Flash fictio: Barren love in the wild forest

Barren love in the wild forest

Soaked winter leaves and mound of muddy patch jutted deep down the trench at the root of the huge tree. The window blew with force that the leaves were thrust upward at jet speed and flung past the huge trees and forest.  The sun glittered and faded away behind the vast mountains and lakes. It started showering in the dead city.

The silence was spooky, narrating the tale of ghosts romancing each other and witnessed two naked souls making love inside the muddy water. The bodies melted to the fury of human emotions and jealousy hit the wild forest like a tornado swirling its force to protest.  Nature lost its power and glory that night.

In the morning, two dead souls were lifted from the unfrequented and dense forest, far away from the bustling city life. Two icy cold bodies twirled inside each other and stuck like the wooden toys ensconced into a whole and hardened particle. The emotions were real. In the world of humans, it’s called honor killing for daring to live and rebel against the established caste supremacy. A grandmother’s tale scarred the innocent children and a fear instilled in their minds not showing the courage to fall in love. They were not allowed to dream but their intensity and passion gained wings, oblivious to the ruthless forces. The day love died when all limits were transgressed.

The bodies were splashed inside the vast sea that bore no anger but turned violent and stormy, shedding tears. The sea would never stay silent after that except on the night to mourn the lovers. Humans behaved like vile ghouls and lacked nature’s empathy. The most dangerous tigers, wolves, and dogs went into hibernation and slept like children as if the lovers sang a lullaby to them. The dense tree foliage wore a colorless shade at the surfacing of the moon’s crescent and the bushes lost its sheen in the dark.

Nature and animals have a heart that can teach humans something about limitless love and compassion.  The forests, lakes, and rivers cried for the two lovers they welcomed in their abode. The parents were made of stone in the name of honor blinding their visions. Don’t they say, a stone can cry? Every shred of stone sitting inside the forest cried on that day. They lost their faith in love which was just a name. Perhaps, a fear raged inside the trees whose root stood tall and survived the storms over decades, animals charmed by a gentle human touch and caress, the seas and rivers that flow smoothly on a lucky day.

Everyone cried for two innocent lives. Loving without holding themselves was a crime to humans whose minds were trapped in the dark. Nobody ever visited the forest, except those two. Now, no one will. It will remain barren which tore the heart of its populace.

With love


Fiction: A smoke to light

 A smoke to light

The light wore a dim shade. The room was eerily dark. He sat on the bed inside the hotel room and popped open the scotch bottle with his teeth as the alcohol wafted through his nostril. He took a long breath and lay on the bed, pouring a large peg. 

The alcohol swirled on the palate of his tongue and guzzled inside his throat to flow inside his belly. He felt a rush of warm sensation spurting inside the body that helped him overcome the icy cold winter that paralyzed his entire body. 

The room was silent. He was enjoying the moments of solace with the alcohol for company and switched off his mobile. After gulping three pegs of his favorite Scotch, he felt dizzy and reached out for his cigarette pack. He exuded relief. There was only one stick of Wills left in the box.
He ruffled through the table filled with papers and but the match box has mysteriously disappeared. 

After turning everything upside down in the room, he was resigned to his fate and slouched on the soft bed, caressing the mattress, longing for a smoke and intimate passion. There was none today.
Cursing his destiny, he rested his head on the white bed pillow and blinked the eyes, imagining the next erotic story that haunted his mind. ‘But how’, he wondered. ‘There is no one for company and can’t even feel the dirty twist and moves. Even there is no smoke to fire the brain,’ he whined.

In the flick of minutes, he choked and felt an unknown force pressing his chest that could explode at any time. He struggled with the invisible force running the legs up and down his chest, flipping on face and ear. Soft music played. A long black skirt dropped and the flawless skin crawled on his stomach, bending seductively to the cusp of his lip with a knife, she whispered in a sensual voice, “Why you need a smoke, baby? Light me up. I am the fire. Perish in my flame.”



Flash fiction: Lone woman and the teddy bear

The station was packed like tiny eggs huddling for space and pushing to adjust in the small boxes. The profused sweat could be treated like a new home made deo flung on the market as shoulders brushed past each other in a randomly hairy and skin touching invisible affair.

