Once upon a time

The town was known for its famous folktale.

This is of a person who was once banished for wrongdoing and passed away in solitude.

The story grabbed my attention so much that I would listen to it over and over again. I don’t know if it was the twists and turns in the story that caught my attention, or was it the setting of a small-town gathering where the elderly used to sit in groups and chat away over their evening chai.

So, when I started writing my novel, it was evident that this was a story to be told, and it was going to be my first.

Only, as I start to write ”the end” in my manuscript, I hear a voice say, it should rather be, ”to be continued.”


Image credits – Image by Tony Prats from Pixabay

A tale of four.

It does not matter until it does. It does not matter until it hits you close.

This is the tale of a kid, a frog, a crow, and a thorny bush.
The tale leads the kid to a realization that day.

A realization that ”Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” Though she would hear the literal statement much later in the years in the movie, ”Princess Diaries.”

Here is how it all unfolded.

The kid and her family visited her grandparent’s village every summer. However, the kid detested slimy creatures, and on top of her list were frogs. Because the frogs were so prominent there, and it was a deal-breaker for the kid, her grandmother ensured the frogs were cleared off the kid’s path. And, there we go, a happy kid in vacation bliss.

One day, the kid sneaked in on her grandmother but from afar to see how she bravely tackles the slimy demons in her backyard. And, with that sight, her jaw dropped, and she felt as if someone punched her hard in the stomach.

Her grandmother picked the frogs stuck against the walls and tossed them to the other side till the area is cleared. That was the standard process. But when she picked this one frog to toss it over, a crow sitting nearby flew in to grab it by its beak, but the frog slipped through and fell into a thorny bush nearby.

The kid ran to her grandmother, begging her to stop and that she would somehow manage to co-exist with the frogs. The frogs lived happily ever after. And the kid did learn to co-exist with them. She still felt fear in her heart, but it was far better than the punch in the stomach she felt that day.


Image credits – Image by Bogdan Ch from Pixabay

The white linen dress.

[Listen on SPOTIFY]

I sit by the beach and look at the waves.
Watching the tides follow the same pattern over and over.
It instilled a sense of calm, a sense of familiarity.
Like, something to look forward to, for now, and for the rest of my life.

Before I realize it, I see the sun starting to set, and as it does, I see the red in the sun transferring to the water in the sea.
As the water touches my dress’s hemline, I feel a sudden chill, and then I see the white linen absorbing the color as if it was blotting paper.

Red! how I always loved that color.

Loved?

A quick blink, and I am back in the present now.
What was that? A dream? A hallucination?
It was as if I traveled in time.

But now, I see myself laying in a pool of blood.
And, the white linen dress no more white.

I gasp for air and think how disturbing this is.
Yet how regal everything around looks.
All encompassed in red.

But whose blood was it? I ask myself.

Just then, I feel a splash of water on my face and wake up to my roommate panicking. ”We will be late for the reunion party. Quick. Get ready.”

I quickly pull myself together, secretly whispering that I will never take an afternoon nap, ever again. I grab the keys, and we rush out of the door.

As we drive towards the college, I stop at the red light.
And, towards the corner of my eye, I see the sun starting to set and someone sitting by the beach. Wearing a white linen dress.


Image credits – Image by Jody Davis from Pixabay

The wrong answer

I spy with my little eye, something that has an X in it.
I spy with my little eye, something that is close by.
I spy with my little eye, a sound so profound.

They look around thinking of the object, and all say, ”Pass.”
”What is the object?” they ask me.
Before I say the answer, I hear the thwack-thwack.

And, I wish again that others can see it too. The things I see.
If only someone got the answer right. At least this one time.

A few weeks later…

“Any interesting games in mind?” they ask.
”How about I spy with my little eye…?” I respond.


Image credits – Image by David Englund from Pixabay

An unexpected result

Disclaimer – Rant 🙂

”Universe has a wicked sense of humor.”

Over the years, if I learned one thing, is when things go out of hand, there is somewhere a subtle sarcasm you are graced with.

That subtle yet not so subtle sarcasm, in this case, happens to be a kid, more specifically, the siblings’ kid. I love that brat, but no one warned me that one should not spend too much time with the mum when she is expecting.

There was a point in life where I disliked kids. (Yes! I was that person). Until the time came when the sibling gave the news, years back. I wanted to mentally prepare myself, so I don’t despise the being; hence I was ”being there” for both, so to speak. It was all fun and games when the sibling and I used to go for long walks, gobble ice creams secretly, and had the much-needed bonding time.

The brat arrives, and my emotional radar takes a 360-degree turn. I went from disliking kids to loving them magically, within a second, after she was laid in my arms. And, unbelievably, so, as I kept volunteering in the toddler years to clean the poop and the nasties. That says it all.

As if I did not shock myself enough, the real shock arrives and still does today, as the brat grows and continues to evolve. Ideally, you would expect the majority of the personality trait comes from mum or dad or a combination of both. But the brat takes after me, and HOW? There is even an inside joke in the family that the brat is 98% me, 1.5% the mum, and .5% the dad. And, all I can say and think is sorry for my mum.

Oh, boy! You hear your life stories and listen to incidents you did as a kid, but when you relive those moments and see the real-life reel in front of your eyes, you feel sorry for those who had to deal with you as a kid, especially if you are the black sheep in the family.

I am now stuck with a hyperactive, over-enthusiastic, very talkative, and full of energy being. When I need to scold the brat for something impish that was done, I feel guilty. Not because I am scolding a being but because I would have done the exact same thing or even better did. The situation is so out of hand that when the brat gets, ”Don’t do this” or “Why, Oh! Why” from the mum. I am not sure if it’s meant for me or the brat, so we both respond. It’s all innocent fun, of course, but still, it is daunting at times. All I can say is poor mum and poor sibling. I guess it is what it is.

