The Final Conquest

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Perched on my favorite rocking chair in the wooden porch of my small house, I was swaying back and forth. A backward stroke of the chair, and dark shadows engulfed my charcoal skin. The magic of physical laws brought it back to its initial position and sparkling sunshine made my face glisten. Darkness after light… Light after darkness…

I closed my eyes to relish my victory. Years of protests, neck-breaking efforts, and innumerable insults had borne fruit. We were free at last. Screens of every gadget I owned were live with a single news.

“The feminist movement has destroyed misogyny once and for all. The last group resisting the change surrendered yesterday night after a heated debate between the two leading parties ended unanimously in the favor of women.”

It was a bittersweet moment for me as a thousand disturbing images flashed across my eyes.

Beautiful feminine features made hideous by the pettiness of male ego. Uncountable pregnancies aborted forcefully and an even greater number of forced pregnancies. People tearing one girl’s scarf and forcing it on another. Glass ceiling, domestic abuse, honor killings, acid throwing, marital rape, sexist comments, and varying shades of sexual harassment. I had seen it all, experienced it all, and fought it all.

It was now a decade ago when one of my male colleagues had said it in defense of his gender but the low blow still stung me. We were having our usual lunch break discussions about the increased surfacing of rape case. He said, “If somebody has a key and they find a keyhole, they insert it in there. That is natural.”

I’d wanted to smack his deplorable face but I acted exactly how my gender did when angered and triggered; calmly but sarcastically. “That means if I find a bat somewhere, I can hit your balls real hard with it because you know it’d be very natural too,” was my tart retort.

Looking back at it, I was burning with anger at the audacity of that piece of sh** when a small crowd disturbed my solitude by blocking the sun. There were other lights though — flashes and cameras. “Ma’am we want to interview you.” Journalists! I thought.

“Go ahead!” I relented.

“Do you think men are your enemy?” asked a kind looking bespectacled man. His glasses were slipping down his nose after every other second.

“No!” I declared, “My biggest supporter throughout the movement had been a man. In fact, it was his brilliant idea that proved to be the stepping stone of our success.”

“Do you mind sharing that secret with us?” he asked visibly thrilled at the opportunity of asking me questions and even more so at getting prompt responses.

“I would love to,” I replied, “It’s not a secret, really. Do you know how the biggest reform came when men began supporting our cause and safeguarding our rights?” I saw him nodding vehemently, which was a dangerous risk, considering the condition of his horn-rimmed glasses.

“The man I am referring to had advised me to teach the womenfolk to raise feminist sons and that I believe did the trick. The opposing party called us whores and the poor men who stood for us were called impotent or gay. My great mentor used to say gays and impotent men are much better humans than these pathetic excuses of men who lack even basic decency I’d chop off my dick any day if it made me such an arrogant bastard.”

“You talk about your mentor a lot. Why didn’t you ever reveal his identity?” It was a different journalist this time.

“I didn’t want him to get hurt,” was my curt reply.

“Does him being a man bother you ever?” asked the guy with the slippery glasses. Good question, I thought. Something bothered me about my mentor but his gender was not it.

“No!” I replied, “Feminists believe in equality and not female Supremacy. We advocate humanity.”

They wanted to ask more questions, but I had had enough and thus excused myself. I retreated inside my home. I needed to talk to my mentor.

“Why am I a man?” He asked me.

“You know why,” I said evasively.

“No, I don’t,” he said, “Is it because the world wouldn’t listen to a woman?”

“No, not the world! The women wouldn’t have listened to another woman,” I admitted reluctantly.

“So you created a visage of a man who ‘helped’ you?” He said in a fake deep voice.

I nodded and said “The world had ingrained women to listen to men for so long. Therefore, I used our psychology to bring us some happiness. I could have saved them from men but how was I to protect them from themselves?” My eyes brimmed.

“It’s all right! You did great,” My reflection told me in a voice that was a distasteful mockery of Liam Neeson.

I smiled at it. No longer was he a figment of female imagination — a man who understood.

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Originally published on Medium

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Tell Me a Story

Helloooo peeps!

