Saturday, 18 February 2017

Que sera sera...

How many times in your life have you wished you were Aladdin? The guy who would just rub the magic lamp and poof...out would appear a genie, who would fulfil every wish, every command you uttered? A hundred times, isn't it? Especially, when there was that something that you felt had the potential to change your life, turn your world upside down, and yet, was just not within your reach. When all the hard work you put in bore no fruits, leaving you frustrated and desperate, and yet, you didn't have the heart to let go of that one thing you knew was meant just for you. Am I right?

I have wanted to be Aladdin for quite a long time, now. Despite knowing that there are somethings far out of reach, are not destined to be mine,  the countless human frailties render me desperate, driving me to seek precisely what I should ideally leave alone. The greed, the feeling that certain things are a necessity for my growth is what drives me insane when I fail to achieve the object of my desire.

My mother says, that things will happen if and when they are meant to. That, if something is destined to happen in your life, then it most  definitely will.  Be it a particular occupation you are keen on getting hired for, meeting the person you want to spend your life with, or even something trivial, like winning a race at your school,Sports day.  She has always been cool as a cucumber, that woman. Don't even ask me how she does it. Also, please don't ask me how come I haven't inherited those cool genes of hers, because I know not. I wonder why I didn't!

Anyway, over the years, after having wasted a whole lot of stamina fretting over all the things that I couldn't achieve, all the wishes I couldn't fulfil,  I have realised that what mother says is one of the Ten Commandments one needs to follow. For, it's  Madame Destiny who decides what's good for you, what's meant for you and when it's meant to take place. Period.

There are people who don't believe in destiny; people,  who believe in writing their own destinies. My good sense tells me to leave the people be. It's for mere mortals like yours truly for whom this post I write. Have you ever experienced how you wanted something very desperately?  Like say, that job interview you had been preparing for in all earnestness? You prayed for the coveted position; in fact, you were almost certain it was yours, and yet, when the outcome of the interview was declared, you learnt you hadn't made it. Despite everything - your hard work, your prayers - you didn't make it.

Do you remember your state of mind then? For a period of at least a week or so, you were morose, dejected and hating the universe for what it had done to you. Let me tell you, I, too, have been through a similar state countless times. But, I came out of it. We all did. And, do you know why? Because, firstly, we resigned ourselves to the fact that it was not meant to be, and secondly, we realised that the vast universe has a countless opportunities in store for us, waiting to be toiled for, waiting to change our lives. And so, all we did was try one of those countless opportunities. So what if we were a tad bit late, behind the rest of the others?  We did make it, didn't we?

Since the past three days, I had been waiting for a mail that would tell me if I had succeeded at something I had been working at. I bit my nails restlessly and prayed for divine intervention.   And, this morning, when I couldn't take the torture anymore, I just said to myself, that if the damn thing had to work out, it very well WOULD! Else,  I will simply try for something else. That's it. Frankly, it means a lot to me - I am a homemaker, and haven't been "bringing to the table" a single paisa since I quit my job to look after my family. And, yet, I just let it go - that yearning for things to happen, to brighten up my life - I just let it all go. I decided to wait and watch.

What was the worse that could happen, anyway? Nothing! My universe, I realised, has always been kind to me, caring and loving. It would never let me down, is what I knew. I did have my doubts, though. I always do. Still, I decided that the feeling of shame at not being an achiever, of being a loser will subside with time, till the next opportunity that will come knocking at my door one fine day. At least I will learn to be stronger. Which I so need to, by the way! And, if the feeling persists, mom is there to rescue me from this abyss and drill some sense into my head.

And, even as I was entertaining some good and some horrid thoughts, the mail arrived, putting my fears to rest! My joy knew no bounds! I thanked my universe profusely and ( imaginarily) boxed my ears. It's been some time since I realised that my universe takes time to work up the miracle I have wanted; that it always tests my patience, my strength, in order to make me stronger, and in spite of this knowledge, I let myself go!?  Stupid,  moi?

