Tag Archives: Indian fiction

Romance Chap #1

One of the two stories I’m currently writing (trying to) is called Romance. And no it’s not what you think 😉

Here’s a teaser. I will continue depending on the response.


In a world where society defines everything, a woman seeks to define herself

I’m a woman
Not a heroine
Or a celebrity
Just a regular woman
From a regular family
With regular feelings
And this is my story

1: I thought I had it all

Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley:

The scene in the hotel room resembled the aftermath of a mini tornado. Fortunately the occupants had been left unscathed. Or had they? I sat on the king size bed in the few inches of space I could find and fidgeted with the pallu of my expensive sari. Spun from the finest silk, in the lightest shade of peach with a green and red wedding procession marching along the edge—it was undoubtedly a fine work of art. As I twisted and untwisted the richly embroidered fabric, I saw the men and women drift apart then come together, often in quite compromising positions. It was fascinating.

“Aanch, what are doing there? I thought you had pitched in to help me and give me advice. Come here, tell me how I look.”

I left my seat and gingerly picked my way through the obstacle course on the floor and went over to where my friend (my best friend) was preening herself in front of the lighted mirror.

“You are looking very pretty Rosh,” I admitted albeit reluctantly and readjusted her exquisite gem-studded jewelry; a slight tug here, a gentle nudge there. Her parents had spared no expense.

Rosh turned to me with a bright smile, “You think so Aanch? Thank you.”

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The Window (Exploration of a Life) Chap 1

windows 1

1: The Window

I see her everyday

At the window of her house

Her likeness lurking in the shadows

Her  mind obscure

Mira watched as the young man walked by. His limbs long and loose, his eyes pensive and his pace halting and slow as if navigating through an invisible mine field. Mira accompanied him to the end of the street and then stood silently as he waited hands in pockets for the bus to arrive. In a few moments he was gone. The routine repeated itself every day.

She cracked the window open as the air inside had grown musty. Freshness rushed in but along with it also scurried in sound; that of the street, commonplace and routine. Yet it gave shape to the visions she had been trying very hard to leave behind.


Chennai–when life was less complicated.

Though the day had barely begun the air was already thick with activity. Mira lingered a while longer in the bed that she shared with her sister and attempted to associate the sounds with the images— The light slap-slap of her mother’s slippered feet as she hurried down the corridor to coax their father awake with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Mira hadn’t heard him come in last night but that had become quite the norm of late.

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Human After All Chap 6: She Can Do Magic

park bench

Chapter 5

6: She Can Do Magic


Khanak stopped smiling when she saw Shaan staring back at her as though he was studying a masterpiece in a gallery. She was unprepared for the directness of his gaze and seeing him in this state, alert and coherent for the first time, threw her completely off her moorings. She looked away to try and recoup. But when she turned back she found him gazing around the room with an utterly lost and bewildered look on his face. She glanced inquiringly at Nurse D’Souza who simply shrugged her shoulders. Khanak thought for a moment then smiled at her nurse and gave her a conspiratorial wink.

Nurse D’Souza promptly read Khanak’s mind. She said directing a pitiful look in Shantanu’s direction; “I think Mr. Khandelwal here needs brain surgery. His mentation has been fluctuating a lot. I’m afraid something’s direly wrong. Do you agree doctor?”

“No! I’m perfectly fine! I don’t need surgery of any kind!” Their patient declared loudly.

“So what was that you were doing just now Mr. Rajkumar? Pretending?”

Shaan flushed. He had been caught in the act again. He saw Dr. Agarwal looking at him, her beautiful eyes saying quite clearly; GOTCHA! I am smarter than you think!

You certainly are not as bholi bhaali as you look, he thought. There seems to be a wily brain floating around in that pretty skull of yours. Beauty and brains– a deadly combo. No wonder Dr. Deepak is crazy about you. Now why don’t I like that? Shaan pursed his lips sensing a pang of envy.

Meanwhile Khanak was back to being a bunch of nerves, her sensation of triumph short lived. She tried very hard to feel indifferent while examining Shaan but that was proving to be more difficult than she had anticipated.

