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Interview

Interview with Paresh #AuthorChatter #priyasks

If you like cricket, you are in for a treat. Because today I am interviewing Paresh Godhwani, the author of the book IPL-ologyParesh is a bearded freelance writer, immature designer, marketer by qualification, novice social media influencer, an accountant in India’s top general insurance company and author of Six degrees, Life in Local Train and IPL-ology. Interviewing him was fun and informative at the same time. While interviewing him I learned a lot about cricket. I learned that on the IPL trophy it’s written in  Sanskrit ‘Yatra Pratibha Avsara Prapnotihi’ which means ‘Where talent meets opportunity’. I also learned that cricketers perform on the field as much as do they in the advertisements. 😉

Paresh

Interview:

Q. This year, you have published two books. Which one is closer to your heart and why? A. IPL-ology is closer to my heart because I feel cricket is my forte and I know when and how to use the jargon of cricket in my writing.

Q. Any childhood memories you would like to share which are associated with cricket?

A. There are a lot of childhood memories associated with cricket but one story I fondly remember is of 2003. India was playing against Australia in the world cup final. It was a big game. Thus, all the society members collectively organized the screening of the match in the common plot. India was chasing a huge total and lost early wickets. The match was interrupted by rain and in that rain break, the news broke that Ponting used spring in his bat to score boundaries. Thus, this match will be canceled and final will be played again. I was 11 years old at that time and after hearing that news, all the kids (including me) of society started dancing. We were happy that the match will be replayed and India can still win the world cup so we started dancing.

Q. Who is your all-time favorite cricketer? Why?
A. This is a very tough question for a cricket lover like me. If I think about my all-time favorite cricketer then two names pop up in my mind. Yuvraj Singh and AB De Villiers. I can be a disciple of (Guru) AB De Villiers. Not only because of his cricket skills but also because of the kind of person he is. And with Yuvraj Singh, I have a special connection. I adulate him. I can’t hear a word against him. When he started his career, I was 9 years old. So, I have grown up watching him play. The way he fought for his life has just increased my respect for him. If I have to choose one cricketer then it would be Yuvraj Singh.

Q. IPL has been around for 10 years. What according to you is the reason for the popularity and success of IPL?
A. There can’t be one reason for the popularity and success of IPL. I have discussed all of them in IPL-ology. So, to know them you have to read the book. 😉

Q. If you could play for one IPL team which one would it be and why?
A. I would love to play for Kings XI Punjab because I love Preity Zinta’s smile. So, I want to make her smile by hitting sixes, taking wickets and ultimately, by winning the IPL.

Q. If you had to compare English County with IPL- which is better today?
A. IPL is way better than English County cricket or specifically their twenty 20 leagues because they don’t play one format at a time. One team play all the three formats in the span of 15 days and there are 20 teams in English county so it is very tough to follow all and keep track of it.

Q. What are you currently working on?
A. I am working on two blog series. 90s Kid’s superstars and Cricket of thrones.

Q. How do you overcome Writer’s Block?
A. I take regular breaks from writing to experience and observe new things in life and
convert them into content.

Q. Describe your process for research while writing.
A. It starts with the observation. I mean I observe people’s reaction on trending topics and on the basis of that, I come up with a topic to write on. If I have a collaboration then I mix that observation or experience with that product or service. If not then I write in my own way. After writing an intro on that topic, I start googling or start finding tweets, posts, and articles on that topic. When I am satisfied with my findings, I complete my article or book.

Q. Share some valuable tips for publishing and marketing your e-book.
A. Publishing- If you are publishing on kindle then watch the tutorial completely and edit your ebook accordingly. Proper editing is very important before publishing. So after writing read it at least 3 times to find errors in it. If you have found the publisher who can handle print and ebook both then all the best.
Marketing- Choose the right platform or all the platforms. Use catchy lines and influential words which can lure people towards your post and book. Choose keywords wisely because the whole world is your market, you never know where you can get the reader of your book. Ask for the reviews from your readers and post them on social media platforms.

IPL-ology cover.jpg

Book Blurb Content – It started as a cricket league but now, it has become an important part of life. In this period of over ten years, IPL has performed beyond expectations on and off the field. Come, let’s study the performance of the league. 

Book-related links: 

@ Paresh, do comment and let us know how this interview experience was for you. And do read, share and comment on your fellow author’s interesting interviews as well. Here’s wishing Paresh all the best for the eBook and all his future endeavors. Wishing you lots of success!!

