Calvin and Hobbes, the last meeting

Calvin and Hobbes have always been my favorites. And when I read this, and couldn’t share it from Facebook page where I read it, I also couldn’t stop myself from sharing it with others…

“Calvin? Calvin, sweetheart?”
In the darkness Calvin heard the sound of Susie, his wife of fifty-three years. Calvin struggled to open his eyes. God, he was so tired and it took so much strength. Slowly, light replaced the darkness, and soon vision followed. At the foot of his bed stood his wife. Calvin wet his dry lips and spoke hoarsely, “Did… did you…. find him?”
“Yes dear,” Susie said smiling sadly, “He was in the attic.”
Susie reached into her big purse and brought out a soft, old, orange tiger doll. Calvin could not help but laugh. It had been so long. Too long.
“I washed him for you,” Susie said, her voice cracking a little as she laid the stuffed tiger next to her husband.
“Thank you, Susie.” Calvin said.
A few moments passed as Calvin just laid on his hospital bed, his head turned to the side, staring at the old toy with nostalgia.
“Dear,” Calvin said finally. “Would you mind leaving me alone with Hobbes for a while? I would like to catch up with him.”
“All right,” Susie said. “I’ll get something to eat in the cafeteria. I’ll be back soon.”
Susie kissed her huband on the forehead and turned to leave. With sudden but gentle strength Calvin stopped her. Lovingly he pulled his wife in and gave her a passionate kiss on the lips. “I love you,” he said.
“And I love you,” said Susie.
Susie turned and left. Calvin saw tears streaming from her face as she went out the door.
Calvin then turned to face his oldest and dearest friend. “Hello Hobbes. It’s been a long time hasn’t it old pal?”
Hobbes was no longer a stuffed doll but the big furry old tiger Calvin had always remembered. “It sure has, Calvin.” said Hobbes.
“You… haven’t changed a bit.” Calvin smiled.
“You’ve changed a lot.” Hobbes said sadly.
Calvin laughed, “Really? I haven’t noticed at all.”
There was a long pause. The sound of a clock ticking away the seconds rang throughout the sterile hospital room.
“So… you married Susie Derkins.” Hobbes said, finally smiling. “I knew you always like her.”
“Shut up!” Calvin said, his smile bigger than ever.
“Tell me everything I missed. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to!” Hobbes said, excited.
And so Calvin told him everything. He told him about how he and Susie fell in love in high school and had married after graduating from college, about his three kids and four grandkids, how he turned Spaceman Spiff into one of the most popular sci-fi novels of the decade, and so on. After he told Hobbes all this there was another pregnant pause.
“You know… I visited you in the attic a bunch of times.” Calvin said.
“I know.”
“But I couldn’t see you. All I saw was a stuffed animal.” Calvin voice was breaking and tears of regret started welling up in his eyes.
“You grew up old buddy.” said Hobbes.
Calvin broke down and sobbed, hugging his best friend. “I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry I broke my promise! I promised I wouldn’t grow up and that we’d be together forever!!”
Hobbes stroke the Calvin’s hair, or what little was left of it. “But you didn’t.”
“What do you mean?”
“We were always together… in our dreams.”
“We were?”
“We were.”
“Yeah, old buddy?”
“I’m so glad I got to see you like this… one last time…”
“Me too, Calvin. Me too.”
“Sweetheart?” Susie voice came from outside the door.
“Yes dear?” Calvin replied.
“Can I come in?” Susie asked.
“Just a minute.”
Calvin turned to face Hobbes one last time. “Goodbye Hobbes. Thanks… for everything…”
“No, thank you Calvin.” Hobbes said.
Calvin turned back to the door and said, “You can come in now.”
Susie came in and said, “Look who’s come to visit you.”
Calvin’s children and grandchildren followed Susie into Calvin’s room. The youngest grandchild ran past the rest of them and hugged Calvin in a hard, excited hug. “Grandpa!!” screamed the child in delight.
“Francis!” cried Calvin’s daughter, “Be gentle with your grandfather.”
Calvin’s daughter turned to her dad. “I’m sorry, Daddy. Francis never seems to behave these days. He just runs around making a mess and coming up with strange stories.”
Calvin laughed and said, “Well now! That sound just like me when I was his age.”
Calvin and his family chatted some more until a nurse said, “Sorry, but visiting hours are almost up.”
Calvin’s beloved family said good bye and promised to visit tommorrow. As they turned to leave Calvin said, “Francis. Come here for a second.”
Francis came over to his grandfather’s side, “What is it Gramps?”
Calvin reached over to the stuffed tiger on his bedside and and held him out shakily to his grandson, who looked exactly as he did so many years ago. “This is Hobbes. He was my best friend when I was your age. I want you to have him.”
“He’s just a stuffed tiger.” Francis said, eyebrows raised.
Calvin laughed, “Well, let me tell you a secret.”
Francis leaned closer to Clavin. Calvin whispered, “If you catch him in a tiger trap using a tuna sandwich as bait he will turn into a real tiger.”
Francis gasped in delighted awe. Calvin continued, “Not only that he will be your best friend forever.”
“Wow! Thanks grandpa!” Francis said, hugging his grandpa tightly again.
“Francis! We need to go now!” Calvin’s daughter called.
“Okay!” Francis shouted back.
“Take good care of him.” Calvin said.
“I will.” Francis said before running off after the rest of the family.
Calvin laid on his back and stared at the ceiling. The time to go was close. He could feel it in his soul. Calvin tried to remember a quote he read in a book once. It said something about death being the next great adventure or something like that. He eyelids grew heavy and his breathing slowed. As he went deeper into his final sleep he heard Hobbes, as if he was right next to him at his bedside. “I’ll take care of him, Calvin…”
Calvin took his first step toward one more adventure and breathed his last with a grin on his face.

