Category Archives: Micro Fiction

Short Story – The Illusion

“I would like to conclude by reiterating that a person’s sexuality is neither a choice nor a syndrome. Just because we cannot understand something which is uncommon, it cannot be declared unnatural. It is as natural as your sexual orientation or mine. It’s about time we educate ourselves and initiate open dialogues about this subject to raise awareness. Please join us and be a part of our movement. Every voice matters!”

As Nikhil stepped down from the podium, the auditorium reverberated with a thunderous applause. But, his internal turmoil was piercing enough to stifle the resonance around him. He wanted to break away from the throng of people that had enwreathed him – some were from the media, some from the audience and some belonged to the event organizing team. On any other usual day, he would have gladly spent time interacting with the crowd about his mission which had become the reason for his existence. But this day was different. It was the anniversary of the horrid incident that had wobbled the core of his being and had altered the course of his life. He wanted to grieve in solitude; he wanted to reminisce all the precious moments that he had so fondly hoarded in his treasure trove of memories.

Once Nikhil managed to make an exit from the auditorium, he scuttled furtively to leave the venue premises. He made a quick call to his driver and just when he disconnected it, he overheard a group of men conversing in voices which, though suppressed, were audible in the grim silence of the night.

“Look, he is THE Nikhil – the LGBT rights’ activist whose speech you missed.”

“Oh he is the one! What missed? I am glad I escaped. I don’t know why did you guys want to listen to his gibberish. You know what, I think he is a gay himself and that is the reason he is so determined to fight for this cause.”

This proclamation was followed by a sneering laughter. Nikhil grimaced and turned to give the man an earful. Being perceived as a gay never bothered him. It was the ignorant, callous attitude towards such a sensitive matter and the mocking tone that ruffled his feathers. But then, something stopped him from walking up to the men. His car had arrived and he wanted to get back home as soon as he could. While his driver manoeuvred his way through the Mumbai traffic, Nikhil unlocked his mobile and longingly stared at Priya. That smile! Her dazzling smile could brighten even the gloomiest of days. A year had passed since Nikhil had lost her. Submerged in her thoughts, he could feel knots in his stomach. He dashed towards his room once he set foot into his apartment and reached for the bedside drawer to read the letter for the umpteenth time. This was not an ordinary letter. It was the driving force behind his crusade against the apathy of the society and the legal system. It was his source of strength and indefatigable resolve. It was the last memory of the love of his life, his wife and his best friend. It was her suicide note.

Dear Nikhil,

I know that by the time you read this letter you would be devastated. I know that what I am going to do now is an act of cowardice. I know that I am being unfair to you. I know that you must be seeking answers to innumerable questions and I hope through this letter I am able to answer some of them. I am sure you don’t need to be told that you are my best friend. We grew up together and understood each other in a way no one else could. But, I guess there are certain things which are not easy to be shared, even with your best friend.

Remember how I was trying to hook you up with your crush when we were in college? Those were crazy times and probably the most memorable moments of my life are from the initial years of college. However, gradually, something had started bothering me during that period. You always felt exasperated whenever I refused to date a guy. You thought I was a tough nut to crack. But the truth was I was experiencing different emotions – emotions that were alien to me; emotions that I struggled to comprehend; emotions that gave me restless, sleepless nights. I was attracted to my classmate, a girl. You did sense at times when my mood was off. But, I had enough convincing excuses which kept you away from deciphering the truth. I could not talk about this with anyone, not even with my parents as I had never even heard the word ‘sex’ from them ever.

Eventually, I did a lot of research on the internet about the way I felt and my fears were confirmed. Though I discovered that being a lesbian was not a rarity and there were others sailing in the same boat, nothing could allay my anxiety. It was hard for me to accept this reality but I could not deny my homosexuality. I was tormented and retired to bed sobbing each day. As time passed, the topic of marriage was brought up at my home. The very thought of marriage made me feel ill at ease and one fine day, I mustered up the courage to let Mom know about my sexuality. To say that she was horrified would be an understatement. That night she came up to my room and embraced me. I was relieved to learn that she understood. But the respite was short-lived. Next day, my mom took me to a doctor for treatment. He assured her that his prescribed medicines would make me “normal” soon and my mom was ecstatic. I wanted to reason with her but kept shut. The medication started having adverse effects on my well-being and played havoc with my menstrual cycle as well. But, mom was adamant that I complete my course and ensured that I ingested the medicines in her presence. I had no option but to lie to her at the end that the pills worked. I did not want to put up with all the health issues anymore.

It was around the same time when you proposed marriage to me. I had the option of letting you know the truth and moving away from your life. But, I saw a ray of hope and accepted the proposal for my own convenience. It would have been easy to spend my life with you rather than any other man. Or so I thought! How wrong I was. The first time we made love, I could see the gleam in your eyes. I knew how special the moment was for you. But, I did not feel anything. I only felt uncomfortable, even dirty at times. But, I pretended and pretended till I could no longer put up a façade. There were times when you asked me if I was nervous about sex. But, I dismissed your concerns by playfully chiding you for not understanding the natural hesitation of a new bride.

