Saturday, 7 December 2019

If I could receive one gift. #WordsMatter

Today's fiction piece is Part 3 of 'Luv-shuv over chai-shai', a short story I am attempting for the first time in ages.
Do read Part 1 here
And, Part 2 here


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Part 3:


Vishala often visited the eatery for her morning cuppa coupled with the classic buns straight from the oven. Her smile, when she dipped the bun in the piping hot tea, made Manu's heart skip a beat.

How she loved to eat! No nakhras about butter making her fat, or asking for tea without sugar.

 "Now, that's the kind of woman I would love to spend my life with!" Manu smiled as he took in the vision that was Vishala.

Draped in a saree, with her lustrous, long hair all tied in a loose plait that reached her hips, kohl-lined, dove-shaped eyes that lit up when Manu placed her favorite beverage on her table, her tinkling laughter that gave Manu goosebumps, and yes, her signature silky scarves that she inadvertently left behind, which Manu squirreled away in his cupboard.

"How delightful it would be having my special tea with Vishala!" Manu often wondered.

They would sit there, on one of those antique benches his Seth had procured from Chor Bazaar. Two lovers lost in each other's eyes, oblivious to the world around them.  For a change, Manu's Seth would serve them the special tea along with some pastries and Vishala's favorite buttery buns. They would sip the tea, slowly, without taking their eyes off each other, and in no time the magic would begin!

"Ah, if I could receive one gift, it would be having my Vishala immortalised with me, on one of those pretty love seats!" Manu sighed.

Life would then feel complete.

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I am participating in the #WordsMatter Blog Hop.
This month's prompt is "If I could give/receive one gift..." 

I received this tag from Ishieta of I C Dreams 
It's my pleasure to pass on the tag to Geetanjali Joshi of This That and More.

There are 25 of us on this blog hop which is spread over three days: 6,7, and 8 th December.

Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and be prepared to be surprised. 

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Luc-shuv over chai-shai (contd.)


Read part one here. 

Part two:

Manu had never believed in magic or miracles. But, dreaming of his parents--especially his mother--meant she was, indeed, looking after him, and that was definitely some sort of magic.

His mother's pet, Manu had been devastated by her death in a fire that had engulfed their shanty 10 years ago. As a child who understood very little about life and its strange ways, he had stoically accepted the fact that his mother and father had left for the heavenly abode but would always look after him from above.

With nowhere to go, he started living with his paternal aunt and uncle and their brood of 6. Not wanting to let down his parents, he had put up with the struggle, silently, vowing to get away from it all someday and making a life for himself.

Cooking, cleaning, looking after his little cousins, doing odd jobs to help with the family income, Manu did it all just to make his mother proud of him. He did it all bravely, with his chin up, his dreams of getting out of the chaos giving him the push he needed.

Life hadn't been easy for the three years he had been put up at the tiny shack until he met the man who would change his life.

Manikchand Patel, or Manik, the Magic Man, who with his artful wiles claimed to turn even a stone into a living, breathing person had appeared in Manu's life one fine day and changed the course of it with a snap of his fingers. Just like that!

"There's magic in every breath you take, boy! The magic called, "Life"! This stone you see also has life in it. All you need to do is believe in it, in every thought that walks across your mind, and have the confidence to make it come alive. The stone and the thought!" Manik gushed as Manu watched him in awe.

The words that fell from the man's mouth did seem to have the necessary effect on him, for soon Manu was hooked onto the thought of bringing the stone to life.

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I am trying my hand at fiction and am working on this story that I began writing in my last post. I hope I am able to complete it, slowly and steadily! 

I would appreciate your views, opinions, and suggestions to make this a better piece. 

Thank you! 💟💖💖💖💖💖💖💖





Saturday, 23 November 2019

Luv-shuv over chai-shai!

Manu smiled slyly as he witnessed the little scene unfolding in front of him.

The handsome young man on table 2 and the petite girl with dimpled cheeks sitting diagonally across, on table 6, eyed each other, stealthily.  Each apparently engrossed in their respective phones, but completely aware of what was going on in the other's mind.

Young romances bloomed almost every day here, at this quaint little place that served the patrons buttery, hot bread with steaming cups of chai.

'My secret ingredient!" Manu chuckled. "'Romance over chai' would have been a better name," he pondered as he added some of the sweet, white granules to the boiling water. "Or 'Luv-shuv over chai-shai'?  That sounds funky!" he decided.