Credits: samuraitiger19 – from reddit

Note from the author – on reddit: “Wow… just wow… I am speechless here guys. I did not expect such a reaction to my story or prompt. I am not worthy of your praise or your gold. I am truly humbled. Thanks so much! I’m truly glad so my story touched so many people”.


To Be Young Again

Like so many others I too dream of being young again! Not to do things differently (well some of them I might, but thats not the main reason), but to experience those rushes again! The “Rush” of having girl look at you approvingly. “Rush” of seeing that girl board the bus again, whose name you never knew. The “Rush” of seeing that one girl in the group you liked look and smile at you! The “Rush” of getting smeared with colors and wish of Happy Holi by a beauty in the neighborhood you never thought could come to you.

Yes, its mostly about Love that I want to re-live again. Not that I am not getting love right now; in fact getting pure unadulterated version of it, but still those “firsts” never seize to haunt you. The first kiss, the first rainy walk under single umbrella, the first bike ride together and first movie holding hands.. All of those and many more had that young Adrenalin rushing. I doubt I can have it at this age. I can still trek 20 km or climb the Skandagiri again at this age, but those dopamine induced surge of serotonin and oxytocin have very little change of coming back.

I guess one needs to find out what one can do that has a flavor or rebellion, taboo-breaking activity that doesn’t threat to break the conformist risk-averse faithful to wife life that the age is comfortable with.

The Enigma Called Love

Since I guess I was 10, I have tasted love. Not just the motherly love but love from the opposite sex. Some might be just my imagination, but time has taught me, on hindsight, most of those cases, there were something that might be love. And then as I grew, I have gone though my fair share of ecstasy and heart breaks. In one hand it has definitely taught me how to love; yet what is the truest form of love still is an enigma for me.

There were some, which some will call infatuation, but that never stopped the heart from racing. There were some that made me believe in soul mates with telepathic connection; yet came to know that you can definitely have more than one soul mates. One might argue that if I have experienced so much in love, I should be knowing the alphabets, the grammar and the entire literature of love! Yet I feel to me its still an enigma, I only know bits n pieces of it.

How else can I explain my present condition? While I have absolutely no doubt that the love of my life I have presently is many times more than I ever dreamt for; yet I also pine for all those Ii have lost? I have absolutely no idea why in-spite of having a partner who can identify my mood from my breath, and knowing that someone in the past might have only used me while I emptied my heart on her and she might be still using me; yet I feel a connection and urge to keep an eye for her well being?

There were so many whose path departed from mine, some went happy, some cursed and yet some simply vanished. On and off they visit me in my thoughts and my heart becomes unsettled unaware of how they are. Never ever have tried to possess anyone, and tried to see them happy – some I know now; among them some living in pretense of happiness, some has accepted their share of misfortune and living it out. And here I am, with an unsettled heart and choking breath remembering and pining for them.

And thats why after all the love I have, it still is an enigma that I cant share with anyone!


Back once again, after a long hiatus. To a space which started in 2005 with “My Space” and is witness to so many of my transformations; so many highs and lows! So many memories stored in it. So many used to frequent this place. I guess most them are not around anymore. Many of you came to know me personally and hence I was no longer able to share my secrets here. And I miss it!

And the same happened with other platforms too. Facebook has all my relatives and Twitter has my business contacts. I sincerely hope I can be what I am here again. To share my innermost thoughts, my tears and my dreams. A place which will know me as I am and not judge me. A place where I can once again be the 15 year old that I always am. A place where I can proclaim my love for Magic. Where I can ask and get Hugs without thinking who I am giving or getting it from.

And no I have nothing who are around me in the physical world; but they have so many insecurities themselves that there is hardly any space for mine. All who are around looks up to me to be responsible, loving and caring! but the 15 year old needs hugs and cuddle too. The shoulder bearer needs a shoulder too! The Horus needs to soar without the string around its talon. The Rebel needs to shatter all the shackles.

This place has given me redemption – this place has given me the best love I ever imagined possible. This place has the magic to bring to life all that good in my life. Hoping to find the Phoenix to rise once again!


Close to the city of Paithan, in a small village called Sauviragram, which lay along the banks of the great river Godavari, lived a woman named Ilaa. Being cotton farmers, her family was well to do, but not among the richest in their area. It was the harvest season, and cotton had to be picked from the plants. The wholesalers and traders from Paithan would be arriving in just a few weeks, carrying gold and goods for barter. They would exchange what they carried for the cotton that the farmers grew. The bales of cotton had to be ready in time. Work was at its peak!

