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

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neelwrites/theevidence/FF/fiction/flash/100words/23/11/2017

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS

Hosted by ROCHELLEWISOFF at https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/11/22/17-november-2017/comment-page-1/#comment-45352

THE EVIDENCE

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

by Neel Anil Panicker

Raphael rummaged through the attic drawer. He knew he had just about time before the police came.

Moth eaten files of long sold property deed facsimiles; half broken childhood toys; a long bladed steel knife of vintage origin that still carried slight traces of blood, a stark reminder of those halcyon decades when the much awaited weekend family sport was hunting down rabbits and wild boars.

Then he found it__ wedged between a headless Chinese doll and a much abused wicker basket lay the ring, Clare’s engagement ring, the one whose daughter he had just murdered.

©neelanilpanciker2017 #FF #fiction #flash #flashfiction #100words

neelwrites/deadtellnotales/fridayfictioneers/shortstory/fiction/100days/18/11/2017

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS

Hosted by https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/11/15/10-november-2017/

BY ROCHELLEWISOFF

DEAD TELL NO TALES 

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

 

By Neel Anil Panicker

”Sir, I hadn’t intended it. The body was charred beyond recognition. I saw the gleaming metal and pocketed it.”

Fireman Mahendra Yadav shifted uneasily in his chair, his eyes darting around the semi-darkened basement room. Never in his scariest dreams had he ever imagined himself being locked up in a police station, and that too on the last day of his service.

“Was it on the middle finger”?

‘Yes…Sir.’

Inspector Sharma caressed the gold ring.

The corpse wasn’t of Mrs Lavanya Kapoor.

Then, who had died in the fire? Or, was she murdered?

Inspector Sharma’s mind went on a tailspin.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #flash #shortstory #100 words #Friday Fictioneers #Inspector Sharma crime series

neelwrites/holycow!/sixsentencestories/flash/shortstory17/11/2017

Welcome to Six Sentence Stories

Hosted by JOULIE

at https://unchartedblogdotorg.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/welcome-to-six-sentence-stories-72/

This week’s cue is MARBLE.

HOLY COW!

By Neel Anil Panicker

“What the …? Have you lost your marbles?  How on earth can you even dream about it?”

‘Why? What’s wrong with Mary? I mean she’s fun, laughs a lot, and is hot to boot. What more could I ever want, man?’

“Stupid fool, I know you got the hots for her, but don’t you realize it’s she’s the Principal’s daughter?”

‘So what? That only makes it all the more exciting. Imagine how envious everyone would feel when they come to know that ‘Shortie Fatso’ has managed to hook ‘Miss World’, the hottest pair of legs in town.’

“And imagine what would be your fate when ‘Old Witch’ and her military man gun toting husband come to know that their only child has been ensnared by a good for nothing rolling stone.”

‘Blessed! That’s what they would be when they hold a grandchild in their arms nine months down the line.’

©neelanilpanciker2017 #flash #fiction #short story #sixsentencestories #150words

neelwrites/

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Photo Challenge #188

Hosted by the brilliant NEKNEERAJ

at https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/photo-challenge-188/

STAGE CRAFT  

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By Neel Anil Panicker

They were a perfect couple.

She, the danseuse, grace personified, beauty ala divine, the initiator of a million eclectic moves.

He, pianist par excellence, the music maker, symphonist; the one who wove magic with his fingers, her guru-cum-interlocutor.

There they would converge in global artsy hot spots, unleashing their collective brilliance; regaling and hooking one and all, one with her feet and face and other bodily contours; another with his nimble fingers__a royal regalia of magical splendor, mesmerizing and illuminating all lovers of arts and music.

The senses of all who were fortunate to watch and hear such divine display  raised to new esoteric levels.

Awestruck, they watched her every step and move, twist and turn as he strung music unheard of ever before, the resultant fusion evoking appreciative ooohs and aaahs from the connoisseurs, all crème de la crème, the movers and shakers of the art world.

It was all so perfect until one day he realized that she was dancing, but not to his tunes.

That day his music died; so did her art.

