One afternoon, somewhere in an African jungle, heat waves enveloped a lone active pond. A herd of wild buffaloes lazed in the pond, nudging each other to have a sip of water. They were oblivious about being under a fatal surveillance by hungry Lions. A lioness, leading the ambush, targeted the feeble calves first.

The lioness sneaked in gingerly, approaching the herd, her eyes set on a calf. It quickly revised her target after noticing that it would be impossible to get past the parent buffaloes guarding their offspring. The fattest buffalo was facing away from the Lioness, busy quenching its thirst. The other lions chose the buffalo as their menu. They gauged that the fat buffalo would surrender even though it looked intimidating.

Then the herd grew aware of the alien movements and prepared to face the worst. They made a run to safety. The fattest buffalo stopped sipping and looked at the stampede, clueless. It wasn’t until it felt the heavy paws of the predator pounding the ground, it realised that it was under attack and alone. The rest of herd were ensconced in safety. The buffalo turned around to face the charging lioness, while the rest of the lions slowly followed their leader. Just when the lions thought it was just another day, something ridiculously surprising happened.

The target didn’t move a bit. Instead, it stared intently at the fast approaching lioness. The stand was so brave that lions were dazzled to see it. When the predator leaped, the chosen target lowered its head and swung it violently. Its horns jabbed the lioness’s lower jaw. The lioness fell aside shocked, limped and took a step back. While the buffalo still stood its ground, the other lions stopped in their tracks. The lioness too showed signs of retreat, and it appeared that she was screaming out of pain. Ten-year-old Chintu’s eyes were wide open like his mouth, stuffed with his favorite chocolate flakes.

“MAAaaaa…Chintu is watching TV…has still not finished his breakfast,” Tina, his sister older by two years, screamed her lungs out standing behind him. Chintu twitched, pouring his breakfast on the table.

“Watching TV on mute? Smart eh?” mocked Tina and ran into his room as her long plaited hair swung over her back like the pendulum of a clock. Chintu watched her helplessly yet furious. He knew what she would be checking for. His nose flared, yet tears swelled in his eyes. His tongue no longer cherished the chocolate flakes; he wished he hadn’t been born.

“MAAaaa!” little Tina yelled and came out of the room with animated laughter.

“Oooo, you crying? So the bed is wet because of your tears?” she continued to mock. Chintu sobbed, jumped down from the tall chair and swung his heavy school bag over his shoulder. He searched for his sidekick, a cricket bat through his tearful eyes. His half trousers were uneven and a part of it was stuck between his butt cheeks. He breezed out of the house, mouth full of chocolate flakes which he forgot to chew. His laces were untied. Tears rolled down his chubby cheeks. His little round nose had become reddish. He walked down the street dragging a pretty heavy bat; his fat thighs made him walk like a duck. The neighborhood adored this chubby little boy….

What did you do when you were bullied? You wish you could make a wish like Chintu?

Check out what Chintu is upto…

“Navarasa by lotus”  is published by Leadstart Publishers. Now available on FLIPKART



The king size bed was a mess by early morning. The sheets were undone over the mattress. Lucky lay on the bed over her tummy, with her legs and arms stretched. Her face rested on a soft pillow stuffed with feathers. She wore a short satin gown. Though her body was sore after last night, she had a smile being half asleep. Her body was almost diagonal over the mattress. She remembered the good time, which she had for the first time ever in her life and even happier that the mini satin gown she purchased was seductive enough for him. She wondered whether he would be relishing the night as he boarded the flight.

The thought of being separated for a week and by thousands of kilometers awakened her immediately. She knew a week’s time was too long for them to be apart. It would take another 20 hours for her to be hearing from him. Her mind was in a dilemma. Sometimes she felt shy and sometimes she craved for more. She rose from the bed lazily, stepping on a pile of clothes, which she had shed earlier. Her soft heel got tangled with the pile, tripping her. Reflexively, she grabbed the edge of the table nearby.

“Oops,” she uttered. The phone over the table she was holding for support, started to ring. She hurriedly grabbed the phone and said “Hello” praying that it was him on the other line. The room’s door opened slowly as she waited for a reply. A young girl in a school uniform, classmate of hers during the schooling days stepped inside, holding a mobile phone over her ear. Lucky smiled at the girl, not really minding her friend in a school uniform. She stepped out of the room and found herself on the pavement. In front of her were tall massive buildings, clearly business corporate offices. The buildings, she had never seen in her country before. People had gathered below one of the buildings. The police had a hard time keeping them away. Several fire fighting vehicles rushed towards the building; the situation was chaotic. Lucky felt strange about the place she was in; it felt like a foreign land and so did the people around her. Like she ignored her friend dressed in a high school uniform, people ignored her even as she stood naked.

