SPF: Taking the Highway

14-john-robinson-17-september-2017
Photo (c) John Robinson

Taking the Highway

Words 199

 Lata put away the dinner things and looked over to Tumul, her husband of three decades. As usual, he was blowing smoke rings.

“Why do you insist on smoking?” Lata burst out. “The doctor…”

“I’m not smoking dammit! Can’t you see I am practicing for the smoke rings competition?” He coughed. “This year I will beat that insufferable Ghosh…”

“But at what cost?”

“Death is inevitable.” He lit another cigarette. “May as well do something great before then.”

“Why choose something so destructive? Why not do some charity…?”

“Reserve the lecture for your students.” He snapped. “Go away and leave me alone!”

A smoky heart floated across to her.

“As you wish.” She dragged out a packed suitcase.

He blew another ring that slipped down over her head to encircle her throat.

“I’m sorry Tumul,” her voice cracked, “But I cannot sit and watch you kill yourself…”

“Don’t be a fool Lata.” He rasped. “I’ll stop once I win…”

“What if you don’t win? What if you fail?”

“Real failure is not in failing but in not trying.” He intoned.

“It is also failure not to know when to stop trying.” She swallowed. “I’m done being a failure.”

***

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

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Advertisements

Just 4 Fun # 55

Hello folks! It’s fun time again but first a bit of gyan 😉

 

IMG-20170828-WA0002

 

Now that we have that sorted, how about some pearls of wisdom from students 😉

Geography
Q: Name the four seasons.
A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.
Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.
Q: How is dew formed?
A: The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.
Q: What is a planet?
A: A body of earth surrounded by sky.
Q: What causes the tides in the oceans?
A: The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.

Clearly the student is itching for a fight 😀

Anyway, I heard docs are beginning to lay down conditions for patients?

Doc

Could very well be true, psst so many times I too didn’t go to the doctor because I know just as much as he/she does 😉

Einstein

Sometimes the best way to get everybody on the same page at home is to switch off the wifi 😀 Almost magically one by one the heads poke out of their cubbyholes…Ah well I am not complaining – I would probably be the first one out 😉

Anyway, care to go for a drive? In the original SUV?

SUV

Well, what do you think? Okay one more for the road – my personal favorite 🙂

tree girl

Amazing isn’t it?

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.

 

 

 

Her Story

Chandi

This isn’t about you

This isn’t even about me

This is about all those who

who gave of themselves

to make us

us.

 

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees – 305

 

CFFC: Diverse Directions

Cee’s fun foto challenge on D’s has taken me on a wild goose chase and even that didn’t fit the challenge! 😉 But nevertheless I insist on presenting photos hoping that as usual Cee will give me a long rope 😀

But first something that she can’t object to; besides this is her favorite, right Cee? 🙂

DahliaDahlias – need I say more 😀 Now for some fun stuff

Dancing treeA dancing tree on top of the other trees!

DeplionA depressed lion in Hyderabad outside the Salar Jung Museum

Deplion2Another depressed lion at Lucerne, Switzerland. Perhaps they are long lost brothers, separated by continents…

DuckA duck, just to prove I know what the challenge is all about 😀 Unless this is not a duck…

Deserted streetsThe deserted streets at dusk

DesignerHA designer house or is it a cafe restaurant? And don’t miss the redefined green wall-to-wall carpeting.

Building

Another designer building at Jaipur, the pink city

DanceDancer balancing on an earthen pot balanced on another earthen pot on the head of another dancer…whew

StiltsDancers on stilts. I have featured these dancers before and if you missed them the first time or would like to revisit, click here.

Hope you liked my selection – thanks for visiting, have a great weekend 🙂

 

 

Not That Desperate

hearty-bread

Not That Desperate

 Words 99

“Sharpen your tools!” The shrill cry cut through smothering blanket of heat.

She handed a kitchen knife to the scrawny unkempt man.

“That will be Rupees 10.”

Reluctantly she held out a 10-Rupee note.

He bowed over it.

His first earning of the day! She was glad she hadn’t bargained with him.

He sat on his haunches. “I am thirsty.”

He downed the water. “Business is dull.” He looked down. “I haven’t eaten roti for two days.”

Poor man.

She offered him her favorite snack – bread topped with mango pickle.

Gingerly picking up the pickle, he walked away.

***

Roti: Wheat-based flat bread popular in India

Based on a true incident

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

 

 

WPS: All Worked Up

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 8.24.17 am

Image from Google Maps

All Worked Up

 Words 150

“What’s up Sia? You look upset.” Her colleague, Nisha asked.

Sia made a moue. “The Boss is mad at me for taking leave at such a crucial juncture.”

“Damn that woman.” Nisha said. “Why were you on leave? All well?”

“Not exactly.” Sia said. “My father-in-law is in the hospital…”

“Oh I am sorry. What happened?”

“He had a heat stroke while exploring the Old Fort.”

“You went exploring in this heat? Are you crazy?”

“Don’t blame me! Explore your city is part of my son’s holiday homework.”

“Home*&%^#work!” Nisha cursed. “That took us to the brink of divorce.”

“What?!”

“I had to stay up till late to complete my 6-year-old daughter’s assignments.”

“Uho.”

“Things came to a head when she had to make a family tree.”

“What happened?”

“My mother-in-law accused me of deliberately pasting a photo that made her look old and fat.”

“Did you?”

“Err, well…”

***

I was inspired by Penny’s double entry to What Pegman Saw and of course the view to attempt this challenge – a story in 150 words or less. Thanks to K. Rawson for hosting the challenge and Google Maps for the photo. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

 

Just 4 Fun # 54

Hello people! How was your weekend? Funny how weekends just whoosh by isn’t it? That reminds me, Aunty Acid has a theory about time 😉

Acidaunty

Ain’t that true 😀 Anyway let’s get on with the business of the day shall we? It’s fun time! Did you know we Indians like to talk a lot and going by the falling rates of call charges, people may starve but they can be as vocal as they like about it.

Seriously.

Thanks to multiple phone numbers that family members now have the new(er) numbers are stored in more and more innovative ways. On occasion the contact list looks a bit scary 😉   Following are examples:

“Mummy New”

“Papa 2”

“Wife old”

“Wife 2”

And the best one is

” Husband  temporary”

A couple of funnies from the world wide web 😀

Image result for jokes and memes

Hahaha – funny isnt it?

Never Try To Explain A Joke...

Well I have to admit I am the understanding kinds and I am sure frogs sure hate me a lot 😉

Lololol

Oh how I wish I could country the chain 😉 Anyone – go ahead dont be shy, the comment box is all yours. Moving on, just a word of advice, be careful to give your children (or anyone else) your full attention. You never know what you might be letting yourself in for!

The problem

Cheers! 😀

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.

Standing Tall

Summer is all but over and it is ‘technically’ off season for the glorious amaltas. Remember them? On one my (rare) morning walks, I caught them all decorously green and yet nestling within her folds were splashes of yellow.

 

Amaltasx

Apparently even trees hate to give up their jewelry 😉 Or perhaps she is just ensuring for her future generations 🙂 But seriously, minus her glowing golden aura or her bare devil may care look, she does look rather drab and uninteresting doesn’t she? Let’s take a closer look shall we?

ScarredAt first I though she offered high rise apartments for rent. 😀 But on a closer look I realized they aren’t  bird nests but scars from old wounds – branches that she has nurtured and in all likelihood mercilessly cut off. Does she not feel the pain of loss? How could she not? Yet she continues to grow and bloom, undeterred.

The show, you see, must go on.

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ― Jalaluddin Rumi

Have a super week.

