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From The CEO's Desk

Winners

1st WINNER
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    The team waited at the gate for the bhajan and yoga to end. Then they walked to the large portico of the Gothic bungalow.     Mereeta Shenoi was waiting for them on the verandah. She pulled off the hand kerchief which held up her hair for the yoga. Her salt and pepper hair fell to shoulder length; the warmth on her face seeped through to her limbs.     ‘No trace of her childhood insecurity!’ thought Markose. He had gathered every detail of Mereet...
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2nd WINNER

Nishtha Jay



(Digital Marketeer, Writer)
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Chapter 1: Silent night I tried to save my parents’ marriage. I really did. “It’s your fault we don’t have money.” “How can you say that.” “You spend a lot.” “On what.” “You.” “No.” Doors slammed. Tears rolled. Trauma began. I saw my mother crying from the corner of my eyes. I wanted to comfort her but didn’t know how to speak. I wanted to hug her but couldn’t because I didn’t know how to walk. I felt like crying but could not understand the complexi...
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Chapter 1: Silent night I tried to save my parents’ marriage. I really did. “It’s your fault we don’t have money.” “How can you say that.” “You spend a lot.” “On what.” “You.” “No.” Doors slammed. Tears rolled. Trauma began. I saw my mother crying from the corner of my eyes. I wanted to comfort her but didn’t know how to speak. I wanted to hug her but couldn’t because I didn’t know how to walk. I felt like crying but could not understand the complexi...
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2nd WINNER

Nishtha Jay



(Digital Marketeer, Writer)
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3rd WINNER

Dia Rekhi



(Journalist)
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"She's awake! After all these years, she's finally stirred," Apollo cried.   Zeus walked in to see his son sitting by Themis' side checking her pulse as strange sounding machines recorded her vitals. It was odd to see her in hospital robes, frail owing to the years of living on  intravenous fluids that allow the comatose to age slower. So much had changed in Mount Olympus since she was last on her feet, he realised... "So lovely to hear your voice, Apollo," Themis said as she ...
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"Stories Which Won Our Hearts"


THE MUSE

THE MUSE I wake up to the frustratingly cheerful chirping and calling of birds. I despise them with all my passion for waking me up to the life I can no longer face. For reminding me every day morning of the things out there that I can no longer enjoy like the rest of the people can. Feeling that crunch of bare feet on dried fallen leaves... splashing the rain water puddles... climbing the mango tree in the backyard like we sometimes used to, Vijay teasing me the whole time about what a clumsy ... Read More


The Storm

I walked over the barricade for probably the tenth or twentieth time that night. The anxiety was slowly taking over the numbness in my veins, while I tried my best to keep my tears at bay. I knew I was going to break down on my knees and weep the clogged sadness off my heart anytime. I knew this whole scenario was just a phrase away yet it felt like chapters away. Vaguely, I was back in my struggling days—days when I struggled to get myself together, when everything was a challenge and days we... Read More


The Politics of Hate

The long winding roads and the ever slow KSRTC buses get to her as she jumps a mile in the air and mutters something that sounds distantly like a profanity. She feels the depression get to her once again as she looks out of the window. The arguments for what she has done become nothing more than a nightmare she wants to get away from. Her cell rings again and she barely glances at the caller id as she takes the call and mutters, “I’ll be there in an hour. Wait for me at the usual place.... Read More


The apparition

                                                        THE APPARITION Adele felt trite. Her whole world had turned topsy turvy. She sat by the window gazing out at the bright blue sky and thought that there was nothing... Read More


Tonnes of efforts— grams of love

“ Koko ! stop running around, you would either slip on the slushy floor or attacked by a stray cow!” Mrs. Senapati ,a dedicated mother, a loving grandmother and helpful neighbour was trying to catch up with her seven year old grandson with whom she had come to the classic vegetable market named as “Didi Baazar”. The street leading to “ Didi Baazar” was so narrow that for an outsider it seemed that walking on two legs was impossible. But Hand pulled carts, two wheeler, rickshaws,... Read More


Mira – The Miracle of My Life

                                                            Mira – The Miracle of My Life“Anil has met with an accident. His wife and parents are dead. He is in a critical condition,” echoed my brother’s voice over the phone. There was a surge of strange emotions inside me as I listened to this, and my thoughts instantly went back in time t... Read More


Reborn of Rani Laxmibai

Reborn of Rani Laxmibai Rani Laxmibai, the name that is worshipped and sacrosanct across the nation is in a pool of blood while breathing heavily. May be I am breathing my last gulp of air. My life is going to end but I don’t have any regrets as I know I had fought ferociously, fearlessly till my motionless mortal body fell on the earth. I felt the life was going from my severe wounded body making me suffocated and gasping. Within seconds I am light and relaxed. There is no pain, no aches,... Read More


