Tag Archives: #WriteTribeFestivalofWords

Mom’s life #Write Bravely


The Municipality officers had been at work all day pumping the water out of her basement and it was only now that she could go down there. It was a mess, a sad sorry mess. She’d take days to clean this out. She sat down on a stool and pulled the cardboard carton towards her. It came away in a soggy mess. Letters, photographs, slam books  tumbled out.

She picked up a photograph: It was hers, as a teen with her sister, she on her tiptoes because somehow the sister, though, younger had managed to shoot up an inch more than her. Another one at the school Sports Day captured by her dad – she was about 8, a butterfly with blue and pink butter-paper wings. She reached out for another one – she and her best friend at the farewell social at school, barely 15, in their mom’s saris, dressed awkwardly but posing like pros, ‘The world is our runway’, she had captioned it. Those were the days…, she smiled.

Her reverie was broken by a cry of ‘Look what I found!’.

She glanced up reluctantly, unwilling to let go of the memories just yet, to see her six-year-old holding up something dripping wet covered with mud and bits of cardboard. One armed Barbies, half-legged astronauts, cotton oozing teddy bears and assorted crayons and colour pencils lay spilt around.

Her son was holding up something, ‘My favourite dart gun!’ he said wiping it lovingly on his shirt.

Oh Lord no – not that one thought she, putting down her photographs and rushing over to him. That gun had been the cause of a million fights, till one day she had hidden it away among the discarded toys and forgotten about it. And now here it was… again.

Predictably enough his twin jumped at it, ’It’s mine,’
‘No it’s mine, I found it.’
‘But Aunty got it for me.’
‘Yes but then you gave it to me.’
‘So I take it back now.’
‘You cannot take something back once you give it away.’
‘Yes I can,’

She glanced at her photographs then sighed and geared up once again for some serious refreeing. No time for mush in a mom’s life!


Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words June 2018 for the last day of the Challenge – Day 7. The prompt for the day was:
A dark and heavy storm suddenly takes over your neighbourhood, dropping 6 feet of water so quickly that the storm drains can’t handle it. The water flooded your street and your basement, ruining many of your things. As you rummage through your stuff, you are filled with memories. Think about your…

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Dear ______ ,


All day today I have struggled to write this letter. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, neither is it about being able to find the words to say what I have to. The trouble this time round is rather strange – I don’t know who I should be writing this letter to. Who is it that made me want to write? Who is it that continues to inspire me?

Should it be my grade I English teacher who told my dad I needed to read storybooks because my English wasn’t up to the mark or my class VII English teacher who taught me to appreciate Shakespeare making me mug up speeches from Merchant of Venice till I could recite them verbatim (I can still reel off My Mind is Tossing on the ocean.. and The quality of mercy is not strained..)?

Should it be Enid Blyton who made me fall in love with talking toys, magical trees and mysterious islands or should it JK Rowling who reminded me that magic wasn’t only for children?

Should it be Georgette Heyer whose style I copied, without even being aware of it, in the first story I ever wrote (and tore up right away) or should it be PG Wodehouse who still appears unwittingly in some of my writing?

Should it be the editor of the daily who picked me for my very first job even though I had no experience or should it be the one who accepted my first story?

Should it be my twin muses who inspired me to begin a blog and then later, pestered me to come with a new story every night for years on end and then listened to them so spellbound that I began to believe a little bit in myself? Or should it be friends who laughed at all the right places when they read my writing?

Should it be my mom, dad and sister who read what I write, come up with ideas when I’m stuck, even vet some of my posts, or should it be my fantastic blogging family that keeps me going day after day with kind words of encouragement?

I shall never know and for that reason this letter shall never be written.


Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words June 2018 for the Day 6 prompt:

Write a letter to a person who supported your writing career, whether that be a friend, a family member, a teacher (even one that supported you at a very young age before you knew that it would blossom into a writing career), an author you’ve never met but have been inspired…

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Linking up with Shantala’s #ChattyBlogs.


Of Men, Loves and Passions #WriteBravely

Men, loves passions

“Hello,” said the voice on the phone. “My name is Shah Rukh Khan. I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but I’ve been given your name as someone who can help me find something I’m looking for.”

