July 30, 2014

What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?

A little girl walked up to the stage. It was her maiden solo performance and she was nervous about it. As she got on to the stage, she saw several eyes looking at her with anticipation. Her stomach twisted in knots, her throat got drier, the lyrics failed her, and her voice quivered. She hopped off the stage after the performance, her vision blurred with tears of humiliation and failure. She was disappointed with herself for having lost the opportunity, for having failed the many expectations-of hers and others.


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Yes, that little girl was me. I was so consumed by 'what if I failed' that I forgot to try. Every time I set myself a task, I expected myself to excel and no less and if I didn't, I’d brand myself no good for the task and refuse to make the effort to excel. Success had to come to me naturally; I had to be a natural at anything.

There were plenty of fields I was good at but whenever I saw someone better than me (which was most of the times) I’d be disheartened and despise the fact that the others got it ‘so easily and effortlessly’ while I had to struggle for every bit of fame and recognition which I believed was denied willfully by the power above. I began to believe that perhaps I wasn't really good enough.

I wanted to be popular in my social circle and hated the fact that I was such an introvert that small talk exposed me as an awkward and under-confident person. School and college was trudged through without any real friends because I was busy trying to fit into a clique rather than make peace with the way I was. In fact it was much later that I began to introspect about the person that I was within and accept it.

When it did happen eventually, the seeds of confidence grew its first sprout. I began to see the power of being myself and allowing myself the liberty of failing. I saw the respect in other people’s eyes for the efforts I put in and also for things I was good (not necessarily the best) at. The efforts were as important, if not more, than the outcome was a lesson I learnt and am still learning. Someone I know often tells me- If you like doing something you automatically become good at it and while you're good, don't let 'becoming the best' take the fun out of the activity. 

It certainly is not easy and I still fall back to my old ways of doubting myself and believing that I’m not good enough to succeed. Yet, I also believe that someday I’d conquer my fears- of failing, of worrying about what others think of me, of worrying that I’d fall in the eyes of those who have a good opinion of me, of believing that I’m not good enough to succeed. Until then I’ll keep trying.

To come back to the question of what I'd do if I weren't afraid-I'd promote my blog more openly, asking people to read it if they haven't already without waiting for it to be discovered naturally. I'd sing openly without inhibitions, ignore a wrong note or key if at all and above all enjoy the process of what I like to do rather than wait for the results.
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Write Tribe starts its blog carnival with this question.  Do participate and read other entries here.

Write Tribe

July 29, 2014

A new chapter- Final part


Read the story so far: Part one, Part Two and Part Three

Shekar opened Sneha's letter. “Mohan, I can’t wait any longer for you. My parents are getting old and would like to see me married soon. I owe this to them. So, I’m going back to stay near them and get married to someone who probably deserves me more than you. Goodbye.”

Getting dropped like a hot potato was a phrase Shekar had read only in the books but never experienced. How could she do this was all he could wonder. Sleep eluded him that night.

Kavya woke up early and showered leisurely. She wore her knee length multi-hued floral skirt with a white laced top. It was her favourite and wore it many times when she’d meet Shekar. She wore the beaded bracelet, Shekar’s gift, which went very well with the dress.

After the fiasco with Sneha, Shekar’s confidence had taking a beating and he waited impatiently for Kavya at the coffee shop.

Kavya walked in with a spring in her step, put her arms from behind around Shekar’s neck and gave a quick peck on his cheeks, “hey Baby! Missed you so much..How was your trip?”

Shekar disengaged himself from Kavya’s embrace. He forced a smile and made small and casual talk about his conference, the couple and the mysterious girl. Kavya seemed intrigued about his experience; she offered to get their favourite coffee from the counter so that she could listen to Shekar’s story in detail.

While Kavya was away to place their order, Shekar casually took Kavya’s phone in his hands. As he flipped through the pictures, he felt the air being punched out of his gut. There among the photos was the photo of the guy who he had seen at the hotel in Delhi. Kavya seemed to be more than friends with this guy in many of the photos.

Slowly the pieces of jigsaw fell in place. Now he understood why the girl seemed familiar. The events moved in his head as a slow flashback. The way the girl had worn her hair, the floral skirt that sashayed as she moved into the lift, the beaded bracelet that had caught his eye as the girl’s arm stretched out from the room, everything eerily pointed out to the girl being Kavya.  And, of course, how could he forget the name he heard being called out. It WAS Kavya!