Well, I have promised to be patient-er,  henceforth, for I know everything will come in good time. For, what's meant to be mine, will be, and what I am meant to achieve, I will! No two ways about it! And, whatever will be...will be! I ought to enjoy the journey, isn't it? And, have faith. And, patience...oodles of patience!

How good are you are waiting for what you really want? Do you drive yourself nuts when things take a long time to happen? Or, are you the blessed one, like my mom, who knows that if it's meant to be, it will? That whatever will be, will be? Do share with me...I would love to know!

Love,

SHILPA...







Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The BergerXP Indiblogger Meet.

    Last week,  I received an invite from Indiblogger for a BergerXP Indiblogger  Meet at The Vivanta by Taj, at Cuffe Parade.  They promised me "a  fun-filled Saturday afternoon with loads of madness the good old Indiblogger way."   I hadn't attended a single Indiblogger meet, and so, was eager to know what sort of "madness" there would be. Indiblogger also added a note that I had been invited for the meet because of the topics I blogged about and my Indirank and also my overall awesomeness! Wow! Trust Indiblogger to make you feel so special,  I simply had to go!


The part I looked forward to was meeting bloggers I had only met virtually. The venue selected was royal, to say the least. And, the moment I stepped inside Vivanta, I knew I would be having a lovely time. We gathered, introduced ourselves and on learning how well we knew each other virtually, burst into guffaws for feeling like strangers on meeting in the real world! The registration done, we mingled, chatted and laughed as we got acquainted with each other,

 The photographers moved around prodding us to pose for pictures and give our views on what we were looking forward to. Silly of us to pose like celebrities, but the photographers were gracious enough to indulge us every way we wished!




  After the photo session, we went on to have our tummies indulged, as well. The lip-smacking spread  was to die for, and was accompanied by some more laughter and chatter. Eventually, we moved on to the main event where we  settled down for a talk by  Chandranath Banerjee, Services Head, Express Painting. He began with the history of how Berger came into being.  Right from how Lewis Berger laid the foundation of  the company in 1760 in UK, to how it arrived in India in the year 1923 and how it now features among the Forbes Super 50, the Unusual Billionaires and is also one of the Unique 7 companies.


  Around 2015, Berger came up with a revolutionary painting technique never heard of. It consisted of Express Painting - a faster, cleaner and a better way of painting.  We all know so well how we find painting a cumbersome job; one we would rather put off until we can bear it no more.  What with all the dust that settles on every surface, in every nook and cranny in the house and does not get cleaned try as we might, we tend to make it a seven-year plan.

  The never ending procedure of sanding the walls,  scrubbing them till they get a smooth finish and then painting over it, can make life miserable. Life almost comes to a standstill! But, with the new Express Painting technique, painting could become an enjoyable event, hassle-free as well as satisfying. Berger Paints has come up with automatic machines that can bring down the hassle-quotient to a zero!

  It's the machines that do the sanding, the scrubbing and the cleaning, giving you dust-free homes. Machines that have been fitted with a vacuum that sucks up the dust and prevents it from settling on any surface. The workers are well-trained and skilled in their job. They come armed with plastic covers for your furnitures, covering everything so well, you don't need to worry about your prized possessions getting dusty, dirty or paint-spilled. They offer water-proofing solutions as well as post painting clean-up and rearrangement of your furniture.

 The entire package consists of :

* Use of fully automatic painting machines.

* Better finish.

* Trained painters.

*Use of authentic Berger products.

*Post painting clean-up.

*Less wastage of materials.

 There is a wide colour scheme on offer, with shades selected from the rich craft culture and tradition of our colourful country. The vivid colour combinations for the  interiors as well as the exteriors promise to give us the home of our dreams. And, the paints used are such, they actually don't allow dust to settle on the walls! So, you have a regal looking home from inside as well as from the outside to boast about.

