SPF: A Benevolent Dictator

195-03-march-19th-2017

A Benevolent Dictator

Words 198

 “Did you like the show?”

“It was nice.”

“Nice?”

“Well, you know I don’t like War stories.”

“But that is our past, our reality. You shouldn’t avoid it.”

“I see enough reality in real life.”

“I don’t know why I try. I can never please you can I?”

“That’s not true!”

“Last week I offered to take you sari shopping but you refused.”

“I appreciate you wanting to buy me things. But don’t you think it should be about me not about you?”

“It is about you! I don’t wear saris.”

“But I don’t want saris. I have a cupboard full of them.”

“What do you want?”

“I want to be indulged.”

“That’s why I booked this show. You know I don’t enjoy such things.”

“Yes darling I know. And I love you for that.”

“But?”

“But you indulge me when you want not and as you like.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Never mind. Where are we going for dinner? Reeta told me about a new Chinese joint. They make the most awesome dimsums and…”

“I thought Biryani.”

“But we haven’t had Chinese for ages.”

“The Biryani is delicious here.”

“But…”

“I made reservations. You’ll love the kulfi too.”

 ***

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

Thanks for reading.

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 126

 

 

CB&W: Effs

Cee want E and Fs this week. Hmm this one is a toughie. Lets see what I can come up with 😉

Facing a castle wallAt Frederiksborg castle, Denmark

EngineerA budding Engineer and Enfant terrible! Don’t be fooled by his studious demeanor 😉

ferry

Okay let me ferry you across from Lucerne to

FenceThe fencing at the Darjeeling Zoo

ElephantBut these entrancing, enchanting, elegant elephants are at the Kolkata Zoo. Aren’t they cute? 🙂

IPK fans and readers of SS,  A Chip Off the Old Block -II is up. Click here for Part I

Cheers!

Save

A Full Circle

jennifer-pendergast51
Photo (c) Jennifer Pendergast

A Full Circle

Word 99

“Let’s go in.”

“We just came out.”

“It’s getting dark. You’ll catch a chill.”

“I won’t.”

“Mosquitoes are abuzz…”

“I don’t care.”

“I made soup.”

“What kind?”

“Tomato soup.”

“Did you put carrots in it?”

“Yes.”

“Ginger?”

“A little bit.”

“I don’t like ginger.”

“It’s good for your throat.”

“Cinnamon?”

“I forgot.”

“Then I don’t want any soup.”

“Oh please! I have had a long day…”

“Even I had a long day.”

“Doing what?”

“Waiting for you to take me out.”

“I’ll make croutons to go with the soup.”

“And you’ll spend the day with me tomorrow?”

“Yes Mom.”

***

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the irresistible challenge and Jennifer for the awesome photo. I am sorry I missed the link up deadline but if you wish to read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 125 and for IPK fans and readers of SS here are two links under DM's Desk - Hook, Line and Sinker plus A Chip Off the Old Block - which I hope you will enjoy. Anyhow, do let me know your thoughts and reactions

 

 

CFFC: View from the Side

This week Cee wants us to present views from the side for the Fun Foto Challenge. Won’t you join me?

Traffic
Outside a botanical garden near Darjeeling, West Bengal

Oops what have we here? One of the most picturesque traffic jams I have seen. My appreciation was probably enhanced by the fact that I was a tourist and on foot 😉

train
At a train station in Denmark

I thought we’d take the train but this one just whooshed us by. So…

Train
Toy train at Darjeeling, West Bengal

How about a ride on a steam locomotive from yesteryears? Come on, just hop on!

Bridge
Lucerne, Switzerland

Okay time to stretch our legs through a quaint wooden bridge

Castle
Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark

Check out some cool sculptures on the walls of a grand castle.

Koala
Darjeeling Zoo

Catch a glimpse of a hiding koala – or is it something else?

Bear
Darjeeling Zoo

A camera shy Himalayan bear to wrap up this fun tour 🙂 Which one did you like best?

