Story (Featured Entry)

The Soul is a Battery

by Vivek Ramakrishnan

‘Do you believe in evil spirits?’

It was Neha. Always the first one to get scared. It must have been the story, thought Arjun.

They were sitting around a campfire on the banks of the Ganges near Rishikesh. Their bodies were aching after a day of rafting and kayaking. It was one at night. They were all stone drunk. Ramesh, assistant to their rafting instructor, had concluded his story just ten minutes back.

It was Sheila’s story. Sheila had loved a guy, Arjun. Arjun smiled as he thought of the bout of leg-pulling that he had been subjected to just because of the common name. Sheila and Arjun were madly in love, but their parents were opposed to the match. They finally decided to elope. They planned to meet one night at the very spot where today’s campfire was arranged.

Sheila arrived first. She waited for hours. There was no sign of Arjun. His parents had apparently discovered their plan, and had convinced him not to go. At around three o’clock that night, Sheila realized that Arjun would not come. She calmly walked into the raging Ganges. Her body was never found. Arjun was found dead two days later – (Read full article)


The Matrimonial Clock

by Shweta Ganesh Kumar

Tara took off her jacket and hung it on the peg behind the main door of the apartment. It was slightly cold this time of the year in Bangalore. She rubbed her hands together for warmth and took out her wallet. This went into the first drawer of the wooden chest of drawers she had in the sitting room. To the right of that, went the keys to her beloved three year old car. Next on her agenda was a shower, dinner and the midnight re-run of FRIENDS and then she would settle down with her laptop. This last, was the most important activity of the day. It was all about her search for a soul mate.

Tara Narayan, thirty-six, lived in Bangalore and was a successful TV producer who owned her own apartment and a car. And she was single. And ready to do more, than mingle. She had broken up with her long time boyfriend more than eight years ago. He had wanted to settle down and she had not. She had just started making her mark as an assistant producer in a children’s network. Tara had barely any time for meeting him at dinner those days. Edits, (Read full article)


Barberic Times

by Abhijeet Deogirikar

The dentist’s chair has been famed to be the scariest of all chairs. Ogden Nash has even written an eloquent poem about its horrors.
I’m pretty sure Ogden Nash never went for a haircut. For me, the barber’s chair is right up there with the worst of them. If you want a haircut in a foreign land, that is.

Barbers in my hometown are pretty good at their trade. You tell them how you want your hair cut, and they do the needful. They generally do not try to be consultants (one did venture to ask me if I wanted to do away with my moustache. But he quickly realized his mistake). All in all, they generally do not step out of line.

In contrast, the barbers I came across abroad were a different species altogether. They see art in their work, which is a good thing. They see modelling clay in their customers, which is the bad part.

The first time I faced this predicament was in the good city of New York, my first visit abroad.

Part I: Case of the Spanish barber(ess), New York
A haircut is something I must get every month. Call it good or (Read full article)


Thirteen Hours of Fame

by Jatin Pathak

Sitting on a chair, spinal cord straight as a cricket pitch, the eyes of Panditji were scrolling fast on the kundli of nine-year old Manav Sharma. With the right hand he adjusted his spectacles, giving the impression that he has found something of great importance. Manav’s mother pulled her chair closer to Panditji.

Her face was dull and her eyes were full of worry. And why not, she had a genuine reason to worry. Her son had fallen from the second floor of the building last night. But miraculously he did not get even a scratch. The whole family had spent the night in the civil hospital. Doctors did a complete check up and found no injury. Everyone was amazed. She kept the boy close to her the entire night, holding him tightly as if someone would take him away. She summoned the family priest next morning.

‘Long, very long’, said Panditji and started calculating something on the finger tips. ‘At least seventy-two’, he added ‘the boy will live at least till seventy-two years. You should not worry at all Mrs. Sharma.’

This changed the expression on Mrs. Sharma’s face. She felt relaxed and leaned backward on the chair like she had (Read full article)


‘Want a condom?’ he asked.

‘Excuse me?’

‘I mean to say do you need condoms?’

‘No thanks! And why are you asking me?’ she became irritated.