 Berger also brings for us luxury design textures they call, Silk Illusions. And, the variety of textures for your walls is bound to take your breath away. Classy, sophisticated, calming to the senses and easy on your pocket. Isn't it all what we all look forward to when we set about painting our homes? I so wish I had known about it earlier. A year ago, we had our house painted, putting in quite an amount of money, but failed to reap the benefits as we had hoped.

  The seepage through the walls and the quality of colour has left my walls looking dull, drab and weather-beaten. And, it's not even two years, yet! Next time, though, I know whose services I will be hiring for the painting job.


  After the talk and the question and answer session, we had some activities in store. We were to play the role of the painters! Yes.  There was a team activity that included sanding and scrubbing of boards to get a smooth finish.  Mr. Banerjee explained to us how the boards had to be scrubbed using sandpaper and achieve a smooth finish. It was an exercise in learning how things had been up until now and how the new revolutionary technique could leave us feeling stress-free.


 We were then shown the colours and the tints created by Berger, that can be mixed with a base of white to achieve the shade of our choice. We were supplied with those paints and drawing sheets and a theme to work on and create a painting. It was a team activity which every one of us thoroughly enjoyed. It was fun working in tandem to bring alive on the canvas the picture we had visualised.




At the end, after a huge round of applause for all the teams and their art and the hosts, and for Berger, too, the event came to an end.



 It was a day well spent. I had a chance to meet my blogger friends, have some fun and learn about something new that I can very well predict is going to put Berger on the top of everyone's list of favourites.

 I would like to thank Indiblogger for the wonderful time I had and request them to keep organising such meets as frequently as possible.  Oh, and they deserve full points for the pampering, too!


*Pictures courtesy: Indiblogger.

Monday, 6 February 2017

We and our bare essentials.



This morning, I read an amusing article on how squeamish our society is about women's undergarments and the etceteras. Etceteras, as in all the  things related to women. I mean, those you-know-whats, and those other you-know-whats, as well!  And, it reminded me of all those times when this squeamishness was highly palpable, even to the teenaged me, who wondered what the fuss was all about!

I remember how, as a big girl, I had to hide my stuff from the world. The undergarments, the sanitary napkins, all of it had to be shoved to the back of my shelf in the cupboard, lest it presented its ugly self to the world and polluted the serenity around.  Do you remember, how in the olden days a Brahmin would get 'polluted' if touched by a person from the lower caste? Yes, just like that. Our lady-items have the potential to contaminate the virtuous world around us.

If a bra or a panty happens to be lying around in our room, then... "Why is that thing of yours lying around like that? CLEAR UP QUICK! And, please put those to dry in the corner on the clothes line. We don't want those to flutter like flags and attract everyone's attention, do we?"  No fingers get wagged, though,  if the male members of our family leave their undies lying all over the place!  It's still not  accepted that we women have been blessed with a body, and that we cover ourselves well, so yes, we, too, wear undergarments, that's all!

A firebrand colleague once reprimanded her husband and her son for strewing their undies all over the house. If she found their clothes lying around everywhere, she threatened, she would leave her inner wear lying all over, too! It had the necessary effect on her menfolk. They only had to visualise her bras and panties scattered around the house and guests dropping in unannounced! Serves them right.

I remember, as young girls, whenever our bra-strap peeped from under our outfits, our girlfriends would quickly push it back  in, saying, "hey, your boyfriend/mother-in-law is peeping!" Hilarious, I know! But, I never see men doing that. They roam about in their vests and their boxer shorts all the time. Heaven forbid if a woman was to move about in her house dressed in a vest and a pair of shorts. "Chhi chhi! Have you no shame, at all? Go, cover up!" we hear.  Even during the scorching months of summer we have to be dressed in layers of clothing, while the men, they can gallivant round town in anything they please!

