Pock Marked Saucepan

A short story by Arnav Diwan.

A warm, fuzzy evening over Vatika apartments found a most solitary scene unfold by the water tanks. Whereas the vast slab of concrete underpinning said tanks was usually a site for daring football matches (it was three feet off the ground), at the moment it was being used for a different purpose entirely.

The hunched figures of two boys could be made out by the pole-lamp, squatting opposite each other. The dim light tracing their silhouettes shadowed the object between them- a large aluminium saucepan. The boys, aged twelve and nine, were attending to this pan in a peculiar manner- willing at it as if trying to possess it with some sort of telekinetic force (which given their ages, might have seemed plausible). A shrill thud! suddenly rang out from the depths of the pan, followed by a noise not much unlike that from a sputtering drill.

“Told you,” said the older of the two. “No one can beat the Earth Eagle.”

The other, visibly irritated- and not only because the remark had been accentuated by a very boorish drawl- moved to inspect the contents of the pan. Within lay two unseemly objects – spinning tops with plastic trinkets clasped in rings of metal. One was spinning quite rapidly, while the other lay tipped over; a state which seemed to signal its defeat. The nine-year-old grimaced. He had spent the better part of his today trying to prove the indomitability of his ‘Bey’ as he called it, to the neighbourhood. It was his birthday, and his father had relented, on his mother’s instruction (though he would’ve never suspected it) to surprise him at midnight with a gift long asked for: a ‘Storm Pegasus Generation II’ Beyblade. He had been ecstatic, so much so that in a frenzy to assemble the thing, he’d misplaced its tip. It wasn’t that much of a problem, however; he’d simply added another one from his own ‘kit’. The kit was a square plastic box that was with him all the time. He never left home without it, and kept everything valuable in it. Even lost things had a habit of turning up, his mother always said, if one kept a kit.

The next day had been promised entirely to his whim, albeit with the clause that the boy be home in time for his birthday party. So right after lunch he’d found himself running to the water tanks. The entire neighbourhood was into Beyblade tournaments, the whole thing regarded as a rather serious affair. At 4’o clock every weekend, the children would religiously gather at the spot for the day’s batch of tournaments. There’d been much critique and commentary on the boy’s Pegasus, with expert opinions passed on its design
and make.

“It has a short height. That’s good for hitting below the metal.”
“Its blades are so sharp! It’s definitely an attack type Beyblade.”
“Ha! It won’t beat my Eagle!”
“So much stamina! Look at how fast it spins!”
“Still won’t hurt the Eagle!”
“It might be too fast though. What if it spins out of the pan?”
“The Eagle would never do that. It-”
“Why don’t you stuff that Eagle up yo-”

The discussion had been halted when someone noticed the lack of the original tip. That one was supposed to be a flat- bottomed rubber-red, whereas the replacement was a common curved metal one.

“Metal tips are better anyway.”, someone had declared with an air of self-supposed wisdom. “They give much more stamina. The rubber ones create too much… hang on…. Whatdoyoucallit?” He’d screwed up his face trying to

A girl, the one who’d first noticed the tip, had taken it in her hands and looked at it darkly. “I don’t think its complete without the right tip. That’s not the way Pegasus is supposed to be.”
“It doesn’t matter”, the owner had said, embarrassed. He snatched it back. “Let’s play.”

“Friction!” the other boy had finally remembered. He
beamed proudly.

“It isn’t Pegasus without the right tip.” The girl had
declared, ignoring the boy.

The business-like seriousness had dissolved when requests of ‘borrowing’ the Pegasus began to be made. The boy had assented to these requests for a later date; secretly he’d vowed such grants would never come to pass.

For the purpose of an arena, they’d been using a kitchen saucepan. While its small size ensured the Beyblades be forced to clash (the most important aspect of the whole business) it also made the latter prone to launching themselves out of the pan entirely, spelling the dangerous possibility of
someone getting struck in the face. A call for a larger utensil was made; but the aluminium pan had been so badly dented, that one look at its pock marked insides discouraged further such donation of cookware. The pan was thus all that remained, forever exclusive to its current purpose.

The tournament had thus begun. Players were paired and match numbers set. Everyone had huddled around the arena. The Rock Leone had first gone against the Pegasus, followed by The Flame Libra squaring against the Eagle, a battle which resulted- to everyone’s dismay- in the latter’s
victory. The L Drago (a piece held in high regard solely because of the phonetics of its name) was knocked out by a ‘hybrid’ Rock Sagittario (the hybrid part being its centre ring swapped green instead of yellow). In the midst of this, the Storm Pegasus had found terrible luck. Sometimes it spun too fast and catapulted out of the pan. Sometimes it spun too slow and was knocked out by a single blow. It had even managed to get stuck within the little craters in the pan. The Sagittario it was up against struck so hard that it broke apart and had to be reassembled. At the end of the day, the Pegasus hadn’t won a single match. The boy was confused. The Storm Pegasus was the strongest blade spirit there was, it was the one the hero from the show had. And hadn’t the hero won every single battle? Then why couldn’t he? He felt like crying.