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees – 304

 

WPC: Waiting…

Life is all about waiting isn’t it? Waiting for a better day, a better job, a better car, a better house. You name it, we are waiting err perhaps not for Yamraj (the Hindu god of death) 😉 The weekly photo challenge from Daily Post this week is on same topic – waiting.

“Are you ready?” Klaus asked finally.
“No,” Sunny answered.
“Me neither,” Violet said, “but if we wait until we’re ready we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives, Let’s go.”Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator

So without making you wait any more here we go 🙂

Pondy sunWaiting for daybreak. Did you notice the sun rays shooting out just like they used to when we drew the Sun during our childhood? At least I did! 😀

GolcondaAt the Golconda fort, Hyderabad waiting to be explored.

FamilyA family waiting at a station for our train to pass and theirs to arrive. Or are they waiting for a loved one to arrive? They don’t seem to have any baggage with them. But then again, who can decipher baggage by just looking at people?

MenThese young men wait for their break to be over so that they can get back to work. 😉

Two menYou can’t deny these two men are waiting for us to pass 😀 Don’t miss the lovely fields in the distance which was what I had been aiming for…

Bookcase2Then there are books waiting to be read – so many and so little time 😦 Hey BS say hi and thanks to you Jiji 😉 😀

Lodhi

Waiting for summer to pass and dine out, under the warmth of the winter Sun 🙂

CakeWell? What are you waiting for? Go on don’t be shy, have a bite, have the whole thing if you like, it’s the non-fattening kinds 😀

“We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.”Voltaire

Thanks for visiting – have a super weekend!

 

 

CFFC: Clouds

The week, Cee challenges us to show off C’s provided they are at least 4 letter long. Just the thing I had been waiting for 😉 to showcase my newest craze – Clouds 😀

Come let’s float – up, up and away

PropellerI find it fascinating (and a bit eerie) when I capture the propeller blades in mid-flight 😀

Plane cloudDid you see the tiny airplane against the cottony clean (happy) clouds?

SalzburgAnd in contrast we have here dark rolling clouds ready to erupt into a storm any minute.

VlatavaContented clouds float lazily over the Vltava river, Prague

Old castleAnd follow it up by a sightseeing trip to Old Castle, Prague 😉

20170218_121418Before rushing off to Chidambaram India. Only some of them managed to make it so far.  😀

MumbaiOr perhaps they preferred to visit India’s Tinseltown 😉

 

KolkataBefore regrouping at the Kolkata airport to catch the return flight.

SkyBack to cloud station – to recoup, regroup and return 🙂

Hope you liked!

Uncharted Territory

danny-boweman-1
Photo (c) Danny Bowman

Uncharted Territory

Words 98

 “I love you.”

Her hands stilled. Thankfully the terrace was deserted.

She peered at him from behind the sari as she hung it out to dry.

He was looking at the horizon.

“You’re aware of our financial condition. As the eldest, I have responsibilities.”

 And?

“I’ve got a job in Jaipur. I don’t know when I’ll be back.”

What about me?

“I have nothing to offer you.”

Then why say you love me?

“Ma’s going to talk to your mother.”

Her eyes flew to his.

“Will you take my family as yours?”

She drew patterns with her toe.

 ***

A/N Well what do you think? Will she won’t she? Even I wondered and ended up writing (and posting) two more scenarios – Beyond and Lost and Found. Forgive me Rochelle for testing your kindness.

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thank you to Rochelle for hosting this inspiring challenge and Danny Bowman for the amazing photo that prompted the stories to write themselves. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Beyond

danny-boweman-1
Photo (c) Danny Bowman

Beyond

Words 99

I love you

Her heart fluttered. A small smile played about her lips.

He knew how to pull her strings.

She hung the sari out to dry and looked out into the horizon.

Somewhere beyond the mountains was her love, alone.

While she was here surrounded by his loved ones.

She cooked for them wondering what he ate.

If he ate.

Sometimes she too couldn’t eat.

She retched.

She’d tell him tonight.

What if someone overheard?

But there was a bigger hurdle.

He had threatened he wouldn’t speak to her.

Unless…

“I love you,” she practiced with the winds.

***

A/N This is a whimsical continuation of my primary submission – Uncharted Territory – for the Friday Fictioneers. And also another possible scenario – Lost and Found. Forgive me Rochelle for testing your kindness.

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thank you to Rochelle for hosting this inspiring challenge and Danny Bowman for the amazing photo that prompted the stories to write themselves. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Lost and Found

danny-boweman-1
Photo (c) Danny Bowman

Lost and Found

Words 100

I love you.

That day, when he had uttered those magical words, she had been unable to respond.

But as the maid hung out the washing, she was glad her parents had rejected his marriage proposal.

She looked out into the horizon.

He was somewhere beyond the mountains, still struggling to eke out a decent living.

While she had everything, a good home, family and material comfort – what more could a girl ask for?

Nothing.

Except…

If only her husband could touch her heart, make it thud, like he had.

I love you, she whispered to the winds.

***

A/N This is a continuation of my primary submission – Uncharted Territory – for the Friday Fictioneers. And also another possible scenario – Beyond. Forgive me Rochelle for testing your kindness.

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thank you to Rochelle for hosting this inspiring challenge and Danny Bowman for the amazing photo that prompted the stories to write themselves. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

 

Just 4 # Fun 53

Hello people what’s up? All good and cool? Situation under control? That’s great – I am sure you don’t need any advice but still doesn’t hurt to know does it? 😉

GM

Now let’s see what else do I have in my kitty. Some more English pains?

Truck

Err well, moving on…

Pscycho

😀 Reminds me of another one

Dr writing

It’s true! Well most of the time – with significant exceptions as my better half never fails to impress upon me 😉

Giraffe

This one is pretty easy isnt it? Even I found it 😀

Mannequin

Err well I don’t really blame her, do you? But then again she should have suspected something – none of them are holding a cell phone! 😀

Signage

Yeah we get them all the time and as usual I saved my favorite for the last

Titanic

Cheers! 😀

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.

A Class Apart

20170825_125711

waiting

for her

time

in the sun

to offer

shade

when

there is

none

 

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 303

 

Come Walk in My Shoes

A long short story exploring the differing viewpoints and journeys of  The Silent Generation (born between 1925 – 1945) and Gen Y (born between 1980 – 1995).

“Hello Kanika.”

“Namaste Lataji. So good of you to call.”

“It has been quite some time since we last spoke isn’t it?”

“Yes, I think almost two weeks now. Something or the other is always going on. Sometimes I really don’t think life is worth it.” Kanika’s voice broke.

“What’s the matter?” Lata was concerned. “You sound low? Is your health troubling you?”

“Old age is a curse Lataji.”

“What is it Kanika? Did someone say something? Your daughter-in-law…”

“Malati’s antics I am used to and I don’t expect much from her either. After all she is not of my blood. But when your own…” she broke down.

“Kanika! What happened? I am so sorry my friend. Don’t cry my dear. Keep faith. The Almighty will make everything right.”

“To tell the truth Lataji, I have lost faith in the Almighty. I don’t know why He is punishing me. What have I ever done to deserve this? Why doesn’t He call me? Like He did my husband?” Kanika’s sobs grew louder.

“Control yourself Kanika. Tell me what happened? Don’t keep it bottled up. Talking will help. And perhaps it’s not as bad as you are thinking?”

“What can I say Lataji? When your own family stabs you in the back nothing can take away the pain.”

“You are scaring me Kanika. Did someone hit you? Not…not your son?”

“I wish they had killed me. At least I would have been spared this grief.”

