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.  

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright Janet Webb
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 ingredients and method of cooking; s(he) often brings something new to the table, literally. An experimental singer can sing the same raga or song each time with so many different shades to it that s(he) keeps the audience guessing and asking for more.

Talent in a particular arena may not necessarily guarantee a flair for creative experimentation. Some people are naturally inclined to adhere to rules and fear deviating therefrom. For them, art needs to conform to the convention and hence curb the free-hand which threatens to touch the uncharted land. Not surprisingly, creativity rarely thrives in such a restricted atmosphere. Can it be, then, cultivated?

Creativity seems to flow naturally and effortlessly for some because of the way they are. They are able to let go of impressions and do not get themselves typecast. They keep re-inventing and questioning their successful methods. When a teacher imparts knowledge to such students, they never absorb it at face value, instead challenge and compel the teacher to offer them more.

Creativity requires you to be courageous. Pearls never float on the surface; anyone in their pursuit needs to plunge into the depths and crevices of the ocean. That requires courage. The courage to fail. Courage to keep trying despite factors that might lead you to think that you could be wrong. Courage to go wrong and then accept it to re-dive with the right knowledge.

When this happens, either by nature or design, you open up to the universe to receive the boon of creativity, for you are not afraid of the outcome. You derive energy and motivation not from the applause of your audience but from the boundless freedom gained when the mind frees itself of the boundaries set by theory. You're willing to experiment even within the constraints and at the same time keep the window open to inspiration from beyond.

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 heart of the person who had moved on, albeit without burning the bridge.

Sigh! I wish you’d explained your departure.

Sunday Photo Prompt

Word Count: 200
Every week on a Sunday, a new photo is used as a prompt for Flash Fiction challenge using around 200 words based on that image. Your story does not have to be exactly what the item in the photo is as long as there is at least a reference to it. You can make it anything you want, and enjoy what you write, and we will as well. 

Click to put up your own entry or read other entries here.

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 enticed by the unbelievable benefits endorsed by popular and seasoned bloggers all over. Now, of course, I wanted more readers, especially when my blog was in a comatose condition at one point. And, who didn't want to be famous, with fellow bloggers clamouring for your attention and asking you to take time out of your busy schedule to write out guest posts for them? So, in a weak moment I signed up for yet another marathon, this time a daily show for an undefined time. Definitely, the wires in my brain had gotten messed up.

Myth one: You'd get more readers.
Fact for me: Nope. For a few days, I wrote patiently, following all the rules mentioned. I visited and discovered so many new blogs, religiously read their posts, commented and waited for my blog to be discovered in turn. People came in, surely, but out of politeness and not because I was the next biggest find in blogging history. If I failed to visit theirs, I could rest assured that those many number of comments would go missing on mine. To be fair to the entire process, it is not quite humanly possible to genuinely spend so much time on other people's blogs, add them to your list and make an appearance in their comment section each time a post is out. Especially, when so many people out there write so well, perhaps better than you, are also dishing out a post each day, have their own life apart from blogging and also have better things to do. So, net-net, you end up having only those many true readers you started off with. Maybe after months and months of a rinse-repeat of the above scene might result in a spike but by then I think I'd have gone nuts.

Myth two: You'd start writing better.
Fact for me: Not sure, maybe not. Some days are just not yours and no matter what other experts say about not bothering about the post being perfect, you can't write average stuff and still expect people to read and appreciate. And, when there are no readers, I'm not motivated. If I'm not motivated then I cannot write better. I'm yet to arrive at the point where I write for the love of writing. If I were to achieve that state of mind, then I'd not blog publicly.

Myth Three: You get a better Alexa rank
Fact for me: True but not relevant. I blog because I like the banter that takes place between bloggers via comments and also to hear at times that I write well. Of course I'm a narcissist. How does it matter if I rank 40 or 80 on some random scale, the basis of which I don't know, when I hardly get one or two genuine comments on my post?

Myth Four:More comments/invites to guest posts/shares/backlinks
Fact for me: Nope. I admit that the number of comments went up by sheer numbers but that did not mean that I bonded with those many bloggers and they came because they became a genuine fan of my writing. They came because we wrote for the same writing prompts and more as a courtesy and greed for quid pro-quo. Again, no offense to anyone. I did the same, so I understand.