All my life you encouraged me to be myself, but being myself had become a daunting task for me. I was scared of the wrath of my parents. I was scared of being ostracized by society. I was scared of the legal repercussions. And more than anything, I was scared of the impact all this could have on you. Even if you would have supported me, this truth would have definitely complicated your life. I am sorry for putting you through this. But, I cannot carry on like this anymore. The fear, guilt and my self-deception is killing me every moment. My life seems to have become an illusion. I know I have messed up everything and the only way out is to set myself free, which in turn will set you free. I have to go. I could not be a good wife, but unfortunately I could not even be a good friend to you. Please forgive me. I am sorry for being selfish again.

Love,

Priya

Nikhil clutched the letter to his chest and let out a loud wail. Those searing words glistened with tear drops. Nikhil was never livid with Priya. He was heartbroken and considered himself responsible for Priya’s suicide. He was disappointed in himself because he could never deduce what she was going through in spite of being so close to her. He was disappointed in our failure as a society wherein someone thought that taking away one’s life was the only choice left. One could debate over Priya’s extreme step but whether it was right or wrong was not the focal point for Nikhil. There were other difficult questions haunting him relentlessly. Will we ever value human life and emotions over our prejudices and regressive mentality? Will we ever be able to stop ridiculing others and instead, try to appreciate our differences and accept people with an open mind? Will we ever get out of our comfort zone to bring about the revolution our society desperately needs? Maybe, someday we will.


 

Short Story – The Unwed Mother

// This short story is the winner of “Muse of the Month” contest conducted by Women’s Web in the month of May 2017. It has been published and is available at the below link:

http://www.womensweb.in/2017/05/the-unwed-mother-may-2017-motm-winner/

Araina goggled at the test results in disbelief. The second pink line had appeared, turning her world topsy-turvy in an instant. She was perched on the sofa with a deadpan expression on her face. And then as reality hit her, panic mode kicked in. A whirlwind of emotions churned inside her and she cursed herself for changing the course of her life for a few moments of bliss and pleasure. She started pacing all over the room fretfully, while trying to figure out ways to sort out the mess she had got herself into. She clenched her fist and thwacked the wall, and broke down hysterically. She had to let those emotions come out to be able to think rationally about the situation. Araina was a strong and pragmatic person. After crying her heart out, she regained some composure and decided to face the circumstances head on. She could not change what had already happened, but she had to approach this with a sane mind.

Araina dropped an email to her reporting manager stating that she was sick and hence, had taken a day off. She booked an appointment with a renowned gynaecologist in the city for 12 PM. She took a rapid shower and hastily slipped into her office wear.

Short Story – Some friendships last beyond a lifetime

//This short story has been published by Women’s Web and is available at the below link:

http://www.womensweb.in/2017/05/short-story-friendships-last-beyond-lifetime/

Udita was numb. She could not feel a thing, neither the embraces nor the handshakes. And then like a sudden gush of water, tears flowed down her cheeks as she started weeping profusely. It all had to come out – the pain, the anguish, the struggle and at last the sweet victory. She was exhausted and overwhelmed with emotions. Flashes of her ordeal played out in front of her eyes and she felt as if someone had pushed the rewind button of her life. Her thoughts raced back to that fateful day – the day that transformed her life forever and shook the very core of her being; the day that made her cognizant of her immense inner strength and resilience which were hitherto unknown to her.

Udita was supposed to meet her best friend, Tara, at their favorite hangout place, Café Coffee Day. She was waiting in the outer seating area of the café which was facing the road. It was a busy street with traffic at its peak for the day. It was time for office goers to head back home, thus making it difficult for pedestrians to cross roads. To avoid encountering traffic jam, she had started early from her office. She expected that Tara would arrive tardily as always so she decided to order their favorite cold coffee, Devil’s Own, in the meanwhile. Just when Udita stood up to move inside, she spotted Tara waving at her from the pavement across the road. She gleefully waved back and signaled Tara to cross vigilantly while she waited.

Udita’s mobile started vibrating and she groped for it inside her handbag. Uday had always complained about how one could never find anything that one needed inside the bag because of the mess that it was. She flashed a fleeting smile as she thought of him and took out her mobile to answer the call. Before she could do so, she heard a thud. She hastily dumped her mobile back into the handbag and turned around to find a clamorous mob. She inferred from the chaos that an accident had occurred and hurried to the spot to help, while simultaneously looking for Tara in the crowd. After struggling her way through the swarm of people, she was shocked beyond belief when she saw Tara lying there in a pool of blood.

Super Short Story – Theme “Sports”

This micro fiction was written for a contest which was conducted when the Rio Olympic games were on. The theme given was “sports”.