Ah, who knew these little white grains could hold such magic in them! Today, another couple would be added to his collection of sugared dolls.  How the foreigners adored these loved-up pairs of dolls, all cozied up in tiny furniture!

All it took was an extra spoon of sugar in their chai!

"Just two sips and the magic starts!" he muttered as he observed them picking up their respective teacups.


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Saturday, 2 November 2019

When life gives you lemons. #WordsMatter

"'When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.'  Baah! Isn't it the stupidest suggestion, ever? I mean, look at me.  Life gave me lemons, and I made some lemon pickle to have with this bland food we get here! Isn't that a much better way to use the tangy fruit? You get the joke, kid?" old Jaggi chuckled as he spoke to the latest entrant. 

Chandu was the new entrant to this place that Jaggi called "Home".  He looked about him nervously, trying to take in the life around him.

Without waiting for the young lad to respond, the old-timer continued in his raspy voice.

 "Ah, but I have gotten used to the food here.  I do long for the food my woman cooked for me once upon a time. But there's no way in hell I am going to eat it, ever again, so why go down that memory lane? I have also gotten used to the loneliness here, and these bare walls that are witness to my battles with my inner demons. Hey, does it sound real deep, this line? Wouldn't it be nice to use it in my book, someday?" Jaggi chortled as he playfully nudged his young companion. 

"But, it's not easy, mind you," he continued as he noisily chewed on his bread. "Being all by yourself once the gates close can give you the heebie-jeebies, you know? You crave for another soul, for a voice that speaks to you, for another heart that beats in the stillness of the night. But, alas, all you hear is your own heartbeat, your own shallow breath escaping your nostrils, merging with the stale air in here."

Pausing to dip the thick, dry bread in the watery dal, Jaggi looked around him before continuing with his story.

"20 years ago I entered this place for a reason I have ceased to remember. I chose to forget about it all. I mean, there's no point recalling those events when you know there's nothing you can do about it, nothing you can change about it, right? My woman kept pleading with the judge; kept repeating that I wouldn't even swat a fly, how could I kill a human being! Tch...poor thing, the way she wailed in the courtroom. I did try my best to do everything to save myself from this life sentence, but it was of no use, really.
They were rich people, you know, who had the lawyers in their pockets. Even before the verdict was out, I knew what lay in store for me."

Jaggi coughed now as a piece of bread stuck in his throat, but he kept going..

"Ah, but I have gotten used to it all now. It's a chapter in my life that can't be erased. I keep turning the pages, but the damn chapter refuses to come to an end. I guess it will end only when I end, right?
But, you, young man, you need to buckle up for all that this place has to offer to you. It's quite a ride, I tell you. Somewhat like those roller-coaster rides at the amusement parks?  Once you get in, you can't get off midway. You have to complete the whole darn ride before you are allowed to get off. 
It's the same story here, my boy. It's a ride that will end only with you. Until then, all you can do is buckle up real well and face whatever shit comes your way. I mean, whatever vomit comes your way!
Hehe, I know, bad joke. That's what this place does to you. It screws up your sense of humor," Jaggi complained as Chandu looked in awe at the old man. 

"But, tell you what," whispered Jaggi as Chandu tried digesting Jaggi's words. "It's just a matter of time and you will get used to it. Like I did. And, those rats? Ah, just ignore them. There's nothing to be scared of there. In fact, they make for the best companions, you know, those furry little things!" and he walked off guffawing as Chandu looked on.







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I am participating in the #WordsMatter Blog Hop. 
This month's prompt is "20 years ago I..."

I received this tag from  ESHA M. DUTTA of My Soul Talks. It's my pleasure to pass on the tag to VINITHA of Void Thoughts

There are 29 of us on this Blog Hop and it will be spread over 3 days -- 1st, 2nd and 3rd November 2019. DO follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and prepare to be surprised! 


Sunday, 6 October 2019

I will always love you. #WordsMatter

My dearest,

You must have received my last letter some time back, and, as always, crumpled it and tossed it in the trash can, isn't it? Well, what can I say? I know you like the back of my palm! And, yet, here I am, writing to you again (like the fool that I am!) in the faint hope of getting my feelings across to you. Not that they matter to you anymore, but, still...

It's 9 months and 8 days today since you left and not a day has gone by when I haven't thought about you. I keep reminding myself that it's all over...that our life together is a part of history, yet every day, I look for a sign from you that says you will come back to me, to 'us' - the 'us' that was the most precious part of my life.

