Friday, July 19, 2013


Hello Friends,

If you ask me to pen down my five fave moments and choices I made last year, saying yes to reviewing Aniesha's debut book would definitely be on the list. Saying yes to it not just got me a pretty book to read but was the beginning of a friendship, a bond and a sisterhood which is very rare to find. We started chatting before I received her book and now after some odd 7-8 months, I can happily state that she is one of the most treasured friends I have. Her story's title aptly describes our story of friendship from being virtual friends to real life friends. She is our guest today and this is a story she had written for little kids. I hope you all like it as much I did.

This is what she has to say-

Magic! was written as an exercise for a creative writing workshop I had been a part of. The deal was my prompts were: scientist, library, cigarette and fantasy... I hope you guys like what I came up with! Enjoy. And thanks for letting me guest post on your blog, Swarnali!!!  


Fantasy is necessary ingredient in living; it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.
- Dr. Seuss

“Damn kids and their stupid world of make belief!” swore Tanmay Sarkar, pulling on his pair of socks and cramming his feet into his large leather shoes.

His feet hurt when he stood up. He could swear his shoes had shrunk an inch, since the last time he wore them. But he knew all too well that was impossible. He was, after all, a scientist and everything in his world revolved around reason and rationality. There was no way in the world that his shoes could’ve just shrunk of their own accord. He half-hopped, and half-winced his way out of his dingy bachelor apartment.

He had to go to the library immediately to get his hands on Descartes’ Principles of Philosophy. He woke up that morning from an inspired dream and he felt it in his bones, that Descartes could guide him to an answer. As he struggled his way to the library, his heart sank when he remembered he’d been banned from entering his beloved shrine as and when he pleased.

Tanmay still maintained that it wasn’t his fault, and things wouldn’t have gotten as much out of hand as it had, had the lady reading J.M. Barrie’s novel not provoked him. He couldn’t understand what joy the children sitting around the lady, reading aloud in the library, could derive from hearing about Peter Pan and his adventures in Neverland. After all, Tanmay reasoned, it was made up place. No such magical places could exist. And he knew Science could prove that. He’d told the lady so.

She had scowled at him, and gathering the children about her said, calmly, “Could you please keep your views to yourself, Mr. Sarkar? You’re disturbing the children.”

A small boy piped up, “Does that mean there’s no Santa Claus either?”

“Or the tooth fairy?” the girl sitting next to her asked, her eyes as round as saucers.

Tanmay laughed at their silly questions and said with scorn, “Of course there isn’t. Those are all made up stories to get children to bed on time.”

“That’s not true,” said another little boy. He was sitting on the lady’s lap, carefully looking at the illustrations in the book, “Some of it is true. There’s magic in this world.”

Tanmay threw back his head and laughed harder when he heard that. He’d meant to interrupt the children’s story telling session that day but on his way to check out a book, he’d overheard Peter Pan being read out. He’d snorted for the lady had been reading out the part about Tinker Bell, the fairy, helping Peter Pan.

He had never believed in fairies, and his rude snort had made the lady look up from the book. When she asked him what the matter was, he’d told her. In the process, the small children who’d believed every word they’d ever been read out began crying and wailing. The manager had to rush to the small reading circle, and pacify the children. When he realized it was one of Tanmay Sarkar’s tongue-in-cheek comments which made the children so restless, he became so furious, he banned Tanmay from coming to the library as when he pleased. He allotted Tanmay specific timings to come to checkout and return the books.

Now, Tanmay rushed in his too tight shoes, towards the library. He checked his watch and saw he only had ten more minutes of his precious library time. He wondered if he could bribe the security guard into letting him enter for just five minutes. Acting on the impulse, he went inside the first shop that came on his way and went straight to the tobacco counter. He couldn’t help but notice that there were several dolls and stuffed animals decorating the little shop. He wondered vaguely what purpose those could possibly serve a store which sold tobacco and chocolates.

He purchased a pack of cigarettes. The woman behind the billing counter seemed oddly familiar to him.

“Hi, I’ll take the pack of cigarettes, please,” he said, reaching into his pocket for his purse.

The woman raised an eyebrow at him and said, “Are you sure you want just a packet of cigarette?”

“Of course,” he replied, “What else would I possibly want?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” she hissed, “Maybe the chocolate bars in your other pocket?”

“I did not take any -” began Tanmay indignantly, reaching into his other pocket. He stopped abruptly, when he felt two chocolate bars in it. He pulled them out, completely bewildered. “How on earth did that happen?”

