HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS  (2 minute read)

By Neel Anil Panicker

It’s beaten and battered. It’s demeaning and dangerous. It’s inhuman and inhospitable.

But, still, it’s home. HOME with a capital H.

It’s Seelampur__the place of your birth, raised and razed, several times over.

It’s the place that holds all your memories; the place where you lost and found__everything from a home to family, to friends, to football.

Also love.

They__those bombastic guys who speak English with a twang and who walk around with a swagger and whose bodies reek of the best of eu de cologne, the kind who live in fancy multi storied houses and villas by the sea, and who zip around in fancy planes __all those spoilt brats who claim themselves to be Children of a Higher God__they say__theirs’ is life, that it’s they who live while others are doomed to a lifetime of misery and unhappiness.

I say, no. That they’re wrong; we’re right.

‘coz we’ve got one thing they may never ever possess.

We’ve got love.

And that, I say, is the greatest of all wealth.

#neelanilpanicker #Flashfictionfortheaspiringwriters #shortstory #175words

FFfAW Challenge – 174th




By Neel Anil Panicker

From the epicentre of his bedevilled brain a spasmodic tidal wave of revulsion began to erupt, ultimately breaking out like red hot molten lava, erupting with great centrifugal energy, and hurtling with maddening fury and blind rage; the veins carrying the biles of hatred, anathema, antogonism and utter contempt, all seeping through and infiltrating every single nerve and senew of his gargantuan six foot two frame.

“Bloody politicians! Sharks they are all. Bloody murderers too. Bloody bloodsucking vampires in suits”, he screamed out to one in particular, his voice an agony filled ghastly cry in the dark.

“What’s the matter, old man, you seem particulalry upset tonight. What riles you, my dear friend,”?, the gentleman seated next to him in the bench at the far right corner of the desolated neighborhood park inquired.

“Here, have a look at this, Steve. Look what the newspapers say about these Wall Street suited booted ‘omniscient’ bastards?”

Steve looked at Richard his childhood buddy and erstwhile Professor of Economics at the University of Leeds and smiled, a wry all knowing smile even as he nodded his head in solidarity with his friend’s early miorning utterings.

‘Yes, you’re are right, Richie. These self serving men sit in ivory towers, make stupefying decisions, hoodwink the plebians with the sophistry of their arguments, and ultimately line their own pockets by squeezing every single penny off the pockets of the innocent, all trusting denizens who had trusted and thereby elected them in the first place. So, in the end, isn’t it true that the people get the government and leaders they deserve’?

The question was rhetorical and did not beg answer as the two setuagenarians got up and made the slow, painful back to the old age shelter.

#neelanilpanicker #ttc #threethingschallenge #shortstory #290words


Three Things Challenge, 16 July 2018

Today’s things are: tower, tidal wave, shark#neelanilpanicker #ttc #threethingschallenge #shortstory #290words




By Neel Anil Panicker

It’s that time of the year when bosom buddies turn foes and blood thirsty foes turn childhood chums.

Yes, football mania has taken over the world.

The neighbourhood park is a hallapallooza of chatter, with men, women and kiddies all mouthing one or the other trivia in between conducting their regular sashtaangs and surya namaskars and twisted toe walkathons and bench presses and what have you!

Was caught in the midst of a street fight between two ‘born again’ football fanatics.

‘Croatia, Croatia, Croatia…’

Turning around Rajesh volleyed, “Come on, do you even know what you are saying. Don’t you know France is the better team?”

‘Hey Nilabh, now don’t you tell me a thing about football. Been kicking ball all my life. I know enough about the game to give you a run for your money. Now, you tell me why do you think France is going to lift the Cup?’


Picking up the gauntlet, Nilabh volleyed, “Oh, that’s easy. We’ve have Mbappe, the wonder kid. Also Griezmann…and not to forget Pogpa at the midfield. And guess what, we’ve also have the best coach in the world__Deschamps. A true champ he is.”

‘Is that so? Guess who we have. We have Serbian superstar Djokovic on our side. Plus, we have all the Goliaths of the world rooting for us, anyone anywhere in the world who is down and out, in the dumps, is an underdog is praying for us. And what’s more, we have a  President  wearing an enormous red and white chequerboard top, whistling and screaming her lungs out, thrusting the ‘V’ sign into the Russian skies. Now tell me, can you, can anyone for that matter beat that.”