“Uh…oh..meddling with someone’s phone without their permission is bad manners, you know?” teased Kavya, casually taking her phone back. “Oh, btw, this is Kunal, my team lead. I’d mentioned him to you earlier, right?” Kavya continued ignoring Shekar’s taut expression.

“You've been going around with this guy!” Shekar’s face glowered. It was you with him at the hotel in Delhi, wasn't it? Come on, tell me, you two-timer!”

This was the moment Kavya waited for. She gathered all her strength and courage and gave Shekar a resounding slap across his face.

“Yes, it was me. But, really, am I the only two-timer here? What right have you got to ask me this question?” thundered Kavya

What..what do you mean? Shekar was flabbergasted at Kavya’s behavior. He had never been so humiliated. The entire café was now looking at Shekar and Kavya.

You don’t know? Do you also think that I don’t know? Kavya’s blood boiled and she flung the photos at Shekar’s face. His pictures with Sneha scattered all over the place.

Shekar looked shocked. Surprise, anger and finally shame shone through his eyes. He had got paid in his own coin. His ego did not let him apologize but he could also not meet his eyes with Kavya. He slunk away never to show his face to Kavya again.

Kavya trembled from the ugly showdown but nevertheless felt proud and relieved. She picked up her phone to thank a few people; without their help this face-off would not have been possible.

******

The same private detective who had helped Shriya in getting evidences against Shekar obtained his itinerary at the Delhi hotel. Kunal was actually Shriya’s fiancé. Shriya and Kunal had been graceful enough to help her and went all the way to Delhi just for a day to stage the act. They had to implant the seed of doubt in Shekar’s mind. Timing was of utmost importance and both of them pulled if off commendably. It helped that Shriya was of the same built as Kavya.  As for the photos in Kavya’s phone, clever photography and a skillful photoshop act can do wonders.

And how could she forget Sneha, her partner in crime? Once Kavya proved to Sneha that Shekar was indeed Mohan, it took little time for Sneha to jump wholeheartedly into Kavya’s plans. She thanked Kavya for saving her life and resolved not to trust anyone so easily.

As for Kavya, she sat back to relish the coffee and the snacks. A new chapter was about to begin in her life.


July 28, 2014

Fearless #Five Sentence Fiction

He was often reminded of his boundaries and the dangers of going beyond his realm, but he had a mind of his own and wanted to explore the forbidden grounds.

And now he had set his eyes on her and was consumed by the desire to own her, oblivious to the obvious hurdles that lay between him and her.

He would get her today, he thought as he set out fearlessly, taking care not to invite any attention.

He hoped she didn't scream as her eyes remained fixed in horror as he advanced swiftly, but just as he was about to grab her, he heard a scream behind.

“You naughty child, how many times have I told you not to climb the showcase; you could’ve asked me if you wanted that doll!” scolded mama thwarting the toddler's ambitions.
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Written in response to the prompt: Fearless at Lillie McFerrin Writes.

Lillie McFerrin Writes

July 27, 2014

A new chapter- Part Three

flickr.com

Read part one and part two here.

The conference went off as expected. The clients seemed pleased with Shekar’s presentation. He gave a quick report to his senior boss over the phone, emailed the other details, and finished off some pending work. He had a couple of more meetings scheduled for the next two days after which was to fly back to Mumbai. He decided to sleep off the remaining afternoon and then gear up for his subsequent presentations. 

As Shekar turned the key in his hotel room, he heard loud noises from the room adjoining his. There was some shuffling of feet and then suddenly the door opened and a smart-looking guy came out. He was teasing the girl about something and she made a mocking gesture of pushing him out. Only the girl’s hands were visible from outside the door as the guy came out.

Shekar quickly entered his room as he didn’t want to be caught staring at unknown people and closed the door behind him. The couple seemed like newly-weds, he thought amusedly. Then it struck him. They were the same couple he had seen near the lift. He had forgotten about the morning episode, but now the memory was refreshed. Pity! He couldn’t get a glimpse of that girl again. Probably he could’ve known what it was about the girl that seemed so familiar.

And, then he heard a name being called out. He couldn’t be sure but he thought it was ‘Kavya’. He rushed out in to the lobby but there was no one there. He had half a mind to knock at the next room and find out who was staying there but then thought the better of it. He was on an official visit. If he was wrong, he would not only get himself into trouble but also jeopardize his company’s name. He did not see the couple for the remaining part of his stay.

