neelwrites/maya:littlemorethanillusion/fiction/shortstory/reena’sexplorationchallengeweek#16/14/12/2017

Hosted by the fantabulous Reena at https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2017/12/08/reenas-exploration-challenge-week-16/

Here is a character narrating different episodes from her life. You get an idea of the overall personality. Pick just one sentence from the story, and develop further on that.

why

MAYA: LITTLE MORE THAN ILLUSION

By Neel Anil Panicker

I see the rage in my boss’s eyes and know that is time to quit. Or, more appropriately, that is time for me to be asked to quit.

There he is, sitting opposite me, in that favourite swivel chair of his, the chair, the specific make and colour that I helped him to chose, staring down at me, those limpid blue eyes now a raging red, its pupils trebly enlarged, the nerves threatening any moment to burst out.

I bravely refuse to give in and like a fool who rushes in where angels fear to tread, I lock eyes with him.

I see his head, bald as an eagle’s, the strobe lights streaking in through the translucent windows doodling all over his six foot gym toned frame, the hands, large and hairy, like a grizzly bear’s fiercely clutching onto a palm sized paper weight, furiously rotating it over the oblong sun mica topped teak wood table.

I see a melange of emotions, predominantly distaste, written all over his usually placid face, now a bundle of bumbling emotions.

I see a lot that I haven’t seen in the past six years, the years that I have known him since, the years that I have worked  under him, the years that he has been my boss, also the years that we have been lovers.

I know it is time for me to leave, allow for him to be alone so as to be able to process all that has happened.

I get up and calmly hand over an envelope. It contains my resignation letter addressed to Shiv Kumar Sharma, Director, COACHING TIME, New Delhi from Maya Talreja, General Manager- Planning.

‘I shall see you in the evening’, I say, and walk out of the cabin. I know he’s my man and I know together we’ll battle our way out of this storm too.

***

My name is Maya. Maya Mirchandani. I am a 30-year-old Sindhi, a divorced Gujarati born Sindhi to be precise. I stress on the divorced part because that’s was defined me, at least for the first five years since my marriage with Kunal, a regular parochial wife beating male chauvinist pig fell apart. Wait, fell apart did I say?

Shred to pieces, smashed to smithereens__these would be better descriptors of the hellish times I spent with Kunal whose favourite form of abuse was to strip me naked,   chain me to the window sill, and then beat me black and blue with a steel belt for hours together.

Of course, he did take power breaks in between, replenishing himself with whisky on the rocks and snorting cocaine, just one among many of his addictions.

One night soon after when he and the entire world were in deep slumber, I climbed down the bathroom pipe, walked barefoot upto to the nearest railway station, and took the first available train to my hometown.

My parents, saddled with typical middle class mores thought I had committed a crime  and did everything possible right from weeping and begging to cajoling and threatening to somehow force me to go back to Kunal, to give my marriage yet another try.

But I had resolved that enough was enough and would under no circumstances go back to marriage which I know equated with hell for short of a milder word.

That broke their dam of patience and I was subjected to another round of torture.

This time it was mental, and especially so by own parents, who feared that a daughter, beautiful and educated as she may be, had no life outside of marriage.

Things deteriorated from bad to worse and then one day, when unable to bear their near non-stop rebukes and emotional blackmails, I packed my bags and left home.

In less than 100 days I had hit road again, the only difference being this I had burnt all my bridges and there was no going back, anywhere whatsoever.

I decided to hit a new town and landed up in Delhi. The first few months were sheer hell, as armed with nothing more than a college degree I walked in and out of countless interviews without any luck.

It went like this for a month or so and soon things reached a point when I had no money to even pay the rent for my single room Paying Guest accommodation.

It was then that the landlord offered me a life a line: He would forfeit my dues if I agreed to sleep with him.

Disgusted I slammed the phone down and was about to smash it to the wall when it began to ring.

I picked it up and was about to hurl my choicest abuses when I heard a woman’s voice, soft though business-like over the phone, “Am I speaking to Miss Maya?”

“Yes, this is Maya”, I somehow managed to mumble.

“Congratulations,” the voice continued, “You have been selected. Please kindly collect your offer letter from Coaching Time”.

A melange of emotions swirled through my mind. One moment I was down and out and the other I was on top of the world. I was over, my ordeal, my quest, my struggle for survival. I had finally bagged a job.