“What grief Kanika?”

“I feel ashamed to say it Lataji. No I cannot say it….”

“Is…is it about money?” Lata asked in hushed tones.

“Yes! Money is missing again from my account. They think I am old, I won’t notice but I am nobody’s fool. I ran the house, handled accounts everything for more than 50 years. I know when money is missing from my bank account. Not just one or two rupees but Rs 5000. ”

“Rs 5000! From your bank account?” Lata was shocked but she tried to soothe matters, “I am sure there must be some explanation, just enquire at the bank. Nobody can just walk into a bank and take out money from your account without your permission.”

“That’s the trouble Lataji. My son handles all bank work. And now I have an ATM card…”

“Oh! ATM? Sunil has the password I suppose?”

“Yes, he does. But it’s not him. I trust him. He has been handling my accounts for so many years now. Even when his Father was alive. Not one paisa unaccounted for.”

“So whom do you suspect?”

“Rishi.” Kanika choked.

“Your grandson?!” Lata was shocked. “Surely not? He is such a good boy.”

“Money can turn the head of anyone Lataji. And this is the new generation – no patience, no scruples, just instant gratification by hook or by crook.”

Lata sighed. “That’s true Kanika. I really wonder where these youngsters are going. They are so materialistic and self-centered. They cannot see anything beyond their own desires and needs.”

“You know I adore Rishi – If only he had asked me. He knows I would never refuse him anything. To steal…” she trailed off and took a shuddering breath. She heaved a big sigh. “I don’t know how to handle this delicate matter. Should I ignore it or should I talk to Sunil? Or confront Rishi?”

“Yes,” said Lata, “it is a very tricky issue. You can’t ignore it. Sunil needs to be told so that he can take corrective action before things go out of hand. Rishi is still young. Perhaps he has a valid reason…”

“What valid reason could he have to steal? He has a good job, and these days they pay so well that the money goes to their head. Ultimately nothing is enough. They just want more – a new phone, a new laptop, branded shoes, bike…”

“I think you should talk it over with Sunil. Your son is a good steady man, he will sort it out with Rishi…”

“I am sure Sunil will not mind but Malati will throw a fit if I dare to point a finger to her beloved son. She will make it impossible for me to stay in this house…”

“But you can’t ignore the matter can you? Was the money withdrawn via the ATM or by check?”

“I am not sure. I think by check.”

“Why don’t you enquire at the bank?”

“Yes but then I might be opening Pandora’s box…”

“Find out from the bank. Then we can take a decision what to do. Let’s meet at the temple on Tuesday.”

“That will be nice.” Kanika cheered up. “It was good talking to you Lataji.”

“Same here Kanika. Now, promise me you will go to the bank?”

“You’re right, I should get to the bottom of the matter. I will go to the bank right away.”

“Good girl!”

Girl! That never failed to make Kanika laugh. Lata joined her.

Revived after the chat with her long time friend and neighbor, Kanika dressed swiftly and collected her bank papers. But instead of the bank, she landed up in the hospital – with a broken leg. In her rush to leave, she was unmindful of her step and the floor was wet.

“Hello Dadi.” Rishi dumped his bag on the chair at the hospital. “How are you?”

Hello. Humph. How would I be with a broken leg lying in a hospital bed at the mercy of all you people? Waiting for somebody to come and spare a few moments for the old witch who doesn’t have the good sense to die?”

“Oh please Dadi give me a break will you? I don’t have time for all this…”

“What do you have time for? Partying? Gaming? Drugs? That you have time for don’t you? But time to sit by the side of your grandmother who is on her way out…”

“Just a sec Dadi,” Rishi turned away as his phone beeped, “Hello? Hi…”

Kanika fumed at the interruption. “Hello. Hi. What is this world coming to? No respect for tradition and culture. Busy with their superficial lives, drowning in materialism no time for the finer things in life.” She raised her eyes heavenwards. “Hey Gopal, why do you insist upon torturing me like this? Why this bias? Why this pain? At least tell me my faults so that I can repent for them? Call me to you. Please. I have had enough of this selfish lonely world. Call me to you my lord Gopal.” A tear slipped down her corner of her eye. With a weary sigh she put a hand over her eyes.

Rishi wandered back inside. He was still on the phone. “No. The client told me… okay, but he specifically told me to…but that’s not my fault!” There was a long pause and Kanika peeped out from under her hand. Rishi’s face was black with rage. She sat up and held her breath. He was going to throw one of his infamous tantrums.

“Rishi…” Kanika held out a hand as if to physically stop him from blowing his top.

“Yes Nitin. Sorry Nitin. Yes I will take care of it.” He said in an even tone.

Rishi disconnected the phone and paced the hospital room, clenching and unclenching his fists, muttering under his breath. He kicked a chair in his path and overturned it. Straightening it he went and stood in front of the AC.

“You’ll catch a chill Rishi.” Kanika cautioned but he ignored her.

Kanika wondered what had happened and who was that on the phone. His boss? But wouldn’t he have called him Sir? Or didn’t they do that any more? But she was impressed with the restraint Rishi had shown while dealing with Nitin. The way he behaved at home, she didn’t think he had it in him to meekly accept his culpability especially when it appeared it wasn’t his fault.

Rishi fumbled with his phone for a while and then dialed. “Hello Mr Verma. Rishi here. I am really sorry about…” he walked out of the hospital room.

“Did he come here to talk on the phone or what?” grumbled Kanika. She couldn’t help feeling concerned – Rishi apologizing! She sat staring at the door until he returned, still on the phone.

“Yes one cheese n chicken pizza and one coke. Dadi do you want anything?”

“Four o’clock! Is this anytime to eat?” Kanika countered.

“Dadi do you want anything?” He insisted.

“No.” She pressed her lips but the urge was too strong and she had been lecturing for too long. “This new generation has gone to the dogs. The way they throw money around is downright criminal. No wonder they have to resort to illegal means to supplement their income.” She said pointedly but it didn’t seem to register with Rishi. “That is why is country is steeped in corruption. Materialism. No strength of character to tolerate the slightest bit of inconvenience.”

“Dadi please!” Rishi continued to tap on his laptop.

“Humph.” She turned her head and resolutely looked away.

“Dadi would you like to have some pizza?” He offered when the order arrived.

“Sacrilege! Don’t you have any sense but to offer me non-vegetarian food?!” Kanika turned all possible shades of blue and purple.

“Sorry Dadi. Have some Coke. I know you like that.” He poured out some for her and offered it to her. She turned her head away. Rishi kept it on the table by her bed.Rishi put his phone on charging and settled down to eat.

“Eat slowly son!” Kanika couldn’t help cautioning. “Nobody is going to take it away from you.”

“The phone rang. “Yes Ma?” he put in on speaker.

“Where are you?”

“With Dadi. On speaker phone.” He warned casting a glance at his grandmother.

“Why didn’t you inform me that you had reached? I have been so worried.”

“I was busy.”

“You are always busy. Are you eating?”

“Yes.”

“What are you eating?”

“Pizza.”

“Why pizza? What happened to the lunch I packed you?”

“It’s lying in office. I have been out in the field since morning.”

“You haven’t eaten anything since 7 am?”

“Where’s the time or the scope? When are you coming Mom?”

“I don’t know. Let me see, perhaps around 7 pm? That way I can get dinner for your Dadi as well and save on a trip.”

“I don’t want to have dinner at 7 pm! Is that any time for dinner?” Kanika interrupted.

“Dadi you can have it later…”

“It will get cold.” Kanika pursed her lips.

