Tag Archives: fiction

Six Word Story #3 (Includes a surprise challenge!)

canvas-printing-baby-holding-dad

First cry.

Bloody hands.

Smiling Dad.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : I also came across this adorable picture below, while surfing. I think it deserves a separate six word story. This time I want one from you. Are you up for the challenge? Leave your stories in the comments below.

Pictures Courtesy : Pinterest.

The Drop.

The old man had been unwell for more than a couple of days now. The fever wasn’t breaking. He wasn’t worried about himself though. He was worried about his garden. He’d newly planted Canna Lilies in them. They were Madam’s favourite. He would have instructed his helper how to care for them well but the helper was on leave. Either ways, he wasn’t too keen on his helper’s work.

This evening, he’d tried walking out to the garden but he barely managed to reach the door of his own room. The doctor had been called. He prescribed some medicines and assured it wasn’t anything to worry about. The old man chided the cook, “I told you so.”

It hadn’t rained for a week now. It was unusually hot. If it didn’t rain soon, his garden would start wilting. In a long time, he wished his helper was here. Or at least the rains were. Either wish seemed far from being realized.

His son was around the same age as his helper. Every time he saw his helper, it reminded him of his son; a reminder that wasn’t happy or heart-stopping, a reminder that was melancholic and heartbreaking. His son was a charm with plants, but didn’t see the charm in them. “I want to do something bigger,” he used to say.

But the old man didn’t know anything bigger. Sure enough, there were bigger businesses he knew about, like the one Sir and Madam were doing. But at the end of the day, even they would come and admire his work. “What was bigger then?”, he thought. Even after his son had started working in another city, he stayed back with Sir and Madam. They loved his work and he used to love working for them. They’d given him a place to stay in their servants quarters.

After the doctor left, he tried sitting up to look at what he could of his gardens. It was dim now post dusk and his feeble eyes didn’t help either. He spent his evening alternately watching the blades of the fan rotate and dozing.

Night fell early and in spite of having slept almost all day, he slept like a log through the night too. He awoke well after the Sun had risen. He was rolling in sweat and blankets. The fever had broken. He turned towards the window and there were drops of water clinging onto the grills of the window.


Picture Courtesy : @main_samay_hoon on Instagram.
Picture Courtesy : @main_samay_hoon on Instagram.

Hopeful, he went up to the window. It wasn’t an easy walk but far less painful than yesterday. Indeed, they were water droplets. As he stood in the pool of water below his window, his eyes saw moist and glistening grass outside his window. The flowers were gleaming and waving at him in the morning breeze. He was ecstatic. The God loved His work too!

Graciously Yours!

Your eyes.

image

Your eyes. Your eyes always saw the good in me. Your eyes reminded me of how much I should love myself. Your eyes were not scared to see my darkness. Your eyes took me in from bottom to top, within to without. Your eyes wanted to know me to the core, not just the crust.

Your eyes smiled each time I did. Your eyes scanned the crowd to catch just a glimpse of me. Your eyes didn’t waste a moment, not admiring me. Your eyes made me blush.

The fire destroyed it all! Your eyes were the last thing I saw before losing consciousness. Your eyes were also the first thing I saw after gaining consciousness.

That day it was to be either both of us or none. But you went away leaving me alone in this big, wide world. Or so I thought. Your eyes are now mine. And they still make me blush.

Graciously Yours!

The Kill.

“Would you care for another drink maybe?” he asked, as they looked on at people dancing on the floor.

“No, thank you. I don’t drink,” she replied politely, smiling at the request.

“Really? I thought you had to be drunk to be so happy and lively!”

“I’ll take that as a compliment!” she said, smiling. The light flicker of pain in his eyes made her say, “But I also think I’ve taken you back to unpleasant memories.”

“May be. May be not,” he added nonchalantly.

She was intrigued. It was unsettling for her to be intrigued. She preferred intriguing.

“Care to dance?” he asked.

“I’d gladly. But the alcohol seems to be doing it’s trick fast,” pointing at the man who’d suddenly opened a bottle of champagne in the middle of the dance floor.

“I’ll shield you well and keep you protected, don’t worry,” he assured her.

Smiling, she got up but as she stepped out onto the dance floor, flashes of her past whirled past.

“Would he be her fourth kill?”