Sanitary napkins and their mention has a weird effect on the salesmen at the chemist. The guy at my neighbourhood chemist acts as if I were asking for my monthly drugs supply! Drugs, as in marijuana, et al.  I enter the shop, the guy comes over and enquires what it is that I need. And, the moment I mention the name of a sanitary napkin, he lowers his tone to almost a whisper. "Yes, ma'am, which one do you need? The green packet of the ABC company, or the blue packet of the XYZ  company?"  he asks,  surreptitiously.  And, no sooner do I point out to the one I need than he hurries to  pick it up from the showcase, wrap it in a newspaper, secure it with a string and then drop  it in a black polythene bag. BLACK, mind you, not the transparent one which he uses to pack medicines in.

Ditto for the salesmen at the undergarments counter. Albeit, these guys are at the other end of the spectrum. There's no embarrassment on their faces, but the transactions do take place in hushed tones.  I find it  tremendously embarrassing asking for lingerie at a store which hasn't appointed a woman at these counters. The men - they unabashedly  size us up and bring out the stuff even  before we open our mouth to mention our requirement! Don't they, ladies?   I do get riled by their crass behaviour, but at times, I wish the men in our homes would also treat these items of clothing as just that - items of clothing. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to be ashamed of.

So, what IS it about our lingerie and our period-stuff that is so repellant? Why can't it be accepted that half the world's population has been blessed with body parts slightly differing in proportions and appearance, and that those need to be covered, and that's why those undergarments? Those are just garments, for heaven's sake! Or, shouldn't we be wearing any? Will THAT put them at ease? Tee-hee!

 When I ponder over it all, it gives me a feeling that women, as a 'species', are an embarrassment to the society, and that embarrassment is what gets attached to everything related to women. And, thus all the fuss about everything women.

Sigh.

I could rant on about this vexation, but I guess I have to curtail the urge to go overboard. So, I will stop here, for now.
Maybe you could share with me experiences that left you fuming at the silliness of people's behaviour towards the, you know, lady-items. We could have a few laughs, maybe, for it's really pointless vexing over things you can't change, ever. And, laughter is always the best medicine, so, let's share a few laughs and have a good time poking fun at society and its pea-sized brain.

What say you?

Love,

SHILPA...

Friday, 3 February 2017

Are you a bibliophile?



  Over the years, I have realised that being an introvert and  loving your own company more than that of the others has its own benefits. You learn a lot about 'Yourself'  - the one person you are going to spend your life with - and, you learn to spend your time and energy on things that help mould you into a much better version of yourself.

  It can be stifling, though,  being with yourself all the time. I mean, we humans are social animals, and we need people to share our feelings with, at least every now and then, if not always.  But, when solitude gets forced upon you, all you can do is accept it,  learn ways to turn the situation around, and revel in it!

 I turned to the love of my life - my books! An avid reader as a youngster, I remember how I would  wander off in the pages of my story books and forget the world. Over time, though, my books took a backseat as life took over.  Until some time ago, when I heard them calling out to me during some silent moments and I picked them up again. And, discovered the magic they held in their bosom, waiting to be showered upon a solitary soul and turn her world upside down.

 I have read  books that took me away to distant lands; lands that held in their aridness souls that loved, laughed, cried and fought the battle of their extraordinary lives. Lives that, albeit fictional, dazzled me with their realness.  How astonishing and moving are some of the stories that lie hidden amongst the pages of a book! Aren't we lucky to have writers, who wield such  power over us that not for a moment are we able to put their books away!?

 There are scores of books with tales about fictional people leading a life as real as our own. People and their stories that leave us dumbfounded; characters that leave us amazed at their ability to live, in spite of it all; words that work their charm on us and help us look closely at the miracle called 'life'.

 How often does it happen, that we lay our hands on a  book not knowing how magically it might affect us.  A few words that almost jump at us and catch us unawares, help us find answers for riddles that leave us perplexed. Words that come together to form the epiphany that jolts us out of our slumber to look at life in a whole new light!

