The Cosmic Joke


It was a big night for the two roommates. It had been about a year since they had moved to Delhi, and started living the big-town lives. Now, they wanted to take things a little bit forward – they were ready for a girlfriend each.

So, they planned out their dates for the night. They would do it together. Ishaan was the sensitive one, while Nandu liked to live the precarious life. Ishaan was in love with a girl, at least he thought he was. Nandu knew that he liked someone, but he wasn't that sure about love. Unlike Ishaan, he didn't think about spending the rest of his life with his girl…

They had gone out for dates, but none of them knew if they had the right to call their respective girls their girlfriends or not. They wanted to though. Call it peer pressure, but almost all their classmates in college had had at least one girlfriend in their lifetime. For Nandu, it was more for his self respect than anything else, that he wanted to get this girl to be his girlfriend. So they went out, with a purpose this time.

Nandu had a good time in the evening. She was quite pleased to meet him, and they went for a movie, dinner, and a nice walk after dinner. They found that in spite of a lot of differences, they indeed enjoyed each other's company. It was quite late when Nandu finally dropped her off at her hostel, and went back to his room.

Walking into the room, Nandu found that Ishaan was hopelessly drunk, and by the look of it, even more hopelessly sad. The door to the balcony was thrown open, even in the chilly Delhi winter night. Ishaan had tried to jump from the balcony, judging by the almost incoherent sobs that came from Ishaan, lying curled up on the room floor. It took considerable effort on Nandu's part to get Ishaan off the floor, and on to the chair. Two strong cups of coffee later, however, he seemed slightly less dazed. He recognized Nandu, and said his life is over, and there's no real purpose for his existence anymore.

Nandu, who had never experienced such emotions, sat there, quite unsure of what to say. Having nothing better to ask, he said "What exactly happened tonight, that almost literally pushed you over the edge?"

"I told her exactly the way I feel about her. She said she understands, but she needed time to figure things out. She said she'll let me know what her answer would be, and now she's not picking up my calls. She's going to say no to me, I just know it. I don't even feel like living anymore. You know how I feel about her; you know how crazy I am about her, how much I love her," said Ishaan, almost succumbing to his sobs again.

Nandu really didn't know what to say to this man. He thought he had known him, but apparently he hadn't. All he could say was, "Consider yourself lucky man. The girl I fell for turned out to be a lesbian."


Image Courtesy BloOwITt

Broken Butterfly


The boys were bored, and they wanted to have a bit of fun. Having decided that they really wanted to have a bit of fun, they moved outside looking for something that would keep them entertained for a little while.

The pretty little butterfly had just started its day, and was flying around in the cool breeze. The world seemed flawless and beautiful to her, reflecting the myriad of colors on her wings.

Soon however, the boys spotted the butterfly flitting from flower to flower, and decided that she must be the object of their entertainment. And so, they chased her. The little butterfly was terrified, and found that she was outnumbered, and surrounded. Whenever she would try to fly away, a swatting hand would slap the butterfly back towards the ground. The beautiful wing was battered and broken pretty soon, and the butterfly almost lost her pride, her wings.

The butterfly was soon exhausted by this, but for the boys the fun was just beginning. The butterfly was hurt, and she protested. The boys didn't listen. The butterfly pleaded to the boys to let her go, and yet the boys did not listen. They toyed with her, till the time they were satisfied and the butterfly was broken, shattered.

The boys turned to leave, leaving the butterfly with its broken wings on either side. "Wait. Before you leave, can you tell me, what was the point of this?" asked the butterfly to the boys as they were leaving.

"You mean, metaphorically?", asked one of the boys, and they went to sleep with big grins.


Image Courtesy tenderlung



He had a handsome coat of Jet Black fur, which shone when the moonlight struck it. He was a sleek creature with everything to admire about him. Yet, he was disliked for what he was - a black cat in a Hindu household. He had been born there, raised by his mother in the backyard, behind the big pile of little things the family considered Junk.

