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  • Category: Reward Programs

    A quick short story challenge - how fast can you write one?

    Recently we had a microstory contest, in which participants were required to write a story within 50 words. We will now have a short story challenge contest in which you have to incorporate two given elements, limit it to 350 words only, and submit it within the next two and a half days. Each member should submit only one story.

    What you have to do: Write a creative story in English which includes these two elements-
    (1) Music
    (2) A new friendship

    1. While you can write whatever you want on a blank canvas, the story must include the two elements mentioned above in a relevant way.
    2. The story should be submitted in a response to this thread itself, with a concise title. You are welcome to change the title, and correct English, typo, etc before the closing date, but no changes should be made to the core of the story.
    3. The story should not exceed 350 words, can be of any genre, and include conversations, etc. There is no minimum word limit. It can be fewer than 100 words or even a microstory again!
    4. Do not give any links in the story.

    Closing date: 8th February 2022.

    The rewards: Generally we have one major first prize. This time we will give a cash prize of Rs.75/- to two or three of the best stories, and a consolation prize of Rs.50/- as well.

    [Note- the music element replaced the earlier element that had been conceptualized for the contest, as a special tribute to Lata Didi]
  • #751868
    Ramu and Shamu are the two great friends, though they are above 70 years , they would never compromise their friendship for one reason or the other. During the pandemic they have been advised not to move about, they did meet each other and exchanged pleasantries. While Ramu had the interest to watch and enjoy the music, Shamu had the taste to enjoy watching the movie. Whenever music festival happens, Ramu insist that Shamu also accompany him and enjoy but that never happened. And when ever Shamu wants to enjoy a movie with Ramu he would not agree, Having seen this, Damu a common new friend has started filling the void of each one expectations and thus remained their best new find. One day Ramu fell ill and wanted Shamu to visit. But he also fell ill on getting the news of his friend not feeling well. This has created a great feeling within the minds on both family and Shamu being the rich person wanted to keep Ramu also at his home through ailment and thus Damu acted as the facilitator and mediator between the two to have the great fun and living together. The moral behind the story is "friends are for ever" and age does not matter.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #751888
    Gita was sitting in the 2 tier A/C compartment which was about to depart very soon from Mumbai and reach Bangalore the next morning. The time was around 7.50 PM. The passengers were boarding the train with their luggage which made a commotion at the compartment. She was worried because she had never traveled along since her childhood. Now she was only 18 now. All the seats were filled except the one next to her. With bated breath she was wondering who would be her co-passenger. As she loved listening to music,she put her head phone and tuned on to Lata Mangeshkar's melodies whom she has been following since her school days. Suddenly, she could feel somebody tapping her shoulder and was happy to see a middle aged lady." Excuse me, could you please take out the handbag and some other items you have kept on my seat so that I can sit comfortably".She had a friendly smile on her face which made Gita think that how wonderful it could be if a new friendship would brew between them during the journeyt. She had lost her mother recently and pined for motherly love.
    As the lady settled down on the seat with ease, the exchange of name and address , their hobbies, food habits,clothes,new trends and other latest topics and their taste for music were interestingly discussed . A new friendship has started developing indeed thought Gita.The sharing of food, discussing about their family and friends and of course slowly humming of Latha Mangeshkar's songs were carried on till it was time to sleep. Good night Gita" said Aunt Sumithra as Gita was getting ready to sleep on the middle berth. Gita and Sumithra could hardly sleep that night as both were thinking about their new friendship although there was a wide age difference between them. "Coffee,Coffee" Sumithra woke up." Please give me a cup of hot coffee" she said to the staff. " For me also Sumithra aunty" said Gita trying to get off the berth. After they freshened up their conversation continued for a long time. Now the train was almost reaching the destination. They exchanged their phone numbers and addresses. As they both were residents of Bengaluru, they were sure that the new friendship made on the train would turn into a close family friendship when they would introduce each others family. " I will come to your house very soon aunty" said Gita . When Gita's driver arrived and lifted her luggage she took leave of Sumithra hugging her, tears of joy rolled down from both of their eyes. It was a unique journey to remember where not only two music lovers made new friends but also planned to continue with the new friendship forever.

