Waiting #FiveSentenceFiction

The greenish-black patterns surfaced on the clean background with utmost ease and perfection, kindling the deep, suppressed emotions in Shikha, pulling the strings of melancholy and quiet anticipation at the same time. 

Boisterous laughter, tinkling bangles, hurried footsteps, hushed gossips, and loud music filled the air with energy sufficient to light up the whole town.

“The darker its colour, the deeper would be the love” teased a voice and Shikha shuddered in déjà-vu as she remembered that fatal day a few years ago when the news of the tragic death of the groom had ruthlessly nipped the peaking romance in the bud.

Will the Henna this time herald the blossoms of lasting love and companionship? Shikha decided to place her faith in her destiny and wait. 

Five sentence fiction written in response to the prompt: Waiting at LillieMcferrinWrites. 

The Accident #FridayFictioneers #fiction #100words

“Keep taking Derek to familiar surroundings; remind him of his past and there are chances of his memory returning” advised Dr. Mark to Anne.

Anne chirped her usual way with her husband, deftly weaving the pre-accident life into the conversation, but gaining only a glazed expression in return.

As Anne drove past the busy lane, Derek shrieked, his eyes fixed on the damaged minivan covered with the foliage on the curb “Yes, It was me. I killed the innocent boy!”

Anne’s wicked eyes gleamed in pleasure at Mark as the cops led a handcuffed delusional Derek out of their way.

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright-Roger Bultot
Word count: 100

100 word story written in response to the photo prompt at Friday Fictioneers at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can post one of your own or read the other entries here

The wheel of life #fiction

Waiting in the lobby of the hospital, I tried to control the butterflies in my stomach. It was my second visit since last week to the gynecologist. The pregnancy was not confirmed even though I had missed my periods.” It could be a false alarm,” my doctor had warned and asked me to return after a week.  Even as my mind was infested with conflicting thoughts, I was unconsciously absorbing the scene that was unfolding around me, typical of a hospital.

The pediatric ward was just across me; happy, concerned parents carrying their bundles of joy bobbed about the ward waiting for the doctor to put a stamp of “all’s well” on their precious ones. Will I join this motley crowd soon? I wondered. It was certainly a testing time for me literally and figuratively for I was on the wrong side of thirty and a good five years into my happy marriage. The two pink lines however remained a bit elusive in our life.

And, then there was another section, further down the lobby, a little away from where I sat. It was the oncology and radiation department. It was where I first saw Mrs. Joshi. Her short, balding hair and thin frame suggested that she was probably on treatment. She caught me looking at her and gave me a small but warm smile. I looked away quickly embarrassed to have been caught staring at someone like that. She, on the other hand, seemed used to the various looks she garnered.

The gynec confirmed the false pregnancy. The good news, however, was the absence of any major complication in our reports, aside from being overweight (me) and a higher blood pressure (the husband). We were asked to exercise, relax, be stress-free and come for regular check-ups and let nature take its course. I had to undergo some routine tests which meant a visit every couple of weeks to the gynecologist.

I ran into Mrs. Joshi many times during my subsequent visits and we became more than acquaintances who bonded over the smell of disinfectant and medicines; we connected over the realities of life. Mrs. Joshi, a spirited woman in her 50s, with bright brown eyes that crinkled with wisdom and child-like enthusiasm every time she laughed, had been diagnosed with breast cancer last year and was battling it out ever since. She always had a nice word to say to me, a funny anecdote to share or at times regale me with stories of her loving family. Never once during our exchanges did I feel any sort of resentment or self-pity in her demeanor.

“Why do you worry so much? 33 years is not old. Enjoy life at every stage; soon you might crave for the child-free days! It doesn’t matter what others have to say.” She’d soothe me gently as a mother would when I confided in her my fear of remaining childless, my anxiety to face my extended family and society, of answering their insensitive questions.

“Aunty, does it pain too much? How is that you manage to remain so happy and positive?” the question that had played on my mind came on my lips one day.

Mrs. Joshi smiled. “Beta, the physical pain is superficial. This disease has been an eye-opener for me. It taught me, of many things, that life must be experienced every living moment because life does not wait for anyone to catch up with it. It simply goes on and if we miss to keep pace, dwelling on what could’ve been or what could happen, we simply miss life.”

My meetings with Mrs. Joshi grew sparse as I grew fitter and required lower dosages of treatment. I wondered about her health and hoped to meet her that day as I went in for my routine check-up and also to confirm the results of yet another missed period. I was in for a rude shock when, instead, I ran into Mr. Joshi who confirmed my worst fears. Mrs. Joshi had lost the battle to cancer only that morning.

How much I'd wanted to share my good news with the inspiring lady! The irony of the situation hit me hard as I clutched the reports of a confirmed pregnancy that day and returned home in a daze. She had taught me an important lesson that the wheel of life does not wait for anyone! It simply turns and turns, never stops or stands still. It’s up to us to either enjoy the roller-coaster ride or keep waiting for the perfect view. 

