Short Story Archive for Emotions:

Hope – 55 word Micro

Collecting money from turning in recyclables, she bought lottery tickets.  Prayers
had been futile.    Determinedly, she scratched.  One ticket was a perfect match.
She’d won million jackpot.  Falling on her knees she thanked the Madonna.

A gentle voice replied, “Child I did hear you and once you did your part, I did mine.  Bless you”.


They’d written him off.  Relegated to nondescript office, he felt like a used newspaper.
After years of loyalty, he’d become redundant.  It was time to collect his debt.
Biting the bullet, he made the call.  Next day he was reinstated with alacrity amidst
great fanfare of backslaps and sheepish apologies.   “Given word” bore much clout.


“Ella, you cannot win.” screamed Bella.  Pretty and spoiled she’d become a bully.  Plain Ella had a fine mind.  Being younger, she’d let Bella win.  Their socialite parents favored Bella over Ella except granny.  Hoping to win parent’s love and attention she decided to outshine Bella by fully applying herself.  Next day, she stood first.


55 Micro – story adaptation

He: “I love you dearly”. She: “Prove it”

Overcome by passion he nodded and left.

Blind rush led to his fall

“Are you hurt son?” cried the bleeding fallen heart.

He shook his head. Miraculously his besotted mind cleared.

Guilt ridden and heartbroken he realized the supreme difference

Between the two loves and wept bitterly.

*****adaptation source: (wiki)


Prince Iraj Mirza (1874–1926) (titled Jal?l-ol-Mam?lek), son of prince Gholam Hossein Mirza, was a famous Iranian poet. He was a modern poet and his works are associated with the criticism of traditions

Iraj Mirza Jalaalol-Mamalek, mostly known as Iraj, who was the first Iranian master of colloquial poetry.

Among many poems that Iraj composed, his well-known poems include Satan (in Persian: Ebleess),

In Satan, Iraj explains how a wife maliciously complains about her mother-in-law, and encourages her husband to kill his own mother and bring the heart for her. The young man, ignores the respect due to his mother, pushes her to the ground, cuts her chest and takes her heart out. As he walks toward the door, all of the sudden, he falls and injures himself. He then clearly hears his mother’s heart cry out: “Oh! My son’s hand got cut. Oh! My son’s foot was hurt!” In this poem Iraj plainly presents the evidence of an Unconditional Love.

** image is from internet only -disclaimer

GYM – Three 55 Word Micro

*Image from wiki


His relentless feet pounded the treadmill punishingly. Readings on monitors flashed bells and whistles.  He sweated profusely.  Then, he slumped over and his life oozed out.
The policy confirmed her worst fears.  His love and latest medical report must’ve driven him to extreme measures to extricate them from debt and her blood turned frigid.


The gym director referred Peter as coach for elimination round in gymnastics.
Kelly looked forward to a good workout arriving early.  Peter was reading a book inside.

Involuntarily his eyes rose and he saw her.  Time stood still.
Their past life flashed by as they skated together in the Olympics’ arena.
She had come home.


The plying hands on her painful joints were soothing and she fell asleep.
Her belongings hung behind the massage table.  She was oblivious.

The lines were long.  Finally, heart pounding, the desperate mother
purchased lifesaving drugs and left the pharmacy hurriedly.
Shaking hands put back the credit card in the designer handbag on the wall.

Sepia Memories -Revisited

If there were some recourse,
I would take it. A cupful of
grains in my open hand,
a smoothing out,
finding the impurities,

and then removing them
piece by piece. And then,
to be satisfied with
what remains
-Simple Recipes, Madeleine Thien


Sepia memories

Swatches of memories
Knock in snatches
Taking by hand
To the places where
It all began

Past’s faded sepia footprints
Heaving on waves of time
Skinny childish legs
Gurgling on wide shoulders
Abiding love, secured

Ebony balustrade
Edging a coiled snake
Staircase aspiring to hit
The roof linking houses back to back
Army of crumbling warriors

Gossiping mynahs with hennaed hair
And hands winnowing grains and
Chatter, flinging in air dramatically
Between cupping warmth basking
In fierce rays of winter’s sun

Stealthy moves behind closed
Doors, juicy tidbits spicing
Steaming aromatic cups
Of “kahwa” saffron tea
With whiff of almonds

Terrace air redolent with rich aroma
Enough to nourish off it rising from
Mouthwatering pickles bound in wide
Mouthed jar bellies simmering in sun

Pitter patter of hide and seek feet
Chasing each other amidst raucous full
Throated laughter, loud screams escaping
Worry free childhood, full of dreams

Jumping off high ledges, scrambling
Up and down tree trunks laden with tart
Raw mango booty, exciting kaleidoscope
Of rich escapades, skinned knees, torn dresses

Somber images of death vigils, funeral pyres
Sheltering in basement with aunts, mom
Amidst sounds of warplanes, siren blasts
in pitch black darkness, hearts
Leaping in mantra chanting mouths

Endless journeys in long anaconda trains
Whistling past in dead of night with firm
Deep olive green berths, perched on upper
Seats dunking homemade biscuits in sweet tea
Steaming in clay cups sold by station tea stalls

Crowds everywhere crowding everything in sight
A sea of colored saris ethnic clothes, shimmering
Gold jewelry and tinkling anklets, bracelets
Trunks, bedrolls, clay goose necked water jars
Monkeys, pealing bells, chants from temples

Swatches of memories
Knock in snatches
Taking by hand
To the places where
It all began

**Kahwa: Kashmir Green tea brewed with spices, saffron and almonds

Secrets in Safe

Secrets in Safe

Bunty, Goldie and Raja, aka the triad sat staring at the safe they had just unloaded from the van as if it were a cobra!  They had never done anything illegal before but in this case the cause justified the means.  

