Home Blog

Prologue

He looked around the store purple hues with just the corner LED bulb switched on. He couldn’t risk being seen. He would lose all that he had worked for in the last 10 years. He grinned as he remembered his journey… the hours of hard work, the greasing of palms, the lost body count….

His eyes widened as he took in the beautiful silk camisoles to his right… arranged as per the shades and sizes. On his left were pairs of corsets and panties combined and hung to give it an erotic hue… There were black and white portraits of women oozing sensuality… he had no doubt they did… if the growing bulge in his pant was any indicator of the same.

He took in a deep breath looking upwards and the lovely lavender peppermint flavor wafted through his nostrils. He smiled to glory and moved ahead in between the racks hearing the silky swish of the lingerie. In the next fifteen minutes he had seen everything… sensual night gowns so see through… he almost came in his pants, belt with stockings, garters, overalls and an assorted combinations of bras and panties. The woman knew what she was doing he shook his head thinking. She had a gold mine here… and in that head of hers. He held himself through his pant as he thought of her. How many times had he jerked himself off ever since she had been his object of fantasies? How many times had he wanted to just… spend a night with her…. feel her warmth as he rode her or feel her luscious lips around him moaning as he came?  He took a nearby nightgown and stuffed it into his mouth to stifle his cries as he came… 

He knew the property in and out.

The fiery bitch was all the more appealing when she opposed him…full of conviction. She would be an asset to his business if she joined him. She would do it… he would make sure of it… He chuckled as he thought of her abiding by his rules in and out of the bedroom… It would be fun… made him hard again…

Panting heavily, he moved towards the storeroom. He knew the property in and out. The storeroom had to be there and with it the information he wanted…. He would soon be a rich man. He reached the locked storeroom but with a snide smile used the key… one of the few he had made when she had lost her bunch of keys last week. He laughed as he thought about his brilliant plan…she was clueless. She was only too relieved to get back her keys which she had accidentally lost. But that’s how he was here now… in her world. Very soon he would be in her house too. He opened the door to the storeroom and walked in. He switched on the light bulb and looked around. He was right. What he wanted was right there in front staring at him… right where that map had revealed.

Before he could move ahead, he felt a prick on his neck. He could barely react, before that strong hands held him from behind and pulled him out of the storeroom. He tried to move his hands. He was a strong man for crying out aloud… but he couldn’t… he was paralyzed. His eyes grew wide as he realised the fact. His vocal cords weren’t working too.  He couldn’t utter a sound. The hands holding him released him and he fell like a heap on the floor. Suddenly his mouth was opened and something silky was pushed into it. His breathing was getting laboured… when he saw a purple lacy bralette hanging before his watering eyes. He blinked but that too was getting difficult. Soon a pair of gloved hands tied the skimpy lace around his neck and tightened it.

Rot in hell…asshole. I won’t let you lay your dirty hands on the box nor….on her” was the last whisper he heard and recognized in his ear before darkness claimed him.

Clinicologues fiction

0

Clinical experiences embedded in the cocoon of the fictional world. The purpose being spreading disability awareness.

    the revelation….

    Chapter 4

    She was frowning …

    He then asked in his voice sounding hollow. “whaath happen?” (What happened)

    She was annoyed by now; she asked him, “Why are you speaking like that?”

    His smile dropped and he frowned and looked away… it was then she saw something in his ears. She was now in tears. “What… what is that? In your ear?” she asked pointing to his ear.

    He sighed and took that out of his ear. It was a pink coloured shell like structure with a wheel like thing attached to its one end. “Ith a hearin aidh. Aai haafa Hearin phoblam…. I am hearin Impaith…” (It’s a hearing aid. I have a hearing problem. I am hearing impaired. )

    She folded her hands. She didn’t understand the flow of emotions she was going through at the moment. She blinked back tears as she looked away. She was feeling cheated.

    She looked at him. He was putting the aid back into his ears and looking at her… his face devoid of expression. She said with a strained voice.  “Why dint you tell me this before? You discussed the world with me for…two whole months. Didn’t you… didn’t you feel it necessary to tell me about this?” she pointed to his ear.

    Amishi was rooted to the floor. Suddenly the whole world around her had stopped. She gathered herself and released her hand from his grasp. He indicated for her to sit. He dragged her chair out for her, like a gentleman and then took his seat opposite to hers. He kept his hands folded on the table and with that smile lodged on his face he asked moving his hands, “Tho… whaat dho yuu wan tho eeth? Thaanwith ith beth hei” (so… what do you want to eat? Sandwich is best here).

    He looked stricken. He drove a hand through his hair and said, “aam thsohrry… aai dhon no whath thu thse… I thoth yuu wiil Undhuhthsaan… thsohrry.” (Am sorry…I don’t know what to say…I thought you will understand…sorry)

    She stood up pushing back her chair. Sniffling tears she said, “I…I want to go home.”

    Then she turned and left without a backward glance.

    That night she kept looking at her phone but it didn’t ping… there was no message from him, for the first time in two months. She was surprised she was still waiting for his messages…

    Today…

    It was two days since she had last communicated with him. Last night she had googled about hearing impairment and its effects. She had stayed up long into the night reading about how people cope with the disability arising. She realised Pavan wasn’t stone deaf. She read about the different categories of hearing impairments. She also read about hearing aids. Their benefits for the hearing impaired and limitations. Considering what people face or go through, Pavan seemed to have done well for himself. She realised she wanted to know more about this part of him….this aspect of his life, his struggles and how he overcame them. The information on internet though was enlightening and she felt she understood his situation better. It wasn’t like she didn’t understand his speech at all… but she was upset because he had hidden it from her. Why did he do that?

