Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Projectwhy Short Story Competition


It's really quite simple. You mail me a short story of maximum 200 words, send your entry fee of just Rs.100 (or its equivalent) to Projectwhy and you could win £10 gift voucher from Amazon! If you're in the UK, you could win a £10 voucher from M&S.

The theme for the competition is 'childhood' and the last date for submission is 30th of September 2005. I'll put up the 3 short-listed stories on this blog and you get to decide the winner. You can send however many entries you want. If you cannot pay the entry fee, then any small sum will do.

This is your chance to become world famous. Okay, okay, famous among a handful of people. So get cracking and send your stories to

Thank you.

A quick tale 63

Did anyone see?

A brush, a comb, half-eaten pack of Mintos, a loyalty card from that Bagel store, a picture of Luz Pillayar, a packet of kungumam from Anjaneyar temple, a folded pamphlet for Medieval Jousting with the telephone number of someone named Andrea scribbled at the back, a telephone card, two paper clips, two 2p coins, green crayon, red crayon, black pen cap, that particularly nice shade of lipstick from Bodyshop, a knitting needle, a sanitary pad, a bill for £3.83 from Marks and Spencer all housed inside a brown bag which I forgot to take with me as I got down from the train.

A quick tale 62

No suspense here

I'm going to tell you straight away what's going to happen to them. No twist at the end of the tale. Sixty three years from now, she'll succumb to pneumonia. Three months later, he will pass away in his sleep. Presumably from grief. But for now, they are looking at each other. He is wondering what a girl like her is doing in a place like this. And she is thinking what a guy like him is doing looking at a girl like her in a place like this.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A quick tale 61

One interesting lunch time

He was a 43-year old working at the cash till at McDonald’s. She had come to buy her lunch. What does a middle-aged man working in a place like this tell himself when he wakes up to go to work in the morning, she thought to herself. May be he was made redundant and he is working here to pay off his mortgage. And to pay for child support. And telephone bills, obviously. May be he is doing this job because he lost a bet. May be he is really an architect and is working at McDonald’s because he believes in their philosophy of making the world fat. May be he is just working there because he was. She was determined to find out what.
‘Next please!’
‘One Big Mac with fries, please’
‘Anything to drink?’
‘A diet coke. And can I ask you something?’

A quick tale 60

When hell freezes over or something like that

A pig was flying. And everyone who said that they would do something when pigs flew had to do it. Confirmed bachelors got married. High school drop-outs re-enrolled. Gym memberships soared. People were busy sorting out old promises that no one paid much attention to the airborne pig. Who was only carrying out a vow he had made to his father as he was being dragged away by the butcher. He had sworn that he would fly before papa pig became Sunday roast. And it was Saturday already.

A quick tale 59

Passing thoughts

What can you think about on a very long journey? Many things. Like she was doing at the moment. The weather. How godawfullystifling hot it was. The leaking nose. Of the child sitting in front. Why can’t his mother wipe it before it slides southbound to his mouth like it has just now? Passing villages. What do people in such far away villages do for a living? Where do they go if they want to fix a cycle tyre puncture? 40-year old male co-passenger. Can someone really have hair coming out of their ears and not do anything about it? And so on.
It would be another 7 hours before the train reached its destination. But she had plenty of thoughts to keep her company. And if she ran out of things to think about, there was the best seller that lay open on her lap.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Quick tales for charity - next

Continuing from here, here and here

A. Noname Moose's words 'love, eternity, contentment'. Inspired by ANM's comment here

"A story with love, contentment, eternity. $30 for 30 words. I won't count articles or pronouns. For every word less than 30, I'll add a dollar"

She was a word prostitute.

“That’s $31, sir”

Quick tales for charity - more

Continuing from here and here

Lokesh's words 'filthy, funny, flawed'

'Filthy, funny, flawed…' he whispered before trailing off to death.
The disciple who sat by his bed repeated them verbatim to others who
had gathered to find out what the great man's last words were. The
words were quoted and quoted again and before long, it had become a mantra. Filthy, funny, flawed, filthyfunnyflawed, filyfnnyfawd. They were said to
contain the meaning of life, universe and everything else. The answer
to eternal questions. The essence of cosmic mysteries. Those that
chanted it confessed to a new inner peace. Soon, the 3 fs became a
global phenomenon. T-shirts carried their message, sms jokes were made
about them and songwriters struggled to find words that rhymed (healthy, cunning, fraud?).

But if the master had lived a little longer, he would have added
'gorgeous' to the three words. His life was flashing before his
dying eyes. And he was describing the girl he was in love with many
moons ago.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Quick tales for charity - continued

Continuing from here...

Give me three random words and I'll write you a quick tale using those words. If you're happy with it, you send a nice little amount to projectwhy based on what you think the story is worth. You can send them a cheque anyway. But this way, it's more fun.

For details on how to contribute, please visit
To read about their work, please visit their blog.

Please send your three words to

Kaajukatli's words 'supercilious, more, train'

He loved words. Long, multi-syllabled, tongue-twisters he just couldn’t get enough of. Ignominious, fractious, bilious, opprobrious…he could use them all in one sentence. He also found that girls just fell for big words. Much like how guys adored big…well, never mind.
So one day, our hero boards a train and is adventitious enough to get a seat opposite a pulchritudinous young woman.
‘It’s a resplendent day, isn’t it?’
‘Can’t you see I’m sedulously working?’, she replied superciliously returning to the paper on hand.
‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to exacerbate you’
‘Thank God for my forbearance’, she muttered.
I wish I could tell you more. But it was my station to alight and I left the tautologous couple to get on with the journey.


