Thursday, 5 September 2019

For Him, who lives up there.

Roopa smiled as she caressed the sticker on the car's rear windshield - a baby with a little red bow on her bald pate; her arm waving out, announcing to the other motorists that she travelled in the car; a smiling mouth and two tiny dots for eyes, that watched in fascination as the world passed her by.

How Roopa yearned for a daughter. Someone to call her own; her reflection, her shadow, her own flesh and blood. She would never ask for anything if only she could have this one thing in her entire life.

The honking of the vehicles snapped Roopa out of her thoughts and brought her back into the present, reminding her what she was here for.

She stood on the pavement looking at the cars that zoomed by, and in no time, she was gazing longingly at the sticker again, lost in her little dream world, holding a baby in her arms, singing her a lullaby.

"If only God really existed, I wouldn't have been here!" Roopa winced at her fate.

A life so miserable, her own family had disowned her years ago, leaving her alone to deal with whatever came her way. She had a different kind of family now, and she was no longer alone like earlier.  But, she longed for more. "I am just another human being; of course, I have my needs!" she reasoned.

A taxi came to a screeching halt waking her out of her ruminations. A window slid open and a face came into view.

"Aye, chal, aa, baith jaldi." "Hey, come in, quick," spoke a gruff voice as Roopa stood there, surveying the person the voice belonged to.

Pockmarked face, blood-shot eyes, and breath that reeked of alcohol. Roopa could smell the stench even at the few feet distance where she stood. Mishra, the cabbie with too many mouths to feed to afford him a visit to a prostitute for his carnal needs. The one who favoured her over the others for her fair skin and agility.

She cringed at what lay in store for her and cursed her destiny, bitterly.

If only...

"Aye, aati hai ki nahi?" "Hey, are you coming in, or not?" Mishra snapped at her, getting her to move towards him.

Taking in a deep breath as if submitting herself to her destiny, Roopa put on a smile on her painted face.

She started moving towards the car, hips swaying raunchily, arms swinging by her side, her pallu fluttering in the breeze, slowly sliding down her shoulder, exposing the bulge of her breasts through a tight-fitting blouse.

"Kya Seth, aaj bahut din baad Roopa ki yaad aayi!" "What brings you to me after so long, big man?" Roopa quizzed the man, coquettishly.

In no mood for small talk, the man spat at her feet and replied in as gruff a manner as when he had arrived, "Tu baithti hai, ki main jaun? Badi heroine banti hai!" "Are you getting in, or should I leave? Stop being a drama queen!"

Men! Roopa felt the disgust rising within her for the male species. How low she had to stoop to fill her hungry stomach! How she hated herself for all she did, but what choice did she have? she sighed deep down.

Smiling wider now, she neared the cab. Placing her arm on the roof, she tried getting closer to the man through the window.

 "Kya Seth, bahut jaldi hai aaj?" "You seem to be in a hurry, big guy!" she winked and laughed, suggestively.

"Zyada natak mat kar, kutti. Jaldi baith!" "Don't waste my time, bitch. Get in quick!" Mishra roared at her, his spit spraying Roopa's fair face and making her wince in revulsion.

Still, she lingered by the window, refraining from moving towards the passenger door. She was really sick of it all and yearned to get out of the muck that her life was, not that she had any hopes from this beast.

Patting her face carefully with her pallu, now, Roopa wet her lips, suggestively. Smiling a lop-sided smile, she bent closer to the man's face and whispered in his ear, "Aye Seth, itni pasand hoon main tujhe, toh shaadi kyun nahi banata mere saath?" "Hey, big man, if you like me so much, why don't you marry me?"

Her unusual proposal jolted the man out of his stupor. He glared at her with all the loathing he could summon and muttered, "Hijra hai tu, saali, ghar grihasti ke sapne tere liye nahi, samjhi?"  "A eunuch has no right to dream about married life, you hear that?"

Watching the colour drain from Roopa's face, Mishra spat at her again, and shoving her away, he zoomed off.

Roopa staggered towards the pavement as she watched the cab disappear into the distance.

That word. That word that had become her identity. And, to be reminded day in day out that she was born cursed...

She turned her head up to stare at the the God who apparently resided up there.

Her heart thudded inside her chest, the bile rose in her throat,  anger gripping her entire being. And, yet, she didn't find the will for an angry outburst.

What could she possibly complain about, and to whom? There really wasn't any God sitting up there to give her a patient ear or change her life.

There were only the dark clouds that threatened to burst any moment now.

And, they did.

The raindrops came down at her in full force, but she stood still, her face turned up to face the onslaught, the way she had always faced life. Stoically.

Today, though, something stirred within her and the tears came in full force, unbeknownst to her. Whimpering softly despite the deluge, Roopa let the tears flow. She didn't want to be seen like this by the world, not that the world or its denizens mattered to her. But, she just didn't wish to show her tears.