    She wanted to speak with him and clear things. She knew there was more to it than just what met the eye. She wanted to hear him out… his side of the story…? Occasionally she felt guilty as well. The signs were there in front of her all the time… she was the one who didn’t realise it. Somehow it dawned on her that it made no difference to her if he had this impairment. He was still the same guy…whom she had fallen in love with…without hearing him speak…

    She was a social worker for crying out aloud. The first thing they were taught was empathy especially when they worked with the differently abled. Her Pavan…. Yes HER Pavan was different…he was special…

    She missed him…. Even yesterday when she was busy in the fieldwork she thought about him. She visualised his stricken look when she had left the café. Her heart was breaking. Her eyes welled up every time she thought about him. She wanted to share her day with him. Her project  had got cleared because of his tips. She wanted to tell him about that. She had started reading about parallel algorithms and had surprised her techie brother with her knowledge the other day… she wanted to boast about that to him… there was a huge void suddenly in her life.

    Somehow the library walls felt like closing in on her…

    None of her friends from school or college could match up to him when it came to comfort levels or matching of wavelengths. She had started to depend on him emotionally and intellectually. He had ruined her for anyone else. And the way he addressed her… her heart always fluttered and yearned to hear more from him.

    Yesterday she was busy with the emotionally draining field work but today she longed to see him… she wasn’t even able to focus on her lectures.

    She had to take action. Where was he?

    She took out her phone and typed,

    Hey football guy, you didn’t play the match today? SITians missed their defender today…where were you?

    There was no reply though he had seen her message. She waited for half an hour with a pounding heart before she dialled his number. The ring tone was heard but he didn’t answer it. She started to worry. Was he alright?

    She messaged again,

    Hey you ok? I am getting worried…

    Immediately there was a reply

                                     Hi beautiful

    Sorry for what transpired

    Trust me…though I ache

    That wasn’t what I desired

    Your heart I didn’t want to break

    I fought the world and now am tired

    I want to no more stay awake

    I miss our moments together

    Let’s stop this communication once and forever

    Henceforth find no more odes

    I will miss you for I love you loads…

    Pavan

    That broke the dam and her emotions flowed… She didn’t care that three were people watching her. She covered her face with her palms and sobbed.  Her heart fell… she could fell it break into tiny pieces…

    How could he alone decide to stop communicating? Why was he punishing her like that? What was her fault? Yes she was shocked…. But who wouldn’t be? She deserved a second chance… would he ever give her one?

    She wanted to tell him…She didn’t care he was hearing impaired… She still loved him for who he was. But if only he would hear her out….just once. Her study holidays were commencing in a couple of days. It was not possible to meet him for at least a week. How would she bear the grief? She had to be strong. She had to study for her final exams….

    She wanted to desperately mend things between them. As tears trickled down her cheeks she hoped it wasn’t too late for them…..

    As she travelled back home later that evening her brother had switched on the car stereo… He was a diehard Kumar Sanu fan. The song playing was from the movie Deewana suited her state of mind aptly:

    Teri ummeed tera intezaar karte hai

    Eh sanam hum tho sirf tumse pyaar karte hai….

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvevXfFGPFY)

    Copyright Disclaimer: All content posted here is a work of fiction and original work based on the author’s imagination. There is no intention to disrespect any person or faith. Any resemblance to any person living or dear is purely coincidental. No part of the content can be copied, reproduced or posted anywhere else either entirely or in parts, without the consent of the author.

    missing…

    Chapter  1

    Amishi was waiting for the lecture to get over… How she hated research methodology… She couldn’t tolerate statistics subject. In the final year of graduation studies, this was a compulsory subject. She was doing her bachelor of social work and loved studying humanities, science and technology and most of all the field work.

     She loved to be a part of the group visits to various places where the need of a social worker was immense. She loved seeing the changes they made in the lives of people who genuinely needed them. Just yesterday she had been to a municipal hospital. They were following up every week with this young girl all of 16years. She was from a remote village on the outskirts of Lucknow. She had an affair with her relative who was of the same age and landed up being pregnant. The girl had been scared to reveal anything to her parents fearing backlash. However one day her mother suspected something wasn’t right and by the time they rushed to the government hospital close by, it was late. The pregnancy couldn’t be terminated. The social worker there had counselled the angry parents and the girl too. They were convinced to go ahead with the pregnancy and give away the child for adoption. The counsellors there were threading on bare ice because there was a high possibility that the parents would have visited a quack and risked the girl’s life. But fortunately, they had agreed and brought her to Mumbai away from the prying eyes of the village. Here too Amishi’s team headed by her supervisor had been continuously counselling her, talking to her… for last 3 months. They had spent days and many hours of field work…even going beyond the call of duty to help the girl. Finally yesterday she had an induced labour and luckily without any complications delivered a healthy baby girl. Though the young mother was prepared to hand over the child, she was sobbing uncontrollably wanting to see her baby, even though she wasn’t shown the baby as per rules. The parents and Amishi’s supervisor who was a clinical psychologist tried to calm her down but eventually she had to be sedated. The child was sent to the NICU for care taking.

    But Amishi was pleased to bring about some kind of closure for that girl. Many times no one understood the importance of her work… accept for him.

