Posted in Life and After

Dumb Excuses

“This girl is the best candidate for the job.”

“But did you see her hearing aid?”

“So what? She was able to hear us just fine.”

“May be. But you know how it is…the cost of adjustments, dependence, medical bills, and so on…and bad publicity if you let them go later… Let’s avoid the mess!”

Posted in My life

Why I’m Never Ready on Time

Mother-in-law: Your lipstick is too dull. Use a brighter shade!

After complying...

Husband: Your lipstick is too bright. Use a natural shade!

After complying

Father-in-law: Why do you have to paint your lips? It kills the skin!

After complying

Mother-in-law: Why don’t you use lipstick? Your face looks so dull!

Posted in Twisted Tales

The Royal Scoop Part 5

This is the fifth part of a fiction serial.

News Anchor (with a bandaged nose and a swollen eye):

Welcome to News at Six! As you all might know, that earlier today, our Channel had exposed the recording of Lady Cindrella, the Fiancée of Prince Charming and the future Queen, confessing that she can see Fairies.

Lady Katherine, sister of Lady Cindrella and the intended of the Minister of Media, came to studio but declined to discuss the possibility of mental instabilty in her sister. She became violent quickly, a sure sign of the entire family being unstable.

Now we have the Sheriff with us regarding the theft of jwellery, clothes and carriage by Lady Cindrella and the murder of her coachman on the night of the Ball.

Sheriff, has the Lady admitted the murder yet?

Sheriff (hesitatingly):

We haven’t been able to frame any charges yet since there hasn’t been any missing person’s report yet. Also, there is no report of any missing jwellery, dress or carriage.

News Anchor (miffed):

Seems like the Lady has been quick to cover her tracks, or may be the Royal Court has been! Has the Police department checked with the adjoining cities and states? Maybe check her old estate for the body or stolen jwellery, dress, horse and carriage? At least take her in custody and ask her questions. I am sure she will spill the beans with a third degree!

Sheriff (miffed too):

I assure you the Police doesn’t need a Comedy Channel to tell them how to do its job.

News Anchor (eyes blazing):

I assure you this isn’t a Comedy Channel…

Sheriff (laughing without humour):

Oh I saw your ‘discussion’ with Lady Katherine. It was quite entertaining!

News Anchor (red-faced):

That’s just the way we reporters are treated for speaking the truth.

Sheriff (guffaws): Yeah, Right!

News Anchor: F*** You!

There is a sound of scuffle.

News Production Manager:

Again, we apologise for the inconvenience caused due to technical difficulties. We will return as soon as possible.

Posted in Twisted Tales

The Royal Scoop Part 4

This is the fourth part of a fiction serial.

News Anchor:

Welcome back. In News at Six, we are investigating the truth behind the “Fairy connections” of the wannabe-future-queen Lady Cindrella.

We just spoke to her step-mother and her older step-sister who believe that she is mentally unstable, and suspect her for the theft of jwellery and clothes, and murder of her carriage coachman.

Now we have with us Lady Katherine, her younger step-sister. My Lady, congratulations on your engagement with the Minister of Media. How does it feel to hear about your sister’s mental condition?

Lady Katherine (Sister #2):

It is so embarrassing to be related to a liar like her. It could never be her at the Ball. I think, she just got lucky with the shoes when the Prince came looking for the actual girl. Then she created the story of the Fairy to explain her dress and stuff.

News Anchor:

Do you mean to say that the girl at the Ball wasn’t her at all?

Sister #2:

Absolutely, she was stunning…the face…the grace…the way she danced… I tell you she was a real Princess!

News Anchor:

Well, I don’t think she was that good.

Sister #2

Oh come on! Don’t act jealous. I know the Prince was dancing with you in that sexy red dress when he saw Cinderella and dropped you like a rotten tomato.

News Anchor:

I am not jealous! And your face was all red when the Prince didn’t spare you a glance! The Minister proposed to you only because you are future-Queen’s sister!

Sister #2:

He didn’t! And you just want Cinderella instutionalised to clear the way to the throne!

News Anchor:

And why did your family ask for airtime on our news? Because your husband-to-be, the Minister of Media, is second-in-line to the throne! Once Prince and his wife get discredited…

News Production Manager (trying to cover the screen and sounds of curses and stuff being thrown around):

We apologise for discontinuing News at Six today due to some technical issues. We will come back to you tomorrow with more information.

Posted in Life and After

The Gamble

She stepped in the ‘mandapa’ trembling in anticipation of seeing him for the first time but a ‘sehera’ covered his face.

He looked at her eagerly but her face was veiled.

So, they wait until they are bound together forever.

Posted in Life and After

The Unfortunate

The baby girl’s cries announced her arrival in the world.

Her mother’s sobs announced her impending departure.

-Female Infanticide was and still is very prevalent practice in India. With advent of Sonography, this is now replaced with Female Featicide among literates.

Posted in Life and After

Charred

The woman had a strange gleam in her eyes while she held her newborn—a girl—in her arms for the first time. It unnerved the Gynecologist as she asked: “How are you feeling?”