‘Because ... errr ... we are running an AIDS awareness campaign as part of our CAS activity and so we are distributing condoms to spread awareness about the importance of practicing ... err ... safe sex’, He blurted out his practiced answer, barely looking up to meet her eyes.

‘Where do you study and what exactly is this CAS?’ She asked twisting the scooter key around her manicured fingers.

He was distributing condoms at the gates of a discotheque wearing his school uniform. On seeing a scooter stop, he had approached the rider eagerly. However once the helmet came off, the rider had turned out to be a beautiful, short-haired girl in her late twenties. Her male rock-star costume, complete with the heavy metallic chains and steel bracelets had fooled him and now he was caught in an embarrassing situation.

‘CAS is Creativity, Action and Service and it is a part of our curriculum in New Era International School. We undertake a social service project each month and this month happened to be the AIDS (Read full article)


The Idiot

by Abhishek Sahaya

‘What the hell! Why do they always do this?’ It would be an understatement if I say Mr. OLD BALLS was furious.

Yes, Mr. OLD BALLS is the name I have given to my HOD. He is not aware obviously for otherwise it wouldn’t have taken him long to chop my head off. I don’t really blame him for his state of mind. Handling new manufacturing projects is a tough job and it can easily bring out the evil inside you. He has been working in this department for more than twenty-five years — that’s my age. I joined this hell three years back, something I was dying to do during my college final year. So what they said in the college is true — mechanical engineering students reach hell after dying.
The news for the day was that another design change number was issued by the R&D team. It was a MINOR change according to their project lead — a change that would call for further MINOR changes in the holding fixture, making its cost go up by not less than three lakhs.

Mr. OLD BALLS immediately asked me to check on the ordering status. Another bad news — (Read full article)



by Ananya S Guha

a poem
line, curve
dash, comma

a poem
the moment
it is born,

(Read full article)

Poetry (Hindi)

बेटी होने का दर्द

by प्रियंका गुप्ता


अपने घर की छत पर
खडी हो कर
जब नीले चंदोबे से तने
आकाश की ओर देखती हूँ
सूरज की आँच से पिघलता आसमान
जहाँ मेरे भीतर
एक पिघलन सी भर देता है
वहीं ,
धरती की सख्त ज़मीन पर
ढेरो उजास
मुझे उकसाती है कि
मैं भी
तीखी धूप से बेखबर, अलमस्त हो
आकाश में उडती
नन्ही सी चिडिया की तरह
चोंच खोल कर
अपने पूरे पंख फैला कर
आँख मिचौली का खेल खेलूँ
हवा के तेज झकोरों से झूमता


मुझे और भी उकसाता है
झूमने को
मैं तत्पर होती हूँ
तो माँ की फिक्रमन्द आँखें
मेरा रास्ता रोक लेती हैं
मैं जानती हूँ कि
उनकी फ़िक्रमन्द आँख़ों के


एक सिहरन भरी है
जो चाहने के बावज़ूद
मुझ तक नहीं पहुँचती
आकाश और धरती के बीच
उनका त्रिशंकु भय
नन्ही चिडिया नहीं जानती
जानना भी नहीं चाहती
कि अनन्त आकाश के
इस छोर से उस छोर तक
वह अकेली नहीं....
पंख फैला कर उडते
आदमख़ोर गिद्ध
हर पल शिकार की तलाश में हैं।

(Read full article)

Poetry (Hindi)

सूना बचपन

by Mohit Sharma

वो किसी की गोद मे चढ़ता,
अपनों के कपड़े गंदे करता,
पहले सहारे से.... और फ़िर एक दिन
ख़ुद चलता।

लडखडाती चाल से चीज़ें
फ़िर तुतलाती जुबां से मदद को
बड़े भाई - बहिन पर गुस्सा

स्कूल ना जाने की जिद करता,
कार्टून्स देखने के लिए लड़
छुपकर डब्बे मे कीडे - मकोडे
क्या होता है देखने के
लिए.....पौधों मे शैंपू का पानी
२ और २ को जोड़ ना पता,
नई फिल्मो के ग़लत गाने गाता।

