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Showing posts from 2014

Leaving behind lasting memories

Sophie caressed her Grandmother Becky’s wrinkled skin as she was being lowered into the coffin. A lifetime of goodness, love, warmth and care seemed to be wrapped into the black case that cold morning.
Sophie knew she’d miss her grandma’s practical advice and infectious smile that belied her tumultuous and difficult personal life.
“Who’d look after the beautiful garden?” lamented Sophie as the yellow bougainvilleas in the backyard, bejeweled with icicles, caught her eye.
Becky loved bougainvilleas and nurtured their attributes-of being in ever- bloom-within her. Like them, no amount of blustery wind or cold snow could dampen her spirit.  

____________ Word count:100 ____________ 100 word story written in response to the photo prompt at Friday Fictioneers at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can post one of your own or read the other entries here.  

Can creativity be cultivated?

Two artists; one desires adulation and aspires to be a star, the other wishes to explore the depths of the art; one is a conformist, the other is free-spirited; one is street-smart while for the other, the heart rules the mind; one hankers after and gets commercial success, yet does not find peace, the other performs for the love of the art and thrives in self-contentment and happiness. That's Kaaviyathalaivan in a nutshell for you.While the movie impressed me with its well-executed plot, great performances and pleasant music, it led me to introspect about the one quality, among others, that differentiated the two protagonists- creativity.

Manodharma or creativity is the back-bone of any creative field. It's an art where you bring in a different nuance, twist or dimension to the same piece of work and present it like it were new. A good actor experiments with different genres and styles and pulls it off with equal aplomb. A great chef does not stick to the conventional ingredi…

When you left

When you shut the door on me and stomped out of our relationship, my heart didn't break. I thought we still had a chance because I believed dreams never die; eclipsed possibly, but alive.
I’d always associated our dream with the little green bridge. Remember, we once dreamed about building our own love nest across the bridge? I wanted to run after you and remind you of our dream.
Instead, I chose to visit the place that had seen our love for each other develop; one that had been forgotten in the melee of life. A lot had changed about the place, except for the bridge. Across the bridge, a wall stood, behind which was a beautiful house, like the one in our dreams.
My heart thought it was symbolic. Despite changes at many levels, the bridge-a symbol of our love- remained unchanged. However, there was a wall-of misunderstanding and ego- that blocked access to the love nest.  
My mind thought it to be rather ominous. The wall could well mean that I stop trying to gain access to the he…

Myths and facts of my blogging experience

Everyone likes to dole out advises, write out a ten-point list, offer suggestions and insert cautionary clauses in the field they are, or at least believe are, an expert-through either experience or extensive study. Likewise, if you are a blogger, you might have come across numerous articles on how to blog, why to blog, how to blog better, benefits of blogging which also includes benefits of blogging everyday.

With due respect to writers who share their experiences, I'd like to admit to myself and publicly on this space that all the theories of benefits of blogging daily have back-fired for me. The first time I took part in a month long blogging marathon was in December 2011and although I did not run out of topics during that period, the sheer effort almost killed me at the end of it all and I faced a major writing block for the next few months.

I steered clear of such exercises for a very long time and silently vowed never to undertake one in a hurry, yet, as they say, I was en…

Word Building

“What does ‘detour’ mean?” queried eight-year old Garry, trotting into the kitchen, his fingers clasping over the book perched on his elbow pit, without taking his eyes off it.
Tara, startled by Garry’s abrupt intrusion, almost dropped the whisk into the batter she was whipping for her cake order.
 Being used to such sudden literary interrogation by her bookworm son, Tara composed herself as she exhaled slowing, wiping the remaining batter off the whisk and answered Garry.
“It is exactly what you do when you cycle across the lawn towards the town library on the way to your guitar classes.”
____________ Word count:100 ____________ 100 word story written in response to the photo prompt at Friday Fictioneers at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can post one of your own or read the other entries here.  

