Upheaval – Chapter 3

Please read the previous chapter here

Author name : Neharika Sethi Mehra


Seshadri and Venkat still chose to grab a cup of tea and started walking towards Seshadri’s favourite tea shop. While they walked, both seemed lost in their own silence. Trying to put the pieces of this murder puzzle together, as they looked lost in their own thoughts. Taking a cutting chai, Seshadri couldn’t do without his fuel, his favourite samosa.


Suddenly Venkat as if in despair moved his hand. “we seem to get nowhere with this case, tying the loose ends with such little information is difficult without a doubt, but Sehshadri, I have seen you solving so many cases, I am sure we can do it together.” Seshadri have him a terrible look, he didn’t like being disturbed while eating even when it was a matter of life or death.


As they were done eating, they decided to dig deep and enquire further. After a few minutes of brainstorming Venkat suddenly came up with a suggestion, “Let’s meet Lipika, the landlord. I’m sure she’s been in touch with the couple and would know something at least.”


Lipika lived on 6th Floor of Vedika Apartments. A posh locality and with a few small gardens all around but as Seshadri’s luck would have it, the lift wasn’t working. Seshadri was out of breath as he took the flight of stairs. “Venkat, I am never working on a case that involves taking stairs, please call up your friend Chaturvedi next time you need help with a case.” Venkat looked at him irritated, “Seshadri you’ve lost your mind and patience with age I guess. Why do you forget the rewards these cases get you? You are known more as a detective than a lawyer and you can thank me later for that. “This argument won’t take us anywhere Seshadri, let’s get back to business buddy, both us want this case solved.” Finally agreeing to Venkat they proceeded to Lipika’s house.


As they knocked her door, a short fair woman opened it by a few inches and gave them a skeptical look. Lipika was in her mid fifties and lived alone while her husband worked abroad. Her two sons were married and lived in Bangalore. She let them in after Venkat showed her the badge, “Sub-inspector Venkat Phansalkar”, he said. “See, I know why you’ve come here, I got the news too. Please have a seat but let me tell you I don’t know anything.”  Immediately Seshadri responded, “We are only here to ask about any detail that you know given your interaction with her as a landlady. Without wasting any time please tell us all you know of the couple, especially his wife.”


“They’ve been staying in my house for last five years and over these years my interaction with them has been very professional and to the point. I won’t say they were madly in love, not that I knew them too well like I earlier mentioned. But with our brief meetings I could sense that. The husband had had issues in his business hence I wasn’t paid the rent in time. They had no kids.”


Venkat further tried to interrogate her and said, “Oh! That would have caused some trouble to you!” “Of course! I had been expressing my wish to sell off the house too but Sukanya wouldn’t listen.” Seshadri looked at her with all his detective instincts. He had been observing people all his life as a lawyer, and his observation had mostly been correct. He added, “Since you wanted to sell the house, did you tell them to pack themselves off?”

Lipika, almost shouting in anger and disappointment said, “I had been giving them warnings to vacate the house but in vain. They always wanted more time both for rent and vacating the house. I really lost it one day and we had a terrible argument. My buyer wasn’t ready to wait and Sukanya wanted time. This was the way god planned for me I guess. I can now have the house and sell it off. Is there anything you’d like to know, I need to carry on with my work.”


“Thank you, Ms Lipika for the help, we might trouble you again.” Both stood up and left.


On reaching the police station which was close by, they both sat with a file in their hands. Each of the three they had met, be it Sukanya’s husband, her club member or now the landlady, Lipika looked like a suspect to them. Sukanya had been the quiet kinds but Lipika quoted the argument they had and clearly Lipika was known for her revengeful nature, and that even the slightest of things would leave her filled with vengeance as she couldn’t take anyone not agreeing with her.


“Could Lipika be involved in the murder in some way?” asked Venkat, “She seemed to look quite satisfied with the news.”


“People with vengeance can look very intimidating but we can’t be sure. This does look like a murder to me, blood oozing out from hands and legs shows the murderer was heartless and intended to give a painful death”, added Seshadri. “Venkat, I feel there is a missing link to the whole story. I don’t get this feeling too often and I can bet a hundred samosas on this.”


Venkat laughed, “Seshadri, can we ever talk about anything beyond samosas, your soulmate?”


We are yet to decide on how to take the next chapter.



