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208 08 August 13th 2017

By Neel Anil Panicker

“How would you like to die? Be deep fried in hot molten oil or mutton chopped into small little pieces to serve the gastronomic tastes of gourmands?”


Ali couldn’t believe his ears. It was his fourth week in Tihar Jail and he was on the phone with Liza and she was talking about death, his death.

“Yes, jaan. Get ready to die. Abbu is after your life.”

The name of the dreaded mafia don Abu Fazal sent a chill down his spine.


Jaan, our little secret is out. Abbu knows all about us. He’s making plans to kill you.”

Ali felt a lump form in his throat. His Adam’s apple bobbed up and down. Suddenly, the heat in his six by eight feet cell turned unbearable.

‘But how? How’s is it possible. How did you get to know?’

“I don’t know dear. Somebody’s ratted on us. I got to know about it last night. Like most other nights these past few weeks, ever since you’ve been in Tihar, sleep has become my enemy.

I was hungry and headed to the kitchen. Was passing by Abbu’s den when I heard voices from inside. It was Abbu. He was speaking to someone over the phone. I held my breath and cocked my ears to the door. It was then that I heard him say, “The bastard. I’ll teach that traitor a lesson he’ll never forget, even when interred in his grave. How dare he even look at my daughter. Kill him, Salim. I order you to make kheema of that bastard.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. My very own father ordering the murder of his only daughter’s lover?

My heart pounding and my head swirling like a typhoon, I somehow pulled myself away and tiptoed back to my room. Ali my dear, my love, my jaan, they are after you. He’s going to kill you, to kill me also if need be. I know him. He means what he says. I’m scared. I fear for you, for your safety. I can’t bear to think of a life without you…please my love, we need to do something…you need to do something…please…”

Ali heard footsteps approaching his barrack.

“Someone’s coming. Will call you later. Will do something…I promise…have faith, my love”.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #partelevenofadangerouslove#thedisclosure#379



Sunday Photo Fiction – August 6th 2017

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12 J Hardy Carroll 06 August 2017

By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Singh looked across the street to the red bricked boxed row of apartments; small pint sized ‘hole in the wall’ residential flats.

It was a lower middle class suburb at the northern end of the urban sprawl that is Kolkata__a largely peaceful Muslim majority area barring the occasional street skirmishes come the month of Ramzan.

He turned his gaze to the street below. Parked were bikes and cars, mostly hatchbacks, the odd SUVs too; clothes hung out of balconies; mothers were admonishing their young ones, pleading, cajoling, a few even warning them  to head back home, signalling end of playtime__a regular evening not unlike one that plays out in any Indian suburb.

“How on earth could this place turn into a terrorist hub,”? pondered Inspector Singh as he relayed in his mind the message that had flashed in the Special Crime Branch internal website.

Marked ‘Private & For Your Eyes Only’, the colour coded message read,

Three dreaded terrorists, suspected to be of Pakistani origin and fully armed, are believed to be holed up in Arya Nagar. Warning: A deadly Mumbai style attack expected.”

A mere fifty metres ahead, the sound of machine guns blasted Inspector Singh’s ears.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #SPF #fiction #inspectorysharmaseries#astreetinflames#199words


Sunday Photo Fiction – July 30th 2017

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207 07 July 30th 2017


By Neel Anil Panicker



Barring a single square mattress neatly laid out in the centre of the third floor mid-sized corner room there is just about no evidence to suggest that this room is the most important of all the 14 rooms including one large conference hall that together comprise what the outside world knows as Sumer Manzil.

Unmindful of the slow crawl of his henchmen and the occasional booming of distant motor engines or even the blare of the loudspeakers that resonate the soft yet soul stirring entreaties of the maulvi from the nearby Jama Masjid invoking the faithful to say their morning prayers, the man of the house is on his knees, his head bowed, his hands raised high into the darkened conical ceilings, his usually sprightly mind lost in deep contemplation, paying obeisance to the Almighty.

After what seems like an eternity, the man, clad in a natural black flowing sherwani, opens his eyes, raises himself to his full six foot tall glory and walks up to a lone stand.

There his piercing kohl lined eyes, eyes that a highly decorated police officer once described in his autobiography as that “of a crazed wild buffalo__spotted black and with tiny white balls wedged into its insides__”,  gazed at the mummified head, its face, a tangled squishy mass, exquisitely embalmed and glistening with the after effects of fresh, hottened oil, deep holes staring out of the eye sockets.

After a few minutes, he whispered into the empty shell, “The world knows I take good care of my enemies.”