The next day, my heart full of joy, I walked into my new office, and fell straight into the arms of my boss.

Well, it so happened that I had just left the HR Manager’s cabin, clutching in my hand an appointment letter that said my designation was Executive Secretary, Director, Coaching Time.

“Walk straight and turn left. Extreme corner is Kumar Sir’s cabin.”

I did as she had guided me, and found myself standing outside an impressive oak panelled cabin door that sported a gold embellished capital lettered name plate ‘DIRECTOR’.

I was wondering whether to knock or to simply step in, when the door opened all of a sudden and out stumbled a man and almost fell into my arms.  In fact if he hadn’t held himself against the wall, both of us would have come tumbling down like nine pins.

“I…I am sorry. ‘Am in a hurry.” was all he managed to blurt out as we pulled ourselves together.

I looked at him, half fearful, half embarrassed.

Pushing the wrong side of forty, the man had a shock of curly grey hair the sides of which fell over a square face that reeked of a childlike naughtiness.

“Sir, I am Maya…your new secr…”

“Sorry, got to go. Shall meet you in the evening. Make yourself comfortable” was all he said before he vanished down the corridor.

I shrugged off the awkwardness and stepped inside to find the room, a mid sized hall rather, a picture of disarray. Half opened books, files, stationery, even Coke cans were littered all over the place__ on the work table, under the chairs, on the mosaic floor, a few even near the attached washroom.

My womanly instincts came to fore and I set about putting everything in order, even at one point picking up the intercom and requisitioning the House Keeping Department.

And when Mr Kumar walked in through the door in the evening all he did was stand and stare in wonderment at the metamorphosis his cabin had undergone.

He rewarded me with a hesitant half smile.

In turn I extracted a cup of hot Nescafe from the Coffee Machine and placing it on his desk, said, “ Sir, I am Maya, your new Executive Secretary”.

He motioned me to the chair opposite him and apprised me of the tasks at hand.

I was to take care of his appointments, attend all his meetings, take down their minutes, prepare notes, and help him with the general functioning of his office.

The next few months I immersed myself fully in my job, voraciously lapping up each day and new experience as part of my learning curve, ever learning, at times faltering, at times making mistakes but never repeating them.

At the end of six months, I had learnt enough to make myself an indispensable part of the office, befriending one and all, helping all and sundry, ensuring the smooth and efficient running of the organisation.

The wheels of time spun and soon a year passed by and another and  then yet another.

I was happy, at peace with myself, had a job, a great one at that, one that I loved to the hilt, and most importantly was independent in all senses of the term.

By now I was promoted as General Manager-Operations and my salary was ten times over what I had started with.

And then I fell in love. Or, we fell in love. Shiv and I.

It was not one of those Slam, Bam, Thank You Ma’m kind of puerile, lust filled entanglements that you hear of but quite on the contrary, a slow brewing, deep stirring, meaningful heart enriching, life affirming love between two mature fully responsible consenting adults.

As such we resolved that our love, romance, relationship, affection or whatever one may choose to call it, would in no way interfere with our official duties. We turned increasingly discreet, making sure that not one soul got a whiff of it.

But then as they say such things have a dirty habit of leaking out and soon someone somehow poisoned the ears of the powers that be at the Head Office.

Soon enough Shiv received a terse one line note from the head honchos asking for my scalp.

And that’s where things stand now as I sit in my cabin wondering over the dilemma that stares Shiv, my boss cum lover.

***

The intercom buzzes; I pick up the phone.

“Maya. We’re in this together. I’ve put in my papers. Now, either we swim or sink.

Are you with me?”

“Forever, my sweetheart”.

I kiss him over the phone.

I am happy, elated, over the moon.
I have finally found love.

I have a man, a man who’s man enough to take on the world.

For me, for him, for us.

©neelanilpanciker2017 #fiction #shortstory #CATolgy #BSchool #MBA

#reena’sexplorationchallengeweek#16 #1670words

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neelwrites/mentalcalisthenics/fiction/shortstory/photochallenge/mindlovemisery’smenagerie/13/12/2017

 

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Photo Challenge #192

Hosted by  at  https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2017/12/12/photo-challenge-192/

MENTAL CALISTHENICS

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– Image found on Discrete

By Neel Anil Panicker

She slipped into the semi-darkened room and quickly went about her business, stepping out of her clothes, the  off shoulder blue top first, then the brassiere underneath it, and finally the panties.

