By Vishnu B. Unnithan


Brewing Success from Disaster

I should be excited, like waiting to meet my lover,

since each day presents opportunities galore.

However, anxiety is my daily chore.

It rattles me to the core.

I analyse, plan and think some more.


I should be sparkling with anticipation, like waiting to meet my lover,

but when nothing goes as expected,

I lie sprawling: helpless, cheated and exhausted.

All my labours and pains laid to waste,

or did my mind once again make too much haste?


It is wise to plan how to spend a day,

however, microplanning to the minute and expecting things to follow

your stupid plan must be kept at bay.

Deal the best you can with everyday,

and when things go haywire: don’t feel hollow,

rather, adapt to the sunshine and learn to make hay.


The secret I now unveil,

has passed down through centuries of lore.


This mantra is enough to make you roar.

Follow it and your experience of life shall truly soar.

Go about life heady, like waiting to meet your lover.



May 1: She watched her dropping the glass and clutching her chest,

I feel a stabbing retrosternal pain“, said Mommy dearest.

Was this the day that she had always feared?

Had bereavement its ugly head reared?

She had not yet found a suitable groom,

Young and dependent, she still had to learn how to broom.


What would she do if Mother was no more?


Mother had always ensured she missed out on nothing.

even after her father had passed away one spring.

Mother selflessly took over the reins,

sacrifice ran in their family veins.

Mother cooked, cleaned and did all the housework.

There was no menial duty from which she ever shirked.

All so that her daughter could study and read some more,

So that one day she could in her own life soar.


What would she do if Mother was no more?


The ambulance came and they rushed to the emergency room, papers were made and an ECG was taken,

The physician saw no STEMI, NSTEMI or T wave inversion, rather a normal ECG. He saw her shaken,  

All leads show perfectly normal waves.“, said the physician who was on duty reassuring her worried, devastated and overworked mind,

The etiology seems to be gastric trouble.”, he added handing over a bottle, “Give your mother this, and she should be absolutely fine.”

She resolved to continue working hard and learned to be independent from that very day. Never wasting an instant, she did this, that, everything under the Sun and also much more,

to honour her mother’s lifelong sacrifice. Truly, Mother had given her a terrible fright that May. After everything Mother did, this question coming from her daughter, the Mother would deplore:

What would she do if Mother was no more?  


The Pen and The Sword

The pen is mightier than the sword.
Through generations people saw this unfold,
it proved true for the young and old.
It made people more bold.

Asia attained freedom from the British,
Slaves finally got a semblance of normality,
in that age old skirmish.
Europe emerged from the dark ages.

Who inspired ignorants against inequality, injustice and cruelty?
It was the works of great poets, painters, thinkers and authors.

Finally, the oppressors were forced to run,
from under the bright and scorching sun,
of writer’s clear and objective thoughts.

Their image tarnished.

Never was victory attained,
nor anything worthwhile gained,
through war or bloodshed,
it was only pain.

In every situation in the past,
though battles may have been won or lost,
the real war was decided at last,
by what the intellectuals thought.

There was never a war without a great cost,
families bereaved, children orphaned,
blooming flowers lost.

You can take many examples,
I can bet that you will find,
that in all cases, the pen tramples
over the sword. Hence humans, use your mind.

Strive together for peace,
so that terrorism, wars and bloodshed should cease.
Then people can live at ease
and make life a pleasant breeze.


The Narrative Crime Comedy Starring Jolly Old Bill
Jolly Old Bill had put on a lot of weight,
thus, to become fit, to the gym went Jolly Old Bill.
The receptionist asked him to wait,
obedient Jolly Old Bill did till-
the manager told him the rate,
A rate to pay which Jolly Old Bill would have to kill.

Jolly Old Bill undertook an assignment, preparing to kill,
he hoped to choke his victims by his weight.
He was planning on setting up a face to face meeting till-
he uncovered in his investigation something that made him wait.
The intended victim was a man-mountain who exercised at that very gym, thwarting the plans of Jolly Old Bill.
How would he now pay his gym membership rate?

It costed more than a fortune, you know, the rate!
Jolly Old Bill had read that obesity would kill,
he desperately wanted to lose weight.
Having failed his assignment, he was pondering over his next step till-
it struck him! Yes, that would work! But wait-
Once burned, twice shy, now, research would be done first by Jolly Old Bill.

Scrutinizing his opponents, Jolly Old Bill,
mentally visualising himself paying the gym membership rate,
Jolly Old Bill completed his research into ‘The Deadly Kill.’
‘The Deadly Kill’ was a championship of lifting weight,
Jolly Old Bill, having outlifted his competitiors, felt assured of victory till-
the emcee called upon wild card entries making Jolly Old Bill wait.

As the wild card entries stepped up to the frenzied cage and Jolly Old Bill continued his seemingly endless wait,
he saw his intended victim from the previous assignment. As the panel on TV debated on a new bill,
Jolly Old Bill, now sure to fail, saw his victim fumbling to lift the weight.
His joy was short-lived though, for the next wild card entry hoisted that weight like a predator his kill.
And thus it was, that Jolly Old Bill could still not pay his gym membership rate.
Depressed, his two plans having failed, Jolly Old Bill was at a loss for words till-

“Do not tell anyone”, said his victim who had fumbled,”I felt I could have lifted the weight easily till-”
“-my hernia hurt me.” said the giant who appeared in many advertisements, now begging. “Wait,”
“I have recorded the entire fiasco. It will be automatically uploaded unless…”, interjected Jolly Old Bill,
“…unless you pay my gym membership fees.” For the rich giant, weighing pros and cons, this seemed a paltry rate,
not knowing that Old Jolly Bill had intended to kill,
he gladly paid for his gym membership and then, Old Jolly Bill lost his weight.

This was a story about losing weight, when all hope seemed lost till-
a stroke of serendipity for Old Jolly Bill, ended his agonising wait,
Paid for his gym membership rate, the very man he had intended to kill.



Vishnu B. Unnithan is a doctor from Mumbai with a thriving passion for surgery. When he manages to spare time, he finds happiness in suturing words together.

He currently serves as a contributor to The Artifice and has every intention to publish profusely along with carrying on his medical duties towards the global community. His recent work has been published in Gosumag, The Poetry Marathon Anthology and FAMSA Newsletter. His arsenal includes such enviable superpowers like the ability to fantasize about food even in the midst of a pertinent crisis. He romances the English language and loves quotes; some of which may inadvertently find their way into his writings: a few, inspired and always, entirely original.

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