The recipe

todd-quackenbush-x5SRhkFajrA-unsplashRadha paced in front of the closed kitchen doors. She passed them and sniffed, she could make out the faint aroma of the dish wafting from the kitchen. Her mouth began to water and a smile played on her lips as she reminisced about the dish. She had set up the lunch table already. Everyone in the house was waiting eagerly for the meal. Radha was jumping up and down with anticipation. The kitchen doors were closed since the morning coffee. Any moment now her mother in law would open the kitchen doors and she would walk out holding her world-famous Bisi Bele Bhath. Radha swallowed as her mouth watered more. This year, somehow she would convince her mother in law to give her the recipe.

At long last, the doors opened, and her mother in law walked out, sweat gently dropping from her brow, her fingers stained with spices, a gentle smile playing on her radiant face. She looked like the goddess Annapurna herself come to serve her devotees. She was closely followed by Amba her faithful maid, who carried the large vessel filled with the aromatic Bisi Bele Bhath. Radha eagerly took in the aroma of the dish and almost joined get hands in prayer.

The table was laid and everyone was served. There was silence while everyone ate the dish. “Shanti, you have outdone yourself again. I am convinced when I die I will be sent to your kitchen, cause the door to heaven must be through there…” her father in law said licking his lips.

“Amma. Best. Dish. Ever.” her husband said licking every one of his fingers.

Her mother in law blushed and brushed their compliments aside. Radha was always surprised by her humility. Everyone knew she made the best Bisi Bele Bhath and yet she was always so humble about it. The rest of the meal was spent in silence as everyone licked their plates clean.

When they were cleaning away the dishes Radha finally mustered the courage to ask, “Amma, will you please teach me the recipe for the Bisi Bele Bhath?”

Her mother in law’s face changed, her smile dropped and her eyes hardened. She dropped the plate she had picked from the table, “No!” She said and walked back into the kitchen. Continue reading

The Cyclone

Mr. Rao saw the first dark clouds gather on the horizon and the waves rise as if to lick them. He pulled the plastic chair close to the balcony. His knees groaned as he made to sit in the chair and he plonked into it. “The cyclone ‘ekla’ will make landfall around midnight. Evacuation efforts are underway and most people along the east coast are being evacuated to shelters…” the news presenter told Mr.Rao from the television. Mr. Rao looked at the watch still ticking away on the wall, it told him the time was around six in the evening. He looked back at the black clouds rolling on the horizon, “take your time…” he told the cyclone.

Mr. Rao chuckled when he saw the first lightning streak through the clouds. The doorbell rang again. Neighbours perhaps or some official trying to ensure everyone had been vacated. Mr. Rao ignored it. “The cyclone is the strongest one to be recorded in more than half a century…” the news presenter was saying. Good Mr.Rao thought. The electricity was cut and the TV feel silent. “Now it’s just you and me…” Mr. Roa said to the storm.

It thundered in response.

Mr. Rao sat starting at the approaching clouds, he just wished he had something to chew on like a gumdrop, but they were all the way in the kitchen and he couldn’t bring himself to go there. But then his bladder groaned in protest. He sat there debating the urgency of it, until he had to push himself out of the chair and waddled to the restroom, his knees groaning in protest. The worst thing about old age, and there are so many, Mr. Roa thought is the number of times you have to use the restroom.

Continue reading

The toxic straight male virus

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“Sir, there is another individual here to see you about Avalon. Claims his…um apparatus is in working order” Jeffrey, my butler, announced as he placed my nightcap on the coffee table.

I paused the TV for the first time that day. I was watching a rerun of one of the seasons of my TV show “Style fails for the straight males’ from what seemed like a lifetime ago. I liked this particular episode, I had done a brilliant makeover for a mid-west truck driver if I do say so myself. And he had had the audacity to tell me Pocket squares were not a necessity in his line of work. It was memories like these that made me think that perhaps the epidemic was justified. I am sure this truck driver was amongst the first wave of victims claimed by the virus.