“I’m sure you have an answer for that, Mr. Scientist,” replied the lady, acidly.

It was then that Tanmay realized who the shop assistant was. She was the same lady he’d unwittingly picked a fight with, so many days ago in the library. Her sarcastic comment had jolted his memory. He blinked twice and said, “I have no freaking idea.”

“Why?” she asked, “Is science letting you down? The same way your shoes are?”

“How do you even know about that?” he asked, taken aback. Indeed, his ever shrinking shoes were beginning to give him blisters now. He had tried to take them off. But they clung to his feet indignantly.

“Oh you wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” the lady replied, smiling at him, “But I still have some scores to settle with you.”

“Huh?” Tanmay couldn’t have been more surprised, “What did I ever do to you?”

“As if you don’t know,” she hissed, her eyes narrowed into slits, “My little son no longer believes in magic and fairy tales thanks to you.”

“That’s common sense,” muttered Tanmay. Immediately, he got smacked across his face by an invisible hand. “Hey!” he screamed, indignantly.

“Does liking science make you such a big non believer,” the lady wanted to know.

“Reason cannot support magic,” replied Tanmay. He ignored the invisible hand which tweaked his ear next, “But I’ll say your son has decided to become wise.”

“My son believed in Peter Pan before you came along and forced him to grow up,” the lady accused Tanmay, “And I’ll give you a choice, Mr. Scientist. Either you make my son believe in magic again or I’ll report your little shoplifting spree to the police.”

“What nonsense!” thundered Tanmay, “How am I supposed to do that? And I am not fond of children either.”

Someone pulled his trousers and looking down, Tanmay saw a teddy bear was trying to get his attention. His eyes nearly popped out of their sockets, when he realized that all the inanimate objects in the whole shop had come alive. The rows of miniature stuffed dinosaurs kept on the shelf behind the counter were performing a ballet. The candy bars were performing their own jig on the counter. And though science could never prove it, Tanmay could swear he saw fairies flying around above his head. The door at the other end of the shop opened, and the little boy from that day long ago, entered the shop.

“What’s going on?” he asked. He didn’t seem to mind the shop being so alit with life.

Tanmay stared at him. A sharper tug at his trousers made him look down at the teddy bear and ask, “What?”

“You have to tell the boy there’s magic in everything,” the teddy bear said.

Tanmay, a firm believer of science, could hardly believe his eyes or ears. All his life he’d rejected everything out of the ordinary. Yet today, he was standing in a shop, where everything was coming to life, performing their acts or advising him to believe in magic. A line of patchwork dolls decided to show off their catwalk skills on the counter. But the best part was a miniature winged creature fluttering in front of Tanmay’s nose and settling on it, decidedly.

“Fairy?” he breathed, amazed.

“Duh!” the fairy replied.

Tanmay got down on one knee, and when he was at eye level with the boy, he smiled at the boy. He’d forgotten his childhood and he’d forgotten how it used to feel to go off into another world through the books he’d read. He took the boy’s hands in his and looking at him squarely in the eye said, “I was wrong. Please forgive me.”

“Wrong about what?” asked the boy, surprised.

“That I said there’s no such thing as magic,” Tanmay replied, “There always is. We just don’t see it anymore.”

The boy smiled back at him and said, “I’m glad to hear that. I’ll be sure to tell the Lost Boys, when I see them again.”

Before the words of what the boy had said could sink into his mind completely, Tanmay found his surrounding dissolving around him. He barely heard the lady say, that since he’d fixed the problem he’d created, she was sending him to the library. When his eyes got focused again, he saw that he’d arrived in front of the library. He ran up the flight of stairs, desperate now, more than ever to get hold of the damn book of Descartes. He had had to double check his theory. The images from that morning were also fresh in his mind. He just knew he needed that book to hit the jackpot.

He checked his watch, as he approached the librarian, armed with the Principles of Philosophy he’d been wanting since the morning. The librarian took the book and his card and then scowled. He looked up from the card and said in a flat voice, “I’m sorry, Sir. Your card expired today.”

Till next,


  1. wow!! it been a long time since i read any good stuff..magic is all around us, we just need to open up. its in growing of sapling from seed, in falling rain, soft breeze and any other thing that can drive away the melancholy in a blink, it is in the joy of hard work paying off

  2. i loved it..seriously amazing piece of work :)


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