And then under his watchful, lustful eyes, she crept onto the lone corner window bed, and spread-eagled her lithe frame onto it.

She heard him heave and pant as he slid out of his pants and soon he was on top of her, his hands feverishly racing through the length and breadth of her body, tracing hollow crevices and scaling steep inclines.

She closed her eyes and began to recite the table of four. Four one’s are four, four twos are eight, four three’s are… Damn’t! She cursed herself. She was always poor at studies. No wonder she was caned the maximum.

She changed tack.

A day was 24 hours. She worked 16 hours every day, spending time in strange rooms such as the one she was at.

Each day she met ten men, and each man spent an hour with her,  and before leaving gave her Rs 200. Of that her share was Rs 20. So, how much money did she make in a month, assuming that she didn’t take any offs?

Unmindful of the shaking and the pushing and the thrusting, her mind went into calculation mode.

©NEELANILPANCIKER2017 #FICTION #SHORTSTORY #225WORDS #MENTALCALISTHENICS

neelwrites/somedish/fiction/FFfAW/shorstory/12/12/2017

145th Challenge

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Week of 12-12 through 12-18-2017

Hosted by Priceless Joy at https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/fffaw-challenge-week-of-december-12-2017/

SOME DISH!

By Neel Anil Panicker

Ismail Makhtoum stared at the strange concoction that had arrived on his table. For a moment he was tempted to call out to the waiter, the liveried ever smiling cartoonish character clad in a seven piece costume that reminded him of the Annual Fancy Dress Competitions back in his much lived much loved childhood in rural Ambosa.

Or still better, he wanted to kick the table aside and walk out of this fancy restaurant and walk into the nearest roadside shack by the beach and indulge in some serious lip smacking business__ducking and digging his teeth into straight of the sea slow cooked deep fried silvery salmons liberally peppered with what else but pepper and a dash of lemon.

But instead he looked through the grossly mangled partially sun burnt caterpillar like formations that crisscrossed the length and breadth of the fancy bone china plate and found what he was looking for.

The five gramme gold biscuit was there as promised.

He scooped it off and safely placed it in his inner trouser pockets alongside the evening tickets to New Delhi.

Just another day had begun in a carrier’s career.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #flash #shortstory #FFAW #SOMEDISH

neelwrites/labyrinth/part30ofadangerouslove/novella/fiction/100wordwednesday/11/12/2017

100 Word Wednesday: Week 48

By BIKURGURL at https://bikurgurl.com/2017/12/06/100-word-wednesday-week-48/

LABYRINTH

100WW_W48.jpg

Photo by Trevor Cole

By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma looked through the windshield as the approaching police van made a discreet entrance through the usually locked back gates of Tiz Hizari Courts.

The vehicle grinded to a halt near the parking area reserved for judges and higher officials.

From here it would be but a short two minute walk through the narrow garden path that led to the temporary court cell.

The accused would then be led to the respective courts located on the first and second two floors of the multi-plex style sprawling court complex.

Sharma watched the prisoners closely as they alighted.

One in particular caught his attention, Ali; the cop wondered what awaited him_ jail, bail, or was it something else?

©neelanilpanicker2017 #PART 30 of A DANGEROUS LOVE #FICTION #NOVELLA #117WORDS

 

To read previous episodes of this ongoing novella ” A DANGEREOUS LOVE’ click on the links below:

PART ONE:

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/neelwritesffphoningaroundfictionromance100words27072017/

PART TWO:

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/neelwrites3linetalesphoningaround-part2fiction28072017/

PART THREE:

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/neelwritessundayphotofiction03ofdangerouslove30072017/

PART FOUR

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/neelwritespart/

PART FIVE

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/neelwritessixsentencestoriesepisodesixofdangerouslovefiction/

PART SIX

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/neelwriteswatcherfictionthursdayphotoprompt03082017/

PART SEVEN

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/neelwritesgaffarmian-alifeoutsideprisonwallsthreelinetalesfiction188words/

PART EIGHT https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/neelwritescatsoutofthebagfffpppart8ofdangerouslovefiction08082017/

PART NINE https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/neelwritesthediscoveryfffawpart9dangerouslovefiction09082017/comment-page-1/#comment-3979

PART TEN  https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/neelwritesalonelyvigilparttenofadangerouslovefiction35812082017/

