Thursday, April 15, 2021

River of Memories

PHOTO PROMPT © Anne Higa  


Every time we visit our Great Grandfather he regales us with tales from life in a bygone era.  With all the memory keepers gone one can’t even cross check those stories.

Once a fortnight we take him out on trips to the Mall.  Last week my brother wanted to show him the new river that management had started.

Gramps took one look and chuckled.

“That’s a river? When we lived above ground, civilizations flourished along the banks of mighty rivers.”

Gramps is such a hoot but I had to remind the caretakers to adjust his meds again when we left.

***
Written for Friday Fictioneers. Word Count : 100

To read the other writers this week click here

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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Serpent's Den

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox


It was late at night but the market was bustling. 

The young backpackers fascinated by the crowds and the restaurants packed with people, revelled in the scenes unfolding before their eyes. 

‘Far out man, this is so cool’
Their young handsome companion smiled and not for the first time the three young travellers felt lucky having him around. 

 Slim, lithe and muscular with wide cheekbones one felt like being in the presence of a movie star. 

The women found his French accent so adorable. 

 “The night is still young’, said Alain Gautier, “Let’s party” 

 He had plans for them all.

***
Written for Friday Fictioneers. Word Count : 100

To read the other writers this week click here

I am watching the Netflix series The Serpent a fascinating recreation of the cold blooded serial killer Charles Sobhraj aka Alain Gautier aka the serpent and thus this flash.

In other news my sister's beautifully written historical fiction that brings alive an opulent and turbulent time in India's past through the eyes of a Portuguese priest is available for download. in Amazon - Of Ships and Shahs

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Knead To Know

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast  


The Inspector sat across the table from the old couple conducting an investigation.

 It has come to our attention that a young individual referring to himself as a gingerbread man was observed being chased by the two of you. Furthermore no trace of the said individual has been found.

It wasn’t us officer we couldn’t catch him. 

All we wanted was to nib.... hug him.

We have had reports of weird doughs sighted here. 

Officer we would have reported any baking and entering.
 
Inspector, said the sergeant, we found a bunch of deleted cookies.

Are we going behind jars officer?

***
Written for Friday Fictioneers. Word Count : 100

To read the other writers this week click here

I thought I'd put up a video by Oreo Speedwagon but maybe I'll stick with Beatles and 'All you knead is love' ;-)




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Sunday, March 21, 2021

Secrets

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young


The tree in the temple compound is mutating.  The villagers have noticed the changes and each day I see them gathered around whispering in huddled groups.

The stout, branch-supporting pillars take years to grow.  Now each night a new snakelike, aerial root grows downward clawing its way to the ground.

The elders claim that it is the result of our sins.  The unnatural growth fuelled by lust and avarice.  They come to me for absolution with their panicked eyes seeking redemption.

I grant it easily but I know the truth.  Each lie I utter brings forth a new twisted strand.

***
Written for Friday Fictioneers. Word Count : 100

To read the other writers this week click here

I am little late this week, I was on on a personal discovery this week that I blogged here

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Saturday, March 20, 2021

Discovering My Grandfather


I’ve known my paternal grandfather Professor Krishnanand Pant only through photographs. Black and white photographs from another era on the walls of the vast house he left behind that bore his name - ‘Krishna Kutir’.  Growing up I learnt that that he was a learned man; the head of department of Hindi at what was then the prestigious Meerut College. 

I have grown up surrounded by books and the house in Meerut was no exception. Visiting the house during the holidays I was drawn towards the bookshelves and the many books in the house.  But amongst all the books there were many written in a script that my sister and I had never seen before. But to us children they were just strange and mysterious books and we never paid any attention to them. 

When my father passed away he left behind images of his life, old grainy black and white photographs painstakingly pasted in albums and scrapbooks. I’ve kept them all and at times I take them out and go through the pages. In his scrapbook there were news items and tributes paid to my grandfather after he passed away in his sixties. 

I had been always been curious to learn more about this man whose smiling face reminds me so much of my father and my father’s family. Sometimes when I laugh in a chortling manner I get reminded of my father's and uncle’s laugh and wonder whether my grandfather laughed like this too. 

