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




Hosted by Sacha Black at

This week tell your story using dialogue only.


By Neel Anil Panicker

“Why don’t you pick up the phone?”

‘What’s it? I’m busy’

“I want to speak to you.”

‘You’ve spoken enough?’

“No, I want to say something.”

‘Everything’s been said. There’s nothing more to say.’

“No, please don’t say that.”

‘It’s over.’

“Nooo…please…please talk…please…just once.”

‘It’s over.’

“Please, please…don’t say that… I’ll die”

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #52words #dialogue #52weeksin52words


Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 6.47.55 AM.png

By Neel Anil Panicker   ( word count: 162)

Haruki Nakaoka inserted the ATM card, punched in a few keys, and pocketed the crispy yens that ejected out of its mouth.

The twenty-one-year old was out on a double celebration: to mark his law school graduation; also his first date since leaving high school

“What’s this,” asked Indira peering into a small white dot embedded into the top left of a glistening rectangular grey tile floor.
“It”, replied, Haruki, “is the exact spot where ‘David’ was stabbed to death.”

“David who? ”, asked his Indian girlfriend, as her eyes surveyed a black plaque on the wall alongside.

“ This is a commemorative wall in his honour.  ‘David’ Hara Takashi was the first ‘commoner’ Prime Minister of Japan who served from 1918 to November 4, 1921, the evening he was assassinated by an ultra right activist.”

“A Japanese Christian? ”

Takashi Hara posing.jpg

“He was baptized at 17”, replied Haruki before steering her away from the station.

He forgot to mention that David’s killer was his grandfather.

(c)neelanilpanicker2017 # fiction # short story #whatpegmansaw

Hara Takashi (原 敬?, 9 February 1856 – 4 November 1921) was a Japanesepolitician and the 10th Prime Minister of Japan from 29 September 1918 until his assassination on 4 November 1921. He was also called Hara Kei informally. He was the first commoner appointed to the office of prime minister of Japan, giving him the informal title of “commoner prime minister” (平民宰相heimin saishō?). He was also the first Japanese Christian Prime Minister.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

Written for whatpegmansaw at



© A Mixed Bag


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


Click on the image see a larger version.

get the InLinkz code





By Neel Anil Panicker

Esther Manuel Gomez was your regular teen, hell bent on exploring life, ever effervescent and knee deep in pranks.

Miss Cheerful always carried with her an infinite number of smiles and laughter that she distributed to all and sundry, especially the needy.

The last when I saw her and that was a couple of years ago, she was breezing past her final year at college while the weekends saw her warming the seat at a beautician’s front desk.

A phone call brought me back to town.

“ She’s dead. Overdose of drugs”.

Everyone was shocked, not least I, her brother.

(c)neelanilpanicker2017  # fiction  #shortstory #100words

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See here to join in and to read the other stories.

17 February 2017




summerhouse silhouetted against a dawn sky


By Neel Anil Panicker

Akash stepped out of the door and stared through the slits of tree branches at the expanse of barrenness that spread out before him and then beyond at the distant hills that seemed to lord over the desolate expanse.

An eerie silence that he had known since arriving a week ago clung on not unlike a monstrous bat’s wings, dark and forbidding.

He lifted himself up and sat on the parapet, ready for his nightly vigil.

A sigh and then a slight shifting of body weight and he knew Naina was lost in the arms of sleep.

His lips broke into a smile and his mind turned to the past.

God had been kind; kind enough for him to be blessed with the love of a girl like her.

Not that there was anything lacking in him. I mean what girl would not like a boy who was handsome (“not in the conventional sense”__ for a long time he had wondered what that meant); respected women ( “it’s in your eyes”); and outstanding in studies (“I see a hot shot lawyer in you”).

But then Naina was different, much different from the bevy of college beauties that strut around in high heels, their perfectly lined eyebrows cocking a snook at one and all.

She was earthy and real; very lively too.

That’s what he found out on their first date which he very hesitantly proposed after mulling over it for three torturous weeks.

Once he was over his ‘will she, won’t she’ worries, he began to woo her in true movie style and very shortly they became the newest, cutest, and hottest of love birds.

The moon slid behind the hills plunging the lands into darkness. Somewhere far off a wild animal roared.

Akash reminiensced the dark days that followed.

The girl he had chosen to fall in love and marry was from a caste much higher than his. One night her brothers landed in his hostel and beat him with iron rods and leather belts.  “Next time it will be death”, they warned. They meant what they said. In their villages and beyond, honour killing was the latest fad.

A month later, the two, helped by Prateek, their common friend, eloped and got married secretly.

 ‘I will come in a couple of days. We have relatives in Singapore. You two will be safe there and can begin a new life there,’ he had said before leaving the newlyweds in his near abandoned outhouse.

A week had passed since then and there was food for only day more.

What after that? With not much money left and no sign of Prateek, Akash felt a sense of anxiousness creep in.

Despite the cold, sweat puddles began forming around his temples.

So lost was he in his problems that he failed to notice the silhouette of a man that cut through the paddy fields. Followed, a trampling of boots and the slight crackling sound of a twig.

He turned around. It was too late.

(c)neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction # shortstory


Thursday photo prompt – Tryst #writephoto

Written for



FFfAW Challenge-Week of December 6, 2016


92nd Challenge

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Week of 12-06 through 12-12-2016


By Neel Anil Panicker

The man turned around and spoke to the  group of  wide eyed tourists,  his voice, a rich baritone oozing oodles of authority that seamlessly blended with the richness of the domed structure, well known in international artsy circles as the ‘House of  Jewels’.

“Presenting the  famed  Prince Jalhousse  Diamond.”

Two pairs of hawkish eyes swooped down on a hexagonal green stone from which emanated a shimmering radiance whose sheer brilliance seemed to light up  not just the enclosure but also the four corners of the cavernous hall.

“At a price tag of $ 1 million per carat, this ten carat  jewel is the costliest green diamond in the entire world.”

Bob whispered into Albert’s ears.

 ‘It will be ours by tomorrow.’

‘You must be mad. Seen the security here?’

‘I have a plan.’

As the two slipped out and disappeared into the streets of Paris, Albert allowed himself the luxury of a smile.

His friend had a hundred per cent success rate.


Word count: 169 words