“Ehm…ehm..” Jeffery cleared his throat. Being a man good old Jeff had also fallen victim to the TSM virus, but had somehow managed to maintain his will to clean up and look after me, which was all for the best. But it did make one wonder which way the butler swung in such matters, not that that was a question that could be discussed obviously. I had simply placed him in that esoteric basket of asexuality, shuddered at the thought of it and moved on. Continue reading

Control experiment

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She wakes up on a small mound of hay. She notices she is naked. Startled, she searches for her clothes. She is alone for now, in a small room.

She looks around, it is a strange room, the walls all look like they were moulded from one piece of a translucent plastic material. The ceiling looks like a lid, made from the same material. She walks around the room slowly with caution. The room is flooded in light, though she can’t see where it is coming from.  Just beside her hay, there is a large glass bottle hanging on the wall. It has a clear liquid in it, that can be sucked out of it from a steel dropper. Besides​ the bottle is a metal mesh cylinder, it is filled with a jelly-like substance, that is almost oozing out of the mesh, it has a strong artificial fruit smell, raspberry she guesses, she hates raspberries.

She walks to the other end of the plastic room. She can reach the other end in ten steps. She can cover the width of the room in five. She stifles a scream, though she doubts if anyone would hear her scream or care. No, she must not scream because she doesn’t want to give into the panic, she will not acknowledge the smallness of the space. On the other side is a small treadmill, it is built into the floor of the room. Beside it is a small steel commode. Everything is vigorously clean, sterile. She goes around the room several times, she touches everything, again and again, making sure it is solid. She keeps going around the room as if she walked long enough there would be more of it. After what seems like hours there isn’t any more of the room. She feels her breathing hasten, her blood is throbbing against her temple, her heart is beating in her ears, she cannot hold her panic anymore. “I am trapped,” she says to herself, “I am trapped…” as she runs around faster and faster she touches the hay, then the water bottle, then the treadmill, then the commode. Her vision blurs, hay, bottle, treadmill, commode. She wants to stop. Hay, bottle, treadmill, commode. This is making space seem smaller. Hay, bottle, treadmill, commode. She cannot stop. She slams against a wall and falls into the hay. Continue reading

You are late

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“Ah, why am I late? Well, in fact, there is a very interesting story behind that. But, do you think we have the time of that now? Oh, we do, is it? We have time for a long story, but we don’t have time for me being late by a few minutes, is it? Ok, I see how it is. Well fine, I will tell you the story.

Long, long ago before there was anything, Father time had just begun seeing Mother space. They had decided to go on a date that day. This was before they had moved in together and Father time still lived at his own place. Father time was very different then, not the busy, bossy, no-fun time we know now. He was young and relaxed. He had flowing black hair that needed a lot of care to style. And so by the time he took a nice long shower, styled his hair, picked out his outfit, and reached the venue of their date Mother space had been waiting for what seemed a very long time to her.

“You are late!” She shouted when she saw Father time. Continue reading

#celestialmetoo

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It was a moody Bangalore evening that could not decide if it felt too hot or too cold. I unzipped my jacket for the tenth time that evening as I approached the bar. I checked the location of my meeting again, it was supposed to be this bar. Maybe there was some mistake, I couldn’t imagine meeting my source in such a shady place. It wouldn’t be safe for her, I wasn’t even sure if it was safe for me.

“I am near the location, where are you?” I messaged her.

“I can see you. Please come inside…” her reply was prompt. I looked up at the windows of the bar lit with a dramatic blue colour, I couldn’t see anyone. Continue reading

Halos and horns

Surreal Sentence

halos and hornsKabir tossed onto his side and tried hard to ignore the desperate knocking on his window. When it did not go away even after several minutes he opened his eyes to see a cupid flapping his tiny wings hard while he carried a large hamper in one hand and was tapping the window with another. Kabir groaned and opened the window, “Thank you for shopping with us…” the Cupid tried to say in a cheery voice but had to stop to catch his breath, “please rate me!” He placed the hamper on the windowsill, pulled out his mobile from his tiny diaper like pants, rated Kabir five stars and flew away. Kabir closed his eyes, but it was no use the roar of traffic from the street would not let him sleep.

He looked at the hamper, and flared his nostrils, “You are wonderful, but you do stink sweetheart. Take…

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Ignore that voice

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[What if the characters in a story realized they were in a story? This is a metafiction story in which the characters decide to stop listening to the writer.]

