WPS: Before, When There was Nothing

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Image from Google Maps

Before, When There was Nothing

Words 152

  “Mother!” Shvetaketu was aghast. “What are you doing with him?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” Her face was still flushed with passion.

“Mother, whose son am I?”

“Mine.” She straightened and smiled at him affectionately.

“I demand you tell me.” He roared.

“Hush! It’s a free world. I can do what I like, with whom I like.”

“I shall rewrite the marriage laws.” Shvetaketu declared. “From now on you can go to other men only with your husband’s permission.”

“You will still not know whose son you are.” She twinkled.

“But of course your husband’s. He owns you like his fields and any crop that comes out of you is his.”

“I am not a field!”

“So be it. From now on you will be allowed only four husbands, the Moon, Gandharva Vishvavasu, Agnideva and finally your husband.”

Is that why when husbands no longer want their wives she is passed on to fire?

***

A/N: In Hindu mythology, Gandharva Vishvavasu is a celestial being skilled in the art of music and Agnideva is the god of Fire. This piece is inspired by Devdutt Patnaik’s book 7 Secrets of the Goddess, which describes the origin of this Vedic wedding ritual. Until now I wasn’t aware that I have four husbands. Did any of you (wedded according to Vedic customs) know it?

Written for What Pegman Saw – a story in 150 words or less.  Thanks to J Hardy Carroll for hosting the challenge and Google Maps for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Thank you for reading. I dithered quite a bit over the title – could you help me? Do you think it would have been better if I had titled it The Evolution of Civilization?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Evolution of Civilization

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Do Photos Count?

“What are you doing Nani?”

“I am measuring the rice for cooking.”

“Why do you ritualistically put in some extra rice grains and then put back some in the container?”

“Traditionally we cook a little extra for an unexpected guest and make sure to keep some for tomorrow.”

“As if that tiny bit will help!” I scoffed. “Superstitious nonsense.”

“No harm done…”

“My cook’s son lost his job. There’s an opening for a driver but she refused.”

“Why?”

“The astrologer advised against it.”

I scrolled down for the Friday Fictioneer photo.

 Damn. Where could I spot a flying crow at night?

***

Words 101

 

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Photo (c) Douglas M. Macllroy

Note: For the uninitiated, myna birds are very powerful and accurate fore-tellers.

  • One for sorrow (which can be dispelled if you spot a flying crow)
  • Flying one for success
  • Two for joy
  • Three for letter
  • Four for boy
  • Five for gift

I have no idea where this originated from but it is 100 % true especially the one for sorrow. Although I’m not sure if photos count 😉 Psst just in case you can’t find a flying crow, make a circle with your forefinger and thumb and cut (open it) with something (thrice!). 😀

Well I confessed mine 😛 What’s yours?

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting it and Douglas M Macllroy for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt, click here.

 

The Murderer

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Photo (c) Ted Strutz

The Murderer

 Words 101

“I’ll kill you!” Sagar lunged at his son-in-law. “You blood sucking leech…”

“Calm down!” Family members intervened. “Meeta committed suicide.”

“Why would she?” An overwrought Sagar spat. “Meeta wanted nothing. I gave her everything, TV, car, even a luxury cruise. Besides she had a lucrative job.”

“Meeta was depressed.”

“Nonsense!” distraught, Reeta interrupted. “She often complained about her in-laws. They were torturing and abusing her. Meeta wanted to leave them.”

“Exactly.” Sagar brushed his cheeks. “They killed her.”

“Meeta begged you to let her to come back home.” Reeta retorted. “But each time, you sent her back. You killed her Papa.”

***

A/N Forgive me I am rather obsessed with this subject. Over here in India, stringent laws are in place against in-laws regarding dowry and bride burning. But my question is if parents were more supportive why would girls (especially qualified educated financially independent working women) commit suicide or even stick around to be murdered or worse? Perhaps it is time parents are booked as well.

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting this challenge and Ted Strutz for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

WPS: When the Going Gets Tough

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Image from Google maps

WPS: When the Going Gets Tough

Words 151

 “I don’t want to go school.” Ronak whined.

“You got no choice.” Sara packed their lunch. “Hurry up Palak!”

Palak jogged her arm. “Mom can I stay over at Rima’s?”

“No!”

“You’re mean!”

“And you’re late. Hurry!”

“Where’s my sweater?” A querulous voice called.

