Jun 20, 2013

The Release

“I can’t take it anymore.” I want to put an end to it all”.

Even through the phone she could hear the pain and desperation in his voice.

“But you can’t, it’s against nature”

“I don’t care, It’s too much to bear”.

He slammed down the phone and sat looking at the pills for a long moment. Finally he picked them up and swallowed them quickly.

Then he leaned back, closed his eyes and waited for the release.

After a while he opened his eyes and smiled. The painkillers sure made his migraine go away in a jiffy.

Naturopathy be damned!

This Drabble was written in response to this week's  Write Tribe Prompt.
A Drabble, for the uninitiated is a short story of exactly 100 words. 

Jun 18, 2013

Sepia Tones

I found this scribbled in a journal I used to write on and off while I was in Tokyo a few years back. I used to live in a concrete jungle then and I suppose I didn't like it much!

This seems like a good time to reproduce the entry here !

16th July, 2007,

The rains in Japan are not the same as the rains in India. Somehow they seem more impersonal here. There is no rejoicing, no sense of relief that the parched, scorching summer months are gone. People go about their business as usual, hidden under huge black umbrellas, shapeless in their raincoats. 

No one puts out a hand to catch the raindrops; No one stands with their face turned towards the sky, letting the rain caress their face.

There are no kids splashing in the puddles,or trying to float little paper boats. I suppose the Japanese kids are better behaved than ours.

The rain doesn't make the same sound in this country. In India it has a soft comforting sound, enveloping you like a soft blanket. Even when it is falling on tin roofs there is a certain melody to it.

Here the rain has a bit of the typhoon in it, it slams against the buildings, bangs against my glass windows like whip lash and falls incessantly on asphalt and tarmac.

And right now I would give anything for the smell of wet earth!

Jun 17, 2013

Sunday Solitude !

On Sunday, I decided that today I will keep myself away from all distractions. So I switched off my Laptop and the TV.
There was on one at home. It rained the whole day, so i couldn't even go anywhere. 
But I didn't mind it. Because I had the best company one could ever hope for !

I discovered that there is something very comforting in the sound of rain falling softly around you. And that there is no perfume on this earth that can match the smell of wet earth ! 

So how did you spend your Sunday ! 

Jun 12, 2013

A Soul's Torment

We sit in the car
My friend and I
On our way to work
Songs play on the radio
We sing along, talk inanely
I tease him about his long hair
how it clashes with his formal attire

His phone rings
Still laughing, he answers it
Pin drop silence
Suddenly he screams
Scream after torturous scream
Like a soul tormented in hell

And then, his body shaking violently
He cries bitter tears
Of agony, fury and despair

I sit there frozen, silent, helpless
A mute witness to his anguish
Death, in one fell swoop
Alters lives forever 

Jun 10, 2013

Why I write

It was a balmy summer morning. It had rained the previous night and the morning felt fresh and cool. The air was heavy with the fragrance of mango blossoms and somewhere in the distance a Koel bird sang happily in anticipation of more rains. 

The Old Man and the little girl walked through the mango orchard. Her small pudgy hand clasped in his is large one, as dry and wrinkled as autumn leaves. His big strides slowed down to match her little ones.

They walked in silence down the row of trees, past the fields where wheat stalks swayed gently in the wind and towards the river swelled with the monsoon rains. He, immersed in prayer and she unwilling to disturb his conversations with God.

Finally as they reached the river, he finished his prayers and sighed softly. This was her cue. She looked up at him eagerly and said “Dadu, tell me a story”.He had been expecting this. Every day she asked for a story and everyday he told her one. Sometimes, it was a story from the Panchatantra or the Ramayana and sometimes it was a story out of history, tales of battles fought and kingdoms won. 

But today, instead of beginning a story, he smiled, his eyes crinkling with the effort and said “why don’t you tell me one today”. He expected her to squirm and say that she didn't know any. But she looked up at him confidently and with a gleam in her eyes began to speak.

She started a story about a tiger and a woman it meets in the jungle. She prattled on, her childish imagination on fire, adding characters, making up the story even as she spoke. He listened quietly without interrupting her even once.

Finally he asked her where she had heard the story.” No where Dadu, I made it up just now. I love making up stories.”

He didn’t say anything, but the next day he got her a notebook and a pencil and told her to write whatever came to her mind. And she, who had barely learnt how to string full sentences, confidently wrote day and night. She wrote childish stories, or descriptions of the day she had spent, telling tales of their walks near the river, the mangoes that fell during the storm and the frogs that jumped about after it rained.

Her notebook became her prized possession, something she never showed to anyone but him. He would correct her English, teach her new words but he never ever questioned or curbed her flights of imagination or her writing style.