For IPK fans and readers of SS here's Part I of A Chip off the Old Block

Thanks for visiting – hope you have a good day 🙂

Just 4 Fun # 30

Monday! Oh boy what a day – nothing but geniuses like this everywhere

Gate

or this one

Pacemaker

And I can’t help but think

Common sense

And agree that

Mum.jpg

Here’s something that is bound to cheer you up. What are Grandparents – in the words of 8-year-olds:

Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of their own. 

They like other people’s children.

A grandfather is a man, and a grandmother is a lady!

Grandparents don’t have to do anything except be there when we come to see them.

They are so old they shouldn’t play hard or run. 

It is good if they drive us to the shops and give us money.

When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves and caterpillars.

They show us and talk to us about the colors of the flowers and also why we shouldn’t step on ‘cracks.’

They don’t say, ‘Hurry up.’

Usually they are fat but not too fat to tie your shoes.

They wear glasses and funny underwear.

They can take their teeth and gums out.

Grandparents don’t have to be smart.

They have to answer questions like ‘Why isn’t God married?’ and ‘How come dogs chase cats?’

When they read to us, they don’t skip. 

They don’t mind if we ask for the same story over again.

Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don’t have television because they are the only grownups who like to spend time with us…

They know we should have snack time before bed time.

They say prayers with us and kiss us even when we’ve acted bad.

Grandpa is the smartest man on earth! 

He teaches me good things, but I don’t get to see him enough to get as smart as him!

No wonder I ain’t smart at all.

That’s all from me this Monday folks 😀

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

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

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

APWC: Witch Craft

This week’s theme for A Photo a Week Challenge hosted by Nancy is something that has begun to interest me. The challenge is to share a series of the same photograph with different treatments. Amazing how a simple change in color can change the mood instantly. Have a look.

But do wait for the photos to download before scrolling down, slowly.

Humor me – please!

BWYikes!!!

VintageScary, interesting but not terrifying right?

ColorAdd a dash of color and she’s quite clownish don’t you think?

20170318_191743And just in case you have been wondering and were curious – that’s my original photo 😉 😀

Like Nancy says – It all depends on what you want.

Thanks for visiting – do share your reactions and preferences.

Have a great week.

Fall in Spring

It is technically the Spring season and Delhi is awash with colors as you may have seen here. Yet funnily enough, the streets and lawns are strewn with fallen leaves. I cannot but help thinking of it as symbolizing the simultaneous coexistence of the rich and poor, that if it is spring for some, it is fall for others. And if it is fall, can spring be far away?

Finally, I managed to find the perfect foil for spring.

BouganvilleaBougainvillea overgrows a lush green Gulmohar tree with the (almost) bare Peepal tree (I think) towering in the background. Hmm I wonder what color flowers this Gulmohar tree will turn into – red, orange, yellow, purple, pink…

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees – 279

Have a great week 🙂

COB: Trespassers will be Prosecuted?

Door tree
Photo (c) Punit Kaur

The door is clearly having a field day 😀 But I am really curious – what were they thinking? Any guesses? Wilder the better 😉

For Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge

The Elopement

“What’s the matter darling?”

“I hate sharing my room.”

“Me too! I didn’t want to come. But your Dad was adamant and quite unreasonable.”

Lilly looked at her granny with new eyes.

The grey-haired lady shook her head. “Your Dad behaves as if I were six not sixty.”

“Or ninety.” Lilly giggled.

“Yeah that too. Ever since your granddad passed away five years ago, I have been living alone and managing pretty well too.”

“You have a broken arm.” Lilly couldn’t help pointing out.

“Anyone can break their arm. While in college, your father broke his nose and leg – did I shift him home from his hostel? Then why is he doing this to me?”

“But…but we thought you were lonely, sad…”

“and helpless? Granny snorted. “Nonsense. Just a passing inconvenience.”

“But it’s natural for…”

“Children to mother their parents? Honestly Lilly, whose side are you on anyway? Don’t you want me to leave so that you can have your room back?”

