*darkness in Japanese

I am standing in the darkness of the balcony of my apartment. The terrace is out of bounds because the building supervisor caught the virus and has been isolated in his quarters. There are four other spots in the building where the virus has made it’s way through. The apartment building has been declared a hotspot. No one can enter or exit; we’re in a isolation, a quarantine, a bubble. My wife is sleeping nights at the hospital, my kids, three of them, are surviving each other and God bless me, but am I tired of them or what? There has been no respite for 5 days now, no walks to the laundromat, no grocery shopping where the kids can get lost in the aisle for all I care, no smoke breaks on the terrace! They’re bickering at the dining table right now, while gulping down what I called dinner. I didn’t even have the heart to eat it. I fired five people at work today, one of whom I had hired myself. One cried, the other stared me down, another told his wife while on the call with me and they both broke down, another abused me and the last one? I don’t even remember how I sat through the call – she’s pregnant. Who knows what would happen next? Would they fire me next? Or will they simply send me an email informing my services were no longer required?

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I wanted to run away to some place where no one knew Tsuki, no one knew Tsuki the person, Tsuki the father, Tsuki the husband! Fuck those Tsukis, all of them! I just wanted to get away from all of this. The uncertainty of my days ahead were killing me. I liked routine, I liked being in control of my day, I liked scheduling my tasks. The police cannot decide when I see my wife and when I take a smoke break or what I feed my children! I was losing myself slowly, and the only thing keeping me sane was my wife, my wife of eight years who was spending sleepless days and nights, zipping up body bags, whose masks had left permanent scars on her face and our hearts, whose smile shone at me even through the erratic video calls we managed to talk over. My kids often cried themselves to sleep missing their mother. Well, so did their father but he couldn’t tell them about it.

“Daddy, it is cold outside. And it’s raining. Come inside,” my youngest, Haruki said, peering out of the curtains, his small head looking comically smaller with the rest of his body out of sight.

“Have you all finished your dinner?” I asked, my voice cracking.

“I have. Sakura and Ito are still eating. They eat slowly,” he lamented, rolling his eyes. I knew I’d find his food spread on the plate and probably a bit on his chair as well as the floor. I let it go.

“Okay. Now, go into your room. I’ll come in a while. Daddy needs some time to think.”

“Do you want your coat?”

“Yes, I’d like that please.” His little head vanished out of sight. A gust of wind blew across, stinging my eyes and my face and bringing more water with it. I was wet, cold and sad. Three heads popped into the balcony at once, the little one struggling to find space. I pulled the heavy curtains aside to help them. Sakura was holding on to the coat, which was taller than her. Ito looked like he wanted to go take a leak and Haruki was on all fours.

“Thank you. Why don’t you all go watch the telly and then we’ll try calling Mama again, okay?” I asked, taking the coat from Sakura. They nodded and stood there. I pulled the curtains back in place, putting on my coat, the sudden warmth sending a shudder down my spine.

A while later, I smelled smoke around me. My neighbour was out in his little balcony, taking a smoke. Guess, I just couldn’t be on my own. We never spoke much, just nodded in each other’s direction when we met in the elevator, unless our noses were buried in our phones. The red light at the end of his lit stick burnt through the darkness. I could barely make his face out but that light held my eye. He turned to face me and in the pitch darkness of my 15th floor apartment balcony we held our longest gaze ever. Awkwardly, I put my hands in my coat pockets to find one of them not empty. I took out what seemed like a brick but was the last of the icecream sandwiches we had left in our refrigerator. My kids must have put this in the coat for me. Whether it was the rain, the smoke or the chills, but as I bit into the icecream sandwich, my eyes were brimming with water.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. This piece is based on a creative writing prompt from http://www.thinkwritten.com. The prompt was as follows: Darkness.

Justice, you say?

“Galti ho gayi. Fir nahi karega. (It was a mistake. He won’t do it again.)” Such a simple statement! What could be wrong about it? In an ideal world? Probably nothing. In ours? Maybe a woman was eve-teased, maybe a wife was hit across her face, maybe a mother was disrespected, maybe Draupadi was disrobed, maybe Nirbhaya was raped, maybe bodies were butchered and burnt but galti ho gayi, fir nahi karega.

