neelwrites/flash/fiction/shortstory/07/04/2020

#DAY14 LOCKDOWN INDIA STORIES
#FACTMEETSFICTION

black suv in between purple flower fields

FREEDOM IN CHAINS
By Neel Anil Panicker

“You see that jeep parked outside the lane,” said Mrs Subbulakshmi i peeping out of her fourth floor  balcony.

“Yeah, I see it. What about it? It’s Dr Kapoor’s, the ex-army chap who lives two buildings away”, replied her better half Hariharan  as he retreated back to the drawing room.

A minute later Subbulakshmi joined her husband in the sofa, and watched his attack the daily newspaper  crossword.

“Is peripletetic even a word,?” he asked absentmindedly to no one in particular.

“It may be, it may be not. How do I care? You and your stupid words! All you do whole day is sit and scratch letters on the newspaper,” lashed out Subbulakshmi.

It took awhile for Hariharan to react, busy as he were racking his brains over amother esoteric word, this time all of eleven letters.

“Oh! you said something, right,?” he responded, before adding “pray. what else do you expect a retired man to do, and that too when the entire world and its backyard is under a strict lockdown?”

The words, heavily to tinged with pragmatism, however, failed to cut ice with Subbulakshmi.

“I don’t know, I don’t care”, she responded much like a fast bowler on a comeback trail after having being mercilessly whacked the last few overs, ” all I know is that I am done listening to all the lame  excuses you have been putting up ever for the past thirty years. This time I tell you bluntly: either you buy us a vehicle. and we hot the highway travelling all over the country, or it’s my way.”

The septuagenarian Hariharan merely nodded his head meekly and went back to making love with his dear words.

Mrs Subbulakshmi watched his impassive face for a while, muttered something under her breath, and went away in a huff.

As her footsteps retreated, the retired professor of quantum physics let out a sigh even as he silenrly prayed for the further continuation of the lockdown.

#neelanilpanicker #COVID19 #virus
#realisticfiction #photochallenge

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