But Ilaa was not to be found in the fields. She wasn’t working. Instead, she was sitting by the banks of the great river Godavari.

“I am sick of this!” she grunted loudly.

“Still thinking of your dream?” Tara calmly inquired, her gaze fixed on flowing Godavari.

“Why can’t I shake this off – it comes back again and again!”

“Come on it’s just a nightmare”

“And what about all the trouble it brings after it?”

“What is there to worry so much about it? And anyway, I like you better when you call yourself Sudyumna; you act so peaceful and logical.”

“What about that I don’t remember a second what happened during it. Baba says I get possessed, because I go out at night with my hair untied.”

“Nonsense, why do we girls only need to follow all the rules?”

“Exactly, was goddess Kaali always possessed? She always had her hair untied.”

“You are no less fearsome than goddess Kaali, when you have the sword unsheathed.”

“And you still prefer me as Sudyumna?”

“I don’t want to lie, but the warrior Ilaa is much more useful at current situation”

“Now you are talking. So is our tonight’s plan final?”

“Yes we meet at midnight.”




Thee midsummer sun is on its way towards the horizon. Manuraj Konde was hurrying back home, after a long day at his farm. The roads were mostly empty; the cowherd are yet to come back with their cattle. Manuraj takes the turn at the edge of the mango grove towards his house, and he hears the commotion. The village kids were most probably fighting for the mangoes. Manuraj was about to ignore the lot with a smile, when the sight made him stop in his track. It was not a usual fight between the boys. It was fight between two sari wearing girls fighting against six boys; some seemed even elder than the two. He recognized one as Tara, who was shielding the mango loot, pushing and biting whosoever tried coming near her. But she was hardly facing any trouble, as the boys were finding the other girl quite handful. The other girl, about five or six in age, with her untied mane flaying, was fighting the boys’ singlehandedly. With her sari tied in the traditional Marathi style, her legs were free to issue the deadly kicks; while holding one of the boys by his neck around her left arm, she was punching and slapping furiously at the rest. Soon the boys gave up; one of them lifted a pebble, planning to throw at the girls. Tara’s shout alerts the other girl, who stared back at the boy to dare him throw. The boy got the message and fled. With victory confirmed, the girl, deftly tied her hair into a bun and turned towards Tara. Manuraj was stunned to see her daughter Ilaa.

Manuraj, decided not to confront her rebellious daughter in front of the village, and took a detour to his home. Like every day, Sharadabai ensured that the water was ready for Manuraj to take a wash before he rested in the porch, leaning against the mud wall beside the main door to the hutment. He stopped after drinking half of his glassful of buttermilk and called his wife,

“Sharadabai, are you sure you gave birth to a girl?”

“What kind of question is this? We got Ilaa after so much prayer. I know, both of us wanted a boy, but by the blessing of Mitra, our sun-god, we had Ilaa. And after five years of her birth you are still unsure about her?”

“Well what I saw today gave me the doubt, if she is really what we think she is.”

“Now what did she do? I am tired of all the complaint I get from the neighbors,” Sharadabai could not suppress a touch of tiredness in her tone.

“Nothing serious, she just fought off five or six village boys singlehandedly, while her friend Tara defended their loot”

“I would say, those boys deserves thrashing, if they can’t handle two little girls,” responds Sharadabai, this time with a smile in her face and satisfaction in her tone.

“But Sharada, she is getting older now; soon we need to tell her not to roam so freely with the boys. Tell her to start helping you around the house.”

“Can’t we send her to Rahuji’s ashram?”

“Are you mad Sharada? Sending a girl to ashram? We will be ostracized by the entire village. Not a single girl from Sauviragram has ever gone to ashram.”

Sharadabai remained silent for a while, lost in her thought. When she saw Manuraj, keeping down the empty glass, she hurried to take it from her hand; looking down, she pleaded her husband –

“If you promise not to be angry, can I share something with you?”

“Now what is in your mind?”

“I took the liberty to show Ilaa’s birth chart to Guruma, in the Ashram. You know unlike rest of the females at Sauvira, she is not only literate, but more learned than many males. She has deep knowledge of astrology, and do you know what she predicated for Ilaa?”

Manuraj was already stunned. Though villagers do talk about Guruma Durga being literate, her being an expert proponent of astronomy was beyond his imagination. Awestruck Manuraj managed to ask his wife for the details, and Sharada started-

“Guru-ma predicted that our Ilaa has stars’ support to change the history of Maharashtra and Marathas. With the blessing of Vishnu, she will guide the nation against the oppression. That’s why I was wondering if we can somehow help her with knowledge.”

“Even if you manage to coax Guru-ma, how do you plan to convince Rahuji Somnath? He is lord Shiva incarnate. Have you not heard tales of his temper? By the grace of Lord Parshuram, he is like his lord, a Brahmin whom even the kings fear to face in battle.”

