A longing to return…

sunset by njsays

there is a longing
to turn homeward,
like a bird in flight,
once the day ends;
even if that day
feels like a decade.

to mend the rifts
born with the day,
with our absence;
to sustain smiles
we shared before;
to speak of love,
even if it comes
with that stutter.

there is language
even in the silence
which baffles us;
one which we cart
with our travels,
and one only few
can understand.


there is a longing,
to turn homeward,
like a bird in flight;
toward the nest
where we grew up,
speaking, hearing
that old language;
where even now,
in our starry night,
they understand,
yet still pretend
that they do not.

This fiction post has been inspired by a photograph taken by a friend Nirmal Jayaraj, the wordle given at The Sunday Whirl #175, by the image given at Magpie Tales #234. The image at Magpie Tales is Starry Night, by Alex Ruiz. Also sharing the poem with The Imaginary Garden and The Poetry Pantry.

(25th August 2014)


The Third Stair

There had been a crack on the third stair from the top, for as far back as Kyle could remember. It would creak under his weight as he went upstairs or came downstairs from his bedroom, which was in the attic. His bed surrounded by memories, his and others’. But what intrigued him most was the third stair. …

Hey folks! I’ve been invited to be a guest at an amazing blog, where one of my best friends, Bhavya, writes her wonderful stories. I’ve written a story for her bloggy, and you can visit Ishithaa to read the rest of it. Hope you enjoy!

(21st August 2014)


The Fear



Tick tock, tick tock… the echo of the grandfather clock resounds in my ears. The room around me is dark, and quiet. So quiet I can hear the footsteps of a lizard on the wall behind me. On the bedside table, there is the last tablet. But I don’t need it now. Not for a few hours at least. I’ve adjusted; adjusted to the silence, adjusted to being alone with the morose stranger I see in the mirror. His bloodshot eyes stare into mine, the ones I am sure are brown and twinkling. They smiled, that’s what mom used to say.


A shudder shoots up my spine. I hear more footsteps, bigger ones. They hurry past the room, to the source of the drip. Silence once again blankets me. The creak of the door tells me the caretaker is there, peering into the darkness. But he’ll not come inside. He’s afraid. They all are. He just wants to see if I’m agitated by the drop. I don’t think he can tell from there that I am. He’s new. His information on my background is sparse. The door creaks again as he shuts it.


I want to scream. But I can’t. Did I forget to tell you? There’s a gag on my mouth. I can feel the beads of sweat as the drip into the corners of my mouth. I try frantically to reach the knot at the nape of my neck, but I can’t. My wrists are tied in front of me, and my ankles tied together. I crawl into a fetal position and wait. The door creaks open again, and my step-dad is there. He just wants to see my agitation. Perhaps, his crooked lips have bent into a sick smile. I don’t know what mom saw in him, to make him my step-father. Perhaps it was his money. We were poor, and struggling to meet ends. She was beautiful, and he fell in love with her. I was just the third wheel. One he wanted to remove, and tried to, sending me off to boarding school. Except the time we went on vacation, for a cruise on The Lantern. Mom and I were united then.


Every time I close my eyes, I see her. I want to ask her why she chose him. She’s on the deck, lounging in a chair, wearing her favorite white bikini. She wants a tan before we return home after our cruise. The Lantern is not very big, but it’s ours. She looks at me, and smiles. She reaches beside her for the book, and asks me to read to her. She likes when I do that. I have a flair for the dramatic, she says. On either side of us, two men stand in uniform; black, with their names on them. There are others like them around the yacht.

Mom asks me to sit next to her. She takes me into her arms, and holds me tight. “Wish I could never let go of you,” she says. There’s a blast, a loud one. Mom puts her hands on my ears, but there’s no sound, other than that of feet, as the passengers run helter-skelter. A plume of smoke rises from the level below. Mom pushes me to my feet, toward the railing. There’s another blast. Impulsively, I throw myself overboard, landing hard into the shaken waters around us. But she doesn’t. In the moment, I forgot. She can’t swim. She stands there, staring at me, me staring back. She has given up, I can tell.

I call to her, tell her to jump, that I’ll hold on to her. But she doesn’t hear. I can see the fear in her eyes.

“Die drowning, or die in a blaze?” that is all she’s thinking.

I hear a motorboat start on the other side. It comes toward me. He pulls me aboard.

“We’re saved!” I shout, looking at mom.

But the motorboat just speeds away from the yacht.

“No. Don’t. Take her too. Please,” I plead with him. But he doesn’t listen. I hear the third blast. I turn to see the flames where mom had stood just a moment ago. I jump out of the boat. But my limbs fail me. By then it is too late. Only the cold waters of the sea crowd around me. My mouth is open in a silent scream, unable to believe what my eyes have seen.

Every time I close my eyes, I open them, screaming. I remember the aftermath. Was it an attempted murder against one of the most influential people in the country, my step-dad? No one could tell. There were no witnesses. I wanted to shout out loud, that it was my step-dad who was behind it all. But the cops were on his payroll. They wrote me off as insane from PTSD. I became afraid… of him, of the open water that had swallowed me as I watched the burning Lantern, and slowly afraid, of water.

Every day, there’s a pill on my bedside table. One day, it makes me sleep. Sleep with the memories, relive them over and over till the pill wears off, and I wake up screaming into the gag. Another day, it keeps me awake. Awake with the fear, shivering each time I hear a drop, one that he makes sure happens. He kills me by keeping me alive, making sure I am too afraid to talk if any investigators not on his payroll arrive on his doorstep asking for co-operation.

But the pill tonight is different. It looks different. The door creaks open, and he stands there.

“This pill makes it all go away,” he tells me.

I eye it eagerly, and he watches me for a while. He then keeps the glass next to it.

“But you need to have it with water.”

