Saturday, 18 July 2015

My New Life

I'm back after a long break! It feels great to be blogging again but I am happy that I decided to take a break from all kinds of social networking media. It has been a refreshing two-month break from Facebook and I do not plan to return. I have had enough of people- watching and laying out my life in the open for others to see. Of course I am aware of the numerous benefits of networking sites, but I have reached a point in my life where I feel I cannot relate to the "socializing" anymore.

This post is not a critique about technology, the internet or social media, nor is it an attempt to recapture the readers of this blog who have been guessing the reason behind my absence. I have decided to blog when I have something new to say regardless of the readership of my blog. The number of posts, challenges and prompts don't seem to matter now. And I am not going to visit all the blogs in the universe to increase the viewership of my blog. I feel that I want to do things just for the pure joy I get out of it. Whether I am appreciated or not, criticized or not.

Competition and comparison have become very much part of our lives that often we fail to do things we truly desire. We forgo many of our pleasures just to seem "alright" or "normal". I have changed a lot as an individual in the last two months. I have made major changes in my lifestyle that I know are in the positive direction. I will definitely share my learning in this space. So if you are still interested and decide to follow Words from My Heart and Head, thank you :)

I have also started working with an organisation as a facilitator of learning. Yes! I am doing what I love a lot- teaching and learning. I will also be blogging or painting when I feel I need to express my thoughts and feelings. I will be living in close connection with nature (reviving those lost ties), rediscovering the joy of a clutter free, simple life and focusing on healthy, organic living.

These desires of my heart had been lying dormant in an environment of family and friends caught in a mad race to attain "success" or "the best life" the quality of which none really is sure about. But I have finally found the courage to stand by my convictions and to live life the way I want to regardless of what other people may think or say. I had been toying with the idea of turning Vegan for the past two years but I have finally begun that journey. It has not been easy at all, to convince "well meaning" family members about my right to have a choice.

I notice that my writing is a little rusty and needs a little oiling. So see you soon with another post. I would love to hear from you, but will definitely understand if you remain silent. I will still keep building this space with words :) Have a great weekend.

Friday, 8 May 2015


Image courtesy: Google

His lips quivered and tears streamed down his wrinkled cheeks as he held the yellowing piece of paper close to his heart. The fondest of memories with the love of his life, his better half, flashed in his mind forcing a ghost of a smile to take shape on his face. He read once again the note she had given him on one of their marriage anniversaries many years ago.

 “I may forget days and nights, the world and beyond but I promise I’ll never forget you; you will be in my thoughts and dreams forever” it said.

He walked up to her and stroked her hair as she stared at him, her thoughts muddled and memories faded, unable to recognise him or his love. 

This piece of Five Sentence Fiction was written for the prompt Memories at

Monday, 4 May 2015

First Times

Image courtesy: Google
"When was the last time you did something for the first time?" This is one phrase my husband overuses. On our first date, our wedding day, upon writing the first love note, during our trips together, our cooking adventures, a game of scrabble or any random moment he surprises me with this question. I suggest you ask yourself this question and reflect for a moment.

Do you love trying out new things? Do you make an effort or do you succumb to the usual excuse about not having enough time? Are you stuck in a rut and wish for something "different" or "crazy" to happen? Of course most of us have hobbies to keep our creative sides active or go on holidays to unwind and relax but for many others these interests take a backseat due to various reasons.

I like trying out new things. I am totally in love with the idea of learning (one of the reasons why I enjoy teaching). I remember that even as a child, I was constantly on the lookout for new ideas, new games, new hobbies, new hideouts and "new" mischief! Trust me, doing something for the first time brings a feeling of freshness and joy of accomplishment no matter how silly a thing it seems. Who knows, you may discover something new about yourself - a talent an interest or even a quirk.

After the A to Z challenge, I desperately wanted to do something different. Unable to come up with anything interesting, I opened my cupboard and sifted through a cluttered pile of random things (stationery, greeting cards, dried flowers, paint and so on). When I chanced upon an abandoned drawing book, I almost shouted "Eureka!" 

What started off as a few overlapping free hand circles ended up like this:

And led to this:

I was hooked and so deeply lost in the drawing that my mom had to remind me of lunch time. It was a soothing experience that left me happy and proud. I definitely will do more of this when I get bored. But right now I'm on the lookout for new things to try :)

When was the last time you did something for the first time? Think of it and do leave a comment or even better, do something new today and then tell me!