 That's why she loved the rains. Loved getting drenched in the rain. For, when it rained, it swept her tears away and not a soul discovered the truth.

*I am participating in the #WordsMatter Blog Hop. 
Today's prompt: 'When it rains'.

I received the tag from Shilpa Garg.
It's my pleasure to pass on the tag to Sunita Saldanha.

There are 42 of us participating in this Blog Hop which is spread over 3 days - 6,7,8 of September. 
Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and prepare to be surprised!

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Youthful musings

"Just look outside your window, boys. There's all the inspiration an artist would ever need! Go on, take your pick from Mother Nature's treasure trove and bring it alive in your drawing books! Come on, now, what are you waiting for!" Mr. B gushed as he encouraged his class of young boys, his eyes dancing behind his thick-rimmed glasses, his face aglow with the unmistakable joy that came from teaching art.

Vicky yawned.

"Yaar, this old man B is such a bore, with all that look-out-of-your-windows crap! This damn art class is a bore! Every goddamned thing here is a BLOODY BORE!!"  he groaned, inwardly.

No amount of enthusiasm that Mr. B exuded could ever get Vicky all revved up about art, of all the subjects. His favourite subject of all time was... ahem... GIRLS!

 Still, he turned around to look outside.

"Well, well, for the love of God, what DO we have outside our GODDAMNED window?? Lemme see. Hmmmmm....There's Ananya in her above-the-knees short uniform...Sweet Jesus! Tossing her silky, long hair this way and that, oooh!  Trying to attract NAKUL'S attention...OF ALL THE EFFING GUYS?? Bah! As if that nerd's gonna look at a GIRL! Why wouldn't you try ME instead, baby? I am available!  Ahhh, anyway, what else do we have here? Mmmm...Oh man! There's sexy Jo--MY sexy Jo--with her twinkling eyes... ah, now here's something worth watching!  My Jo, with those uber-sexy dimples, smiling at...wait, WHO IS THAT she is batting her eyelids at? Is that Vishal from 11 B? That douche bag oughta know better than to flirt with MY girl! Oh, when will this stupid class get over and when will I go thrash the life out of that loser? GODDAMNIT!!" Vicky thumped exasperatedly on his desk as he cursed aloud, shaking the entire class out of its reverie.


*I am participating in the #WordsMatter Blog Hop.
I received this tag from Roshan Radhakrishnan of Godyears
It's my pleasure to pass on the tag to Pooja Priyamvada of Second Thoughts First

There are 47 of us participating in this Blog Hop which is spread over 3 days - 2,3,4 August. 
Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and prepare to be surprised!


Sunday, 14 July 2019

The travails of a non-veg lover.

Arms folded, stubbornly, eyes surveying the plate, Ron grimaced at the stuff mom served.

Slimy, green female fingers, mashed toes, orange stripes of rot.

"I am NOT a CANNIBAL, mom?" he seethed, inwardly.

Word count: 33 words

*Today's post is written for 'The Weekend Writing Prompt'. 
  Today's prompt: Word Prompt: GRIMACE.

Thank you, dear Rochelle! This is my first attempt at fiction after more than a year, and I just loved it! 

Thursday, 28 December 2017


Pic courtesy: Ted Strutz
                                                                   Word count: 100


Ma was eager I took up engineering. 

"You need brains for that..B R A I N S! I suggest you take up sewing. That's what girls do best, don't they?" would be dad's response. Every. Single. Time.

The two of them would argue all day over the field I should choose to make a career in.

I would just sit by the window, gazing at the butterflies chasing each other, gayly; at  the bright yellow sunflowers smiling broadly at the sun; at the clouds kissing the mountain tops as they sailed by, leisurely. 


Why couldn't they ask me what I wished to do?


Friday Fictioneers is a writing challenge where you use  a picture prompt to write a story in a 100 words.
A big Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff !

Friday, 22 December 2017


Photo Prompt: Bjorn Rudberg
                                                           Word count: 90

                                                             The Scrooge.

"20 rupees for the plain ones and 40 rupees for the coloured ones," Nimi recited, the way Abba had taught her to.

"40? Too much for a piddly hat!" the woman in the car tut-tutted.

"Buy it, if you want to. We won't die of hunger if you don't!" Nimi responded, the way Ma retorted when a buyer would haggle.

"They have enough money to throw on big, shiny cars, but not enough to buy a "piddly" hat from a little girl! she muttered as the woman drove away.


Friday Fictioneers is a writing challenge where you use  a picture prompt to write a story in a 100 words.
A big Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff ! 

Monday, 10 July 2017

The End.

                          "It's the same voice, you're standing at a precipice and you look down, there's a voice, a little quiet voice that goes, "Jump". - Robin Williams.

