The mad scientist

“What are you working on now, mad scientist? “

“A car.”

“A car? When did you turn into a mechanic from a mad scientist?”

“You’ll know.”


“What a cute Ambassador!”

“You love those old cars, right?”

“Yep. Very much.”

“Go on! Sit in it, and feel it!”

“Can I?”

“Of course!”


“Wow! These seats are so comfortable! Plump, plump, plump. You can push them back and just relax. Forget about the world.”

“That was the intention.”



“Have you thought of putting in a TV? It would make this car so much….more cosy.”

“This car doesn’t need one.”



“Why are you going all mysterious on me?”

“You’ll know.”


“Can I open my eyes now?”

“Just two minutes more, please. Hold on!”

“Okay, but why don’t you tell me what the big surprise is?”

“You’ll see. Very soon.”


“That looks just like Turkey, from the coffee table book I have!”

“It is Turkey.”

“Eh? Gone crazy or what, mad scientist?”

“No, I haven’t. And, yes, this is Turkey. An isolated, very pretty part of Turkey, that is.”

“Kid me not. You can’t drive to Turkey from India, that too in just 15 minutes.”

“Yes, but you can fly.”

“What? Now I’m sure you’ve lost your marbles.”

“Put your head out the window and you’ll know.”

“Woah! Why are there so many gas balloons on top of the car?”

“They helped us fly here.”

“In a battered old Ambassador car?”


“They cannot.”

“They just did.”


“I can’t believe this, mad scientist.”

“At least now, you should.”

“Yes, now that I have checked with my own eyes.”

“Liked it?”

“LOVED it. How can I not? Turkey was a dream for so long!”

“Worth the effort then!”


“I can’t believe you just proposed to me in Turkey, mad scientist.”

“Well, I did. And you said yes.”

“I still can’t believe it.”

“That was the plan.”


“I can already see tomorrow’s headlines, mad scientist. Mad scientist takes fiancée to Turkey in magic car.”

“When will you stop calling me ‘mad scientist’?”

“I can’t. That’s what I have always called you, since the day I saw you hunched over those test tubes in your lab, your hair all over your face, looking super cute.”

“Yada yada yada.”

“Can I call you ‘cute mad scientist’ instead?


This entry is for the prompt at Magpie Tales for the week.

I wrote this story in a sudden burst of inspiration yesterday, and I am not sure if it makes sense to everyone the way it did to me. Plus, it has been a long, long, long time since I wrote any fiction. Do let me know how you find it! I would love your honest opinions.


Of rasam, rice and Marquez

Pankajam switched off the gas, and leant over to smell the tomato rasam she had just made. Satisfied, she covered the vessel with a plate. Rice, rasam and cabbage curry were ready for dinner.

A glance at the clock showed her that it was 7 PM. An hour to go before Murthy came home.

She pulled out Love In The Time Of Cholera from under her pillow, and settled down to read from where she had left off the day before.

Books bought with money ferreted away from the housekeeping allowance was her one secret indulgence. Murthy should never know.


I lay myself bare before you. So that you can see to the very core of me. So that you can see the darkness in my soul, the knife stabs on my back, the twisted gashes on my heart with as much clarity as you can my eyes, lips and ears.

I step out from the layers I don. So that nothing is hidden from your eyes. I let you see me beyond what the world can of me.

I make myself extremely vulnerable in the exposure. I know. But that is the only way I know how to love.


She – 2

She hates the black-and-blue bruises that her husband gives her when drunk. She hates having to forage for a few rupees every day to feed her two little ones, having to protect them from his angry abuses. She hates discovering yet another of her carefully hidden purses or kitchen utensils stolen by him to pay for his vices. Her jewellery is long gone.

She hates her husband, and wishes he would leave her or die. She plays along, day after endless day, because she knows she would hate the abuses her community would shower on her if she left him.


The petals of the once-red rose are now a muddy brown, bleached of all their colour by the years of being pressed in my heavy English-to-English dictionary. They crumble the instant I try to take them in my hands.

I smell what is left of them, one last time – but they now have nothing to offer.  

I hold out my palms to the cold December wind, and it gladly takes the remains, the burden of memories, off me. The crumbs scatter here and there, and soon, I can see them no more.

The last bits of you are gone. I am free once more. I hold on no longer.


A single fluid motion was all that it had taken, apparently. Just the tippling of a few drops of secretly obtained liquid into her food.

What visions had she had just before the end? Had she known that her mother-in-law had won the tug-of-war with her husband? Had she known that her beloved husband would crumble to pieces and become a mindless puppet? Had she known that she was going to join a long league of women, statistics that would be published in newspapers now and then?

She looked so peaceful in her slumber, so innocent, in her pink and white salwar kameez. As if she had known everything and accepted it.


For the week’s prompts over at 3WW – motion, peaceful, vision

The first kiss

She doesn’t remember the date or day when he had kissed her for the first time, but she still remembers how it had felt. As if it had been just yesterday.

She remembers the exact moment when something had changed in his eyes – something had come into his eyes that had not been there before. There was something beautiful – almost possessive – in the way he put his arm around her waist, pulled her near, and kissed her, soft and tender, on the street, in full view of anyone who cared to watch, not that there was a huge crowd present or anything. A line had been crossed, in a good way, and they had entered into a bond which was different from the bond of friendship that they had been sharing till then.

She had been wearing his coat – scant protection against the rain that had been beating down since morning, which he had insisted that she wear, anyways – and she could smell the lime of his cologne. They had gotten lost in the moment, and hadn’t even noticed that the umbrella that they had been carrying had dropped to the ground.

She remembers how he had tasted of coffee and chocolate that day. How her knees had buckled with the kiss. How she had felt all woman. How she had wanted more. How she had felt like the most beautiful woman in the world. How she had felt like the only woman in the world. How she had suddenly turned into a princess. How the kiss had felt like a warm hearth on a heartless winter day. How she had felt enveloped in rainbows and roses and sunbeams and stars and everything beautiful, all the stuff of mushy movies and books. It had felt charming, romantic, a gesture from another time.

She hadn’t been able to name the strange but beautiful sensation that emerged in her heart, but it had felt like something she had been waiting all her life to arrive.

There had been nothing vulgar, nothing cheap, nothing slanderous about the way he had kissed her. And in the way she had kissed him back. It had felt natural. She still remembers how everything had felt magical at that moment, destined, as if that was the way it was always meant to be.

When she had come to, she had realised that that moment had been one of the very few times she hadn’t been terrorised by the thought of meeting a man just like her ex-husband, a man who had loved giving her big, fat bruises on her face if she refused to kiss him. She had realised that she had been bruised, but not scarred. She had realised that she had walked away from her ex, really and truly, and from all the sorts of pain he had inflicted. She had crossed over from darkness to light. She had allowed herself to. She had tided over the dreadfulness and she had, really and truly, arrived home.

Their kisses in the rain had never ceased after that day.


For the week’s Magpie