  • #751889
    The title of my above story is...A memorable train journey which transforms a new friendship into a long lasting one.

  • #751894
    Music brought them together.

    Lata is new to that school. She studied in another city and came to this school very recently as her father got transferred. She is doing her ninth class. Their school planned to organise School Day and various competitions are going on. Lata is a good singer and she gave her name to participate in the singing competition.

    Balu is her neighbour and studying tenth class in the same school. He is also a good singer and he also gave his name to that competition. Even though both of them are neighbours, as her family shifted very recently, there is no friendship developed so far. They don't even know that the other person is also a singer.

    In the competition, both of them participated and Lata stood first among the female singers and Balu stood first among the male singers. On the day of celebrations, both the first prize winners have to sing a song on the stage together. They started practising and performed very well on the school day. That is how their friendship started as music is the connecting point. The chief guest of the function is a famous music director in the Cine Industry and he is very happy with the performance of these two and made an open promise to give them a chance in the cinema industry. They continued their musical journey together and started their own orchestra and became very famous in that city.

    Even though Balu left the school and joined in intermediate as they are neighbours their friendship continued and they continued singing together. Their families also became close and slowly their friendship has taken the shape of love. But they are always in the limits and they want to marry only after taking the consent of their parents. Their families also accepted their love and they both are now partners in their lives. That is how music brought a new friendship between them and made them partners in their life.

    always confident

  • #751902
    Dear Vandana,please delete the following sentences from my above story as the rules of the story competitions ,the word limit should be restr6 to 350 words.

  • #751904
    As she loved listening to music,she put 9n her headphone and tuned on Lata Mangeshkar's melodies whom she has been following since her School days
    The sharing of food,discussing about their family and friends and slowly humming of Lata Mangeshkar songs were carried on till it was time to sleep.
    " Coffee, coffee, Sumithra woke up. " Please give me a cup of coffee" Sumithra said to me staff.," For me also Sumithra aunty" said Gita trying to get off the birth.

  • #751910
    Priya "the musical person" brings back music in the lives of two friends.

    Sashi, now an IAS officer, was sitting in her home. When her 11-year-old daughter, showed her jingle that Sashi often used to hum. Telling her wow Mumma you are so much aware of the latest songs which are viral on the internet which Sashi also used to sing.
    Here see this album "The friendship that started on the notes of guitar still reverberated thousands of miles apart" was the title of the album it includes your as well.
    Sashi stood up with joys excitement to find out the origin of the jingle. She end up finding that it was composed by Riya who have come back to India and was now a song and jingle writer. Sashi contacted her through Facebook and in the Pandemic they met over zoom meeting and had a jamming session of guitar with the same jingle they composed years ago to remember their friendships. All the flashbacks came in front of their eyes in that session.
    Riya and Sashi met when they were in their 10th standard from different schools in the same district. They never met before that guitar class for which they both share an extreme passion. Riya was from a wealthy background and was paying a private tutor to teach her music whereas Sashi came from a lower-middle-class who was taught by the same tutor in school and seeing the passion in her he agreed to help her a little extra.
    Through him, both girls met in a musical session. They went on to become best friends inspiring, helping and learning from each other and sharing their life stories. They were inseparable during those years of school.
    After they completed their graduation Sashi started preparing for UPSC and Riya went to America for higher studies.
    In the hustle-bustle of life, they parted ways and were not able to connect. This is where I come as the musical person in the story bringing back music in the lives of two friends and fulfilling their wishes Priya Sashi's daughter standing in her class narrating the story as her school assignment.