Damn. “Hurry!” Sara hustled them. “The bus is here!”

“Sara,” the husband popped up, “The boss is coming to dinner tonight.”

Ugh! Better soak chickpeas.

“Ma your sweater…”

“That isn’t mine.”

“Take it please.”

“I want mine.”

“Please Ma! I have a meeting.” Giving the crinkling tea a regretful look, Sara slipped the sandwich into her purse. “Bye!”

 

Rohit dropped into her cabin. “Need help with your presentation?”

“Almost done.” Sara gave thumbs up.

“Coffee!”

“Thanks Tullika,” Sara smiled, “Just make sure nobody disturbs me until the meeting.”

“Sure!”

Sara slid into her chair, kicked off her heels and bit into her sandwich.

Thank God for office.

***

A/N Sorry I am terribly late (Sara’s story could be mine!) but the linky was open so I jumped in 😀  Thanks for reading!

Written for What Pegman Saw – a story in 150 words or less.  Thanks to K. Rawson for hosting the challenge and Google Maps for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

 

 

Better Off

 

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Photo (c) J Hardy Carroll

Better Off

Words 100

“Radha’s absent again&^%@!”

“Relax Dhruv,” Smita spoke wearily, “Radha has domestic issues.”

“I wish you wouldn’t gossip with these low class…”

“Aren’t you late for office?”

“Yes. But you rest.” Dhruv ordered. “Don’t bother about housework or office work.”

Smita sniffled.

“Don’t cry darling.” He hugged her. “Next time.” He promised.

What if next time also…?

 

“Sorry Madamji.” Radha attacked the dishes. “My husband bribed the sonography doctor… “

“You’re expecting a girl.” Smita predicted dully. “He forced you to undergo an abortion.”

“Yes. But I thrashed him and kicked him out.”

Next time

Why wait?

She dialed 100.

***

A/N Somehow I really struggled with this story and still not sure if I managed to convey what I set out to. Perhaps the note below will clarify matters. Do let me know if you needed the help of the note or not. Thank you for reading.

Written for the Friday Fictoneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and J Hardy Carroll for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

 As per Indian census data, female feticide is higher among those with the better socioeconomic status and literacy. Incomprehensible, inexplicable, reprehensible but there it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WPS: An Embellished Tale

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Photo from Google Maps

An Embellished Tale

Words 152

 “Tell us a story Granny,” the children clamored.

“Hmm, okay. Long ago, a learned sadhu lived in the jungle. People came from near and far away villages to hear him speak of religion and spirituality.”

“Granny…” Lily whined but Molly shushed her.

“One day, Nag, the snake heard the Sadhu’s talk on brotherly love and nonviolence. Moved, Nag vowed to renounce his deadly habit.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Lilly.

“Slowly the villagers got to know of Nag’s saintly nature. They teased and provoked him with sticks and stones.”

“How mean.”

“The half-dead Nag accused the Sadhu of teaching wrong things.”

“What did the Sadhu say?”

I told you to shun violence but did I tell you not to raise your hood?”

“Then?” Molly prodded.

“Nag began to hiss. Scared, the villagers avoided him. Sadhu and Nag became friends and they lived happily ever after.”

Granny twinkled and pointed to the photo on the wall.

***

 A/N: This is one of my favorite childhood tales – I just embellished it to fit the photo which was irresistible and mesmerizing. If you look carefully, the right one is Nag and the left one is the monk with his staff 😉

Written for What Pegman Saw – a story in 150 words or less.  Thanks to K. Rawson for hosting the challenge and Google Maps for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Worse Than Death

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Worse than Death

 Words 100

The perfect night for ghosts, he thought as he trudged into the darkness.

The winds shrieked and swirled about him ruffling the white sheet draped around his shoulders like a cape. He clutched it closer.

Why the hell did I agree to this dare?

Scare ghosts with a sheet? Sheesh.

Chanting the Hanuman Chalisa* over the rattle of the shutters, he stepped inside.

What could he take as proof?

“Mammaaa!”

Was that a…ghost?

“What are you doing here?” He asked the girl from down the street.

“Hiding.”

“Here? Aren’t you afraid of ghosts?”

“Ghosts can only kill you.”

***

* Hanuman Chalisa is considered to be one of the most powerful mantras to overcome obstacles and remove fear especially of ghosts and black magic.

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and Sarah Potter for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.