AToZChallenge: T is for Tutor

Anna’s brother merits a piece of fiction about him too 🙂 One that gave Ma a really hard time.


Anna’s brother needed a Math tutor. But no matter who her mother asked or where she looked, she couldn’t find anyone suitable.

One was inexperienced. One had an accent. Another charged too much. Another was just not good enough.

So when Ma finally managed to find someone, he was a tall, menacing fellow although he came with good recommendations. He needed a room to teach where he could teach in peace, and a cup of tea half-an-hour into the class.

Ma, obliged to have found someone in the first place, readily accepted. And then she waited to see if this tutor would finally fit the bill.


They say writers should avoid tired phrases and cliches. So I checked myself before using “Fit the bill” but then I went ahead anyway. Like Ma who was tired of finding a good tutor, so was I, trying to find a good phrase 😉


AtoZChallenge: S is for Sticky

Anna wanted some tape for her card decorations. She called it “washi” tape. Her mother had never heard of such a thing. It didn’t exist when she was a young girl.

Her mother was dumbfounded when Anna brought it up. “What is that?”

Anna was happy to explain. “It’s decorative tape that I can use to stick on cards or gifts.”

Ma wanted to know what it looked like. So Anna had to explain in lay-man terms. “It has polka dots or designs on one side, and it’s got glue on the other side.

“Oh, you mean like decorative sticky tape?”

Anna nodded exuberantly. And then she Googled to enlighten Ma about the washi tape.


Courtesy Google: The term “washi tape” refers to the fact that the tapes are made from Japanese rice paper and differentiates it from typical masking tape you might find in the hardware store.

AtoZChallenge: R is for Reassure

I’m smiling to myself as I write this post. I’m reassuring myself, don’t you see, that no matter what obstacles I face when I’m writing, I will continue to write. Here’s a flash about R.

Mrs. Malathi’s bags were packed. Her family was leaving for their annual vacation early the next morning. They had just finished dinner and she had stacked up the dirty plates and dishes in the sink. The key to the house was with her neighbor. Her maid, Sahinoor, was to pick up the key and clean up the house the next morning. All was set.

Out of the blue Mrs. Malathi’s phone rang. Sahinoor called to say she was quitting. Just like that. Out of the blue. Of course, the premonitions had loomed for a few days now. Mrs. Malathi had wondered how Sahinoor would come to work once she moved far away. Just ten days ago, her family had been evicted from their temporary settlement and asked to move.

Mrs. Malathi hadn’t minced words when she confronted Sahinoor with the doomed question. “Will you still come to work?

Sahinoor had vehemently said yes. But of course, things had changed overnight. She had lost another house this month, and the other house owners were apparently mostly going on vacation too. It made no sense for her to come just to Mrs. Malathi’s house. She was going to find work nearer to her new dwelling.

Mrs. Malathi cringed at Sahinoor’s declaration of quitting. But what was Mrs. Malathi to do except reassure herself that she would find another suitable maid when she returned.

For now, she had to finish cleaning up the dirty dishes. She couldn’t leave them in the sink until she returned, now could she?


AtoZChallenge: Q is for Quirky

They seemed so right when I bought them. Soft and golden with blue rhinestones, shaped in a V, in two rows of three. It had been such a bargain too. Perfect for day or night.

I wore them and admired myself from head to toe. Then the moment I stepped out, the straps snapped and came apart. And that was the only time I saw them again.

I’m talking about my quirky new sandals 🙂 Unfortunately a bad buy decision 😦

AtoZChallenge: P is for Pain

Sometimes being a writer comes with a lot of pain and it has inspired this poem for the letter P. Sometimes it just feels good to say the well’s empty, so that the word’s out there in the universe and ready for a refill. Cheers! 🙂

The pain starts deep in the chest
It’s lodged with patience and perseverance
There is passion in there for good measure too
But it all seems pointless in the face of rejection and dejection

It merits no compassion
Though it deems the soul a certain right
In the well drained of the creative muse
In the desert where the oasis is beyond sight.

-Sudha Nair

AtoZChallenge: O is for Organic

I took three random words starting with O, and decided to write a short fictional piece using all of them. The words are: orange, oratory, organic.


I sat on the sofa waiting for us to continue.

He paced the floor, then walked to the fridge, took out an orange and peeled it. He offered me a slice.

I shook my head. “No, thank you. So, can we get on with the interview?”

He shrugged and popped a couple of slices into his mouth. “Go on.” He squirted some juice as he spoke.

I averted my gaze to the notes on my lap. “Well, how do you develop your oratory skills? Do you practise your speech beforehand?”

He gulped the half-chewed orange. “Yeah. I do. I do. Well…I read out my lines in front of the mirror. I rehearse everything I’m going to say. And so on. And…”

“And?” I was curious.

“And I only eat organic. It helps my voice quality.” He offered me another slice. “This is organic.”

I skewed my face. “I think that will be all, Mr. Olson. Thank you for your time.” I rose.

He gave me a puzzled look. “Really? That’s all? I mean, you won’t ask me why organic?”

It looked like he had plenty of time to waste. I looked him in the eye. “No, Sir. I have no more questions.” I stormed out of the room leaving a shocked Mr.Olson.



AtoZChallenge: N is for Naughty

Sharing with you today, another of Anna’s stories. Enjoy!


Anna squeezed out a blob of glue from the tube. It made a perfect round bubble on the floor. Then she pulled out Teddy and set his butt on the glue. “Sit, Teddy. Allow me to serve you some tea.”

She laid out the play cups and saucers and her yellow plastic kettle. She served imaginary cookies in a matching yellow side-plate and set it before Teddy. Then, very lady-like, she poured out the tea. One cup for Teddy, and one for herself. She sat up primly on her pink, plastic chair, and looked at Teddy as she brought her cup to her lips. Teddy looked sad. “Why do you look so sad, Teddy? Is it because you have no friends?”

Teddy wouldn’t reply. So she rose from her pink chair and went to get all of Teddy’s friends.

When mom returned home, she saw teddy bears, dolls, stuffed monkeys, giraffes, lions, and hippos, and what not, of all shapes and sizes, glued to the floor all over the living room, with Teddy sitting pretty in the center, enjoying his little tea party with Anna and the rest of his friends.