Mother spreads out the pallu of her cotton sari overhead and I ducked under it.

Giving the auto-driver the address of a store, Mother, bundled the pallu into  a face-mask – the cotton strands fights pollution.

The stores doors are propped open to allow a non-existent breeze.

” A/C repair , Madam”, the store-manager shrugs nonchalantly. The pallu alternates between a towel and hand-fan.

Wiping his sweat , on the sleeve of his cotton shirt, he reads our shopping list:  “Woollen: jackets, gloves, caps, thermals, socks, sweaters”.

Rushing to work , weighed down by wool, my mind drifts across continents like tufts of cotton.

—————- end ————————————–

Pallu is the loose end of a sari

The “Auto” as we affectionately  call it ,is a special vehicle unique to parts of India..adapted to the congested roads of major cities.

This exactly 100 word story is written in response to the 100 word photo challenge  posted by Rochelle Wisoff-Field each week.

Click on the ‘blue frog’  below to read other amazing takes, that fellow Friday Fictioneers have, on the same photo prompt:

45 responses to “Cotton

  1. Beautiful. It takes very little to invoke memories. I liked the mom, she feels very loving and protective. I do hope you didn’t have to try the woollens on in that humidity.

    Leo @ I Rhyme Without Reason


  2. Brings memories from back home…Beautifully written !!!!!!!!


  3. Caerlynn Nash

    Wonderful portrayal of childhood images. Nicely done!


  4. Thanks Mom. Who else would buy you wool socks in farewell?
    I like the imagery,


  5. I love that Auto-car. That’s so cool. And the pallu has many uses! This is a colorful story, Ansumani. Nicely done. Is it true that a lot of businesses keep their doors open in India?


    • Amy, if you love roller-coasters and the high-speed chases we see in movies than you would love the “auto” even more. Most of us , close our eyes, offer a prayer and cling to the rails when riding the auto.
      Many stores , especially those without A/C , do keep the door open. Usually the have only metal shutters to lock up and no conventional doors.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wow, I want to go on one right now! it sounds like a blast. I do love roller coasters. It doesn’t tip over, does it?

        I heard that about doors there. So interesting! Thanks for filling me in, Ansumani.


  6. Who’s sari now?
    Good piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I Googled “pallu” – I should have waited until your explanation at the end. I’m glad that in that heat the shop had woollens in stock!


  8. Dear Ansumani,

    I really enjoyed this piece and the photo of the car. One nitpick. In the first sentence you have some tense confusion. I think you mean “I duck under it” rather than ducked since the rest of the story is in present tense. Aside from that, good one.




  9. So rich and vivid, I like your trip down the memory lane.


  10. Wonderful story about memories of days gone past. And interesting information about the palu. 🙂


  11. Interesting post. Also a reflection on how important attire is in our lives.
    (An editor says: should there be a comma after the word ‘sweat’?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patrick, Thanks for the editor’s note. Should there be a comma? Probably not. Originally I had more text that warranted commas and when I deleted them to stay within 100 words the commas stayed on and refused to budge 🙂


  12. That was interesting. I had to look up Sari, and I always love it when I learn something new.


  13. Very touching story, well done. And you even taught Russell something new!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Beautiful story lovingly written. I especially like the ending sentence.
    Heading to a wet climate, my mother sent me off with a new raincoat, rain hat, and an umbrella. Purchased in the middle of winter!


  15. A great tribute to travelling abroad leaving behind roots


  16. I would think a trip is in the future 😉 Very nice story, I enjoy the natural foreigness (to me) and love the footnotes so I know what was going on!


  17. Lovely swing between the snow and the heat and humidity..


  18. Beautiful use of cotton and wool as images for the past, present and future. I particularly love how you bring it all together in the last line – I just kept reading that sentence over and over. It’s wonderful.


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