Changeless

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Photo Prompt (c) Roger Bultot

Changeless

Words 100

 

Her wedding was around the corner. By all counts she should be thrilled. But worry gnawed at her.

“Mamma, why do girls have to leave their home?”

“That’s tradition.”

“Traditions can change.”

“What’s the matter darling? Wedding jitters?”

“No.”

“You do love…?”

“It’s not about me Mamma! How will you live alone?”

“Don’t worry darling. I will manage.”

“But how? It’s always been about me. My health, my education, my career -nothing is about you. Once I leave what will you do?”

“I’ll think of something.”

“Like?”

“Your father needs me.”

“You mean…?

“Yes darling. I will return to Earth.”

***

Written for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Roger Bultot for the photo prompt this week. For other stories on this prompt click here

Thank you for reading – look forward to your comments.

COB: Masters of the Craft

Look who got caught hitching a ride😀

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Bored with the taxiing, they take off, showing us how it is actually done

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Lots more photos on Cee’s page

Just 4 Fun #7

Here’s wishing everyone a super week ahead😀

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Over the week, we tend to get a lot of jokes and life philosophies as shares. Some are too good to pass up. Here I share those that appealed to me or tickled my funny bone. Hope you like them too. Please note none of this is stuff is mine – I am just keeping the fun going!

If you too have something worth sharing do leave your link in the comment box or create a pingback to this post.

If you need some more cheering or looking for a few laughs, click here Do check out the video at the end😀

Have a great week ahead and don’t forget to have some fun too.

Unfazed

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“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ― Maya Angelou

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 254

CFFC: A Purple Theme

This one is a toughie but Cee is rather generous! So here I go laying out the purple carpet😉

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Photo courtesy Svkuki, member of Mother India’s Crochet Queens who hold the Guinness World Record for the largest crochet blanket of 11148 sq m

for the gorgeous lady in the purple sari

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How about some flowers for the pretty lady?

Err not really purple are they? Let’s round it up with some purple greens and some true homegrown purples by an amazing lady

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How could I miss the purple ringed white bloom of the ladyfinger from my one and only mum’s garden?

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A close up, just in case you missed the purple ring😀

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Hope you liked my purple collection but the best ones are no doubt at Cee’s page

 

CWW: On Track of the Train

I just love trains – don’t you? Give me a long train journey, a book in hand, a packet of chips by my side, watching the changing landscape rush by until the chug-chug lullaby rocks you into the land of dreams. And best of all – No meals to worry about, no doorbells to answer, no morning walks or jogs – Oh the pure simple joys of guiltless lolling about😀

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“I like trains. I like their rhythm, and I like the freedom of being suspended between two places, all anxieties of purpose taken care of: for this moment I know where I am going.” Anna Funder

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“… a woman who was washing clothes in the river during the hottest time of the day ran screaming down the main street in an alarming state of commotion.
“It’s coming,” she finally explained. “Something frightful, like a kitchen dragging a village behind it.” ― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

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“It’s not getting from A to B. It’s not the beginning or the destination that counts. It’s the ride in between…This train is alive with things that should be seen and heard. It’s a living, breathing something — you just have to want to learn its rhythm.” ― David Baldacci, The Christmas Train

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“Trains are beautiful. They take people to places they’ve never been, faster than they could ever go themselves. Everyone who works on trains knows they have personalities, they’re like people. They have their own mysteries.” ― Sam Starbuck, The Dead Isle

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“The train rolled right through dinner and over the sunset and around ten o’clock and into a nap and out the next day…” ― Lindsay Mattick

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“The train is a small world moving through a larger world.” ― Elisha Cooper, Train

Hope you enjoyed the ride🙂

Don’t forget to visit Cee’s blog for her Which Way Photo Challenge for some awesome photos.

FFfAW # 83: View from the Top

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View from the Top

Words 168

 Microphones were being thrust into his face, “How does it feel to have reached the top? To be where very few have ever been?”

Raj stared at himself onscreen. Were the thudding heart, the screaming nerves and the shakiness discernible?

He didn’t think so as he saw himself flash his famous crooked smile, raise his expensive shades with panache and wave to the hysterical milling crowd.

“Great. Just great.”

What would they have said if he had told them the truth? That he felt no joy in it. That he often wished he were still at the bottom of the ladder, his dreams and innocence intact?

“What message would you like to give to your fans?”

Cherish the little moments, call your mother, play with your children, choose your friends with care, eschew dark corners, treacherous turns and rotting boards. Most of all – beware of your own traitorous hand that rises to strike the fatal blow.

He pumped his fist in the air. “Just go for it!”

***

Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – a story, in 100 – 175 words, based on the photo prompt. Thanks Joy Pixley for the photo🙂 For more stories on this prompt click here.

Do let me know what you thought of the view from the top!

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 87 and Calvin - this scene may be familiar for many ;)

 

COB # 37: Odd One Out

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The cutest designer baggage ever😀

For Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge

Incarcerated

Time for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle – a story in 100 words or less. Please click here for more stories on the photo prompt provided this week by Shaktiki Sharma – thanks!

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Photo prompt (c) Shaktiki Sharma

Incarcerated

 Words 101

 

Clang! The door grated.

Startled, Ramu descended from the clouds. He donned an industrious look and pored intently over his grueling task.

“Eat and go back to work. Don’t dawdle.”

“Yes Ma.”

“You need to study harder, do better.”

“I am trying.”

“Our debts are mounting. If you crack the entrance exams, all will be well.”

“But Ma…”

The door closed.

Silent, suffocating darkness engulfed him.

A lone lamp threw up gigantic shadows of the thick tomes strewn about. The weight of expectations bore down upon him, crushing him, choking him.

If only he could escape.

Somehow.

Anyhow.

Jump… Slit… Hang…

***

If you would like to know more, click here

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 86 and hahahaha Calvin

CWW: Way To Go

It’s time for Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge and as usual I had a lot of fun and hope you do too😀

So off we go – first the WAY

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Confused? Perplexed perhaps? Oh but hush while the Performer readies

sq-1And steadies:

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And off he goes!

sq-3Look this way

sq-4And that way

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After that lightning ‘bolt’ risking bone and sinew, time for some much needed rest😀

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Thanks Cee for hosting such lovely challenges and letting me get away with it😉

FFfAW #82: Precious Games

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Precious Games

 Word 175

“Rohit bought a diamond pendant for his fiancé.” Ruchi fiddled with her locket.

“Jealous?” Shlok mocked.

“Me! Jealous of…”

“You married the wrong guy. You knew I could never afford…”

“Where there is a will there is a way. If Rohit can afford…”

“Rohit’s father is a rich man. Mine isn’t.”

“Don’t you dare belittle Rohit’s thoughtful gesture.”

“So protective! I thought you were put out with Rohit?”

“Nonsense! I was just commenting…”

“To what purpose?”

“Does everything have to have a purpose? I was just trying to have a conversation…”

“Yeah right. I know a hint when I hear one.”

“Then why turn a deaf ear to it?”

“I dislike having my hand forced. Why not ask Rohit to buy….”

“I prefer that his father should buy me. Out of his own free will.”

“It could be a long wait.”

