Funeral | #AtoZChallenge

Aren’t we a selfish bunch!

Oh, I don’t mean you or me. I mean the human race. We always think of ourselves first. No matter what the catastrophe, big, small, medium, we ask if it affects us in any way. Most of the time, we decide it doesn’t, and continue to think about our own lives and be self-absorbed.

But there’s no excuse for how we behaved on that particular day.

We had begun to describe the “self” as the two of us. And the resulting selfishness was ours to share and feel small about.

In life, you wade through a few bad relationships and get convinced each time you try again, you’re only setting yourself up for another heartbreak. It’s this pessimism that gives way to fears of jinxes and speaking too soon, like how some women hide their pregnancies until they’ve crossed the three-month mark. So far, we had told none of our friends about us. It was swelling up on the inside, the weight of this secret. We expressed disbelief that it wasn’t plain on our guilty faces for everyone to see. It was worse that we didn’t really want to keep it a secret, and we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the “fear”. It was a bad itch, like living with sewed lips, because we didn’t want to blurt anything out. But blurt it out we did.

At Sara’s father’s funeral.

There was an air of sorrow all around. Her father lay in a casket placed in a small room in a corner of their house. It was just our group, Sara’s closest friends, that refused to step in to the room and pay our respects. Were we afraid suddenly of death? Was the grief sucking out our newfound joy? Or had we just held it in for far too long?

When we told her, Sara should have punched us in our faces for our insensitivity. She didn’t. She smiled through her tears and told us she was happy for us. Our other friends murmured in half-hearted agreement, even as they reproachfully looked at us with the words, “How could you reveal this today?” unsaid but heavy in the space between us. They also chose not to punch us in our faces. Sara went a notch further and said the two of us getting together called for celebration. The worst thing was that she wasn’t being sarcastic. This only made us feel smaller than we already did.

We made excuses. We said we were trying to cheer Sara up with some happy news during this terrible time. But in the end, we knew they were right. What were we thinking? Oh, that’s right. About ourselves.



Hi everyone! I’m working on a minimalist fiction project for this year’s #AtoZChallenge. The story will be shared in snippets, and the events occur non-sequentially. It is for the reader to interpret and form the “whole”. You can read all the posts here. Join me, and do share links to your AtoZ posts as well!



53 thoughts on “Funeral | #AtoZChallenge

  1. Shailaja V April 7, 2017 / 6:47 AM

    The things we do when in love, young and infatuated. I don’t suppose this is uncommon, really. Although, at a funeral is not the most common place to blurt things out, I guess. Now I’m curious. Who is Sara and why is she crucial to this story? Damn you, woman, do I have to wait till the end of April to find out? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 7, 2017 / 3:29 PM

      I haven’t taken a sip of water since this morning, suspecting it may be laced with veritaserum 😛
      I’ve also taped my mouth as an extra precaution


  2. Lata Sunil April 7, 2017 / 8:40 AM

    Love makes you do crazy things including this crazy superstition. But, I found it oddly funny. Imagining the announcement and the looks of disbelief, then Sara calling for celebration as if she could not wait to get over her father’s funeral proceedings. Good one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 7, 2017 / 3:30 PM

      Haha, funny is what I was going for. I didn’t want anyone to get offended with this story, but I thought it might just add a bit to the humor side of it (of which there isn’t much in the overall tale)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lata Sunil April 7, 2017 / 4:03 PM

      Sreesha, you must write a dark comedy after this a to z.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 12:41 AM

      Very, very difficult genre. I need to read some of it first. Do you have reccos?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lata Sunil April 8, 2017 / 3:35 PM

      Check out Uncanny magazine issue 14, story by Sam J Miller. It’s about a guy called Cyd. I will send you link when I get to my laptop. He writes excellent fiction.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Anmol Rawat April 7, 2017 / 12:32 PM

    Love is crazy! Often when you look back in time, you find dozens of instances where you did something you might not be proud of or something that is not essentially you.
    This was a whole new level though 😀
    Keep going, we are loving it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 7, 2017 / 3:31 PM

      The funny thing is, sometimes the craziest things we did are what we’re secretly proud of 😛 (Of course, this was a little extreme – my protagonists should be totally ashamed!)

      Thanks a lot! ❤


  4. Louise April 7, 2017 / 4:44 PM

    I enjoy how your writing brings up a few different thoughts each time I read. Regarding “all about me” self obsession – this reminds me of my brother-in-law announcing he was getting divorced … at our wedding … with his wife there. As for new love, I think it is something everyone wants to let out. This idea that EVERYONE should be happy like “us” in this moment and maybe it will help. Certainly wrong place for it – but I understand the sentiment and you captured it very well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 12:45 AM

      My God! So sorry to hear that; why would he announce it at your wedding!

      Thanks for reading, Louise. 🙂


    • Louise April 8, 2017 / 6:17 PM

      Short story is he was drunk and just generally made everything about him. He’s since stopped drinking and become such a better person.

      It’s been fun to read!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. aslifehappens60 April 7, 2017 / 5:38 PM

    Its amazing how you can take any narrative to the next level with your artistry of words.

    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 12:46 AM

      Yup, the bubble of new love 😀
      Thanks for reading, Namratha!


