CFFC: Different Shades

This week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is all about one color. Hmm a bit tough but let’s see what I can come up with and what all I can get away with 😉

MistThe mist blows in wiping out all color from the picturesque scene

SkyHey look! The mist clears to reveal the blue sky – okay fine blue & white.

PondyThere! That one color enough for you? You can’t even make out where the sky ends and the sea begins 🙂 What? Green and the white disqualifies the photo? Darn it…

Blue seaToeing the line, here’s just a bit of the blue sea 😀

CoralView of the corals in the sea through a glass-bottomed boat

SeagreenAnother cropped up view of the sea just for the challenge. Is the sea green because of the corals or vice versa?

InkyThis is one of my personal favorite photos taken while traveling between islands at Andaman and Nicobar Islands – unedited.

MehendiThe bride to be decorates her hands with mehendi – just before she dons the colors of her husband’s life and family.

TreetopsGreen tree tops

 

 

The grand finale – amaltas in full bloom just before they bid adieu for the season.

And it is time for me to say goodbye too – thanks for visiting and leaving me a note 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 143

SPF: To Cut a Long Story Short

200-05-may-21st-2017

To Cut a Long Story Short

Words 203

“Dad why is the crowd outside the gate shouting traitor, traitor?”

“They are upset that I ordered machines that may take away their jobs.”

“But why did you order them?”

“It wasn’t my decision. Besides, they were given the option to learn how to operate them. But I guess it’s easier to throw stones.”

“They’re mean!”

“Go and have lunch.”

“It’s so hot here Mamma.”

“The dining room is cooler.”

“Mamma, do you like cooking in this heat?”

“I love the smile on your face when you see your favorite dish.”

“But you don’t like cooking?”

“Do you like studying?”

“No.”

“But you like coming first?”

“Yes. But I love cricket even more! You don’t let me to play cricket but you force me to study.”

“Cricket is not essential for your survival. Education is. Besides, if you are really passionate about something you can always find a way to pursue it.”

“How?”

“You could do your homework quicker, wake up earlier?

“Mamma…”

“Call Bhaiyya for lunch.”

“Bhaiyya! Lunch!”

“I don’t want any.”

“Why?”

“I HATE Dad.”

“Why?”

“He wants me to become a doctor. But I hate academics. I love only music.”

“I think you only love to sleep. And throw stones.”

***

Flash fiction are typically involve two or a maximum of three characters. This one had four, not including the crowd outside the gate! So what do you think? Did it work? Do let me know – thanks!

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting the challenge and the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by the prompt click here

 

Just 4 Fun # 39

Good Morning!

IMG-20170205-WA0003

It’s hot isnt it?

India

But I guess the heat is all for a good cause 😉

Hot

😀 😀

Cremated

Here in India, we don’t need to resort to such drastic measures – Mother Nature is by and large very kind to all of us.

Amsterdam

Now there’s a thought 😉 But just in case I ruffled any feathers…

Fluff

Hope you found something that you enjoyed – none of which are mine by the way. I received all of them as forwards/shares and am just keeping the fun going. Do drop in on Rekha’s blog for some more minion fun stuff.

Have a super week and don’t forget to have some fun as well 🙂

And do let me know your favorite – or better still post your own and leave me a link I will be along in just a bit.

Righting a Wrong

The bar door swung open and she automatically turned around.

She paled under the heavy make up and instantly turned her back to him.

What was he doing here? When had he gotten out of jail? And of all the places why come here? Had he come looking for her? Hadn’t she hidden her tracks well enough?

She slipped on her over large dark glasses and fluffed her blonde wig. She wondered if she could slip out before he…

“Hello Gorgeous.” He loomed behind her.

She froze.

“Let me buy you a drink.” His voice was low, seductive.

He hadn’t recognized her!

“No thanks,” she mumbled.

“Just one drink Baby,” He leered at her

Shuddering she jerked her arm away.

He caught hold of her arm. “Don’t act so pricey!”

Blood rushed to her head. Enough was enough. She knew how to handle unwanted customers.

She turned back to the counter. “Drink is on me.” She signaled the bartender.

“Cool.” He ran a finger down her bare arm.

Her wavering resolution firmed.

Instead of the usual one tablet, she dropped five tablets into his drink.

Nobody paid any attention to his slumped body or her when she left the bar.

Tears of regret streamed down her cheeks.

If only she had taken the doctor’s advice and opted for the abortion 22 years ago.

***

Linked to the Daily Post’s prompt notorious.  Thanks for reading and for leaving me a note.

Young ‘un

LimegreenThis youngster seems to be too shy to bring out all the gold 😛

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 288

Hanky-panky on the Road

inside-the-diner
Photo (c) Roger Bultot

Hanky-panky on the Road

Words 100

“Is the presentation okay Ma’am?”

“Yes. But include talking points.”

“I don’t need…”

“I do. How far we from the dhaba?”

“About an hour.”

“I had only a glass of milk and a banana.”

“Would you like a matthi?”

“They are heavy. That’s why I skipped breakfast.”

 

“Ma’am, what should I order?”

“I am full. I had too many matthis. But the stuffed parathas are nice here.”

“Shall we share one?”

“Make it two. And lassi.”

“Okay.”

“When you pay the bill, ask for an extra bill.”

“Why?”

“Reimbursement is impossible without the bill. I’ll keep one. Just in case.”

***

Phew, this one was tough to squeeze in 100 words. Please feel free with your confusions and questions!

Dhaba: A roadside eating joint

Matthi: A popular Indian salty snack.

Lassi: Yogurt based drink.

Paratha: Indian flatbread.

 

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and Roger Bultot for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt, click here.

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 142

 

 

 

Haiga # 5

Two

you and I

are no longer

together.

You have a new soulmate

while I have found

myself

A/N You may think this is the same photo as in the previous haiga but this one has three birds – can you see? At first I saw only two but just before posting I noticed the third in the bushes giving the picture a twist. And I had to redraft the ‘poem’ – how was it by the way?

Thanks for visiting 🙂

SPF: Lessons in Practicality

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE
Photo (c) Sally Ann Hodgekiss

Lessons in Practicality

Words 201

 “Namaste. Fancy meeting you here!”

“Why? Do you think it is too fancy for us?”

“No! I just meant I didn’t expect…”

“We are shopping for our trip,” Mrs Sharma gave a dramatic pause, “to Europe.”

“Wow! Did you win the lottery?”

Mrs Sharma expanded with gratification while Mr Sharma seemed to shrink.

“Sort of. It is an all expense paid vacation sponsored by our beloved daughters.”

“Don’t you have two sons?”

“And two daughters-in-law.”

“That’s very generous of them!”

“We’ve done our bit. Now it’s their turn. It was such a surprise when on our 40th anniversary, they gifted us the tickets…”

“Nonsense!” Mr Sharma butted in. “You left them little choice but…”

“Didn’t you want to purchase a muffler? Go on I’m coming.” Mrs Sharma pushed him.

Mumbling, he pottered away.

“Poor thing, he doesn’t like international travel. And with my brother’s hospitalization, he is even more stressed and nervous.”

“What happened?

“He was involved in a car accident.”

“Oh no! I will pray for his speedy recovery.”

“That’s unlikely.” Mrs Sharma held up her crossed fingers. “So I am hoping that he manages to hang on for the next two weeks. I don’t want to cancel the trip.”

***

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting the challenge and Sally Ann Hodgekiss for the beautiful photo. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Thanks for reading and leaving me a note 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 141

 

WPC: Some More Reflections

Rifling through my archives I found a few more where the photo changed my perspective of what I had intended to capture. This is my second submission to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflecting. The first one is here.

Family sunI was trying to capture the Sun in the sky and look what I got – a family’s day out on the beach 🙂

PillarsA (tiny) bit wiser, I actually tried to ‘compose’ a shot – probably my first ever. It’s unedited, nope not even cropped. What do you think – did it work?

ColumbusI have to confess I liked the boat more than its reflection. But the greenery is nicely reflected in the water isn’t it?

PeacockMy entire focus was on the peacock but the glass door reflection is just as eye catching don’t you think?

AirportLook! Diamonds on the floor 😀

Thanks for visiting – any favorites, comments, suggestions?

Just 4 Fun # 38

Hello friends! How was your weekend – sizzling hot or just chilling?

Like these two?