©neelanilpanciker2017 #fiction #shortstory #176words

neelwrites/100wordwednesday/shortstory/flashfiction/11/11/2017

100 Word Wednesday: Week 44

100WW

#100WW

Hosted by bikurgurl at https://bikurgurl.com/2017/11/08/100-word-wednesday-week-44/

MOVED ON…

100WW_W44.jpg

Image Credit Brevitē

By Neel Anil Panicker

I ignore the Do Not Disturb sign and step into the room, albeit gingerly.

I flick on the light switch; I’m swept over by nostalgia__eighteen years, nine months, fourteen days, three hours, twenty-two minutes, and a few gasping seconds.

A slow jabbing pain creeps up my arthritic ridden legs, squirreling into my already weakened torso.

Through the swirling maze that are my eyes I spot the bedside table.

Its contents stare at me: the camera, lenses, the battery, the chargers, the shiny black backpack we bought him only last month, and the Nike shoes that he’ll never wear ever again.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #100wordwednesday #flash #fiction #shortstory #100words

neelwrites/fromrattocat/reena’sexplorationchallengeweek#11/shortstory/1553words/09/11/2017

Hosted by Reena at https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/reenas-exploration-challenge-week-11/

 

FROM RAT TO CAT 

Exploration Challenge 11

By Neel Anil Panicker

“You are a cat. Not just any ordinary cat. The big one. The biggest of them all.  A true blue Royal  Bengal  Tiger. The best and the rarest breed to inhabit the whole wide world.”

 

Saumik  began to feel dizzy. His head started to swirl. Blood began  to drain out of his face and limbs.

He felt his legs and limbs go limp.

All this not out of fear or pain. But out of shock.

So far no one, not one person in his entire life so far of over two score years on Mother Earth had ever said so many wonderful words of appreciation for him.

 

A tiger. They were calling him a tiger, that too the best in the business. From a lowly rat to a majestic tiger__that’s quite a paradigm shift. How quickly the wheels of fate change, he thought.

His mind flashbacked to the past, to his childhood, to his village by the sea, near the Sunderbans, the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger.

His mind was once again assailed by words, fierce poison barbs and insults that were heaped on his friends and neighbours.

A recurring image flashed through his mind. There he was, a slip of a ten year old boy, naked above the waist standing a step behind his half bent father whose hands were folded in supplication.

It was morning time. They were in the middle of rich, golden yellow paddy fields. A sickle rested on the ground beneath him, between his father’s legs.

The lands belonged to Hari Shankar, the landlord, an evil eyed wily invective hurling rotund man with a ferocious handlebar moustache.

His father was pleading to Hari Shankar, who also doubled up as the unofficial money lender for the entire impoverished populace.

 “O’ dear God’s gift to mankind, O’ dear benevolent soul, you have blessed us by allowing me to till your soil. We__ my wife and three children subsist because of your kindness. Here have a look at my youngest son. Here he is, Saumik, though we call him Birju. His teachers tell me that he is intelligent, that he is meant for bigger things, that he should be sent to the city for a better education. I told him that I am a poor man, that I can’t afford such expenses. But Birju here is insistent. Says he wants to study, go to a proper school, a school that has a roof, a school where the walls don’t smell of urine and cow dung and human excreta. A school that will make a man out of him.  O’ dear Lord, I request you to loan me some money so that I can fulfil his dream and send him to the city. For this act of kindness I shall forever be under your debt and till your land all my life”.

‘I have heard you and feel like laughing. A man should never dream for anything that is above his stature. Look at him. He is just like you and your father and all your wretched kith and kin. You people are meant to slog all your lives. You can do nothing else in life. This is your fate. You are just a rat and he too will end up like one, a small, useless, slavish rat all his life tilling the soil of the rich. I tell you,  in my fields from today itself. That way there will be two more hands and one extra mouth that can be fed. Now, get back to work, you good for nothing rats”.

‘Congratulations Saumik, you have cleared the most prestigious management school entrance examination in this country. We are proud to tell you that since you are among the top five students, you have secured admission into IIM, Ahmedabad. We wish you all the very best in your B school and hope that you will be an inspiration to millions of students who come from small towns and impoverished backgrounds and realise their dreams by making it big in life. Just one last question. Who do you owe your sterling success to?’