Shekar messaged Kavya as soon as he reached Bangalore. It was nearly midnight and Kavya was surprised to see his message: “Hi Honey! Missed you. Let’s meet tom..Same time.. Same place.” Kavya smiled to herself and slept soundly that night.

The next morning she messaged Shekar “heyy..you back? Sorry, I’m busy, working even today. Let’s meet tom.”

Shekar’s was sorely disappointed but then decided to use the time to check on Sneha instead. Sneha’s number was constantly busy. This was so unlike Sneha who’d drop every other call to speak to him. Since it was a Saturday, Shekar decided to pay Sneha a surprise visit. Sneha shared a flat along with 2 other girls in a busy suburb about 10 kms from where he lived.

He knew Sneha would be angry with him and would demand a concrete timeline to seal their relationship. He had to buy time and at the same time not lose Sneha’s confidence. He’d probably have to go that extra mile and propose an engagement to her. He bought a bouquet of roses on the way to set the mood. Shekar rang Sneha’s doorbell with great anticipation only to be told by Tara, her roommate that Sneha had left for her home town in Pune two days ago.

Things were certainly not going per his plan. Bewildered, Shekar turned to go back when Tara asked if he was Mohan. She gave him a letter that Sneha had left in his name.

July 25, 2014

A new chapter-Part two

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Read the first part here.

Kavya rose to a beautiful morning next day. The air was cool from last night’s rains. The warm rays of the sun played peek-a-boo with the fluffy clouds casting lovely hues of orange and yellow around. Despite a tumultuous previous night, Kavya felt calm and clear-headed.

Shekar seemed pleased and slightly relived to see Kavya that day at her usual chirpy self. She had seemed guarded and withdrawn in the last few meetings and it had made him a little uneasy. Much as he liked to hop from one victim to another, he thrived on attention.

“Isn’t it lovely that I’ll be spending the entire day with you?” Kavya exclaimed, twining her fingers around Shekar’s. “The project is finally over. I handed over the entire report just yesterday to Kunal, the Mr. Critic of our team and asked him to grant me a day’s off.”

Of course, darling! I was worried; you did seem a little disturbed lately, didn't you? Shekar cupped Kavya’s face and looked sincerely in her eyes.

Kavya looked away, breaking eye contact “Yeah! That Kunal has been acting up lately. He wanted me to do all the detailing required for new software we are coding. It does take a toll, you see!Of course, Kunal wants me to do well.” 

“Oh, you better stay away from this Mr. Critic then. He can find someone else to slave over his project” Shekar butted in. “Anyway, enough of office talks. Let’s enjoy our time now”

Something about the meeting with Kavya that day disturbed Shekar. Kavya’s phone had beeped frequently-something that rarely ever happened. She had kept in on the notification mode but seemed distracted with the interruptions. She was probably having a tough time at work, Shekar observed. He had to leave on a business trip to Delhi the next day so he left the matter there.

He checked his other phone. 8 missed calls from Sneha. She was getting difficult now. He called back on the number and heard out a sobbing Sneha who sounded desperate as her parents had begun groom hunting for her. She wanted an immediate commitment from Shekar, albeit known to her as Mohan. Shekar pacified her with his smooth talk and asked her to wait till he came back from his trip.

Sneha was so prone to hyperventilating, a complete contrast to the calm and composed Kavya, thought Shekar. Sneha made him feel wanted but Kavya turned him on. With Sneha he became Mohan, the gentle person who would soothe and give strength to Sneha. With Kavya, of course, he was Shekar, a macho-man who knew what he wanted in life. He loved the dual-roles as it satisfied his ego on many levels. Who was he indeed? Who cares? Life was exciting this way.

As Shekar stepped out of the Delhi airport into the cab that would take him to his hotel, he bemoaned the sweltering heat of the capital city which he found to be more oppressive than the weather in Mumbai, where he lived and worked. He glanced at his watch-just enough time for him to check into his hotel, shower and be in time for the conference that was to take place at the same venue. The cab pulled into the expensive hotel. Shekar looked around the lobby appreciatively while collecting the keys to his room. He loved this aspect of his job where he got to travel frequently and stay in luxurious settings.

Just as he turned to pick his bags and walk towards the lift, he caught the sight of a couple getting into the lift. The girl was engrossed in an animated conversation with the guy whose arm was around her hips. Something about the girl struck him as very familiar. It happened swiftly and the image was too short for Shekar to know for sure. 

July 22, 2014

Office politics #Friday Fictioneers

As a rookie accountant in the small, dusty office, I had to learn the ropes of the trade fast.