A male tourist walks through New York City, Chicago and even Cape Town, unarmed, with a wallet full of cash and probably a pint of beer warming his belly and not a care in the world but the sights the 2 am nightlife of those cities have to offer. A woman, a resident of maybe New York, Chicago and even Cape Town, out in the streets just before dusk, while the Sun is still shining, fully clothed, has to ignore the unwanted solicitation requests to smile or men just thinking out loud of what they think of her body. And God forbid if she must step out after the Sun sets, whose mistake do you think it is? Well, if it was India, our political leaders would tell you in press conferences whose mistake it is.

Where’s this anger coming from you ask? Nah, there’s no anger. Neither does it have to do anything with Women’s Day. I don’t give a damn what day it is when the world, or should I say, the men decide that they should celebrate women – loosely translated into another day when gifting companies have a ball, HR teams put up events, families treat their women with cards and probably a meal! I’m beyond anger now. I’m sad, sad that the state of affairs requires us to still walk a long, long way! Don’t give me shit about how women can now go to work, the White House or even space! If in the 21st century, after all the leaps science has made, and not an iota of proof that men are in some way superior to women, I still have to deal with men not wanting to talk about my period leave and doctors insisting that birth control pills are a necessity for women, you’re still letting women down. Aur galti hamaari hi hai! (It is us who are at fault!) Our internalised misogyny makes us so judgmental about other women, makes us body-shame, slut-shame, struggle shame and even success shame! Find a woman who uplifts other women and you’ll find a friend for life!

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I got a barrage of texts over the past few days asking about a girl from Calcutta, a student of my alma mater. I didn’t know her personally but posts where people were demanding justice for her made me curious about what had happened. Academically accomplished, the girl was wedded to a respectable family in Calcutta and had just celebrated her first anniversary, when news of her death reached her parents. The husband cried suicide, parents are crying murder and also … justice! Her parents have admitted to knowing she was domestically abused by her husband, she was unhappy in her marriage and even sent her back to live with her husband because log kya kahenge (what will others say)! Justice for whom, I ask?

The parents are saying, “Galti ho gayi. Fir nahi karenge. Koi toh unhe bataao ki ab bahut der ho gayi!” (It was a mistake, it won’t happen again. Someone tell them, that it’s already too late.)

Her parents left her to die, societal pressures left her to die, even the man she’d chosen as her life partner left her to die. And those men and women who turn around and say, she always had a choice? You know what? She made the choice. And now you have to live with it.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. This piece is based on a creative writing prompt from http://www.thinkwritten.com. The prompt was as follows: Slip up – write about making mistakes.

Down The Lane.

The sun was setting and the balcony was losing enough light to make me keep my paint brushes aside. I wanted to finish one last flower before I could call it a day but that would mean getting out of my armchair to switch on the lights and I was too tired to do it. Maybe I’d rest my eyes for a bit and then take a look at the photographs in the box under my chair. Those hazy black and white pictures were posed for with such eagerness and childlike enthusiasm even among the elders, despite knowing at least a week in advance that the photographer would arrive home. At 70, with a back that cracks at any sudden movement, knees that need to be patted awake and hair that is as white as the turban my father wore around his head, my childhood seems like several lifetimes ago.

