The Raped Girl Who Refused Heaven!

A girl who was brutally raped and murdered, went to heaven. Near the entry she checked herself in the golden mirror. All signs of cruelity that had been done to her body was gone. Now, she had a glorious, translucent form. The four guards of Heaven greeted her at the gates. But suddenly, she stopped and stepped aside.

Every soul was always eager to enter heaven and meet God. Since eternity, nobody had ever done that. So, the four agitated guards asked her, “Why are you refusing heaven? My dear, come back to the queue and enter the great gates.”

The girl smiled and recounted, “You know I was gang raped by a group of filthy men, who were jeering and spitting on me…”

“Yes, we know that…,” the guards cut her short in chorus. “Please don’t tell us the details. We know you have suffered immensely but once you enter the gates, all pain and sadness will vanish. Your troubled soul will find peace. All thoughts will leave you and you will bask in eternal glory.”

The girl still hesitated. The wind played with her hair as she she looked around with delight but still showed no inclination to enter.

“Dear, what is going on your mind? Do you feel any sort of guilt? Do you think you can’t face God after what happened to your modesty?,” the guards asked in chorus.

The girl laughed for a long, long time while perplexed guards looked at each other. 

“It is not that! The reason why I don’t want to see God is not because I am ashamed. I have done no wrong. Wrong has been done to my body.” she answered.

“Then?,” the guards asked.

“It is because God will be shamefaced on seeing me. I know, He will never be able to meet my eyes. I want to spare Him the shame as I love Him too much,” the girl wandered away after saying this leaving a trail of shimmering light behind her. The guards stood unmoved, red faced.

God heard her, clutched his heart and cried…

( Written after viewing a terrible image of a dead, rape victim in West Bengal, India. She moved me beyond words. A tribute to such victims.)



Images courtesy Google

The Chattering Housemaid


The Astons always look picture perfect. In gatherings like this, Lady Aston sings while Lord Aston displays his skill at the piano. And the usually haughty Miss Matilda, tries to be genteel.

But today, crack in the picture is showing. Look, doesn’t Lord Aston appear stern? Yesterday, the footman had confided that a perfumed letter arrived for My Lady. But Lord Aston grabbed it and tore it to pieces!

Lord Aston has no right to do that. Since his character is not without blemishes. He even tried to be sweet on me but I am a housemaid of integrity.

How I wish my peep hole in the kitchen was bigger! Soon, a drama is about to unfold in the parlour. I hope the author of the letter arrives and I get a chance to see My Lady blush.

I feel, Old Lady Olivia, whose portrait hangs in the parlour, disapproves of my sneaking ways but then, what harm can she do…she is dead! 

((This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the amazing Priceless Joy. We are given a photo prompt and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. This challenge is open to all who would like to participate. Thank you Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode for the image. Please CLICK HERE for more.)

Anecdote: Haldiram’s is Healthyram’s?

My five-year-old recently learnt about the difference between need and want foods. He was informed that milk, eggs and green leafy veggies are need while cake, chocolates etc are want.

But recently his one observation left me in splits. He asked me whether sweets like Rasgullas, Pedas and Barfis are healthy? I said, “No, sweets are want.”  He retorted in his American accent, “But sweets come from Healthy-ram’s, Right.” I couldn’t help laughing aloud!

Haldiram’s is an extremely popular sweets and snack brand in India. And it’s snack items are available in US too. We often buy Haldiram’s sweets so, my Kindergartener probably put two and two together and concluded that – Haldiram’s is Healthyram’s!

I guess the advertisers would adore the line!


Images courtesy Google

When Mary Met Gary…

Mary Smith loved to write songs. During lunch breaks, she often would escape from her clerical job to a nearby park and create heart-breaking songs.

One day, as she was writing a love song on paper, a naughty gust of wind blew it out of sight. With a heavy heart, she returned to her job.

Few days later, on way to job, she heard a soloist singing her song! She stood there nervously, clueless how to claim her song.

“May I help you! I have been watching you…you look extremely agitated!,” a young man, who had been filming the soloist, asked her. 

“Look, that’s my song he is singing. I had lost it, I don’t know how to tell him,” Mary cried.

“Wow…! Well, we can claim it back. I have an idea,” he smiled. “By the way, I am Gary…”

He looked familiar… but of course, he was GARY ANDREWS, the genius composer! And this is how Mary met Gary…

((This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the amazing Priceless Joy. We are given a photo prompt and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. This challenge is open to all who would like to participate. Thank you Sunayana for the image. Please CLICK HERE for more.)

Padmavati and Rajput Women – warriors behind the purdah!

While I whole heartedly criticise the vandalism and attacks on the eminent director-producer Mr Sanjay Leela Bhansali, I earnestly hope that the film ‘Padmavati’ does not show the Rajput queen – Rani Padmini in a dishonourable light. 

She is revered as a Veerangana (courageous lady) by not only the Rajput clan but all of India. More than her resplendent, flawless beauty, it was her fierce stance to defend her honour that made Rani Padmini into a legend. Do you remember the lines from the famous song – ‘Aao Bachon Tumhe Dikhayein…’ (Jagriti) –
“Yeh Hai Apna Rajaputana Naj Ise Talavaro Pe, Isane Sara Jivan Kata Barachhee Tir Kataro Pe.

Yeh Pratap Kaa Vatan Pala Hai Aajadee Ke Naaro Pe, Kud Padee Thee Yaha Hajaro Padminiyan  Angaron Mein”

The last line here says it all! Thousands of brave women like Rani Padmini performed Jauhar (mass sacrifice) and jumped into fire to protect their honour from enemies. 