She looked up at the burning top floors of the building for a few seconds and she decided to go for a walk. Just after taking few steps away from the burning building a young man fell right in front of her, from top of a building. Though his face was smeared with blood, he looked familiar. Lucky immediately looked up at the floor and saw another familiar face standing there. She could hear everyone accusing the man above that he pushed the young man down. The man on the ground uttered “I….I…”. Lucky knelt down to hear him clearly. Suddenly she found it difficult to breathe. She fell short of air, and was beginning to suffocate.  Lucky woke up from her bed, rattled and breathing heavily. It was clear to her that something had scared her, but she found it difficult to remember her dream.

Lucky took deep breaths continuing to recollect her dream. She did know that it was a weird dream. Her eyes were dry and hazy. She cleared a lock of hair off her face. She reached for her mobile phone. There was one message from him and it read “I love u, will call u as soon as i land.” She read it few more times and smiled out of shyness. He had left a post script pasted below the digital clock on the table. It read “Love you. See you in….” He had set a timer to countdown a week. It displayed 6 days, 19 hours, 38 mins to go. She lazily stretched her sore body and stepped on a pile of clothes and tripped, grabbing the nearby table for support. The phone on the table rang, even before she could spare a second to connect her fall with her dream. She grabbed the phone, praying that it was him on the other end of the line.


“Hey Lucky!” replied a lady’s voice, which she hadn’t heard for a long time. Lucky paused for a moment making sure that she got her name right.

“Oh my God! Is it Priya?”

“Yeah, mad girl.”

“Oh my God, I just can’t believe it. I was just remembering you the way you looked in your high school uniform.”

“Hey Lucky, listen. It’s important. Did you see the news?”

“No, why?” Lucky walked into the living room. She switched on the television. It took a few seconds for the visuals after the audio, but she was glad that the television was already tuned into the news channel.

“Didn’t you say that Aamir is travelling to New York?”

Lucky momentarily ignored her and watched the news for herself.

A tall building was the target of a terrorist attack.

“Yes, but nothing to worry. He boarded the flight just two hours ago,” she replied.

“Thank God! Don’t worry then, Aamir will be alright.”

“Yeah…” Lucky was in discomfort. Her mind reiterated that something was strange with her since the time she woke up.

“Hey Priya, thanks for calling. Am not feeling well. I’ll call you later.” She hung up on Priya immediately. Her eyes scrolled along the news ticker, which flashed some more news about the terrorist attack. She sat on the sofa, in front of the television. It was déjà vu for her, at this time. She frowned at the thought of being familiar with these events. The string of events was still sketchy in her mind. She found it difficult to take sides; it was gray.

Lucky knew that she had dreamt of few more things, but couldn’t remember. As a desperate measure she took a note of things she could recollect, in a little notebook. After an hour the only new event she could recollect was walking around naked. She felt embarrassed. She sat like a rock, sinking her fingers into the cushion with anxiety.

What is happening to Lucky? Is it just a bad dream OR a bizarre co-incidence OR did she get an extra sensory perception overnight? How is her day going to be?

Check it out!

“Navarasa by lotus”  is published by Leadstart Publishers. Now available on FLIPKART



The leaves withered silently as a cool moist breeze brushed
past them. Monsoon had just ended, paving the way to cold
winter nights. People chose to remain at home, wrapping
themselves in blankets. The street dogs stayed away from the
streets howling once in a while, but busy scratching their hinds.
House No. 13, biggest home in the street showed no sign of
occupants. A group gathered silently at the rear of the house as
if not to wake up the house, next to a puddle. Each of them in
the group felt sorry for their neighbors who had been victims of
a calamity. Some of the victims were their relatives.
The chief, eldest and wisest in their society slowly came
in front of the group. Suddenly everyone started to swarm
around their chief to hear him talk about the calamity. The
group had great respect for their chief.
“Respectful Chief, we are all concerned about the recent
deaths. Scores of our neighboring folk have died overnight,
their bodies lying around their loved ones. Some of them were
able to escape and have found refuge with us. Their stories are
horrifying. They say that a pungent gas swept across when
they were asleep suffocating them. As they inhaled the air their
inners burned till they died. We must be the last surviving
society of our kind. We are all here to seek your advice.” The
moderator of the meeting gracefully bowed his head at chief.
The chief spoke slowly but in a bold voice. “My dear
children, with great pain I appear before you to remember our
folks who lost their lives. Many of you who were small enough
to remember, should know that the same had happened to
us as well. Birth and death is a part of nature; so are such