Ed closed the door to his room behind him and pulled Bella into his arms. She gasped as if a shock of electricity had passed through her. He held her by her shoulders and pulled her closer to his chest, “I can no longer spend a day without seeing you…” he whispered in her ears. Bella looked at his intense brown eyes and felt herself go weak in her knees, “I know what you mean, Ed…” she pouted her lips offering herself to him.

He pulled her closer to himself and kissed her with the passion of a wild animal in heat. They kissed as if they were thirsty and their lips had the only water in the world.

Their clothes flew all over the room as Ed moved Bella closer to his bed.

When she was down to her lingerie, Ed stared at Bella like a leopard stalking his prey. He ran his hands over her supple body, picked her up with one hand and threw her on his bed. With his other hand, Ed ripped off his own t-shirt to reveal his chiselled body. “Oh, Ed…my body is literally aching with desire for you…” Bella licked her lips.

Ed dropped his pants, Bella gulped hard, “take me, Ed…Oh great, we are doing missionary again.”

“I want you so bad Bella…” Ed said, “wait…what did you say?” Ed has stopped and is now looking at Bella. Continue reading

The evolution of a belief

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The sun dragged itself lazily over the horizon. The ocean seemed to yawn as a large wave crashed loudly on the beach. The wave receded into the ocean to reveal a small fish, it pulled itself on the sand with the help of two fins. It opened its mouth wide as if gasping for air and finding that it burned its gills. It looked around itself with large wet eyes.

There was a long low noise that sounded like the electric farts of a artificial intelligence that couldn’t digest its own thoughts. A large rip appeared in the air of the beach, and when it was large enough several hooded figures stepped out of the rip. These figures wore long robes that covered their whole bodies and hoods that covered most of their faces, around their necks were chains from which hung insignia of their religions and they chanted in a low rumbling voice.

After the hooded figures a chair emerged from the rip, it floated effortlessly in the air and seated on it was a man in a black flowing robe. He was bald and dark-skinned, his eyes were bloodshot, his brows furrowed and he looked like he was about to yawn. Behind the flying chair, a head poked out of the rip, it had curly hair and eyes that looked magnified behind glasses with lenses that belonged on a microscope. The head looked all around itself, sniffed the air took a gingerly step out of the rip and finally stepped out. He was wearing a white label coat and carried a flat device that he constantly checked.

“There it is…” one of the hooded figures shouted pointing at the fish.

Everyone stared at the fish, the fish took a step back into the ocean.

“Indeed…” said the scientist, almost to himself and took a step closer to the fish, he adjusted his glasses to zoom onto the fish, “fascinating…” he clapped his hands.

“Your honour…this is the fish that we intend to destroy…” one of the hooded figures said.

The judge squinted at the fish hard, he sat back in his chair and yawned, “ tell me again….why do you want to destroy it…”

The hooded figures huddled closer to each other and whispered, then one of them said, “this fish is what led to evolution…”

“Aha, so you do believe in evolution…” the scientist scribbled on his device still studying the fish.

The hooded figures whispered among themselves, “what we meant, of course, was that this fish led to the development of the stupid idea of evolution. And we firmly believe that it is against our religious beliefs. Hence we would like to destroy it…”

The judge had almost closed his eyes but snapped them open again, “wait a minute, you will destroy this fish because it is against your religious beliefs? I cannot allow that…”

The hooded figures huddled again, “what we meant to say of course was that we would like to destroy the idea of evolution, which is quite clearly holding back the spiritual awakening of our civilization. Destroying this fish will help us prove that the idea of evolution is pointless.”

The judge’s eyelids drooped again, “when you put it like that…I can consider it…”

“Of course not your honour…” the scientist stood up and looked at the judge, “we cannot allow that…” he looked back at the fish, “what we are looking at is the ancestor of us all. This fish gave rise to all life on land. We cannot destroy it or else we will destroy humanity and life as we know it.”

The hooded figures began to bristle, “I find this highly offensive.” One of the hoods shook violently.

“This is a hate crime, the scientist must be punished for it” another hood shouted.