It's October 6th today, and a few days from now, we would have been celebrating our anniversary - our 'fought-like-crazy-and-fell-in-love-like-crazy' anniversary! Oh, how you behaved like a college kid each October, getting me a gift for each day that led to D Day! 

I still have that chocolate wrapper you got me the very first time you decided to celebrate this day.

 "The world over, people celebrate their wedding anniversary. We will celebrate the day we fought with each other like cats and dogs and then fell in love with each other by night! And, to celebrate this special day, I got you a bar of chocolate. But apologies, my love, coz I couldn't resist eating it and so, here's the wrapper. The way this wrapper holds within it the sinful treat, so do my arms hold within them the most precious part of my life - YOU!"

Ah, October! 

It's really not that time of the year without us stocking our fridge with chocolates to celebrate our special day. For today, I have not a single piece to celebrate with! All I have is that old, crumpled wrapper I keep in my diary. The wrapper misses holding its chocolate. Don't your arms miss holding me?

I will always love you, my darling, even though I know you won't.

Miss you always always,

Just yours

<3

P.S.

It's getting lonelier by the day :(


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I am participating in the #WordsMatter Blog Hop.
I received this tag from Isheeria's Healing Circles. It's my pleasure to pass on this tag to Balcony Sunrise

There are 38 of us on this Blog Hop which began on the 4th and ends today. Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and enjoy reading some really wonderful words here!

Thursday, 5 September 2019

For Him, who lives up there.

Roopa smiled as she caressed the sticker on the car's rear windshield - a baby with a little red bow on her bald pate; her arm waving out, announcing to the other motorists that she travelled in the car; a smiling mouth and two tiny dots for eyes, that watched in fascination as the world passed her by.

How Roopa yearned for a daughter. Someone to call her own; her reflection, her shadow, her own flesh and blood. She would never ask for anything if only she could have this one thing in her entire life.

The honking of the vehicles snapped Roopa out of her thoughts and brought her back into the present, reminding her what she was here for.

She stood on the pavement looking at the cars that zoomed by, and in no time, she was gazing longingly at the sticker again, lost in her little dream world, holding a baby in her arms, singing her a lullaby.

"If only God really existed, I wouldn't have been here!" Roopa winced at her fate.

A life so miserable, her own family had disowned her years ago, leaving her alone to deal with whatever came her way. She had a different kind of family now, and she was no longer alone like earlier.  But, she longed for more. "I am just another human being; of course, I have my needs!" she reasoned.

A taxi came to a screeching halt waking her out of her ruminations. A window slid open and a face came into view.

"Aye, chal, aa, baith jaldi." "Hey, come in, quick," spoke a gruff voice as Roopa stood there, surveying the person the voice belonged to.

Pockmarked face, blood-shot eyes, and breath that reeked of alcohol. Roopa could smell the stench even at the few feet distance where she stood. Mishra, the cabbie with too many mouths to feed to afford him a visit to a prostitute for his carnal needs. The one who favoured her over the others for her fair skin and agility.

She cringed at what lay in store for her and cursed her destiny, bitterly.

If only...

"Aye, aati hai ki nahi?" "Hey, are you coming in, or not?" Mishra snapped at her, getting her to move towards him.

Taking in a deep breath as if submitting herself to her destiny, Roopa put on a smile on her painted face.

She started moving towards the car, hips swaying raunchily, arms swinging by her side, her pallu fluttering in the breeze, slowly sliding down her shoulder, exposing the bulge of her breasts through a tight-fitting blouse.

"Kya Seth, aaj bahut din baad Roopa ki yaad aayi!" "What brings you to me after so long, big man?" Roopa quizzed the man, coquettishly.

In no mood for small talk, the man spat at her feet and replied in as gruff a manner as when he had arrived, "Tu baithti hai, ki main jaun? Badi heroine banti hai!" "Are you getting in, or should I leave? Stop being a drama queen!"

Men! Roopa felt the disgust rising within her for the male species. How low she had to stoop to fill her hungry stomach! How she hated herself for all she did, but what choice did she have? she sighed deep down.

Smiling wider now, she neared the cab. Placing her arm on the roof, she tried getting closer to the man through the window.

 "Kya Seth, bahut jaldi hai aaj?" "You seem to be in a hurry, big guy!" she winked and laughed, suggestively.

"Zyada natak mat kar, kutti. Jaldi baith!" "Don't waste my time, bitch. Get in quick!" Mishra roared at her, his spit spraying Roopa's fair face and making her wince in revulsion.

