July 17, 2022

#BlogchatterBlogHop: 'An impossible dilemma' (a poem)

If I were told to choose just one

A sheer case of 'all or none'

Between to read a book or to write

It would have been a terrible fight

How do you choose between body and soul

Between breath and air, dream and goal

Between passion and love, food and drink

Between how to feel and how to think

Both are linked in every way

'Yin and yang' as Jung would say

Read to write and write to read;

Books devoured, and stories freed

But still a choice if asked to make

For reading intent, for writing sake

An equal balance let there be;

an erudite writer's  identity!


The above comic strip is a humorous attempt by yours truly to depict the ‘read or write’ dilemma by revisiting an ancient Greek myth. 


This post is a part of Blogchatter Blog Hop Blog 3.

July 11, 2022

#BlogchatterBlogHop: 'The traveller' - a short story.

The last thing I remember was gazing into the abyss when I lost  control and slipped. By the time I regained consciousness, I found myself spiraling down a dark vertiginous tunnel, clueless of where I was heading.

When the vertigo finally stopped, I realised I had arrived at the end of the passage. It was marked by a door. On it was engraved the name, ‘Hawkins Research Institute’.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had reached the much rumoured about  research facility based in our town.  Located underground, the lab promised utmost confidentiality and was said to conduct brealthrough experiments of an undisclosed nature.

The adrenaline rush I felt was unimaginable. A big fat adventure lay waiting in front of me. Unraveling the mystery could change my life---I could become the hero of my town. All I had to do to do was choose a quiet opportune moment and sneak in.

Moments later, I was inside the facility. Under the dim light of a solitary bulb, I made my way to what seemed like the basement area.


In the centre of the space was a huge glass chamber, equipped with a single seat and a panel board with multiple levers and buttons. I went closer to have a better look. But before I could do that, I heard footsteps approaching.

Startled, I slouched behind an old and rusty file cabinet. My heart was beating at the speed of a stallion.

The footsteps stopped. The door opened. As the lights flew on, I noticed a middle-aged man in a white lab coat walk in.

He was bespectacled, had frazzled hair, and appeared preoccupied. I concluded he was one of the scientists working at the centre.

Without wasting any time, he made his way to the glass chamber. Quickly strapping himself to the seat, he proceeded to punch a few buttons and pull a few levers. The machine lit up, making a noise like an engine, but within seconds the sound and the lights both died down. The man sighed. A look of exasperation crossed his face, the tell tale signs of a failed experiment.

Just then, a tiny squeak fell on my ears. I looked in the direction of the source and my mouth let out a loud yelp almost involuntarily. A dirty black rat with fuzzy hair was nibbling on my toes.

Startled by my yelp, the astonished rodent scurried away, leaving me to face the co sequences of my folly. I was already thinking of excuses to give the scientist when I looked up to see him already pressing an alarm to inform security.

With the alarm buzzing continuously, and the mad scientist staring me down, I felt cornered. The security personnel would be here any minute.

Without thinking, I jumped into the chamber-machine.  The man had pulled the red lever, then the blue, or was it the green? I tried to recollect what I’d seen.

Just then, five burly uniformed guards  entered the room. They were carrying arms. The scientist  gestured towards me and they seemed to understand what to do. Aiming their rifle towards me, they asked me to surrender.

It was almost a threat. Possibilities of punishment in a science lab wreaked havoc in my mind. Exhumation, extermination, genetic mutation, a lifetime in coma…these people could turn me into a guinea pig if they wanted.

The door creaked. The panic in me surged. My hands trembled.

I pulled the first lever that came in hand. Red. Nothing happened.

I pulled the blue. Still nothing. The guards sniggered.

Panic stricken, my hands were dancing all over the machine panel.

Orange, purple, green; I pulled all the levers together. I punched multiple random buttons. 

Finally, the machine came to life.

The scientist’s mouth flew open. The guards did not know how to react. Neither did I.