“If need be, I will wait until eternity.”

“Nagging, until eternity.” Shlok stroked his chin. “I am game. Are you?”

“But of course. The fun is in the game, not a piece of glass.”

***

Written for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy with the photo prompt provided by Jade. Thank you Jade and thank you Joy. For other stories click here.

I am running terribly late, do let me know if this made any sense or it needs more work – thank you!

Just 4 Fun #6

Here’s wishing everyone a super week ahead😀

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Got anything to share that will spread some cheer and joy? Do leave your link in the comment box or create a pingback to this post.

Have a great week ahead and don’t forget to have some fun too.

A parting quote:

I’m writing my book in fifth person, so 
every sentence starts out with: “I heard from this guy who told somebody …” Demetri Martin

 

Dare to Bare

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For Becca’s Sunday Trees # 253

SPF: David vs Goliath

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David vs Goliath

 Words 196

Raju hugged himself as he tagged along with his mother to work. May be today he would get to hold it, play with it.

“Sit. Don’t touch anything,” Kamla warned.

Raju searched the showcase. It wasn’t there! Without a care for his mother’s strictures, he scrambled forward and shuffled around.

“Raju!” Kamla came rushing. “Sorry Madam.” She thrust him away and rearranged the pieces.

Raju was devastated. He loved the toy soldier, happy to even look at it. Now it was lost.

Shifting, he caught sight of it under the sofa. Thrilled, he picked it up. His wish had been granted! Everything was perfect, his rifle….

“Mom! Raju is a thief!”

A shove sent Raju flying. He cracked his head against the wall. Angered, Raju flew at his attacker. “I am not a thief!”

Madam cuffed Raju. “Liar!”

Kamla shook Raju. “Were you stealing?”

“No.”

“Fine. Please clear my dues Madam.”

“Don’t be silly Kamla. Go and finish cooking…”

“I cannot work where we are not trusted.” Kamla walked out, dragging Raju.

“Raju, you should not have hit Rohit.” Kamla expostulated. “When will you learn to control yourself?”

“So you want me to be a hypocrite?”

***

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less based on the photo prompt given above. For other stories, click here

Thanks for reading (and commenting ;)  Do scroll down to the next post for some photos🙂

Isolated

Once upon a time, Baby sea lion was sunning with his Mama

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When up came Papa sea lion…

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He nudged and barked at the baby lion

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Until baby sea lion gave in and left the two lovers basking in the sun

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The desolate little one

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For Cee’s Black and White Photography Challenge: Isolated Subjects.

Cee I hope I didn’t break any rules and it actually happened like I said🙂

Travel Theme: Transport

Time for another photo challenge! Title is self explanatory and here are some modes of transport:

By road when a boat would have been preferable

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But at least I wasn’t in an auto-rickshaw, a three-wheeler which liberally peppers the roads of India.

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Once while on the way on a rainy night to catch a train, I was completely drenched as one SUV grandly swept past us. It gave me the opportunity to use the bathing room facilities at the railway station and be impressed! But don’t look down upon the auto-rickshaw just yet. It is a lifesaver and one that the Mexican Ambassador in India patronizes – have a look – click here.

On the roads of India one can see all sort of transport from massive buses to puny bicycles. Hey what’s that?!img-20160806-wa0001

Cartons taking a piggyback ride on a bicyclist! Let’s hope they are empty.

Talking of piggyback rides, what would you call this ride?

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Hope you liked! Click for more photos on Travel Theme: Transport

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 85 and of course the one and only Calvin

 

 

Story Club #3: An Unequal Life

Story club seems to be jinxed! First I wanted it (rather ambitiously I admit) to be a weekly affair, then a fortnightly before settling for a monthly event. And then I went and missed last month’s book club. And I was all set to miss this month’s as well.

But then I didn’t want the ‘jinx’ have the last laugh. So here I am with this month’s short story – Country Lovers by Nadine Gordimer.

Nadine Gordimer, a South African writer and political activist, started writing at the age of nine, and her stories began appearing in magazines when she was 15. She was shocked by the condition of the black community and spoke out strongly against the apartheid system existing in her country. Apparently, after being released from prison in 1990, she was one the first persons that Nelson Mandela met. Many of her books were banned in her home country and she spent many years outside her country in self-imposed exile. In 1991, at 67 years of age, she became South Africa’s first Nobel Prize winner for Literature.

I had a brief encounter with the writings of Nadine Gordimer around this time, or perhaps a bit earlier. Seeing my interest in books, someone had gifted me Nadine Gordimer’s Six Feet of the Country. Being a compulsive reader, I had read the book of course (at least I think so) but somehow I didn’t quite take to it. Perhaps I wasn’t mature enough to appreciate it or I tried to give it the usual casual reading that I was used to giving the crime thrillers and suspense novels I was more into those days. But what is truly ironic is that today’s story – Country Lovers – is one of the 7 stories of that very book.

I feel like kicking myself. To have a priceless gem somewhere around the house and to have no clue – how callous (and ignoramus) can one be? How many more such priceless gems have I missed? And here I always thought I was bright, perhaps even clever – just like Rabbit.

“Rabbit’s clever,” said Pooh thoughtfully.
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit’s clever.”
“And he has Brain.”
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit has Brain.”
There was a long silence.
“I suppose,” said Pooh, “that that’s why he never understands anything.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Oh well…I think I prefer this one😉

Men do not understand books until they have a certain amount of life, or at any rate no man understands a deep book, until he has seen and lived at least part of its contents –Ezra Pound

Moving on to the story – and if you haven’t read the story yet, perhaps you should do so now (link is given above) before scrolling down for there are spoilers ahead.

Country Lovers is an interracial (hence forbidden) love story of childhood friends turned sweethearts – Thebedi, the black girl and Paulus the white farmer’s son. There is almost a bland detached matter-of-fact narration of the events as they unfold. The children play together and become close friends. Defying norms, he continues to visit her while home from his boarding school and one cannot help but feel the affection and connection they both share. He brings her gifts as does she:

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They seek each other out.

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One almost feels that things will be different for this couple, that they would have a future – together.

But then as is wont to be, one thing led to another and she becomes pregnant. For a modern day reader this is where the story diverges and takes off on a different path. Logically speaking she should have then informed Paulus. But she doesn’t. And neither does she tell him of her impending marriage to Njabulo. She even gets married and delivers a baby girl within two months of her marriage. Even that is acceptable as is the fact that the child is unmistakably white. Njabulo provides for Thebedi’s child as much as is possible with his income.

Things could have carried on so but for word reaching Paulus’ ears about Thebedi’s child. He lands up to investigate for himself. And there is no denying – she is his child.

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Grimace of tears and anger – overwhelmed at seeing his daughter? Or perhaps cursing his fate that he is unable to publicly acknowledge his beloved and daughter? Hey wait a minute…and self-pity? Like really? The gentle, laid back placid pace of the story takes a sudden turn and one is quite unprepared for it. At least I was.

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Instead of killing himself, he killed his baby…

No! That couldn’t be possible. And why take such a drastic step? Nobody had pointed fingers at him – not Thebedi, not her husband, not the community people. Yet he killed his baby. Why?Just to save his reputation? Unbelievable.

