FRAME 106 STORIES

CAGED SMILES

Shweta Naik

“You carry on, Mira. Hope you know the way from here,” said her husband and she nodded. Mira was returning home after a whole year. Her excitement knew no bounds when she reached the path that led to her village. Everything felt the same; the trees dripping water during monsoon, the muddy marsh soil under her bare feet still felt the like heaven. She did not realise when the wind drifted her umbrella just as her thoughts had drifted away and she played in the mud like a child again. After all, she was just ten. .

The Free-spirited Umbrella

Nitin Purohit

Eight months folded and confined, four months open and in mind, Clutched onto in need; when not, discarded, kept in dark, made blind This monsoon, I rebel, break away, float in open, seek my freedom, Take shade under green umbrellas, a joy I have experienced seldom. I still protect, still cover, with guidance of my open spirit and freewill, Today, protect from tears of sky, small, in the middle of road, anthill. With the wind, I come and go, which of the two, you will never know, Keep guessing, not your usual one, I am the free-spirited umbrella ho. .

The forbiddden road

Kavita Chavda

Kid: Dad, don't take the long road. Take short one today. We'll reach early. Dad: You already know I never take that road. Kid: And I've already asked the reason many times. (The kid was now in tears) Dad: Okay. Well, you miss your mom right? Kid: Yes. I've never seen her. My friends talk a lot about their moms. Dad, how was she? Dad: One in a million. She was my world. When you were inside her tummy, we met an accident on this road and she passed away leaving a little angel for me. (silence) Kid: Take the long road..

The Birth

UncleJoru

Sahadev drove the bullock cart drenching in the rain. His wife held the umbrella with one hand that pushed away the rain; the other hand was on her pregnant tummy. They were on the way to the hospital. Thunder was punctuated with something between a shriek and a cry. Silence followed. Umbrella slipped from her hand as the baby was delivered. The rain washed away her pain, and increased Sahadev's joy. The baby stretched in bliss and cried. The umbrella wobbled on the side knowing that the couple was the better protector for the baby..

The right answer

Sri Vignesh Pillarisetty

He was a math genius. Solved puzzles that boggled world-class experts. Looking at that umbrella reminded him of his first math problem 50 years ago. '2 people. 1 umbrella. How many get wet if each takes one?' he asked his buddy. 'Both or none,' Desh replied. 'Wrong,' he chuckled. He was pulled back to present. Two stray kids picked up the umbrella, delighted. The brother realised it wasn't big enough for both. 'You hold it,' he offered his little sister. She placed it back, whispered, 'Both or none.' 'Took me 50 years,' he smiled, as he left Desh's gravestone..

The wish

SVP

He is officially poor now. Lost all in business. Left with only one possession. His dad's first gift. The umbrella. 'Place it on my grave after I'm gone,' was his dad's last wish. Never got time before for that. Success kept him busy. Now he was idle. Travelled to his village, fulfilled the wish finally. That night, his Whatsapp buzzed. Anonymous message: 'Your dad asked me to contact you when I see an umbrella on his grave. Said you'd find time for his wish only when you lost everything. I owe your dad. Ping back if you need help.' .

The Descendants

Pillar

1600 B.C. The umbrella was elegantly held above the emperor's head by his servant. Days were pleasant for all. Until one day. The king beheaded the servant for letting a fly fall in his cup. Centuries rolled by. World advanced. The umbrella shifted numerous shapes. Now it looks thin and black. The day was rainy. A lean guy hurriedly bought the umbrella. Face looked shockingly familiar. The emperor. He rushed out, held the umbrella for his boss. Familiar again! The servant. 'Nothing touches you, Sir!' the emperor saluted. 'Not even a fly!' The servant smirked. The umbrella chuckled..

The magician

Sri

‘That’s a magic street!’ the kid whispered to his sister. He prayed to the tree for things he wanted every day. Poverty made him pray. Next day they appeared – blanket, toys, lantern, books. That day, it was umbrella. Not far away, a crew member was fired from a six-month movie shoot, caught stealing stuff from movie set. ‘Where has all the stuff gone?’ cops questioned. ‘Magic!’ he smiled, knowing somewhere there’s a kid who would never get drenched again. His daily cigarette-breaks behind that tree taught him something. ‘Prayers can be answered.’ The umbrella was the last answer. .

Modern Man’s Might

Ganpatirai Purohit

Two mighty modern men walked along the stretch of the stony path discussing their plan. Money-feeder Bill-there: We are not afraid of anyone. Sanction the skyscraper here. Money-eater Bhuro-crap: We will alter the course of rivers and strip the forests naked. The lightning cracked a whip and Bhuro-crap pulled out the umbrella. Thunder rolled its drum and hearts of the men shook. A small tree leaned forward, whispered, “Gotcha”. Spooked, as the umbrella slipped off the hand, both ran with all their might. Trees and the umbrella laughed their hearts out. The mighty men might not meet us again. .

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