Posted in Nature

The People in Zoo (Collated)

I had earlier written this series. Lately, I realised that I could do a better job at it. I have rewritten the stories and collated them since I felt that they make more sense this way. Let me know what you all think.

The Tiger

“Of course, it is better than the circus I was at earlier. The minions feed me well and scrub me often too. My 100×100 feet home comes fitted with grass to lay on and trees to scratch my back. But I miss the drinking straight from the stream, the rush of excitement I used to feel on running after my prey, and most of all, running around the forest with mom.

Don’t know when I will see them again.”


The Flamingo

“That cramped cage and now this!

Do they really think I’m better off in this aviary I have to share with these minions? How I hate the Gobble-Gobble and the Cackle-Cackle—the constant cacophony of the mindless birds who have never seen the world!

I can see the sky from here. The way the Sun and clouds call to me and the wind lifts me up only to crash me in the damned fence—never before had I thought that hell was real.”


­­­The Lion

The Lion growled at the flash of the camera.

“How I hate them when they pry in like that. Is there no privacy here? What’s the point of giving me a mate when I can’t even nuzzle her without hearing a camera click somewhere?

Well, if I can’t be alone with her, why even bother? Let them think I’m not interested.”


The Stag

“I see her sad eyes filled with longing across the wired high fence. I feel the same longing deep within; a loneliness I never thought could exist. A bondage that I never realized cuts through me in every waking moment and dreams too.

Of course, I have a herd. They have given me five mates.

But in this moment, I feel I never had a choice.”


The Alligator

“Where have all the eggs gone again? I had buried them in the sand under the tree. Did the birds find them again? But I never saw them descend…

I’ve scoured every inch of land within the enclosure. Did someone steal them and took them away?

But no one came…Well, except the cleaner…But he wouldn’t do that to me, would he? He must know how much my babies mean to me.

Maybe they hatched when I was eating and are hiding in the water already. But where are the shells then?”


The Hippopotamus

“They have sent me a new ‘wife’! Do they really think she can distract me?

They took away my real wife four months back when she was several months along. I let them because the guy who treated my leg was with them too. Ever since then, I’ve waited for her to return with the baby. But now I hear her and the baby in a distance from another enclosure. I called her and she called me right back.

I tried to break the walls to reach her, but they were too strong.

Now, they have sent me a new ‘wife’! As if I care! Damn these walls!”

Posted in My life

Fasting: A Fish-eye Perspective

Disclaimer: As a converted Muslim, my experiences with Islam are rather new. My newly found love, faith and peace of heart, I cherish. Still, my perspective is a bit out of place, like a shellfish in the trees.

Ramadan is the month of praying and fasting for Muslims. We observe fasts for a lunar month where we abstain from food and water starting an hour before sunrise till after sunset (12-17 hours). It is meant to help us connect with the Almighty, and also, to heal our body from the damage done by the daily assault of cooked food.

Ideally: After a day of fasting:

  1. When I’d break my fast with dates and 2 glasses of water, it’d cleanse my system and heal it.
  2. After I had offered prayers, I’d eat very light food, and my body would concentrate its efforts at healing me, rather than digesting fried chicken.
  3. Healing would continue all night, so that by the end of the month, the vehicle of my soul is a newly-polished limousine rather than the cluttered, rusty truck I had made it through the year.

Reality: After a day of fasting:

  1. When I break my fast with processed dates and lemon sherbet, both of which contain refined sugar (that in turn contains fluoride), my system absorbs the chemicals at lightening speed. My rusty old truck is now purring with excitement.
  2. Then I eat fruit salad, that also contains refined sugar, refined sea-salt (sodium), and fruits (grown using chemicals to ripen them overnight to cover the demand during Ramadan). The rust now turns a darker shade of red.
  3. Then I continue eating fried potatoes and onion pakodas, fried chickpea… Combined with digestive sauce containing refined sea-salt, the food spikes the purring of my (heart) engine to a racing-car level.
  4. I have to pray, so I try to stop, but hey, who will eat the lamb chops?
  5. And wasting biryani is a sacrilege I shall never be blamed of…and the vehicle of my soul, already cluttered, has no space for my soul to sit in.
  6. I’m thirsty after the day-long fast but I can’t make the space for two glasses of water. So, I settle for a cup of brown tea with refined sugar and a spot of milk–acidic but heavenly.
  7. Now, my engine has collapsed. Acceleration of any kind leaves me dizzy. Like a zombie, the vehicle of my soul drags along during the prayers, whirring complains of how the ‘lack of food’ has left me weak at knees.
  8. By the end of the month, I am a bigger, rustier truck with a failing engine and full to brim with the clutter I have collected during the food orgy I lovingly call ‘fasting’. My soul opens the door to fit itself in, and hangs in there with the help of more medicines than usual, throwing up every now and then because of the stuffiness, and reminds itself to go slow next year.

If only, I’d remember.

Posted in Love

Pretty Woman

hrayr-movsisyan-J3nHfF6TIwQ-unsplash (1)

There she was,

looking fresh out of the bath,

dressed in her red

that quickened

the pace of my heart,

sitting at her favourite spot.