There is one advantage of living in an information age. So through the power of Google with random searches over the years I have been able to gather bits and pieces of information. 
- Government gazettes from 1920 giving notifications of job appointments in universities. 
- Little snippets that brought forth some more information to light, teasing me but not enough. 

 Then this year while between projects I wanted to expand my my searches and did I find more information! I found that his name was listed in Sahitya Academy’s first edition of ‘Who’s Who of Indian Writers’ published in 1961 



Now finding your grandfather’s name in such a prestigious institution was a proud moment that I shared with the extended family group that I have on Facebook. But this also gave me some concrete names for books to search. 

 I wanted to find the books that he had authored and I found two on archive.org. The major work is Prabandh Sagar co-authored with Pandit Yagyadatt Sharma This book can also be found on multiple websites https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.401740?view=theater 



 The next work that I found was Aalochna Ke Sidhant https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.346639 


The search for finding the books Hindi Sahitya ka Vikas and Kavya Dipika is still on and I hope to find them. 

Oh and those books in in the house? It turns out that he was also a Prakrit scholar and those books were written in that ancient language.  He was also a Sanskrit scholar and I found an acknowledgement of that in his colleague Professor B. R. Chatterji’s book on India and Java where my Grandfather had translated the Sanskrit inscriptions from Java, Sumatra and Borneo. 


 But these are all works of academic excellence, works to admire the scholarship of the man. But in my search I finally came across a very personal piece penned by him. About an incident that affected him greatly and reading these words I really felt as if my Grandfather was addressing me. Talking to me about something that left a lasting impression on him. This time I felt connected to the man in the photograph with a gentle smile that played across his lips. From page 25 onwards in the link https://www.anandamayi.org/anandavarta/Vol5No3.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0Z1wdB-skr804lQjb-rPKPzXWwIbZbp7yodMCF9roXe9bply_vMCkZz1g






***

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Quest

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr


Be mine he pleaded. 

 I must leave, she said, find me and I am yours. 

 Where shall I look? 

 I'll be where the sky meets the earth.  

And then she disappeared. 

He roamed the earth, climbing the highest mountains and descending to deepest valleys.

Through arid deserts and snow covered wonderlands. 

 The sirens of the seas sang to him but he remained oblivious to their music. 

 Years rolled into decades to centuries but his quest never ended. 

 I am here, she whispers, right next to you. 

If you could stop and look my love, you will find I never left. 

 ***
Written for Friday Fictioneers. Word Count : 100

Back again this week after missing out on last week's prompt.  Still not sure if 'Pursuit of Happiness' or 'Chasing Chimeras' makes a better title.  But does it work? I guess your comments will let me know.
Edit: I guess we can be looking for happiness in different places all our lives when in fact it is right there next to us all long.

To read the other writers this week click here

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Melting Hearts

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson


They told me to steer clear of ice-maidens.

So it was that you were a touch frosty when we met.

Walk away they said when the roses get covered in snow.

But snow-covered flowers signal that a fresh start is on the way.

The sparse beauty of a winter wonderland has much to offer.

And in many aspects snowflakes are like us - imperfect.

They too grow unevenly, in a short span can be broken, melted and refrozen.

If that isn't being human I don't know what is.

Winter does not last forever.

Ice-maidens too have hearts that melt.

***

Written for Friday Fictioneers. Word Count : 99

To read the other writers this week click here

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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Special Delivery

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz


Mr Patel returned home last week, what was left of him anyway. Not in the manner that he would have expected but still by priority express mail.

Mrs Patel could hear him 'I am not like that Kumar who just preens on Facebook but is a zero in real life, I am worth a lot more you wait and see'.

And now here he was signed, sealed and delivered.

Kumar was coming over in the evening with the insurance papers. She picked out a white sari and applied some kohl to her eyes. Such a helpful man and still unmarried.

***

Written for Friday Fictioneers. Word Count : 100

To read the other writers this week click here

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Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Railway Line

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas


In happier times it would have been the job of a lifetime. 

Imagine building a train line that traversed inhospitable rain forests, deep valleys, climbing high mountain ranges and lengthy mountain passes and over great rivers. 

Now imagine doing it under the barrel of a gun, incessant floggings and inadequate food.  