Yet all too true. In many places, even today.

In a show of justice, Paulus is arrested but let off for lack of evidence and unreliability of Thebedi as a witness. Njabulo is commended for his fortitude and forbearance.

Through her writing Gordimer has vividly recorded life in a controversial country. I did read some of the analysis of the story that are available on the net. Most, if not all, make a note of female exploitation highlighted in the story.

To be honest, I found Njabulo’s situation to be equally tragic and pathetic. As was that of the rest of the community. Their acceptance of the situation as if it was par for the course is almost eerie and unbelievable. It only indicates how common such events were, that it did not even deserve a protest.

Njabulo comes out as a strong principled character that is rare and difficult to find. Rather than make the child, who is not at fault or even Thebedi suffer, Njabulo goes about making his family as comfortable was possible for him. An uncommon man indeed.

I cannot help but be a bit cynical about Thebedi – she is the dark enigmatic one. Her actions are quite unfathomable. She is happy to follow Paulus’ lead but she is content to marry Njabulo. She accuses Paulus of killing her daughter but retracts it a year later (perhaps she was pressurized into doing so) all the while wearing the earrings that Paulus had gifted her.I did find this significant – did the author wish to make a point about Thebedi’s duality or stress that she was too poor to buy another pair of earrings? I wonder, if before marrying Njabulo, did she tell him about Paulus, or her pregnancy – if the baby was born 2 months after marriage, he could have hardly not known about it?

I wish I could have known more about Njabulo, his feelings, reactions and thoughts as the events unfolded and played out for him.

For me, Country Lovers is not about Paulus and Thebedi. It is about Njabulo and his unwavering and steadfast support for Thebedi. If that is not love what is?

Thanks for reading– don’t forget to leave your comments and suggestions.

If anyone is interested or motivated enough to join the Story Club – most welcome! Just create a pingback to this post so that we can hop over for a read.

Rules are simple:

  1. Advance announcement of name of short story, one that is freely available on the net.
  1. Story maybe a folktale or in the local language. But an English translation should be freely available on the net. Or participant could post the translated version along with his or her review.
  1. Bloggers should post on their blog while non-bloggers may email me – mysilverstreaks@gmail.com
  1. The basic idea is to gain from each others rich heritage of literature and be able to understand a little bit more than before.
  1. And of course have fun!

You can find the previous Story Club posts here and here

A selection of Nadine Gordimer quotes

Truth isn’t always beauty, but the hunger for it is.

Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you’ve made sense of one small area.

The facts are always less than what really happened.

A truly living human being cannot remain neutral

My answer is: Recognize yourself in others

I would be guilty only if I were innocent of working to destroy racism in my country

Looking forward to a lively interaction, comments, critiques, suggestions, opinions…

Happy Onam

On the happy occasion of Onam, I wish you all joy and prosperity. Onam is Kerala’s biggest and ten days long harvest festival that is celebrated across communities, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Kerala, which is also known as God’s own country, is perhaps unique in celebrating the return of the mythical demon king Mahabali.

As the legend goes, Mahabali was a powerful and revered king of the Asuras or demons. He was famous and popular because of his just and fair rule, all his subjects were happy and prosperous. Seeing this, Indra, the king of gods became insecure and requested Lord Vishnu’s help in overthrowing Mahabali. He was defeated (another story) and banished but because he was such a great king, he was allowed to return once a year. It is this return return to his land that is celebrated with such fanfare and enthusiasm. This festival is promoted by the Government of India internationally as the ‘Tourist Week’ for Kerala during Onam celebrations.

The traditional ritual of laying pookkalam (floral carpet) starts from the first day, when Mahabali begins his preparations to return to his land. The size of the pookkalam increased in size as the day of his approaches, with layers and rings being added each day to welcome their beloved king to their homes.

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All pookkalams (decorations) made and generously shared by Mymind (actually I didnt give her much choice😉

And of course, like all festivals this one too is accompanied by a feast – onam sadya. The traditional feast consisting of a gazillion dishes is served on plantain leaves.

Just a sample for you, prepared and specially served on request by none other than Mymind

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Apart from feasts, folk songs, elegant dances, boat races, elephants, and flowers are a part of the vibrant and colorful festival. You can read more about it here

I am off to book my tickets to Kerala – what about you?

On the Edge

Nature’s fine balancing act

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Inspired, man sculpts his homage to the Creator

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Malayavanta Hill, Hampi, a village and temple town in Karnataka, India recognized as a UNESCO, World Heritage Site.

For the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge

Do drop in a little later for a glimpse of the Onam festivities and tomorrow for the much delayed Story Club. Since there are no takers as of now, I have chosen Country Lovers by Nadine Gordimer. If you like you can post your own review for the story and share. Or simply read up and drop in for a bit of discussion. Until tomorrow then!

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 84.And Calvin sure knows how to get a free meal.

Her Man

“Your man died and you are washing clothes?”

Vimla’s tinkling glass bangles stilled. She straightened. “I sent the girls to pay their last respects.”

“But what about you? He was after all your man…”

“He stopped being my man the day he threw me and my four daughters out.” Vimla’s eyes shot sparks. “You expect me to mourn for him, don a widow’s attire, break these bangles? Why should I when my real man is still by my side?”

Babel broke out.

“My trusted companion,” Vimla pointed, “the one who clothed us, fed us and educated my daughters.”

 

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Photo copyright Sandra Crook

Written for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less (this one is 99 words). For other stories on this prompt click here. Thank you Sandra for the lovely photo🙂

Thanks for reading!

FFfAW #81: The Truants

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The Truants

 Words 170

 

“Whaaa…”

“Shush!” Jiya hissed. “We’re going out.”

“Out?” Dhruv was surprised. “He…he agreed?”

“I didn’t ask.” Jiya confessed as she hustled him into the car. “We will be back before anyone awakens.”

“You’re not driving!” Dhruv balked. “You don’t have a license.”

“Watch me!” She gunned down the road. “Whoopee!”

Dhruv groaned.

Jiya screeched to a halt and gave an exultant laugh. “It’s been so long since we played hooky.” She grinned. “We should sneak out more often.” She did a little jig and stumbled.

“Watch out!” Dhruv snapped. “Don’t tempt fate any more than you have to.”

“Stop worrying,” she gave him a shake, “and let’s enjoy.”

“How can I when you insist on giving me heart attacks?”

“You are such a spoilsport.” She leaned on him. “Don’t you love this place?”

He grunted.

“Remember that shed?”

His lips twitched.

She giggled. “And when Mom found us…” her phone rang. She froze. “Oops!” She coughed. “Morning darling!”

“Where the hell are you Mom? And is Dad with you?”

***

Written for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (a story in 100 – 175 words) hosted by Priceless Joy and photo provided by Phylor – thank you! For amazing stories click here

So tell me what do you think? Did it work? Or was it off? Like I think it was?😦

If you like photos especially of trees, do stop by  here or  here for a bit of fun. Or you could visit the blog index.

Have a grand week ahead.