“Get the invoices from the previous year!” the pot-bellied manager growled from behind his desk.

He was a weird guy whose shifting eyes gave me the creeps. He was not the only one who gave me the chills, though. I remember getting into the record room to fish out old invoices.

I nearly screamed in horror as the ram stared back at me nonchalantly. I had inadvertently opened a Pandora’s Box and poaching was among many evils that stumbled out. 

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Adam Ickes
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Words: 100

Written in response to the photo prompt at Friday Fictioneers


The masked man #Five Sentence Fiction

The pitter-patter of the rain-drops outside the balcony soon turned into a wailing child. The wind howled and it seemed like a full-blown tantrum.

The masked man laughed at his victim whose cries for plea got drowned in the outside mayhem. He quickly stepped outside, washing away the last traces of evidence.


Sarah felt a sense of pride and victory as she typed out the final stages of her first novella-a suspense thriller- on her laptop.

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July 17, 2014

The Pick-up #Fiction #shortstory

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The air was thick with sweet and pungent odour. Glasses clinked and clouds of heady concoction were blown recklessly causing the entire place to resemble a smoke factory. Bodies mixed with sweat and perfume moved to some titillating music in the background. Tanu sipped on the Mexican Mojito observing the naked display of emotions and raw lust that was left loose on its hunt.

She looked stunning in her short black dress that accentuated the right anatomies of her perfect figure. The neckline plunged low, just enough to show off the cleavage, but in not a vulgar way.  She sat with her head tilted to a side, crossing her long shapely legs under the high bar stool.

Tanu had got introduced to this life recently and the dangerous edge only gave her an additional high. She tapped her fingers impatiently on the table. What was taking him so long? She wondered. Just as she signaled to the bartender to refill her glass, she saw him enter from across the room.

He wore a sophisticated look. Sinewy arms bulged out of the white short-sleeved tee, a black suede jacket thrown carelessly over a shoulder. He chewed on a cigarette, his narrow sharp eyes fleeting flirtatiously before resting on her.

Lust played on his mind as he sized her up quickly. He had found his catch of the day.

“Ahem..” he cleared his throat “I suppose you were waiting for me, Sweety” his husky voice shattering Tanu’s resolve.

Tanu looked up, raising one brow ever so lightly, a teasing smile breaking at the corner of her lips, as she countered “Do you really think so?” 
Her kohl-rimmed eyes did not mask their appreciative glance of his well-chiseled features.  

“Maybe we could debate the issue in private?” he leaned and whispered.

“Umm..I’m not so sure..You know..” Tanu let her voice drop. Then she asked impulsively, “do you have it? I cannot do without that”

The guy looked confused, a little unsure. Then he understood. He let out a nervous laugh and said simply, “Of course! It’s in the car.…” he lingered. “Come along.”

Tanu was about to step down when her hand brushed against the glass on the table and the remaining drink spilled, staining her dress.

“Shit..”Tanu cursed under her breath. “I’ll be back in a jiffy” she assured him sheepishly and turned towards the washroom.

True to her word, Tanu emerged in exactly five minutes. She had touched up her make-up, her pout glistening brighter with the red shade, he noticed with a smile.

He led her to the car and slid into the driver’s seat. He was about to put the vehicle in gear when Tanu tapped him lightly on his shoulder. “I hope you haven’t forgotten….the stuff?” she sounded desperate.

“Ah..yes..I have it right here.”

He opened the glove compartment of the car, which had another compartment cleverly hidden within it. Tanu’s eyes grew wide in wonder and surprise at the amount of cocaine the tiny niche held.

He quickly closed the compartment after taking out the amount specified by Tanu. Normally he wouldn’t be so blasé about his dealings that too without having received the payment. But she was different and she would pay him in kind later, he decided.

He filled the stuff into an empty cigarette for Tanu to take a drag, feel free and shed her inhibitions. As he held out the cigarette to Tanu, he heard a rap on the window. Panicked, he gestured Tanu to put away the cigarette while he wiped away all the traces and rolled down the black shield.  An inspector pointed a revolver to his head and ordered him to step out. The guy stepped out and quickly noted that he was surrounded by a crew and there was no way he could escape.

“She’s just a friend..We..We were about to leave.” caught unawares, he flustered and mumbled turning to Tanu and expecting her to support him in his excuses.

Tanu stepped out coolly, smiled at the guy and led inspector Kamath towards the hidden booty.

