The Wrong Ferry

He looked at the beautiful lady standing next to him on deck of the departing ferry and wondered – Has she won a trip to Duluth, too? She wore a period costume, similar to Kate Winslet’s in ‘The Titanic’.

He cleared his throat and casually remarked about the weather but she seemed lost in thoughts. Her pale blue dress matched with her eyes while the turquoise waters of Lake Superior provided a befitting background.

Aha, photo time, he remembered! His wife, Mrs Sharma would kill him if he didn’t keep her updated with photos and messages. She had reluctantly let him go on this trip, alone.

He took out his iPhone.

“Do you mind taking my picture, pleeeeease…..”

The lady turned to him angrily. Her face changed, got distorted and eyes emanated fumes of red. Blood froze in his veins as he realized he had boarded one of the famous ghost ferries that haunted Lake Superior!

(This 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 Ted Strutz for the image. Please CLICK HERE for more.)

The Divine Race

Once Shiva and Parvati received a divine fruit of knowledge from devas. It was a special fruit, filled with wisdom, knowledge and immortality.

Their great sons, Kartikeya and Ganesh, both seemed worthy. But who was better of the two? Shiva thought of a plan! He asked both sons to circle the world three times, the winner would get the fruit as prize.

Kartikeya’s vaahan (ride) was a swift peacock while Ganesh rode on a little mouse. Off went Kartikeya, sure of being victorious but Ganesh had a better plan. He began to circle Shiva and Parvati. After circling them thrice, the wise Ganesh said to his dear parents – “For me, you are my whole world. The entire universe resides in you. Any other world is superficial.”

The doting parents hugged him and champion Ganesh received the divine fruit!

This is a famous story from the life of Lord Ganesh. Thank you Priceless Joy and Lavanya for this picture prompt on the auspicious day of Maha Shivaratri.

(This 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 Lavanya for the image. Please CLICK HERE for more.)

Gulliver Travels to PoliPut


Beyond distorted trees and barren lands, situated half on Earth and half in the Sky, was the mega city – PoliPut. Gulliver consulted his map once again to ensure that he was nearing his destination. 

As he cautiously entered the noisy City, a volley of tweets just missed his ears. Monstrous boards and placards full of accusations stood at every corner. The Politikians were enjoying rowdy rallies where slippers and boots were being hurled. And every nook and corner stank of black wealth.

The Politikians were short in stature but giant shadows accompanied them. The leader was chosen after a round of Yelling Match.

Gulliver also noticed one queer thing. The Politikians used just one emotion – the smiley. They even killed with a smile! It was the strangest land ever! 

(Gulliver did not write any further. Like most honest journalists, he was muted by a smiling Politikian.)


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 Yarnspinnerr for the image. Please CLICK HERE for more.

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.)

When Mary Met Gary…

Mary Smith loved to write songs. During lunch breaks, she would often 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.)

Comic Relief

As they watched a movie in the theatre, little Avi fidgeted. “When will spiderman come?”, he asked. “Hush, he will come soon,” his mom whispered, making sure others watched in peace.

In the film, the dreaded biker’s gang was wrecking the town. And the heroine was murdered. Mom had teary eyes, when Avi interrupted again. “What about Spiderman?”, he asked. “Eat the popcorns, Spiderman will come at the end,” she tried to distract him. 

He ate for a while and began to play with the popcorns. While in the film, the hero was about to be killed and there was pin drop silence! Just then, to mom’s horror, the spidey fan vocalized loudly – 

Spiderman, Spiderman, 

Does whatever a spider can

Spins a web, any size,

Catches thieves just like flies, look out…

Embarassed, she scooped the little singer up and walked out of the theatre but the crowd cheered. The film was too intense, they needed comic relief!

(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.)

The Big Brother

He knew it was late. His mother would be anxiously waiting for him but he wanted to dilly dally. He wished, she could come down to receive him at the bus stop just like she used to do! But these days she was always busy with the whining little thing, they brought from the hospital. 

It was his dream to be a big brother but now he realised how challenging it was. The baby was a cranky one. If only they could replace her with a sweet, sleepy baby! He no longer liked being a big brother. He wanted constant attention from his parents more than ever.

Dragging his feet, he went home. His mother was at the door with the baby. She reproached him for loitering around. But the cranky one smiled. He ignored her. But she cooed again and held out her baby hand. 

His feelings changed from dejection to exhilaration! She was quite cute, after all!

(This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely 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 Jessica Haines for the image. Please CLICK HERE for more.)

Soham!!!

In the lotus position, he sat viewing the derelict pier. It was godhuli bela, the time when the grazing herd of cows returned to his village in subdued light. The calm lake, sounds of fauna, the gentle air settled him for a deep meditation.

As his half naked body relaxed, thoughts surrounded him. He did not try to stop them, just floated with them like a detached companion. Somewhere someone was playing the flute, it was magical! His mind aligned with the music, enabling him to be deeply aware of his breath. SOHAM!!!