An annoyed voice from the group said, “But chief, What
does the calamity have to do with us drinking! You did predict
such calamities two days ago and asked us to refrain from
drinking. Why? Why do you ask us not to drink? What does it
have to do with the calamities?”
The chief replied, “My dear children, drinking is bad for
your health. Majority of our folks succumb to such calamities;
the rest should not just perish away falling for the habit of
drinking. Drinking is bad for health. I speak for your well
being. Believe me children. Do not drink and Fly.” Hz the
oldest, six-day-old adult requested his fellow mosquitoes.
For the first time in several hours the group had started to
lose their belief in Hz. They clearly suspected that Hz was
hiding something from them. Hz worriedly looked at the
dispersing swarm, his heavy mind struggling to hold back a
secret which he vowed not to reveal for the sake of his kind.
Some members of the group debated on why Hz asked them
to refrain from drinking, some supporting Hz saying that
drinking makes them groggy, lose control over their mind,
and vulnerable to accidents with humans and other kinds. The
others argued that there was a direct link between drinking
and the calamities, which Hz knew but wouldn’t reveal to
them for some reason.
Hz settled near the puddle looking at society’s uncertain
future, the wriggling larvae. Death could strike at any time if
their folks continued drinking….

What is the secret which only Hz knows of but fears that it would one day wipe his clan out? Would his clan ever get to know the real cause of the calamities? How long can Hz protect his society?

“Navarasa by lotus”  is published by Leadstart Publishers. Now available on FLIPKART


The prison guard on the watch tower overlooking the dining
area raised the alarm, wiping the sweat off his forehead. The
sun was blazing generously.
The sound of the siren echoed across, soaking into each and
every inch of the highly guarded central prison. The guards
were annoyed with the effort of stepping out of their fan-
cooled chambers to carry out the protocols.
A sadistic crowd of fellow inmates crowded around Suri
and Raja engaged in a bare-handed brawl. “Punch him, on his
face,” they shouted to Suri, who was at the receiving end after
he had intentionally agitated Raja. The kindergarten rhyme
‘Twinkle Twinkle little star’ had sparked off the fight.
The dining area was covered with sand, filled with dust
and small pebbles. Close to a minute into the brawl, Suri and
Raja weren’t doing more than holding each other’s collar and
rolling on the over-baked sand. Raja was able to land a couple
of punches into Suri’s face. Suri dodged the rest by holding
him at an arm’s distance. They were really confused on what
to do. The dust they raised was irritating their nostrils. The
quarrelling duo now looked like their heads were dipped in
chocolate syrup with the hair turning into brown in colour.
Arms were becoming slippery because of the sweat. It could
be any one’s victory now. The defending Suri lost his grip on
Raja’s arm, and in no time he felt a blow delivered on his right
lower jaw. Soon he realised that Raja was for real.
Even amidst the deafening alarm, yelling inmates continued
to demand that Suri plant a punch on Raja’s face.
“Run! The Jailor is coming. Suri, get up…we will handle him
later,” screamed an inmate as he ran towards his cell.

The alarm was switched off and the shrilling whistle of the
Jailer signalled an end to the anarchy. Some stampeded away
from the area and others slowly but anonymously dispersed,
not daring to face the Jailer’s wrath. Prison staff quickly pulled
Raja away from Suri before he planted some more blows.
“Stop them!” yelled the Jailer in a gargling voice, quite
ironically after the brawl had stopped. Some of the inmates
thought he did it just to stamp his authority and intimidate
The Jailer took slow steps towards Raja being held by two
of his staff members. Raja wanted to thank him, sarcastically
though, for the Jailer blocked the sun as he stood in front of
him. The Jailer did bear an imposing image. The rolled up
sleeves of the khaki shirt showed his dark brown arms, which
looked like a thick bark chiseled from a tree. Raja dared to
stare right into his black eyes as if he had nothing to lose.
“So, who is it this time?” asked the Jailer of his fellow staff
behind him while he continued to stare at Raja.
Raja stole a glance at the nameplate on the Jailer’s shirt
reading ‘JAYRAM.’. The nameplate always reminded him of
his school days.
“Sir, it’s Suri’s fault,” came the reply to his question.
Jayram quickly looked at Raja starting from his dusty hair,
stubs on his face, the uniform which was originally white, the
pot belly in the making and slight bruises on his knee caps.
Jayram instantly compared the current state of Raja with how
he looked years ago, before landing up in this prison.
“Do you think you are in a movie, bashing up whomever
you like? Eh?” growled Jayram, breathing venom straight
into Raja’s expressionless face, his famous gray eyes looking
as fierce as the burning sun. He wondered if it was the hot
weather which made the inmates to lose their minds.
“This is your last chance and you better keep your herogiri to
yourself, within you!” warned Jayram poking Raja’s heaving
chest with his staff.

“Whom Sir?” asked his confused subordinate.
“Rajan the super star,” said Jayram sarcastically, pointing
his staff at Raja who was now fuming with anger……………..

What could have made a movie superstar Rajan land in jail. Did he have to blame himself for his current predicament?

“Navarasa by lotus”  is published by Leadstart Publishers. Now available on FLIPKART


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