The Hardy One

Have will – will find a way

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“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”  A. A. Milne

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 252

Thanks for visiting and do drop in here for a bit of fun

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SPF: Something Fishy

It’s Sunday Photo Fiction time once again. Scroll down for my story in 200 words or less and click here for other stories on this prompt.

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Something Fishy

Words 198

“Mom!”

Trisha’s shriek brought everyone running to the verandah.

“Look!” Trisha pointed, “The river is flowing in our garden.” She turned to Shweta, her mother, “How will I go to school? You know I have my spelling test today.”

“Don’t worry, the other side is clear.”

“I better go and revise my spellings, especially of ‘tongue’ and ‘stomach’…”

“Owww!” Samrat doubled over.

“Oh my poor baby!” Granny crowded him.

“What’s the matter?” Shweta asked. “Homework not done?”

Samrat straightened. “That’s not fair!” He hurriedly bent over again, leaning heavily on his grandmother. “That’s all done,” he gasped painfully, “My stomach’s hurting.”

“Really? Since when?”

“Oh come on Shweta! Are you his mother or stepmother? Can’t you see the poor boy is in agony?” Granny butted in. “Come child, let me give you some homeopathic medicine.”

“But what about school?”

“No school for you today,” Granny threw Shweta a challenging look.

Shweta glared at her husband.

He promptly vanished.

.

.

“Mom! I got 10 on 10 in my spelling test.” Trisha ran in. “Has the water gone down?”

Trisha stopped short.

Her ‘ailing’ brother was waist deep in water.

He grinned. “Here catch!” He threw her a fish.

***

“You can drag my body to school but my spirit refuses to go.” ― Bill Watterson, Creator of Calvin and Hobbes.

Exactly what my brother and son thought. I, however, loved school, including (especially) spelling tests although tongu did have me (and that much more fun). As you may have guessed by now, the above story is based on a true (more or less) incident from my childhood.

Do be generous with your thoughts and experiences on the matter🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 83.And Calvin is back.

And if you have a few minutes to spare – Hop on for a ride

The Fairest of them All

Made of imported Belgian glass at the Sheesh Mahal or Glass Palace at Amer Fort, India:

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Intricate and designer pattern no doubt but doesn’t quite fit into the challenge theme does it? Let’s go in for a close up. Follow me😉

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See it? Curious? Lemme piece it together for you:

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And a bonus picture of the Jal Mahal at Jaipur India

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For the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Mirror

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 82.

 

Save

2084

Written for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less based on the photo prompt provided this week by Vijaya – Thanks Rochelle, thanks Vijaya🙂 For remarkable stories on this prompt click here.

vijaya
(c) Viyaya Sundaram

2084

Words 99

Diwali celebrations were on. Only Om’s house was dark.

Vidya paced the terrace. She didn’t have time to mourn his passing. She had other things on her mind – would the years of experimentation pay off? Had they achieved that elusive fusion of ultramodern technology and ancient mind control?

Vidya pressed the amplification button implanted in her wrist and concentrated.

Nothing.

Foreboding assailed her. What if they had again miscalculated? Would Om go Dev’s way?

Focus dammit focus!

Her wrist throbbed.

The button vibrated emitting waves in Om’s distinctive handwriting – Netherworld cooler than Delhi. No pollution either. Dev says Hi.

***

 Do drop in for a glimpse of Nature and for a bit of fun

Thanks for visiting.

Save

SPF: Coat of Arms

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Coat of Arms

Words: 200

 “Chanda! Chandaaa! Where’s that dratted girl?” grumbled Chandni as she stirred the pot. “Always reading some book or the other.”

“If you could read, you would understand the pleasures of reading,” said Ramesh.

“Yes Mother?” Chanda hid the book behind her back with a guilty look at her mother.

Chandni shot her an exasperated look. “Do you think I am blind? That I can’t see the book you are hiding?”

“You should be proud of her.” Ramesh said. “How many girls in the village can read English?”

“Don’t you encourage her,” snorted Chandni. “She is bad enough with her obsession not to mention questions.”

“Questions?” Ramesh looked from one to the other.

“Yes! Questions!” Chandni flared up, “You are either busy at the tailoring shop or with your friends. I am the one she nags with her questions.” She looked at Chanda. “Go on. Ask your father.”

Chanda promptly sat down on the floor and asked, “What is the ‘Royal coat of arms’ Father?”

Ramesh coughed. “What’s the sentence?”

Chanda rifled through the pages. “The cloak fell away and he caught a glimpse of the Royal coat of arms.”

“It’s a special coat worn by Kings. It has long sleeves.”

***

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. For more stories on the photo prompt click here.

 

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 81. And do check out the Eye on the Tree photo challenge post as well - thank you!

 

Frames

Managed to frame the brightest of them all just as it sneaked out from behind the clouds:

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On the way down from Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland by the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, which has a maximum gradient of 48% and an average gradient of 35%:

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A lush green neighborhood bower:20160717_174051.jpg

A green frame at the Radhanagar beach, Havelock island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands:

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A concrete view of my secret Amazon forest (or at least how I imagine it to be):

A more concrete view

For the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame

Thought for the day:

“It’s funny how the beauty of art has so much more to do with the frame than the artwork itself.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 80 along with Calvin :D

 

The Stowaway

Written for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less based on the photo prompt provided this week by Georgia Koch. Thank you Rochelle and Georgia.

For other stories on this prompt click here

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Photo Prompt – Copyright Georgia Koch

The Stowaway

Words 102

“Accept it darling,” he said, “my time’s up.”

“What about me?” she held his hand in a death grip.

He smiled. “Your boat is yet to dock. I’ll just go on ahead and arrange things…”

“No!” she flared up. “I don’t like your ‘arrangements’. Remember how you messed up the kitchen?”

“But you loved redoing it.”

A tear rolled down her cheek.

“I thought you believed in destiny? That we are married for seven lives?”*

“I need to buy medicines.” She dashed across the busy street.

Impatient (and skeptical), she thought it prudent to give fate a helping hand.

*According to Hinduism, marriage between a couple is not limited to this life only, it extends to seven or more lives.

The Wrestlers

Out in the field, beyond the shade:

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A ringside view of the wrestling match:

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And the winner is:

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For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 250

SPF: A Fatherly Lesson

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A Fatherly Lesson

Words 195

“You don’t want to go to school?” Hariya shook Ramu, his 8-year-old son. “You want to play in the jungle all day?”

Ramu nodded.

Enraged, Hariya dragged him into the jungle. “Then stay with the animals and ghosts of the jungle.” Hariya walked away.

Ramu explored the jungle to his heart’s content but it wasn’t much fun without his friends. Plus he was hungry. He decided to return home, but to his despair, he couldn’t find his way out. “Amma! Babuji!” Ramu screamed loud and long but no one came.

Darkness fell abruptly and closed in on him. Fear gripped him. He ran to the lone lamp and looked around in dread at the shadows hovering over him. He clung to the lamppost and held on for dear life. Then the unthinkable happened. The bulb flickered and died. Darkness engulfed him, threatening, choking, strangling, “Amma! Babuji! Where are you? Please take me home. I promise I will always go to school.” The wind howled and the trees swayed. Leaves blew into his face. Terrified, Ramu bolted but something held him back.

