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Showing posts from November, 2014

A little girl's prayer.

Fiction..


"Ma, when will you get me a new doll? Pinky here is all broken. Her arm has come off, and just look at her hair! She is going bald!", exclaimed Tanu, as she got dressed for school. Ma, as always, was hurrying to get her little girl ready in time, fixing  her tiffin box and water bottle  for her. She reached for the comb, when Tanu asked her again, "Ma, when will you get me a new doll?" "Tanu, we will see when we can get you what you want, okay? Now, will you please sit straight and let me tie your hair?" replied Ma, sternly.           Since the past few months, Tanu found Ma in a very bad mood. She would keep shouting at her for no reason, keep sulking, and throwing things around. She hardly played with her anymore. What had happened to her Ma, little Tanu kept wondering all the time. These days, everything seemed so different. Baba also acted weird. And, he behaved differently, too. He also had begun to raise his voice, and his hand, at Ma.  Th…

A hug a day...

I meet and greet my close ones with a hug. Unless I do so, I just don't feel I have met them. It feels wonderful and warm and loved when mum hugs me. When dad hugs, it feels like I am a little girl all over again. It's another matter, that dad still thinks of me as a little girl, who needs his help in anything and everything.
           Hugging my best friend is absolutely amazing, as we meet once in a couple of months, Wish we could do it over the phone. But, whenever we meet, we simply wrap each other in one big bear hug and we can feel all the stress melt away! And, the best hug is reserved for my son, Chikoo. Because when I hug him, I not only feel his overpowering love, but also his soft, satiny fur, his warm breath and his sloppy kisses! Although, such moments are few and far between ( Chikoo likes his space! ), whenever they do occur, I simply make the most of them.
            A hug, they say, has some  very good effects on the body and the mind. It helps release the fee…

The long wait.

Fiction:

"Ria, did you hear? Reema has been selected for the Inter-School Debate Competition this year! Once again! Isn't that great? Did you congratulate her, Ria? You have such an intelligent sister as a role model. Why can't you be like her?" 
             "Ria, Reema has once again topped in her exams! When are you getting there, you slow coach?!"
             " Reema wants to take up medicine. Did you hear that? Medicine! What are you planning to do with your future, Ria?"
             "Ria,.......         

                 ......the words echo in my ears non stop. They go on and on,  like an ear worm. Since the time I could comprehend life around me, I could hear  them. Although, it has been quite some time now since  silence took over,  those memories still haunt me.  Living under the shadow of a bright, over-achieving, all-rounder elder sister can...no, not can, HAS  been a burden I have been carrying  since my childhood.  Di…

The little fighters.

Fiction:

               The sun had long since gone for his daily dip in the ocean. The darkness was now spreading fast, hastening the little people to leave the park and return to the safety of their nests.  At the far end of the park, on a creaky bench, sat a lone figure, looking into the distance, lost in her own thoughts.

      "Piyu, Piyu, come on now. Its getting late. We should have been home by now. Any later, and we will be in for a good shouting from Ma. Don't you know that?" called out Adi, to his elder sister.
Piyu heard her brother and turned around to see him approaching the bench. She quickly blinked  away the tears that threatened to spill over the brim and pasted a smile on her face. But, although a good four years younger than Piyu, Adi was an intuitive little boy. The moment he saw her, he knew something was amiss. He inched closer to her face, peeping into those sad brown eyes, as if trying to decipher a math equation at school.
"Are you crying, …

Major irritants of a minor's life!

[Lillie McFerrin Writes] Five Sentence Fiction - Irritation




              It had been a long day at pre-school, and Dan was tired; all he wanted to do was go home, as soon as possible, and go off to sleep.

             He did perk up a bit as he saw his mum,  driving through the gate, coming to pick him up; he hoped she wouldn't  zip him off to someplace now, to finish off her chores -- he really hated those long hours they spent at the mall, grocery shopping after school.

          Today would be a better day, he hoped, yawning, as he got into the back seat of their car, mumbling incoherently in response to his mother's queries about his day at school.

           "What is the matter, honey? You seem irritated. Did something happen at school today ?" Lily enquired into the rear view mirror, watching Dan with concern; he did seem grumpy and put off -- by what? she wondered about her usually chirpy little boy.

           When they reached home, Dan dragged himself out…

Some more memories of my college days.