Hi Five

R turns five today, a big-boy milestone. He's been forever waiting for the day to dawn when he'd turn five. I thought it was due to his friend's influence but learned from the baby center updates that kids generally get excited about their birthdays around this time, so he's bang on with that milestone:-p A lot of promises have been made by the little-big fella; things that he'd do once he becomes abeegboy, more so in a rush if I may add, including sleeping in his own bed, in his room. Ha! If anything, he's asking to sleep next to "amma only" in the recent times, something he never insisted on before!To be fair, we've also tried to milk the occasion by referring to the five-year landmark to get things done :-p
We didn't plan for a big bash this year despite the kid's excitement levels. Firstly, I was not sure I wanted a party in the house, given that our club-house isn't ready yet, and secondly, he hasn't really bonded with any ot…

On your birthday

Would a simple thank-you
my love and gratitude, it all

Will it seem small,
not needed even,
since our love's mutual,
a given?

But, this is not a note
to settle our score,
or to dust my hands
off a chore

I truly want to
express my delight.
You're my life; ever inspiring,
like bright day-light

Standing by me,
like a rock,
whenever life slowed
over a gridlock

You held me,
when I slipped
Nudged me ahead,
as I dithered

The sun shines brighter
gloomy days, soon wither
only because, my dear,
you're there near

No other day seemed fitter
to profess and confess
than today,
as you grow a year older

So, thank-you,
for always being there
with an ever gentle flair

May the grace of God
ever shine upon you, and
we remain blessed, thus!

Love yourself and love what you do

Funny as it sounds; it is difficult to just be the person you are. Each one of us is unique and has our own idiosyncrasies, talents, strengths and weaknesses. Yet, we lack the ability to recognize all of these in us and accept ourselves just the way we are. We want to be someone else. We keep working on our weaknesses, honing our skills, and seek to be a better (even different?) person, but of what use are these exercises if they are going to erode our core personality and damage our self-esteem?

In life, many of us have role models-someone we want to be like and/or competitors in our chosen fields-who make us go green with envy with their superior techniques and skills, yet are those we want to emulate and even surpass in terms of their accomplishments. Somewhere between wanting to improve and emulate the other person, who might be your peer, friend or competitor, you start comparing self with the other and begin to lose yourself.

What does it, then, take to stretch yourself, your a…

Living for self

Is it possible to live just for yourself? Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting you become selfish and stop caring for others. What I mean is, is it possible to work, cook, write, sing, dance, play just to please the self and no one else, even while doing all of the above for the family, friends or acquaintances, without expecting a word of appreciation, a thank-you, a nod of approval or even acknowledgement? 
Can it happen that you live life only because you 'love' doing it and that's what makes you happy or come alive? That's how it should be, right? And, that's what the Lord advises in the Gita, too. However, in this mortal and materialistic world, it seems incredible to go on without someone to pat your back when you do well, without someone to motivate you when you hit the low, to achieve your targets without expecting a reward, to give without expecting anything in return.
In a society where we learn from childhood to behave well because, otherwis…

Quid Pro Quo

A pair of strong hands pushed him against a corner of the damp cell, and he felt his lips bristle.
Never hooked up before, huh?
Not with men.
There’s always a first time; you don’t think the snout came for free! 
___________ Word count:42 ___________

Learning curves

Little Brian, who accompanied his dad on his morning walk, was intrigued by the monument that had two forked out, crawled figures atop a stone.
Brian’s dad sat him down and explained, “Son, the choices taken when at a fork will decide if you can swim against the tide or sink with the wave.”
Years later:
The match was poised evenly. Yet, the tension in Brian’s team was palpable for various reasons, and at halftime, Brian broke away from it all to mull over. 
Sweat dripping, Brian sank into the chair, eyes closed. His temples throbbed as his mind replayed the game. He could not underplay the silent war of number- snatching and record building between him and his forward partner.  
Brian wiped out his sweat and swept a glance at the crowd. His dad’s smiling face looked out and he gave Brian a ‘thumbs up’ sign. That was his cue.
The game resumed.
The shuffle, the scuttle continued, the chances came close and so did egos. Looks got exchanged, one gave in, the other gratefully took over,…

Music heals like no other medicine

Alex sat with an awkward pose; his eyes carried the look of hurt and rejection from being side-lined by the other boisterous boys of his age.
“Such a weirdo, cannot even judge a simple catch!”
“Have you noticed, he never looks in the eye? Gives me the creeps”
The words no longer numbed Amy as she bravely fought the world for her autistic son.
“I see a genius in him” Gerald, his music teacher, had told her once and she believed him.
Amy knew she had won as Alex’s fingers played magically on the keyboard and silenced the apathetic world.
____________ Word count:100 ____________ 100 word story written in response to the photo prompt at Friday Fictioneers at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can post one of your own or read the other entries here.