Vinu's words 'love, pity, ego'

The guard was waving his green flag. The train was ready to depart. Goodbyes and ‘I love you’s were said. Promises to stay in touch were made. Tears were shed, hands were shook, kisses exchanged, egos bruised, pitiful looks cast. The usual drama was enacted. Everyone expected the train to move but it remained rooted. A routine had been played out and a cue had been missed. They hummed and hawed in uncomfortable silence. Seconds turned into prolonged minutes. Their earlier regret at the train leaving now turning into a desire to see it budge. And it did, finally. Phew!


Musten Jiruwala's words 'life after death'

The world was going to end on the 23rd of August 2003. It was a Saturday and was convenient for everyone. Those who believed in life after death, packed carefully. Toothpastes, brushes (you don’t want yellowing teeth in the nether world), American Express (don’t leave home without) and some light reading (like Harry Potter). When it didn’t happen, they consulted their diaries, checked the calendar and blamed the government for the world not ending. The next End Of The World is scheduled for the 15th of November this year. Which is a Tuesday. Bother!


AF's words 'cauliflower, ant, stapler'

"What calls itself a flower but isn't one?"
"I don't know"
"Cauliflower. What calls itself an ant but isn't one?"
"I've no idea"
"Elephant. Where would you find a stapler?"
"I'm terrible at these riddles. Go on, give me the answer"
"That wasn't a riddle. Where have you kept the stapler? I have a bunch
of papers that need stapling."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Quick tales for charity


If I were a singer, I'd have raised money using my voice. If I were a painter...okay, you get the idea.

The point is, my rather negligible talent lies in telling stories and they seem to've found an audience in you. And I want you to pay for it.

Wait! Don't run! It's to raise money for projectwhy.

Here's what I thought I'd do. Give me three random words and I'll write you a quick tale using those words. If you're happy with it, you send a nice little amount to projectwhy based on what you think the story is worth. You can send them a cheque anyway. But this way, it's more fun.

Come on, let's write a story with a happy ending.

Please send your 3 words to

Vel Dhingaravel's words 'a happy ending'

She was determined to write a story with a happy ending. She opened her pen, smoothed out a paper and stained it with her words. In her story, a little boy runs away from home only to be kidnapped, maimed and sold to a rich Arab sheikh who used him to race camels. Where's the happy ending, you ask. Well, the Sheikh was a very happy man when the little boy won the race.

Balakrishnan's words 'spirituality, agnosticism, happiness'
"And what do your suitcases look like?" asked the airline officer.
"One's white and the other a little grey. They're'spirituality'and 'agnosticism' ", she replied.
He looked up to see if she was joking.
"Sorry about the mix up", said the officer with no hint of apology,"give us your address and we'll trace your suitcases as soon as we can."
As she left the airport, minus her baggage, she felt strangely light. An odd kind of happiness. It must be the coffee, she told herself.
The ramblings of a shoe fiend's words 'Serendipity, banana, rather'

‘Give me 3 random words and I’ll tell you a story using them.’
‘Okay, how about serendipity, rather and…’ she looked around and added curiously ‘banana’.
‘Alright. There was this guy called Serendipity. His parents named him so to remind themselves of the happy accident that led to his conception. One day he was walking down the road when he slipped on a banana skin and was rushed to the hospital with a broken ankle. That’s where he met and fell in love with a nurse and later married her. When they had a baby, Serendipity remembered not to call his child banana.’
‘That’s such a bad story’
‘I agree’, said the storyteller, ‘but what would you rather be doing? Going out for a walk?’
It would be 3 hours and 18 really bad stories before the friends would be rescued from their lift.

Sridharandv's words 'dahl in kerala'
"And finally, stir the karela into your dal," said the chef as he added fried pieces of bitter gourd to the simmering pot of lentils.
'Add kerala in dahl' she wrote in her notebook. Spelling was never her strong point.
Daniella Robertson-Glenn's words 'snagged, lithe, cloudy'
What is...
snagged - caught while snogging
lithe - as in 'pleath sith while the lamp is lithe'
cloudy - a rowdy clown
Shyam's words 'printer, itch, chocolate'
He was a printer
She was a chocolatiere
He proof read
She scooped and stirred
His words were nutty brown
Her chocolates were inky black
It was a perfect match
One itched, the other scratched.
The last blogger's words 'a little faith'
Small boat sails
In a sea of despair
A little faith
(Gosh! How I love sounding pseudo-deep, intellectual and abstract ;))

A real story

This is a personal appeal on behalf of my friend Anuradha Bakshi. I'd really appreciate your help with regards to a young mother-of-four who is to undergo a life-saving operation. You can read her story here

If you live in London or in the South east of England and if you have any fundraising ideas, please write to me. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A quick tale 58


Edit-me! Edit-me! screamed the links from the side bar. Like horny women.

A quick tale 57


When she was down, every poem was written for her. Every line told her story. When she was happy, she only needed a cup of tea.

Monday, August 01, 2005

A quick tale 56

Weight-loss program

48, 47, 46...She struggled to shed the last one kilo. Starvation, colonic irrigation, laxatives, smoking, vomiting. Nothing worked. She stood solid at 46 kilos. So tantalisingly close to her target and yet, so bloody hard. Her bulk just refused to come off any further. That's when she came up with the idea. A kitchen knife in hand, she stood on the scales. Drip, drip, drip...and the weight started sliding. 50 gms, 200 gms, half-a-kilo and finally! There! The needle settled on the magic number - 45. Plop! Her fingers fell to the floor and she swooned.