पर उसने ऐसा कुछ नही किया,
....शायद दूसरे अनाथो की तरह वो
भी बचपन मे बड़ा हो गया।

(Read full article)

From the Publisher's Desk

Inaugural Issue

by Team

Dear Readers,

It goes without saying that we take immense pleasure in presenting to you the inaugural issue of Pothiz –’s online magazine. We see Pothiz as a natural extension to our efforts of providing the young and unheard voices a platform where they could engage, be heard, get valuable feedback directly from their readers and flourish into wonderful wordsmiths. While remains an open platform for a variety of publishing endeavors, Pothiz is going to be a more curated collection of creative writings. Our hope is that this collection will encourage readers to delve into and discover the hidden gems in the proverbial “long tail” of writing.

We received close to a hundred entries and selecting a few for your reading pleasure was not an easy task. At, we particularly respect the fact the each individual has his or her own taste in reading and writing. So, apart from the entries that made it to the main issue, we are also going to put up some of the other entries we have received on the website. Do read them and give your praises or constructive feedback to the authors through comments.

Coming to the entries included in the issue, the (Read full article)


Goodbye Mrs. Boa

by Nazrul Haque

Boa, an eighty-five-year-old woman was the last member of the Bo tribe and the last speaker of the Bo language. She lived in the Andaman Islands. Boa died on January 26, 2010 and in her death she took her tribe and language with her. The old woman was very lonely in the last few years of her life as she was the only surviving member of one of the oldest human cultures on earth which lived in the Andaman Islands for as long as sixty-five thousand years. She had no one to converse with as she was the lone speaker of Bo. Her death may go unnoticed but it is a bleak reminder to all of us.

Goodbye, Mrs. Boa!
We shall miss you.
The last of a tribe,
a lost language,
and those memories
You carried,
for the last 65,000 years.

Aren’t you happy, Mrs. Boa?
In death you are reborn.
Just after crossing the bridge,
You shall meet them all.
Won’t you laugh again?
Will you joke about us-
In ‘Bo’?

Goodbye, Mrs. Boa!
We shall depart too,
Just like you,
Lost and lonely.
Civilization is a great burden.
So is being human!

(Read full article)


Oops! I made you a Daddy.

by Techknowbaby

*Blink Blink*

Hmmm, this uterus is starting to push into me now... I'm getting cramped.
Wonder what the date is? Hey Mom! Mooooooommm!!! mommyyyyyyy!!! What date is today?

1st June! Isn't this a little early for you to be imposing your uterus onto me!!
I'm still enjoying the tasty treats your friends made you eat at your baby shower two days ago! Stop trying to push me out will you.

*Soothes the uterus down* There there, I'm not leaving you and going just yet. We'll be friends for some more time, me, my umbilical cord, and you!

2nd June

Ouch! Mom stop pushing me. *Gags* I'm not getting enough air! Help, Help... *Kicks frantically with each contraction* I can't take this anymore... I'm too lazy to fight this *Heart Rate Falls*

Ohhh everything's going dark. I'm feeling numb. Hey, wait a minute! Come back here! You, yes you anterior wall of the uterus... What's the big idea letting so much light in! Arrrrgghh, there's a knife in your belly!!!

*Bright Lights* *Blink... Blink... Blink*

Oh Crap! I'm out!!! Better start crying before that scary looking paediatrician whacks my bottoms! *Waaaah Waaaahh*

Ohhh Mommy you're pretty! Who is that monstrosity of a (Read full article)

Book Review

Football, Jonathan Wilson writes in the prologue of ‘Inverting the Pyramid’,

… is not about players, or at least not just about players; it is about shape and about space, about the intelligent deployment of players, and their movement within that deployment...

Yet, no one remembers football this way; it is always about the Peles, the Maradonas, the Rooneys and the Messis and never about a team or how eleven players played. The beauty and appeal of the football lies in the fact that it is both exceedingly simple in the conception, and yet allows for enormous complexity in the game-play. There is thus a history to be told of this complex game-play, and Jonathan Wilson tries in this book to trace the tactical evolution of football from the early days to the modern form.