“Ye…es but I don’t want to have your…your,”

“My death on your conscience?”

Horrified, Lilly giggled. “Granny you are really cool!”

Granny stroked her chin. “True.” She winked. “Now tell me about Adarsh.”

Lilly was taken aback. “Adarsh? How do you…?”

“I am not deaf or blind – yet.”

“Oh Granny! I love him. But Dad…”

Granny raised a hand and shuddered. “Don’t talk to me about your Dad. I thought you loved the Cummerbund guy.”

“Granny! That’s Cumberbatch. And you know what I mean?”

“Nope. Does ‘Dad’ not mind you loving Cumber..whatever?”

“Oh Granny please! As if I am going to run away with Cumberbatch.”

“So you plan to run away with…Adarsh? Interesting. But I wonder, how can you be sure that you do actually love Adarsh? That you are not just doing it for the adventure, for the romance, to get your Dad’s attention?”

“No Granny! I just know I love Adarsh and he too loves me.” She fiddled with the tassels of the bedcover and confided in a rush. “Adarsh wants us to elope but…”

“You aren’t sure.” Granny interrupted.

I am sure Granny. But I wish Dad agreed.”

“But then there would be no need to elope!”

“Ye…es, but I want Dad to accept Adarsh and…”

“Why? So that if anything went wrong, you could blame him?”

“That’s not fair Granny!”

“But it’s true. If you really loved him, you wouldn’t need anyone’s permission. You would have run away by now.”

There was silence.

“Maybe you are right.” Lilly admitted. “Talking always helps, doesn’t it Granny?”

Granny started from her reverie. “It sure does honey. Now tell me dear, were you thinking of running away at night or during the day? Were you planning to leave through the window or just not return from an outing? What about clothes and stuff?”

Confused, Lilly stared at her grandmother. “But Granny, I am rethinking…”

“I know you are! And a good thing too. No need to rush into this marriage business so young. Better to wait a few years, live a little, find your love, or at least try to find the one for whom you would willingly give up everything without any hesitation and then elope.”

“Then why are you asking about…?”

“Oh that!” Granny’s wrinkles pinked, “I was trying to organize my elopement.”

 ***

For once, not linked to anything 😀 I was trying to pen a flash fiction when Granny hijacked it – do let me know what you thought. Thanks for reading – have a super weekend

 Readers of Moonshine, hope you are aware Chapters 123 and Chapter 124 are up

Just 4 Fun # 29

GM

So how do you think this week’s gonna be? I had a long weekend and now I am double dreading the return to drudgery. If only I knew how things were going to turn out…

forecast

Speaking of which

Horoscope

Well, actually same goes for me too 😛 Oh well let’s not tread that path today…

A collection of some clever signages just for you

A sign in a shoe repair store: “We will heel you,  We will save your sole,
We will even dye for you!”

At an Eye Clinic : “If you don’t see what you’re looking for, You’ve come to the right place.”

On a Plumber’s truck : “We repair what your husband fixed”

On an Electrician’s truck : “Let us remove your shorts”

In a Non-smoking Area:  “If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and will take appropriate action”

In the front yard of a Funeral Home: “Drive carefully. We’ll wait.”

On the back of  Septic Tank Truck: “Caution – This Truck is full of Political Promises”

At a Car Dealership: “The best way to get back on your feet – miss a car payment.”

At the Electric Company:  “We would be delighted if you send in your payment on time. However, if you don’t, YOU will be de-lighted.”

In a Restaurant window:  “Don’t stand there and be hungry;  come on in and get fed up.”

Time to say goodbye before you get fed up – see you next week 😉

HoliThis Holi, here’s wishing you lots of color and flowers, joy and happiness

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

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

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

Colors of Spring

It’s official – winter is over. It came back for one last thunderstorm, a shower of hailstones, forcing us to scramble for the packed up and tucked away woollies. A bummer. But may as well make hay while the sun doesn’t shine for once it does – it’s going to be hot, hotter and hottest. Stepping out, one is likely to get broiled, roasted and grilled in no time at all. Ah well, que sera sera. In the meanwhile, I look around me and marvel at Mother Nature’s way of celebrating the departure of the winter chill and the arrival of warm brighter days. Care to have a look?

