Fiction · Little stories

Arsee’s little stories 69

Paula was an eagle. She was revered all along the coast of the North Sea. She could fly the highest and hunt the best. She was an example for the other eagles. Yet, on that day as she watched the sun set behind the cliff, perched on the highest tree with her friend Greta, she was sad. Greta was her shoulder to cry on and that day she needed a shoulder.

“All my other fledglings have flown the nest but little Sam just refuses to fly,” she confided in Greta. “It worries me, makes me wonder if I have given birth to a weak eagle that won’t do anything in life,” she said with remorse.

“Oh no Paula! That will never happen. You are the best eagle and Sam is your son. Have faith in yourself, in your upbringing!” Greta’s words were filled with hope but did little to lift Paula’s spirits.

Later that evening, after supper, she found Sam at the edge of the nest, looking at the depth below, petrified. He wanted to fly but just couldn’t. In that moment Paula heard Greta’s words in her head and before Sam could step back from the edge she dashed to him and pushed over with her beak.

Sam screamed, shocked, falling to the ground. Paula watched with an equal  amount of fear, her boy plummeted towards the ground, faster and faster. She braced herself for the inevitable. But suddenly Sam flapped his wings and he began to fly. Flapping harder and flying higher. Sam gave a happy shriek and flew across the rising moon. Paula saw the soaring silhouette of her son and sighed happily

On her perch with Greta, the next day, Paula shared her story. “Ah I told you, trust yourself and your upbringing,” Greta reminded.

Paula smiled, “You know what did it? Not the faith in myself but the faith I had in my son. I understood yesterday that sometimes our children don’t succeed because we don’t give them the permission to fail.”


Fiction · Little stories

Arsee’s little stories 68

“I am petrified. I cannot sleep. I have no money to buy a new house and I have no means to rent one either. I am stuck in this apartment. My husband is away, he is in the navy. I am really really scared!” The priest could see that the young lady was shivering with fright as she spoke.“Please go on…,” Father Angelo said gently with a smile of reassurance.

“It was a week ago when it first happened. I got home late, it was way past midnight when I went to bed. At first I thought it was my window creaking but when it came again I was sure. There was a knocking from under my bed. Like someone was underneath, calling my attention. I sat up in bed. Too scared to move. Then it came again. Wild thoughts ran through my mind, robber, rapist, serial killer! I made a dash for the door, threw it open and grabbed the kitchen knife. Ready for any onslaught. None came. As dawn broke I checked under the bed and there was nothing, no one!”

The young lady took a sip of water and plunged right back into her tale. “By the time night came again I had succeeded in blaming my imagination for the previous night’s occurrences. But I was wrong. A little past midnight the knock came again. I froze. Then after a few minutes it came again, distinct, calling my attention, beckoning me. I had to look underneath, there was no other way. I steeled myself and peeped down. There under my bed lay an old man with knotty white hair, big red eyes and a smile that had some teeth missing and his gums bleeding. He wore a crumpled suit and black shoes. He raised a gnarled finger at me and said, ‘come on Julia, play with me’. I sprang out of bed and hid myself in the study till the morning came.”

Father Angelo held Julia’s hand and spoke compassionately, “Do not worry. I shall be around this evening. I shall bless the house with the light of our Lord and all shall be well.”

Later that evening she received a call from the Diocese. Father Angelo had taken ill all of a sudden and would not be able to visit her. She hung up, frightened all over again and then she heard a low raspy laugh. On the mirror behind her, written in blood were the words, “Father Angelo did not want us to play…


Fiction · Little stories

Arsee’s little stories 67

“This is a dream, I know I dreaming!” He shouted. The room was a dull green with black leather couches. The flickering neon of the cheap hotel across the street lit the room in spurts of red.

“This is the reality! You are mistaken!” The professor was trying hard to convince him.

“We are a group of rebels that need to tell the world that the dream is the reality and the reality is the dream,” he said forcefully. “For too long the world has been fooled. You need to remember! Remember!!” The professor screamed louder to make his point.

“Who are these people and why would they want us to believe that the reality is a dream?” He was trying his best to understand. The professor took a deep breath, exasperated, “This is a place where we cannot do anything wrong. Its heavily secured so we act out what we cannot do here, on the other side. If we want to murder here, we murder there. If we want to rape here, we rape there and then we suffer here and there. It is designed by the keepers to stop us from thinking anything wrong here. In other words, this is real life and that is a prison where we suffer the correction. Do you understand?” The professor looked at him, his eyes filled with hope and then a loud sound shattered the scene.

The Editor of the leading newspaper of the country woke up with the sound of the shrieking alarm. His heart thumping against his chest and sweat trickling down his brow. It was just a dream he told himself, just a bloody dream!