Do you remember a few days (actually weeks) ago, I promised on delivering a story every week? Yeah so after missing a week or two, yours truly is here for the simple purpose of telling you a story

Here is this week’s entry from my side:

The Chicken Piece 

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“Saab! This is the finest, the juiciest item, I have here,” the shop-keeper was advertising a product to a handsome gentleman.

I threw a shy glance in the said customer’s direction. With an immaculate garb, that must have taken him a few hours to assemble, the youth gave the airs of an elitist dandy. The scornful look, he had fixed on the carefully skinned poultry, only strengthened my apprehensions.

“Under normal conditions, I won’t be here, buying meat,” he was saying, “I have employees for such jobs.” What a snot! I thought.

“Today is a special occasion though so I will inspect the poultry myself, which judging by this lousy flesh you are offering me is not up to the mark,” he continued, “This has gone soft. I want it to be tender but firm.” Impossible expectations, I thought.

The butcher looked disappointed. He was hoping to get rid of that chicken today. It was not a fresh product, and he needed to sell it ASAP. Yet, that didn’t stop him from showing better stock to this young man. He couldn’t afford to lose a customer of his stature over a rancid hen.

The arrogant buyer selected the healthiest bird from the livestock that was cooped up inside various cages, which stood over one another.

He handed over his pick to the storekeeper and said, “I take this reluctantly. It is not up to my standard but then I am very hard to please!” He smiled. The effect it had on his features was singularly grotesque. Good looks, despite their legendary powers can’t cover the flaws originating from an unpleasant disposition, I thought.

Meanwhile, the chicken-seller sealed the fate of the fat hen with a swift yet powerful blow. Then he said, “Saab, don’t mind my asking but what is the important event?”

The abhorrent smile deepened as he answered, “A girl and her parents are coming to our place. You know, a marriage proposal. She might be the one although I doubt that very much. Standards!” He winked at the butcher, received his now neatly bagged meat, paid, and left in a hurry.

The shop-keeper pocketed the money greedily. He proceeded to hang the naked bird that nobody wanted on a wire. He had to display it; he was desperate!

I gazed after the fading figure of the self-indulgent buyer. I had played the role of the chicken in the society for too long. I knew, by experience that he will choose his wife, the way he had bought his meat. A woman or a chicken, at the end of the day, is nothing more than a piece of flesh!

Read what Midu has to say!

Let me know how do you like it in the comment section. =) 

 

Why So Serious?

“Hi, doctor!” Jaz greeted Dr. Domestica. A poker face stared at him as she lowered her veil.

Duzan Domestica, however, had been too long in this line of business to miss why this green-skinned, strange looking girl was there in his clinic. Despite her emotionless face and heavy makeup, her smile lines were more than visible. Fanning out at the corner of her eyes were several small wrinkles resembling a cat’s whiskers or a crow’s feet. Then there were the horrible concaves bracketing her thick lips, almost conquering her nasolabial region. Duzan focused hard on her left cheek but was not sure what to make of it. He reflected for a while. Then, “Smile,” he sighed and issued the one command that only he could give without risking his life.

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As if waiting to do so all her life, Jaz gave him the brightest of smiles he had ever received. It indicated that she was in her happy place and probably knew that it was the last time she would be there because her smile was a classic clichéd one. The one that came straight from the heart or could illuminate the darkest of the hours, you know the magical one!

Duzan shook his head in despair. It was there alright — deep enough to house a million of microscopic entities or a very tiny grain — depending on which you are more likely to carry. She had the cursed symbol that alone could have destroyed her forever. She had a dimple!

“Is it that bad?” asked Jaz. Her eyes were moist because there was a lot of smoke in the dingy clinic of the damned doctor. Duzan, however, misinterpreted it to be tears of sadness.

He took a step backward from her and barked, “Hold the waterworks, please. I hate emotions. I will fix this for you but you must never do it again.”

“Do what?” asked Jaz, “The S-word?”

“Smile, laugh, giggle, snicker… nothing!” he told her, “Or else…”

“You are giving me the last stage treatment, huh?”

“I have to,” he said, “orders are orders.”


A few hours later Jaz emerged from “Domestica Cosmetica.” She was the same woman who had entered the loathsome glass building with only one exception — her face was now completely devoid of any line.