BareBaring heart and soul, she squeezes out red blooms – check out the tips of her outspread branches.

20170310_074441She colors the world green

OrangeYellow and orange

Pink

And pink!

PinkThere’s even a dash of pink right outside my window 🙂

RedPeeping out from behind every building, every hoarding, every tree are these cotton tree (Bombax celba) flowers. If you are in Delhi, all you have to do is look up.

20170310_074130A splash of purple on the way to office.

In about a month’s time, taking cue from the summer sun she will wear the colors of the sun – watch this space for more 🙂

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful, colorful and joyous Holi – the Hindu festival of colors. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, departure of winter,  thanksgiving for a good harvest, a time to forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships.

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees – 278

WPC: I Wish

This week show us a wish – this is the daily post’s weekly photo challenge. What do I wish for? I have to confess I am a bit skeptical about wishes – Be careful of what you wish for, you may receive it” ~ W.W. Jacobs.

But a challenge is a challenge so as the sun rises on a new day, I will settle for a prayer:

WishMay I be so blessed that there is no need for me to wish for anything at all ~ D

If you had a wish, what would you wish for?

CB&W: Cees and Dees

Hello peepols howz life? Ready for some more black and white stuff? Cee’s challenge this week is C and D. Had a bit of a struggle this week, already took the airplane, the bus and the boat and walked it as well.

Hmm, now what?

CycleEco friendly stuff! What are you waiting for? Grab yours and off we go…

A cloudy dayA cloudy day but dont worry I wont let you get wet 😉

DesignerFirst a visit to a designer garden

CamelA double hump backed camel

CarrotsA carrot in each hand 😀

Castle

Ready to ditch the cycle and explore a castle? No? Yeah well me neither 😉

ChandelierWonder how chandeliers look when lit up?

Chandelier copyWell what do you think?

ChairsChairs in this stunning chapel look inviting don’t they?

CoconutHeeheehehawwhaaw

😉 😀

Thanks for joining in  – have a great weekend.

PS Do you think I put in too many photos?

SPF: Taking a Stand

04-dawnmiller-2-lingering-visions-5-march-2017
Photo (c) Dawn M. Miller

Taking a Stand

 Words 199

She woke with a jerk.

3.42 a.m.

Heart thudding, she slipped into the spare room to double check everything.

Done.

There was time to share one last cup of tea.

Her heart faltered as she looked around the kitchen.

Could she?

Should she?

What about him?

“What’s going on?”

“I am moving out.”

He laughed. “Who’d want a useless old hag?”

“I’ll manage.”

“How? You are too old for the brothel.” He sneered.

“Thank you for making it easier to leave.”

“Selfish to the core. What about the children?”

“They will understand. I hope.”

“After wrecking my life, you’re going to suck their blood?”

“I am going to live alone.”

“What about money? Going to beg?”

“I have a job.”

“Job! What can you do? Except spend money?”

“I am a chef for a home catering service.”

“A cook! Women of this house don’t to do menial jobs.”

“Outside the house you mean?”

“You’ll earn peanuts.”

“Enough for my needs.”

“What about your responsibilities, your vows?”

“Are they just mine?”

“What if I allow you to work?”

“Allow?”

“Let…”

“Let?”

“What could you possibly hope to gain? What don’t you have?”

“Respect.” She shut the door on his face.

***

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

 

 

 

Bugged

yellow-bug-shaktiki
Photo (c) Shaktiki Sharma

Bugged

Words 98

Sakshi hesitated outside.

The prospective groom and his family were inside.

Was she fair? Tall?

Slim?

Could she sing and dance? Cook. Knit. Run?

Perhaps she should run.

She would have, if only Rohan had come through.

But he had chickened out.

“Sorry,” he had mumbled. “I can’t break my mother’s heart. But I will always love you.”

