“Topsy-turvy” Ridhima said aloud. The loud noise of the flight drowned her words, but not before the passengers sitting beside her heard it. 

“Excuse me, madam, isn’t it weird to say this when the flight is about to take off!”

The old man seated at the window smiled at her, while the young girl in the middle sounded jittery.

“Oh, sorry if I scared you. I was just thinking about a plot for my story which deals with the theme- Upside down.”

 She wrote on her notepad – ‘uʍop ǝpsdn’

 “Oh! You are an author! How exciting to be talking to a writer! Hi, I am Janaki.  It sounds interesting, the theme. What are your ideas about this word -inversion? The literal meaning -inverted conveys something misplaced, or not in the right place, like head over heels…..doesn’t it?” said the girl in the middle seat, feeling relaxed and also excited.

Ridhima hadn’t expected such an amiable conversation after her initial shocking statement. It lifted her spirits and she smiled at her warmly. She felt the plot taking a shape in her mind, thanks to Janaki, she thought. It seemed as though Janaki’s words had given clarity to her thoughts. 

“True, something that isn’t in its right place, …….. or something that changes our perception, a reversal, an inversion, you would have read about reflection of light and the inverted image of a candle in a concave mirror, the theory says something about a focal point and the distance between the object and the mirror that creates an upside-down image…. I think I was taught about it in my 6th or 7th grade…., difficult to recollect now.”

Ridhima felt as though she was apologising for not remembering the scientific phenomenon. She cleared her throat as though trying to sound normal. 

“ You see, when roles are reversed, when life throws challenges, when we are faced with adversities, nothing seems to be going as it ought to, our perception too goes through multiple changes, we go through a transformation, it can’t be called upside down but something akin to it. 

‘The world turned topsy-turvy due to Corona virus’ would be a very appropriate example of upside-down concept. Don’t you agree?”  

Janaki looked as though she was in deep thought. Ridhima felt it would be discourteous to pull her into conversation. She started jotting down her thoughts trying to fetch appropriate quotes and examples to cite. As she began to formulate her thoughts, like a picture the sequence, the setting started unfolding with ease.

Words began to unwind themselves and the flow was unstoppable. She wrote – ‘’SWIMS….. 1961!’’ Google search engine- you are awesome.”


After alighting from the flight Janaki just went her way without a glance at Ridhima. How strange! Ridhma thought.


Ridhima got the shock of her life when she received a mail….

“We regret to inform that a similar story has been submitted by Ms. Janaki…..”

“TOPSY TURVY” she uttered in utter dismay!


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