By Nee Anil Panicker

The clouds were white milky sheets. Set against the backdrop of azure blue skies with the slightest tingle of violet, the view from the top was magical to say the least.

Naina had never come this high.

But Akram was insistent.

“Believe me baby, it’s going to be cool. Plus, it’ll forever free you from your fear of heights”.

He was like that__words like baby, cool, wow, yippie…flowed easily from his thick nicotine stained lips that always curved up in a half mocking smile.

His thick mop of curly hair loosened its strands and like a dog straining against its leash, desperately tried to break free__tossing and twirling, daring the icy winds that blew over them.

Sitting on the edge of a rocky outgrowth two feet away, Naina looked down from the hill top.

All she could  see was a 500-metre bottomless pit of sheer green.

Her head turned dizzy as a whirlpool of disjointed thoughts began to swirl around in her head.

Had she really come this high? Could she have been such a fool to have acquiesced to this half boiled idea of this crackpot of a boyfriend of hers and tagged along on a Monday such as this when ideally she should have been in school

teaching tiny tots Jack and Jill and other arresting nursery rhymes. True, he was good. Good in bed, that is. I mean at her age, pushing the thirties, to get the undivided attention of a horny teenager ever willing to improvise was definitely a big boon, akin to someone bagging a lottery, she surmised. But then now this__ to come this far, to agree to climb a hill and stare down a rocky  fall? No, no ways was this cool. No baby, no way was she staying one moment longer.

Having made up her mind, Naina signalled to Akram.

“Come, let’s go. I feel dizzy…”

The words hung in the air as her feet slipped behind a loose pebble and off she went floating like a bird deep down the valley.   

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Thursday photo prompt: Summit #writephoto

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By Neel Anil Panicker

“STOP. Strictly no touching.  Hands off the table”.

Edrin lifted his shaggy dog eared eyes and looked  to his left, at the prison guard.

‘Damn’t, can’t he turn blind, at least for a moment’, he muttered, as he locked eyes with Diana.

The two were at the Cochin Central Jail, at its Visitors’ Gallery, to be precise.

‘Darling, I hate to see you here. Guess what, the world outside has turned sour and odourless without you’.

Edrin scratched the back of his neck, and then poked at his nose furiously, all gestures she correctly assessed as indicative of his extreme irritability.

His shoulders hunched forward like a massive oncoming wave, riding up and down his collar bone__a massive JCB  machine gone off the rails.

“Listen, next week. I want me out, okey?”

Despite the guard’s proximity, he’d managed to keep his voice, a mere whisper, audible enough for her to hear his mangled words.

Leaning forward, Diana asked, “Tell me what needs to be done and it’ll be done”.

Her eyes were split wide open, the eyebrows arched upwards to their maximum, the pupils of her eyes two little limpid pools.


Edrin raised his head and looked around with practised nonchalance.

Barring  two other white robed inmates and their respective visitors besides a couple of guards, the oblong shaped hall was empty, it being closer to end of visiting hours.

His eyes fell on the calendar the hung on the wall opposite him.

“July 21. Three days from now. 1600 hours. Northern periphery flanking Gate No. 6.”

As Diana pursed her lips open to say something, he ended, “Remember to drive down in a jeep. Sit tight, knees to the ground, and await my signal”.

“That’s enough. Time’s up. Go back to your cells”, barked the guard as the two locked eyes, secretive smiles playing on their lips, before turning their backs and heading away in opposite directions.

 #neelanilpancker #prisonbreak #threethingschallenge #318words


Three Things Challenge, 17 July 2018

Today’s things are: calendar, knee, jeep  


YOU’RE MY WISH COME TRUE  (Two minute read)


By Neel Anil Panicker

“It is a metaphorical tree”.

Katherine looked at her Indian beau in quizzical fashion.

‘What’s that supposed to mean__a metaphorical tree?’

In reply, Raj lifted his arms and drew a huge circular arc into the silvery cloud of skies.

“Look around you. What do you see? A land full of lush greenery, sprawling paddy fields, sheaths of pearly white water flowing from the mountains, people living peaceful, happy lives in beautiful, little hutments, their faces, all calm and full of contentment. Did you see…”

‘Hey, that’s cool. But what’s that to do with this tree’?

