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A Narrow Escape

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My breath became laboured, my heartbeat increased, as I sat there under the bright light. Though my eyes were open I saw nothing in particular. My mouth was open, as if locked in a silent scream. My hands grabbed the blue arm-rests, my fingers taut, as droplets of sweat formed on my forehead.

“We have to get out of here”, my thoughts directed towards my numb tooth as I felt like scooting off from the claustrophobic chair.

Alas! I was but, a mere pawn under the mask-covered thug who peered into my oral cavity.

——

I wouldn’t like to admit it, but I had myself brought on these nightmares, thanks to my very sweet tooth, which now was the subject of attention of the dental archeologist.

Though I like to take life’s challenges on the chin and meet them with a smile on my face, here I was with a numb mouth, a jab of a needle inside the cavity paralysing the smile causing muscles.

As I lay there motionless, my head sometimes twitching with agony, the mad dentist drilling and filing away at the root, I wondered at the variety of life conjured up by the Ultimate Maker.

Here was I, the epitome of manliness (or so I liked to believe), egoistic about my power and resilience but then here was a colony of tiny bacteria, which had decided to make a home inside one of my tooth, making my cry out in pain and fright in the middle of the night, just by touching some raw nerve.

Yes, it had all started one night, after a particularly wholesome meal followed by dessert, when I tossed and turned on the bed, to the exaggerated discomfort of the better half, with one palm on my cheek, trying to ease the pain.

The mad dentist, on my first visit to his den, explained to me that the foundation of a bacterial colony, was laid long back in my mouth, whenever I shied away from “swachch mukh Abhiyan”, known in common parlance as nighttime brushing.

Then with an evil grin he had said, “Let’s take a selfie!”. That was the time when I first doubted his mental condition.

He had then proceeded to push in a vile tasting plastic film into my mouth, in front of the culprit black sheep of my 32 pearls.

The selfie stick was manoeuvred near my cheek and a click indicated that the pic was taken. The film was developed and I saw the extent of the colony, slowly but surely advancing, with one bacterial foot inside the nerve doorway.

Then to enlighten me further, the dentist proceeded to frighten me with a set of a mobile chewing mechanism, with obnoxiously pink gums and pearly white teeth, to show me the extent of damage caused by the tiniest species.

——

To cut a long story short, I had a narrow escape along with the said tooth, though with a protective cap on its sheared off head.

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Fiction

First love – Last Part

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After a few days I got my slambook back, Unnati handed it back to me. I was pleasantly surprised by what was written within. A friendly tone on that page meant that she had accepted my friendship, but ****** (7 stars) in the ‘Person I love’ field, left me bamboozled. Happy and confused at the same time, I decided to leave the fate of our relationship to time.

College Time
Most of us decided to join the science stream after 10th. I had no idea where Sayli would take admission for 11th. “Sarang aale hote aaj college la.” (Sayli’s Dad visited today at Kankavli college is what my dad conveyed me). I thought she would join Kankavli College, but destiny had something else in store for us. As it turned out, she joined S.M. College, and I joined Kankavli college.

As our colleges were different, we were out of touch. One day Ali – our mutual friend, came up to me and said,” mere pass Sayli ka number h, chahiye kya?”. I didn’t know what to say, as it turned out I said no. Why? I don’t have an answer for that even now.

I used to talk with Sayli over Orkut. One day I gathered some courage and asked her number. She gave the number, and our conversations started. We talked a lot, and I guess that’s when we connected and got along well.

Graduation
Like most people, I joined engineering (looking back it was not meant for me), and she went for MBBS. Finally one day, I clearly expressed my feelings to her; awkward silence. We talked after that but she always avoided the answer, so I never forced the issue again.

One fine day I don’t know what happened, maybe love gods were by my side – she said ‘yes.’ I was on cloud nine.

Best Phase
Yes, this was the best phase of my life. We started hanging out (although ensuring that no one we knew saw us) but didn’t find enough time for each other as days went by. I was being loved by the person who understood and cared for me like no one else – what more could I have asked for.