He opened his mouth in a soundless scream and collapsed in a dead faint.

***

 Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less.

Note: Unfortunately, the above narrative is not completely imaginary. Recently there were reports of a 7-year-old boy being abandoned near a bear infested jungle by his father as a punishment for misbehavior. Fortunately, the police rescued him after a week of intense search. But another 12-year-old boy wasn’t as lucky as his father stabbed him to death for not studying for a school exam.

 

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 79 along with Hobbes having  fun at Calvin's expense :D

 

CFFC: Partners for Life

The other day I spotted a pair of geese:

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Excited, I moved in for a closer shot:

But no matter how much I tried, the goose just wouldn’t let me click his mate. It honked and glared and pretended to be interested in the distal most piece juicy stem.

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Can you beat that?

The typical Indian male I supposed and walked away (or at least pretended to but the goose wasn’t that much of a goose – it wasn’t buying or budging).

Until I really walked away. That’s when I noticed:

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She was injured or ill and he was merely trying to keep away an opportunistic predator.

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Blessed to witness such a rare and precious sight.

For the Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Rare and (if Cee has no objections), for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Feathers

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 78 along with Calvin and Hobbes

 

Begin Again

 

Hello friends,

Please accept my apologies for being absent without intimation. That life will end for all those who are born is inescapable; yet when life takes one of its expected stoppages, it is nevertheless inexplicably unexpected and heartbreaking.

Whole or not, ready or not, it is time to pick up the pieces and begin again. I hope to start posting regularly once again from the 24th of August. Do mark the date on your calendar and make sure to join in for I need your company more than ever before.

Thank you for being there and not giving up on me.

Wishing all brothers and sisters a very Happy Rakshabandhan. Do watch this heartwarming advertisement that sensitively captures the essence of Rakhi. A warning though – the video is in Hindi and subtitles (auto-generated) in French.

Macro Moments Week 5

The perfect rose and the perfect bud.

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Copyright Mother Nature

This is in response to Susan’s Macro Moments Challenge 5 and the theme is Macro Plants and Flowers.

 

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 77 along with Calvin and Hobbes

 

APWC: Out in the Country

Last week I had the opportunity to travel through the countryside (twice!) and I bring selected glimpses – mostly from inside the car.

Paddy fields!

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Field

This little fellow chugging on the highway shuttling between villages

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Bumper to bumper with the fresh farm produce (bitter gourd) truck

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Stopping to give this one the right of way

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Oh look who got a joy ride into the city😉

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Country roads take me home to the place where I belong….

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Our Welcome CommitteeMonkey4.jpg

And on this side too – looking positively disapproving don’t you think?Monkey1.jpg

This post is in response to Nancy’s A Photo A Week Challenge and the theme is Out in the Country. Hope you liked😀

For the readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 76 and Calvin Hahaha

 

How Blue is My Sapphire

The eighth and the final short story submitted to the TOI Write India competition. For the other submitted stories – Click here

Prompt:

All of us live with our past. All of us allow it to shape our future. But some of us know how to shrug the past. I think that is who I am….. ” Anita Nair ( (For more about the contest/rules click here).

Rules by the Author

1) Name of the Story: How Blue is my Sapphire
2) Must be literary fiction that leaps off the page. Literary fiction is best defined as “works that offer deliberate social commentary or political criticism, or focus on the individual to explore some part of the human condition.”
3) The story shouldn’t have more than four characters and an animal
4) The story should play out in 24 hours.

 

How Blue is my Sapphire

I pushed open the door of the terrace and looked at the vast expanse of sky and treetops. The view made the climb worth it. Maybe that was why Neelima had chosen the barsaati over the cramped paying guest accommodation. She could have commuted from home, but she preferred to be near the hospital. I didn’t object – she was big girl now. Besides, I am not the clingy, insecure, possessive kind of mother. I believe in letting children fly the nest, and sooner the better.

“Mom! What are you doing here? And what’s with the bird?”

“Meet Zack, my new pet. Isn’t he cute?” I put my arms around her. She leaned in for about a millisecond before withdrawing.

“I wonder that you have time to take care of a pet.” Neelima said. “What about your numerous commitments?”

Unable to resist, I shot back. “Oh he doesn’t ask for much. Unlike some other people I know.” I should have bitten my tongue for this was exactly what Neelima liked to sink her claws into.

“Is that why you dumped me at Nana-Nani’s whilst you traveled the world?”

I gritted my teeth and said in an even tone, “For the nth time, it was no joy ride. It was part of my art course and I only went to Paris.”

“For two years. And after that also you never bothered to come and…”

I sighed. “I told you I had commitments. Besides, nobody had any objections. I asked your grandparents, your father…”

“Did you ask me?”

It was a mistake. I shouldn’t have come here. What did I expect from Neelima? That she would understand? When had she ever? I still recall her teen years with a shudder – shrill, harsh, demanding and exhausting. Not much has changed since.

Ratan, my other child, was so sorted and cool. We had our moments of course but they were like a summer shower – a little wetness, a bit of a steam but oh so refreshing. Plus Ratan never bore grudges. Neelima, on the other hand, nurtured her grudges like tender saplings, watering and feeding them on a regular basis. Martyr-like, she wore her woes as if they were badges of honor. All of us live with our past. All of us allow it to shape our future. But some of us know how to shrug the past. I think that is who I am. I carry no guilt or baggage of the past. And I often wished that Neelima too would just move on.

“Oh God! The way you hang to the past. Give me a break would you? I was 18 years of age and if it wasn’t for your grandparents I wouldn’t have got married in the first place…”

“So you punished them by dumping me on them. What was my fault?”

I flinched under her accusing glare but I refused to feel guilty. “I did what I thought was best under the circumstances.” I reached out and pinched her cheeks. “In any case I doubt you would have liked staying with me. My maternal instincts are nonexistent at best.” I offered her a smile.

She jerked away. “They sure kicked in when Ratty was born.”

“Don’t call him that.”

“Why not? Did you stop him from calling me Ninima?”

“Ninima’s cute! Ratty is so horrible.”

She turned on her heels.

I put the cage on a broken down table. I could have kicked myself. If only I hadn’t made that wisecrack. But then she would have found something else. We had been over this topic in various avatars and I had failed to appease her. And I couldn’t change the past could I?

Neelima came back and poured Zack some water. She held out her hand. “What do you think Zack would like – some nuts or a tomato?”

I shrugged. “Let him decide.”

She opened the cage door and put down the food. She caressed him with a gentle hand. Her face was soft and tender.

And that hurt more than I cared to admit.

“A feast for Zack and nothing for your mother?”

“Mother can ask or help herself.”

I wondered if a slap would have hurt as much. I walked to the edge of the roof to hide my emotions.

“You should have had an abortion.” She stood beside me sullen and stiff.

For a moment I dearly wished I had. But then I realized that she was offering an apology in her own way.

“What!” I turned to face her. I gestured between her and me. “And forgo all this?”

Neelima looks beautiful when she smiles. Triumphant and relieved, I smiled back.

Ice broken, she held me by the arm and led me inside – rather like a cat dragging her kitty. “Why did come Mom? And why didn’t you call before coming?”