“Sakshi!” Her mother pulled her in. “Meet Lata, my childhood friend. It was our dream to see our children marry.”

Sakshi stilled.

“My prayers are answered,” Rohan whispered as Sakshi was led towards him.

“So are mine.”

Sakshi walked away.

***

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

Thank you for reading, look forward to your comments and suggestions.

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 122.

 

CFFC: Uplifting Scenes

Here’s a selection of uplifting images for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge on Looking Up at Things.

buddhaA late night visit to the Hussain Sagar, Hyderabad. And a boat ride to have a closer look at the world’s tallest monolith statue of Gautam Buddha.

sunriseAn early morning visit to the beach to witness the sunrise. The fishing boat was an added bonus.

mangoOn a visit to the temple, I found a mango tree in full blossom promising to make the heat worth it. But is it summer already?

I looked up to catch a glimpse of the blue skies, the swirling clouds…

20170218_121437…and the magnificent Gopuram an ornate monumental tower at the entrance of a temple.  Gopurams are particularly common in Southern India. A temple often has more than one gopuram and these gateways are a prominent feature of a temple and usually overshadows the inner sanctuary which is obscured from view by the gopuram’s colossal size. Gopurams are exquisitely decorated with sculpture and carvings. These have a  variety of themes that are mostly based on Hindu mythology, centering around the presiding deity of that temple.

gopuramWe are at the temple complex of Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva also known as the Lord of Dance. Chidambaram is the birthplace of the sculpture and bronze image representation of Lord Shiva as the cosmic dancer, a Tamilian concept and has since become a symbol of Hinduism.

The shrine is the only Shiva temple to have its main deity represented in this human form, as the Supreme Being who performs all cosmic activities. The consort deity here is Sivakami Amman (Mother Goddess and female energy). Two other forms of Lord Shiva are represented as a crystallized lingam (the most common representation of Lord Shiva in temples), and as the ether space classical element, represented with empty space and a garland of fifty one hanging golden bilva leaves.

fullsizerender1A replica bronze statue of Lord Shiva as Nataraja performing the Ananda Tandava (“Dance of Delight”). Lord Shiva is dancing on the demon Apasmara who represents ignorance and mental/neurological disorders.

wallThe sculptures on the walls of the Chidambaram temple inspired the postures of Bharatanatyam, a major genre of Indian classical dance.

bullsAs Lord Shiva is the presiding deity in this temple, figures of Nandi the Bull are everywhere. Nandi is Lord Shiva’s ardent devotee and vehicle. He glares down at us for daring to disturb his Master’s peace.

Perhaps it is time for me to take your leave – thank you for your company. Please do let me know you were here 🙂

Celebrating Woman Power

I have traveled a lot in North India and the one thing that strikes me while passing through small towns and villages is the absence of women on the streets. A few girls maybe seen here and there in groups either on the way or back from school. But mostly it is as if they don’t exist. In bigger cities, they are visible on the streets they are largely absent as a community working class.

On my recent visit to the South I was exhilarated to see women everywhere. At the hotel reception, as waitresses, guards, vendors etc. This particular stall caught my eye:

Nuts.jpgA mound of delicious tender coconuts for the thirsty walker. A common sight now in the North as well. But what I hadn’t seen was a woman wielding the scythe and that too with such ease and expertise.

ScytheI finally managed to get her to look up, if not at the camera

SmileThe little boy on his own trip is just an added bonus 😀

IMG-20170220-WA0001

A bunch of flowers for all you wonderful people out there. No, not in celebration of Women’s Day for I plan to celebrate when there is no need for a Women’s Day.

Have a great day and make my day – leave me a note, a hello, a smiley 🙂

Yoohoo readers Moonshine!   I am back with Chapter 120

 

Just 4 Fun # 28

monday

Raise your hands all those who agree 😀 Or you could try doing that 😉 Anyway we shall overcome and come out laughing what say you?

coffeeWell she can be assured of her morning cuppa from now onwards 😉

apology

In her defense, she is probably right. After all everything is fair in love and war. Speaking of wars:

 

car-india

                      😂 😂 😂 😂

Hope you have a great week and dont forget:

bad-hair

Hope you liked this selection – none of which are mine by the way. I received all of them as forwards/shares and am just keeping the fun going.