  6. Lalita April 7, 2017 / 7:02 PM

    So many awesome literary and cinematic set-ups have happened over a funeral. There is something about being associated with this “finale” that brings out all our collective oddness. Btw, I separately also find the “pregnancy top secret till Month 4” mysterious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 12:48 AM

      You’ve raised an interesting point. This is something I may talk about in the Reflections post that’ll follow. Stay tuned! 🙂

      Oh yeah, and then they cover their bellies with stoles and pashminas and what not.


  7. Soumya (@soumyaprasad) April 7, 2017 / 8:16 PM

    Ah young innocent love! 🙂

    Innocent? Well, I might take that back.

    I thought they had something to do with the death or something initially. But then I realized that it is you and things cannot be so simple with you 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 12:48 AM

      Of course they’re not innocent. They popped out of my head after all 😛


  8. Roshan Radhakrishnan April 7, 2017 / 8:34 PM

    This series intrigues me greatly… it is excellent storytelling but the scattered timeline keeps me wondering and trying to piece the sequence to my satisfaction and then waiting for the next piece to drop to add to the story.
    Its like a jigsaw puzzle where we get one piece at a time. Each one slowly modifying the scene we imagined.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 12:52 AM

      Yes, I’m playing a game with my readers >:) I just hope you have fun with it, and in the end you’re happy with the final result 😀


  9. Titli s April 7, 2017 / 8:34 PM

    I’m trying to connect the parts to see how they figure as a part of the whole…but I’m still running around in circles!

    I loved the narration of the sequence of events. Crisp, and impactful.

    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 12:52 AM

      Strictly speaking, in 6 posts, you already have the end and the beginning 😛

      Thanks, S! Keep reading 😀


  10. reemamichelle April 7, 2017 / 10:37 PM

    Why did they have to blurt it out at a funeral? Waiting for all the pieces to fall in place.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mithila Menezes April 7, 2017 / 11:34 PM

    Secrets and lies can only be hidden for some time!

    I think I know where you’re going with this Sara angle. The hint (according to me, is) why only Sara’s dad’s funeral? Why not any other girl’s dad’s funeral? Why not a boy’s dad’s funeral?

    Am I right? Am I? Don’t tell me yet, I’m waiting for the next jigsaw piece!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 12:55 AM

      I like the way your mind works. Wait until Z and check if your answer’s there 😛 But honestly, I do like the way your mind works.


  12. inquisitivegeet April 7, 2017 / 11:34 PM

    That is how it is… Maybe we’re wired this way, to think about ourselves first and then everything else.

    You twisted it in the end, didn’t you?

    I like the way you’re going, Sreesha


    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 12:56 AM

      We’re all wired that way, and yet we complain when someone else behaves that way, isn’t it? Funny species, us!

      Thanks, Geet! 🙂


  13. Vidya Sury April 8, 2017 / 12:30 AM

    I am sitting here scratching my imaginary beard here and blowing imaginary smoke rings with my imaginary pipe. I empathize with the two for blurting out their “secret” –it is that kind of news– the wonder of bringing a life into this world. Sometimes people say it more because saying it makes it more real. Sara is a nice person. I will patiently wait to see where this goes. Hugs, Sreesha. My F post is just in time for G day 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 12:59 AM

      Yes, Sara is a nice person. OR is she? Keep scratching that beard, my love. 😉

      I did wonder where your F post went… Then I thought maybe you were following a US timezone or something!


  14. Ritika |Indian Screw Up April 8, 2017 / 12:52 AM

    Okay, I am intrigued and I don’t know if I can read this in snippets! You need to tell me what’s happening here.

    I have a theory but I am not sure about it yet :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 1:01 AM

      Buaha, but you have to read it in snippets. No way around it. 😀

      Spit it out. Let’s see if you’ve hit something.


  15. Anita April 8, 2017 / 1:48 AM

    Human nature is pretty intriguing.
    Funerals have a heavy & sad air. The realization dawns about death.
    At the end, we think of ourselves as usual 🙂
    Nicely put, Sreesha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 10:28 PM

      Funerals make you aware of your own mortality and makes you think of all that. I guess most of us would do anything to avoid that wake up call.


  16. swathishenoy April 8, 2017 / 8:13 AM

    They did choose the worst of all place to blurt out their secret! The things love makes us do! Yet again, brilliantly penned Sreesha 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 10:32 PM

      Oh yes, even wars have been fought for love after all 🙂

      Thanks for reading, Swathi!


  17. Miss Andi April 8, 2017 / 1:02 PM

    I love the raw honesty of this character, it’s quite rare that people admit their wrongdoing.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Shilpa Garg April 8, 2017 / 4:03 PM

    This is an intriguing, interesting and impactful part of the story. Love the way you brought out the superstition and the selfishness in love.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Rajlakshmi (@Sunjhini) April 8, 2017 / 4:36 PM

    naah not a good place to blurt out things like that… very insensitive. I absolutely love how you handle human emotions. Beautifully penned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 10:37 PM

      Insensitive and selfish. The things people do in love, eh? 😛
      Thank you, Raj!


  20. crissdude April 9, 2017 / 10:15 PM

    How’d you even think of a story like this? How insensitive! :p

    What a story SD. You’re the man!

    Ironically, as terrible as this sounds, I’ve seen this happen so many times…

    Do drop by mine.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 13, 2017 / 8:49 AM

      Haha, that’s a story in itself how I thought of this piece 🙂


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