    The professor announced the project work in Research methods bringing Amishi back to the present.  She was happy the lecture was drawing to a close…She had to rush out of her classroom before her friends started to question her or look out for her.  She couldn’t wait to visit the place she loved the most these days besides her field visit, the college library. She had her hours piled for study and project work and the next hours would be spent in the library… where she would get to see him.  Especially today….it was important that she see him.

    Amishi rushed to the library located on the fourth floor of her college building. She spent time after lectures in the library daily… especially in the last two months before leaving to go home at 8PM.  Her brother picked her up from the campus gate at 8PM daily. Today she had about 2 hours with her…  Most of her classmates either went home or stayed late in the cafeteria. She had escaped them to go to the library. Final exams were close.  Their study holidays were starting next week.

    Today there were barely two other people in the library besides the librarian and her assistant. Amishi was more than happy. It meant lesser people would spy on her. Not that she bothered but she preferred to keep her secrets to herself. She placed her book stack on the corner most table near the window and dragged her chair towards the window. She took a book in her hand and looked out across on the football ground.

    Where was he? She thought… the entire football team of Siddhartha Institute of Technology was present on the ground. But he wasn’t seen… her heart fell. She had waited all day long to catch a glimpse of the most handsome guy she had ever seen in her 21 summers.  The guy who had made a mark on her heart… on her mind…on her soul. She couldn’t sleep last night though she was bone tired after field work. He kept invading her dreams. She waited for the next half an hour for him to make an appearance but… he didn’t turn up. Every time there was a goal or cheer she looked back in anticipation but… he wasn’t there.

    Was he alright? She worried. Was he …angry? After what had transpired between them couple of days ago, would he ever want to even see her? But she wasn’t at fault, was she? What could she do? She just reacted that way….

    Tears rolled down her cheeks and she brushed them away with a frustrated hand. Since when did she care so much about a known stranger?

    Yes… he was a stranger who had the most expressive face and the most beautiful eyes that looked into your soul. He read her like a book.  He looked at her like she was the only girl on this planet… made her feel beautiful inside-out…  Before him, she had been like an empty canvas which he had filled with colours of life. Even now her heart fluttered thinking about him.

    If only life were so easy and restricted to special moments… If only life were predictable…If only she knew how she was supposed to react that day…. If only she could rewind back two days of her life she would move heaven and earth to change everything.

    But if wishes were horses….

    Copyright Disclaimer: All content posted here is a work of fiction and original work based on the author’s imagination. There is no intention to disrespect any person or faith. Any resemblance to any person living or dear is purely coincidental. No part of the content can be copied, reproduced or posted anywhere else either entirely or in parts, without the consent of the author.

    the special sister…

    The special sister…

    Sumona was waiting eagerly for the school van. It was 1PM and her younger child Raj was due to return from school. She was thrilled at the prospect of knowing how his day was. She wanted to find out all the information from the Ayah whom she used to pay extra for these tidbits. Today too she held a fifty in her hand and her eyes were glued to the entrance of the lane.

    Sumona felt a hand on her shoulder and turned around to see Kamala aunty.

    “Oh…hello Aunty, “Sumona said with her eyes back to the road.

    “Waiting for little Raj, Sumona?” Aunty asked.

    “Yes… actually they are late by five minutes…” Sumona sounded worried.

    “Don’t worry Sumona, they should be close. You know the traffic these days… Anyways I will take your leave. I am going to get bread. Do you need anything?” Kamala aunty asked.

    “No …. It’s ok Aunty…” Sumona replied distractedly, her anxiety levels starting to rise.

    Sumona had a reason to worry. Her five-year-old son Raj had Down’s syndrome. He attended a regular school in the nursery section. Her older daughter Ananya was also in the same school in the seventh grade. Raj wasn’t speaking fluently as yet and she began to fear for his safety. Sumona called the driver repeatedly but the call wasn’t connecting. She called the school and they informed her that the van was yet to leave today. They had gotten late because of some dance practice for an upcoming event in school and they had apparently messaged the parents. Sumona checked her mobile. There were no messages… the school was still considering Raj tentative? After four months? They hadn’t added her number to their group message system…

    Different scenarios came to her mind in the next five minutes. She was in tears… worry for her son eating her up… her heart shredded to every last bit.

    Sumona’s life from the last few years flashed before her eyes. She had a life she had always wanted. A loving husband Rakesh and a cute daughter Ananya who was a quick learner. Sumona worked in the IT industry and was a team lead in a software company. She had consistently moved up the corporate ladder. Rakesh worked in the pharmaceutical industry where he was the general manager in the company where he worked. Ananya had grown up with nannies and then from the age of two onwards she attended a professional daycare. She was an achiever from the word go and transition to school was a cakewalk for her. She was not just good in studies but also a lucidly competent dancer. Dance was not just her passion but she was touted to be a child prodigy and Sumona and Rakesh ensured she got the best training. They even had teachers come home on weekends in addition to the dance class she attended. She was also attending gymnastics to improve her flexibility further. They had a great lifestyle only confined to dreams of the common man. They lived in a posh locality in a huge three BHK flat in a high rise. The society boasted of all modern amenities with a huge play area for children. Ananya attended a nearby Cambridge board school which not only helped her maximise her potentials but also gently nudged her to become the confident little kid she had metamorphosed into. Sumona and Rakesh had loved the place at first sight mainly because of the proximity to Ananya’s school. The EMI was exorbitant given their expenditure but since them both had great jobs they had gone ahead.

