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Q for Quilt

There once was a queen, pretty and wise. Her husband was a king, just and nice. They ruled over a land far far away where faces were bright and the sky never grey.

The Queen was happy, but she was afraid. She wouldn’t always be young and her face not always fair. She rummaged through her heirloom and found a quilt.

The Quilt was magical; it made things true. She wrapped the Quilt and closed her eyes. She held it tight as the Quilt came to life.

“Tell me a wish and I shall make it true,” the Quilt spoke.

“Anything at all?”

“Just make the wish, my Queen, and it shall be yours”

“I wish for eternal youth”

“Are you sure, my Queen?”

“Yes! Yes! Please. Everything is perfect as it is. I wish nothing ever changes”

“I will do as you say, my Queen, but there’s a catch. To grant you your wish, I will need to steal a few years from a few people”

“Do I know these people?”

“No, my Queen. They are complete strangers”

The Queen thought hard. “Will they suffer for a wish of mine?”

“No, my Queen. They …

P for Parkinson's Law

The administration on the planet of Zolgian was in shambles. An independent council of elders was convened and tasked with overhauling the system. The council was given free rein and the assurance of no external pressures. Years went by and the council grew in power and stature. More prominent citizens joined the ranks of the elders and the council kept working on. Eventually the council reached consensus and summoned an expert to finalise the plan.


The expert gingerly entered the hall of the elders. One of the elders spoke.
“I believe you have received our detailed plans. Did you go through it completely?”
“No, your excellency,” she replied.
There was an audible murmur in the room.
“May I know why?”
“Your excellency… most of the projects explained in the document are already done.”
The room fell silent. “The rest are really not feasible.”
After a few seconds of reflection, the elder spoke again. “Thank you for your expert opinion. You may leave.”

The expert left and the council deci…

P for Prize

The final match of the national junior level chess championship had just concluded and the prize distribution ceremony had just commenced. Aiden, a first time participant and the surprise winner of the championship, stood shyly on the podium watching the audience, mostly composed of family members of the contestants and a few chess enthusiasts heartily cheering each player as they would collect the award. Finally the host announced Aiden’s name. The audience kept clapping enthusiastically, but then all of a sudden most of them stopped. Aiden looked at the host, who looked back almost guiltily at him. He turned quizzically towards his interpreter. “In addition to the cash prize, the sponsors are also giving away their brand’s latest headphones,” she signed. Aiden chortled relievedly and signed at her, “Tell them that I’ll be gifting it to my sister.” Then he turned towards the audience and signed to his sister, “Sorry I forgot to wish you on your birthday. See? God wanted me to gift y…

Peatoozee: A short warning

Many bloggers I know are participating in the A to Z challenge, wherein every day in April—barring Sundays—, bloggers pick up one letter of the alphabet and write a post around a word that begins with the letter. Bloggers have been planning about this for months—deciding on the topics, roping in guest writers, improving on ideas and doing whatnots.

I decided to not participate this year, owing to my busy schedule. (A busy schedule has been my goto excuse this year.) I am completely unprepared for this, and yet like a quintessential engineer, halfway through April I have decided to participate any way. I might have missed my coach, but at least I’ll catch the train. I’m calling this Peatoozee™ (name subject to change) as I missed A to O.

I have not written any fiction this year (except Inteqaam, which I did not write for the blog). The fiction section in my brain is rusty. All I can think of is flaky ideas that wither away on the slightest inspection. I’m using the Peatoozee™ as an excus…

Inteqaam

In 2022, after intense negotiations, the Indian and Pakistani governments agreed to hold a referendum in Jammu & Kashmir. Armies on both sides retreated to allow peaceful resolution of the dispute.
However, the separatists in the state, led by the veteran leader Sajjad Lone capitalised on the lacuna and quickly grabbed hold of the power with the help of local militia and declared independence for United Kashmir.
After a few weeks of fighting, the armies of the two nations regained control of the state. Many leaders of the separatist movement, including Sajjad Lone escaped to China, where they lived the rest of their lives in misery, most of them marrying poor local women to palliate the Communist Party’s suspicions.
Descendants of the separatists grew up in a confusing environment. The land of their ancestors had disowned them. The land of their birth didn’t want them. Sajjad’s grandson, Inteqaam, was one of them.
Inteqaam was a despondent purposeless man, afflicted by a rare conditio…