“That’s also why I want Ilaa to attend ashram. While working there, I have seen guruji has special class for his favourite disciples. He not only teaches Veda and Vedanta, but also how to wield a staff and swords.”

“I know, but don’t talk around about it. It’s on special request of Shivaji maharaj. But that still doesn’t answer my question – how do you convince guruji to take Ilaa as his disciple?”

“We won’t tell him. I will take him dressed as boy. There is anyway very less difference between a boy and our Ilaa, which you have seen today. But of course I will tell Guruma. And I think she will be happy to see her prediction coming to life in front of her eyes.”

“Are you sure Sharada that this would work? She is our only child. She hardly keeps her hair tied, and you want her to hide it under a headgear, pretending to be a boy?”

“Just tell her once that she could beat a boy, and she will be ready to do anything you tell her.”

“She really hates boys that much?”

“It’s not boys, neither is it hatred. She is just tired of being a girl tied down by our society; she want to break free.”

“May be this is what Vidhata has written for her,” conceded Manuraj. Though fear of risking the life of his only child, putting her against all societal norms, sent a chill down his spine.




Dashahara was around the corner. Sitting under a peepal tree beside his land, Manuraj surveyed the tilling of his farm. Soon it will be time to sow the cotton. Ilaa has been studying in ashram for almost six years now. Guruma was already seeing her prophecy coming to life.

Last year the Nizams of Ahmednagar lost Khidki to Mughals. They say, Mughal prince has decided to make the town his southern head-quarter. He even changed the name of Khidki. Fateh Khan named the growing town on his name – Fatehnagar. Now the Mughal prince announced it to be on his own name – Aurangabad. If even half of what is rumoured is true, then it’s bad for all. Both Malik Amber and Fateh Khan were fierce warriors, but they cared for the commoners. Mughal’s have only aim; to fill their coffer. They have already started plundering all towns and villages one by one. They not only have eye for the cottons we reap but the girls we protect.

Manuraj’s chains of thoughts are disturbed by some unfamiliar nose. The relative calm of the land is pierced by some faint noise coming from the direction of Sauvira. Manuraj got up and turned his eyes towards his village. Soon a thick cloud of smoke started rising; the shrieks and cries of women grew louder. And then their worst fear was confirmed by the loud war cries of Mughal force. Their Sauviragram was being ravaged. Everyone dropped what they were doing and ran with their life. Manuraj was praying hard while he ran. They must have come to know about the troop that Guru Rahuji Somnath is training. But Sharada and Ilaa are also there. And everyone knows what a plundering army does to the females.

By the time Manuraj reached the ashram, it was already blazing. The thick smoke-filled with the stench of blood and burning flesh made it hard to see of move forward. Manuraj wrapped his turban around his face and moved ahead. He stumbled on something and nearly fell on his face. Dead-bodies were strewn around in heaps. Involuntarily he raised his hand to his forehead as a mark of respect. The one on which he stumbled was not hard to recognize; the flowing white beard confirmed the fierce guru of the ashram has left this earth. But where is Ilaa? Did Sharadabai manage to escape?

The authoritative voice of Guruma pulled Manuraj to left of the ashram. Blocking the entrance of a hut, she was trying to stop the Mughal general.

“They are only female kids; they can’t hurt you. Please leave them alone. You already have what you came for.”

A soldier shouted back, Ï have seen a slimy Marathi woman take his boy inside; they must be hiding other boys too.”

Guruma was clearly taken aback. Then it stuck Manuraj, they must be talking about Ilaa and his wife. Before he could think of anything, the general signaled and the thatched roof of the hut was on fire. The collective cries of girls inside wrenched Manuraj’s heart out. He was about to dash out to save them, when a hand stopped him from behind. Others behind him pointed the shrubs at the back of the hut. They crouched and started making way to back. A young one not able to bear the heat dashed out, with her mother behind her. Before the mother could reach the girl, a spear impaled the hapless girl. Moments later the mother was scooped up by a soldier mounted on his horse. The men were already at the back of the hut with their farming tools, frantically trying to dig a tunnel.

Manuraj was among the first to enter the hut. Sharada was already on fire, with wailing Ilaa trying to put out the fire on her mother clothes. Manuraj held Ilaa’s hand and dragged her away. One look at Sharada, and he saw her dying eyes recognized him. He gave a peaceful smile before she finally passed away. Ilaa was desperately trying to break free to save her mother. Manuraj dragged her away.

Sound of a hundred footsteps, muffled screams in the dark tunnel. Clutching her father’s hand with all her might, she turns her head, eyes frantically searching for a face.

“Dad, she is still there inside, we must go back!”

“Come-on child, you want to live? Or die like rest of the lot?”

Father’s sweaty hand was slowly slipping out of her clutch as they emerged from the tunnel.




‘I am sick of this!’ she grunted loudly.

‘Still thinking of your dream?’ Tara calmly inquired, her gaze fixed on flowing Godavari.

It’s the dream of that fateful night that kept chasing Ilaa for last four years. And every-time she dreams of it, she wakes up to be a different person. Ilaa dreams and Sudyumna wakes up; Sudyumna of Rahuji Somnath’s ashram dreams and Ilaa comes back.

