Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Today Pegman takes us to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:


17 View from the top

By Neel Anil Panicker

The cityscape of Dubai with its palm tree lined linear streets, the domed minarets, the hexagonal  odd patches of green on an otherwise sand kissed topography__all were a blur, like a colony of ants, barely visible to the naked eye, and yet glistening in the blistering heat of the desert sun.

As Lubna watched the visual spread of ever changing kaleidoscopic colours from her 150th floor hotel room at the Burj Khalifa, she felt on top of the world, both literally and metaphorically.

A whirlwind romance, a lavish wedding, and now, two days later, a dream honeymoon in the skies, around 3000 feet above the earth__ God had been generous nee lavish in showering his blessings.

She turned around and tiptoed towards the master bed, towards the man of her dreams, intending to lather his handsome face with sweet kisses.

Under the covers, Usman waited, knife in hand.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #whatpegmansaw #fiction #148words



hosted by City

Today Pegman walks through Guatemala City

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:


By Neel Anil Panicker

‘Answer me correctly and I’ll marry you.’

“Shoot,” shot back Alex Mathews, a final year exchange student from Michigan.

Today was his last day in Guatemala City. Jessica and he were at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin campus, inside the Museo Popol Vuh, gazing at the richest collections of Maya art in the world.

‘What’s that?’, she asked, pointing towards a sharp pointed conical tool.

“That”, said Alex, “is the Paleoindian stone knife. It was used way back in 9000 BC by hunter gatherers who entered the Americas from Eurasia. They built ice corridors extending…”

‘Impressive. One more,’ she said. ‘Are you the hunter or the hunted?’

Alex lowered his six foot tall frame, gazed evenly into Jessica’s eyes and replied, “With you…always the hunted”.

Her eyes turned a huge blob of lava. He imagined hot rocks bursting out of that gorgeous volcano vent of a mouth.

She whispered, ‘I’m game.’

©neelanilpanciker2017 #whatpegmansaw #historicalfiction #150words


Paleo-Indians, Paleoindians or Paleoamericans is a classification term given to the first peoples who entered, and subsequently inhabited, the Americas during the final glacial episodes of the late Pleistocene period. The prefix “paleo-” comes from the Greek adjective palaios (παλαιός), meaning “old” or “ancient”.


The Popol Vuh Museum takes its name from the Popol Vuh, one of the most important texts of the indigenous literature of the New World. Written in the western highlands of Guatemala around 1550, Popol Vuh brings together a set of myths and historical accounts of great importance for the study of the indigenous peoples of Guatemala. The names of their authors are unknown, but there are indications that it was written by prominent members of the nobility of the Quiche kingdom, which dominated a large region of the Guatemalan highlands at the time of the Spanish conquest. Written in a neat poetic style, it is also a masterpiece in literary terms.

The Popol Vuh presents a mythological version of the creation of the world, followed by an account of the adventures of the twin gods, Hunahpú and Xbalanqué, in primordial times, before the creation of the human being.The triumphs of the heroes against the primordial forces and the gods of death give rise to the creation of the man from the corn. The second part of the text concentrates on the origins of the ruling Quiché lineages, their migration to the Guatemalan highlands, their conquest of territory, the establishment of their main city and the history of their kings until the Spanish conquest.

The original text of the sixteenth century has been lost. It is known that it was written in Quiche language, but using the Spanish alphabet. At the beginning and end of the book, the authors mentioned that they wrote it because it was no longer possible to see a book called Popol Vuh, which existed in the past. Much has been speculated about the nature of this book, which should have existed before the Spanish conquest. It is likely to have been a pictorial manuscript similar to the postclassic codices known in central Mexico.

The oldest surviving text of the Popol Vuh is a transcription of the Quiche text made at the beginning of the 18th century by the Dominican friar Francisco Ximénez, who also made the first translation known in Spanish. Ximénez presented in double column the Quiche text next to the Spanish version, and titled it “They begin the Stories of the Origin of the Indians of this Province of Guatemala” . This manuscript is in the Ayer Collection of the Newberry Library of the City of Chicago. It was extracted from the library of the National University of Guatemala by the French abbe Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, who published it for the first time completely in 1861. Since then, numerous editions and translations have been made.