A sensual hand pushed the hair tress falling on her icy face like a brush stroke back and looped around to wriggle her way among the bustling crowd at the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai. She furtively cast a glance and shot a menacing gaze at the leering men around her, knobbed her palm in a fist to attack. A dabbang woman, she had her huge soft toy for company as she pushed people to make way in between as if they are some thick bushes to plonk herself in the last seat in the men compartment.

The train slowly chugged away from CST station. She was fixing the crowd on the road, roaring to activity, taxis and buses stormed like devils spouting fire, and the people going berserk to run against time. 

She broke up with her guy after seven years and felt triumphant for calling him off. A ditch is the last thing she ever wanted to fall into. There was no goodbye tear or pleading him to leave his wife. She sat cross-legged and stared at the crowd that didn’t intimidate her.  It was a mystery to her that she sat among a horde of sweating men and whose shoulders occupied the space on the seat and almost crumpled her. She felt no pain or awkwardness.  

A young college kid traipsed inside and held on to the handle on the roof, wearing a tired look. She offered her seat to him but he pretended to ignore him. "Oye! Kid! Don't show so much attitude. I am not some despo woman hitting on you or some bhabhi hungry for sex. Dekh tu bacha hai. Sit! I can stand. Just because I am woman, doesn't mean that I need a favor from the world in the local train. You are so mild mannered and rude...someone is speaking to you and can't even acknowledge her."

The young man looked around and peeped through the window as the train zoomed ahead of the slums and decrepit buildings where children were prancing around the mound of mud.  She was tired calling this boy who seemed to be carried deep down in a trance-like world.

She fell asleep and was swayed by the whistle of the train and the windy breeze that felt like a lullaby. Growing voices stirred her and she rubbed her eyes with her hand. The college boy has disappeared. She looked around but there was no one traveling with her in the wagon that zipped at the speed of light.

The invisible voices laughed and shrieked, teased her on her reluctance to leave her flesh and the body shot at gunpoint by her boyfriend inside the train. 'You knew too much, baby,' the invisible voices roared. She clutched to her lone friend, the soft teddy bear and watched the last shred in her life get away like the local train moving past the huge trees, earth, and human populace to enter a dark tunnel. Her eyeballs popped out and travelled to the tune of the train dangling in the air. 

The end


Parch of emotions

Parch of emotions,

pigeons flocking with ruffled feathers,

morning cooing,

melodious lullaby to the ears,

fluttered branches,

dry season,

windy conversation,

turn a new leaf,

it's no imagination,

sensual feet interlocked under the white sheet,

the naked caress,

like soft furs.

human flesh is no crumpled paper,

stain of blood,

the rebel march,

to satiate hunger,

wipe dust of caste, gender, and class,

destroy the lies,

break the shackles.

a long way to freedom of mind,

pick a berry,

oppression everywhere,




the paddy field hiding the sinful and lusty bodies,

don't douse the flame.

till every oppressor is exterminated.




A decade of Jab We Met, slice of joy and cherished affair

A decade of fun, love, free birds, unlimited craziness and timelessness can make you feel old as you look back suddenly realizing how time has flitted to soar in the sky. Like the brush of windy winter, Geet seeped into our lives and her innocence captured our hearts and imagination. Hard to believe that it’s been a decade when Imtiaz Ali’s Jab We Met (JWB) gave us so much unadulterated joy and happiness.


A carefree soul and longing to explore life as a student in Mumbai when the magic of Jab We Met hit me in places and like many, I was head over heels in love with Geet. One of my favorite if not the one, the ‘mein apni favourite hatke girl made us dream of love, dating or being in a relationship with someone like her who is like the Mumbai local trains, bak bak, and dhak dhak.

At that time, I was in a relationship with someone that was going nowhere and it almost hit my head on the wall since we were in a switch on and off mode. I so wanted Geet to be like her. She was in a way my ‘Geet’.  It was a Saturday evening lazing around in the hostel at Churchgate when I suddenly decided to catch Jab We Met at Eros, the typical theatre that brought so much joy sitting in the balcony seat for 60 bucks and munching samosas at a time when the virus of multiplexes just started.

Thanks to the small mercies of life that it was just the start of the plex era which didn’t go into the destructive spree of killing the small joy and fun of watching movies in a typical theatre during those days.