My mother loved getting dressed up, especially for these photographs. My father, we would call him Appa, would often chide her, probably lovingly, that no one could make out which sari she was wearing and that she should just come along. But she would not listen. She would even tie fresh flowers around her hair bun and then cover them all with her sari pallu. She probably lived her entire life with 5 saris in her wardrobe at a time, a wardrobe that was a metal suitcase handed and used over generations. She’d be ecstatic if she saw my wardrobe today, a wooden almirah with lights inlaid so I can distinguish between the myriad colours. I’ve lost count of how many saris I have. And then there’s yet another one lying here by the table that I am painting. My grandkids are enthusiastic about my brushwork but they’ve never seen my aunt’s brushwork. She was stunning. She’d paint all the pots in the house, even the aangan on most days. And a lot of women from the neighbourhood would call her over to paint outside their houses for occasions and festivals. We couldn’t afford to buy new brushes then, so if her old second hand ones dilapidated into hairless sticks, she would tie a muslin cloth piece at the end of it to paint! She would mix water into some fancy red and white powder she wouldn’t let me play with and create those floor alpanas. She passed away when I was growing up. It was so sudden that my father grew fearful of our well-being, his two daughters and the one son who was fifteen years younger than me. Mother never really recovered from that last childbirth.

The lack of everything, of knowledge, of money, of infrastructure and of ambition was more than compensated by the sense of belongingness to a family, to a town or even just the neighbourhood. We didn’t have much then, barring companionship. I have nothing to complain of today; my kids have taken care of my health, my grandkids spend whatever time their study schedules permit them to and yet despite all the comfort my life is saddled with, I am hunting for that same sense of belongingness. Maybe that’s why I keep sifting through the faded black and white photographs, treasures which have moments captured, albeit planned. Maybe that’s why I keep trying my hand at brushwork. Maybe that’s why I strive to paint yet another sari. So that in some way I can hold on to a past that might not have been comfortable but had made it so simple to be happy.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. This piece is based on a creative writing prompt from http://www.thinkwritten.com. The prompt was as follows: What does memory lane look like? How does one reach there?

Mirror, Mirror.

It was past 2 am when Meja finally stepped into her apartment. Business dinners often ended into the wee hours of the morning. This was an early wrap and she wasn’t happy about it at all. Liam hadn’t texted her yet but she was sure to wake up to a barrage of angry ones from him in just a few hours from now. She’d worked particularly hard for this meeting, making sure all stakeholders were well-informed and the bankers were well-fed. Well, all except for that bitch, Jennifer.

Meja took off her navy Givenchy midi and cast it aside on the couch. She’d air it out later once she’d figured how to deal with Jennifer. Jennifer was new to them and was already creating too much of a fuss about the ‘ethics’ of Project Sky. Why had she even agreed to attend the event if her priority was the social ethics of it rather than financial feasibility? Wasn’t she just some investment banker?

Meja scrubbed hard at her eyeliner, exasperated at its’ refusal to come off. She banged at the mirror in frustration.

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“Ouch, that hurt, you know,” the mirror exclaimed.

“Well, I am hurt too. And let down, especially by another woman!” Meja responded to the mirror. She threw her cotton ball aside and instead started pulling out the pins holding her hair up.

“She doesn’t define you or any other woman. She can only represent her own self, just like you do.”

“I know that and you know that. But I am sure the men there are laughing at both her and me. They must think we women are so soft, those dastardly creatures! I worked hard at this project. I didn’t just walk up and walk over someone else’s year long planning. And they want to bucket me in the same slot as that woman? It’s a disgrace!”

“You tell her that then. And you show the men that no one messes with you.”

“Yep, no one gets to walk all over me,” she said, pausing to reflect at the truth her mirror was throwing back at her.

“Absolutely, darling! Show her that she can no longer be a hindrance.”

“You’re right,” she began, thinking out loud as she decided how she would tackle Jennifer’s move. “I could get her off the project itself. Or better still, such a weak and emotional women should have no right to be able to wield power!”

“You’re getting there,” her reflection egged her on.

“Maybe I could simply end her career. Perhaps I should set up a meeting for her with Liam first. I’ll let him humiliate her enough so she has to come begging to me for just keeping her alive. That would show her her place,” Meja concluded, her hair held in clumps by the spray and falling over her shoulders.

“I love that twinkle in your eyes. Your show of strength is so sexy. You be you, woman,” the mirror responded.

“Only you understand me as well as I do. Only you,” she said, patiently removing her eyeliner, a smile lingering near her lips.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. This piece is based on a creative writing prompt from http://www.thinkwritten.com. The prompt was as follows: “What if you mirror started talking to you? What might the mirror say?”