“Because you never pick up my call.” I looked around. “So messy and dusty.” Instinctively, I straightened the pillow and folded a rumpled sheet. I hunted for a duster.

“Yes, ever since you called at the clinic,” she said, “to discuss about your maid stealing vegetables…”

“But that was an emergency!” I protested. “I didn’t know what to do.”

“And you thought I would know?”

“Well,” she had me there, “you always were a smart kid, school topper, a doctor to boot…

Neelima held out a glass of lassi. “Are you patronizing me Mom?”

“Why would I do that?”

“Just seemed like that.” She shrugged. “Besides, I know you don’t approve of me.”

“Nonsense.” I took a tentative sip of the lassi. I smiled. “Just the way I like it.”

“It’s always about you isn’t it?” Her tone was conversational.

I stared. “What do you mean?”

“Just the way I like it.” She mocked me.

“Yeah so?” I was all at sea. “I was praising you. Didn’t you say just now that I didn’t approve of you? So.” I raised my glass and took a sip.

“And that is all you can find to approve of? Nothing else? And in any case, if you wanted to convey your ‘approval’ you could have said you made it well. But no, the way you like it is more important and special. Because you are special and all of us are useless hangers on determined to pull you down.” Neelima’s pitch rose and her lips twisted in a sneer.

Hands shaking I put down the glass. “What on earth is this about?”

Eyes glittering, she stood with her fists clenched. “As if you don’t know.”

“I don’t.” I said in my most patient voice.

“Your acclaimed painting Freedom where you show yourself trapped in a house while the rest of us are having fun outside. Even there you are bigger than all of us put…”

I was taken aback. “You saw my exhibition? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“It matters. And interesting that you should interpret it that way – I only meant to depict that once the family is out and having fun, she is free to do her own thing.”

She wore a disbelieving expression but she didn’t argue further.

“Did you even like any of the paintings?”

“All of them were nice. Especially the one of the sea.” She hunted about the fridge. “There’s only bread.”

“I make very good bread upma.” I offered, pleased with her compliment and interest in my art.

Neelima threw her hands up. “See? Again it’s all about you. While I can do nothing right. You are the best in everything. You keep the best house. You make the best…” She choked.

Shocked, I could only gape at her bewildered. “Sometimes I just don’t understand you.”

Sometimes?!” Her voice was bitter. “When have you? Oh forget it. Why did you come here?”

I stilled. Perhaps I should have talked to Ratan first, got him on my side. Neelima would of course take her father’s side.

“Call Ratan over for dinner tonight. We can talk then.”

“Why tonight?” Neelima was instantly up in arms. “Tell me now.”

“No. I can’t do this twice over.”

“Twice over?” She loomed over me. “Are you well? Any health…”

I looked up. Her eyes reflected the panic in her voice. “Relax. I am fine. Call Ratan will you?”

“You call him. He is your darling.”

“Why do you hate Ratan so much?”

“I don’t hate him. You hate me.”

“Me? Hate you? Why on earth would you think that?”

“You let him go on the rafting expedition but you didn’t let me go.”

“I didn’t let him go! I said no to him as well. You listened. He didn’t. What could I do?”

“You could have said yes to me.”

“But I didn’t say yes to him.”

She flounced off.

Despair stole over me. Why were we always at loggerheads? Why couldn’t we just talk like two responsible adults? What was it about our relationship that had embittered her so much that she misconstrued anything and everything I said? I was trying hard to make up for my earlier follies but she needed to meet me halfway.

Neelima reappeared carrying her purse. “I called Rats. He will be late and he wants you to cook Biryani.”

Delighted, I laughed. “I knew it!”

Neelima looked at me with a sour expression. “I doubt if you even know what I like to eat.”

“That’s not fair!”

“Who said life was fair?” She turned to leave. “I have texted you a number. You can order whatever groceries you need. I am going to the hospital.”

“Wait! At least tell me what you would like to eat?”

“Upma.” The door banged shut.

I winced. My fault. I had forgotten she hated upma. But why couldn’t she be as straightforward as Ratan? So much easier to understand and deal with.

When Neelima returned it was past 9 pm. She headed straight for the kitchen. “What did you make?” She lifted the covers.

I waited, smiling.

She turned. “Avial!”

I couldn’t help but laugh at her delight. She heaped her plate and dug in. I put my arm around her. “Darling if you want or expect something from me – ask! I am quite dumb that way.”

“But you are my mother,” she objected, “you should know.”

I warred between tears and laughter. What to do with this crazy, sensitive, prickly uppity daughter of mine?

Ratan came in a little later. He greeted me with a broad smile and a bear hug. “Hi Ma! Where’s my biryani?” He grabbed a plate.

“Wash your hands!”

But he had already begun. “You make the best biryani in the whole world.” He spoke with his mouth full. “What’s that? Avial? Yech!”

Neelima glowered at him.

“Why the bird Ma? I mean you and a caged bird don’t really go together.”

Ratan understood me. I smiled. “Zack is a gift. He has been caged for so long that he has probably forgotten how to fly.”

“You could try.” Neelima said.

After dinner, Ratan lay down on the folding cot. “Ma can we talk in the morning? I am sleepy.” He grinned endearingly.

“No. Let’s talk now.” Neelima held out a pillow and sheets.

Ratan grabbed the things and turned over. “Goodnight all.”

Neelima looked at me as if it was my fault. “How come he always gets his way?”

I shrugged. “Perhaps it’s because men don’t hanker for others approval the way we women do.” It was a moment of epiphany for me. After all, wasn’t that why I was here?

Next morning, Neelima had her revenge.

“Get up Ratty.”

“Go away.” Ratan mumbled. “It’s not even morning.”

“No way Rats. Get up now.” Neelima pulled at the sheet. “Any later and you will say I am late for college.” She held out a cup of tea.

“No worries, Ninima,” he peeked out, “I am bunking college today.” He grinned and went back under.

“You can bunk. I can’t.” Neelima was firm. “So let’s just have this talk shall we? Mom?” She looked at me questioningly.

I put down the cup. I suddenly wished I hadn’t come. I should have just sent an email.

“Mom?”

Even Ratan sat up.

“I am separating from your father.” I played with my fingers.

Neelima put a hand on Ratan’s shoulder. “Is there anyone else?”

“I am moving in with Stu.”

“Stu?” Ratan threw off his covers and stood up.

“Stuart, the artist from Paris?”

I nodded, feeling dull and heavy. Ratan looked shell-shocked but Neelima was cool and composed – the lull before the storm.

Ratan looked at me pleadingly. “What about Dad? And what will people think?”

“Your father has agreed to a divorce. People don’t matter. You do.”

“Why now Ma?” Ratan asked. “After so many years?”

“I am 45 years old and I am tired of ‘adjusting’. I feel as if I have been leading two lives – doing justice to neither. No matter what I do, I always feel guilty about neglecting the other. I want to be free. I want to just draw and paint the whole day or night if I so wish.”

Ratan began collecting his things.

“What happened?”

He shook his head. “Nothing.” He picked up his bag. “I just remembered. I have an important class this morning. Got to go Ma.” He thrust his feet into his shoes and picked up his mobile. “Bye Nini, bye Ma.” A final wave and he was gone.