Just like one medicine does not work alike for two different people even if the symptoms and illness may be alike, so also, there are theories that could have worked for an entire generation of people, yet may not work for you. So, it is really up to you to figure out what works or does not. If it did not work, it does not prove the theory to be wrong (hence these are myths and facts FOR ME). It only means that you get to write your own theory or find the one that works for you.

So, I shall blog only when I feel like and write what I feel like. That way I'll not be under the wrong impression that I wrote a literary piece and feel bad about no one reading or commenting on it.

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.”

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Randy Mazie
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 a beeg boy, 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 other kid in our complex which makes it tricky to send out invitations. I didn't want to have kids over only because I know their mothers. Anyway, whether I over-thought the situation or found a safe escape route, this year too it's going be just his best friend who'll be coming over with his parents, the happy coincidence being that they happen to be our close family friends. So, really a win-win situation!

I asked him what he wanted for his birthday and he said he wanted balloons, cake and have everyone invited. The 'everyone' bit caused a temporary panic attack with some guilt creeping up my neck. For a moment I wondered if it would be possible to churn out a conventional party in such a short notice. As usual my mind ended up working overtime in vain for it turned out that by 'everyone' he meant his grandparents. 

I always worried that my boy had this detached outlook towards relationships that fell outside of the realm of our family nucleus, which includes us, his parents. He'd connect and bond with the extended family, no doubt, but he'd never display any longing for them once they were out of sight or even refer to them. However, I saw a marked change in him this time when my parents visited. Not only did he bond better but he was vocal about his feelings for them and insisted that they stay back until his birthday. While I was relieved to discover my misplaced worry (yes, that includes not having to throw a party), I felt a tug at my heartstrings to have his desire go unmet.

R talks nineteen to the dozen and sometimes I just want to shut my ears to all the 'see this plane, it goes so fast' to 'I'm a whale/dinosaur/ am so strong'. Yes, there is no end to all the cars, planes and animal talk. Some additions to his vocabulary are "blood, death and bomb blast!" Gory and scary as they sound, I was startled when it all began but as I compared notes with other mothers, I learned that such talk is quite normal in a household with kids, especially boys. Eeks!

I've failed to record the many funny and not-so-funny conversations that happen in our household but this one stuck with me:
As it goes, R is very fascinated with age and the numbers associated with it.

R: How old are you?
Amma: 3x
R *looking incredulous*: And, Appa??
Amma: 3x + y
R: oh my! That old? That means you'll die!

Sigh! Yes, my child, we all have to die someday. Maybe you'll learn to speak more sensitively about this. On second thoughts, what the hell, it's better to be so blasé and practical about it!

Wish you a great birthday, dearest R. May God bestow you with all the goodness in the world. Amma and Appa love you loads.


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 abilities and yet be comfortable in knowing that this is all you can do and accept that the results may not exactly match your expectations? What can do to not let the exercise of improvement reach a point where it not only defeats its very purpose but, oh the horror, leads to the brink when you begin to wallow in self-pity (since you cannot reach the benchmark ) and your general state of mind sinks into lower degrees of satisfaction and happiness?

It is, then, the perfect time to stop and ask if you are enjoying what you are doing. Be it singing, dancing, baking, handling a team for a prestigious project, teaching, writing, blogging, whatever it is that you do for a living or a part-time job or even as a hobby, as long as you take pride in doing them and they bring you joy that is not limited to the one derived by the rewards or awards they might bring, but joy that comes by merely enjoying the act, you succeed. The satisfaction of work has to be a constant even when you're failing in your goals, because if that goes missing then everything else will seem false and temporary.

Again, I'd like to visualize success as something that is certainly more and definitely not restricted to when the world recognizes and applauds your capabilities : a condition where you're happy and content in your own skin, you're proud of yourself no matter what because you'd like to give yourself credit for all the effort you'd taken so far and continue to take, and lastly but not in the least, are generous in forgiving yourself for what you're not and what you did not try in life. 

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, otherwise, the guests will call us 'a bad girl/boy' and not because it's the right way to behave, we develop an early fascination and detrimental habit to please the others, before we please ourselves. Even as children as we learned to first walk, talk, make that tower of blocks, we turned around to see if the grownups applauded and approved. So, it must be natural to seek praise and approval.