The diagnosis

“Doctor, I can’t stop when I get the urge,” declared Gerry, his arms shaking and fingers twitching!
“The monstrous voices in my head keep pleading until I give in,” continued Gerry encouraged by the kind doctor’s sympathetic nod.
“My wife is just sick of me and has given me an ultimatum, failing which, she has threatened to leave me,” tears pricked Gerry’s eyes as he whispered the last line feeling like an absolute failure.
The doctor took a deep breath and cleared his throat before pronouncing Gerry's diagnosis and medication, “Gerry, you suffer from acute Writobiatics, a condition in which the hunger to write does not subside until the patient unleashes the flood of words on to a sheet; it is incurable and the patient is mostly confined to using the crutch of a pen or a keyboard throughout his life.”
“However,” the doctor added, causing Gerry’s feelings to change from utter disbelief to immense relief, “You can manage the symptoms well if you follow a healthy diet of writing a…


Passion ignited that night when modesty lay bared for love. The flames died out on a cold morning when two pink lines knocked the door for commitment. Her mom’s words rang a bell, “Sometimes, love isn't enough”.  
She welcomed their future alone.

Word count:42 ____________________

In the wars

Megan daintily held the long handle and preened into the oval-shaped frame. Puckering her rosy, full lips, she chirped vainly,
“Is there anyone else as beautiful as I, say, oh, truthful mirror!?”
Rose, who had her nose buried into a book, looked up at Megan from above her thick-rimmed spectacles and sniggered,
“A la wicked queen from Snowhite? Must, say, some resemblance there!”
Bubbling with anger at the snide remark, Megan aimed her object of fascination perfectly at Rose’s head.
Rose caught the bookmark neatly between hysterical laughs, placed it between the pages and rushed to console her little sister.
____________ Word count: 100 ____________ Written in response to the photo prompt at Friday Fictioneers at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can post one of your own or read the other entries here.

The Suncatchers

Grabbing her estranged husband’s whiskey bottles, Gracy poured their contents into the sink, one by one. It was cathartic, allowing the pain, her tears and trauma, to ebb away along with the vile liquid.
The workshop acted as the catalyst, as she carefully poured in her favourite hues into the emptied, dried bottles; instructions playing in her mind: swirl the bottle slowly around till the colours spread evenly all over.
Gracy placed the transformed beauties in the wooden grooves and reveled in her new life as the sun-soaked tints of love, vitality and cheerfulness bathed her in the morning glow. 
________________ Word count: 100 ________________
100 word story written in response to the photo prompt at Friday Fictioneers at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can post one of your own or read the other entries here.

A dialogue

Aditi looked in awe at the colourful masterpieces around her at the gallery; different hues suffused together to form lovely imageries. Rakhee, her protégé, was certainly talented; a deep, wistful sigh escaped her, taking her by surprise. Was she envious? She wondered, afraid to look for answers within.
“Wasn't it true that it was she who had introduced Rakhee to the world of painting? When did her apprentice, then, surpass, her, the guiding force and light behind Rakhee’s success?”Aditi bemoaned.
“Shhh..don’t think that way! It’s not right to feel resentment against genuine talent. In a creative field, someone will always be better than you” chided her friend.
“But, why me?” Argued Aditi, upset with the miss goody two shoes, ever-right mate. “I work hard too. Why is that I have to struggle so hard to reach where Rakhee is now?”
“It’s not fair..” she continued her rant, forcing her companion to withdraw into an uncomfortable silence.
 “Look at her, busy with all the adulation. Sh…

