Friday, 19 August 2016

The Game
                                                                                               Photo prompt © janet webb
 ‘Grandpa, that’s not possible? You never got stung?’
‘Only once; I recall that day vividly. A wasp had landed on my reading table. I pounced on it with a handkerchief in my hand and caught it. Very carefully and cleverly I exposed its tail. I used my right thumb and first finger like a pincer to pluck wasp’s sting. But before I could reach its sting, it stung me. Terrified, I released it. Soon my hand was swollen; the pain was unbearable.’
‘Your mama?’
‘She thrashed me. She disliked this game of tying strings to wasps’ legs.’
The kid laughed; he loved this part of the story.
A post for FridayFictioneers on a photo prompt. The post is partly inspired by a childhood incident.

Word count 107

Friday, 12 August 2016

The Team
The boy hobbled into the ground; clutched in his left arm was a football that his mother had gifted him. Although every step he took was painstaking yet his innocent face looked truly radiant for he had dressed like other players; but he was not a part of the team.
The mother looked through the window of her bedroom. She looked at her son and felt queasy; an irrepressible desire to scream rose in her heart. It was all her fault and she knew it. She clenched her fists, almost fiercely; the nails began to hurt her palms.
‘Why does my boy have to pay for my sins?’
The regret was soul-wrenching; more so because her mother had repeatedly warned her. But she had refused to listen to her. She wanted to punish her for being a bad mother; she had separated from her father when she was just five.
She eventually stopped using drugs; but by then it was too late. She gave birth to a deformed boy. Her son was handsome like his father but he was condemned to hobble all through his life.  
A post for Flash Fictionfor Aspiring Writers on a picture prompt
and for Three WordWednesday: word prompts- painstaking, radiant, queasy.

Word count 186

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Grappling Iron
167 08 August 7th 2016
‘This is what we call a grappling iron. This one was from my ship.’
‘Grandpa, you were in the Navy? I didn’t know; did you ever fight a war?’
‘Did I never tell you the story when King Khamaanaa had attacked us? He was king of twenty islands. The islands were rich in gold and silver. King Khamaanaa had built a powerful navy. I was commanding a warship when his navy attacked. Twenty ships attacked my ship……..’
‘Last time you had said that a giant octopus had attacked your ship?’ the little kid asked. 
‘That was when I was in merchant navy…..’
‘But just now you said you were commanding a warship?’ the little boy would never let the old man complete his stories.
‘I commanded the warship when I was in Navy. Later….’
‘Tell me about the giant octopus. Was it even bigger than your ship?’
‘I will tell you if you promise not to interrupt me.’
‘I promise.’
The old man smiled for he knew that boy would keep his promise only for a few minutes. But he was excited by the little boy’s irrepressible urge to ask questions. His only regret was that the grandson would leave after three days; his father had been called back for an urgent meeting. 

The old man did not know when would they visit him again.

A post for Sunday PhotoFiction on a photo prompt.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The Hungry Tide

Just read The Hungry Tide.
In my humble opinion Amitav Ghosh is one of the few Indians who can actually write in English. Most of the English writing by Indians is either fake or laboured. But Amitav Ghosh is a class apart; he owns the language and uses it with a magical felicity.
Besides, he is a master story-teller. As with Sea of Poppies, I could not skip even a line. I recall I had to skip almost half of English August and I could hardly read twenty pages of God of Small Things. I had read Sea of poppies two times, back to back. Intend to read The Hungry Tide a second time.
All those who are enamoured by Left-Liberals must read this book. Perhaps this is the only book that describes in some detail the tragedy of refugees who had forcibly settled in Marichjhapi.  These refugees were mostly Dalits. No Left- Liberal even breathes a word about what was a near genocide of poor migrants, and for an obvious reason. It happened when Left was ruling West Bengal. What would have been their response if Marichjhapi had been located in Gujarat?

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Icon Grill

Copyright-Ted Strutz
                                                                                     Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

He was too scared to go to the police or confront the family of the boy he had accidentally knocked down.
Later he learnt that the dead boy was the only son of a colleague. He left the town.
Friends from the school were meeting in Icon Grill almost after a gap of twenty years. He was reluctant to come to the place from where he had run away.
As he entered the bar he saw a man quietly sitting in a corner. He was unnerved. Something in that man shook him.
‘He deserves to know how his son died,’ he said to himself but his courage again failed him.
A post for FridayFictioneers on a photo prompt

Word count 110

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Coat of Mail
166 07 July 31st 2016

‘That’s the dress my great-grandfather wore when he went to battlefields,’ said the young boy to his friend with some arrogance.
‘He was a soldier?’
‘Soldier? You think an ordinary soldier could wear such a dress? He was a general in the army. He fought and won many battles. He was a brave warrior and the king rewarded him every time he won a war. Palaces, gold, horses, and land were given to him. He was the richest man in the kingdom.’
‘What happened to all those riches?’ the friend asked, almost incredulously.
The boy too had asked this question of his father; the father was proud of his linage. But he had inherited nothing but a coat of mail and a few battle-weary swords.
‘Actually it was his third wife; she was in fact a witch. She had bewitched the great man; that proved his and our undoing,’ the young boy invented a story on the spur of moment. He had caught his friend’s attention who was now more interested in hearing the story of the witch.
But the young boy was himself keen to know as to what happened to all the wealth that his great-grandfather had acquired. He knew it was a mystery but his father was reluctant to answer.

A post for Sunday PhotoFiction on a photo prompt.