Friday, February 17, 2006

A 55-word short story. Fiction based on real life.

Fiction is getting shorter in many writing circles. But that doesn’t necessarily make the task easier for the writer. Imagine condensing an entire plot in a few words. How about just 55?

Here’s a flash fiction piece by me, in the form of a 55-er (a 55 word story).
It’s called ‘Going somewhere?

It took him sixteen years to build a home for his family.

Taking passengers from one place to another in his rundown cab, day and night.

The best years of his life he passed on the streets, so that his children wouldn’t have to.

Then came the earthquake.

Another day on the road began.

This story is the result of a conversation I had with a taxi driver, a conversation that left me speechless.


Batul said...


Your 55 word story left me speechless too. It captured the helplessness and the stoicism of the poor so well. 4 years ago, I made a film on the earthquake that hit Gujarat in 2001. I visited Kutch 7-8 times from the 2nd day of the earthquake to the first anniversary. My film is very like your story, I think. Batul

nikhil said...

got a question.. why 55? any particular significance ?

maya said...

cute... i tend to write in reams:p

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

My story only has words Batul. Yours must have had images and sound too - more powerful surely!

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

Nikhil - 55-word stories are in vogue in the flash fiction arena. I picked it up the trend on a writer's network called 'Caferati' on Ryze.

prabir ghose said...

this really is fantastic.

knicq said...

Poignant 55 Farrukh, and quite a reminder of how futile how efforts towards worldly success are. After all, it takes little more than a few seconds to turn our 'achievements' upside down - may Allah ease the suffering of the victims of the earthquakes, Tsunamis and hurricanes, and may He guide us all on His path. Ameen.

Geetanjali Kumar said...

Loved the story. Everyone has their own meaning of success, worldly or otherwise. I read the comments, and disagree with the concept of "futile efforts". In fact, my perception of the story was that it ended on an optimistic note.

Yes, nature often has the upper hand. Disasters happen. But man has the ability and will power to start anew. That's what makes us, "us".

Farrukh Naeem said...

You got the core of it Geetanjali. Life goes on. And we go on.

Thanks for sharing your insightful comments.