Relic from the past


PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Felicia fondly observed the trees through the window from her desk in the public office. They had grown over the thirty years of her service to be more majestic than her shriveled self. The phone below was probably older. A relic from the past; like she would be when she retires. Both would be forgotten…. soon.

She was distracted by a little girl pulling her father to the phone. As he picked her up, she placed the receiver to her ears, consumed with excitement. Felicia smiled. Perhaps some relics would survive still, if only by the curiosity of the young.

Word Count: 100

Flash fiction in response to Friday Fictioneers hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff.


Being stuck


Photo credit: Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode

“She had no right to be rude to me. Especially when she knows the kind of stress that I am under!!” he fumed as he paced his yacht. Roy’s frustration had grown to unbearable proportions. He felt stifled and stuck in his present job. He wasn’t getting any new ones either being “too senior”. He felt caged and the tension was spilling over at home.

Being lost in his thoughts, he realized he was stuck, quite literally, only after a while; the low tide had left his yacht marooned. “What? This is exactly what I need now!!” he yelled. His anger though, could not be sustained. Forced inactivity has a calming effect on the mind and he was no exception. Nature took over his senses forcing him to observe and admire the jagged rocks, the iridescent green of the moss, the gray of the night edging out the blues. As the tide reversed and the yacht was ready for sailing, Roy was at peace. Sometimes, it is better to just be stuck.

Word count: 172

Flash Fiction in response to FFfAW hosted by Priceless Joy.


A case for the acceptance of all

This post has been prompted by my reading “The Gene” by Siddhartha Mukherjee (just started the book). This post is not a book review (the book is excellent though :)). Rather, it is about a thought that was triggered as I read about how Darwin’s understanding of evolution came to be. As far as I know, most people are at least aware of this concept. Many disagree with it and over the centuries there have been many other proposals, refutations etc . However, it is still perhaps the most popular concept of evolution.

Continue reading “A case for the acceptance of all”

The squishy jelly


Tiny, beautiful, wisp like, there but almost not there, the Irukandji jellyfish was seen by none except the 5-year-old who picked it up exultingly. She went ashore excitedly to show her stunned family the squishy jelly, considered sometimes as the most venomous on the planet. Next day, the local newspaper ran a story with the headlines “Local girl immune to venom baffles scientists”.

Short story in response to Three Line Tales hosted by Sonya.

photo by Pan Da Chuan via Unsplash

Being me

I adorn myself with the armor of timidity
Protection from words is now a surety.
Some say she is shy; such a recluse
Others say her arrogance is beyond excuse.

The verdicts fail to penetrate the armor
It drowns all the noise and the clamor.
Solitude rescues me from the armor’s hold
Leaving me surrounded by all words untold.

With urgency their wish on paper is seared
This poem is evidence of their order adhered.
Shut from the world, the words set me free
To ponder, explore and accept; and just be me.


The search


PHOTO PROMPT © Kent Bonham

I had feared the worst when I had not seen the old man for a few Sundays. I had searched for the immaculate, blue Volkswagen in front of the church; strained to glimpse him nodding to me from under the trees while he patiently waited. I had surmised his atheism was at peace with another’s faith. Where was he?

Next Sunday, I was relieved to see the car. After a hurried search in the trees, I entered the church to find him in tearful prayer. I gasped as I heard Father tell him “She is with Him. She is happy”.

Word count: 100

Flash fiction in response to Friday Fictioneers hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff.

The recycled soul?

Two independent events over the weekend that were coincidentally relevant have forced me to think about fundamental questions of birth and death. In the past, I have studied the questions of birth and death, life and its vagaries, desire and pain, destiny and free will as explained from multiple religious standpoints. However, in the recent past, I have learned to simplify my existence, my world view, my understanding and love of God to very few basic principles. This simplification has allowed me to be far less questioning and far more accepting thereby making life, well, more simple. But these two seemingly small events revived the questions from the past that had been blissfully suppressed so far. Quick context. Event 1: Advertisement that called for essay entries with the title “Who am I”. Event 2: Unplanned spontaneous discussion on reincarnation for a Hindu.

Continue reading “The recycled soul?”

The recluse



Laden with an assortment of items – paints, jars, crystals, marbles, buttons, she slipped unnoticed through the market, making her way back home. On reaching, she closed the door of her small one room home and smiled with relief. The ordeal was over.

She carefully arranged everything, reserving special tenderness for the lone window. She viewed it from the chair in front of her easel, admiring the golden streaks painted by the sun falling on the jar. Later, light would shine through the crystals in the candle stand to make a remarkable collage. She sighed contentedly and picked her brush.

Word count: 100

Flash fiction in response to Friday Fictioneers hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff.

The lady in the story might be a recluse who shies away from people and finds everyday activities tedious. However, she is an artist and finds joy in the colors and shapes of nature and works of art. She is content, happy and at peace, in the little abode, she calls home. I am quite taken by her I must admit. 🙂

Her prayer

She followed the white plume that rose from the glowing incense stick. The smoke rose as a single sheet before branching out into barely discernible tiny veins and then vanishing altogether. She was engrossed in its fluid shapelessness; shifting every moment before she could even accept the picture through her eyes. She could only observe. Observe the ever changing ephemeral beauty while standing still in the chaos.

She wondered. Perhaps he was drifting too. Weightless, unbound, liberated. Just rising towards his God effortlessly while his body decayed like the slowly burning incense turning into ashes. However, just as everyone would sense the incense by its scent long after the ashes had been swept, she would feel him too long after he was gone. He would be with her in every smile and tear, in every moment of courage and weakness, in every breath and death.

She followed the stream of smoke till her eyes rested on the face of God. She stared into His serene face and did the only thing she could. “Please accept him God” she prayed with all her soul’s strength. “Please keep him happy.”

What defines me

Memories of you seize me in unguarded moments
Washing over me and pelting me, like torrential rain
Where do I seek shelter, when it is myself I am running from?

Everyone says, whatever happens, happens for the good
Show me all the things I hate about you; tell me it’s good riddance
Is it? I question myself. Has my love for you been so blind?

It must be; for it screened from me all the signs and hints
Now, as I set out to chart out the lonely path of discovery,
What do I deserve and what is in store, who can tell?

I KNOW one thing for sure though; the one guiding lamp to my path
You may have found me worthless, a dead weight around your leg
But that is YOUR scale, not mine. I will NOT let this define me.

The hostages

He walked with a swagger that announced his attitude; “Don’t mess with me or else….!!!”. Absolutely nothing bothered him and if at all anything did, he knew how to deal with it. Every one of the hostages in the room was fearful of him; wary of his movements. They tried their best to remain calm while waiting for the next demand. Till now, all his demands had been met – without any delay. He just had to point and he was served with his wish. What was next, no one knew.

No one dared to confront him, let alone raise their voice against him. History was proof that he had been the victor of every confrontation. People had been beaten, slapped and punched innumerable times without having been able to land a single blow on him. He simply had his way and that was that. This time would be no different. Everyone in the room eyed the wall clock almost every minute only to sense that it was ticking slower with every glance. They were hopeful though that rescue was close at hand. They would be relieved any minute now, if only they all stayed calm.

It was 6:10 PM and still no sign of respite. Just as some began to wonder how much longer they could take the pressure, she walked in hurriedly with an apologetic look on her face. She quickly glanced around the room to take in the situation and looked straight into his face. He had noticed her entrance almost instantly too and ran to her. She scooped up her one-year-old son into her arms and gave him a tight hug. She planted a kiss on his cheek and looked around the room to her weary, tired family saying “I am really sorry I am late. Did he trouble you a lot?”