After six hours of back-breaking work of slitting goats' throats, skinning, boning and cleaning dessicated meat in the slaughterhouse, the only pleasure he enjoyed was the one beedi he lit and smoked away to glory.
The smoke going inside his throat and lungs and the heady feeling after to make him forget the blood and gore around him.
It was his one and only enjoyment in his otherwise dreary life.
One smoke a day.....
He stood there among the hot and sweaty commuters watching and biding time.
His time to achieve immortality and martyrdom was now, his mentor had promised him heaven, virgins and whatnot.
Just then a blind young lady with a child in her arms got into the train. She started to sing an old melody and the child held out its hand laughing..
As he looked to press the trigger, the smiling child stilled him.
He rushed through the crowd and jumped out of the train and a flaming inferno shocked the commuters. The train continued on.... safely..
Nair Sir the owner of Nair tea stall always kept the first glass of tea on the parapet.
His closest friend had left for Kargil without having his customary tea.
The war was won and everyone moved forward but so far nothing had been heard about his friend till date. The whole village and his family awaited his homecoming.
One day a black crow came and sipped the tea, looked at Nair Sir and flew away.
Nair Sir felt his heart go cold....
Next day there was no more tea glass.
Note book : "Dad, I am leaving with my love and we are getting married".
Staring at the note, he had suffered a nervous breakdown. But eventually he overcome it and picked up the broken pieces of leftover life.
The cup hand painted by her,for Fathers day make him so happy.He give away all the other things belonging to his daughter while retaining the cup.
It reminded him of good times.
Now he is only waiting for the doorbell to ring.....
Me: Can I take a photo please?
A passer by whispers, one is deaf and dumb and other sick.
I had information they were once Mafia but turned into police informants.
As the elder one smoked without care, younger one looked lost and helpless.
Just then a police Jeep screached and stopped and picked the smoker and took off.
Surprised I looked at the younger brother, and he sported a slight sly smile.
He: Don't worry he can look after himself.
Me: You can speak?
He: How do you think we stayed alive? And he laughed uproariously..
She: You know today I met a lady and she was asking about you.
He: About me? Really?
She: We are married 30 years and you are still an enigma.
He: Come on, what's the problem?
She: That lady has been searching for you so many years.
He: What did you say?
She: I have invited her for dinner.
He: What do you mean?
Just then the bell rang. She went and opened the door.
They both came into the room. He looked at his mom and fell at her feet crying.
He: Please forgive me..
They were college friends, five of them, three male and two females took a bet that they will stay one night in the haunted forest where years back, a train accident had killed hundreds of passengers while they were asleep.
Night came and the group settled down for dinner around camp fire and after lots of singing and dancing, they slept deep under the open sky.
Midnight struck and a blinding light came upon them and swept them away.
Their dying screams woke up the village..
He looked forward to ferrying passengers daily on the river. One late night he took a pretty young lady to the famous film directors cottage by the river side
It became a daily to and fro journey and even though he knew she was of different pedigree, he enjoyed the twosome silent journey through the waters.
A month later she stopped and he never saw her again.
Then he saw a news report of a body found floating on the river.
He reached the spot and saw her lifeless.
Now the river became more precious to him, for he saw her reflection..
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.
Looking at her sister, Mali wondered what was going on in her head?
They were meeting after a long time.
Their husbands didn't get along and they had forbidden them to meet or talk.
To keep peace at home, they stopped talking.
Yesterday, Sheela had called and asked to meet.
It was a cloudy day, they sat there in silence under the rain,
the silence grew, then Sheela blurted out, "I'm leaving Amith".
I'm following my dream of becoming an Architect.
Mali: What about the kids?
Sheela: They are coming with me. They deserve love and peace.
He had followed the gay laughter, until he came face to face with the bright twinkling eyes behind the colour filled face.
It was love at first sight for him and he had thrown Holi powder on her shyly.
The festivities ended and after a fresh scrub he went looking for her.
As he followed the laughter, he saw the acid disfigured face with the bright eyes smiling mischievously.
As they stood there undecided, he asked her for a date.
They took a walk holding hands.
The boys stood looking at the chief guest on the dias admiringly.
As he stood up to give a speech, he noticed the boys.
Soon the Grand Master bid goodbye to the gathering and boarded his car, when the boys ran up.
Boy: We are great fan's of you. Can you teach us chess please?
Seeing their earnestness, he took out his game set and taught them the basics and gifted them the set.
This started their trust with chess and so they practised daily to emulate their mentor..