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Thursday, 30 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google

Rohan carried the tray with crispy, buttery masala dosas and filter coffee to the table where Tara sat waiting. “I can’t believe we are catching up on our lives after almost a decade!” He found it strange that he felt immensely happy to bump into his long lost friend who had meant the world to him not too long ago. He felt a pang of guilt for letting their friendship fade with time.

They talked animatedly stopping in between only to savour the delicious dosas and piping hot coffee. Tara reminded him of those days when they had been extremely eager to do many things in life. “Do you remember the promise we made by the lake?” When he seemed puzzled, she reminded him.

“We had vowed never to lose the zest to live. We had promised to keep in touch with our silliest of wishes and passions and to never get bogged down by hurdles. You remember?” Tara was bubbling with an excitement and energy level that he felt he couldn't catch up with. He learned that she had followed her heart living all her dreams, taking up challenges with a smile, never belittling her resilience.

He felt tired to chase those dreams now. He felt old. Having settled for a comfortable desk job he had seen everything else in life as a burden. He had always chosen the easier route and compromised on his dreams. Every situation had been just a problem to be solved.

But now in a little coffee shop talking to her, he wondered if he had lived or just existed. Tara, the bubbly teen who he had once loved secretly, who he had rejected for fear of her optimism that he thought was blinding, had just made him fall in love again. With her, with life and with himself.

P.S: Today I have successfully completed the Ultimate Blog Challenge and A to Z challenge. It has been one hell of a journey with crazy moments, a true roller coaster. More than the destination, I enjoyed the happiness that the journey brought- the tiny ups and downs, the friendships that it fostered, the lessons I learnt, the confidence I gathered and some amazing blogs I read. A big thank you to my fellow bloggers and my readers :) Cheers to zestful living!

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Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Image courtesy: Tumblr

The fireplace crackled to life, glowing a fiery orange and spreading much needed warmth in the living room. The chimney of her little cottage puffed out smoke that soon blended with the dark stillness outside. Esther donned her apron and got busy in the kitchen. She had done up the house with holly wreaths, bells and fairy lights; in a corner stood a beautifully decked Christmas tree.

Occasionally, she stole glances at the window. It was snowing heavily outside and the streets were empty. Had she just seen some one at the gate? She wasn't expecting any one but she couldn't stop herself from hoping. Her husband was long gone, leaving her to raise their only son who ended up featuring in the “Wanted” list of the state police. He spent his life moving in and out of their village, dodging the cops playing a never ending game of hide and seek.

Her thoughts lingered around her child, refusing to dissolve. Darling Danny. The one with blue eyes that easily melted mama’s heart. She felt a sudden yearning for him on that Christmas Day. There was no way she could reach him. “That could prove dangerous for both of us” he had said when they met a few months ago. Nevertheless she laid the table for two and made his favourite dessert.

The wind chimes sang into the night as she sat down to have dinner all by herself. She had been staring at the empty chair in despair when she heard a soft knock at the back door. “Merry Christmas mama!” he whispered and hugged her tight much to her joy. “You’re home at last, Danny!” She couldn't stop the tears as her fingers felt the warm wetness of a fresh bullet wound.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google

At the sound of the bell mom ran to the door, excited to receive my friend Kiran. We went to the same college in Bangalore and shared a room in the hostel. My mother was very fond of him and made sure she made his favourite snacks whenever he came home.

But things hadn't been so rosy three years back, when I had just joined college. While waiting for the bus from Palakkad to Bangalore, my mother showered lavish doses of advice that sounded like threats to me.“Befriend people from our own community. Beware of students who drink, smoke and eat meat. Dear Lord, I hope the ‘modern’ kids there don’t spoil my son.” she had said. According to my mother, people of other faiths couldn't be trusted. I had tried to erase the xenophobia that plagued my family but in vain. They were extremely orthodox and their blind faith made them intolerant to people whose lifestyle and faith differed even slightly from ours.

