Thursday, 26 February 2015

A Cup of Love

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She was woken by the clatter of utensils, the opening and closing of cabinets and the sound of water gushing out from the tap. She headed towards the kitchen rubbing away sleep from her eyes and suppressing a yawn, surprised that someone else in the house had risen before her. 

She was touched beyond measure when a pair of tiny hands handed her a steaming mug of tea and warm buttered toast, wishing her a happy birthday. As she took a sip of the gift from her son, she realized with a smile that he had forgotten to add sugar. However, she relished her morning cuppa to the last drop which was sweetened by his love for her.

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

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Memory Box

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Tucked away within the powdery dust
of layered thoughts recent and crusted,
lies a memory box with secrets locked
by a promise ancient yet trusted.

A whiff of its dark air deeply perfumed
by a cherished childhood complete,
takes me back to days bygone
through objects that seem obsolete.

Its hesitant creak upon my touch
sends forth ripples of innocent laughter
from carefree days lived to the brim
with no worry of what came after.

I caress its contents treasured-
feathers dyed, leaves dried,
letters inked, stones that winked,
coiled cones bequeathed by the tide.

Cradled deep within my memory box
is a handful of special red seeds
and brown ones with silken white tufts
wedged between luck-bringing weeds.

The broken red of bangles, bright
as the untouched bits of a heart forsaken
Faded petals, dry and brittle
once crimson with the love I’d taken.

Inside my little memory box
that mirrors a life of perfection
I seek refuge on rainy days
to see a sunny smile on my reflection.

Friday, 20 February 2015

The Scarlet Prophecy

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She smeared vermilion along the thin line of scalp that gleamed, furrowing backwards from her forehead.  Her long wet tresses sought refuge within the spirals of her towel wound carefully into a bun at the nape of her neck. She plucked the safety pin lodged between her teeth and secured the obedient pleats of her starched cotton sari, slipped on a few red bangles that chorused in ecstasy at her touch and bridged her brows with a red dot. Her eyes shaped like a lotus petal, were lined with black kohl that smudged at the corners, adding to her charm.

It had been their wedding the previous day and this was her first day in her new home.  She looked at herself in the mirror, surprised at how a ring on her finger and a new mark on her forehead could turn her world upside down. In her naiveté she had consented without second thoughts, to tie the knot with someone she barely knew. She had known no other options. This was what all the women in her family had done and they were all happy, at least that was what they told her.  As she gently touched her reflection, she felt something was amiss but could not settle on what it was. Was it her innocence? Her dreams? Desires? Or was it the twinkle of hope in her and the smile on her lips that was missing?

Memories of her nuptial night which by now had swollen into a tidal wave, lashed uncontrollably across her eyes, spilling over its kohl rimmed beauty. Her shyness, exaggerated by her excitement over blossoming love and anxiety about first impressions, were soon replaced by shock, pain and fear. She remembered with deep remorse the way he ate into her spirit like a savage animal caring the least about the tenderness within her that he was butchering.

This was least expected, not the kind of romance she had seen in movies or heard from her friends. In her mind she begged him to stop but her thoughts refused to form words; when they did, they tied themselves into a stubborn knot at her throat. With a bruised body and a heart pierced by the shards of her shattered dreams, she waited for sunrise. She hoped against hope that the rays of the new day would brighten up her life as well.

Wiping her tears, she walked across to the window and watched her surroundings burst into a riot of colours with a green backdrop. The garden was still moist from the early morning dew that adorned the leaves, grass and cobwebs. They glistened in the morning sun like precious jewels. Her eyes searched for the lone hibiscus that had blushed along with her when she stood at the threshold of the house as a bride. Draped like her in the hues of a bride, the blossom awaited with nectar in her heart, the touch of a hovering bee. She had imagined only hours before, that its scarlet petals prophesied the consummation of her marriage like the vermilion on her forehead. But today it lay shrivelled, devoid of colour on the damp earth.

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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Before I Kick the Bucket

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Dreams, I feel fuel life, a well lived life. Being the planned person I am, listing out things I like to do gives me a sense of purpose in life. I believe in doing things that I love to do, whether it appeals to others or not, follows trends of society or not. I have a really long bucket list ready and I keep going back to it, crossing out what I have already achieved and experienced, sometimes adding new ones to the list. This list of mine includes the simplest of things that give immense joy (like watching the sun rise above the horizon as I sip tea with my husband, making a sand castle in a beach) as well as other things like travel that require serious planning. Whatever be the case, each one is special and important to me and so I found it really difficult to pick just five from them.But here they are and they pretty much define what kind of a person I am. So here they are:

To be an urban farmer and having a small organic farm or garden without doubt tops my bucket list. I’m a passionate over of all things green and natural, and dream of living amidst greenery. I would love to experience the joy of picking fresh, home grown, chemical-free produce for my kitchen. I have inherited the green thumb from my dad and even with the severe space constraints I’m faced with presently, I manage to have a really small organic terrace garden. I would love to have a green patch of land (that seems a luxury these days) to unwind with my family.

Working for underprivileged children is something I feel is one of my missions in life. I want to contribute to society with the skills that I possess, most importantly my passion for teaching and interacting with children. The two years I worked as a teacher at an NGO, I can easily say has been the best part of my career that taught me valuable lessons. I wish to take it forward and dedicate the rest of my career to this cause. Some things just cannot be bought with money. It is absolutely true in the case of the satisfaction I get by teaching children from deprived backgrounds. I wish to continue to make a difference in others' lives by doing something meaningful. This will also help me realize another dream of mine, which is to be a lifelong learner.