I walked away suitably impressed praying that may the best brand of nationalism win.

#neelanilpanicker #football #croatia #france #sundayphotofiction  #worldcup2018

Imported 20170924 056 (2)




By Neel Anil Panicker

Vishwan’s eyes bored through the contents of the fifty page file___each page headed with neatly indented paragraphs, some embellished further with sub headings, timelines et al but all with notations such as place, type of food ordered, credit card bills etc…etc…

Finally, when he had had enough of reading, assimilating and internalising every single word and letter and punctuation mark, he got up and hurled the file onto the fireplace; a blind rage burning through his eyes as the embers ravenously devoured the file and its contents.

‘She’s got to pay, she’s got to pay for playing with his life, the lives of their two little children__Rehaan and Aisha, the loves of his life’.

Thereafter, he, a senior marketing manager of a top notch multi-national pharmaceutical company, began to pace the granite floors of his company owned apartment, and then, after about half an hour or so, finally sat down on the sofa__his heart beats still jumping up and down faster than a yo-yo, but his mind an ocean of calmness.

Seconds later, he was on the phone and as a male voice came alive on the other end, he explained, “I admire your work and need you to carry out a task for me.”

She, Shabnam, his wife, was about to die__ the only punishment that he deemed worthy enough and that could match up to her crime__the crime of not staying loyal.

#neelanilpanicker #SixSentenceStories #ThreeThingsChallenge #flash #shortstory #234words

This short story was written for  both

Six Sentence Stories



Three Things Challenge, 11 July 2018



YOU’RE MY WISH COME TRUE  (Two minute read)


By Neel Anil Panicker

“It is a metaphorical tree”.

Katherine looked at her Indian beau in quizzical fashion.

‘What’s that supposed to mean__a metaphorical tree?’

In reply, Raj lifted his arms and drew a huge circular arc into the silvery cloud of skies.

“Look around you. What do you see? A land full of lush greenery, sprawling paddy fields, sheaths of pearly white water flowing from the mountains, people living peaceful, happy lives in beautiful, little hutments, their faces, all calm and full of contentment. Did you see…”

‘Hey, that’s cool. But what’s that to do with this tree’?

Katherine’s impatience seemed to be getting the better of her.

Raj looked at her and pointed towards the huge banyan tree a few meters from where the two stood in the middle of an open field that abutted the village in the northern fringes of hilly Assam.

“This is no ordinary banyan tree. This is the Kalpataru…the wish fulfilling tree.”

This time Katherine was intrigued enough to ask what that meant.

“It’s an Indian myth. What you see is the ‘Tree of Life’. For the villagers this tree is a metaphor for the celebration of hope, prosperity, and ecology. And that…”

‘And that explains all those long colourful threads that are tied around its various branches. They are all wishes of the faithful, hopes and dreams that they pray would come true, right?’

Raj nodded his head in affirmation as the two looked at the huge twenty feet high ‘Kalpataru’, its unnaturally large and thick branches and the array of panoramic tightly knotted cloths and threads softly swaying in the cool September breeze that was blowing in from the snow capped mountains that formed a protective umbrella all around the place known to both botanists and ordinary folk alike as ‘Heaven’s Garden’.

“Do you have a wish? If so, go ahead and tie yourself a thread.”

‘I don’t need to. That which I wished for has been fulfilled. It’s you’, said Katherine looking into Raj’s eyes.

#neelanilpanicker #ThursdayPhotoPrompt #331words #flash #shortstory #flashfiction #instashorts

Thursday photo prompt: Wishes #writephoto

#writephoto hosted by 





img_1776Image by Bikurgurl

By Neel Anil Panicker

As a child if there was one thing that she hated, it was sewing.

The rigmaroles of sewing didn’t interest her one bit.

The nitty gritty of sitting down for hours_ legs crouched, head bent, arms static and in linear position, nimble fingertips deftly guiding, inserting and extricating tiny though sharp edged spear like intsruments into cloth, both cut and uncut, including her’s, Mamma’s, siblings’, neighbours’ et al__all this riled her no end.

Such was her abhorrence for this “girlish” activity that she would go to any lengths to avoid joining what essentially was a “family business__that meant even murder.

#neelanilpanicker #flashfiction #100wordwednesday #sewing #photoprompt

100 Word Wednesday: Week 79

100 Word Wednesday: Week 79