Intruders #FridayFotoFiction



Mount Kailash was meant to be a safe haven, an uninhabited place where no man would venture.

“Whoosh” and I wake up with a jolt. At a distance I can see a huge ball of fire.

I stand astounded.

What brought it here?

After some days the place is occupied by the remains of a humongous metal object. It appears familiar but I cannot make much out of it as we can merely see its dilapidated remains.

I often sit there gazing at the stars and wondering what brought it to these unconquered terrains.

Now, we fear for the possibility that the humans might arrive.

The thought makes me shudder.

I have loved these tranquil terrains which were left unscathed by them unlike anything else on this planet.

We have been living blissfully on the apex of this mystical mountain for years.

Is it time to fly to another planet?


(150 words)



(Mount Kailash is said to be the abode of Lord Shiva.  Very few people have trekked to the top of Mount Kailash out of veneration for Lord Shiva and also owing to the difficult terrain. There are numerous theories around Mount Kailash and there have been reports that state that there have been sightings of UFO and that there is extraterrestrial life there. There are so many mysteries that the colossal Himalayan range engulfs.)

Posted in #FridayFotoFiction, Flash Fiction | 16 Comments

Perils of being an ‘Unromantic Wife’


‘Men are from Mars and women are from Venus’, they say. Women and men are considered diagonally opposite when it comes to venting out their feelings. Men are deemed as the ones who rarely express themselves and women are the ones who put themselves out in an unassuming manner and crave for a partner who does the same.

Whenever I meet a group of women and the conversations lead to their respective spouses, the general rant is that their husbands are unromantic who forget their birthdays and anniversaries. During such occasions, I grin and try to look as if I am also one of them and that I am also bitten by the usual ‘unromantic husband syndrome’ like them. But, boy, I am a hopeless actor and somehow they see through my lie. And then I have to admit the truth that in my case it is not my husband who is ‘unromantic’ but it is me. They look at me agape when I tell them that my husband is a thoughtful and sensitive person who has never once forgotten my birthday or our anniversary in the last decade. On top of that he surprises me with gifts and even pen a poem or two to express his love. While they give me an appalling expression of ‘You lucky woman’, I wish I could hide my head in the ground like an ostrich.

Well, you may judge me for being a cold – hearted soul but today I would admit that I am not the quintessential wife who is expressive when it comes to displaying her love.

Now, this is not something which is cringe worthy but when the other half is the one who never ceases to sweep you off your feet with his thoughtful gestures, then you retrospect. Let me first enumerate some instances which will bring out my callousness and non- mushy side:

  • I do not remember buying or giving a bouquet of red roses on Valentine’s Day or birthdays.
  • Gifts? Well, past the dating days, I moved on with the ‘gifting phase’.
  • Cards? I did buy those love-laden Archies cards and even penned many a rhyming verses that did give the man a peek into my heart. But, haven’t done that for a long time now.

So, you get the picture. I am guilty of being the ‘unromantic wife’. Was I like this from the start or it is the outcome of sheer indolence?

I have been married for more than seven years and as time flew by my relationship with my husband became as comforting as an old pair of jeans. It may have borne the tests of time but once worn it fits like a fiddle and becomes as if a part of our skin. So, in the usual humdrums of life, I turned a blind eye to all those gestures of love which break in the monotony of the weary days.

But, fortunately for me, my other half was there to make up for my callousness. But, I have realized that though we may say that, as you grow old there is no need to showcase your emotions to that special someone but doesn’t it feel nice to clearly sketch out to your loved one once in a while that you brighten my days ?

What do you say? Love is what makes the world go round. So it wouldn’t be bad if at times, I keep off the garb of the ‘unromantic wife’ and sprinkle some love.

What say?


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Courage #FridayFotoFiction



He could sense it. The bizarre noise was enough to make him see the imminent danger.

His heart skipped a beat. His hair stood on their ends.

He knew the procedure under such a situation.

He peeked down.

He was above the bustling town. The moment he glanced down, he could see cross roads.

Was that a sign? He was on cross roads too.

He could go right out or he could make that last effort.

He took the call in a flash.

He sprung into action with all his might.

He was losing control.

He knew it was too late.

He closed his eyes.

“A Mig 21 aircraft crashed in the outskirts of the city of Ambala.  The pilot Flt. Lt. Akash Mehra could not eject but he made sure to take the aircraft at a safe distance from the densely populated area, thereby saving thousands of lives.”


(149 words)


Posted in #FridayFotoFiction, Flash Fiction | 17 Comments

Lost and Found #FridayFotoFiction



She looked around and just sat there gazing at the river which shimmered in the October sun.

He sat next to her. He looked at her and his lips formed a smile that steered through her being, making her heart flutter.

“Where was I all these years?” she wondered.

She was over the moon when she became a mother and held the tiny pink thing in her hands, four years ago. He became the focal point of her life and soon she got immersed in the alleys of motherhood.

It was a beautiful feeling but soon she turned melancholic. It was as if her existence had come to a standstill.

She pined for freedom, she pined to find herself.

He could sense her struggle and held her hand.

Today, vacationing in the most beautiful city, holding her husband’s hand, she had found herself again.


(143 words)


Posted in #FridayFotoFiction, parenting | 14 Comments

The Homecoming




Naina sipped her customary morning tea, slurping it in a hurry while tapping her fingers on her phone.

“Hello, ma, how are you today?”, she spoke as the familiar voice of her mother Krishna is heard at the other end.

“I am doing just fine beta. Don’t worry about me so much.”