The ritual continued over the years. The first thing she did when she went to her grandparents’ home during the summer vacations was show him whatever she had written over the months. He would read it and nod, and sometimes when the piece was exceptionally good she would be rewarded with a pat on her back. In spite of being the prolific writer that he was, he was not a man of many words. But to her the pat was like a benediction.

She stopped writing after he passed away. She couldn't bring herself to write anymore. But after a while she realized she missed it too much. Writing for her was almost a need, a release. It was the only way she knew how to express herself. So she picked up her pen and began writing again.

That little girl was me. And perhaps that is why I write. Because my grandfather taught me how, because I inherited this craft from him and because this is his legacy that I carry forward.

Jun 3, 2013

Of Birthday toasts and Underwater sea walks !

And we interrupt the broadcast of the Andaman Travelogues to write a post about something very close to my heart!

About a year back, almost to the day, a certain blogger sat in her Mumbai home  moodily twisting her curly hair between her fingers. Always given to whacky ideas and new initiatives, she wanted to start something different. 

As she sat there drumming her fingers on her laptop, an idea brewed in her head 
- An idea that would eventually have such far reaching impact that even she would be amazed.

She decided to start a group called Indiblogeshwaries - A group of Indian women bloggers. And since she has to do everything differently she decided to forbid sharing of blog links on this page. “No self-promotion” she proclaimed. “We will talk of everything and anything on this page except our blogs !” She started off by inviting her blog friends to join this group and they liked it so much there that they in turn decided to invite their friends! 

I was initiated into this secret society by Purba Ray. When a blogger of Purba’s caliber asks you to do something. You don’t demur. You just do it. So I joined!

For the first few weeks I hardly visited the group. I didn't know too many people there and I felt shy participating. So I used to sort of hover on the sidelines, simply reading the comments and then going away without saying my two bits. But then slowly the conversations there started intriguing me.

So very slowly, very hesitatingly I started participating. Initially I was wary of expressing my opinion in a group where I hardly knew anyone. But then once I started commenting; I was warmly welcomed, taken by hand and pulled in till I felt I was in the middle of a mad boisterous never ending party. Suddenly from being a stranger who hovered hesitatingly at the doorstep I was now cozily sitting on the sofa with a drink in my hand, vouchsafing my opinion and getting into discussions about everything and anything under the sun. 

I am from JNU, and have lived and breathed the concept of Adda- Baazi there. And this group is Adda Baazi at its best – Virtual Addabazi if you may say so, but as stimulating and as refreshing as actually talking face to face.

The comradeship I have discovered here is unbelievable. We are a varied group – From Dentists to homemakers to motivational speakers to environment specialists. We come from different backgrounds and may have nothing in common, but the way I have seen blogeshwaries support and rally around each other is simply fantastic! We rejoice in the happiness of others and feel their sadness as if it was our own!

This is a group that will make you laugh with its witty one liners and whacky sense of humor. This is also a group where you will hear stories of indomitable courage and quiet resilience and wisdom and be awed. This is a group that will help and support you unabashedly. Will pick you up tenderly when you are down and then at the same time, unceremoniously brush the dust off you and tell you to stop whining and get on with life woman!

And ohh there are fireworks and how! We are opinionated, we clash and we don’t bow down easily. Histrionics and double standards are rarely tolerated and we bare our claws with dry sarcasm or sugar coated politeness that will cut you to the quick! But we enjoy the fireworks as much as we enjoy everything else. The bottom line is we are never judgmental and we are quick to forget and move on!

Yesterday, on June 2 this wonderful group turned One. 
And so on this momentous occasion I would like to raise a toast to Vinita who had the mad mad idea to start this group and also to our very able Administrators Janaki and Corinne.

Also, a big thank you to Garima who took the initiative and worked very hard to give us our header ! 

And last but not the least a toast to all of us blogeshwaries. 

The Header with all of us -  created by Garima ! 

Here’s to us ladies! May the madness continue!

And since Vinita doesn't let us off easily, On the occasion of this group turning one, she wanted us to do that One Elusive thing that we are scared of or have been putting off doing.

Honestly speaking I didn't really take up the challenge after Vinita had posted about it. But a few days before Vinita came up with this challenge, I was in Andaman and there I attempted something I never thought I would in my wildest dreams.

You see I am scared of being under water, and so haven’t been to the sea so far. I firmly believe that If God had wanted me to swim, he would have given me fins! I like my face to be out of water and I like to have my feet firmly on the ground!

Although I have been long intrigued with marine life and the wonderful world that lies beneath the sea, my fear has always prevented me from exploring it. I had the opportunity to get under water in Havelock Island and discover that world for myself. And this time I thought I would be damned if I let my fear come in my way!  

 So I gathered my courage and literally jumped in! I not only snorkeled but also did an underwater sea walk for 45 minutes. And it was so worth it because I got a chance to see a magical world - a colorful, utterly beautiful and mesmerizing world! 

And to prove that I actually did it – Here are a few pics ! 


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