The audience laughed at the crazy jokes and Geet’s innocence mouthing, ‘Bachpan se hi naa mujhe shaadi karne ke bahat craze hai’. The taalis and seethis made the memory of JWB a resonating affair, captured by the mind, soul and heart. There is so much that Geet has taught us in life. Live with wild abandon and indulge in things in a very innocent manner to explore your inner side. You are never too late or old to have fun, be it plunging in deep water, pursuing the passion left midway or never say no to love. I always say it, Life deserves another chance. We don’t owe it to anyone but to ourselves. Close the eyes, fall in love again and get into a brand new relationship for it doesn’t matter how much you suffered in the previous one.

Be stupid. Yes, I love Geet’s philosophy and approach to life where she slowly takes Aditya’s hand to teach him the basic lessons that he has either forgotten or the ruthless society imposed to harden him like a stone. There are many Adityas in this world and we need just one Geet to remind us about the simple and basic facts of not taking load, de-clutter or free ourselves. Life is too short for us not to make the most of every moment, right.


Bury the past with a smile or flush this picture that hurts you the most. That’s Geet and you cannot stop yourself from being smitten with her. The smile, attitude and innocence that Kareena injects into the character make her breath Geet in every single frame of the movie. Of course, the vision of Imtiaz Ali makes us relate to the characters that have carved a special place in our hearts.

As a character, Aditya is underrated and it’s fine that many find him boring but there is no denying the fact that he is endearing.  He is humble, gentle, brooding but genuine. Shahid Kapoor injected his personal touch in constructing Aditya Kashyap, perhaps his boy next door image made the character believable and the vulnerability quotient lent a unique charm in fleshing it. What I love about Aditya is that he hides his emotions and there is a certain jealousy that makes him hate his mother for leaving her Dad. But, hey! That’s what love is all about. Geet tells him that his Mom was in love and teaches us that all is well when we are in love. There is no justification of good or bad. It’s the only thing that should matter to us. ‘Jab koi pyar mein hota hai toh koi sahi galat nahin hota.’

The scene at Hotel Decent-how can we forget it-‘train mein mila...item’ and what expression of the hotel owner. In the film, Geet undergoes a transformation where she almost converted into a nun but then love has its own way of finding you. The new and changed Aditya comes to rescue her at the right moment plus the icing on cake, the gaali to Anshuman that makes it epic.

Love yourself first. There is nothing wrong with that. Geet says it unabashedly and yet it doesn’t make her selfish for she is a totally free, kickass and independent woman who goes out of her way to help a random stranger in the train. ‘Mein Khud ki favorite hoon’ is all about taking care of the self and about having a huge self-esteem. It’s pure love and not vanity. Always follow your heart and the crowd doesn’t define you as echoed by Geet’s multi-faceted personality for she never lived a life of lies and leaves everything in the pursuit of love. Do not let the world define who we are and what we become or else, it means living someone’s else life.

Jab We Met redefined urban relationships on the silver screen and sashayed in our lives by portraying the down-to-earth characters. It was not just a film but a journey, not shying away from narrating the philosophy of life. Imtiaz Ali taught us how to live life to the fullest and of course, Geet is the dream girlfriend that we would all love to have. The movie has brought back so many fresh memories where it explored the various shades of relationships that make it a timeless affair to cherish.



Trapped souls

Hushed voices,

imprisoned in a square foot dark cell,

darkness engulfing the mind,

dance of ghosts,

lurking behind,

a shadow buried the haunting past,

destroyed with my own hands,

fear of the unknown,


a lone voice,

of sons and daughters,

mothers and fathers,

devils and  monsters,

spiritual gurus and goddesses,

blood and soul,

a liberating echo,

love and sex,

moving beyond the flesh,

the trapped soul,

declutter the mud,

raging the mind and soul,

seek this voice of truth.

With Love


Celebrating emotion of Diwali and it's changing appeal.

Happy Diwali, people,

The time of the year where we wait with bated breath to wear new clothes, buy earthen and colorful lamps, indulge in mithai khaoin, the cute candles and of course the sweet delicacies prepared at home. The festival of light poses as the moment to re-kindle the celebration of oneness and togetherness with family and friends, sending images and GIF to the dear ones with whom we share a close bond. Diwali brings a certain emotional closeness despite the distance and one occasion for us to reflect on the storms weathered and standing the test of times despite we are scattered in various places on the globe.