We learn to adjust with other people's deficiencies because 'good' people don't complain. However, we are never taught to accept our deficiencies. If you complain because something didn't go your way, you are judged and called 'immature' and as someone who 'doesn't understand or accept it as a way of life.' If you don't complain, you might be labelled as being lax and lazy who doesn't wish to evolve or reach higher living standards. Either way, you are doomed, isn't it?

Life itself is a corollary. The more you live with passion, more are the chances of attachment. However, the more detached you become, greater involvement can happen. I feel that freeing ourselves from how others perceive us is the way forward. Seeking joys in little things only because those little things are part of the great life will lead us to experience the bigger joy which is life itself. 

So, ask yourself today, am I working because I'll be liked more or because I like working? Am I giving my 100% to the job because my colleagues and boss will respect me more or because I want the job to be perfect? If you want the job to be perfect and consequently you earn more respect, then you win both ways. If you still don't get your promotion, don't come back to hit me, because I know it sucks big time and I'm still finding my answers to life's paradoxes. 

Learning curves

Photo prompt at Sunday Photo Fiction
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, the ball was passed in time and the goal achieved.

Brian’s dad cheered the most from the stand as he saw more than what others could see. Brian had managed to swim against the tide.

Word count: 213

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction

Every week on a Sunday, a new photo is used as a prompt for Flash Fiction challenge using around 200 words based on that image. Your story does not have to be exactly what the item in the photo is as long as there is at least a reference to it. You can make it anything you want, and enjoy what you write, and we will as well. 

Click to put up your own entry or read other entries here.

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.

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
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 and reading at stipulated times in the day/night, so that the manifestation does not affect your personal life, and additionally, join a writer’s club to learn how other similarly afflicted people cope.” 


Linking this to the Five Sentence Fiction prompt: Hunger at Lillie Mcferrin Writes.

After writing this, I happened to Google and found that there is indeed a similar medical condition that exists, called Hypergraphia.

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.

Copyright-Kent Bonham
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. 

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright – Marie Gail Stratford
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. She doesn't need me anymore.” The rant now tethered at the border of a self-pitying sermon.

“…or is it me? I've always been an average achiever, never aimed for the skies, so the dust is what I get, isn't it?” the sermon now reduced to an inaudible whisper as tears pricked Aditi’s eyes and she slunk away from the crowd that didn't seem to notice her absence.

“Perhaps, you still need to polish a few corners of your talent…perhaps, you are very close to where you need to be…don’t give up yet” Aditi heard the same voice, albeit low and unsure now, the one that belonged to the same righteous friend who never knew how to shut up.

Sometimes, the friend didn’t know how to console Aditi, who in her opinion, needed to hear a few hard truths but wasn’t ready to face them, yet.  Aditi was good at her work but always sought motivation from outside rather than from within. As long as the outside factors favoured her, Aditi, remained focused on her goals. Any blow to the precariously balanced self-worth ultimately damaged her spirit and confidence. Aditi had nick-named her miss goody two shoes and never saw eye to eye with her, yet she was the first person Aditi sought to confide in. Such dialogues between them were not uncommon.

“Sigh! These conversations were getting repetitive.” the friend was losing patience. She even considered deserting Aditi, leave her to destiny. But, how could she, she was her alter-ego, her shadow after all.


Linking this to the Light and Shade Challenge.

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 and purpose to lead a respectful, honest and principled life, Mr. Murthy could well imagine himself leading a wastrel’s or worse a criminal’s life and for that he was immensely grateful to them.

Years later, Mr. Murthy saw the same gleam of gratitude in the youth's eyes as Sharad sought his Appa’s blessings to start a new life, in his crisp white naval uniform.  


Five sentence fiction written in response to the prompt: Wheels at LillieMcferrinWrites

Write Tribe


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.  

Lyssa Medana _____________________
100 Words written for the photo-prompt at the Light and Shade Challenge and
for World Alzheimer's Day 2014 at Write Tribe.

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!”

Copyright - Dawn Q. Landau

Word count: 101

Linking the 100 word fiction to this week's photo-prompt at Rochelle's Friday Fictioneers, and


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 too sure.

I kept you away from the television and thereby cartoon viewing for a very long time. Not sure if this is the reason, but you get bored of watching cartoon after a while. You prefer to watch Animal planet or Nat Geo on television. While I'm proud of you for this, I also worry that you may never be able to talk excitedly about your favourite cartoon characters with your friends and might be considered a misfit.