    All was going great till one day, about five years back… Sumona realized she had skipped her periods. She had been thoroughly stressed at work and felt that must have contributed to the same. However, within two weeks her worst fears were confirmed. She was pregnant. They had thought their contraceptives were fool proof but were proven wrong. What followed was a huge emotional turmoil for Sumona. Rakesh and she were not prepared for another child…. They fought almost every day. Rakesh had even contemplated terminating the pregnancy to which she had initially agreed but then couldn’t get herself to do it. Her parents were no more and her in laws were in their village. They refused to help out. Sumona and Rakesh had an inter-caste marriage. Rakesh hailed from Vijaywada and was from a family of farmers and landowners. Her in-laws had never accepted her so she didn’t expect any support from them. Sumona had decided to bring up her second child just like Ananya and went ahead with her pregnancy. She worked throughout her antenatal days. She worked extra hard so that she could enjoy her six months maternity leave hassle-free.  She very often skipped her obstetrician appointments.

    Finally, on the day of her delivery she had some complications and had an emergency C -section. She wasn’t conscious but when she came to, she heard soft crying. She turned around to see Rakesh crying silently with his head bent low. She was suddenly worried.

    “What is it Rakesh? Where is the baby…?”

    Rakesh looked up into her eyes. He looked angry… “I had told you not to have this baby…” he said accusingly.

    Sumona was confused and scared…  “Where in my baby Rakesh? Is it a boy or a girl…?”

    “He…. It’s a boy. But…” Rakesh looked away.

    “But what… Tell me something Rakesh. Where is he?” She was getting agitated and breathing hard.

    Rakesh came to her and held her hands. “Sumi, our baby is not… not normal. Doctor said…something synd…syndrome. He is now in the NICU. He has trouble breathing. Doctor said something about a hole in the he…heart.”

    Sumona started to sob… Just then the room door opened and eight-year-old Ananya came running in. “Ma… my brother is the cutest baby on earth…” She was beaming. She held her favorite teddy from her childhood. “…Ma…I got this for him. Will he like it…?”

    Sumona hugged her daughter. She was already feeling better now.

    Soon they took Raj home and from day one it was a huge struggle. Raj was soft like a jelly.  He could be bent in all ways and Sumona was scared to even hold him. Rakesh plunged himself into work and was barely at home. Sumona suffered from post-partum depression and amidst this chaos it was Ananya who spent time with Raj. She helped Sumona with his baths, changing diapers… rocking him to sleep. She sang songs to him and even tried to play with him. Gradually Rakesh too started to show interest. When Raj was five months old, he had his heart surgery. It was a taxing time for the family but Ananya was at her chirpy best.

    All this while Ananya’s grades never fell, but her dance took a back seat.

    Raj started to develop better. But he needed therapies. His physiotherapy was taking place almost daily at a private center and Ananya used to visit the sessions every single time.

    Soon it was time for Sumona to join back to work. However, since she couldn’t keep Raj with nannies, she had to leave her job.

     The loss of her job meant loss of income and they had to heavily cut down on expenditure. The biggest blow was they had to change Ananya’s school to her current state board one  because the fees were now beyond their reach. And the final nail in the coffin came when they had to totally stop her dance classes. The ones she attended were expensive and the cheaper ones were not up to the mark. Ananya never uttered a word about the changes. Rakesh and Sumona had talked to her about these and she had accepted everything like a pro. Sumona was at times worried that her daughter had matured way beyond her years.

    The honking of the van brought her back to the present. A smiling Raj stepped out of the van assisted by the ayah. Sumona gave her the fifty and asked her about his day. She was pained to know that Raj wasn’t selected to perform in any event.

    Later in the afternoon as Raj slept after lunch, Sumona kept thinking how she could calm herself. She was agitated. She was tired of seeing people treat Raj like an outcast. Many of her neighbors sneered at him. Some laughed and made fun of him, called him names. But Raj only smiled and went to them. He was such a friendly and smart kid.  Ananya’s friends used to come home often and they would play with him for some time. He had learnt so many things from them. If only people gave him an opportunity…

    Ananya had taught him to dance. Raj also loved to dance.  He was very flexible. He was able to do steps which even typically developing children of his age couldn’t do. But why didn’t his school teachers give him a chance? Sumona knew it was futile to ask them to involve him. Later that evening when Ananya was back from school, Sumona told her about Raj not been taken in the programs.

    Ananya took out Sumona’s phone and asked her to record their performance. She switched on the stereo and it played Raj’s favorite song and they danced together. The number was choreographed by Ananya and she had taught Raj. Sumona’s eyes filled as she saw the performance. She felt awful… Ananya couldn’t pursue her passion and yet she never complained.

    Ananya convinced her to upload the video on youtube. Within an hour they had about fifty likes and views.

    Ananya’s friends shared the video among their families and within a day the video had gained immense popularity. The following day Sumona received a call from the school to arrange Raj’s costume since he was now a participant in a dance number in school. To their surprise he had picked up the dance with ease.

    On the day of the event, Sumona and Rakesh were thrilled to see Raj standing right in the front and he didn’t even need cues. The entire hall roared with a thunderous applause. The school gave him a special performance award.

    The event was a game changer for Raj and everyone around him regarded him with renewed appreciation. There was appreciation flooding in from all around and he thrived. He even started improving in his academic concepts. He now loved learning. Everyone around him tried to teach him something or the other and they were proud of him when he learnt them. Ananya and Raj made a few more videos which were all a hit.