“Relieved!” replied her patient grimly. “Her father made my father miserable all these years. He is bound to love his first child though. Someday, my father will be avenged!”

Posted in Life and After

Family Honour

When parents arranged the marriage...

She: Please don’t make me marry him, I am in love with another.

Mother: Please understand my dear. It is a matter of our family’s honour.

When she returned after a few months of marriage…

She: Please don’t send me back. He drinks, beats and rapes me every night.

Mother: No! You must go back…for our family’s honour.

When she eloped with ‘another’

Mother: I wish she was born dead. She dishonoured our family.

Posted in Twisted Tales

The Royal Scoop Part 3

This is the third part of a fiction serial.

News Anchor:

Welcome back after the break. In News at Six, we are investigating the future queen Lady Cindrella’s admission that she can see Fairies.

In our studio, we have Lady Arlene, her older step-sister. My Lady, what do you think about Lady Cindrella’s mental condition?

Lady Arlene (Sister #1):

Well, nothing’s wrong with her mind, if you ask me! She always had a flare for dramatics. I remember, when Mamma fired the household staff of our estate and told her to manage the work, she cried for a whole week while working. And ever night, she made such a show of bodyache!

And when Mamma wouldn’t let her come to the ball with us, she looked like she was going to cry again! As if her dress was even worth it! Such drama!

News Anchor (hesitating):

But your mother said it was Cindrella who fired the staff and declined to come to the ball?

Lady Arlene (Sister #1) (too quickly):

Oh, of course! I remember now… Anyway, I believe, Cindrella thieved the clothes, jwellery, shoes and carriage, and killed that coachman, simply because of her love for theatrics. And when she was found by the Prince, she invented the Fairies.

News Anchor:

Thank you, Ladies!

As you can all see, Lady Cindrella, apart from her mental instability, has a love for drama since childhood leading to the thievery and possible murder. We will further investigate this issue with another close relative.

Stay tuned for more scoop on the Royal family drama. We will be back after a short break!

Posted in Life and After

Complicit

Something I have heard of a thousand times as a matter of fact… As life of every woman… What a shame!

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By Jayne Martin

At the mailboxes, I share sidelong glances with the neighbors from 3C and 4A as he arrives home. “Evening, ladies,” he says, the stench of drink in his wake as he staggers up the stairs.

In bed, I pull the quilt over my head to shut out his rage. Turn up the television when your body slams against the thin wall we share. Avert my eyes from your bruised flesh when we meet on the landing.

The newspapers say we were complicit. I can still hear your cries.

     
Jayne Martin is a 2017 Pushcart nominee, 2016 winner of Vestal Review’s VERA award, and a 2018 Best Small Fictions nominee. Her work has appeared in Literary Orphans, Spelk, Crack the Spine, Midwestern Gothic, MoonPark Review, Blink-Ink, Cleaver, Connotation Press and Hippocampus among others.

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Posted in Life and After

The Moonlit Walk

She is confused and lonely. She has no recollection of traveling to this bleak place…a dark mountain road, lit only by yellow scary moon, leading to some ancient temple.

Has her son dumped her here as a payback? Afterall, she had rigged the gas stove for his first wife; she was too defiant! One matchstick and… Poof! And she had hit the second one many times. A push down the stairs had killed their unborn baby? Good riddance. She smiles. Once she finishes this one, she will marry her son to someone with money, not a begger like this one.

Her son would never fight back. He doesn’t have the backbone, just like his father. But then, why is she here? She had slept in her bed with a chest pain. Must be a nightmare. Someone will surely wake her up soon.

But she has to see that temple. It spooks and intrigues her equally. She enters the place. It is dark and eerily quiet. A lift opens. She enters and it goes down, forever.

It opens to show a semi-dark room in which people are walking around like Zombies. She can hear people screaming in pain in a distance. Scared she turns towards the lift but it is closed with no button to call it back. She pounds at the door until she looks at her hands: grey and mottled with a rancid smell…like everyone else.

Posted in Twisted Tales

The Royal Scoop Part 2

This is the second part of a fiction serial.

News Anchor:

Welcome back after the break. In News at Six, we are investigating the mental stability of Lady Cindrella, whose marriage to Prince Charming has been put on hold indefinitely after our sensational reveal, the audio recording of the Lady herself admitting she has a Fairy Godmother.

In our studio, we have her step-mother, the Duchess of Whining.

My Lady, could you please let us know what you think of Lady Cindrella’s confession?

Duchess of Whining:

Poor Sweetheart! She always was a little soft in the head. Losing her mother at age of six left her a little unhinged. But when she lost her father, my late husband, she became delirious. She accused me and my daughters, her step-sisters, of foul play and closed herself off in a servant’s quarter.

I let her cool down for a few days, but when she came out, she dismissed all servants, saying that we cannot afford one and suggested we take over household work. As if a Duchess would sweep the floors! When I confronted her, she just took over all the work herself.