They were all headed back to India during summer break and by a mere fluke they had been privy to a cryptic text message on a fellow passenger’s cell phone.  They had quickly noted down all the info and had decided to investigate upon landing.

Raja’s dad was a bigwig in the airline’s corporate staff.  Through his aegis they acquired full data with copy of fellow passenger’s passport.  Their job had been made easy by this information.  The safe’s secret had to be unlocked to get to heart of the matter.  Excitement tinged with fear was palpable.

Raja was tall and reedy in structure with a prominent adam’s apple but due to his dark liquid eyes, all the girls shamelessly gave him chase in the college campus.  He was shy to boot.

Bunty and Goldie were the extreme opposites and were constantly riding love’s seesaw on an off and on basis.  Bunty was of rugged build, fair and tall and had a wonderful voice.  Hence he too was much sought after. 

Goldie was the nerd of the triad and hence kept them afloat in studies singlehandedly.    Goldie was hooked on workouts, if not busy solving difficult problems.  He spent half of his free time tackling weights.  His body was like a Greek God’s and hence cynosure of many eyes of both genders.

The passport revealed the name of the passenger to be Salim Malik.  The message had come from a girl named Ameena Begum.  On further research they were able to locate the whereabouts of Ameena.  They had to find the alleged safe quickly to get to the bottom of this plot.  Here they faced a stone wall.  They went into a huddle to solve this issue.

Fortunately everyone was from Mumbai which made things much easier.  They solicited aid from   local police station officer (SHO) who thought if this yields some crime in the making, he would make headlines and hence helped them with all means at his disposal.    With inside information from the cell phone service provider they had nailed down the exact location of the house and hence the safe.   The police usually made the rounds in the riot prone areas and hence their SHO with help from his Mohamed Ali road counterpart, effected a raid on Ameena’s house.

Ameena’s father Abbas Baig was a cab driver and father of five girls.  Ameena’s mother Samina Begum was deathly scared of her bully husband and did his bidding.  Hence the children suffered without respite being girls.  The SHO had seen the dilapidated safe hidden in a small alcove in the backroom wall covered by a dirty curtain.  He told the triad that now it was up to them to retrieve, open and put back without anyone the wiser.

The trio rejected the numerous invites from local friends and relations and went into a huddle.   A series of festivals were imminent and the streets would be teeming with processions and an odd blast here and there to create communal disharmony.  Keeping all this in mind, they designed a harmless noisemaker as a diversion and planted it near Ameena’s house.  As everyone ran out, they ran in and retrieved the safe.  

Finally the SHO with expert help pried open the safe and it yielded three neat dollar bundles along with passports of Ameena, Samira and Aamna the three older girls aged 17,16 and 15 years.  All had Saudi Arabia visa stamps in them.  Apparently the girls were being sold to rich Saudi sheikhs.  They were all shook up to confront this human trafficking by a parent.  Now they wondered how Salim Malik their plane’s co-passenger fit in here.  They decided to visit him.

The SHO explained the whole situation to Salim and then he told them of his own heartache.  He was in love with Ameena from childhood but knew her abba (dad) was bent upon encashing all his daughters and had forbidden them from meeting.  They were only able to meet near their school or the mosque at given times.  They communicated via a note they left under a designated stone at a nearby park.  About two years ago Salim had gone to USA on scholarship and had been saving money to buy off Ameena from her Abba.  The information about safe and other details were messaged to Salim by a desperate Ameena who was scheduled to be married within the fortnight to a Saudi Sheikh along with her two younger sisters who had brokered a deal for all three of them paying handsomely to cab driver Abbas Baig, their father.   Now all the pieces fell in place.  The girls were under age and hence this was an illegal trade.  

The SHO openly returned the safe back to Ameena’s house even as the camera’s from all news channels rolled in live action.  Abbas Baig was arrested and all the girls were rescued.  Ameena and Salim Malik were married by the mosque priest and rest of the girls along with their mother were whisked off to a new neighborhood under different names with relevant paper work, ration card etc…  With Salim’s permission, Ameena sent money to her mother each month to meet all the expenses.   No one missed cruel Abbas Baig.


Ten years later

Raja, Goldie and Bunty as preplanned inaugurated their brand new NGO called Safe Haven meant for all homeless, abused and society’s pariahs seeking care and shelter.

« Previous PageNext Page »