 Being a writer for some time now, I have realised the kind of tremendous efforts it takes to string together words that touch people's hearts, move them to tears, or even tickle their funny bones and leave them gasping for air. Words so ethereal in their beauty, they seem to flow effortlessly through the writer's quill. Words, we so often borrow to express our happiness, our angst and our sorrow. Words without which our world would have been barren, joyless!

 Ah, books! How would I ever live without them, without the exquisite little words they hold within them? I dedicate this post to the many books that helped me during some painful solitary moments; books that helped me look at life from a new angle and understand her a little better; books that made me weep, made me laugh, made me forget my worries and find happiness in their company. Books that make me happy for being more in love with them than with people! Well, you see, I am quite apprehensive when it comes to trusting people, but books...that's a different story, altogether!


The above post has been written for Wordy Wednesday

This week's prompt: Word prompt: ethereal, extraordinary, epiphany














  

Friends forever.

Image: Stocksnap.io


 We met when we were little girls, dancing to the clinking sound of the cymbals at our dance class. We - P and I - were Bharatnatyam students in our early teens. A shy, "HI", or, "Hello", was all that we exchanged, both of us being reserved and shy of nature. I fail to recollect the period vividly, as we were quite young then, and not chummy with each other. 

However, it was in our late  teens - 17/ 18 years of age - that we really began to bond as we prepped  up for our Arangetram. Within no time did we learn a lot about each other, especially the fact that we were so alike in many an aspect - the basis on which friendship,  as a relationship for a lifetime, finds its foundation. Those were the years we shared our dreams, our fantasies, even the rare  grouse that we had with our parents during that rebellious age!

We practically grew together, as we met each other on a daily basis. Not a day would go by when we did not speak with each other, or exchange hellos via  the telephone. We did have our differences, and I, being a sulky (a term she often used for me) would take a day to get over the trivial disputes we had. I could not dream of going without talking with her  for more than a day! But, soon we grew up some more, and grew out of our juvenility, and grew closer, still. 

Our respective marriages pulled us apart, taking her to another part of the country. I was left friendless, and so was she. Those years, even when  phone and  letters were the only mode of communication, we weren't able to stay in touch. Life had gotten in the way, and there were complex issues to deal with. I rued the times I had no one to talk to, open my heart to, as I faced  the numerous ups and downs in my new life as a married woman. Ditto, for her. And, we being introverts, found it a colossal undertaking making new friends. Would we ever meet someone who could understand our silence, leave alone the spoken words?

It was only on her yearly visits that we could meet and talk for a while. Talks revolved around difficult in-laws and their domineering ways; issues we had with our respective spouses and, yes, adjusting to a whole new environment for which we had not been prepared, at all! The mere fact, that, albeit for a few hours in an entire year, we could open our souls, reveal our wounds, speak unabashedly about our fears, was such a relief. It felt as if a weight had been lifted off our shoulders.

It was during those initial years of my marriage that I was coming to terms with my MIL's schizophrenia when I  received another shocking news about my husband's bi-polar disorder. It was the largest hurdle I found myself staring at, with no emotional support, whatsoever. Those were the times, when I felt  loneliest. Of course, my parents were there for me through every step of the way, but you always feel the need to have by your side someone who offers you their unconditional, non-judgemental support; one with whom you can share your deepest, darkest secrets, knowing fully well you will not be chided for  encouraging thoughts that aren't supposed to be entertained, ever. And, not having P by  my side during those times was what I missed, tremendously.

She, on the other hand, was suffering at the hands of an eccentric and a domineering MIL, the likes of which we have heard existed in some bygone era. It had been a major shock to her, too, seeing the truth behind the facade  being revealed  day by day. How she faced the woman and her dictatorship, I find difficult to fathom, knowing how soft-spoken and mild-mannered my girl was! She recounted how she put up with everything quietly, never raising a word against the senior. Thankfully, though, her husband decided to shift to the US and P's ordeal came to an end. Although, there again, she did miss her parents and her only friend. But, at least she was able to find  some peace in her life. 