Rajput men have a special place in the history of India and great warriors like Maharana Pratap, Rana Sanga, Prithviraj Chauhan, Veer Kunwar Singh etc have been a part of this clan. But Rajput women were no less. 

Fed on stories of great, courageous leaders since childhood, they upheld honour and valour in the highest regard. True, they observed purdah (veil) but that did not mean they meekly followed male authority. They had immense self respect and pride in lineage and tradition. These women were warriors in thought and spirit from behind the purdah. They were often well educated and would learn all the battlefield skills from the very start. 

Even the commoners were skilled in warfare. These ladies were no damsels in distress, they could cook as well as kill with the same expertise.

The legendary story of Hadi Rani underscores the lofty ideals and pride of a Rajput lady. She cut her head when she felt that her husband was so much enamoured by her beauty that he was reluctant to go to the battlefield.  

According to wikipedia, “When Maharana Raj Singh I (1653–1680) of Mewar called Hadi Rani’s husband to join the battle against Aurangzeb, the Sardar, having married only a few days earlier hesitated about going into battle. Rajput honour being what it is, he had to join the battle regardless of his reservations. He asked his wife Hadi Rani for some memento to take with him to the battlefield.

Thinking that she was an obstacle to his doing his duty for Mewar, she cut off her head and put it on a plate in her dying moments. A servant covered it with a cloth and presented it to her husband. The Sardar, devastated but nevertheless proud, tied the memento around his neck by its hair. He fought bravely, making Aurangzeb’s army flee.” (Source: Wikipedia).


Another rebel of sorts was the devotee Mira bai, who drank poison in the name of her God Krishna but did not compromise with her ideals. Then there were Rani Durgabati, Rani Karnavati, Rani Chanderi who like Rani Padmini refused to submit to enemies and committed Jauhar (mass sacrifice) to defend their honour. They preferred to die rather than be defiled by blood stained hands of intruders. 


These brave women have left hand prints for posterity to remember them. It must have taken unimanigable courage to go through the act but it was better than being brutalized by the enemy.

For Rajput women of yore, committing adultery even in dream, thought, word or under any circumstance was unacceptable. So, they preferred death. This is precislely the reason why Mr Bhansali should tread these lines carefully. 

I am hopeful that Mr Bhansali will do justice to Rani Padmini in his film ‘Padmavati’ so that our kids get a new understanding of the words – Honour, Pride, Valour and Integrity.

White Holi!

While the vibrant spring festival, Holi is being celebrated with colours all over the world, we are having a different kind of Holi here in Minnesota (USA). Nature has chosen to shower us with snow today, making it a wonderful White Holi for us!

Earth has got covered up with a sheet of white.


A lone fitness enthusiast dared to venture out!

Snow, snow everywhere!


Footprints in the snow as pedestrians hurried by….


Trees huddled together, waiting for the arrival of spring! 

BTW, have a super duper, colourful Holi! 

After Kangana’s Coffee with Karan….

Seething with anger, Mr Karan Johar sat in a luxurious room post his ‘Koffee with Karan’ episode with the arrogant actress Kangana Ranaut. He had been contradicted and slammed on his own famous chat show by a little actress, who was weaker than him in every way. She had no ‘godfather’ in the Hindi film industry, she was not the daughter of a renowned filmmaker or celebrity, she had far lesser contacts and connections than him, and less wealth in comparison to him.  Although, red faced after being called a ‘movie mafia’, Karan had tried to maintain his composure, making it all light and good humoured but the cracks had shown on the show…

Breaking his reverie, the phone buzzed! It was his favourite actress. “How could she, the shabby thing, speak to you like that Karan.You poor thing, I know you must be really mad….and did you hear her disgusting accent….what’s wrong with her….,” the actress purred. Karan spoke his heart out for the next ten moments. The staff in the next room could make out that the boss was indeed in a very bad humour.

“The down market thing, needs to be taught a lesson….,” another favourite whatsapped him. By this time, the media and twiterrati were having a gala time at the expense of poor Mr Johar. The man had been stumped at his own ‘masala’ show! The media sided with Kangana, who had chided Karan for his nepotism and tendency to act as the owner of Bollywood.


 The Hindi film industry is indeed brimming with actors and actresses with less talent and more contacts. All the top notch actors are sons and daughters of celebrities – Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Shraddha Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Tiger Shroff….to name just a few. Ms Ranaut had won this round of applause.

Mr Johar reacted subtly in his next episode of ‘Koffee with Karan’ with Kapil Sharma. “What would you do if you wake up as Kangana Ranaut?,” he asked the comedian. “I would delete my emails,” Kapil Sharma replied sheepishly. And then both laughed nonsensically, insinuating at Kangana and Hrithik’s affair! But the humour fell flat. 

By this time, more than half of the industry sided with Karan Johar, they needed to be in his good books. Ms Ranaut was always an outsider, a nobody, despite having talent. She had also dared to pick up fights with other prominent goliaths like Roshans and was said to be arrogant and rude. 

Karan struck again! While speaking on the sidelines of an event at the London School of Economics, he hinted that Kangana may not have understood the meaning of the word nepotism, that he was fed up of seeing her play the ‘woman card’ and ‘victim card’ and that if the actress had such a problem with the way  industry worked, she was welcome to leave.


That day, watching Karan’s vengeful speeches, Kangana smiled inwardly! She knew most of the industry people would refuse to work with her now. She had irrepairably damaged her career by being loud and clear but…what made her smile was…atleast she had managed to hit back in some way. She knew that she could be called names and dirty allegations might be made against her but she was here to stay! It was time for her to react again! She straightened her back and strided confidently albeit towards an uncertain future.

(Disclaimer – This is a dramatised version of the ongoing battle between Karan Johar and Kangana Ranaut. It is partly factual and partly fictitious. Images courtesy Google.)