What cannot be said, can be penned


short stories

Tiny Tales of Time

Wake up, dress. Go to the hospital. Sit by his bedside and read to him his favorite books. For seven years she had been doing this. Time that passed did not matter. If he fluttered his eyelids it would be a mark in the time-stream.


The bulldozer finally unearthed the debris. He was gasping but alive, holding his precious baby. The minutes, hours days of darkness had finally brought forth the light and the faith he kept flickered in his breath.


The clock would chime eight, dinnertime. Mommy would place whatever she could innovate with the ingredients available. The five pair of hungry eyes at the table waited, wanting more.


She thought it was him across the room. Yes it was, he looked a bit frayed, the years had caught up with him, but still handsome. He had caught her eye too and walked towards her. Then a lovely woman swept up to him and he turned on his charm. She turned and walked away, nothing had changed in years.



My Paper Boat

It began as a craft and then

It was a game

Making paper boats and

Sailing them

Sometimes in clear water

Sometimes in a drain

Chasing it with sticks

And racing them till they drown

The fun of fighting with friends

And cheering ail along

I will sail my boat

In the clouds one day

Will gather my friends below

Cheering by the bay

Looking at me having taken wings

They will surely ask me

Is it in their dreams

We will ail soar and sail

Away from each other one day

But when we see a paper boat

We will think of this day

The door across the hallway

She poked her head while I was still unpacking my boxes. I had not just moved into an apartment I had moved to a new phase of my life.

After college I had lived in various hostels while trying to find work and making just about enough to cover my rent travel and commuting expenses. As I completed my higher studies along the way I also got into better paying jobs and thought I finally need to get out on my own.

“Where are you from? Are you going to live here alone? Are your parents letting you do this, are they not worried you are going to be alone in this big bad city? Do you want some food, you are obviously not eating enough to cover those bones.” Her barrage of questions hit me like an avalanche. So much for getting out of the hostel and from under the nose of an ultra strict matron.

At first I tried to ignore her but she was so persistent. I felt watched all the time. When I stepped out to work she would greet me, when I came back (no matter at what hour) she would peep and say good night or grunt or comment, depending at the hour of my return.

The door across the hallway was always a bit ajar. It was as if she had been appointed as my guardian.

I slammed my door shut at times when I was too irritated by her constant presence and the next morning I would get a bigger smile and a louder good morning. Nothing seemed to deter her.

When I broke up with my then boyfriend she almost hugged me. I shrugged it off and stayed cooped up inside for a couple of weekends, ignoring the constant doorbell and knocking.

And then one day I saw the doctor leave her apartment chiding her on his way out.

She sat on her favorite chair draped in a shawl, looked a bit withered.

I weighed the consequences of going in and against  my better judgement got pulled into her world. As soon as she saw me hesitating outside her door, she called out, “Come in, come come my child”. She tried to get up but fell back in her chair.

It alarmed me a bit I always thought she had endless supply of energy in spite of her being in her seventies.

“Sorry I am a bit tired today, my youth is slipping away”, she winked.

I sat on the couch next to her and slowly we started talking.

It was well after midnight when I realized that we had emptied a pot of tea, some hurriedly put together healthy meal (it was a great break from my frozen ones)

I would then check on her regularly, morning and night. She had lost her only son who served in the army while he was still unmarried. Lost her husband to heavy drinking and depression post her son’s death. But she trudged on in the battle called life.

Stayed young in heart and mind even whilst the hair turned grey then silver.

The home she lived in had belonged to her father and she was the only living child, she had lost her brother at a very young age too and her sister who had married and moved overseas had passed away some years back, childless and alone.

She had so many tragedies but when she spoke of them her voice never wavered, it was matter of fact as if these realities of life were so easy to accept.

She showed me pics of her parents, sibling, friends, husband and son.

Told me stories of her enchanted childhood, fairy-tale marriage and her son’s awesome achievements. She inquired enough about my own family, my life and my recent break-up.

Slowly as I got to know her I started appreciating her genuine concern, unrelenting care and nothing asked in return for compassion.

I learned from her true strength and grit.

And then one day the door from the hallway was closed. I had a spare key.

When I opened it she seemed to be dozing in her favorite chair with her shawl draped around her. On moving closer I realized she was at peace forever.

I should be happy she would no longer meddle in my life,why were then tears clouding my vision.

<a href=””>Meddle</a&gt;

via Daily Prompt: Meddle

Deceitful Impressions

She watched them as they took their daily walk. He would take at least eight to ten rounds depending on how long the coach made his child play, the wife on the other hand would tire after four rounds and then sit under the trees and watch her son play.

That was the time to move in, to take a walk with her own son, teasing him pushing him and generally being a fun person. Swaying her hips in a rather inviting fashion. She would take the path coming in from the opposite direction so that she could cross his path and watch him from far.

He wouldn’t be able to resist her for long, after all the men playing tennis were smitten by her weren’t they? But he took no notice and she was not used to being ignored. She was often given the look over by men and she basked in the attention.

Well what use was beauty if it did not make you popular, make men fall at your feet and make women snigger behind your back?