Strangely, a cold creepy thing moved along his back. For a second he thought, it was due to Kundalini awakening but no… it felt terribly slimy! It was a KOBRA, crawling on him.

Crippled with fear and holding his breath, he waited till the snake crawled away! Then, leaving the mat behind, he ran as fast as he could!

(This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely 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. Please CLICK HERE for more. Thank you Barb for the image!)

From Mad Man to Mountain Man

Dashrath Manjhi sat viewing the mighty mountains surrounding him. They were the barriers, the hurdles, who had played with the lives of so many of his loved ones.

The mountains arrogantly stood between his village, Gehlaur and the nearest town blocking medical and other facilities. And not long back, the love of his life had slipped from one of these rocky terrains, leaving him alone.

He wanted revenge now! It was his will against the daunting mountains. Angrily, he took out his hammer and chisel and began to hurt the mountains. 

The villagers called him mad. But he just stopped listening. For twenty two years, he single handedly struggled against the mountains. 

Finally, he succeeded in carving a path 9.1 metres (30 ft) wide and 110 metres (360 ft) long through a hill 7.6 metres (25 ft). The distance between his village and the town got reduced from 55km to 15km.

Today, the world knows him as the noble Mountain Man!

(The picture reminded me of the poor labourer Dashrath Manjhi from India, who spent his entire life doing a noble task. His life has inspired many documentaries and films as well as stories.  In August 2015, a Hindi movie Manjhi – The Mountain Man, based on his life got released and was well received.)


(This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely 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. Please CLICK HERE for more. Thank you Grant for the image!)

Shashibala, The Brave Servant Girl!

I felt as if I had walked along that bridge, a long time ago, in a different age. Strange! That was my first visit to the historic Fort in a small town called Monger.

The guide went on and on describing every little detail about the kings and queens. But I was not listening! The lake was holding me in a trance.

I was seeing a pitiable face down in the lake, crying out to me, asking me to rescue her. 

Instinctively, I screamed, “Hang on girl, I will help!”. 

“Who needs help? Are you okay?,” the guide asked me. I nodded with some embarrasment.

Later in the tour, the guide showed us the portrait of a brave servant girl who had drowned in the lake while saving a princess from drowning. 

It all came back to me. I looked closer and whispered – Shashibala!!!

(This post is dedicated to the maid, who saved my grandmother from drowning. When my grandmother was a little girl, she used to swim using an inverted earthen pot (matki), which slipped out of her hand on that fateful day. The brave girl died saving her.)

This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely 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. Please CLICK HERE for more. Thank you Joy Pixley for the image!

Khakhra


Little Brinda could not comprehend how it happened! All she saw was a jar containing some spice getting attracted to the old lady’s fingers. Her hand seemed to be sort of magnet! Was this lady a witch?

She watched as the scrawny lady grinded all kinds of spices. She kept murmuring something and Brinda got scared to even breathe in that strangely aromatic house.

“I shouldn’t have listened to grandma,” Brinda thought. But grandma had bad cough and the doctor’s medicines were ineffective. That morning granny said to Brinda,”Only old Khakhra can help me. Can you get the cough mixture…but don’t tell your parents.”

She agreed for grandma’s sake but knew that Khakhra was weird!

The mixture was almost ready and Khakhra smiled revealing crooked teeth. Brinda accepted the medicine bag and planned to run.

But Khakhra clutched her hand. Brinda held her breath as she pressed something into her palm and released her. 

Once home, panting and jittery, Brinda opened her fist – it was her favourite orange candy! 

(The character of Khakhra is based on a lady in my maternal grandmother’s village. She was rumoured to be a witch but actually she was quite nice. I met her when I was little.)

This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely 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. Please CLICK HERE for more. Thank you Maria for the image!

The Pink Panther


Sheila waited nervously in the lobby. Soon, she was to be called in for the interview. Looking down at her plain clothes and worn out sandals, she thought, “Will they even consider me?” The other candidates looked so stylish!

But she was not the only one, who was out of the place at the huge Film Design studio. 

Placed in the middle of life-like paintings of Cherubs, Nymphs and landscapes, was a huge photograph of a pink diamond against a black background. It just did not fit!

Her turn came and the overbearing boss threw a question without even looking up, “I saw you checking out the diamond picture in the lobby. If you were me, what would you name it? 

“The Pink Panther,” Sheila answered.

“Why,” he asked with interest.

“First, because the diamond in the picture is flawed just like it was in the film ‘The Pink Panther’.” 

“And second,” she paused looking around at the posters of Aishwarya. “Your favourite star was in that film.”

Sheila nailed the job!

(This image reminded me of the series of films -‘The Pink Panther’. In the film, a flawed pink diamond is used as major plot device. Famous Indian actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan acted in the movie. Find her picture below from the film ‘The Pink Panther’. She will soon be seen in a new film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’)

(Image courtesy Google)

This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely 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. Please CLICK HERE for more. Thank you Jade M Wong for the image!