Mourn! No one belongs to you!

Kanksshi Agarwal

The car swooshed into a tunnel. The tunnel was carved out of a mountain. It was bleeding, The tunnel bled tears that the mountain cried, The mountain-men cut through their adamant arrogance, which was sprinkled upon by the harsh sunlight, and cooked over the lava under the tectonics. The mountains spilled tears over their own dead stones. I cried too. But the day my poetry dies, I will court these 'rudali', who mourn over the death of someone, who belong to 'none'. Poetry belongs to none, but they belong to those who cry over another's pain..

The Three

Nitin Purohit

Willdo emphasised, “I proposed the idea, Goa is not far, let’s just do it.” Maydo contemplated, “I am not sure. I want to, but I am scared.” Wontdo negated, “We shouldn’t. What if our husbands find out?” Willdo cajoled, “They went to Bangkok.” Wontdo preached, “That’s no reason to steal a trip.” Maydo enquired, “Will it be fun?” Willdo speculated, “I am sure, more than what we have with our husbands.” Maydo relented, “Really!!!” Wontdo objected, “Hearsay, we will lose money for nothing.” Willdo prophesied, “We won’t take money to the grave. Shake a leg, drink a peg.” .

A Giant Leap

Vishakha Bhosale

"No Ma, I have different things planned for my life. I want to learn, grow to be a better person and help society. This is holding me back in so many ways." Sandhya was hysterical. Her grandma sneered. "Help yourself before helping the world! Your family needs you. Studying needs money. We can’t afford that." A knock on the door brought Sandhya back to the present. It was a rudaali mother with child. She was fighting for the child’s education. Sandhya, MD of the world’s largest NGO, smiled and said, "You’ve come to the right place.".

The Vote


“Was he good?” “Apparently.” “But what did she say?” The younger woman huffed, annoyed with the others’ insistence. She had explained so many times that the new generation was not eager to share kinky details. “It’s enough that she went out of her tent smiling. She looked into my eyes and I saw the approval.” “Should we vote then?” Nearby, a handsome lad was waiting to hear the tribe leaders’ verdict. Would he be kicked out in the desert? Or would he become the next seed provider? He desperately hoped for the latter. He loved her..

When a child belongs to the nation


Three women were huddled in a corner, discussing their sons. The first lady said, "My son is the CEO of a company. He earns in millions. People envy me." Hearing this, the second lady said, "My son is the president of this country. Every one respects me." The third lady smiled and said, "My son was neither rich nor famous. He was an army man who passed away last month fighting for his country." Tears rolled down the eyes of the other two women as they looked at the third lady with envy and respect. .


Shweta Naik

They were summoned again. The landlord had died and the rich family needed them for mourning. She was new to the troupe, happy that she found a job soon after her drunkard husband's death. The older ladies said. "Look ,don't mess this up. If we are good then we will have enough money to last us another month or so." She nodded, imagining the thought of her son finally in a school uniform..

The Profession


"The young prince has died," said the palace keeper. "The king has sent for you. Be on time." The keeper left. The female weepers or 'Rudaalis' as they were called locally reached the palace on time to mourn the death of a young soul. Bhanwri's wails were sincere and the tears were real. Only the queen knew why Bhanwri was sobbing so uncontrollably. They both had lost a son today. One had given birth to him and the other had taken care of him..

Death of Innocence

Naveen Rane

Son: Mother,why are we all wearing white and these three women wearing black? Mother: Because they are rudaali women who have come to mourn your grandfather’s demise. Son: Why should they cry, when they are not part of our family? Mother: It's ritual! Son: But when our grandmother expired, we didn’t have this ritual. Mother: Its only when male members expire that we perform this ritual. Son: That’s why sister always says you are lucky to be born as a boy and she is right! Mother: Why? Son: Because even death differentiates gender! .

The Curfew


That evening the streets were quiet. In another ten minutes, the daily curfew would begin. The usual 'cursing the war' drama was going on between Zubaida's mom and sister. But that evening she could not stand it. She suddenly shouted, "We never wanted to kill people.But we will never allow them to kill our innocent people.This is our soil." Her mom and sister could not believe their ears. They never knew Zubaida could raise her voice like that. Suddenly they heard applause and I would like to believe that it was yours. Our country needs more Zubaidas..



"I will prepare sweets on the last day," Tara said. Even Radha was happy that her engineer son and wife were coming home from Bengaluru after 10 years. Yashoda's son had agreed to close the business and join the family. It was a big celebration. Her son had called last Tuesday and said he was coming home on leave for Navaratri. He loved sweets and besan burfi was his favourite. Tara heard only the week after terrorists killed 18 brave soldiers. So she distributed burfi in vain, to the proud memories of her son..

F2 and Esc

Payal Phayde

If only one figured and escaped a treacherous spot. There was more compassion; they stayed. Had they known there was no escape or never thought of it? Surely the thought had crossed their minds, If I were him I would not be treated this way. Some found their way in prayers, signs from the universe, worse happening to others or to live with the demon just to wear not a white piece of cloth for the rest of her life. Who stopped her, I wondered? Moving on in the next generation could be a real thing. .

The moirologist fuel

Manoj kini

The moirologist trio was quick to find a foothold. Being deaf and dumb was a boon in their profession. It didn't place them in cross-hairs of the other side. It opened doors. Inter-family feuds ensured there was no off-season for deaths. The boldest plans were made as a promise to avenge the dead. Ear-pieces camouflaged as hearing-aids did the trick. It was the best intelligence asset that could be deployed to keep tabs on the desert-mafia. It was in their interest to keep the cross-border tension fuelled. Their economic over-dependency on the defence sector could never be openly acknowledged..



They had been arguing from early morning, Kiran, the daughter-in-law, had just lost her husband in the war with a hostile state. She had to feed her young ones, mother-in-law and grandma. The Army had offered her a job, and she wanted to join so that the family could survive The older ladies did not want her to go, not sure if she too would end up like their only son. But Kiran had made up her mind and had decided to take the offer. They let her go, for theirs was a family of patriots. .