She gave the impression of being coy, as she turned round the bend and twisted around falling right into his arms.

“Sorry, I must have twisted my ankle, ouch and it does hurt terribly”, she gushed as he held her. She batted her kohled eyes at him making sure he smelt her perfume and sweat well.

“Here let me help you” he offered. She took his arms and even put a bold hand around his shoulder making a pretense of limping gasping and crooning all the while.

He took her to the spot where some chairs were placed for the tennis players.

She thanked him profusely and was about to advance further in her ploy when the pot-bellied, always stinky smelly man from her tennis class swarmed in on them. He was almost towering over her, “thank you for helping her out, we will take care of her”, he said as if dismissing her prey.

He smiled turned and left and she was fuming because all her ploy had come to naught.

But now he knew her and surely he would remember how wonderful she smelt, he would dream of her and she would walk the rest of his lonely rounds with him from tomorrow, after all they were now acquainted weren’t they.


“What took you so long today?” the wife looked at him as he held out a hand to hoist her from the ground.

“Nothing just bumped into someone who sprained her leg, so escorted her to a chair, are we done for today?”

“Yes we are and look our son is all smiles”, she pointed out to a child running towards them, beaming.

They came here for their walks while their son got coached. Perfect family fun time.

What could possible go wrong?


The eyes that followed them were kohled and full of deceit…….

<a href=””>Impression</a&gt;

Measuring Tales

She measured out the red ribbons, two for Aisha, two for Sana, two for Zeeya and then stored the rest for another year, maybe she should cut their hair and save the cost of these ribbons, another burden.


He measured out the cow’s milk into the saucepan and left, he was in a hurry and forgot to cover it. When Mala opened the door, the cat was licking her paws,  on cue the baby wailed.


One drop for a sound sleep would be enough the doctor had said, ten were lethal he knew. The pain, the suffering was older than he could recall. They found the tea-cup next to his body.


As she measured the coffee into the press she though of the loving arms, when she went back into the bedroom, her only wealthy possession, her gold necklace was gone, with him.


<a href=””>Measure</a&gt;

Mumbling Munn

Shor took the huge paw and tried to make the motions of shaking it where in reality the palm of Corac could just pick him up and shake the life out of him.

And thus they began the tideous upward journey on a more friendlier note.


They must have climbed only a couple of feet but they were sweating profusely and already felt drained of energy.

Corac had placed Shor on his shoulder but the movement of Corac made Shor so dizzy and this time Shor did not want to risk falling down the endless pit again.

Without Corac there to protect him from the unfathomable darkness and all its hidden secrets Shor didn’t feel brave enough to be in the coral caves, he would rather be up here with this half man half crocodile friend.

Corac rested for a while. They were both thirsty and hungry and they felt like they were trying to crawl back into a huge black hole only they were going against gravity and it was always tough swimming against the tide.

Tide, wait were they in the middle of the ocean somewhere?

Corac had mentioned that he was “three worlds below the pool”.

“Corac where exactly are we?”, Shor asked. “Hmm looks like we passed the The Mad Pods place a while back”

“The Mad pod?” Shor asked. “Yes the Mad Pod or Mumbling Munn as I would like to call him. He is out of his head the old chap is senile. If we were to run into him he would probably take a good look at you and mumble some nasty things. And though he knows I can crush him he dares to irritate the heck out of me. Strange one he is”

The description was not even over and they heard strange rumblings. Shor could hardly see anything yet but a bit up ahead there was a curious light. Strange he had not noticed any lights when he fell, but then he was falling too fast and not really looking.

The mumblings were unintelligible to him but it sounded as if someone was angry, very angry. They climbed up towards the strange luminescence. It was a hypnotic light. Almost coming from far away and seemed to pull them towards itself. The mumblings grew louder as they approached.

The creature seemed to be approaching Shor with great alacrity.

Suddenly it was almost upon him. A creature that looked like an alien. It’s seven pairs of legs made it walk quickly towards them. It mumbled and trembled and looked as if it was going to knock him off or pick him up and throw him back down the hole.

It was his good fortune Corac was with him.



<a href=””>Fortune</a&gt;



He was not sure whether he was the hero or the villain. Somewhere along the quest all lines, characters had blurred and now all that he cared for was to reach that pool.

Take a dip in the elixir of youth. Become immortal.

And as he was about to shed the last few garments he heard it. Faint at first but distinct.

A low melodious hum a remnant of a beautiful song, but broken.

It came from the mist surrounding the pool.

And as he stepped nearer ……………………………………………………………………….. (to be continued)

As he stepped closer he suddenly felt the ground beneath his feet give away and he started falling.

He was going down at a speed at which he could hardly see anything around him, everything was a blur and there was nothing around him, he was engulfed in a space maybe a time warp.

It seemed like an eternity before he hit ground (if that is what it was).

It was pitch dark with a rancid smell.

Shor was surprised that he had landed on his feet and unharmed.  He dusted himself and hunted in his belt for the matches.

He could smell danger even before he hit the bottom, it seemed to follow him like a loyal puppy.