Realization dawned on the drug peddler. It was a set up.

A wannabe actress, Tanu had fallen into illegal ways of the world when inspector Kamath’s found her during one of his raids. She had promised to mend her ways if given a second chance. After a successful program at the rehabilitation centre, she kept her promise and proved to be one of his most dependable aides for such courageous operations.
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July 15, 2014

A Reunion #100words #Friday Fictioneers

Linda went about her kitchen with a dance in her step. She had always liked to cook but not anymore. The children were grown up and long flown the nest. The husband was ridden with health complications that restricted much of his diet.

Today was, however, different. Their two sons had decided to pay the parents a special visit. Linda set about cooking each of children’s favourite dishes, taking special care to garnish them with extra dollop of love.  


The sons and their families relished the gourmet meal that was laid with care. Linda had indeed cooked up a storm!

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Kelly Sands

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Words: 100

Written in response to the photo prompt at Friday Fictioneers. Tried to infuse a positive take on the storm that seems impending in the picture.

The Liebster Award

Soumyaa, who blogs here has been kind enough to bestow The Liebster Award for my blog. As we all know, in the blogging world awards and such rituals are a way to motivate each other and show appreciation. In this vast world of bloggers or writers, it is easy to get lost in the crowd, lose focus or even feel threatened by the deluge of exceptional writers around. 



Appreciation from fellow bloggers is something we count upon to goad us, inspire us and shake us from the stupor, if need be. 

So, thank you Soumyaa for the gesture. I began reading your blog only recently but I'm in awe with the way you weave your posts. Keep writing and inspiring.

Keeping with the norms of the award, I'm supposed to answer a list of questions that  Soumyaa has for her nominees. So, here you go:

How tall are you?
I'm 5 feet 5 inches tall.

What's the biggest personal change you've ever made?
I don't know about big or biggest but I'm trying to change in small ways, trying to believe myself more, correcting my faults even as I allow myself to make mistakes.

What would your dream holiday be like?
Somewhere on top of snow-clad mountains, calling out to the racing clouds, reaching out to the flowing river; peaceful, calm and happy :-)

If you could be a farmer, what would be on your farm?
Lots of organic fruits and veggies.

Will you ever accept an offer to reality shows like Bigg Boss? 
Nope. Never. 

Who's your favorite literary character?
Enid Blyton. Loved how every character and situation would come to life in her books. And the way she'd describe food, would make me-a non-foodie-devour all that yummy dishes.

What's the longest you've gone without sleep and what was keeping you awake?
As students, my friends and I would often have sleepovers and that would be reason enough to stay awake most of the night discussing all the girly stuff :-)

Who's that one extraordinary person that you know? 
Anybody who's graceful even during the toughest period of their life is an extraordinary person to me. In that sense I'm fortunate to know quite a few in my circle.

Are you a bad loser or a good loser? (For the record, I'm a bad loser)
I'd like to think that I'm a good loser ;-)

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Anything routine and mundane gets my goat. 

If ghosts can walk through walls and through human bodies, why don't they fall through the floor?
They are ghosts. They defy all laws..hahaha!


Thank you once again, Soumyaa and apologies for taking a while to do this post.

His grief

God visited the garden;
His own creation
It lay barren

Some had wilted
While in the womb
Others were butchered
Before even they bloomed

Inside a shrine 
they were revered
Anywhere else, threatened

He had created the man, Alas! 
Now, He cried.

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Words:42
In response to the question: Where have all the flowers gone?




July 12, 2014

It's always home #100words #Writetribe

Globetrotters they were; when beaches and mountains beckoned they complied; gathering rich layers of learning that only travel can teach.

The sun-soaked sand called out to the glistening waves to come and sit beside it for a conversation. The waves readily agreed but promptly returned in time.

So did the travelling clouds that rested its tired soul against the lap of the motherly mountains, only to head out re-energized to their destination.

Soon, the warmth of the hearth, familiar smells, a mother’s benign touch allured and eventually the globetrotters too returned to where they belonged.

It’s always home, isn't it?

Word count :100
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100 words written in response to the prompt at Write Tribeit does feel like home, doesn’t it?"



The taleweaver- conclusion #shortstory #fiction

Continued from here.

