FRAME 78 STORIES

Liberty Dhaba

Rohan Mukherjee

"Brother, can you please make the next one a little stronger. Had a tough day." Just as the scrawny worn-out hand reached for the glass, I chuckled and coughed half way. "No, no. Not the tea!" "Oh" He holds back, eyes twinkling "The good stuff.".

The Next Lane

Jean Burke-Spraker

The tea tasted sweeter when she poured it. The cigarette lasted longer when she lit it. But, now, the tea had grown cold, and the cigarette had burnt its way through the filter. And, Bill missed Maggie. The distance had taken its toll. The course of their lives had changed in an instant. She had left without a word, disappeared without a trace into the City of Dreams. He’d searched for days. But, Mumbai was an easy city to get lost in, even for Maggie—especially for Maggie. Bill finished his tea, and moved on to the next lane. .

The routine

S as in Shoumik

Forgetting things, in a way, is a blessing. Alzheimer's eats you up from within. You are reduced to a hollow, empty tin can. It's like waking up from a nightmare and realizing you didn't even fall asleep. Killing yourself seems a better option than to live with your loved ones like a stranger. That morning she mixed the poisonous wild berries into the tea, which she had plucked from her backyard. Before drinking the tea she lit the last smoke. She stared out for a long time and then got up and went out looking for the wild berries..

Cigarette : Am I the slow poison for human being's life Tea: No no it's neither me, nor you. Cigarette: Then why am I always abused? Tea: Because human's mind itself is a big poison. Cigarette: How? Tea: Human beings create us to satisfy their needs. Cigarette: That means we are just the medium. Tea : Oh yes my friend, it's the poisonous seeds of human minds that make them the slave of drugs. .

Just a Phone Call Away

Shikha Singh

I'm about to commit suicide as he ditched me; scattered, sad, upset, a broken heart. Suddenly my phone rings. Dear Shikha, no need to die, you are wonderful, I loved you from very first day when you posted a song for me and I saved that song so that I can hear you throughout my life. Life is beautiful, I want to see my life through your eyes. Together we can laugh, fight, sing more songs, remember our old memories. I'm always there for you, just a phone call away!!! That phone call saved my life. Thank you SONAM..

Cloud of thoughts

Sanyam Jain

It was raining heavily. He put on his old jeans, the most comfortable T-shirt and went for a drive in his yet another brand new luxury car. He even played his favourite song from the college days. It was perfect. The chai, the sutta, the weather, the car, the music, but none of this cheered him up. In the cloud of smoke ran his cloud thoughts. Thoughts of old times. Thoughts of Joy. He hadn't met his friends in eight years. He had all the success but no one to celebrate it with. Somewhere he lost himself with time..

Brewing love

Palak Sharma

“6 months since I left your beautiful country…there’s so much I miss.” Surprise WhatsApp message from James made Devika’s heart pound. She remembered her first brush with that cute firang stranger at the dance floor of a popular Delhi club. Spellbound..they had grooved together for hours. Devika: Come again.. James: How I wish..Birthday Girl! Devika: You remembered?? James: Ofcourse! Happy birthday! Here’s a gift.. *PICTURE* Devika: Chai!! You made that?? James: Yes! It’s your favorite Indian beverage you mentioned..also..i’m finally giving up smoking Dr. Devika! "I should go dancing tonight” she replied blushing irresistibly..

The Autistic Raconteur

Jane Faifax-Rochester

He had always grappled with the stigma of being ‘special’. His classmates teased him for finding pixies in the sky, magic wands in chalk sticks and robes in the mundane school uniform. Little did they know that the same ‘special’ child would ‘grow’ up to write a best-selling children’s fantasy book. Today, on World Autism Day, as he stood on the stage as the chief guest, he was asked to discern how the three objects in front of him would render in his fantasy world. He promptly replied, “Panacea potion, forbidden fruit and indolence inducer,” to an enraptured audience. .

After meeting Ruhi's parents, she offered to take Rahul for a stroll down the street. The tapri owner Satyen Kaka was overjoyed to see Ruhi and kept a glass of Cutting Chai and some berries on the table. Rahul lit a cigarette and was enjoying it accompanied by Ruhi's chirping. Just then, Ruhi's father too came to the tapri. Guiltily Rahul dropped the cigarette on the table. The Ex-Police Officer looked angry. Rahul humbly apologised and explained that he was trying to kick the habit. Ruhi's father warned him that he had to quit smoking before marriage! Or else?.