                I lie awake in my bed listening to my breathing - it is the only sound I hear in the still of the night. The house is  quiet, save for the dripping tap in the kitchen. I had worked on it for the past few days, but now, it really didn't matter. Nothing mattered anymore: the tap, the kitchen, the house, my life - nothing.  Life had passed by and what had I done except indulge its crazy tantrums? I had done my best to bring smiles on faces that mattered to me, to fill hearts with laughter where there was none. It had sapped me of my energy, but I had continued on the road I had chosen for myself. But, now there was nothing left of it. The laughter had died down and the people had left leaving me all by myself. All by myself, but for that little voice.
              It had crept in from nowhere and now had made a cosy place for itself inside my mind. I had tried to nudge it off, but in vain. Every now and then, it would urge me to do something scary, unimaginable, but I stood my ground. I was not going to let it win. Although, as time went by, I did start believing in  its argument.
             Life had moved on. The world had moved on. What business did I have crying over unfulfilled dreams? I had waited long. And it had taken its toll. Now, it was time for me to move on. To move to another world. Time to pay heed to that little voice that whispered to me, "Jump", every time I stood by the ledge.
           I get up and make my way to the balcony. Everything in life has its reasons. The fact that I live on the 10th floor, too, has a reason.

The long wait.


         "Ria, did you hear? Reema has been selected for the Inter-School Debate Competition this year! Once again! Isn't that great? Did you congratulate her, Ria? You have such an intelligent sister as a role model. Why can't you be like her?" 
             "Ria, Reema has once again topped in her exams! When are you getting there, you slow coach?!"
             " Reema wants to take up medicine. Did you hear that? Medicine! What are you planning to do with your future, Ria?"
                 ......the words echo in my ears non stop. They go on and on,  like an ear worm. Since the time I could comprehend life around me, I could hear  them. Although, it has been quite some time now since  silence took over,  those memories still haunt me.  Living under the shadow of a bright, over-achieving, all-rounder elder sister, not can, HAS  been a burden I have been carrying  since my childhood.  Did mum or dad ever stop to think that I, too, may have had  some special talents?  Actually, they hardly had any time to stop and think about me. Reema kept them on their toes "right since she was born!"  
         Reema learnt to crawl, sit, speak, walk, and what not, way earlier than most kids her age. Not only that, she was also the brightest child in her class "right since play school!" They -- mum, dad and Reema -- lived in a different world altogether. I was the outsider. The slower of the two, the average  kid, who had no special talents, rather, no talents, to brag about. As if that was my fault! Yes! That's right. Am I not a combination of mum and dad? It is their genes that I have been 'blessed' with. So, they have no right, whatsoever, to criticise me for being who I am. It is they, who are to be criticised for passing on their worthless genes over to me.  It is really not my fault!
        I wish I could have thought about this all those years ago, when the comparisons began. But, the  "dimwit" that I was, this fact about my life just did not occur to me. Hey! So, if that is the case, then I must have taken after dad! Wasn't he the one, who never could come up with a quick retort  to mum's barbs?
       And, mum? Now, let me see...that day, when I crept into the attic to look for  my school certificates, didn't I find some, that belonged to her? And, what did I find in there? Quite a many red marks! Ohh! So, that means, there weren't any clever genes in there !  And, I have taken after her, as well! Gee! Thanks, mum, for unloading your useless, good for nothing genes onto me. Look what you have done! Wonder  why you didn't have a quick run down memory lane before cursing me for my stupidity.
        And, Reema, was it not I, who always took the shoutings for her wrong-doings? Every time she  screwed up, it was I, who faced the gunfire. But, not one word of apology or gratitude ever slipped out of that  ungrateful mouth! Were we really sisters? I have my doubts there.
        Whenever I visited my friends, I was enamoured by the love and warmth that exuded from each of their hearts for their family. Family -- a term I was always curious about. Did I have it in my world? And, if I did, then why was there so much hatred, so much of angst, and so little love in it? All the love and warmth was reserved for the elder, more deserving child. None of it came my way. Not  one tiny bit. Not even left overs.
          Ah, but, I am going to put it all behind me, now.  The decision to  move to this wonderful city, with its loving people, and with no 'family'  to tag along, life is going to change, for the better. Of that, I am sure. Things are going to look up. And, the dream job that I have landed, is going to take me places!
          The one thing I have ever learnt is, that everything happens for the best.  The mountain fire, our holiday home at the foot of that mountain, I, on a picnic with my girl friends, away from harm's reach, and all three of them, tucked into that so-called cozy and warm cottage, with no neighbours to call for help. Guess, I was meant to live the rest of my life in peace and happiness, without any more comparisons with my gifted sister and any more loveless relations with  my parents.  The best things in life  come to those who wait. And, boy, have I waited!

NaBloPoMo November 2014

For Him, who lives up there.

Roopa smiled as she caressed the sticker on the car's rear windshield - a baby with a little red bow on her bald pate; her arm waving o...