Category Archives: Stories

A Life Worth Living

solo man

There was a patch of space on the wall. It looked just like the rest of the wall– dull, lifeless and gray. The only thing that set it apart was that it was the first to catch the sun in the morning. The first that told me I had to live yet another day. As it grew brighter it took on the hue of the sky which I’ve got to admit in my hazy imperfect view was gorgeous.

So today’s orange. What’s tomorrow going to be like?

Peach, daddy. Peach! Kash declared with an emphatic nod at which Ruhi and I’d looked at each other and laughed.

Yes my baby. Today is going to be just peachy.

Damn, I need to look outside! I flung the sheets aside and promptly fell out of bed.

“Mr. Ahuja! You should be more careful. How many times should I tell you.” The nurse helped me back up.

“I’m fine!” I protested pushing him away as he started to give me a thorough once over but he overpowered me and I gave in as usual. It had become a routine and I didn’t begrudge him anything. He was just doing his job and I was trying to save what little self esteem I’d left.

PS: Here’s a story idea I’ve been toggling with as I move ahead in my amateur writing hobby. It’s the future tale of our favorite couple Shaan and Ruhi. I want to push the envelope a little bit 🙂 

Read about their past here– Inconvenient Relations and it’s sequel Now and Forever.

 

Double Drabble: Mr. Tim

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“Alyeeee…!”

Mom’s voice whizzed past my six-year-old ears before the morning sun swallowed it up like it does everything else—the moon, the stars and dreams. I didn’t yell back a response. I had better things to do.

I was in the backyard, standing barefoot on the wet grass. I love the grass. I love the way it catches the sun in the morning and how it crunches under my feet and bounces right back up after I’ve stomped on it with all my might. But that happens to be my second favorite memory. My first is Mr. Tim.

Mr. Tim was my friend. My secret friend (you know how little kids like to have secret friends). We first met behind the giant old beech tree. No one liked to go near it, but I did. Big trees don’t scare me.

It was springtime. I know because I could smell the lilacs and the leaves were the color of freshly squeezed lemonade. The faded deck above me creaked like Nana’s old knees as I eyed the steep slope. Then, like always, I ran-skipped a few steps, then dropped and slid the rest of the way on my bottom. It was so fun, even though I knew later Mom would give me ten with her wooden spoon.

 

 

PS: This drabble is related to my prior drabble Betrayal and the short Run Aaliyah Run. Can you connect the clips? Stay tuned for more 🙂

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Drabble: Betrayal

 

Beach- lonely

Betrayal

We sat in the park. Tim was sleeping in the stroller all bundled up nice and cozy. We were like a family.

Aly. I wanted to tell you something.

I held my breath and waited.

I’ve been accepted at Pepperdine. Law. I’m excited.

I’m excited for you Zach.

I love you Aly. You’re so wonderful. He kissed me on the cheek.

I knew it was over. My pain expanded in my stomach. And spread to my chest to my arms, my head. And oozed from my eyes. I dug into my bag. My fingers automatically scrambling, searching for my crux, my pills. I found one.