The word Popol Vuh literally means “book of the mat”. Among Mesoamerican peoples, mats or petates were symbols of the authority and power of kings. They were used as seats for rulers, high-ranking courtiers and heads of lineages. For this reason, the title of the book has been translated as “Council Book” .

The mythological accounts of the Popol Vuh are closely related to other mythological texts collected at the beginning of the colonial period, as well as with many oral traditions that are still preserved in the indigenous communities of Guatemala and other parts of Mesoamerica. In recent decades it has been shown that they also find close parallels in classical Mayan art. In particular, the scenes painted on the polychrome pottery of the classical period in the Maya lowlands present figures of gods and mythological scenes related to the myths of the Popol Vuh. The Popol Vuh Museum houses an important set of such scenes, painted 800 years before the writing of the text that we know today.



Image result for when magellan died

By Neel Anil Panicker

Magellan was at his wit’s end. Until now everything had gone to plan.

Within hours of his sighting the mountains of Simar he had landed at Limasawa, It was easy ‘convincing’ Rajah Siagu, the local ruler. Shortly the entire region had converted to Christianity.

Well, almost.

One chieftain, Datu Lapu-Lapu, of the island of Mactan refused to follow his bidding.

The next morning an infuriated Magallen sailed for Mactan in a ship full of forty-nine armored men with swords, axes, shields, crossbows, and .45 colt guns.

Rocky outcroppings, and corals forced them to anchor away from the shores, rendering their cannons ineffective.

Watching them from ashore were the mag-sabils, the fierce looking stocky 1500 strong  warrior clan.

Forced to the backfoot, the wily Magellan offered a truce: Pay obeisance to the King of Spain and convert to Christianity, or else face defeat.

The locals chose to fight.

Almost immediately  amidst cries of La ilaha il-la’l-lahu, the band of screaming juramentados, showered the Spaniards with a non-stop fussilade of kris, barongs and sharp edged poison dipped arrows.

One of them hit Magellan in the leg and he soon bled to his death, thus forcing the invaders to beat a hasty retreat.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #whatpegmansaw #historicalfiction


In search of fame and fortune, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (c. 1480-1521) set out from Spain in 1519 with a fleet of five ships to discover a western sea route to the Spice Islands. En route he discovered what is now known as the Strait of Magellan and became the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean. The voyage was long and dangerous, and only one ship returned home three years later. Although it was laden with valuable spices from the East, only 18 of the fleet’s original crew of 270 returned with the ship. Magellan himself was killed in battle on the voyage, but his ambitious expedition proved that the globe could be circled by sea and that the world was much larger than had previously been imagined.

The Battle of Mactan (Cebuano: Gubat sa Mactan; Tagalog: Labanan sa Mactan; Spanish: Batalla de Mactán) was fought in the Philippines on 27 April 1521, prior to Spanish colonization. The warriors of Lapu-Lapu, a native chieftain of Mactan Island, overpowered and defeated a Spanish force fighting for Rajah Humabon of Cebu, under the command of Ferdinand Magellan, who was killed in the battle.

Written for whatpegmansaw


Today Pegman walks along the docks of Cebu City, Philippines

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:




Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Written for a weekly flash fiction challenge Whatpegmansaw hosted at

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:


Image result for bridge on the river kwai

By Neel Anil Panicker

Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson wriggles but finds his enormous hands and feet gridlocked, his strapping six foot frame straitjacketed into a foetal position.

Even a mere stretching of the toes proves a Herculean task, closeted as he is inside the three by two feet long iron box.

It’s been a little under eight hours since the senior British Army Officer’s confinement; barely less than a day since his arrival at this remote forested Burmese camp; and less than a month since his capture by the Japanese Army.

The POW squints his eyes and peeps through the slight slit.

All he can make out are the swollen, puss filled ankles of fellow prisoners, as they push, shove, and shuffle forward under the watchful eyes of Japanese troops.

A memory from last night snaps to attention.

He, alongwith other POWs, alights the night train.

Surrounded by machine gun toting guards, a man’s voice booms,

Image result for bridge on the river kwai

“I am Colonel Saito of  the Imperial Japanese Army. You’ll build a bridge across the river. Cut stones, fell trees, lift objects, burrow tunnels…all this and more…hard manual labour…come rain or shine. Do you understand?”