Dad and child

😀

Whatsapp                           Probably require a session or two here soon! By the way did you know there are 200 million Whatsapp users in India?

SculptLike these two 😉 That reminds me – it’s time for my monthly (guilt) workout.

Ma

Sound familiar? 😀 But I can’t help thinking it must not be that short and sweet in other countries either – anyone?

MabetiA lovely line drawing of a ‘mother‘ and ‘daughter‘.

Hope all you lovely mothers had a wonderful Mother’s Day and for now it is back to:

IMG-20170514-WA0021

Hope you found something that you enjoyed – none of which are mine by the way. I received all of them as forwards/shares and am just keeping the fun going. Do drop in on Rekha’s blog for some more fun stuff.

Have a super week and don’t forget to have some fun as well 🙂

And do let me know your favorite – or better still post your own and leave me a link I will be along in just a bit.

CFFC: Isolated Subjects

Cee’s challenges us this week to focus on Isolated Subjects so off we go on the search of some suitable shots…

SwanShe posed patiently and confidently making sure her fans had ample time to focus on her long graceful neck. Not like…

Ostrich…this irate lady. I wonder what or who cheesed her off?

RamCould it be this billy goat? He does have a sheepish air about him doesn’t he? Sorry about the kid Cee but you know how they are – poking their noses in matters which are none of their business.

Lion2

This is the Lion Monument at Lucerne. It is a giant mortally wounded lion carved out of a wall of sandstone rock above a pond. It was designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen as a memorial for the mercenary soldiers from central Switzerland who lost their lives while serving the French king Louis XVI during the French Revolution.

Lion3Mark Twain was particularly taken in by the monument. He called it “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”

It does look rather tragic doesn’t it?

 

 

CyclistLet’s move on to wider and cheerier places. Sorry don’t quite remember where this is 😦

LadyMy final selection for this collection. A saleswoman displaying her mouthwatering (can’t you just taste the sourness?!) array of natural goodies for the intrepid traveler scaling or returning from the Singhgadh fort near Pune, India.

Until next time – thank you for your visit and note 🙂

The Witch

Witch
31st March 2017

A spring view

 

Cloaked
12th May 2017

summer 

she cloaks herself

shady going ons

 

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 287

Reflecting on Nature

April

There are some beautiful trees around the campus where we stay. And on the rare occasions that I do overcome my (overwhelming) laziness I invariably manage to find new trees to drool over. This one is my latest favorite. I couldn’t help marveling at her impoverished state and yet she was so generous in her support to the others. Creepers grew on and around her with impunity whilst she held up her bare arms, undeterred, patient and waiting for her time in the Sun.

She looked so sure that I clicked a photo and waited (impatiently) for what was to unfold in less than a month. Take a look at nature’s miracle in less than a month 🙂

For best results scroll down slowly –

May“I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.” Albert Einstein

This is the Amaltas or Cassia fistula and aka golden rain tree that is native to the Indian subcontinent.

Linked to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflecting

Haiga #4

Ku

topper –

always something more

to conquer

P.S. Well? How was it? Something off? A word here or there?

PPS Hope you can see the topper?

Click here for a few more haiga.

It Happened One Night

auto-aftermath
Photo (c) Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It Happened One Night

Words 101

“Hurry or you’ll miss the train!”

Pushing and shoving, they squeezed into the car before Grandpa drove off all by himself.

“It’s so dark and eerie.” Lilly shivered.

“Ghosts live in this jungle.” Rishi said with relish.

“Mamma!”

The car shuddered to a stop.

A blinding darkness engulfed them. Crickets shrieked. Lilly whimpered.

Grandpa opened the bonnet.

“Let me see.” A disembodied voice said.

Rishi dropped the torch.

The engine sputtered to life.

“Thank you.” Grandpa offered money.

“Money is of no use to me.” The shadow moved. “This boy…”

Gasping, Rishi threw off the crushing weight of the Unexplained Mysteries.

***

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thank you Rochelle for hosting the challenge and the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Thank you for reading 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 140

Story club # 10: Two Tales

I am sure nobody noticed but I missed last month’s Story Club. And in my defense, there is so much to do and so little time! Anyway to make up, this month, instead of one story, I am attempting to tackle two short stories. Both are penned by the same author WW Jacobs, a British author who is mostly known for his macabre and haunting story The Monkey’s Paw although he mostly wrote humor stories.

If you haven’t read The Monkey’s Paw, please do read it before reading further. I don’t think there are any spoilers ahead but the read is not likely to make much sense unless you are familiar with the story.

The Monkey’s Paw has been a personal favorite for as long as I remember. And not only that, it left a permanent impact on me. That the monkey’s paw is from India and cursed/blessed by an Indian fakir somehow made the story all the more real for me. Whenever I read the story I go back to the drawing room of my first home where I lived as a child, and can almost hear the knock on the door, see the man standing at the door, the horrified silence…

The message ‘Be careful of what you ask for you may get it’ has remained with me ever since then and has sort of become my guiding principle for life as well.

I am quite paranoid and wary about not wishing. Indian mythological stories too have strengthened the belief that nothing good really comes out of wishes being granted. That in fact things could turn out to be worse than ever before. That it was better to make peace with what one had than hanker for things beyond us.

Like the famous Hindi poet, Sri Harivansh Rai Bachchan told his son Amitabh Bachchan, India’s  megastar – Man ka ho to achcha aur na ho toh achcha

Translated, this reads as – If it happens as you wish it is good, but if it doesn’t, then it is even better.

Strange and quite incomprehensible isnt it? But what it means is that if things don’t happen according to your wish, then it is occurring as per the wishes of a higher force who is looking out for you and preventing you from treading paths that are bound to spell disaster for you. Only you don’t know it yet.

Anyway to come back to the story, I realized, that my memory of the story was sketchy and didn’t quite remember about the other two wishes. Perhaps I was too preoccupied by the outcome of the first wish to really comprehend what followed.

But now as I read it again, the end is what nags me. What if he had not made the third and the final wish? Who was it at the door? Would Herbert have returned? How far can things be reversed? Or was it all meant to be? Was fate playing a cruel game of her own? Having some fun at the expense of gullible disbelieving mortals? I wonder and wonder and wish that the father hadn’t wished the third wish.

Oops I forgot…

I don’t wish do I?

After that heavy piece here is a humorous piece from WW Jacob – The Golden Venture. It is a lighthearted fun read which reiterates that nothing good comes out of bad. A comfortable and fun story. I hope you read this one too and share your reactions as well. As for me, for the second story, that is all I am going to say because while reading it I was led astray. I found the characters and story so engaging that I was inspired to pen a short story.

I am posting that story The Inheritance separately – click to read it.

As always I would love to know your reactions, opinions, suggestions and even better, if you feel like it, post a review of the stories or pen an inspired version of your own. Drop a link in the comment box and I will be along for a read.

A quick recap of the Story Club:Rules are simple (and breakable) :

  1. Advance announcement of name of short story, one that is freely available on the net.
  2. 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.
  3. Bloggers should post on their blog.
  4. 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!

Anyone interested in hosting the next month’s Story Club? Please feel free to may email me at mysilverstreaks@gmail.com

If you don’t want to host a story club, but if you have a favorite short story, do share it – thanks!

The Inheritance

“Ann, why didn’t you tell me about the inheritance?” Polly asked.

Ann started. “How do you know?” she asked warily. “Did you read the letter?”

“No I didn’t. You know I don’t much care for reading and writing. Tidger told me. He read the letter by mistake.”

“Oh.”

“Ann, now that you are an heiress, you better keep your wits about you,” Polly cautioned her elder widowed sister.

“What do you mean?” Ann was bewildered.

“Ah Ann, ever the fool. Didn’t you notice the doddering fools Wigget and Miller praising you to the skies?”

Ann pinked. “Oh I thought they were being sweet.”

“You’ve been here for the past 6 months and all of a sudden they became sweet? It’s the inheritance, mark my words.”

“Oh Polly,” Ann wrung her hands, “You are the clever one. Tell me what should I do? I don’t like either of them but nobody else will marry me at this age.”

“Humph!” snorted Polly, “I wouldn’t be surprised if my own Tidger wouldn’t marry you himself.”

“Polly!” Ann gasped scandalized, “Do you know what you are saying?”