Hisaab Barabar

Akash Shah

Comes back from abroad after higher studies. Visits the same old 'Chai ki tapri'. Hands over gift to Chaiwala. He hesitates to accept it. Chaiwala : Iski kya zarurat thi sahab ? Me : Rakh lo bhai. Specially aapke liye laaya hu. CW : Itna faltu ka kharcha nahi karna tha sahab. Me : Haha aapki ek cutting aur cigarette se mehengi nahi hai chacha. CW (hands over a cutting chai and cigarette with big smile) : Ye lijiye sahab, toh fir HISAAB BARABAR. .

That Someday

Muzzammil Lambate

He ordered ‘Paani Kam’ like they always did. It just tore her apart to know how real he was after all these years. “What happened after I left?” She asked. “Life never happened, but I used to sit on this very ‘katta’ where I left your memories”, he said while sipping his tea. “I loved you with all my sadness!” She claimed. Upon hearing that, for a while everyone else in the room slipped away except her. “But why are we here?” She asked worryingly. “Because that ‘someday’ is here”, he says and holds her trembling hand. .

Relationship

Co-Passenger

She was like a weed, smoke rolls went away with the pleasure of a few moments. He is still waiting like a tea, reflecting the sweetness of their first kiss and first sip!. .

A glass of tea and manjadi seeds for company

Madhvi

After so many pressurization cycles, they decided to retire for the day. Piping hot tea awaited them on a creaky table, which stood at the edge of the runway. Curious glances were cast upon the table on which a half slit pod of magic charm beans lay. "Hey, what's that?", someone asked with utmost interest. To which Maya replied animatedly, "It's like yin and yang in our culture, the red stands for everything evil, while the black underside represents all things good. At the far side a guy smirked. .

A New Journey

Alok Gupta

'Whaaat are you doing...be careful'. she screamed as I braked the car almost hitting the tree. Even with my pounding heart, I could see two berries fell on my windshield. We took halt at nearest 'chai tapri'. I picked those berries while lighting my cigarette. My mind was suddenly walking past five years when I had proposed to Anu on a similar road with an improvised bouquet of same berries. She'd rejected and i smoked maidenly in front of her, revengefully. 'What are you thinking Amit?' asked Sumi. 'To Quit Smoking.' I answered and started the car. .

Time, Tea and another table

Celibate Sinner

The glass, the cigarette and the flower cheered. They were to begin the cozy part of his life with "the woman" he had got them for. Sitting on a rickety rocking stool he waited until the tea went cold, and the tobacco tarnished to flames of its makers. She never came. The flower withered in another waiting. Perhaps she was looking for a man with a cup of coffee, a cigar, a bouquet and a couch in an air-conditioned apartment. Its in the nature of our being to overreach over a pleasant human being..

Sharing Silence

Kfatima

She waited for him to finish his tea. He waited for her to say something on which he can start arguing. She waited for the night to fall down on them, to hide them. He waited for her to say something on which he can start arguing. She waited impatiently for the sunrise. He waited for her to say something on which he can start arguing. She waited for the day to pass, for the darkness within. He waited for her to say something on which he can start arguing. They both waited for each other, waited, and waited. .

The Call

Renu Kaliyath

He: Biju get me my usual. (lighting a smoke) as he waited. The Tea was being placed on the table when he receives a call and rushes out blindly As he heard the bike speed away, Biju wondered about sir leaving his favorite drink and smoke. The sound of squealing tyres, a crash had everyone rushing out to the scene of accident. Biju heard that sir went under the wheels of a lorry. Just then a ringing is heard. Biju notices sir's phone on the floor. As he took it. he saw "AMMA" as the caller id. Biju: Hello...

चाय की तलब

Anamika

"एक ओर चाय, दूसरी तरफ़ सिगरेट?" "यार! लेखक हूँ, थोड़ा बहुत अडिक्शन तो बनता है! तुम बताओ, कुछ बना कल के समीकरण का?" "बायोफ़िज़िक्स है, बच्चों की कहानियाँ नहीं!" "तो फिर तुम मेरी कहानी लिख दो, मैं तुम्हारा 'इक्वेशन' बदल देता हूँ!" कैंटीन की उस टेबल पर बैठा, आज भी मानो राहिल ज़िंदा था। मेरे समीकरण तो उसने बदल ही दिए थे। बायोफ़िज़िक्स की विद्यार्थी आज कहानीकार बन चुकी थी - "क्रीएटिव राइटिंग" की शिक्षिका। शायद उसकी अधजलि सिगरेट, और कड़क चाय मुझे रास आ गए। बुझ गई थी तो बस, चाय की तलब! .