Shivering, he dived under a shade, water puddling around his feet, fear taking over the chills of a sudden downpour. The dogs outside were ferocious – he’d never seen such big angry eyes up close. They were still sniffing around, he could feel it. He backed away into the dark, keeping an eye out for sudden movements and his mind scared him into running faster, in zig zag patterns, banging into things here and there. It was pitch dark, too dark even for him but at the end of his run, he could no longer smell the dogs outside.

He settled down on his stomach, his paws stretched, tongue hanging out, heart still beating very fast. He was tired. He just wanted to close his eyes for a short while and then get out of this dark and dingy place. His eyelids were drooping. He yawned, shaking his ears and his head dropped onto his paws. Some time later, as he awoke, he found himself cold, alone and in the dark. He stretched himself out, his front legs taking all his weight, his the bones in his back cracking. He looked around at the silence, not much else visible to him – it scared him much more than he was ready to admit to himself. He could hear the faint tap of the rain, if he really strained his ears. Something or rather, someone, swooped overhead. As he ducked, something scuttled past as well. A mouse, perhaps! He didn’t like mice. They tasted pungent. He left them for the crows outside. That reminded him of food. His stomach grumbled. He sniffed around. Everything smelled different in here, stale and pungent, like the mice. He found a couple of them on his trail but passed them. He thought of the lady who came to feed him everyday. Was she looking for him? Was it daybreak yet? Or was this going to be a long night?

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He was hungry and had wandered into new territory and then it started drizzling and the dogs came at him from nowhere and he didn’t know what to do. Hunger had started this all and he was still hungry. He could smell the outside in that direction. He ran across the dark hoping he’d be able to get out of here. He ran head first into the paper boxes which ended up making a lot of noise. He heard voices outside, sounds of the rain and afraid, he stayed in the shadows. When he quietly got out again, his heart racing, he heard loud noises and something hit him on the back. Wheezing and whimpering, he tried to run but his back foot hurt. He got under a car and howled in pain, as he sat. His behind was stinging and his legs hurt. His eyes were watering in pain. He heard a shuffle under a nearby car. Crouching in fear, still whimpering in pain, he braced himself for the next fight or what was left of it in him. They were the same angry red eyes from before. This time they weren’t angry though. They had food, he said. Would I want some, he asked.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. This piece is based on a creative writing prompt from http://www.thinkwritten.com. The prompt was as follows: “Write about being inside an old abandoned warehouse.”

Bones & Beads.

“Shoma, you’ll have to take off your ornaments – all of them, irrespective of whether they’re gold or not,” the doctor-in-charge Ratan da ordered me.
“You’ll just be doing a regular check-up, right? I didn’t think we’d be going into the OT,” I asked, worried there had been a miscommunication because I wasn’t ready for the nausea of a surgery to hit me. I wasn’t to be counted in the all hands on deck!
“Even with your vast non-medical credentials, I wouldn’t let you anywhere near my OT!” he said, bellowing with laughter. I sniggered, mildly. I still wasn’t sure where this was going. Nevertheless, I started taking off my earrings, “I still don’t get it though.”
“Gold is attractive. They want it. So unless you don’t want to go back as you came, you take it off.”
“Oh, I didn’t know that. Thanks for the heads up,” I called out to the bald spot on the back of his head, as he left the room, raising his hand in acknowledgement.

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Ratan da was a gracious host, well gracious enough for someone who lives alone is dedicated enough to choose to work in the middle of the Indian Ocean! He replied to our emails, once a week; if lucky, twice! I found more paper and books at his place than food. I was glad I’d requested him to book me a private room in the town. Anyway, I am digressing! I was going to tell you the story of the neckpiece – the one my mother detests, the one very few people know about, the one you will know of now.