Flames of Hope

I make myself some hot chocolate while thinking about how twisted ones mind can be. My mind is very active and sometimes I just feel like I have an actual conversation with it. Now, my mind is hooked up on the magazine in front of me. The advertisement by Coffee Cups, it is a picture of people chatting merrily while having coffee. Coffee cups is surely a catchy name for a coffee shop. The people do seem happy, I wonder whether they’re really happy or is it just another mask to look sociable. I... Read More


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That amazing girl named Hope

That amazing girl named Hope Here’s a story about a lovely girl-child born into this gendered world, who traversed every challenge, triumphed over all adversities, confronted bias head-on and came out a beautiful symbol of hope for her kind. She was born hope…. One day she asked her parents why she was not like her brother. That day she learnt that she was a girl and her brother was a boy. She was 4. As time passed and she began to observe the world around her, it confused her. She had s... Read More


Life as it is

She was sitting in the corner of her room looking out the window. Spring was blooming all around the city. The flowers were smiling at her through the glass window panes. She could not feel the cool breeze that was continuously trying to come inside but instead was being shoed away by the hard-hearted windows. She saw a young girl playing with her brother. The girl looked inside and smiled at her. She wanted to smile back at the girl but the lips denied her order.She thought about how she used t... Read More


Radha , the woman labourer

RADHA, THE WOMAN LABOURERCarrying a pile of bricks on her headPuffing away the bidi between her dark dry lipsWith a baby tucked away on her slim swaying hipsRadha climbs up with agile stepsThe make shift ladder of the house under constructionHer tiny waist sways from left to rightHer blouse is drenched with sweatHer orange cotton saree crumpled and oldShe uses it to protect her baby from heat and coldAt lunch time she opens a tatterered bundle of clothTo reveal the little food for thoughtHe... Read More


My Epiphany

On that breezy winter morning, I was sitting outside a local chai cafe, sniffling away alone, trying to hide the tears running down my sun-kissed cheeks. I was devastated after the most recent spat I had with my partner. Our fights had gone from bad to worse in the past year and this one shook me to the core. He had tried to strangle me in a fit of rage today and his hands had left a blue bruise on my neck. My bloodcurdling scream had brought him back to senses and I knew in my heart that he cou... Read More


She ran her way out of blues!

One step and the next and the next, Saanvi ran her way to the finish line. Sweat beads running down her face, her legs giving out under her, she had never felt more alive. It was five years since she had started running. She had never imagined herself as a runner. She had never been the athletic types in school- the last one in races, never the one to participate on sports day. As she sat doing her post run stretches, her thoughts drifted back to the time when she had started feeling the need to... Read More


Sapna’s Dreams

If someone ever mentions Fatehbad to you, do not bother looking for it on the map of India. Somewhere in Haryana, among soaring green trees, between one or two dried up canals and connected with broken puddled roads, you would find Sapna’s very own Fatehbad. Like children love slurping fruit jellies in the summer, like old men love snoring in the middle of reading a newspaper and like the young men love teasing those Chaudhary girls, Sapna loves her Fatehbad. It was 19 years ago that her fathe... Read More


Where is my life???

One day i was running downstairs in a hurry to pick up a ringing phone.... Thud!!!! i fell on the stairs and rolled down like a pop corn rolled when you throw it up. My husband came running and held me .... My brain was on a roller coaster ride finally i closed my eyes but my heartbeat was still there.NO... NO ...no I am not gone yet, I am very much possessive about my hubby and can't afford to see him marrying someone else and lead a happy life. :PSo after few days i opened my eyes slowly,Could... Read More


life, haply.

Life, haply (trigger warning: mention of abuse)“Sudha was only 3”, then she said. Continuing she added, “it was afternoon and everyone burped, and slept in their comfortable clothes, while the women of the home had no option but to do work.   that is us, we had to do the utensils. or expect abuse in domestic or emotional forms. The little bandicoot kept calling me ‘aai majhyasi khelaa na aai’ (mom! Play with me no, mom!). She pleaded and cried. For hours and, I, ignored ... Read More


THE BLUNT THORN

            THE BLUNT THORN On a cool November evening, Jyotsna sat on a Sankheda swing knitting a sweater for her grandson. She heard the gate open and eager footsteps approaching her. Her daughter Pratima gently tapped on her shoulder. “Oh! I thought it was Pratik! Good you came now. Both of you could have tea together and fight over wafers like you did in childhood,” remarked the old lady. Sitting in the verandah of the lovely bungalow that Pratik had built, Pratima was eff... Read More


We All Love Our Mothers And Those Of Others

Tavernello was a wine produced by a co-operative of partner wineries in Italy. It was well known for its low price and low alcohol content, as well as, being the only wine sold in tetra packs. The drink had made its way to Spain via land and cultural routes. The many immigrants, now settled in the main cities such as Barcelona, followed it.   Claire had moved to Barcelona and been drinking it since a decade. Although, the word drinking did not exactly match the daily action of floodin... Read More


Becoming herself.