‘Yeah yeah yeah and I’m Anushka Sharma, Virat is right here by me would you like to say hello? YOU STUPID IMBECILE!! It’s 3 am for Godssake and prank calls are so 80s YOU JOBLESS FOOL, You have nothing better to do on a Monday morning?’ Brinda erupted.

Now before you get the wrong impression about Brinda, let me tell you that she’s normally a gentle soul, it’s just that she had been provoked beyond measure over this past weekend.

It all began yesterday morning. She was woken up very very rudely yet again by the incessant roaring of a car and the raucous jubilant laughter of her husband. If there’s one thing Brinda treasured passionately (after her teen crush Shah Rukh), it was her Sunday morning sleep.

Her husband Bikram, on the other hand, loved even more passionately, his 1936 Ruby Austin. ‘It’s much more than a car,’ he would say to anyone who cared to listen. The said car had been in Brinda’s family for decades and had been her father’s gift to Bikram. She sometimes thought her husband had agreed to marry her simply because he had fallen deeply irrevocably in love with her father’s Austin.

Come Sunday, way before the sun rose, he would arm himself with a host of cleaning materials, polish and grease and a bunch of soft muslin cloths and get to work on the Austin. He would polish it till it gleamed, then start it up. It would sputter and stutter as noisily as a kettle drum and then with a huge roar it would come alive. And each time it trumpeted to life Bikram would give out a loud proud cheer. He’d rev it up and drive it up and down the long driveway of their bungalow at a royal speed of 20kms per hour, giving out whoops of childlike joy.

Neither her entreaties nor her threats managed to deter him. After an unusually bad fight he’d stop for a week or two and then he’d be back at it again.

Meanwhile Brinda would twist and turn in her bed, stewing in anger, her sleep quite gone. Yesterday morning when Bikram had returned to their room, pleased as punch, twirling his majestic moustache (another thing he was rather proud of) and reached out to give Brinda an expansive hug all he had received for his troubles was an impatient shove that had sent him sprawling on the ground.

She really hadn’t meant to push him but ‘he deserved it’, she told herself when her conscience had dared to open its mouth.

Bikram had collected himself unhurt, except for his ego – which was worse than any physical injury. Talks since then had been suspended between the two, each swearing he/she would make up over his/her dead body.

It was a bad bad night for Brinda because she could never sleep well after an unresolved fight. Bikram’s snores had only made her angrier and now she had had to get up to take this call!

Oh she was fuming!

‘Errr.. hello, ma’am.’ The caller seemed to be rather taken aback at her tirade. ‘Hello this is Shah Rukh Khan, the actor. I’m terribly sorry I didn’t realise it was so late, or should I say so early?’ he ended with a cheeky-apologetic laugh. Oooooh he was good, this guy. The laugh was exactly like SRK’s and he was persistent, thought she, the last vestiges of sleep leaving her. An old friend perhaps, who knew of her continued crush on the actor.

‘You’re Shah Rukh, eh? How come you’re up so early, I know SRK is a true blue night owl.’ Not for nothing had she read up every available trivia on her heart throb of decades.

‘Early morning for some, late night for some – I haven’t gone to bed yet, ma’am,’ he said and there it was again – his characteristic laugh.

This time her heart flipped. That laugh rung so true she had to catch her breath. Could it  really be Shah Rukh? The man of her dreams?

But never in her dreams had he said he needed her help. He had said everything from ‘I love you’ (when she was a teen) to ‘Let’s have an intellectual conversation about Spirituality and Philosophy,’ (when she had entered her forties) but never this.

‘You need my help?’ she said her heartbeat spiking.

‘Well it’s like this I spent my childhood with my maternal grandfather in Mangalore. I presume your grandfather was from there as well?’

‘That’s right but he moved away eons ago,’ she said.

‘Yeah well I have some very happy memories of those days. My most favourite one is of man-to-man conversations with my grand-dad as we drove through long winding roads. While he is gone, the memory remains. The memory and the car. It used to be a gorgeous 1936 Ruby Austin.  I’ve been looking for it for years and years. A contact told me it had belonged to your father. You see it is much more than a car. I was wondering if…..’

Shah Rukh wanted the Austin! Bikram’s Austin! And he was coming here to get it! The thought brought Brinda to her knees and she sank back into a delicious day-dream.

