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The fault in our stares.

 Sweat drips from her forehead as she pushes her way towards the exit.  She has numbed her senses to the stifling heat and the maddening crowd of the public transport bus that ferries her from her place of work to her home.

 "Just a few more minutes and we will be home," she reassures herself as she wipes her brow in exhaustion. Just then, a push and a nudge from someone behind her and she finds her wayward dupatta sliding off her shoulders.

 Grasping it hurriedly, she curses the rush hour, the crowd and everyone else who jostles against her in the vehicle.

"Damn this crowd" she mutters under her breath as she hurriedly places the piece of garment back where it belongs, covering her modesty from the scrutinising eyes of her co-passengers.

The paan stained grins grow wider, as does the lecherous gaze in the foxy pairs of eyes that follow every movement of the hassled woman.
"Tch tch, don't you all have sisters and mothers at home, you scoundrels? Look away!" a male voice jeers as the rest of them snigger, wickedly. "What a show!" they whoop and hoot as she mutely looks away, embarrassed.

"If a salwar kameez can't protect me from those stares, I wonder what can! Should I start wearing a burqa? Or, better still, stay at home, perhaps?" she ponders, ruefully.


I am participating in Barathon, edition 2 beginning today.

As I have dabbled in fiction earlier, I decided to use the genre for this blogging challenge. Flash fiction, or for that matter, fiction, is not my cup of tea, seriously. Yet, there's this itch to attempt writing fiction despite my sane mind forbidding me from doing so! Ergo, these seven flash fiction posts, starting from today. 

This time, the theme for the challenge is the number 7. So, as suggested, I am using the 7 deadly sins: envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath.

The writing prompt for each day is a play on famous book titles:

The fault in our stares.

Life of Pie.

Of ice and men.

War and pieces.

Lord of the files.

Suns and lovers.

The call of the wind.

  Today's prompt: The fault in our stares, and the sin associated with this prompt - lust.

Frankly, I have no idea how I am going to manage writing these posts. So, help me God! 😜

Do visit me every alternate day of this last week of June and let me know how I faired! Also, do visit the other links. You are sure to get entertained by all the beautiful writing on display!




  1. That was a pretty good attempt, Shilpa! I liked the way you ended it! And I'm sure you're going to come-up with brilliant stories this June!
    All the best!


  2. Hey Shilpa, I loved your idea of using both the prompt and the theme! And your fiction is fantastic! You've portrayed the l
    'lusty' emotion of the lechers and the vulnerability of the character so well!

  3. Some people would argue that even staying at home sometimes doesn't keep away the staring eyes. It's a weird world we live in .

    I like your style of writing, Shilpa. The descriptions make it easier to paint the picture you're trying to express. And I love the new look of your blog! Way to go 😊

    1. It sure is a weird world we live in, Mithila!
      Thank you so much! :)

  4. Such strong writing, Shilpa! True, it doesn't matter what you wear, and how old you are..these leeches stop at nothing.

    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

    1. They just won't! Wonder when this attitude and the pervert ways of the mind will undergo the much-needed change!

  5. Hey Shilpa, loved how you described the details while maintaining the pace of the story. And, a great way to fuse prompts and themes. Looking forward to reading the rest of the fiction posts!

  6. Sigh! a woman's tale and eternal battle in the daily grind of life- how to preserve her "modesty" that too, to the level of standards set by others? !!! As if we dont have enough on our plates already.
    Loved it Shilpa!!!

    1. Isn't it? It really drains me when I just think what the scores of women go through, Shalz!

  7. I would say wear a wonder woman costume and kick their ass.

    1. Hahaha....yes, Raj! That should bring them to their senses! :)

  8. This was so well written, Shilpa! You said so much in such few words, well done! Looking forward to reading the rest of your stories.
    Keep writing!

  9. This reminds me of my days traveling in the DTC buses in Delhi.

    1. Oh God! I can imagine, Anamika, from all that I have heard about Delhi and the dreaded DTC buses! :(

  10. For someone who says fiction is not her cup of tea, I thought this was a wonderful story. So much tension an feeling in a short story. Well done! That poor woman. I'm sure it's the dilemma of many women daily on their commutes which makes me sad.

    Thanks for clarifying about the all the topics. Somehow I missed seeing all the titles and how they're a playful twist on book titles. Good to see them all laid out there so I know what to expect.

    1. Love you for your encouraging words, Cathy!
      Yes, I know. The plight of many a woman in our world, wherever they may be! :(


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