“We were not born from a fish. We were created by a loving God” another hood spat out.

They whispered to each other again and one of the hoods stepped towards the judge, “your honour, this is the very point we are trying to make. We firmly believe that destroying this fish will not make any difference to human life whatsoever. When we destroy it and return back to our own time we will be happy to return to our families and have a blessed meal knowing that God made us who we are. And these scientists will be silenced once and for all about evolution. You have to allow us to destroy this fish. We claim it as our religious right and our spiritual duty.” The hoods all murmured loudly.

The judge rubbed his eyes, “ok, so if we do this and return back to our time…that will be it. You will look at the result and believe them. There will be no further debate on this issue?”

The hoods huddled for a long time, they turned to the judge and in unison said, “yes, your honour.”

The scientist stepped in front of the fish as if to protect it, “but we cannot allow that, your honour. Evolution is a fact. There are literally tons of data to prove it. Destroying this fish can change the course of all history as we know. We are not sure if we can reverse the effects. We would lose everything just to protect some crackpot sentiments. You cannot allow this, your honour, for the sake of all humanity. We will destroy all our ancestors, us and all of our children. You cannot allow this..”

The judge rubbed his eyes and massaged his back, “curse the guy who invented time loop judiciary. Look I know what you are saying. But how long have we been debating this case?”

The scientist looked at his device, “over two and a half years now…”

The judge sighed, “see and I know in the real world it has only been a minute, but in here it feels like an eternity. So you know what, if they want to destroy the first of all of our ancestors, so be it. If the world was created by some intelligent God who wants you not to wank then so be it. Either way, I am tired of this whole mess. What is the worst that would happen? We will destroy the world and all of humanity? At this point, it doesn’t sound like a loss at all. I will allow it.” The judge nodded and there was a clear sound like an invisible gavel had been hit.

The scientist shook his head but stepped away from the fish.

One of the hooded figures pulled out what looked like a metal stick and pointed it at the fish. There was a thin arc of electricity and the air was filled with the smell of fried fish. The fish gasped one last time and fell to its side.

“Ok, now that is done. Let us return to our own time. And remember, whatever we see that is the final verdict.”

The all stepped back into the rip and returned to their own time.

The stepped back into their world, but instead of a court building, they stepped into a great forest. The hooded figures, judge and scientist looked around themselves.

The scientist began to tap vigorously on his device.

“There is no sign of human life anywhere on the earth. Take that you morons…” he punched the air in glee, “I just hope this is reversible.”

“So there is no life? How can this be?” One of the hooded figures said.

“Why has god forsaken us? Why has be not made man?”

“Actually it is not true that there is no life. Sensors indicate that the forests are full of large octopus-like creatures and they have huge settlements. In fact, there are large cities under the oceans with advanced technologies. It seems the octopuses evolved in this timeline, and have become the dominant species on the planet. This is great, this proves evolution again.” The scientist said.

“But there are no humans. This is no good. What do a few octopuses prove? Nothing.” One of the hooded figures said.

“Why has God done this? He must be angry with us?”

“The octopuses are trying to contact us. They want to meet us.”

“We have got bigger problems than talking to some octopuses. We have to figure out why God is angry at us.” One of the hooded figures spat angrily.

“Seriously?” the scientist squinted at them.

The hooded figures broke into a frenzy and chanted their scripture and shouted at each other. This went on for a while. The judge dozed in his seat. The scientist tapped at his device.

Finally one of the hooded figures shouted, “my dear brothers and sisters. Of course, God is angry at us…”

This seemed to calm the hooded figures, they all gathered around this figure, “we have committed a sin. We have asked our Lord to create his creation on the foundation of a murder. We murdered that cold-blooded fish in cold blood. Of course, our loving God is angry. He will not create his creation from murder. The fact that humans don’t exist proves that God made us in love. We were just too blind to see it. In trying to prove the scientists wrong we have forgotten our God’s love. We have sinned. We need to repent.”

The figures all shook their hoods and agreed with each other. They turned back to the judge.

The judge sighed “whatever…” he clicked a few buttons on his chair and the rip reappeared.

The returned to the beach just back to the exact moment. The figures approached the fish, it took a few steps back into the ocean, “Live little fish, in the love and mercy of our Lord, live.” The fish gawked at them and gasped.