Judgement – Chapter 6

Please read the previous chapter here

Name of the author:  Soumyo Mandal

Note on the author : Born and brought up in Calcutta, got my finer instincts while I stayed during the wild years in Bangalore, I look to crack jokes in the most serious moments, and mostly it backfires. Big fan of Liverpool FC, Boston Celtics, indie music, Orhan Pamuk/Stephen King and improv or comedy in general. Currently residing in Orlando near Disney World, but regretting not being a kid no more.


Chapter 6

How cold is the uncle?

 Silence. Apart from the tick tock of the clock, there was not a sound. Kwon was interacting with the latest subject, earlier. But for the first time in his life he is really scared. He is tired, withered. Who is to stop him if he jumps from the balcony into the water fall. His years as a marine and then as a FBI agent, taught him a combination of toughness and as well as to always keep his mind open and look for the right moment. But he’s been looking for that moment for 25 years! He cracked a wry smile and looked at the surveillance camera at the corner of the room. Rusk Thelmes was a little startled.

It’s been so many years since Rusk Thelmes saw his father’s dead body. Even now the sound of rain, and the smell of chemicals, brings back the memories of the fateful night. While Rusty Thelmes, was immersed with his work, Rusk was terribly proud as his father always used to say “I am trying to change the world, but you WILL change the world. Don’t look at the stars my son, look within the world, a lot needs to be done to alter the human instincts.” Rusk was never close to his mother, Melissa. After the first few years of marriage, Rusty got very involved with work, and Melissa could notice the whisperings and rumblings, receiving of a package occasionally, when her husband will just stay at the lab till days.

Once upon a time Kwon was in love. After his first tour to Afghanistan, Kwon came back to Rusty’s place. He was young, and Melissa was lonely. This went on for years, and young Rusty walked into them once, but then his mother sat him down and explained “she’s doing a project with Uncle Kwon just like dad, and this needs to be a secret as all of dad’s projects are” Kwon was a bit uncomfortable with this situation, but young age and lust took over his conscience. And then lust turned into love. This “love” for Melissa turned out to be his biggest vice of all. Despite knowing about this affair for years, Rusty was unperturbed. For him it was an eventuality, but not for young Rusk, who grew older and wiser with a fierce anguish against the world and especially his Uncle Kwon and his mom. “Then came the fateful night where his dad died because of an accident in the lab. Coincidentally Kwon was there when it happened. He watched with his very eyes, how the red chemical in the test tube tumbled against the glass and as Rusty leaned closer to examine it, it vaporized and “consumed” him! Unsurprisingly the predicament did not bother Melissa. She seemed freed from the shell of her own doing, and she promised Kwon that she will sell Rusty’s belongings and promised to get rid of every trace of the lab and it’s godforsaken chemicals. Within days she was dead, then Kwon knew, that the hollow abyss in Rusk’s expression was not stoical or indifference, rather it was of a resolution to avenge his father by taking his mother’s life and who ever else comes his way.


Kwon was lost in translation for what seemed like forever, when a gentle knock on the door broke his trance. “Come in” Kwon’s voice crackled. Varnia, walked in and smiled at him. “Ready to meet the boss?” she said. Kwon nodded. Once they stepped out in the corridor devoid of Rusk’s prying eyes, Varnia whispered “your training served me well, everything is going according to the plan.”  Kwon sighed “It better!  I did not give half my life in Mwallisso22 and recruiting you for nothing! This is about keeping the United States of America safe, this is about judgement no matter the cost!” He closed his eyes, knowing for the first time in a long time he is lying to himself.


Next author is Nithya Sreenivasan. All the very best , Nithya 🙂

Virrudhi – Chapter 3

Please read the previous chapter here

Author name : Roopesh Kumar

Note on author : Love going circles in search of the straight line. May be that’s what weaving a story is, may be it isn’t? Namastey!

Please read more his blog here


“It’s beautiful that sometimes things happen when you least expect it. It kind of leaves you with an impression that one could savour his entire life time. It was no different for Rudra either; love was in the air for him but sadly the time wasn’t.” The grand old man, Vista, a man with over 2 centuries of experience continued to speak in a distant town of Mayapuri, one of the few secular places located on the equator.

Hundred years ago, in the fields of mahogany and chestnut trees where Viruddhi and Maya took their daily strolls, a stranger happened to pass by. It was a rare occurrence to find a white eyed man in the lands of the black. He seemed weary and lost while the giant skulls around his neck said a thing totally different.