    A few years later

     Sumona was very happy today. Raj was awarded the performer of the day award in his school. He was in the fifth grade in an integrated school, where there were other educable children with special needs. He was now loved and accepted. He was admitted to that school about three years ago and Sumona had started working again. It was difficult getting back and she felt like a fish out of water. But Raj had inspired her. If he could be a different fish in the society and stay in the water happily then why not her…? She restarted dance class for Ananya who was now in college doing her graduate studies in humanities. Even today she was Raj’s biggest supporter. She taught dance to Raj even today. Raj had become famous not just in India but abroad as well for his dance moves. He had given quite a few performances choreographed by his sister. She had even arranged a performance of his in her college festival which was appreciated by all. Ananya was approached by other parents of children with special needs to teach them dance and she was considering pursuing it after her graduation.

    Sumona’s phone pinged, getting her out of her reverie. She had received an email from an NGO which worked for the disabled and was asked to give an interview on her journey with Raj so far. She had already spoken with them last week and this was a formal invite.

    The interview was live in front of an audience. Many of them were parents of the children with special needs. Sumona spoke about Raj’s habilitation via therapies and his development so far. She then added, “We consider these children Disabled. But Children like Raj have proved that they are specially abled.  They all need an opportunity which itself is a blessing. Raj has been blessed too. He has a very special ability via a very special person. That’s Ananya, his guardian angel, a special sister…”

    There was not a single eye which wasn’t wet…

    Copyright Disclaimer: All content posted here is a work of fiction and original work based on the author’s imagination. There is no intention to disrespect any person or faith. Any resemblance to any person living or dead or any community is purely coincidental. No part of the content can be copied, reproduced or posted anywhere else either entirely or in parts, without the consent of the author.

     

    1) romance brought alive….

    0

    2) clinicologues….

    Fiction villa…

    #romancebroughtalive…

    #clinicologues

    “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ..

    It’s been a childhood passion for writing fiction. The tough perils of life left little time to pursue the same. But then you come to a phase of life where you decide…. THIS IS IT.
    My Eureka moment happened early this year. I got on the writing bandwagon and having finished my first novel… am on with my second. It’s been amazingly cathartic to pool out your fantasies in print.
    Will be sharing excerpts from my novels here. But this page is more about stories mostly short ones, I want to share with interested readers.
    Feel free to comment. I eagerly await your feedback.
    Thank you for reading and hope you enjoy reading them as I enjoyed writing

    -Priya

    Book Review: From Olive Green to Beauty Queen

    0

    Author: Ankita Srivastava

    This is a non-fiction book, an anecdotal literary work penned by the author who was an officer in the Indian Army. She was the first lady officer to get posted to counter-insurgency operations.

    However, the book begins when the author was relieved from the Army and suddenly felt the void when she had to face the challenges of civilian life. More so when she felt she wasn’t too feminine amidst the female folks. What began as participation in a local pageant by chance and winning it, brought in an avalanche. She decided to participate in the Mrs. India pageant, with the sole aim of discovering her feminine side.

    The book is an account of all that transpires behind the scenes in a pageant of such repute. Some are hilarious while some are shocking revelations. It makes one sit back and wonder at the grind the participants go through to show us just the tip of the iceberg, i.e the glamorous life on stage. The finale is the icing on the cake when the author is confronted with a rather unusual situation and how her Army training comes in to save the situation for her and everyone else.

    This book has a tremendous feel-good factor, particularly reminding you of Sandra Bullock in Miss congeniality.

    From toughness to softness, from drill boots to stilettos, this book takes you on a beautiful motivational sojourn!

     

    Chance

    Moya Solomia…

    She walked through the dim lights of the foyer, her sneakers dampening the sounds of her arrival. Her heart pulsated beneath her crisp loose white blouse worn over her see-through capris. She was a pro at what she set to do today, but this time it was different.

    She sighed and was immediately startled at the loud boom of a bomb miles away, the sound accompanying the cacophony of the shelling in progress. The sanguine dusky sky seemed kaleidoscopic with the mixture of explosions. But nothing compared to the volcano boiling within her core waiting to erupt. Years of training helped her hold her resolve as the minutes to her mission’s finale arrived in this mansion amidst the war-torn Mariupol in Ukraine.

    This was her chance towards her retribution.

    She clutched at the frills above her chest, trying to control her thundering heart, and made her way to the designated bedroom. The only standing bedroom in the dilapidated mansion…  all planned for a clear view.

    The door to the bedroom opened with a cringe-worthy creak, and she wondered if it would collapse anytime soon like the rest of the house.

    Laskavo prosymo… welcome Solomia…  I was waiting… As you see. This is the last time we meet. I don’t know when I will get to see you next. Pryydy moya lyubov…  come, my love. I brought this chair for you from that exhibition… Sadly we will have to let it go here….”  Fedir stood to his six feet, a soft smile spreading across his salt and pepper beard.

    He was impeccably dressed in the finest attire; she knew it was his wedding suit. He had strangled his wife, her sister years ago. She was a little girl then and later found he had abducted her sister, and violated her. The press got wind of the situation and he was pressurised to tie the knot since he was an army general. The moment things settled he got rid of the ‘wife’.

     

    She shivered within and gyrated her body, knowing what it did to him. The room was dark, and the staccato lights from the bombarding outside the city perimeters lit up his majestic face, the bullet mark on his forehead from eons ago shining to make him look ferocious. But she knew this man who now ran the largest drug cartel in and around Ukraine and was wanted by Interpol for years, loved her. They had been together for six months before Russia launched its attack. But she knew that already… she was sent to infiltrate his cartel.