Precisely because of this, my friendship with Kiran hadn't gone down well with them. They pleaded with me to seek better friends who were ‘just like us’. What if he tuned out to be a naxalite? A terrorist? Our friendship received flak till the day I was down with chickenpox with no one to lend a hand but Kiran. While everyone shied away from helping me, fearing for their own safety, he had called the doctor, obtained the medicines and had nurtured me to recovery. My parents were touched beyond measure by this act of compassion and realized the folly of their baseless phobia.

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Monday, 27 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google

The lights went out. Rachel waited quietly in her bed for half an hour. She tiptoed to the window of her room, the last on the B Wing corridor of the women’s hostel. Outside, she could see the silhouettes of the chapel and the administrative block. Black trees stood still against the deep purple sky. “Seven months and three days” she murmured to herself.

For seven months and three days her life had moved ahead like clockwork. She had a fixed routine that had to be diligently adhered to. Worse, there were many restrictions in place. The food in the mess was lousy and the gates closed by seven in the evening. The lights went out at ten at night and she had to be in bed, no matter what.

The sudden confinement at the convent after her carefree school days suffocated her. She longed to go out on her own and do things she liked. Things that her time-table at the hostel had left out. She did not want to do anything crazy or dangerous, just something that would make her feel good again. Something outside her monotonous schedule.

She moved away from the window and walked stealthily along the corridor. Climbing the stairs to the terrace in her night clothes and flip flops, her hands gripping a package wrapped in newspaper, she felt accomplished in a strange way. Laying out the contents of the package she smiled her best smile. She had invited a few of her friends, but they had been too scared.

“Happy birthday to me!” she sang alone into the night. She wasn't sure if it was the wine or the momentary freedom, but she felt wonderful as she lay under the starry sky.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Crumbled Dreams

Image courtesy: Google

The dark depths beneath rumbled
the ground shook, I tumbled
stricken by disaster, in panic I stared
at nature, her fury now bared.

Looking around I saw just rubble
happiness and peace a broken bubble
anxious faces stained by tears
and burdened with unending fears.

A sea we formed out on streets
unannounced came those deadly beats,
menacing tremors spread far and wide
like much loved gossip that never died.

Bungalow and building, hut and tent
toppled and leaning, broken and bent
wealthy and wise, arrogant and humble
in unison watched all dreams crumble.

P.S : My heart goes out to all the victims of the recent quake. I hope they find the inner strength to battle all odds and start afresh.

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Saturday, 25 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google

Anita stole one last glance at the beautiful cottage that had been her home for the past seven years. Her gaze lingered on the French windows that opened into a small patch of velvety grass adorned by brightly coloured bougainvillea bushes with mangled branches. She had spent so many days enjoying togetherness and long conversations with her husband over cups of tea and freshly baked cake in that very place. That was many months ago, before he played a game of hide and seek with her, vanishing into a secret hideout away from this world, never to return.

She would miss the ivory coloured walls that were a collage of glimpses of their life together. She remembered how the wooden floor boards squeaked with joy at their footsteps, the cool breeze that carried with it the scent of the coral jasmines and the cool stretch of white marble on the kitchen counter where he always sat to give her company while she cooked.

These had been symbols of joy until a few years ago, but strangely turned into painful reminders of the emptiness in her life. What had been their home for many years was just a house now, waiting for new inhabitants. She drove away to a new life in a new place, hoping to get away from haunting memories. Another family would move in soon and the house would no longer be vacant. She realized with a pang of sorrow that it would not be the same of her heart.

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Friday, 24 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google

Bhumika bit her lip and glanced at her watch as she walked back and forth on the platform. Suddenly there was a deafening hoot and before she could calm herself down, the Kerala Express to New Delhi chugged into the station and screeched to a halt. She looked out through the window at her parents after stowing her luggage. Her father seemed to know exactly how she felt. Anxious and unsure.

“Don’t worry, you will be fine. And we are just a call away” he tried to reassure her. She exhaled deeply in the hope of releasing some of her anxiety about what the future in an alien land had in store for her. She waved till she lost sight of them as the train sped away. She had been excited upon clearing the interview and gaining admission into one of the best colleges in the country but when it was time to leave the comforts of her home town and family, she wasn't sure she could cope.

She thought back to the day she had learned to cycle. Her father used to support her by holding on to the back of the seat while she tried to pedal. Initially she would keep turning back to look at him but soon she was sure of her father’s presence behind her. It had made her confident. Then one day, she had cycled quite a distance before she realised that her father had quietly let go. But he was there watching over her.