Mr. Murthy

Sharad stood defiantly in the corner of the classroom with his arms crossed tightly over his chest, eyes spewing venom, and his bloodied lip muttering silent curses at his teacher, Mr. Murthy, who had punished him for snatching the snack-box and subsequently getting into a full-blown hand-and-fist war with a classmate during lunch.
As the 10 year old walked nervously into the make-shift counseling -cum-teacher’s room in the small village school, Mr. Murthy sized up the insecure boy who now looked less fierce in his yellow-tinted shirt, hastily patched together at the seam on one side, and worn shabbily over faded under-sized shorts.
Mr. Murthy felt like the wheels of his own life had been reversed as his kind but perceptive questions revealed the unfair, love-shorn childhood of Sharad who having lost his parents to disease was living a difficult life with his uncle’s family; a story uncannily similar to his.
If not for his benevolent foster parents who re-instilled in him the hope a…


Self-deriding thoughts were pressed together in a tight knot as she studied the confident spread around. Nervous sweat mixed with tears of hard-work trickled down, as she plated up her dish, garnished with her mentor’s advice:
“Never let the others intimidate you”

Word count: 42

Connect, disconnect

As the evening wore on, Sujata got a hollow feeling in the pit of her stomach, as the enormous Banyan outside her room metamorphosed into an unfamiliar gaunt image on the reflective window pane.
Moments of confusion later, she relaxed!
This happened frequently in recent months when she’d wake up with a spring in her step, charged up to start her daily routine, but ended up gripping the window ledge, gnawing at the blank images the mind threw up.
Gazing at the mighty tree brought Sujata solace; its enveloping shade comforted her frayed nerves as she grappled with memory outages.  
100 Words written for the photo-prompt at the Light and Shade Challenge and for World Alzheimer's Day 2014 at Write Tribe.


Anticipating adventure, we excitedly dug out the dusty, old lamp from the attic at our grandparents’ house.
“Hurry, before someone sees us” urged my younger brother tugging at my sleeve.
“Stop!” “You’ll make me drop it” I barked in a low voice.
“Give it to me.” He demanded.
“No!..this lamp needs some dusting.” I snapped, wiping its surface, unaware of my miffed, mutiny-filled companion muttering sharply under his breath.
The cloud of dust billowed larger and I found myself shrunk in size, into an old woman; the cobbled pathway where I stood resembled large salt pans.
A voice echoed,” next wish!”
Word count: 101 _________________
Linking the 100 word fiction to this week's photo-prompt at Rochelle's Friday Fictioneers, and to BlogAdda's WOW prompt-A twist in the tale


Uplifting despairing souls Transcending physical folds  
Lilting prayers in joyous alley Strumming raw nerves in melancholy
Oh Music, you’re truly divine!
A blessing, when known in its entirety A means to experience divinity  For, even He stands to be your slave When offered in a humble way
Perceived as the spiritual ladder  to reach consciousness, much higher  It's a wonder, but a few  can cross the borders yonder
You grace the heart, only that is pure Even at your feet, we find Him near
Oh Music, you’re truly divine!

Finding myself

Have you seen me?
I look for myself in the anonymous dark lanes, fearing to find out what would be me. Deep down in my heart I know myself and believe I deserve to soak in blinding lights of fame, recognition and applause.
Will I find myself at the end of the lane?
My quest to meet myself is hindered by the countless number of ‘others’ in whom I see a part of myself. The way they look at me colours my mind and I take a detour. It feels like I’m stuck in a maze.
Can you tell me the way out?
I have come a long way and yet have miles to go. I need a friend who’d lend me an encouraging hand. I need a guide who’d help me read the map. I need a companion who’ll make the journey a happy dance.
Will you come along? 

Linking this to the Wednesday prompt, I, me, and myself at Write Tribe.

Why didn't you come with a manual?


You are really growing up to be a fine kid on most counts. I do thank my stars for it and sometimes give myself a pat on the back too. After all, maybe I'm also doing my bit. However, being a mother, I do have my worries and concerns about certain aspects and thought I'd share it with you here.

Remember, I had this concern even earlier that you could not hold your interest on topics that dealt with relationships? I do worry that you are growing up to be a nerd because while you can rattle off the names of the car models and species of the animal and bird kingdom like they were family, you do struggle to get who's who in the family right.