Rishi sighed. “But Ma, I have to leave by 7 pm. Can you tell Father to come straight to the hospital from work? Then you can come with the dinner later?”

“No!” Dadi interrupted, “Sunil has a lot on his plate. After office he has to go to the railway booking counter and cancel my train ticket…”

“I already did that Dadi,” Rishi held up his phone.

“Oh!” Kanika was silenced.

“Please Ma.” Rishi insisted.

“Okay.”

“Thanks Ma.” He disconnected the phone.

“What’s so important at 8 pm that you have to inconvenience everyone?” Kanika asked.

“I have a party.”

“Party! That’s right of course. Your Granny is in the hospital and you have to go partying.”

“Dadi….”

“Enough.” Dadi raised her hand. “That’s all the new generation thinks of – partying, drinking and blowing up money. And getting hooked up with unsuitable girls. Learn something from your father. He worked hard and came straight back home. In fact, he still does. While you,” she shook her head, “have no sense of responsibility or priority. Instead of helping out while your poor granny is ill and hospitalized…” Kanika trailed off.

Rishi had walked out of the room.

Kanika felt awful. Tears rolled down her cheek. How could her dearest little Rishi, her joy, her pride, her raison d’etre do this – steal from his granny? If only you had asked son, if only, she cried silently.

“Namaste Dadiji.” Muniya, their daily help, stood there wringing her hands. “Forgive me Dadiji. It’s entirely my fault Dadiji that you broke your leg. Bhabhi has told me so many times to make sure the floor is dry but…” she sniffed.

“Don’t cry Muniya.” Kanika consoled her. “It was meant to be. It is the will of Gopalji to punish me. I must have done something wrong sometime. You are but a tool in His plans.”

Muniya sniffed and wiped her face on the edge of her sari. “What do you need to be punished for? You have never done an unkind act in your life. You have been so kind to me. If you hadn’t loaned me the money for my son’s treatment…”

“Loaned you money?” Kanika frowned.

“Yes Dadiji. Don’t you remember? Last month Pappu fell ill and I needed money, you gave me a check of Rs 5000 for his tests and medicines?”

“Oh!” A load rolled of Kanika’s heart. She could have danced but for her broken leg. Perhaps even on one leg. She was so happy. Her darling Rishi was blameless! He wasn’t a thief. You did right to punish me Gopal, she sent up a prayer of thanks, and for sending Muniya to set my suspicious senile mind right.

Kanika reached out to sip at the Coke.

“Rishi beta sit down and talk to your Dadi,” she coaxed wishing she could hold him in her arms and mutter apologies. How could she have suspected her beloved grandson?

“Later Dadi. I have a lot of work.” Rishi didn’t even look up.

“What work? Just playing on your phone!” Eager to make amends, Kanika lashed out at being thwarted. “Either listening to music, seeing movies or chatting with your friends. No time for your old granny, who knows how much time I have left on this earth?”

“Oh please Dadi,” Rishi’s eyes were glued to his phone as his fingers moved effortlessly over it. “You have been saying that since my childhood.”

“Nonsense! What do you remember of your childhood?”

“Many things. Some are clear vivid images – like me begging you to switch off the TV and tell me a story. And you batting me away eyes glued to the TV.”

“Are you taking revenge for that?”

Rishi laughed and shrugged. “Perhaps. Who knows?” He got up and switched on the TV. He put the remote by her side. “Are you okay?”

She nodded.

“Any pain? Discomfort?”

She shrugged. “Nothing I can’t bear. Pain and discomfort have been a part of my life as far as I can remember.”

“Oh Dadi!” Exasperated Rishi rolled his eyes. “Why does everything have to be epic tragedy?”

“Humph.” She grunted.

He settled her comfortably. “Okay?”

“As okay as is possible…” she began.

“Oh Dadi, you are impossible!” He laughed.

“You won’t understand now. You’ll understand when you are my age…”

“And Dadi, you don’t know how it is…”

“Yes, yes, I don’t know anything. My hair turned grey by just sitting in the sun. Only you know everything!”

“Uff Dadi please.” Rishi buried himself in his laptop.

Kanika was left alone with her thoughts, until Sunil came.

“Mother!”

“Son! I am so glad you have come.” Kanika cheered up. “This boy of yours is impossible.” She vented. “Just because he wants to party you didn’t get any chance to go home, take some rest before coming. It’s all his mother’s fault for not bringing him up properly.”

“Oh great!” Rishi threw up his hands. “Have fun Father. I am off.” He began stuffing his bag.”

“Wait Rishi. Where are you going? What is this party? Is that more important than your family?”

“It’s part of my job profile Father.”

“Job? Which job demands partying and drinking?” Sunil retorted.

“You want to know about my party?” Rishi snapped. “You think I want to go to this party? That I am going to there to eat, drink, and be merry? You are wrong. I have to first go home. Freshen up and change. Take the train back to the party venue to join my boss and his wife. They want to drink. But they are too stingy to hire a cab or a driver. So I will have to drive them back home after they get drunk. Which means I cannot drink. If I am lucky I will be offered dinner and catch the last train. If not, there’s no saying what transportation will be available at that time or when I will reach home. This is my party. Not drugs drinks and girls like Dadi imagines.”

“Mind your tone Rishi!” Sunil tried to regain the upper hand.

“Let it be Sunil,” Kanika restrained her son, “He is right. I have forgotten how it is to be his age. Worse, I have little or no understanding of the changed dynamics and pressures of the modern world.” She held out her arms. “I am sorry Rishi.”

 ***

Thank you for reading, look forward to your comments and constructive criticisms – was it too long (yes it was!) boring (do tell), confusing, anything I should have done or not done?

 

Sauce for the Gander

smallpox-hospital-roger-bultot
Photo (c) Roger Bultot

Sauce for the Gander

 Words 100

“Chunnilal!”

“Who’s it?” Chunnilal called from within.

“It’s your friend. Was amnesia part of your dowry?”

“Come in!”

“A remarkable transformation of your dingy squalid quarters.” Kanha whistled.

“My wife’s handiwork.”

“Mmm the aroma of freshly tempered dal! Makes me regret bachelorhood.”

“Stay for dinner.” Chunnilal succumbed to his wife’s nudge.

“Not today. I’ve been summoned by your heartbroken paramour.” He winked and vanished.

“That troublemaker!” Chunnilal cursed.

“But not a liar.”

“It was before…”

“Would you overlook my ‘before’?” She challenged.

“I would.” He swore.

“Then we are even.” She smiled.

“You mean…NO! Get out.”

“Even but not equal.

***

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

Thanks for reading – have a great weekend 🙂

CFFC: Be Colorful

Yay! It’s time for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and the topic this week is the letter B and the topic needs to be any color that starts with the letter B. Initially I was stumped but when I scrolled through my recent clicks I had zillions which fit the bill. Shall we get started? What? You dont have so much time? Okay fine – just a few, then, or maybe just a few more than just a few 😉

Ready? Of we go…

TrainA blue train from the window of my train 😀

BuffaloA black buffalo with two black crows taking a little rest between flights.

BranchesBare brown branches amidst the lush greenery. Not everyone flourishes at the same time.

SeatsTrying to catch the egrets from between two brown seats. Stretching it a bit too far eh 😀

Bench

Brick red benches at a deserted tiny station with blue and white fencing

StreamThe brown mud of a dried up stream. Had enough of the train journey? Let’s climb down shall we?

StairsDown the stairs with brown wooden paneling

ScreenA battered brown screen. Wonder why only the lower portion is damaged?

PeacockA blue peacock painted on the wall of a roadside restaurant. Pretty neat huh?

