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!

Three minutes to six!

I admired this timepiece the moment I set eyes on it at an old antique shop. 

“He will love it,” I thought as I observed the craftsmanship, hoping to gift it to my husband.

But two things seemed odd here. First, there was no price tag on it. Second, the watch was set at around 3 minutes to 6 and that made me wonder. 

I went to the old shop assistant and enquired about the price.”It is priceless,” she said. I said I wanted to buy it. 

“Well, then take it for free,” she said mysteriously. I heard her mumbling, “The watch has chosen you. Good luck to you.”

I had an eerie feeling as I reached my car. I checked time on my phone. It was 2 minutes to 6. 

I could hear two distinct sounds now – tick tick from the timepiece and thud thud from my heart! I felt I needed to make a decision…!

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 Louise for the image!

End of the World!

The travelling monk looked at the famous Il Gigante for a long, long time. His serene eyes were the colour of the ocean, while his orange robe gleamed in the sun. The beach was sparsely crowded and he found a quiet place to sit.

Sana, a middle aged writer, found the pensive monk as interesting as that colossal sculpture of Neptune towering above them. There was a strange, other-worldly glint in his eyes. She wanted to click his snap for her travelogue.

“Hello Sir, I am Sana, a tourist! Can I have a snap of yours, please,” she went near the monk and requested. He just smiled.

Perhaps, he did not know English language! She tried to communicate in a sign language. He smiled again, wrote something and gave her.

“The day this sculpture falls, the world will end. Every minute is important,” the note said.

Sana looked up, but the monk had vanished. A terrible gush of wind blew away the paper from her shivering hands!

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. For more information, please CLICK HERE. Thank you Momtheobscure for the image!