By Neel Anil Panicker

So you tell me that you did this because you were greatly hurt at being falsely accused  of inappropriate conduct by your colleagues and that to clear your fair name you set this all up in order to investigate and thereafter  catch the person who had brought you so much ignominy, that you did this as you wanted physical evidence of wrongdoing that would help you be exonerated of all accusations of wrongful conduct once you placed it before your bosses, right, Mr Ankur Tomar?

Yes…yes…yes Sir…I felt greatly humiliated, especially and more so when they spoke ill of me on the staff in-house blog and on other social media.

And what exactly did they say about you?

That I am a dirty person and that I don’t bathe and smell bad all the time and the most hurtful of all that I don’t flush the toilet after use.

So, my friend if that’s your defence for placing a camera and recording your colleagues,  several of whom being  females, in various stages of undress, then I am afraid that’s a very weak one, one that will not cut much ice with a judge who will slap you with charges of voyeurism and send you behind bars.
I..I…I am sorry; I now realize that only real cops are allowed to play cops in order to  catch the real culprits; all others have to face the fate of either living with the humiliations leaped upon them, or wait for the truth to come out.





three line tales, week 124: two colourful doors that lead to ...

By Neel Anil Panicker

There are two doors in front of me; one red and the blue; and both beckon me, equally__staring invitingly at me, attempting all  within  their powers, cajoling, coaxing, attracting, luring, even threatening me, using all manner of bait to get me to somehow bite the bullet.

I for one, though thoroughly bowled over by such passionate unrelenting prefer to bide my time, in the interim mulling things over while time races past the past, and rushes through the present, in a bid to be on time for its date with the future.

I wish I had more choices, that there were more doors to chose from__my misguided mind harbouring the impression that multiplicity of choices would lead to me taking better well informed decisions, but I guess that’s  a fallacy for since when have more choices translated to better outcomes?

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Three Line Tales, Week 124

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Three Line Tales, Week 124



By Neel Anil Panicker
The splash of waters could be heard even from a distance.

Sitting on the bench, ringed by a circular parapet, Imtiaz  and Asma watched their kids___eight year old Latif and five year old Azma_dipping their fingers in the froth filled waters and squealing  in delight every time they spotted or  felt a small fish slip through their nimble  fingers.

Meanwhile, their nimble bodies swayed rhythmically as the small boat on which they were bobbed languidly in the placid afternoon waters.

“I am so glad you could take time out. The kids look so happy.”

Imtiaz turned around and nodded his head in assertion.
His hesitant eyes caught the twinkle in her eyes.
Something in them made him to turn his gaze away.
She mustn’t know; at least not until he had exhausted all his resources; expended every conceivable excuse that could pass muster with his bosses.

‘No. Imtiaz, there is no option but for you to go. And it is in your best interests that you take up this new position’.

The words of his employer sent a chill down his spine.
He knew what they meant.
His boss had extended a warning, a a veiled threat. The orders that followed left no room for doubt or ambiguity.
‘Proceed immediately for Kashmir. Also, remember, this is  covert operation that’s been conducted without the formal nod  of the Defence Ministry. As such  complete secrecy has to be maintained.
Which means you will tell your wife  and children that you are leaving for Dubai on a six month official trip. Also remember, you come back only when we hear the news confirming the death of Abu Bakr.’

The words ‘Abu Bakr’ mouthed my his boss sent a chill down his spine.
Who hadn’t heard of Abu ‘Mutton Bakr?
One of the most wanted global terrorists___the man responsible for the Kolkata Metro bomb blasts as well as the brazen attack on an Indian Army camp in Pathankot.

His bosses had given him his toughest and most dangerous assignment so far and he was expected  to deliver as he had been delivering all this years.
Only difference: this time if he failed  he wouldn’t be alive to tell the tale; his enemies, the country’s enemies would ensure that.
“What are you dreaming about, my dear handsome husband. Isn’t it time we went ordered lunch”?

Caught off guard, Imtiaz sheepishly  looked at her wife and replied, albeit haltingly, “Sure, as you say, love. Let me go ferry the kids back”.

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FFfAW Challenge – 169th

Hosted by Priceless Joy at




By Neel Anil Panicker

“It’s PRIYA. P…R…I…Y…A.  So stop calling me ‘Flamingo’.”

‘Because you are one.’

