A for Ash tray

This post is written as part of ‘Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Since I don’t have a theme, let’s call it ‘Tales of fiction’ which is about memory loss, a film star’s life and Mumbai as the backdrop. Check out the A to Z link. Link up on Facebook here.


A for Ash tray

It feels like an explosion.  My head is hit by a bullet coming out of nowhere. It’s dark everywhere. I sense a void inside me and slowly opened the itching eyes. Gosh! So much pain. I yell for help, “Is anyone here. Please help me?”

I hear sudden footsteps, “What happened, Sahab (Sir)?” I look at the skinny shadow wearing a sari tied till the knees and was about to blow my top. I pushed her away and wondered whether I have been kidnapped inside this large and spacious house.

The heart beats frantically and my voice gets louder, “Who are you? What am I doing inside this house?”

She examines my face, “What are you saying, Sahab? I’ve been your maid for the past 5 years.” I wonder, “Who I am? I can’t recall anything right now?” My head is spinning and I feel empty. I spot a metal bowl with ashes flying around, caused by that thing rotating. “What’s that?” I call out to her. The skinny woman is scared and sweat runs on her round face.  She makes a straight face, “It’s an ash tray that you use every time you smoke and this thing on the roof is called a ceiling fan.

“Ashtray…smoke?, ” I am confused. I storm out to the balcony that gives the view of the railway station with people running amok to jump on the train. It feels good to watch the aerial view with black and yellow vehicles screeching their way and hearing the train signal, with people hanging on the roof top. I am happy but can’t understand the crazy roads. Am I dreaming?

She peeps from the kitchen and her eyes scan me walking to and fro, balcony to the room. She looks horrified. I mean, I should be the one. What if I have been kidnapped! Gosh! I feel suffocated inside the house. I walk back to the balcony to watching folks on the road. I see a hoarding of a cute girl sipping Tata Tea. I have met this girl but can’t recall where! What is she doing on the billboards?

The maid walks behind me and hesitatingly offers a packet, scribbled Marlboro filled with long sticks nestled inside. She hands me that thing she calls an ashtray. “What is that?” I ask unfazed.

It’s called cigarette. It’s your favorite brand. She removes one stick and cups it to her lip to show how it is lit. I pull one stick and inhale deeply. The smoke is curled right in front of my eyes before vanishing out of thin air. I squeeze the cigarette butt before dumping it inside the ash tray. I learned a new word today: ash tray.

I hear her calling someone: Come fast. I am scared for my life. Sahab been acting very weird since the morning and I think he has lost his memory. Her voice wobbled with emotion and is on the verge of tears.


  1. Hi, I’m visiting from the A-Z signup page, I’m randomly scrolling through and clicking wherever the page lines up with the mouse. I’m so glad that I found your blog! I’m curious to see where you go with this! I don’t know if I should feel sorry for the maid or the man😉

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