The Rajani tradition is such that every man and every woman live for themselves and themselves alone. They are left abandoned by their very own as soon as they have the strength to survive, after that it is all about one fight after another for survival. Thus, the number of skulls a Rajani man owns, that great a warrior he is called out to be. This stranger was not anything but extraordinary, the one who evoked both reverence and fear among the others.

The stranger looked fierce in his appearance, carrying many battle scars on his bare body as he brazenly walked past the dewy grass, open chested and flamboyant in his own belief, while finally shrugging his shoulders to ground as he witnessed his own spectacle, the twinkle eyed girl who he had a dream about, many muhurts ago, she was finally there. She was sipping the nectar of a blossoming young flower when Rudra finally caught a glance of her, the women of her dreams, the shining moon of his quest, Viruddhi. He stood there staring, right into her eye and she walked past him as if he never existed.

He camped there for weeks; he stole glances with her companion, Maya, but for Viruddhi, he never seemed to exist. It felt day after another as if she walked right through him without emoting a single change in expression. But Maya, on the other hand, was smitten by this dark skinned white eyed muscular Rajani. She looked out for him, every now and then, awaiting a reciprocating smile and an alluring look which would suggest he is hers, and she is his. But that never happened, not for the seven weeks he had stayed close to their place. She always found him in reverence for Viruddhi, with his eyes looking out only and only for her. It was beyond her understanding why Rudra would have fallen for someone who doesn’t even notice his presence; it was sheer hopelessness, atleast for Maya.

“Everything seems divided but the sky.” Viruddhi spoke absentmindedly towards the twinkling stars, garlanding the two moons that have existed since the eternity with pride.

“You don’t understand Viruddhi, the Rajani man is leaving!” Maya shouted.

“I had never asked him to stay in first place, for me to feel bad at his departure.” Viruddhi whispered.

“But he is madly in love with you.”

Viruddhi remained mum despite Maya’s on-going rant of how selfish she is being. Maya seemed to only notice the arrogance her friend displayed but failed to find the tear drop that slid through her friend’s cheek as Maya looked away and walked out from her life forever.

If the rumours are to be believed then it would go on somewhere like this, Maya met Rudra before he left and professed her love for him, and how Viruddhi wasn’t the right one for his affection. She thought she could win him over but as the rumours further go, it is believed he left her without saying another word. Maya dejected and lovelorn, walked east to the place yet unexplored, a place which we call today the beautiful “Mayapuri”.

Vista stood up while stretching his hands towards the toddy tree where he gulped in the toddy serum as the crowd waited with their questions but in vain. The old man shooed everyone away as he wasn’t in the mood to continue, how could he possibly be? After all, Rudra was his son. Estranged, yes, yet he was his own blood. The strongest of all the Rajanis, the conqueror of the new lands, the one who had promised to conquer the Diptis in seven holy weeks but returned empty handed with a broken heart to nurse. Vista saw his son only once then after, but he did hear the murmurs of his son being flogged to death for his arrogance and for now his failure.

His platoon of bards wrapped up the covers and dismantled the tent while collecting the alimony the people had kept out to offer. There were diverse range of presents, from a simple bowl of fruits and flowers to the ludicrously woven silk clothing. The bards gathered them all with a silent nod and a simple thank you to one and all. In one of the bowls they carried back to Vista, there was a peculiar thing which left no one but Vista perplexed. It was his son’s dagger, the one he had kept at Viruddhi’s feet, a century ago. Before he could enquire further, he found a woman cladded in black walking swiftly towards him, and then finally bowing in servitude to Vista.

“Rise my child. Rise.”

“What can I do for you?” Vista asked as the woman stood up.

“I am Viruddhi and I have been dying to meet my Rudra for a century now.” She responded with a straight face and with tears in her eyes which left everyone including Vista in deep silence.


Next author to be nominated soon

Yang is the new Yin- Chapter 2

Please read the previous opinion here

Author name : Jeetwan Tripathy


Chapter 2


“Pessimus” she called out loud, gazing sternly at the first of three men standing before her in rapt attention. “What do you have for us?” The other two exhaled and shared a concerned look, as Pessimus stepped forward. “Your Grace, to put it simply, we’re fucked” he said, in a tone true to his title. “We were never supposed to last here this long anyway. It was just a matter of time before we were sent back to our true place in this world”. She looked away, sighing. “You may be right, Pessimus. But your negativity isn’t helping here” she said, looking to the other two for an alternate opinion.