You can play all by yourself, building blocks, racing cars or doodling whales, dinosaurs, aeroplanes and fishes. But, I have never seen you doodle a flower or even a house. You like playing with your friends but don't throw a fit when called to go home. It's like you are attached yet detached. Should it worry me? I'm not to…

Lost Innocence #FiveSentenceFiction

Ambrose crept behind stealthily, eyes twinkling mysteriously, tip-toeing to where the sand-castle was being constructed laboriously and with a swift movement, his leg toppled the tower over.
He threw back his head in impish laughter as the cascading sand granules set off horrified pearls of tears to roll down pretty cheeks.
Ambrose’s mother ruffled the little boy’s unruly hair in mock anger; her eyes blinded by love for her child could only sense pure innocence and harmless mischief.
Years later, Ambrose’s sadist eyes laughed uproariously as his impudent hands disrobed a terrified, screaming young lady and outraged her modesty.
As the unrepentant Ambrose stood at the gallows, his old mother grieved the misplaced sense of motherhood that had overlooked sparks of deviance disguised cleverly as innocence.

_____________________ Five sentence fiction written in response to the prompt: Grief at LillieMcferrinWrites.


She wrapped her arms close to his waist, digging her ashen face further into his hunched back, as he revved up the engine of his sports bike noisily and sped through the winding, up-hill roads. The cool wind lashed against her face and blew her hair away in a fiery motion, dancing wildly to her racing heart-beats. She loved him for this. She hated him for this.
He was as reckless as the wind while she was the epitome of calmness. No one made her laugh as hard as he did and she loved him for this. His don’t-care-a-damn-attitude, taking risk at the drop of a hat, living life dangerously, yet making the most of every moment, left her in awe, and in fear. He made every moment she spent with him come alive and she never felt as vibrant as she did in his company. Yet, she knew, he was not the committing kind and he’d never settle down for marriage and kids.
The view atop the hill was breath-taking. Silken, white sheets covered the bare, wet peaks seductively, while the naughty breeze gent…

The Danseuse #WriteTribe

The soft notes on the flute played a melodious tune and the rhythmic beats on the tabla rounded their synergy into a soul-stirring number. Sangita paid keen attention to the beats-takita taka dhimi dha. She did the math and choreographed her steps in her mind. It was a prestigious stage and she could ill afford to slip-up.
Sangita’s graceful hand and feet movements were in perfect sync with the percussion, yet she felt a void. With a deep breath, she closed her eyes, letting go of rules. She, then, let the haunting flute guide her heart to a rapturous performance.

100 words written for Write Tribe on the following quote:
Write from the soul, not from some notion about what you think the marketplace wants.The market is fickle; the soul is eternal’.
― Jeffrey Carver


People who are a regular to this space would be familiar with my rants of how the husband never 'surprised' me on special occasions despite subtle and non-subtle hints. You know, the usual accepted norm of giving flowers, or a cake, and the likes. In his opinion, and rightly so, these outward displays of affection are not needed when the concerned people are secure in their relationship and very well 'know' how much one cares or loves the other. Although, my practical side readily and completely agreed with his point of argument, my other illogical side always found a bone or two to pick with this casual behaviour. Too much of complacency is also not good for a romantic relationship, I'd say, rolling my eyes at him, pouting sadly, trying to emotionally black-mail him and even threatening him into 'gifting' me something!

I had slowly begun to make peace with the benign, indulgent smile or worse a mocking laugh that I'd get in return for all the badgerin…

When Chikmagaluru beckoned

It's been such a long while since I wrote on this space without the crutch of a prompt. And, what better way to write extempore than a travelogue!

Last month was a bonanza for me since we traveled twice in the same month. Quite an achievement for someone whose last vacation (if you discount the visits to the parents') was in April last year!

We decided to utilize the long weekend of 15th August and made our bookings for Chikmagalur. This was a place I'd been wanting to visit for a very long time but for some reason the plans got jinxed each time at the last moment. This time, the stars did align favourably :-)

We had a lovely drive to the place. The rainy season guarantees some great visual gratification on your getaways around Bangalore and this route particularly has some best ones in store. Views of pregnant grey clouds resting gracefully on dark green mountains, lush, verdant fields all along the 5 hour drive was such a soul-lifting experience. Intermittent, cool driz…