The Burma-Siam Railway built between June 1942 and October 1943 laid some 415 km of track giving birth to stories of heroism and the bridge over that river immortalised in a film. 

The forgotten heroes were the labourers who lived and died during the construction of the railway. 

 **
Written for Friday Fictioneers. Word Count : 100

To read the other writers this week click here

It is estimated that 16,000 allied POWs and 75000 to 150,000 Malay and Indonesian laborers died during the construction of the Burma railway. A total of 6,982 Allied prisoners who died in captivity during the war are buried in a beautifully maintained cemetery with rows of flowering plants. Some died building the Bridge Over the River Kwai and others perished while laboring on the notorious "Death Railway" to Burma.






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Wednesday, February 03, 2021

The Prodigy

PHOTO PROMPT © Trish Nankivell


He was marked out for great things the moment he was born, the astrologer mentioning alignment of planets and auspiciousness of stars. 

What greatness? 

The smitten parents had to know. 

The old astrologer swore silently. Majority of his clients rarely questioned him if the future was bright. Only a few needed to know every detail. 

 He observed the fancy music system in the room. A musical genius he said leaving hurriedly. 

 The budding prodigy was doted over each little stage of his life. 

 Is that what I think I am looking at Momma? 

 Absolutely Popsy. It is Beethoven’s first movement. 

 *** 
***
Written for Friday Fictioneers. Word Count : 100

To read the other writers this week click here

Hello there once again in 2021.   Back after missing many episodes of FF.  Many factors here - missing muse, procrastination and yes the dreaded lack of belief.  But this is a new year and hope to contribute more.

Double dog dare accepted.  No covid, lockdowns in this post ;-)

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Saturday, November 21, 2020

House Ghost

copyright – Sarah Potter


“The building was designed by Irish-born architect James Hoban in the neoclassical style in..”

“Do we have a sighting today?”

The guide sighed.  He was used to being interrupted all the time by impatient tourists these days.  None were interested in the classical inspiration sources of the building.  The intrigues, the politics and the power play.  All they wanted was a sighting.

“Yes I am told we have one.  Follow me.”
 
The group followed in heightened excitement.  The sighting was worth the price of admission.

It was after all the one that never left – the Ghost of the President Past.

***
Written for Friday Fictioneers. Word Count : 100

To read the other writers this week click here

Hello there once again.   Back after a while again.  No Presidents were harmed during the writing of this story.  A purely fictional story but then truth is stranger than fiction.

I am also doing Movember this year.  It's a great cause to raise funds for men's health.  Check out my Mo Space

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Thursday, October 29, 2020

No Place Like Home

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll


The tears were forming now. The short blue gingham dress and a white shirt with puff sleeves were not really the clothes to wear for the classes but then the class had decided that the morning tea celebrations for Mr Paul would feature a fancy dress competition too. 

So easy for Dorothy to tap the red slippers and turn around three times and reach home in an instant.

Dorothy had probably never lost her locker keys and found herself in an embarrassing dress. 

The boys would be coming in soon. How he wished he had chosen the cowboy outfit instead.

***
Partly inspired by an event in school eons ago.  In the boarding school each dormitory had its own party at the end of the term.  We had one for our dormitory and there was a fancy dress event.  One of the boarders dressed up as a girl, it might have been Little Bo Peep, but when the time came to change it turned out he had lost the key to his locker.  Poor guy sat tearfully in the dress for a long time till we finally broke the latch and he could change.   Funny how some events stay in your mind for a long time.

Written for Friday Fictioneers. Word Count : 100

To read the other writers this week click here

Friday, October 23, 2020

Crumbs


‘Nestled away in the lap of nature’ the blurb on the brochure is enough to entice me. Apparently this is where Instagrammers go for breakfasts.

Such a pretty spot and where can I find a better place to meet my colleague out of the workplace. We’ve both become so close to each other while working on this project.

So I text her asking if she would like to meet up for breakfast on Sunday.  She accepts and here I am waiting by the window.

She is here but who is this with her?

Your fiancé? So glad to meet you.

***

Written for Friday Fictioneers. Word Count : 100

I thought I'd make this a two-for-one deal and have a more light hearted approach after the first story -> Order Disorder.  

To read the other writers this week click here