“W-we can still weather this, Your Grace” offered the second man, stepping up, trying to gather his courage, and his wits. “Yes, go on, Optimus” she said reassuringly, her tone betraying her indulgence toward this man’s opinions. The man paused for a second, glancing at his unsmiling compatriot, before continuing with characteristic cheerfulness “We’ve come this far, haven’t we? All your life, at the brink of every battle, you have wondered if you can win. While Pessimus here tries to weigh you down with doubts and fears, I have always been by your side, reaffirming your faith in yourself. And see where it has gotten you so far! You are now the Queen of us all”.

“That’s true” she said softly, seemingly regaining some of her confidence. The first man, red from the snub wasn’t done yet. “Oh yes?” he asked menacingly, his voice loud now. “Where were you when all your flowery plans and dreamy ideas were shattered by the harsh reality of war?” he said, glowering. “When your blind faith in uptopian bullshit led our Queen to nothing but disappointment and betrayal? Where were you, then?” Optimus, not one to back down easily, countered “Watch your tone”. Not so cheerful any more, he continued “Have you forgotten the Great Depression? The horrors that your perpetual paranoia inflicted on our Kingdom’s economy! Not to mention our Queen’s peace of mind!”

The third man cleared his throat. “Gentlemen” he said, but his attempt to intervene was met with more salvos of blame. With every passing second, the exchanges become louder, more heated and increasingly distasteful. “You worthless coward” yelled Pessimus. “WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE US DO NOW, IF NOT RETREAT?” he challenged. Visibly shaken, Optimus looked at his Queen. “Your Grace. If we c-could simply w-wait this out. I’m sure the universe has s-something planned for you. For us! It will all turn out well soon” he said, as Pessimus rolled his eyes, sarcastically quipping “Oh, tHe LiGhT aT tHe eNd oF tHe fucking tUnNeL?”

By now, she was more conflicted than ever. Optimus and Pessimus had brought forth their ideas of war and peace, but neither had provided a solution that was both reasonable and effective. She turned away from them, facing her sigil, her back to them. “I’d like to know what he thinks” she said. Optimus and Pessimus looked at each other and then at the man behind them, realising that he hadn’t received his due in voicing his opinion. The third man cleared his throat, and with subtle confidence, recounted the situation for them all. “Your Grace, we were surrounded, the enemy was at our gates. For obvious reasons, I couldn’t wait for this council’s approval or consensus. I hope you will all forgive me, but I had to take some… measures of my own” he said, looking over his shoulder as the door opened and a soldier approached, carrying a scroll.

As his Queen and compatriots looked on with eagerness, he glanced at the scroll and returned it to the soldier. Looking back at the others, he said “It would seem the measures were successful. The enemy has retreated…”, as the room erupted with joy. He finished his sentence “… for now”, but it was drowned out by the cheers of Optimus and Pessimus as they ran to embrace him. Enveloped in the arms of two men who, moments before, were almost at each other’s throats, he nodded to the soldier, and then at his Queen. She was teary eyed, her face betraying a rare instance of affective emotion, reserved only for her strongest and weakest moments. He smiled at her, as she regained her composure, sat back at her throne, and mouthed, “Thank you, Pragmatus”.


Chronicles of Medu Vada – Language is a subject matter of interpretation…

Because life comes in a full circle. Like Medu Vada.



If you have chronicles in your life that are funnier and worth sharing, please share the write up at indiawritestogether@gmail.com under 1000 words. I will post it in this blog. So, this is like the Sit-down comedy (and I just make that word from Standup comedy) of the blog!


Experiences of Mukundhan Muralidharan

Please read his blog here


Please read the Tamil to English to Hindi dictionary carefully before communicating!

Dude  ————————–दूध————————–தூது

(Referring to a man)           (referring to the drink)                (Referring to the envoy)

Usage: Eg. The dude was gulping down his दूध when the தூது brought him his important news.


As a parent, there are multiple decisions you tend to take for your kid. The name, cloth or nappies, whether to pass on the family tradition of woodwards gripe water or to believe frightening WhatsApp based scientific papers of the product, schools with the brand or school with a playground and so on. But none is tougher than the greatest choice of them all – selecting your kid’s second language!!!