She stopped going to all social events and closed herself off. On the night of ball, she told us she was unwell. So, we left without her. Little did we know that over the next few hours she will steal my daughter’s dress and jwellery, somebody’s shoes and carriage and, possibly, murder a coachman… All just so that she could make a dramatic entrance! What a blot on our family!

News Anchor:

Thank you, My Lady! Could you please tell us about the jwellery she had taken?

Duchess (confused):

Well, I’m not exactly sure. Never got a chance to get too close at the Ball. But there is no other way she could have costly jewels, unless she had stolen them from someone!

News Anchor:

Thank you, Madame! As you can all see, Lady Cindrella had a history of mental instability. We will further investigate this issue through her sisters.

Stay tuned for more scoop on the Royal family drama. We will be back after a short break!

Posted in Twisted Tales

The Royal Scoop Part 1

This is the first part of a fiction serial.

News Anchor:

Welcome to News at Six.

In Breaking News, we have received a confirmation from the Royal Palace that the wedding of Prince Charming with Lady Cindrella, the daughter of the late Duke of Whining, has been put on hold indefinitely.

Earlier today, our Channel had released a recording of Lady Cindrella admitting that she can interact with Fairies. Since the confession questions the mental stability of the next Queen, the issue is of national concern.

While the Royal family is taking the required measures to check the authenticity of the recording, our correspondents have tried to get to the bottom of this issue.

We have checked the possibility of mental instability.

It is important to note that in the recording, Lady Cindrella had claimed that her dress, shoes, jwellery and carriage, along with the driver, were created by fairy magic and vanished the same day. Since she has presented no proof of the said magic, we are also considering the possibility of theft of clothes, jwellery and exclusive edition crystal shoes, expensive gold carriage, and, last but not the least, murder of the driver.

Stay tuned for more. We will be back after a short break.

Posted in Life and After

Bestie

I was waiting in the old barn where we had spent our childhood plotting mischiefs. It had been twenty years!

But I knew she will come today. There was no where she would rather be and nothing could stop her now—Becoming ghost had its merits!

Posted in Life and After

Arranged

It was difficult to start a conversation while our families milled around us. We had only ten minutes to decide.

She took out her phone ‘replying an urgent text’. I received a message from an unknown number, “Let’s run away from them all!”

She was smiling!

Posted in Life and After

Hurrrray! 500+ Likes

It feels good to be liked for what I believe.

Thank you to all of you reading my posts. According to WordPress stats, I have 500+ Likes, 592 Visitors, 1600+ Views and 74 Followers.

Thank you to each one of you. Trust me, the fact that you visited my post is enough to make me happy. And letting me know that you liked it is a big deal for me.

I am unashamed to say that some of my posts did not get any Likes. But, it is all a process of learning. Honestly, until the month of June this year, I had 3 Likes in 8+ months and 0 Followers. So… The learning curve is definitely improving in the correct direction.

Let me know if there is anything I could do to improve further.

Now, where is that Pizza again! Cheers! 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕

Posted in Life and After

Impressive(?) Video

Sometimes some pieces of art leave an everlasting impression on you, specially visual media. I once saw a ‘piece of art’ on internet that influenced me for a lifetime: Taher Shah’s Eye-to-eye.

👁️2👁️ 😱

I am sure all 20-40 year old Indians know about this 5-minute video. If you don’t, consider yourself lucky. 😉

It was something my friends had forced me to watch by trapping me between my desktop and chair. 💻Since one of them was my senior who had to review my work, I believe it was some kind of a payback. 😋 I was in physical pain from the efforts to jump over the desk to avoid the video.

😐😑😶😯😮😵😥😫😨😰🤒🤢

Best part: Taher Shah’s Eye-to-eye is a ‘serious romantic’ song that should not make you laugh. 😵 Only, the guy is seriously in love…with himself…or it seems, since he was the only one in the video and his ‘angel eyes’, ‘mesmerizing eyes’, ‘enchanting eyes’ were featured too many times in the video.

👁️👁️💓 👁️👁 💖 👁️👁 💗

Now, why am I remembering it after four years of the ‘incident’? 🤔 I should have got over the trauma by now, or so I thought until yesterday. 😕

When I sat down to write my blog “Eyes”, I had difficulty concentrating and kept having fits of laughter 🤣🙃 remembering all the words he had used to describe his own eyes (with too much love).

💕💕💕💕💕💕

I also actively tried to avoid using the adjectives he had used for his own eyes. It was rather difficult because when he wrote the song, he definitely had Thesaurus on.

So now, I have a lifetime dearth of adjectives… I will have to learn creating new words… SIGH!

– I am not giving a link to Taher Shah’s Eye-to-Eye because I don’t want to be responsible for a similar fate of another human. But you can look him up on Google at your own risk. You have been warned!

Posted in Life and After

Eyes

Across the crowded room

Alive with mirth,
The siren’s song

Drawing him in

Towards

A certain death…

Full of foreboding,

Beacons in the rough sea,

Warning him in the dark night

Of the dangers of closing in…

Before he is dashed against the rocks.

Stormy like the sea

Pulling him underwater,

And keeping him a prisoner

For a lifetime…

Eyes that sing to him

Across the crowded room.