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Dr Diwakar Pokhriyal        
Longlist
       

The Clock by Abhilasha Francis

The mighty hands of the teller struck, hard.
Perceiving, he isn't waiting for none.
Running into a zone wild
I couldn't catch it,
With all the toil tried.
His hands move, so as my fortune.
Scheming, to happen next in my life,
In the coming time soon.
Tik Tok Tik tok in a language new,
Making my and brain block.
'The clock' is what everybody calls him,
being a stranger, yet deciding my destiny!

The Bag by Amrit Sinha Back to Top

Three officers of the bomb disposal squad walked towards the bag abandoned on the railway platform. They opened it and found some clothes and two soft toys inside.
Just then, a young guy of twenty arrived there, “Hey, that’s my bag.”
The officers signalled, and two uniformed policemen grabbed the guy’s wrists.
“So the bombs are in these teddy bears?”
“No. Those are for my sister. It’s her birthday.”
Ignoring his plea, the officers tore apart the toys, only to find cotton inside.
Meanwhile, in the nearby town, a little girl awaited her birthday gift – her favourite teddy bears.

 

Untitled by Bhupendra Kumar Dave Back to Top

The office of my boss was just next to my room. Seeing my door wide open, he entered and
asked, ‘Why you keep the door open? You should keep it closed like me.’
I said, ‘Once in my dream I saw two gates before me. The gate of hell was shut and heaven’s
open.’

She Knows by Kamalika Ray Back to Top

It is time, for ‘her’ share of bad times.
She understands each obstacle and accepts it, with as much dignity she has left inside.
Her family tells her to smile a lot. Her friends point out, the importance of keeping faith.
And the hope that something good must be waiting to happen, very soon.
They don’t know, that she knows. That the ‘good’ is already happening…
That She is growing... Like a phoenix, from the ashes, of her own
Drawing strength from the holy fire of her wedding.

Untitled by Debolina Coomar Back to Top

It was a peaceful, moonlit night. He waited for her at the beach with a bottle of wine and the ring. She came. She looked mesmerizing in her mustard coloured dress.

He poured the wine, and after a few sips, she started to pour her heart. She talked about how they met, their romantic memories, their funny moments. He smiled and listened to it all. Soon, she passed away in his arms, smiling. He kept the ring back in his pocket, and a drop of tear rolled down his cheeks. She thought he was just a friend, she loved someone else.

.

Silence by Divya Garg

Bewilderment everywhere as I entered. Never was silence as chaotic as it was today. Her painted nails, matched the color on her fingers. She was all wrapped in that sole color, strangely dripping from those once beautiful lips. High volume on the TV, closed doors and the scorching heat outside, must have made her oblivious to the knock on the door. After numerous futile attempts and the incessant banging on the main door, lastly I broke it down just to find out her lying in the pool of blood, completely unconscious of the atrocity she had committed, devouring our child, the one that was once perhaps as lonely as her.

 

The Bigger Picture by Dr. Diwakar Pokhriyal Back to Top


He looked at the sky, breathing yet all blank. His heart heavily pounding and eyes washed with memories. He knew his family will be broken at the news. He knew no-one could fill the void he is about to leave between his children and himself. After all he was just 35. Yet, there was calmness inside him. As if he has lived his desires, as if he has lost a minor battle to win a major. In a few minutes, silence overpowered the atmosphere yet the smile subsisted. After a few days, the flag was all over his body.

 

Archives by Anila M Vivek Back to Top

Filmworld – 1990
Q: How did you get into acting?
A: Oh it was entirely by chance! God’s will… (I had no choice because my father owed a fortune to loan sharks.)

Filmworld – 1994
Q: Why have you been refusing offers recently?
A: I want to play characters that are vital to the story. (He doesn’t want a working wife…)

Filmworld – 1995
Q: Are you making a comeback?
A: I never went anywhere in the first place! (Men are b******s.)

The Times - 2025
Former actress dies in government-run shelter for the destitute.

 

Untitled by Nimi Arora Back to Top

In a world that calls for forever, the two of them had perfected the art of living in the moment.
Ignoring the lingering throbbing, the anxiety always waiting to surface, they would smile.
Much as she loved this newfound bliss of the last couple of months that had been missing from the decade long of togetherness, of the time before, she sometimes wondered if they should discuss more serious stuff.
The deadline by the doctor had certainly worked wonders.
She loved her limited time of happiness more. Crazy to feel thankful for a disease, “But who cares,” she thought smiling.

 

The Menhir by Mandeep Singh Back to Top

We had stopped at a café when I noticed some menhirs nearby and asked the café owner about them.

“They are put up in memory of the dead. It’s a local custom”, he replied.

Pointing to one, I asked, “Do you know who’s that is?”

“Oh, that.  He had come to our village many years ago, married a local girl. Even converted to our religion.”

After a pause, as if reflecting, added, “He was a good man.”

“But why is it separated from the rest?”

Taking a drag on his cigarette, he replied,
“But he was an outsider”.

Crossroads by Shloka Shankar Back to Top

I meander the many by-lanes in my mind, righting every wrong, second-guessing every pseudo-decision’s finality, exhaling at the count of five. It could be six or seven, too, but five has an alluring quality to it. Wholesome.  Just the right number on each hand. As I reach a crossroads, my body swells and rises to the steady rhythm of my breath, unassuming, clothed in possibilities. This thing I do, to dissect, and finally discard, every thought, catches me unawares. My conclusions build barricades every few hundred yards. Space. That’s all I seem to have these days.

Marked by Subhankar Biswas Back to Top


She stares at the mirror, looking at scars invisible to others.
Her face has healed, but she refuses to go out. The police had arrested him, but he is out on bail. His father is a minister.
"You should forgive him," her mother says. "His parents have come with a marriage proposal. They say he did it because he loves you."
She wants to scream: Did father mark you as his woman? Is that why you married him?
But she keeps quiet and stares at the mirror.
They can't see the scars because they think acid marks only the skin.

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