Sunday, January 30, 2011

55 word fiction

The disconnect

A young feminist Sally passionately spoke in a women’s programme on equal rights and no discrimination against women.

She hurried to her gynaecologist for an ultrasound.

The doctor smiled and said “it is a girl.”

There was a frown in Sally’s face

“Just kidding.It is a boy” said doctor

Sally’s face beamed with large smile

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The puzzle-a story

I had to stay overnight in that small village town that boasted of no hotel.I had come to inspect some NGO that kept me busy till late evening.The head of the organisation who was also a panchayat head requested me to have my dinner with him and spend the night in his house.I readily agreed.

He was an old man must be 20 or more years than my early thirties.evidently ,not in good health,a diabetic but a kind hearted man doing good for the community.It was a spacious and sprawling house.He introduced me to his wife in her early thirties,her sister in late twenties and a lady cook in her forties.The dinner was sumptuous with a large spread of delicacies on the table.We talked about the state of affairs in the society, how much needs to be done for the poor, how alcoholism ruined families and this and that.The two sisters had also joined the conversation .Both seemed intelligent.Both were very good looking and evidently took keen interest in the NGO.We talked till late 11pm when the old man yawned as he had taken his tranquiliser along with his daily tablets.

I was given a spacious room that had a king sized bed.The prosperity in the house was evident in everything.The people seemed pleasant.It was December, the weather was chill and there was no need for a fan too.I dozed off to sleep in the comfortable bed.It must be around two in the morning and I found everything dark.The power must have gone but it did not give any discomfort.When I tuned to the side I felt certain warmth.I felt by my hand someone was sitting by my side.It wasn’t an apparition as I could feel the body.Suddenly the figure placed its fingers on my lips signalling not to make any noise.I could smell the fragrance of jasmine flower.I was perplexed not knowing how to react.The figure snuggled closer.I could sense a female body,warm and silken soft.The fingers were still on my lips and sometimes caressing.I was after all young and the close proximity of the female was welcome.Before I could decide to push her away, she laid her head on my chest and held me tightly.Her hair brushed against my face.The fragrance of jasmine was intoxicating.She increased the pressure and was soon upon me with most of her body in contact with me.

I knew this was not proper and I must get out of the delicate situation without making noise in the still silence.I gently pushed her but she tightened her clasp and embraced me with both arms with her lips on my cheeks.I lost my self control.I responded to the physical passion and said ”Be careful.Someone may hear.”

“Don’t worry.I have switched off the mains.All are sleeping..I have locked their doors.and no one can come”she whispered.

I did not know who the woman was and asked her.She replied”Never mind..It is better you are not aware.Please be loving and understanding and make me happy.Hug me, kiss me and do whatever you like”

There was no stopping thereafter.Emotion took over discretion. A little while later,she said as if in whisper”.You made me happy.Do come to this village frequently on work.Let me go now.” The figure moved reluctantly closing the door behind but the smell of jasmine was lingering behind long after she left.

After a few minutes the night light came on.I could not sleep anymore unable to recover from the pleasant interlude.I was breaking my mind as to who the person could be.It could have been any one of the three as all of them were of similar build.

I brushed my teeth in the morning and came to the dining hall.The old man and the three women were there.All of them had taken their bath and were looking fresh .As I was sipping my coffee, I looked at the women to see whether anyone would lower her eyes unable to meet my gaze..None did to my utter surprise.I knew there was one wily and clever woman in this three.As the puzzle remained unresolved, it rankled in my mind..

It was time to leave.As I was leaving the gate, I turned back to have one last look.All the three smiled and waved their hands at me.Walking a few steps ahead,I turned to see again.They had all turned to get back into the house.I saw the jasmine flower on the head of one whom I could recognise immediately.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The return of the dead man

Manickam in his early sixties had a small grocery shop in a place that was little bigger than a village and smaller than a town.Leading a contented life with wife, children and grand children, his life was smooth till one day the side of a passing vehicle hit him and left him unconscious on the road.The passersby took him to a public health centre.It was a small clinic and boasted of a nurse and a junior doctor but not equipped to deal with emergencies..Luckily both were there.There was no external injury.He did not respond to doctor's several attempts.The injury could have been an internal one with an haemorrhage possibly.The doctor after careful examination of blood pressure, the heart beats and his pupils using torchlight, pronounced him dead.The nearest big hospital was 20 miles away.The family saw no benefit in taking him that far after the doctor’s findings and took him home for preparing his final departure.