With Zac gone, she did not have any reason to smile anymore. Zac would probably be under some kind of genetic experiment at the moment that the West is notorious for, she thought, meanwhile I am stuck in the pathetic East aka the rat hole where women can’t smile.

“Women do not smile like we do,” A man on a large screen which were very common throughout the country was saying, “Their smile is a weapon more lethal than the most dangerous bomb you and I could ever invent.”

“What b*******!” Jaz checked herself just in time. She was about to scoff.

“Therefore, we suggest that all the women should pay a visit to Domestica Cosmetica and be free from the wretched signs once and for all,” the screen man concluded with a smile.

“And become a ticking time bomb the moment they dare to stretch their lips only a centimeter wider from their natural position,” Jaz muttered to herself.

She was very upset now. She missed her childhood, where all the sci-fi villainy belonged to her imagination and her mother played the role of an evil person by imposing certain rules. This real-life nefariousness was taking a toll on her nerves.

“If it got really difficult,” she told herself, “I will just laugh my worries out.”


Originally published on Medium

Read more about the siblings:

Their childhood — The Midday Adventures of Zac and Jaz

What happened to Zac — SPPRIG Testing Laboratory

A Perfect Sphere—WringoInk

“Not another triangle”, her mother scowled. The old woman was trying hard to control her anger but was clearly failing at it.

“It tastes perfectly alright”, Zebo protested in a small voice.

“Perfectly?”, her mother’s tone was extremely sarcastic, “Don’t you dare defend this misshapen piece of bread in front of me.” She exhaled and added somewhat sadly, “Girl you are not going to get married easily.”

Zebo knew there was no point in arguing anymore. Her mother’s honey-brown eyes were flashing with anger. She glanced at the grandfather clock that stood in the kitchen. It was 1:30 P.M. Abba would be here any minute, she thought. She grabbed her dupatta, which was hanging on the knob of the kitchen door, and covered herself. She left for her room as Amma stood up from her favorite chair. She would make a new one for Abba, she thought, it would be a perfect sphere.

Zoobia Shahid was among the brightest students in her class. The 14-year-old had only recently learned that world was elliptical. Copernicus and Galileo had faced quite a handful of troubles before the perfectionists finally came to terms with the fact that their beloved earth was not a perfect circle. She didn’t know what kind of sacrifice she would have to make for her parents to appreciate her truly.

“The girl has exceptional talent with words”, her language teachers would tell her parents on every parent-teacher meeting at school. While her Abba looked proud about it, Amman would only frown.

“Let’s go talk to her Home Economics teacher”, she would tell him. Zebo dreaded that very moment since she knew that teacher Zulaikhan would tell her parents about all her mischiefs.

“She shouldn’t be called a girl”, Ms. Zulaikhan would start. Her Abba would look annoyed about it but her Amma would only nod her head in a gesture of understanding and sympathy.

“She is the perfect definition of the word disaster”, her teacher would resume the chiding, “She had cut herself more times while peeling vegetables in the class than politicians tell lies in their entire lifetimes. Recently, she reached new heights after she accidentally set fire to the tablecloth on which she was working. You have no idea what a nightmare it was!”

Her mother would add snippets of her sins too. “She broke a dozen eggs before coming here…”, “You should see what a mess her room is…” and “One day she was playing with her younger brother. This girl had the nerve of using the cover of my new hot pot as a shield while she pretended to safeguard some imaginary kingdom with the rolling pin…”

“Oh, I can totally imagine the horror”, her teacher would gasp in a dramatic way. After a while, they would get bored of talking about Zebo. Then one of them would comment on some fine stitch on the other’s dress and they would enter a fantasy world of their own.

“Women”, Zebo and her father would sigh simultaneously.

Then there was the Rishta parade. Zebo was 100% successful in crushing yet another dream of her mother. The girl had effectively been rejected by a dozen rishrawalas. She deserved bonus points for being rejected for different reasons every single time. Her most popular tactics included revealing to the guests that the amazingly delicious delicacies were not prepared by her as opposed to the claims made by her Amman, sitting improperly, laughing too loudly, and bragging that she could twist her left thumb into an abnormal position. Once she had even told the potential groom’s mother that she might be at the risk of developing breast cancer because of family history. Her Amman had only one breast.

