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[Flash fiction is an umbrella term used to describe any fictional work of extreme brevity, including the Six-Word Story, 140-character stories, also known as twitterature, the dribble (50 words), the drabble (100 words), and sudden fiction (750 words)]

“This is epic!”

I knew the boy was not talking about the Ramayana or even the Mahabharata. Pah! Words seemed to have new meaning these days, not the ones I knew them to have from my days of learning.

“Look at this one!”

I lowered my newspaper. I needn’t have bothered. He wasn’t talking to me. He hardly said a word to me anyway. Just mumbled when I asked him something. True, we were meeting after a long time. But she was different. They seemed best of friends from day one. She now stood behind his chair peering over his shoulder at the phone in his hand. Both of them burst into helpless laughter.

I marveled at their camaraderie. How did she do it? Not just the camaraderie. How did she know all the ‘cool’ stuff as they called it? It was all I could do to manage an old-fashioned mobile phone while she navigated through a smartphone and all its functions with ease.

“Here’s one more, Grandma!”

There was another burst of laughter from the pair of them.

“Shall I send it to you on WhatsApp?”

“Yes, darling. I want to share it with Shobha, Rema and Ragini.”

“Are they your buddies, Grandma? Are they old like you?”

“Who said I am old?” She was now looking at the boy in mock anger.

She caught me watching them though I tried unsuccessfully to duck behind the newspaper.

“Show Grandpa that funny meme!”

What? What did she mean? No, I didn’t want to see any meme. What was a meme anyway? I just want to read my newspaper in peace. The boy wasn’t too enthusiastic either, but obeyed his grandmother.

“Grandpa, here, look at this!’

I read off from the phone he thrust under my nose, and in spite of myself let out a loud guffaw. The boy smiled.

“Do you want to see another one, Grandpa?”

“Well…”

He didn’t wait for a reply. He already had another ready for me. I had to admit these were really funny. No wonder they had both been laughing their heads off. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her smile and walk to the kitchen to get breakfast ready.

© Shail Mohan 2020