Saumik looked at the distinguished group of panellists who sat across in an oblong teak wood table  and were looking at him with eyes that spelled pride and joy. His welled up.

For one nano second his mind’s eye played out the events leading upto his selection in breakneck speed. Like a Bollywood film every single scene, frame and shot came alive in technicolor.

First, his leaving behind his parents and siblings, then his arrival in big city Kolkata. His new school. The initial rough days. The non stop barrage of insults and mocks and humiliations. The stark contrast between him and his city bred school mates. Their language, mannerisms, their style, swag, and oh, their English_ slick and polished, spoken in an accent that sounded alien and heavenly. Compared to them and the crispy starched clothes that they wore and the redolence that emanated from their well toned bodies, he looked with his pidgin rural English, unkept hair, dark smelly skin, and half protruding yellowing teeth like someone literally from the boondocks, a Stone Age man grossly unfit to move around and be accepted in modern society.

And thus he was marked out, segregated, ostracised from all, made the butt of jokes, laughed at derided to the point when he could take it no more.

The frame moved to one where was packing his bags and was leaving; leaving the big city, leaving behind his dreams of giving himself an education, of becoming a man, of fulfilling his parents’ dreams, of going back and joining his siblings and countless others whose fate it was doomed to with another man’s fields all their lives, existing but not living, mere worms and pests of absolutely no productive use, neither to themselves nor to the world around them.

The frame changes; a miracle happens. Out of the bottle, like a genie,  a kindly man with a benign smile pops up and says, “Son, I have been observing you for some time. You are a very bright student. I see great potential in you. I also see that you are bullied by other students. I can see why they do it. They see you as unkept, smelly, ill groomed, and most importantly as one who doesn’t speak English like the way they do.

My child, let me tell you, I will guide and teach you the ways of the world. I will guide you in the ways of this world. I will help you to not just speak and write and communicate with your fellow classmates but also to well informed adults in a manner that would be the envy of each one of them. I will make them and everybody who interacts with you feel in awe of you and respect and admire you from the inner cores of their hearts.

The next few frames all full of initial struggle in learning and mastering a new language, the efforts that went into turning an uncut stone into a polished jewel.

And one final frame. The day of his graduation. Seated among the audience was the same kindly man, the his English teacher from school who had taught and moulded him into a man, a much respected hugely admired modern young man.

That evening, as he held in his hands the glittering ‘Best Student’ trophy he had hugged Mr Ashmeet Bhattacharya, his mentor, now for ever friend, philosopher and guide for life.

With teary eyes that night before he went to sleep he realised  that he had turned around his fate and suddenly his perspective towards life, towards what constitutes success and how to achieve it had all changed.

“Respected gentlemen, everyman is the driver of his own destiny and thus no one can blame anyone or society or for that matter fate for what befalls him or her. Yes, all of us need one trusted navigator to show them the right path but then all onwards journeys are our to be traversed, however ardous the paths and difficult the terrains we come across. And that navigator is none other than our own perspective. With the right kind of perspective man can conquer mountains, swim oceans and soar high up in the skies. You asked me as to who I owed my success to. I know it is my parents who kept their faith in me despite ever mounting difficulties and teachers, one in particular, Bhattacharya Sir whose efforts helped me turn into a gem.

But besides them, I owe my success to another section of people. The supposed ‘haves’ of this world, the Mr Know Alls, the condescending ones, the ones who insulted me, called me names, made fun of my English et al because if it was not for them and their insults I would not have turned inward and found my inner navigator that has helped me steer the vehicle of my life past failures and towards success. Thanks to them today I have metamorphosed from a rat to a CAT and am about to enter into the best B-school in the country. But more importantly, thanks to them, my perspective towards life has changed for ever as I realise that nothing, absolutely nothing is unachievable for a human being if has the right perspective towards life.”

(c)neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #shortstory #reena’sexplorationchallenge #shortstory #1563words