It was 9 o’ clock. Everyone else had already left. The boy was supposed to be home an hour ago; but he couldn’t go. He had to win at least once, especially against the unbeatable Eagle. The boy analysed his opponent’s blade, the way he had seen the hero do in the cartoon. It had a purple power ring with a thick metal blade. The latter wasn’t sharp, but it resisted attacks because of its weight. To add to that, its tip was just as small as his, meaning his Pegasus couldn’t even hit it below the metal. The Earth Eagle really did seem invincible.

“Ready for another match?”
“Yeah ok-”
“MANU!” His father’s voice suddenly rang out from
their faraway balcony, “Come home now!
“Coming dad! Five minutes?”
“Now means now!”

The last thing the boy wanted to do was to go home; that would mean admitting defeat and accepting that his gift was absolutely useless. On the other hand, he did not want to be scolded on his birthday. With a sigh, he took the Pegasus out of the pan.

“I’m leaving. It’s late.”
“How about a last match?”
“No. You’ve won every time we’ve played. Besides, you heard my dad. I’m going home.”
“I thought you said you wanted to beat the Eagle.”
He did. Oh, how badly he did! But the Pegasus couldn’t have won against a latoo, let alone the Eagle. He was going to ask his father to return the Beyblade tomorrow. But the other boy was adamant. “Tell you what, if you
beat me, I’ll let give you my batting tomorrow- two whole overs.”

“We’re playing cricket tomorrow?”
He nodded, “In the park next to green belt. You could come
too- if you beat me.”

The boy considered it; but shook his head. There really was no point. He began packing his kit. In went the launcher, the ripcord and the useless horse- He stopped suddenly. Wedged in the corner was a bright red
something. He took it out. It was the rubber tip! The one he thought he’d lost.

“MANU!” His father’s voice came again, sounding more belligerent.
“Alright.” He said quietly.
“But I’ll take five overs.” said the boy. He didn’t know what had made him change his mind. Well, he did, but he couldn’t see how it mattered.
“Not five. Three.”
“Three and a half.”

“Fine, if you’re so sure, four.” the older boy said, though he looked more bemused than irritated. “But if I win, you give me the Pegasus.”
“Sure.” the boy said with his newly found, still inexplicable confidence.
“Dad it’s my birthday! I’ll come when I like!”
Realising that the remark had earned him a drastically reduced window to fulfil his bet, he hurried to prepare the Pegasus. The boy removed the metal tip, and fastidiously replaced it with the rubber one, as it was supposed to be.
“Alright. 3…2….1…. LET IT RIP!

There was a sharp whiz! followed by a CLANG! and the great battle began. The Eagle settled in a corner, but the Pegasus started spinning in quick, deliberate circles. They met in the centre, engaged in a flurry of clashes and moved away again. But the collisions boosted the Pegasus’ momentum to
prodigious levels, the scale of its spin now encompassing the Eagle. Further clashes. Presently the Eagle started to wobble- its blade tipping dangerously close to the surface. But the attack had taken a greater toll on the Pegasus; it was losing its speed at an alarming rate. The wobbling Eagle was still faster,
and drawing closer, threatened the Pegasus with a knockout blow…
“C’mon Eagle!”, the older boy screamed “Finish him!”

The Eagle suddenly jumped back, as if stung by an invisible bee. Indeed, the culprit was invisible; a crater in the pock-marked saucepan. Yet the Pegasus looked set to die of its own accord. The rubber tip had depleted its stamina. The boy resigned himself to the fateful wobble…

…. only it never came! Something strange was happening. The Pegasus was moving so slowly that one could see the markings on its power ring, yet there was no sign of it
falling over; the tip seemed glued to the bottom. The Beyblade spun quite erect, unlike its opponent, which was wobbling in a manner most delirious.
“What is it doing?”

Another noise like a sputtering drill; and there was the Eagle, tipped over its side unceremoniously. But the Storm Pegasus stood upright in victory- perfectly still and balanced- with a little bit of luck, a little bit of necessity, on its red rubber tip.


Childhood’s Takeoff

By Ishaan Garg

When I walk down the lane,
I often sense the pain,
That I tried a lot to save,
But all in vain.

When I walk down the lane,
A thought hits my brain,
Those bats of twenty-two yards,
Are no more in the game.

When I walk down the lane,
I see the lake, its the same
Where the painting made of dove,
Turned into the feeling of love.