My parents made that decision for me. The logic in their head was simple. Tamil can be taught at home. Hindi, however, requires specific external treatment. Now see, this is the problem of coming from a family of teachers – your special classes are scheduled much early. Am sure, if the Wachowskis were prominent in those days, they would have quoted this to me:

“You’ve already made the choice, now you have to understand it.” – Oracle, The Matrix Reloaded

The choice was in no way simple or logical. It so turned out that my primary school Hindi teacher too had similar choices enforced on her as a kid. With no Major Sundarrajan type translations (Yeh Teek Nahi hai. My walking stick is not made of teak”), the transition from Thamizh Thaatha to Rahu Thaatha was a painful process. As though adding new vocabulary to the repertoire wasn’t enough, came the thunderbolt. “In hindi, objects had genders”. I lost it when I realised “Pen was masculine”. Tamil Nadu’s elaborate anti-hindi movement now made complete sense.

However, thanks to not having questions like, “If Aanjum Chopra played the on-drive, would it be called the pen drive? Or should she have been called Penjum Chopra in the first place”, I scraped through my exams in school!

Reprieve, finally….

Or so I thought. The first assignment I was posted to at work was at Nagpur. Excited, I had made elaborate preparations in the build up to the trip – questionnaires were prepared, multiple relevant reports were studied, guesthouse for stay booked and the American tourister that had remained my faithful travel companion for over a decade now purchased. One (not so minor) minor detail was however missed.

The guesthouse caretaker, the client counterparts that I met and even the car driver who took us around spoke and understood only Hindi. And my spoken hindi was, at its best, “thoda thoda aatha hai” range. I think the first conversation, with the driver who asked me if he should bring the van or the car to the airport, had me referring to the festival of lights that follows Diwali (Car-teek-hai). The travails did not stop there. As a typical tambrahm, “curd/ more” was a critical part of any diet. When a polite enquiry for more was made to my guesthouse caretaker, it resulted in him dumping a little more poha into my plate. I knew he was symbolically telling me that I was full of hot air (Pohai).

Handling the client therefore called for a back-up – a colleague whose mother tongue was Hindi. The first few meetings went well. Me asking the client the questions (in English), the client answering in Hindi and my colleague making notes.  Divide and conquer. But then, there was one meeting where my colleague kept constantly nudging me from behind as I went on for over an hour putting questions to this gentleman. Not to be distracted from a meeting that according to me was going very well, I ignored those nudges until the end of the discussion. The proud me was confronted outside the door by the colleague and the nudge this time was almost a punch. “Dude.  The guy was speaking in Marathi and I have zero notes from the meeting!!!”. Damn it. Just when I thought I had figured a workaround!!!

From then to now, I have come a long way. So much so that in Chennai, a place usually known for people’s reluctance to respond in Hindi, for some reason, mistake me for a North Indian speak to me in Hindi. “Anna. Indha road ku epdi poganum” is usually responded to with “Dho kilometre seedha chaliye. Uske baadh left maaro”. Maybe my tamil, they figure, is worse than my Hindi!!

The mis-adventures with languages have not been without its advantages. I am now a multi-linguistic punster (wherein pun is interpreted in its tamil form by those subjected to my literature). Which is why, when my son showed his punster glimpses by pointing at a bird pictured from one side and asked “why is it called a toucan when it has only one kann”, I knew I had to put him through the same drill that I went through!!

I will teach him one day to repeat the following dialogue meticulously, so that people understand the limitations of Tamilians learning hindi:

Naaku                 Hindi                    Aatha         Nahi  (meaning) Hindi is not my mother tongue.

(Tongue)          (the language)   (Mother)     (No).

There are multiple debates around languages and their enforcement floating around. I have realised, language is not important, but communication is.

The half truth

Please read the previous Moral Fiction here

Name of the Author : Suparna De

Note about author : A silent observer. Avid reader and occasional blogger. Loves to take in the ‘single line’ quotes. Interested in fashion, photography and a bit of cycling.

Read more on her blog here


Chapter 3

The tall man in the robes stood in the corner. He looked like a man with more knowledge in his head, and less materialistic about the world.

‘How are some men so simple?’

Tisca smiled at the view as she shifted slowly over the seat. The philosopher boarded into the same compartment and sat in a seat not far away from her.

