The Right and the Wrong Umbrella


The Right and the Wrong Umbrella


It was raining cats and dogs. On top of that I had flu and fever. But it was imperative for me to go out, and public transport was my only option for that place.

My navy blue umbrella had turned inside out when I used it during the last deadly storm. What should I do? I wondered.

Giving me her hot pink umbrella, my mom said to me, “Who’s going to see it anyway? No one will be out in this bad weather”

I took it and walked slowly against the opposing rain that was made worse by the harsh wind. As I entered the long pathway towards the train-station, I heard footsteps behind me. Then came multiple whistles followed by lewd comments.

“Out on your own, baby!!”

“Let us join you, will ya?”

For a moment it confused me. Then I looked up at the pink brolly and smiled. They were teasing a lone woman.

I decided to fool them by acting like a scared damsel, trying to walk faster with staggering steps. This went on for a while. While they continued their chase, soon they got more suggestive and vulgar. Then all of a sudden, one of the guys came up front, probably with intention for some cheap gesture.

I stopped and turned back. Then popping my eyes at them, I patted on my chin and the coarse stubble.

Lucky me. Despite my mom’s reminders that my unshaved face makes me look older than my twenty years, I’m very lazy about getting rid of facial hair that I’m genetically so well endowed with. Well, at least today I ended up looking like a toughie that I am not.

Scared by this change of game, the loonies ran away. I chased them uttering filthy words that I had never spoken before.

The episode became the talk of my community. A pink brolly draws men to women. I wonder if that is the reason why so many women in my area have now started using big black umbrellas, the kind that men use.  A lone woman’s strategy to keep prowlers away.

Copyright © 2015 Alka Girdhar

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This flash fiction was written for: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy. The photo by Etol Bagam.

Now posting my story for Flash Fiction with Ronovan Writes Challenge 7.

23 thoughts on “The Right and the Wrong Umbrella

    • Haha Balroop…I had not heard this funny joke so thanks for sharing. Generally I’m against any religion based jokes as they’re harmless to begin with but have a capacity to cause dangerously bad vibes.

      The situation in my story is almost unrealistic as a man carrying a pink umbrella would seem soft/feminine but rarely be mistaken to be a woman. This possibility was enhanced by heavy rain that clouded their vision (and brains).

      Real or unreal, my point was to show gender bias, one in the choice of colours…then in the lewd behaviour of men… and later women too are influenced, rather compelled to opt for black umbrella, knowing it to be a safer choice. When women emulate men, in the process men become more powerful decision makers. This goes on…

      See…these days I have no time but when I write, I can’t stop 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: The Right and the Wrong Umbrella | oshriradhekrishnabole

  2. Excellent. Not an over the top humor piece. Just right because you can see what’s coming along with the narrator. And I can see the young man chasing the other guys while holding his mother’s pink umbrella. You nailed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes Prompt #7 Entries: THE LINKS | ronovanwrites

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