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Human After All Chap 3: Chances Are…


Chapter 2

3: Chances Are…

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!

Khanak sat up with a start. It took her several seconds to get her bearings. She had been having a rather pleasant dream. She was strolling along a river cuddled up to a very handsome man with a strangely familiar face. It seemed as if they were in a foreign land, someplace very romantic and he was whispering sweet nothings in her ear. He had been about to kiss her when the beeper had gone off. She glared at it as it lay on her bedside table.
Khanak was in the call room of the hospital. She had just joined the staff as an attending three months ago. Being a conscientious young physician, she had made it a point to spend her nights on duty on site. After graduating with top honors she had chosen to study further and had completed her Doctor of Medicine degree in General Medicine six months ago. Her mother had urged her to settle down and get married but Khanak had refused saying that her life had just started and she needed to establish herself in her career. “Besides mommy dearest,” she had told her. “What does your daughter lack? I am smart, young and not bad to look at I hope, except for my dark circles. But those can be easily hidden with makeup. And with my credentials, I can have anybody I want. So don’t you worry. Eligible boys will line up on their own!”

Her mother had laughed and indulgently shaken her head. She was very proud of her eldest child. But a mother’s heart could never stop worrying.

Khanak sighed and dialed the number on the pager; “This is Dr. Agarwal.”

“Dr. Agarwal, it’s Mr. Gupta in Room 3. He says he can’t sleep and would like a sleep aid!
But then he has the lights and the TV on.”

“Tell him to turn them both off. I’d rather try that before giving him something that might make him stop breathing, him being so incredibly obese. Try to make him understand. I know you can.”

“Yes Doc, I agree completely. I will talk to him.”

Khanak smiled. The nurses liked her and that was a good thing. Or else they would nag her all night with little things. Some PR always helps. She lay down again and tried to recall her dream when the pager went off again; “It appears I have to cancel my date with my Prince Charming!”

“Dr. Agarwal, can you please come up to the 4th floor? Mrs. Kocchar in Room 16 is having trouble breathing. She can barely speak; I’m really worried about her.”

“Is she having any chest pain? Did you do an ECG?”

“No Doctor, she is not having any chest pain. But I will get an EKG right away.”

“Okay, please also get a Chest X ray. I’ll be there in a few.” Khanak grabbed her coat and rushed to the 4th Floor that was devoted to the cardiac patients. She took a quick look at Mrs. Kochar’s chart and reviewed her EKG. Fortunately, it did not show any changes. But her blood pressure was up and her oxygen levels were low. She went into the room and saw a very anxious lady in her mid-sixties who was sitting up in bed and breathing hard. She was clutching at her oxygen mask and a man who appeared to be her husband was standing beside her looking equally anxious and worried. Khanak introduced herself and asked if she could examine Mrs. Kochar.

Mr. Kochar looked relieved while his wife could only nod. Khanak efficiently examined Mrs. Kochar while quietly asking her a few questions following which she reviewed her Xray. Then she said; “It’s nothing to worry about. There is buildup of some extra fluid in the lungs and that can be easily fixed with medication. Since Mrs. Kochar has just suffered a heart attack these things are a common occurrence. She has to be careful and watch her salt and fluid intake from now on.”

“So she doesn’t have pneumonia?” asked Mr. Kochar.

“No she doesn’t. She should start feeling better soon. I’m here all night and will come by to check on her before I leave.”

Khanak walked out of the room relieved that it had been a relatively easy problem. She glanced at her pager as it had gone off again.

“Mr. Bansal is dying. His family wants to speak with you. Can you come by?”

Khanak knew 80-year-old Mr. Bansal very well. He had been trying to die for the past few days after suffering a massive stroke that had affected most of his brain. His family had been in shock and had refused to come to terms with his bad prognosis. But after much discussion they had finally accepted that living like a vegetable on machines would have been unacceptable to him. It was best to let him die with dignity.

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Human After All Chap 2: Another Kind of Love

swan lake

Chap 1

2: Another Kind of Love


Shantanu rushed into the huge foyer and saw it quite empty except for his Dadi (grandma) who was trying to console a little girl dressed in pink.