It didn’t do anything for me. Absolutely nothing. I wanted to die.

~~~

PS: I’m attempting here a series of drabble; scattered ideas; snippets from life/lives. If they evoke some spark in you please give a holler 🙂

 

 

A Cup of Tea

A cup of Tea

is a fuzzy warm morning

flicking aside the blanket of night

It is a lazy afternoon

a let’s sit down

and chat for a while

It is a moment

booked just for me

to waste as I please

to brood

sit by the window

look at nothing

or hitchhike on a plume of steam

to neverland

A sample from my upcoming book of poems and short stories Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree. Out soon!

The Witching Hour – Short Story Excerpt

I watched the dense thicket of clouds slide over the giant luminous cookie in the sky. A pitch-black darkness descended over the neighborhood, and there was not a single streetlamp to mar it.

It appeared that All Saints Eve was going to live up to its reputation after all. I glanced at my companion. I could tell she was thinking the same.

“Should we start? The time looks right,” Myra said.

“Yeah, let’s go.” I smiled at my long-time friend and neighbor.

She adjusted her lace-up corset and handed me her long and tattered train before gingerly stepping out of the alley that had been our hideout ever since the beginning of our ritual. Once again, I had to pause to admire her elaborate costume. She was pleased with it, especially since she had put it together herself. The delicate tea-stained ivory lace and tulle dress accented with droopy brown roses gave her a wispy and forlorn look. The many years of our adventures had supplied a precious aura of authenticity to the dress, as it had been tripped on and ripped several times.

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Changes–Excerpt from ‘Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree’

As a physician working in acute care I’ve seen many things that few others have and which are perhaps beyond a lay person’s imagination. Among these are few encounters that are etched in my mind. They have moved me, exposed me to my vulnerability and changed me permanently. I’ve learned so much.

I share a few of those encounters in my upcoming book ‘Under the Shade of The Banyan Tree’. Here’s one of them :–

Changes

Yesterday I met a young man in the hospital. I had seen him before, maybe a few months ago. He had an odd name, a name you don’t expect to forget easily, but I did somehow. I must be getting old, I think.

His name didn’t strike a bell when the ER doc told me about him, but I remembered his face.

“He’s a nice guy;” the ER doc said. “He really is,” he reiterated.

That had me curious. We don’t speak like that often. We physicians are a cynical bunch, you see.

I recognized the young man right away, and it was a shock. He didn’t look at all like he had just a month or so ago. He had shrunk. Literally deflated by several pounds and he had grown a beard to disguise his gaunt face.

He had been a young man in the prime of his life. Big, muscular, strong. Still hopeful and smiling, even after a heart attack at thirty-two. Still hopeful and smoking.

He was still smiling now, but it was a different kind of smile. There was diffidence in it and fear and uncertainty. There was also hope, but it was fading fast. It’s astounding how clearly I perceived it without him having to say a word.

Instinctively, I clasped his hand. It was perhaps the most spontaneous thing I’ve done. It was the best way I could express myself other than crying for this man’s life. That’d be a terrible thing to do.

He had given up smoking after the surgery. Ever since they told him he had cancer. We talked some more. I explained why he was here. The spots in his lungs could be pneumonia.

“Maybe they are,” he said and smiled. He’d become adept at dealing with bad news. He had aged beyond his years in such a short time. My heart wept for him.

#FreeKindleDownload! Get Them Before they’re Gone!

I’m offering ALL MY BOOKS (different titles on different days) for #FREE on #KINDLE over the next four days (October 21 through 24). After this period they won’t be available on Kindle anymore. So get them before they’re gone! And tell other bookworms too!

Please note the dates below:–

October 21 and 22– Inconvenient Relations and Now and Forever (Inconvenient Relations Book 2)

October 23 and 24 — The Accidental Wife and Milan

GET THEM HERE!

Milan (A Wedding Story) 3B: Yes!

 

3A

Chap 3 B: Yes!

—o—

It was late twilight. The Sun was about to set. The sky was awash with a plethora of hues that gave everything in sight a warm becoming glow, including the two young occupants of the far table close to the window.

Mili had pulled on a watermelon pink button down sweater, slate colored leggings and a scarf of the finest white pashmina, not realizing that she looked utterly fetching in the outfit. Ahaan,  in a deep navy pin striped shirt and tan casual pants was the picture of effortless elegance.

Mili tried to appear unperturbed, even as she felt Ahaan’s admiring gaze upon her. Both had barely touched their drinks.

Finally, mustering some courage, she began, “Ahaan..I…”

“Spill it out! Say it Mili,  that you can’t trust me enough to make you happy!”

“I didn’t mean that…” She said looking up, startled by his impassioned tone.

“Then what else was the purpose of this meeting?” He demanded, leaning forward in his chair, staring directly into her eyes.

Mili was shaken. Ahaan seemed to have a lot more vested in this than he had made her feel. It was not just an exercise to fulfill his mother’s wishes. The confident nonchalance he had displayed yesterday had disappeared, leaving in its place a certain raw vulnerability that had been a characteristic of the old Ahaan and it drew her to him. She tried to resist.

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