FRAME 53 STORIES

They sat and shared long silences into the night. The wordless dialogue, like ciagrette butts, adorned the stone steps. The man's boyfriend had finally called it off between them and relented to his parent's wishes of marrying a girl. The river too was muddy with carcass of a woman who was killed & thrown in to the water for marrying out of caste. The lamp wondered what his fate would be if they ever come to know how many unfaithfuls kissed under him. Like eons between lovers, the thick night took its time to pass. The dawn, however, fleeted away..

As he strolled along the temple pond, suddenly an young lady jumps into the pond. Quickly he jumps in, pulls her to the safety of the steps. reviving her, she wakes up wailing "where is she"? He turns back, see's a little girl struggling in the water. He swims across and brings her back to the wailing lady. The mother takes her into her warm embrace and a few minutes later, the child calls out "Amma" Teary eyed, the woman looks up at him in gratitude and says "thank you, wanted to live for her". .

Upside down

JP Negi

I still rejuvenate with mere thought or a brisk flashback when world looked beautiful. I would often imitate juicy mangoes hanging in the huge mango tree in the backyard swinging with them with the breeze. My hair would fall towards the ground when I hung myself upside down from the tree. Now I have turned almost bald, no strength in arms to swing anymore, still if I ever find myself upside down; comes a warning I better behave or else it would be too late. It's no more fun only reflects harsh inflicts of life. .

Tides

Adeel

As I walk past the river, I still hear her screams. At night, when the moon is high, I see her dancing onto the waves and reaching out for me. I remember still when she lost her control and slipped into the water, deep and still. I don't see my reflection when I sit down at stairs but her, helpless and trapped. Every winter when the moon is full, I swim into the river, to feel her on my skin. I feel her love and die a little every night. .

Tides

Adeel

As I walk past the river, I still hear her screams. At night, when the moon is high, I see her dancing onto the waves and reaching out for me. I remember still when she lost her control and slipped into the water, deep and still. I don't see my reflection when I sit down at stairs but her, helpless and trapped. Every winter when the moon is full, swim I into the river, to feel her on my skin. I feel her love and die a little every night. .

Tides

Adeel

As I walk past the river, I still hear her screams. At night, when the moon is high, I see her dancing onto the waves and reaching out for me. I remember still when she lost her control and slipped into the water, deep and still. I don't see my reflection when I sit down at stairs but her, helpless and trapped. Every winters when the moon is full, swim I into the river, to feel her on my skin. I feel her love and die a little every night. .

The Shadow

Vijay

“Don’t go near the lake, sir.” “Why?” “They say it’s haunted. Whoever goes near the lake at noon, dies.” “Rubbish.” “You can go there later. Please stop!” “Now see, I am standing here. Nothing happened.” “Sir, they say ‘the shadow’ drags people into the water.” “What shadow?” “It appears alongside the visitor’s reflection.” “I see nothing. If I stoop any further, I will fall...” (Loses balance and falls.) “Oh no! He is drowning. Somebody save him. The Shadow has got him!” Next day, ‘the Shadow’ and its latest victim were the talk of the town..

The Crocodile of The Tank

HB Acharya

"Yes, this is the one," Lalita said, standing before the tank. Mohan said, "I'm not able to see the crocodile." "It'll only appear if you tell lies in the water." Lalita retorted. Mohan went into the water with face out, shrieking "I love Lalita!" Lalita smiled, but in an instant Mohan got pulled back, vanishing into the water. Lalita shouted and wailed for some minutes, feeling heartbroken that she was told lies. Just then, someone tapped on her shoulder, water dripping on her. Mohan was standing behind her, smiling. Lalita slapped him hard and hugged him, smiling widely. .

The Omnipresent Lord

Madhvi

"Low life", "Outcast", were the monikers he grew up hearing. The temple tank being his favorite hideout since his younger days. Seated there on the cold rock surface, singing hymns in praise of the Lord. As the sandbar reached the waters depths, up rose the idol of the almighty. Ascending from the steps, the high priest, entered the sanctum containing the deity, a loud creak was heard; lo and behold the idol's head had turned 360 degrees, facing the back wall. Wonders of wonders, faith had really felled a wall, if not moved mountains. .

Graduation days

Aniket Narkar

Alas! The time you realize that you are pursuing your Post graduate studies, its too late! Too late to realize the times are gone when lectures were more than projects and presentations were made without any fear of plagiarism. Times are gone when jeans which we wore had a hole in it..now we cant afford to have holes in our sleeves, the way we used to talk, interact with people has changed. Graduate days teaches you many things, it takes you to a topsy turvy ride full of adventures and experiences. Those are times when you realize the importance of having good friends. I miss my graduation days! :-( .