“What’s in the other cup then”, the aunty had asked her jokingly. Zebo had looked at her mother who was glaring at her from the adjacent sofa. “Probably some weapon of mass destruction to destroy my existence”, she had replied.


“There is no way to domesticate this wildflower”, her mother would often say and smile. Apparently, she was wrong because her death did the trick. Her Amman’s other breast had cancerous cells too. However, they were incurable being at the last stage.

Zebo is now a mother of two. You would never find a sphere more perfect in the world than the Rotis she cooks.

Originally published on Medium

Category ‘Young Adult’, Story 2

Also like our Facebook page for other interesting tales by 5 different and extremely talented writers.

Her and the Cat

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Characters

LADY 1: A middle-aged woman with graying hair. She is corpulent and looks tired. She used to be a looker in her younger days. You could tell that by her twinkling, honey colored eyes. She is the wife of a decent and wealthy man. Yet, she never stops complaining.

LADY 2: An elderly widow with a small and thin figure. The Police had caught her husband smuggling money. They had taken him to the jail, but he committed suicide before being presented for a trial. He could not bear to see his reputation go to pieces. His widow became a snob afterwards. She denounces every person who dared to challenge the societal norms.

HER: A woman in her late thirties, she is not much to look at but has a cheerful demeanor. She is the spinster of the neighborhood. People are always criticizing her for her odd behavior because she is always happy. The society does not accept her. A unsuccessful person has no right to laugh without constraint.

THE CAT: A thin black cat


Scene I

Setting: Two women sitting in a lavishly decorated drawing room. The table in front of them is laden with delicious food items. The hostess is indifferent to the food. However, the other lady keeps helping herself, trying one item after the other. They are busy talking —

Lady 1: She keeps moving her fingers in her brown curls. She has a habit of batting her eyelashes after every sentence she speaks —

“So I was saying to dear husband last night we should change the entire designing of our house. I think it direly needs makeover. He never listens though. He is a miser if you ask me and yet I love him.”

She bats her eyelashes.

LADY 2 stuffs a pastry in her mouth and gulps it down with a cup of tea.

“Dear God! That is awful business. Does he not know one must keep up appearances?”

She shakes her head in disgust.

Lady 1“That is not his fault, you see. In fact, I only blame myself and my stars since nothing ever goes well with me.”

Lady 2“That must be the fruits of your elopement. You know what I say? Abide by the eternal rules of society and you will be fine.”

LADY 1 stares at her rude friend.

“Or else you might end up in the prison house, swinging with a rope, right?”

LADY 2 opens mouth to retort but stops as something outside the window catches her attention —

Lady 2“Forget our little quarrel. Look who is outside your window — so gay and bursting with optimism.”

LADY 1 glances in that direction. As she sees the spinster waving enthusiastically at her, she rolls her eyes and sighs. Reluctantly, she invites her.

LADY 2, facing the audience —

“I hate the guts of this unnaturally happy girl but I am glad she is invited. The sacrifices we have to make for the society!”

The spinster enters the room —

Her“Hello young ladies. You know I had been out on a stroll. What a lovely morning it is, isn’t it? You see I went hopping around the place, talked to some birds, enjoyed the wind as it played with my hair, and just loved the hell out of the delicious breakfast at Dennie’s. What did you two lovely girls do?”

Lady 1“Just talked a bit.”

Her“A bit? You two must have some gossip to tell, right? Come on share some with me.”

LADY 1, muttering —

“We are not a chatterbox like you.”

The Spinster looks hurt.

Lady 2“She means we were just discussing our problems and all. She wants to change the look of the entire house as it does not make her happy but her miser husband won’t allow. I say that is a blasphemy to not go by the current, which says this house needs renovation.”

Her“Oh but it is lovely just the way it is. You (she points a finger at LADY 1) just like being unhappy and you (points another finger at LADY 2) just want to please a society that does not approve of you either.”

This sudden outburst shocks the two ladies but the truth wounds them and they retort.

Lady 1“When are you getting married, dear? Don’t you think it is about time?”

Lady 2“You do know you shouldn’t be working like a horse all day long. It has made you less of a woman, you know.”

Lady 1“Now I see all the wrinkles peeking form under the layers of your makeup.”