When I walk down the lane,
I feel the emotions turning plain,
When the tears roll when I cry,
She fondles my face with love,
And waits for the tears to dry.

When I walk down the lane,
I see the memories drain,
With the time sadly passing by,
I just wait for the lady to call,
We are ready to fly.

I won’t walk down this time,
Because it’s time for me to fly high,
Bidding my gracious childhood,
A final goodbye!


Fool’s Paradise {A Tiny Tale}

By Sara Sharma

We were one in body and soul.

We stood together never breaking apart.

fter they tried to drown us you forgot how to breathe.

Your thorns pierce my heart.

I search for another sun in my solar system.

Fall seven times. Get up. Eight.

The wounds heal but the scars remain.

Aryaman Kumar

Aryaman Kumar is an occasional writer, based near Pune (Maharashtra). He is inspired by strong opinions, beliefs and real life experiences. Human emotions find a significant foothold in his work. He hopes to be a medical professional in the future and raise awareness about medical illnesses.

When Breath Becomes Air

By Aryaman Kumar

I was walking in darkness. I didn’t dare think about it, because then I would drown.
And if I started to drown, I know I wouldn’t be able to save myself.

Was all I could do. I was a ghost with a beating heart.

All around me, was the abyss of nothing. Yet, in the nothingness, there was everything. Every sort of pain.

The inescapable frozen claws of fear gripped me constantly, and I felt the cold, cruel, yet peaceful wave of emptiness flow over me.


I don’t know why. I don’t know why I kept walking aimlessly.

All I knew was

Why was I even breathing?
I collapsed, a single tear falling off my face and onto the destitute ground.
Until I saw the light.


The light was warm, and it chased away the demons that lurked in the shadows.It dried my tears, and sewed the pieces of my heart together.
Thanks to the light, I finally had a reason to


{ Title inspired by non-fiction autobiographical book written by Paul Kalanithi. }


By Aryaman Kumar

Tears roll down my eyes,
As I sit under starry skies.
The stars shine, in the deep black sky
I sit and stare, travelling anywhere
My mind’s a mess, for its under distress
Those memories hurt, as the mind crumbles.
All this serves to make me humble.

As I recollect my faults.
From those deep, deep vaults
I miss you still, my heart isn’t still.
It breaks and tears, along my stay
I do still cry though I’ve lost my way.
I do miss you still, and I’ve done this before.
I’ll break myself as ever more.

Thunder strikes
The skies break
The rains begin, with a brake
Even nature stares.
Ever all human and we make mistakes,
Only to lament after we’ve lost our stake.

The heart is beaten black and blue
The mind has vanished askew
The soul is lonely, pale and stale.
For it’s shut its doors on life and ale

I’ve grown to try and escape
But alas I can’t let go of my mistakes
Seeking redemption on every door
Will you but not answer my call ?
The promises made , will be kept
Tis for that , I have wept.

Feelings of disappointment pain and betrayal 
Words said with out scale,
Meaningless as they are.
They still strike without care.
And I look beyond the valley
And fade away.

Aayush Gugnani

Aayush Gugnani is an amateur writer based out of New Delhi. He uses free style word play to express his political opinions and occasionally dabbles in poetry. He uses the world as his canvas and believes in expressing his thoughts and feelings openly.

Such Is Life

By Aayush Gugnani

In the breezy summer 
With the golden sun, 
Shimmering at the horizon 
I stood there in oblivion. 

Standing at the worlds end 
Waiting for you to come back,
I clinged on to my memories with you
Cherishing our moments as a pack. 

What once was a dream for me, 
Became a reality. 
Once I was an ill fitted piece
Soon we became family. 

We held each other in times of despair 
And had each other’s back here & there. 
Never had the world, 
Seen such a ravishing pair. 

We were unbreakable,
Like a covalent bond. 
At least that’s what people said, 
To which we replied it was a miracle of the gods’ wand. 

Alas ! Now you’ve gone too far 
Away from the gusty winds 
Away from being what you were 
Or who you are.  

I’m not complaining for the woes 
Happy you finally got what’s yours. 
I’ll be there if and when you return 
To fill your saddened pores. 

Life without you in the beginning was tough,
Nights were endless and rough. 

Though I learned to cope with them,
Yet, I wonder how can I pacify my sinking soul. 
O how do I break myself from these shackled chains?
To go back to being what I really was. 

Don’t ever think I’m not with you.
I’m an undercurrent,
You might not be able to see me 
But in all your times of both happiness and despair,
I will be omnipresent. 

Life’s a chaos without a pattern 
One moment we’re here,
The other we’re not. 

Yet, I try to maintain positivity in life. 
Try to look up and find the northern light, 
Look down to see the sea shimmering bright. 