The moment to fulfill our responsibilities, cementing bonds and looking at moments elapsing as we enter a brand new season and ringing in cheers for the upcoming new year. Diwali has always been my favorite festival giving the rare treat to gorge on the sweetmeats and I am already missing the unique delicacies in India, the friends with whom we would hang out together in Pune or revelling in every moment worth spending that has been forever captured by emotions of the heart. Such moments stay forever.

There are various memories associated with the celebration and things keep changing as Diwali gets a global makeover. Rightfully so, life doesn’t stay static and one should not shy away from exploring new things since what matters is the sparkle in the heart where the mohallas or surroundings become vibrant with colors and lights.  As a kid, I remember watching Mom whipping the mound since the wee morning hour and intrigued at her hand steering the flour to perfection with her hands. She would stay awake with Dad past midnight till the Gulab Jamun and ladoo would take final shape.  I was often woken up in the night by the voice of my parents in the kitchen and would hear Dad who stayed by the side of Mom, helping her with the preparation. The man would fill the sweets inside a jar once the sweet took the round shapes. 

Of course, the festival of light became a real feast for days where I would sneak into the kitchen, far away from the glares of the parents to steal bundle of sweets, hiding them inside both pockets and waiting for the next opportunity to pop them inside the mouth.  Old habits are hard to chuck out. Just now, Mom was telling me how on every Diwali, Dad would diligently sit on a chair early in the day and carefully cutting the cotton thread into proper size and length, diligently arranging them inside the oiled earthen lamps, which are spread out on a huge thali ready to be lit.

The essence of the festival may have changed over time to become more global with the various whatsapp images sent to friends. True, it has made things easier.  To think that there was a time when the various mobile service providers offered packages ranging between 60 to 99 paisa per sms or calls in India to wish our friends Happy Diwali. What days it was! I would jump on the various schemes and change the phone numbers to land on the best offer for Diwali.

Scribbling messages and sending greetings to each person on our phone book list was quite a task but there was a simplicity within. I sorely miss the various killer taglines that bore the ingeniosity of marketers splashed all over the place be it TV or newspapers. Remember this one, Diwali Bumper Offer that clicked instantly.  It is sorely missing in today’s times of social media such as FB or Twitter.

The best Diwali was spent in Pune as a student and the place is so endearing that it becomes your home in no time. For sure, I have made Pune my home and long to being back there to start everything all over and no temptation on earth that can make me forget my city.  From the firecrackers to the favorite Gulab Jamun, shikhand, pherni and visit to the house of friends decked in colorful Kurta Pyjama, we would relish the true spirit of Diwali and mithai that made the moments priceless. I remember this friend of ours Pradip who couldn’t visit on Diwali that fell on a Sunday but he came one Monday bringing a huge dabba of Cadbury chocolate. He brought his guitar along and we all sang Goanese songs. Diwali is an ongoing love affair in India and I sorely miss the endearing celebration.

This time, I bought a variety of sweets, Ladoo, apple barfi and the famous Haldiram’s Soan papdi along with colorful candles imported from India. On her part, Mom got the Karanji's delicacy from the market.  I will arrange the mithai in colorful bags in a short while to be distributed to neighbors and friends after lighting the lamps at 6 p.m. Did I tell you that I bought a sticker Rangoli yesterday for 60 bucks and already pasted it in front of the door? I shopped for a nice pair of shirt and polo tee yesterday which is made my Diwali special.

As I look back, the whole spirit of the festival may have changed with more people now buying sweets from the market while in the distant past, every bit of sweet was religiously prepared at home. Mom almost finished making two varieties of sweets but no matter how things change, the emotions remain the same. I am sorely missing my college friends like anything and they are the souls with whom I spent the best times of togetherness during Diwali. The emotions are vivid and it feels like yesterday only. 

I have a silent wish and small prayer will do to make the forces conspire with each other so that the next Diwali is spent in India, settling back for nothing beats the emotion of celebrating in one’s own country and no matter where we are, this home feeling cannot be beaten by any force.

Make the most of the time for we become the light, respecting choices of each other be it tradition or food culture that makes us stand tall as Indians. We must strive to remove prejudices be it caste, class, religion, gender and share the happiness with the unfortunate children and socially deprived in an effort to brighten their lives.

Happy Diwali