Tara was not complaining. Sudyumna had the best of plans, he was not only articulate to the last detail, but could cough of examples and reasons to support their cause, from every Purana and Upanishads you can name. And Ilaa was Chandika incarnate. When she moved with her sword, no one dared to come close. They both were an asset to the guerrilla group they formed to save the common Marathi’s’ from the rampaging Mughal army.

“So we are meeting at midnight?” Ilaa wanted to confirm.

“Yes of course; there will be only a small contingent with the Mughal tax collectors,” confirmed Tara. “But before you leave I have some news for you.”

“What is it now?”

“My dad is coming tomorrow.”

“Hansaji Mohite? Chief General of Shivaji, coming? Is everything all right?”

“Shivaji is coming with him too.”

“What? What is going here? What are you hiding from me?”

“I have to go – he is coming to take me to Raigad. I am to wed Prince Rajaram Bhosale in fifteen days.”

“Oh my god, you are going to be a queen? But what will happen to our troop?”

“I am leaving it under you. Train them well. I hope Sudyumna also teaches them well. When the time comes, I will call for you. We have to fulfil Guruma’s prophecy. You and me together, we will make sure Maharashtra rises.”

With her eyes fixed on the flowing water of Godavari, Tara said, “Men say, we need to be protected, as the first thing any invader does is to attack the land’s women. We are Shakti. If they believed in us, we could not only protect ourselves, but them, and our motherland.”

Tara saw two unfamiliar beads of tears swelling up from her friend’s eyes. Ilaa picks up a scoop of Godavari’s water in her right hand, and places it on top of Tara’s right hand. Together they vowed to fight together when time calls, to rewrite India’s and Maharashtra’s history.

Finding Lost World


“Indra, keep the ball on the off stump.”

And off stump is where the next ball pitched. The bat went whack, the ball flew towards mid-off. Sugata, wanted to duck the hard deuce ball, and ran on a curved trajectory away from where he was standing. After running a few meters, he looked back, only to find the hard ball about to crash on his head! Instinctively he ducked again, hand on his head, and ball thumped on his upper back.

33 yrs later, a huge underground water reservoir stands at the same place, guarded by high fencing, locked gates, and a few elders sitting in front of the pumping station.



“Hey Sudip, that’s beauty of a cycle guru! When did you get it?”

“Not mine Indra, Turki got it yesterday. I just took it to have a round.”

“Let me also try.”

“Be careful, it a SLR, very fast bike”


After taking a round across the central park, Indra suddenly noticed, Sudip standing middle of the road. The speed was a bit too much; the brakes couldn’t stop it in time; it goes off the road, through the shrubs and crashed into the fences of a nearby garden, carefully maintained by the ground floor owner.

33 years later, the road around Central park is wider, but with several speed breakers, and metal fencing around it. There is no way a cycle can go off-road, or crash into a garden, which are no longer there.



“Dadai, I have got 10 fresh Kadam today. We won’t fall short before completing our full 3 game match”

“Good, better peel it here before entering our flat; otherwise we have to clean the floor, before mom comes back.” Indra instructed his 8-year younger brother, while inhaling the intoxicating fragrance.

33 Years later – the Kadam trees existence is hidden from view by a huge 2 storied structure housing community clinic among other setups. Only a mild wafting smell indicated it still there somewhere. Surely no one bothers to use its flowers to play table tennis on the dining table, using hard bound story books as bats, anymore.



The duo nick named Physics-Chemistry walked down the lanes of the complex, debating and discussing all topics possible under the sun, while carefully keeping an eye on all the group of chicks coming in and out of their safe walk zones. The group of trios who gave them the nicknames, were of particular interest. They came to know about it through a common female friend, only during the last Durga puja. Occasional appearance of another special interest coming back from tuition with her mom stole attention. A stealing glance and hint of a smile, made the day for Physics Chemistry.


33 years later, the streets and nooks are same. There are still young guys hanging around the corners. Some with Bikes and latest Vespa’s. But I guess the checking out has moved from there to the virtual world of social media. Only some middle-aged women, walking to keep themselves fit has replaced the safe zone walkers. Who knows some of them might be the same ones who were of interest 33 years back.



Indra kept walking those very familiar streets looking for missing scenes, fragrances and sounds. He frantically tried to somehow scavenge some hints of those moments lost more than 3 decades back. He hoped at least somethings will defy the time and peep-out from the overgrown weeds. Even the familiar afternoon feature of Joginder-bhai’s fuchka stand was missing. Just an aging face of Somenath bhai behind the ironing shack waving back was the last straw for otherwise sinking hope. Just as dejected, heartbroken he was forcing his legs to take an exit, about to sweep the crumbling hopes to find his teen-age world in the aging urban greenery, his eyes fell on a first-floor window. A teenage figure framed against the window grill, in white frock, reading a book, flowing mane covering her face. His heart skipped not one but several beats as he kept looking shamelessly at the view, wondering if he was looking through a time portal. The girl slowly tucked her hairs behind her ears, unmindful of a middle-aged watcher, looked out of the windows. His eyes widened even more, coz even the face looks familiar. How could it be?