But Bikram …… he would never part with it. The thought intruded on her dream and she laughed out loud at the irony of it. The only two men who mattered in her life, the only two men who she’d dreamed would fight over her, would now be fighting over another.

Edited to add: This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to anyone dead or alive is purely coincidental.


Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words June 2018 for the Day 5 prompt:
“Hello,” said the voice on the phone. “My name is __________. I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but I’ve been given your name as someone who can help me _______.” (Write a story that follows this line.)

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The Bucket List #WriteBravely

The Bucket List

‘Ma,’ where’s my lavender stole? called out Rimjhim.

Rashmi put down the newspaper and looked up. Rimjhim stuck her head out from her room, ‘Ma… please, where is it?’
“In your cupboard, somewhere, I presume,’ said 
Rashmi and picked up the paper again.
‘Really ma this grand ‘Be Independent’ experiment of yours is driving me crazy.’
Rashmi smiled behind the paper and continued to read.

Rimjhim withdrew with an exasperated sigh and rummaged frantically through her cupboard until finally she called out ‘I found it. Thanks for nothing ma.’

Rashmi shook her head and laughed softly at the sarcasm.

‘Ma Vihan and Varun are coming over for dinner tonight,’ said Mohit picking up his bike keys and tiffin box from the table, where the maid, Geeta, had left it for him.
‘You should have told Geeta before she left.’
‘Come on ma, call her please, or tell her when she comes in the evening,’
‘I’m busy today, beta. You have her number. Call her or order in. I will be out all day.’
‘Ma it’ll take two minutes,’
Yup exactly, why don’t you do it rightaway?’
‘Really, ma!! Said Mohit annoyed at her steadfast refusal.

This was unusual!

‘..and here we have a fresh victim of the ‘apna kaam apne aap’ movement. How do you feel Mr Mohit? Empowered, overwhelmed or simply annoyed?’ queried Rimjhim thrusting an imaginary mike at him.
‘This is a mad mad household,’ he muttered brushing her hand away. He looked at his mother again and asked, ‘Are you alright, ma?’ The thought had been plaguing him for some time now. She definitely had not been herself over the last few months. She seemed kind of absent minded, distant, removed from them all.

He put down his bag and sat down beside her.

“Ma, is all well?’

Rimjhim looked up at the serious note that had crept into his voice and edged closer. She had noticed the change in her mom too. It bothered her.
‘Yes ma, what’s up? You’re not helping us these days, you shut yourself in your room for hours and you’ve been going out almost everyday. And who is this Dr Amrita you keep calling up? You’re not going away anywhere, are you?’

Rashmi looked at both of them guilty.

‘Ma,’ Rohit shook her, ‘are you sick?’
‘Are you dying?’ asked Rimjhim. She was close to tears now that the thought had struck her.

‘Oh stop, you two. For goodness sake,’ exclaimed Rashmi and smiled, ‘actually it’s a little bit of both.
‘Stop talking in riddles please ma,’ entreated Rohit.

Rashmi sighed.

‘It’s a bit of a long story and I guess I might as well tell it all. You think you have the patience to hear me out?’ The two nodded mutely, apprehensive of what was about to come.
‘Well, I was always an average girl with average aspirations and I grew up to be an average woman fulfilling each of them in turn.’ She put up her hand when Mohit tried to protest, ‘Let me finish please’, she said, ‘Life has been good. Not remarkable, but good and I’m not complaining.’

‘But then the other day Sunanada passed away. You remember Sunanada Aunty from the 7th floor?, Yeah, so when she passed away I realised how ephemeral life was. I realised that ‘average’ wasn’t good enough, that each of us needs to make his or her life remarkable in whatever way, small or big. I needed to do that for myself.

‘Does it sound silly? I knew it would, which is why I said nothing’, said Rashmi

‘It’s not silly at all’, said Rimjhim, ‘so then…?’

‘So then before I could do any of that I had to make sure you guys would be okay without my continued presence in your lives. So I made out a bucket list that the old me had to complete before I could embark upon my new life.’

‘And look how wonderfully it has turned out. Rohit, you’ve learnt to run the washing machine and figured out how to match your socks, your dad has finally understood that a navy shirt doesn’t go with navy trousers. When he can’t find his glasses he knows now that they’re probably perched on his head, Geeta can cook just the way each of you like your food and even Rimjhim can find clothes from her mess these days,’ she laughed, ‘my bucket list is complete, except for the one last grand finale.’