As the train stopped at the next station, she felt her muscles easing up. She felt the invisible presence of her parents, ready to hold her hand whenever she needed them. As always, it made her confident.

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Thursday, 23 April 2015


Image courtesy: Tumblr

Around me people exchanged hugs and pleasantries, partying merrily. There was a variety of food and drinks to keep everyone busy and content, but I felt I didn't belong. It was just not my idea of a party. I was bored to death and longed for company.

That’s when I saw her. For a few moments, it seemed as though the world had ceased to exist. God, she was stunning! An angel, a dark eyed beauty with soft, silky locks that fell on her shoulders. I was captivated by her looks and grace and felt a sudden urge to strike a conversation with her. I looked at her eagerly, each moment filling me with a magical feeling. She was truly magnetic.

She was with a friend, laughing about something. I stood there rooted, my heart racing and my thoughts running wild. That was when she spotted me and locked her beautiful eyes with mine. I imagined she had smiled at me. A wave of determination swept me towards her. She looked even more beautiful close up and I had to clench my fist to stop myself from stroking her tender cheeks. Would she mind if I held her hand? Or shared my feelings? I struggled to restrain my thoughts.

That was when I remembered my mom’s words “Never talk to strangers.” I looked away and slowly walked back to where mom and dad sat. A little disappointed, but happy at having resisted the temptation. “ I have to tell mom about this” I thought. Being a four year old wasn't as easy as she thought.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google

Reshma cleared the files and papers from her desk and switched off her computer. The clock on the wall told her that it was time to head home from work. She checked her cell phone. She had missed thirteen calls from Satish who had also left her seven messages. With a sigh she decided to read the messages first.

“Hey babes, hw r u?”
“Busy? I’ll call? Wanna head to the beach today evening?”
“I knw u gotta visit ur mom bt can’t it wait? Reply plzzz.”
“Pick my call. R u tat busy? Dnt u luv me anymore”
“Just wondering if you are with someone else. I DON'T deserve this.”
“I knw by the blue ticks on WhatsApp tat u read my msgs. Why dnt u reply???”
“Where the hell r u? Cm home. Visit mom later.”

She heaved a sigh. What was with Satish? Things had changed so much in three years of marriage. Initially she would blush when she received his texts while she was at work. She shared with him her whereabouts and engagements. Her colleagues too thought it was cute and sweet of her husband. But with time the messages revealed his insecurities and inferiority complex. She had tried to convince him that it did not bother her at all that he was a clerk and she, a reputed doctor.

But Satish was always doubtful. He demanded to be updated with each and every detail of Reshma’s day. The patients she met, the fiends who invited her over and even how she spent each penny of her salary. She was fed up of answering his questions. She had informed him that she had an important surgery scheduled and so would be busy. She felt suffocated, unable to live freely. She glared at the messages; they seemed like a death sentence.

She decided she couldn’t put up with his demands anymore and messaged him back.
“You are right. You don’t deserve this. Good bye.”

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Tuesday, 21 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google

I listened to the ticking of the bedside clock in the dead silence of the night, each repetitive beat filling me with fresh guilt, ache and remorse. How I wished to travel back in time to that careless moment, erase it and then change the course of events to a much happier ending. In that case it wouldn't have been an ending but a new beginning.

I  understood very well the futility of these thoughts that haunted me every night, waiting to play in my head when I was alone. They were as meaningless as the desperation of an archer to take back the arrow he had shot. Like my wish to take back the tears I had shed. The words I had spoken. Perhaps my wounds were destined to remain raw and unhealed.

Words. They are so powerful, sometimes soothing and capable of healing. At other times hurting and capable of wounding. Little had I known this when I spat out words that pierced his heart like daggers. What had started off as a small difference of opinion soon snow-balled into a major fight. He chose to be silent but I spewed venom, coercing him to join the verbal duel.

Being his wife, I knew well what would hurt him. When he could take it no more, he walked out of our home. I felt triumphant and waited for his return to celebrate my victory. Little did I realise that I had lost him forever. The clock ticked away and the world moved on but I was sucked deeper and deeper into the bottomless pit of remorse.

P.S: This is my 100th post! I'm on top of the world. Feeling proud of my 8 month old journey :) A huge thank you to each one of my readers. I hope you continue the support and that I can keep up to your expectations!

