Image result for cold winter days

By Neel Anil Panicker

We all have our favourite  season of the year, don’t we?

Winter is my favourite season. I have always loved the winters.

For me the joy of winters begins much before the actual four month long winter season sets in.

 There is that slight chill in the air, especially in the early mornings, when while walking past long blades of grass over to the park, you feel the slight moistness in the air; the soil, if you care to touch leaves you with a sweet tangy wetty feeling.

 And soon enough the air above changes as the sky changes hues, quickly going from bright red to mauve, to mahagony and a hybrid orangish, magenta,  pink mix.


The air all around becomes dense and hangs like bat’s overhanging wings casting long dark shadows all around.

All through the wintry chill you feel as  if enveloped in a dank embrace as the sun, hitherto bright and sparkling, begins to play second fiddle, only occasionally peeping out through dark nimbus clouds, showering small little petals of  heat, just enough to warm the cockles of puckered hearts.

Winter is also the time when I get to cover myself in glory, adorning my already stocky frame in layers and layers of my favoured clothing materials__be it plain jet black and smoky maroon silk scarves, pure leather multi-pocketed jackets, knee high boots et al.

Winter again is when my sartorial senses come to the fore allowing me to raid the cupboard to extricate the best of woollen wear, dusting and drying them weeks ahead, even sending them to the dryers if need be, and then gloriously waltzing down the chilly snow laden streets, gently rubbing mummified fingers wrapped in gloved hands and exhaling deep pearly breaths into the rarefied air.

And how can I forget the gastronomic pleasures that await a foodie such as me during this cold season!

Leisurely mornings are best savoured lying tucked in bed under the comfort of heavy silk blankets while biting into hot samosas and pakoras dipped in green chutneys, sipping hot Darjeeling tea in crystal glasses while locking horns with crosswords and sudokus.

I mean I can go on and on as there is no end to the delights that await me come the winters for this is one season that I never whine about but instead always pine for.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #nonfiction #winter  #myfavourite season



Thursday photo prompt – Alone #writephoto

Hosted by the gracious Sue Vincent at


By Neel Anil Panicker

Prisons make for great camaraderie.

Call it brotherhood of the underdog, survival instincts, or sheer boredom,

it is not unusual for two people locked in a common cell to turn into best buddies over a period of time.

It’s two in the morning, though within the darkened walls of a prison cell, time is but a mere statistic, meaningless and of not much value.

Crouched in a corner and still holding in his hands the tiny cell phone, Ali just about had time to digest the earth shattering news that Moosa had conveyed to him seconds ago when he looked up to find his prison mate not just wide awake but staring down at him from across the cell room, a mystery smile playing on his lips.

It was a look that transported Ali back to his childhood days in his impoverished village in Gorakhpur; a look the landlord’s henchmen at the orchard farm used to give him when they suspected him of stealing mangoes.

Momentarily shaken, Ali quickly regained his composure, and looked his cell mate in the eye.

The two locked horns for what seemed an eternity. It was his cellmate who broke the stare and flashed a smile, only this time it was a wide, friendly smile, a smile that seemed to say, “don’t worry man, we’re both sailing in the same boat. All your secrets are mine too and shall remain so, forever buried in my heart’.

It was not long before the two convicts got talking. Before daybreak, Ali and his cell mate, whose name he came to know was Lakhi alias Lambu had become thick buddies.

Within the next few days and nights, the two had shared enough of their lives and confided just about enough to forge a strong bond of friendship.

Come nightfall and as the prison would plunge darkness, the two friends would huddle around the bed and converse for long hours till they fell prey to sleep.

It was while in the midst of one such nightly conversation that Ali received a call from Liza, a call that had the potential to change the course of his life.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #alonelyvigil#parttenofadangerouslove#ofprisonnights#358













Sunday Writing Prompt: Fly like a Falcon

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You have a week to participate. Please tag your posts with MLMM and Sunday Writing Prompt. And be sure to ping back and/or Link to Mr. Linky – he is so friendly and capable.


Untitled collage 2

By Neel Anil Panicker

‘I want him dead. Did you get that? I want him dead.’ Sheena slammed the phone shut and smashed it onto the cemented floor.

The brand new Samsung broke into two.

Still raging, she stormed into the kitchen, raised herself up a stool, and searched the cupboards high above her head.

After some shuffling around, she found what she was looking for and stepped down.

She turned back to the bedroom and gathered the two pieces together and proceeded to smash them into pulp. In no time all that was left were tiny fragments of metal that she scooped off in her palms and deposited flushed out in the sink.

“Are you over? ”  a male voice called from inside. As if in answer she turned off the lights, furtively extricated herself out of the shimmering black nightie that she was wearing, and then, stark naked, hurled herself onto the bed, into the waiting arms of Harsh.

An hour later, her hunger fully satiated, she raised herself up against the pillow and lit a cigarette, blowing heavily into it as Harsh gazed into her sparkling eyes with unbridled affection bordering on adulation.

Or was that plain lust?

He would never know. All that the handsome hulk knew that he would do anything and everything for this woman beside him, this sexual predator, this virago, this unsatiable beast of a woman who  loved and lusted like no other.

He had known wild love before, but not of this intensity, not of this scale of mind numbing, body searing, soul stirring madness that had been his ever since he met her rather serendipitously while going to office three months ago.

“In a week we shall be free,”. Sheena’s words broke his thoughts.

As in answer he cupped her breasts and dug his teeth into her nipples.

A spasmodic wave of pure delight rippled through her entire gym toned body.

“Come… take me now…now”, she hissed and slipped under the sheets.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #it’splaytime#01 #sundaywritingprompt#328words


Written as part of a weekly challenge

Sunday Photo Fiction May 28th 2017


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A DEVIL IS BORN      (#2 of LOVERS)  

201 05 May 28th 2017

By Neel Anil Panicker

His birth heralded a death. His mother’s. The night he was born there was no electricity in his village, a remote impoverished village tucked in the back of beyond of western Haryana, the nearest medical centre some 100 miles away.

For three perilous hours Nature was at its wildest. What first began as a massive thunderstorm interspersed with staccato bursts of lightning quickly gave way to thunderous cloudbursts. Soon the skies turned pitch dark and thereafter followed four horrendous hours of torrential rains.

That night the elements collided and colluded to wreck havoc bringing in no time the village to its heels__uprooting trees, dismantling electricity poles, clogging the drains and arteries all around its decrepit lanes and bylanes sending frightened villagers scurrying back like rats into their mud roofed tenements__ waiting, wailing and praying for the nightmare to end.

Another kind of nightmare had just begun in the village headman’s house, a modest two storied brick structure, the only one of its kind in the entire village one largely peopled by Thakurs, a powerful upper caste denomination in rural India.

Three hours after the woman of the house had gone into labour, the midwife, an old septuagenarian women of myopic sight, craned her neck out of the inner room, holding in her hands a curled up white bundle.

“It’s a boy. The mother is dead.”

As the wailing died down, a young man, a red turban tied around his head, turned his attention away the hookah, blowing a thick ring of smoke into the low roofed walls, and gingerly held the new born in his arms.

A pair of bright shining eyes framed in an angelic face stared back at him, the barely formed lips curling into a half smile.

‘We shall call him Ram, the human God.’

It wouldn’t be long before his God, Ram aka Ramandeep Singh Thakur would turn into Ravan, the evil incarnate, the Devil himself.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #SPF #fiction #lovers-part 2

Please find the link below to the first episode of this story ‘LOVERS’.


Sunday Photo Fiction – May 7th 2017

THE CALL                    (THE QUARRY- PART 3)

199 05 May 7th 2017

By Neel Anil Panicker

An hour had gone by and Richard was still holed up in his seventh floor Mumbai hotel room overlooking Marine Drive, the famed mile long strip kissing the Arabian Sea.

The call from the boss had clearly unnerved him.

He knew his boss well. Doling out empty threats over the phone was definitely not the man’s signature style.

‘Baldie’, as he was referred to in private by his minions, had a history of acting out his threats, remorselessly and quickly, the latter being his forte.

Richard got up and pulled out a bottle of Vat 69 from the liquor cabinet.

He desperately needed to calm his frayed nerves.

After a couple of large swigs down his throat, he closed his eyes and assessed the situation so far.

His boss had ordered a hit…shown him a face.

He had followed the face right from the airport to his hotel room and was a finger tip away from pulling the trigger.

The man did die but, not of his bullet. Somebody else had pulled the gun.

‘Who could that somebody be? Somebody known to him or his boss, or worse both…someone who wanted to settle a score with him or his boss … or, was it someone with no links to him or his boss but simply one who wanted the man dead at all costs?

A revenge killing, then?’

All questions but with no answers.

Richard needed someone to provide him with the answers.

Someone reliable, someone who knew the underworld like the back of his hand and most importantly, someone who had an axe to grind against his boss and hence would be more than ready to spill the beans.

His mind raced for possible names.

He needed one name, one guy who fit the bill.

All of a sudden his eyes flashed and he reached for his cell phone.

After stabbing a few keys, he dialled a number.

(neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #quarry#03

READ PART 1 & 2 here:





Image result for images of an Indian  village well

By Neel Anil Panicker

It’s the morning after Raghu’s landed in his nondescript village in India’s Punjab, post catching an all night taxi ride straight from New Delhi airport where he had alighted after taking a long haul flight from San Francisco, the city that enables him to enjoy the good life, the fruits and desserts of his hard earned labour as a much in demand software engineer.

Misty eyes scan lush green sugarcane fields once mere barren land and beyond that at the hill, still standing ramrod straight and flush with thick foliage, just as he remembered it back when as a mere thirteen-year-old we would frolic around with his friends, playing myriad games, hiding and chasing one another around enormous boulders and deep crevices.

Amar, Manjeet, Nikhil, Karthik, and Rishi…his best buddies of yore.

The first, he recalls, taller and stronger than all of them; the others much like him, of medium height and weight, but all united with the universal need to enjoy the littlest of pleasures that a life in a remote north Indian village could offer to impressionable, excitable teens in a world where mobile phone and television screens had not yet invaded.

And then his eyes spot it__the well; it stood there at the corner adjacent to the rice fields and abutting the lane that led to his house; a simple brick laid oblong well, an oasis of water that quenched the parched throats of all, a well that held water in its belly all through the year.

As his gaze stays transfixed on it, his mind travels back in time to one bright summer morning

twenty years ago when he had ‘mistakenly’ pushed his sister down its cavernous walls, her heart wrenching cries for help still tearing asunder his ears, her terror struck eyes piercing into his own as he helplessly watched her tiny helpless self get sucked into its deep waters.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #sixsentencestories  #315words


Six Sentence Stories unnamed-11-e1462409384457

  • Six sentences no more ,no less
  • Any genre
  • Use this week’s  cue  which is WELL

neelwrites/TTD-#1/fiction/six sentence stories/20/04/2017


By Neel Anil Panicker

It was 2.50 pm., Monday afternoon, in Tihar Jail, and the inmates were returning from the workshops.

The grueling five and half hour morning shift had just got over and the inmates, some 250 of them segmented into ten groups of around 25 each were now being herded back to their cells where they would remain for the next hour until the prison walls reverberated with the sound of the bugle, the signal for the commencement of the next shift, mercifully half an hour shorter.

Uniformed guards marched them down long, dark corridors that further opened into windowless dark square blocks that housed the prisoner cells; each cell comprised at least five times its official capacity of four inmates, especially now which was the peak of the year end festival season and also when winters was its prime.

In no time, the prisoners, men of varying ages in matching pale blue attire stumbled back to their barracks, their heads bent and shoulders stooped, their pale work weary eyes downcast with a pervading sense of gloom and despair much like the way tiny little black ants get swallowed into teenie weenie holes.

A visible bored betel chomping prison guard, a machine gun slung loosely strung around his arm, escorted Pramod, the last of the inmates back to his egg shaped cell at the far right corner, and then trooped back to his watch post at the other end of the long tunnel, the sound of his boot steps piercing through the eerie stillness that hung like a huge albatross on the high ceiling walls of ‘C’ Wing.

As his fellow prisoners lost themselves to sleep and dozed off, their emaciated frames wrapped around in foeotal positions, Pramod stared absentmindedly at the blank stony walls, his scarred and impatient mind having already high jumped the heavily fortified walls of what was Asias’s largest penitentiary.

©neelanilpanicker2017  #THE TIHARDIARIES-#1 #306 words

Written in response to