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”.

#neelanilpanicker #fiction #flash flashfictionfortheaspiringwriters

FFfAW Challenge – 169th

Hosted by Priceless Joy at




Image result for love and lust images
By Neel Anil Panicker 
The contentious nature of some debates ensures that however much and appreciable are the efforts to keep the conversation speeding smoothly on the even path of deductive logic, sooner or later one is bound to derail as one strives but miserably fails to steer clear of the bumpy roads that are liberally peppered with more pot holes than there are pockmarks on a chicken pox ravaged visage.
Add to that the mindless chatter of the ubiquitous donkeys and their canine cousins (all metaphorical, I may add here!) that rules the airwaves, and what you get is inane, headless talks that keep ever going off the rails and fast careening southwards.
The other day I was part of one such ‘vibrant’ discussion and as the hours sped by well into the night, things had turned decidedly ribald with all the know all talking heads fighting for or against the topic at hand which was: What comes first love or lust?
It soon dawned on all of us that there wasn’t any definitive answer to this centuries old beguiling question, much like there isn’t a very convincing theological, scientific, or otherwise answer to that age mother bouncer of all questions: what came first_ the chicken or the egg?

They were a made for each other

She fell in love; he rose in lust.

If you get caught it is cheating

If you don’t get caught it is mating.




three line tales week 111: two puffins ; ireland st patrick's day

By Neel Anil Panicker

I don’t think it‘s possible for me to love and live with you anymore, especially now that you are hell bent on sending me to the cleaners, have gone all out to malign me, besmirch my sterling reputation, ride roughshod over the honour of my family members including my brother, whom you so falsely have accused of rape__my dear elder brother, who was largely responsible for my upkeep and welfare; but for whom I wouldn’t have flowered into the fast bowler that I turned out to be, whose unflinching support and rock like faith in my abilities saw me emerge as one of India’s finest fast bowlers of all time.”

If protecting my honour, if raising my voice against your ‘multi-national’ extramarital dalliances is wrongful of me to speak of, if not keeping quiet and not talking of your ‘match fixing’ machinations, and if telling the world about your constant taunts, insinuations, and brutal physical and mental assaults is wrongful of me do so, then yes, I, Haseen, wife of ‘great’ Indian cricketer Shami, stand guilty of this crime and hereby severe all ties with you, a man so despicable as to even be called the’ father’ of my child.

We, the Board of Control for Cricket In India (BCCI), do hereby suspend Mohammed Shami from playing any form of professional First Class cricket till such time he is exonerated of all charges pressed against him by his wife Haseen Jahan while at the same time requesting the two to sort out “ all personal matters” in private and not wash their dirty linen in public.”

#neelanilpanicker #fiction #shortstory #realisticfiction #md shami #cricket

Three Line Tales, Week 111

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By Neel Anil Panicker

Father, I feel lost, of no use. My life has turned pitch dark and shorn of all light.

“That’s not the case, my son. There’s light at the end of the tunnel?”

Father, but I see no tunnel, no light? Where is it?

“Son, you are mistaken. Look inside you and you’ll find it.”

Father, if what you say is true, how do we discover it?

“Faith, son, faith. For that to happen you need to keep faith, have trust, believe in yourself, believe in the munificence of the Almighty who trusted you and gifted you the light. Have faith and the tunnel will find you. It is within you, within each one of us; eternally lit, forever guiding our path, hacking through the dark underbelly of our lives and illuminating it with its brilliance.”

How would we know we have reached it?

“You will not know it but you will feel it. Your entire being will glow with an inner radiance. You will feel happy as if you have attained enlightenment aka Gautam Buddha.”

©neelanilpanciker2018 #fiction #shorttsory #FFfAW #175WORDS

FFfAW Challenge-Week of January 30, 2018

Hosted by Priceless Joy at



By Neel Anil Panicker

Ali looked on, nonplussed, individually scanning the faces of all the four.

His eyes bore through the tallest of the them, the long haired, nose pierced, teeth yellowed Lama.

The latter was nearing the end of his hour long monologue.

He had by now run threadbare through each detail, explaining, detailing and analysing the cumulative ramifications of it all.

‘So in effect you are saying that this bank, manned by an armed security guard and eighteen close circuit cameras and that too located bang on the middle of a perennially busy main thoroughfare is ideal for us to carry out a strike and scoot off with fifty million rupees, right?

“No, all I say is that it is a start if not the perfect one.”

©2018neelanilpanicker #125words #sixsentencestories

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Welcome to Week  of Three Line Tales.

Three Line Tales, Week 99

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three lien tales week 99: a purple sky and a batman shaped belfry

By Neel Anil Panicker

Sheela peered out from her 44 floor penthouse bedroom window at the ever darkening purplish hue that the skies above her had taken, the final dying rays of a distant sun bidding goodbye to earthlings from beyond the mountain tops.

Things that were never so clear, that we always saw as smudged versions of a skewed reality suddenly metamorphose into crystal clear clarity, as if pulled out from a bottomless dungeon and into red hot blazing light, all the work of some magical genie.

As a lone bird flapped her wings and disappeared behind the clouds, she knew it was time too for her to make the move, time for her take that big leap, time for to her put an end to her caged ivory tower existence, time for her to soar the skies, time for her to be free, finally.





PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

By Neel Anil Panicker

Earlier it wasn’t so the case; she loved them, the winters. The luxuriously languorous all night slumber into la la land; the achingly slow waking up to the smell of hot as molten lava garden fresh coffee, the touch of warm veined fingers on frosty cheeks, the entwining of love filled hearts and lust filled bodies.

Aaah! she could go on and on and her dream would have no end.

But end it did.

And cruelly at that.

As she stares through the icicled sheets of coldness she wonders when love went of the window.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #flash #shortstory #99words

#Friday Fictioneers