    She had grabbed the chance with open arms. She had since lived for this day ever since she had escaped to Russia after her sister died.

    She was, after all, the femme fatale of the KGB, which eyed the moolah Fedir had to offer. Today was the last night of their rendezvous. He had needed time to accumulate his assets in a safe place and was now all set to disappear to some corner of Sweden. He had insisted she accompany him and she promised to join him soon after tying loose ends back home.

    He hugged her, his hard embrace threatening to crush her ribs. She worried he would feel her pounding heart.

    “Oh… moya Solomia…” he whispered into her ear, his warm breath making her want to throw up. He kissed her behind her ear and gripped her through her thick pants. She gasped and he silenced her as he crushed his mouth to hers.

    Her hands snaked around his neck, and all her training now coming into action. She knew how he thought as she placed a palm on his heart. It raced like never before, and before she knew it, she found him seated on that chair with her straddling him. Moving her face away, she gripped at his hair just like she knew he loved and spoke. “Where is my parting gift? Moya podarunok?

    He chuckled.

    Moya lyubov, My love… go pick it up. It’s in that special safe. The password is your name. My bank passbook… I have a separate personal account in Swiss…Nominated you. I leave tonight forever, darling… Promise to join me…”

    She nodded and jiggled her hips. He gripped her harder as he kissed her. She reveled in the final moments watching his so-called passion as her keen vision saw the red dot dancing on the dark cupboard above his head. It was her signal to move.

    She had indicated by jiggling her hips… she had got the password to the safe.

    She had already tried her hand to open it twice before but had failed and one more wrong attempt would cause the safe to destroy itself. She now had the access… the safe contained all his dealings too… all details of his clientele and various sources of funds. The KGB needed the intel and the funds.

    For the last few years, they had tried, and nothing happened. Fedir was too cautious and had an entourage of the best bodyguards money could buy. But as the Russian-Ukranian relationships soured, they knew this was the time for their ace. Svetlana Volkov, operative name Solomia….

    Svetlana, alais Solomia moved away, even as he smiled, caressing her head. The red dot loomed as their sniper held the fort; she was the only one between life and death for Fedir.

    She looked out of the window, to see the power plant blown to smithereens and knew Fedir was a hopeless case too… She moved away abruptly, and before he could get his bearings, the deed was done.

    She was wired today, so she knew her handlers had the password and must have stormed the safe by now.

    She walked out to a waiting unmarked vehicle leaving her role behind, and now she was back to being Svetlana after yet another successful mission.

    She shuddered as she looked at the burning scenery passing across, wiping away tears that streamed nonstop meandering their way through her makeup patches.

    She had avenged her sister and many other young women whose honor the man had tarnished ruining families, much before the war did.

    It wasn’t retribution…it was justice.

    ©priyagole

     

     

    Book Review : I am lying to you

    0

    Author: Shantanu Sharma

    The story plot revolves around a RAW agent Ombir who is assigned to apprehend the dreaded terrorist Haji Suleiman. Everything is planned to the T as per protocols that the agents follow except, Om falls in love with Shazia.

    Shazia is visually impaired post a traumatic past in Rawalpindi and is currently based in Argentina. Falling in love with a complete stranger, Om was never on her card as well. However, they are unable to avoid succumbing to the fierce attraction between them as they plan on being official soulmates.

    Fate however has different plans and Om and his team are caught in a web of betrayal, and deceit that will end with only bloodshed.

    Does Om succeed in preventing a terror catastrophe and have his happily ever after with Shazia?

    The author has managed to bring out beautifully, Om’s RAW unexpected emotions for Shazia, as well as Shazia’a vulnerability after knowing Om’s real identity. I was left wanting more of the two!!!

     

    Book review: Murder in the Bylanes

    0

    Authors: Aloke Lal and Maanas Lal

    The book chronicles former DIG Aloke Lal’s journey when posted in a communally tumulous Kanpur in the backdrop of the Babri Masjid demolition (1992). The then largest state Uttar Pradesh was on tenterhooks in every way where a sudden disturbance could create unfathomable ripples throughout the law and order circles. Not to mention the state was a political hot potato.

    The Author recounts the horrific times when he had to face the city on the brink of riots. All this after the gruesome murder of a prominent local political muscle, ‘Kala Bachcha’ 

    What followed was the dance of political aspirations amongst the parties and later between the ruling party and the opposition. It was a Herculean task for the Author to handle the sensitive balance between the two religious factions.

    The author takes us through a heart-wrenching sojourn of a demoralized police force in the aftermath of violence and political pressures. The book speaks volumes about how the force was forced to be a bystander watching the criminals unravel the political and law and order pictures in the localities they controlled.

    The Author had to sacrifice a lot at a personal level to stick to his virtues and convictions. he sums it all in the statement towards the end, “An inescapable reality of a busy job is being deprived of life’s greatest pleasure- spending time with loved ones” 

     

    The Secret ripples

    Here comes the next story in the Bodyguard series.

    THE SECRET RIPPLES

    (This story can be read in the continuation or as a standalone)

    Blurb:

    The Arabian Sea was calm as ever.
    But was it the lull before the storm?
    Then one fine day, there were ripples… massive ones. Was it some kind of a missile underwater? No one guessed it—neither the satellites nor the defense machinery.
    In the corner of Mumbai, though, one boy caught it all with evidence.
    Nitya could do nothing despite all her training. Her little brother, the sole living relative, was in grave danger.
    SPS was commissioned, and Maanav ‘Bullet’ Deshmukh rose to the occasion. But this was beyond his realm of duty as a bodyguard. The plot was far more sinister, involving international waters!!
    Add to it the strong attraction towards the beautiful Nitya, the forbidden fruit. Could his resolve sustain it and protect Nitya and her brother?
    Or will the ripples of passion and malice drown them all?