“Of course I know.” Polly said. “I know my Tidger. He has a weakness for money. Besides, he’s worried about the mortgage on the…”

“But that doesn’t mean…”

“It doesn’t mean, but it could, is all I am saying. And now that the children have flown the nest, we don’t have much in common.”

“Oh Polly aren’t you happy in your marriage?”

“Now don’t be a romantic fool Ann.” Polly briskly set about cleaning up her tiny makeshift kitchen. “Does anyone get married for happiness’ sake?”

“Then why get married?”

“Women get married to have children and stability. Men get married to get an unpaid servant and nurse for life.” Polly attacked the dishes with vigor.

“Polly!”

“Tell me Ann, were you happy in your marriage?”

“It was alright.” Ann crossed herself. “May his soul rest in peace.”

“Do you miss him?”

Ann was silent. “Not really.” She said at last. “But I do wish we had a house of our own. That I was independent…”

“Well with your inheritance you could easily set up house by yourself.”

“But that would be so lonely. What would I do alone?”

“I…I could join you.”

“That would be lovely Polly! Will Tidger agree?”

“He doesn’t need to.”

“Meaning?”

“I am baking his favorite cake today.” Polly held up a bottle. “With a special flavor.”

“Polly!”

Polly shrugged. “He’s outlived his usefulness. He’s more of a bother and a pain to be with. I thought I would send him to a happier place.”

“What on earth is the matter with you Polly?”

“You are a fine one to talk Ann,” Polly rounded on her, “Making sheep eyes at my husband.”

“How dare you Polly!”

“Oh I dare alright. Do you think I am blind? You always had a soft spot my Tidger didn’t you? And now the money is making him lean towards you.”

“You are crazy Polly.”

“No I am not. He’s always been a sleep talker. And these days all he says are Ann and mutter about ways to bump me off.” She held up the bottle. “I had bought this poison for you. But since the money I thought it better to get rid of him. After all you are my sister.”

“Polly please…”

“Don’t worry Ann, you and I will get along well together. Won’t we?”

Ann paled. She wrung her hands but wilted under Polly’s unblinking glare. She nodded.

“Good.” Polly sounded strange and her eyes glittered dangerously.

“You are looking funny Polly. Your blood pressure seems to have shot up. You need to rest. Let me make dinner…”

“No! I am baking the cake.”

“Okay after you bake the cake,” Ann said soothingly, “you go and rest. Let me take care of the dinner, while I think how best to handle this. And you know I love cooking.”

Polly expertly sifted the floor, broke the eggs, crushed the sugar, emptied the bottle and slid the cake batter into the oven.

“Done!” Polly dusted her hands and slipped off her apron. “I am going. You think all you like, but remember that cake is for my Tidger.” She sniffled. “He was a good man. Until you and your money came along.” With a sob she left the kitchen.

Ann heaved a heavy sigh. But there was dinner to be made. She worked swiftly around the kitchen and didn’t pause until she had set the table to her satisfaction.

“Polly,” she walked up to her room, “It’s all set Polly. And I have decided to accept Miller’s invitation for dinner. That way I will be out of the way and you can claim that Tidger had a heart attack.”

“Good thinking.” Polly approved of the plan. Besides, she couldn’t wait to see Tidger’s face as Ann left for a date right under his nose. Oh how she would rub it in.

He would die of a heart attack, she chortled to herself.

Bump her off would he? She would show him – who would bump off whom.

Ann and Miller were enjoying a quiet dinner when the concierge came and interrupted them. He spoke in a low whisper to Miller.

“Ann, my dear,” Miller laid his hand on hers, “We have to go.”

Ann stared at him and paled. “What’s the matter?”

“Come let’s go.” He was gentle with her as he led her out of the restaurant.

The scene at home was one of utter chaos. The dinner Ann had labored over, lay spattered all over the floor. Alongside it, Polly lay senseless while Tidger was weeping softly in one corner.

“What happened?” It was the doctor.

Tidger wiped his face and attempted to gather himself. “I…I don’t know doctor. We were having dinner. She had finished eating and I was almost done. She got up to get the cake and appeared to get dizzy. She gave a gasp and grabbed the tablecloth before keeling over. She…” he choked, “she hasn’t moved since then.”

“ You ate the same thing?” The Inspector peered at the dishes. “What was in this empty bowl?” He sniffed suspiciously at it.

“Soup. I finished it.”

“What soup?

Tidger shrugged. “Don’t know but it was real tasty.”

“The bowl looks clean, as if it has been been washed.” He pinned Tidger with his eyes, who flushed and blustered, “Look here Inspector…”

“It was clear soup Inspector,” Ann controlled her sobs, “I…I helped her make it.”

“She was fine before that?” The doctor interrupted.

“Yes. She was perfectly fine. She cooked dinner. She even made my favorite cake.” Tidger paused. “She did complain of uneasiness once or twice.”

“Hmm, looks like she had a heart attack.” The doctor stood up. “She did have high blood pressure and diabetes.”

“My poor Polly. What will happen to me now?”

Ann was too busy crying in Miller’s arms to console Tidger.

She didn’t even speak to him at Polly’s funeral. She moved out of his house the same day.

It was only months later, after the doctor had declared Polly’s death to be due to natural causes and police had given Tidger a clean chit that Ann met Tidger at a common friend’s house.

“How are you?” She looked at him critically. “You’ve lost weight.”

He gave a tired smile. “I am not much of a cook. And,” he coughed, “I haven’t been sleeping too well either.”

“Come over for dinner tomorrow. Miller, you come too. Around 7.30 pm?”

They nodded.

Tidger was early.

“How’s the paperwork for the inheritance progressing?” Ann asked as she cut him a piece of his favorite cake.

He bit into it and closed his eyes in bliss. “Almost done.” He mumbled indistinctly through a full mouth. “Shouldn’t take more than a month now.”

“Good. Poor Polly must be turning in her grave to know that she was the one who got the inheritance not me.”

Tidger grinned. “Aren’t I smart?”

“Only in showing me the letter first. You shouldn’t have washed the soup bowl.”

“I thought there could be traces of the poison.”

“They wouldn’t have been able to detect it.” Ann was confident.

“I am sorry.” He deferred to her greater wisdom. “What next?”

The doorbell rang.

Ann rewarded him with a kiss. “Now it’s time for you to woo me. Make it nice and slow.”

She went to let Miller in.

Just enough delay to raise suspicion but not confirm it.

As always, patience was the key to success.

***

A/N This story is inspired by WW Jacobs short story A Golden Venture and linked to Story Club # 10

So what do you think? Plausible? Any loopholes? Doubts? Loose ends? Go on say it, I am sure you found something!

CFFC: Eye on the Sky

A selection of sky views just for you – in response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge Sky

Ready to take off?

From airAt the Delhi airport – I think!

AirskyA view of the sky from the sky 🙂

Mum sky1The Mumbai sky at Worli sea face as the Sun bids adieu for the night.

Mum sky2Same place, same day, just a little later. The colors are magical, don’t you think?

Mumbai skyA dull and completely overcast monsoon laden Mumbai sky. The crow seems to be think he is master of all he surveys – or is she the Queen?

PragueLet’s zip across the globe to Prague for a more cheery sky view.

Slazburg2This is at Salzburg where the hills are alive with the sound of music….

PalaceAt the Vienna Schonbrunn palace gardens.

ParadiseAnd back again to Paradise beach near Puducherry, India – thatched huts, the hot Sun and sand, but the same blue sky.

GolcondaThe blue cloudless skies at Golconda Fort, near Hyderabad, India

Gopuram palmI loved the cloud swirls over the sky at Chidambaram. If this is your first visit and would like to know a bit more about this magnificent structure click here

Nandi skyI have to confess this is my favorite sky picture. Which one is yours?

Thanks for dropping by 🙂

Just 4 Fun # 37

Hello peepools here I am again with some more fun with English

Places I have and have not been to:

I have been to many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots.
Apparently, you can’t go alone.  You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I’ve also never been in Cognito.  I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane.  They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt.  That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older.

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense!
It really gets the adrenaline flowing and pumps up the old heart!
At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!

And, sometimes I think I am in Vincible, but life shows me I am not!

IMG-20170507-WA0020

And English continues to provide us with food for thought 😀

 

App

What do you think? Will they won’t they?

IMG-20170427-WA0001

Have a wonderful week and drop in on Rekha’s blog for some more fun stuff.