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

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

WPC: While I was Walking

Would you like to take a walk with me? Come along then, the weather is just perfect!

lodhiWould you like a stroll through the woods?

machanOr perhaps by the mighty Ganges?

fortBut to get the real feel, let’s walk the streets

Dogs.jpgAnd it wasn’t even Sunday 😀

tanker2Tree on a water tanker, albeit a broken down one. Growing on just air and water. Amazing where a tree can grow right?

tanker1I had to come back for a second closer look. Almost fooled us (and you) there 😉

truckOMG I wonder if the workers are expected to walk up the  ramp? I hope not…

the-road-takenThis one is rather special for it is one the rare photographs my son has deigned to share with us (after being prompted of course) on his first trip alone to an unfamiliar city.

I don’t usually link to multiple challenges but I am rather tired after all that walking 😉 So I am linking to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge The Road Taken and Cee’s Which Way Challenge. And since all good things come in threes – Becca’s Sunday Trees – 277.

Appreciate your company on this stroll around the country – hope you aren’t too tired to leave me a note 😉

APWC: Window Views

The theme for this week’s photo challenge hosted by Nancy is View From My Front Porch. Now I don’t have a front porch but I do have a window from which I have clicked many an interesting view. Some I have shared before (like here and here) but I still have some in my kitty. So here goes:

windowA budding Virat Kohli or is it Sehwag or perhaps who knows Sachin?

blueMy favorite pickup tractor 🙂 Not a repeat telecast but a fresh angle.

blue2And as  treat I sneaked downstairs to grab a full view -cool isnt it? Or have I lost my marbles – again?

grandpaThis one I have to admit but I couldn’t resist – poor grandpa was quite putty (just like I am) in the little one’s dramatics 😀

kitchen

I can see a splash of red blooms from my kitchen window. I especially sneaked down for a full view – just for you 😉

Hope you liked – have a cool and fun weekend.

And oh don’t forget to exercise your fingers on the keyboard 😀

 

WPS: The Slave

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-6-23-51-am

To see this image on Google maps, click here

The Slave

 Words 150

The monsoon was impending and the heat sweltering. But that didn’t dampen the festivities. Attracted by the sound of ululation and conch shells, a gaggle of giggling girls rushed in.

Pushing and shoving, they jostled to catch a glimpse of the lucky bride as she entered her new home.

Unknown, grasping hands pulled at the enshrouded bride’s veil trying to see her face. Others reached out to weigh her gold chain.

“At least she can work in the paddy fields.”

“And bear many sons.” They tittered and nudged the groom.

“Come for a swim,” his friends called.

“Leave the poor boy alone. Gone are his carefree days. He’s his queen’s slave.” Raucous laughter resounded.

Sweating, he took off the wilting garland from around his neck. He pulled at his long scarf knotted with the edge of her sari and dumped them in her lap.

He ran to join his friends.

***

This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge What Pegman Saw inspired by any view of a given location on Google maps. The challenge is to write a story in 150 words or less. Thanks to K. Rawson for hosting this challenge. This week’s location is Amazon, Brazil. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here

Thanks for reading – dont just think, share your thoughts. Have a super weekend.

CB&W: Alpha and Betas

Hello there, how’s the week been treating you so far? Oh well almost done and time to crash or live it up. Anyhow, I am here to have some fun with Cee’s latest B and W challenge – Letters A and B.

So without much ado – off we go

airportLet’s start at the Airport

busOr would you prefer to take the Bus?

boatHow about a Boat ride? Hmm tired with all that rushing around? Time to go back to our roots.

branchesRather, Branches 😉

bendingWhat do you think of these Branches, Bending over Backwards? A new hairstyle perhaps waiting to take the tree world by storm…

baaaBaaa wahahaaaaa 😀

Okay, okay fine fine, be that way…

building-2A picturesque historical Building.

budweiserThanks for joining me – you can have the Beer, I’ll have the water.