“What are you staring at?” – familiar sound of his friend jolted him back to reality, as he questioningly pointed with his eyes at the window. “It’s not who you are thinking. Its her daughter. She moved back here with her daughter after her husband died a couple of years back.”

A lump forced its way through his throat, as he stole a last look at the figure in the window. He understood, Golf Green has also aged along with him, may be a bit faster. It’s difficult to go back and better to seek the the past in its new appearance.

And then the raindrops greeted him!




As the years pass by and you grow
Shoes on your feet also do so
The size stops getting bigger after a while
The weight in it keep swelling though

The weight that piles is not mine
Some are moments, bitter and fine,
Some are those, who made me cry n smile
Still you gotta keep walking, rain or shine

The shoes on my feet is not clean
Off the road oft, I have been
To meet the wild pansy and brook in exile
Soaked it in the puddle and rubbed on some green

Time keeps showing who’s the real boss
Soon your old man’s shoes are now yours
Not an easy job, but keep loving the miles
My Shoe – I love you, together we’ll soar!

The Other Birthday!


I checked my watch as I scrambled out of my cabin. I am late, the kids are back at home, hungry. Given the option I would have loved to stay back at home. But to raise two kids, the second income is a necessity. And obviously, I don’t want to go back into the vortex of self-pity driven depression, by sitting idle at home.

Rushing towards the exit, I noticed the rain outside. Cursing my luck, I rummaged my tote bag for the umbrella, as I stepped out in the rain. I knew it’s not there. The morning never gave any hint of rain. I ran across the road to the other side, hoping to catch an auto quickly. But as usual they all vanished the moment the raindrops hit the ground. I stood at the entrance of the café, the rain splattered eyeglasses making it even more difficult to spot any vacant incoming auto.

Looking at the dark clouds overhead, I cursed them, I hate rain – I hate dark clouds. Or do I? They used to be my closest ally – when did I start hating them? In a flash, I went back eight years and saw a female in a hospital bed. It was me, trying to get back to life after the futile suicide attempt. And I remembered him, the rain-maker! He came into my life, just to show me the life I had.

All I saw in him was a desperate guy, head over heels in love with a middle-aged married woman; surely it was hunger. But I also felt the desperation, was slipping out of marriage. So I did what was best for both. And just like he came, he was gone; in a flash! It was me who drove him out.

I trail of though was abruptly broken as I felt the raindrops stopped falling on me. Someone has opened an umbrella for me. Startled, I looked back to find his eagle eyes looking back; still the same, piercing look that sees through your soul.

“You? Here? When did you come to town?”

“I came here to wish you ‘Happy Birthday’!”

“My birthday is 3 months later.”

“No, the second birthday you had. I come every year, sitting here, in this café to wish you on this day.”

Before I could reply, he signaled a vacant auto, and led me to it. I scampered in and told the driver the destination. While I settled down in the seat, alone, the enormity of what just happened hit me. It was today, eight years back, I was in the hospital bed, fighting for a new life. Did he really come to the city on this day for all these years?

I poke my head out to find him. He was walking down the footpath, hands in pocket, umbrella tucked in his backpack, soaking in the rain, looking at my receding auto, a hint of smile hanging at the corner of his lips. That’s when I knew for sure, he, my rain-maker really loved me.


Wrote for an online competition after ages – since it didn’t get any response – thought of publishing it here and see what my regular readers say about it !


2nd Place on “Thinkerbeat Spinners Awards”

It might be small but definitely not insignificant for me. Winning the 2nd Place in the “Thinkerbeat Spinners Awards” definitely gave me joy! That’s my first International Award of any sort. And knowing that its been judged by three people who I never knew, means they were unbiased.

As per Daniel from Thinkerbeat – “Both your song and the first place song were excellent and the judges had a hard time deciding. I think the first place lyrics won because they fit more with a pop melody than yours do, but both would make great songs! Thanks. I will send the money soon.”

My entry for the competition is here:

Boatman’s Tune

Misty eyes of my girl peek from the cloud,
She never griped yet hunger cried aloud,
And I row out the waves, away from the crowd;
But I won’t sing the boatman’s tune –
Coz its home my home where lies my fortune!

Wiry arms and blistered hands,
Ample catches shifts to barren sands,
God must be at distant lands;
But I won’t sing the boatman’s tune-
Coz its home my home where lies my fortune!

I scour the surf from noon to moon,
Her misty eyes are my bane and boon.
I won’t sing the boatman’s tune –
Coz its home my home where lies my fortune!


Storyteller : Friday Fictioneers 31 July 2015

PHOTO PROMPT © G.L. MacMillan.

PHOTO PROMPT © G.L. MacMillan.