Hope you found something that you enjoyed – none of which are mine by the way. I received all of them as forwards/shares and am just keeping the fun going.

Have a super week and don’t forget to have some fun as well 🙂

And do let me know your favorite – or better still post your own and leave me a link I will be along in just a bit.

Haiga # 3

Cuckoo

summer morning

driving us cuckoo

the cuckoo

In case you would like to read a couple of more Haiga, click here and here

Thanks for visiting – have a great day 🙂

Aiming for the Sky

Sky“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable” – Christopher Reeve

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees – 286

The Test

The air was thick with excitement and stifled giggles. The prospective groom, Ranjit had arrived with his family to see Juhi, the eldest daughter of the house.

“He’s so handsome!” gushed her friends as they peered from the doorway and ran back to report to Juhi who sat demurely inside, waiting to be summoned.

Juhi adjusted her flowing dupatta and flicked back her long plait. “And he is a doctor,” she couldn’t help boasting.

“Doctor, my foot,” sneered Reeta, “he’s just a compounder. All he does is dispense medicines.”

“Rubbish!” Juhi’s sister was up in arms, “He is a doctor. We went to his clinic. There was a huge queue of patients.”

“He may call himself a doctor but I know the truth.” Reeta shot back.

“What truth?”

“That he is only a registered medical practitioner – an RMP, not a doctor.”

“It’s the same thing.”

“That’s what you think.”

“You are just jealous.”

“Why would I be jealous?” Reeta retorted. “I am going to marry a ‘real’ doctor in the city, not some remote village which doesn’t even have electricity.”

“It does have…”

“Juhi!” Her mother came bustling in trembling with excitement and nervousness, “come along. They want to see you. Now behave yourself. Keep your head down. Don’t forget to touch their feet. Speak but only when spoken to and speak softly….”

She led Juhi out, muttering instructions.

“What is your name?” The elderly man with the big mustache asked.

“Juhi.” Her voice was barely audible.

“Can you cook? And sew?”

Juhi inclined her head.

“Have you been to school?”

“Yes, I studied till Class 5.”

“Did you just go to school or can you also read and write?”

Juhi’s eyes flew up to meet Ranjit’s mocking eyes.

“I can.” She said.

“Which? Read or write?” He smirked. “Don’t mind but I am the only doctor in the entire village. I have a certain standard to live up to. My wife cannot be illiterate…”

“I can read and write.” She asserted.

He pushed forward a notepad. “How about a little test?”

She looked at her mother, who nodded encouragingly. “I know only Hindi.” She said.

“Don’t worry. I don’t have such high expectations!” They laughed.

Ranjit began the dictation.

Juhi bent her head and laboriously wrote them down with her tongue sticking out from one corner of her mouth.

After the dictation was over, everyone held their collective breaths as he scanned the notebook.

After an eon, he lifted his head and smiled. “She passed the test.” He looked at his father. “We may put her on the shortlist…”

“Wait a minute,” Juhi spoke up, ignoring the gasps, “I want you to also take the test.”

“Me?”

“Yes.” She looked at him in the eye. “Please take down my dictation.”

He went red. He looked at his father for guidance and support in dealing with the unheard of insult.

Her mother nudged her. “Juhi! Apologize this very instant.”

But the groom’s father laughed and slapped him on the back. “Go ahead son and show her who you are – a respected and highly educated doctor.

Ranjit gave in and accepted the challenge. But not before his eyes had burned into hers, promising retribution.

“Please check it, Madamji.” He said mockingly as he handed the diary back to her after the dictation was done. “Happy?” He turned to his father and declared, “I like her spirit. Can we finalize her?”

“You may.” Juhi spoke up. Her eyes were glittering. “But I refuse to marry you.”

There was pin drop silence.

She held up the diary. “He failed the test.”

***

Written for the Daily Post’s one word prompt – Better

A/N This story was inspired by a incident reported in the news last week. Hats off to her.

COB: An Odd Collection

It’s been awhile since I participated in Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge. Here’s the last of the photos leftover from my trip to Puducherry.

AirportThis one is at the Chennai airport. You can see the reflection of the parking lot from where we caught our cab to Puducherry

20170218_092649A bright pink building right next to the hotel where we stayed.

AutoA row of autorickshaws determined to outdo the Sun’s brightness

Truck roadThe bright truck caught my eye and it was only later that I notice the contrast provided by the ‘widowed’ tempo on the other side 😀

Lady cycleA lady riding a cycle wearing a sari – quite a rare sight

BenchA tiger striped bench for the tired

ChairsA row of neatly lined chairs outside the cafe

ShopAfter you are rested you may like to do a bit of memento shopping while you inhale Puducherry! Dont miss the massive tree in the backdrop.

FlowersA few moments to marvel at the wild flowers growing out of nowhere

LiftHmm…I found it odd that use lift should should be so inconspicuous…don’t you?

SignIf that doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what will!

That’s all from my collection – for now 😉

Do let me know your favorites and thank you for visiting 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 138

 

Save

The Vacation

“Soup!” She sang out as she arrived with two steaming bowls to where he sat hunched over his laptop.

“What soup?”

She almost laughed at his look of suspicion and mistrust as he looked from her to the tray in her hand.

“It’s my own recipe. Try it.”

“It must have a name?” He grumbled as he accepted his bowl.

“What’s in a name? Careful! It’s hot.”

“I like to know what I am eating.”

“First taste it. If you like it, you can name it.”

He took a cautious sip. “Hmm, not bad.”

“There you have it – The Not Bad Soup!”

He grunted and went back to his laptop.

“What are you doing?”

“Planning our next vacation.”

“I don’t want to go to any hill station. It’s too cold and everything is so uphill.”

“There’s downhill too.”

She rolled her eyes. “Let’s go to the sea side. Goa would be lovely this time of the year.”

“Goa’s all booked up and expensive.”

“Andamans?”

“Same problem.”

“Hill stations aren’t expensive?”

“Not in this season.”

“I don’t see the fun in spending money to freeze. We can do that at home.” She pulled her wrapper closer.

“Think of the view. The clear blue skies, the snow capped mountains.”

“Kerala is lovely.”

“Their cuisine is too spicy.”

“They have multi-cuisine restaurants.”

“They are all spicy.”

“Come on! Not everything is spicy.”

“Name one.” He challenged.

“Appam and stew? Avial…”

“You haven’t made avial in quite a while now.”

“That’s because it is too spicy for you!”

“Very funny.” He said sourly. “I can’t live on avial and appam for days on end.”

“As if at hill stations they will serve food to your exacting standards.”

“Some places do! Remember Kasauli…”

“That was Kasauni and it was a guest house…”

“It was Kasauli…”

“I remember very clearly it was Kasauni.”

“Who made the arrangements? You or me?”

“Who forgot the key in the door? You or me?”

“That’s different…”

“How’s that different? We could have been robbed. The key was hanging on the door the entire night.”

“But we weren’t were we?”

“We could still be! Who knows if somebody made a copy of it?”

“You and your overactive imagination.”

“Yeah right! What if I had left the key hanging on the door?” She glared at him.

“Let’s go to Munnar. That’s in Kerala.”

“What’s the catch?”

“No catch. We’ll visit Thekkady too, see the elephants…”

“Wow! That sounds lovely.” She smiled.

“And finish off in style with a stay in a houseboat, take leisurely trip down the picturesque backwaters of God’s own country.”

“Let’s not make it a rushed tour. Let’s take our own time at each place. I don’t want to run from one place to another like we usually do. That’s very exhausting.”

“There you go complaining again. We aren’t traveling thousands of kilometers and spending lakhs of rupees just to stay in a hotel room are we?”

“Lakhs of rupees?”

“But of course. Especially if you want to take your own time at each place.”

“It’s too expensive.”

“And wasted on you. You don’t have any stamina and to be able to truly get your money’s worth, you need to walk a lot. But you…”

“As if you can walk for miles…” She jeered.

“Of course I can! I slow down for your sake…”

“That’s right, put the blame on me. Lucky for you that I tire out just before you do.”

“Nonsense!”

“Why don’t we plan a trip and gift it to Raja for his wedding anniversary? They both work so hard, I am sure they will enjoy the trip. And ever since he was a baby he has been crazy about wildlife.”

“Sometimes…just sometimes,” he scratched his beard as he reluctantly admitted, “you manage to give a sensible suggestion.”

