# 3
It is my contention that girls make for better students than boys, not necessarily because they are more intelligent (though that could be true, after all !) but because they are more receptive to new ideas unlike boys who at times cling on to old ones.



By Neel Anil Panicker

He watched her walk out of the room. He followed behind. She turned around at the hallway. He hid behind a pillar. High stiletto heels began to recede into the distance. His ears caught the faint creak. She was exiting, taking the stairway. It was now or never, he knew that.

There were ten steps in all. He had been a good student. He could time her movements down to one hundredth of a second; down to the very last swish and sway of her hips as she lifted her legs into the car. It would take no more than 45 seconds. Metronomic precision, he prided himself.

She reached the last landing. He looked over her shoulders. The car doors were open. The ignition keys on. He inched closer.

From this close, his eyes caught her tattoo. ‘It seems vivid, and big too, especially the cat’s whisker’s,’ he thought. Also the eyes, they are blue, unlike brown, or so, he remembered.

A soft breeze blew past. A whiff of Opium by YSL drifted into his nostrils. For a split second he closed his eyes; his senses became slave to lily of the valley, rose, myrrh and cedarwood.

He travelled back to Ahmednagar, its streets, his childhood and Meenu.

A ray of light pierced his eyes. His eyes squinted. His hands left his pockets.

She turned around. He looked her in the eye, and plunged the knife.

The car doors shut. The BMW convertible zoomed out of vision.

He was beyond bothering. His iron pumped frame lay on the mosaic floor. A tiny droplet of blood oozed out from near the temple. His hands hung on to the long handle of the Swiss Army Knife, his favourite weapon of destruction.

The hunter had become the hunted.



# 1

By Neel Anil Panicker
Thoughts entangled in the web of time
Mirror fractious images from my fractured mind.

Entrapped memories flutter around
Unshackling the burden of living.

Tonight I shall dive into the cesspool of the dead
Hoping to retrieve the dying embers of my soddened past.

The unknown future beckons as only it can
Do I have your permission to bury you alive?


By Neel Anil Panicker
Would you mind,
If I tell you I am not a Hindu,
or a Muslim, or a Christian,
or a Sikh, or that I have no religion;
Would you call me intolerant, still?

Would you terribly mind
if I say I am only a human,
Or just trying hard to be one?

Would you mind
If I pray for peace,
or instead, would you
cut me to pieces?

Would you mind
if I ask you to stop drawing lines
that I tell you it is not all that fine?.

Would you still kill me,
With your words, with your looks,
or even with your books,
If I ask you to stop
the killing of your fellowman?
to stop the mindless
filling of hatred for another man?

Have a heart
Stop throwing darts
Stop pitting man against man
For it is not the Creator’s plan

Will you stop all this killing
in the name of God;
For by any other name
a killing is a killing is a killing
Even if it is in the name of God
the one you swear by.

Oh, ISIS and its Satanic offshoots
and all other Devils of hate
Wake up before it is too late
Or else will come the Great Flood
that will overflow with others’ blood.


By Neel Anil Panicker

It goes without saying that we live in an increasingly fast paced dog eat dog world; a world where crass and gross commercialism rules roost; a world where all it takes is one minute for one crazed man with a machine gun to wreck havoc on innocent humanity.

As the deadly ISIS and its acolytes that have spread their tentacles all over the world have so frighteningly demonstrated, a lot can happen over a minute__ sixty seconds to be precise.

Never before in the annals of time have a minute assumed such importance that the heavily disjointed era in which we live in nowadays.

The other day I was flipping through the pages of a small little book on management fundas.

Seductively titled The One Minute Manager, the book claimed to have excellent everyday practical tips to help smoothen a manager’s work life.

‘The individual chapters of this book are filled will pearls of managerial wisdom that will make every single minute of a manager’s work life count’, boasted the attractive heart shaped blurb that rested on the no-frills jacket cover.

That set me thinking. My grey cells duly activated, I thought hard and decided to find out what are the things that I would do were I to have that all important one minute to myself.

First the mornings.

My mornings, as I believe is the case with others as well, are very hectic. Hectic for me would be getting up at around six and after the performing my ablutions, settling down with the morning newspaper along with enjoying a cup of black tea handed over by dear better half.

Now, this time is golden for me as I love nothing better than bringing the full face of the newspaper to my nostrils to soak in its aroma. Trust me there is no greater aromatic experience than the redolence of a fresh newspaper straight off the press and delivered to your doorstep. It is an experience that beats all other experiences hands down.

But then again, not for me are the partakes of such innocent pleasures.

Alas! here is where I feel slightly hamstrung by the ever demanding constraints of Father Time which hangs over the morning ‘calm before the storm’ stillness like the proverbial Sword of Damocles.

I would like to here snatch one minute, just seconds, to fully immerse myself in the sweet smell that fills in through my nostrils, something that sends my innards including brain and heart and all that lies within into a tizzy.

But then the great God has other plans and has not deemed it fit to shower such a luxury to the father of a teenage child such as I am.

And so I forego this ethereal morning delight and get absorbed in the humdrum of existence, prodding along from one mundane task to the other searching in vain for the ever elusive One Minute.

And so the wait continues for that omnipotent one minute to come by.

Until then I have no option but to live by the minute.