PART ELEVEN https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/neelwritesthedisclosurespfpartelevenofdangerouslove15082017/

 

PART TWELVE https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/neeelwritesthedonsnestparttwelveofdangerouslovefictionnovella16082017/

PART THIRTEEN

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/neelwritesbordersixsentencestoriespartthirteenofadangerouslovefiction195words21082017/

PART FOURTEEN

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/neelwritesthehitpartfourteenofadangerouslove24082017/

PART FIFTEEN

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/neelwriteswearinganewshadeadangerouslifepartfifteenofdangerouslovefiction25082017/

PART SIXTEEN
PART SEVENTEEN
PART EIGHTEEN
PART NINETEEN
PART 21

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/19/neelwritespart21ofadangerouslovesixsentencestoriesplate19072017/

PART 22:

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/neelwritescryinthedarortrappart22ofadangerouslovefictionnovella133words30092017/

 

 

PART 27: https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/28/neelwritesbiggamehuntingpart27ofadangerouslovenovellafictionthreelinetales28102017/

PART 28: https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/neelwrites-dramornightmare-part28ofadangerouslove-novella-fiction-02-12-2017/

PART 29

https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/neelwrites-timesticking-part29ofadangerouslove-novella-fiction-10-12-2017/

 

neelwwrites/amystery/spf/fiction/flash/shortstory/204words/11/12/2017

Sunday Photo Fiction – December 10th 2017

Hosted by https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/sunday-photo-fiction-december-10th-2017/

 

THE MYSTERY

18 Eric Wiklund 10 December 2017

By Neel Anil Panicker

“Mrs Mallick, I must say for a child of his age Rohan has a very fertile imagination. Here have a look at this.”

The two ladies looked at the arts and crafts patchwork laid out the long display table at the Annual School Arts and Crafts Exhibition.

“Isn’t that simply wonderful”, Miss Radhika Bose, the Class One Arts Teacher continued, pointing her finger towards the long angular cobbled pathway that led to a domed forested villa.

“Right down to the rocky outgrowth abutting it, the cute little wooden bench and the birds’ nest, tinged a sparkling blue, every single detail is a sensual treat. And the icing on the cake__ this quaint little miniature house adjacent to the main one. Tell me Mrs Mallick, which child of six displays the intelligence and foresight to draw such beautifully?”.

The question was meant as a rhetoric and as such Mrs Mullick had nothing much to offer but simply smile in acknowledgement of the deluge of praises that were coming her only child’s way.

She didn’t deem it fit to reveal to anyone the inspiration behind the ‘second’ house.

How embarrassing would it be if she revealed that Rohan’s father kept two houses.

©NEELANILPANICKER2017 #FICTION #FLASHFICTION #SHORTSTORY #SUNDAYPHOTOFICTIONEERS

neelwrites/fiction/shortstorey/39words/09/12/2017

 

#MicroMondays –

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The magic number for this week is 39, and it is from the 39th page of the book we have our prompt.

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IT SOUNDED SIMPLE IN THEORY

Hosted at https://looseendoftheredthread.wordpress.com/2017/12/04/micromondays-8/

By Neel Anil Panicker

Do a recee of a bank; rent a shop adjoining it; drill a hole upto the locker room; break-in on a holiday; escape with the loot_ it sounded simple in theory.

They didn’t factor the dog that awaited them.

(c)neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #flash #short story #39words #MicroMondays

neelwrites/training/flashfiction/performance/09/12/2017

December 7: Flash Fiction Challenge

December 7 Flash Fiction Challenge at Carrot Ranch @Charli_Mills

In 99 words (no more, no less) write that features a performance. You can interpret what is a performance any way the prompt leads you.

Hosted by https://carrotranch.com/2017/12/07/december-7-flash-fiction-challenge/

TRAINING, IT’S DRAINING

By Neel Anil Panicker

Two days, seven hours, thirty-one minutes and still counting. There’s no signs of the torture  ever coming to an end. From his secluded perch in the far right hand corner, I watch with eyes as dead as of a dodo’s at the ‘actors’ and their ‘performances’.

The powers that be had even thought out a name for this form of extreme sadism, grandly christening it as ‘ANNUAL SKILL UPLIFTMENT SESSION’.

My foot! The only skill upliftment was that the hapless trainees had by now learnt how to fall into deep slumber with their eyes split wide open.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #flashfiction #99words #training