“I always make brilliant suggestions but it is you who refuses to accept them.”

“Hmphh. One word of praise and there you go flying high. Come down to earth and find out from your son when he is free.”

“I am not asking him! That would spoil the fun. Besides he would then insist we go along.”

“So what’s wrong with that?”

“No! Who wants their in-laws along for their wedding anniversary?”

“I wouldn’t mind!”

“You mean you wouldn’t mind my in-laws going along. But if it were your in-laws…”

“What are you going on about? My in-laws, your in-laws, why do you always complicate matters?”

“I don’t complicate matters – it’s you who is unable to deal with home truths.”

“What home truths?”

“That you would be okay with your parents going along with us for our wedding anniversary but if it were my parents…”

“Don’t assume things…”

“I am not assuming things. Remember when…”

“Oh there you go again, digging up buried incidents and airing your imagined grievances…”

“Imagined? Excuse me, they are all real…”

“That’s what all crazy psychos say.”

“What did you call me? A crazy psycho?”

“I know. It was wrong of me. I apologize.”

“What?! I don’t believe this!”

“What?” He looked at her.

“You apologizing…”

“I have no issues apologizing when I am in the wrong.” He wore a self-righteous expression. “And I admit I was wrong to insult the ‘crazy psychos’ by lumping you with them…” he shot her a sly look.

“What! I swear I will murder you one of these days.” She fumed but her lips twitched.

“What’s for dinner?”

“Your heart – served raw dripping with blood.”

“Hmm interesting. Do you think I will be able to eat it…?”

“Oh forget it! You are impossible.” She stood up.

“Hey hang on! Where are you going? We haven’t decided where to go for our vacation.”

“To the kitchen – to make dinner.”

“How about avial? May as well enjoy Kerala right at home.”

“You should have said so right in the beginning that you wanted avial, rather than make a song and dance about a vacation to…”

“Just to refresh your memory, I suggested hill station…”

“That was just a red herring. You knew I would object and then you would lead…”

“You have such a suspicious mind…”

“You are such a conniver and manipulator…”

“You are getting smart in your old age.”

“So you admit…

“I don’t admit to anything.”

“But you just…”

“I was just trying to give you a compliment but you…”

“That’s because you…

“Because I what….

***

A/N This was meant to be a flash fiction submission but it just went out of control and as you can see they are still at it 😉

I thought this could fit the daily post prompt – None

Do let me know if this worked or not – thanks for reading, hope you have a good 

 

WPC: Come Let’s Wander

What do you feel about armchair travel? Better or worse than the real thing? Both have their own charms and advantages, don’t you think? Anyway, in this post I bring to you selected views of Puducherry, India, which we visited recently in an unsuccessful attempt to slake our wanderlust.

SunriseGet up at the crack of dawn – actually even before that to catch the Sun rise.

Sun2Then be too captivated to leave the mesmerising pull of the ocean, the rising sun, the spraying surf, the salty tangy wind messing up your hair (and heart), the shrieks of carefree laughter fun and frolic.

GopuramWe managed to drag ourselves away only to gape in awe and wonder at the intricate designs and workmanship.

 

And almost yielded to the intense urge and try out the dance poses and steps.

PondyExplore the quaint sleepy town in search of a highly recommended rooftop cafe which was closed for repairs

Table for 2And land up for dinner at the very same place we had first thought of staying at while shortlisting hotels.

Boat rideAnd off again for a picturesque boat ride to Paradise beach.

BeachBut Paradise beach was anything but. The hot sun and sand deterred us from venturing out into the tempting waters. But, I have to confess that we were the only ones to beat a hasty retreat. The others had come armed with food, beachwear and hats. But the sand was really hot….

TrudgeIn our defence, there were other greener pastures and bigger goals to be achieved – after a long trudge in the blistering heat.

MatrimandirMatrimandir, at the Auroville is a modern structure built for the practice of Yoga. Matrimandir has a lotus-shaped dome almost 30 meters high and is covered by golden discs that reflect sunlight.

Shade aurovilleAuroville is an experimental township or a universal town, designed by famous architect Roger Anger. Auroville is a popular tourist attraction of Puducherry. Another view of the Matrimandir framed through the trees – which view do you prefer?

Sticks and stonesOn the way despite the heat I marvel at the sticks and stones

WalkBe grateful for any shaded paths

BusIt was an exhilarating trip no doubt but by the end of it I was guilty of sidelining the massive banyan tree and making a beeline for the bus.

Can you see it?

That’s all from me folks but if you like to see more of Puducherry you could click here for gopurams, for Kolam and for local women.

And don’t miss this one here 😀

Do let me know if have any favorites and thanks for your company 🙂

The Guilty Conscience

frost-on-the-tombstone-liz
Photo (c) Liz Young

The Guilty Conscience

Words 93

 “I miss you Ray.”

“I thought you would be thrilled.”

“You know I don’t like paper work. There’s insurance, bank…you didn’t fix the kitchen tap properly, and…”

“And what?”

“The…the car won’t start.”

“You still haven’t got it serviced?”

“I meant to…”

“Liar!”

“I…I hate being alone.”

“Too little, too late…”

“Help me Ray.”

“How can I? I am dead, remember?”

“Ray…!”

“Find someone else. You are young beautiful and rich.”

“That’s the problem.”

“What?”

“What if he bumps me off to get his hands on my money?”

“Not everyone is like you.”

***

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and Liz for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here but unfortunately I missed the link up.

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 137

Just 4 Fun # 36

Hello there! How was your week? Looking forward to a new one after that long weekend? Well I had a long one and now I am feeling like an overfed bloated balloon

Rat

But why moan over what can’t be changed? May as well have some fun 😉

Wt

We girls deserve to have some fun dont we?

Work

Or does this one sound familiar?

Kids

😀 😀

Pill

Oh well I am off to work off my exhaustion – have a wonderful week and drop in on Rekha’s blog for some more fun stuff.

Hope you found something that you enjoyed – none of which are mine by the way. I received all of them as forwards/shares and am just keeping the fun going.

Have a super week and don’t forget to have some fun as well 🙂

And do let me know your favorite – or better still post your own and leave me a link I will be along in just a bit.

Spring or Fall?

Spring in Delhi

Spring is Delhi is strange – on one side flowers bloom and on the other trees begin to shed leaves in apparent anticipation of the imminent heat. And yet when it is hot, really hot amaltas bloom a fiercer yellow, challenging daring. Or perhaps it is just inspired by the blazing Sun. Watch out for a glimpse of the amaltas, they have already begun to flower 🙂

For Becca’s Sunday Trees 285

 

A Sparkling Gem from the Interiors

220px-haldhar_nag

Image from here

When he was 10 years old, Haldhar Nag lost his father and was forced to drop out of school to sustain his family. He worked as a dishwasher at a local eatery. Later he became a cook at a high school, where he worked for 16 years. As schools mushroomed, he took a loan of Rs 1000 (about 16 $ today) and opened a stationery shop for school children. He used to fill ink pens for 10paisa (I can’t even do the Math – neither can Google!).

Why am I telling you all this?

Today his humble shop has been renovated and is frequented by his admirers and researchers. What’s more, in 2016, the President of India awarded him the Padma Shri. There are 5 PhD theses on the writings of this barely ‘literate’ man from Odisha.

A Kosli (or Sambalpuri) language poet, Nag wrote his first poem Dhodo Bargachh (The Old Banyan Tree) when he was 40. It was published in a local magazine. Subsequently he sent four poems to the magazine and all of which were published.

There was no looking back. A prolific writer, Nag has a series of works to his credit including poetry collection Bhaab, Surut and more than 20 epics like Achhia, Bachhar, Mahasati Urmilla, Siri Samalai, Santha kabi Bhimabhoi, Rushi kabi Gangadhar to name a few.

Sambalpur University in Odisha, is now coming up with a compilation of his writings – Haldhar Granthabali-2 – which will be a part of the university’s syllabus.

In addition, Nag has a phenomenal memory. He remembers each of his works and can reel them off on demand. The quintessential Indian, he always dons a white dhoti and a vest. He has never worn any footwear. Popularly known as Lok Kabi Ratna in Odisha, he writes mostly on nature, society, mythology and religion. Social oppression and exploitation, protection of human dignity and women’s issues are some of the topics that are close to his heart.