The arrangements for his funeral were underway.The priest was awaited.Some close relatives from nearby villages and towns had informed of their coming and had asked them to wait.The body was laid in the front hall and covered by a white bedsheet.The wife was shattered at the unexpected tragedy and was inconsolable.So were his son and daughters.A burning lamp was kept near his head and the fan switched off.It was a gloomy atmosphere heightened by the wails of the bereaved relatives and muted murmurs of those assembled.One grandson about ten years old who was very much attached to his grand father sat close to him and was sobbing .

There was suddenly a shout from him” I see thatha’s hand shaking.I saw it happening twice”

Someone said “The boy is imagining.How can a man dead for nearly 8 hours be alive”

But everybody’s eyes were rivetted on the Manickam’s body.Someone from the other side said “I also noticed a faint movement of the bedsheet on his left hand side”

This set the whole crowd alert and all eyes were on the dead man’s body.When there was a distinct movement of the bedsheet on right side, someone pointed out”Even the fan is not on.It cannot be movement by breeze.This needs to be checked.” Some one in the crowd let a cry of terror at the unnatural movement of dead man’s limbs.

Luckily at that time the doctor of the clinic who was a neighbour arrived for the funeral.His arrival appeared god sent.When this new development was hurriedly mentioned, he sent someone to fetch his bag.Meanwhile he went close to body and checked the old man’s eyes that were half open.He wished to make doubly sure and wanted to check the pulse and heart beats.He asked the son to remove the bedsheet that covered the body.

When this was done a small mouse that had got entrapped in the bundle ran out for its freedom.There was a loud laughter from all totally out of joint with the grim situation in the house.Having come the doctor carefully checked again with his instruments.He felt by straining his ears that he heard a faint trace of heart beat.Someone’s’ car was readily there.Not wanting to miss a chance to save his life the man was rushed along with doctor to the hospital in the next town.

It is a matter still talked about with relish in the village that the ‘dead’ man came alive after emergency treatment at the hospital and after a couple of days sent back home.There was a total agreement amongst the village folks that since neither the funeral rites had commenced nor was he taken to the burial ground, he was not technically dead and that it was in order for the old man to enter the house and live there.

The grandson gloated that but for him his grandpa would have been cremated.But grandmother firmly believed that the little mouse was evidently sent by Lord Ganesh in answer to her prayers to draw everyone’s attention and save her husband’s life...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Republic Day

Let us feel proud to be an Indian

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The true worship

You cannot say Kadhir was even from middle class let alone well to do.He had a small job in the city corporation and equally small family of wife, one child and aged mom.It was a struggle each month to make both ends meet within his limited income.Nevertheless Kadhir was a man of integrity, a rare thing these days, especially when many of his colleagues made money by improper means.He was never tempted and luckily his wife was also a good natured girl managing the household carefully.She made no demand on her husband.

He was living in a rented portion.A small second hand flat had come up for sale.His house in the village would fetch him some sum.But it still fell short of his requirement even after takng into account his wife’s jewelry.There was none to help him.His mom said”Kadhir, do not worry.Go to Murugan temple and pray to Him sincerely .He alone can help you and will surely show a way out of the problem”He is not given to visiting temples much but in deference to his mom’s wishes he went in the evening.

It was not very crowded He had thoughtfully kept Rs10 in his pocket to drop in the donation box (hundi).There were a few beggars sitting on both sides of the entrance pleading for alms.Some of them young, some hale and hearty and some lame and halt.He ignored them and went inside to see an old woman crouched against the wall.Her eyes were half closed and she looked frail and emaciated.He heard a low voice’Ayya, I haven’t eaten for the last two days.I am unable to bear the pnags of hunger. I feel giddy and unable to get up.Can you please give me some food.”

