AToZChallenge: T is for Tutor

Anna’s brother merits a piece of fiction about him too ūüôā 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 ūüėČ


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: 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.


AtoZChallenge: M is for Mayhem

Raj raced down the street clutching the parcel he had to deliver at the mentioned address. The clock was ticking. He was racing against time.

The car followed him at a safe distance. The road was practically empty. Raj’s path was clear except for a stone he didn’t notice. He stumbled on it and crashed on the ground, his knees hitting hard¬†on the pavement. Everything around him was shushed for a moment and then total¬†mayhem ensued.

The car carrying the¬†director and the cameraman screeched to a halt. ¬†The director yelled¬†“Cut” and jumped out, rushing to Raj’s aide. The cameraman¬†jumped out the other side. Together they hauled Raj up. In the meantime, the rest of the crew rushed to the spot. Soon a crowd had gathered.

Raj’s legs¬†wobbled as he tried¬†to stand up. Pain shot through his knees as he tried to take a step. He could manage a limp. Despite feeling winded, he urged them to stop fussing over him and go on with the shot. He put up¬†a brave thumbs-up sign. “The show must go on.”

The crew could do nothing except continue with the shot. As best as they could.

AtoZChallenge: E is for Evoke

An echo reverberated through the hall. An eerie silence followed. I looked up from my book. The seats were empty. The librarian at the faraway desk was still absorbed in her work. Did she not hear it?

Rumblings followed, hushed rumbles that grew louder and louder until a thunderous growl radiated from my belly.

I clutched my books and ran past the doors of the library, rushed through the corridors, past the classrooms, through the grounds, to the canteen. The aroma of food lured me in. I hadn’t eaten in ¬†hours. It was time for a lunch break.