A few moments later, after Ratan da left the room, I left my packed bag under his wobbly table, my dictaphone, pad and pen stuffed in my boyfriend jeans. But I didn’t know which way to go – so instead of walking into the clinic room, I walked into two women, one young with a baby cradled in her arms and the other older but I couldn’t place her in the decades. They were the people I’d come looking for but I hadn’t anticipated such a bumpy start. They were heavy bosomed, wearing a maxi sort of thing, short haired with shining skin! They were the Jarawas. I apologised to them profusely, in Hindi, in Bengali, in English, bowing, bending, fumbling, hoping they would understand what I meant!

Ratan da appeared out of nowhere and instead took us all away to the clinic room, blissfully unaware of what he’d walked in on. I spent the next two hours in that room, occupying a corner, observing the work, asking a question in between to understand the conversation underway. I caught snippets of Hindi and Bangla once in a while, my ears working overtime. I wanted to know if the baby I had accidentally walked in on was okay but Ratan da still did not catch on. The older woman probably did. She said something to him and he responded. For the next minute, I simply observed them staring at each other, the baby and me. I was afraid they’d taken offence. Instead, the doctor said, “She wants to give you a ornament.”
“Yes, she is the wife of the head. I might have mentioned to them that you might be coming. They’re welcoming you here. If you’re okay, they’d like you to come feast with them.”
I was stunned.
And that is the story of this piece of jewelry; a bunch of ancestral bones strung together with beads, binding me to their tribe for as long as I will remember.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. This piece is based on a creative writing prompt from http://www.thinkwritten.com. The prompt was as follows: “Write about a piece of jewelry – who does it belong to?”


The water was so cold. It sent goosebumps up my spine. Why did I lay out the new cutlery? I asked myself out loud.

“Because you wanted to treat your wife,” she said, sliding her hands along my torso.

“Your hand goes any lower and you can say goodbye to this plate,” I warned my wife.

“Alright, alright. Finish this and come to bed.”

“No,” I groaned. “I have to finish transcribing the interviews. They need the edits by tomorrow.”

“What were you doing while I was cooking dinner then?” she asked, irritation seeping into her voice.

“Let me think,” I drawled, turning around slowly, the soaped plate, carefully placed between us, “Did the furniture dust itself? And the walls of the balcony painted itself? Oh, no! That was me! That is what I was doing for the past three hours. Remember?”

“Alright,” she offered, rolling her eyes, “Let me finish these for you. Then you can complete your work.” But I knew better.

She’d cooked a scrumptious meal and the least I could do was clean up after. I did not enjoy it because it required all my focus – no multi-tasking. Folding clothes was more my thing, I could work with my hands but my brain could actively think about the next project! I set the cleaned plates on the marble pantry one after the other carefully. Poornima had walked out of the kitchen; she must be tired too. We both were, on most days. We were still getting used to Seville and having been brought up the middle-class Indian way, a bunch of servants around to render services all the time, Spain hit differently. Back home, I’d always magically found my clothes in my wardrobe, food on the table, my shoes clean and back in the shoe rack. Here, I realised, spiders weren’t just a sign of abandonment and cutlery didn’t come with the house. With Poornima away at work, her creative house husband had to meet deadlines and keep the house running as well! My mother is proud of me, my father must be rolling in his grave though. More like, be kicking up a storm with his ashes.

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My father probably didn’t even know what food he loved eating. His whole life was managed by my mother. He was a sculptor, not world famous or anything but a man so possessed by his passion that nothing else mattered to him, not family, not food, and from what I recall, not even money. I did not inherit his art but I did cultivate my own. I wrote and he saw in me a spark for the art. He kept me around his workshop, gave me a small room to recuse myself into, to read, to write, to do whatever I needed to do that kept my pen scribbling. Often I would just go there so I didn’t have to finish my homework or after an angry note from my teacher highlighting my incompetence at school. Somedays, I would sit and watch my father work, peeping out of the small window in the room that was mine, lost in the clay, the arms he was building, the face he was sculpting. What would he say now if he saw me washing dishes and cleaning fans instead of writing? Was his passion was worth it? Was his neglect right? Be as it may, I better kiss my wife to sleep. 