“Not before I know his story,” she answered to herself.

Graciously Yours!

VIBGYOR

Picture

The violet orchids you held out for me,

Looked striking against the indigo dress I wore,

As your smiling blue eyes mesmerized me, making my heart race,

The ladies around stared, envious and green.

We drove back to your place, yellow lights shining against the night city sky,

I stirred in your arms, awakening to the orange hues of dawn,

Red trickling down from me.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : This is an ode to nature for the myriad colours it has given to us to shade our lives with! If ever in doubt, check out the nail paint section of any cosmetics brand.

Of Darker Alleys (Part 2)


DSCN2116

She started walking faster. She had to get to the house early to make use of all the time she could get. She wanted to get away from them. She was desperate.

She reached the house. She could see the men standing outside impatiently. Bowing her head, lowering her eyes, she walked past them silently. She felt their eyes piercing her back. An involuntary shudder passed through her as she walked in through the wooden door. It was the last time she was going to do it.

It was a beautiful house. Much better than what she had been brought up in. The elders of the house had built it with much love and money. Latticed windows, carved doors, floral designs adorning the middle of the courtyard; she fell in love with the place when she saw it. She used to imagine how she would one day take care of it. Little had she imagined anyone could be as unhappy here as she had become.

Her mother-in-law was walking towards her. She muttered instructions to her. All she caught was the confirmation that they would be back in some time. Possibly half an hour. She didn’t listen to anything else. Not anymore.

The minute they left the compound to attend the neighborhood wedding, she ran to her room. She didn’t want to attend the wedding. It was a trade. The girl was being sold and she wouldn’t know it for a while. That is how the village was surviving. The current generation had almost no girls. Who would the boys marry? They killed their own daughters and bought daughters of other parents only to sell them off as commodities once their utility was over. Higher the demand, higher the price. She preferred the dried grasslands over such fake lushness. At least back at her place, they treated humans as humans.

She had put together a few of her clothes. She was still in two minds if she should run away with her baby or alone. She knew if they found the baby missing, they would not leave any stone unturned to get to her. But if she alone went missing, they might not even bother. With a heavy heart, she picked up her little cloth bag and crossed the length of the house to leave.

She stopped right at the main door. Her son was wailing. Her only son was wailing! She opened the door. She tried ignoring his cries. She could see her freedom waiting down the road. She could hear a hungry heart and an impatient stomach calling out to her.

The mother in her had decided. She had decided to remain human. She closed the doors on herself again. Clutching her bag to her chest, she ran up to his room. Her baby wanted her. Her freedom would have to wait today.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : I do not know about other countries but I do know that such practices are rampant in India. How rampant, where, since when ~ I wish I could answer those questions with surety, but I cannot.

Picture Credits : Ishita Shah.

Of Darker Alleys (Part 1)

image

She squinted her eyes to block the Sun out. She counted the coins she had and kept them in a hidden pocket, of her money bag, she had sewn in. Today was the last day she had to do this. Not anymore.

She picked up her bags of vegetables. She saw the vendor stare at her mammary glands. Shuddering at the thought of what he may be thinking, she walked away. Today was the last day she would walk away silently. Not anymore.

She walked down to her home, no, her husband’s home. The men of the village knew what she was. The women of the village were silent watchers. There were many like her here. No one said anything aloud. But the way they stared at her, spoke to her, spoke about her, gave it all away. They were all hand in glove.

Two years ago, she’d set foot in the village. She was happy at the turn of events in her life. From dried grasslands into lush green living. She thanked her fortunes every day and showered love on her fortune changer. At the back of her mind, however she always found something amiss. She ignored it again and again. Her husband’s abject lack of affection, her in-laws’ desire for an early child, the villagers eyeing her with a look that could make fathers drive back daughters into the houses forever, the pity in the eyes of some women for her; it all kept prodding at that feeling of danger lurking around nearby.

Three months ago, she gave birth to her husband’s son. Everyone at the house was overjoyed. She wanted to die. She was a vessel for them. That is all she was. She may be sparsely educated but she was perceptive. She read people’s behavior, heard them talk, noticed things around. She didn’t want to believe her fate. Her husband had married her for a child. Like the other men in the village, he would sell her off after that. The first time her mother in law hugged her was after the test confirmed she was bearing a boy. She sobbed all night.

