself on the black computer screen in front of her. She jumped off her chair, up on her feet and was out of the building in a spur of moment.


“Wooo..” she exclaimed as the raindrops kissed her face.

She faced up to look at the sky with the raindrops falling down. She leaned back a bit, closed her eyes and took a long deep breath. It smelt amazingly delicious… a soul satisfying odour. She listened to the sound. The downpour gently falling on the leaves, kissing the ground as if was breathing life into it. She shuffled her hair and the cold droplets touched her head.. beneath the hair. The smell of wet mud was refreshing. Today, she was washing away the dust and rust of her soul.

“Yeah, even life is an art. All you need to know is how to live it!” She muttered to herself with a smile… As she grinned at the sky, the silvery raindrops rolled down her lips and entered her mouth. It tasted good… the taste of life!