Sri Vignesh Pillarisetty's Stories

The gift and the gifted

Raman was a thief. Fled to Dubai, leaving his 3-year-old son to foster homes. The kid was the reason he wanted to earn good overseas. Two years passed. The desire for earning consumed him. Lost track of his kid's life. Numerous efforts. Finally tracked him down, but with bad news – he had an accident, a year ago. Raman couldn't get all details from the foster-nun. Sent a gift with a note: "My first gift. Coming there soon. Stay happy." A tricycle. The kid loved it, stared at it all day, wishing he hadn’t lost his legs in the accident..

The need

They came in every day. Stared at the same artwork for hours, whispering. Intrigued, one day, the manager scrutinized the portraits after they left. Shocked! Absolutely nothing special about them. He shifted the portrait elsewhere next day. Yet they stood back at the same spot! Months passed. No change in their routine. Until one day. They stopped visiting. Only the nuns knew how sultry it felt during summer power-cuts. The pedestal-fan at the gallery’s corner solved the purpose. All they did was staring at portraits while enjoying its wind, whispering gossip until the power was back in the monastery. .

The spot

1975. 'Place a fruit at the spot if it's a boy, a flower if it's a girl' he mentioned in his letter to his wife. The day arrived. He rushed to his village far from his battlefield. Heart pounding, he reached the spot, looked around. Finally spotted! A flower, no, two! He jumped in happiness, grabbed them and started towards his home, A car went by. A grieving mother inside held a still-born child. Her husband just ran by. She didn't notice. Back at the spot, a kid wondered where he lost the two cute flowers he had plucked. .

The Masquerade

The king entered the market. Disguised as a fisherman. 'Best disguise ever!' He complimented himself 'Not even the cleverest can see through it!' A stray kid behind accidentally bumped into him. He ignored, like a commoner would do. 'Humble apologies, My Lord!' The kid murmured with utmost respect. The king swirled around, shocked. He recognized! 'Who are you?' he croaked. 'I am the Royal cook.' He bowed. The king stared closely. Indeed, he is! Convincing disguise! 'Minister sent me to look after you' the cook added. The king resumed his trip, never knowing it was the minister in disguise..

The wish

He was the funniest man Ram ever knew. But he hardly smiled anymore. Doctors confirmed Cancer. Things weren't the same anymore. Lifelessly staring out of the train window, he made Ram quiver with pity. And then, he did it! Sprung up from his seat, ran towards the train door. Ram feared the worst. 'It's so unlike him!' his soul kept screaming. Yet he croaked 'Don't jump!' And he didn't. He just stood there, on the edge, his back towards Ram. Seconds later, turned around smiling broadly. 'So that's how foot-boarding feels! Now I can try everything I ever feared!'.

The winner

He was the greatest lawyer of his time. Hardships rocked his boat; life showed him pain before success. And his son wanted to be an artist. A mere painter! Argument exploded. Anger shook him that night. The kid ran away, the artist survived. Life jumped 20 years. He stared at the award-winning artwork. Artist - his son, eight-time-award-winner! The painting burned deep into his heart – A hungry kid. Eating a painting. Of breadcrumbs. He turned around. A banner welcomed his son. A queue was awaiting the star-artist’s arrival. He silently joined. Not as a father. As a fan..

Odd

‘Haunted!’ she whimpered. ‘This house.’ Suman pitied his sister. ‘Sure?’ Tried sounding casual. ‘The clips,’ her finger trembled, pointing at the clothesline. ‘Go closer. Notice something odd?’ He did. The odd clip! ‘Proves nothing,’ he shrugged. ‘I keep throwing away odd ones,’ her voice trembled. ‘They keep re-appearing. Within minutes!’ ‘Someone putting them back?’ A confident query. ‘I throw them down 20 floors. Can’t put back in minutes.’ ‘So the odd clip reappears.’ Puzzling. ‘No. The odd clip is mine. Rest four reappear.’ Suman stared, baffled. Floors below, he saw four kids playing. Heavy rains. Yet none were wet! .

The beast

Moo was the fastest in the herd. The owner proudly rode on its back. The herd looked up to its elegance. The champion! But time can be cunning. One morning, a new animal entered the herd. Dazzling white. Fast as flash! It even let the owner hold its horns while he rode on it! Moo found it weird. It could stay immovable for hours. Roared royally, moved gracefully. And it had no eyes! As days passed, Moo felt ignored. Left the herd, his last thoughts rumbling with confusion. ‘What a weird blind beast! And they call it Yamaha-R15!’ .

The right answer

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 twin

He ogled at the mob fight in the streets below; “one-man-attacked-by-many” scenario. ‘Isn’t that the guy I robbed at ATM last week?’ He stared at the heaviest attacker among all. He felt no regret. ‘Anything for mom’s treatment’ ‘Who’s caught robbing him now?’ he sneered, finally spotting the victim’s face, swollen, tear-stained. It looked oddly familiar. Looked exactly like him. ‘Brother!’ he gasped. ‘They caught the wrong guy,’ his cowardly heart screamed. Despair engulfed him, as he saw his brother forcibly surrender his hard-earned money. ‘Saved that for mom’s treatment,’ the brother moaned helplessly, as the mob left, satisfied. .

13

"No fish left!" exclaimed the greedy crane, one gloomy morning. ‘There were many once,' murmured the conscience as the bird stared at the lifeless lake, ‘Until you lavishly ate them all'. The sky grew darker, the bird grew hungrier. And it happened! A magnificent white fish appeared with a flaming red tail; vanished before the crane grabbed it. Days later, miles away, newspapers read ‘12 died after a plane crash.’ All the crane saw was the falling plane’s reflection. It died waiting for the fish to reappear; a fish that was never there. The count is now 13. .

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