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Monday, 20 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google

“Ma, I can’t do this!” Megha paced the kitchen, irritated that her mother had not informed her earlier. She was just not prepared for this sudden decision by her parents. It irked her that they had gone ahead with their plans, being indifferent to her feelings and wishes. She had just begun working and had many dreams waiting to be turned into reality.

Her mother seemed to be composed and nonchalant. She dismissed her daughter’s concerns saying she was being immature. “Give it some time, you will be absolutely fine. What’s wrong in meeting Ankit and having a chat with him? Remember that we always choose the best for you.”

“Ankit may be the best guy in the world, Ma. But…”

“No ifs and buts. You are meeting him.”

The thought of meeting Ankit when she was already in love with Sunil made Megha queasy. Her parents had known this, but were not willing to face the questions of family and friends. She felt sick as she opened the door of the cafe where they were supposed to meet. She took a seat opposite to Ankit determined to send him packing with her well-rehearsed lines when Ankit caught her by surprise.

“You know I was forced by my parents to meet you. To be frank I’m not too keen about this.”
Megha was delighted by the rejection. Her uneasiness faded away as she said a polite goodbye to the stranger and thanked him in her head.

Sunday, 19 April 2015


Image courtesy Google

In this journey
together bound by love
Where hope steers us ahead
and memories leave a trail

Now is all we have my dear
to live, laugh and love
And do it all over again
like there’s nothing after

Let’s celebrate life
the journey we embarked on
The beauty around and within
to be savoured, nurtured

Moments lived fully
make great memories
And ignite the flames
of happiness and peace.

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Saturday, 18 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google

Her heart swelled with pride when her name was announced. Her friends and peers cheered and applauded. She couldn't contain her happiness and excitement as she walked up to the dais where the chief guest and other eminent people sat. When she was handed the scroll that proclaimed her a graduate and the gold medal that made her a rank holder, she almost fainted.

From the stage she looked at the audience, a sea of black robes and hats bejeweled with the beaming faces of proud parents. She looked away with the pain of realization that there was no one accompanying her. No parents and family members to applaud and click pictures, no one to discuss future plans with.

Walking down into the crowd of students, she went straight to her professor and her best friend since childhood, Dr. Anne. She hugged her tight and broke into soft sobs.

“You have done us proud. Forget the past. You made it……..all on your own.” The words comforted her.

Her journey had been fraught with obstacles, but she had now risen from being the mute, dependent wife of an abusive man to a strong, educated woman on her path to independence. She was glad that at the age of forty, she had graduated as a topper.

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Friday, 17 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google

“Mama, it’s so simple. Why do you create a fuss about nothing?” my daughter was exasperated. She left for work after her daily reminder “The green button to pick a call and the red one to disconnect.” I nodded, shut the door and looked around. Next to every electronic device gleamed a yellow “Post-it” with operating instructions.

I sighed, feeling confused and outdated in this huge city half way around the earth. It felt as if the whole world had moved on to climb the technological ladder leaving me behind. Everything was done by machines. The grandchildren played on the computer, least interested in going out in the open for a game of bat and ball. They entertained themselves conquering kingdoms, slaying demons and crushing candy. The books I had carried for them all the way from India lay untouched. They said they had a library in their laptop. I still haven’t believed it. 

A feeling of helplessness enveloped me. I wanted nothing to do with these new ways. I felt out of place, like an extinct reptile. But the words of my granddaughter came with a glimmer of hope.
“Tell me a story Nani.” she had said. I couldn't help smiling. People still enjoy stories! I sat her on my lap and told her stories from my life. She was fascinated by them, the tales of a granny dinosaur.

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Thursday, 16 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google

After spending fifteen years in the Gulf, we returned to our native village in Kerala. The naalukettu looked exactly the same, though the surroundings were now dotted with new buildings and houses. I walked over to the swing that hung from the Gulmohur tree. It was wet from the early morning showers.

I sat clutching the sturdy coir ropes enjoying the gentle swing back and forth. The bright red flowers let go of the cool drops of rain they held. They awakened within me a feeling of nostalgia, a sudden longing for my past that now seemed  to be so perfect. It was as if each drop wanted to remind me of a story long forgotten. Under my feet lay a thousand red petals of the Gulmohur on a carpet of green grass.