Once her son was born, she was rarely allowed to be with him. She was to only feed him and take care of him after the others were tired of playing with him. All she became was a nanny to her own son. She had hoped things would change after her child’s birth. They did. The people of the house showered affection. On her son.

(to be continued…)

Graciously Yours!

Breathing Easy.

Vinita left her office late tonight. There was work to do and her husband was not in town also. She was just going home for dinner and sleep. What she did not account for was the weather! She’d barely walked five minutes from her office that winds started blowing the dust and grime from the road into her eyes, hair, everywhere! The weather turned nasty within seconds and she knew if she didn’t find a cab immediately she would be stuck for a while in the rain. But as usual, taxis weren’t available just when she needed it the most. She walked to the nearest taxi assistance bay and stood in the shade provided hoping like everything else in this city, this wouldn’t be shoddy enough to fly away with the winds.

A young couple came and stood near her in just a while. It had started raining by then. She was struggling to make her umbrella keep the windy rains at bay. So was the guy standing beside her. His girlfriend (Vinita assumed) started laughing and told him, “You know it’s really okay if we get wet once in a while. And as it is I don’t think the umbrella is going to be any good against these winds.” Laughing in agreement, he snuggled her closer.

She smiled at her own naivety and closed the umbrella for good. She didn’t want to stare at them but they reminded her of her younger self and Shashank. Shashank used to love those long walks after the rain, the dinners at the dhaba, and those little surprises he used to spring at her every now and then, she reminisced! Her brother used to say he could see the love in their eyes. They were inseparable. Still are. Work made them too busy for each other. Not that it reduced their love in any manner, but still. It made her sad at times. She missed those times when their time together was entirely theirs. She missed those courtship and early marriage days when they were still discovering each other. She missed those times when she used to gasp at tickets for sudden weekend getaways or a Sunday brunch in bed.

But the signs of love were unmissable. The routine peck before dropping her to office, the occasional Sunday dinners at her favourite diner, sitting with her in the balcony in silence just looking at her while she stared out at the celestial bodies, the cute way in which he still held her hand when they were at social gatherings or the firm grip when in crowds.

Her phone’s vibrations startled her! ‘Shashank calling’ it flashed. So looks like hubby’s day is over, she thought smiling at the phone. Wiping her wet hand on her already wet trousers, she swiped the answer icon.

“Hi,” she answered.

“Hi, Vini! Where are you?”, he asked.

“Oh don’t ask. I still haven’t reached home.I left office late today.”

“Oh! You’re stuck in the rain?” he asked and then cursed himself! She heard both!

“Yes. Wait. How do you know?” she immediately asked.

“Baby, I am waiting at the door for you. I thought I’ll surprise you by flying in a day early! But guess who’s surprised?,” he asked mockingly. “Oh and I should tell you I don’t have the keys. My set is lying inside the house.”

Laughing aloud, barely able to contain her happiness, hand out stretched in the rain, she looked up towards the sky closing her eyes to send a silent ‘Thank You’ to the one above, while she said to her love, “Serves you right! Now wait for me, while I wade through these waters to get to you!”

“Like I had any other option! I am really hungry. Come soon!,” he said keeping the line, not before saying, “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Graciously Yours!

The Smouldering Eyes.

imagesCAT7K81W

 

I’d seen her often. Sitting idly. By the side of the road. She had a mysterious aura. She wasn’t dressed poshly but neither was she a beggar. She never said a word. Her eyes spoke of her pain. The neighbours had advised me to stay away. No one told me why. No one seemed to know why.

I felt for her, compassion I like to think. I approached her one night, asked her where her home was, where her family was, where her husband was. She looked up at ‘husband’. I knew I’d struck a chord.

I was so wrong.

The smoulder in her eyes made me back away. She picked up a rock. She bared her teeth at me. Her forehead wrinkled. Her stance became offensive. My hands raised, palms facing her, I assured her I was just trying to help. An incoming car, headlights on, honked loudly. Distracted, I looked at it, only to hear her running away in the dark alley behind.

imagesCAHU4PV2

The rock lay on the road. She never meant to hurt me. She only wanted to save herself.

From what, I wonder. From whom, I wonder. Why, I wonder.

Graciously Yours!