neelwrites/fiction/shortstory/SPF/200words/19/02/2017

192-02-february-19th-2017

© A Mixed Bag

THE DINOSAURS ARE BACK

By Neel Anil Panicker

Though well past sleep time, the questions keep flowing.

“Papa, will dinosaurs live again?”

‘No dear, the dead don’t come back,’ I say and turn off the lights.

An hour later, once Aarav finally slides into dreamland, Nina too goes to bed as she has an early morning shift, and anyways, sleep for her is an hourly indulgence thanks to the three-year-old’s metronomic wailings.

I amble to the other room and flick on the TV. A minister accused of gang raping his minor help thrusts his scruffy face and shouts, “Opposition parties want to destroy my clean image”.

The PM’s words the day he was sworn in ricochet off my benumbed brains, “I promise a corruption and crime-free governance”

“Maybe, this ape’s not heard of rape”.

Disgustedly, I flick channels.

A guy in a suit is holding something. In clipped English, he elucidates, “Guess what! Tech nostalgia is back. In this IPhone age of swishes and swooshes and swipes and taps, the 140 character Nokia 3310 is making a comeback.”

“Fauxtalgia”, I mutter and surf.

A man in a flaming orange tie harangues,“Walls…Immigration…Muslims…Terror…“

Exasperated, I slam the TV shut and slide into bed muttering, “Son, you’re right.

Dinosaurs are back”.

(c)neelanilpanicker2017 # fiction # short story #SUNDAYPHOTOFICTION # 200 words

Sunday Photo Fiction -February 19th 2017

Written for https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/02/19/sunday-photo-fiction-february-19th-2017/

SPF

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neelwrites/happynewyear/istpostof2017/01/01/2017

WHY I HATE ‘A HAPPY NEW YEAR’

By Neel Anil Panicker

I hate New Year greetings. I mean I REALLY HATE new year greetings. It has been a slow build up over the years but when I see people still going around wishing all and sundry A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR it gets my goat.

But then that’s because I can see through the elaborate façade, the eye popping charade, the sheer falsity and thereby, futility of the whole damn exercise.

And I can spot these new age peddlers of New Year greetings from beyond a mile. There they come, their arms flapping and eyes popping and teeth flashing, having zeroed in on a poor hapless soul (read victim) from afar. Like a beautifully choreographed Shiamak Davar dance sequence, they make their slow, sinuous and dare I say, sensuous move across to you, waving an arm here and a leg there, their every single nerve and muscle and sinew stretched to a taught as they waltz upto to you and sing and ring in  A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR deep down into your stupefied ears.

OMG! If there was a law against such gross ramming down of impermissible decibel levels down one’s orifices, I am pretty sure half of humanity would be behind bars.

Take me for instance. The new year has happened and it’s a good 36 hours since the fortuitous event  made its foray into the world but all through the day and night all manner of people, a few known and a zillion unknown, are still handing out New Year greetings to me in a single monotonous scream and quite a few even live streaming their New Year pleasantries. And mind you, all of this comes in a tearing hurry that makes me suspect if the world is suddenly running out of stock of such stock phrases or in the alternative, they are soon going to get as extinct as the dodo.

So, all my dear friends and relatives, near and far, as well as people who I may know or not, I heard you once and I heard you twice but trust me it takes my goat if you sing it thrice__guess what!  A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

©neelanilpanicker2017

neelwrites/fiction/examinatiions/CAT/08/12/2016

When someone let the CAT out of the bag
By Neel Anil Panicker
Examinations are a load or a breeze. That’s depending on which side of the academic scale you tilt.
For a serious student of life such as yours truly, it means a welcome release after months of burning the proverbial midnight oil, lying awake through days and nights coding, uncoding, and then decoding a near endless array of bewildering permutations and combinations, hoping to get bat through as many of the trickier than tricky bouncers (read questions!) that the head honchos that govern the test aim to throw at you at speeds that would put to shame the fastest of bowlers of world cricket.
And so it was the other day when I found myself inching into a rather expansive second floor examination hall located quite ironically in a mid-sized mall in a godforsaken back of beyond location some 50 kilometres away from sweet home.
The jostling continued but this time the shoulders gave way for cubicles as I found myself staring at a computer screen that steadfastly refused to wink back at me.
Humour was not its forte, I guessed.
I craned my neck left and right and saw only eyes, all eager and expectant. The future of the country, smilingly ready to put their collective heads on the chopping block.
And then the screen sprang to life, whispering start.
The race had begun and the Usain Bolts of the world began to run.
Thereafter, it was non-stop bombardment as question after question popped out of the funny looking screen made even smaller by the enclosed lines within which played out the jumbled, contorted and even twisted world of sweat inducing near unsolvable questions.
Finally, after a tortuous (and might I add torturous) three hour ordeal that I would wish the best of my enemies), the ordeal ended as I bid goodbye to the last of the questions.
The reverse troop down started and I joined the teeming mass of IIM aspirants on the outside, their facial expressions and bodily contractions and contortions conveying the entire gamut of human emotions ranging from the downright crestfallen to the supremely elated.
I looked around just in time to find my friend Harish, ambling towards me, his face squeezed in like a three-day-old mashed potato.
“Guess what, the paper has been leaked”
The words hit me like a ten tonne brick.
I blinked and stared into his face__ a sorry mash of fallen hopes. The mock test all India topper was understandably crestfallen.
A whirlpool of myriad images began to badger my mind.
Sheer darkness enveloped all over me.
The collateral damage to my CAT preparations over the past eight months had been immense.
A quick mental calculation brought out the losses:
Total man hours spent studying: 1800 (averaged over the past one year)
Girl friends left: Fifteen (Eight at the preparatory stages, two at base camp, seven at second stage, and three at the summit__well, almost)
Parties missed: twelve (including five outstation trips, with one to that land of utopia, Goa)
A flurry of noises brought me back to terra firma.
“Aree, bach gaye yaar”, shouted out a bunch of students.
They seem to have just managed to survive . Tomorrow is just another day.
I let out a smile.
Hopefully, next time around, they will be better prepared.
And, hopefully, there will be no more leaks.
As for me, I am going for a leak, right now.

