Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Storywheel: The Best of 2011

As the year draws to a close, here is The Best of 2011 from Storywheel. This list is in order of my preference, so the first one is what I like the most (Sorry, David Letterman. This is my blog and I get to do my lists, my way!).

This is top of the list of stories for 2011 and deals with guilt. One of my personal favorites. I have a fascination for train stations and this story opens with a railway station scene.

Unfinished Business:
This is a fictionalized account of true events from twenty years ago... the part about Hindi movies.

Madras Chronicles — Billa and Ranga:

Madras Chronicles — Summer of '79:
More nostalgia.

The Crush:
Pure fiction. I loved writing this story and coming up with a totally twisted ending.

Happy reading. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Random Acts

The train was not crowded for a Tuesday morning. Velachery station was next and a few minutes away. I was sitting on a seat near the door and noticed the commotion behind me. A man had fainted and the passengers clamoured to make him lie down.

I moved towards him.

He was about thirty-five years old, dressed in a T-shirt and jeans.

“Please! Make way... I am a doctor. Let me take a look at him!” I said.

I checked his pulse. He was still conscious, breathing irregularly and looking dazed. Small beads of sweat appeared on his forehead.

“Do you feel any pain in your chest?”

“No,” he nodded.

“Have you ever fainted before?”


“Did you eat this morning?”

“No,” he nodded again.

“Okay... Don't worry. This might just be a low sugar situation. Drink this...”

I handed him a bottle of Fanta I had with me.

“Your body needs sugar right now... You are very likely running low on blood sugar.”

The train was approaching the station. He sat up and had a few gulps of the Fanta. He seemed to feel better.

“Well... This is my stop. I will be getting down. Are you feeling better?”


“Get something to eat, alright?”

The train stopped. I joined the other passengers who got down at that station. I would have just taken a few steps when I heard him calling me.

“I didn't get to thank you...”

It was him.

“That's alright... I am glad I could help!”

“I am taking your advice and getting some breakfast. Would you care to join me, if you don't mind?”

“No, I have an appointment...”

I hesitated, looking at my watch. I still had forty minutes before my meeting with my insurance agent.

“On second thoughts... Let's go. There is a restaurant right outside the station,” I said.

The man appeared visibly pleased that I agreed.

We reached the restaurant. He ordered a masala dosa and I had coffee. We talked about each other. He told me that he was looking for a job and hadn't found one in the last two months.

The waiter brought the bill. I reached for my wallet and was shocked to discover that it was missing.

“Are you looking for this?”

He placed my wallet in front of me.

“I am sorry! I won't steal... ever again!”

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Crush

I glanced at my watch. Coach Singh was still answering a question from a reporter from The Sydney Morning Herald. The press conference should be over in a few more minutes. I looked around the room full of sports reporters covering the London Olympics. I stopped when my eyes met hers. She looked familiar. Who was she?

“We are quite confident that our champion boxer Sibi will win the Olympic gold. He is fully prepared and in excellent form. That is all we have time for today!” The coach turned to me and I nodded in agreement.

“That's a wrap folks!”

We got up. The cameras clicked incessantly as we left the conference room.

I ran into Anwar Mubarak, the Egyptian I was going to face tomorrow in the finals. He was in great form too and a formidable opponent. I waved to him and smiled when I noticed the woman from the press meeting walking towards me.

“Excuse me. Can I talk to you for a few seconds?”

I recognized her now.

“I am...”

“Shoba! Right?”

I couldn't contain my surprise.

“Yes! I am glad that you remember me.”

“It's been, what... ten years? Since we last met...”

She nodded.

“I live here in London. I am a reporter with The Guardian.”


“Oh! Believe me, I am not going to talk shop! I am just excited to see you after such a long time. Listen, do you have some time now? I would like to catch up with you.”

“Sure. I was heading back to my room and retire for the night. But, we can go to the bar and talk over a few drinks.”

“Great Sibi!”

I inhaled deeply. Here she was... the girl I had a crush on during high school. Beautiful as ever, maybe even more now than what I imagined her to be. The mild fragrance from her perfume hit my nostrils as she stood inches away from me. It brought back memories of how madly crazy I was about her back in the days.

We grabbed our drinks and settled down at a table at a relatively quiet corner of the bar. My phone rang. It was the coach.

“I am sorry. You'll have to excuse me. I have to take this call!”

I excused myself and stepped out to take the call. I returned a minute later.

“Sorry. Singh is super pumped about all this. I hope I win the Olympic Gold!”

“You didn't want to talk shop...” She reminded me.

“Yeah, sorry... Tell me about you. How have you been?”

“I am doing great. I've been in London the past couple of years...”


“No... Still looking for the right man.” She smiled.

“Oh, that's a shame...” I said sipping my drink and looking at her dark black eyes.

She was quiet. I felt that familiar feeling of butterflies in my stomach.

We talked for thirty minutes about everything except what I wanted to tell her. I couldn't muster the courage to tell her how much I loved her. We shook hands. She left.

I returned to my room. I closed the door behind me and banged my head lightly a couple of times and stood there cursing myself.

* * *

I stared at the Olympic Gold medal that was mine from yesterday's fight. I had knocked out Anwar in the third round to grab the gold. I couldn't believe it was being stripped away from me!

The morning newspapers lay in front of me. All of them carried the news about the doping scandal. They reported that high levels of the banned substance 4-hydroxytestosterone was found in my blood and urine samples taken before the fight.

The official letter from the Olympic Committee banning me from future fights lay on the table.

Coach Singh was furious.

“The damn bookies! They stoop to any level to influence the odds. That is why I called you yesterday after the press conference to warn you...”

I felt as if someone grabbed my heart inside my chest and crushed it into a million pieces when it dawned on me that the girl I loved from high school had spiked my drink.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Storywheel Turns Two

Dear Readers,
   Storywheel turns two today. I would like to thank all the regular readers for their support.

When I started posting my stories on Storywheel, I had taken on the goal of completing 100 short stories in one year. That goal is far from being complete. As of the second anniversary, I have written 47 stories. Still short of the half-way mark. Nothing captures this better than the last story that I posted titled Unfinished Business.

The last year has been quite eventful.
  • I wrote a total of 9 new stories. The pace has definitely slowed down. I am hopeful that I can pick up the pace and finish a few more before 2011 ends.
  • I did my first radio interview with Sanobar Sultana on Chennai Live, mostly about Storywheel.
  • In July 2011, I published the first 40 stories as Storywheel Collection ebooks on Kindle.
  • As of today, the Storywheel Blog's Facebook page has 184 fans/followers.
  • One of my most popular short stories (by traffic), Genome is being translated into Bulgarian by a reader! It also got a raving review on
  • I started a part fiction, part autobiography series titled Madras Chronicles
As always, thank you for your support. Spread the word.

Happy reading!


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