I wondered


she’ll notice me today,

sitting next to her

for the nth time this year.

She winked

at the passing Porsche,

crushing my hopes.

Well, perhaps tomorrow…

Photo by Hrayr Movsisyan on Unsplash

Posted in Love, Nature

My Neighbours: The Avenger

I have been seeing too many crazy neighbours during lockdown and I am dedicating them a series.

Athena, the eagle, is the queen of my area. Most birds give her a wide berth in the sky and if she swoops lower, they rush to hide and avoid her wrath. I’m a fan of her grace. In theory, I knew she preys upon birds too. But I never saw it before that fateful day.

I was up early that morning and the world was full of twittering and tweeting. I could see a couple of lapwings (small water birds the size of a pigeon) flying towards my home, playing and teasing each other with the did-you-do-it call. Suddenly, Athena descended from the sky, grabbed one of them, and flew away.

White feathers fell from the sky as the victim struggled and surviving mate called out in a heartbreaking voice. My heroine had just separated lovers. Forever.

I knew this is what eagles do, but that couldn’t take away the resentment. I hoped the survivor will get over it soon, since he’s “just a bird”…

In the afternoon, I went to the rooftop for some chore and again heard the same heartbreaking cries, this time filled with anger. I looked up at the sky and saw what I had never thought possible.

A lone lapwing, the pigeon-sized thing that did not stand a chance against an eagle, was attacking Athena, over and over, as if he was avenging his love or, may be, he had a death wish.

Athena did not strike back. She just tried to save itself by hiding in a tree. The lapwing kept up the attacks until he was too tired to fly.

I saw the same thing after four days. Not sure, if he ever let her rest. I didn’t see a lapwing again in the area, so I hope Athena wasn’t too fed up or hungry that day or whenever he last struck.

And here I had thought that birds were devoid of ‘human emotions’; that they were…just ‘birds’.

Posted in Blogging

Free Pictures for Your Site

It has been around eleven months since I started this blog. At 290 posts, it is a little less than a post a day. Most of these posts are accompanied with amazing free pictures from

What I never tell is that nearly half the times, the stories are photo-prompt.

A lot of times when I am struggling for an idea, I go and check the website, save some pictures with photographer credits. And let the idea stew…After, say a few seconds or may be a couple of months, I reopen the photo and bingo! I have a new story!

So, I wanted to thank Unsplash for the awe-inspiring and story-inspiring images. I would encourage all of you to use this website to make your site look even more amazing.

  • No payment is required.
  • Crediting the photographer is not required, but still I’d do that to encourage photographers.
  • You can download low resolution pictures from the download option to save site space.

Please note that I get no money from the site to advertise for them. But I can never thank them enough.

Posted in Love

The Siren

She was a mermaid,

or perhaps a siren,

for her voice pulled

my heart strings

and her touch

made me sing.

I know not her age,

for I never could

come out of the spell

she’d put on me.

To me she was ageless

and so was our love.

She may have had

many lovers

but I was

her only constant.

She would hold me

against her heart,

and sing

and cry.

For decades,

or centuries perhaps,

I’m hers,

as she’s mine.

Posted in Love, My life


Love was when I dragged you

to the college library

to finish your assignments;

when I forced you

to sit with me in the front

rather than with backbenchers

so you would study;

when I forced you

to attend college

on mass-bunk days;

when I gave you

quick lessons before exams

and kept raising the bar

until you could do no more.

What we have

in marriage today

is an echo of that love,

where you take

my place,

and I take yours.

Posted in Blogging

Hold Your Horses

‘Hold your horses’ is an old phrase to remind people to be careful with their words or else…

It is far more relevant in today’s world of internet publishing aka blogging.

Ever since I’ve started blogging, I’ve come across a lot of posts. Most of the wonderful stories. But some of them were just stupid concoction of information collected from random sources, thrown together in a mishmash, sprinkled with very strong words bordering on being rude.

One such post that compared Nicola Tesla and Albert Einstein called Einstein an average-minded man who seemingly stole the glory from the genius Nicola. There were no references to theories, no scientific comparisons–just flat disrespect. The writer must have been below 30 years since he seemed to lack the insight into the world in which these scientists operated–a world without internet where scientists work in closed labs and information travelled slowly through either telegrams or scientific journals.

Had Einstein’s existing family found about the post, and had they considered the writer worth it, he would now be facing a suit for libel. A screenshot of the post would serve as evidence.

Yes, unlike your personal diary, group chat or local gossip, your blog is a published piece of information. It can be used as an evidence against you.

Hence, be careful when you name anyone in a derogatory blog, whether Albert Einstein or your ex-husband. Make sure that you have strong evidence. Or you can add a disclaimer that you are a Blogging Jackass.

Else, be ready to pay the price. I promise it wouldn’t be cheap.

About the Author: Shaily Agrawal is an Instructional Designer with double Bachelor’s in Law, and Psychology and Drawing, and Masters in Business.