The haze maybe temporary,
But the maze is permanent. 
Our laugh maybe fading, 
But our love for each other, 
Our love is effervescent.

Saanya Sodhi

Saanya Sodhi is a young writer, based out of New Delhi. Saanya uses free style poetry to give form to her feelings, thoughts and opinions. Love is one of her favourite feelings to give shape to through her writings. She wishes to grow more with each passing day as a writer. She goes by the pen name Spero and also uses the hashtag #speŕowrites🌼, to display her writings.

That Night

By Saanya Sondhi

At 5 in no time, I scroll through all my content apps,
I scroll through my social media

I see how songs from another age make my friends feel warm
I however lay here, in this infinite cold just scrolling. 

I have so much content, content to go through, so many words to learn and study through
But all I want at this brink of dawn is to talk to you

Talk about how the universe was made, how the matter that’s light is not even one-fourth of this universe
And how we’re just a tiny speck,  a nothing in that something.
How I’m something everywhere, but how I’m not everything
How my memories juxtapose at this time of the twenty four hours

I want to talk to you about the marvels of the universe and the marvel cinematic universe,
I want to talk of everything I know and listen to everything you have to say. 

I want tell you about my fascinating horror of numbers
I want to tell you about my love letters, the ones I wrote to space.

I want to hear about your life and about your last love,
I can talk hours about love only if you’d like to listen….
I’ve written speeches on ambition, on dreams that are yet to take form,
I could tell you about how I’ve adored and waited for the stars when everyone I knew was busy clicking the sun lit sky.

Just like I waited for them I’ll even wait for you, 
For that night to come one day when we’d talk about life, analyse Beauvoir’s works, appreciate Marsha’s existence

When we’d, undress each other’s scars and listen to our heartbeats and to our hidden muffled screams. 
For that day when the galaxy will shine and the universe will align

I’ll wait for that night, for you to realise …..

Good With Words

By Saanya Sondhi

Good with words,
People say I’m good with words
How my words are raw and how I am great at putting alphabets in lines that make sense.

I’m still scared to go deeper with my cuts, more than I am scared to go deeper with my words
I think it’s a good thing, maybe for the world it is.

The colour red pacifies me when the ques of alphabets don’t
Maybe if I was gone, maybe then someone would see me.

I’m screaming for help
But the buds of their own life are between me and them,
Why am I too poor for them?

There’s a voice screaming in my head,
Laying, saying maybe I’m not worth it,
pictures showing maybe I’m not.

My conscious knows I believe in case studies, my mind making me my own.
I am my own victim, I am the universe’s victim.
But I can’t say it out loud.

Knowing that I don’t have happiness is so much easier to accept,
than knowing that I’m meant to give is so much beautiful than what it truly is.

Tears have put me to sleep more than sleep when it came to lie with me,
Screams have tired me more than fatigue,
when I saw starvation as a pretty look on me.

The voices that become miserable sounds in my head tell me that I am my own victim.
Those sounds overlap to become cries of help to no one listening.

I often wonder what can be more important than me on the verge of dying for them.
I often wonder where they are when I’m closer to the knife than I am to my bed on which I’m lying.

There’s not miles but even more of skin that I can see is wrong.
There’s this figure in the mirror that I can see is not worth it.

As I tip-tap my fingers on my screen my cheeks become wet,
as I pull down my panel to see my hopes fade away.

I shouldn’t, I know, I shouldn’t be angry,
but when I see them crying over a broken heart
I want to show my soul to them.
I want to show how no adherent could fix the cracks the shreds of black.

I’m closer to death than I’ve ever been to life.

Young Love and The Rain

By Saanya Sodhi

Young love makes me as happy as the feeling of my cotton dress on my legs, flying in the direction of the wind, going with the wind

I recently learned what a pluviophile is, euphoria took over me as I found another word synonymous with my name

The petrichor makes me feel at home even when I’m not, the wetness of the rain replaced tears on my cheeks

I feel happy in the rain, imagining and re-imagining scenes from movies that happened and from my life that never did

I see a lot of young love around me today, I’m at that age when the little girl that was always scared of the rain thought she would live through young love

But all I live is see and the only way I live, vicariously

I was once scared of the rain, I thought it would flood our homes, that was before emotions flooded my heart and numbness my body

I thought our house would break under the pressure of water but that was before the pressures of love and life scared me much more

I used to think after the rain only wooden boats could save us, the boats of hope have proven otherwise

The me then wanted to live to see love, the me today wants to live for the same

Just that then I was a girl who was in love with love, no complexities, no questions

And today I am the girl who wants to understand all about Aphrodite, Apollo and Inanna

I am heart broken and a boy didn’t break my heart.