As she aimed her camera, she saw someone walking on the track. She looked up to see empty track.
Again she readied for a shot, and saw a person walking towards her. Panicked, she turned to run away, when a train came speeding towards her. Suddenly she felt herself being pushed out of the trainâ€™s way.
As she fell, she watched the train speed away and an empty place. Picking up her broken camera, she reached her hotel.
Next day newspaper had a story about a young man who committed suicide on the spot where she had stood.
He stood there in a trance.
His childhood had been spent here with his mother. under her watchful eyes and heartfelt care.
After his studies he moved to the city for better prospects taking his mother along.
He prospered, got a family and lived a happy life. Untill his mother fell sick and faded away silently.
Next day while clearing her possessions, he came across a letter. Mother's last wish had been to see her native fields.
Today he stood there and strew her ashes around the golden field and felt a lightness in his heart..
Shyam was waiting by his new Audi to drive his dad to his chai-stand at the railway station.
For the past twenty years his dad Ramlal rode to the station, served chai to the passengers.
It had been his mother's death bed wish that her new born should study and work in foreign land.
His dad had struggled, but made sure Shyam was educated and worked abroad.
Today Shyam waited to take his dad to the station.
Just then Ramlal came out, hopped on to his cycle, calling out "beta I am late today, my customers will be waiting.".
He was a prominent gay lawyer for the LGBT community, she was national award winning closet lesbian actress.
They met at a rally, when their community was protesting a discriminating law.
At first sight they felt the connection., though both of them were in a committed loving relationship.
Moreover their cause was greater than love.
It was out of question trying to take their love forward.
Their only solace was intense stolen moments in dark and forbidding places.
Today was the third anniversary of her death, Vikram and Adhi were enjoying the sea and sand. It seemed like yesterday that he was waiting outside the operation theater, when the door opened, the doctor asked him to go in. Rushing in he saw Ramya looking pale and holding little junior. She extended the tiny bundle, saying "please take care of Adhi", then she had fallen back into the bed. The nurse came and pulled the sheet over her head saying, "your sister is no more. Sorry!"
Just then he heard Adhi calling, "Dada".
Priya ran to the school ground, frightened for Ammu.
She had forgotten to pick up 3 year old Ammu from school.
After tuition, she had reached home, Amma had called out, "Did you pick up Ammu?"
Shocked, she ran to school.
The school was dark and ominous, running all over she kept calling out for Ammu.
Then she noticed a tiny speck of light across the playground.
Running fast, she reached the watchman's hut.
Peering in the window, she saw Ammu eating biscuit, under the indulgent eyes of the watchman.
Priya knocked on the door..
As he walked away from the darkness to light, he noticed a car idling.
He had been a brilliant medical student, until he met his soulmate in the final year.
His parents had sold everything to make their dream possible.
She took up medicine, as her parents were doctors.
Their's was a match not meant to be.
One day he got beaten senseless, and was locked up in a mental asylum.
Five years later a phone call freed him.
As he reached the main road, the wedding car drove away, a familiar face looked out with tears at him..
He had left everything behind in his search for truth. Walked 1000â€™s of miles, listened to religious discourses, toured all temples, taken bath in holy waters, nothing happened. Life was still an enigma, He did not get deliverance.
As he sat, watching the traffic flowing up and down with great speed rushing to reach some place, no one saw him, or if they saw him, he was one more savant lost to the world.
Just then a car stopped, an angelic baby jumps out and callâ€™s â€œPapaâ€.
He looked up in surprise, truth was before him.
The tattoo she got should have helped her to get her love, but fate played a dirty game
She and Aditi were lookalike twins. No one could distinguish between them. Life was perfect until she met Suraj and fell in love.
She got a tattoo and Suraj lost his confusion of whom he was courting.
One day she got a call early morning.
Suraj: I ran away and got married to the wrong twin Nandi.
Nandi screamed into the phone,how could you? I got the tattoo Suraj.
Suraj: Aditi had it too, yesterday, today it is not there.
As the sun set, she reached her favourite spot for her tryst with herself, the "me time".
Other times she was the mother to her kids, wife to her husband, daughter to her in-laws and the list was a long one.
She was groomed to follow tradition from the time she took baby steps.
Her role had been written decades ago and she followed it to a "T", learning to handle life with patience unlimited.
Balancing career and family, she was a force to reckon with, her strength and character came from within.
She is the Millennium's Woman.
Lucy felt a pang in her heart. David and she had just celebrated their first Christmas after their wedding.
Then the war came and David enlisted and had flown to Iraq.