CloudsTime to fly back home braving thick black ominous clouds over blue mountains.

DoughnutsMust be hungry after that long round trip? Go on have a doughnut, it’s free. But make sure to choose only a brown one otherwise you are sure to get a rap on your knuckles. What say Cee? 😉 😀

Thanks for your company – have a super day!

 

 

SPF: Come into my Parlor

13-dawn-miller-27-august-2017

Come into my Parlor

Words 200

 “May the best man win!” The colonel toasted the three hapless men sitting in front of him.

Sundari stood behind the colonel, calm and watchful. To look at her one would wonder that only three people had turned up. But then the conditions in the advertisement had been very specific and applications stringently scrutinized.

“To stake your claim on Sundari, you will have to either level that hill in 24 hours, or vanquish the enemy at our borders, or,” he broke off chortling, “marry my daughter.

“Papa!” Tullika gasped.

The colonel ignored Tullika. “Well?”

“This is preposterous,” stuttered the greying gentleman, “to give your precious racehorse to whosoever marries Tullika! If I were younger I would have broken your nose.” He strode off.

“Well?” The colonel was unfazed.

Rakesh, the taller one, bowed, “It would be my pleasure…”

“Really?” hands on her hips, Tullika cut in, “So desperate for a freebie? Be warned, I am high-maintenance, wacky, cranky, fat and ugly.”

“I am game,” Dhruv butted in, “but you’ve got to ditch your crankiness.”

“Fat chance,” she crossed her arms.

“What if I forgo Sundari?”

The colonel shook hands with Rakesh. “Thanks for playing along. Let them battle it out.”

 ***

A/N: Five characters in 200 words – was I too ambitious? Do let me know and thanks for reading.

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

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 169

 

 

 

Just 4 Fun # 52

Hey what’s up people? Oh that reminds me – one two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word.

Any guesses?

No?

Without any further ado the word is UP. It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election (if there is a tie, it is a toss UP) and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.

At other times, this little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is blocked UP.

We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To become more knowledgeable, about the proper uses of UP look UP the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with (UP to) a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it soaks UP the earth. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP. One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now…… my time is UP!

So, did this whole thing, crack you UP? 😀

Wasn’t it completely insane? Actually that’s another word that gets me all worked up. Why insane? Why not outsane? Sigh

 

Anyway moving on, in a welcome and long overdue move, the Supreme Court of India has ruled that Right to Privacy is a fundamental right. Three cheers for this major step forward and the ripples are already being felt in all parts of the country.

Right

😀 😀

ShapeThat reminds me I better get moving before that turns out to be my shadow. It’s not that I dislike exercising – it’s just that I am so good at making excuses.

Excuse

That’s it from me today…unless you would like to read about Pedro?

Pedro was driving down the Panjim street in a swift because he had an important meeting and couldn’t find a parking place.

Looking up to heaven he said, “Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of my life and give up my Whiskey. I will give up Gambling and Womanizing too !”

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Pedro  looked up again and said, “Never mind, I found one ! Sorry I bothered you !!”

Cheers! 😀

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.

Share this on to everyone you look UP in your address book… or not… it’s UP to you.

The Critical Ingredient

lights-of-sturgis1

The Critical Ingredient

Words 101

 Smriti stared at the decorated nuptial bed in dismay. Which was worse, bedding a complete stranger or her best friend?

“Who needs enemies when you have friends like ours, right?” Shirish murmured behind her.

Her embarrassment eased. She laughed. “I am hungry.”

“Me too.” Awkwardness flared until she caught the teasing glint.

She punched him.

“Ouch!” he protested.

“Wow!” She gaped at the swanky kitchen.

“Like it?”

“I should have married you 30 years ago.” She choked.

He scratched his head. “I couldn’t have afforded a modular kitchen then.”

She slid into his arms. “But you made me laugh even then.”

***

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

 

A Package Deal

For this week’s Sunday Trees, I have something that is not technically a tree. But that does not detract from its greatness or usefulness 😉 Presenting to you all – the largest herbaceous flowering plant, that is the banana plant.

BantreeThe banana plant has uses other than that of dishing out a complete packaged clean food in bunches. The green leaves were traditionally used as plates and in fact still are in some parts of the country, particularly during festivals and special occasions. The leaves are also used to package and steam food tied up with strings made from the stem, which gives the dish a unique flavor.

BtreeContained within in indistinguishable untidy jungle of leaves is the stem which is also edible. But that is not on my list of foods to eat again before I die – more like to avoid 😉 Further, all parts of the plant are believed to have medicinal properties and have been used in Ayurveda for the treatment of various ailments. For example, cooked flowers are used for bronchitis, dysentery and ulcers. Plant sap is used for stings and bites. The young leaves can be used as a poultice for skin irritations.

BandFlowersA closer shot of the young bananas hanging and the flower. In my part of the country, West Bengal, the dishes cooked with the flower is a delicacy and a personal favorite, unlike the stem. Although I have to confess I haven’t tried my hand at cooking it – preparation and extraction of edible bits is tedious and taxing 😉

That’s all I know about this fascinating tree oops plant.

Anyone like to add their bit?

By the way did you hear about little Tommy who declared, “Of course I know how to spell banana, I just don’t know when to stop” 😉 😀

I hope it’s okay Becca, that this week I shared a plant masquerading as a tree rather than a real tree 🙂

Thanks for visiting – have a great week!

 

SPF: Escape Velocity

209-08-august-20th-2017

Escape Velocity

 Words 201

Sundar rang the bell, just as Rima came up behind him.

“Where the hell were you?” He rounded upon her. “You made me wait in the heat.”

“I was right behind you,” she opened the door, “and your AC cab just dropped you. I went walking in the heat to drop Neelam to a birthday party.” She held out a glass of chilled water.

“Shut up! How dare you talk to me like that?” He snarled.

“I am learning.” She tapped her chin. “I need to work on my tone.”

“What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing. Everything is just perfect.” She spread out her arms and twirled on her toes.

“Stop this nonsense right now!” He yelled. “Otherwise,” he raised his hand.

She grabbed their son’s bat. “Otherwise what?” Her voice was firm and even.

“What happened?” he dropped his hand. Where was his meek cowering wife?

Rima laughed. “Didn’t you hear the death knell of male dominance?”

“What rot are you talking?”

“The triple talaq* got banned.”

It was his turn to laugh. “That is for Muslim women. And…”

“The ruling has empowered all women.”

“Rubbish! My word is still the law…”

She hefted the bat. “Overruled by 3 against 1.”

***

 *The Supreme Court of India in a historic verdict on 22nd August 2017 struck down the practice of instant triple talaq by a 3:2 majority in India as unconstitutional and illegal. Triple talaq is a form of Islamic divorce that allows any Muslim man to divorce his wife by simply saying talaq thrice, over Skype, telephone, Whatsapp or by courier. This has not only empowered and liberated Muslim women but also revived hopes of doing away with other myriad social malpractices that continue in the name of religion and tradition.

The eclipse of 1,400 years is finally over and as you can see I am over the moon. 😀

Hip Hip Hurrah!

P.S Regarding the title, just in case it is too technical and the connection obscure, escape velocity is the lowest velocity, which a body must have in order to escape the gravitational attraction of a particular planet or other object.

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

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 167

Just 4 Fun # 51

A new week begins and it’s time for some fun. Have you ever had trouble getting your spouse to read your messages? You could take a tip or two from this lady 😉

Wife sent text to hubby-  “Hi I will get late, please cook dinner, then wash all dirty dishes and make sure you prepare our bed and put kids to sleep before I return…..

She sent another text, “And I forgot to mention,,, I have also bought a bottle of BLUE LABEL PREMIUM SCOTCH WHISKY for you……

He texted “OMG really   ?”

She replied – “No I just wanted to make sure you got my first message

😀 😀 Smart woman!

hAPPY

It’s funny how true it is – try it!

WANeat idea huh 😉

AccidentsSome day, some nitpicking fussy editor is going to have an accident reading this! What was he/she thinking?

Retire

Ahh I forgot he/she wasn’t allowed to think…

GoogleIs this for real? And would google still know everything even if one doesnt have a gmail ID?

Bums

I saved my favorite for the last

IMG-20170821-WA0005

Which one is yours?

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.

There is Always a Way

Rock treeWhen the going gets tough, the tough get going 

From the Sound of Music
Climb every mountain,
Search high and low,
Follow every highway,
Every path you know.
 
Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
‘Till you find your dream.
 
A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life
For as long as you live.
Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees – 301

A Clean Slate

closet-shower-2
Photo (c) Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

A Clean Slate

 Words 100

“Aren’t you scared of ghosts Nani?”

“Nah. They’re my best friends.”

“Seriously Nani, isn’t it tough staying alone?”

“It is getting difficult dear. Maybe I’ll shift to an old age home.”

“Come and stay with us!”

“Not a good idea dear. You have your own schedules. I am too old and inflexible to fit into them. We’ll get on each others nerves in no time.”

“Will you be able to adjust with strangers?”

“Ever notice how we are nicer, kinder people when with strangers?”

“Yes, but…”

“When there’s no history, no expectations, it’s easier and simpler to get along.”

***

Returning after a hiatus, feeling rusty. Did it work? Do let me know – have a great weekend.

Written for 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.

WPC: Monsoon

Monsoons or the rainy season is a much awaited season in India. Not only do we wait for the rains to rescue us from the blistering heat but also provide life giving water.

For this week’s Photo Challenge: Elemental, I have attempted to capture the many hues of the rainy season.

But first the promised view of the lush green fields from the train 😉

20170804_112506One tiny single room house in the midst of nowhere – quite a reversal from the cities!

RainOn the way back by car we were caught in a torrential blinding downpour. I thought it was the perfect way to capture the rain 😀

RaindropsAnother way of capturing rain is by focusing on puddles – can you make out how heavily it was raining?

ShelterAs the rain gathered intensity, some sought shelter…

Two birds

While the more adventurous ones, reveled in the rains…

Three bathBut unlike the birds, these three didn’t have any choice and hence they bore it stoically and came out squeaky clean 😀

20170720_080609After the rains – clean fresh and sparkling! Yet the monsoons which bring relief from the sweltering heat and also wrecks havoc in many parts of the country.

Water PotThe flower pots are a good indicator aren’t they? And this was just after two hours of rain. Thankfully the rain eased and the water receded. I wonder what would have happened if the rains hadn’t stopped…

Thank you for stopping by 😉

 

 

 

Just 4 Fun # 50

Hellooooo! Just 4 fun turned 50! How time flies when we are having fun isnt it? Btw did you hear what one frog said to another?

Time is fun when we are having flies 😉

HappyMy nephew was like that when he was a little baby – he was so happy with life, with himself, with everything, he never failed to cheer us up just by bobbing his head with his eyes glittering with the joy of being!

Haapy

Just push the damn door…

Hubby

😉 😉 😀

Pradita on her blog has some very interesting English words on her blog which reminded me of this forward:

You think English is easy?

1) The bandage was *wound* around the *wound*.

2) The farm was used to *produce produce*.

3) The dump was so full that it had to *refuse* more *refuse*.

4) We must *polish* the *Polish* furniture..

5) He could *lead* if he would get the *lead* out.

6) The soldier decided to *desert* his dessert in the *desert*..

7) Since there is no time like the *present*, he thought it was time to *present* the *present*.

8) A *bass* was painted on the head of the *bass* drum.

9) When shot at, the *dove dove* into the bushes.

10) I did not *object* to the *object*.

11) The insurance was *invalid* for the *invalid*.

12) There was a *row* among the oarsmen about how to *row*.

13) They were too *close* to the door to *close* it.

14) The buck *does* funny things when the *does* are present.

15) A seamstress and a *sewer* fell down into a *sewer* line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his *sow* to *sow*.

17) The *wind* was too strong to *wind* the sail.

18) Upon seeing the *tear* in the painting I shed a *tear*..

19) I had to *subject* the *subject* to a series of tests.

20) How can I *intimate* this to my most *intimate* friend?

Talking of intimacy…

Acid A

And that’s it from me too 😀

Oh wait one final bit of gyan 😉

 

Carrot

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.

 

Middling

Sunday tree

The tiny tree encircled by a sarong of green leaves, under the protective shadow of the tall tree reaching out to the skies, drew me in. Braving a ferocious Sun and risking a migraine, I walked close to admire the cute little one. It was only later that I realized that I hadn’t even spared a glance for the unobtrusive, reserved middle one.

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 11.33.23 am
From Pinterest

Middlers – raise your hands 😀

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees – 300

 

CB&W: On The Way

Cee’s latest black and white challenge is about any new photos that we may have clicked. Recently I traveled by train, through acres of lush green fields outlined by tall trees under overcast grey skies. And in the midst of such life, such greenery here and there stood bare trees holding out her naked branches in defiance of season, time and public glare. I am unfailingly captivated and enchanted by their unspoken yet deafening declaration of supreme confidence that reaches out to me from so far away. I missed capturing those beauties but here are a few glimpses of the journey through a rain splattered window.

 

FieldjpgVast green fields that stretch on and on with a handful of people working them. And we complain of rising prices…

LevelcrossWhen I was little, I remember feeling a sense of pride and achievement at level crossings. So many people were waiting for me! 😀 Now I can feel their restlessness, their impatience.

PowerAs a child, I used to think of these as effigies of the demon king Ravan and his cronies waiting to be burned down. Now I know that our worlds will come crashing down if these were to go up in smoke 😀

EntNature has found her own way of dealing with these ‘demons’ that mar her beauty. Don’t beat them, use them 😉

ShedA thoughtful make-shift shed at an obscure railway station. One even had a tree growing through it. Or (more likely) the shed built around it 😀

White flowersJust some random white flowers from another journey on my two feet.

Have a super weekend 🙂

News Flash: I came back to add a photo of another journey of another kind

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 10.51.54 am

Thank you for your company on this amazing journey 🙂

CB&W: Trailing

Life has been very hectic and it’s been a while since I participated in Cee’s photo challenges. I have been keeping track but then I kept getting sidetracked. This time, even though I am late, I simply had to break the jinx. Here I am with a few BW photographs of paths and trails. It has also been ages since I did quotes – hope you like 🙂

Campus“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” Martin Buber

Lodhi“The best journey of life that you can take is inside yourself to discover your new thoughts, new ideas, and new hopes.”  Debashish Mridha

Bay View Inn, Havelock“Having had enough of the lure of straight paths, this I have begun this journey with the determination to lose my way.” I dared to translate the first two lines of one of Guru Rabindranath Tagore’s songs – poth harabo bolei ebar pothe nemechi…

Hampi

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal” – Henry Ford

Rock garden

“Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done, and why. Then do it.” ― Robert A. Heinlein,

Home

“We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.” Bhagwad Gita

Path“If you are facing in the right direction, all you need to do is keep on walking” – Buddhist saying.

A Celebrity – Just Kidding

Dear friends I am terribly kicked and pleased as Punch 😀 Sunita aka Bellybytes posted a Guest Interview of yours truly 😀

I am doubly honored because Sunita is a wonderful writer and I enjoy reading her posts. I hope you will visit her blog and just in case you are curious have a look at the guest post too 😉

For some strange inexplicable reasons, my comments don’t show up on her blog. But thank you to all those who have left me messages on the post. Hopefully my responses will show up sooner than later.

Thanks and have a super day

 

WPC: Of Textures & Blooms

Such a lovely word – textures isn’t it? I can almost feel it between my fingers! Or even my lips, on my tongue…oops I forgot! This isn’t an essay on textures but a photo challenge 😀 Without any further ado, here are some of my favorite layered and textured photos.

SunsetSunset at Mumbai – the clouds and the sky come together in a bid to give the even uni-dimensional sky an artistic textured finish to a wonderful day.

MysoreI thought this photo was apt for the topic because of the many textures and layers to it and not just the fine work on the gopuram. And of course I couldn’t resist showing off the perfectly symmetrically branched tree 😀

HutCan you not feel the coarseness of this quaint refuge from the hot sun?

FullSizeRender(1)This is a section of the outer walls of the Amer fort at Jaipur which is meant to keep out the enemy. Yet there’s something beautiful and captivating about it  don’t you think? I wonder if they had specialists who focused on the beautification of ramparts?

KashmirAmazing what H2O can be right? 😀 Flowing water, floating clouds or rock solid ice.

PragueA random click of picturesque Prague. The lighter and darker shades of green, the brick roof, both grey and white clouds in a blue sky – sigh…

 

Rock flower

Delicate

fragile

diffident

yielding

But

when

it is

a matter

of

survival

Nothing

can stop

her

A Pick Me Up

flowers-and-packing-boxes-dale-r
Photo (c) Dale Rogerson

A Pick Me Up

 Words 101

“The meeting is weeks away but Her Royal Highness wants the presentation tomorrow.” I fumed. “And I’ve got guests for dinner.”

“In the middle of the week?” Exclaimed Rita, a colleague.

“Exactly!” I wasn’t done grumbling. “There’s shopping, homework, cooking and he’s working late. Hell!”

“A working mother’s life!” Rita waved goodbye.

I maneuvered the car home, adding one more to my list – couldn’t somebody open the damned gate?

Our neighbor’s son, about seven, tapped on the window.

Now what?

He held up a fistful of crushed periwinkles.

“For me?” I gaped.

He nodded and ran off to open the gate.

 ***

Based on a true incident 🙂

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

 

Just 4 Fun # 49

Hello everyone, how’s life? I was rather tied up the whole of last week – more than usual that is. Anyway I am back and I look forward to getting back on track with my writing and reading. But first time for some fun! 😀

Gmorning

Isn’t that true?

This week I have chosen my (and the world’s) favorite topic – woman bashing

Dude

Poor chap, wonder who’s his wife?

Monalisa

With apologies to da Vinci

Commando

That’s the kinda person I aspire to be 😀

 

Woman

There are other inspiring women too

Drink

Heheh – love them hate them but you can’t live without them can you 😉

Punctuation

Where’s your punctuation?

Understand

That looks just about right doesnt it? 😉

Perspective

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.

 

The Doting Grandma

Contrast Tree

This stolid and probably ancient tree reminds me of a doting grandparent. Can’t you just hear the fresh green ‘uns demanding another story? welcoming their eagerness, she lets them clamber all over her and if a few friends join in – no problem! There’s lots of space and love to go around 😀

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees – 299

Just 4 Fun # 48

A new week begins, July ends and August begins and things are beginning to look very tight indeed

Fat

There’s no denying it – I am growing rounder and rounder…

MatkaI think I better shape up soon 😉

Hw

He does have a point doesnt he? besides what does the teacher know?

Dennis

 

😀 😀 There’s no denying that!

Teenmodel

I thought this model was really cool 😀

 

Crispy

That’s the spirit! 😉 😀

Beebee

Talking of wives

Phone

Tell me honestly do wives really talk so much? More importantly do husbands actually not hang up?

marriage

Umm – err cough cough moving on

IMG-20170731-WA0003

Yes that is how expensive tomatoes are! 😀

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.

WPC: Gratified and Delighted

Those of you who are regular visitors to my blog would know that I am rather partial to trees and that is putting it mildly 😀 My obsession is common knowledge among friends and family so whenever and wherever they go they never forget to share photos of trees. I feel blessed, overwhelmed and more than satisfied at their warm gesture and for taking time out in the midst of their work and pleasure trips. Here I share some photos from my collection of enchanting trees from near and far.

I hope you too will like them 🙂

TallB

My friends sneaked off to the hills without telling me 😦 But then came the photos – what were you thinking BS? Tall and slim like these trees? In our next lives for sure 😉

DecoB

We are more like this one – grounded and juggling a lot of pies 😉 😀 Cheers

CocoR

Now for some trees from Sri Lanka – thanks Ruma 🙂 Coconut shells form a decorative earthen pot for the plant. But later it is completely absorbed into the earth.

UnrulyR

Then there’s this unruly wild child of the forest

MaskedR

The tree turns into a convenient display spot for attractive and fascinating masks

IMG-20170425-WA0011How could I forget these majestic beauties from Darjeeling and the unique angle – thank you Jyotsna 🙂

ChristmasALet’s move on a bit farther to Germany. My cousin sent these stunning trees. Have a look

FallA

A veritable feast for the eyes

GermanyA

I just love this photo – don’t you?

LeavesA

Time for a change!

SwingA

My cousin found this mottled beauty along the road. Doesn’t it look as if she is leaning back on a push swing and any moment she is going to take off?

SnowSBlue blue skies and snow clad trees also from Germany shared by Svkuki 🙂

MassivePThere’s this massive one from Dublin snapped by my sister while on an educational trip there.

HairyPA hairy one and quite unapologetic too!

TwoPIs that two trees or one? Oh what does it matter – there’s just one like you, muaahh

A huge thank you to all you lovely people for being so generous with your time and keeping me in your thoughts – do keep them flowing 😉

Have a super week ahead 🙂

Save

Rooted

20170220_110654

seasons

will come and go

you will go

your own way

do your own thing

but I will always

wait for you

 

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 298

Save

WPC: True Blue

Yippee – after 9 months, Delhi finally delivered 😉

A good air day in the first week of July! Not very great, just about satisfactory, which will do for now because along with it came blue skies and big white clouds. It has been ages since I have seen a blue blue sky in Delhi and I have been walking with my head in the clouds ever since 😀

I thought pictures of a smog free Delhi sky would be just perfect for the Weekly Photo Challenge – Unusual.

Hope you like!

BlueGreen, white and blue – a sight for sore eyes don’t you think?

Sky copyRain is imminent – the clouds gear grey up 😉

IMG-20170721-WA0012They came in other designs too!

Sunny sideJust the way I like it – sunny side up 😀

20170724_174700Quite perfectly framed – what do you say?

EveSnapped a quick pic on the way home – on the left

Duskand on the right. I got a crick in my neck gawking at the sky. And a good thing too for I caught someone staring at me…

MonkeyAny guesses who that is? 😀

Thanks for visiting, have a super week ahead 🙂

Save

Just 4 Fun # 47

Hello! What’s up people? Can you hear me? It’s pouring cats and dogs and I can barely hear myself think over din. Anyway talking of cats…

Baby cat😀 😀 Mama cat does have a point 😉

SpidermanAnd if you are smart, you’ll take a hint from Spiderman’s predicament. Better to spend ones time more productively like this artist

3d painting

Who created a 3-D painting – amazing isn’t it? Moving on…

Q algo

So, did you ask your question? 😉

CutePerhaps I have shared this before but one with which I thoroughly concur 😉 Besides there are bigger problems and woes especially for us living in Delhi…

IMG-20170723-WA0034

😀 tomato prices have sky rocketed! What’s the price like at your place?

But I saved my favorite for the last – one that effectively depicts the great Indian jugaad. 😀

Jugaad

For every problem, there is a solution 😀

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.

Still Standing

Tree
Photo shared by my sister from Dublin

Thank you

Hacked,

slashed

mangled

twisted,

crushed

maimed.

But

what you don’t get

is that you

have only made

me stronger.

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 297

 

Save

The Sneaky Ways of Fate

vw-in-israel-wmq
Photo (c) Kent Bonham

The Sneaky Ways of Fate

Words 102

The train chugged out of the station. He tried to the quell butterflies in his stomach, an alien city, an unfamiliar language. Jobless in Kolkata, fate had offered him a job in Delhi he had grabbed it.

In another part of the country, hectic preparations were on to send her to college.

Tonight, they would take the train to Agra.

Fate blinked. Oops! Her destiny was in Delhi.

“A telegram,” father said, “confirming admission in a Delhi college.”

Fate sighed. Her job was done.

Same city.

Same campus.

Time would lead them to Room 4027.

Biology and chemistry would do the rest.

***

Footnote: The numbers triggered this piece.

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

Thank you for visiting – have a super week 🙂

 

SPF: Accursed

11-07-july-16-2017-mike-vore-oh-my-photos
Photo (c) Mike Vore

Accursed

Words 202

“That house looks eerie.” I said.

“It is haunted.” The villager touched his ears and backed away.

“Really? What happened?” I was intrigued.

“All because of one woman. Curse them all.” He spat.

“Tell me in detail Chachaji.” I offered him a cigarette. He settled himself comfortably on his haunches. He took a deep drag. “Two brothers lived here, Suresh and Ramesh. When Suresh was about 10 years old, they lost their parents. Suresh cared for Ramesh like a son. He refused to get married for fear that his wife may not accept Ramesh. They were model exemplary brothers.”

“Then?” I asked.

“Like any responsible father, Suresh arranged Ramesh’s marriage. Everything was perfect until she was caught.”

“Caught?”

“Caught seducing Suresh.”

“No!”

“She was of course killed on the spot.”

“And Suresh?”

“Suresh’s blameless! His reputation spotless, character impeccable.”

“Why did they leave?”

“The brothers fell out. Accidents happened.” He lowered his voice. “Her ghost forced them to leave.”

“Ghost!”

“Denied entry to even hell, she haunts that house.”

“Suresh may…?”

“She should’ve handled him better. Men are like little children. She has the power to manipulate and incite them. Mark my words, women are at the root of all evil.”

 ***

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

Thanks for reading – would love to hear your thoughts and reactions 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 158

 

 

COB: Some Cute Stuff

Hola friends, it’s been a while since I participated in Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge but worry not, I have been hard at work all this while 😉

Hope you like them as much as I do.

CockCock-a-doodle-do! Now that you are wide awake, let’s see what else is in my kitty.

Carpet catA designer rug – err oops a designer kitty 😀

Cats on wallThese two were having an important family discussion about their daughter’s upcoming wedding arrangements when my friend Svkuki Rekha (apologies to both – I plead old age) snapped them.

GoldenMoving on to bigger things, a huge bronze statue of Lord Shiva’s Nandi the Bull in eternal repose. I am not quite sure about the other one but it appears to have Greek overtones. What do you think?

OwlSuch a cute owl – loved the toes and the bow. Lovely color combination too! What say you?

DollThat’s me signing off for the day 😛

So which one is your favorite?

Do let me know – thanks for visiting and have a super day 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 157

Just 4 Fun # 47

It’s Monday again and which face are you wearing – Monday face or Saturday face 😉

Smile

Frankly it makes me quite dizzy to get to Saturday! And the bald head reminds me of this one:

Twins

They don’t seem to be too happy about the whole number business. Clearly not their idea – so whose brainchild was it?

Pillow

Did you hear about the day Mr Right had enough? No? Scroll down to find out 😉

Zebra

Mask

After that profound thought a little reality check:

Billiards

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.

In the Stillness of the Night

20170714_211359

All day long

I wait for

darkness to fall,

for them to slip into

the folds of my sleeves

and doze off.

Alone

I

begin

the

search

for

myself.

 

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 296

CB&W: Touch Wood

Yohoo I am back with my photo features – touch wood! Yep that’s the theme for this week’s BW challenge hosted by Cee. Okay fine – Things made with Wood. So come join me on my hunt for woody stuff 😀

MonkeyA makeshift ladder for monkeys – can you spot them?

Bearand bears. I would’ve loved to see it climb up 😀 I wonder what that barrel is for? Vat 69 perhaps 😉

VikingMoving on, we come to boats. Not any ordinary boat but ones used by Vikings on their quest to fulfill their adventurous spirits 😀

ToolsThey used these tools to aid them in their boat building tasks.

PalkiBoats carry people over water while this carries people over land. Mostly rich people or brides – the first time she goes to her new home in a palki, veiled and decorated.

tortoiseNext we have two painted wooden tortoises. The black one is my favorite – which one is yours?

OwlA hanging owl with its unblinking gaze trained right at you 😀

Owl2Another owl with fine craftsmanship – yep my favorite. Yours?

 

And They Lived Happily Ever After

janet-webb-french-still-life
Photo (c) Janet Webb

And they lived happily ever after

Words 97

“How’s the girl?” They gheraoed him upon his return from the ‘date’, “Should we say yes?”

“She can’t read. And she sneezes a lot.”

“What!”

“She’s weird. She insisted I order. Then she cancelled half the items.”

“Ah the thrifty kinds.”

“I’m starving! A wasted candlelight dinner.” He grumbled.

 

“How’s the boy?” She too was grilled.

“I’m starving.”

“Didn’t you eat?”

“I couldn’t! They are very poor.”

“What!”

“The restaurant didn’t have any electricity; only funny smelling candles which made me sneeze.”

“Did you like the boy?”

“You should’ve let me wear my specs. It was impossible to see anything.”

***

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

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 156

 

SPF: Look Within

205-07-july-9th-2017

Look Within

Words 194

“What’s the matter?” Madhu asked. “Had a tiff with your hubby?”

“When don’t I?” Trupti kicked a pebble, “All he thinks about is work and money.”

Madhu hesitated. “Perhaps you should…”

“Not you too!” Trupti groaned. “Have a baby and everything will be fine!”

“Perhaps you should learn to appreciate him.” Madhu advised. “Raghu’s a nice boy, steady, decent, doesn’t smoke or…”

“The perfect matrimonial catch.” Trupti sneered.

“Was there someone else?” A sudden doubt assailed Madhu.

“I don’t get this marriage business. Why can’t we lead our own lives, the way we want to?”

“Because each of us is incomplete.” Madhu said. “See that wall?”

“You should see it in spring, it turns orange…”

“Ever wonder why the creeper grows up?”

“To avoid getting trampled or munched up?”

“Not just security but also the space to showcase herself.”

“Yeah right!” Trupti scoffed.

“It’s there,” Madhu pointed out. “It’s up to her to utilize it.”

“What does he get?”

“She’s the wall’s raison d’etre, and also gives it stability and keeps it grounded.”

“But are they happy?”

“Nobody else can make you happy. You have to teach yourself to be happy, to be content.”

***

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

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 155