It was during those initial years, when P was still in India, that we could manage to meet once in a long while and swap stories of our turmoil. We encouraged each other, motivated each other saying how we were both brave, despite our fears. She would call up before leaving for her marital home and encourage me to be strong; how we both needed the strength as we were to live in the lion's den! 

Today, we are in our early 40s. She is a mother to two beautiful children and has different news to give me each time we meet. Her teenage daughter and her rebellious ways remind us of ourselves, although, I believe we belonged to a  generation of comparatively milder rebels! Times, when she want's to drill some sense into her daughter's mind but is at a loss, are the times when she suggests I be the friendly aunt who can help her see right from wrong. I find it amusing, though. But, I do try...just for the sake of P. For all that she has done for me. 

She, on the other hand, gives me frank opinions when I ask her to gauge my behaviour in  situations vis-a-vis certain  family issues. Needless to say, she does a fabulous job! She knows me like the back of her hand! Sitting miles away from me, she can read my thoughts and give me an unadulterated opinion of what she thinks of me and my weird thinking. 

I have heard that we have soul mates whom we meet just once , or twice, in our lifetime. People with whom we connect more than with anyone else. People who understand us perfectly and we them. And, people without whom the journey of our life would be incomplete, unenjoyable, bereft of the magic which we so need. For me, P is the person. P is my soul mate. She is someone I cannot imagine living without, cannot imagine my life without. We have been friends for more than two decades...well, almost three decades, actually! She is an extension of me, an angel God sent just for me. 

I know this post is going to leave her overwhelmed, but this is the story of my life, of our life, together. And, she knows it. I dedicate this post to her. A post which reiterates the fact that friendships formed during ones teenage years matter - always - no matter what, no matter the distance between the two people. Their souls connect and their hearts beat in unison, and that's what matters to them! 

Monday, 30 January 2017

My place of joy.

Image: Stocksnap.io


  If you were to ask me where I would like to be right now, I would name the place that casts its spell on me each time I find myself there. With its endless stretches of soft, golden sand, the vast,  rumbling ocean and the gusty wind in my hair - it would have to be the beach! It's a place that consumes me with its abundance!

Image Courtesy: ManuBala

  Long ago, my aunt lived by the beach. It was as if she had a beach in her backyard! And, the one memory that still stays fresh in my memory  is of my cousin and I - two little girls - slipping out of the house and wandering away towards the beach. The afternoon sun shone bright on our pink faces as we kept walking further away from home, oblivious to the chaos that our actions would generate.

  So lost were we in our girly chatter, we didn't realise the amount of time we had been away from home. There, in the magnificence of the beach, with the ocean and the wind whispering into our ears to hurry home, we sat basking in the beauty of the moment. Two little girls, out on an adventure of a life time, far away from the comforts of their home and the warmth of their family, out to discover the world!

  And, all of  a sudden, out of nowhere, our elders swooped down on us like eagles, thrashing us with their angry words, holding us by the scruff of our necks, to haul us back home for a dose of some much needed admonishment! I don't want to remember the ensuing drama, lest it spoils the adorable picture the memory brought to my mind, but, it was my first encounter with this wondrous place that I simply fell in love with!

  The love affair continues to this day.

 What is it about the beach that mesmerises us with a hypnosis very few places can boast of? Is it the haunting music of the ocean, or the howl of the wind in our ears, or the soft, grainy, therapeutic feel of the sand between our toes? Or, is it the multi-coloured shells - some moving along with their occupants, and some lying vacant, but attractive nonetheless? Or, is it the tranquility despite the howling wind and the rumbling waves, that leaves us in a trance, rendering us oblivious to the worries we left behind?

  I think it's a combination of all these and some more that's the  reason why we experience a sense of belonging to the place that welcomes us into its folds, offering us some much-needed peace from the maddening event we call life. 