The first basic question is that in a ‘simple’ game like football, do tactics and organization matter at all? Arrigo Sacchi, the former Italy and A.C. Milan coach, to prove the efficacy of organization,

took 5 players [playing per his rules]…. they [the non agreeing players] had 10 players … they had fifteen minutes to score against my five players, the only rule was that if we won possession (Read full article)


God Promise

by Vibha Batra

God: Earthlings lie way too much, tch tch! I want to make an example of a liar so that people are scared to lie.

Yamaraj: Why don’t we kill them all?

Chitragupta: Then there will be no one left on earth.

Narad muni: Yeah, it’s that bad!

Yamaraj: Why don’t we take human form and try drilling sense into their heads?

Chitragupta: What an idea, sirji!

Yamaraj: So you are coming along?

Chitragupta (shifts uncomfortably on his throne): Umm, err, I have some important business to attend here. Why don’t you guys go? I will hold fort.

God: Let’s do it, Yammy. Narad?

Narad muni: I’m on sick leave starting tomorrow.

Yamaraj: Looks like it’s just the two of us.

God: One minute, what do we go as?

Yamaraj: Let’s see, we are used to luxury. So it makes sense to go as film stars or bureaucrats or industrialists or…

God: Or politicians?

Chitragupta: They lie for a living, sir.

God: Won’t that be interesting? We will test ourselves. We will stay on as long as we speak the truth. The moment we lie, we will be transported back to heaven.

Yamaraj: Where do they have the worst politicians on earth?

Chitragupta (Read full article)


City's Seasons

by Babitha Marina Justin

marriages are like migrations to
cities, the unfamiliarity and
the task of getting used to them;
my weathered feathers in new city,
combating heat and cold
when the first summer climbed
the greens stems to dry its
succulence to twigs, a snap
of the finger,the tension
of the thumb and index finger,
it cracks no matter who wins.

winter, with its creeping
chill, froze every frill
at home, hardened knuckles
refused to move, seasoning life's
spices well, warm inside
covers, cold when the day broke,
room heaters sustained the dull
gray city clouds that let not a
speckle of sun ray filter to the ground,
portholes of windows let in the chill
of an unfamiliar blizzard that grew
colder as the day progressed

city crept on me by inches,
wrapped the chill, the
discourse of familiarity was not
hateful but comforting, it's roads
intersecting at cross-roads,
circles and traffic, grew on
in degrees till I learned its
maps clumsily like my veins, its
arterial alleys waited to be

tread on,
trundled by
feet and dust,
their whispers
when heels click
and kiss
the ground

I learned how to love hate
the lost cities of the self,
nostrils echoed my
breath like (Read full article)


Divine Sisterhood

by Sonia Sarkar


At October’s full moon
Her effigy rises like jagged cliffs
Gulps lesser gods whole

The city she saved paints her a killer
Ruby red demon-slayer, stained savior
Rage like a drought-ravaged tigress

Eight arms make for treacherous dancing
And as many worthy weapons of destruction:
An octopodic death machine

That men’s armies could only dream of
She is Elphaba to Athena’s Galinda
Dark-skinned queen of queens,

Branded to one billion lambs of sacrifice
Though she returns home to a husband who
Prefers his snake, his bombastic trident

In pastel-shaded cartoons they assign her soft sinusoidals,
While she tosses thunder from abstract prehistoric eyes

And although she too has launched a thousand ships
No one will call her by name,
(Parvati, Kali, Durga?)

As they devour the fruits of her labor
As they dress her in fancy flora


Lakshmi: nobody’s consort

Maiden in waiting
Careful now
Pull that shimmer sari closer

your penchant for the cerulean gaze, your thrill for the well-defined jaw
is it any coincidence that your lotus flower draws gods?

*A twinkling Diana laugh*

Makes Indra’s court catch their slender breath

white-boned shutters corset closed
suspicion s l i d e s its way through the heavens like golden thread

You hold your own, draw them down with your owl eyes
Flutter (Read full article)