A Jungle safari and a camp in the wild are next on my list. I would love to experience the thrill of being in the wilderness. Living in a tent, hiking, staying in tree houses, spotting wild animals and the like really appeal to me. I would love to explore North East India, savouring its unspoiled beauty.

Someday, I wish to experience rural life. I certainly have plans to experience the charming simplicity of life in rural India. I am a big fan of all things simple, so I dream of spending a few weeks in a mud house tucked away in a village, befriending the locals and learning a thing or two from them. I want to taste a life with minimal needs, away from busy city life, being in touch with nature, having all the time in the world to chat with neighbours, sleep under a starry sky and maybe, fly kites and climb trees.

For this last one I know I have miles to go, but I sincerely hope one day I have at least a book to my credit. My journey as a blogger has just begun, but I’m dreaming big. I intend to write a book that people will hold close to their heart- a book with words that make my readers smile, laugh and cry from the heart. 

Written for Indiblogger (Indi Happy Hours) in association with IDBI Federal Lifesurance Whole Life - Befikar Umar Bhar 

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Saturday, 14 February 2015

In love

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Dear Me,

I wish you a Happy Valentine's Day!
Love is in the air says the blushing rose
and the young couple striking a pose.
So this is the time for me to say

that I love you for whatever you are;
I'll gather your dreams in full embrace
and say that I love you in many ways.
In darkness I'll be your brightest star-

this is a promise for a whole lifetime
of true love, pure, forgiving, unselfish
that I bring you, and I fervently wish
you find truth in this heartfelt rhyme.

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you. Whether you believe in it or not, isn't it nice to have an excuse to express and spread love?! Cheers to falling in love with oneself and then to invite others to share the love and happiness of being complete :)

Friday, 13 February 2015

The Open Door

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The jingling of keys and the hesitant creaking of the iron gates herald the arrival of the freedom that I have been longing for all these years.The reasons that drove me into committing that ancient crime seems smudged from memory but the moments of solitude and contemplation I spent within the prison walls remain as fresh as wet ink on paper.

The door opens to a whole new life ahead, but strangely there is no happiness or relief but a looming grey cloud of fear and uncertainty. Thoughts flowed incessantly within the four walls propelled by hope; the padlocks never attempted to confine them as I inked shreds of yellowing paper. But today as I walk out of the open door and merge with the madness outside I hear the click of a lock from somewhere within.

Written for the topic "Open" at Lillie McFerrin Writes

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Uninvited Guest

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When life seemed flawless as in a dream, brimming with happiness, love and peace, arrived the villain like an uninvited pebble that creates unstoppable ripples perturbing the placid waters. I hadn't had enough of the love showered upon me by my daughters and husband when it came knocking, or rather forced its way into me.

Life was never the same as before when the megalomaniac had me possessed, completely at its mercy, as I prayed day in and day out for the arrival of a hero to curb its dastardly acts. I stared helplessly at the cancerian claws that chopped my beautiful tresses till I was completely bald, and ate its way through my insides like a gluttonous termite feasting on wood. I waited to hear its triumphant laughter upon conquering my body after which I would be truly freed from its clutches.

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

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Poisoned Pleasantries

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Any social gathering, be it a wedding, a party or even a small family get together has a dangerous tendency to turn into a buzzing hive of gossip as long as there are enough people and delicious food to fuel stray sparks caused by snide remarks and incessantly wagging tongues that seem to have snapped free from the wiring that links them to the brain respectively. These meetings are the perfect times for people to catch up on each other’s lives, being “busy” at all other times. So it is quite natural that questions that prod, pry and probe into others’ lives are shot off at random, amidst the zillion interactions that happen over food and drink.

What I find absolutely amusing, is the ability of people to spice up even mono syllable answers and comments of others into emotional epics of melodrama and serve it to others. For example, a “well-wisher” asked me if I was pregnant, to which I answered in the negative. News spread that we as a couple had decided not to have kids and soon every other person in the crowd wanted my mother to “speak to me (and my generation of selfish youngsters)” to throw light on the folly of our decision. Talk about (bungee) jumping into conclusions!

At another function, someone passed a “well meaning” remark that my husband and I were saving money by eating less (both of us happen to be thin). Some others went to the extent of judging my culinary skills. Such remarks filled with malice defeat the whole purpose of getting together. Instead of going home with pleasant memories, one is often left wondering whether theses forced relations hold any meaning at all. Why make an attempt to keep in touch with people who eagerly try to bring you down all the time, no matter what you do or say?

Once, during a wedding someone went on and on in loudspeaker mode about how ugly the bride looked. I could only pray that she hadn't heard those rude words, for doesn't everyone want to think they look nice on their wedding? If only it is possible to press “mute” when some people talk! Now when I think of it, more instances surface to my memory. People commenting on the colour of your skin, your attire, your diet, your lifestyle choices, career (or the lack of it), how you choose to celebrate, where you go on a holiday, how you spend your wealth and so many other matters which I think are too personal to be dissected in public. People have their opinions, I know. But why air them all unnecessarily? Why is there a deliberate lack of connect between the tongue and the brain?

Of course, one way out is to shut these people out by giving them and their comments a cold shoulder. Sometimes it is not that easy, especially if the person is a close relative. Some people are sensitive and can easily get hurt by these bullets from mindless mouths. I don’t mean to say that we should be hypocrites and shower praise without meaning a word of it. But if we don’t have anything nice to say, isn't it better that we keep quiet. That’s what I do. Remembering the words of Mark Twain: If you have nothing to say, say nothing. How true- if you don’t have anything nice to say, golden is the colour of your silence.