P.s. This entry was submitted for the July muse of the month contest at Women's Web. The prompt-The wheel turns and turns and turnsit never stops and stands still.”  (from Anita Desai’s A Village By The Sea).

P.s.s. It did not get selected, so it's on my own ever forgiving space, albeit with a lot of changes to the original entry submitted :-)

Catharsis #FridayFictioneers #100words

My charismatic father was a magnificent horse rider, prolific writer, and an astute statesman; a tall benchmark that I could never match. His demise roused sleeping demons I hoped to vanquish.

His room was as clean and uncluttered as I remembered it. And, there, among the humongous collection of official and personal letters, lay an unposted letter addressed to me.

“Son, I was too vain to tell you this while I lived but I’m proud of you for choosing a path less trodden; something I’d wished for myself once.”

Tears flowed unrestrained; the past had made peace with the present.

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields
Word count: 100

100 word story written in response to the photo prompt at Friday Fictioneers at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can post one of your own or read the other entries here.

The treasure hunt #FiveSentenceFiction

The cousins pored with great excitement over the crumpled, brittle, almost yellow parchment, chanced upon the attic of their grandparent’s ancestral bungalow, where they always came together to spend their summer holidays.

“Look, the dotted line starting from the village well, winding its way around a brook near the old house surrounded by coconut groves is surely a clue to a hidden treasure” exclaimed Joshua, the oldest of them all.

Beth, the youngest one with bright blue eyes, who had been throwing sharp glances back and forth, from the tiny window of the attic that overlooked the huge front yard to the tiny map presently fenced by curious eyes, drew in her breath as she realized an obvious link missed by her brothers.

“The treasure could be right beneath us” whispered an excited Beth, elaborating upon her keen observation of the landmarks referred to in the map that strangely coincided with those still present around their grandparents’ home, making it the focal point vis-à-vis the old map.

Their grandpa who stood at the doorway, hidden from their view, chuckled to himself at their fertile imagination, inspired clearly by all the Famous Fives and Hardy Boys collection, his standard gift for each of his grandchildren's birthday every year.


Five sentence fiction written in response to the prompt: MAPS at LillieMcferrinWrites.

A sweet and tangy breakfast

'What for breakfast' is the usual, yet difficult question that I tackle on a daily basis. I like to break the monotony of the standard staples, even if the difference is just in the way it is prepared. So, when I found this recipe of Gojju Avalakki here, I immediately made a note of it and tried it. And, it was delicious!

Uma-My musings
There are various versions of making poha or beaten rice flakes. Ask any Maharastrian and they'd say that Kanda poha and adrak chai is comfort food during monsoon. And, I agree! I also make lemon poha (with just the tempering and a dash of lemon juice added in the end). A slightly different tempering with a generous dose of grated coconut makes for another of poha delicacy. Lastly, how can I forget the sweetened poha made with jaggery, coconut, topped with cashews and raisins? This is also a Jamnashtami special dish (the festival is right round the corner, so this might come in handy for a quick naivediyam.)

So, I now have the gojju avalakki added to my list of poha versions. Thanks, TGND!

So, how do you like your poha? Do you have your interesting versions to add here? I'd love to know.
*Visit the links mentioned to get the recipes. I've added the ones that specify the method I follow.

Book Spine Poetry #2

The concept of book spine poetry appeared in 1993 with Nina Katchadourian’s Sorted Books project. Katchadourian began collecting interesting titles and arranging them in clusters so the spines could be read like a sentence.
I dabbled with this form earlier and was tempted to try it once again :-)

The Twentieth Wife, 
(lived in) The Palace Of Illusions 
(where) Love & Marriage
(meant) Endless Love

 Does this form or writing appeal to you? Have you tried it? Do link up your posts if you've. 

Reunion #15words

ETA: This post was adjudged as one of the top 5 posts. Thank you, Shailaja! Click on the link to read other winning entries.

Shailaja, of The Moving Quill and The diary of a doting mom fame, is hosting an interesting 'From 15-50' flash fiction challenge on her blog. Do visit her blog to read all about it and participate.

Here's my ambitious and bold attempt to squeeze in a story in just 15 words, combining all the three prompts.

Breaking free from curious fingers, she flew into her lover’s fragrant arms at long last.

Word prompt: REUNION
Phrase Prompt: ‘At long last’
COPYRIGHT: Shailaja V/ The Moving Quill
Word count:15

Linking this to the Fiction Challenge ‘From 15 to 50′

A new look for the blog

As you can see, I'm dabbling with a new look for the blog. I Google-d for the templates and followed the tutorials to upload it to the letter. However, there are a few bugs that need to be fixed which means I have to correct/add a few html codes here and there. Now, I had done a basic course in web designing eons ago but, of course as you know, knowledge rusts when not used, so I find myself completely at sea with the myriad problems the new interface is throwing up.