Ammu had no expectations from her married life; just relieved that her parents
would be free from shouldering her responsibilities. However, marriage to Narayanswami was nothing like what she thought. A gentle and educated man with good upbringing, Narayanswami treated Ammu with the kind of love and respect Ammu was not used to hitherto. There was never a word of pity or disgrace for Ammu. He encouraged her to complete her education and also helped her with studies at home. Since, Ammu grew up in a village atmosphere, adjusting to the town life proved to be a task. Narayanswami would hold her hand as one would with a child and taught her to handle basic tasks like buying groceries, calculating the bill, counting change and verifying the balance that would be returned to her. He made her self-sufficient in handling finances by taking her along when he had to visit the bank. He’d also discuss office, work and current affairs with Ammu.

Slowly Ammu began to emerge out of her fantasy world and started to take interest in the worldly matters. She learnt all that her husband diligently and patiently taught her and also took initiative to read the local newspapers and small magazines to keep abreast of the current affairs. She continued to weave magic in her mind, graduating to stories about people she met and saw in her daily life. Human behaviour, in its various dimensions, fascinated her as much as nature. The anecdotes and stories that appeared in the weekly magazines enthralled her and she nursed a secret desire to write her own stories one day.

Since Ammu was not so fluent with her writing, she hesitantly approached Narayanswami for help. She had begun to grow fond of him despite a 10 year age difference; she had immense respect for the man who saw her beyond the superficial flaws and gave her wings. As expected, Narayanswami jumped at the opportunity and encouraged her to share her stories.

The dam was let loose. The stories were just waiting to be told and how! The imagination, depth and beauty of each tale left Narayanswami awed and wanting for more. His respect for Ammu grew manifold and thanked his stars and parents for having chosen such a sensitive and perceptive person as his partner. He subscribed to more weekly magazines to help Ammu broaden her horizons and sharpen her mind. Ammu got hooked on to the additions in her reading kitty and devoured each issue like a child would an ice-cream.

One day as Ammu flipped through the pages of her favourite magazine, a story caught her eye. Her eyes grew wide at the author name beside the title-by Ambujam Narayanswami. She looked up at her husband with surprise, confusion and happiness as he recounted how he caught hold of the editor of the magazine through a colleague at work and requested her to look at Ammu’s work.  

Overwhelmed, Ammu bent down to touch her husband’s feet out of gratitude and respect when
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Nayaranswami held her back and handed her an envelope. Ammu opened it to find a letter from the same magazine asking her if she’d be a regular contributor to their weekly column. The cocoon in which Ammu kutty had lived broke finally and she had blossomed into the butterfly that was Ambujam. It was now a beginning of a new and exciting journey as the latter.





July 11, 2014

The taleweaver- Part one #shortstory #fiction

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The calm and quiet village of Ambur stirred as the early morning cast a golden shadow enveloping the grey skies. A rooster crowed in a distance rousing the remaining sleepy villagers to set off in their routine. In a tiny thatched house by a small rivulet that originated from the nearby Palar River, Janaki amma had already finished with her early morning rituals and was mid-way through cooking meals which included a separate box for her husband, Kumaran, who worked in the nearby fields and lunch boxes for her two school-going children, Gopal and Ambujam.


Gopal and Ambujam went to the nearby village school run by an old teacher, Subbu Shastry, who was also the headmaster and brain-child of the school.  Janaki amma and Kumaran lived a very modest life and dreamed of a brighter future for their children. Well, at least for Gopal who they believed would be their support in old age. As for Ammu kutty as they lovingly called her, they didn’t have much hope. The villagers whispered behind Janaki amma's back that perhaps the girl was a little, you know, off her mind.

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Ammu kutty lived in a world of her own. She couldn’t care less for the counting or language lessons taught by the old master. She created magic in her mind with a lot of interesting characters that kept her company all day. She nodded empathetically to what the saintly cow had to say while lazily chewing cud, or listened with rapt attention to the musical cacophony played out by the Koels, mynahs and sparrows. At times, she would lend a soothing ear to the lone sorrowful rabbit that would have lost its carrots to the naughty squirrels.  


Ammu would spin magical stories in her mind with vivid details around her friends-the birds and the animals. The nature, animals and birds were her only friends since the other girls made fun of her. Anyway, she found them too boring. Only, she couldn’t share her stories with anyone, she thought wistfully. Gopal was of no use as he was busy with his own set of friends and had no time for her. Amma and Appa were already worried for her and these stories might only scare them further into sending her away to Ganapathy uncle’s home who resided in the town-side and who had suggested to her Appa about sending Ammu to their place for medical help. Thankfully, Appa had refused then. 