Haldhar Nag has a huge following in Odisha and Chatishgarh where they flock to listen to his readings. His technique and way to writing serve as inspiration to poets and has triggered a HaldharDhara in Odisha. I hope that soon someone takes up the task of translating Nag’s work so that it is available to a larger audience.

Haldher Nag’s journey from a class 3 dropout dishwasher to an acclaimed author is the stuff of fairy tales and awe inspiring. And I thought quite the perfect submission for the monthly We Are the World Blogfest which seeks to promote positive news.

Do share your views, opinions, suggestions and positive news.

Thank you for reading 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 136

Haiga #2

Haiga2

sunshine –

that’s all she needs

to cook

 

A/N Just in case you were confused or worried, the gas stove is the only place which gets sunshine 🙂

WPC: Earthy Matters

This earth is a wonderful thing.

EtreeIt can be plain old mud, fine as dust, scattered by a gust of wind or washed away in a summer shower.

EwareYet, add a measure of water, light a fire and it can become almost anything you would like it to be – earthenware

Terracottaor terracotta buildings that can last centuries.

Sunrise

Wake up to the beauty that envelops us, learn to read between the lines

Indus
Photo shared by my brother A. Ghosal of the Indus river at Ladakh

Heaven or hell depends on what you make of the ingredients.

In response to Weekly Photo Challenge – Earth

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 135

CFFC: Monstrous Beauties

For this week’s Fun Foto Challenge, Cee wants to see something that is related to Autumn or Metal. For metal, it should combine strength and beauty.

warship copenhagenA warship – isn’t she impressive?

from the ship to swedenFrom the ferry taking us to Sweden from Denmark

ShipThis one is honking and snorting steam, ready to take us to Havelock Islands, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Anda3Cutting across the ocean, striding ahead without a care in the world

AutumnCouldn’t resist a final photo – Autumn or is it spring?

Have a wonderful day and thanks for joining me, hope you had a fun ride 🙂

The Addict

shoes-and-books-by-magaly-guerrero

The Addict

Words 100

 “How was your day out with Piya?”

“She dragged me through the shops for hours.”

“Couldn’t she find what she was looking for?”

“Oh, she wasn’t looking for anything in particular.”

“Ah. Window shopping.”

“Not exactly.”

“Then?”

“She must have tried on at least a 100 pair of shoes…”

“What!”

“In 10 different shops.”

“Did she buy any?”

“She settled for 3 pairs…”

“Settled?”

“She was on a shoestring budget.”

“Yet she could afford 3 pairs?”

“She simply had to complete her century.”

“You mean she already had 97 pairs?”

“99 pairs. Two pairs to get the next century going.”

***

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and Magaly Guerroro for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here

This post is inspired by my baby sistah 😀 And going by the number of shoe addict quotes, she is clearly not alone 😉

“You know you are a shoe addict if you think there is always room for one more pair”

“What do women want? Shoes.” ― Mimi Pond

“I would hate for someone to look at my shoes and say Oh my God! they looks so comfortable!” Christian Louboutin

“The look he shot her was incredulous in the extreme. “You have a filing system for your shoes?” ― Norah Wilson,

“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy shoes and that’s kind of the same thing”

😀 Hope you liked!

Just 4 Fun # 35

Hola everyone! Howz life? Cool or rather hot and bothered?

Prescription

Hmm I wonder if it is the heat or can we blame it on English? 😉

English isn’t the easiest language to figure out – need proof?

Here goes – just don’t hold your breath!

 

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
Neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren’t invented in England.

We take English  for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
We find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write, but fingers don’t fing,
Grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?

Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them,
What do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speakingEnglish
Should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?

We ship by truck but send cargo by ship…
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
While a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
In which your house can burn up as it burns down,
In which you fill in a form by filling it out,
And in which an alarm goes off by going on.

*And in closing……….*

If Father is Pop, how come Mother’s not Mop????

😀 😀

Dont ask me! I am stressed out as it is.

Stress

And to top it

Barbie

If Barbie is aging I probably shouldn’t be around…

Ah well que sera sera 😀

For some more fun (and puns) hop over to Rekha’s blog 😀

Hope you found something that you enjoyed – none of which are mine by the way. I received all of them as forwards/shares and am just keeping the fun going.

Have a super week and don’t forget to have some fun as well 🙂

And do let me know your favorite – or better still post your own and leave me a link I will be along in just a bit.

 

 

 

Harmony

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit the Chidambaram temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple complex is spread over 40 acres (160,000 m2) in the heart of the city. There are four entries to temple complex – via 4 massive and intricately decorated gates known as gopurams. I had posted about it here.

Like all Hindu temples, footwear is not allowed inside the temple complex; we left our footwear in the car. As we strolled through the temple premises we noticed many of the locals using the temple premises as a short cut.

Harmony2They carried their footwear in their hands while they cut across from one gate to another. Notice anything out of the ordinary? Burqa clad women, in deference to Hindu sentiment, also walk across the temple complex, barefoot.

What better sight than this to exemplify harmony?

Bushy Greens

Suntree“I don’t see myself as extremely handsome. I just figure I can charm you into liking me.” Wesley Snipes

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 284

 

Haiga #1

20170420_072358

empty nest

fussing over

the new baby

 

A/N Haiga is a Japanese concept for simple pictures combined with poetry, usually haiku. Thanks to Suraja for the inspiration and help with the haiku 🙂

 

 

SPF: Of Time and Monsters

06-jade-m-wong-16-april-2017
Photo (c) Jade M Wong

 Of Time and Monsters

Words 200

“I am not having that dog in the house…”

“I got it for Rajkumari.”

“What next? A car?” His wife, Rukmini was put out.

“If she wants one she’ll get one.”

“What about the expense?

“I got it all sorted. Now don’t sulk and put a spoke in her happiness.”

The only daughter in the house and only sister to four brothers, Rajkumari was the darling of the family.

“You shouldn’t pamper her so much. Don’t forget, soon she will get married…”

“She’s going to stay right here.”

“Which self-respecting man will stay at his in-laws’ house?”

“My Prince is already here.” Rajkumari held up the squirming puppy.

Sohanlal laughed.

When Rajkumari joined college, Sohanlal threw a party for the entire village.

Rajkumari was the first in the family to go to college.

Sohanlal took a loan to buy her a car.

He didn’t want her traveling with the riff-raff.

At college, Rajkumari found love.

He was handsome, rich and educated.

Rajkumari took him home.

He was perfect.

But of a different caste.

Sohanlal tried to convince Rajkumari but she stuck to her guns.

Sohanlal had no choice but to make the ultimate and final sacrifice.

With a kitchen knife.

***

 Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting the challenge and Jade M Wong for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt, click here.

Thanks for visiting and leaving me a note 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 134

Bestsellers Galore

Sameer washed down on the last bit of the burger with a healthy swig of beer. He was sick of airport food, which was all that he got these days. On the flight from Chennai to Delhi, he had had a wonderful dream of dal and rice, just the way she used to make.

How can the cook mess up something as simple as rice and dal? I could do it better, if only I had the time.

Liar! You hate going into the kitchen because it reminds you of her.

Everything reminds me of her dammit.

Then why did you let her go?

She didn’t want to stay.

Did you ask her to stay?

Why would she listen to me?

When has she not?

She left didn’t she?

You left her no choice. You forced her to choose between self-respect and her love.

So fine! She chose herself.

What did you expect? That she would prefer to choose a moody obnoxious…

Whose side are you on?

Hers obviously. I am sick of you and your blasted ego. Just because you don’t like to say sorry, admit your mistakes, you let her go.

Oh stop whining. Move on. It’s been two years…

Oh so you’ve been keeping track?

What’s there to keep track?

You lie even to yourself. Hey isn’t that her?

Where? Shut the hell up and stop messing with my mind.

I am not messing with you! And even if I am, what can you do? Push me away like you did her? Just because she told you a few home truths?

What rot! I didn’t push her away.

That’s what you think. And deny as much as you like and the way I see it, she still has a firm clasp over your heart.

Nonsense.

And every now and then she gives it a squeeze.

His heart stopped. There she was – at the bookshop.

Go to her! Don’t let her go away again.

Stop being so Bollywood. What do I have to say to her?

Tons.

But I can’t say it. I wrote it all down. I even published it.

You should have sent her a copy.

What if she laughed at my face?