She looked slightly older than his mother.He felt pity for her but he knew he had no money to spare and the ten rupee note was intended for putting in the hundi.He lingered a bit torn between two minds but wrenched himself away to the sanctum even as he heard the piteous pleas for help.There was a tug in the heart but he steeled himself when he thought of the flat for sale.

The Lord Muruga with his two consorts was in all splendour with flowery decorations and glowing lamps.Kadhir devoutly prayed for the divine help to find the funds for purchase of the flat.With the prayer over he came out to reach the tall hundi(donation box).It was slightly high and he tried to drop the ten rupee note inside it.But it fell out.He took it and tried again.Mysteriously this time also the tenner did not go into the hundi but dropped to the floor.When he failed the third time also , he paused to think why this hurdle is happening.Is it one way of the God telling him that somebody’s need is greater than His.His mind went back to the old woman and her weak state.

Without second thought he rushed to her to see her lying on the floor with her eyes closed.He rushed to nearby food stall and got some food and a cup of tea.He woke her up gently and gave her the food sitting by her side as he would do to his mom.The old woman recovered and blessed Kadhir’You will be prosperous in life.You have a golden heart.May Lord Muruga bless you, my raja.” At that time the temple bell tolled loudly.He was immensely happy that he could bring a smile on her face and that the money was well spent.

When he went back home, the flat owner was waiting for him to tell that in view of his urgent need for money he was willing to accept the sum Kadhir could pay immediately and the balance in instalments.Kadhir was rendered speechless and his mind went back to the old woman at the temple.

Friday, January 14, 2011

55 Word fiction

My stalker
He has been following me for long whenever I stir out.I am unable to shake him.My conscience pricks when he is watching me do evil things.That is my profession.I asked the temple priest.He said “he will always stalk you and you can ease your conscience only by not doing wicked acts.He is your shadow.”

Prayer answered
The man had dragged me into his van on my way home and pulled me behind bushes.His unbearable stench assailed my nose.My screams were not heard.Prayer was my only recourse as he disrobed me and fell on me.As I was fighting him away,I heard his scream.I saw a black snake slithering away.God had anwered

The mango trick
After the street magican performed the rope walk and wriggling out of a narrow ring, the dumbfounded audience clapped. Commencing the mango trick he placed the seed under a basket as watchful eyes stared.After some mumbo jumbo, he was about to lift the basket.when his young son shouted”appa, you have left the mango here with me”

He was a class topper He missed the last paper in final semester as fell ill.He was inconsolable at having lost an year.His mother asked him to pray.He felt it was futile as the damage had been done.To please her he prayednevertheless.Next day it was announced examination cancelled due to leakage of question paper

For a ride
The young boy mute and deaf was pathetic.His hand and leg were under bandage with stains of dry blood underneath.He invited pity.Coins fell before him in abundance from devotees to temple.It was past noon and hot.Crowd had thinned.The boy shouted “Amma,remove the bandage.I need to relieve myself”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Mahalingam was not exactly henpecked except that he did not do things which his wife disliked.His wife never liked his aged mother who lived with him being her only son.

“Maha, it is very chill these days during nights and I keep shivering.Can you get me a woolen blanket?” his mother asked him one morning

He was reading a news paper and his wife was cutting vegetables by his side.He made a small grunt ’hmm’ to signify he heard her but said nothing more.

Three days past she again reminded him”Maha, I am unable to sleep.Bangalore is colder this year than in the past.I cover myself with my old saris too but they give no relief.”

A lump passed through his throat.He knew his wife was listening to the request.He could only say”Amma, let me see.I am busy with a lot of work in the office.Close the windows in the night.The chill air would not enter.”

The old woman kept quiet and thereafter stopped asking him.

Two weeks later Mahalingam’s brother-in-law who had come on a short visit asked his sister “What are these two big bundles in the hall for ?”

She said with pride “Your brother in law is very particular that we distribute saris and dhoties each year at the old age home during winter.We have been doing these for several years.We will be going there this evening.Why don’t you accompany us?”