HER: interrupting LADY 2, who was ready with her piece of razor sharp jargon —

“I am happy the way I am. Thank you very much; I don’t need a man to take care of me. I can decorate my own house as per my wishes without having to beg to a husband and I do not care one dime about the society’s opinion.”

Despite her heated words she has not betrayed a shade of anger. They were addressed rather calmly and that irritates the two ladies. She smiles at the pair of annoyed women kindly and exits.


Scene II

The spinster enters a house — her house. Every inch of the tattered building is covered with gloom and dirt. She leaves her basket of roses at the door of her bedroom. There is a mirror fixed on the side wall of the room and a black cat is sitting in the corner of the room.

HER: looking in the mirror —

“Hi, you hideous creature. How was your day? It’s time you take your medicines, you know the darkness is coming to engulf you.”

She opens a drawer of her bedside table and takes all the pills form the bottle. Gulp gulp gulp, the water sends each pill down her throat.

HER: Standing with some difficulty notices THE CAT —

“Why are you still here? Don’t you think I am ugly? Look at my wrinkles. Come on why don’t you hate me like the others.”

THE CAT: staring at the spinster —

Meow… (softly), Meow… (soothingly), Meow… (reassuringly)

Her“Come here. Lets lie down here on the floor, just the two of us — the outcasts!”

THE CAT obliges limping towards the woman, revealing that her left hind leg is missing. The two stay together hugging each other as they take a nap.

An hour later…

The CatMeow…

Attempting to wake her friend up but there is no response.

The CatMeow… Meow… Meow

With confusion and anger but there is no response.

The CatMeow… Meow… Meow

With frustration but there is no response.

The CatMeeeeeeooooooooowwwwwwwww!!!

Forlornly.

To Play or not to Play! Week 4, WRNGO—2017

  All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
—As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII

Hello everyone!

Here I am with this week’s report on our WRINGO challenge. Our 4th week was unfortunately a bit low on production—but only in terms of quantity. The quality, my dear friends, is as good as always.

It was because of some unforeseeable circumstances that two of our writers failed to produce their share of  writing but the other three had definitely attempted to make Shakespeare proud (that is a bit far-fetched, I know).

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William Shakespeare, while devising ways to kill off each of his remotely likeable character in a story

Shakespeare devising ways to kill off every single remotely likeable character of his story.

My continuous references to the Bard is not because the genre for this week was poetry! It was the second toughest thing in the world of literature—we had to write plays and that also in a word limit of 300 to 1000. Who makes such ridiculous rules, right? Ok we do!

Anyways here are the three plays that were submitted and it was definitely our first attempt at writing a play. I, for one, was scared out of my wits and had almost skipped this  round but then my love fro writing talked me into doing this experiment anyway. Go on, lovely people, read these to have some good time:

Play 1: A Planned Coincidence

When a South Asian decides to get married, he does not only require the consent of the girl but also her parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, neighbours?, and any stranger happening to be in vicinity. On the other hand are the problems faced by South Asian women—is it necessary that I marry the first person accepted by my family ? or is it necessary that I marry ?

These desi social problems are explored by the writers in this one short scene.

Play 2: Her and the Cat

When does a person just stop pretending to be happy? For how long can you fight a society that is not willing to accept you ? What happens when loneliness takes over?

Read this saddening story of a woman and her cat.

Play 3: Murder: A Thoughtless Guide To Taking Lives

A heavy satire on politics of the world. When chaos and motives mingle what are the results? This is a must read play with interesting characters such as Putin, Obama, Nawaz Sharif, Kiera Knightley, Imran Khan, Trump and some more.

Here is an excerpt from the play that will definitely catch your attention:

The Universe is a great establisher. It creates and enforces balance on its own. Our decisions here, the terrible ones we’ve made, the crazy ones we should have made, and the right ones we’ve avoided… out fear… uncertainty… or cowardice…have unbalanced the scales. They have taken their toll on time.

This is all from this week. For the next week, brace yourself for even more variety. We got a free space and each writer is free to follow their desires. I am excited already and I bet so are you. Why don’t you check out out previous work ?

If you are looking to read some great plays by other than Shakespeare then try these two that I simply adore—Pygmalion by G.B.Shaw and The Importance of being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

Also do not forget to check our amazing Facebook page.

Ciao till next week. Happy Reading!