To give myself some credit, I spent a lot of time on Google and fixed a few problems. Presently I deal with the problem of images on the blog. They do not appear in the original size and as you may note, the images appear stretched out after you click on the post on the home page. The night is wearing out thin and my eyelids are closing with fatigue and sleep. If anyone of you can help me sort this issue out, I'll be very grateful.


Back in time

“Amma, Appa, see I've drawn a dragon. See its wings and the fire it spouts out of its mouth! You know it’s the most powerful dragon in the whole world” I almost pulled my lazy parents off their bed in my excitement to show them my masterpiece.

Amma scooped me in her sleepy arms and planted a proud kiss on my cheeks. She was very happy to see the dragon even if it disturbed her slumber and encouraged me to keep up the good work but gently added that I refrain from calling out to her every two minutes. Appa seemed to be tired since he kept sleeping. They had more important stuff to be accomplished and time was seemingly short.

Sigh! These grown-ups had no clue how much work I had! Airplanes with propellers had to be built, rockets were to be sent into Jupiter and then there were the great white sharks and blue whales that needed some behavioural observation too. What work did Amma and Appa do, I wondered? They never seemed too excited to share their work secrets with me.

“Amma, I want to go alone on that hill on my cycle. Can I go?”

“Of course not, you've to wait until you grow up for that!” Amma looked horrified “It’s dangerous for little kids, you know” she added softening a little.

“But..but..only this morning you said since I'm five years old now, I've become a big boy and that I should eat on my own!” Amma and Appa always confused me. One moment I was a big boy and the next moment I was not yet big. Why can’t they make up their minds for once?!

I really want to grow up fast so that I can build real-life airplanes, climb the mountains, and take a plunge into the sea with the whales. “Oh God, please make me big soon!”

The sun streamed into the window and I woke up to realize that the above was a scene from my dream last night. It was a moment of epiphany for indeed I had forgotten what it is to live in the moment, dream big and have exciting adventures in my wish list. I had wanted to grow up to fulfill my dreams but when I grew up I had forgotten my dreams just like Amma and Appa. 

"Dear God, can I be a 5 year old again?"


Jack, the pirate

The moon sauntered in and out from the dark clouds, throwing a luminous but eerie glow over the ruins where Jack, sick from fighting the seas, sat on an elevated stone.

The violent storm had turned the sea into a ferocious animal that howled for days together, finally devouring the entire ship and the inmates, save Jack, the ruthless pirate.

Jack wondered a way to get out of the place when a cloaked man appeared from nowhere. The black-robed apparition looked into Jack’s eyes and whispered, “Welcome home”

Jack panicked to realize that his journey had ended at the netherworld.

Image courtesy of the British Library from Roving Jack the Pirate Hunter, published 1867, a romance

Word count:100

Linking this up to the 100 word story for the photo prompt at the Light and Shade challenge 
and Five sentence fiction at Lillie McFerrin Writes for the word prompt: Luminous

The perfect one #FridayFictioneers

It was the sixth house on their list with Penny vociferously dismissing each of the previous ones.

Martha had been eager to not let single parenthood deprive her little girl of the luxury she deserved and more. However, this was getting a little out of control. Houses were expensive and there was no way they could settle on one if Penny kept discarding options after options on a whim.

The pink walls, green windows, orange tiled roof, and the tiny garden made Penny let out a squeal of delight. It was the perfect doll house that she was looking for. 

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright-Björn Rudberg
Word count: 100
100 word story written in response to the photo prompt at Friday Fictioneers at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can post one of your own or read the other entries here.

Book Spine Poetry #1

I discovered "Book Spine Poetry" at Shilpa's blog. Shilpa who blogs at 'A rose is a rose is a rose' needs no introduction. Do check her posts on this format if you haven't already!

The concept of book spine poetry appeared in 1993 with Nina Katchadourian’s Sorted Books project. Katchadourian began collecting interesting titles and arranging them in clusters so the spines could be read like a sentence.

This unique and fun form of writing kindled the creative juices and I set about pulling out all the titles in my book-shelf. Here's what I came up with.

the man who knew infinity,
lost discoveries in search of the cradle of civilization

The new neighbourhood

Leaving behind a decade of memories was never going to be easy. I took heart in the fact that my new house had everything the old didn't: An Independent space without having to share the walls with the neighbours, plenty of sunshine, and most importantly a humongous amount of lung space that lined the row of houses.

After two weeks of unpacking and officially ‘settling down’, I got my first chance to wander into the small thicket of green that beckoned me into its cool, enveloping arms. I was itching to explore the miniature woods, imagining myself to be Alice in wonderland, marveling at bouncing rabbits, smelling exotic flowers and picking up juicy fruits.

