This Story Has 3 Sides

(Written for Weekly Writing Challenge : This week’s challenge is to tell the same story from two or more unique perspectives in whichever format you want)


The scene: Stark hospital room with a female patient.

In a white bed I lie

Revisiting old memories, happy & sad

Clock ticks as life ebbs

Clock ticks as life ebbs

I smile as the end seems near now

A beckoning arises from the beyond

Woman – The one with all the time, all the enthusiasm but no energy.


The scene: Stark hospital room with a female patient, her husband holding her hand.

They say time heals

But it only deepens the sorrow

My love fades before my eyes

My love fades before my eyes

She smiles to suggest she is ok

My eyes smile back as the heart cries

Husband – The one with all the energy, all the time, but no enthusiasm.


The scene: Stark hospital room with a female patient, her husband holding her hand as the doctor hurries to check the patient’s reports.

I rush past my duties

Mechanically, emotionlessly

Need to catch the matinee show

Need to catch the matinee show

Apart from the drama unfolding in the room

This job defies emotional indulgence

Doctor – The one with all the enthusiasm, all the energy but no time.







Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

An insider’s view for this week’s photo challenge

Inside the Aeroplane

Photograph by Rishal Bhide

Photograph by Rishal Bhide


Inside the Railway Station

Photograph by Rishal Bhide

Photograph by Rishal Bhide


Inside the Sunglasses

Photograph by Rishal Bhide

Photograph by Rishal Bhide





A chance to live

(Written for Alastair’s Photo Fiction)

If the rumours were true, I was on my way to get the key to eternal happiness. I was desperate at the time. Exhausted with my broken life. Seeking redemption.

“Find the purple flower with a red shadow growing around the roots of the tallest tree on the banks of the Ganges”, the cherubic monk had said.

It took me 8 months, 21 days, 5 hours and 33 minutes. But I did find the flower.


Photograph by Alastair Forbes

“Run towards the end of this platform and you will see –”

I didn’t wait for him to finish. I ran as I had never run before. The sweet taste of freedom on my lips.

Closer and closer to the darkness. The flower gripped in my sweaty palm.

I was out of breath by the time I opened the Great Oak Door.

What lay ahead surprised me.

“THAT is the key to life’s secret!”, I laughed aloud. Why hadn’t I thought of this before? It was the simplest answer.

What I saw was a –




Look inside you. Maybe you won’t take that long to find your key. 



A dark so bright
It hurts the eye to look

A silence so deafening
It makes me cringe

A smile so constricted
It hurts to move a muscle

A shallow so deep
It beckons into an endless abyss

Yesterday so long gone
It envelopes the world in vast folds of the unknown

A line so twisted
It loses me in a maze of confusion

I await sanctity. I await freedom.

It Just Takes A Moment

She knew it had ended.
Like a simple switch which was turned off.
No regrets. No sadness. No jealousy. No remorse. No guilt. No longing.

Hoping for years together to get out of this mess – going away from people, into unknown corners of a bruised heart.
And just one singular moment which took it all away.
One moment when her life went by in a flash and she heaved a sigh of relief.

It was one thing to convince herself that she was ok.
But another ball game to truly know that circumstances would no longer affect her as they did earlier .

A sudden lull came over her.
Like a heavy load lifted off. Like finding a stream of clear spring water while walking in a parched desert. Like finding the end to a long, dark, snaking tunnel.

So giddy headed with happiness, she began to laugh uncontrollably. And everything around seemed to join in the mirth.
Trees shook with renewed vigour, the earth emanated a hidden warmth, the stars danced in the dizzying sky – as she basked in the hazy glow that surrounded her.

There was no looking back now.
A feeling of elation clouded her mind. A feeling of satisfaction found place in her heart. A feeling of freedom embraced her soul.

Liberation. Emancipation. Redemption. 

Waking Up

It begins with a slight tinkle and suddenly ends with a loud clatter. I wake up with an uncomfortable start.

It’s like being snapped out of a reverie and being slapped by the hand of reality.

Suddenly the open fields metamorphose into graveled roads.

Where the mighty oaks reigned and the rosewood ruled, the earth now bears witness to a concrete jungle.

Where men stood tall and held their heads high, now exist as mere shadows..lowly shifting in the darkness..flinching as a stray beam of light threatens to expose them.

Where the warm shimmering sunlight is replaced by halogens – leaving us with no sense of time.

Where beauty once proudly owned – is now a commodity.

Where children, who were beacons of hope, are now burdens of responsibility.

Where “mistress” is now a word fittingly and grudgingly used to describe your office chores.

Where money seems to buy happiness – albeit temporary – a series of temporaries entered in the books of account as a major gain.

Where plastic smiles and plastic cards are almost as easy as expendables.

Where the brother becomes a foe and the dog becomes the best friend.

Where the world is now just a mouse-click away..human proximity being shattered into oblivion.

Where the only sound heard is the ominous ticking of the clock – in a house full of people and void of mirth.

Where human life has a value – wager against materialistic possessions.

Where the times when there was honour even among thieves, have been brushed to the farthest corner.

Where innocence is lost so young, that it’s almost but a thing of lore.

I wonder if waking up was worth it – there’s a happier place just around the corner, close your eyes, go off to sleep and let your imagination turn the moment magical.

Je Suis Comme Je Suis

Who Am I?

     No, I’m not suffering from a temporary lapse in memory nor did I wake up in a pristine white hospital room after a head injury to ask the above mentioned question.

     It is just one of those fundamental questions that prop up in the mind at the unlikeliest of the places like the exam hall, while running to catch a bus or board a train, while waiting at the other end of the line when the Vodafone tele – talker puts up on an indefinite hold, while filling up an ever – rising mound of annoying files.. or the eternal classic – on the toilet seat.

