FABLE FACTORY | The Daily Star
  • Numbers of Melancholia

    I woke up the minute the alarm went off. It was 5:55 AM. I have always been the disciplined kind. Unlike his number two, who I've heard, had always been more outgoing and extroverted. Perhaps my sense of punctuality came from having a father in the Navy. But I have seen lazy kids being born in such families.

  • Everyday Night Lights

    What am I losing so much sleep for? Is it for the life I was promised? Or is it to make up for

  • Petals of a black rose

    On the first night of spring, My petals begin to dream, Like an ornate orb— the full moon shines.

  • Rainy day musing

    I am standing on the edge of the window as usual. It is the only humongous window without any grillwork in the house. The sunlight always falls on me without any shape, with its arms and legs stretched out. As of now, the sun is not visible. The clouds are guarding the sky, grumbling with unequal intervals. Some are static, some are floating slowly but surely, like ghost ships. I want to be up there among the grey explosions bleeding into each other for as long as they are there. I want to ride one of the clouds, and lose my direction marvelling over the cityscape.

  • Sandcastles

    Today, after so many years, I'll get to see him again. I try to walk quietly, but my arthritis affected knees make it an inconceivable task for me. My lucid, floppy arms grab on to the walls for support as I stumble on air.

  • Reflections

    Sometimes I try to find myself, Amidst the still water of the river. Sometimes I wait for myself to appear, In the mist that takes us nowhere.

  • Super Massive Black Hole

    The sun was just about to set. Violet skies streaked with wispy clouds, a perfectly circular gradient of orange, blood red and violet on the horizon. The trees underneath a dark shadow, barely moving, as if forcing itself against the violent gusts of wind. I dangled my legs over the edge and felt the rocky uneven surface beneath me, my hand coming away yellow with dirt.

  • The Plastic Whale

    Swimming in water bodies abloom with plastic was very common for Subhash and his father. They depended on any salvage they could find from the plastic controlled territories on the island they lived in. The plastic materials were everywhere—in the ponds, in the forests, on the roads, on the puddles, in places where they shouldn't be. It was as though they were manmade creatures walking all over the earth and ultimately settling where they find it comfortable to create a colony of their own. They came in various shapes and sizes. Though diverse, they all existed for the same purpose.

  • Mirage

    Darkness engulfs me, Heart screaming with pain, Frantic head looking for a coup d'oeil of hope, When I realised, wasn't I always chained in this maze?

  • Meander

    We set letters on fire, Paper catching flame like melting volcanoes; Watch the blue as it bleeds dry, Holding onto roses that expire.

  • The Abandoned Ship

    I sail on this abandoned ship, Which sails no more, The wind stops its howling, And the ship already left the shore.

  • Thoughts of a Hilsha

    You know they're coming for you. By now, they've taken most of your siblings. Last time, you managed to slip out somehow. It was pure luck, really. But the big day is getting closer and they are desperate. They need to round up as many of you as they can.

  • You want my saree

    Hello. My name is Katan Benaroshiwala, and I'm the best saree salesman this country has ever seen. It all started when my dad bought me a branded lungi with the money he saved by not sending me to school.


    A pleasant flow Was diving into the Weddell Sea, Wandering among creatures of species


    I woke up with a start. It seemed to me that I was drifting between the past and the future, interspersed with fleeting glances of the present. Through my blurry vision, I could see a ceiling fan droning on with its blades, as if it was trying to suck in all the air in this little room along with the smallest wind of life that was still left within me.

  • Makeshift Oxygen

    “Why do you write?” someone once asked me. “To leave my mark,” I shrugged, “Maybe to create something that will outlive me?” “Stop it. Writing won't ever make you money,” another quipped.

  • Dream Dates and More

    At that point a bike flew past me on the sidewalk, making me jump sideways and onto a puddle of mud. My shoes were drenched, and some of the goo had seeped in between my toes. The overpowering smell of the biker's cologne, mixed in with the familiar “city smell” of exhaust fumes, sweat, and crushed dreams, disoriented me.

  • My Rosemary Bird

    Blink, my rosemary bird! Blink again and repeat it.

  • Post-travel melancholia

    There are various stages in a successful tour that we all remember fondly. Even the inconveniences that may have been there are seen in a warmer light. However, there is one part associated with traveling that is hardly talked about and certainly is its most painful derivative. I'm talking about the post-travel melancholia.

  • Map of my Childhood

    While I was a toddler, I would admiringly flip through the pages of my fairy tales and picture books. Glass slippers would fit, dragons would get slain, sleeping princesses would wake up with a kiss, mermaids would fall in love with man, and genies would pop out of lamps and so on. Of course I couldn't read at that time. But I would look through the colourful illustrations in my books everyday in awe.

  • The Poem of Life

    Golden rays that shine bright Illuminate the stages of life.

  • Same old thing

    The unbearable July sun was beating down on the pedestrians mercilessly. The fortunate ones were in their cars, the windows shut and the air conditioner blasting on full speed. At least the pedestrians were able to go towards their destination. The fortunate ones were sitting in stagnant traffic and the air surrounding them seemed to be vibrating from the heat given off by the cars. My immediate thought was of how these thoughtless people are causing

  • Aesthetic

    “Class, we are going to have a most aesthetic model among us today, and I want you all to focus on her. She will sit here and all of you shall befriend her before we proceed further.”

  • Hide and Seek

    I was playing with my friends when some boys from the other side of the village came and started hitting us with bamboo sticks. They were hurling swear words and telling us repeatedly that we needed to get hell out of here.

  • Escape

    My footsteps echo across the desolate chamber as I make my way to the small box in the corner. This unassuming device holds the only article of importance: a key, shaped like a vital organ. As I reach in, I hear the creak of the doorway behind me. Before my mind can process what is happening, my body is already in motion. Leaping to my left, I realise I haven't acted a moment too soon as something embeds with a dull thud into the wall, inches beside me. Turning around, I come face to face with my worst nightmare. Where others would greet his presence, I feel nothing but disdain. Even in mortal form, there is no mistaking the feathery appendages protruding from behind, or the quiver peering out beside his neck.


    I can still recall my mother trying to wake me from my deep slumber a little before dawn. She restlessly told me to pack up what I need, and that she would explain everything in time. In our hurry, we only had time to take food and water with us. Almost immediately, we left the only home I had ever known and began walking towards a destination that was still unknown to me.

  • Mom

    My mom and I share a special bond of nine months. I still remember the first time she saw me. The picture quality wasn't that great, nor was my pose. The ultrasound technician was probably trying to take candids but my mom didn't conceive no girl who don't slay.

  • Home

    Let me tell you the story of how I fell in love with the ocean. I stood there, on the glistening, silver sand and I let the wind flow through strands of my hair and beyond. I let it blow through decks and heaps of angst I've been holding on for ages, and I finally let lose.

  • The Fountain Frog

    The sea's calmness would pull one in with its tentacles. The sea never runs out of tentacles, because of course, the sea is always thick with octopuses. It would be plain wrong if it ever did run out of them. One would find it hard to believe how calm the sea was. If you were a boat, you would find it rocking you back and forth, sometimes caressing as well, as if you were a baby cradle. An outrageous sea below the

  • Windless

    “Take it or leave it. You won't get a better deal anywhere in the Sector-C,” grumbled the man behind the counter. His voice made even more indecipherable through his respiratory device. R-no knew the man was right. Not because the man was demanding a reasonable price compared to the others, but because he knew for certain no one else had the little ornament he had, tucked safely in his palm as he glared impatiently at R-no.