Posted in Life and After

The Pool

The pool in his estate, built on his brother’s suggestion, was meant to be decorative, until, in a drunken stupor, he tripped over his girlfriend’s long legs.

His brother ran out of the huge house at the hue and cry, and took off his expensive Rolex and Ray-Ban– dallying just long enough to ensure the ‘inevitable’–before jumping in the pool after him.

When the Police arrived, his brother was wiping tears off his girl’s face, while the Rolex and Ray-Ban lay by the poolside winking in the sun.

Image by Unsplash

Posted in Blogging

Invitation for Guest Posts

This is an invitation to all blog writers. If you love to write, or live to write, or write to live, or write for a living, please be my guest.

Working alone can get lonely sometimes.

I love company. Be my partner in crime.

My offer: My site gets 500+ views per month and a variety of readership from around 40+ countries, majorly from India, Australia, UK, Ireland, USA, Spain, Nigeria, Malta and Pakistan. The story with a link to your site is a chance to woo my 150+ followers to check and follow your site. 

Challenge: Write an engaging post:

  • In English.
  • In around 100 words (10 lines) and/or one picture.
  • In one of the following genres: Poetry; Story; Memoir; Random thought.


  • The final verdict on whether the post will be published on my site lies with me. I am not very picky but I share only what I enjoy.
  • The piece must be something you wrote.
  • It could be fresh or already published on your site or another.
  • I will not edit it.
  • Do not share a graphic post. Using obscene language or theme is a strict “No”.

Modus Operandi:

  • Do not send a link to the post.
  • Write/Paste it on the email and send it to
  • Attach pics separately. Do not send more than 1 image.
  • Send the link to your website, if you wish.

Since I am a working mother, I may take around a week to respond. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.

So, put on your writing cap. See you around, Partner.

Posted in Life and After, Love

The Night Bus

I took the night bus

draped in my wedding sari,

still adorned with the jewels

my parents had scrounged for me

over the years,

breaking their tender hearts

for raising a daughter unworthy.


I sought you

and the answer to

why I wasn’t enough for you.

I hope, they wouldn’t

cremate my body

before I reach you.

Photo by @5tep5 on Unsplash

Posted in Nature

My Neighbours: The Performers

Author’s note: More backyard news–A huge number of our neighbours have been knocking on our windows for various reasons. I have dedicated them a series.

My favourite Bulbul (Indian Nightingale) had been singing too many solos of late. I, as his dedicated fan, would stand at my window and watch him perform. But I was getting worried about his bachelor status and the desperation creeping up in his notes.

My star during his bachelor days
My star during his bachelor days

A few days back, I saw him take a quick bath in the famous birdbath across the street. A few minutes later, he was stalking another Bulbul from one tree to another. He would perch right next to her and she would fly away, then he would tail her closely. I wanted to tell him that it was creepy and rude, and a sure way to piss off girls, but well, what do I know of avian courtship rules? Anyway, it might not even be a girl…I mean, how would I know? There are no gender markers.

Yesterday, he knocked on my window in the afternoon–my star had brought a co-star along. He hopped back on the branch where she(?) was perched as I walked to my window with my camera. On the count of three, the rockstar couple started performing. They filled my room with Love-filled twittering for the next 9 minutes, while my husband sat with his headphones on, oblivious…

Their first duet inspired this poster. After lockdown ends, I’ll print it on T-Shirts and Coffee Mugs, and become a millionaire.

Star couple singing a duet
Star couple singing a duet

Posted in Nature

The Quiet Morning

At dawn, I rise

hoping for a quiet morning,


A Myna in his best black coat

greets me with a knock

on my glass window.

Pigeons on the wires

with fluffed collars

murmur greetings.

A returning Bat

screeches Goodnight

as he swoops past the window.

On the tree next door,

a sleepy Owlet admonishes me

for sleeping all ‘day’.

Two Sparrows sit there

swapping the latest gossip.

A Parrot on the electric pole

squawks at the Crows

partying on the roof top

are loud enough

to raise the dead.

The Eagle on the water tower

is quiet though,

looking for breakfast amidst the row.

I quietly hum a tune to myself.

My mornings are quiet

but never silent…

Posted in Life and After

The Apocalypse

The Devil lost in thought

addressed a full court,

“How did I wipe out

the human kind?”

An answer so simple

had escaped his

“oh-so-male” mind

for so many millennia.

Grand schemes he tried–

deals, wars, atom bombs,

biological weaponary–

but failed. And then…

“I chanced upon a look

into a woman’s mind,

the perfect weapon I find.”

Demons, his subjects

stirred with excitement,

“Was she a super villain?”

“Naah, just a regular girl

having her first menstruation…”

Silence ensued at the declaration.

“You see,

humans shame their women

about their menstruation.

The topic–a taboo–

makes turns women

into second-class citizens,

for the duration.

They bear the pain

and the shame

together as if a sin.

Even a drop brings

public humiliation.

It drives all woman,

dead or alive,

at some point in life,

to wish they

never had menstruation.

I just granted that wish!”