    Book Review: The Maid

    0

    Author: Nita Prose

    Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined someone writing about a maid. No offense or ridicule, but whenever we go to a high-end hotel, we rarely look at the employees who clean up after us. However, the author takes us through a sojourn. Through the maid’s life in the Regency Grand Hotel.

    Molly the maid, as the protagonist is known, is a simpleton with an obsession for cleanliness (pun intended). She is all alone in this world and had worked hard to sustain her position in the hotel. At the same time, she has amazing observational skills that could put the highest level of law enforcement to shame as she watches the guests passing through the hotel. She cleans after them, figuratively and literally.

    Molly loved her job and prefers remaining a fly on the wall.

    However all that goes for a toss and massive ripples created in her otherwise mundane life when she discovers Mr. Black’s dead body in his hotel suite. Mr. Black is a VIP guest and his demise sends the law enforcement, hotel staff, and media into a frenzy. Add to that Molly’s special ‘friendship’ with the second Mrs. Black doesn’t end her troubles. She gets embroiled in the mess called homicide and a lot more than she had ever imagined, not to mention betrayal from trusted sources.

    However, in her quest for truth, Molly discovers she is far from the weakling weirdo and way beyond the whispers in the hallway.

    How does Molly acquit herself?

    The book is very interesting, with lucid language and a good pace. I was personally intrigued by Molly’s character, which keeps unfolding till the very end!

    A well-recommended read!

    Book Review: Wicked Trap

    0

    Author: M. V Kasi

    This story has Kasi’s signature style throughout.
    Right from the time the arrogant stranger zoomed into her life by forcing her to share her taxi, Tanvi begins a love-hate relationship. Before she knows she falls for the enigmatic Arjun. However, the spunky activist isn’t aware of the truth behind Arjun’s closeness, not even when they share a fiery passion together.
    Arjun is a man on a mission and all set to avenge the betrayal faced by his family. Tanvi is a mere pawn… at least that’s what she was meant to be. The casanova doesn’t imagine falling for the woman whose mere looks turn him to mush.
    A very interesting tale of passion and betrayal…

     

    Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

    0

    Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

    The story begins with the reclusive Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo reaching out to an unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant to give out an exclusive. It is meant to be a memoir detailing her glamorous life with all its shenanigans, scandals, and the lows.

    Monique, who is still reeling with the shock of getting a stepping stone that would jump-start her sluggish career, begins to listen to the almost 80-year-old woman.

    Evelyn bares her soul recounting her journey from Hell’s Kitchen to LA in the 1950s to leaving it all in the 1980s. The highlight of it was the seven husbands in the sojourn. She unravels the truth behind each relationship and more. Her story gives an insight into her colorful and eventful life filled with romance, betrayal, struggles, and her tryst with bisexuality. At a time when being queer was considered blasphemous, the narrative brings out the quest for survival by those in the realm. It also brings forth the reality of the casting couch we shun talking about.

    But as a reader, I was in awe of the woman who had no regrets despite what she did. Whether baring it all for a hit or sleeping around for getting a part in a movie. She also lost everyone she loved, but her resilience won in the end, to tell the tale.

    The finale of the book points towards the intersection of Evelyn’s life with Monique’s past. Though this was meant to be a hard-hitting turning point, as a reader, I was a bit disappointed. It wasn’t that impactful. Especially after an intrigue-filled narrative till that part.

    However, I would still recommend this one for an interesting read!

     

    Book Review: Unhooked and Unbooked

    0

    Author: Dr. Aditya R Nighhot

    The book traverses through the lives of four characters and their sojourn through the challenges life throws at them.

    Two stories run parallel. The first is of KD, an egoistic superstar bordering along narcisstic who is also an alcoholic with anger issues. He loves Tia, a struggling model, and goes all the way to uplift her career. However, his ego gets the better of him so does his addiction to the bottle and uncontrollable rage, and Tia, who loves him back, is forced to leave him.

    Parallelly, Sameer is in love with his best friend Isha. Sameer is a nerd, while Isha is a hot outspoken girl who doesn’t shy away from flaunting her good looks on social media. She is of a modern outlook and doesn’t believe in love after a past betrayal. However, she falls into a trap laid by a suitor. Sameer stands by her every step of the way and eventually, as they emerge from the chasm of turmoil, life throws yet another curve ball.

    The author has, towards the end made the stories merge together. So do they all have their happily ever after?

    As a reader, I found traces of the Bollywood flick Ashiqui 2 in KD’s story and the way his character arc was penned. However, the emotions were well portrayed, whether its a relationship between friends or lovers.

    Being a writer myself, I can’t help but view the story with a critical eye.

    The author could do away with colloquialism infringing upon the narrative. Similarly, there were many redundant phrases that interfere with the reading continuity. Erotica could have been worded better as well. And finally, the merger of the stories appears rushed and forced. I wish the author could have elaborated on the same. Probably the word count limitations may have been a hindrance.

    Overall an interesting read.

    My Mystifying Rendezvous

    2

    (My flash fiction entry for the theme: Face to Face on the Arttoons Writer’s room)

    word count: 1000

    prompt: the main character takes a journey to meet his online friend… and then?

