neelwrites/emptyblackboards, emptierdreams/FFfAW/fiction/shortstory/10/04/2018


This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yinglan. Thank you Yinglan!

By Neel Anil Panicker

It was the only ‘school’ In the entire 200 sqaure mile desert stretch that is the Rann of Kutch.

In fact to call it a school would be an anchronism. For, it wasn’t like it had a well painted building or two with a jazzy frontage and was housed within a large three feet high compound complete with a multitude of classrooms, staff rooms, a canteen, besides the ubiquituous playgrounds__different ones, both for indoor and for outdoor games.

The truth was far, far removed from reality.

Our ‘school’ was a small, barely 100 sqaure feet room encased within a conical thatched roof that doubled, or trebled, as a border outpost as well as a resting house for migrant sugar farmers.

During daytime, between the hours of 12 and 4, it functioned as a school for we kids, all children of labourers employed by wealthy landowners. While our parents toiled from morning to sundown to produce the best quality refined sugar, we huddled inside the semi dark one room hutment to learn from Abdul Chacha the three Rs of education.

Our school life ended the day he died. Since then, much like the empty blackboard that stands guard outside the school, our lives too have darkened.

#NEELANILPANICKER #FFfAW #fiction #shortstory

FFfAW Challenge-Week of April 10, 2018

Hosted by Priceless Joy at 


10 thoughts on “neelwrites/emptyblackboards, emptierdreams/FFfAW/fiction/shortstory/10/04/2018

  1. We’ve all had that one teacher who made learning so worthwhile.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How sad! The teacher died and so did the school. Great story, Neel!


  3. Mike

    Everyone seems to be responding with really good stories to this week’s prompt, and you did not fail to join them. Great story

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Schools are not made by buildings, but by its teachers, and we saw this clearly in your story too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Some children have a tough time gaining some education and it is usually those that don’t have much money that suffer first. Abdul Chacha sounds like he was a teacher with passion. A pity no other teacher replaced him. I loved the detail of what the school was used for – it made the story sound real because of that detail.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, here in India, even today, a lot many children don’t have access to basic primary education.
      Thanks Irene.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it is a pity and a situation I hope improves quickly.


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