Since beginning the NaBloPoMo challenge, my day starts with wondering what topic to write on.  Writing everyday, on a different topic, seems to be a bigger  challenge,  than the writing itself.  Thankfully, though, the topic comes to me, from somewhere or somebody (helpful friends), and I feel relaxed. Today,  as I was mentally ticking off the topics from my list, some words from my past wafted from some unknown space and got lodged into my mind. And, voila! I knew what I had to write! 

             Throughout our youth -- during school and college days --  we meet countless teachers: some who leave an imprint on our minds, and some,  whom we would rather forget, like a bad dream. Fortunately, I have had more of the former and less of the latter.  And, today I would like to share a few memories of my college days, when I met some truly wonderful,  caring professors, and some (actually, just one), not as good, but memorable, nonetheless.

           During my graduation d…

Lazy Sundays.

SUNDAY..What would we do without this wonder day? Really, after slogging like donkeys all week long, there is a relief we feel when we think about this day. No need for setting the alarm, or rushing through the day, working like robots at the assembly line in a factory.  Instead, just laze around, give the nerves the much needed break from the 'edgy' living, and relax, to get those batteries charged!

              Today, I did just that! And, boy! did I enjoy it! Decided to get pampered, after quite a long time. Day in, day out, we pamper our families. So, definitely, we, too, need some, don't we? Just a hop, skip and jump, and there I was, at my beautician's, looking forward to some heavy duty pampering. A luxurious head massage was what I desperately needed. It had been going through too much stress, lately. So, some TLC was in order.

             My girl at the salon does have magic in her fingers. After asking me to sit back and relax, she got down to business:  her …

My little Einstein.

Today, I read an amusing post by Shail, in her blog Shail's Nest ,about her 'daughter' Luci, and was inspired to write about my own son, Chikoo. I remembered  some  incidents about how my Chikoo proved his intelligence,  even in  his puppy-hood, and thought of sharing those with you.

           Although a baby, he did have a keen observation of the world around him. Once, during the rainy season, I had kept my wet sandals to dry in the balcony.  Then, for some reason, I don't remember well, I had to dash off downstairs for a couple minutes. So, as I began descending the stairs, without any footwear, Chikoo gave a loud bark, went rushing to the balcony, picked up a sandal and came running to me. "Aren't you supposed to wear this thingy on your feet when you step out of the house?", the question writ large in those cute, brown eyes! I was spellbound! It must have happened around 9 years ago, but I still remember it very clearly. The look in his eyes was pric…

The name tag.

A couple of years back, I turned 40. Now, 40 may rhyme with 'naughty', as in '40, the time to be naughty', but, believe me, there is no 'naughty' feeling whatsoever. On the contrary, the feeling that sets in, is of nostalgia. And, anxiety -- about the future, about growing old, worrying about the ghost of menopause lurking in the shadows, round the corner. Anything, but 'naughty'. It is the age which is equally proportionate to the number of creams on a woman's dresser that fight ageing and help cover up the sly wrinkles that begin sprouting in all the wrong places.  However, the worst part of entering this age is the 'naming ceremony'. Although, the  ceremony has taken place quite some time back, yet, once women are 40, the name tag of AUNTY gets stuck permanently.
            It is understood that little kids are going to be calling us 'aunty', whatever age we may be in. But, youngsters, too? Especially, those who happen to be just …

Madame Destiny.

Destiny -- may I call 'her' the 'game-changer'?  The game called  life. A mere nod of 'her' head and the entire picture changes  colours!  How smug are we in the belief that WE are the architects of our own life, WE hold life in our palms, have its controls in our very hands.  How we indulge such  blind beliefs about ourselves, deaf to 'her' giggling uncontrollably, waiting to show who the real boss is!

               Destiny -- the sly, manipulative grand dame, who has the reins of our lives in her hands -- giving off freely or keeping a tight grip -- as she pleases. And, doing so without prejudice, leaving us wondering who she may favour next!

             Destiny -- we never know who makes it in her good books! 
  A rogue, who gets the best job in the world,
 A lawbreaker, who roams freely, even as his victim languishes in abject misery for no fault of hers.
 The 'powers that be', who sit in the 'chair' they do not deserve.
The lazy grassho…

The sound of music.

As I sit facing my laptop, wondering what to write for the day, a beautiful tune wafts from the idiot box. For once, this 'box'  proves it can entertain, too!  I am listening to songs from yesteryear Hindi movies. The music, the lyrics, the actors of that era -- the golden era, as it is called -- ah! golden, indeed! Every night, after dinner, I switch on the TV and turn on  the channel that plays songs that truly entertain. 