“So tell me sir, as an author, where do you get such dramatic characters?”
“Real life is always more dramatic than any drama.”
“You mean these colorful characters are real? But they all eventually die.”
“They can tell me a story only after it’s complete.”
“You mean, you somehow managed to meet and talk to dead people? Where? How?”
“You know, it’s scary even for the souls to live in the open. They feel secure in my bottles, giving the transparent glass bottles color of their characters. And they feel good to be able to talk to someone. This is where I sit and talk to them, one bottle at a time.”


Written for Friday Fictioneers by Rochelle – rest of the fictions are the froggy link below:

Six Scoop Cone : Friday Fictioneers 24 July 2015

PHOTO PROMPT © Dee Lovering PHOTO PROMPT © Dee Lovering

“Joe the Snow”-s ice cream cart bell woke me up.
Just 11 AM.
I slept late last-night at 7.
I could do with a six scoop cone.
But that involves getting out of bed, the jacket, a hike of 20 yards across the park and lots of snow!
How I wish Joe could come to my window to take my order.
The only stuff within reach is the bed-side table, with a clock, match-box, candle, and a glass of water.

Ten minutes and six tries later, people in the park were dowsing the fire on the window curtain. There they are, Bob – the balloon man, two park rangers, a beggar, and “Joe”.

I can beat Garfield hands down any day.

There were 2 plots fighting in my head – one inspired by Rochelle’s weather story the other Garfield. I guess even untiring Rochelle is no match for Garfield. He won and so this is this week’s FF.

For cue of Friday Fictioneers hop on to Rochelle’s den. The rest of the fictions are at the blue froggy link below. 

Banquet of Burgundy : Friday Fictioneers July 17, 2015

PHOTO PROMPT- © Sandra Crook

PHOTO PROMPT- © Sandra Crook

The cooks in Duke of Burgundy’s kitchen were cleaning up after a successful banquet.

“The discussions in the banquet today were quite heated”
“Yes! King Phillip was furious.”
“I guess Edward’s sheltering that scheming Robert was the last straw.”
“But our duke did good selection of menu; and they cleaned up our entire stock”
“You mean the whole 70 gallon?”
“Every ounce of it!”
“Am sure that much mustard is surely going to burn them for years”
“It’s England who should worry – we will be fighting them with fire in our belly.”
“And they will remember the Dijon Mustard for centuries to come.”


Odo IV, Duke of Burgundy held a Banquet at Dijon hosting then King of France, Philip VI in 1336. Phillip on the same year had a bitter disconnect with the king of England, Edward III. The worsening relationship through of a series of events in 1336, saw the beginning of the 100 years’ war from 1337. Its recorded that the said banquet consumed 70 Gallons of Dijon mustard – the highest ever consumed in a single sitting. This is an attempt to connect the dots in a lighter note!

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Reverent Rochelle. Rest of the fictions at the froggy link below-

Switch : Friday Fictioneers 10 July 2015

PHOTO PROMPT © Stephen Baum

PHOTO PROMPT © Stephen Baum

Lucy took a deep breath and closed her eyes, slipping into a trance.

Soon it was that familiar feeling, sound of a hundred footsteps, muffled screams in the dark tunnel. Clutching her father’s hand with all her might, she turns her head, eyes frantically searching for a face.

“Dad, she is lost, we must go back!”

“Come-on child, you wanna live, or die like your weakling mother?”

Father’s sweaty hand was slowly slipping out of her clutch as they emerged from the tunnel.

Watching the gradually falling BP, from the corner of his eyes Dr. Pummel noticed the ‘switch’.

“What’s your name?”

“Lucas, of course”

In his concluding report doctor wrote ‘severe DID’.


With all the tours and work pressure, I was in pain, not being able to write my FF or read any other’s. So made sure I wrote this week. DID  or Dissociative Identity Disorder is one of the most controversial psychiatric disorders. Two very famous cases can be found here. Currently working on a character for my next fiction based on a Hindu mythological personality that can be a classical example of DID.

Written for Friday Fictioneers – where our gracious fellow fictioneer gives us a reason to feel good by expressing ourselves. Rest of the fictions at the link below:

New Kitchen Garden : Friday Fictioneers 12 June 2015


Half asleep, I picked up the ringing phone; the international number told me it was brother.

“Good evening brother”
“Guess it’s good morning for you; so how do you like the new place.”
“Problem is food –vegetables are alien here; the one I know are difficult to get!”
“Have a kitchen garden – plant them”
“What about spices?”
“Plant them too”
“And then grind-n-mix?”
“Or genetically modify – make then give powdered and mixed spices”
“It’s difficult to get meat too!”
“You can always invent a Meat-Plant”
“With chicken fruit and mincemeat pods?”
“Yeah! And remember to have a pond”
“To water the plants?”
“No silly – for the Fish-Plants”
“Guess you are too sleepy bro – go to sleep”


For a guy who loves to cook – there a too many memories linked to kitchens; some very fond, some even outright romantic! Looking at the prompt, I was sure to write a romantic story – or pick one of my old poems. It took a couple of hours to shake it off and go to a totally different genre!

Written for Friday Fictioneers managed by our gracious host Rochelle!

Rest of the fictions are at the froggy link –

Uncle Fantastic Flanagan : Friday Fictioneers 5June 2015


There were very few things impossible for Uncle Flanagan.