It was many years ago on a similar morning that I met Madhavan. He used to walk past our house every day wearing a crisp white mundu and checked shirt. An occasional glance gave way to smiles and soon we started meeting at the nearby temple, spending endless hours under the sacred Peepal tree. Life seemed so perfect, with Madhavan as the hero of my love story.

I was jolted back to reality when he waved from the other side of the brick wall. “How have you been?” he queried with a smile.


There was an awkward silence before I headed into the house saying “It is going to rain.”

How could I face him, having given in like a coward to the pressure from my family to marry a rich man working in the Middle East? I drifted back in time to sweet memories untainted by the bitterness of my marriage.

Naalukettu - Traditional house in Kerala
Mundu - A garment worn by people in south India
Gulmohur - A flowering tree

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google

My parents are concerned about me. They are worried sick that I may have a serious problem. They don’t like it that I keep to myself these days. They tell me not to me so moody, spending so much time behind the closed door of my room. Painting and poetry befit people of gloom, I am told.
But within the comfort of my room, I am myself. Nobody to be compared with, none to compete with. I spend my time reading, writing, painting and dreaming. I enjoy the slow pace of life here. My mom sees this as a danger signal. She thinks that I’d be better off doing the things she has planned so meticulously for me.

Strangely, those are the very things I loathe. Being dragged from piano lessons to dance class to martial arts to public speaking and debate clubs. Participating in endless competitions. Bringing home shining golden trophies that will be showcased in our living room. A spectacular display of my failure. Failure to freely do what I love.

Sometimes I want to scream. I want to tell my parents that I am not one bit excited about their plans for me. That I find solace in the silence of my room, putting my thoughts into words. I want them to know that I am not insane just because I prefer to be on my own. How can I tell them that it is their plans that suffocate me? Plans where I don’t belong.

As we sit with the psychiatrist, my mother goes on and on about how I am so downcast in spite of them being such encouraging parents and me being an achiever. As usual I keep waiting for my turn to talk knowing that it will never come.

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Tuesday, 14 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google

Being in love is the most amazing feeling I have ever known. Just a fleeting thought of my loved one brings so much joy and hope that I feel I’m living a dream. I have heard of love at first sight, friendship that turns into love, love that blossoms during adversity and so many other kinds of love. But this, it is so very different. Can you think of being in love with someone you have never met or known?

Well that’s the kind of relationship I am in. Love that took just a few seconds to happen. And once it did, I fell headlong into it. Love that grows day by day. Love that needs no words or gestures. Love that needs no proof. Love that keeps hopes alive. Above all, love that is truly unconditional.

My heart beats for him; he fills my thoughts throughout the day. He is in my dreams at night. He fuels me with optimism. He knows each and every breath of mine. I am his world and he is a part of me. Whoever said that falling in love makes you fluttery inside was not lying.

I am in love with the little one I cradle within me. I am in love with this journey to motherhood. I know for sure that this love will last forever. 

P.S:- All my posts for the A to Z challenge are works of fiction. Please don't congratulate me after reading this post!! ;)

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Monday, 13 April 2015


Image courtesy: Google
My sister and I got busy in the kitchen. She read out the ingredients from mom’s recipe book and I arranged them on the counter. Both of us aren't too keen about cooking, but we were determined to bake cupcakes to make a birthday special and memorable.

As I mixed flour, eggs, chocolate, sugar and the remaining ingredients, my sissy whipped up butter, sugar and cream cheese. Together we poured the batter into moulds and licked the mixing bowl clean as they got baked. When the lovely aroma of cakes wafted from the oven, we couldn't stop ourselves from believing that we had put together perfectly the ingredients to happiness.

With the frosting, they looked beautiful and delicious. We carried the tray of cupcakes to the flat where Mr. Sen lived. He opened the door to our collective “Happy Birthday”. He was touched by our gesture and had tears in his eyes when he said “I just received a virtual cake on Facebook from my daughter in the States. I don’t think I’ll ever find out how it tastes though.”

I looked at my sister. She nodded and I knew she had read my thoughts. “In fact Mr. Sen, we baked these on the request of your daughter.”

“She wanted it to be a surprise you see!” I stammered. We climbed the stairs back to our flat in silence, overwhelmed by a deep sense of satisfaction gifted by a simple act of kindness.