     

    My mystifying rendezvous

     

    The Uber breezed along Marine Drive as the dusky sanguine hues spread their grace on my pounding heart. It wasn’t every day that an almost thirty-five-year-old single woman rushed from one corner of Mumbai to the other to meet her online ‘date’ in person.

    Despite having an excellent career to boast about, my acne-scarred face and plus-sized contours made me stick out like a sore thumb in our Tam-Bram social circles. Christopher Gomes accidentally entered my life when I hit rock bottom post a broken engagement.

    Actively blogging about financial market trends, I connected with like-minded tribes like Chris. His CV flaunted his footing as a freelancer in the entertainment industry. A Goan native, he was in Mumbai for the past decade.

    We hit it off instantly, and our conversations surpassed financial barriers in the next three months. I began to fall for this non-judgemental Adonis. But did I bite more than I could chew?

    Last week, I was horrified when he sent me a few links unraveling the details of his profession. But my infomania won over prudent discernment, and tonight I stood outside the elite La’ Della café. My galloping heart could give a thoroughbred a run for his money.

    “Miss Padmavathi?” My reverie was broken and the patron guided me towards a unit reserved for two. A huge cabin, secluded from the rest of the café.

    My fear quotient raged on a bull run, and with good reason.

    Chris was a professional pornstar.

    I edgily halted in my tracks when I heard a deep voice behind me.

    “Penny for your thoughts, Pads?”

    I turned around, startled at Chris’s usual endearment, and thought my jaw would hit the pristine floor. If sensuality had a name, it was Chris. His pictures failed to do him justice.

    He towered over by over a foot, as his sparkling brown orbs held me captive. The Almighty had taken time to chisel this man. I had seen his videos and knew what was underneath as my eyes undressed him.

    “Shall we…?” He nudged my shuddering back as we moved towards the cabin. “…I hope you like the ambiance.”

    I was on autopilot, trying vainly to calm my fluttering nerves as he held out my chair. I was never physically attracted to a man with such intensity, and right then, from across the table, Chris was piercing my veneer with his mere look.

    “So, Chris… You aren’t working today?” I wanted to shoot myself for asking that, but my estrogenic levels comminated to break the ceiling tonight.

    Chris chuckled.

    “No dear, I took an off today… I had to make this date right. And… I ordered the starters….”

    As if on cue, the server got us a plate of paneer tikka, my favorite dish. My heart soared at his gallant move. But right then, my subconscious reared its ugly head.

    “Look, Chris… I have… questions” I looked away, my palms clasped on my lap.

    Leaning back, he crossed his hands at his chest.

    “Chris… since when … I mean, you were born and brought up…” My verbal diarrhea saw no end.

    “Pads, I wasn’t made in a Petri dish….” He smiled, and my heart skipped a beat.

    “But… you are… Handsome, educated… hot…” I clamped my mouth shut.

    He stood and held out his hand. “Let’s go for a walk. The poolside is beautiful.”

    When I stood, I saw roses and marigolds strewn at the end of the table, and a pouch with my favourite toon painted over it was placed on them.

    He remembered every detail I had mentioned in passing.

    “All this is for you… but let’s take that walk first…” Chris smiled, and I placed my cold palm in his warmth, engulfing my soul.

    “Pads, what I do, is strictly professional with all precautions. There are no emotions involved. I have been doing it for the last eight years.” He spoke after we walked for a while.

    I halted and looked into his eyes as the poolside light simmered in their depths.

    “Why do this, Chris? You are well educated…”

    “It’s by choice, Pads. I did it part-time for extra bucks initially. But now I like it. It gives me space, and rakes in the moolah.”

    “But as a profession?” I wasn’t able to get my head around this.

    He held my shoulders.

    “Pads, this isn’t easy. I am almost forty but have maintained my physique well. I work arduously, following strict fitness protocols, diets, etc. These aren’t surreptitious videos but professionally shot consensual and scripted acts….”

    “So do you … escort?” Someone please shoot me.

    “No, dear, neither am I a whore. I have no attachments to any of those women and vice versa. We are hard-core professionals. But you … I like you…earnestly. I know, it’s difficult for you to accept …” He sighed and looked away.

    “Isn’t this illegal?” I had read a bit after he dropped the bombshell.

    Chris smiled. “The laws here are debatable. The videos we make are usually for overseas channels. Every paperwork is in place. There is no child abuse or violence against any individual. Our videos are scientific….”

    “…This is… overwhelming, Chris.” I shivered, trying to absorb the information overload.

    We returned to the cabin and resumed chatting on our favorite topics and movies, followed by dinner. Every moment there opened a chasm of tender adulation, drawing me deeper.

    It was past 1 AM. As we waited for my Uber, he pulled me into a hug. I was taken aback but realized that’s what I craved as well.

    He kissed my head as we stood in silence.

    As he set me free, he said, “I don’t know what the future holds, but… Pads, can we meet again? Maybe, after a while…”  Was the ever-confident Chris hesitating?

    Under the flickering lights of the café canopy, he looked like a kid asking permission to have his favorite candy.

    Without a word said, I got into the waiting cab, smiling.

    The date was enthralling indeed!

     

    Author note:

    This story was an attempt to get a little insight into the life of a professional pornstar. Here is an article for further information regarding the legalities.

    https://blog.ipleaders.in/is-watching-porn-a-crime-in-india-an-insight/