Fellow authors, did this interview surprise you? What did you enjoy the most? We would love to know your views. Do comment and share your thoughts.

This interview is a part of a series of interviews conducted jointly by @anshuwrites, @ashwini and me. Read Manas’ interview on Anshu’s blog. And head to  Ashwini’s blog to read Arjun’s interview.

Interview, Uncategorized

Presenting #AuthorChatter

authorchatter.jpg

SuRpRiSe!!!

We are hosting #AuthorChatter!!

What is #AuthorChatter?

#AuthorChatter is a joint effort by Ansu, Ashwini, and Yours Truly!! #AuthorChatter is a virtual tête-à-tête in an effort to know you and your recently published ebook.

Ashwini’s Blog: http://ashwinisperceptions.com/

Anshu’s Blog: https://anshubhojnagarwala.wordpress.com

We will send across around 10 curated questions about your new book as well as your journey as an author.

Why should you sign up for #AuthorChatter?

It’s a valid question. Months after publishing your book and breaking your head over all the marketing strategies that you came across, you had thought it was all behind you. But we believe selling a book is a tough nut. Your book might be the best read out there, but how do you let your readers know. Arrives #AuthorChatter.

#AuthorChatter is a humble attempt on our side to spread the word about your book across the blogosphere. After all, every bit counts.

And, for select interviews that blow our mind away, we have exciting and customized prizes in store sponsored by @AadhyamICS a Web, Digital and Graphics Design Agency in Mumbai providing high-quality, cost-effective and personalized services.

Follow @AadhyamICS and us – @priyreflects@Ashwini_Menon and @anshuwrites on Twitter to earn some brownie points.

What you need to do?

Write to us on authorchatter@gmail.com requesting for the questionnaire by 11th July. Just say ‘Hi. We would like to participate in the #AuthorChatter activity.’ The questionnaire contains questions (not more than 10) about your book and your writing journey. Answer them as briefly and as interestingly as possible. Send it to us by 17th July.

Now, sit back and relax. NO! Not yet!

We request you to read, share and comment on the interviews of other authors as well using the hashtag #AuthorChatter. Time to share some love in the #BlogChatter community!!! After all giving and taking go hand in hand, our teachers taught us!!

Oh and we did mention a surprise, didn’t we!!

So here it is: At the end of the #AuthorChatter campaign, we select the top few questionnaires on basis of their response (remember we said make your answers interesting for the reader) and send them exciting prizes!!

We are excited!!! Are you???

Then write to us at authorchatter@gmail.com

Don’t forget the dates :

Request for the questionnaire by 11th July.

Send the questionnaire duly filled by 17th July.

fiction, short story, Story

The Neon Sign

pexels-photo-439857.jpeg

It was late night and I was rushing on the deserted pavements to home from a friend’s house when suddenly it started raining. I stopped and took shelter under the French canopy of a shop. As the wind grew harsher, I started getting wet. I looked at the shop behind me. There was a neon sign which read ‘open 24 hours’. I pushed the door open which had number 6174 written on it.

I stepped inside. The room was empty so I went further ahead. The next room was full of people. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. My jaw dropped to the ground when I saw what seemed like an initiation ceremony. It appeared to be a meeting of some secret society. The members or the disciples were sitting in a circle wearing red robes. A person in a purple robe, apparently the group leader, seemed to be solemnizing a person- the only one without a robe.

Some 20 people were sitting in a circle and chanting. I realized I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, something I had an expertise in. I was getting goosebumps after witnessing the sight. I couldn’t turn as I was stupefied. I retraced my steps, but it was too late. I heard a voice saying “stop!”. I froze on the spot.

“Come here,” the voice ordered.

But I was glued to the floor, and could not move an inch. By the time, a lady walked towards me, took my hand. “who are you? how did you get inside?”, she asked me.

“I’m Sana. I was…”, I started when the chief gestured for me to stop, “The gate is enchanted; it allows only those who are worthy. So what made you come inside is irrelevant, Sana”.

I was speechless. I had no idea who these people were, and which secret society they belonged to.

“We belong to Priory of Scion”, the chief said, as if reading my mind. “There are myths about the secretive and dark business. However, the truth is that we are seekers of knowledge and spirituality. We had Grand Masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Michel de Nostredame, Victor Hugo.” He informed.