PLACE, I OFTEN VISIT

Ankita Chauhan

There is a place I often visit. A place surrounded by empty stairs, Filled with drops of reminiscence, Just like that shimmering nose pin on her face. I felt a sharp pain Whenever I sensed her touch, Her glance, her curves. The fragments of her voice Floating on the turquoise surface of water, Making me yearned for her, While she is too far to return. The comfort I found around this oasis, She might have instilled herself. Perhaps she already knew conspiracy of Our fate, the dice game of death. This place that echoed her glimpses, I often visit. .

Rippled in time

Rahul

"One step at a time. That is how you get there. You'll see.", Ramanada re-emphasized his brief to Kabir. Ramananda, Kabir's guru, his master, the voice of virtue, then drew his last breath with an anxious smile. They met, centuries later, at the same ghat. Kabir, now a middle aged molecular biologist, involved in finding various ways to disprove god, was presently being cremated. Ramananda was a corpse burner at the burning ghat, working over funeral pyres. He tossed Kabir's half burnt body into the river, " You'll get there. You'll see." .

Unlocked

Ashu

How long does it take to feel depressed? A life time maybe. Alay used to think of getting rid of himself every single day. Yes, it meant freedom, release and peace to him. He didn’t think even once about anyone else. Sometimes reflection help us see the reality, precise and clear. Alay made a decision but as soon as he took a few steps, he saw his happy family with him. And without him, it was all ripples. He unlocked the reason. Why, to not. .

The reflection

Shoumik De

Early morning a man saw his reflection in a lake. It was so big, but his face was smeared. He tried to reach it to clean it. But he couldn’t reach it. More he tried the more frustrating it got. By the noon, the reflection of his face was just below him. But he still couldn’t fix the smear of his face. Each time he would try to clean it would come back to the same. By the time he realized the problem is not in his reflection but his face, reflection had become a shadow behind him. .

He was born and brought up on the bay of Bhima, he was little lost and was not living, but simply existing. He always swam in the river every night, just to forget everything and snore of to glory. As the years rolled down he got addicted and gradually loved it so much and in due course of time the river had introduced him a mermaid kind of girl, who was full of life and since then forever they enjoyed swim when it was flowing silent and still and remained immortal and perennial..

Channa Maculata

Mona_as_in_Mona

When the tsunami hit, he was focused on his favorite activity: eating. The violent waves engulfed him and threw him on a cracked boat. A long journey followed full of adventures, dangers, yearnings and loneliness. The sea weed protected him, covering the nook where he was hiding to sleep. Two years later, he woke up to hear weird words like "Aloha". He had reached Hawaii. He looked around and the cravings for new alluring species began. Coming all the way from Vietnam, it was time for the small exotic fish to start his invasion. .

Water, Water

rajA

The tank used to be the social centre of the village. Children would dive n swim and women washed clothes on the steps. As he was growing up, he saw the water level going down. He was intrigued to see the tank’s floor rising up. To a boy’s mind, silting seemed a mystery. His parents left the village n settled in the city. In course of time, as civil engineer, he became Irrigation Engineer for the Block. He walked by the tank; now a mere mud hole He muttered: Now I have come, you shall prosper again. .

That Hope

anuja bhor

Day was amidst and she was still waiting. Looking at the sky, looking at the water-how well they both complimented each other. She was mesmerized. Engrossed in looking at the shadows in crystal clear water and she saw him. Yes it was him but just in her memories floating along the flow. With the flow of water, life was moving but she was still there in an estranged hope – waiting for him. In hope – that he would return and life again would be like the rhythm between the vast sky and the lake beneath it..

Still around

Badar Mahmood

I had thought my death would be the end of the story. I was shocked when I was still there as my body breathed its last and my eyes closed for the last time. My cremation, the carrying of my ashes and their carriage to the river by my loved ones. I witnessed everything! I became the river as my ashes were poured into it and I could see as one by one they all began to leave until the glimmer of the reflection of the very last one began to fade in me..

Reflecting upon.

Manoj Kini

After a long day at work, she leaned back and streched. It had been a while since her last stint at writing. The deadline pressure had her so worked-up, even a cup of coffee wouldn't make the image speak. She blinked, and there it was, the image she was supposed to see. An old framed canvas with two distinctive wears and some-more. It wasn't the whole picture. It was simply a little detail in the grand scheme of things. And it struck her. Deadlines were no different. Her tomorrows were going to be so much better. .

It happened during one of my retrospective sojourns by the lake side. Glancing down at my reflection I pondered upon the age old conundrum, “Who Am I?” I remember briefly closing my eyes. An unexplainable euphoric joy gripped me. White light flowing over the surface of lake, created intricate ripples all over! A hollow voice echoed hence, “Rise my son! For what you seek, thy must turn inwards. Rely not on the physical eyes, the light shall enter through the third…” A reflection gleamed across the steps below, slowly dissociating amidst the ripples. I had risen! .

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