     These three words [asked with an appropriate amount of self – doubt and a wee bit of self – loathing as well] are enough to make you stop doing whatever keeps you busy albeit for a fraction of a second. The second most powerful triad of words [after the much publicized ‘I Love You’ ofcourse!] actually has the potential to question your very existence and shake the foundation of what makes You what you are. It forces you to think whether what you think you are or what others think you are IS actually what you are.

     I staunchly believe that it is highly necessary to diligently carry out a session of self – introspection on a regular basis to be up-to-date with yourself. It is one thing to surprise yourself with some self-revelation, but it is another ball game altogether to be continually being caught off guard by your own actions and reactions. Once you actually know what stuff you are made of, then it is easier to showcase yourself as whatever you feel like. It just requires a little imagination, spice and a good deal of acting talent!!

     I may be a god-sent angel for the child I saved from being crushed by a car last night, a nonchalant student to my professors, or just a random passenger to the taxi driver. I have so many roles to play – from highly prudent to completely inane. Why is it that it is the same “me” in all situations, acting in the same way as I always do; yet being viewed differently by different people? Why is it that people look at me the way they want to and not look for what I actually am? I don’t think it should be so difficult to accept people as what they are, rather than trying to mould them into what you think they ought to be.

     Being a ‘yes man’ to try and please your boss, wife, neighbor or whoever matters, is very easy. There is no time to be wasted on weighing your options. But at the end of the day, do you actually care about what you want? In the bid to please every Tom, Dick and Harry, you give up on your own individual sense of decision making.

     It is ok if everyone does not like me. Really. I would rather have a bunch of five friends who love me for what I am, rather than having a hundred friends to whom I don’t matter as much. When everyone is happy with you, then you can be sure that you have compromised way too much in life. I may come across as rude and bashful at times, but if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best.

Je suis comme je suis – I am what I am.

Take it or leave it.

God Of Small Things

Ever walked on a deserted and barren road to suddenly look down and notice life in a small clump of bright flowers stare happily at you? Or felt the gratefulness of that one familiar face when lost in a throng of unknown entities? Ever experienced utter loneliness which is suddenly made redundant by the mere smile of a loved one?

These things may not seem important as we run through our busy schedule. It is at trying times when the presences of these tiny fortunes truly light our lives. Here we see- the God Of Small Things bless us with his magic!!

We are all caught in a rat race. But one never realizes that even if he comes first in the rat race, he still remains a rat.

Take time out to stop and smell the flowers blossoming in the garden, the wondrous patterns that the clouds make in the sky, the sweet chirping of the birds that sounds like music to the ears. (Of course most of the times it sounds like a cacophony or an orchestra gone wrong-especially when it’s the crows who are the musicians!)

They say that you should count your blessings daily. But then unfortunately most of us don’t recognize a blessing even when it stares straight into our faces. It need not be a physical item or commodity that you can touch and see. How about being thankful that you have lived to see yet another day which presents new opportunities and hopes? Or being grateful that all your loved ones are safe and sound and enjoy good health? But in this dog- eat- dog world, the first thing we think about in the morning is about the fight with parents, or how badly we performed in tests.

All the little packets of joy, happiness, beauty, satisfaction are laid out in the open for us to see, probably we don’t look in the right sort of places. As children, a visit to the park or a stick of candy was enough to satisfy us. But now, even when our parents try to satisfy our demands, we remain largely unsatisfied. Material possessions mark our position in the society and we swear by this rule of nature- latest cars, cell phones, gizmos, branded clothes- these remain our priority. But don’t you think that our mind would probably be a little more restful if at some point we achieved that level of satisfaction required for mental peace?

Even physical appearance is often a debatable topic- the nose is not at the right angle, the mouth slightly turns upwards, hair is too curly, hands are short, legs are long- the list is endless. Ask the worth of eyesight to a blind man, of hands and feet to a paraplegic, of ears to a deaf man- and you’ll see how lucky you are to be borne whole. We crib about homework and assignments.. think about the several thousand kids who’ve never even stepped onto the threshold of a school. We complain about how difficult parents are- think about those homeless, abandoned and orphaned kids who don’t even know the names of their parents.

We should learn to appreciate what is given to us; otherwise in the bid of continuously craving for more, we get past the stuff that might actually do us some good.

Most of us miss out on life’s big prizes. The Nobels. The Oscars. The Pulitzers – But we are all eligible for life’s small pleasures- A pat on the back. A full moon. A great meal . A glorious sunset. A lovely walk. A hot soup… Don’t fret about copping life’s grand awards, enjoy its tiny delights.


Times are changing
People are changing
We stray away from each other
No bonds to hold us together
We have become selfish and self-centered
Not caring about anything beyond ourselves

People come into our lives
But not many create a lasting memory
Nothing is left to remind us about them
Not many touch are lives
But we fail to see that every person is a new experience

We’ve become materialistic
Morals and values hold no place in our world
We aren’t any different from robots
…Just unemotional moronic blokes!

We believe money can buy everything
Spending most of our time chasing idyllic dreams
But why do we forget the fundamental truth
That you go to your grave with all but a penny

We ignore the simple joys of life
While chasing higher levels of gratification
Forgetting who we actually are
Somewhere along this chosen path of apparent happiness

Shadows of the past haunt us
We never think twice before acting
Not caring what the other person feels
Not treating another like a fellow human being

Life is all about profits and losses
Everything is measured and tested
What we don’t notice is the multitude of immeasurable moments
That we lose out on in our quest to seek more

We remain blissfully unaware of what goes on around us
Engulfed in our own world, not accepting the truth
People and things all mean the same
We only exist…cease to live
The essence of life lost in a messy haze