Thanks to Piya Singh for this week's photo prompt.

“…to kill the demon, who’s holding Princess Balanagamma captive, you need to cross seven oceans and seven mountains to reach a cave… there will be a parrot , in a golden cage, wring it’s neck to kill the demon…”, Grandma was telling us the Indian folk tale ‘Balanagamma’ for the thirtieth (maybe fortieth) time.

In the dark  her words spun  images of  distant forests and treacherous paths.  I wondered why mother never tells us bedtime stories.

The wheel of time turns.

“Again, Again!”, my children say.

Mother says…”Balanagamma was a beautiful princess…”

I wait my turn to tell the tale.

–end —

Some stories are best told by grandmothers.

This 100 word (true) story was written for the 100 word photo challenge. More details about this challenge can be found at:

Thanks to Piya Singh for this week’s photo prompt.

Click on the Froggy below for other amazing takes on the same prompt by fellow “Friday Fictioneers.”


43 responses to “Balanagamma

  1. Dear Ansumani,

    I can almost hear and see the grandmother. Lovely tale in few words.




  2. Social rules are complex and eternally fascinating


  3. I liked that. Especially the idea that only the elder of the generations is qualified to tell the tale. Nicely done.


  4. I like that there is a roll for each generation, sadly it seems that it is slowing ebbing away. However I felt for the poor parrot.


    • I too felt for the parrot . “why should the demon “hide” his life in that bird ” I have asked. But that’s the way stories go …there’s always innocent lives lost in war I guess. Thanks for reading.


  5. Graham Lawrence

    Sweet. Grandmothers are special for sure.


  6. A lovely story, filled with love and atmosphere. A lovely thing to read 🙂


  7. Lovely story, passing on family traditions.


  8. I truly loved this… a true purpose of grandparents, and what I love the most is the understanding and biding of time.


  9. Beautiful! I am guessing that you concentrated on the wheel (of life)!


  10. Such a lovely story, full of kindness, full of grace.
    I love that only the grandmother gets to tell the story, and that your character cannot wait to be one.


  11. Awwee.. this brought me home. How I’d wish I’d remember my grandmother’s tales. Beautiful and nostalgic piece. 🙂


  12. It’s so true! Some stories just seem to be better told by the older generations.


  13. There are really dark stories in this world. Just right for children of all ages.


  14. I love the circular feel to this, as the tale passes to each generation to hear and re-tell in turn.


  15. memories are made of this. great story.


  16. Amen to that. I love to hear the stories old Grandmothers tell. I felt like a little kid sitting at her feet.


  17. A beautiful family tradition that connects generations.


  18. Reminds me of the stories that my Great Grandmother told me as I curled on her lap and she rocked in the old squeaky rocker. Many, many a happy times those were.


  19. Stories seem more possible when told with the whispering wisdom of a grandmother’s voice.


  20. It seems as though the mother was waiting to tell the story until she became a grandmother. Some stories never grow old to children. This story was passed down in a time-honored way, by word of mouth. Well done, Ansumani. 🙂 — Suzanne


  21. And that’s why grandmothers are so important. Tales are always special told by them…


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