(A first person account of an IIM aspirant)
(c)neelanilpanicker2016#fiction

neelwrites/thoughts/trump/09/11/2016

9/11- not 9, this rat oops cat has 11 lives

By Neel Anil Panicker

The world is no longer Hillar(y)ious

Trump has climbed out of the dump

The female with the false email

was sent scurrying back with her tail.

Wow! the crotch grabber has won

shown who is the international don

without a bullet fired from any gun

his detractors have been truly done

Nothing in life is ever black ‘n’ white

God, please show US some light.

©neelanilpanicker2016

neelwritesblog/it’sindiamydear/21/10/2016

IT’S INDIA, MY DEAR-#01

By Neel Anil Panicker
Know how much is an Olympic medal and a gifted  BMW car worth?
An astounding 78 crores!
Yes, that’s how much the Tripura government has sanctioned for a stretch of road around where Dipa Karmakar resides.
Hope we win loads of medals in the next Olympics and pray quite a few of  the winners belong to UP and Bihar!!!

neelwrites.middle.english/09/10/2016

What is the most hated word in the English language?
Well, for me the answer to that would be ‘a shifting goal post’, if one were to steal a word from the world of football.

Back when I was a kid, way upto to my late teens, it was undoubtedly examinations.
Exams for short. For an academically challenged 12 year old if there was any one word that brought out the greatest fear, a fear so severe as to send seismic bouts of sheer panic down my spine, then that word hands down had to be exams.
I remember waking up in unearthly hours, palpitating and perspiring like a fish from all its gills, lying shrivelled in a corner of the bed, surrounded by a shroud of darkness, the beats of my heart racing faster than Carl Lewis’ legs.
My mind would turn a maelstrom of maddening emotions___just about unable to fathom what I would do come the morn when I needed to sit for that all important physics paper.
And speaking of Physics__so Greek and torturous did I find this subject that for long many years, well past my topsy turvy school days, I suffered hallucinations and several years past by till I was completely free from the nightly bouts of delusions that was very much the norm for quite many years reaching upto adulthood.
In fact such was the dread that today, despite the passage of a decade and half, all I can remember of my Physics teacher is his bald head sans a single strand of hair; his perfect oval pate neatly bisected into two__ a thin linear line separating the ends. And we also had an apt moniker for him: theta.
I quick look over at the dictionary will tell you what it means__ the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet. And its symbol, a neat θ!
Thankfully, as I shed my pre-teens and entered the world of hormonal overdrives I was able shed off my dread of exams.
But then I found a brand new word to hate: rejection.
Ah! but, then that’s another story.
COPYRIGHT@Neel Anil Panicker
#MIDDLE

neelwritesblog.com/middle/delhiroad/27/09/2016

DELHI- A MULTI-LINGUAL ROAD TRIP
By Neel Anil Panicker
Traffic makes us mad, doesn’t it? And, if it is about traffic as dangerous and monstrous as we, the denizens of Delhi, experience on a daily basis, then we might as well sign up for hell!
But then what recourse do we have other than to hit the road every single day__ come rain or shine, or come the sleep-deprived double shift working BPO driver behind the wheels of an SUV that hurtles down serpentine roads at speeds that would put even the legendary Usain Bolt to shame?
Or, for that matter, battling for every square inch of tyre space with your typical Dilliwallah who believes from the bottom of his heart that the road and all its vicinities (and that includes the pavements as well as the neighborhood septuagenarian who walks on it alongside his cutesy little dog) are his baap ka maal__ to be marauded and trampled over as and when he so pleases, something the frequency of which has, of late, been increasing in geometric progressions.

And so it was the other day when I happened to take the wheel and found myself stuck in a gigantic traffic jam in the middle of nowhere.
An avalanche of diverse senses began to assault me no end. Soon the slow simmer turned into a boil until it smashed through through the heat barrier. And then it was a free for all.

I found myself quite unwillingly entertained from all sides, a full 360 degrees at that. Left with no other option, I blissfully held out as my ears were treated to a colourful barrage of the choicest of choice abuses, an apt testimony to the rich and varied cultural, multilingual diversity of this great country.

Seated there, trapped and forced to sit through the free non-stop entertainment that was on pristine display, I experienced a flash of memory. I remembered that only the other day a first time Member of Parliament had very vociferously lent his vocal chords and signature to a campaign that called for the inclusion of Bhojpuri as part of the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, which currently shows a whopping 22 languages.
I wondered, ‘why limit ourselves only to Bhojpuri.’

Going by the rich and enviable linguistic talents of Indians as can be witnessed by the various and varied tongues on proud display on our roads we must immediately launch a nationwide campaign for the inclusion of all patois languages so that all of these local dialects share and rub shoulders with the established ones, and with great pride.

Imagine how lively our lives would then be. All our roads, offices and public squares will resonate with the cacophony of a multitude of high pitched sounds as the air around us will reverberate with a million cackles and clucks, and bawls and bellows, and oohs and aahs__all emanating from a deep conviction that can only come with the surefire belief that whatever syllables escape our lips now enjoy legal lingua franca currency.

More lung power to that!
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