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The Answer- Light and Shade Challenge

Sharanya set the loud alarm on ‘snooze’ multiple times until the warm white rays penetrated directly into her room through the translucent drapes, forcing her out of her tired slumber. Was it 7’o clock already? She got up with a start. It was an hour and a half later than she normally woke up, yet she felt like she had hardly slept. She glanced over at her side and saw her toddler sleeping peacefully. A quick peck on his soft cheeks and she swung off the bed and strode to the kitchen, mechanically beginning her day.

She scanned the refrigerator for the day’s menu as she kept the milk was kept to boil. Sharanya took in the cool air, lost in thoughts, numb. She lost count of the time until she heard a strong hiss behind her. She swirled quickly, but not in time, and the stove and counter got filled with large patches of white, sticky liquid. Today was certainly not her day, she cursed under her breath.

Sharanya began to fear the state of her mind that had recently begun to resemble a circuit with all the connections crisscrossing each other. The thoughts were far too many and they seemed garbled even to her. A career woman before she had Aarav, Sharanya had willingly given it all up to be with her son. Dhruv, her husband had stood by her and she thought she had had it all. Until of course the motherhood and all the care-giving slowly began to eat into her life, cutting her off from the social circle she’d thrived on earlier. Every now and then she was consumed with ‘what am I doing in life?’ or ‘is this all to life?’ Her mommy guilt would then, almost immediately, corrode her soul for belittling motherhood and its vagaries. Sure, she liked being a mother but she was losing herself in the process.

“Thoughts of self-doubt or self-pity are like invisible monsters. Don’t give them any space in your head” Sharanya, who held a master in clinical psychology, would often tell her patients who came to her counseling sessions. Sharanya let out a hollow laugh at the irony as she remembered it now. She had fought others’ monsters all her life but strangely could not prevent her own thoughts from turning into a giant monster. She had to think of a way to come out of the self-obstructing maze that she’d seemed to build around her.

Just then, Dhruv’s voice broke her thoughts “Say, why don’t we do a take-away today? It’s been quite a while and you’d get a break too!"
"And, I've been reading your blog for some time now. I didn't know you wrote so well! Quite a fan-following there! huh?” 
He smiled at her and was relieved to see her eyes smile for the first time in many months.

“She had always liked playing with words and her blog had become a refuge in recent times where she could give a sense of direction to her wild thoughts. Perhaps, writing was the answer?” Sharanya wondered. She had to give herself a chance to find that out. She decided.

The word limit was 500 words or less. I overshot the limit by about 25 words :-)

Written in response to the Light and Shade Challenge. You have an option to choose one out of the two prompts or even combine them. I chose to combine the two:

Photo prompt:

Image courtesy of messi and taken from the Wiki Commons

The quote: 

Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)


  1. Very well written Uma... Totally agree with the view that "Thoughts of self-pity and self-doubt are like invisible monsters" and yet they sometimes manage to creep into your mind. Just like in Sharanya's case, somethings are so much easier said than done, isn't it?

    1. yes, it's never easy to get rid of self-defeating thoughts..thanks Megha :-)

  2. You captured those feeling well and I can relate to this so much. For me writing is the answer but I fear I'll never get there!


    Ally :)

    1. The problem with me is I have a couple of answers and yet lack the conviction to pursue even one! :-( I'm glad you could relate, Ally..thanks a lot for the comment and the like :-)

  3. Even though both of my children are grown, I can still feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being a full-time caregiver. My writing is my solace too. Well done.

    1. Writing is solace for many of us, isn't it? Thanks for the read, Tara :-)

  4. So easy to say than do it na...Sometimes our thoughts are our worst enemies for they never leave us alone...Enjoyed reading it...I see a shreds of us all in Sharanya

    1. I'm glad you could relate, Naba and you are so right. Our thoughts are indeed our worst critic and enemy :-(

  5. I loved the way you related 2 seemingly unrelated things - the pic and the phrase. :)

    Btw, could you give me tip on how you are remembering all the prompt deadlines and stuff. I have added them to my timeline but just keep missing on the deadlines :( Too much of forgetfulness. I guess I have to start slow with one or two prompts at a time.

    1. Thanks a lot for the appreciation, Keirthana. I'm trying to post everyday so in the process of scouting for ideas, the prompts come in handy and formed a sort of schedule for me :-) yes, maybe you can start with one or two till you get into the groove :-)


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