‘A few weeks back I enrolled in music class. Dr Amrita is my teacher, by the way. She is a doctor, but an academic one not a medical one. She has a doctorate in Music.’

‘I’d thought I’d surprise all of you with my grand performance next week – the last thing on the bucket list – the thing that would finally kick off the old ‘average’ me – and usher in the new me with a whole new bucket list. I want to travel, learn Salsa maybe, take Spanish lessons. I want to make my life remarkable.’ She stopped self-consciously, embarrassed at having got carried away. Darn! It sounded pompous even to her own ears now that she was saying it out loud. She searched for signs of laughter on her children’s faces.

There were none.

Just lots of love for their new remarkable mom. 


Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words June 2018 for the Day 4 prompt:

Write a story about a character who finds out that he or she is dying and has been knocking things off his/her bucket list and has finally reached the last item.

Daddy’s rules #WriteBravely


My dad gave me three life rules to live by

Reach out and make friends
Never ever desert a friend
Never stab a friend in the back

The first two were easy, but the third one proved difficult all because of a cheeseburger. Let me explain.

Look, I’m a friendly, easy-going sort of person, so that first rule came easily to me. I made friends – on roads, in elevators, at the bus stop, on the bus, on the playground and in school. All it needed was a smile and a hello and our friendship boat was sailing gaily. I had real friends and virtual ones, reading friends and writing ones, walking friends and coffee friends.

So there are friends and there are best friends. And I had one too – the best and closest of them all – Anu, a dear sweet, happy ball of fun, my best buddy, my BFF. We sang Yeh Dosti together and knew every dialogue of every 80s blockbuster. I was her Jai and she was my Veeru. I shared my homework, she lent me her notes. We stood by each other if ever there was a fight. If she forgot her homework I didn’t submit mine so we could be punished together. We were inseparable all through school. Then in college we both moved to a new city, to a shared flat.

Life was good. I thought I had maxed dad’s life lessons because never in my dreams did I think that the last one would be a problem. I was a conscientious girl with a super active conscience that wouldn’t let me stab even a stalk of broccoli on my dinner plate without a pang.

Then one day dashing young Rohan showed up in Anu’s young life. When he walked by with his loping gait, in his white tee and his white trousers with a cricket kit slung casually over his shoulders I had to hold onto Anu as she swooned. She lived and breathed for him. It was an entirely different matter that he had no clue she existed.

Finally she announced, ‘I need to lose weight if I am to have a chance at love. Help me. I’m going on a diet.’

I was struck dumb.

‘What does love have to do with weight?’ I tried to tell her, pushing a plate of fries towards her, ‘There’s just more of you to love.’

‘But don’t you know, fat people are invisible’, she said pushing the fries determinedly back at me.

This was new! And unexpected.

But I was a buddy and I rose to the occasion. Dad said I shouldn’t ever desert my friend. So I put away my doubts and geared up to help her. I threw away the fries and tore up the takeaway menus. I sipped sugarless tea with her in the canteen and shut my eyes (and nose) to plump samosas.

It was day three and the strain was beginning to show. Anu picked listlessly at a bowl of papaya then shoved them aside and stood up. ‘Chuck it’ she said, ‘this’ll never work. I’m going to order out.’

‘No no no no no,’ I said running after her, ‘it takes 20 days for a habit to form, then on it gets easy. I’ve read it all up, just 17 more days to go.’

’17 minutes are one too many,’ said she desperately hunting for a menu.

‘You won’t find any,’ I told her, ‘I threw them all out.’

She glared at me, then began to hunt again as one possessed. All I stood by wringing my hands. And then with a happy whoop she held up a tattered menu from among old discarded newspapers. Before I could stop her she was on the phone ordering the biggest, juiciest, cheesiest burger ever.

The bell rang and she ran to open the door. She took the still hot burger, put it on the table and rushed off to pay the delivery boy.

Meanwhile I stood by watching helpless, frustrated. You cannot desert your friend, my dad’s words echoed in my head. I cannot let her lose the love of her life. The thought spurred me into action. Right before her stunned eyes I grabbed the burger. I watched her coming towards me as if in slow motion but I was a friend on a mission. ‘Noooooo,’ said she. I ignored her and, in one great mega mighty bite, I stuffed the entire burger into my mouth.

