Revisiting London 1952

In this upside down, inside out and the other way round world, truth is often stranger than fiction.  In the Great Smog of 1952, the city of London was brought to a standstill by a dense blanket of toxic smog that reduced visibility to a few feet. A re-occurrence in 2017 …….

Prompt  ….

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Patient numbers have more than tripled at Patel-Chest Institute since the smallest and poisonous particles in air increased to 27 times higher than recommended. Similar conditions prevail in many parts of North India.

The long term effects (CVDs/cancers, etc) will be noticed many years later – doctors predict. Statistical projections indicate a general shortening of life by several days to several weeks if these conditions continue for 10 days.

With the elections in many states round the corner the government is under extreme pressure to improve the environment.

Fire trucks and water cannons are being used to eliminate toxic-dust from air.

Words ~ 100

Thanks for the prompt Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. SHALOM.



After the conquest

Prompt  ….

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll
The ancient ghost fled the burning warehouse. Fire is truly unbiased and devours all without bias. It watched the fire rage as the fire-tenders fought to control it.
The fire could not have occurred in my times – he thought. We had curfew then.
The bastard ruled that all light and fires were to be put off (or covered) with the ring of the church-bell just after sunset. It helped prevent fire accidents and kept the people away from mischief. Also, the   Normans felt safe amidst all the Saxons.
Alas If I did not have such a lust for revenge.
Words ~ 99

Thanks for the prompt Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. SHALOM.


Philosophy of Art

Prompt  ….

Thank you Mark for the photo prompt

A professor of world history invited questions from students after delivering a lecture about prehistoric-art found in ancient caves.

A Student – Why are humans depicted as stick figures?  Is it because of lack of drawing skills?

Professor – The ancients had the same brain and artistic powers as we have. However, they were free of the cultural-context that restricts our artistic expression.

They were drawing what they saw around them. Thus, we chiefly find animals and tree as murals. The humans are often represented by hand stencils.

Student – But why the stick figures?

Professor – You presume they are human because of the comics. These denote commonality between a tree and human. The head is the apical bower of leaves, the hands denote the branches of a tree and the legs represent the roots of a tree. This is the realization that trees are also live and essential for other live beings.

Student –   ———–

Professor – You may simply understand it as the earliest philosophical expression of humans.

Words  ~ 168

Thank you Priceless Joy


An inside tale

Prompt  ….

PHOTO PROMPT © Marie Gail Stratford
 A film studio in Bombay


A mob shoot is in progress. Suddenly a lady (a daily wager, extra) in the mob falls down in a disheveled state.


Another film is being shot and the same lady is playing the female lead role.


The director was attracted to her as he watched the rough cuts. He noticed that she was wearing a bloomie’s that had been recently introduced. He investigated and found that she had been learning performing arts at Julliard’s but had to come back.

She played lead role in many hit Hindi-films of 1980s. She is …..

Words ~ 100
PS – In 1973, the store wanted to stamp the Bloomingdale’s name on panties to launch an intimate apparel promotion; they chose the company nickname as a nod to the young, trendy crowd, and the “Bloomie’s” logo was born.

Thanks for the prompt Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. SHALOM.


Plan 2184

Prompt  ….

Thank you Enisa for the photo prompt

2137 – 2174 were the bleakest years for global manufacturing. All mining activities were stopped officially in 2137 and the first lot of metals mined in space arrived on Earth in 2174. The recycling industry grew by leap and bounds during this period.

In middle years of this century, the North Star group developed a highly controversial technology. It had diverse and multiple functions. It was used for communication, motivation of workers, industrial kinetics, security, etc. The group continued its R & D in this area.

The visionary owners hoped to control the Earth and its colonies by this technology. The iconic tower at the city center with dragons sculpted from recycled metal at the top was a pilot model of psionic machine that was central to their future plan. They called it the Hieronymus machine-2184.

Words  ~ 135

Thank you Priceless Joy


Sim sim

Prompt  ….
PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Ann Hall

The Gods toss a coin each time a new one is born in the family of Nabobs-of-Tanakpur. Heads – the madness-gene is omitted (a more virulent version of Elizabeth Kolbert’s* madness-gene). The coin flipped tales when Nabob Ameeruddin ( Full name >30 words) was born.

The Nabob was offered an extremely high price for his collection of vases but he refused. The irked agent asked him the price at which he would sell.

5m US$ each!

What is so special about them?

They are full of gold mohurs. These vases belong to the original cache of Ali Baba.

Words <100
*The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (chapter 12) by Elizabeth Kolbert.

Thanks for the prompt Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. SHALOM.



Maharishi Valmiki* (aka – Agni Sharma, Ratnakar) is believed to be the first Sanskrit poet and author of Sanskrit Ramayana comprising 24000 shlokas. It is dated about 500 – 100 BC. I have fictionalized his early life for this prompt.
Prompt  ….


Look at the ant-hill for some time and you may see a faint outline of the face of Agni Sharma. He was a reformed highway robber who infested these ancient woods once.

One day he attacked a sage passing through these woods and was impressed by the sage’s calm demeanor. On inquiry he told the sage that he robbed to feed his family. The sage asked him whether his family would apportion the karma of his sins. He sought the answer from his family and was stunned to know that none of them were ready to share it.

The sage advised him to chant the name of Rama as penance. However, the sinner could not pronounce Rama because of his misdeeds. The sage then asked him to chant ‘mara’ (~kill in hindi).

The robber sat in a meditative posture for years chanting mara, mara. The woods were infested with white-ants and they made an ant-hill (~Valmik in sanskrit) around the reformed robber.

Words  ~ 161
*Valmiki ~ Born of Valmik (anthill)
PS –  Finally, the sage returned and removed  the anthill; and also  bestowed him with divinity and called him Valmiki as he was reborn from the ant-hill. Besides   being the first Sanskrit poet and authoring the epic Ramayan he is also credited as the mentor and tutor of Lord Rama’s twin sons.


Thank you Priceless Joy