He lit a matchstick and almost jumped.

He was on the back of a creature he could only imagine about.

It had the horn of a rhinoceroses but he was half human and half crocodile. And was gigantic.

Luckily Shor had landed at a distance from which he could safely see that the croc man was sleeping.

But not for long, he stirred and sniffed. His crocodile tail slithering and he yawned exposing ugly gnawy teeth.

Stretching himself he suddenly stiffened. “Who goes there?”, he thundered and Shor was almost blown away by the velocity of his sound.

“I can smell ye, and you cannot hide you know that” his voice rang aloud in the space.

“I am Shor the brave”, Shor replied hardly believing his own words.

“Are you then?” the roaring reply made Shor want to turn around and run. But where was the big question. He could hardly see and barely make out the figure of the croc man. Besides his swishing tail could hit him any moment and knock him down.

“I am the king of the coral caves, you are in my territory and cannot move without my permission”. The reply was less angry than his previous enquiries.

Shor felt braver than before and moved closer.

“I did not come here by choice, I fell in here” he said hoping explaining that he did not want to encroach upon anyone’s territory would make him seem like an ally.

“So, you reached the pool, you must be something to have come so far” the croc man replied.

“You know about the pool? Where am I now?” Shor wondered aloud.

“You are three worlds below the pool, in coral caves, you must have slipped through the eye”.

“It must be decades since you fell, and you haven’t aged a bit, people are usually dead or old by the time they land here, I was a bit surprised to hear your voice, myself” the croc man replied.

Was he warming up or was he just being friendly enough so that he could grab him and devour him, Shor wondered.

As if he could almost read his thoughts the croc man replied “I do not eat humans, never have, at least a live one, no, I remember never eating one, my croc stomach turns up almost the thought of it”.

It was the first-time Shor relaxed.

“So can you help me get back up there? I was almost at the end of my journey when I fell?” Shor enquired feeling he should use the croc man’s mood to his advantage.

“I have no idea, I could climb you know, with you, if you let me take a dip in the pool once reach the top, only problem is I might get smaller as I go up and become a really tiny baby or worse an egg” the croc man was wondering weighing his options.

“But it’s a chance I am willing to take, after all I have been stuck here for ages now.”

“Ok, let’s start the ascend then, I am Shor” Shor extended an introduction. If they were to embark upon a journey it would help if they were at least civil to each other.

“Ya I heard that the first time around, Shor the brave you announced quaking in your boots” croc man guffawed.

“I was not! quaking in my boots” Shor replied indignantly. “I was a bit thrown off by the fall” he said.

“Well we are sure to find many creatures along the way who will test your bravery, so don’t loose your heart, you might still get a chance to prove yourself to me, I am Corac by the way” Corac said extending his hand.

Shor took the huge paw and tried to make the motions of shaking it where in reality the palm of Corac could just pick him up and shake the life out of him.

And thus they began the tideous upward journey on a more friendlier note.


<a href=””>Territory</a&gt;

The Elixir (an excerpt)

He had slayed the last monster and reached the misty pool.  It was at last his to dip into.  Shedding his armor stained in different bloods, some of it his own and some from the vicious monsters he had met and killed along the way.

He was a long way from home, once a humble peasant he had now turned into a warrior. His fate had turned when he saved a little mouse in his fields.

A talking mouse, unbelievable. And yet he had mercy on him when he begged for his life.

As a token for saving his life the mouse had invited him on a quest. A hunt for the mysterious pool.

It’s waters as blue as topaz and its legends spread across the worlds known and unknown.

He had laughed presuming it was a big joke, a way of humbling him and yet he humoured the mouse by entering the mouse-hole.

It was as if he fit there, and he was right at home too (though an overdose of cheese nearly made him sick). His clothes had transformed and he felt he was in a timeless space where there was everything and yet nothing.

He had a surreal feeling of being lost and having found.

The mouse had introduced him to some weird beings who looked like bandits, pirates all of lowlife in this low underground space.

He tagged along for fun and then the adventures began.

He was not sure whether he was the hero or the villain. Somewhere along the quest all lines, characters had blurred and now all that he cared for was to reach that pool.

Take a dip in the elixir of youth. Become immortal.

And as he was about to shed the last few garments he heard it. Faint at first but distinct.

A low melodious hum a remnant of a beautiful song, but broken.

It came from the mist surrounding the pool.

And as he stepped nearer………………………

……………………………………………………………………… (to be continued)


Tiny Tales Patterned

He loved her he said and cried, he was hurt too but he lashed out when angry, she should forgive him this one time. But it was a pattern, the abuse and the forgiving continued…….

The reward was a ball of chocolate ice cream (her favorite), they would walk in the sun and she got treated for being his granddaughter, this was a joyous pattern and the taste of the ice cream would linger for years to come.

“Five minutes, then we shall play together” the dialogue and the pattern continued till he outgrew it. How she wished she had spent five minutes and played with her son.

Sleep, clean her bed-ridden granny, sleep, serve her granny some water (Parkinson’s  did not allow her to even hold her glass), the pattern was exhausting but love never let her tire of it.


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