I finally said, “how am I worthy?”

“As I said the door opens only for the worthy. The universe has spoken. I understand it may not sound credulous. But it’s true”, the wise man said.

“Why is that sign- Open 24 hours? Can anyone walk through that door?”, I asked.

“Only those who have the ability can see the sign”, He had been patient with my questions.

“Does it mean that I have to join the cult?”, I asked.

“It’s not a cult. It’s a way of life”, he said sternly. ” If you are a seeker of knowledge, if you can impart your wisdom and if you desire to be one with the universal consciousness and eventually with the divine consciousness”.

“What if I don’t want to join?”, I was scared to ask but I did.

The chief smiled. “It’s up to you to join or not. How long you want to stay, It’s all up to you. However, there will be further tests to prove your alliance and vows given the nature of secrecy.

“What will I have to do?”, I asked though I was thinking what will they make me do.

“You don’t have to do anything that you don’t like. We don’t make you do anything”, he read my mind again. I was intrigued and scared at the same time. It was clear that they had powers. If I were to believe him, it was just exchange of knowledge. It all looks harmless and spiritual. I weighed my options. What if I decide to leave now?

“You can. You won’t be harmed. Just an oath to secrecy would suffice. You can take your time to decide. If you want, you can come back tomorrow. Somebody is always here. Remember it’s open 24 hours.” He said and gestured to leave.

I had one last question, which I didn’t need to verbalize.

He answered, “How and when it happens, you shall know. The initiation has already begun in your mind. You have already passed the first degree, that’s why you are here. Now, you have to decide how far you are willing to go”.

I came out of the place.

It had stopped raining, there wasn’t a drop of water anywhere to suggest it rained.  I turned to see the neon sign- it was gone. I wondered if it was gone forever or I was hallucinating.

(c) 2018 Priya U Bajpai


 

fiction, short story, Story

Sunset or Sunrise

Ritika was holding the paintbrush and staring at the blank canvas on the easel. The picture was clear in her head, yet she could not paint.

She visualized painting of a man riding a horse with the Sun in the background- just over the horizon. She didn’t want to specify whether it was a sunset or a sunrise. Ritika looked out of the window- the Sun was setting. What if she looked at the painting of the Sun, how would she know? The optimist in her would say sunrise, but the romantic in her would dream about sunset. Rohan, her husband, would have joked ‘If the Sun is in West it’s sunset. If it is in the East it is sunrise’. She chuckled.

After few hours, she had a painting before her. However, it was far from what she had in her mind. The bright hues and the white horse, she hadn’t picturized them like that. The rider, who could put Greek gods to shame. Why a man? Why not a woman? Can’t a woman ride a horse? If it was a man, why did he have to be so good looking? Why can’t it be the regular guy-next-door? It would look real. Would it allow the viewer in? The only thing she was satisfied with was water and its reflection. It was symbolic of purity, fertility, life, renewal, and transformation. It gave the spectator freedom to interpret the way they liked.

She liked to draw the audience in. She believed it made them appreciate the art more. Let them bring in their world with them. Let them become one with the painting, let them invest their time, and bring their perspectives along with their prejudices. She acknowledged we all, no matter how much we try not be, were prejudiced. A painting remained exciting to look at, because of the manner in which it captures the imagination of the viewer.

An idea struck her, she put the ephemera aside. She started on a fresh canvas. She didn’t make a man or a woman. Instead, she chose to paint a silhouette of a rider sitting on a horse with the sun in the background and the water with the rider’s reflection. Finally, when she was done she felt calmness over herself like tranquil water in the painting.

picasL-zi413

(c) 2018 Priya U Bajpai


 

Uncategorized

My Wedding Day

Today is my wedding day. In my mom’s words, her little Sara looks like ‘a vision in white wedding dress’. I glide down the helix staircase of the Loretto Chapel. I can’t believe I am getting married at the miraculous chapel. It’s 6 pm which aligns perfectly with the sunset in this month of September. My hands tremble, I wonder if anyone can notice that I’m nervous. I am going to spend the rest of my life with Peter. I don’t know if I am ready for it. Yet, when he proposed, I answered ‘yes’. Perhaps, I said ‘yes’ because I couldn’t say no.