Go on, make my day, say something…

Cheers!

WPC: A Sound Idea

distanceThat’s a long shot of Golconda Fort, near Hyderabad, India.

centreI took the long shot from here. What’s the big deal you ask? Fair enough. But clearly something is afoot as you can make out from the bunch of visitors gathered under the portico. The blue shirted guy in the middle was animatedly translating for his non-English speaking companions the magic of the ordinary looking portico.

If you stand at the center of the portico and clap, you can hear a resonance. And this resonance can be heard at the palace built on the hillock about a kilometer away (the first picture).

Strangely, if you move away from the center of the portico (about seven feet) you cannot hear the resonance. Quite quite magical. And wait there’s more!

fabricThis hall was once the Royal durbar where visitors were brought to meet the royalty – if you look up you can see part of a balcony. That’s where the King sat. A bit too far away for conversation right? Well, the Royalty couldn’t risk mingling with the common crowd so they devised an ingenious method of communication. Clapping? No that was too common and loud.

Standing at the center of the hall, tapping a taut piece of fabric is enough to cause a distinct vibration, a resonance similar to that we noted at the clapping portico.

whisperAnother royal hall fallen upon bad times. But what is intact is the magic. Guards standing at the corners could talk to each other by whispering into the walls. Unlike the other two places, this whisper is not audible at the center. It’s true – we tried it out. No need for telephones, wires or internet 😀

palace

A closer look at the palace – actually the closest I got to it (I wasnt going to climb 360 steps!). Apparently from the palace, experienced clappers communicated orders to soldiers stationed at the perimeter of the fort.

I don’t exactly know how the mechanism works – something to do with a series of arches, each smaller than the preceding one on one side of the portico. Apparently this helps a sound wave generated under the dome of the portico to get compressed and then bounce back amplified enough to reach a distance of more than a kilometer away. Whatever – but it was amazing, scintillating, magical and unmatched.

Game, set and match to the architects don’t you think?

Thanks for visiting do share your thoughts and have a good day.

Story Club #8 : Fathers & Daughters

Hello folks! How’s 2017 treating you so far? Already 2 down and 10 to go – winter is giving way to spring and red blossoms are popping up from every nook and corner…

Oops! There I go rambling when it is Story Club time. But I have reason – it’s the author poet storyteller musician artist philosopher Rabindranath Tagore’s influence! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I hope to re-visit one of his numerous masterpieces in short fiction The Kabuliwala. Just contemplating about his works can inspire the most unimaginative of minds.

Before moving on to the story, just a few words about the man himself. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) or Gurudev as he was (and is) addressed, is also sometimes referred as the ‘Bard of the Bengal’. He became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. In 1915 King George V knighted him but he renounced it in 1919 in protest of Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

Although a supporter of Gandhi, Tagore stayed out of politics. In fact, he was opposed to nationalism and militarism. He believed in spiritual values and exhorted the creation of a new world culture founded in multi-culturalism, diversity and tolerance. In 1921, Tagore established Viswabharati University at Santiniketan with the money from the Nobel Prize and royalty from his books. He gave all his money from Nobel Prize and royalty money from his books to this University.

Home-schooled, he began writing from about 8 years of age. He first published a book under a pseudonym when he was about 16 years of age. Born in a wealthy family, Tagore was sent to London to study law. But he returned to India after about 2 years without acquiring a degree. He began writing in Bengali and I have grown up hearing that one lifetime is not enough to read all that he wrote during his life. Tagore was a prolific composer, with 2,230 songs to his credit. His compositions are the national anthem of two countries – India and Bangladesh. I believe his work also inspired Sri Lanka’s national anthem.