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Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Hunt

Image courtesy: Google

The sun shone brightly in the east and I was surrounded by grunts, chatter and activity. I prepared myself for the hunt though I was apprehensive of getting my hands on something worthwhile and fleshy enough to satiate me. I was no longer the ferocious tiger that I was in my prime- ruthless, ambitious and persistent in my pursuits.

 My survival instincts knew better than to retire and have a relaxed life, so I quickly dressed and kick-started my day. Navigating the busy roads in the scorching heat, I was on the lookout for a customer for the interesting insurance policies my company churned out.

This piece of five sentence fiction is written for the topic 'Hunt' at Lillie McFerrin Writes

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Saturday, 11 April 2015


Image Courtesy: Google

Tonight is the grand finale of the much hyped Fashion Week which will see film stars and celebrities of the glamour world. I stare at my reflection as the make-up artist smears rouge on my cheeks. I am beautiful, easily the best model in the industry apart from Kate. But in a couple of hours that will be taken care of. She will no longer be a distraction.

Cythilicus is a powdery material obtained by drying rose petals in the dark and scraping their surface with a blade. It triggers itching upon contact with body parts which can last up to a few hours. I have managed to get hold of it in time for the finale.


Tonight is special. I have been the show stopper on most of the ramps I have walked. Today it is no different. There is a reason why I am a crowned beauty. My passion and years of dedicated hard work, nothing else. Whatever shortcuts she takes, Helen is not going to be able to change that.

Cythilicus can cause severe itches but I sincerely hope she recovers soon. I slip into another gown, and smile at my reflection. It was a well-planned “last minute swap” with Helen. She was caught unaware as Kevin, whose signature collection we are here to flaunt, and I gave her the news just before the show began. Funnily, the gown she will be wearing is a deep green.

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Friday, 10 April 2015


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She was a busy woman. Her youth and impeccable looks made sure she never went out of business. She had been initiated into the flesh trade by her mother when she was barely twelve, when all she had wanted to do was fly kites and feast on flavoured ice. But five years into the business, she was adept at fixing rates, faking her feelings and sweet talking her clients into showering her with gifts. She had even mastered the art of lying to herself about the pain, the disgust, the helplessness and the anger that she felt.

During the initial years her mother had warned her, “Never fall in love with a client. They are not here to give us what we want but to take from us what they want.”  She had believed every word of it until she was swept away from her feet by a man who visited her every Friday. He was in his thirties, fairly good looking, with a streak of gold encircling his ring finger. They spent many nights enjoying each other’s company, talking endlessly until dawn snatched him away from her embrace. She realized that she was deeply in love with this man. She felt trapped between two worlds that could never meet and decided to confess her love to him, convinced that he too felt the same. He was different from the other men she had been with.

His words echoed within her, filling her eyes with grief. “How can an impure one like you even dream of a life with a gentleman like me?” She thought it strange that it was always the woman who was made to feel impure and not the man who was equally involved, even after having betrayed his wife.

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Thursday, 9 April 2015


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On some days he was at the café, staring at life outside the window, downing endless cups of coffee. Black, strong, sugarless and piping hot. Crumpled sheets of paper were strewn around the table, proof of his failed attempts. He snapped at the waitress if she tried to clear up the mess. When he could take it no longer, he would walk out into the open and roam the streets, his senses taking in even minute details of the world around.

On other days he would sit by the beach watching the waves crashing onto the moss laden rocks bathing in the golden rays of the setting sun, wondering if the scurrying crabs and the flying birds had a story. He was lost within his thoughts almost all the time, forgetting to eat, sleep and change. His stubble and unwashed jeans were silent witnesses to his growing agony. He hardly spoke to anyone but himself, which made people stare at him and exchange glances that declared he had lost his mind.
But he was a writer, not a madman. He cradled stories within him that tossed and turned impatiently, waiting to find expression. He did not want to give up. His resolve to pen a few words became stronger by the day. Every day he set out with a pen in his hand and hopes in his heart, positive that the silence of words would end soon.