Now, even my son would hate me. Tears choked me.

“Do you love him?”

I gaped. “Of course! Otherwise why would…”

“Does Stuart love you too?” Neelima was cool, clinical.

“Ever since the first time I went to Paris.” I cleared my throat. “Initially I didn’t. Or perhaps I was scared to acknowledge my feelings. Besides I had responsibilities.”

“What if it doesn’t work out?”

I spread my hands. “At least I would have tried. All my life I have wondered fantasized. Now, finally, I will know. That is if,” my eyes strayed to the empty doorway.

“You haven’t decided?”

“How can I decide? It all depends on you both.” Poor Ratan. I had upset him. Was my happiness more important than his? I broke out in a cold sweat. I put a hand to my throat. I felt as if I was suffocating, drowning…

“Did Stuart gift you Zack?” Neelima was stroking Zack.

Confused, I said, “Yes.”

“Maybe you should fly before you forget how to fly.”

Unable to believe my ears I gawked at her. “But what about Ratan?” My voice was hoarse.

“Don’t worry about Rats. I know how to manage him. Maybe I will shift back home. Be with Dad.”

Emotions assaulted me. Uppermost was guilt. “I don’t know what to say…”

“Then don’t say. Just…Just fly.” She gave me a tight hug before withdrawing. “I hope you are on the pill?

I began laughing but ended up crying. My daughter held me and rocked me like I never had.

***

Thank you for reading. I really would love to know what you think, brickbats included…

COB #28: Atypical Art

This is in response to Cee’s Oddball Challenge Week 28

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Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms made with bones (don’t miss the stack of bones in the background)

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Chandelier made of bones and skulls. Sorry it’s a bit out focus – hands shaking I guess😉

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The Sedlec Ossuary, is one of the 12 World Heritage Sites in the Czech Republic. It is located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec near Kutna Hora. The cemetery was a very popular burial site. The ossuary is believed to contain the skeleton of between 40,000 and 70,000 people. Apparently the task of exhuming skeletons and stacking their bones in the chapel was given to a half-blind monk who arranged the bones to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel.

It’s a fascinating place to visit, to think, how the monk managed to create such works of art when he could barely see with things a person would run miles from.

“Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.” ― Clive Barker

Six Word Saturday # 390

Hello and hope you are having a grand weekend. I found another interesting challenge – Six word Saturday (6WS). Given my penchant for rambling, I thought this would be good discipline. So here goes – do let me know what you think. You are welcome to use to more than 6 words😉

I do.

But we did not.

 

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Thanks for visiting.

Photo a Week : Hands

This is for Nancy’s Photo a week Challenge and the theme this week is – you guessed it Hands😀. And I think I am late but what the heck – onward ho!

Hands feed the sweetest bite or capture the moment.

As you know, hands can be a thing of beauty – especially when cared for

Henna also adds to their beauty don’t you think?

Did you know hand gestures (mudras) can be used to tell a story?

And finally a glimpse of hands that created a new World Record.

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Thanks for visiting and thanks to my friends and family for allowing me to use their hands with or without permission😉

“Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey. At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.” ― Vera Nazarian

Have a great weekend!

Story Club #2: Surviving the Elements

Hello! How’s the week been? Looking forward to the weekend I guess. Some armchair time, traveling the world through blogs and stories, one hopes.

Well anyway, it’s time for the Story Club. If you remember, Story Club #1 began on the 15th of June. I wanted it to be a weekly affair but a lukewarm response forced me to make it a monthly event – for now😉

YP of In the zone has kindly offered to host this month’s Story Club. She has chosen Stephen Crane’s short story ‘The Open Boat’. I would advise you to read the story before rushing off to read YP’s review – she’s has a neat hand and a cool worldview. She is also participating in the summer A to Z challenge and it is interesting how she has woven the Story Club into it!

From my side, just a short background on the author and the story – as gleaned from the web. The story published in 1897, is based on Crane’s experience of surviving a shipwreck. Crane was stranded at sea for thirty hours. His account titled “Stephen Crane’s Own Story” was first published a few days after his rescue. But this focused primarily on the sinking of the Commodore, and the ensuing chaos. Crane subsequently adapted and rewrote his experience as a short story The Open Boat. This was later published as part of the book The Open Boat and Other Tales of Adventure in the US. The open boat is the most feted of all of Crane’s work. Indeed the stark reality and helplessness of the situation is vivid and hard hitting. Unfortunately, Crane contracted tuberculosis and died when he was just 28 years old. Tragically, his premature death brought him greater recognition, fame and acclaim.

Thanks for reading and now let’s move to the real review – don’t forget to leave your comments and suggestions.

If anyone is interested or motivated enough to join the Story Club – most welcome! Just create a pingback to this post so that we can hop over for a read.

Rules are simple:

  • Advance announcement of name of short story, which is freely available on the net.
  • Story maybe a folktale or in the local language. But an English translation should be freely available on the net. Or participant could post the translated version along with his or her review.
  • Bloggers should post on their blog while non-bloggers can email me – mysilverstreaks@gmail.com
  • The basic idea is to gain from each others rich heritage of literature and be able to understand a little bit more than before.
  • And of course have fun!

     

    Suggestions are welcome.

Come on let’s go – Click here!

Off the Beaten Track

Written for the Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle – a story in 100 words or less. Click here for other stories on this prompt. Thanks to Sandra for the photo🙂

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Off the Beaten Track

Words 95

“Mom!” Ravi protested, “Why did you take this road?”

“Didn’t you see the massive traffic jam on the main road?”

“Mom, main roads are always a safer bet. Here, on this track, who knows when it will clear or even whether we will reach our destination?”

“Patience Ravi, patience.” She was unperturbed. “Look, the sheep are all going the other way. In just a while, we will own the road.”

“So tell me Mom,” Ravi turned to her, “what were your objections to leaving my job in the US and taking up farming in Kerala?

***

Look forward to hearing from you🙂

Reminder: Today’s the 15th of July and time for Story Club # 2. Do read Stephen Crane’s The Open Boat and drop in for a review by YP of In the Zone later in the day. Anyone interested in posting a review of their own – most welcome! Please create a pingback to the post Story Club #2 – coming soon at a blog near you😀

Click here for Story Club #1

For the readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 75 and Calvin - he never gives up trying does he?

Macro Moment Week 4

The rainy season is here and like last year, I had another visitation.

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Not very macro right?

Taking care to check that the window was securely bolted, I leaned in for a closer shot.

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Now that’s a Macro hand!

This is in response to Susan’s Macro Moments Week 4 challenge

Thanks for visiting😀

CFFC: Signs of the Times

As usual, Cee has an interesting Fun Foto Challenge lined up for us – Signs. I have quite an obsession for signs. Let’s begin shall we?

I have to confess the first two sets are forwards but they were too good to pass up😀

 

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Outside a zoo somewhere in India. I refuse to divulge where, who knows what it will attract..
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At Lucerne, Switzerland. Perhaps a single line would not have conveyed the same message?
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For some reason I found WALK terribly funny
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Well, at least one can boast about a golden cage😀

 

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Oops, I seem to have nicked off the topmost part – translation anyone?