I chose Peonies for my wedding bouquet as they are perfect flowers for a wedding-symbolizing happiness. That reminds me, I forgot the bouquet in the dressing room. I run along the spiral stairs. I feel dizzy. Oh God! what was the need for this spiral design. I realize I am not supposed to run on the stairs. I vividly remember seeing a staircase like this when I was a child. I used to slide down the hand bars all the way down. My Mother would reprimand me, but my father would just wink. My father always made me feel special, whenever my mom would scold me, he used to make funny faces to make me laugh. He couldn’t see me being scolded. Today I have to walk down the aisle, without my father.

The staircase seems to be never-ending. I run up the case- gasping, I feel giddy. I run faster and faster. My heels are killing me. I want to take off the heels and throw them away. As if they hear me cursing them, I tumble and I fall. I don’t stumble over the steps but fall freely from the height. My body feels the thump. Someone opens the door of the chapel just at that time- sunlight floods inside. I close my eyes as the rays blind me.

I open my eyes. I have fallen off the bed all dressed in my white bridal gown, which I tried last night and slept in. My eyes are wet, seems I have been crying in my dreams once again. I wish to meet my father someday and ask him why he abandoned us? Why isn’t he the same father I see in my dreams?

It’s my wedding day and I will be walking down the aisle, without a father.

(c) 2018 Priya U Bajpai


fiction, short story, Story

My Bucket-list

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, Travel

 

Six months ago, I found out that I was dying. I experienced frequent and irregular palpitation and uneasiness. My preliminary medical tests showed abnormalities. When doctors conducted myriad of tests, I sensed something was wrong. Yet, I denied the reality till the day doctor in his sugar-coated language and in insignificant medical term informed me, ‘‘Reema, you are terminally ill. At the most, you have a year to live”.

I didn’t know what to do, who to tell. I had nobody. I was an orphan, single, had no relationship.

I had a sleepless night. The next day, I quit my job citing personal reasons. After all the formalities and discussion, I set myself free by the evening. I decided not to spend my numbered days in a hospital. I needed a plan about the rest of the days that I was left with. I thought about things I must do before I say goodbye to this world and move on to the next unknown one. So, I made my bucket-list-

  • Go on a solo trip
  • See Mona Lisa painting
  • Sing karaoke in a crowded pub

Same night, I booked my flight to France. Being an orphan, I didn’t owe answers to anybody. Next entire week, I sold off all I could- my investments and assets- to convert all my life-savings into travel-cards and cash for my trip. I packed my bag and informed my landlord that I was leaving for good. I decided to finish all my bucket list with this trip.

I reached Paris. From airport I took bus to my hostel accommodation. This choice helped me get a glimpse of the most beautiful city of the world. By the time I hit the bed I was tired and jet lagged, yet the sleep eluded me.

Next day, I visited Mona Lisa at Louvre museum. I learnt about the mysterious smile, sfumato technique and the history of this art marvel. More than the painting, I was in awe with Leonardo da Vinci. If God asked me which historical figure I would want to meet, my reply would be Mr. Vinci.

I spent the evening in watching the Eiffel Tower. I first reached Trocadero to get its best view. I saw the Iron Torre from different angles and levels- it mesmerized me. I didn’t need to click any pictures, so I enjoyed sight-seeing without any distractions. Finally, I settled at Café Constant on Musée d’Orsay to enjoy Quiche and enigmatic Eiffel.

At night, lying in my bunk bed I looked out of the small window of dormitory room. I wondered if it was good that I knew when I was going to die soon. Better me than anyone else. I wanted to see the world. I wanted to experience love. I didn’t know parents’ love, siblings’ love or romantic love. When people say, ‘I love chocolate’ or ‘I love place or thing’, I feel they take love for granted- they have too much of it. I would never know in this life.

The next evening, I went to the Karaoke club. I sang my heart out- ‘My heart will go on and on…’, ‘Shape of you…’ and all my favourite songs. I wasn’t drunk. I couldn’t afford to drink given my condition. You see my heart is too weak, and my pocket too light.

I noticed someone silently looking at me. I went to my seat at the pub. A few moments later he joined me-

“Hi! Is the seat taken?”, he asked, to which I didn’t respond.

“You sing very bad but in a good way”, he added.

I laughed, “Please elaborate”. I was amused.

“You sing with an ‘I don’t care attitude’, you should sing rock. It’ll suit your voice”

“I have never seen anybody turning an insult into a compliment. You have an art”.