Everyone returned back to their own time. They stepped back into the courtroom.

“It is a miracle, our Lord has returned humanity to us. His love is infinite. This proves we were created by a loving God. Praise be.” The all hugged each other and cried.

“Really? Even I could not have designed a better experiment to prove evolution. How can you still claim we were made by a God?”

“That does it…I have wasted enough time on this case. I am throwing all of you and this case out of my courtroom. The decision is…I don’t care. Just get out” The judge’s gavel made a sharp sound and everyone was thrown out of the courtroom.

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

 

The new man at the zoo

pablo-padilla-480505-unsplashRavi woke up before the simulated dawn in his enclosure. He had hardly slept that night. He had overheard the zookeepers say that he was going to get a new mate today.  He jumped with joy. He couldn’t remember the last time he had seen a human being. Actually he did, it was exactly two thousand four hundred and fifty days ago, when he had knocked on his neighbor’s door and told them to decrease the volume of their party. And the next day he had woken up in this house like enclosure being gawked at by slimy slug like aliens.

He had asked for a mate for a long time now. He just wanted to talk to someone human. But his display was not the most interesting one in the zoo, hence he was mostly ignored. That was until month ago,when he had had a nervous breakdown and thrown things around his enclosure and shouted at the slug like aliens. Continue reading

No monsters under the bed

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Timmy woke up with a start, it was those noises from beneath his bed again. He wanted to run to mommy’s room and cuddle up near her. But he knew the strange man would scold mommy and mommy would scold him. And he would be back in the bed and the noises would continue. Timmy was tired and sick of the noises. He got out of the bed and pulled his wooden sword out of his mattress. He scrunched his face to make it look scary, held his sword hard and pulled up the bedsheet and peered under the bed. There was no monster there. But there was a door and it opened onto darkness. Where had the door come from? Timmy took his flashlight and pointed it at the door. There was a wooden staircase, he climbed down. After a long silent climb down he reached the basement floor. The basement was huge, his flashlight could not find the walls or the ceiling. Continue reading

The last wood nymph

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Yesterday, the last square kilometer of forest on the earth was destroyed, to build a mall. It was sad on several levels, we humans were no longer people of the earth, what we were going to be we still did not know, but we were no longer of the land. It was sad but few people lamented the loss of the last bit of forest. Several people were happy because the new mall would be air conditioned and would have a casino. I was the saddest person though, contrary to what Bhoomi believes. She feels an immense sadness wrapped in her loss, but I also feel responsible for her sadness, because maybe indirectly but I have been responsible for it. Bhoomi was a wood nymph. Sadly that sentence ‘she was’ is grammatically correct. She was a legend to me in the days when I was surveying the forest for my company. Continue reading

Hide and seek

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“No, no, no…” Kavita screamed as she opened her eyes and planted her legs on the floor with force. He feet were glad to touch the threadbare living room carpet. She could feel her fingernails digging into the varnish of the sofa. She looked at the balcony, not that she wanted to. Her neck just seemed to turn on its own. The balcony was empty. An angry orange sun was setting below the railing of the balcony. She forced herself to look away. To look at her son.

Her five-year-old son was staring at her with wide eyes. His lips were puckered up, his chin ready to quiver. He was leaning against the coffee table to support himself.

Kavita’s hand trembled as it rose towards him, “I am just afraid for him…” she told herself. She pulled Ravi into an embrace. “Did I scare you? I am sorry…” she whispered as she kissed his forehead, “Don’t be afraid.” She was not sure to whom she said that.

“The police inspector is at the door…” Ravi said in a small voice. Continue reading

Cow on call

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Mohanlal grinned wide like a yawning cow as he entered his office premises. The cow sheds behind his office building were already abuzz with activity. He could hear the cows mooing, the copious amounts of cow dung valuable hitting the floor, the litres and litres of holy gau mutra being splashed into special containers. He could hear the calves mooing for their mothers. And he smiled wider, all the sounded like soaring share prices to him.