And the award goes to

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Off to hunt for my pot of gold😀

Have a great day and thanks for visiting. Do leave me a note or two and if you like, you could check out my other photos

SPF: Exposed

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. Click here for other stories on this prompt.

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SPF: Exposed

Words 198

“Reeta!” Sheila burst inside her house, “did you hear the news?”

“What news?” Reeta asked her easily excitable neighbor.

“Don’t you ever watch TV?”

“Not if I can help it.” Reeta said drily. Besides, who needs a TV when you are here?

“Didn’t you hear the TV vans whooshing past – or the ambulance? I checked the news and sure enough, it’s all over the TV!” Sheila’s eyes glittered with pleasurable glee and something else. “Look at you, sitting here cool as cucumber.”

Reeta made a wry face and got to her feet. “My apologies. Would you like a cup of tea?” She began walking to the kitchen.

Sheila grabbed Reeta by the arm and burst out, “The well-known socialite Mrs Sisodia committed suicide.”

Reeta froze. She paled and her eyes widened.

Sheila watched these developments with ghoulish delight. “Oh! Now I remember, she and your husband were very good friends weren’t they?” Sheila looked around. “Where is he? Does he know? Call him up and let him know.” She urged.

The doorbell rang. It was the police.

Reeta mentally cursed the inconsiderate Mrs Sisodia.

She could brush an affair under the carpet but not a dead woman.

***

Do let me know what you think…

For the readers of Moonshine, here’s Chapter 74 and Hobbes up to no good :D

And please do check out my latest photo challenge – Look up or here for a laugh (or a shock depending on your view) or… never mind, I arranged all my picture posts at one place for easy access – Clicks and Pics.

Have a super day and look forward to hearing from you🙂

Look Up

This is in response to Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge – Look Up. Obedient to the core, I looked up.

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Last week was a difficult time. Looking up, it struck me that the long and short of it was that all of us are trapped in a spin of our own until Someone switches us off. Claustrophobic and not in the best frame of mind, I walked out in search of succor and inspiration.

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Trees are such a comfort – and who can resist an endless blue sky dotted with cotton clouds? Horizons expanding, I walked to the other side of the house for a change in perspective.

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Heart full, a crick in the neck, I couldn’t help looking down.

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Quite a refreshing sight wouldn’t you say?

A bit easier than before, I went back in and read YP’s post – “Dragging through is ok – we will NOT always be able to Dash through issues….”

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
Lao Tzu

And of course – Que sera sera

Thanks for visiting and have a super week ahead🙂

Big Banyan Tree

It’s time for Sunday Trees -243

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The Great Banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis) at Botanic Garden, Howrah, near Kolkata, India

Believe it or not, that is not a forest but a single tree. One that is more than 250 years old. The area occupied by the tree is about 18,918 square meters (about 1.5 hectares or 4 acres). The present crown of the tree has a circumference of 486 m. and the highest branch rises to 24.5 m. Interestingly, the tree survives without its main trunk, which decayed and had to be removed in 1925.

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View from inside/under the tree

Instead, it has a large number of aerial roots, which grow from the branches and run vertically to the ground and looks like it has so many trunks. It is estimated that at present it has 3772 aerial roots reaching down to the ground as a prop root. Fascinating isn’t it?

Thanks for visiting and to kick start your Monday, have a look here 😀

COB #27: Whoops

Here’s this week’s submission for Cee’s oddball photo challenge # 27. This is taken from the balcony of a 6th floor apartment in Mumbai.

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Notice anything odd?
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Having a closer look at the street? Perhaps hoping for a ride?

I couldn’t help wondering if her friend threw her or she jumped fell.😉 Good pic for a flash fiction eh? Anyone game?

Save

Sons and Daughters

Written for the Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle for the picture prompt below – a story in 100 words or less. For amazing stories on this prompt click here. Thanks to Jan Marler Morrill for the photo.

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(c) Jan Marler Morrill

 

Sons and daughters

Words 99

“This alley is so tiny.” Sheena laughed. “I remember it as a long dark highway!”

“Useful for sneaking back inside.” Her brother winked.

“And learning the facts of life,” Sheena said.

“Meaning?”

“When I was about 12, I overheard Dad telling Mom – if it is again a girl, I will get another wife.”

Sheena shook him by the arm. “Make your peace with Dad. He loves you!”

“Yeah right. After my bike accident, I overheard him – Thanks to God for saving my son. I cannot afford to lose him. It’s not like I have two or three sons.”

***

Thanks for reading. If you have time and the inclination, do check out the Macro Moment photo challenge and one-liner Wednesday post. Though I should warn you, it isn’t exactly one line blushing

Have a great weekend. Oh I almost forgot! For the readers of Moonshine, here’s Chapter 73 and Calvin on a water conservation spree😀

If you are a first time visitor, welcome aboard🙂 Click here for more Short Stories or here for more information About the Blog

Dont forget to leave me a note.

One-liner Wednesday

Yeah well today’s Thursday but somewhere it’s Wednesday!😀 Linda runs this really cool challenge One-liner Wednesdays and this week the prompt is ‘Opposite of Feverish.’ This is my first time and not very sure how to deal with it one line – but why worry when the internet is at your service😉

I found this really ‘cool’ quote cool

If you’re hotter than me, then that means I’m cooler than you.Anonymous

 

Don’t you think it fits very well with the prompt?

P.S. It just struck me – my own line is pretty neat for the prompt as well! laughing Dont get it? okay fine I will ‘spell’ it out again – I meant this line:-

Linda runs this really cool challenge One-liner Wednesdays and this week the prompt is ‘Opposite of Feverish.’ rolling on the floorrolling on the floorrolling on the floor

Oops, hope that got none of you ‘hot and bothered’ – okay fine!

I’m going to stand outside, so if anybody asks for me, I’m outstanding. – Anonymous

 

FFftPP # 27: Shooed Out

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Shooed Out

Bhanushree let herself into the flat. Ankit was gone – after the morning altercation it was to be expected.

The house, the cupboards were bare of his belongings. Sudden tears choked her – the sight of her single toothbrush too much to bear. His razor – she stiffened and annoyance flooded her. Lazy bum, couldn’t even throw it in the trash. And what a mess she fumed.

Bhanushree set about scrubbing the flat to her fastidious liking. Mom was right. Live in doesn’t work. But better than being stuck in a marriage with an irresponsible brat -leaving the balcony door open.

Bhanushree froze. His sneakers lay there.

“There! Happy? You made me wash your dirty sneakers.”

“I didn’t ask you to wash them.”

“I told you to wash them. But…”

“They looked fine to me.”

“I can’t stand to see you wear such filthy sneakers.”

“Well that’s your problem isn’t it?”

“I’ll tell you what my problem is – You! Get out of my house!”

A tear slipped down her cheek. I tell him to do a thousand things – does he ever listen?  No.

 Yet today…

 

Words: 182. Written for the Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner (200 words or less). For other stories, click here

So how did you like the story? Too short? Do you think you would be interested in a sequel? Let me know and dont forget to check out my photos on bridges

For the readers of Moonshine, here’s Chapter 72 and of course Calvin😀