”I am very proud of you,sister, at your compassion”replied her brother.
The old woman was heard coughing nonstop huddled on the mat spread on the floor.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The revelation

Anita did not like the old man who came once a month .He was dressed shabbily with unshaven face and protruding yellow teeth.She wondered why her parents who belonged to the upper class allowed this man to come and sit in the living room and entertaining him with snacks and tea.He generally stayed for about 30 minutes.Her parents made it a point that she was also present as he came on on the last Sunday of the month. Much to her chagrin they would ask her to hand him over the snacks and tea.As soon as she finished this routine she would run away to her room in the first floor.Once the old man ran his trembling hand on her hair as she was placing tea before him.She was shocked and told him rather rudely not to touch her any more.His face became smaller and she could see the hurt in his eyes.But she didn’t care a tuppence.

Later when he left, her parents rebuked for her uncivil and rude behaviour.Her father in a gruff tone sternly said”I am disappointed with you. I didn’t like a wee bit the way you insulted the old man.He is visiting us at my request and he is my guest.You are hardly 16 as against his 70 plus.You should learn to respect elders” She expected her mother to come to her support..But she said in brief”What you did today embarrassed us much.Do not judge people by the riches and good apparel If we are in comfortable position it is the grace of God but that does not give us right to hurt those who are less fortunate”

Anita unable to suppress her tears ran up the stairs and flung herself on her bed.She hated the old man more now.

It so happened that the next Sunday her parents had to go out early in the morning itself leaving Anita behind with the female cook.The maid was working in the kitchen and she was watching the TV.It was around 11 am when she heard the door bell.When she went to the door, she saw the old man through the French window.Without opening the door, she said “My parents are not at home.They will be coming only late in the evening”

“Never mind, young girl.You are here that is adequate.I come here to meet you also. Let me in” he softly said with a smile.There was no trace of disappointment at her not opening the door initially. “I told you my parents are not home.I am alone.Please go away” she said in an acerbic tone “You are like my grand child Anita.I have come in the hot sun walking a long distance.Please allow me to rest a while.No harm would come to you by me” he pleaded’

Go away.Don’t you understand what I am telling you.Don’t call me by my name.I am not opening the door”she said loudly and brusquely.”

The cook who heard the bell was standing near the kitchen door watching.The old man did not utter one word but silently turned and slowly walked away.Anita could see him wiping his eyes but she never cared.

When her parents returned around 4PM, her father asked Anita whether there were any telephone calls or visitors.She replied that none came except the old man.She rushed back to her room pleading some pressing work.When Anita’s mom enquired from the work whether the old man was served tea and snacks, both mother and father came to know of what had actually happened. It was during dinner that the subject came up for discussion.Her father asked her why she had turned the old man out especially when she knew he was always entertained by him.

“I don’t like him.I hate his appearance, his tattered clothes and ingratiating smile.You cannot compel me to like him” she said defiantly.

“Shut up, you hot headed girl”.he roared in anger and continued”Do you think you are a rich girl?”

Her mother intervened and pleaded” Forgive her.She doesn’t know how much regard you have for him.I will tell her.She will not repeat this again.Please stop with this”

Her father said “No, it is time she knew the facts.Anita, brace yourself to hear some shocking news about yourself.You are not our biological daughter.We had no child.When the old man lost about 16 years back his daughter and her husband in an accident, he was left with the responsibility of bringing up the young baby girl of his daughter.He had lost his wife earlier some years back.When I heard about it, myself and my wife agreed to bring up the child as ours.Hec readily agreed and declined to take any money.The old man told us that he was happy that his grand child got a good home to live in good comfort and that he wanted nothing except to see the girl grow once a month.He had promised to keep your identity a secret and he did so till date.I want you to accompany me tomorrow morning to tender your apology and seek his forgiveness.”

Anita was shocked beyond words and the receding figure of her grand father wiping his eyes haunted her mind.The next morning when Anita and her father went to the hut, they were told he had left the place permanently without leaving any information about the place where was going.