        The music of those times was simply melodious. And such beautiful, meaningful lyrics, too, that expressed  emotions ranging from love for one's beloved to love for the country!  Devotional songs, love ballads, patriotic songs, soul stirring, emotional songs expressing sorrow...I could go on and on! But, if I keep going on, then I will be missing out on  the music that pulls me to it, that promises to charge up  my  humdrum routine, and give me some respite from the distressing complexities of life!

         Music has the power to enliven our live…

An ageing pet.

Last night was one of those nights that remind me that my son, Chikoo, is ageing. It was one of those nights that give me an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach and leave me frightened, dreading everyday as it passes by. I was fast asleep, when I heard a feeble whining.  At first, I could not make out what was happening as I was in deep sleep. But, as I slowly started coming to my senses, I realised that it was Chikoo, who was whining, whimpering, as if in great pain. I groped in the dark and found him, his face near my feet. 
            I patted him and asked him what was troubling him. I knew I would get no answer -- the kind I wanted. I would only hear more whimpering. I tried feeding him water, which he wouldn't take. Then, I tried massaging his legs, patted his back, scratched behind his ears and slowly he began to quieten. Chikoo suffers from arthritis, which leaves him in pain and exhausted. Every time I sit beside him, he gives me his paw. When I massage it, he feels a…

Techno-challenged.

A few years ago,  when Facebook was the flavour of the season, everyone around me used to be excited about being seen and heard on it. Chatting on FB was more in fashion than chatting in person. And, I would get asked if I was 'there' yet. I would sheepishly nod my head and say that I was not at all  computer savvy, and therefore not in any such  'book'. The common reaction used to be shock and surprise, tinged with ridicule.
   "You are not on Facebook, YET?! Come on! What is so difficult to comprehend?" they would snigger.  The jibes piled up high.
        Finally, I decided to hop onto the internet bandwagon and join the circus. With some help from my brother, I got on to Facebook. But, that is nothing great, one might feel. True. Technical lingo like upload, download, http, cut-copy-paste (the procedure), and most of the other things confused me so much! Some still do.

            Slowly and steadily, I began to  get the hang of it. When…

Having a pet.

Yesterday, during my walk with Chikoo, I met a pet grandparent walking his little guy, Tuffy. Chikoo and Tuffy met recently and are trying to get to know each other. So, as we were walking, Tuffy's grandpa began asking things, like how often I bathe Chikoo, what is the reason behind their excess shedding these days and other such stuff. They being relatively new to the entire experience ( Tuffy is just an year old ), he wanted to know things that parents with experience know better.
           Our conversation was going on smoothly, when he asked me something that quite disturbed me. He asked me if we ever chain  Chikoo, or let him move around freely at home. I was quite taken aback since the  question came  from a pet parent. Why in the world should we chain him up? I told him we can't ever think of doing such a thing because it was outright cruel, and that our Chikoo was a very well behaved fellow. Secondly, it is his house, too. He can roam around anywhere h…

Gratitude.

           Couple of days back, I happened to read a post by a blogger friend, where she had expressed her gratitude to people who made a difference to her life. I liked the idea immensely and hence decided to do the same to three of my friends from the blogosphere who have made a difference to my life as a blogger. Writing is something that I seriously began just a year ago. So, as a fresher, any help I get is always welcome! I have learnt so much from these three wonderfully gifted writers that it has changed my entire attitude towards writing. So, here are the three gems, who have become friends, and whose guidance  and encouragement mean the world to me.

Pawan Hegde:  Pawan, the first time I read your story, I was floored! Your writing was the kind I found in books of the prolific authors whom I have always admired. I learnt so much from you. Although, implementing those lessons in my work has not happened the way it should, as yet. But, I know, I will be there, some day. And, I kn…

Do I enjoy growing old or do I fight against it?

Thought of using the prompt to help me in writing the post for the day. Today's prompt being,"Do you enjoy growing old or do you fight against it?"

                Very frankly, I am enjoying growing old!  Actually, there are some aspects of ageing that get my thumbs up and others that do not. The maturity, the intuition, the perception, that I have gained, thanks to the passing years, have helped me become a better human being. They have helped me change my perspective, accept people and situations as they are, and view the world and not cringe with discomfort. With age, I have learnt to treasure the people who have come in my life, more than the 'things' that I have been accumulating. It is because of age that I know the difference between the two, and the importance that needs to be given to the former, and not the latter.