Naina shifted on the couch where she sat as she struggled to know the well being of her sixty year old mother.

It had become a ritual of sorts for Naina. Each day at around nine in the morning, she would call her mother to ask after her. She worried about her mother Krishna , who is diabetic and is not keeping very well for the past one year or so.

But, what agitated Naina is that her mother mostly does not divulge details about her health lest Naina might ask her to come and stay with her.

Naina was the only child of her parents. Her father was a man who had the zest for life and who seemed fit and healthy most part of his life. But, his sudden demise the previous year had left everyone shocked.

Krishna, Naina’s mother was a strong woman and she had taken this sudden trauma life had thrown at her in her stride. She continued to live alone in the same house, managing everything fairly well.

But, since her father’s death something in Naina had changed. It took her a while to come to terms with her his death. She had trouble sleeping and was restless and gloomy. Time is a great healer though and so gradually she moved on.  Also, she had her family to tend to. Her son was in the ninth grade and she had her mother in law who was mostly dependent on her as she was wheel chair bound.

Though Naina had made peace with her father’s sudden demise, she constantly worried about her mother. In the night when everyone dozed off, the thought of her mother sleeping alone in that big house, ran shivers down her spine.

She had discussed it with her husband, who fortunately for her was always there to lend her an ear. She felt that it would be best if her mother could stay with them. Her husband also echoed her thoughts and so she decided to talk to her mom about this at the earliest. She even mentioned it to her mother- in- law who was elated that she would have someone to talk to if her mother stayed with them.

“I will go and talk to her today”, Naina made a mental note and hastened with the usual morning madness. After her son left for school and her mother-in-law had breakfast, she gave instructions to the maid and left for her mother’s house. Her mother’s house was around ten kilometers away and she left at eleven so as to ditch the cacophony and chaos of the office hour traffic.

As she reached her destination, Naina unbuckled her seat belt and sat there, still staring at the lane which was alive with vegetable vendors calling their lungs out to their prospective buyers, a group of middle aged women sat at a distant corner chatting with animated expressions while a stray dog lazed out in the glaring sunlight, which was like discovering an oasis in the desert on the cold wintry morning.

Naina had spent most of her childhood in these mundane lanes and suddenly she felt nostalgia gripping over her. She could picture herself waving out to her mom as she stepped on the school bus. She could see herself as a little curly haired girl loitering with those carefree steps holding her father’s hand.

It took a couple of loud and brazen honks to bring her back to the present. Mulling over how she would convince her mom, Naina stepped inside. As she barged in, she was welcomed by an unforeseen presence. Yes, there in the living room with her mother, sat, the effervescent, ‘never mincing her words for the world’, Mrs. Tripathi. She was the last person Naina expected to meet today.

“Oh, Naina, you came in at the right time, we were just having tea”, Mrs. Tripathi exclaimed.

“Namaste aunty, how are you?” Naina uttered trying  to sound as polite as possible.

“I am good beta, I usually come to see your mom around this time. I know you worry for her as she is all alone.”

Naina thought that this was the right moment to slip in the purpose of her visit and so she cut her in by saying, “Yes aunty. I worry for her all the time. In fact, I have decided that she should stay with us instead of being on her own in this big house.”

As Naina said these words, both the women looked at her agape.

Her mother broke the silence and said, “Naina, I cannot possibly stay with you. Stop worrying about me”.

Naina felt blood rushing through her. “Why can’t you stay with me mom. What is so bizarre about me asking you to stay with me and why do you seem to push this aside whenever I make an attempt to broach the topic?”

Before her mother could answer, Mrs. Tripathi stepped in. “Come on Naina, you are not a child. How can she stay at her married daughter’s house? And you have your mother- in- law too in the same house. What will she think? If she had a son, then things would have been different.”

Naina stood there shell shocked. She looked at her mother who stared at her almost expressing her solidarity with Mrs. Tripathi’s outrageous assumptions.

Naina could no longer hold her horses. “Aunty, I am the only child of my parents. And it is my duty to look after my parents when they are grappling with health issues and now that papa is no more, it is all the more important for me to be an emotional anchor  to mom. Isn’t it a child’s responsibility to hold their parents hands, the same hand which held on to us when we stumbled as children. What has gender to do with the love between a parent and a child?”

“But beta, this is not what normally happens in our society. What will people say?” Mrs. Tripathi uttered vehemently.

“Aunty, normal is often overrated. Who are these people, everyone is so worried about.  These shapeless voices which are the harbingers of the do’s and don’ts in the society thrive because of our own weaklings. Do they come and sit next to my mother when she sleeps alone in this empty house while her own flesh and blood is merely an hour away worrying about her well being. I am sorry to say mom that we blame the society for flaming discrimination but I feel it is people like you who are so afraid to do the right thing that such assumptions are further ingrained.”

Both Mrs. Tripathi and her mom looked at Naina dumbfounded.

Naina herself is surprised by how she so blatantly voiced her opinion. She suddenly feels overwhelmed with emotions. Excusing herself she walks away.

Naina reaches home and gets immersed in her usual routine but she is distressed. The evening sets in. Suddenly, her phone beeps and as she peers down she is surprised to see a text message from her mom.

Nervously, she opens it.

It says, “I will be shifting with you next week. You are right. I am not afraid of the shapeless voices anymore. See you soon.

Love, Ma.”

Naina smiles as she reads the message.

A daughter had finally brought her mother home.






Posted in feminism, parenting, Short Story, Social Lens | 8 Comments