Friday 15 May 2015

Drabble 2015 Longlist

Shortlist                                     Winners & Featured Writers

Neha Malude
Piyush Kumar
Namitha Varma Rajesh

Aditi Sahu
Priyanka Dharamsi
Arjun Mukherjee

Fatima Hasan
Debdip Maitra
Arka Datta  

Manikuntala Dasgupta
Shreya Naik
Surbhi Tiwari

Divvisha Bharati
Linda Ashok
Ceona Benjamin Salve

Yesha Shah
Shakya Bose
Shloka Shankar

Neelamani Sutar
Arjun Shetty
Haimanti Dutta Ray

Sunil Sharma
Bindu Saxena
Rohan Solankurkar

Below, the valley holds mist like a bowl of cotton; Mingma needs some to nurse the untraceable wounds of his life. He breaths aloud for a few minutes, tries to sit up on the promontory, but the land crashes like a soft anthill. Nervous, Mingma calls out his grandmother only to realize that he has missed her breath by half a minute. A cold flash stitches his muscles inside. His face, a decapitated glow-worm…
Linda Ashok
For the third time in 6 months, I spent several sleepless nights tending to his high fever, bodyache, nausea and other Malaria symptoms last week. All because of the promise I gave to his dying mother: I will always be there for him, in sickness or in health.
Today he and his girl-friend fought in muffled voices in the corridor. He came back to class, visibly disturbed. Ushering me to a corner, he whispered, “From today, please do not come to my house to while away your time. My girl-friend disapproves of it. I hope you understand”.
- Aditi Sahu
The water hyacinth was a perfect swing for white Flamingos.
My eyes were stationed precise and deliberate. Without a single flick, these watched them dance as couples.
The Kettuvallam houseboats cruised forward making the cerulean waters so jubilant that it gushed to reach us - seemingly to plead with us not to leave…
These kept gliding with humility and esteem even though the sunset stippled them with shades of grey.
Somewhere inside my head, I made an unwritten contract with this place for enduring visits. To repay my debts to this refueling base, I penned one drabble and bade adieu.
- Bindu Saxena
Nancy was just about to doze off when she heard her daughter crying on the baby monitor. She groaned.
"I just put her to sleep," she said not wanting to get out of her cozy bed.
"Do you want me to go check on her?" asked Steve.
Nancy smiled, "When have you ever been able to put her to sleep? No, I'll do it."
She put away the baby monitor and walked to the baby's room. Oddly enough, she couldn't hear her crying anymore. Puzzled she opened the door.
The cradle was already rocking and little Beth was fast asleep.
- Neha Malude
There was a bottle; a broken one. Two wine glasses; unbroken.
He sat there on the chair staring at the ticking of the clock.
The constant ticking of the clock held back the room to reach hundred per cent silence.
On the spur of the moment it was accompanied by a knock on the door. He rushed to open the door. But much to his dismay there was no one.
He drank another then another. More bottles followed. More knocks followed.
And no one opened the door ever since.
She felt sorry for playing pranks on him that night.
- Amen Benjamin
She writes clandestinely when he is not around. Freedom, love, hopes, passion and ambition is what she writes about. The words are fiercely sharp slicing through the reader’s heart. There are deep yearnings in her writings. A pen name accompanies all her works. No one knows about this other side of the meek woman. Tattooed on her wrist is a bleeding pen and on her shoulder, a swallow in flight. One day she “accidentally” drops her wedding band in the toilet and it gets flushed away. From then on her ring finger bears a white mark at that place.
- Yesha Shah
When you wake up,
Not having masturbated with your dream girl, with her perfect painted stats, inside your pants,
But instead, acknowledging that you snore and do have a running stomach too, and that you looked her in her eyes, stripping her naked in yours--
Come to me then,
and i'll hold you tight and never let you go.
Manikuntala Dasgupta