          
Image: Stocksnap.io



  Care to join me for a stroll down that endless stretch of sparkling sand, and enjoy a sunrise or sunset, or, maybe a midnight walk under the soft glow of the moon and the shimmering stars? We could swap stories, mock life for her uncanny ways, or just walk in companionable silence, giving our mind some much needed respite. We could  even let our imagination run amok with fantasies that fear to rear their head during the daily rush of our busy days!

 Oh, do come along! Let's forget life for some time, shall we? Let's bask in the cool wind, the smell of the ocean and the gently thrashing waves. Take in lungfuls of the salty wind and feel ourselves rejuvenated and nourished to turn around and face life once again. And, as we turn to take its leave, let's leave our imagination to linger for a while before life, with her craziness, takes over!




 What's your favourite place in the world? Do take me along with you so I get to experience your place of joy and create some memories for myself!

Love,

SHILPA...



  

Friday, 27 January 2017

Michael.



  He was the quintessential roadside Romeo. Or, that's how he presented himself to the world, and to the girls. Flirting with the girls,  impressing them with his Bollywood-y histrionics! Alas, for all the acts he tried pulling off, not one girl gave him  a second look! For, he was just another beggar, who didn't even own a hut! What good would he be to them?

  He barely owned a few rags, most of which he had rummaged through the roadside garbage bins. But, he wore those with an elan that could put the hoity-toity super-rich kids to shame. And, the chutzpah that he wrapped around himself, well, not one person had the audacity to snigger at him when he walked the streets!

  A cracked pocket mirror was his constant companion and he would pleasure himself by peeping into it all day long, styling his  dirty, long hair, or, beaming at the mole he had under his left eye, and in general, preening like a peacock. That was all he did all day long. He didn't have anything better to do with his time, now, did he? I mean, he was just another beggar, roaming the streets of Mumbai. And, we know, how the city people know better than to throw a look of pity at those asking for alms!

 He called himself Michael, after, of course,  THE Michael Jackson, the  "guy who danced on the moon," or so he boasted to the other beggar boys. He had gaped at the singer's poster once, outside a hair-cutting salon, and instantly placed him on a pedestal. And, the pose...how he rehearsed for hours to get that pose of Michael J. on tiptoes with his designer hat in his hands as he froze at the end of his performance!

 That pose had become our Michael's trademark, and every time he received a few coins from some kindhearted passersby, he would thank them thus: he would let out a squeaky , "Oww!" and pose on his toes, his ragged hat in his hand and a mischievous glint in his eyes. The entire act would leave his audience first stunned and then guffawing, leaving Michael  with a complacent look in his happy, brown eyes, and his chest all puffed up with pride!

 But, that was then - almost twenty years ago. Now, Michael was older, mellower and in a condition worst than he ever had been in. Of course, how worse can a beggar's life get with time?! But, he definitely was in a bad shape. A bad road accident had left him limping and unable to roam the streets, which left him feeling miserable. Sigh. What could he possibly do? All he did, was sit on the footpath by the traffic signal, and beg for alms from the hurrying passersby.

  Even then, despite being ravaged by life's tribulations and losing the charisma he owned back then, he hadn't completely lost his spark. He still tried his best at mimicking his idol. He still managed to lay his hands on the discards he found in the overflowing bins (most of which he managed to gather from the rich neighbourhoods) and he still had that glint in the eyes that smiled when he got the attention he craved for.

  He would leave home everyday, dressed in his finest designer discards, drag himself to his favourite spot on his favourite footpath and cajole the public to drop a coin or two in his bowl. And, the moment some one did pay heed and give in to his sweet talk, he would hold onto the nearby pole, haul himself up on his good leg and manage to stand painstakingly on his toes. Then, holding his hat in his hand, he would smile his mischievous smile and give out a squeaky, "Owww!", a la MJ, and receive the heartening applause that he had survived on for all these years.


The above fictional piece has been written for Wordy Wednesday.

This week's prompt: Picture Prompt.