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Wednesday, 8 April 2015


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The morning sun was hidden behind grey clouds and the wind brought with it soft sprays of the morning rain. It was getting cold and the inmates of We Care hospital slowly made their way inside after having spent an hour in the beautiful garden with Janet, the social worker. She came thrice a week to hold hands, listen and speak to them. They could say anything to her. She would listen patiently without judgement, sometimes responding with a few lines of poetry or a mere nod of the head or engaging them in a fun activity. That seemed to be enough for the patients who had been admitted there to recover from the shock of bereavement.

Once the group session was over she had a few individual sessions. Janet walked to the cafeteria where Maya waited every day to share her pain, the tragic demise of her husband. As she listened, offering her thoughts occasionally, Janet was taken back to the days when she herself had been stricken with grief when her son, barely five, had left her to be lonely forever. They had been playing at the beach when he spotted a shiny object in the water and ran after it, never to return again.

Janet was devastated and had withdrawn into a shell. She was an emotional wreck for several months until her friend, a psychologist at We Care had suggested she come in regularly to meet others who were also battling the pain of loss of a loved one. She had come a long way from there, learning to cope and simultaneously lending a hand to other grievers. She was glad she had someone to steer her through troubled times and so was determined to do the same to others too.

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Tuesday, 7 April 2015


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Thirty two pairs of curious eyes followed me as I walked across the classroom on my first day of school. It was the middle of the term and I was taking the place of a teacher who had resigned. “Good morning, how are you feeling today?” I asked. The children seemed to be puzzled. Nevertheless, they answered “Fine ma’am, thank you.” I could see that they were exchanging glances, their eyes communicating in a language I could not fathom. Were they up to some trouble?

Since it was the first day I wasn't too keen on beginning a lesson. First, I needed to get to know them and make them feel comfortable. So with a smile, I started asking their names and things they liked. The tension in the air was palpable. Some of the kids didn't even look at me in the eye. Did they have trouble accepting me as their new teacher?

Things continued this way for a few more days though we were well into our Math lessons. I didn't give up hope. Then one day the unexpected happened.

“Akanksha!” I called out to a girl in my class.
“Yyyes ma’am…’am I am sorry. Please ma’am. I will learn up.” She was trembling, her words reflecting some hidden fear.

“But what are you sorry for?” It was my turn to be confused.

She looked down without answering when a boy spoke up “Please don’t use that stick ma’am.”
I followed the boy’s gaze and saw a cane on the windowsill. I picked it up and threw it in the bin. “We don’t need this.” I smiled.

Suddenly the clouds of fear parted and I saw sunny faces. I was sure that the rest of the term would be full of fun and learning.

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Monday, 6 April 2015


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I nervously paced the deserted corridor that smelled of disinfectant. This was my first time and I didn't know how things would turn out. I said a silent prayer and wondered what it felt like to be on the other side of the curtained glass door. I was clueless and that made me feel left out. I wished I had someone to keep me company to reassure me that everything would be fine.

Would you like to come in?” A head popped out of the glass door.

“Is it allowed?” I wasn’t sure I wanted to be there. What if I screwed it up and fainted instead of feeling happy and proud?

“Come on in.” She said with a smile.

I changed into a green gown. I could hear my heart pounding and my mind suddenly went blank. I walked up to my wife who was propped up in an awkward position, and held her hand. She was happy to see me and managed to smile even between the bouts of severe pain that made her scream.
Her grip tightened, her face turned red and she let out a blood curdling howl. I watched as a tiny head and then a dainty body pushed its way out, into our world.

“It’s a girl. Congratulations!” Someone had said after cleaning up the baby and swaddling it before handing it over to a delighted me. It was one of the best moments in my life as I looked at her face staring back at me. I kissed my wife who beamed as she held our little princess. I couldn't stop the stream of tears.

“How does it feel? my wife asked me.

 "I am a dad!!! I feel euphoric!!” I said.

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Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Entrance

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I could feel my heart thumping and beads of perspiration sliding down my forehead as I took a deep breath and stepped onto the metallic rail that slithered into the night. My body stiffened as I saw a beam of light emerging from the tunnel. 

“This is it” I thought as I squeezed my eyes shut, waiting for the train to wipe me out into the darkness.  The noise was deafening as the train came roaring towards me but as it died down I realised that I had been waiting on the wrong track. I stood there frozen, at the entrance to my second life.

This piece of Five Sentence Fiction was penned for the topic Entrance at Lillie McFerrin Writes

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