    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #751917
    Music evokes soft emotions:
    Rajan was very fond of listening to the old songs using his father's old radio. Rajan had completed his class XII and was working in a shop as helper cum salesman. His father was a security guard in a posh housing society. They were living in a row house colony especial constructed by the state Govt for poor families. The area was full of these houses back to back and the lane between the houses was quite small in width and was congested. They were living in that congested condition for quite some time and were tuned to that.
    People in the nearby houses knew that Rajan listened old songs and often whistled them also. In a congested place like that the families residing nearby knew about each other in quite good detail.
    Many boys and girls of that area worked in the nearby market in shops and earned some money to supplement their parent's earning. One day when Rajan was working in the shop the owner told him that one girl is also hired for two months as festival rush was starting. Rajan was happy to know that as that would ease his load. Her name was Mina and she did her work sincerely. She was from the same locality living near to the Rajan's house. They were usually given half an hour break during the lunch and the two boys and Mina were taking it together in the store part of the shop. Seeing Mina's good work and nice manners Rajan found himself attracted to her but never disclosed it.
    One day after the lunch Mina was humming a song and Rajan was surprised as it was his favourite song.
    "You have radio?", Rajan enquired.
    "No. But I heard it many times. Whenever you listen to it, I also get chance. My house is just to market side at the back", Mina chuckled.
    "Oh, I never knew that", Rajan laughed.
    Both of them were feeling the spark of friendship and beginning of soft relations between them.

    [This story is the joint winner of the contest]

    Knowledge is power.

  • #751929
    Music- The connecting link

    He was a bit shy and was never confident about facing an audience. It was his English teacher, Mr Samuel, who convinced him and made him sing a song in front of his class during a Friday arts hour. He sang the song 'Kya hua tera wada' and the whole class applauded in appreciation.

    She, from another class, was, he felt, the most beautiful girl in the school. He had noticed her and felt that special feeling whenever he saw her.

    Then came the school arts festival and he was unanimously selected by his classmates to render a song. He still had inhibitions but decided to give it a try. He selected the song 'Kora kagaz tha ye man mera' and gave his best.

    As he was standing behind the stage, overjoyed by the standing ovation he got and wiping his sweat, he saw her coming towards him.

    'You sang so well', she said. And there started a new friendship. They got very close to each other. Her presence and words encouraged him to take up singing seriously and music became their connecting link.

    They moved ahead, from school to college and then to their own careers, and then decided to be together, always. She is his wife today and he promises, if not for her, and Samuel sir, of course, he would not have made it to what he is today in the music world.

    [This story wins a consolation prize for the contest]

    "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -Robert Frost

  • #751968
    Music turned her life beyond anticipation.
    It was the worst day for Rita. Though she was good at Mathematics but what has happened her all of sudden? She was going through the set of IIT question - papers of previous years since her teacher was to conduct a test following day to assess the capability of each student how extent they have grasped the basics thoroughly. While going through these questions, she became even more nervous. It is her hobby to whisper some old songs while solving the problems of Mathematics and in that way, she could restore better concentration but this time, this formula was not working.
    Next day was the day for the evaluation of the best performer to be selected by her teacher- Mr. Ghosh to award the pupils of his class for their best performance. Mr Ghosh was very much confident of her success.
    Finally the next day approached and she was back to her assigned seat. The question- papers were distributed among the pupils. It was around twenty odd questions carrying the time - limit of one and half hour to finish their tests. While going through the set of questions, she could recall up the ways to arrive at the solutions but she was rather confused to choose the appropriate formulas connected with the questions. As usual she went through her music mode to strengthen her faculty. She started singing slowly- Pahle mile sapno me, aaj samne paya, Kato se khich kar Badal so forth and these songs worked like a magic providing her insight how to crack the different problems. While attempting the questions, she was so much engrossed that she could not notice the presence of her teacher. The teacher stood silently behind her listening her old songs. Her performance in the initial phase was quite disappointing but that improved with the progression of time. She was really excited to have cracked almost all questions having a little confusion for one or two.
    On submission of the paper, the teacher requested her to sing a song of her choice. She obliged her teacher singing- Tum Na Jane kis Jahan Me Chip Gaye Ho and her performance was really superb.
    Amarinder sitting her behind was deeply moved with this pathetic song greeting her wholeheartedly. He, too, was adjudged the second best by the teacher. Time moved on and both were successful at the IIT entrance test. Later Rita acquired a management degree from IIM Ahmedabad but Amarinder opted for IT job after his B.Tech. However their attachment did not dilute but rather intensified with the time.
    One fine morning Rita got a call from Amarinder's father to know her opinion regarding her alliance with Amarinder and momentarily she was mum. Later, she accepted the proposal of Amarinder's father. Now both the couples are living happily. They are under the impression that music alone transformed their lives for the better.