I curl up again, turn away at the sight. The door creaks as he walks out and shuts it.

Only the silence remains; silence, and his laughter.

This fiction post has been inspired by three words given at the Three Word Wednesday meme, and also by the image given at Magpie Tales this week. The three words at 3WW are Morose, Sparse and Impulsively. The credits for the image at Magpie Tales belongs to R.A.D Stainforth; the photograph is of the Yell Sound, Shetland, and it was taken in 2014.

(20th August 2014)


What can I say about dreams?

“Friends are hard to find. In a lifetime, you get only a few. And when you find them, you always know them by sight and heart alone. You always grow a little bit taller in your soul; and you know you have been blessed just to know them.” — Ashley Rice
I’m lucky enough to have got a few, and from that few, the gal who has kindly agreed to grace my little blog space today is one. :) It’s hardly been a few months since she and I have become friends. But time is not something that affects friendships, right? Even in kindergarten, we just said hello, and the next moment we’re friends. :P :D She and I became friends somewhat like that, which is interesting, since she has a son who’ll be going to kindergarten pretty soon. ;) Over the last few months, I’ve come to know her as a fierce friend, a strong writer and a wonderful mother. She’s silly, and makes some highly impossible typos sometimes, but she corrects them with patience. She’s always ready to learn things, even if she has to take a dictionary to check but one word. For some of her friends, she’s even a fairy godmother whose cooking is divine. And am glad to have her here today at I Rhyme Without Reason. She is Jaibala Rao, who blogs at My School of Thought.


What can I say about dreams?
I dreamed of hope,
Deep within
I found it

What can I say about dreams?
I dreamed of freedom,
To be as free as free could be,
To find, I was shackling me.

What can I say about dreams?
I dreamed of love,
Amongst my friends I was
Unconditional affection I found.

What can I say about dreams?
I dreamed of trust,
And looking in his little big eyes,
I can see I am his world.

What can I say about dreams?
I dreamed of being known,
In my words, in these lines,
My identity I find

What can I say about dreams?
They keep me going,
They keep me strong,
I would be nothing without my dreams.

It’s not easy to write for someone you think to be your inspiration. So, right now I am wondering if I’m even qualified to do this. But then, when one of the people you look up to and admire asks you to write for him, well it is a huge compliment actually. Among the best ones you can get. So here I am writing a post for Vins, one of my closest friends and my tormentor forever; feeling all special that he asked me to today.

(18th August 2014)

A fear to change!

With my birthday on the cards, I’ve been thinking of something to change this year. I’ve had resolutions put in place, some of which are going well, and some, not so well. This year, as in the one starting from my birthday, one of my goals is to get a story of mine published. My friends have been pretty encouraging on that front since quite a while now. Thinking on that, I thought why not change my pen-name to something different. My old readers (hoping some of them still do read me) would be smiling reading this, because I’ve tried once before to change my pen-name, or blog-name only to revert back after a while. Hopefully this time it’ll stick, because I’m not completely changing it either. I’ve also asked a couple of friends to keep me from panicking, and returning to just “Leo”. Anyways, enough of my blabber. The first post (after this one) in the new “era” is a guest post from my friend Jaibala Rao. That’s coming up tomorrow. Till then, leaving you with a poem.
— Vinay Leo R.


sometimes I am,
afraid of change;
to leave a path,
feels very strange.

but I must now,
stray away today;
from this path,
that I’ve taken
to have my say.

I have before,
then looked back,
and returned;
but I try again,
to keep this path,
that I’ve turned.

a bit afraid,
but I can’t help
think of before;
though I wait,
more eagerly for
what lies in store.

(17th August 2014)


The Review Meeting

This fiction post has been inspired by Open-to-All Prompt given at the Project 365 blog this week.



The coffee was getting cold. But Meera didn’t notice it. 

Her eyes were on the conference room. Through the glass walls, she could see the clients sitting around the horseshoe table for the review meeting. She only knew they were from abroad. They wore suits and had a tie on, even in the sultry early May weather that Bangalore usually had.

She saw Aman near the projector screen, his hands pointing at the pie-charts and statistics, the text data that described the progress of the project to-date, and what they would be doing in the next phase.

She wished she had the guts to stand up and talk like that in front of a crowd, but she was nervous. She always had been.

She sighed.


Aman sat down as a smattering of applause broke out. The clients began to discuss something in a foreign language.

Through the glass walls, he could see his team. They had worked hard on this project, and the pressure was on him to keep the clients informed and satisfied. The applause meant he had done that. He loosened his tie, cursing the clients silently for making him wear a suit instead of his usual tee and jeans.

He saw Meera looking eagerly at the conference room, breaking eye contact once she saw him. She had immersed herself in her work again. She was his right hand woman, having the talent to do a lot of things. She had even done the presentation he had just given, and for which applause had rung out. She was soft-spoken, and hard working.

He wished he could be like her, do his work and not be called upon to give presentations. He would be able to concentrate better without that extra pressure. He sighed.

His coffee was getting cold, but he hardly noticed.

(16th August 2014)

Sign PNG Image

The Battle

This fiction post has been inspired by three words given at the Three Word Wednesday meme this week. The three words are Mercenary, Eradicate and Squeamish.



Vishal stood, waiting patiently.

He was the lone ranger, the last of his team still standing. But he wouldn’t quit.

He had only one goal. Eradicate the enemy.

And he had. Five of them had gone down; like a mercenary killing.

He shot with deadly accuracy as the last one came into sight.

And it was done.

He, the one who was squeamish about violence, had taken down all six of the rival group.

A roar sounded around him, and his team surrounded him.

As he was lifted up in celebration, he raised his joystick.

The screen flashed, “Game over!”

(14th August 2014)

Sign PNG Image

I live in words…