Shantanu looked questioningly at Dadi who looked concerned.
Dadi was Sunil Khandelwaal’s (Shantanu’s father’s) mother. She had been widowed at a relatively young age and had brought up her only son on her own. She was a strong woman with an even stronger personality and no one took her lightly. Shantanu was her favorite grandson and it was obvious that he took after her.
“Shantanu, Megha has been ready and waiting for you here for the past three hours,” Dadi said. “And no matter how many times I reassured her you’d surely come she wouldn’t leave this spot! After all she’s just a child.”
“Yes Dadi. Rest assured it won’t happen again in the future,” Shantanu said before turning to his niece. “Sorry I was a little delayed but our date is still on.”
Megha smiled appearing none the worse for wear, “Chachu I repeated that stupid word at least a hundred times and it didn’t work. Why? Is it because I’m a bad girl?”
“Of course not!” Shantanu chided her playfully. “Sometimes magic can get old and rusty. Next time I promise it’ll work right away. No waiting and no tears.”
“Cross your heart and hope to die?” Megha asked in all seriousness.
“Yes or you will make my cry!” Shantanu laughed. “Shall we leave? We don’t want to miss the beginning.” He clasped Megha’s hand, waved to Dadi and turned to walk out.
“Megha! Shantanu! Where are you going? Hamein nahin bulaya (You didn’t invite me)?” rang out Khushboo bhabhi’s familiar sing song voice that rarely changed its tone and tended to irritate Shantanu a lot.
Khushboo was Shantanu’s beautiful and classy sister-in-law, his brother Akshay’s wife, who carried an air of self-importance about her. People didn’t matter to her. What did was their social status and bank balance and she had the habit of walking around with her nose in the air. So much that Shantanu often wondered if she would run into a wall. What had Akshay bro seen in her that others hadn’t?
“Mom I’m going on a date with Shantanu uncle and you are not invited!” Megha announced gripping Shantanu’s hand tight.
Khushboo looked pityingly at her brother-in-law, “Poor boy. What a sad plight. You just had to ask and I would have hooked you up with some grown-ups.”
“Thanks but no bhabhi. I could never live up to your standards. You would have been embarrassed. Besides, this little girl of yours has an IQ higher than any grown-up you have in mind.”

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Rhythm & Blues Chap 26: Beloved


Chap 25

26: Beloved



“Could you… consider pretending,” Shaan paused; “that we are… deeply in love with each other?” He said and waited for her reaction. Please don’t say no.

“Pretend?” Khanak’s beautiful eyes grew wide.

“Uh…huh…I mean put on an act for the benefit of the world in general and one person in particular—Tash.  ‘Cause I want to hit her where it hurts the most. I want to crush her pride, make her blind with jealousy. So much that she digs her own grave and falls victim to her own machinations.

  And do so in such a manner that there is no hope for recovery. She deserves no sympathy;” he said looking grim and determined.

But his eyes were tender when they turned to Khanak; “This way she will surmise nothing and when she does… it’ll be too late.”

“But why play a game? Why don’t you simply tell it to her face?” Khanak asked.

He sighed; “I could but she wouldn’t believe me. She has assumed such a thick cloak of self-glorification and prejudice that criticism or rejection of any kind will glide off like water from a duck’s back.

No that wouldn’t work,” he pursed his lips. “That armor has to be riddled with so many holes that she drowns in her own putrid cesspool of despair. And I think it can be done because she too possesses a vice that has spelt the downfall of many…”

His mouth twisted into a cynical smirk; “For some reason she possesses this false notion that she is irresistible. That she is god’s gift to man. She believes I’m crazy about her and that I’m just playing hard to get which makes her even more tenacious. What she doesn’t get is that men look for other things in a potential mate… like inner beauty for instance.” He looked keenly into Khanak’s eyes making her blush again.

Shaan stared riveted. He was enchanted by her virgin allure. He fought a compelling urge to take her in his arms and reassure her of his undying devotion.

It is agonizing but I can’t rush it now, he thought. That moment has come and gone. Her trust in me has faltered and in order to win it again I have to give her space and give her time.

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