One day she got notice from the army HQ that David had gone missing and he might be a POW.
Lucy tried to pick her life up after the tragedy, but not knowing where David was made her life miserable.
This fifth Christmas too she had decorated the tree and was placing the star when the doorbell rang, Lucy opened the door and screamed....DAVID.
You will not have enough to feed your family, even one meal a day.
But when Ganesh Chaturthi comes, you can never complain about lack of money.
The idol, puja materials for worship, flowers, prasad everything comes out of the air and the whole family, neighborhood and country celebrates the festival with devotion and joy.
As Shyam carried Ganpathy for immersion in the sea, he felt the burden of life hanging on him.
Yes, he had fulfilled the festivities, tomorrow he had to face another day foraging for money and food.
Maybe he could sell the idol and make some money. .
The day, men in blue won the World Cup, my father became their ultimate fan. I was born on the same day and he named me Sachin.
His love for the men in blue went so deep that he transformed everything into blue. The house, scooter and everything.
He couldn't wait to see me wear the blue jersey, so he enrolled me for cricket coaching.
I loved Roger Federer and tennis was my passion.
What choice do I have?
Cricket or tennis?.
Amid the giant ganpathi idols,
She stood shy and smiling.
A colourful attire and innocent smile
She waited to get her photo clicked.
At first she had refused to lift the veil,
But the photographer had pleaded.
So for the first time she opened her face to a stranger. As he clicked and the polaried print came sliding out, she came hesitantly towards him and on seeing her photo, burst into a shy and bright smile. As he handed her the copy, she pulled down the veil and walked away smiling..
Kumar, woke up to beatings from a police lathi. Totally frightened he pleaded that he was only an auto driver and on his afternoon break. But they just dragged him to the police station.
There he was subjected to all kinds of questionings and beatings. The police refused to listen to his pleas of innocence and locked him up.
He was left to rot in the prison, no visitors, lawyers or court hearing. Kumar sat there wondering what his crime was, broken and without hope of getting out.
He was a number in the arrest records of the police.
By day he was the quintessential tea brewer . He stood there brewing and whisking hot, frothy ea endlessly from dawn to dusk.
By night, he became the story writer. His notebook was filled with stories of the people who came to his stall, spent their time telling him stories of their life while sipping tea. He was the silent listener, busy with making tea, but lending an ear to their tales of friendship, love, betrayal, success, hardship and what not.
His dream was to publish his stories one day, until then the tea stall was his bread and butter.
Theirâ€™s was a friendship envied by the village. Rahul and Riyaz were best friends from kindergarden and their friendship withstood the test of time. They were like twins, speaking each others thoughts simultaneously. They had planned to get into the airforce and fly fighter planes for their motherland.
It all changed one sunny day. As the dark clouds of hatred and communal violence erupted in their secular village, Riyazâ€™s family became one of the many fatalities of the bloodshed committed.
Rahul became a police officer and Riyaz a doctor. One to protect lives and the other to save lives.
She had a decision to take, it was her's alone to take.
She got up, opened the door, walked into a very silent wedding hall. Going up to the groom's parents, she asked them to leave.
There was a collective gasp from the hall.
She heard her parent's tears.
She: "My parents are never going to hand over their house deed to your son. They have given enough dowry to satisfy your ego".
"If their house is a pre-condition to continue with the marriage ceremony, it will never happen so long as I am alive."
She asked them to leave.
Until yesterday he had been the king, the leader, the strong one. Everyone followed him and his dikkat.
He had led his group for years, taking them to safe places, water bodies when drought hit the land, lush mangroves and orchards for food. They had looked upon him with awe and respect. But it had changed suddenly, one day. A new prince arose and challenged his authority.
They fought for the group, the family, the throne. Shedding blood and gore. They had fought rough, but he gave way finally.
He sat there alone gnashing his teeth in anger and sorrow..
She was looking at the photo, Vikas was an IAS officer now, Arjun a stand up comedian, Prasad had become a dentist, good looking Rishi was the heart throb of the cinema world, Nazar had become a Banker. For her it all changed when she was sold off to pimps in Delhi. Years later, now she was a high priced Escort.
Her phone rang. Picking it:
Voice: Hello Anjana.
She: Who are you?
Voice: long ago I made a promise.
She: OMG. Rishi!
Rishi: Will you marry me?
She: i have a past........
Rishi: does not matter.
She: (sobbing) Yes. Yes.....
As she danced in gay abandon, rhythm and grace personified, she felt an intense gaze on her. She saw a tall handsome superhero watching her. Inviting him to dance with her, they twirled in unison..