Like the past sixteen days, every morning he’d leave me a small note. Sometimes, with just the words ‘Dinner at nine tonight.’ or ‘Wear red today.’ which assured me in some way that he’d return.
Today, the waiting had to stop. He had left me a huge stack of fresh and crisp currency notes. It was business, after all.
- Priyanka Dharamsi
Where am I? Asleep or awake? Where is this disturbing dripping sound coming from? Is it from the tap in the bathroom? Something definitely happened there a while ago. I concentrated hard and soon recollected the silhouette of two bare bodies behind the shower curtains. As the guy moved I saw her face – Susan, my love. Cheating behind my back. I didn’t waste time and stabbed them then and there. RIP! Then I slashed my wrists. So this is the origin of the sound – blood dripping from my wrist. Finally it stopped. No more earthly pains; only heavenly bliss.
- Arjun Mukherjee
Wake up. A morning. Greyish, depressed and personal, with the clouds almost dripping from the sky; the city’s chaos utterly muted.
News and tea, black and white, and grey and grey and grey and ashen grey. Sips of prodigal warmth, shield against the wet wind.
Life bound in mundane routines. Seems unbearable, until a sharp stab of pain at the edge of the lower lip.
Bitten, with love.
Nothing changed.
Only, I smiled...
- Shakya Bose
Her old man had tons of ailments. Your devotion keeps me going," he always reassured her. He had his food, medication, and sleep on time. But she often lay awake, thinking.
This spring, when folding his clothes, she noticed the smell of a different flower. And stains she was sure were lip gloss. He refuted.
More cosmetics followed. He took her to a doctor who said it was all in her mind. "You married him young, dear" he patted her. And so she conceived the idea of getting herself a prolific scent today, to put an end to her loneliness.
- Ceona Benjamin Salve
Hair Growth Supplement
“Take only half a tablet at a time,” the doctor prescribed. “Stick to maximum one in a day. Patience is the key.”
“It’s a supplement. Take one, then another,” the friend suggested. “For crying out loud, you can’t just take one and hope for a miracle.”
“You’re an adult. You got to increase the dosage. Pop at least two at one go,” the enemy conspired. “Think of it as Crocin.”
“Sixty tablets gone so far and still no visible change. Ignore everyone else. Listen to me,” the wife nagged. “Try two after breakfast. Two more after dinner.”
- Rafaa Dalvi
The burqa-covered woman called softly.
The jeans-encased woman stopped.
The narrow corridor reeked of illness.
“Your hanky.”
A white slender hand came out of the black robe and pointed out the monogrammed pink hanky.
It was picked up promptly.
Both smiled and went away.
Sunil Sharma
She taught different classes in the light of the day and in the dark of the night, with the same name. Strict in generous measure, the cane was used with equal deft and skill in the classroom as it was in the bedroom. She had no pupils in common between the two classes as the petite, bespectacled, soft-spoken and loving yet firm, pig-tailed high school teacher in the morning let her hair loose at night and indulged in her fetish. Both classes fell silent at the echoes of her approaching stilettos. They both called her the Mistress of Coorg.
Arjun Shetty
Anticipating an evident accident, a lady on Honda Dio managed to chase the Honda City at 80 kmph and shouted, "Your car's rear, left tyre is swinging loose!" to the lady on wheels. The 'City' girl pulled down the car and realised it to be true and called her mechanic in a panicked tone. She hugged her saviour and bid goodbye. Having nothing else to do, in the meanwhile, she informed her dad, brother and husband about the incident, in detail. The mechanic came in half an hour and like a skilled professional, smiled and changed the rear right tyre.
- Piyush Kumar.
The house was empty. Like her mind. Hollow echoes of silence drifted down the corridors, trying to find companions. They reverberated from wall to wall, feeling claustrophobic, struggling to find a gap in the walls to escape. She stirred in her sleep, and a small breach appeared in a lonely wall. The echoes wasted no time – they susurrated out of the mind-house in a jiffy. The gap dragged in random wisps of memories into her mind, and created vivid images on the walls of the house. She shifted gently from deep sleep to dreamland, a smile budding on her lips.
- Namitha Varma-Rajesh
He abandoned all things to travel the world in search of home. He scaled mountains, rode the waves, worked in wineries and restaurants, danced with men and women, and lived in many houses and buildings. None of them became home. Decades later, sitting in a make-do hospital of Africa, surrounded by unfed children and bloody civil war, he felt longing for the mother he had never seen, the father who was now dead, and a brother he hardly knew anymore. On his deathbed, the traveler discovered Home- it was where lived his people: some of them countries, others were islands.
- Arka Datta
She walks from one room to the other; cosmetics, jewelry and clothes spilling from both arms. She wants to know which of them looks the best. The black blouse with the off-white saree? Should she accessorize with oxidized jewelry? Should her hair be tied in a bun? Or just a few strands that are allowed to arrange themselves of their own accord? Is she overdressed? I’m not allowed to answer any of these questions. So I just nod my head and watch her play out her monologue.
- Shloka Shankar
Time passes languidly seconds to minutes, minutes to hour’s lastly devouring the luminous hues welcoming eventide. I wait, night after night idly perched on the chilled window seating gazing ahead with longing filled eyes. You don't arrive and I turn on my left to see the brilliant moon shining all radiant and bright. And hoping, just hoping you were like that astronomic sky enveloping me in its warm black inky blanket. But with a sigh I realize you are but a star, looking fragile yet blindingly intense and I am a mere moon silently lonely yet solely surrounded by you.
- Fatima Hasan
Muhammad draws a square in the sand.
Stifled cries; people from oceans afar, some only a few yards away from their infinite beginning… Men stalled their tankers and rolled out the prayer rugs at the sounding of azaan.
Chacha asks him, “is that a square?”
He whispers like a prophet, “…a home?”
Chacha laughs like an empty can of Pepsi, fisted in. “Home? Muhammad your men, will they ever let us be free of fear? Will they ever let us go home? The first crop of opium and my wife in her last leg… A square is not a home!! Look around at these sad faces!”
Linda Ashok
Gazing the stars his head rests on her lap. Peaceful, serene, heavenly she feels.
“I want to stay here forever” is all what she thinks of, ruffling his hair. The very next moment brings her tears. She hopes that she leaves only to come back and not bid a final goodbye ever. The stars disappeared, the clouds passed, the winds flown only to tell them that nothing can stay the same for long. Feel the love till it’s there, dive deep into it, and fly high with it; before it changes form, before it drowns in the sea of time.
- Surbhi Tiwari
She’d promised that she’d come at the appointed time. There’s almost nothing for me to ponder about. After all the nights lying awake like an insomniac, I feel a dread gnawing deep within. She, my fiancĂ©e, is a reputed person and I am an ordinary mortal, eking out a living by dent of hard work.
I saw her crossing the street. I waved. She too waved in return. But it was to another man standing just next to me at the cafe entrance. The smile that spread over his countenance bespoke of time spent together, without me.
- Haimanti Dutta Ray    
Untitled by Rohan Solankurkar

