Unguarded Moments

A balmy Bombay evening, two hot cups of tea, and Tiny and Huge are sitting in their pet places, at right angles to each other. He sits quietly, as Tiny chatters away, trying to coax him into saying something. Finally she asks wistfully, “Is there anything you regret?”

Huge rubs his chin thoughtfully. Tiny is almost convinced she won’t get a response. Then he casually says, looking at her, “I have yet to make a decision I regret.”

Huge goes back to his tea with a twinkle in his eye as Tiny dissolves into a puddle of mush.

Tiny is talking about her courtship with Huge to her two daughters. Every time she starts a sentence with ‘do you remember,’ Huge replies sheepishly with ‘I don’t remember that.’ This goes on for some time when Little One asks, “What do you remember dad?”

“All I remember is your mom wearing a blue saree. Not dark blue…it was a soft blue, like the sky, with silver lines. She was wearing a watch and silver bangles.”

Little One and Big One turn to look at Tiny who nods with a smile.

“Well at least he remembers something!”

Big One has just turned eighteen and there are suddenly talks of boyfriends and dating and romance, which makes Huge uncomfortable. She may be eighteen but for him, she is still his baby.

Once Tiny has given her discourse on love and romance to her daughter, Huge decides to contribute his two-bits on the subject.

He tells his daughter with all sincerity, “Wait for the ghanti.”


“When you hear bells ringing that’s how you’ll know he’s the one.”

She looks at Huge curiously and asks, “Did you hear the ghanti?”

“Of course. Why do you think I only remember the saree and nothing else?”


Her back to the wall, she clutched her heart as she willed it to return to its normal rhythm. Taking deep breaths, she said soothing words to calm her frazzled nerves. Once her breath had returned to normal, she peeked into her son’s bed and heaved a sigh of relief to see him peacefully asleep.

She sank onto the floor and started to cry. “No…stop Nina,” she said to herself. But the adrenaline that had been pumping through her blood was wearing off and the tears of shock and relief burned her eyes. She allowed herself to cry but for only a minute.

She then stood up to her full height and made a promise to herself…she promised herself that she would never let anything happen to her son. She would keep him safe and away from the big bad mean world.

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Somebody that I used to know

Hello to my once upon a time best friend

Who is now just a number in my contact list

Do you feel the intensity when I stare at your name?

Do you miss me or do you pacify yourself

Remembering the fond memories we had?

Do you look at my name,

Now a statistic on your phone

And wish those simpler days would return

Where we used to need each other?

Was it just need or did we have a connection?

Was it just me or did you feel it too –

The warmth, the comfort, the love

Of conversations and wisdom shared?


Years have gone since those inseparable days

You have moved on and so have I

Now we meet each other in social gatherings

Pretending we are still best friends

We meet, we greet, we talk

But do you feel the chasm as I do?

And then in moments of weakness you say –

“You’re still the only friend I have”

But do you know how to be a friend?

How can you when you never learnt?

Who am I to blame you though

When I made a new cult and forgot

The “somebody” that I used to know?

Return of the King

It was time.

I had spent eons on Earth; pruning and straightening out the human race. It was not easy. Difficult choices had to be made. But a new world order had been created where generations could survive and thrive. For the first time in a century, the human race was happy. It had taken them a century to understand what that meant. But like everything else, they had figured it out.

Now it was time for me to leave. Time to go home. Time to rest. Time to rejuvenate.

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“Okay that may have been a bad idea,” said Audacious sheepishly.

“You don’t say,” replied Sage annoyed.

“Don’t get angry,” whined Audacious, feeling guilty that she had dragged her sister into this. “Tell me what to do?”

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Pudheel station

Pudheel station Vandre

Agla station Baandra

Next station Bandra

The saree-clad woman jolted from her sleep, looking around confusedly. A woman with a rather big thaila stuffed with dhaniya, meethi and palak was standing in front of her; with the leafy vegetables right under Meenu’s nose. It was the smell of the dhaniya that had woken her. Meenu wanted to shout at the woman to move but found she didn’t have the energy. Then she looked at her own thaila filled with vegetables that was leaning against the leg of the girl sitting next to her. Meenu smiled apologetically as she moved the thaila away.

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Ornaments in the sky

Jane opened her eyes and saw nothing but a white landscape. She looked down at herself and realized she was naked. On the wings of that thought came the image of her comfortable purple sweatshirt that had a hole at the bottom and her grey sweatpants. The next moment, she was dressed in those clothes.

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Nalanda Nostalgia

In 2011, I found myself jobless and directionless after completing my graduation. I was so vella (useless) I even wrote a poem on my joblessness and directionless-ness. My mother, ever my saviour, at the time was teaching in a school and they desperately needed someone to teach the ninth grade C++. I was apparently the perfect candidate since I had not only learnt C++ in school; in a moment of utter lunacy I had also enrolled myself to this ‘training and developing’ institute’s industry program to earn a diploma in software engineering.

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Mother’s dream

Once upon a time in a land far-far away, lived an old woman. Her small but cosy cottage was in a niche of the mountain wall that protected it from unruly winds. The northern side had a little patch of land that she used to grow vegetables and fruits. The western side had grass and bushy plants growing haphazardly. The cottage walls had not been painted in twenty odd years…yet it did not have a desolate feel to it.

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