As he walked into his office later that day he found some pictures on his desk and a reporter burst in to inform him that they were from a shootout in Frankfurt, Germany.

The very first picture showed a dull green room with black leather couches lit by the red neon light that streamed through a window. A man lay dead on the floor, “Professor Kaufmann, the lead scientist on a sleep disorder project,” informed the reporter.

The Editor stood frozen behind his desk. The only way to find out more was to sleep.



Arsee’s tales 66

“There was a time when people used to line up for your advice, i don’t see anyone now?” she asked her teacher.

“When i gave advice i wasn’t wise. When i turned wise, i stopped giving advice.” the teacher answered with a grin.

“Can you please elaborate?” she knew something astute was coming her way.

The teacher shook his head, “When i grew wise i realized, people ask for advice but never follow it. In the end people do what they want. The only advice they follow is a teacher called experience. Experience is the biggest and only teacher.

– Arsee.


Arsee’s tales 65

“How can you not believe in God?” wondered the religious man.

“Of course i believe in God. Just not a God of any religion, but that one true God.” said the spiritual man.

“That’s rubbish! Without religion you can never reach God. And do you want to know what is the biggest difference between religion and spirituality?” asked the religious man boastfully.

“I know what it is!” answered the spiritual man.

“What?” the religious man smirked.

“A spiritual man has never killed another human being in the name of his God.” and with that the spiritual man rested his case.

– Arsee.


Arsee’s tales 64

He did all he could but like a thousand others, his father succumbed to the Covid.

“It is an unknown enemy, what can you do?” his friend said consoling him.

“The Covid i can forgive, some humans i cannot.” he said matter-of-factly.

“Humans?” his friend asked confused.

He nodded, “I was desperate to take my father to the hospital, this ambulance driver charged me ten thousand rupees for just two kilometres. I was helpless. I paid, but i realized that the real virus is people like these who profit from human suffering. Unfortunately there is never going to be a vaccine for them.”

– Arsee.


Arsee’s tales 63

He woke up groggy; alcohol at the party. And she was there, his ex, but he felt nothing for her, just an indifference.

And sure enough there was a message from her, “Hi, was nice seeing you yesterday. I saw no hate in your eyes for me after what happened. It should have felt good but it hurt me deeply. I realized that i wanted you to hate me because then i would have meant something to you. You made me realize the opposite of love is indifference. Hate is also holding the person close to your heart.”

It brought tears to his eyes.

– Arsee.


Arsee’s tales 62

“Are you scared of ghosts?” she asked him.

“I am more scared of the living dead.” he answered promptly.

“The living dead?” she probed further.

“Have you heard the news of people killing animals for fun? Crackers in a fruit that killed an elephant? Dogs strung by a rope and dragged around? The ones who do this are the living dead. They have no feeling. Now tell me what is more scary, a soul without a body or a body without a soul?”

She stared at him speechless.

– Arsee.


Arsee’s tales 61

“It’s easy for you bro!” his friend said to him over a drink.

“What do you mean?” he countered.

“You are successful, i am not. I have to prove myself!” the friend explained, deeply melancholic.

He took a sip of his scotch and then lovingly said, “You know, this proving thing does not end. First you prove yourself so that the world takes notice of you, then you have to prove yourself everyday so that they don’t stop noticing. Believe me, the fight to attain will pale in front of the fight to retain!”

– Arsee.


Arsee’s tales 60

The moderator told the students, “We have time for only one more question. Our guest needs to leave.”

A girl in the back row raised her hand and was handed the microphone, “Sir, you are one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time. What would be your parting message?”

The guest smiled and said, “I will tell you a secret, i never believed in destiny. Life is all about choices. Chose wisely. The future is nothing but a consequences of your decisions.”

– Arsee.


Arsee’s tales 59

The old Sufi lay on his bed, slowly dying, and yet through all his pain he could see her pain.

“What troubles your mind?” he asked her.

She sighed and said, “You had forseen that i would find my soul mate but so many years later, nothing.”

The Sufi had a raspy laugh, “You are not looking” he said.

“Of course i am, everywhere!” she responded indignantly.

The Sufi shook his head, “To look for the soul mate, you have to look with your soul. All around me i only see bodies looking for bodies.”

– Arsee.


Arsee’s tales 58

“Why have you stopped meditating?” the master asked his disciple.

“Cause it did not help.” the disciple replied.

The master was appalled, “Did not help?”

The disciple nodded, “I figured that meditation, intoxication, entertainment, these are all ways to escape this life. The answers to the problems of this life are in this life. There is no escape.”

The master found himself unable to respond.

– Arsee.