Tisca was heading home in a train, a not-so-unusual yet worth-sharing incident occurred. To describe Tisca, the protagonist of our story was a young, opinionated yet a person with unquestionable rationale. She also happened to have a knack of observing every minute detail under the sun. She analyzed her observations. She then made evidential inferences out of those observations. Most of these inferences ended up being accurate or in other words, fact or reality. At least, she preferred to think and eventually believe it that way.

To continue the story from where we left, the man dressed in a saffron robe sat right in front of her seat. The man was chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare” in his own accent while he (read: pretended to count) counted mantras using the sacred string of prayer- beads.

This situation was one of the most apt cases wherein Tisca was certainly tempted by her innate flair of observing, analyzing and eventually passing her verdict on her chosen subject (if we call it a subject). She could not resist herself from wearing her (observation) glasses on.

Scene 1: A snack vendor passed by the white guy. He asked the vendor “how much?”

The vendor replied, “Dus Rupiah.”

He asked him again.

The vendor unaware about the fact that he was not being comprehended, answered again,” Dus Rupiah”.

This time the white man was irate when a co-passenger came to his rescue and said “Ten Rupees”.

Scene 2: A few moments later a female ticket checker was heard reprimanding someone for travelling without ticket.

And here was our man still chanting and passing a wry smile (Probably, at the TTE’s seemingly disgraceful yelling or at the plight of the person being caught for travelling without ticket).

By this time Tisca decided to take out her observation glasses and give some rest to her eyes. So, she closed her eyes and started contemplating.

Tisca started thinking about the guy in saffron robe. The guy all this while was pretending to meditate when his entire mind was concentrating on the outside world. He did not seem to have the slightest bit of inherent patience let alone tolerance to the poor vendor’s naivety. The guy must have left his own country and a zillion other things to find solace in life at the cost of what not!

She thought to herself that if one can’t find peace or spiritualism at home, he or she won’t find anywhere else.

When Tisca was about to alight she heard a man saying, “Poor guys, they come here in search of real peace.”

Tisca just smiled inside.



The secret – Chapter 2

Please read the previous chapter here

Author name : Sujitha Usha Balan

Note on the author : Sujitha is a poet, writer and story-teller who is passionate about writing and enjoys meeting new people. Little things in life like dogs, rain, tea, star gazing, good company, deep conversation and laughter that makes your tummy ache makes her soul the happiest!


Maggie breathed in the cool winter breeze as she stood on the terrace of her college. She just loved winter. She was looking at the horizon lost in deep thoughts about her recurring nightmares when she heard someone clear his throat.


She didn’t need to turn around and see to know who the owner of the voice was. “Hey Shoe! How’re you?” she asked without turning her gaze away from the horizon.

“How many times do I have to tell you to not to call me by that name. My name is Shobhit. Don’t turn my cool name into a shoe, Cat!” he replied irritated. Maggie turned around to meet his gaze.

“Who’s Cat?” she asked with her eyebrows raised.

“Well, you named me Shoe so I too can call you whatever I want!” he replied.

“I call you ‘Shoe’ because I won the game of cards last week and the prize was to nickname the loser anything the winner wants. So, I have the right to call you ‘Shoe’. Be glad I didn’t name you ‘Shoe bite’! Anyways, you mister, can’t go around giving me nicknames!”  Maggie said.

“Well, like it or not, your name is Cat, Cat!” he replied back uninterested to talk.

“Yeah and see if I respond to that name!” Maggie replied in a cool voice.

“Huh! By the way, what’s an honor student like you doing on the roof? Don’t tell me you are cutting classes!” asked Shoe with a smug smile on his face.

“Nah. I had a test today. I finished early and don’t have any class for the next two hours. So, came here to kill time.” she replied.

“Where’s that violent girlfriend of yours? Did you two break-up?” he snickered.

“Nah, we are planning to get married after we graduate. I’ll make sure to send you an invitation to our wedding.” replied Maggie sarcastically.

“Whoa! Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed today! Wassup?” he asked.

“I’m sorry. I just. I’m very tired and sleep deprived. The test kept me up half of the night studying and the nightmares kept me up for the rest half.” sighed Maggie.

“You have nightmares? This is one of the reasons why I recommend people to not to study too much. It affects your brain and intelligence level.” he said.

Maggie smiled. A tired smile.

“Whoa. You don’t even have the energy to smile properly. Shouldn’t you go home and rest instead of attending classes?” he asked.

“I cant. We have submissions today. Moreover, I have club activity as well. Cant just ignore everything and go home.” she replied.