‘I’m Arya”, he stretched his hand.

“I’m Reema”, I replied and took his hand.

“Reema, what a sweet name! I have a riddle for you. Why did the shellfish didn’t share its food?” he asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Because it’s selfish”, he picked a morsel from my plate and ate. I laughed at his silly joke.

He was charming. I closed my eyes to compose myself, and I had a vision of our future together- We’ll spend the month together. I will learn what love really is. And one day I will leave his place with a note saying, “I’m sorry Arya! I didn’t want you to fall in love with me, but I really needed to feel and understand love. Please forgive me. If I have another life and I’m given a choice, I’ll choose you again and again, life after life- always you.”

I opened my eyes, Arya still looking at me, waiting for an answer to another riddle. I didn’t hear the question, but I answered “because, I’m not a Shellfish”. And though, I needed that love desperately, still I walked away.

(c) 2018 Priya U Bajpai


 

fiction, short story, Story

The Blue Shoes

 

 

I’m Ron, a travel blogger. This is the story about the best picture I ever clicked.

I was at the Juvia beach in Miami, last month.  I was looking for a perfect shot for my travel blog. The azure sky was adorned with few clouds. The setting was perfect with natural light.  I didn’t want to waste another moment. I started clicking the sea, the sun, and the sand. But the wow was still missing. I roamed around, looking for something to pique my interest. A pair of blue shoes under a parasol caught my attention. I looked, but I didn’t see anyone around.

The shoes would match perfectly with the cerulean sea. I picked them stealthily and put them next to the waves. The blue color of the shoe made the landscape complete. It was symbolic of humanity’s presence in nature. The frame I was looking for. I clicked away. The waves kept coming and touching the shoes and slipping away. My happiness was soon washed away by an envious wave. Before I could blink, the shoes were seized by the wave. I couldn’t even move as if I was frozen in time.

As I was struggling to come to the terms of what happened, I saw a girl in a white dress standing under the same parasol where I picked the blue shoes from a few minutes ago. She was a twenty-some blonde, kind of girl who brightens your day. At that moment, I forgot everything else. I realized that it could be her shoes.

Actually, I liked her more than I liked her shoes. Once again, I didn’t want to lose the opportunity. So, I clicked a couple of pictures. She heard the shutter sound of my camera and leaped at me.

“How dare you?”, she yelled.

She came pouncing at me and snatched my camera to check what I just clicked.

“How dare you click my pic?”, she repeated angrily.

Oh, she was talking about her pic, she doesn’t know, yet. I thought and mumbled, “I’m sorry”. Lost in her beauty, my hand instinctively stretched to retrieve the camera. But she wasn’t done yet and pressed the previous pic button. And I am dead.

“You! You stole my shoes? ”

She looked aghast and still so pretty.  As she screamed, I stood silent hypnotized by her.

“Tell me, where are my shoes?”, she demanded.

I pointed at the sea- like a child blames the other kid for his own mischief.

“Tell me! Why would you do that? How will I go home?”

I mumbled another apology. She was still fuming with anger.

“You can take my slippers” I offered. She looked at my feet, which looked like they belonged to Big Foot.

“You go and get me a pair. I’ll wait here”, she ordered.

I turned to go when she stopped me. And said, “don’t you run away!”

“I promise I won’t.” I kept my camera on the book under the parasol and took an estimate of her shoe size.

I ran to the market- which was about half a mile from the beach. I wanted to put my best foot forward, so I looked for the best option. I picked a pair of blue colored slippers to match her dress, with colorful butterflies on the straps. I thought she would love them.

I came running back to the beach, with a smile on face and slippers in hand. Sun had already set, the beach deserted. I returned to the same spot and looked around. Only the book was there, with a note “now we are even”.

(c)2018 Priya U Bajpai


 

Non Fiction

April Changed My Life

I take on the baton of Blogchatter Ebook Carnival from Namratha whose ebook  ‘BECAUSE: Someone Had to Say It‘ is also a part of the mix. About Namratha’s ebook: This collection of poems is a shout out to those who had immense strength when life dealt them an unfair hand, for those making this world a kinder and greener place to live in and for those not even whispering for themselves. BECAUSE Someone had to say it.

How BlogchatterEbook Carnival changed my life-

Answer in one word would be- ‘completely’. A few years from now, when I will look back at my journey as a writer- it will be before Blogchatter and after Blogchatter. Nobody knew me in the blogosphere before this Carnival- it was a kind of my passport to this amazing community of writers.