Priya looked at Raj, whose hands kept flitting in and out of the side pocket of her little blue dress, reaching places whose existence the nineteen year old wasn’t even aware of.

“Oh! is that so? Tell me, how did you arrive at that deduction”?

The two were at the National Zoo and leaning against the parapet that overlooked an oasis of blue waters surrounded by thick bushy outgrowth all around it.

Wednesday, at this hour of the afternoon, a quarter past three, was, even by Delhi’s standards, pretty languid.

The animals and birds, big and small, and their watchers, the men who were tasked with the upkeep of what was arguably the nation’s best kept sanctuary were taking their much needed siesta, away from public glare and scrutiny, safely tucked in their nests, homes, hearths or wherever it was that they felt comfy and relaxed.

Turning around, Raj, his hands hidden from public gaze, replied, “That’s ‘bcoz you’re tall, shapely, have a slender figure, have a very glowing lush apple like face, and ….”

‘And what, dear Raj? Priya vollied, her voice suddenly putting on a flirtatious honey dipped tone.

Raj dug his eyes deep into hers before retorting, “And also b’coz you have long, very long endless legs”.

Priya blushed before retorting, : Don’t forget; I have a long, sharp beak too”.

#neelanilpanicker #fiction #shortstory #sundayphotfiction #flamingo

Sunday Photo Fiction – June 10, 2018



Creative Writing Prompt | Flash Fiction | Short Story | Set the Scene | Writing |

By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma parked his police car behind a side street abutting Karol Bagh Metro Station and walked the next fifty yards leading into the congested bylanes, careful to keep his head down and appear as nondescript as he could.

‘Mingle, be one with your surroundings’, was the salient piece of advice meted out to him by his seniors when he had just begun taking his first tentative steps into the dizzying though highly risky world of professional sleuthing.

Ten minutes later, Sharma found himself at the end of a narrow side street, and staring upwards at a nondescript double storied British–era building. With its plaster peeling off its moth infested outer walls and a huge windowless frontage that was smeared in black soot, the building stood out like a sore thumb even in this most drab of surroundings__a kilometre long circular stench-filled stretch that looked as if it were cold shouldered by the winds of modernity that were blowing all across wannabe bustling Delhi city.

A minute later he had climbed the rickety wooden stairs and walked down the darkened hallway to the left.

Reaching its dead end, he found himself face to face with a wrought iron door above which hung a copper board on which was etched in calligraphic gold the words “Royal Capital Library”.

Sharma drew in a deep breath and wiping the dirt off the seven inch sole of thick leather boots, he pulled the latch and stepped in.

The moment he did so and inspected the new environs he drew in a sharp breath, and for once stood there, completely in awe of what he was looking at.

There they stood; like armies of soldiers, swords in hand, dressed in battle gear, standing proud and tall in the bright red splattered battlefield, all ready and itching for battle; their glossy visages screaming out vengeance and ultimate victory over the formidable enemy.


Only, these were no Alexander’s band of worthy world conquerors but were mere books.

Books of all shapes and sizes and colours and vintage; books that lay in wait, awaiting the dainty hands and nimble fingers of the intellectual warriors who slided from one end to the other of the vast rectangular hall.

Chacko took a 360 degree slow turn as his eyes soaked in every single detail all over the seven rows of neatly lined up books. He noticed that their spines faced outward, that each book was colour coded with dots, that the fiction section was arranged in an alphabetic order, the there were two types of shelves__ the lower ones stacked the children’s section and had soft floor cushions while the others were slightly higher and were choc a block with adult reading material and all around the corners spaces lay a teak wood circular tables around which sat, their heads immersed in thick leather bound tomes, men and women of a certain age, their butts glued to comfy leather arm chairs.

All around muffled stillness and a wizened old silvery haired man, so utterly immobile that one could have been mistaken him for an Egyptian mummy, sat behind a small corner desk marked Librarian, and completed the picture of a place that looked like a much needed oasis of intellectual wealth in a city and world that seemed to have forgotten that there existed a world beyond movies and video games and mindless kitsch.

Here, thought Inspector Sharma, lay all that a person needed for his well being__the best of succour for the mind.

Inadvertently, he let out a sigh. How long had it been since he had stepped into such a library, any library for that matter__one, two, five, ten? Ten long years? As the harsh reality dawned on him, he realised that caught up as he were with chasing criminals and putting to pasture the dregs and deadbeats of the world had left him with no time to

connect with the world of books, with a passion that had consumed his life as a teenager, that had even led to he committing his first ‘crime’.