He had come to love the smell of cow dung in the mornings, it smelt like quarterly profits to him. He bowed to the large statue of Lord Krishna that stood in front of his office and of course the cow that stood behind the lord. He would come back with a Pooja thali to offer a proper prayer in some time.

Mohanlal entered his office, switched on his computer and played the video that he played every day to start his day. It was a video of a reality show called shark tank from five years ago. It showed a naive Mohanlal, wearing the simple white dress of a farmer, pitching his idea of a start-up to a panel of venture capitalist judges. He had called his startup ‘Ghar Ghar Gau’. His idea was to supply cows to houses in urban areas. The customer would download an app and order a cow, the cow would visit the customer’s home and deliver milk, cow dung or the holy gau-mutra. There would be special packages for special occasions such as marriages and housewarmings where the cows could make a guest appearance. Oh, how the judges had laughed at him, how the hall had resounded with the audience’s’ laughter. Mohanlal also laughed with them now, as he watched the video. It had taken him five years but having the last laugh was indeed priceless. Continue reading

Ria auntie’s arrival

arrival.jpgI yawned at the arrival terminal of the international airport, trying to open my mouth as wide as the gates. It was a Sunday morning and I was at the airport to receive Ria aunty. There should be a law about not allowing relatives to travel on Sundays. I made a mental note to start an online petition for a such a law. I half-heartedly held up the homemade sign that read “Ria aunty” in glaring pink letters, that my sister had made. You see, I hadn’t met Ria aunty. Of course my mother said I had, at a wedding when I was five. But, I don’t remember it, the most I can recall is a silk saree clad wall of fat lumbering over to pull my cheeks until they turned red and tousle my hair. There might have been a bear hug that engulfed me in a cloud of cheap perfume and almost made me faint. I decided I had repressed the memory on purpose and didn’t dwell on it further.

The flight was announced and there was the usual flurry of people exiting the airport, but there was no sign of Ria aunty. As the last people from the plane left I felt my heart lighten. Maybe Ria aunty had suffered a heart attack, ok that was harsh, maybe she had just fractured her hip, whatever the reason was she was not here and that meant one less thing to take care of for the occasion. I turned around to leave when I heard the slow creaking of a wheelchair. Two of the airport staff emerged, one pushing a mound of luggage and the other pushing a figure in a wheelchair. I bit my tongue as I realised the figure in the wheelchair was Ria aunty. She was well dressed but looked pale almost like a wax statue. I felt sad for having thought so ill of her. I promised myself to strive to be a better person. I walked towards Ria aunty. Continue reading

A glitch in the matrix

glitch in the matrix“Dude, how long have we been best friends.” Akhil wiped the sweat off his brow.

“Since forever, what’s up?” Prakash said.

“I need your help…” Akhil whispered.

“Let me guess, it is to bury a body?” Prakash laughed.

After a few minutes, they were in the basement of Prakash’s building, staring into the bonnet of his car at what looked like a body wrapped in a gunny sack.

“Are you fucking serious?” Prakash soured and looked around the basement.

“I told you I was in deep shit…” Akhil said.

“Why would you bring it here though? You could have just called me home…” Prakash stared at the body again.

“I panicked…” Akhil shrugged, “will you help me or not?”

Prakash kicked the car tyre, walked around the basement and looked back at the body, “who is it?”

“No, the lesser you know the better,” Akhil said.

“Ok…well I am already involved. Might as well see to it you don’t screw this up…” Prakash closed the bonnet and got into the car.

Half an hour later, they were on the outskirts of the city in an old graveyard, hip deep in a newly dug grave.

“That should be deep enough…” Prakash said. They pulled the body out of the car and carried it towards the grave. Continue reading

You are late

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Ah, why am I late? Well, in fact, there is a very interesting story behind that. But, do you think we have the time of that now? Oh, we do, is it? We have time for a long story, but we don’t have time for me being late by a few minutes, is it? Ok, I see how it is. Well fine, I will tell you the story.

Long, long ago before there was anything, Father time had just begun seeing Mother space. They had decided to go on a date that day. This was before they had moved in together and Father time still lived at his own place. Father time was very different then, not the busy, bossy, no-fun time we know now. He was young and relaxed. He had flowing black hair that needed a lot of care to style. And so by the time he took a nice long shower, styled his hair, picked out his outfit, and reached the venue of their date Mother space had been waiting for what seemed a very long time to her.