A word of caution, when your mum says, ‘Wait till you have kids, you will know,’ do watch out and stir away from friends & family who might be having kids as well. Maintain a safe distance and use technology to communicate. Keep the result in mind.


Image credits – Image by nvtrlab from Pixabay

The predicament.

One story, 6 different narratives-

Cut scene 1 –

Hey, don’t you have a twin? How come we never get-together?

Oh! We are just poles apart, and so are our interests and schedules. We hardly get any time together.

Cut scene 2 –

At a social event, the parents are approached by some acquaintances.

Hey, how are you, and how are the kids doing?

Kids, I am sorry. We just have one, a son.

Cut scene 3 –

Hey, my friends want to meet you? Shall we plan something?

I don’t think that’s a good idea. You should know better.

Cut scene 4 –

The doctor records this minute’s post-session.

Session 12 – Patient X – Hallucinations continue to occur with increased frequency. Dosage maximized.

Cut scene 5 –

Back home, the parents discuss.

We should not have told him?

We did not have a choice, did we?

Cut scene 6 –

A psychic passing by the house senses negative energy.


Image credits – Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Hi There.

I see a person wandering during the lock-down, and I scream from my 2nd-floor balcony, ‘Hey! Hey there. I am not sure you know, but we are on COVID lock-down, and we need to take this seriously. We need to flatten the curve. So, get back in. It’s not safe out there.’

I see the person look up to me, and aftear a minute of silence says, ‘It’s not safe in there, either.’


A night to remember.

Halloween night. 
A horror film marathon.
House decorated to suit the occasion.

After a long night, it was time to hit the bed.
Hours later, awaken by a jolt, I inspect my surroundings.

‘Why am I worrying myself over nothing?
Everything is in order, the kid is sleeping peacefully right next to me.’

At this point, I don’t know what is louder my racing heart or the ticking of the clock. And, I tell my racing heart, it’s all OK. As I ease myself to sleep, the kid turns around and gives me a quick smile, leaving me startled for a minute. I smile back at her, pat her on her back and think how adorable she is.

But the ticking of the clock gets louder now. I look up to it and see it is 3:03 in the morning. I stare at it for a while, waiting for the minute to change. It doesn’t, after what feels like forever, and suddenly I remember that I don’t have a kid.


Image credits – Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

Knock Knock

<p value="<em>Knock Knock.Knock Knock.

<p value="<em>Who is there?Who is there?

<p value="<em>Hope.Hope.

<p value="<em>Hope who?Hope who?

<p value="<em>Hope you are not lost.Hope you are not lost.

It all started with a silly knock-knock joke. Hope just moved next door to Stooge’s, and they instantly become friends. They became the best of friends. They get each other like none other.

Hope once asked, ‘Why Stooge?’
‘I don’t know, I guess I was always called like that, so that became my name now,’ replied Stooge.

Stooge and Hope would always be together, lost in their own little world. Hope would come by every day; they would stay in and play all day long. You could always hear loud laughter if you pass by that house. The world did not understand their friendship, but it did not bother them. Like Stooge always said, ‘Hope, you truly are my only hope,’ before letting out a loud laugh each time. Silly jokes were their thing from day one.

One day that summer, Hope’s cousins came over – Vex, Ire, and Ennui. Vex always insisted we play by her rules and Ire by hers. Though Stooge did not like either Vex or Ire, she didn’t complain because she did not want to hurt Hope. And, no one wants to get to the bad side of Vex, anyway.

Only for a few days,’ Stooge thought.
Few days pass by, and with no news of them leaving, she inquires, but to her dismay, Hope says, ‘They are here to stay, for good. Sorry, I can’t do much. They are my cousins, after all.’

It all went downhill from there. Stooge could not take the chaos anymore but did not know what else to do and how without losing Hope. After much deliberation, Stooge finally sat down to dinner that night with her family and took off early to bed.

She wakes up the next day with a heavy head, a doctor by her side and worried looks from her family, she couldn’t comprehend what was happening.

The doctor then looks at her and says, ‘Ray, you have been skipping your medicines, haven’t you? You must take them on time and as recommended.’

As the doctor leaves the room, Ray ponders. ‘Have I been hallucinating again?’

The next day on the news, ‘3 teenagers missing from their vacation cottage.’

The family immediately turns off the TV and look to each other, “We can’t keep doing this.”


Image credits – Image by Mareks Steins from Pixabay

The secret ingredient.

Ma never let us in the kitchen.
Neither at home nor at her restaurant.

Years later, she lies on her death bed and calls in all her near and dear ones for one last gathering.

“I have something to share.
The key ingredient to my secret recipes.
It’s in a hidden compartment of the restaurant’s deep freezer.”

She smiles with pride and takes one last breath, leaving everyone in the room, confused.

A few days after the ceremony, we head to the restaurant, go up to the deep freezer, and start looking for the secret compartment.

After a few minutes’ search, we find a box filled with ice. On chipping through the ice, we pull out a plastic bag. And in that plastic bag was a neatly folded paper.

This is a big deal. Ma was always protective of her recipes, and none of us thought we would see this day.

With an invisible drum roll in the background, I step to the front and take the paper out to read.

“C’mon, what does it say?” Ask the curious lot.

I turn around, clear my throat, and read – ‘You wish.’

Everyone bursts out laughing.
Ma always did have a good sense of humor.


Image credits – Image by G4889166 from Pixabay

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