The thought of crime brought him cruelly back to terra firma. Realising he had a job to do, he looked to his right, found what he was looking for, and walked up the end of the hallway, careful not to make any noise that would disturb the congregation of readers who sat, their heads buried in books, all around him.

“Excuse me, I am looking for Dante’s Inferno”. The man behind the desk looked up at him and nonchalantly replied, ”Ninth column, third row, seventeenth from right”.

Slightly nonplussed but still gladdened by the quick precise response, Inspector Sharma wound his way back.

In no time he had extricated what he was looking for and retreating to a quiet corner, hurriedly opened Page 79. There, lying, as if in wait for him was a half torn white slip of paper with the words, “Tonight, 11: 20; Chattarpur Farm House”.

Inspector Sharma let out a low whistle. Babloo Mental__It was time’s up for Delhi’s most wanted gangster.

#neelanilpanicker #fiction #novella #inspectorsharmacrimeseries  #844words

Time To Write: Set The Scene 9 [Creative Writing Prompt]




By Neel Anil Panicker
“Nothing, nothing is the matter”.
Rajesh opened his mouth to say something but then quickly checked himself.
She’s definitely hiding something, for sure, he said to himself.
He flipped boringly through the pages of ‘The President is Missing’, the book he, an absolute non-enthusiast of political thrillers, was trying to read.
” Read it. For once, you will fall in love with realistic fiction”, were Shelly’s words as she coaxed him into ordering the latest bestseller from  a premier online site.
He decided to try another route. Turning around to his wife who herself was immersed in a book, ( another racy political or crime thriller___her favourite genres__), he said, his voice a practised casuality,
“Darling, what’s the name of that intern who was linked with Clinton? I keep forgetting her name off and on.”
The second s ticked by. He waited; waited and watched.
There was no response. Zilch. Cipher. It was as if she wasn’t even there in the bedroom.
As if she, her mind, were somewhere else.
‘So there was definitely something; something that was bothering her, playing on her mind so badly as to render her absolutely oblivious to her surroundings, to others around her, to even her husband, her hubby of over a decade.”

Rajesh watched her face, still immobile, inscrutable as a rock, and wondered whether it had anything to do with Harsh.
The thought made his blood boil and sent paroxysms of pain shoot up through his veins.
In no time and despite the air conditioning, he began to perspire.
As tiny sweat droplets began to trickle down his temple, he lifted himself from the bed and stumbled into  the balcony abutting their fourteen floor two-bed room apartment, the one he had bought and shifted to only six months ago.
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Short Story Sunday 216: Nothing






By Neel Anil Panicker


The azure clouds, the ever changing carpet of kaleidoscopic hues, the endless span of blue heavens: all this and more is my abode.

Here the days and nights are one. I decide the time. I and I alone decide what to do, when or not to sleep, awake, fly, or simply enter into a trance.

I belong here; this splendorous endless spread of blue skies is from where I watch over; my eagle eyes scanning and skimming, scouring and devouring with hungry, precision-driven eyes the antics of all below me.

See that rustic red cliff over there. That’s my office. That’s from where I work every day; that’s the high point from where I watch the undulating landscape several hundred thousand feet below. My senses and eyes are in perfect sync: tuned as it were to the slightest of changes that occur.


A shift in the sandy dunes, an unheralded gust of wind, a sudden shimmer in the wind rippled lake bothers me, ignites my innate bestial instincts, incites me enough to fluff and flap my majestic wings. It is what goads me to fling my sharp talons and take off, soaring even further higher than where I am.

I am readying myself; warming up to do what I am ordained to do, what I was born for, which is to lessen the burden of all that lies below me.

Make no mistake: I am just a bird, may be a big one, but still a bird fulfilling my obligations to the Creator.

From a thousand feet above I touch down, swooping and sweeping my ‘labour’ off his or her feet, effortlessly, painlessly, clinically.

A few struggle but all give in, eventually, in acquiescence to their fate that folds up within the folds of my short, stubby beaks, my bright as sunlight eyes glistening as if they were black onyx beads.

And then I take off.

Tomorrow is just another day.

Another unburdening of earthly sorrows.

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Thursday photo prompt: Remains #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt: Remains #writephoto