Both of us collapsed on the floor in a tangled heap, burger and all, before the shocked eyes of the poor delivery boy.

And just like that, I’d well and truly stabbed my bestest friend in the back! My father’s rule well and truly broken. Beyond repair. All because of a cheeseburger.

Epilogue: It was a few days before we became friends again. And another few before my singed tongue healed. Anu gave up her diet plans and we took to hanging around the cricket field. One fine day as Rohan stood fielding at the boundary, the ball landed right into Anu’s lap. And as he took the ball from her he deposited his heart at her feet. And that was that!


Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words June 2018 for the Day 3 prompt:

Start your story with: “My dad gave me three life rules to live by: 1. (fill in the blank), 2. (fill in the blank) and 3. (fill in the blank). The first two were easy, but the third one proved difficult all because of a cheeseburger. Let me explain.”

What’s in the trunk? #WriteBravely


What's in the Trunk_

‘I’m glad we’re leaving this place. It spooked me out,’ said Ravi hoisting his rucksack onto his back.
‘Really? I thought it was fine. I enjoyed the quiet,’ said Soumya.
‘It wasn’t just the quiet. First there’s that deserted burnt down portion at the back, then look at these cobwebs. The sheets smelt musty and weren’t they too cold? Plus did you see that hag at the reception? Given a choice I would have turned back.’
‘But we had none. I am just glad we found a roof over our heads in that rain. I’ve never seen lightening like that. The weather was spooky that’s all. And now we’re going home, so it doesn’t matter,’ said Soumya

‘Ma, can you come out, please?’ She heard her six-year-old twins calling her.

She glanced at Ravi, ’Can you finish up here?’ I’ll go see what the chintus want.’ Ravi nodded zipping up the strolley and wheeling it towards their SUV.

They were on a day trip to Mahabaleshwar and the rain gods had decided to open up. Within minutes the usually beautiful ghats had taken on an ominous look with monsoon waterfalls spilling onto the road and the threat of landslides becoming only too real. The family of four had to take shelter at a run down bungalow-hotel.

Soumya was surprised she had never really noticed the bungalow during their numerous trips to the lake town off Pune. It was almost like it had sprung up out of nowhere.

Ravi had been dubious all along. He was a light sleeper and had woken up during the night several times insisting he could hear babies crying. They had finally gone to investigate, only to find nothing. She had slept off after that but Ravi had lain awake tossing and turning.

The morning had dawned, dull and overcast, but at least the rain had stopped. Soumya walked out briskly to check on the twins’ latest adventure.

Half an hour later they were all in the car and on their way home.

They had barely gone a kilometer when Ravi said, ‘Did you hear that?’
‘What? Crying babies?’ teased Soumya.
‘No.. the tyre. It’s making a strange sound, like it’s bumping along the road.’
‘Lord! I hope it’s not a flat. Oooh maybe your hag doesn’t want us to go. Maybe she did some black magic to bring us back to her haunted house. Maybe she’ll keep us there forever’, laughed Soumya.
‘Stop joking,’ said Ravi tersely. Soumya looked up surprised. He seemed to be on edge still.

‘Hey,’ she said gently, ‘what’s up?’
‘I don’t know’, muttered Ravi, ‘I just don’t have a good feeling about this whole thing. I cannot get the sound of those crying babies out of my head.’
‘There were no babies Ravi, relax,’ she said giving his shoulder a squeeze, ‘It was just an old rundown house’, she said, ‘not haunted’.

‘Haunted? The house was haunted?’ squeaked Kitu.
‘….and I slept through it! I didn’t even see a single ghost,’ was Soha’s regretful rejoinder.
‘Shush both of you,’ said Soumya, ‘I was just pulling daddy’s leg.’

The rain had begun to fall again and the skies had taken on an ominous blackness that seemed to deepen by the minute. It was almost like last night was replaying itself. ‘Only this is daytime,’ thought Soumya, ‘Thank goodness.’

And then they all heard it, again – an incessant bumping that seemed to shake up the SUV. Soumya turned to look at the twins. A look of panic passed between them.