Her Doubts and her tea

Sonali Potadar

It was chilling winter, she came to meet him with lot of doubts and he came to meet her again after their first meeting set by their families. They took a walk while talking and sat nearby tea stall and ordered two cups of tea. Her tea got spilled over her hand. He suddenly took her, hand poured water on it and was blowing gently. She noticed it and her all doubts were cleared as he was already in love. As only one glass of tea was remaining, she asked him, “Can we start with sharing the tea?” .

ऐक प्याली चाय और तुम

Naatak Company ^_^

आज ही के दिन, कुछ पंद्रह बरस पहले शायद, तुम को आखरी बार देखा था । इतने बरस बीत गए मगर आज भी जब ये चाय की प्याली होंठों को लगाती हूँ तो तुम्हारे नाम की ऐक सिगरेट जला लेती हूँ । जानती हूँ यह आदत बुरी है मगर तुम्हारी याद में मुझे जलना पसंद है । तुम्हारी ही तरह इसे आधा छोड़ देती हूँ और फिर सोचती हूँ कि शायद हर चीज़ अधूरी छोड़ने की लत भी तुम्हें यहीं से लगी होगी । हर रोज़ चाय-सुट्टे के साथ यही सोचती हूँ । हाँ पंद्रह बरस बाद भी ।.

Forlorn!

Wordilicious

Alone she sat contemplating her life, Alone she unearthed no significance of her being, Alone she was battling her scuffles day and night, Alone she pondered over the shadowy spectacles, Alone she shed the tears every night, Alone she bled not as the blood grew thicker, Alone she knew she prevailed at the arch of time, Alone she felt when she craved an embrace, Alone she faced the trepidations of her life, Alone she reckoned every hope and delusions in sigh, Alone she puffed the smoke in secluded delight, Alone she felt the last breath leave her that night. .

वो

Ajay Purohit

जितना शिथिल समुद्र था, उतनी ही हलचल थी केशव के दिल में । क़श पे क़श लगाते-२ चौथी सिगरेट ख़त्म होने को आई थी । कितनी सहजता से रोमा ने वो ग़ुलाबी मनकों वाला हार उसे लौटाते हुए कह दिया था 'इट्स ओवर, मैं हार गयी हूँ । तुम से कोई उम्मीद नहीं रही' सिगरेट के धुँए ने मानो दिल में अग्नि सी लगा दी थी । केशव ने हार की ओर देखते हुए चाय का ग्लास उठाया । 'सर, ये उसी सीरियल किलर का काम है' पुलिस ने छानबीन शुरू की । .

Sweeper Monu lal

Jimeet Shah

She had an affair with a boy for five years; never spoke about it as she was always afraid of me. I assumed she always hated me for the job I did. I asked her to bring the boy and his family to meet. They brought out a note of demand requesting all material things a family needs, I nodded in agreement. The last point was they do not want me to visit my daughter. The moment they said it my daughter screamed and surprising to all, she slapped the boy. The tea she served that evening tasted sweeter..

Mahim inhaled the smoke of his cigarette. There’s a song moving around in his scattered mind. He put his cigarette’s filter on the bench, besides his cup of tea. He was scrolling his phone. he has been sitting on that bench for 48 minutes. He was thinking why Manav is taking so much time to finish his part of work. That bench still had spots of blood. it was bleeding badly even when she died. Mahim’s phone beeped with a message “dead body has no existence now”. Mahim smiled. Only a rapist has the smile of beasts..

The Gods must be crazy

Vijay

“I wanted strong tea and you prepared this sugary drink? You do this every time. Do you plan to kill me with diabetes?” “I don’t do it deliberately. May be you are destined to have it this way. It is God’s will. Besides, tea never kills...” Just then, there was a deafening thud. Dust and smoke was all over the place. Chotuda’s tea stall was lost in the rubble. #Kolkata started trending. A game of blame was played. A flyover had come crashing down, but it was tea that killed people..

Memories Of Love

Sajitha Nair

It's your birthday. I am surrounded by all your dear things: cards, letters, books and your dairy made of handmade papers. Flooded with memories I open your dairy only to find your favourite photograph smiling at me! How you had set it all up. The flower, tea glass and a burnt up butt just for the effect of it! And how you giggled after clicking this picture! You are long gone now and what remains are just memories. But something is still alive in my moist eyes. Because I have lived those moments so much more than just once. .