Graciously Yours!

P.S. This piece is based on a creative writing prompt from http://www.thinkwritten.com. The prompt was as follows: “Even writers and creative artists have to do house work sometimes. Write about doing laundry dishes and other cleaning activities.”

Guilty As Charged?

“Sir, why has my handbag been detained?” asked a petite lady, dressed in a salwar suit, sensible chappals(flat sandals) and a young, fidgety kid accompanying her. I waved at him to distract him from tugging at the woman’s dupatta; instead he looked away, hiding his face, clinging onto the woman’s leg. “Yes, darling. We’ll get you something to eat. Just 5 more minutes, beta (son).”

The officer-in-charge, a tall, young CISF personnel, turned to her address her finally. “Ma’am, we will need to recheck your bag. We’ll tell you the problem, once it is your turn. Please maintain the queue until then,” he commanded, directing her to move to the end of the queue. I was no longer the last person standing then.

It seemed like it would take a while. The officer was being extremely thorough. I wondered if there was a security alert. The lady passenger seemed to want to say something but then possibly changed her mind. She didn’t seem come across as the kind who threw her weight around. But you never knew what New Delhi airport would bring you! The city, after all, was famous for its inhabitants bringing up their apparent connections with the powerful who’s who of the city, probably once in every conversation, even a short one! As she took her place behind me in the queue, I dropped her a small smile but she was too busy cajoling the child to notice. While the lines kept stretching long, people’s patience stretched thin.

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The officers broke the passengers into 2 more queues, the lady behind me suddenly at the front of the new one. She didn’t still didn’t acknowledge me though. Tough luck, I thought! I was just one person away from my turn now. I was trying to recall what in my handbag could have triggered the search. I was listening carefully to the questions being asked.

“Ma’am, do you have any objects which are sharp or any liquids in the bag?”

“Yes, there is liquid, but that’s very less quantity. It’s his medicine,” she said, pulling her child closer.

“Ma’am, I have to search through manually. Please empty the bag out.”

Awkward,’ I thought. I didn’t want my bag strip searched. Who knew what all it had? I surely didn’t. What did I throw in there last minute? Chewing gums for sure, a couple of condoms definitely and my vibrator! F***! The batteries in them must have triggered the system! They weren’t supposed to be in there!

“Ma’am, this pocket as well, please.

How would I explain this?’ I had missed packing this in my check in luggage! Damn! This was going to be more embarrassing for them than me probably. I was sweating right then. ‘Did that make me look guilty?

“Sir, you are up next. Please step forward,” the officer requested.

Could I just leave my bag here and go? Would that count as a felony?


“Yes,” I said, stepping forward gingerly.

“This one’s yours?” he asked.

I wanted to say no but it was after all mine. Just then something happened.

“All of you please step back,” boomed the officer checking the lady’s bag. A shiver ran down my spine at his voice. “Please step back. You are all crowding the place, take three steps back.”

That silenced the blubber of voices that was starting to come up. “Ma’am what is this?” he asked urgently, pulling aside the officer-in-charge of my bag. They both didn’t took very pleased.

“What is what?” she asked.

“Ma’am, you have a bullet in your handbag,” he said. My mouth dropped! I wanted to turn and look at the scene unfolding ahead of me but I also kept my eyes glued straight at my own bag, waiting for my own embarrassment to unfold. “I can explain,” she began, trying to take back the bullet from him. Unfortunately, the officer-in-charge handed over my bag to me and asked me to walk away. All I wanted to say to him was, “You can have a look at my vibrator! Just let me see this through!”

Graciously Yours!

P.S. This piece is based on a creative writing prompt from http://www.thinkwritten.com. The prompt was as follows: “A conversation you overheard”.


“We don’t dream. We work. Dreams are for the rich.”

I grew up listening to this, while toiling through the fields, cleaning the fish, even when I was taking too long a bath. If what my father says was true, then dreams are only for the people whose pipes and taps I fix. I hear them talk about the big businesses, about the prime minister and his party, about different countries and places, about where they want to spend their weekend next and then I hear them complain about how I charge them extra each time. Would it make a difference if I told them that the money is for my son? So that his father doesn’t have to tell him, “We don’t dream. We work. Dreams are for the rich.”