For a green patch that seemed well-maintained, it was surprising to find it desolate at that time of the day when the sun still had a while before it retired for the day. There were other houses in the vicinity and I had hoped to find some fellow nature lovers and regular walkers. Nevertheless, I was happy to soak in some solitude and strolled in leisure.

I lost track of the time when a sudden chillness in the air made me stop in my tracks. There was a quietness of a different kind. I sensed an invisible fence of air around me. The line of well-grown trees ended just short of where I now stood.  Further down a few yards an ancient looking house stood. Vine creepers covered a part of the brown, patched facade and it was difficult to guess if the house had any inhabitants.

The soft breeze made a low whistle and the leaves rustled on the huge tree just across me as though to draw my attention to it. The lovely dark brown bark had moss grown over it. I stepped closer and noticed carvings etched on to the bark. “Not this way” said the words. I suddenly wished I was not standing there alone. I was getting pulled into something I did not wish to know just then. It seemed as though the tree had sensed my intention of going further and wished to stop me.

I was more spooked than curious. Some things are best left unknown, I decided.

“Some ghosts are so quiet you would hardly know they were there.” 

Photo by Thomas Marlowe
Written in response to the prompt at the Light and Shade challenge. You can choose either the quote or the photo or even combine the two as your inspiration. I have attempted to combine both the prompts.

Grandma's story #WriteTribe #100words

Little Kishore spent all day at school touching his nose every now and then with trepidation.

“Caught a cold, kishu?” asked his bum chum Swami.

Deeply troubled, Kishore decided to share his secret with Swami. “I lied yesterday about my homework and my grandma said that now my nose will get bigger” he whispered.

Swami was equally worried and the boys swore to behave if the nose did not grow.  

Kishore chuckled at the childhood memory as he read out the story of Pinocchio to his little daughter. Naanima sure knew how to make him toe the line of discipline.


Written for 100 words on a Saturday prompt on Write Tribe. The prompt for the week- My grandmother/my grandfather said..

Prayers #100words

And its a WOW post once again. Thank you BlogAdda!

The little girl sat before her favourite deity-The naughty cowherd who sported a peacock feather and played haunting notes on his flute. How He defied Lord Indra and lifted mount Govardhan was her favourite tale.

“Ask Him with all your heart and He’ll surely give” her mother would tell often.

“Kanha, Amma says if it doesn’t rain this year too, we’d surely die. Is it true? But, aren’t you are more powerful than the rain God. Won’t you ask him to save us this time?”

Her tearful innocent eyes and pure devotion melted His heart.

And, it rained that night.

100 word fiction written in response to the WOW prompt-'And it rained that night' at Blogadda.

Sleep of death #Lightandshadechallenge #100words

The devastating earthquake had wrecked Ami’s life and the past haunted her.

Wreathed in fresh flood of tears, Ami began to sift through her life, now mere pieces of memories. The snowball globe with the Ferris wheel had miraculously escaped nature’s fury. The wheel, an ironical indication of what goes up must come down.

Unable to calm her restless mind, Ami reached for her medication. The instructions on a pack of sleeping tablets - "May Cause Drowsiness" caught her eye.

“Sleep is the only solution,” she decided with finality, dropping the pills one by one into the glass of water.

Image courtesy of freeimageslive.com
Word count: 100
Linking it to the Light and Shade challenge 1st August 2014. I combined the quote and the photo prompt in this piece of fiction. 

A bird's eye view #100words #FridayFictioneers

“Why are you crying, my child?” the gentle teacher asked the student.

“Anya scored more than me in 3 subjects and now I stand to lose the first rank to her” replied a distraught Sia between sobs.

“From where I stand, Sia, ranks don’t matter. What matters is if you have learnt the lessons” replied the wise teacher.

High above somewhere, the Master smiled at the irony of the teacher’s teachings as he witnessed her squabble shortly over an election lost for the post of the principal.

“A bird’s eye view is difficult to obtain until you reach much higher.”

PHOTO PROMPT- Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Word count: 100

Linking the post to 100 word fiction at Friday Fictioneers.

Growing up #FiveSentenceFiction

The waves tickled her feet and the bouncing waters allured her to come closer, enveloping her in a light embrace first, then slowly threatening to swallow her up.

She needn't have worried for he gently wound his arms around and pulled her up in time, gently admonishing and cautioning her to be careful.

Secure in his arms, she loved pushing the limits, exploring her little world bit by bit, and tasting freedom as she challenged every boundary.

Her boundaries widened as she grew older and she was no longer afraid of the waves that might swallow her.

The arms no longer held her back, secure in the knowledge that the wisdom imparted would always serve her as the protective shield.



Five sentence fiction written in response to the prompt: Secure at LillieMcferrinWrites.

Lillie McFerrin Writes