She has the right. Besides the book is funny.

Very funny.

If you hadn’t used a penname, she would have known by now. She couldn’t have missed it.

I couldn’t make fool of myself.

So you used a female penname?

Oh shut up.

For once be honest with yourself. Do you or do you not believe what you wrote? If you do, do not let her go. Fate has handed this chance do not let it slip.

I couldn’t.

Why can’t you? Just say hello?

What if she refuses to talk to me?

Just the kind of tonic your oversized ego needs.

What?

I told you I am on her side.

Help me dammit.

Go to her and apologize to her.

What if she insults me?

What if she doesn’t?

What if she does?

That’s the risk you have to take. That’s what you have to decide. Whether you love her or yourself.

She had finished purchasing her book and was moving away towards the boarding gates.

 He couldn’t let her go. Not again.

“He…hello?”

“How are you?” No surprise. No flicker of recognition or emotion.

“Fine.” Limbs and heart leaden, he turned away.

“Do you mind autographing this book?”

 She held out his book.

“Y…You know?” He held his breath.

“Yes. I read the book.”

“How did you like it?” He couldn’t quite hide his smug expression. His book was good. The reviews and sales proved it.

She looked at the book in her hand. “The book is good. I especially liked the twist in the end.” She met his eyes.

His heart thudded. “When he walked away?”

She nodded.

He shrugged. “It is what the protagonist deserved. To be punished. To be alone, forever.” He cleared his throat. “If you have already read it why did you buy it?”

“I wondered if it was all mere talk. I wanted to find out for myself.”

“And?” His breath eased and his heart steadied. He felt on top of the world. He could picture her in his their home. Nothing would have changed. It would be as if these two years had never happened. He at his table tapping away, a delicious fragrance wafting around him while she pottered about…

“I better go that’s my flight.”

“But…”

“I’ll mail you my thoughts.” She paused. “Or maybe I won’t. You can buy the book and read it. Stay well.” She walked away.

***

Depending on whom you’ve been rooting for I hope I managed to jolt you or extract a chuckle or two 😉

Thanks for reading! I would appreciate if you let me know your thoughts 😉 Or would you prefer me to wait for the bestseller? 😀

CFFC: Earthy Images

Dry“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” ― Rachel Carson

Roadside“How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”–Trina Paulus

Earth“All through my life, I have been tested. My will has been tested, my courage has been tested, my strength has been tested. Now my patience and endurance are being tested.”Muhammad Ali

Green field
‘Ticklers’ hunched over the field in their daily struggle to get Mother Earth to laugh…

“Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.”— Douglas William Jerrold

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Harvest: Earth

Sorry about the blurred images. Pics were taken from inside a moving car.

For readers of Moonshine here's Chapter 133

Die Another Day

On account of bad weather, the seat belt sign has been switched on. Please return to your seats and fasten your seat belts.”

Sia looked up from her Ipad as the air hostess aboard the Mumbai-Delhi flight made the announcement.

Deeply entrenched in the twists and turns of Chake De! India, she hadn’t quite noticed the turbulence.

Sia’s co-passenger on the window seat shifted uncomfortably “Just look at that!”

Accepting the invitation, Sia leaned forward.

She gasped – a thick swirl of grey-brown lay directly below them and seemed to be growing bigger.

“There is a dust storm over Delhi and we are diverting to Jaipur. Sit back and relax.” The Captain’s reassuring boom echoed from the cockpit.

Oh good! She would be able to finish her movie. Sia smiled to herself as she turned her attention back to her downloaded movie.

“How can you watch a movie at this time?” The guy next to Sia glared accusingly at her. “We are all going to die and you are sitting here watching a movie?”

Sia sighed and took off her earphones. “We aren’t going to die. We are…”

“Yes we are! Can’t you see the thick billowing clouds? Can you not smell the dust?”

“Relax! Didn’t you hear the Captain? We are diverting to Jaipur. It’s all clear there.”

“But what if we die en route? What if…?”

“Yikes!” Sia jerked up straight in her seat. “I never thought of that! I better get back to my movie, it has been on my bucket list for ages…”

“It’s not funny!”

“No it isn’t.” Sia straightened her expression as it slipped. Her eyes strayed to her Ipad.

She sighed and held out her hand. “Hello I am Sia.”

“Whatever.”

“What’s your problem?” Sia asked.

“My problem is that you don’t have any problem!” His voice rose in affronted indignation. “We are going to die and all you are concerned about is your stupid movie.”

“So what would you have me do? Die before it is time to die?”

Frustrated, he glared at her. “At least…”

“I could panic a bit?” Sia twinkled at him. “Have a fit or two?” She twitched and rolled about her seat.

He rolled his eyes.

The aircraft dived and steadied. His knuckles turned white.

“Is this your first trip to India?”

“Last trip.” He mumbled, his eyes determined closed.

Sia laughed.

He opened his eyes. “How can you laugh?”

“How can you begrudge me my last laugh before I die?” Sia shot back.

He rolled his head as they hit another bad patch.

“At least tell me your name.” Sia coaxed.

“What good would that do? We are all going to die…”

“Talk about yourself.” Sia settled herself comfortably. “I am not going to die.”

“How do you know?”

“I just know.”

“Yeah right! So Ms Know-it-all, do tell me, am I going to die?”

Sia looked at him over.

She pursed her lips and tapped her head with a contemplative finger.

He rolled his eyes. “Hey come on! Cut the dramatics would ya?”

Smothering a laugh, Sia finally shook her head. “Nope.”

His lips twitched.

“So when am I going to die Ms Sia?” He folded his hands and bowed.

Sia raised her hand in blessing. “I say never.”

She was rewarded with a laugh.

“The dust storm has passed and we are heading back to Delhi. The seat belt sign has been switched off but for…”

As the announcement droned on, Sia pinned him down with a smug expression.

He returned her look expressionlessly but gave up. He threw up his hands in defeat. “Sia maiyya ki jai!”

Sia clapped her hands. “Very good! I am impressed.”

“I thought you would be depressed.” He looked out of the window trying to hide his embarrassment.

“Never mind,” Sia consoled, “it happens to the best of us.”

“But I am better than the best!” He turned to her. “Tell me weren’t you scared? Not even a bit?”

“Of course I was.”Sia confirmed. “But not of dying. Of crashing down, breaking bones, hospitalization…”

“Oh those! That’s all reversible. I am talking about dying.”

“I knew I wasn’t going to die.” Sia said.

“But how?” He was all at sea.

“It’s all thanks to you.”

“Excuse me?”

Sia burst out laughing at his confused expression. I knew I wasn’t going to die because you didn’t let me watch the movie. And I wasn’t going to die without seeing the whole movie.”

“Whaaa!” He stared at her open- mouthed. “Crazy.”

“Yep! We Indians are like that. Crazy.”

He shook his head. “How do you do it?”

“Complete and unquestioning faith in destiny. “ Sia was serious. “If it is meant to be, it will be, if it is not,” Sia shrugged.

“Well your way of thinking beats me.” He scratched his head. “But thank you for not letting me make a fool of myself.”

“My pleasure, and more than happy make the Lufthansa TVC a reality.” Sia grinned mischievously at him.

He frowned.

“When you have time, check out the advertisement, but for now, after that near-death experience,” she twinkled, “do you think you could tell me your name?”

He held out his hand.

“Bond, my name is James Bond.”

***

A/N This is my first time participating in an indiblogger contest. I found the details in the mailbox this morning and voila! this happened. 😀 😀

Thank you for reading and do let me a note. Have a super day.

#MoreIndianThanYouThink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just 4 Fun # 34

A long weekend which didn’t feel like one since mail alerts from the office nagged me no end 😦

Height of work pressure:

I was flashing my ID card instead of  unlocking the house door with the keys.

I don’t login to youtube thinking it will be blocked. Until I realize that I am at home.

I end conversations with friends saying, “Ok bye… in case of any issues will call you back”

After a hectic week, went to a movie. In the middle of the movie, when I wanted to check the time, I kept repeatedly glancing at the bottom right corner of the Theatre Screen.

I open my lunch box in the roadside to see, whether I am going to office, or coming back from office 😀

If you do any of these, it’s time for a break!

Okay? Now how about

na

K! Gotcha 😀

Just relax your mind

Relax

Treat yourself to a chocolate milkshake 🙂

Shake

A shower perhaps

Water

Make sure to utilize every drop!