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Back home in my village in Orissa, where we own acres of land, if my parents learn about my work in the city, they would cry. We are not rich, no one in my village is rich. We don’t have money saved up. The Gods decide our destiny. The Gods decide if kids go to the fields or to school, the Gods decide if the trawl comes back home or gets lost in the seas, the Gods decide if a woman gets married off happily or for want of money. Every year is different. Some years we drown in worry, other years a fish feast is prepared every week.

But still, it all started with a dream. A dream my wife had, a dream where she saw herself in a city, like in the movies. I wanted that dream for her, I wanted that dream for myself and most importantly I want that dream for our children. While my family and friends laughed it off, my wife’s father gave us some money. For the rest we pawned off whatever little valuables we had. She only has a ring from her mother on her. She gave away everything else, for her son, for us, for our dreams. She works at two houses, takes care of their children, cleans their rooms for them, takes a dog for a walk, even soaks almonds, raisins and other rich food for the families every evening. Sometimes when our son wants to watch the cinema and eat the expensive popcorn, we ration our meals. Those days when we go hungry to afford the luxury of a white puffy snack while watching the movies that inspired us, my wife says to me laughing, “Even their dog eats better food than us!”. Sometimes I ask her if we made a mistake coming here all the way. She looks at me and says, “Why? If I tell someone back home about the dog, they’ll anyway think I’m dreaming.”

Graciously Yours!

P.S. This piece is based on a creative writing prompt from http://www.thinkwritten.com. The prompt was as follows: “Write something inspired by a recent dream you had”.


The new year has arrived. 2020 is gone but the outside isn’t celebrating! The gloom persists, the Sun still hides and the Met Dept. predicts showers! The storm from the past year still hangs heavy. Was this not supposed to change? Did we not deem 2020 to be the year that had apparently caused the havoc? When the clock chimed the twelfth time at midnight, the world would be bright, hopeful and promising again – was it just me who thought so? The clock struck but nothing changed. I still felt sleep-deprived, over-worked and secluded. Now, almost 10 hours since the midnight fireworks, the Sun is still hiding behind the clouds. I can barely feel the heat, just a nip in the air which keeps dropping the temperature with every passing hour. But why was I even bothered about the weather? This day, last year was I even paying attention to the skies outside? If I know myself any well, I was probably nursing a hangover!

Looking out of the window was when I needed the cigarette smoke to leave with it’s unburnt desires. An unforeseen shower was merely treated as a travel hassle. My workspace was a tiny 3 feet by 1 feet space that was assigned to me, where I was tied down, breathing in the same, perennially ill-managed, excessively chilled and conditioned air, as the 350 other white-collar workers. There were no windows to look out of. The nearest wall had blinds covering the windows, as if a prison that could not risk us getting distracted by something as mundane as an azure sky. More than 300 days of working out of my own home, looking out of my window, I am used to tracking the Sun more than usual, looking forward to syncing my life with its’ movements rather than pretending to have fun at forced, virtual team engagement activities.

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Dear Sun, could you show me your face more often? Maybe it’s just in my head but with you around the world feels livelier and hopeful, my bones don’t feel as brittle. And mi hija? My toothless angel’s face lights up when I take her to the terrace for our Sun-kissed walks. So even if it is just a folly of my human brain, please let’s be done with the peekaboo from those gnarly, angry clouds and fool us into thinking that 2021 is the turn we were all waiting for. Gracias!

Graciously Yours!

P.S. This piece is based on a creative writing prompt from http://www.thinkwritten.com. The prompt was as follows: “Outside the Window: What’s the weather outside your window doing right now? If that’s not inspiring, what’s the weather like somewhere you wish you could be?”

P.P.S. Happy New Year!💜 It might just be another turn of the day and night cycle but if it brings hope to millions around, then may it be happy for you as well.

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