              However, the visible aspects of ageing like wrinkles and grey hair, achy joints and a dipping fervour, are th…

MUM.

A couple of days back, I happened to read a wonderful  post by a blogger from November 2014 NaBloPoMo .  She had written a letter to her departed mother, about how she still remembers their  weekly phone calls  and how they would pour their heart out to each other, and how she missed it all, now that her mother was no more with her. Reading that post, I thought about the relationship a daughter shares with her mother. I thought about how I, too, make daily calls to my mother, and talk just about anything. How, without that one phone call, my day feels incomplete. How, I am so lucky to have my mother with me.
              Some time back, two of my dear friends lost their mothers. When I heard the news, my heart went out to them. What a severe blow life had dealt them! Losing a mother is like losing a part of our beings! How could God be so mean by taking away someone who is such an important part of one's life? 
           My mother is my best friend. She understan…

Memories of my college days.

It has been more that 20  years since I left college, but even after all this time, I have not been able to forget a single day of those three  memorable years I spent at my alma mater. And, I met but one friend from back then, instead of the three, in whose search I hopped on to FaceBook!

               I studied at a women's university. And, let me tell you, it felt so comfortable there! My friends from other colleges would ask me how we girls survived without any eye candy! But, frankly, I never missed any. Having just girls all around was very comforting. Wear anything, sit anywhere, behave any way you want...no bothers. No bothers about boys whistling, or their cat calls, or their comments on our clothes, or getting harassed for no fault of ours.  If I got a chance, I would do it all over again. Get enrolled in that very same college and have all the fun, all over again.

            There are some memories that stand out. Like, this particular girl in  my cla…

Love struck.

Life is a bag of surprises. What might pop out at what hour,  we never know. A bit like the magician's trunk. I was so lost in the day to day inanities, that I failed to realise when I was struck with Cupid's arrow! Yes, Cupid's arrow, as in, 'falling in love'. I am at an age where I very well know that 'love' is nothing but a chemical imbalance caused by our crazy hormones. The result is, we behave like absolute dim wits, who know not what they do! But, in spite of that, here I am, with a heart lost to a man, far beyond my reach.

               Oh, come on! Don't start giggling and calling me insane! Love has no shelf life. It can happen anytime, anywhere. It ain't in our hands, is it?  I realised I had fallen in love quite recently. I mean, I realised it was love and not just infatuation. And, believe me, as I said earlier, it is a MAN I am in love with. A real, live man. An older man, to be precise. No young guys for me. Don…

Feeling helpless.

The mind  meanders through a maze of thoughts, yearning to hear a call from one, who has a tale to tell, but, ends up broken hearted, as they are all mum. Mere thoughts, are what they are. They simply come and go of their own free will. But, they create a web so dense, it weighs me down, torturing me no end!

               Wonder, where these thoughts really come from! They creep in silently, find a cosy place and make a dwelling -- some of them do! And, some  find their way in and out, but  leave an imprint, nonetheless. "We were here! And, we, too, have a hand in changing your vision of the world!" they seem to proclaim.

            But, what good are these thoughts, when none comes to my rescue? As I try to come up with something to write about, my mind hits the wall! It has gotten itself safely out of the maze, but, with empty hands! The thoughts had nothing to share, no  story to weave around. Not even an opinion for my hungry mind! 

             I leave with a heavy heart…

Down memory lane.

Visiting the place you grew up in gives a different kind of high.  I spent the afternoon at mum's, today, chatting with my parents and younger brother to my heart's content. And, going to the market place with my mother, seeing all the changes that have taken place  over the years, sent me on a run down memory lane.

            I do visit the place often. But,  it is at times, like today, that I really observe the place and think of my childhood spent there. I could actually see myself, running down the street. trying my hand at the bicycle, bumping into people and falling off with nervousness.  I saw that little girl with pig tails, playing hide-n-seek in unoccupied houses, which now look desolate, but at that time, looked safe and cosy.  How carefree were we back then!

           The nearby park -- an old favourite --  has undergone such a major change, it looks alien!  But, only as long as I don't imagine myself on one of the slides or the swings, enjoying…

My hero...

It has been quite some time since I have been thinking about this. Isn't it amazing, how age changes a person? I keep ruminating on this phenomenon every time I visit my parents. Every time I meet my father.