Super Short Story 11

Super Short Story – Theme “Hatred”

The names and situations in this micro-fiction are imaginary. Truth is we are not safe anywhere. If love is everywhere, hatred is everywhere. If there is hope due to some amazing people in the world, then there are some who make me wonder if at all we are heading towards anything good. One of those days when am feeling a void and a sense of loss of faith. Praying for peace in the world!

Happy Anniversary

Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse does not have obvious signs. There are many who experience emotional abuse in their marriage and are not even aware that they are being abused. If it does not feel right, chances are it isn’t right. Please read my short story titled “Happy Anniversary” published on Readomania which is a tale of empowerment. Empowerment does not come by only being financially independent but by tapping into one’s inner strength and taking charge of one’s life. Please rate the story and comment if you like it.

This story received an overwhelming response and is now among the most read publications on Readomania.

Below is the link to the story:

http://www.readomania.com/story/happy-anniversary

This story was later also published by Women’s Web and is also available at the below link:

http://www.womensweb.in/2017/06/but-at-least-he-is-a-good-father-short-story/

 

 

Does your husband help at home?

//This short story has been published on popular platforms, Women’s Web and Women of Courage. Below are the links to the publications:

http://www.womensweb.in/2016/11/husbands-should-be-sharing-responsibilities-of-housework/

http://www.womenofcourage.in/2017/04/does-your-husband-help-at-home/

Vani’s fingers moved vigorously on the keyboard as she hit the keys to send her final email of the day. She glanced towards the clock at her work station. It was 7.55 pm. It had been a frantic and hectic day at work. Due to a major technical issue caused inadvertently by a junior team member, the client was furious and had escalated the issue to the senior management. Being the team lead, Vani, along with another senior team member, Lisa, had been entrusted with the responsibility to fix the issue by end of the day. She leaned back on her chair and shut her weary eyes. At last, she could breathe a sigh of relief! While she was thinking about the dinner menu in her head, Lisa’s voice brought her out of her contemplation.

“Where are you lost Vani? Coffee?”, asked Lisa gesturing with a coffee mug.

“No babe. Not lost anywhere. Just that am exhausted and want to crash on my bed right now. I will make a move. I have to go home and prepare dinner. It will be too late if I have coffee now”, replied Vani while simultaneously clearing up her desk and getting ready to leave.

“Oh! I understand. Does your husband help you at home with the chores?”. 

“Yes, of course he does, if he is free and at home. We share the load depending on the tasks at hand.”

“Wow you lucky girl. Amar is so lazy and so messy that I dread involving him in any household chores. I feel it’s easier to do them myself instead of reminding him a zillion times. It’s great that Siddhanth helps you so much. You should worship his photo along with the Gods!”, saying this Lisa burst out laughing at her own joke.

Super Short Story – Theme “Survivor”

Whenever we read an incident on rape, most of us post on social media about how strongly we condemn such acts and there is anger that is evident in the posts. This is wonderful because it is important that we all raise our voice and use the powerful social media tool to make a difference. However, during my NGO stint I realized that when it really comes to helping and normalizing life for these survivors, only a few of us do so with all our heart. I saw how many people refused to give work to survivors of rape and human trafficking only to avoid their so called reputation from being tarnished. Some also thought of it as a hassle and some just didn’t bother enough. So, point is – let’s practice what we preach. If you really want a change, push yourself and get out of your comfort zone to go the extra mile. It is great to help as per one’s convenience but honestly, that is NOT enough. You are not even doing a great deed by being normal to such survivors, rather you ought to do so because they deserve to be treated normally. Let’s stop victimizing the victims in our own ways everyday.

Super Short Story – Theme “Stalking”

This super short story is inspired by the lives of all parents. I am sure each one of us can relate to it at some level. This came to my mind instantly when I chose the theme “Stalking”.

Short Story – Mother’s day with a Single Father

// This short story was an entry for Mother’s Day Contest conducted by mycity4kids.com. The theme for the contest was #EveryDayIsMothersDay and the article has received over 4 Lakh views till date.//

// This short story has been published by Readomania and is the most read publication on the website. It is also available at the below link:

http://www.readomania.com/story/mothers-day-with-a-single-father  

//This short story has been published by Women of Courage on the occasion of Mother’s Day and is available at the below link:

Mother’s Day With A Single Father!

It was one of the few Sundays when I was up early. Hubby was away on a business trip and I had plans to meet my close friend from college. We had been trying to work out this meet since the time I had moved to Hyderabad, but due to our busy work schedules and other commitments, it just kept getting postponed. I skipped breakfast because I was invited for lunch and the gastronaut in me wanted to save space in my stomach to hog. When I was ready to leave, it suddenly occurred to me that I had forgotten to buy a gift for my friend’s 5 year old daughter. I decided to buy something nice on the way and made a dart for the door.