“Poor Cat. Want some coffee?” he offered her his coffee.  “Thanks!” she said as she took the coffee and sat beside him.

“I downloaded some songs of this new band. They’re pretty cool. Wanna listen?” he asked.

“Hell yeah!” she replied.

He shared his earphone with her and they spent the rest of the two hours enjoying songs of the new band.


“Hey! Where were you? I called you but you didn’t pick up. Are you alright?” asked Shriya as she saw Maggie descending the stairs. “And what were you doing on the roof? Don’t you know it’s off-limits?” she asked.

“I finished the paper early so was sitting and listening to songs with Shoe. And sorry about not picking up your calls. My cell phone is on silent mode so didn’t realize.” Maggie replied.

“Wait a minute! When you say you were with Shoe, you don’t mean THE Shobhit, do you?” Shriya asked.

“Yeah, the same guy.” replied Maggie.

“God!!!” Shriya rolled her eyes. “Do you know who that guy is? He literally spells ‘danger’. Why, how and when on Earth did you become his friend? And that too such a close friend that you’ve already given him a nickname!” asked Shriya with wide eyes.

“I know who he is. I’ve heard the rumors. But he isn’t a bad guy. Just because he doesn’t like to socialize doesn’t mean he’s dangerous. And about how I met him. Long story short: Remember when you were down with high fever a month ago and didn’t come to college for a week. Well, I was lonely so I went to the roof. Saw him there sitting alone. For the first two days, we didn’t talk and sat on opposite corners of the roof. On the third day, I saw him trying to dress a wound he got while playing. I offered to help and he accepted. In return, he offered to share music with me which I too accepted. Since then we meet once in a while on the roof, talk a bit and mostly listen to music. End of story!” replied Maggie innocently in one breath.

“Alright. If you’re just ‘music sharing friends’, why the hell do you call him Shoe?” asked Shriya with her eyebrows raised.

“Oh that. We played a game of cards last week and the condition was that the winner gets to nickname the loser. I won named him ‘Shoe’. He sometimes tries to act high and mighty and pretends that he hates me dropping by and disturbing his solitude when it’s quite the opposite. So, to make things square, I gave him that name. But now he has decided to call me ‘Cat’!” Maggie replied rolling her eyes.

Shriya sweat-dropped. “Ahh well, as long as he isn’t troubling you I guess its fine. Anyways, lets go to class.” said Shriya smilingly. The two girls paced towards their class as a shadow descended the stairs.


Maggie woke up gasping from her sleep. She was sweating profusely and panting badly. She pulled the covers off herself and stumbled towards the kitchen. She had barely reached the door of the kitchen when she felt her whole body shivering and her knees going weak. She felt as if someone had drained all her energy and now was trying to drain her of her life. She stumbled on the vase kept near the kitchen and fell with a thud on the floor. The loud thud woke up Kanishk. He rushed to the kitchen where he found his little sister lying on the floor senseless and turning pale. He immediately lifted her up and laid her on the kitchen table. He rushed towards the kitchen cabinets and searched them frantically. He finally found the little bottle of white powder. He ran back to the table where he had laid Maggie, opened her mouth and emptied the bottle into it. He reached for her wrist and tried reading her pulse which was growing weak with every heartbeat.

“Come on! Don’t die on me when I’m so close to fulfilling my father’s dream. You can’t die. Not before you serve the purpose for which.!” Kanishk stopped midway when he felt the pulse growing strong and finally reaching the normal level. Maggie opened her eyes slowly and blinked as she saw her brother watching her face worried.

“What happened, bro? You look scared.” She asked

“Nothing. You fainted. So I got worried. I’m glad it wasn’t something serious.” he replied.

“Oh yeah, i remember now. I’m sorry for making you worry about me.” She said

“It’s ok angel. I’m just glad that you’re fine. Come on, I’ll carry you to your room” he said as he lifted her up and took her back to her room and laid her on the bed. “Try to get some sleep. Good night angel” he said.

“Good night, bro!” he heard her whisper as he closed the door behind her.

Kanishk went back to his room and sat on the edge of his bed. He looked at the photo frame kept on the lamp table near his bed.

“That was close. I need to hurry up and come up with a permanent solution. I can’t let the people who betrayed my father win. I will fulfill my father’s dream!” he thought as he looked intently at the photo frame kept on the table.


Next author to be nominated soon