Janaki amma, like any mother, would worry for Ammu’s future. She, being a staunch devotee, always believed that her Gods will answer her prayers one day. So, when Narayanswami’s proposal came for Ammu, she was thrilled. Narayanswami was the son of Subbu Shastry’s younger brother Gurumurthy and his wife Kamalambal. A 26 year old young man, he worked as a head clerk in a government office in the nearby town of Gummudipoondi. Kumaran and Janaki amma had no reason to reject the alliance which they felt was too good for their Ammu who was 16 by then.

July 9, 2014

A new chapter #Fiction #Lightandshade

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The steady rain caressed the window pane leaving tiny droplets that kissed the pane to leave their mark before gliding into oblivion. Kavya looked out at the bleak sky that seemed to mirror her state of mind and poured out in pain.

How could it be? Shekar seemed to be such a level-headed guy with genuine feelings for her. She too had reciprocated and felt her life sailing in the clouds ever since-happy, light and full of hope.

But when Shriya, her close friend, had shown her concrete proofs of Shekar’s infidelity, Kavya felt the ground under her feet shaking; telling pictures of Shekar with another girl- at restaurants, at the beach, at the park-the very same places where he and Kavya had spent so many passionate and intimate moments.

The shy smile dancing on the girl’s lips; a hint of blush on being held close by Shekar; the warmth in Shekar’s eyes as they looked on lovingly at her face, screamed loud and clear of their intimate relationship- the very relationship that Kavya had (erroneously) prided on to be hers alone.

Seeds of doubt had been firmly planted and she began to weigh every moment spent with Shekar then on carefully looking for more clues and proofs. They were all there to see. Only she had been naïve enough not to notice. Love indeed clouds the rationale.

Shekar’s hesitation whenever Kavya mentioned the word commitment;

What’s the hurry, Honey? Don’t you have faith in me? We aren’t getting that old.” He’d say.

His glossing over the details of his work and family;

Kavya didn’t know anything more than the fact that Shekar worked as a senior executive in a well-known MNC. Also, his family lived in another city but he never once paid them a visit in so many months of her knowing him and vice-versa which now struck her as odd considering he was an only child.

“You are not the first girl Shekar has deceived, Kavya and that other girl is definitely not the last” 

Shriya’s words had thundered into her heart splintering the tiny blinker of hope into a thousand pieces. 
Unable to see her best friend fall prey to a womanizer, Shriya had taken the help of a private detective and collected every kind of evidence to break the myth for Kavya.

The rains stopped. The clouds lifted, a tiny ray of sunshine gave the gloomy canvas a dull shimmer. The fuzz around Kavya’s mind seemed to clear even as the last pieces of the jig-saw fell in place. With a crying heart and steely mind, she resolved to teach Shekar a lesson. He couldn't possibly get away by trying to break her.


“If you wish me to weep, you must mourn first yourself” Muttered a resolute Kavya to his picture.

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A fiction written for Light and Shade Challenge prompt. And, this marks my 300th post on this blog!

July 8, 2014

History revisited #100words #Friday Fictioneers

History remembered him for his just rule when no crime went undetected or unpunished. His statue is 100 years now, its history long forgotten.

Chris entered the garden pausing for breath briefly near the statue. He cheered himself for the brilliant idea; got rid of his booty temporarily, marked the area and scooted away before the cops caught up.

The mute spectator offered no clue as the cops rushed in a few minutes later.

Chris let the dust settle before he came back for his booty hidden below the hollow stone under the king’s feet.

It wasn't there!


Justice prevailed.

PHOTO PROMPT, Copyright – Claire Fuller
Word count:100
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A 100 word fiction story written for the photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers

July 7, 2014

Life math

His smile
Adds to warm hearth
Her frown
Reminder; a promise forgotten!
Their love but
Evens out the odds

Some dull grays,
Plus bright rays
Equals a colourful rainbow

Credit the gain
Debit the pain
In life eventually
The accounts will tally
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Word count:42

July 5, 2014

The face #Drabbleweek #100words

Aisha was returning home alone; on the usual secluded stretch flanked by tall trees and row-houses on either side. As she approached an empty house, eerie thoughts filled her mind.

In a flash of a moment, she saw someone’s shadow on the window glass. Even as her mind ran amok with thoughts of a haunted house, the shadow moved.

 Petrified, Aisha stood rooted to the ground.

Then she began to laugh aloud. The shadow that eerily resembled a human was that of a tree; cast from outside and not within.


