Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story or poem in around 150 – 175 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE

Also for with Fandango — Silent


By Neel Anil Panicker

“I thought I was very popular. Isn’t that what…”

The Party President interrupted him. “You’re for sure. But it’s a jungle out there and sometimes even the lion has to do more in order to lord over his kingdom.”

As others nodded their heads in silent affirmation, the man continued,” I think you develop wings.”

“A what?”

“A winged lion that roars and flies all across the country solving problems.”

The man in the corner who hadn’t spoken so far chipped in, “It’s from the Bible. It symbolises the birth of God’s Kingdom on Earth. This way we can usher in the new Kingdom of Modi.”

The man at the centre slapped his wrists and roared his approval as his 56 inch chest swelled with pride.

Soon the spartan room reverberated with chants of Har Har Modi Ghar Ghar Modi.

“But Sir, we may have a problem. A winged lion has is a Bliblical reference. St. Marks…”

He was cut short by the portly President himself, “Great! That way we also ensure the Christian votes”.

#neelanilpanicker #fiction #flash #175words #Modi #India #politics #satire #India





By Neel Anil Panicker 
Freedom. The Oxford English dictionary defines this seven letter word as the “power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants”.
It also goes forth and says freedom is also a countable noun implying that there are various kinds of freedom.
Well, if you go by the above definition then the answer to the question, “Do we have freedom is a big NO. As to its corollary question, : How much freedom do we enjoy, the answer again is pretty relative and all I can say to that is only as much the other person can tolerate.
Look around us and we receive everyday validation of this.
A powerful, moneyed father brutally hacks to death a young man in full public view. Guess what__the 23-year old’s engineering graduate’s only crime was that he misconstrued freedom as the right to fall in love, marry and dream of bringing a child into this world, a child to be born of the blood of an upper caste Hindu girl and a lower caste Christian boy.
Turn your gaze elsewhere in this largest functional democracy in the world and you will find that almost on an everyday basis innocent men of a certain religious denomination are killed only for the ‘grave’ offence of either eating beef, or trading in cattle well past their prime.
Yes, there is freedom in this beautiful country of ours. There is an absolute freedom to act, speak, and think what one wants, but then, very sadly, that freedom is enjoyed by a select few, by those who misuse it to browbeat and bully and bamboozle others into cowering submission.
It is these lumpen types who have anointed themselves as guardians of morality and righteousness and it is again these bigoted, parochial, regressive thinking and self serving wolves in sheep’s clothing who, hiding behind the garb of religion, caste, colour, and region who take it as their birthright to determine what is right for a person, society national, and even the world.
Not only have these new upstarts have the power and freedom to buttress and pulverize any opposition to their ideology and line of thinking but they also have anointed themselves with fancy names, names that they believe will only help to carry forth, propagate and bring to fruition the purpose of their anti-societal, nihilistic agendas.
The last few years have seen the invasion of fancy words in the ever expanding public lexicon.
Jostling for eye ball attention along with revered names such as Ram Bhakts, Shiv Bhatks, Modi Bhakts, Hindutva, Hinduvadi, Manuvadi et al are new age esoteric words including lynchistan, vigilantism, , Godhra, Babri Masjid, jehad, ghar wapsi, minoritism, appeasement…the list just carries on.
The battle lines have been drawn and newly minted social contractors of ‘modern India’ are the new demi-gods whom all of us need to pay obeisance to if we need to survive in this increasingly freedom-less society that our country is in real danger of turning into.
So, as to the question ‘what does freedom mean to me and am I free?’, I can only answer that I am not free to answer that question truthfully lest the 21st ‘guardians of morality’ hunt me down nee even lynch me for daring to speak the truth.
#neelanilpanicker #essay #freedom #india #regressive #538words







By Neel Anil Panicker

‘Easy as pie.’


‘Winning elections. Plus, changing parties.’

Easier than changing diapers, right?

‘Much, much easier.  A piece of pie. And that’s not a lie.’

Yeah, don’t we all know that you’re an apostle of truth. But why?

‘Why what?’

Why did you call her Nachnewali?

‘Call whom?’

Jaya Bacchan, your erstwhile colleague in Samajwadi Party to whom you lost your Rajya Sabha seat.

‘Oh that’s a minor matter. In politics, it’s a non-issue. Moreover it was a pun. A smart play of words. I am Nar and Big B’s bibi is just a Nari.’

Oh, is that? I didn’t know that. But now you’ve to deal with the real Nar, the omnipotent Narendra Bhai, your ever nice as pie new boss.

‘Is he? I think we politicians have no bosses, only slaves. Anyways, I believe he will eat humble pie.’

Could you explain that?

‘Look, it’s simple. First, Araria and Jehanabad, then Phulpur and Gorakhpur.
And now, that Babu guy who heads TDP has ditched him. Shiv Sena would follow soon.

But isn’t he doing a lot of good. I mean GST, Aadhar, rising GDP, MSP et al?

‘All pies in the sky. It’s going to fall soon like a House of Cards. The allies will ditch him one by one I tell you. Come elections, he will eat humble pie.’

Will you too?

‘I am smart and loyal too, I will not ditch him or leave the country unlike some traitors, unless…’

Unless what?

Look, whatever I do comes with a pre-condition. I want a piece of the pie.

I am sorry, I didn’t get you. You have to be more clear.  

‘I want UP_lock, stock, and barrel. I want him to read the writing on the wall and hand over UP to me.’

But what about Yogi then?

‘He can go to the Himalayas for all I care.’

#neelanilpanicker #politics #sarcasm #realisticfiction #india #narendramodi #nareshaggawrwal #jayabacchan #pie

100 Week Wednesday: Week 62



 “I have been compared with those who dance and work in films,” Naresh Agrawal said today at an event in Delhi to mark his entry to the BJP

Not The First Time Naresh Agrawal Made A Controversial Comment

Former Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal who joined the BJP took a swipe at actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan, stating:
“I have been compared with those who dance and work in films,”.