‘I need to check this’, said Ravi bringing the car to halt on a shoulder of the road. He stepped out with an umbrella. The rain was coming on faster now, in thick translucent sheets that seemed to block off vision completely.

And there it was again. But it wasn’t the tyres, it was the trunk. And then he heard the babies again, crying. He exchanged a worried look with Soumya who had got down to check what was taking him so long. ‘Should we look?’ asked Ravi. ‘We have to,’ said Soumya, pushing down her panic. Ravi’s dread seemed contagious and she felt her heartbeat spike up. They approached the trunk cautiously.

For one small moment Soumya wondered if the old woman really had something to do with it. Nah, she wasn’t worried about ghosts. It was the living that scared her. A kidnapped child, perhaps, who the woman want to get rid of? She shook her head. ‘What am I thinking,’ she told herself sternly and gave a shaky laugh, ‘Let’s look’.

Together they lifted the trunk and there in a broken down wicker basket were four tiny black kittens, shivering and jumping, crying to be let out.

Ravi heaved a sigh of relief, while Soumya bellowed, ‘Kitu, Soha,’ didn’t I tell you we could NOT take the kittens home.’


Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words June 2018 for the Day 2 prompt ‘Use this idea to write a story : You’re traveling in a rental car when you hear the thumping of a flat tire. You pull over and discover the thumping is not coming from a flat, after all, but from the trunk. What or who is making the noise?.’

Under the Water

12 ideas for the perfect

‘You’d never believe me if I told you that I can breathe under water, but it’s true and I can prove it,’ Jai said earnestly.

She sighed! She had absolutely no will to have this conversation. She glanced at her son’s stubborn face, ready to argue till his last breath, and she let out another sigh.

It had been an exhausting week at work and she had been looking forward to this weekend getaway with Sumit and Jai, her three-year-old. It was visions of a quiet sunlit pool that had kept her going through the week. And now this!

She glanced over at her husband sprawled on a deckchair, his face hidden behind a book, then looked back at Jai.

‘Baby, you can’t breathe under water. Humans can’t.’
‘I can.’
‘Only fish can breathe under water, darling. You need special things called gills to do that. Humans don’t have any.’
‘I don’t need gills. I can breathe without them. Some people can do things that no one else can. You remember how you could open that jar of Horlicks which I couldn’t? And Spiderman stopped a whole train. Krishna lifted a mountain. It’s just like that.’

She cursed all the superheroes of the world who had sprung up recently in her three-year-old’s life and filled it with new and interesting possibilities. She knelt down to him and, struggling to keep all traces of annoyance out of her voice, she tried again.

‘That’s different. That’s about strength. You will be able to open that jar when you are older. Tales of Spiderman and Krishna are just stories, but you’ll never grow gills,’ she said.
‘You’re not even listening to me. I told you I don’t need gills. I can breathe without them. I can prove it. I can. The other day I put my nose in the water cup for one whole minute and I didn’t even drown.’

She looked at her three-year-old with utter frustration and found her frustration mirrored right back on his small face. ‘Why don’t you believe me?’ He insisted stamping his feet.

She looked at her husband.

‘Sumit’, she finally called out, ‘can you put down that godforsaken book for a minute and come here?’
‘Hey, what did I do?’ said he peeking from behind his book.
‘Jai says he can breathe under water and is refusing to wear the tube in the pool,’ she said.
‘I don’t need the silly tube,’  reiterated Jai.

‘Fine,’ said Sumit, ‘let’s do this.’
He put down his book and walked towards Jai. taking his hand he walked down the few steps into the baby pool and gently lowered the little one into the water, tightening his hold on his pudgy hand till Jai was completely submerged. Within two seconds he shot up coughing and sputtering.

‘QED’, said Sumit throwing a dimpled smile at her, ‘problem solved’.

Just as a matching smile was beginning to replace her shock, Jai piped up, ‘You know ma, the other day I jumped from the sofa and I actually flew across the room. Really, I did. You’ll never believe me but I can fly. I can prove it’.

She looked at the little earnest face and the still shivering figure of Jai and then at Sumit and they burst out laughing.


Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words June 2018 for the Day 1 prompt ‘You’d never believe me if I told you that I _____________, but it’s true and I can prove it.’

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