When it all went Wrong
It had to go wrong somewhere because nothing is perfect. We were teenagers when we fell in love. The possessive nature of both led to uncalled for arguments. What followed was more dreadful – silences. Our relationship started going downhill, and we called it quits, as we knew it wasn’t working.

She remains Special
Although all things are not meant to be, you wish they were. Our relationship was one such thing I wish would have lasted for long. Today we are on good terms and wish nothing but best for one another. Last but not least – she will always remain special.

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Short stories

Papad Man

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The wife was well and truly disturbed since few days. She loves her kitchen kingdom but there was something which was making her agitated.

“Yatin, come to the kitchen” and I had to move myself away from the TV and run inside.

“Do you smell it?”

“What? The food?”, I asked in earnestness. “Umm…it smells beautiful!”

“Nooo…”

Thinking that it must be a new incense stick she has discovered, I exclaim, “These new incense sticks smell so beautiful”

“Yatin! I am not even burning the incense sticks. How can you smell them?”

Then she adds, “It’s a pungent smell. As if some lizard is rotting”

Once she says it, I smell it. “Yes, I can smell it. Ugh…”

“Oh, now you smell it? Now help me to search the source of the smell.”

I saw my couch potato time going for a toss.

But when the high command commands, you leave everything aside and do as she pleases.

The next 1 hour is spent in cleaning of all lower shelves in the kitchen bending over and doing the deed…but there is no dead lizard to be found.

So the next target is what else, but the higher shelves.

She opens one of the shelves and ughh…the smell consumes the kitchen space. We look for the departed lizard…but what’s this?

A small plastic bag is picked up by the wife and pushed in front of my nose…and I almost suffocate. So this is the source; but what does it contain?

“You bought these papads (a thin dried cake of dough, which can be of rice or other grains) a week back didn’t you? How did you not notice the smell when you bought it? You always want these papads but don’t know how to shop for them?”

I protest feebly that it was not smelling at the time of buying but to no avail.

“Now throw it in the dustbin. No wait. My dustbin will smell. Pack it in another plastic bag, go downstairs and throw it in the big dustbin outside”

Thus ended my desire for a few humble papads as I am now at the mercy of my wife to buy them whenever she wishes to indulge the taste buds of her Papad Man.

But I must say, I admire my wife’s swachchata Abhiyan inside the house where even our dustbin doesn’t smell.

Yatindra Tawde

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Literature

”She Unveiled The Writer In Me”

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She was the kind of girl who was usually quiet in large groups of people or around a lot of people. She always heard everyone but kept her response to bare minimum. But whenever she responded, she was articulate. And that was probably the reason why people valued her opinion too much.
She was the kind of girl who had been through so much in life that she knew pain in and out. She had learnt life, the hard way and she wore her pain beautifully. Although she never showed this to anyone but somehow I could read this through her eyes. Her soul resided in them and it clearly reflected the fighter she had been.
And I always knew that she was beyond repair.
I knew that she’d always be slightly off centred, slightly moody and the demons of her past will keep dwelling on her present at times.
She was difficult, I knew but then she was so real in this world full of mannequins that I found her irresistible.
So, I never tried to mend her. Instead, I started reading her, learning her…loving her.
I saw her sing her broken song and dance wildly to it. I saw her sipping her favourite whisky and sleeping to it. I saw her reading her favourite book and falling in love with the writer all over again.
I spent every day trying to understand her. Trying to feel her. Trying to breathe her.
And it took me a long time to realize that I will never be able to understand her entirely because she herself wasn’t sure who she was. She was evolving with emotions every day in my life.
So, I did exactly what was needed for me to learn love. I never thought of repairing her and instead started relishing the art she was. I walked with her without judgements, without questions…but with only a heart that belonged to her.
And that’s what unveiled the writer in me. Coz you know, I decided that I’d rather be ripped apart from her, than rip a part from her.
Such was my love!

She Unveiled The Writer In Me

By – Prathamesh Lohar

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