“You are late!” She shouted when she saw Father time. Continue reading

Eat your cake, Alice.

cake-chocolate-chocolate-cake-132694Alice knew she was running late when the March Hare overtook her, checking his watch and mumbling, “I am late..” to himself. Alice ran after the hare, she didn’t like being late for the tea party, but more importantly, she was hungry and would have loved some cake right about then.

She opened a door and walked into the courtyard where they always had their tea.

The Mad Hatter sat at the head of the table with the March Hare and the left and the dormouse to his right. The dormouse was busy typing away at his typewriter, though why a tea party needed its minutes recorded Alice did not really know. Alice noticed there were new guests at the tea table as she set her flamingo down and took her usual seat opposite the mad hatter.

The March Hare passed her a cup of tea and Alice thanked him as she took the cup. She snatched glances at the new guests at the table as she sat down again.

There was an angel with a halo around his head. And a bear who kept lifting his club up and down in one hand as he daintily held onto his teacup in the other. There was a large colourful parrot that was turning the pages of a book at a fast pace. Alice gave them all a smile and sipped her tea.

“Had a good round of your game, I hope.” The Mad Hatter said pointing to her flamingo.

“Yes, I did indeed. Managed my best score yet.” Alice smiled at the hatter.

“That’s my girl, the hatter smiled back.” Continue reading

A Mother’s Love

ali-morshedlou-598386-unsplashNorman stood outside his mother’s room. He sighed and balanced the tray in his hand, he had made all her favorites, pancakes, sunny-side up eggs, and freshly squeezed orange juice. He knocked on the door.

“Come in” his mother’s hoarse voice shouted.

Norman entered the room and placed the tray on his mother’s bed, across her lap.

“About damn time. What is this breakfast or brunch?” Mother hissed at him, “ I thought you had forgotten about me.”

“Sorry mother, I had to go out to get the oranges, we ran out of them.”

“This is why I tried all my life to teach you discipline. God knows I tried. You used to be better when I could get out of bed and whoop your sorry ass.” Mother took a sip of the orange juice, “ and you still cannot choose ripe oranges. What am I going to do with you?”

Norman stared at his feet. He had to hold both his hands to keep them from shivering. His mouth was dry. He tried to lick his lips but there was no moisture in his mouth. Breakfast was the best time to tell mother. She would only grow grumpier through the day. And he had been wanting to say this for a while now.

“Mother…” he whispered. She did not hear him and continued eating the pancakes.

“Mother, I have decided to leave,” he said as if testing her hearing. Continue reading

Little red ghagra choli

abstract-art-artistic-414768Little Pinky jumped up in joy because it was Diwali. It meant she got to wear her brand new red ghagra choli. It also meant she got to visit her grandmother. Little Pinky got ready even before mommy told her to get up. When mommy came into her room, mommy was very happy to see her ready and helped her into her brand new glittery ghagra choli.

“Can I go meet grandma now?” Little Pinky jumped up and down with excitement.

Mommy’s face fell. She rubbed her eyes and sighed. She forced herself to smile and said, “Yes Pinky, you can go and visit grandma…”

“Yay!” Pinky ran around the house in joy.

Mommy gave her a large box of sweets, “give this to Grandma. Wish her a happy Diwali.”

Pinky nodded, “I have my own gift for Grandma too.” She ran into her room, pulled out her gift from her school bag and placed it inside the box of sweets.

Little Pinky noticed her mom sitting sadly on the sofa. Mommy liked grandma too, just like Pinky did. But grandma and mommy had been fighting recently. Pinky didn’t know why, when she asked mommy, mommy simply said it was because grandma wanted to give her cousin Pappu more chocolates than her. This had hurt Pinky, why would grandma give Pappu more chocolates? Pinky always thought grandma liked her more. But Pinky was sure when grandma saw her in her new red ghagra choli and ate her sweets she would love her again. And she would give her more chocolates than Pappu.

Pinky went to Mommy, “Don’t worry mommy. I will make sure grandma loves me more. I will take good care of grandma.” Continue reading