  • #751971
    The musical bonding of a new friendship

    Anant and Vansh both graduated from the same school. Anant played football for a famous football club and wanted to play at the district level. While Vansh was a good musician and sang in the city's top music band. They were neighbors but not good communicators. Although sometimes they met on a morning walk.

    Once, Anant was practising with his football team when his toe got injured severely. He had to stop playing for a few weeks and take a break at home. Because Vansh also practises music at home, he started to go see him. After that, they often met each other. Anant started to like his company and also his music. Vansh started to teach him music and also gifted him a guitar for his birthday. He also started practising with him. Now a new friendship has started to blossom between them.

    One day, Vansh tells him that he is going to participate in a grand musical event in a few days. Hearing this, Anant also got excited and told Vansh that he was very happy for him and wanted to accompany him. Vansh nodded. On the day when the event was going to start in a few hours, Vansh got the news that his co-performer was not well and would not be joining the programme. Hearing this, he became upset. His dream is going to be ruined as his co-performer will not perform as it was a duet performance. Anant consoled him and said, "Don't be upset, everything will be fine." But how? Vansh asked. I have no other option. Suddenly, Anant said, "Can I perform with you?" Vansh couldn't believe his ears. He said, "Can you do this?" This is all I can do for my friend, he said. Tears came to Vansh's eyes, and they hugged each other tightly. Finally, the event was successful. And this musical bonding gave a new height to their friendship.

  • #751972
    Friendship through music

    Sumit was on his way to the office when his driver Vinod, a music lover, switched on the radio for listening to songs. A musical programme of the latest Hindi songs sung by some new singers was getting broadcast. Suddenly, a very familiar and melodious voice drew Sumit's attention. He didn't follow the artiste's name that made him restless, so he told Vinod to drive to the radio station. Sumit met the programme coordinator and expressed a desire to know the singer's name of a particular song. While they were talking, that similar voice drew his attention again when he heard someone calling, Sumit, is that you? How is it possible that you are here? Sumit looked in the direction of the voice coming from, and he was at a loss for words because his reason for being perplexed came true.

    Shobha, Mallika's twin sister, was standing in front of Sumit. Shobha realised Sumit's inner turmoil from his confused look. For a little while, both kept mum. Gradually, Sumit calmed down and successfully controlled his desperation. They started interacting, then Sumit recalled that Mallika, a close friend of his, died in a road accident when they were just twenty years old. Sumit left for Nagpur after his father was transferred there just a month after Mallika's death. Later with each passing day, Sumit became busy building his career and couldn't remain in touch with Mallika's family, although he never forgot Mallika, the friend.

    Sumit was in his thirties when he got posted in Jaipur but had no idea that Mallika's family had shifted to Jaipur. He was amazed by the extreme similarity of Shobha's voice and musical skill with Mallika's. He knew Shobha as a good dancer who rarely sang. So, Sumit had no idea about Shobha's musical journey. Shobha understood what was Sumit thinking, so she informed him that after the demise of her sister, she stepped into her sister's shoes to keep her alive among themselves.

    Sumit became emotional, and the seed of a new friendship between him and Shobha got planted.

    [This story is the joint winner of the contest]


  • #751973
    Rameshji is sitting in the lawn listening to the radio, he was mesmerised by the song compensating his loneliness in the huge bungalow. All of a sudden harsh voice of something falling broke his flow of listening and when he opened his eyes he saw his lovely radio lining on the ground broken into pieces. Before he could understand anything his eyes moved on a bird sitting scared. He understood that this bird collapsed with his radio and because of that, his radio is broken. He picked up that bird, it was shivering initially but after a sometimes tender touch of Ramesh made the bird feel it is safe there. Bird opened its mouth and started singing which was more melodious than the song playing on the radio. Ramesh was again mesmerised by the music of a newly met friend.

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