short story


We all know your story, the long way you’ve come to have reached where you are now. But what according to you is a bad habit, or the worst one for that matter? 

The room blurred, ran out of focus but refused to fade away. Against this stubborn background, she was gently pulled into a memory all of a sudden. She smiled as she said: 

“Good or bad, habits are hard to get rid of. And I believe people are the hardest habit.” 

Art, short story


The exchange had always been flawless, for ages. One leaves and the other enters to rule, simultaneously. The first time there occured a slight friction, was the first time he had noticed her. 

Her warm smile immediately caressed his frozen heart. He was barren, and only took; she was evergreen and always gave. She entered, in full bloom, ready to replenish what he had taken away.

Her twinkling gaze initially did not notice the familiar stranger observing her with admiration. She gave him a surprised smile, slightly raising her left eyebrow. 

“You must be Winter?” She said in a breeze.

“Yes, I am… ” He hesitated, coarse.

“I thought you’d​ left.” 

He merely smiled at her. 


short story

Amaya #7 : Best Friend?

There is only one way to end this.

The separation. The confusion. The many questions in her head.

She let out a big sigh, and opened the terrace door. She could hear it on the other side of the door. It was time, she decided, to meet her best friend. Again.

As she walked over to the edge that held the view, it softened. There was an awkward silence amidst it’s rhythm. It was sad.

Had she ignored her best friend? Had she simply watched as her best friend was being poisoned; corroded? A little each day. Had she failed to be a true friend; or even a good one? Had she chosen not to be bothered when her best friend helplessly became something it was not? Forced and imposed on it?  Had she forgotten all those times her best friend was there for her? By her side? 

Every time?

A drop rolled down her cheek, parallel to her tear. With great effort, she finally managed to speak.

“I’m Sorry.” 

short story

Amaya #6 : Away

“But Amma”, started Amaya.

“No means no. It is too slippery over there, and you will stay inside the house.”, said her mother firmly.

That was the first time she had been prevented from playing in the rain. Her neighbour had had a bad fall the day before, as the continuous rains made the neighbourhood slippery.

She was sad, so much that she was almost at tears. But as she stuck her head to the window, her friend reassured her : Better luck next time.

Another day, it had been the fear of acid rain. How can my friend harm me?, she wondered. She asked. A drop fell on her right eye, and rolled down. She had to wait days, looking out the window, before her friend finally returned.

But all of these were mere temporary restrictions. The real one came when she was sent away to hostel for her higher secondary education. She was absolutely banned from playing in the rain, and the barely got the chance to meet her friend. These rare occasions were followed by sessions where the wardens would scold her so badly that even the drops would shudder.

And then, little by little she got so much into that vicious circle of life, she no longer waited at the window. No longer searched the skies.

short story

Amaya #5 : Good Morning

She woke up early in the morning, died, and came back to life after she realised she had mistaken the chair to be a stranger in her room. She opened the blinds just enough to let her desired amount of sunlight rush in.

Amaya was between The Great Wall of China – her father, and the Fortress – her mother. Both were sound asleep, but she was wide awake. It was Sunday – her play day, the only day when she woke up on time, while her mother happily slept. But play was nowhere in her mind. Somebody was grumbling, and she was very sure that it was not her tummy.

The noise was coming from beyond the Great Wall, and she slowly peeked over it. And there, at the door of her bathroom stood a shabby Sand Monster, growling angrily, or maybe hungrily – she could not tell.

“Amma! Amma! Wake up. There is a Monster in our bathroom. It will eat us.” , she cried.

“There are no monsters Amu, come here.” , said her sleepy mother, and pulled Amaya closer​ to her.

However reassuring the gesture had been, she could still see it’s hand extend out to get the three of them. It could step out of the bathroom anytime.

And then there was a loud crash, followed by a heavy downpour – overwhelming every other noise. She peeked over the Fortress, at the window, as the drops catapulted over the window to reach her.

The bathroom was empty once again. She went back to sleep with a smile, mentally jotting down that Sand Monsters are scared of her best friend.

*Illustration by NM

short story

Amaya #4 : Numbers

Sitting between boxes in the shadow of a dusty light, she came across something that made her smile. A photocopy of one of her answer scripts.

” You are not going anywhere till you work out all those problems. Just look at this answer sheet of yours! It is so red!”, ordered her mother.

“Please?”, she begged, making cute faces at her mother.

Her mother paused before firmly answering, “No.”

It was a Sunday, her no-work-all-play day. But there she sat, inside, while it drizzled outside. The ‘world of numbers’  her teacher would say. The only numbers she liked were ones she could count on her fingers and toes. She stared at her textbook, almost hoping the numbers would solve themselves; and then at the list of questions under a seemingly polite order : Solve.

Aren’t we supposed to solve our problems by ourselves? The subject is so cruel that her answer script lay injured on the battlefield. The textbook was such a sadist that it forced kids to solve its problems step by step, even though it miraculously had all the answers on the last page – that too without the steps. If it can solve all those examples, why not these too?


A cold breeze through the window delivered rain drops on her face, and she snapped out of  her head.

“Ok fine, fine. I’ll finish this off and come.” she muttered.

The drizzle disappeared, and it rained when Amaya stepped out to play.

*Illustrated by NM

short story

Amaya #3 : The Child

Her mother pulled her hair into a ponytail, on the top of head. She called it the ‘Umbrella Style‘. She was restless.

“Sit still Amu. What are you so happy about?”, her mother scolded her.

“I want to go out and play.” she replied.

She ran to the playground, and looked up. A few minutes later, rain drops danced down the roofs, the swing and the trees. She stuck her tongue out and ate one of them. She giggled as it tickled her tongue. As she danced, another landed on the left side of her forehead, and slid into her ear. 

It whispered that a child was born, to a couple who was sad for a long time. They had lost their daughter when she was 7 years old. This was their second child, a baby boy.

They named him Anant.

*Illustration by NM.