              My father was  the strictest father I must have seen in my childhood. To say that I was scared of him, would be an understatement! I was petrified of him!  He was not the kind of fathers I see these days -- the kind who play with their kids, mount their kids on their shoulders and take them around town, or joke with their kids, play rough and tumble, or tell stories to. He was the kind who liked to see his  kids well behaved at all times, and for that would not think twice before raising his hand. Now, I don't mean to demean him in any way. It is just how he was, back then, as I saw him through my innocent and scared eyes.

          I remember, he would help me with mathematics -- a dreaded subject for the faint-hearted me! We had a black bo…

Innocent minds.

"Anu, mummy is going to buy a new bicycle for Bittoo." Akhil murmured to his elder sister as they lay in their bed, trying to sleep in the stifling heat.

            "Sshh! Akhil, we have been through this before, haven't we, now? He is her son, he is entitled to it, to her love, her attention." Anu rebuked her brother, knowing fully well her words would have no effect on his innocent   mind.

             Everything that Bittoo had -- a mother, her love for him, the  indulgence -- brought about a wave of envy in Akhil's young mind; a fact that his sister could do nothing about, except encourage him to grow up and accept the harsh realities of life without a mother of their own.



Lillie McFerrin Writes] Five Sentence Fiction - Envy
http://lilliemcferrin.com/five-sentence-fiction-envy/

God's special child.

The little girl lay listlessly in the hospital bed in the children's ward.  She looked like a porcelain doll, but with skin so pale, one could see the blood running through her veins. The twinkle in her eyes had long since dimmed,  and so had the smile that played on her lips from dawn to dusk. She lay like a corpse, but with a feeble heart still fluttering within her chest, waiting for the rhythm to die out.
              Her parents had run from pillar to post, finding a doctor who could cure their baby, but in vain.

        "It is just a viral fever. She will be fine in a matter of some time." they tried to explain to the parents. But, they had never seen a child suffering from just a viral fever in such a  pathetic condition.


          She just wouldn't let them leave her side. They sat by either side of her bed -- her mother and her father --  holding her hands, cooing softly,  trying their best to bring a smile on her face, motivate her to …

God bless the writer.

Since the past few days, thinking about topics to write for  NaBloPoMo  has been keeping my mind busy and on the run --running from topic to topic, choosing one and dropping another! Posting something new everyday on my blog is one tough job, is what I have realised. There are days when life  goes on smoothly and everyone around is peaceful and happy. Those are the days  when the mood is buoyant and coming up with topics and writing down a good post comes easily. But, it is the days when things go awry and nothing goes as planned --  those are the days when the mind goes blank. The mood to write flies out of the window and the mere thought of coming up with a new post starts to seem like a Herculean task.

            How tough is a writer's job! I realise it now, when I, myself , have chosen to follow the path to the reader's heart.  The day  began on a good note. But, as the hours passed by,  things began to feel a bit shaky and my heartbeat began to change i…

A troubled heart.

I happened to overhear a dialogue between two actors in a tele serial about people coming into our lives at different times; some who stay with us forever and some who leave after a while. People, I have heard, come into our lives for a reason. That I agree. But, it is the part where they leave us after they have served the reason, that is something I am unable to come to terms with.

              There was a time after I quit my job as a school teacher to be at home with my mother-in-law and my pet dog, that I was at my loneliest. Friends from college were not in contact as marriage and new lives had taken them to other parts of the country.. Colleagues from my school...well, colleagues can not be 'friends', is what I learnt while at work! And with no access to the internet, life was very empty!  But, then after quite a long time, in the last couple of years or so, I met a few old friends on the net and hit it off brilliantly with them. They enlivened my worl…

Braveheart.

Today, I read an article about  Shweta Basu-Prasad, a National award-winning actress, who was arrested  a couple of months ago for 'soliciting clients at a five star hotel' in the city of Hyderabad. She vehemently denies the charge saying she had been to the city to attend an awards function and decided to stay an extra day when the raid at the hotel happened. She was sent to a rescue and rehabilitation centre for two months from where she returned home to Mumbai recently.

         In her interview she spoke about her life in  the past few months and the ordeal she went through bravely. At the remand home, she wrote a poem she shared with the newspaper. I loved the poem immensely and was touched with her sincerity, her toughness in the face of adversity. My heart went out to this young woman from a simple background, with immense talent displayed at a tender age, caught in a storm ready to devour her. But, her ability to look the dragon in the eye and give it her al…