December 9, 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.  


PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright Janet Webb
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Word count:100
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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.  

December 7, 2014

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.

December 2, 2014

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

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Word Count: 200
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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.