Posted in Short Stories, Stories

Retold for Waliyha (Part 1)

We all have secrets; some we bury, some we burn, some we confide and some just linger on until we find an antidote for the venom it spreads. And so was the case with Waliyha. She was a regular girl, like you and me. But fate couldn’t disagree more.
Waliyha belonged to a well-off family, and with that being said, time was a major factor in her life. Well, her time waited unlike that of her kin. Her mother would go to work and her dad focused on his trips abroad, while she would stay at a daycare centre. She didn’t realise that she was “promptly dumped” till her friends pointed it out.
“Hey, Waliyha! How come your parents never pay a visit?”
“Don’t they love you?”
“Are they really your family?”
These questions would haunt her even in broad daylight. However, this series of having to bear such uncomfortable questions came to a halt once she found her love. Yes, of course, there was a catch. It wasn’t the love she was craving for, but it indeed succeeded as an alternative.
It was a charming boy she had stumbled upon while roaming about the mall with her friends. And it was he who had made the first move. They exchanged numbers in no time and soon drove along the lane of a relationship.
Even though Waliyha had turned eighteen, she had been pulled into the hits and trials of life again. The lad was a radio jockey and a newscaster. And in spite of belonging to an upper-class family, Waliyha still had to live up to his fancies. He wanted money, and Waliyha took it as his need. Nobody knew for what. She didn’t bother to question him either. She simply opened her mother’s safe, grabbed her jewellery and sold it off, to meet his supposed needs.
Her friends would suggest her to pamper him with gifts and treats, and she readily borrowed the idea.
That wasn’t enough for him. He wanted more entertainment in his life. He began asking for inappropriate pictures of her, to which she gave in.
And when it came to eloping with him, she didn’t have a second thought about it.
“Would you run away for me?” He asked one night, making sure that he serenaded her while asking.
“Just say it once, and you’ll see.”
Mr Radio Jockey took the hint and replied by saying, “Now. Do it now.”
That’s all it took to convince Waliyha. She packed her belongings in a jiffy and held her cell phone and a bunch of cash in her clammy hands.
It was past midnight when Waliyha was all set to leave. She ran out and headed for the park where they would have their usual meetups.
Her running awoke the spirit of the stray dogs. They chased her down till a few cars diverted their attention.
It had been an hour by this time. All the commotion had drained her completely, so she decided to sit on a bench and wait for her love.
Tring Tring. Tring Tring. Tring Tring.
The phone sang while her heart got drenched with sweat from the inside. There was no answer. And after another try, his phone wasn’t reachable.
She thought of it as a network problem. The naive Waliyha remained heedless of the fact that she was asked to run for him, and not with him.

Finding home
(Picture credits: Unknown; Source: Tumblr)

Posted in Prose, Stories


But you didn’t wave like an idiot to the wayfarer on the opposite lane or even the curious and notorious kid in the adjacent vehicle.
Neither did you act a bit paranoid, when you failed to locate your mate as you peeked behind the pole of a moving coach.
You barely look forward to being stuffed by your grandma.
Your fruity chapstick rolls off the table. You pick it up, inhale the scent, apply it, yet you don’t taste it, in spite of the temptation.
The first few pages of your slam book haven’t been filled by you.
Your bucket list doesn’t include an item from the vintage era.
Even the cat wonders why you didn’t challenge it to a stare down.
Random stationery products don’t fascinate you.
A broken crayon that belonged to a brand new set, didn’t leave you disheartened.
What are you, if you couldn’t relate to the above?
And since you seem too busy taking a selfie…
It’s time I classified you as A (as pronounced while reciting the alphabet)-

You are a vegetable
(Picture credits: Vanessa Mckeown)
Posted in Prose, Stories

A Cancerian Perspective

The following piece is a collaboration with the lovely artist Lara A.

Day 1: It’s a Friday night, and the Almighty is in his usual creative mode. After shaping his beard several times, he gets up and with the magical touch of his fingers makes one shiny object in the atmosphere, better known as a star. Not being satisfied with the outcome, he cuts me into smaller fragments and creates four other things just like me, making us five in total.
Then, out of boredom he aligns them in a certain way, but takes care not to make it too oblivious to the human eye. He looks like an orchestra conductor while doing so; so poise and mesmerising.

Day 2: Two astronomers are busy setting up their base under the moonlight. After several adjustments with their telescope, they finally focus on me and my brethren. I glimmer with all my might for them to notice me. They jot down a few things on their notepads, putting their stargazing session to a halt. They name me “Cancer.”

Day 3: I like my new name. It is pretty catchy, right? Hey! what’s happening? Seems like we are witnessing a space quake. I hug my bottom two corners tightly, to avoid drifting away from my siblings, but…I break off from the sky and land on Earth. Lord promptly replaces me with another five-cornered article. It’s alright. Someone had to complete our lovely cluster!

Day 4: Amidst my journey to the laps of the human species, I crumple up into tiny particle and land on the beach. And guess what! They have associated me (and my counterparts) to a crab. Is that why I arrived here, of all places?
I stroll on the beach, totally unaware of what’s going on. But soon a human flattens me under his foot. He checks the foot he crushed me with by hopping on the other, and then he flicks me away into the sea, instead of welcoming me as stardust.

Day 5: Turning into a minuscule object did give me some amount of advantage. I had made it to the shore, but I was completely drained. The little body that I had got buried in the sand dunes. My soul was free of that ridiculously small body. In spite of being free, I still needed a host.

Day 6: I wandered here, there and everywhere. Not being able to find one gave me an idea. I dived into a soft drink in hope of acquiring a suitable body. I sipped on some of the liquid and helped me grow a bit. And soon enough I turn into a microbe. However, I still wanted some more space and that led to me creeping into another bottle of liquid, which was to be consumed by a human.

Day 7: The human drinks it. He makes his tongue travel along the outline of his lips, relishing the substance. His body now demands more of it, and me as well. Entering his body gave me a bit of relief.

Day 8: My desires have increased now. So, I multiply myself with the help of the buffet I get every day! This is definitely paradise. Wait. Human is feeling dizzy. He collapses on the ground. I am sure it had nothing to do with me. All I wanted was a bit more room in his body. He gains his senses back with the help of a doctor. The doctor injects him and gives him some medicines.

Day 9: No! No! It’s not my fault. Please hear me out. I try and reason with the molecules that just entered. They don’t listen and instead corner me.
“You! You are the one one who is destroying this human!” Their words sank in my head brutally and I understood what my selfish act had done. My growing demands had spread to him as well. They tear me apart and burn my pieces. But a bit of me remains unnoticed. And in spite of that round of torture, I still strive to survive.

Day 10: What he and other humans can’t understand is that I simply can’t resist the urge of existing. I want to leave. I want to run away. I cannot stand myself anymore. I am disgusted with my greed. All I ask from the one above is to take me back to heaven; take me back to being just a sun sign.

Lara made the illustration for this project while I wrote the above piece, in hope of taking Cancer back to where it belongs. Maybe we can make a difference by spreading awareness and not being so careless! You might not be interested in making an effort, which is why we chose a creative method in changing your mind. Hope it works!

Artwork by Lara A.  You can follow her for more sketches
and paintings.