Katherine’s impatience seemed to be getting the better of her.

Raj looked at her and pointed towards the huge banyan tree a few meters from where the two stood in the middle of an open field that abutted the village in the northern fringes of hilly Assam.

“This is no ordinary banyan tree. This is the Kalpataru…the wish fulfilling tree.”

This time Katherine was intrigued enough to ask what that meant.

“It’s an Indian myth. What you see is the ‘Tree of Life’. For the villagers this tree is a metaphor for the celebration of hope, prosperity, and ecology. And that…”

‘And that explains all those long colourful threads that are tied around its various branches. They are all wishes of the faithful, hopes and dreams that they pray would come true, right?’

Raj nodded his head in affirmation as the two looked at the huge twenty feet high ‘Kalpataru’, its unnaturally large and thick branches and the array of panoramic tightly knotted cloths and threads softly swaying in the cool September breeze that was blowing in from the snow capped mountains that formed a protective umbrella all around the place known to both botanists and ordinary folk alike as ‘Heaven’s Garden’.

“Do you have a wish? If so, go ahead and tie yourself a thread.”

‘I don’t need to. That which I wished for has been fulfilled. It’s you’, said Katherine looking into Raj’s eyes.

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Thursday photo prompt: Wishes #writephoto

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By Neel Anil Panicker

One moment it was a picture post card scene of sheer happiness; the very next it had turned into madness, with everybody running around helter skelter.

Who invited whom? That was the question on everyones’ lips, every single one of the men and women who had converged on the beachfront, hoping to partake of the salubrious climate, wishing to enjoy the sheer sight of the frothy waves as it lashed against the jagged rocky edges, leaving behind a sea of sand, shells and the excited squeals of children running and playing about with unrestrained joy.

“Hey, did you hear that? It sounded like a bullet shot.”

Deepak’s eyes traced the trajectory of Kiran’s fingers that were pointing towards a stage fifty yards from where they stood.

Jostling, howling, jabbering, screaming, shouting, yelling : that much he could see and make out as he watched with intent eyes the makeshift wooden stage on the northern periphery of the mile long beach.

A group of men, all clad in pure white dhotis and silk shirts, their heads outfitted with ubiquitous Gandhi caps were yelling and screaming, jostling and jabbering, a few even engaging in fist fights with one another.

His eyes narrowed down on a face.

A swarthy face, the top three or four shirt buttons ripped off to expose a thick flock of silvery haired chest, the seven inch long thick gold chain hanging loose around the ‘thick as a bull’s’ neck and glistening in the sand blasted mid-afternoon Sunday sun that was scorching the coastal city of Cochin.

“It’s a party, our Mayor’s. He’s come here; uninvited, of course. He’s just won again. Is celebrating. Looks like trouble. Let’s move. Where’s Priya  and Raghu?”

As Kiran gathered her brood and the family wound their back to their car, a couple of bombs exploded, cracking open the skies.

“Wonder what would happen were he to win the Assembly elections”, hollered Deepak as he hurriedly ferried his wife and kids to safety.


Creative Writing Prompt | Sentence Starter Prompt | Creative Writing | Writing Prompt | Flash Fiction |





By Neel Anil Panicker

It was their go to place. The hangout place where the two would meet every single day, every single moment the two were able to steal for themselves.

There, a few hundred meters away from the hustle and bustle of the main beach area, the one which’s choc-a-bloc with eveningers, regular Kochi denizens __couples out on a stroll with kiddies in tow, college youngsters lapping up the sea waves, daring one another for a swim, diving into froth filled waters of the sand blasted sea___, they would retreat to their own private corner, a decrepit wooden boat long past its halcyon fishing days.

There, the two dark shadows, would then clamber aboard its half broken planks, and make love for hours under the starry skies.

Two people, madly in love, reaching out in the moonlit dark, connecting bodies and souls, snatching precious moments, living life to the full.

“We’re married, you know that?”, he had said when they had first felt the stirrings of something deeper than mere feelings, a couple of months ago.

In reply Aparna had texted him__a daring message, “Yes, and to different persons. But then, is that a bother?”