Cycle

Be careful! The trees are on a rampage – first they eat up houses, then cycles what next?

IMG-20170414-WA0019

For some more fun and cool Minions, hop over to Rekha’s blog  😀

Hope you found something that you enjoyed – none of which are mine by the way. I received all of them as forwards/shares and am just keeping the fun going.

Have a super week and don’t forget to have some fun as well 🙂

And do let me know your favorite – or better still post your own and leave me a link I will be along in just a bit.

Double Standards

dale-rogerson-pizza

Double Standards

Words 100

“Did your parents agree to our wedding?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“They were skeptical about the morals of a girl who was living in.”

“Didn’t you tell them you insisted?”

“Even if I did, it wouldn’t make any difference.”

“Why not?”

“How could you give in to my demands?”

“I love you. I cannot refuse you anything.”

“If you can’t stand up to me, how will you stand up to the world?”

“Don’t you love me?”

“I do.”

“Then?”

“I cannot go against my parents’ wishes.”

“If you cannot stand up to them, you don’t deserve to stand by my side.”

***

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting and Dale Rogerson for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt, click here.

Thank you for reading.

Mango Trees

There are three mango trees right outside my window.

CornerThis one is at the left corner and its branches intermingle with the middle one – almost as if they were one. If you visited my earlier post here you would remember that I commented on their apparent overnight transformation. One fine day I noticed that the leaves were no longer dark or stiff and dusty. They were lush, tender green, brown and yellow shiny leaves! No striptease, shedding old leaves, baring arms and all that – just a magical instant make over. I promised to catch them in the act the next time. But that was a whole year away. That’s when it struck me – there was no need to wait for so long.

MtreesThey were both here, right under my nose. That’s the middle mango tree on the left and the third one on the right. I don’t need to ask you if you can see the difference between the two mango trees.

Mango treeOne is lush green and yellow, overloaded with fresh luscious leaves, heavily pregnant so to speak, just waiting to pop out mangoes. And the other, stuck in a time warp with its dark sparse leaves, stagnant and unchanging through the seasons. As if it had given up on life, barely hanging on – a gust of wind would be enough to snap it, end it all.

I looked once more at the dying tree and blinked.

What was that?

MangoWithin the dry hard winter leaves nestled tender, fresh shiny leaves, lime and brown. Can you see?

By the way, how many mangoes did you count?

It’s never over until you say it is over – and sometimes not even then.

For Becca’s Sunday Trees 283

WPC: Summer Surprises

The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge wants us to show a few surprises that we may have captured.

Ddn

Traveling through this picturesque stretch, I was surprised to see the images in the rear view mirror. And don’t miss the carpet of leaves 🙂 Apologies for the blurred image – the auto ride was terribly bumpy 😀

SunflowerDon’t they look like unruly children trying to escape? And do check out the tiny top hat on the middle rod – Warden in charge perhaps 😉

ButterflyLook what I found in my mum’s garden! Not at all camera shy 😀

Thanks for visiting  – do surprise me with a note.

Poetry for No Rhyme or Reason

Since as long as I can remember I have been at loggerheads with poetry. I admired the rhyme but could often find no reason. Prose was my cup of tea I decided. I tried writing poetry but always felt a sort of disconnect with it, as I struggled to understand them and worse never really enjoyed the ‘hassle’ of penning them. I struggle with prose too but it is never a chore, I can sit with it for hours – just like I have been at this post!

But then I came across a post by Theresa, which forced me to re-look into my antipathy towards poems. And understand that poetry is not about understanding but about feeling.

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. T.S. Eliot

I had the first inkling of this when I came across the Shiv Tandav Stotram by Ravana, which he composed to appease Lord Shiva. Ravana is a Hindu mythological figure and that he composed a song is in itself mind boggling – did he actually exist? And then comes the poem, in Sanskrit, a language that I don’t know. Yet the song, the poem with its onomatopoeias and alliterations resonates and never fails to pull me right into it, leaving me exhilarated, uncaring and unmindful of the world and its shenanigans. I finally understood why Lord Shiva forgave him. Anyone who can compose like this, deserves another chance, and another, and another….

But that didn’t stop me from dissecting poems, struggling, scoffing, scorning until Theresa introduced me to this poem:

Introduction to Poetry

by Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem

and hold it up to the light

like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem

and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room

and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski

across the surface of a poem

waving at the author’s name on the shore.

but all they want to do

is tie the poem to a chair with rope

and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose

to find out what it really means.

I was stunned – I was guilty of doing exactly the very same thing! I should technically be ashamed and embarrassed but I am too relieved and flying high to be any such thing 😀 Thank you Theresa! Do visit her blog for the complete post and more amazing poems.

I would also like to share with you with a poem written by the French poet, novelist, and dramatist Jean-Pierre Simeón. It has been translated into English by Claudia Zoe Bedrick, and illustrated by Ollivier Tallec.

The poem is about a little boy Arthur, whose fish Leon is dying from boredom. His mother advises him to give Leon a poem. And thus begins Arthur’s journey to find a poem. He meets and asks several people and finally returns with this to Leon:

A poem
is when you have the sky in your mouth.
It is hot like fresh bread,
when you eat it,
a little is always left over.

A poem
is when you hear
the heartbeat of a stone,
when words beat their wings.
It is a song sung in a cage.

A poem
is words turned upside down
and suddenly!
the world is new.

Click here for Leon’s reaction, the complete poem, illustrations and original links. And while you are there, you may consider subscribing to Brain Pickings, a goldmine and a must read for all 🙂

PS: I am very pleased to tell you that the Haiku queen penned another commended haiku for the IAFOR Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award 2017.

our baby
between us
a new distance
                                                                                                                                                              Suraja Roychowdhury, USA

Congratulations Suraja – look forward to many such pearls 🙂

The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. Dylan Thomas

Thank you for reading – wishing you all a wonderful weekend, Happy Easter, Happy  Baisakhi, Happy Vishu and Shubho Noboborsho and anything else I may have missed! 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 132

SPF: The Amusement Park

 197-04-april-9th-2017

The Amusement Park

Words 198

 

“Come along Granny! Let’s ride the Columbus.”

“No dear! I can’t handle so much excitement.”

“Then let’s go for a gentle train ride on Piggy.” Lilly offered.

“No darling. I’ll just sit here and watch the fun. Go on now.”

Great! Now even your granddaughter pities you.

Just because you lost your husband.

To another woman.

Your own sister.

And now Death had taken them both.

“Granny! You are missing all the fun!”

Snehlata waved to her granddaughter.

She knew how it worked.

A gentle swing at first, a slow build up and then an earthshaking stomach heaving nerve wracking swing from one end of the horizon to the other – relentlessly, over and over again.

Just like it had for the past three decades.

Pity that her best ride had been also been her last.

Switching her sister’s insulin injection and then parading as her ghost had been an exhilarating experience.

But those days were behind her.

It was time for a Piggy ride.

“Hello Ramesh. How’s your wife?”

“She’s bedridden, dependent and cranky as hell.”

“I am so sorry to hear that. Do you think she might like me to visit?”

Perhaps one last roller coaster ride…

***

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting the challenge and the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Thanks for reading and look forward to reading your comments 🙂

Undone

Unravel

Hunched over

A spread-eagled rat

I unraveled

Was it the chloroform,

Old Spice

Or you?

Clearly I am re-unraveling 😉 Go on say it, I am waiting for the axe to fall 😀 

Photo credit: Svkuki 

 

 

CFFC: Fiery

Summer is here and it is only right that the Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge should focus on Summer: Fire

So, without any further ado, hop on for a fiery ride 🙂

TrainWhere there’s smoke there’s bound to be fire right?

JhumkoSome fiery orange blossoms

FlowerBright yellow flowers hanging upside down – anyone know what they are called?

GardenNice summery feel to this garden isn’t there?

MatchedIf you are looking for something that is really combustible – here we are. Probably guilty (at least partly) of the global warming 😉

Thanks for visiting – do let me know your favourite pic 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's  Chapter 131

Living a Lie

Mt Pilatus

Through swirling mists

I followed you

on faith alone.

When the haze lifted

I reached out and

blindfolded myself

 

This is another unexplored genre for me. What do you think? Did it make sense? Is the format all wrong? 

In response to the Daily Post’s one-word prompt – Blindly