He: Are you Red Riding Hood?
She: You must be the Big Bad Wolf?
He: Didn't your mother tell you not to talk to strangers?
She: Didn't yours warn you about woman in red?
Smiling he lifted her, flying along with her over the city skylights towards the moon. Her heart danced with happiness and she slipped her arms around his neck..
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".
Lying on the green grass, looking up at the blue sky, I wait for inspiration to strike me. Letting my soul become one with the earth. My mind was fuddled with a million thoughts.
The softness of the earth and vastness of the sky makes me wonder at the smallness of mankind and their inability to live with nature without destroying it. When suddenly with a burst of lightening showers a UFO came swirling down, carried her away. Looking down at the receding earth she realized, the grass is always green on the other side. Sigh! .
She had been his muse and inspiration. He was a small time photographer and she an international model. One image of hers had catapulted her to international fame.
He had her in his thoughts always and the last photo he had clicked of her. On a rainy evening as he has entered her room, he saw her on the bed posing provocatively. He had started to click.
That solitary photo of her by him had catapulted her to fame and riches. But he remained the small town photographer, with the framed photo of coffee and her for company.
She ran to him, eyes closed, he asked her to stand still and open her eyes, and then he blew into her eyes softly. Unexpectedly she got an intuitive shock, she had to travel and discover the world. If he truly loved her, he would let her go.
He knew looking at the emotions cross her face that he had to let her go. She had to follow her dreams. True love meant setting her free and if they were meant to be together, she would come. As she walked away, the silver anklet fell at his feet.
Yes, I can see far across, green fields, flowing rivers and the valleys and beyond it the dense forest with their beautiful waterfalls and then the ultimate hills and mountains. A road less travelled, and a walk into the wilderness. But then I land back on my feet and my village with its quaint mud thatched homes, dusty roads, cow sheds and vast stretches of rice fields are within my sight. My heart and soul are here and I choose to serve my village. But let me stay awhile, above the ground looking afar at infinite possibilities..
He had been sitting in his studio, with a lump of clay to be molded. Hours had been spent thinking about this lovely lady who crossed his path daily to fetch water from the river. Today he had decided to make a sculpture out of her beauty. But since morning nothing had evolved. Then he noticed the cigarette box on the shelf and felt that his inspiration would come, if he had a smoke. He lit the cigarette and took the first puff, the smoke went in warming him, he got his mojo and started to create a beauty..
He sat there high up in the hills waiting for the letters from home, the soldiers had set the camp for the night. Reaching into his picket, he took out his favourite photo. He had been holding hands with his sisters and the three of them in all their finery had gone to enjoy the temple festivities. His sisters had always been protective of him until he grew up and had joined the army.
Just then an envelope fell on his lap, opening it he saw two lovely rakhis. His eyes teared up with love towards his sisters..
She was destiny's child, taking an early morning walk through the green forest. Her stride was purposeful, her body filled with graceful lines, as she walked, letting the morning fresh air brush past her lithe form, she brought a smile on this lonely rider's face. How would she know that the rider and his girlfriend had been the hippies of the swinging sixties. They had been wild, young, carefree and reckless filled with implausible dreams and hope. He smiled to happy memories. As she walked, she wondered at the tales behind his knowing smile..
As he flipped over the sunset, he felt the weight of life pressures fly away, his heart was lighter and he wanted to sing out in happiness. From when he had been three years, watching his parents do the somersaults in the circus arena, he had wanted to join them. But they had been adamant that he should study to become a lawyer. His parents had wanted a better life for him. He had always been happy then, now he had everything, money, fame, family but something had been missing. Today he had taken a chance and joyfully somersaulted..
One stood there proudly, the other worn out and broken, fighting a lost battle it was. In their fight for survival, they could never know that many a lives daily wages was bet on them. Those seeking to make quick money through the bloody battles fought between voice less birds, either they won to play the game once again another day, or lost to go home to empty and hungry stomachs waiting for a morsel. One day these fighter birds might turn the tables on humankind. They will win greater battles for survival..
She carried the pot of water for her sisters and mothers daily. Born in a village, where you were of lower caste and to add to that misery, a woman. . A pot of shame more likely . Women in her village had to relieve themselves in the open fields . Prying male eyes looked at them shamelessly, waiting like foxes to spring on them in their undignified postures. The women lived a life of shame, no dignity even in the simplest of human ablution. Why did the humankind not feel ashamed for this indignity committed upon women?.