One man didn’t.

“I object. I’m a British Officer. Under the General Convention rules…”

“The butt of the rifle smashes into his skull.

Inside his steel cell, escape is all Nicholson thinks about.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #whatpegmansaw #historical fiction


                                                    HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway, the Burma–Siam Railway, the Thailand–Burma Railway and similar names, was a 415-kilometre (258 mi) railway between Ban Pong, Thailand, and Thanbyuzayat, Burma, built by the Empire of Japan in 1943 to support its forces in the Burma campaign of World War II. This railway completed the rail link between Bangkok, Thailand and Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon). The line was closed in 1947, but the section between Nong Pla Duk and Nam Tok was reopened ten years later in 1957.[1]

Forced labour was used in its construction. More than 180,000—possibly many more—Southeast Asian civilian labourers (Romusha) and 60,000 Allied prisoners of war (POWs) worked on the railway. Javanese, Malayan Tamils of Indian origin, Burmese, Chinese, Thai and other Southeast Asians, forcibly drafted by the Imperial Japanese Army to work on the railway, died in its construction — including 100,000 Tamils alone.[better source needed][2][3] 12,621 Allied POWs died during the construction. The dead POWs included 6,904 British personnel, 2,802 Australians, 2,782 Dutch, and 133 Americans.[4]

After the end of World War II, 111 Japanese military officials were tried for war crimes because of their brutalization of POWs during the construction of the railway, with 32 of these sentenced to death.[5] No compensation or reparations have been provided to Southeast Asian victims.

The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 British-American epic war film directed by David Lean and starring William HoldenJack HawkinsAlec Guinness, and Sessue Hayakawa. Based on the novel Le Pont de la Rivière Kwai (1952) by Pierre Boulle, the film is a work of fiction, but borrows the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942–1943 for its historical setting. The movie was filmed in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The bridge in the film was near Kitulgala.

Carl Foreman was the initial screenwriter, but Lean replaced him with Michael Wilson. Both writers had to work in secret, as they were on the Hollywood blacklist and had fled to England in order to continue working. As a result, Boulle (who did not speak English) was credited and received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay; many years later, Foreman and Wilson posthumously received the Academy Award.[3]

The film was widely praised, winning seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture) at the 30th Academy Awards. In 1997, the film was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress. It has been listed among the best American films ever made by the American Film Institute.[4][5] In 1999, the British Film Institute voted The Bridge on the River Kwai the 11th greatest British film of the 20th Century.




Portal, ND

Today Pegman walks through  Portal, ND

Portal, ND

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:


Image result for PORTAL STATE BANK, PORTAL north dakota

By Neel Anil Panicker  (150 words)

“My family has not eaten for the past two weeks and you say that you’re powerless. That you can’t do anything. Is that all you have to say?”

Charles H. Marshall, Chief Manager and Cashier, Portal State Bank, felt as if he was hit by a monster speeding truck, every single syllabic sound smashing to smithereens his brain cells.

His eyes had trouble reconciling this debt ridden skeletal old man in tattered clothes, whose shoes he noticed were well past its expiry date; its soles coming off, the Big Toe jutting through the edges to the sanguine, smiling poultry farmer of a year ago.

“Here, keep this, my life’s savings_ all of five thousand dollars. I hear you take good care of people’s money,” the man had then said.

That evening Charles turned off the lights to his cabin, flung a rope across the ceiling fan above and, hung himself.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #whatpegmansaw #historicalfiction #150words