Still, she lingered by the window, refraining from moving towards the passenger door. She was really sick of it all and yearned to get out of the muck that her life was, not that she had any hopes from this beast.

Patting her face carefully with her pallu, now, Roopa wet her lips, suggestively. Smiling a lop-sided smile, she bent closer to the man's face and whispered in his ear, "Aye Seth, itni pasand hoon main tujhe, toh shaadi kyun nahi banata mere saath?" "Hey, big man, if you like me so much, why don't you marry me?"

Her unusual proposal jolted the man out of his stupor. He glared at her with all the loathing he could summon and muttered, "Hijra hai tu, saali, ghar grihasti ke sapne tere liye nahi, samjhi?"  "A eunuch has no right to dream about married life, you hear that?"

Watching the colour drain from Roopa's face, Mishra spat at her again, and shoving her away, he zoomed off.

Roopa staggered towards the pavement as she watched the cab disappear into the distance.

That word. That word that had become her identity. And, to be reminded day in day out that she was born cursed...

She turned her head up to stare at the sky...at the God who apparently resided up there.

Her heart thudded inside her chest, the bile rose in her throat,  anger gripping her entire being. And, yet, she didn't find the will for an angry outburst.

What could she possibly complain about, and to whom? There really wasn't any God sitting up there to give her a patient ear or change her life.

There were only the dark clouds that threatened to burst any moment now.

And, they did.

The raindrops came down at her in full force, but she stood still, her face turned up to face the onslaught, the way she had always faced life. Stoically.

Today, though, something stirred within her and the tears came in full force, unbeknownst to her. Whimpering softly despite the deluge, Roopa let the tears flow. She didn't want to be seen like this by the world, not that the world or its denizens mattered to her. But, she just didn't wish to show her tears.

 That's why she loved the rains. Loved getting drenched in the rain. For, when it rained, it swept her tears away and not a soul discovered the truth.





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*I am participating in the #WordsMatter Blog Hop. 
Today's prompt: 'When it rains'.

I received the tag from Shilpa Garg.
It's my pleasure to pass on the tag to Sunita Saldanha.

There are 42 of us participating in this Blog Hop which is spread over 3 days - 6,7,8 of September. 
Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and prepare to be surprised!


Saturday, 3 August 2019

Youthful musings



"Just look outside your window, boys. There's all the inspiration an artist would ever need! Go on, take your pick from Mother Nature's treasure trove and bring it alive in your drawing books! Come on, now, what are you waiting for!" Mr. B gushed as he encouraged his class of young boys, his eyes dancing behind his thick-rimmed glasses, his face aglow with the unmistakable joy that came from teaching art.

Vicky yawned.

"Yaar, this old man B is such a bore, with all that look-out-of-your-windows crap! This damn art class is a bore! Every goddamned thing here is a BLOODY BORE!!"  he groaned, inwardly.

No amount of enthusiasm that Mr. B exuded could ever get Vicky all revved up about art, of all the subjects. His favourite subject of all time was... ahem... GIRLS!


 Still, he turned around to look outside.

"Well, well, for the love of God, what DO we have outside our GODDAMNED window?? Lemme see. Hmmmmm....There's Ananya in her above-the-knees short uniform...Sweet Jesus! Tossing her silky, long hair this way and that, oooh!  Trying to attract NAKUL'S attention...OF ALL THE EFFING GUYS?? Bah! As if that nerd's gonna look at a GIRL! Why wouldn't you try ME instead, baby? I am available!  Ahhh, anyway, what else do we have here? Mmmm...Oh man! There's sexy Jo--MY sexy Jo--with her twinkling eyes... ah, now here's something worth watching!  My Jo, with those uber-sexy dimples, smiling at...wait, WHO IS THAT she is batting her eyelids at? Is that Vishal from 11 B? That douche bag oughta know better than to flirt with MY girl! Oh, when will this stupid class get over and when will I go thrash the life out of that loser? GODDAMNIT!!" Vicky thumped exasperatedly on his desk as he cursed aloud, shaking the entire class out of its reverie.


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*I am participating in the #WordsMatter Blog Hop.
I received this tag from Roshan Radhakrishnan of Godyears
It's my pleasure to pass on the tag to Pooja Priyamvada of Second Thoughts First

There are 47 of us participating in this Blog Hop which is spread over 3 days - 2,3,4 August. 
Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and prepare to be surprised!


#WordsMatter








If I could receive one gift. #WordsMatter

Today's fiction piece is Part 3 of 'Luv-shuv over chai-shai', a short story I am attempting for the first time in ages. Do rea...