He used to wonder why they screamed so much. There was a little girl who was always somewhat dirty, but he liked the little girl. She was always nice to him, and fed him table scraps, and gave him a saucerful of milk every night, along with little secrets of the house that she was scared to tell anyone else. Secrets about her, about the little things that she saw and felt everywhere… secrets that the rest of the world was scared to believe.

The mother had a shrill voice, and it irked his ears whenever the sound fell onto his ears. Every time he heard it, he used to slink away into the shadows somewhere. There was something accusatory about the way that the mother used to look at him, and at the little girl when she was with him. However, the little girl always used to smile whenever she was with him.

"It's important that we move from here. You've seen how Disha is always with that bringer of ill into the house? It's because of that evil omen that she is the way she is!" the mother screamed one evening.

"You really don't believe that now, do you? We live in the 21st century, and it's high time we realized that all this nonsense about ill omens and evil doers, none of that is true," the father said

"Are you now trying to deny the fact that our daughter is mad?"

"Don't call her mad. She's getting the best medical treatment there is. She's living with us, and that means we have the opportunity to love her as much as you can. You heard the doctors, more than anything else she needs all the love she can get. If she's happy with that cat, what's the big deal?"

"I don't like the way it looks at me, the way it runs away whenever I come near it. It's almost as if it knows it's doing something wrong. Disha doesn't know right from wrong. It's important that we move. I'm telling you, we'll move and you'll see how much of a difference it makes to Disha's health and…"

"Enough! We're not going anywhere. There's nothing wrong with this house, or the Black Cat that lives here, or the park in front of the house. It's a wonderful place for Disha to grow up! I don't want to hear anything more now; we are not going to move from here!"

Two weeks later, on a chilly evening, the bags were packed and the family moved to a newer locality. The reason they cited to the neighbors was that it was closer to the medical facility where Disha was being treated.

That night, the Black Cat waited for the saucerful of milk, and Disha's secrets. It didn't come though. With a sigh, he settled on the fluffy cushion that no one used anymore.

The full moon still shone brightly into the night, and his Jet Black Fur Coat shone. But that night, Disha missed the sight that made her the happiest in the whole world.


Image Courtesy helorits Miller.

55 Fiction: A Sibling Thing


The two sisters fought bitterly. The elder sister was leaving that night, and the siblings weren't talking to each other.

They knew they would miss each other very much, but would never accept it.

Just moments before the final goodbye, the younger sister said something adorable. "Didi, tu mujhko apne dahej mein lekar jayegi na?"

What is 55 Fiction? It is a fiction story, with all the basic elements of a narrative (plot, characters, setting, conflict), in 55 words or less (A non-negotiable rule). I haven't written something along this line for some time now, so this one might come across as slightly rusty.

The (real) Platonic cup of Coffee


It was a quaint little café that was surrounded by that luscious aroma of freshly brewed coffee. It was this, more than anything else, which caused the two of them to come in. They were the best of friends, deeply in love.

He looked into her eyes when he talked to her, because the subject they were talking about was something that both of them were quite passionate about. I don't really remember what they were talking about, but that's quite alright. What matters more, is the way they talked, and the way the rest of the world saw them talk. At that moment, for the two of them, nothing else existed, except each other's words, and the silent aroma of the brewing coffee nearby.

The waitress wasn't very sure whether she should interrupt them at that moment or not, so she waited a while. Giving them a few moments together, she finally moved closer to the table to take their order. It was quite a typical order during that season – two cups of cappuccino, and one chocolate brownie, served with a dollop of ice – cream. As she walked back to the counter, she couldn't stop smiling to herself for the two of them. They were still talking between themselves, without a care in the world…

The two cups of coffee and the chocolate brownie came as ordered. They didn't notice that the waitress was looking between the two of them, and smiling to herself while she served them the coffee. They picked up their cups and relished a sip each. They shared the chocolate brownie, even the ice – cream that came with it. The waitress couldn't help but look at them together, feeling happy for them. At the end of the delicious brownie and the mesmerizing coffee, they got up from their seats and advanced towards the counter where he paid for what they had ordered.