I love Coffee. But you preferred tea. So it became our ritual. Sipping tea, smoking, kissing & enjoying some quiet companionship. Tea and cigarettes became synonymous with you. When I missed you, I made tea at 2.00 am & lit another cigarette. Now you are gone. I am all burnt as the cigarette butt and you, as cold as the unfinished tea. Our story died unfinished. Now I miss you every day. I make tea. Cry for my coffee. I sit here, in your thoughts with pieces of my heart Cigarettes and cold tea as the only witnesses .

The ineffable cup of tea,

ArNumb Chakraborty

He tapped it thrice on the tip of his fingernail before lighting it up. Hiding behind dark shades, he exhaled the smoke profusely, engulfing in a bout of incessant laughter. "Who is He?" I asked the waiter serving tea. "Ah! A lunatic who comes here every evening, to smoke reefer." He replied, looking at him in disgust. “May I sit here?” I cautiously tried to invade his privacy. “Yes! What do you want man?” He asked irritably. “To help you!” I smiled. Raising him the sedative-laced tea, I signalled the surrounding men from the rehabilitation centre to take position. .

Clandestine

Lata Sunil

‘Where’s Sid?’ thought Shweta sipping on the now cold tea. Sid had not appeared on their last date too. He had just texted her to come here. Too many meetings, and the affair would be all over the gossip grapevine. A familiar face was too risky. A boy stood in front of her table and grabbed her attention. ‘Are you Mrs. Singh?’ She nodded and the boy gave her an envelope before getting lost in the crowd. Shweta saw Sid’s handwriting on it and opened the letter. It had just one word, ‘Goodbye.’ Shweta was relieved. No more blackmails. .

It was a complex case; complicated more than complex. But the case had to be solved. There was a deadline. More than deadline, it was a question of reputation. Solution lay in simplification; bringing the many parts together. All evidences were there in plenty; plenty of red herrings too. And then the tea was brought in. He hadn’t asked for it. He instinctively knew she had brewed it. It reminded him of the first time they had made love. The fullness of her body, the sweetness of her lips, the fragrance of her breasts. The solution was clear. .

A Study in Scarlet

Matilda Briggs

“Pick one. You have a 50/50 chance of making it.” “Between supposedly toxic Bryony berries and poisoned tea, won’t you grant the dying man one last elementary wish? May I?” “You smoke, Holmes?” “Just so I remain antisocial. Nicotine also sharpens my senses. Otherwise, it’s heroin.” “Pity. I have neither.” “You don’t play fair, Monsieur. Neither would I. That gun you are threatening me with..it’s a fake. Point in fact, it’s a lighter.”, Sherlock guffawed, as he lighted his cigarette and started to puff away. He blew smoke onto his face, as Watson overpowered the assassin from behind. .

The College Canteen

Bishnupriya Purkayastha

Stillness in the canteen, it was the dull hour of the day. "Don't you forget to stay in contact," Namita shoved Bipin's back. Bipin puffed the last smoke from the cigarette and kept it beside the tea cup, then replied, "No signora! The adolescence is way more fascinating than the rest, you just got drown in those deep ocean eyes while your heart is insecure about the destination." "It's not always about the destination, sometimes the journey means much more," Namita stopped and gazed outside towards the setting sun. There was an awkward silence followed between them. .

Tea is better than Cigarette

PRASHANT RAJPUT

I was thinking about the picture of that guy who died a week ago. I visited his house with my friends. He was not my friend but a known face though. I asked his parents about his death because of which they began to cry. While wiping his mother's face, his father said, "It is because of Cigarette, he got mouth cancer." So while sipping my tea, I realized, "Tea is better than this Cigarette" .

Of Butts and Broken Hearts

Anuraag Lakshmanan

“Bhaiya, one tea”, Vishal ordered. And after a moment’s thought, he added, “A pack of Kings’. The storekeeper looked at him and asked, with incredulity, “But I thought you had quit? What happened?” Vishal answered with a wan smile, even as he lit up a cigarette, the first of many more to come. “Take care. You shouldn’t hurt your lungs too much”, the storekeeper said with concern. "My lungs will suffer, and heal in time. But what of broken hearts? Do they ever?", Vishal wondered, taking a deep drag. .

Fuming Stories

Archana Sharma

“I am tired of you, your tea, your cigarettes and your stories that got never published”, screamed Shushma in top of her voice. “You know something marrying you was the biggest mistake of my life”, she had almost lost her temper. “...biggest mistake of our life” Vikram whispered in low but firm voice and left the home. Amli was waiting with Vikram’s favourite hot masala tea. After he had gone, she used to keep his burnt cigarettes till he comes back, her way to dig fuming stories he had buried in his mysterious eyes and to absorb his presence. .

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