With her nose tip red, anyone could tell she was very upset at that moment. Outside the window, orange blooms on the ‘Gulmohar’ smoldered. Fighting against her discomfiture she came out on the terrace. The city was spread out in a beauteous panorama before her.Padma pressed a few buttons on the Galaxy Note. The friendly app. ‘CONFIDANTE’ popped into service.App - Hello friend! Padma clicks- Salman’s lost. No Facebook, SMS, or e-mail in those days. The price my generation has ... Read More


DESCALING WITH THE POWER OF WOMANHOOD

DESCALING WITH THE POWER OF WOMANHOOD… "We are most alive when we are in love" John Updike. To uplift, untie and up bring a sprightly world has become commendable task in the present era. A single word or a simple smile can erase many fatal moments! I was puzzled when my dermatologist diagnosed the silver scales scintillating on my scalp. Though it sounds alliterative it altered my life for good. The clouds of labyrinths began to unfurl for me as I began my medication and realized that my... Read More


The Wind Will Tell Her Story

Nirmala was a girl who used to live in a small village of Odisha. She was from a noble family. Her father was a primary school teacher in Kolkata. But soon because of his mother's interference, he became unemployed (cases of a human killing bear). Nirmala's mother was a housewife and illiterate. She was the only child of her parents. Having an unemployed teacher, as a father in the home, brought nothing but only fear of being scolded or wrong. The girl grew up hating studying and her f... Read More


PLUS SIZE DREAMS

“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder” - Plato Body-shaming is a massive issue worldwide. If someone is underweight or overweight, he or she is a criminal. It is even worse if the person concerned is a girl. She becomes an object of ridicule & mockery, and the butt of the banter everywhere. Her parents too are influenced by family friends, relatives, and so-called well-wishers, and that is exactly when they start blaming her for being the way she is. Just as sex workers are look... Read More


She is Beautiful !!

It was a regular morning and I started off on my usual walk routine. I treaded across the thoroughfare and saw the concrete black beauty basking bare in the warm rays of the sun; as it was too early a sight to see, countless wheels with metal bodies, standing in irregular rows and columns, waiting to zoom past their contenders. A few metres ahead was the park, which looked like a walkers’ Paradise, where I regularly happen to see the same familiar yet unfamiliar faces, set on a walking spree f... Read More


Had I been a little kinder to myself in the past

If we get our feet dirty, no matter how many times during the course of a day, we jump at the given situations as such, and hurry to wash the dirt off them. When we starve out of hunger or feel languid because of the burning thirst, we nourish ourselves, as and all required in a complacent manner. If we can take care of our fundamental needs so well, we can definitely support our dreams and aspirations, notwithstanding the number of times, we have to start anew.Now, depression and anxiety have b... Read More


The Resonance Of Her Presence

                                        The Resonance Of Her  Presence  I see her everyday up and about quite early in the morning. When the light penetrated around and broke the chords of the darkness with dawn, I see her. Like a lightening strike in the fathomless storm, her will to nurture never faded. She is ... Read More


Next

“This one’s too broken now. It’s about time to go get a new one,” said Sai, the husband, taking a long drag at his cigarette. He waved the smoking hand at the figure that sat crumpled before him, not caring for the ash that fell on it. Babba, the father-in-law, grunted in agreement, not even bothering to move his eyes from the television where Mr. Aditya Ray, the sole person to whom Babba had given his trust, sat behind a shiny desk and read the news. These days Babba never spoke. The o... Read More


She is making way for a new generation!

“And the first prize goes to Rita Malik”. Rita adjusts her well starched and neatly ironed blue cotton saree and stands up to go to the stage. Suddenly she feels an arm pushing her shoulder down firmly. She tries with all her might to stand up again. But then when she looks up to see whose hand it was, her face turns an ashen grey. She feels her knees weaken. Suddenly all the energy had drained from her body. The face was of her husband Rajesh. Rita suddenly felt an urge to pass urine.... Read More


Rediscovering Self

                                                                           REDISCOVERING SELF                        As she crossed the threshold, the world opened its doors for her. The battle won, now she had to brave the world. The bright su... Read More


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