And then he quickly strode out of the room and stepped into his world, the grisly world of Afzal Bhai aka Fred, the fearsome mafia don of Old Delhi.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #dangerouslove #partthreeofdangerouslove #fiction#294words

For dear readers and writer colleagues interested in reading the earlier two parts of this ongoing novella , please click on the links below:





Sunday Photo Fiction – July 23rd 2017

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206 07 July 23rd 2017

© A Mixed Bag 2009

By Neel Anil Panicker

“Just keep looking into my eyes.”

‘How does that help. We’re high in the sky, in this bloody thing. And I’m damn nervous.’

“Trust me. I tell you. Nothing’s going to happen.”

‘Why? Why should I trust you? Why should I believe what you say? And by the way, who are you to tell me this? I don’t think we have met before, have we?’

“No, mademoiselle, I assure you we haven’t met before. But I admit to having watched you. In here, this very place, moments before you entered this pod. You were by the booking window. And I was there, right behind you.”

‘Oh, is that so?’

“Yes, your hands…err, they’re shaking. And then they announced the next ride. I saw you trundle towards the entry gates. You’re still shaking, more than hesitant. I thought you would drop out, turn back. By then they had sounded the final call. Perforce, you stepped in. That’s when I knew you needed help…someone to guide you, someone who you could believe in, someone who would allay your fears, someone in whom you could trust, someone in whose eyes you would find strength and solace, someone who would remove your fear of heights forever.”

‘And you believe you’re that someone?’

“I don’t believe. I’m. Your eyes say so.”

©neelanilpanciker2017 #SPF #fiction #loveintheair



Sunday Photo Fiction – July 16th 2017

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11 07 July 16 2017 Mike Vore Oh My Photos

© Mike Vore

By Neel Anil Panicker

The man on television was in a bad mood.

Inflation, depression, deprivation, lay offs …the words kept hurtling  out of his loud mouth faster than a prized horse’s incessant trots on racing day.

Ramnath felt a thick knot forming around his lower back; the muscles around his neck beginning to constrict.

Despite the cool wintry breeze outside, a wet dampness seeped past the dank surroundings like an unwelcome guest; a sticky fluid trickling down his rickety torso and firmly embedding itself into the hidden crevices of his grossly underweight frame.

As grainy images of further decadence infiltrated the screen, Ramnath’s already shrunken five foot something self seemed to shrivel even further; his hands and limbs turning inwards into a foetal position.

Dawn morphed into noon and then nightfall but his eyes remained static, staring listlessly into the half baked walls.

Much later, he staggered out into the open and stared listlessly at the only wealth that he ever possessed__ a half completed, fast crumbling apology of a mud house.

Then the clouds burst and drowned him in a torrent of rains.

It was then that reality struck him: a one legged cancer ridden man was persona non grata.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #SPF #theunwanted #194words


Sunday Photo Fiction – July 9th 2017

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205 07 July 9th 2017

© A Mixed Bag

By Neel Anil Panicker

“Hey babes, pop your head out of the window. See that blue van parked near the kerb. I’m inside it. Time’s running out. Just pop out and we scoot, ok?”

‘Great, sweetheart. Me and Ronnie…we’ll join you in a sec.’

“What? You bringing Ronnie? Gone mad or what?”

‘But what else do I do?  I can’t leave him alone and you know that.”

“Gawd, what am I hearing? Is this a joke? Can’t you just dump that big boy? He’ll take care of himself”.

‘Listen, Michael. Let me get this straight__I am not going anywhere without Ronnie, you get that?’

“Loud and clear. This is what I get for risking my life and robbing a bank off a million dollars and dreaming of starting a grand new life with you and what do I get in return__the thumbs down, being dumped for a bloody dog. I hate you, you bitch.”

©neelanilpanicker2017 #SPF #fiction #150words


Sunday Photo Fiction – July 2nd 2017


© A Mixed Bag 2011

© A Mixed Bag 2011

By Neel Anil Panicker

‘They tell me you killed a man. Is that true?’

“Yes, that’s true, Father.”

‘Tell me, Oh dear child of God, why did you kill another of His creations?’

“ ’Coz he’d killed other children of God. Was now threatening to kill one more?”

‘I’m at a loss. Could you explain that?’

“You see, I was orphaned within days of my birth. My parents were rich coffee plantation owners who met a horrific death. Their car plunged hundreds of feet down a deep gorge, I was given to understand. Thereafter, Uncle, my father’s younger brother, raised me up, took me on as his daughter, even gave me his name, and…”

‘He seems to have been a good man.’

“That’s what I thought too until the age of twelve. Then one night he pounced on me.

That was the beginning of my ordeal. I’d become his sex slave.”

‘You could have run away? Called the police? Did something?’

“Was about to. But he smelled my intentions. I overheard him speaking to someone on the phone.

He was planning to kill me, exactly the way he’d killed my parents. He was evil incarnate.

I’d no choice. That night an angel turned devil.”

©neelanilpanciker2017 #SUNDAYPHOTOFICTIONER  #200words