Reading the emoji driven text four cubicles away, he had understood the rhetorical nature of the message and reciprocated with a red flaming heart.

“Raj, I will not give you up, ever”, she was saying, her index finger pencilling a ‘V’ around his curly haired chest.

A silvery beam of light fell on her face, accentuating the high cheek boned face.

She was smiling, he noticed. The same edgy smile she hurled when she wanted to say something big, drop a bombshell.

His heart on a beat, he waited for its deliverance.

“Darling, it’s time we kill our respective spouses”.

Momentarily taken aback, he looked into her hazel eyes, sparkling like bottled red wine.

There was no turning away now, that much he knew.

#NEELANILPANICKER #writephoto #flash #shortstory


Thursday photo prompt: Wave #writephoto


Mythology of Change
By Neel Anil Panicker
“I hate all that is happening in this office, half screamed Akshay.”

Rahul lifted his eyes from the smartphone and looked across the room at his colleague.
The two were at the Faculty Room and had just wrapped their first two hour session of the day. Another six more were to follow, almost on the trot.

“My dear friend, I know you’re upset and some of it is understandable”.

Rahul was alluding to some major  upheavals in all departments especially in the Faculty Department including  workload  and more  stringent quality changes
that had taken place ever since the ownership of ‘Coaching Time’ changed hands.
The new owners, two under 30 brash upstarts hell bent on splurging on their ancestral wealth but unwilling to extend that largesse to the staff, the mainstay of any organisation, especially so in  the intellect driven Education Industry, were hell bent on squeezing every penny’s worth out of the employees. In fact several of the very old hands, some including Akshay had completed almost two decades in the organisation.

Rahul, who had joined barely a year ago understood his friend’s plight and felt sorry for him.

“But look  at it from this way,” he proffered.

“The mythology of change is security. I think what is upsetting you is the insecurity that comes with all these changes. And that is why you, as do others who feel the same, are so resistant. ”

“So true, Rahul. I mean they have upset the apple cart; completely changed what we are used to. In fact so drastic are these changes that all I see around me is nothing but pomp and show. There is this absolutely avoidable ostentatious display of wealth on non-core areas. I tell you all that glitter is not gold.”

“If that be the case, then my friend you should go forth and embrace the glitter. So what if it is purple glitter, burgundy glitter, mauve glitter,  burgundy or glitter of any other colour.”
#neelanilpanicker #fiction #flash #shortstory #329words




By Neel Anil Panicker


The azure clouds, the ever changing carpet of kaleidoscopic hues, the endless span of blue heavens: all this and more is my abode.

Here the days and nights are one. I decide the time. I and I alone decide what to do, when or not to sleep, awake, fly, or simply enter into a trance.

I belong here; this splendorous endless spread of blue skies is from where I watch over; my eagle eyes scanning and skimming, scouring and devouring with hungry, precision-driven eyes the antics of all below me.

See that rustic red cliff over there. That’s my office. That’s from where I work every day; that’s the high point from where I watch the undulating landscape several hundred thousand feet below. My senses and eyes are in perfect sync: tuned as it were to the slightest of changes that occur.


A shift in the sandy dunes, an unheralded gust of wind, a sudden shimmer in the wind rippled lake bothers me, ignites my innate bestial instincts, incites me enough to fluff and flap my majestic wings. It is what goads me to fling my sharp talons and take off, soaring even further higher than where I am.

I am readying myself; warming up to do what I am ordained to do, what I was born for, which is to lessen the burden of all that lies below me.

Make no mistake: I am just a bird, may be a big one, but still a bird fulfilling my obligations to the Creator.

From a thousand feet above I touch down, swooping and sweeping my ‘labour’ off his or her feet, effortlessly, painlessly, clinically.

A few struggle but all give in, eventually, in acquiescence to their fate that folds up within the folds of my short, stubby beaks, my bright as sunlight eyes glistening as if they were black onyx beads.

And then I take off.

Tomorrow is just another day.

Another unburdening of earthly sorrows.

#neelanilpanicker #fiction #ThursdayPhotoPrompt #flash #flashfiction #life #bird

Thursday photo prompt: Remains #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt: Remains #writephoto