On 21st March, few days after the theme reveal for the Carnival, after days of constant encouragement from Aesha and Vishal, I reluctantly agreed amidst the confusion and chaos (read kid’s exams). That too, after preparing myself for ‘the worst-case scenario’. Until 29th March, I had prepared only one post. I was still unsure. On April 1st night, I received my first few comments from the fellow bloggers. The encouraging words from family, friends and fellow bloggers helped to decide that no matter what I will take to the end. Finally, people were reading my posts.

Writing every day was a challenge, raking your brain to come up with a new story every day. Initially, it was mind-stimulating, and then it was mind-numbing too at times. I remember patting myself in the back for a well-written piece, also kicking myself hard for not delivering my best. I was always unsure of how every post was. However, motivation and encouragement of my blogger friends kept me going. Sometimes, they believed in me more than I did. No matter what I wrote, they cheered for me.

This Carnival made me realize my own potential and gave me the confidence to overcome my limitations. I wrote short stories on diverse genres. I tried my hands on genres which I had never dared before, such as paranormal. I didn’t know I can pull that off. I learned a lot about myself. At the same time, I realized that I need to learn more, read more, understand the world. It made me realize my limited perspective as well.

I am also a happier person. I am content and excited at the same time. It feels great to see my name in print. It’s exhilarating, it feels awesome, on top of the world. Finally- my book is out there, for the world to read. Click here to download- Murder In The Palace & Other Short Stories

I pass on the Baton of Blog chatter Ebook Carnival to Huma whose ebook ‘Dare to Dream’ is also part of the mix. About Huma’s ebook: Written in a simple language about ‘Simple changes that can bring big difference in your lifestyle’. It is an interesting read of two parts. 1. Create your vision & define your goals, 2. Take easy steps to achieve your goals. Includes 3 practical exercises.

Uncategorized

Fifty Shades Of Pink

 

June 25, 2018

The musical rain and the rustling leaves added more mystique to the mid-night hours. The silhouettes of the trees danced to the symphony of nature. The rain gods seemed to pour the city with all their love. Kira finally left the bed after enjoying the sound of nature for over an hour. She left the warmth of the blanket and decided to find solace in midnight coffee. Insomnia didn’t allow her to sleep.

Kira hummed a song and sashayed to the kitchen. While the coffee was brewing, she looked out of the window. The rain reminded her of something and just like that, alone in her flat, at midnight she started laughing hysterically.

As if on cue, her phone rang. She answered the call. It was her best friend, Sheeba.

“Hey, buds!”, Kira spoke.

“Hi Kira”, Sheeba chirped.

“You won’t believe. I was just thinking about you guys. It’s raining here in Mumbai. It reminded me of the day we met Daniel for the first time… that scarf … it was instrumental in getting you guys together”.

“Yeah, you know what? He still doesn’t let me buy any shade of pink”.

July 11, 2015

Kira, Sheeba, and Ally landed in Goa and headed to the hotel. It was already getting dark by the time they checked-in. They decided to leave in an hour and told the concierge to arrange a rented car.

As they came to the reception at 8 pm, ready for the evening, the boy from the rental cars service was already waiting for them. He handed over the car keys to the girls and gave them the standard briefing, which no one cared to listen at all. Kira was delighted, she lapped the keys and jumped to the steering wheel.

It was a pleasant evening. As they drove down through the serpentine roads, it started drizzling. They rolled down the windows to allow the breeze in, petrichor stimulated their olfactories. Just then they heard a thumping sound.

“Oh my God! There isn’t a tire repair in sight. What are we going to do?” Sheeba, the scardy mouse started. The girls stepped down to check the tires. The tires seemed fine, genius Ally spoke, “how do we know which one is flat?”.

And they heard it again “thud thud thud”. The distinct sound was coming from the boot. They were scared, it started pouring harder. They all held one another’s hands and somehow managed to open the boot.

Sheeba shrieked when she saw a man in the boot. However, all their fear disappeared when they looked carefully. All three girls burst out laughing. A man in his twenties. wearing nothing, hiding his manhood with his left hand stepped out of the trunk. Stark naked, getting drenched in the downpour. They all laughed while the poor guy stood embarrassed in the middle of the road.