"Did you notice that son?" grandpa asked. 

"Yeah, the winds are humid and carry some awful smell," John replied. 

"No not that," said grandpa. John looked puzzled towards grandpa. 

"It is not getting any darker. It's almost eight at night and it's the same light as an hour ago." 

John almost jumped out of his spin and looked towards sky. After looking at the sky for a while he asked "Does that mean the clocks are not ticking?" 

"Well that does mean the earth may have stopped revolving." John said with excitement. "It means no school tomorrow?" Grandpa shrugged and said "It means there won't be any more life."

Time by Dimple Kaul

Ceaseless, eternal, unyielding and steadfast-it moves on without casting a backward glance.

It hurts and heals with the same nonchalance.
It separates and unites with similar dispassion.

It creates history, heralds the future and shapes the present.

It is amorphous yet concrete.
It turns derision into applause and love into hate with identical equanimity.
It neither mourns defeat nor hails victory.
It treats birth and death as two acts of one play.
It is inexplicable and has no beginning and no end.

No wonder then that the unravelling of the great mystery of time has time and again eluded mankind!

A Headless Living Trunk by Neelamani Sutar

The King has been suffering sleepless nights. Every night he watches his beloved queen waving her hands to a shadow loitering outside their window.

One night he ordered his faithful servant, “Go, bring that phantom’s head immediately !’

After few minutes the servant returned empty handed.

The king asked, “what happened ?”

Doubtfully he answered, “Majesty ! A headless living trunk is loitering there ! But I saw his head thrown under queen’s feet as love offerings.”

The King sat down dumbfounded. He found he is a heart lost  creature !


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