 By Neel Anil Panicker

The other day I heard our PM Narendra Modi rolling up his sleeves and then after the customary ‘Mitron’ salutation, going forth to ridicule his bête noire and heir apparent to the Congress throne, Rahul Gandhi, even going to the extent of mimicking his speaking style and then ending with the downright demeaning “the kid seems to be learning to speak now”.

Agreed, detractors of Rahul may have a long list of grievances against him including his apparent “non-speaking skills”, his utter lack of political acumen,   his ability to keep putting his foot in his mouth every single time he opens his mouth.

But does that in any way allow one, and especially so, the PM to deride and denigrate and demean the poor soul from every single forum that he graces?

And if you are one of those who doesn’t care a crap about the Congress Party and/or what ails its most prominent poster boy, then all I can say to that is: I am sorry, but I do care a crap.

And that’s  because it is not just about competence or the lack of it; it is not merely about a particular party enjoying brute majority or another tottering in the doldrums, it’s also not just about one being a leader with spell bound oratorical skills or another one who looks as if he suffers from lifelong stage fright.

It is about certain abstracts that help a society remain social if not sociable; attributes that one can’t put a monetary value to such as dignity of the individual and respect for all including and especially towards those who may not match upto our expectations.

I hope Mr Modi and his ilk who day in and day out throw around their awesome weights to pull down ‘outdated’ symbols and institutions and people not to their likings and temperaments realize this.

And I hope this realization dawns sooner on them than later for even if they don’t give a crap, the right thinking, peace loving citizens of this country and elsewhere do give a crap.



By Neel Anil Panicker
MEANING : A useless, worthless, or outmoded person or thing.
EXAMPLE: The Congress needs to pull up its act soon and find an able leader to replace Rahul Gandhi or else it would soon be a dead duck.

By Neel Anil Panicker
MEANING: Something which is very easy
EXAMPLE: PM Modi thought the current demonetisation drive would be easy as a pie.


Cashless life’s a mess

By Neel Anil Panicker

Outside the banks the lines just got longer. It seems both men and machines have gone crazy.

Inside the cubicle-sized ATM kiosk, the forty-something guard Gobind Mishra feels the imprint of a boot on his posterior. His ears are assailed by a stream of filthy abuses.

Another night has slipped by.

Another cash-less day has broken out.

The forty-something guard knows what that means: no food for his wife and two children for the third straight day.

An hour later he walks across to ‘Patriots Diner’.

The offer of “Work available__no money, only food”, is too tempting to refuse.


PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot


The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 19/16

Stream of Consciousness – Yes

This week Linda has given us ‘yes’ to use in our Stream of Consciousness posts. We get an extra point for starting and finishing the post by using these letters too

Why all of us must support Mr Modi, PM of India
By Neel Anil Panicker
Yes, I am short of cash to pay my cablewallah and my maid and my neighborhood pop and mom store that supplies me with my daily milk and bread and other essentials. And yes, I have stopped eating chicken or fish or other such gastronomic luxuries. And yes, I have borrowed a few hundreds (just a few, and God bless the benefactor’s soul for the sudden largesse) simply to help tide over the current crisis.
And it is not just me who is in a similar plight. As I step out of my house every day an all too familiar sight greets me all over the city, across banks and ATMs and all around including the interior arteries of every small nook and corner of this capital city. It is not just Delhi. The whole of India is lining up in long, serpentine queues that seem never to ever end.
And I can lay my last ten rupee (legal, mind you!) that the old man in a half torn betel stained shirt and matching lungi who is standing there in that queue over there; his wizened pockmarked face a picture of anxiety and extreme despair is suffering a hundred times more than you and I and all others who comprise the educated, working middle class populace of this country.
And I am dead sure he has been standing in one queue after another from the crack of dawn hoping against hope to somehow lay his hands upon a few crispy new notes in exchange for that crumpled and smudgy five hundred rupee note that he clutches in the fingers of his frail hands.
But if you look closely, burrow deep into his cataract damaged eyes, you will find that behind the outward veneer of anxiety and pain and uncertainty, there is a sense of happiness, a feeling of fulfillment, a restoration of faith and belief in the dignity of labour.
The common man on the street, those law abiding men and women who live a life of dignity, toiling for and earning their daily bread through lawful means feel happy and fulfilled; even slightly superior to all those others who have been looting and plundering and robbing the wealth of this great country of ours to fund their hideously obscene lifestyles for a lot many years while outwardly wearing the false cloaks of societal respect and dignity whilst portraying themselves as paragons of virtue.
Yes, it is for this silent, suffering majority who today line up in seemingly never ending day-long queues to get their hands on a few precious new notes that Mr Narendra Modi is batting for.
It is for the all of us lawful tax paying citizens of this country that he has come with this unique, path breaking initiative to wipe out the face of black money from this country.
The naysayers and the anarchists and the doomsday predictors among us may put forth a million reasons why this noble well intentioned measure will fail, with some even casting aspersions on the very intentions of Modi and his government.
But then, do we really care about the opinions of such ‘good for nothing’ arm chair intellectuals and these power-drunk self serving breed of politicians who know and do nothing other than to beat their chests and shout from rooftops attributing ill manner of ill conceived motives and laying about pessimistic scenarios?
My answer to that is a big NO.
Should we, instead, go all out in supporting any such noble step that at least tries in some small measure to help wipe out at least a portion of the black money component that has been the bane of the Indian economy for centuries?
If you ask me, the answer to that, as I believe it would be for all who love this great country of ours, is a resounding YES.


The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 19/16