Sheeba had her scarf on, which she gave to the naked stranger. The three girls turned the other way- laughing hysterically.

The stranger took a moment to cover himself, which was still not enough for girls to compose themselves.

“Thanks for the scarf”, the guy said.

The girls turned around. The guy was standing with a pink scarf tied to his waist, the shade of his cheeks matching the scarf’s. In between the guffaws, they asked him who he was and what was he doing inside the boot naked.

“I’m Daniel. I came to Goa with my friends. We rented this car for two days and yesterday we all were out till the wee hours at LPK. Now, I find myself here in the boot of car we rented. Oh! my head hurts. We rented this car. Where are my friends? Oh no! did my friends return the car, leaving me in the boot. How can they? I don’t know how and when I got in the boot. The last thing I remember is that we had 3 rounds of shots before we decided to leave LPK as the most of the crowd was any way gone by that wee-hours”, Daniel said.

“We are Sheeba, Kira, and Ally. Do you want us to drop you somewhere?”, Sheeba managed to speak between the laughs.

“Yeah. For now, do you guys have anything that I can wear?” Daniel spoke.

Ally pulled out a pink sweatshirt from her bag and a towel. Daniel sat on the back seat, wore the pink sweatshirt, and wrapped the towel around his waist.

The sweatshirt was a little tight, but Daniel wasn’t in a condition to complain. He thanked the girls. As they started the car, the girls laughed again when Ally said, “O boy! We just witnessed 50 shades of pink”.

Pic Courtesy: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/


(c) 2018 Priya U Bajpai

I’m participating in the Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018

fiction, short story, Story

Kaleidoscopic World

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The first thing Tess noticed about the room was its pungent smell. It always made her feel nauseous. The only thing she liked in the room was the sun-bleached curtains- remnants of bright colored flowers which had turned pastels due to the sun. The curtains dramatically transformed the room with the faded flowers and butterflies.

Tess spotted a patchy couch next to the window. The couch and its location were just perfect, she thought. The only problem was that it was occupied. A lady, not a day older than lady gaga, was sitting on it with her mobile in her hands. What a waste! Tess decided to go and sit next to her. The lady wouldn’t care for her, Tess assumed. She sat next to the lady and murmured a hello, which the lady completely ignored. Let’s call her Aunt Grumpy, she giggled at her thought.

Her mother took a seat right opposite Tess and took a magazine from the desk nearby. Tess looked out of the window, there they are! A smile curved her lips again. That was when she felt the lick. A puppy appeared right next to her. It took her by surprise. She wasn’t expecting them inside the clinic. They don’t like the smell, they never come here.

“Sit still, Tess!”, mom shrieked. She looked at her mother, wondering what she had done to be shrieked at. “I am just sitting”, she mumbled. “No you are not”, mom said.

Tess nodded so that mom stayed calm. When mother went back to her magazine, Tess re-joined the dog. She had never witnessed a shape-shifter before. Her eyes popped up when she saw it changing the shapes. It grew a longer tail and a bigger face, like a hound. The big hound was almost ready to pounce at her. It showed its white sharp teeth. She wanted to run, when she heard again, “Tess, still! Now!”.

Tess looked up, she didn’t see the hound. She looked out of the window again. The fluorescent unicorns were prancing in the garden and flying in the open sky. On her last birthday when she met them for the first time, they told her that their magic lied in their horns. She wished to have a birthday party with them soon. Ah! Only if I could turn the time faster.

Just then a dragon manifested where the hound was standing a few moments ago. She was quick to name it ‘fire fury’. Giving a name should help to tame him, and then I should be able to stop him from being a fire-spitting monster. It worked. when she saw the dragon wagging the tail she knew she could tame him. She jumped up to stroke him. “Tess! Can you stay quiet for a moment?”, her mother said.

Tess always wanted her mother to see and experience the world the way she could. Every creature was unique and beautiful. They all had their stories and they loved to share with her, most of the time. She remembered how neon nightingale sang the most mellifluous song on her birthday. That was her best birthday as all the creatures she loved, lined up to meet her, to dance and frolic with her. They loved her as much as she loved them.

Tess kept shifting between the two worlds. Her world was like a kaleidoscope, always changing patterns. Tess gently stroked the amiable dragon, while mother waited at the psychiatrist’s clinic, hoping this doctor could cure Tess’s hallucinations soon.


(c) 2018 Priya U Bajpai