Since then, I have been having strange experiences. I have witnessed events no mortal would ever have imagined. .

I have seen centuries old empires crumbling, witnessed the terrors of fascism, the drawbacks of capitalism. I have traveled a long way from the freedom struggle to dirty politics, from  communism to communalism, from the suffragette movement to the Me too movement.

I have cursed myself for being a helpless  spectator of acts of apartheid, untouchability, racism, classism, love jihad, jingoism, and bigotry.

I have witnessed genocides, space missile launches, breakthroughs in medicine, military warfare, nuclear explosions, and miraculous recoveries.

I guess this has become my way of life now, my identity. I’m a  time traveler with no idea where he will land up, or what he will experience next.

Unintentionally though, I eventually ended up being a lab rat for Hawkins afterall.  I wonder if there are more like me. I guess we will never know.

Time-traveling has  ruined me forever, but it has also made me believe…in endless possibilities, in hope. The universe, I have realised, is not easy to comprehend. It works in mysterious ways.

The only regret is that I cannot stay too long at one place to pass on this message. My time is brief and yet inexhaustibly infinite.

I am ageless.

 I am the universe. 

I am the God particle.


This post is a part of Blogchatter Blog Hop.

July 04, 2022

#BlogchatterBlogHop: Message in a bottle (a short story)

Roxanne was strolling  languidly on the beach  when she noticed something glinting. At first she assumed it was flotsam. But curiosity drew her closer.

She scooped out the half-buried object from the golden yellow sands. It was a bottle. Inside it was a tiny roll of writing paper. Her mind began to race. 

Being an avid reader, her imagination quickly transported her to all those books she had read…about pirates and treasures; maybe this was a map. Or perhaps some lovelorn sailor had written to his beloved a confession before meeting his end jn the stormy water; a dismal end to a silent romance.

Roxanne unscrewed the cork of the bottle and recovered the paper. It was a note.

Dear reader,

This could have been a ticking bomb. Thank your stars It is not.

(Let this be a reminder never to touch something that has drifted from the sea, which I’m sure is where you imagined this to be  coming. But hah! Tough luck!)

We are a bunch of environmentalists on a mission; Project - ‘Message in a bottle’ (MIAB); an awareness project for reckless fools and romantic idiots.

You were going to throw this bottle back into the seaside, weren’t you? Maybe add a few lines of your own on the note it was carrying and set it asail for some dreamy eyed dingbat to find again? Six degrees of separation coming closer in such a glorious way binding strangers from different corners of the globe, right?


What is more likely to happen is this; the sea turtles and fish in the sea will choke on the cork or shards of the bottle broken from the current. And one tiny senseless act will become responsible for polluting our shores, destroying our aquatic life, and eventually damaging the entire ecosystem.

Sorry to burst your bubble, my friend. But life is no ‘Nicholas Spark’ novel. It is more of a Douglas Adams trilogy, where absurd things keep happening out of the blue and we need to constantly be on our feet in order to keep our planet from demolition.

So here is a friendly reminder. Stop polluting the earth with non-biodegradables. Go  natural instead. Conserve energy. Our forests and natural reservoirs need to be preserved.

And for heaven’s sake, please step out of your little Caribbean island pirate fantasy and stop flinging bottles into the sea, with or without notes in them.

Reduce, recycle, reuse (you know the drill). Now is the time to act.



(trying to save our planet, one step at a time)

P.S: Please insert the note in the bottle and place in found position.  

Project ‘MIAB’ is a  supervised project. Your response will be noted, and rest assured, the bottle will be duly disposed in a way that doesn’t harm our aquatic friends.

With nervous trepidation, Roxanne restored the note as directed. She knew what she had to do.

“Thank you, MIAB,” she whispered. “You have opened my eyes. I’m leaving the bottle behind, but will take your message forward.”


This post is a part of Blogchatter Blog Hop.