There were many businesses established in the first decade of the 1900s including at least two banks. Although it has been decades since it has been open for business, The Portal State Bank remains on Main Street. In the late 1920s the bank, then called the Union Bank, fell on hard times as did many banks throughout the country. The General Manager and Cashier at the time was Charles H. Marshall a prominent attorney and respected businessman. On September 15, 1929, Mr. Marshall took his own life by hanging in the back of the bank. The bank had closed a few weeks prior to his death. It was written in the local paper, The International, that the bank was closed due to depleted funds. The International stated Marshall left a note to his wife and explained that “grief, discouragement and conditions surrounding the closing of the bank had caused him to become despondent and had almost driven him to insanity. Fearing a nervous breakdown and thoughts of becoming a burden to his wife and daughter prompted his rash act”.
In about 2007 Charles Marshall’s grandson, Larry Anderson, visited Portal. He is the son of Marshall’s only child, Muriel. Mr. Anderson related to me that when he was growing up his mother told him of her father’s great anguish during the time leading up to the closing of the bank. She recalled on numerous occasions patrons of the bank coming to their house begging for their money so as to be able to feed and clothe their families. Of course there was no money and they went away empty handed or with a small personal contribution from Mr. Marshall. The Portal State Bank building was restored by Mary Sjue in the 1990s and was placed on the Registry of National Historic Places.


Cirque de Navacelles, France

In Nature’s Lap  (150 words)

By Neel Anil Panicker

In the dark Susie snuggled up to Andrew.

“This is so amazing. You’re right Andy and I’m glad I was wrong”, she gushed.

He responded, enveloping her in his arms.

‘I told you’ll like it darling.’

Amazing, reflected Susie, how quickly one’s perspectives change.

Only yesterday, the two were having dinner at home when Andrew had suggested that they hit the Nature trail.

“Imagine living two nights under the skies!”.

“Not me,” she had retorted in that high pitched tone of hers that she employed to convey finality.

But that was all in the past, and here she was now, on hubby dear’s insistence, succumbing to the  charms of Causse and Lamas.

The two locked eyes and body limbs in their tepee-tepee under the gentle shade of oak trees as outside the verdant hills played guardian as sheep bleated and donkeys brayed while clear stream waters gurgled several hundred feet below.

(c)neelanilpanicker2017  #fiction #whatpegmansaw #shorstory

Cirque de Navacelles, France

This week Pegman takes us to Cirque de Navacelles, France. This week’s location was suggested by JS Brand.

Feel free to stroll around using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:


A tipi[1] (also tepee[2] or teepee[3][4]) is a cone-shaped tent, traditionally made of animal skins upon wooden poles. A tipi is distinguished from other conical tents by the smoke flaps at the top of the structure.[5][6][7] Historically, the tipi was used by Indigenous people of the Plains in the Great Plains and Canadian Prairies of North America, as well as by indigenous peoples of northern Europe and Asia under other names.[8][9][10] Tipi lodges are still in use by these peoples, though now primarily for ceremonial purposes.

Tipis are stereotypically and incorrectly associated with all Native Americans in the United States and Aboriginal people in Canada, despite their usage being unique to the peoples of the Plains. Native American tribes and First Nationband governments from other regions have used other types of dwellings.[1][note 1] The tipi is durable,[11] provides warmth and comfort in winter,[12] is cool in the heat of summer,[note 2] and is dry during heavy rains.[13][14] Tipis can be disassembled and packed away quickly when people need to relocate and can be reconstructed quickly upon settling in a new area.[15][16][note 3] Historically, this portability was important to Plains Indians with their at-times nomadic lifestyle.[17]




(169 words)

By Neel Anil Panicker 

In theory, there are two ways you can go about living in picturesque Yorkshire Dale, the fantabulous mascot of the English countryside, dotted as it were with rolling landscapes of lush dales, windswept hills, deep ravines, large swathes of heather-covered moors and mind busting waterfalls.

If you were like the garrulous Margarets, the seven member Irish miner family who stayed in a two-roomed limestone house, or the Prestons, the septuagenarian  couple who stayed in a barn alongside their fleet of three score sheep you would laugh and chirp and smile and walk the mile to socialise,  flitting in and out of households, exchanging pleasantries besides the delectable honey cakes.

If you were like Richmond,  on the other hand, and you had killed two backpackers and thrown their bodies into the 322 feet deep Gaping Hill,  you wanted to be a recluse.

 You kept to yourself, you said nothing.

If you were smart.

But Richmond wasn’t smart.

He blabbered to someone who blabbered to someone else who blabbered to the police.

©neelanilpanicker2017   #fiction  #whatpegmansaw

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Today Pegman visits Yorkshire Dales.

Feel free to stroll around using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button: