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



By Neel Anil Panicker (299 words)

If ever a survey were to be conducted to find out the most friendly couple among the residents of Silver Oaks, the tony neighborhood that abutted the southern banks of the river Ganges that served as the informal line of demarcation between those who had made it in life and those who hadn’t in South Kolkata, then the Banerjees would have won it hands down.

The two were charm personified, Kaustabh and his beautiful wife, Ira.

Individually, each stepped out armed with an omnipresent smile and a liberal serving of kind words, ever doling out ounces of benevolence and lending grace wherever they went and whomsoever they chanced upon.

All partook of their goodness, right from the Johns, their next door neighbours, to the rather boisterous Oscar family that stayed two lanes further, to Martha, the hawk eyed one armed septuagenarian widow who kept house, ensuring that the guests who flocked to their much anticipated weekly parties were well looked after.

The ambience around the Banerjees was always one of warmth and happiness and laughter.

All this despite the fact that the two, who had been married for close to a decade and half were not on talking terms with each other.

For when the merriment would end and parties wrap up, and the last of the guests would have left the sprawling bungalow, they would hurriedly repair to their own separate rooms and stay closeted there as darkness descended all over.

Come mornings, once Martha had served them their breakfasts, they would leave, almost simultaneously but on individual cars, Kaustabh for Art Carat, the diamond cutting firm that he headed and Ira for the downtown Animal Rights Inc. of which was the chairperson and single largest individual patron.

Statuesque to all, statues to themselves, that’s what the two were.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #thursdayphotoprompt #fiction
Thursday photo prompt – Enigma #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt – Enigma #writephoto



By Neel Anil Panicker

Anita loved her early morning walks. It helped that her house was the last abutting the forested area that stretched out over more than a few acres and beyond leading up to the river. She would wake up at the crack of dawn, much before her parents or even her immediate neighbours, the Sharmas’, whose daughter Pia and she were best pals at high school.

Sunday morning was no different and by the time she had unlocked the front gates and stepped off into the wilderness, the first signs of dawn were threatening to pierce through the leafy spread in the sky. A slight nip in the air, though, forced her to hurriedly tuck her hands inside her jacket pockets.

She walked through the rocky landscape, occasionally taking long strides, at times even making a quick dash uphill and then resting herself atop a hard rock.

She looked up at the changing hues of the distant horizon as small little birds perched on tree tops chirped in delight on the birth of a new day.

It was then that she saw it, just a feet from where she was, to her left, neatly etched out in the dusty earth__multiple tyre marks.

She bent down to have a closer look. They were, no doubt, of a large vehicle, may be a Jeep or even a mini truck, the latter she knew of, as she had seen the same markings when the Sharmas’ were visited by their ‘relatives from town’, a boisterous group of a dozen or so city bred people including three utterly obnoxious kids, all of whom would step out of their mini truck that screeched to a halt bang outside their peripheral gates, the tyre marks a half inch deep oblong shape.

She felt the soil, it was damp. The marks were fresh, of not more than a couple of hours earlier.

Who would drive up this high and that too in the near dark? And for what purpose?

As her mind grappled for answers, her eyes fell to her right. Something was there among the bushes, half hidden from view, a shoe, perhaps.

She stepped in closer and parted the leaves and it was then that she saw it: first, a human leg and then the entire body; a male, a young man’s, with his head smashed and blood splattered all around a face that looked straight out of hell.

She ran, yelling and screaming, until she reached home.

©neelanilpanciker2017 #fiction #shortstory #ThursdayPhotoPrompt #415 words

Thursday photo prompt – Empty #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt – Empty #writephoto




A BLOODY GAME   (250 words)


By Neel Anil Panicker

In his thirty years of policing, Inspector Vaidyanth Kamble had never witnessed anything as horrendous as this.

A mere foot from where he stood lay the corpse, or rather, whatever remained of it.

Careful so as not to disturb any footprints that may have been left behind, the Station House Officer of Kolhapur gingerly made his way around the stony square pit that lay surrounded by thick rocky undergrowth.

There, a few inches closer and, as his eyes grew accustomed to the eerie darkness that had enveloped this desolate forested strip, he saw the first clear and visible signs of the macabre blood bath that had been played out.

He saw blood, large swabs of it, that lay splattered along pit walls; he smelled freshly burnt human skin and hair; an acrid smell so awful that it reminded him of beef being fried over a pan.

Moving around the perimeters, his trained eyes took in the naked ash smeared headless body of a young man, who looked not a day over thirty, that lay spread-eagled, the legs and hands entwined several times over by a thick rope.

On closer inspection, he observed that the killer (or killers) had smashed the victim’s face to pulp, its bony exteriors crushed to a massive hollow, the shell-shocked eyes popping out of its sockets.

Kamble got up, took a few steps back, and puked into the bushes.

On very rare occasions did he ever regret joining the police force.

Today was one such day.

©neelanilpanicker2017 # fiction #shortstory #250 words

Thursday photo prompt – Spring #writephoto


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Write Photo Prompt Challenge hosted at

Thursday photo prompt – Spring #writephoto