“I need to stop reading spooky novels” she thought amusedly. 

http://bit.ly/1jKFzm8

_____________________
Word count: 100

Written in response to the day 6 prompt " Suddenly, it moved" at Drabble week for marathon bloggers.


July 4, 2014

The duel #55fiction #Drabbleweek

The nails made a deep scar on her back and she writhed in pain. Not to accept defeat, she turned around to give a resounding punch on the opponent’s cheek.

“How dare she snatch him from her?”

A gory battle ensued with the rivals clawing fiercely, wounding each other. 


All this for a dead rat! 

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Word count: 55

Written in response to the day 5 prompt " claws" at the Drabble week for marathon bloggers.



Life in a kitchen #Drabbleweek #100words

“Ouch! Why can’t she be more careful? My sides are hurting” complained the ladle to the pan.

“At least your butt is saved. Be thankful for that” scorned the old pan. “Uff! Children these days! Cannot bear even a slight pain” he thought.

The wise pan had gone through a lot of bruises, burns and scratches in his flavourful lifetime but also understood life.

His thoughts were interrupted by a strong whistle followed by a shy, nervous whistle.

He chuckled to himself as he noticed the subtle romance brewing between the handsome cooker and the new entrant-a beautiful curvy kettle. 


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Word count: 100

Written in response to the day 5 prompt " Talking vessels" at Drabble week for marathon bloggers.




July 3, 2014

The mask #Drabbleweek #55fiction

The relatives pored over the wedding album oohing and aahing over the photo-shopped poses.

“Oh, look at this picture! She’s blushing so much.” Exclaimed one

“Of course, it must our Sunny beta’s love.” Gushed another

Inside, a red-faced Neha grit her teeth; “it’s the damn sun and not your nincompoop Sunny” she wanted to scream.

http://bit.ly/1vzCl6n
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Word count: 55

Written in response to the day 4 prompt " her face reddened" at the Drabble week for marathon bloggers.



Will he? #Drabbleweek #100words

Poorva had heard the phrase many times during her childhood. Her mother ‘s exasperated tone,” oh God! The milk is all over the stove again. I should’ve known. Never send a man to do a woman’s job!”

Her granny would nod silently but mutter under her breath,” If only you did all the chores, my son might never have to visit the kitchen.”

Poorva always pondered about the generation difference and also the growing shift in the man’s attitude towards a so-called woman’s job.


She prayed that her man would make the crossover to be successful in the woman’s arena. 
 ________________


Word count: 100

Written in response to the day 4 prompt " Never send a man to do a woman's job" at Drabble week for marathon bloggers.


July 2, 2014

If I were an animal #Drabbleweek #100words

Jumping, growling, scratching
Howling, screaming, chattering
Loitering about without a hurry
Unrestrained when in fury

Rules of the game, no one dare change
Only the strongest can manage

Long ago, only animals operated thus
Alas! We humans are in a similar circus

Considering ourselves to be greater
Trying to race past against nature
A folly, to realize only in future

Perhaps, if I were an animal
I’d laugh and not marvel
The myths, I’ll dispel,

“Of higher conscious, you are capable
Yet, choose to live below your level
Why the arrogance and the pride
When you live in greater divide”

_________________
Word count: 100

Written in response to the day 3 prompt " If I were an animal" at the Drabble week for marathon bloggers.


Pet Peeve #Drabbleweek #55fiction

He made sure the soiled socks were put away for wash and the cabinet doors locked in place. He took care to not load the clothes inside out into the washer. 

He never understood why she made a big deal of these things, her pet peeves.


Yet, he didn't want her annoyed today, her birthday!


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Word count: 55

Written in response to the day 3 prompt " Pet peeve" at the Drabble week for marathon bloggers.


July 1, 2014

The pumpkin story #100words #Drabbleweek

“Alice took the enormous pumpkin and ran for her life. She didn't want to be spotted by the elves that had perhaps hidden the pumpkin under the banyan tree.

All of a sudden, she tripped on a huge boulder and the pumpkin flew off her hand. Alice’s eyes grew wide in horror as she witnessed the pumpkin hit the ground with a mighty fall.

THUD! It made a huge noise and exploded splashing red blood all over Alice.”

The school bell rang to signal the end of the story-telling period forcing Deepa to continue the story for the next session.   


http://bit.ly/1jFgSDJ
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Word count: 100

Written in response to the day 2 prompt " The pumpkin exploded" at the Drabble week for marathon bloggers.