Seeing the anchor chain on the beach Jimmy drew Uncle Flanagan’s attention–

“This must be your match, care to pull?”

“Not interested. Pulled one in 1944 – emptied a whole lake!”

“Ahem – a whole lake?”

“Two submarines sunk my ship, followed them swimming to this lake inside a pacific island, with just a harpoon and 2 grenades.

A tap on lake-surface – the echo told me lake was deeper than the channel they used; had a rock as stopper; used the chained harpoon to yank off the stopper. The lake emptied.

2 Grenades in 2 empty torpedo silos did the rest.”

Uncle took the gum from bewildered Jimmy and walked off.

That was our Uncle Fantastic Flanagan.


A bit overboard this week with the number of words – but I really had to for this one!

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle! Rest of the fictions are at the froggy link.

Wait : Firday Fictioneers May 29, 2015

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

“Honey I am ready”
“Well I am not”
“We are gonna be late for the family dinner”
“Well I am not instant noodle that I will be ready in 2 minutes. We females have a lot to do just to ensure that your dignity is maintained”
“My dignity maintained? And hows is that?”
“Just be being seen with a pretty lady like me”

So Mr. Cuttlefish waited by the main gate for Mrs. Cuttlefish to be ready and come out. He waited and waited and…

Guess the wait was a bit longer than what he expected.


A bit under workload – so about 5 hours behind when I planned to put the entry up. However this is the story which got stuck in my head as soon as I saw the prompt!

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by ever graceful Rochelle !

Rest of the fictions at the froggy link –

Dew Drop : Friday Fictioneers 22 may 2015

PHOTO PROMPT – © Santoshwriter

PHOTO PROMPT – © Santoshwriter

As she sipped her coffee, he carefully combed and braided her silken strands.
“No-one ever pampered me like this, physically or emotionally; not even my husband of ten years.”
“You call this pampering? For me it’s just love, and this is the only way I know to love.”
“I envy the person who gets to marry you.”
“Who stops you from being that person?”

It’s been eight years since. Just like a morning dew drop he appeared in her life, moistened the sun burned path, taught her how to live and love and vanished like the dew drop vanishes with the rising day light.


Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by ever smiling Rochelle. This week mush overcame my mind !

Rest of the fictions are at the froggy link:

Alien Stub : Friday Fictioneers 15 May 2015

PROMPT -© Marie Gail Stratford

PROMPT -© Marie Gail Stratford

The news anchor explained, “Eyewitnesses reported seeing the object getting impregnated in the ground. And it has substantially heated up the ground around it.”

“The neighborhood is advised extreme caution; the heat may burn houses,” declared fire department.

“It’s an alien missile silo; blast it before it blasts us” – was Sheriff’s version.

The mayor was hopeful, – “I’ve consulted the high priest, it’s a grain depot gifted by God.”

The entire town was out in the field in fear and awe looking across the city fences at the alien structure.


I stubbed the end of my cigarette in the ground and stood up watching the morning unfurl. Just before leaving I noticed commotion in the nearby anthill.


Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle !

Rest of the fictions are at the froggy link:

Ancient Chemistry : Friday Fictioneers 8May 2015

PHOTO PROMPT – © Madison Woods

PHOTO PROMPT – © Madison Woods

Iron – copper – gold – brass, all in order. Weights of individual elements triple checked. The mixture in the vessel carefully prepared under full moon light. Ramon prays silently and turns the faucet.

After three centuries, his ancestor’s secret is about to come to life.

The next few seconds felt like hours. And then the first drop came out. Drops after drops slowly started filling up the tub kept below; the shining, glowing liquid slowly gelling into a golden solid.

Hidden from his view, the liquid punctured the tub and dripped on the earth below, eating it, creating an ever-increasing void.

The ancient alchemists must be smiling from heaven.


Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. This week the battle of genre for the story i won by fantasy, defeating humor and sci-fi !

Rest of the fictions are here:

Gold’s Guard : Friday Fictioneers 01 may, 2015

PHOTO PROMPT – © Dee Lovering PHOTO PROMPT – © Dee Lovering

Queen Maria surveyed the nearly finished Customs House, and looked at architect Pere Garcia.

“That’s quite beautiful Garcia; you have planned for almost everything except the gold we collect. That much gold is surely going to attract the raiders”

“We have planned for it my majesty.” fellow architect Sagner informed. “I have a Greek Trader bring in a special live cargo from India.” He presented a scroll with the Cargo details.

Queen Maria scanned the document and smiled.

Soon workers and visitors of Barcelona Customs House got used to the occasional screech and whiffs from the wings of four pairs of Gryphons protecting all the gold.


The pic in the prompts said its from Barcelona. And what caught my eye was the memorial to Columbus and the Griffins / Gryphons on the top of the building at the left hand corner. I googled, and then took a tour of the area by Google Street View and found that the building is the old customs house build in 1895 by Sagner. And voila !

This is for Friday Fictioneers hosted by tireless host Rochelle and the rest of the fictions are at the froggy ink below: