Arnav Goes to School – VI

Finally the final part!!! 😀

Click here for the previous chapters:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Pink and Red Balloons during Daytime

Part VI

“What the….!”  Khushi blinked and shook her head.

No blood, no mayhem and no Arnav either.

“Where’s your Daddy?”

Deva didn’t even look up while Chotti straightened and waved a vague hand, “Inside.” She went back to coloring the sea, sticking out her tongue. The dolphins were tricky they kept trying to merge with the sea. Or was it the sea splashing on to them?

Yeh Laad Governor bhi na. Khushi fumed. Master manipulator and number one trickster – didn’t even spare his kids. Her eyes narrowed and her lips firmed. If he thought he had ‘won’ the deal, he had another think coming. She wandered over to Guddu and peered over his shoulder.

He was studying!

On his own!

Unbelievable!

Some hanky panky was afoot. She was sure. “Why isn’t he here?” She asked mildly enough throwing her bag on the sofa and crouching down beside Chotti.

“Oh Mamma,” Chotti looked up her eyes sparkling, “Daddy is in the guest room ‘creating’ some fun thing for us.”

Khushi sat back on her heels in surprise. Creating some fun thing? What did that mean? Oh! Right! She smacked her head and stood up. He had blackmailed and terrorized her poor little babies while he made deals in the privacy of the guest room. I should have said no phones allowed, she cursed herself. She decided to catch him in the act but just as she turned her eye fell on his phone that was charging on the side table. Just what the hell was going on?

“Hey Chotti aren’t you done yet?” Deva stretched. “Don’t tell me I have to wait for you!?”

“Just this little bit Da.” Chotti pleaded. She looked up. “Help me?”

“Okay.” Guddu plopped down beside her.

Khushi’s eyebrows shot through the roof. From which side did the sun rise today?

“Da,” Chotti was speaking softly, “How was your test?”

“Okay.”

Chotti looked at him worriedly. “Why don’t you check it over once again? You don’t want…”

“Maybe I will.” Deva went back to scanning the sheet.

Chal kya raha hai boss?! Laad Governor to sahi main boss nikle! Khushi felt a grudging admiration but mostly annoyance. He comes one day and gets them to not only dance to his tunes but talk to each other civilly as well. But just for that she was willing to give him a walk over.

She frowned. What was he doing in the room? Was he sleeping? Was he not well?

“So all done guys?” A disheveled Arnav strolled in with a bit of pink streamer sticking out his pocket and a bit of thread clinging lovingly to his cheek. “Hi!” He smiled as he spotted Khushi and blinked slowly at her.

Unknowingly, unwillingly Khushi floated towards him and plucked the gustakh thread from her personal beard and flicked it away. “And what were you doing my dear Laad Governor?” She marveled at his expression. So relaxed and comfortable. Arnav’s eyes were sparkling. He leaned down and whispered into her ear. “It’s a secret. But I can tell you another secret if you like?”

Khushi could only stare and blink at him. She brushed a hand over his hair. “What?”

His breath tickled her senses. She shivered. “I was having,” he paused, “fun.” He looked amazed and thrilled at the same time.

Khushi laughed at his joy. “Fun doing what?”

Arnav turned to the children still slaving away. “What?! Not done yet?” He flicked the paper from Deva and said, “Go help Angel.”

Without a word of protest, Deva sank down beside Chotti who also shifted to make space for him.

“I don’t understand.” Khushi shook her head in bewilderment. “What have you done to them?! Where are my squabbling bachchas!?”

Arnav coughed and hemmed and hawed. He leaned towards her and muttered into her ear behind the cover of the exam sheet. “Much as I would love to claim magical powers, I have to admit I got the hang of it only half-hour ago.” He shook his head and said with a sense of wonder. “When I surrendered.” He slid his arm around Khushi and pulled her close. “They are adorable. Thank you.” He kissed her chastely.

Khushi blinked at him and smiled tremulously. “Thank you.” Her heart was in her eyes and the RV, which was blowing softly, picked up tempo.

“Tantarraaaa!” Chotti jumped up holding her chart, urging her brother to hold the other end. “How’s it?” she asked with eager anticipation.

“It’s beautiful.” They chorused. “Isnt it Guddu?” Khushi prodded.

“Yeah. Dad, were the answers okay?”

Arnav looked down at the sheet in his hand. “Oh, yeah, well,” his eyes glinted, “now that your Mom is here she can check it,” smirking he thrust it into her hand and walked ahead, “come on and check out my ‘homework’!”

“Yay!” The children ran after him. He turned back to look at Khushi. “Aren’t you coming?”

Now what? Khushi slipped the test paper in the social studies book and hastened to catch up though she needn’t have hurried. He was waiting for her.

“Okay, here’s the thing,” he was as excited as Chotti was while getting ready for a shopping expedition, “Khushi you close Angel’s eyes and I will close Deva’s and yours.”

They stared at him and each other in surprise.

“Come along now. Hurry!” ASR hustled them.

Blinded and handicapped, they shuffled forward with Arnav guiding them ahead inside the room. He quickly shut the door with his foot and led them in. “Can you feel something?”

Khushi shook her head. “No.”

Chotti raised her nose and sniffed. “I smell something. I know!” she jumped up and shook off her mother’s hand shrieking, “Balloons!”

And balloons it was! The entire room was filled with balloons. Green and pink balloons bobbed above them, just out of reach.

“What’s all this?” Khushi asked in wonder even as Chotti jumped up trying to catch them. Even Guddu lost his gravity and joined her.

“Hey! Hey, wait, wait,” Arnav cautioned, “there are rules.”

“Rules?” They chorused.

“Yes!” Arnav nodded. “It’s a game.” His eyes were sparkling and he rubbed his hands in glee. “See those makeshift goals?” he pointed to two crude semi enclosures at the opposite ends of the room made with streamers – again pink and green. “So it’s like this there are two teams. Deva and your Mom, and Angel and I. Yours are the green balloons and ours are the pink balloons. Okay?”

They nodded. “But what do we have to do?” Chotti asked.

“We have to transfer our color balloons to our goal. But,” he paused, “we can only use our heads to do so. Four points for a goal and two points for bursting the other team balloon. So what do you think?” He asked in anticipation.

“Mom! Let’s play!” Guddu jumped into the fray. “Come on hurry! We can win this,” he looked at Chotti and smirked. The fire of battle was in Khushi’s eyes as she strapped and tucked in her dupatta around her waist.

“Daddy!” Chotti pulled at Arnav. “Come on!”

And away they headed, this way and that way, bumping into each other not to mention furniture and the walls. But did they care? No! They were having too much fun, especially popping the other team balloons. Guess who was winning?

Arnav’s team of course!

Including Chotti in his team was a strategic decision – he picked her up and carried her around as she head-butted the high floating balloons, pitching pink ones into the goal and pinching the green ones against the wall. He was her eyes, she his head. The scales were heavily tilted against the mother-son duo and they cried foul loud and long, which made the game ever so much fun. It was a boisterous game fun-filled game that left them panting and grinning from ear to ear – especially Arnav and Chotti.

“This was the best day ever Daddy!” Chotti clung to her father.

Unstated and thirsting for victory Guddu asked, “Do we have more balloons Mom?”

Khushi looked at Arnav, who shook his head. Actually he had the rest of the balloons stashed away safely.

“Mom, can we play this game with Anki bhaiyya and Shubham….?”

“Not Shubham!” Chotti sprang up.

“You don’t have to play!” Guddu retorted.

“Why not?”

“Because you are a cry-baby!”

“I am not!” Denied Chotti hotly. “You are just being mean because I won…”

“Oh please! You didn’t win. Dad did..”

Leaving them to sort it out among them, Khushi turned to Arnav to sort out their issues. “You cheated!” Khushi said but without much heat. “You deliberately took Chotti in your team.”

Arnav shrugged and flicked her nose. “Too late to cry now.”

Khushi huffed and puffed. “I demand a rematch.”

Arnav grinned. “Any time, my dear any time.” He cast a look at his still squabbling kids and lowered his voice. “Just you and me okay?”

“Deal.” Khushi sighed as she was reminded of the reason for the day. “Okay so that means, you won today’s deal.” She had little choice but to concede defeat. “What do you want me to do?”

Arnav shook his head, “I may have won the game, with a little bit of smart thinking but today was an eye-opener. And,” he coughed, “You don’t know how many times I almost caved in and called you.”

“Why?” Khushi laughed. “Couldn’t make them toe the line like your employees?”

He shook his head. “Give me a roomful of employees any day!” They laughed. He held her hands. “I learned a lot today and appreciate how difficult it must be for you…”

Khushi squeezed his hands, “But I wouldn’t exchange it with a roomful of employees!” Khushi scratched her head and admitted. “Although some days I do wish I could run away.”

Arnav nodded. “I understand now.” He looked at them on the verge of blows. He sighed. “So, much as I hate to admit it – you win. I lose.” Strangely her smile of victory did nothing to ruffle his feathers. “So what do you want me to do?”

Khushi nibbled at her lips. “I want you to promise to spend more time with the kids, not just on holidays but during their weekdays, school days….”

“I will come once a week,” Arnav swore, “maybe twice a week.” He was determined to make up for lost time.

Khushi raised her hands in mock horror. “Not twice a week please! I can’t handle three kids together on a weekday.” She paused. “Well maybe I could take the afternoon off…”

“Whaa…? No! And just who are you calling a kid? Hey! Don’t do that!” Arnav yelled and grabbed hold of Guddu just as he was about to literally pull the rug from under Chotti’s feet.

“Just look at him Daddy!” Sobbed Chotti, “he always does this….”

“Enough of your drama Chotti,” Khushi said exasperated, “I saw what you did…”

“I didn’t do anything…” Chotti cried piously.

“You did!” Guddu shouted. “You broke…”

“I did not!

“You did!”

“Did not!”

“Well maybe once a month,” Arnav said. He scratched his head, “Or once in two months, perhaps for a couple of hours…when you are at home…”

“Oh no, no, that’s cheating Arnav…”

“No it’s not! It’s just that I would love to spend more time with you…”

“Liar! You just want back up support…”

“Rubbish!”

“No! I can see it in your face…” Khushi shook her finger at him.

“What can you see in my face?” Arnav moved forward.

“That look…” Khushi stood her ground.

“Which look?”

“That look which says i-got-khushi-cornered-where-i-want-and-i-will-just-on-squeezing-her-until-she-caves-in expression.” She accused

“What the…!” Arnav was surprised into laughter, “Unbelievable! Where do you get that from?”

“From your face…”

“Nonsense…”

And so on and so forth they went on and on beating their kids hollow (err figuratively speaking of course) and I had little choice but to draw the curtain on this day where Arnav (literally and figuratively) went to school.

A/N Thanks for your company on this whimsical journey of mine – wouldn’t have been half as much but for your active participation and appreciation. If you would like to read more about Guddu, Chotti and Anya (including her particular love story with a twist) who are all inextricably entwined with the lives of Arnav and Khushi, please join me for some old wine on a new page. The original Silver Streaks which I have begun to re-post on my blog or you could read some more snippets from there lives which are listed here: From DM’s Desk

 

 

Arnav Goes to School – V

Click here for the previous chapters:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Children Multicolored Hand Paint
Photo from Pexels

Part V

“I’m afraid Deva this isn’t working out,” Arnav softened his words with a smile. “I think you should read it a couple of times and then I’ll give you some questions, which you can answer and,” He nodded his emphatically, “that will give you an idea about your strengths and weakness, not by this…this verbal Q&A session.”

“But I always….” Deva protested.

“Daddy come and help me!” having set up the craft material to her satisfaction, Chotti demanded her share of his attention.

“Okay!” Arnav raised his hands in surrender. “Here’s the deal.” He looked at his phone, “the order will be here in 30 minutes. Deva you read your chapter thoroughly while I sit with Angel and help her out,” Chotti glowed while Deva glowered. “And then we’ll take a goodie break and I’ll make a few questions,” quelling a ready-to-protest-Devansh with a look, “simple multiple choice questions,” Devansh subsided, “which you can do after the break.”

“What about me?” Chotti was unwilling to be left out post-break.

“You can finish up your project,” Arnav coughed, “on your own.”

“That’s not fair Daddy.” Chotti protested. “What will you do while we are slaving away?” For once Devansh was in complete agreement with his pest of a sister.

“Excuse me?” A crack of laughter escaped Arnav.

“You heard me Daddy.” Chotti crossed her arms and waited.

Arnav rolled his eyes. “Oh come on! You can decide that during the break while I am slaving away making questions.” He tapped his watch. “Come on! 30 minutes, not a minute less, even if the order arrives,” he warned. “The ice cream cake can melt for all I care.”

The next half-hour flew by as Arnav joined his daughter on the floor after having sought her permission to change his suit. She graciously agreed. “Take a washroom break as well.” She extended his parole.

“Yes Ma’am.”

She grinned cheekily at him before bending over her chart paper.

During the dessert break, ASR labored over the SS chapter, racking his reluctant brains trying to come up with decent questions. While he was otherwise preoccupied, the siblings were in complete harmony, slurping and planning an activity for ASR that would suitably match and more than make up for their slave away time. Arnav couldnt help but feel a twinge of trepidation – all the khusur-phusur not to mention the wicked glances that Chotti sent his way along with Deva’s animated inputs didnt bode too well for his future. Hey Devi Maiyya raksha karna! The thought inadvertently slipped out from his heart.

“Okay break over.” Arnav packed away the decimated cake and other stuff. “Back to work. And no talking,” he warned Chotti, “He’s taking a test. And Angel, you have to give the finishing touches to your project…”

“And we decided that you will also have to do something for us.” Chotti laid down their condition.

“What?” Arnav was seriously regretting his offer. Nothing short of madness!

“Anything.”

“Meaning?” Arnav was taken aback.

“Meaning surprise us. Entertain us.” She waved her hand at the stuff littered on the floor – streamers, sparklers, balloons, colored sheets, glue and what not, “Make something for us. Something we will enjoy.” She threw him a challenge exchanging a look with her partner-in-crime who wore a smug look admixed with superior glee and pity for his beleaguered Dad.

“Well? Go on. What are you waiting for?” Chotti prodded before snickering behind her hand.

“I’m waiting for you guys to begin slaving.” Feeling on safer grounds, ASR remarked.

Chastened, they bent over their respective tasks, shooting curious looks once in a while to Arnav as he stared at the available raw material and tried to come up with something creative and enjoyable – something that he would love doing. When had he done that last? He couldn’t recollect anything apart from getting a rise out of Khushi that is. And now with his kids. He sighed feeling guilty about all the years he had missed spending with them. No wonder Devansh viewed him with suspicion as if he was some alien. He shook his head. He too had been overprotective of his mother and his Di.

Di.

A smile creased his face. He swiftly gathered the things he needed and stuffed them in the oversized pockets of his cargo pants before Chotti’s sharp eyes caught him.

“Okay guys.” He held his palm over this hand to indicate time out. “Carry on with your work while I go into the other room and do something creative worthy of you. And mind you no cheating.” He warned strictly. “I’ll finish…finish my project and come out and check your progress and only then allow you to check it out. Otherwise it’s back to the books.” He looked at Devansh. “Got it?”

Devansh nodded. He had already gone back to his test.

“But Daddy, why do you have to go to another room?” She whined. “Why can’t you do it here?”

“You’ll know when you see.” He said mysteriously.

“Oooh! Tell me now! Please, please Daddy please. Dad….”

“Shush!” Arnav hushed her. “Devansh is giving a test. Remember if he doesn’t do well then even you can’t see what’s in there.”

“What!? Why!?”

But Arnav shook his finger at her and had walked off.

“Da,” Chotti muttered softly, “I hope you know all the questions.”

“Of course I know all the questions!” He waved the sheet of paper and tapped it with his pen. “They are all written here. Buddhoo.” He scoffed.

“Fine! Be that way!” Chotti stuck out her tongue. “When it’s time I’ll tell Daddy…”

“Before you say anything I will tell him that you are disturbing me!” Deva shot back. “Daaad!”

“Shush!!!!” Chotti clapped a hand over his mouth. He glared at her and pushed away her hand. He opened his mouth to call out again.

“Please! Please!” Chotti begged.

“Say sorry.”

“Sorry.”

“Not like that. Hold your ears and do sit ups. Say sorry ten times.”

Chotti had none of Khushi’s hesitation or sense of humiliation. After all Da was right. She was disturbing him and she had no shame in owning up to it or paying for it, while Devansh watched with an unholy gleam in his eye.

“What’s happening here?” One afternoon with the kids and his sixth sense had kicked in. They were silent. Too silent.

Deva bent his head assiduously over his worksheet while Chotti made some elaborate leg extensions swinging her arms up and down. “Angel?” Arnav was hard put to keep the grin off his face.

“Nothing Daddy,” Chotti swore airily, “I was just trying out some dance steps for my dance class next week, 4, 3,2 and 1, 2, 3,” she panted and she switched positions. Arnav’s eyes strayed to Devansh – a tactical blunder as he was watching his Dad’s face with keen interest. Arnav’s expression slipped and instantly a wide grin split Devansh’s face. Arnav turned on his heels and went back to his slavery, all but laughing aloud.

Dad wasn’t so bad after all, Devansh admitted to himself with a warm glow in his heart.

“Wasn’t I clever?” Chotti gloated. “Daddy didn’t get to know anything!”

“Oh didn’t he?” Deva grinned to himself. “Will you please let me work?” He sighed.

Chotti slunk away.

*** to be continued ***

Click here for the final Part VI

 

Arnav Goes to School – IV

Click here for:

Part I

Part II

Part III

berries, blackberries, blueberries
Photo from Pexels

Part IV

“Can I have a choco-lava cake Daddy?”

“I want an ice cream cake, and an apple pie.” Deva too had his list ready. “Oh and a fruit salad sundae.”

“Da! You are such a hog! Daddy if he’s taking all that, then I want a tiramisu too!” She paused. “Three tiramisu,” she counted on her fingers, “Mamma and Nani also like it.” She looked at Arnav. “Maybe one for HPji as well?”

Arnav rolled his eyes. “Okay enough now. Let’s wrap up this extended lunch. I’ll see about,” he shook his finger at them, “ordering your requests, provided you start studying….”

“Studying! Right away after lunch?” Devansh was aghast. “We’ve just come back from studying…”

“So what?” Arnav said hard-heartedly, “Even I have been working since morning…”

“But Daddy,” Chotti slid close to him, “You went to office two hours later than us,” she batted her eyes at him, “and you’re are so much older than us.”

“Exactly.” Arnav’s lips twitched, “if I being so old can work so much, surely you guys with young blood can work much more than I can.” He crossed his arms and waited sure that fresh salvos were on the way.

“Yes of course we can Dad,” Arnav raised his eyebrow at this unexpected support. “But for an all round growth we need to exercise all parts of the body. We already worked out the grey cells, time for the muscles don’t you think?” he wheedled.

“Don’t listen to him Daddy!” Chotti threw herself into the fray, “he played a lot of football. Before school, during break and even after school!” She turned a beleaguered face up to Arnav and said piously, “It’s my grey cells which need a break, besides my dolls are crying for their Mamma…”

“Oh please Chotti,” snapped Guddu, “dolls don’t cry, they aren’t even alive…”

“Says who?” Chotti ran off to get her favorite doll and pulled a string. Instantly the doll set up a racket.

“Ouch!” Both son and dad flinched.

Seeing his opportunity, Devansh appealed to ASR, “Dad I HAVE to practice more. Shubham scored 3 goals while I couldn’t even score one goal.” He drooped.

“Shubham is older than you,” Chotti consoled him, “and,” with her brow darkening, “a meanie. Only meanies can score goals.” She absolved her brother of any such character flaws.

Arnav frowned. “What did Shubham do?”

“Nothing Dad,” Devansh shushed Chotti, “When she was younger, Chotti used to join us as we ran around the field playing football. She would get underfoot, trip and get hurt. That’s why whenever Shubham saw her near the field, he would hold the ball and not let anybody play. So then all of us would gang up and chase her away and ever since then she calls Shubham a meanie.”

“But that was the right thing to do Angel.” ASR shrugged off his coat and tugged at his tie and plopped down on the settee. Surrender was the only way out. Besides he was finally having fun. “He did what he had to do to save you…”

“Exactly what Mamma said – sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind,” intoned Deva.

“I don’t care.” Chotti put her nose in the air. “Shubham is a meanie. Shubham is a meanie. Shubham is a…”

“He is not!” Guddu cried hotly. “He’s the best.”

“He is not.”

He is.”

Not.”

“Is.”

“Is not.”

“Okay!” Arnav played his trump card. “So which dessert should I order and from where?” He took out his mobile and waved it temptingly. Instantly they both lunged for it and fell on top of Arnav, who held away the phone.

The deserted corridors of RM were rent with shrieks and howls and it was a miracle that the living room settee didn’t crash. A rumpled but victorious ASR emerged from the tangle of skinny arms and legs with the phone still in his grip.

“I think I need to order something to drink as well!” Arnav was bright-eyed and flushed.

“Yay! Orange juice!”

“Pineapple for me!”

“Okay okay fine!” Arnav swiftly tapped the order app and gave a rather generous and large order led astray by the range of demands pouring in from over both his shoulders. Besides he couldn’t refuse them anything. He was just here for one day. Khushi could discipline them as much as he liked. But he did have the ‘deal’ to clinch.

“And done!” He pressed the proceed button. “This will take 45 min to an hour to be delivered. So why don’t you finish your respective homework during this period?”

“Okay Daddy,” Chotti gave an angelic smile, “I will do mine and on my own.” She stuck out her tongue at Deva.

Guddu was unfazed. “If I had some stupid drawing homework, even I would have done it by myself. But this is Social studies, I bet you don’t even know what it is…”

“Why can’t you do it on your own?” Arnav cut in hastily as Chotti geared up for another round.

“I study like that only,” Deva said sulkily, “I will read the chapter and you will have to ask questions.”

“Sure,” Arnav nodded. “I’ll be happy to do that.” He smirked to himself as he could see Khushi’s crestfallen face. Now what should he make her do? He wondered. Make her dance? Make her say sorry holding her ears? No! He couldn’t do that to her again. Maybe…

“Dad. Dad!” Deva shook him. “I finished reading,” he held out his book.

“So soon?” Arnav was surprised.

Deva shrugged. “Ask me anything from Chapter 22.”

Chotti returned dragging a rucksack almost twice her size. Ignoring them, she upturned the bag and emptied the contents on the floor. She carefully unrolled a sheet of chart paper and weighted them down. She rifled through her scattered belongings picking and discarding things.

“Dad!”

“Oh yeah!” Arnav tore his eyes from Angel and reluctantly flipped the pages. Social studies had never been his kind of subject. “Chapter 21?”

“No Dad. Chapter 22.” Devansh was busy bouncing a tennis ball.

“This is a long chapter,” Arnav accused, “how could you read it so fast, leave alone memorize?”

“Ask me anything.” Devansh challenged, his entire attention on the lime green ball.

Arnav sighed and focused on studying. Devansh had only skimmed through the pages, relying on his interrogator to fill in the blanks while he played ball. This was how he liked to study and so long as he was studying, absorbing and retaining, Khushi saw no harm in going with the flow.

Not so with Arnav. He didn’t appreciate the spoon-feeding, primarily because it meant double work for him – read the chapter, grasp the essentials, and pick up the ones Devansh missed. And to top it all SS!

Who the hell created SS? He would take great pleasure in doing away with the person for once and for all.

*** to be continued***

Click here for Part V

 

 

Arnav Goes to School – III

Click here for:

Part I

Part II

Shallow Focus Photography of Potato

Part III

“Come on Devansh.” ASR said testily. “Enough of this nonsense. Come down immediately for lunch.”

Guddu stiffened and he wore a matching expression. “Where’s Mom?”

“I told you! She is busy. And so is Nani.” ASR added.

“Busy where?” Guddu insisted.

“Just busy.” Arnav repeated feeling out of his depth as Chotti joined them. “Did you finish your lunch?”

“You were taking so long and I was feeling scared,” mumbled Chotti.

“Where’s Mom?” Devansh shouted

“Devansh don’t you dare…” ASR flared up.

“Is she in the hospital? Is she…is she…” Guddu’s voice shook despite himself.

“No!” Arnav was aghast. “Not at all! She’s fine. She’s gone shopping with Nani and Bua. Some wedding coming up,” he finished weakly. “Come for lunch and you can speak to her.” He awkwardly patted Devansh on the head. “Don’t worry. She’s fine. I promise.”

“Why didn’t Mamma take me shopping?” wailed Chotti. “I love shopping.”

“Mom never goes shopping at this time.” Guddu wasn’t so easy to convince. “She’s always home when I come.”

“So today for a change I am home.” Arnav ran a frazzled hand over his hair. “Isn’t that just as good?”

There was a depressing silence from Guddu although Chotti made up for it by giving him a hug. “Yes Daddy. Come Da, let’s finish lunch and then Daddy will play with us. He even promised to tell the story…”

“Did you and Mom have a fight?” Guddu clenched his fists and glared at Arnav. “Has she left us?”

“No!” Arnav gave up and called Khushi. “Hello Khushi…”

“Itni jaldi haar gaye?” She commiserated in a gloating tone. “tsk tsk tsk bechare Arnav.”

“Oh shut up Khushi.” Arnav snapped and instantly regretted it as Guddu’s face crumpled. He softened his tone. “Nice to know you are having a good time Khushi. Just talk to Deva will you? He is rather worried about your well being,” he held out the phone to Devansh.

Unwilling to be left out, Chotti clamored for her share of Mamma and a bit of whine and rant – how dare she go shopping without Chotti?

“Okay?” Arnav searched his son’s face.

Embarrassed, Guddu shrugged nonchalantly. “Whatever.” He mumbled.

“Mamma is at the hospital.” Chotti announced happily.

Instantly Guddu’s brow darkened. “She’s not!” he denied hotly. “She’s shopping. She told…”

“Arre Buddhoo,” Chotti scorned, “You really should clean your ears while bathing. She said she is NOT shopping but at the hospital.” She gave a dramatic pause, which made even Arnav’s heart rate increase. Was there more to this sudden ‘challenge’ by Khushi?

Chotti coughed importantly. “Mamma has taken Nani to visit her friend who is admitted in the hospital.” Arnav surreptitiously wiped his brow but the seed of doubt had been sown. What was she doing at the hospital? He fretted. Was it as she had told Angel or was she bluffing again? But he would have to get to the bottom of that later for there were other rather urgent and pressing concerns that needed to be taken care otherwise they too would have to visit the hospital.

While he had been indulging in his favorite daydream of ‘How dare you KKGSR’ Chotti had snickered at Guddu for being a Mamma’s boy and thinking she had left them. Devansh’ ego couldn’t take so much battering (at least not on an empty stomach and definitely not from Chotti). He flew off the handle and they were both rolling about on the floor, each hell bent on murdering the other.

“Enough!” ASR barked as he pulled them apart and physically dragged them to the dining table even as his phone rang insistently. “Sit!” His voice brooked no hanky panky.

Suffering withdrawal symptoms, Aman had chosen this moment to call up ASR. “What?” He snarled.

Wide-eyed Chotti began pecking at her food while Guddu sat mutinously. “Da,” she kicked him under the table, “Daddy is really angry.”

“I’m not blind.” Retorted Guddu with a return kick. “And when isn’t he?”

“Haww!” Chotti sat up straight. “How can you say that?!! He’s the best Daddy in the WHOLE world.”

“I don’t know about the best but he may be the angriest.” scoffed an out-of-sorts Deva.

“And you are the most selfishest person.” Chotti chastised him, “You know Daddy has diabetes and falls sick if he doesn’t eat on time? If you don’t eat, he also won’t eat. Do you want him to faint?”

Guddu blenched.

“Or die?” her voice shook.

“I don’t care if the President of Mars is coming.” ASR cut into Aman’s excited crackle. “Cancel my appointments. And don’t call me again.” He glared at the phone in his hand. “Now what the hell is wrong with this phone?” He fumed.

Devansh perked up. “Let me see.” He plucked the phone out of Arnav’s hand. “What’s the problem exactly?” He asked as he ran a professional eye over the phone.

“Noth…” ASR reached out to take the phone but changed tactics. “I don’t know!” he said rather helplessly. “It keeps hanging. I’ve tried everything in the book…”

“What’s this App?” Deva was busy scanning ASR’s phone. “Kill Bill?”

Arnav shrugged, “No Idea. I thought you or Angel must have downloaded it on our last trip to…”

“I didn’t,” Deva denied, “And I doubt if Chotti would be able to download any app,” he scoffed.

“Excuse me?” Chotti said haughtily looking remarkably like a mini ASR. “Of course I know how to download apps.” She peered over his arm. “Which one? Kill Bill? No that’s not mine, besides isn’t that something to do with bills? Maybe Mamma…”

“Why should she download on Dad’s phone?” Deva argued. “Dad, I think this a rogue app. I am deleting it.” He restarted the phone. “I think it should work fine now.” He handed it to Arnav. “Let me know if it doesn’t.”

“Sure. Thank you.” Arnav said meekly. “Shall we have lunch? Angel, have I told you the story about how Grandmamaji made friends with the Martians and set up ARDesigns over there?”

“No, Daddy.”

“It’s a very interesting tale. You see it happened that Mamaji’s space capsule got lost and instead of the Moon, he landed on Mars.”

“Ooh then what happened?” All eyes, Chotti chewed her food. Arnav heaved a mental sigh of relief as from the corner of his eye he saw Devansh pull up a plate.

“A lot of exciting stuff. What’ll you have Deva?” He asked casually. “Rice or roti?”

“Rice.” Devansh served himself and tucked in hungrily.

“Angel, you didn’t finish your roti? You know you are lucky not to be on Mars.”

“Why?” Chotti obligingly took a bite.

A starving Arnav also dug in. “They don’t have rice or roti.”

“Then what do they eat?”

“Algae.”

“Algae? What’s that?” Chotti was curious.

“Green slimy stuff.” Arnav spoke with his mouth full. “Finish up and I’ll show you a photo on my phone.”

“I finished.” Chotti pushed away her plate.

“But you just had one roti! Your Mamma said you have two rotis.”

“Only sometimes,” Chotti prevaricated, “very rarely.” She crossed her fingers.

“She’s lying Dad.” Guddu couldn’t let this opportunity slip, “She always has two rotis unless she’s sick or something. Mom doesn’t let her get up from her chair until she finishes…”

“Daddy do you know Da has his social studies exam tomorrow? He doesn’t know anything in social studies.” She said with relish.

“It’s not an exam, stupid. It’s just a silly test. They don’t count.” Devansh shot daggers with his eyes and promised just deserts later. Chotti stuck out her tongue at him.

“Yech.” Guddu retched. “Don’t do that – not while eating.” He gagged. “With all that muck…”

“Okay okay, enough now.” Arnav interrupted mildly, “who wants an ice cream?”

“There’s no ice cream in the fridge.” Chotti picked at her food.

“How do you know?” Both Guddu and ASR were surprised.

“Don’t you remember Da. Last month …” she clammed up.

“Oh right!” Devansh tapped his chin with an unholy glint, “you filched ice cream from the freezer and then left the freezer door open…”

“Daddy you’ll have to really sit on Da’s head to make him social studies.” She shook her head. “He really hates it…”

“Dad what’s for dessert?”

“I don’t know.” Arnav scratched his head. “I thought there would be ice cream.” He said the first thing that came to his mind.

“Didn’t Mamma make anything?” Devansh asked. “She always does.”

Arnav’s heart sank. Khushi had discussed the menu with him and he had vetoed dessert.

“They like to have something sweet after lunch.” Khushi had warned.

“They can have some fruit. Sugar is not good for health, I think you know that?” He had said pointedly.

Khushi had shrugged. “Have it your way, but they usually have milk and fruits at around 6 pm. But,” she smiled sweetly, “You’re the boss.”

Yes! He was the boss.

“I can order something…” Arnav offered.

 

*** to be continued***

Click here for Part IV

Arnav Goes to School – II

To read the first part first, click here

competition, dispute, fight
Photo from Pexels

Part II

“I don’t!” Khushi denied hotly. “We have a deal, school tiffin and lunch their way and dinner my way.”

“School tiffin is fine,” admitted Arnav, “but decide on a common menu for lunch not a spread worthy of a wedding reception…”

“Rubbish! See this is rajma for Chotti and she likes a bit of mango chutney to switch flavors. She prefers roti while Guddu like rice but since he doesn’t much care for rajma…”

“He doesn’t like rajma?” Arnav was surprised.

Khushi grinned and winked. “Actually he does like it but since Chotti likes it, he pretends he doesn’t.”

“But why?”

“It’s a matter of principle,” Khushi stuck her nose in the air, “you wont understand.”

“Make me.” Arnav insisted.

“See, it’s like this, one if he and Chotti like the same thing, then what’s the difference between him and Chotti right?” Khushi asked Arnav who rolled his eyes, “Oh come on Khushi!”

“And,” continued Khushi, “if rajma was on the menu how on earth was he going to know if that was for him or for Chotti? Now if I made kadi that would be for him and only him…”

“What rubbish Khushi!” Arnav exclaimed, “that’s so complicated thinking and I doubt if…”

“See!” Khushi wagged an accusing finger. “I said you wouldn’t understand!” She walked off in a huff.

“Did Deva really say all that or did you think it for him?” Arnav followed Khushi upstairs.

Khushi glared at him. “I didn’t think it for him, I know that’s his thinking. If you spent more time at home and with them you would also know it.” She paused. “Waise on second thoughts I doubt if you have enough heart and brain to…” she bit her lip as ASR’s lips thinned.

“Don’t transfer your convoluted thought processes on to my children.” Arnav stressed. “And don’t create complicated issues where none exist. Just lay down the law and watch them toe the line.”

“Oh!?” Khushi’s eyes flashed. “So you think you can make them toe the line?”

ASR raised an eyebrow. “Haven’t you seen me in office?”

“Hmm, true.” Khushi tapped a thoughtful finger to her cheek. “Waise,” she coughed, “I don’t remember ASR being very successful in making someone toe the line.” She bit her lip and watched with glee as he went from a haughty confused expression to a sheepish one within a span of few seconds.

She laughed.

“Nonsense!” He made an instant recovery. “Someone used underhanded tactics besides being as slippery as an eel.”

“Huh!?” Khushi’s mouth fell open. He put a hand under her chin and popped it shut. He walked out into the poolside.

Predictably, Khushi came charging after him. “What underhanded tactics?” she challenged aggressively her eyes glowing with righteous indignation. “You were the one…” she thrust a finger into his face.

He entwined his finger with hers and brought it down. “I was the one who wanted to play a fair game but you…” he said reproachfully shaking his head.

“But I what?” Khushi demanded aggressively.

“You were supposed to take the measurements, but you,” He tapped her on the chest, “got someone else to do your dirty work.” He raised a hand as she opened her mouth to retaliate, “You were supposed to take dictation not tape it…”

“…and I was supposed to start crying and beg pardon not take up your challenge head on,” Khushi completed her eyes sparkling with the light of battle. “And you couldn’t resist the challenge I represented could you?” She waggled her eyes at him.

Arnav’s lips twitched. “I do love challenges.” He flicked her nose and turned away.

“Not so fast Mr. Arnav Singh Raizada,” Khushi caught him by the hand. “Since you love challenges so much, I have one for you.” She grinned at him with a cat-got-the-cream expression.

Arnav raised an eyebrow. “Excuse me?” He said arrogantly. “You will give me a challenge? You?

“Yes. Me.” Khushi crossed her arms. “Actually two challenges, if you manage to rise up to even one, I will…I will….”

“You will what Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada?” His voice was deceptively soft.

“I will do whatever you want,” she said recklessly, “for a day,” she added hastily at the glint in his eyes. “And if you lose, it’s the other way round. Deal?” she held out her hand.

Arnav looked at her warily. “At least tell me what the challenge is?”

“Scared?” Khushi taunted.

“Of you?” He scoffed.

Khushi giggled and nodded. She relented. “Don’t worry. It’s something I do everyday.” She shrugged.

Arnav reached out and firmly clasped her hand and jerked her close. “Deal.” He breathed huskily into her ear.

“So, what’s the challenge?” Arnav asked, much later.

“Ah the challenge!” Khushi gave her hair one final brush and turned to face him. “You have to collect Chotti and Guddu from school and take care of them until dinner.”

Arnav frowned. “And?”

“That’s it!” Khushi smiled brightly.

“That’s it?” Arnav said disbelievingly. “What’s the catch?”

“No catch.” Khushi straightened his tie and helped him with his coat. “Just do what I do everyday, for just one day.”

Arnav shrugged. “Sure. Any day. Just tell me when.”

“Tomorrow!” She paused. “Not tomorrow, Thursday.”

“Why Thursday?” Arnav was suspicious of the glint in her eye. “Why not tomorrow?”

Khushi shrugged. “Nothing special.” She dismissed airily.

“Khushi…?” Arnav warned.

“Okay fine!” Khushi capitulated. “On Friday, Guddu has his weekly test and Chotti her project submission.”

Despite the air-conditioning, Arnav broke out in a sweat. He could already see Khushi’s knowing gloating grin.

It was already 3.30 pm and the kids hadn’t even had lunch yet. 

What the…! 

There was no way Khushi was going to win this battle. 

Not again.  

Buck up ASR he pepped himself, buck up.

*** to be continued ***

A/N Since ASR is busy strategizing on how best to clinch the deal, the next post will be on D-Day i.e. Thursday 😀 And in case you are wondering how to pass the time until then here are a couple of links to short stories – go on make my day, read at least one!

Bunch of Short Stories

Some Short stories

Friday Flash

Click here for Part III

Arnav Goes to School – I

Yeah, so well after Moonshine I seem to be in a sort of limbo and haven’t been posting or writing half as much as I would like to. Even this story has been simmering on the back-burner for weeks now. I thought that perhaps if I began posting it, I might get the necessary impetus to finish it. Look forward to your (vocal) support in this 6 part (completed) story.

A quick word (or two) of clarification for those who are not familiar with the characters. This story is about Arnav Singh Raizada also known as ASR and his wife (kam eternal sparring partner zyada) Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada (KKGSR) and their two children – Devansh aka Deva, Da, Guddu and Angelika aka Angel, Chotti. Thanks for reading 🙂

Painting and Drawing Tools Set
Photo from Pexels

Part I

“Daddeeee!” Ponytail and skirt flying Chotti ran out of the school gates and into her father’s arms.

“Whoa!” Arnav’s face softened and creased as he gathered her into his arms. “Where’s Deva?”

“Must have sneaked off to the playground for a bit of football,” Chotti sniffed disparagingly.

“Go and call him.” Arnav was uncomfortable among the milling crowd of children and mothers. “We are getting late.”

“You know him right Daddy?” Chotti spread her hands expressively and in a manner belying her age. “He won’t come before he’s scored at least 3 goals. Even Mamma can’t…” she paused, “where’s Mamma?”

Arnav cleared his throat and passed a finger around his neck, feeling rather hot under his trademark three-piece suit. “She’s busy.”

“Hey Da!” she waved frantically.

Deva dragged his feet and satchel, shirttail sticking out of his shorts. “Where’s Mom?”

“She’s busy. Come on now hurry.” He hustled them, feeling a bit put out at Deva’s lack of reaction. After all ASR had cancelled his meeting just to…oh well at least Angel was happy to see him.

“Why isn’t there anybody at home?” Deva asked. “Not even Nani?”

“I told you. They are busy. Wash up quick and come for lunch.” He waved his hand at the lunch laid out on the table.

Chotti took a sneak preview and backed off. “I’m not hungry.”

“Angel!” Arnav called sternly.

Chastened, she came back. “Only if you tell me a story.” she bargained

“I don’t want this goop,” Deva stirred the hornet’s nest.

Predictably Arnav’s brow darkened. “Excuse me?”

Deva excused himself.

“Da is a bad boy.” Angel crowed, “Isnt he Daddy?” She sidled close to him.

Arnav patted her head distractedly. Now what? He was getting late dammit.

Chotti tugged ASR’s hand. “Forget him Daddy. He’ll come down when he’s hungry. No need to pamper him like Mamma does.”

Arnav grunted.

“Which story are you going to tell me Daddy?” She shook him. “Don’t worry about him Daddy, he always does this! I won’t eat this I won’t eat that,” expressive hand gestures accompanied her passable imitation of her sibling, “and then Mamma always has to bribe him with something special.”

“Something special?!” Arnav asked. “Like what?”

Chotti shrugged. “This and that. Sometimes Maggi, sometimes burger, sometimes mango shake,” she turned to him struck, “Daddy can I have a mango shake?”

“No Angel.” Arnav was firm. “You’ve got to eat this.” He quickly served her and placed her on the chair. “Now be a good little girl and eat up. I’ll just go and check up on….”

Chotti’s lower lip trembled. “Aren’t you going to tell me a story?”

“Ahh Angel,” An increasingly frazzled Arnav cast a helpless glance upstairs, “I don’t know any story…”

“Don’t worry about that!” Chotti was all smiles as she beckoned him and pointed to the chair in front of her. “You can tell me about how Grandmamaji went to Mars and set up shop there.”

ASR hissed in frustration as he disconnected Aman’s phone for the nth time. “Sweetheart, why don’t you start eating? I’ll just go and get Devansh,” his voice hardened.

Devansh!

Daddy was mad.

Chotti nodded angelically and delicately tore off a tiny piece of the roti, dipped it in the rajma and popped it into her mouth. “Daddy can I come and watch while you get Da?” she asked with morbid pleasure.

“No!”

Angel’s eyes swam with tears.

Arnav hastily softened his tone. “I’ll be right back sweetie. Finish your food.” He dropped a kiss on her head. Satisfied, Chotti stayed put her eyes glued to the stairs.

She could imagine Daddy dragging a kicking and screaming Da by the ears. She shivered with dreadful anticipation and gory relish.

“Devansh,” Arnav cracked the whip, “come on now and eat your lunch. I am late for my meeting.”

“I’m not hungry.” Devansh said sullenly.

“Of course you are.” Arnav was starving. This was not how he had imagined he would be spending Monday. A fun-filled afternoon, with adoring grateful children hanging on to his words with each of them vying to do his command was how he had visualized it.

And bragged about it to Khushi as well.

“Why are you always in the kitchen?” He had grumbled. “What do you pay HP for?”

“To run errands while I stir the pot and whip up stuff on the that ever growing list,” Khushi wiped the sweat off her brow with the back of her wrist.

“You spoil the kids rotten.” Arnav frowned. “You shouldn’t pamper them so much. Give them one thing and that’s it. How many days won’t they eat? One day, two days? Sooner or later they will come to the table and eat whatever is served.”

“Yeah right.” Khushi rolled her eyes. “Been there done that,” she sighed resignedly, “and got my head chewed off for being such a lazy slacker of a mother.”

Arnav frowned. “What the…! Who dare say such a thing to you?”

“You my darling laad governor,” she flicked his nose with her floury hands before running them under the tap.

“Nonsense!” Arnav denied hotly. “I never said such a thing to you.”

“Yes you did.” Khushi insisted wiping her hands, “When Chotti was having repeated chest infections and the doctor said she was malnourished….” Khushi watched with satisfaction as a dull color suffused ASR cheeks.

“Oh that?” He looked away.

“Yes that.” Khushi crossed her arms and nodded.

“That was ages ago,” Arnav dismissed, “Chotti was just 6….”

“….and now she’s just 8 and Guddu is underweight…”

“Whatever,” Arnav waved his hand impatiently, “all I am saying is that the children are becoming spoiled brats and need to learn some discipline. You shouldn’t give into their demands so much.”

*** to be continued ***

 

A/N Next update is tomorrow. Do let me know your thoughts and if you would like to take more sneak peeks into their lives click here – From DM’s Desk

Click here for Part II

Fighting a Losing Battle

Black White and Brown Chess Board Game
Photo (c) Pexels

Words ~ 800

Don’t you dare shout at me Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada!” ASR’s face was black as thunder.

“Why should I not? Are you the only one with daring?”

“Shut up Khushi.”

“Why should I? You shut up. Besides you started it!” Khushi’s voice was hoarse from the slanging match.

“I did not!” ASR denied.

“You did,” Khushi insisted, “God! You are really high maintenance.”

“I am high….huh?! That’s rich, coming from you.” ASR stomped into the kitchen.

“What are you looking for?” Khushi followed him.

Ignoring her, he banged drawers.

“What?” She insisted.

Slam.

“You tell me.” He snapped. “You know me so well.”

Khushi pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes as she accepted his challenge. She bent down and extracted a box of lemon teabags and banged it on the counter.

Arnav’s eyes flickered and steadied. He raised an eyebrow. “Clearly you don’t know me at all.”

“Oh but I do.” Khushi said mournfully. “I was just hoping I was wrong.” She opened a cupboard. “This is what you were looking for weren’t you?” She held a large kitchen knife.

Arnav smothered a laugh and flicked away the knife from her. “Where’s the kettle?”

“Right under your nose.” She rolled her eyes. “What’ll you do when I die?”

His eyes strayed to the knife.

Khushi rolled her eyes and snitched it back. She dropped it among the pots and pans and dusted her hands while shutting the drawer with a trademark swing of her shapely hips.

Arnav’s lips twitched.

Khushi plugged in the kettle and asked gently. “Shall we come to the crux of the matter?”

His eyes flickered.

Khushi sighed. “Arnav let Guddu go. He really wants to, besides it’s just for a couple of years….”

“Couple of years!” Arnav was up in arms. “How can you say just for a couple of years? Do you know how long that is?”

“You also went off abroad…”

“I didn’t have my parents waiting worrying…”

“Di and Nani were there…”

“Damn.” He turned away and smashed his fist on the wall. “It’s all your fault!” He accused, rubbing his hand.

“If that sorts your problem,” Khushi shrugged, “I accept.” She bowed. “It’s my fault. Happy?” She switched off the rumbling kettle.

“I’ll be happy if you rectify your fault.”

“Rectify my fault? How?” Khushi handed him his tea. (Side note: Yeah along the way, ASR had switched over to tea– coffee caused too much acidity and dhak dhak 😛 )

“Deva never listens to me. You convince him not to go.” He urged. “If you insist, he will definitely change his plans…”

“He listens to me only because I insist on things I know he will listen to…”

“That’s crazy!” 

“Exactly!” Khushi pounced. “And I have to do that thrice over.” She paused to tick them off her finger, “Guddu, Chotti, and of course ASR.”

“Rubbish.”

“Deny all you like.” Khushi shrugged. “All three of you are stubborn and self-opinionated egoistic…”

“Okay okay fine fine.” Arnav raised his hands in surrender. “Don’t drag me into this,” he paused. “Where will he stay? What will he eat?” He fretted. He brightened. “Maybe you could go along with him?”

“As if he would allow his Mamma to tag along with him! He’s a full grown man.” Khushi prayed for patience. “Besides who would manage things here?”

“What’s there to manage here?” Arnav was blasé. “Angel and I will have a blast with you out of our hair.”

“Mamma!” Chotti called from the living room. “I’m going!”

“Going?” Khushi poked her head out of the kitchen. “Where?”

“I told you!?” Chotti sashayed up to her looking hip in a figure hugging little black dress, “Sammy’s birthday party. I’ll be late. Don’t wait for me.” She twirled around. “How do I look?” she looked at them expectantly.

“Beautiful.” Khushi said extra brightly.

“Bye Mom!” she blew them a kiss. “Bye Daddy.”

“What the…!” Arnav breathed fire into her ears.

“Now what?” Khushi was at her tethers end. Hey Devi Maiyya please! Sambhal lena!

“What the hell is she wearing?!!!”

“Much more than what you wanted me to wear.” Khushi replied tartly.

“I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“Oh how I envy you your convenient memory.” Khushi gritted her teeth.

“That’s neither here nor there.” Arnav brushed her aside impatiently. “Why didn’t you say anything to her?” He was agitated.

“Because I have already had that battle with her and lost.” She raised a hand as Arnav opened his mouth to blast her. “And better you admit defeat too,” she advised kindly, “before she also decides to look for accommodation elsewhere.”

Khushi watched with interest and intense amusement the play of myriad emotions on Arnav’s face, which could perhaps be best described as oops-dammit-left-with-no-option-but-to-allow-Khushi-to-have-the-last-word—–again.

***

Cough cough waise Arnav ko toh aap bhi achche se jaante honge? Toh aapko kya lagta hai, unka expression kaisa raha hoga?

Look forward your reactions to this retrospective look at Arshi and their lives and if you are interested enough, I may just have another one – soon 😉

WPC: Twisted Nature

This week’s photo challenge is about showing something twisted. So let’s see how twisted one can get…

20170804_112521Twisted metal rods that dot the rural landscape

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Fed up with the twisted eyesores, nature takes things into her hands – when you can’t beat them, join them!

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“Just a single cord is enough to be tangled”Munia Khan

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“The reality of the other person is not in what he reveals to you, but in what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says but rather to what he does not say.” Khalil Gibran

 

IMG_0145Once upon a time, I lived my life in this ‘green room’. Only the bed is missing.

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“Man struggles to find life outside himself, unaware that the life he is seeking is within him.” Khalil Gibran

 

Rose

“The snow and the storm destroy the flower; but its seed they cannot kill.” Khalil Gibran

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“You may chain my hands, you may shackle my feet; you may even throw me into a dark prison; but you shall not enslave my thinking, because it is free!” Khalil Gibran

Just 4 Fun #88

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So even if I did miss this post last week I believe we are still together 😛

 

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Ergo – let us all go ego-less 😀

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Too much gyan kya? Let’s see what I else I can find…

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Did you do that? Not me – I was a very good girl!

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Not me… at least not then. But have been in similar situations while going into the boss’ room 😀

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Yes! I will admit to this – you?

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Heheh

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I have to confess, the cat is cuter! Moving on

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Flexibility is key to survival.

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Hmm I hope he didnt really die for then she would have had the last laugh – just kidding 😀

 

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What’s your excuse? Mine is that it’s all those burgers and fries Mabel has been teasing me to drool about 😉

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Seriously!

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Extremely seriously!!!!

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So how many you identify with Aunty Acid? Oh that reminds of a joke where this guy was moaning to his friend, “I dont think my wife is ever going to die. She has nothing but clothes, she wouldnt be caught dead in.”

That’s all folks – have a great week and as usual none of this stuff is mine, I aim to keep the laughter going 🙂

Colors of Nature

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Remember this blazing amaltas tree from just a couple of weeks ago?

20180527_165530.jpgBut just two weeks later, as the Sun goes on a rampage, this one has opted for a strategic retreat – spring will come another day.

IMG-20180518-WA0025.jpgYet elsewhere, pink blossoms bloom (Dublin to be precise)

IMG-20180527-WA0000.jpgAs do purple ones – though my sister (not the one in the pic) insists on calling it blue – what do you think?

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Some inverted trumpet flowers (do correct me if I am wrong, which I think I am) blooming defiantly among tall disapproving trees 😀

 

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And some prickly pretty cacti! The last two are poached from my brother’s album as he tours the North-East 🙂

Now if only I had a few pics of the palash or forest fire to complete my collage.

Ah well spring will come again 😉

 

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees

Any readers of Silver Streaks here? Well you may like to visit here – A-Shubh Again

Feet of Clay

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Photo (c) Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Feet of Clay

Words 200

“Mom!” Shilpa wailed, “Look at the cake.”

“Don’t worry darling,” Reema consoled, “Layer it with cream and fruits. Your Dad will love it.” She looked at the clock. “Why isn’t Vishal back with the ice cream yet?”

“Won’t Daddy be surprised!?” Shilpa rubbed her hands in glee.

“I was surprised when so many congratulated me!” Reema bustled about. “I felt like a celebrity!”

“He’s the bestest smartest Daddy in the whole world!” Shilpa twirled.

“Vishal!” Reema gasped. “What happened?”

Shirt torn, hair askew, Vishal tottered in.

“Liars!” he spat.

“Who?”

“Everyone! They’re accusing Daddy…”

“…Of…?

“…Sexual misconduct at the workplace.”

***

PS. Not Morgan Freeman! Are there no good men?

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and the beautiful photo prompt. To read the other stories (and participate in the challenge) click here.

SPF: A Rough Draft

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Photo (c) Susan Spaulding

A Rough Draft

Words 200

“Well? Is it done?”

“Sort of. Whether it is well or otherwise is not for me to judge.”

“Very funny. So aren’t you going to show off?”

“Umm. Not sure whether it’s worth bragging about.”

“Come on! Are you digging for compliments?”

“From you?! Who hasn’t even looked at it once?”

“That’s a dig!”

“Haha. Very funny.”

“How does it feel to have finished the story you were working on for over two years?”

“Mostly drained.”

“That’s it?”

“So much more remains to be done!”

“You have a complete story! Go find a publisher and just rake in the moolah.”

“If only it were that easy!”

“Isn’t it?

“Before I can even think of contacting a publisher, I have to edit my novel.”

“Isn’t that the editor’s job?”

“Nope! He just draws red lines through manuscripts before throwing it in the trash.”

“Ouch!”

“Exactly. Ideally one should spend at least thrice the amount of time editing as writing.”

“Wow! You don’t like editing?”

“I do but despite the difficult subject, writing was so much fun.”

“How’s that possible?”

“It was possible thanks to all the people who kept me company through the tortuous paths and cheered me from the sidelines.”

***

A/N Sorry about that I simply couldn’t resist bragging in a (not so) roundabout way 😉 I finished Moonshine the story for which I began blogging (240 chapters!) and the reason I’ve been away – just in case any of you noticed 😛 A genuine and heartfelt thank you to all you alpha readers – silent and otherwise 🙏

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

Just 4 Fun #87

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Now if only i could learn to be silent…but then again half my troubles would have been non-existent if i had spoken up in the first place. Darn it! To speak or not to speak is the question – any answers?

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I beg to differ I am neither old nor restless I just young and senseless. What about you? 😀

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Questions questions and no answers. Hmm well on second thoughts it could be a typo after all s and d are right next to each other on the keyboard 😛

 

IMG-20180511-WA0015Finally somebody got it right!

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Mother’s day has just come and gone and this was a lovely piece as were a couple of others

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But my personal favorite was this one

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which just goes on and on and on 😀

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Hahahave a wonderful week and just want to stress none of this stuff is mine and I am just keeping the fun going – Cheers

Blooming Amaltas

The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge this week is about our place in the world. I decided to interpret it rather literally mostly because this is the right time (although not the right weather) to showcase my world. Temperatures are soaring and yesterday it was a sizzling 43o Celsius (109 o F) and like every summer my campus is on fire. Take a look.

20180512_103046Miles to ogle before I walk 😉

20180512_103121“It is with the intention of losing my way that I have descended on this path” Rabindranath Tagore

20180512_103215A dazzling and enchanting sight one that is quite difficult to tear ones eyes away from despite the blazing Sun.

20180512_102916I could look at this for hours and hours – from an air conditioned room of course 😉

Bane1The amaltas are perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea. This man wages a losing battle against the raining petals.

Bane2Show off 😉

20180509_174225While in school I used to draw the Sun rising from between the mountain peaks – this reminds me of that 😀

By the way, this is the view from my porch – now I’m showing off 😉 Just a couple of years more before we shift so may as well make the most of it!

Also linking to Becca’s Sunday Trees

Hope you enjoyed your stroll through my world – have a wonderful week 🙂

Just 4 Fun #86

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Well that’s an optimist speaking – if you speak to a pessimist, guess what he or she would say?

“Cheer up! The worst is yet to come” 😉

Moving on here are some wonderful definitions:-

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Which one is your favorite? Mine is the Nurse one 😀

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My question is why did he purchase one in the first place? Similarly I’m pretty sure he went after her in the first place… 😀

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Moral of the story: Be careful of what you ask for you may get it 😀

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I wonder where these cards are available….

I recently received a forwarded message on Workplace rules for a happy life credited to WHO. Although I couldn’t find it on their page I thought the suggestions were pretty neat and worth sharing

1. Trust no one but respect  everyone.
2. What happens in office, remains office. Never take office gossip home and vice versa.
3. Enter office on time, leave on time. Your desktop is not helping to improve your health.
4. Never make Relationships in the work place. It will always backfire.
5. Expect nothing. If somebody helps, feel thankful. If not, you will learn to know things on your own.
6. Never rush for a position. If you get promoted, congrats. If not, it doesn’t matter. You will always be remembered for your knowledge and politeness, not for your designation.
7. Never run behind office stuff. You have better things to do in life.
8. Avoid taking everything on your ego. Your salary matters. You are being paid. Use your assets to get happiness.
9. It doesn’t matter how people treat you. Be humble. You are not everyone’s cup of tea.
10. In the end nothing matters except family, friends, home, and Inner peace.
Actually, if you ask me, nothing matters except inner peace – so at the next Miss World/Universe contest let the winner be the one who wishes for inner peace instead of world peace 😀
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To receive good luck and happiness always, just share your joy and inner peace
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Happy Living and wish you all a wonderful week. Please note that none of this stuff is mine, I am just keeping the fun going 🙂

Grounded

A massive beauty for Becca’s Sunday Trees.The lady gives a perspective of size.

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“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky, we fell them down and turn them into paper, that we may record our emptiness.” Khalil Gibran

When the Calling Calls

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Photo (c) K Rawson

When the Calling Calls

Words 100

Skipping along the road of life she halted. Her eyes sparkled.

Don’t go down that road, they warned, it is a dead end.

Others said it was tricky treacherous path.

A one-way road to hell.

Quicksand that engulfs and suffocates you.

What rubbish! She tossed her mane and scoffed at the naysayers. You are such scaredy-cats and so darn negative.

We are realists, they claimed, and you but a babe in the woods. You know nothing of life, of sweat, blood, the struggle, the agony…

Perhaps, she laced her shoes, heaved her rucksack, but you can’t see what I can.

***

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

Well did you see what I saw or was it too obscure? Do let me know!

 

Just 4 Fun #85

I am a bit late with my weekly fun post – been having too much on my own 😀

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A lovely message don’t you think? Let’s see what else I have for you this week but I have to confess my personal resources are dwindling. You think people are less into whatsapping than before? Or their quota is drying up? No way – actually most forwards these days are videos and I don’t even have time to see them all!

WA

A reality I’m afraid and there was one very entertaining video about a guy whose phone battery dies and he initiates a conversation with a lady about her teen and turns out she is his wife and the boy his son 😉

WAblindBut I can’t help wondering can they see the screen in such bright sunshine?

Heights of internet addiction….. 
At a funeral in church:
A visitor: What’s the WiFi password here? 
Priest: Respect the dead.
 
 
Visitor: All small letters?

 

***

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Err by swiping from left to right or right to left as the case may be 😀

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All batteries in the pocket 😀 Thankfully they didnt ask about the power cable 😉

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How many of you know what that brown thing is? Go on, dont be shy, raise your hands and type it out – bindaas 😀

 

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A couple of more works of anti-gravity art works

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Super cool eh?

Ending today’s belated offering with a couple of quick jokes.

I went to a restaurant. It was full; no place to sit…
I took out my mobile, placed it to my ear and said loudly – “Bhabhi come fast, he’s here with someone else…”
Sixteen couples ran away…
***
BBC organized (maybe BBC did or did not – just dont hang the messenger!) a contest where contestants were challenged to write something such that
Feelings of *suspense, curiosity, apprehension, peace, tranquility, anger, violence, anxiety, pleasantness and happiness* are expressed in one short sentence.
The winning entry:
*My wife is not talking*
Umm works just as well with the spouse reversed dont you think?
That’s all folks! Do let me know your favorite and thank you for visiting. And as usual none of this stuff is mine, I’m just keeping the fun going 🙂

As You Like It

For this week’s Sunday Trees I have a really bindaas one 😀

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Covered

from top to toe

They cry foul

As they do

when uncovered

turn

a deaf ear to

the unpleasable world

take a leaf

from me

dance

to your song

as you like

however

you like

Faith & Fury

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Photo (c) Jan Wayne Fields

Faith & Fury

Words 101

Khushiiii!” Heart in his mouth Arnav ran towards the edge.

Sweating and panting, bit-by-bit, he pulled her back and into his arms, for an infinitesimal second, before going on a verbal rampage. “What the hell Khushi! Can’t you do anything right? What if something had happened dammit?”

“But nothing happened!” Khushi inspected her scraped arms. “In any case, it’s all Devi Maiyya’s* wish. If She wants me who am I to fight Her?”

Arnav’s face grew blacker.

Khushi held out her hand. “Help me.”

“Ask your precious Devi Maiyya.” He snapped.

“I did.” Khushi twinkled. “She told me to ask you.”

***

*Devi Maiyya: Mother Goddess

Side note: Just a snapshot of my favorite couple Khushi and Arnav. I didn’t mean to write about them (100 words is not enough) but they have a habit of inveigling themselves and not letting go – apologies if it didn’t make much sense.

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

 

WPC: Life Lines

The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge this week is Lines. And guess what suddenly all I can see are lines 😀 I had to draw a line at the number of photos I dumped on unsuspecting visitors 😉

Let’s start on a high note okay?

20180420_202221Lines of wine bottles and delicacies to soothe the sugar cravings

20180418_200814Night lights and lines in a typical Indian Metro city. Any guesses as to exactly which city? Nope not Mumbai or Delhi 😉

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Petals lined up in a neat circular pattern. That reminds me, enough of interiors! Let’s get hot and dirty.

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The bare branched of the Plumeria or the Frangipani trees draw intricate lines in the hot summer sun.

 

20180413_065405One such tree though not of the trees which whiled away the time drawing lines 😉 This one is busy shooting lines at impossible angles that are in the process of being smothered by a green rash 😀

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These Canna leaves have such interesting lines and am enjoying watching them blossom and grow with each watering.

20180425_065002This caladium leaf could easily be mistaken for playing host to a giant pink spider. Don’t you think so too?

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Not just in life but in death too the leaves leave messages for us. What do you think it’s trying to say?

 

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I think it is saying C you Soon 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend unmarred by any lines on your brow 😀

SPF: Life Notes

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Life Notes

Words 200

“Cheers!” They clinked glasses of preferred poisons.

“When did we last meet?” Priya asked.

“Rhea’s wedding.” Molly winked at Priya as she raised her glass in a toast to Rhea. “So Rhea, did our advice help?”

They giggled at her blank look.

“The birds and the bees.” Priya prodded.

“Oh please!” Rhea smacked her forehead. “Couldn’t you girls have given me some better advice?”

“Like what?”

“Like how disastrous it is to have a joint bank account with your spouse.” Rhea shuddered. “If only someone had told me to keep our accounts separate.”

“Money sweeter than honey.” Molly giggled.

Priya poked Molly. “What would you have done differently?”

“I would’ve prayed harder for my children to ignore me.”

They stared.

“When my children left home and promptly forgot about me, I was devastated.” Molly said. “After several tragedies, broken hearts and late night calls I realized the harsh fact of life.” She grinned. “If your loved ones don’t miss you, they are in a happy place.”

“Your turn.” They looked at Priya.

“I would’ve stayed connected.” Priya looked at them. “I would’ve stolen some time for my friends.” She swallowed. “Invested more in myself, my constant and often only companion.”

***

This photo prompt was one of my earliest (second or perhaps the third) attempts at flash fiction. You can read it here if you wish and let me know which one you prefer – if at all!

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.

Just 4 Fun #84

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Don’t forget to pack it no matter where you go and even more importantly keep it handy – like your mobile.

Chained

Hmm not exactly what I was trying to portray, anyway

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Yeah this is more like it 😀

Err how about an ice cream or two?

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This one was too good to pass up 😀

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Very creative dont you think? I just wish I had known about this a week ago – while attending a one week intensive workshop on how to save the world. Or something like that 😉

Before I sign off with these pearls collected from the internet and forwarded messages (i.e. none of these are mine) here’s a notice which may be of interest to at least some of you 😉

SUMMER CAMP FOR MEN
Evening classes for men. Starting this month!
Summer camp 
Note: due to the complexity and level of difficulty of these contents, each course will accept a maximum of eight participants each.
Topic 1
How to fill ice-cube trays and why to fill water bottles before putting them back in the fridge.
Step by step with slide presentation.
Topic 2
Differences between the laundry basket and the floor.
Pictures and explanatory graphics.
Topic 3
Learning how to find things, starting with looking in the right place instead of turning the house upside down while screaming.
Open forum.
Topic 4
Health watch: bringing her flowers is not harmful to your health.
Graphics and audio tape.
Topic 5
Real men ask for directions when lost.
Real-life testimonials.
Topic 6
Is it genetically impossible to sit quietly while SHE drives?
Driving simulation.
Topic 7
Learning to live: basic differences between mother and wife.
Topic 8
How to be the ideal shopping companion.
Relaxation exercises, meditation and breathing techniques.
Topic 9
How to fight cerebral atrophy: remembering birthdays, anniversaries, other important dates and informing when you’re going to be late.
Admissions are open. 
Which one do you think is most important or any that may have been missed?
Oh wait! One final tip…
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View From the Top

This week, I have this really tall one for Becca’s Sunday Trees

20180125_145850

the young uns

rustle and strain

eager to also

brush shoulders

with the sky

 

buffeted by winds

engulfed

in icy silence

bare branches

send a whisper

on a leaf

 

the sky

is just as far

from here

as from there

 

it is not about

how high you are

it is about how

deep you are.

Another Dead End

photoa

Another Dead End

Words 101

“I hate them! I’m never going back again.” She smashed a cup.

Granny continued rocking.

“I don’t matter, only society matters. Just because Rahul’s poor….”

“…Unemployed.” Granny cut in. “Just think! No money. No roof.”

“I… we’ll stay with you Dadi. You’re lonely.”

“I don’t mind. Not now. Would Rahul like to stay so far away…? ”

“…. He would! He can draw and paint in peace.”

“And you?”

“I’ll be with him.” She giggled. “Whispering sweet nothings.”

“What’ll you eat?”

“Whatever you cook.”

“I don’t cook anymore.”

“Why not?”

Granny gave a cackle and vanished in a puff of smoke.

***

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

Just 4 Fun #83

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Warm bright colors of spring and the coming summer season 😀 And today I bring some minion (among other) fun – for some strange reason (and much to my frustration) I have been unable to access Pinterest from my home internet. But today since I am traveling things are better and here are a few of my favorites. Hope you enjoy 🙂

 

2017-12-11.png (436×468) - funny minion memes, funny minion quotes, Funny Quote... - funny minion memes, funny minion quotes, Funny Quote, Minion Quote, Quotes - Minion-Quotes.com

Hhahah aint that true 😀

 

Today 20 Best Minion Quotes

It does work and even better if you work out along with it. Trust me!

Rackarungar: DIY

Ins’t that right? Now she not only has to keep track of her glass slippers, the kitchen cinders but his socks too! Ahh well such is life.

Minions

Fellow nillionaires raise your hands!

 

.

And I am frequently surprised 😀

Bored not hungry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..........

But it’s not shutting up. I really am starving and I need to go on a diet. Any suggestions?

Great idea. 🙂  Thanks……hey!!!!!

BEST LIFE QUOTES    If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun

So true and the worse part is I just got to know it! So many rules to break and so little time…

 

Albuquerque Funny Minions (09:20:38 PM, Friday 17, June 2016 PDT) – 20 pics... - 092038, 17, 20, 2016, Albuquerque, Friday, Funny, Funny Minion Quote, funny minion quotes, June, Minions, PDT, pics, PM - Minion-Quotes.com

I am not particularly fond of cocktails so perhaps the laptop and wifi?

Minions

Now I know!

Today 20 Best Minion Quotes

Unless I have been sitting for too long then even they dont fit – yeah I am at that age.

I could go on and on but I am sure you have loads to do – have a wonderful week! And as usual none of this stuff is mine and is all borrowed from the internet.

Do let me now your favorite one!

Hark! She Speaks

This week for Becca’s Sunday Trees I bring one that has probably witnessed history that continues to hold significance today – from the precincts of the famous Chittor fort. I have previously shared several visuals from this place earlier as well but this particular tree overlooks the Sati sthal on one side and Jauhar kund on the other. I could not bear to take photos of the place where women burnt themselves along with the dead bodies of their husbands or jumped into it for fear of rape and slavery by plunderers and victors of wars.

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Hark! She Speaks

I can tell you

tales of brave

helpless women

Sending off their men

to wage battles

of honor and pride

Fasting and praying

for his victory

and

his long life

They were but

One soul,

one body.

If he died, she would

burn with him

if he lost, it was Jauhar,

for her

and her children

As the spoils of war

it behooved her

to embrace death

to protect her

dignity and honor

and

save them

the dishonor

of failing to protecting her.

Times have changed

The world has progressed

They educate her

indulge her

pamper her and

cheer for her as she shatters

One glass ceiling after another

But under the sheen

lurks a beast

that seeks to

subjugate her with

attitudes and mentalities

that are passed off

as our culture and

sanskriti

All said and done

it is still her duty

to uphold their honor

And his right to defile hers

it is her duty to bear it silently

to shield their bestiality

so that they can continue to

hold up their heads in society

She is still blamed

and shamed

Be silent

Or be silenced

remains the

unsaid mantra

Since the beginning of time

they have

hacked my branches

stripped me bare

And with cruel knives

carved out love notes

on my body

over and over

again

but did I die?

Did I hide nakedness?

Did I hide my face?

Why do you?

 

Silent

unyielding

unflinching

unapologetic

existence

is my DNA

 

What is yours?

 

SPF: You’ve Got Mail

 march-31st-20131

You’ve Got Mail

Words 202

Five-thirty! All of a sudden Rhea was energized. Her day at the office had ended. She couldn’t wait to get home and switch to her Rheal personality. Technically a copyeditor but relegated to proofreading, she had found succor in her secret alternate universe.

Scifi world here I come her heart sang as the whole weekend stretched before her. Quickly grabbing her weekly essentials so that she wasn’t forced to move out for supplies she let herself into her apartment. Shedding her baggage, kicking off her heels, plugging the kettle, she pulled open her laptop.

The notification button glowed like a welcoming beacon. Yes! Her blog was finally making waves. The act of writing itself was cathartic and fulfilling yet it was lonely. For fear of ridicule she hadn’t shared her newfound passion with her fellow beings and she was resigned to being unnoticed and unread.

But things were changing. Random page views blossomed to a like here and there. And even (gasp) a comment or two. Gerkle was a particular fan. Obviously a fake name but where on earth was Zeutron?

Hi! Could you tell Zoe on Earth that her Dave’s fine? We could arrange a one-way trip for her and you.

***

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.

This story is a sort of a continuation of a previous flash 😀

Any fans of IPK but more importantly readers of Silver Streaks? Here's a little weekend gift - hope you like.

Strained

dales-symphony-2
Photo (c) Dale Rogerson

 

Strained

Words 101

“Well what story do you have today?”

“Nothing,” I sighed.

“Are you dead?”

“No!” I protested. “I just don’t have a story to tell.”

“May as well be dead.”

“True.” I was equally despondent.

“But you can’t die before you’re dead can you?”

“I guess not.”

“Then you have to have a story. Look around. Surely something speaks to you?”

“It does,” I ventured hesitantly, “but the ideas are all so nebulous and…”

“Well hurry up and catch one idea at least!”

“I wish I could!” I groaned in despair. “But….”

“But what?”

“The holes in the sieves are too large.”

***

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

Okay Fine! I plead guilty. If this makes sense, do let me know I shall let myself out of the loony bin.

 

On a Trip of her Own

20180125_115527
When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

Patanjali (c. 1st to 3rd century BC)

 

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees

Just 4 Fun # 82

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Let’s begin with some general knowledge Q & A. Don’t worry it is the world’s easiest quiz 😉
1) How long did the Hundred Years’ War last?
2) Which country makes Panama hats?
3) From which animal do we get cat gut?
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
5) What is a camel’s hair brush made of?
6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?
7) What was King George VI’s first name?
8) What color is a purple finch?
9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?
10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?
Jotted down your answers? Great! Now match them with the answers at the end of the post.
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Well how much do you respect her? 😉
After a medical exam and considering my age, my tendency to falter and trip, the doctor advised me to install a bar in the bathroom for support. Taking no chances I had one installed promptly
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Hic hic 😀
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Err do you? 😉
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As a child, Dennis the Menace was my favorite cartoon character 😀 Then I graduated to Calvin and Asterix. What about you?
Image result for dennis the menace
Image result for dennis the menace
This one is the best of the lot, isn’t it? Time for answers to the world’s easiest quiz
1) How long did the Hundred Years War last? : 116 years
2) Which country makes Panama hats? : Eucador
3) From which animal do we get cat gut? : Sheep and Horses
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? : November
5) What is a camel’s hair brush made of? : Squirrel fur
6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? : Dogs
7) What was King George VI’s first name? : Albert
8) What color is a purple finch? : Crimson
9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from? : New Zealand
10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane? : Orange (of course!)
Well how many did you get correctly? Do let us know. Thanks for visiting and as usual none of this stuff is mine but borrowed from all friends and family who shared it.

Brothers in Arms

stock photo, family, sibling, home, funny, kids, rivalry, patenthood

Photo from here

 

Brothers in Arms

Words 250

The only girl among three boys, I was mercilessly ragged and teased.

Their one stop entertainment channel.

Their unpaid servant.

Make me an omelet, one would say.

Coffee for me, another said.

Why me? Why always me? Make it yourself. I stamped my foot and threw a tantrum.

“Fine, I am off to tell Ma, that you went bike riding with…”

Okay fine! Thwarted, I stomp off in impotent fury. They double up laughing. I shake my fist at them. They laugh even harder.

I grow older, taller, and prettier. Besotted, I stare at myself – Mirror Mirror on the wall…

Snickers and muffled gasps from the window still haunt me. “Oooh isn’t she pretty – for a donkey?”

Skirt flying, I chase them around the neighborhood.

Mother catches me and thrashes me.

“Did you hear the poor lil donkey go heehaw heehaw?” They rub salt on my wounds.

They make me buy cricket gear with my Rakhi money. In return they allow me to fetch and hunt the ball from the undergrowth.

School and college bring distances and greener pastures.

I move on with my man, the love and light of my life.

All too soon, he showers me with curses, kicks and punches.

Sporting a black eye, I decline to go home for Rakhi.

I couldn’t face the boys’ howls of laughter.

They landed up to get their pound of flesh.

They whisked me back home even as he lay trussed up in a hospital bed.

***

Rakhi: An Indian annual festival wherein sisters of all ages tie a Rakhi (a decorative string) around the wrists of their brothers, while praying for his health and protection from all evil/mishaps. She in turn receives a gift from them and a promise to take the responsibility of her well-being.

 

 

SPF: Where Ever You Go

227-04-april-1st-2018

Where Ever You Go

Words 201

“Got your tickets? Your ID, your…?” I fussed.

“Relax Mom! That’s the nth time you asked me that.”

“But I didn’t see you check anything even once!” I flared up.

“I have it with me.” He patted his pocket. “It’s not going to disappear…”

“You could check it just to humor me.” I was resentful.

“Like I could not go just to humor you?”

Hurt, I stared at him. “I never told you not to go!”

“Maybe not in so many words,” he admitted, “but your dark dire predictions…”

“I didn’t mean to discourage you.” I was stiff. “I was just trying to prepare you…”

“By scaring the life out of me?”

I looked around the room. “Doesn’t look like it.” I sniffed.

“Would you have been happy if I was?”

Ashamed I shook my head.

“Aww Mom,” He put his arm around me. “Don’t worry so much. Remember how worried you were when I went to boarding school?”

“I wasn’t worried then!” I protested. “I knew what was going to happen, where you were going, what you were going to eat, but now…”

“Even now you’ll know Mom. They’ve promised to do a live telecast of our life on Mars.”

***

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.

The Joy of Little Things

For a long time now, perhaps since 2005 that I have begun to click pics with my phone. Yes, you guessed right, of trees 😀 They had begun to work their magic on me and I just had to capture them, keep them with me so to speak.  I often wished I had someway of documenting them, cataloguing them so that I could browse at leisure. Just a pipe dream, a waste of time. Time passed, I focused on home, career, academics until fan fiction happened. Blogging was the next logical step for my stories and yet some guiding prescient hand named my blog Stories and more.

And now after two years, the more bit often gives me greater happiness than the stories 😀 Anyhow to cut a long story short, this week I target two of my favorite photo challenges – Cee’s Happy themed fun foto challenge and the Daily Post’s Smile challenge. Let’s see if I can spark a bit of happiness and bring a smile to your face with my selection:

20160617_142550Good food can bring back the spark to the dullest of days and lives doesn’t it? Like my son declared some years ago “It’s almost impossible to be angry on a full stomach.” Since then I have noticed, it is harder to be upset after food – the next time someone at home is cranky you know what to do right? 😉

Boating
Photo courtesy nephew

Then there’s nothing like some precious chillax time with friends while riding out the upheavals of academic pressures and life in general. This is one of those times when nothing matters but now 🙂

Anda7A beautiful sunset at the end of a less than idyllic day. A new day awaits and hope surges things can only be better.

Pondy beach

You are just fooling around, clueless and untrained – something clicks and you have the near perfect shot, good enough to please even your own nitpicking self. The wonder of learning something new can give quite an unparalleled high, don’t you think?

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When a little boy shows off his Tarzanic genes 😀

20180127_123003While his elders (and little girls!) prefer to take the more sedate route and dress up like their ancestors did.

 

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Then there are other things that are guaranteed to bring a smile to my heart – chancing upon the white blossoms (or are they leaves?) of an unknown tree

DSC00382A prefect green circle in the midst of a chaotic entangled bushy jungle

20180126_121120When life clings on and persists in the unlikeliest of places.

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Photos courtesy the niece in Nice err Lyon

How the internet allows us to be there while sitting here – be it at the fag end of a day

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or the beginning of a new day.

IMG-20180221-WA0020Of trees that perk up after long cold dreary overcast days and engage in a bit of arm wrestling under a perfect and gorgeously blue sky – from all the way from Dublin, Ireland.

 

ToysDo you find joy and happiness in the little things of life? Did anything here make you smile? Do let me know!

But before I go, just in case these pics didn’t strike a chord, I must share this little piece to make up for taking up so much of your time:

“No sight so sad as that of a naughty child,” he began, “especially a naughty little girl. Do you know where the wicked go after death?”

“They go to hell,” was my ready and orthodox answer.

“And what is hell? Can you tell me that?”

“A pit full of fire.”

“And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there for ever?”

“No, sir.”

“What must you do to avoid it?”

I deliberated a moment: my answer, when it did come was objectionable: “I must keep in good health and not die.”                                                       ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

May you all keep in good health and not die – at least not a moment before one has to!

Life and Death

As I come out of my shell and explore my surroundings I can’t help but notice a unique seasonal feature around these parts. Spring and fall seem to coexist. Leaves carpet the roads and mounds of leaves dot the sides of the roads until they are carted off to their final resting place. And yet gardens are abloom with a riot of colors – pink purple yellow and magenta. The peepal tree outside my office is a case in point. It is almost bare with a few green leaves determinedly hanging on until they turn yellow and reluctantly make their way down to whence they grew to such dizzying heights. And yet whilst this tussle is on, a new unruly batch has already sprung up gung-ho and eager to make their mark in this world. I have been feeling too inhibited to click this particule tree but I did mix and match some photos in an earlier post – Peepal in Spring.

For this post I have captured a few contrasting images from the world around me. Come scroll with me…

20180331_102923Clutching at straws

20180330_101305Brilliant and defiant in death.

20180330_101433Life towers over and mocks at death – it is not for me!

20180330_101500Yet some die before their time

20180330_101451While others bloom despite all odds

20180401_081112Even when there appears to be no hope or escape

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Only when we accept that ups and downs, life and death will happen can we move on and live life as she deserves to be led – wholly completely, entirely and unabashedly.

Wish you all a wonderful day.

The Journey Within

I missed Becca’s Sunday Trees but here I am on Tuesday. Have a wonderful day people!

20171104_085404

Skipping along the dirt road

she stopped to

stare and ponder

Poor old tree

No respite

No escape

Imprisoned

Forever and ever

The tree swayed with gentle laughter

A single curled leaf

Twirled its way down upon her head

Little one

Not all journeys are without

If you would

but look within

Just 4 Fun # 81

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And the heat, and dust and pollen 😉 Sorry have been reeling under a bout of allergic rhinitis. Oh well this too shall pass – especially if we have some fun right?

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Let’s start with a couple of more amazing works of art that are gravity defying. Well almost.

IMG-20180308-WA0056I can’t help but wonder what is supporting which. Err is that correct English?

IMG-20180308-WA0059No wonder they say a lot can happen over coffee 😉

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Time for a quick puzzle.Go on this is a easy one – no fancy tricks.

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This one reminds me of a joke I had read long ago in the Reader’s Digest. A couple have a fight, arguing shouting, the works followed by silence. You know the drill right? 😉 Anyway after a couple of days, the husband comes up to the wife and says “Have seen my grey shirt?”

She is furious. “What? How dare you?”

Poor guy is completely clueless. “What?”

She snorted. “Dont tell me you didnt notice we arent talking and here you come cool as cucumber asking about your damn shirt!”

“Oh!” He exclaimed. “I thought we were getting along.”

We had a lovely restful long weekend – did you? 😉

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I just loved this one!

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Anything to remain interesting 😀

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I guess it is time for me to go! Have a wonderful week and do let me know if you solve the puzzle and even if you dont. 😉

As usual none of this stuff is mine – all borrowed from all over the world wide web 😀

 

Friends Forever

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Photo (c) Fatima Fakier Deria

Friends Forever

Words 101

“Here comes Her Highness.” Trishna muttered as Sapna floated down to join them.

Sapna stuck out her tongue.

“Enjoy your last day as Queen,” Prakriti said maliciously.

“Excuse me?” Sapna frowned.

“Maya’s coming.” Trishna burst out. “With fresh gossip.”

Sapna flickered and then rallied. “She must be ancient!”

“Remember how vain she was of her looks?” Layla’s husky murmur was still a killer.

“A bad hair day saved her from the car crash.” Leena rued.

“I wonder if she has any hair left?” Trishna patted her flowing tresses.

“I can’t wait to see her as a doddering ghost.” Sapna said gleefully.

***

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

PS. Any readers of Silver Streaks here? Or fans of IPK? This may be of interest to you (or at least I am hoping it will be!) 😉

SPF: A Letterbomb

226-03-march-25th-2018

A Letterbomb

Words 200

Dear Mom,

I am going away. Far away. You won’t have to wake up early, send me to school, or pack my lunch. You’ll be free. Don’t bother looking for me. I am going to another planet – Zeutron, my home planet.

Didn’t Dad always say I was good-for-nothing trash? Turns out that I fell out from the spaceship hovering over Earth into the garbage dump. They’ve been searching for me ever since. After all, I am the Prince and heir to Zeutron. My parents, real parents were so desperate to find me that they stationed one of their best undercover agents (better than 007!) on Earth with orders to find me or die here.

You remember the guard at the mall? He’s not human. He’s a Zeutronian and his name is Gerkle. He recognized me right away, but he had to play his cards well so as to gain my trust. He told me everything once we became friends. We are leaving on the spaceship that arrives tonight. I’m not taking anything along except for a photo of you and me. Maybe you can come and visit me sometime. To see how I am doing.

Lots of love

Dan

***

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.

Just 4 Fun # 80

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Why wait for a new day? Every moment is a chance to change your life 🙂 So what do I have for you this week? Hmm let me see. How about some aphorisms?

Aphorism is a statement of truth or opinion expressed in a concise and witty manner.

1. I read that 4,153,237 people got married last year. Not to cause any trouble….but shouldn’t that be an even number?

2. I find it ironic that the colors red, white and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.

3. Relationships are a lot like algebra. Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?

4. You know that tingly little feeling you get when you love someone? That’s common sense leaving your body

5. My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We’ll see about that!

6. I think my neighbor is stalking me as she’s been Googling my name on her computer. I saw it through my telescope last night.

7. Money talks … but all mine ever says is good-bye.

8. You’re not fat, you’re just easier to see.

9. If you think nobody cares whether you’re alive, try missing a couple of payments.

10. Money can’t buy happiness, but it keeps the kids in touch!

So which one is your favorite? I think mine is about love and that tingly feeling 😀 Anyway moving on, some amazing art works

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Just look at the detailing and how gravity defying they seem to be

IMG-20180308-WA0052Are they even touching?

IMG-20180308-WA0053We do this all the time – defy overwhelming forces, break free of suffocating pressures and wear a smile to office but how are these inanimate sculptures doing it?

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This one is my favorite and I can identify with it too – half the time I am elsewhere. What about you?

Love

Not difficult to imagine at all right? Although the gender could be as per your choice 😉

phonepocketI think she got a bit confused as to put what where 😀

Sharp

So how sharp are you? 😉

TOTD

Just like I don’t working out because that means I will have to give up on my blogging time. Any tips on how to manage both?

That’s it from me this week and as usual everything is borrowed stuff  – hope you enjoyed. Do let me know your favorite. Thanks.

Peepal in Spring

The Peepal tree or the Ficus religiosa (sacred fig) is a common tree and I seem to see one no matter where I go. Except when I want to photograph one 😦

But this time I got lucky or rather created a bit with some mix and match 😉

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Can you see the massive windblown and rather harassed looking tree in the background? That was taken just under 3 weeks ago.

20180325_094029.jpgAnd look at it now – it is as if it had never been bare.

20180324_100346.jpgI also managed to snap some lovely fresh colorful leaves growing at the roots of a massive dour staid Peepal 😀

And one more, simply because I couldn’t resist – purple leaves too! And to think I spent all my life around them. What on earth have I been doing all these years?!!!

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Sometimes,

a cleansing wash

is not enough

and one must

shed the old

and

start anew

 

WPS: Into the Maelstrom

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Photo from Google Maps

Into the Maelstrom

Words 151

“Exams over?”

She gave an ecstatic twirl. “I am free!”

“Free?” I queried. “But what about admissions, career…”

“None of that nonsense for me,” she dismissed with her nose in the air. “I have my future all planned.”

“Let’s hear it.”

“First college for some graduation course…”

“Which course?”

“Whatever I qualify for.”

“Okay. Next?”

“Prince Charming will find me and sweep me off my feet. I will lead him to a merry dance, before agreeing to marry him.”

“Wow.”

She smiled dreamily. “A stupendous destination wedding with both Shah Rukh and Salman Khan dancing and then go abroad for our honeymoon.”

“Where abroad?”

“Anywhere! The States to do lots of shopping.” She giggled. “Visit all the famous tourist spots, go trekking, camping, just him and me.” She clasped her hands. “It will be the most romantic time ever.”

“Nice.” I said. “And then what?

“I haven’t thought further than that.”

***

Written for What Pegman Saw – a story in 150 words or less based on locations chosen from Google Maps. This week we are off to Yellowstone National Park in the US and on my bucket list. Thanks to K Rawson for hosting the challenge. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt, click here.

Enough of Double Standards

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Photo (c) Bjorn Rudberg

 

Enough of Double Standards

Words 100

“Belated happy birthday!” Shipra greeted Deeksha.

“Thanks.”

“How did you celebrate?”

“We didn’t. We are still in mourning.”

“Oh I am sorry.” Shipra offered her condolences. “Last year too you couldn’t celebrate as your father-in-law was unwell.”

“Yes.”

“It must be over six months since he passed away?”

“Yes.”

“Yet your husband attended his cousin’s wedding last week?”

“It wouldn’t have looked nice if he hadn’t gone.”

“So only you’re expected to mourn?”

“That depends.” Deeksha said. “As I am integral part of their family, they made sure I participated actively in the wedding festivities soon after my father’s death.”

***

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

SPF: Blast From the Past

225-03-march-18th-2018

Blast from the Past

Words 199

“Aren’t you too young to be a face-reader?” Madhulika looked her up and down.

“It’s a gift.” Tuhina said.

“But to give you a booth at the event, I’ll need some proof of your talent.”

I know what you did Muddy.”

Madhulika gasped. “Wha…what do you mean?”

Don’t you remember your friend, Muddy?” Tuhina shook her hair free and leaned forward.

There was a crash. “Vrinda’s dead and you…you…”

“…I possessed Tuhina,” the voice was cold and unemotional, “and set out to avenge myself.”

“It wasn’t me, I swear it wasn’t!” Madhulika edged towards the door.

A hollow laugh echoed. “Still lying Muddy?”

“It was Shail. It was his idea to kill you…”

And my unborn child.”

“Child!” Madhulika was stuttering. “I…I don’t know…”

Shail knew. And if he knew…”

“Don’t kill me please!” Madhulika begged.

I wouldn’t do anything so passé Muddy.” She bared her teeth. “I’ll just have some fun.”

“Fun?” Madhulika quavered.

Shail has a new girlfriend. They are plotting a murder.”

“Vrinda!

But she was gone.

.

.

“What have you been up to?”

“Nothing.” Tuhina grinned at her mother. “Just settling some old scores.” She fingered the scar on Vrinda’s neck like she had since childhood.

***

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

CB&W: The Bike Challenge

Okay so this week for the black and white challenge, Cee wants bikes or anything related to two wheels. Initially I thought I had only two photos but rifling through my archives I was surprised to find how many bikes had crept in without my knowledge! Good for me and them 😀

BikeYSA surreptitiously taken photo of the fascinating insides of a bike in a busy marketplace.

CycleThe good old bicycle, the lifeline for many. I used to love cycling as a child and often wish I could cycle now as well, but I feel shy and embarrassed.

BnglreThis one I have shared before, perhaps some of you remember. Quite an eye-catcher right?

Bnglre2A front view with minimal color. Which one do you prefer?

CamelBOn the streets of Udaipur, while admiring a camel with its nose in the air.

CamelB2The car and bike halt deferentially as the camel made its way sedately across the highway 😉

HaldighatiA bike parked near a distillation flask used to prepare rose essence.

Cubbon

Two bikes near a massive gulmohar tree (at least the leaves look like that). The creepy roots are fascinating aren’t they? Oops I forgot the bikes were supposed to be the focus!

Cubbon2Hmm not sure if those are the same bikes as in the previous pic. But the tree is definitely different – such character don’t you think? I’m fascinated by how trees don’t seem to have any requirement to follow rules. Anything goes and each to her own is their mantra. Yet each is particular and conscientious about fulfilling their CSR (corporate social responsibility) for the less fortunate. By just being, they replenish the oxygen in the air – isnt that amazing?

Tree Cheers to them.

Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful week.

 

Just 4 Fun # 79

GM

Apologies for missing out on just for fun last week and (almost) this week as well. Just some cool pics thoughts and quirky pieces from all over the world – hope you like.

BlocksairWould you stand under that?

HouseairI wouldn’t mind living up there!

Fash

Hmm who inspired who? 😛

Fash2

Can she see through that? That reminds me, there was a news item of a break-in into a store by a man wearing a see-through plastic head cover. Needless to say the CCTV had no trouble capturing his fine features 😀

Weight

In this world where everyone is out to squash you, you can either

Givein

Give in or

ResistWhat’s your choice?

StrengthResist, defy and just be

WD1

A couple of my favorite Women’s Day greetings 😉

 

WD2

And therein lies the whole crux of the matter

Wedded

When two pieces of rocks misfit people are bound together in marriage, that’s how it is.

WhyWhy?

Pretty much the words to any real friend I ever had. & some family :)

Look forward to that day 😀 Have a great week and as usual none of the stuff is mine and all credit and kudos to the artists who created these.

 

Different Shades

I missed Sunday Trees last week as I was busy with shifting (but I did post lots of trees (and leaves) but I’m back this week with a couple of photos of the same tree one early morning and the other a bit later in the day. Have a look.

20180125_092430Looks like night doesnt it? But trust me, the sun was right behind the tree allowing me to block it even if for a little while. The tree caught my eye for two reasons – the lighting and the funny bushy stumps/arms. And of course it was tall and being an Eucalyptus tree it reminded me of home. But yet the leaves seemed different and not so long and pointy. So which one do you prefer? Me? I still haven’t made up my mind 😀

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Do you see

how well you see

and what you see

is subject to which

side you are

WPC: St. Patrick’s Day

The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo challenge is I’d Rather Be…but of course blogging! After a hectic two, nearly three weeks of shifting, sifting and sorting I got my day to do what I enjoy most. But to be honest I am still rather exhausted and all frazzled with my thoughts on a million different corners. Providentially, I got a bunch of lovely snaps of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Dublin from my sister and brother-in-law who are currently staying there. So I didn’t have to travel, hunt or work too hard to join the fun. I am hoping you will like the photos too.

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St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He was a Christian missionary credited with taking Christianity to Ireland.

IMG-20180317-WA0035St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 and this day is celebrated the Roman Catholic feast day of the patron saint of Ireland.

IMG-20180317-WA0043It is also a celebration of Irish culture.

IMG-20180317-WA0042Bright and colorful aren’t they?

IMG-20180317-WA0045It was freezing cold and my sister caught a cold despite being wrapped in layers. But you wouldn’t be able to make that out looking at these young girls would you?

IMG-20180317-WA0037I thought this little boy was the best – what about you? It is also a custom to wear green on St. Patrick’s day. Apparently wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone not wearing green. And those who don’t wear green do get pinched!

Thanks for visiting – all info from Google.

I think this post would also perfectly fit the #QOGUIN series. What you think?

#QOGUIN Series

Hello and welcome to my new venture – #QOGUIN Series.

Puzzled? Curious? Interested? Intrigued? Well I hope so! Anyway here’s the thing, while shifting houses I seem have to misplaced my muse. Probably off on a vacation which I deserve – but then there’s no rest for the wicked. And since I cannot seem to stay away from blogging either so I hit upon a compromise. I can finally hatch an idea that I have been incubating for quite some time – share some Quirky Odd Good Ugly Intriguing News from all over the world. Perhaps some stuff thrown in from around my tiny world as well.

So, are you game?

I’m not sure if it is going to be a weekly, monthly or even a regular feature. Ahh well we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it right? Hey, here’s an idea? Why don’t you join in? Surely you have something non-fictional to share? Just make a post and drop your link here whenever you’re ready – no rush, no rules. And to prove that I would like to make an earlier post A Salute to the Wall as the first in the series 😀 And all the other positive news that I may have posted earlier, will hunt them out and list them in a dedicated Page.

Today’s article for this series is on underage driving which, as most of us are aware more often than not lead to disastrous consequences. Children, especially in certain Indian Metros are notorious for going off on jaunts, motor racing and stunts late at night and are a danger not only to themselves but also the others. Fed up with repeated unfortunate and countless such incidents, in 2015 the traffic police in Bengaluru threatened to imprison and confiscate driving licenses of parents of underage children caught driving. In fact, scores of parents were booked. But they got off after paying a fine. Finally last month, the Hyderabad police cracked down on errant parents and arrested 69 such irresponsible parents of these daredevil (I’m willing to bet) boys.

This bit of news gave me a lot of cheer and hope. I now wait for the day when parents of daughters who commit suicide and are forced to suffer atrocities at their in-laws are also arrested.

If you wonder at my extreme reaction, perhaps you might like to read my article on Bride Burning, a call to action and my long running fictional piece (most of which is drawn from real-life) – Moonshine.

Thank you for visiting, I am happy to play hostess after a long time 🙂 Do let me know your thoughts and look forward to reading anything interesting – the good the bad the ugly – that you may have to share.

Have a wonderful weekend.

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. -R. Buckminster Fuller

CFFC: Leaves and Trees

Whew! I almost missed this fun foto challenge of Cee’s! And my favorite topic too – Leaves and Trees. And I have discovered a recent fascination for leaves as well so picking and choosing was quite a challenge. Hoping that you will enjoy my selection.

Assorted

Let’s begin with an assortment of leaves, mostly teak leaves.

3leaves

Just trying for some perspective here – they are huge arent they?

GreenLI was fascinated by this find and carried it inside for some special treatment

AshokA collection of dried Ashoka tree leaves.

BananaBanana leaves against a cloudy evening sky

EucaEucalyptus tree standing tall against the litchi trees. Don’t miss the fair elbows!

RedgreenThe greens attempts to tone down the exuberance of the reds

BattyNext I have a really batty tree for you. Yes! those black things are bats waiting for darkness to fall.

Bare

Perhaps she dropped her leaves because she didn’t want any hanger-ons – what do you think? Did you notice her pose? Perhaps the stone sculptors of ancient India took inspiration from her kind. And before you scroll down – look! Mango blossoms – the prize for the heat and dust!

GoldenA golden tree by the road

TendrilsA mystery tree with strange tendrils hanging down like some exotic jewelry. Anyone know which tree? Ferdi?

FortThe last one standing at the Chittorgarh fort. Oh the stories it could tell

BadhairThis one’s having a really bad hair day 😀 Or perhaps it has seen some really hair-raising stuff in its heydays. After all this is the place for committing jauhar and sati.

CloverI clicked this patch of clover leaves hoping to find a lucky four-leafed one at leisure. No such luck yet – what about you?

ParlorAll neat and tidy, ready to toe the line and follow rules and regulations with not a hair out of place.

AsulikeAnd then we have this place where there’s no sense or order, each to her own to be as she likes no questions asked. Which do you prefer?

SunkissedAnd finally the Sun kisses this one good night 🙂

Thanks for visiting and sharing your favorite one!