"Dude, I'm so glad I came with you here. Thanks for being my best friend, man!" she said to him

"Anytime, Dudette. Sorry for rushing like this, but my girlfriend's waiting outside," he said with a smile, and they walked out of that quaint little café, still talking like before. Outside, they high fived and walked their separate ways.

"Damn, they sure fooled us!" said one empty coffee cup to another.

Life’s Little Adventures


His tiny feet pattered on the freshly wiped floor. The door to the balcony was thrown open, and the sun shone at him. He laughed back at the sun in greeting, trying to catch the intangible sunlight in his tiny hands. Outside was a new, fresh world, created just for his entertainment. He couldn't wait to be a part of it.

Half walking and half crawling, he covered the last few feet to the balcony, through the big wooden doors. He was outside, taking in the wonderful first-floor air. It was a new perspective for him, where everything looked different from way above; the cat sitting lazily on the wall, soaking up the sun; the three big dogs next door that barked continuously; the children in the park running and screaming. He felt elated at his new freedom, to look at so many things at once. Once, he shouted back at the children, letting them know that he, too, was there.

Looking around, he spotted a little treasure trove. A collection of pebbles, decorated on a little tray, just for him. Glinting in the sunlight, they looked like grey candies that had to be tasted. With a big smile on his face, he started moving towards them. Black, Blue, Green, the pebbles smiled at him in all colors. He smiled back, extending a hand towards them to touch the cool stones glinting in the afternoon sunshine. He let his fingers take in the smoothness of the pebbles, the textures of them, before clasping one stone in each of his hands.

The pigeon cooed, startling him for a moment. He dropped the stones with a clatter to the floor, looking around for the source of this new sound. He spotted the pigeon, and was intrigued immediately. The pebbles lay forgotten on the floor, as he started moving forward towards the pigeon, one little baby step at a time. He stepped on one of the dropped pebbles, and that's when he noticed them again.

Picking up one of the small pebbles, he handed it to me and moved on, eager to stumble upon the next big adventure waiting for him in this fresh new world.

The Unshakeable


It was a story about a couple. They were lovers, but couldn't show their love. They were married, but spent little time together. They had a child who had been taken away from them. They were together, but they were more alone with each other than they were by themselves.

It was not a true story. Yet in some ways, the words on paper seem truer than the stories we have heard from people for so many days.

It was a story of secrets that should have remained untold. It was a story of small incidents that should have stayed insignificant, but they didn't.

It was a lament. They cried, but I didn't.

I am a rock.

No, really.

55 Fiction: Sunset in Delhi


The evening mist that hangs above

The turtle dove awaits his lady love

The twilight hour, a sweet regret

Another day gone, another day dead

The gnarled branches wave goodbye

The clouds, lost, in the deep blue sky

Bidding adieu to the shimmering lights

The Sun sleeps for the night…

What is 55 Fiction? It is a fiction story, with all the basic elements of a narrative (plot, characters, setting, conflict), in 55 words or less (A non-negotiable rule). I bent a few rules for this one, don’t really know if poems are considered to be a part of 55 Fiction or not, but it is less than 55 words, so here it is.

The picture used here was shot by Kshitij Sharma.

The First Flight


Poised at the edge of the balcony, in the backdrop of the inky sky lit up by the floodlights of a nearby factory, he waited. Like a little child waiting to blow out the candles, and leave the inky sky jet black; devoid of the amber light.

He paused for a moment, waiting. The right breeze, that would carry him on. That would carry him over the floodlights that looked like birthday cake candles.

He watched for a moment, spotting things untrained human eyes tend to miss out. The panorama being his guide, he readied himself.

He ruffled his feathers one last time. Moments before he took to the endless skies.

That night, he flew.