It's a similar story with other gadgets; you have never played a video game on the phone till date. You have no clue about the temple runs, angry birds or candy crushes. Again, should I worry? Are there any benefits of playing games on the phone??

You've become a little self-conscious and do not assert yourself when in company of people who you think know more than you. This is definitely a concern because I want you to go out and mingle as much as possible and just let your hair down without caring a damn about how you sound or look.

I'd like you to have diverse interests and not be limited to only gadgets, vehicles and animals. I wonder if I'm not providing you with the right environment that makes you take interest in other subjects or if this is your innate nature.

Phew! whoever said parenting is easy? It's an overwhelming exercise always mired in self-doubt, at least for me. Wish you had come with a manual.


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.

Lillie McFerrin Writes


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 gently pushed the covers away. The graceful mountains surrendered to the gentle showers of rain, their love, making bringing every blossom to life; the greens became greener, the browns becoming darker. The soft mud that lay beneath their feet, sprinkled wet, sent out a lilting earthy fragrance that tickled the two’s senses.

“I love you” he declared simply, taking her rain-drenched face that quivered with suppressed emotions, in his palms.

“Don’t give me false hopes. It’s not meant to be” She shook as words came out in whispered pain, flooding her eyes, drenching her face all over again.

“Trust me. We can do this. It’ll be fine. I’ll never let you down” He pleaded. He went down on his knees, took a blade of grass, twisted it into a ring, slipped it into her finger and spoke with solemn sincere eyes.

“Marry me. Grow old along with me the best is yet to be.”

She laughed at her incorrigible man.

“Yes” she said, even as the heart twisted at the thought of their future; an amalgamation of two diverse, complex and intense souls.

It was the most beautiful twenty years of her life. They fought, they cried, they laughed, they lived every moment. Together they survived the storms, embraced the rains and rejoiced the sun-streaked seasons in their life. He was true to his word and she never had to regret her decision.

The best one she had ever taken, she thought, creased lines on her forehead deepening, fresh tears stinging her sorrowful eyes as she knelt down at his tomb on his second death anniversary. 

Image courtesy of Janssenfrank and taken from Wiki Commons Quote:

Grow old along with me the best is yet to be.
Robert Browning

Word count: 450

A fiction less than 500 words written for Light and Shade Challenge, combining the photo prompt and the quote above.

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

Write Tribe


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 badgering and nagging that I'd religiously subject him to. Twice a year. This year, I took one step closer to being the non-nagging kinds and gratefully and gracefully accepted the offer of dinner on my birthday. The husband came back from office early and I was happy. This, he always does-taking an off or coming back earlier than usual on special days. After a couple of hours, he asked me where I'd like to go for dinner. In my mind I was cheesed off since I expected some amount of thought to be already applied since he was the one who suggested dinner in the first place. Still, being the non-foodie in our house, I was quite OK with any place, so just 'hmm..hmm-ed' and asked him to decide.

Again, after a while he came up to me and asked if I wouldn't mind Chinese and suggested a restaurant that's quite near our house. In fact he almost pushed his case for this particular place and I was miffed again because I knew how much he liked that cuisine and also to dine at that particular joint. So much for my birthday celebrations! The last straw was when he made no attempt to leave the house early and I, being me, began hyperventilating about it being a Friday evening and we going out of table and having to just eat someplace. The pent up feelings came out like water squirting out of a pichkari. Even then, the conversation that happened next was:

He: Ok, get ready and wear something nice!
I: What do you mean nice? I only have what I have and I, anyway, always dress well!
He: Still, wear something nice.
I: !!!!
He: Ok,..ok..I've already booked a table, so don't get worked up, we have a lot of time on hand.

 The anger balloon deflated instantly since this came as a great surprise to me. Pre-booking a table at a restaurant was so, so unlike the husband.

My mood changed instantly and I was all smiles. The smiles widened on hearing that it was a place I was keen on visiting for a while now. It was a happy ending after all. Oh, wait! you thought the surprise was over? Well, I was already happy with this but seems like the husband had really decided to shut me up. As we relished the food, mid-way, there came a lovely cake for me to cut! Oh, my, was this really all the husband's doing? I couldn't believe it all. I was so overwhelmed with...surprise, y'know!

The past is all forgotten and I've decided not to..ahem...nag the poor guy anymore. At least until next year this time. *wink wink*.