No Bengali movie is complete without at least one of Tagore’s songs. He seems to have written a poem, composed a song for every season, every situation, and every emotion. Tagore also wrote novels, essays, short stories, travelogues, and dramas. His travelogues, essays, and lectures have been compiled into several volumes.

I have not read many of his works in Bengali but like I said his songs are everywhere. I have read Gitanjali (literally – Song Offerings), the book for which he awarded the Nobel Prize, which deals with divine love.

Here’s one of them:

Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high,
where knowledge is free.
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls.
Where words come out from the depth of truth,
where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection.
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost it’s way
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit.
Where the mind is led forward by Thee
into ever widening thought and action.
In to that heaven of freedom, my Father,
Let my country awake!

Perhaps this could well serve as a world anthem!

At sixty, Tagore took up drawing and painting and many successful exhibitions of his works have been held all over the world. His manuscripts were a work of art – the scribbles, cross outs and word layouts formed interesting and artistic patterns. However, he himself was not very pleased with his own work. In 1900s, he wrote to Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose (another world famous Bengali polymath), “You will be surprised to hear that I am sitting with a sketchbook drawing. Needless to say, the pictures are not intended for any salon in Paris, they cause me not the least suspicion that the national gallery of any country will suddenly decide to raise taxes to acquire them. But, just as a mother lavishes most affection on her ugliest son, so I feel secretly drawn to the very skill that comes to me least easily.”

Here are some of his other quotes:

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.

If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.

Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.

Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.

Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.

Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.

My all time favorite prayer:

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but
for the heart to conquer it.

And one more

If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.

When I conceived the idea for a Story Club and I seemed to be floundering alone (as I still am 😉 it was his song that came to my rescue – it still continues to inspire me to plod on, regardless. If you have time to spare, do listen to it – lyrics are given in English.

Of Tagore’s prose, his short stories are particularly highly regarded and widely read. What I like best about his short stories is that they speak of the average person, his little joys and tragedies. This is also true about this month’s story, which I hope you have read – if not do read and jump right in – link is given above.

Kabuliwala is a story about a man from Kabul (hence the name of the story – the one from Kabul) who comes to India to make a living selling exotic dry fruits. The innocent bond between a strange man and a little girl, their lighthearted banter is what draws us to the story. It charms us, ensnares us and just as we have formed an attachment to the pair comes the crux of the story – a master storyteller at work.

If you have read the story, I quite sure you would not have remain untouched by heartwarming and yet heartbreaking way Tagore unveiled a father’s love for his daughter. I particularly appreciated the empathy one father feels for another – if only we were more attuned to the sufferings and emotions of our fellow travelers on this difficult journey of life.

Like Mini, the little girl of the story, I have sort of grown up with the story. I have read English and Hindi translations of the story as part of school curriculum, onscreen versions – in Bengali and Hindi. And never has it failed to bring a lump to my throat. But each time I have seen it with different eyes and taken away a little something new. Perhaps that is a sign of my growing up or perhaps it is the greatness of a master storyteller who skillfully unfolds the layers one by one.

Kabuliwala could be just a simple story of a Bengali family, their way of life, prejudices, customs and traditions, as I thought it was when I was in my early teens.

Or it could open ones eyes to the story behind peoples lives, shake us out of our obsession with the self and see the person in front of us as more than just a service provider, an employee, a professional and ‘see’ him first as a human. It nudges us to be kinder, warmer, more supportive and appreciative of the others journey to get through the battle of life.

And yet when I re-read it just a few days ago, I felt the utter helplessness of a man, ill-prepared to be a father – one who feels all the emotions but is totally out of sync with reality. He is so completely engaged in the battle for providing for his family that the other realities and eventualities escape him. He seems to be stuck in a time warp, an alternate reality – where everything stops until he has done what he set out to do. It’s sort of like cooking lunch for a family with utter disregard for lunchtime.

The story makes me more kindly disposed towards my spouse as well. I see him with new eyes – poor chap is quite quite clueless 😀

I end with this message from Gurudev:

Go not to the temple to put flowers upon the feet of God, first fill your own house with the fragrance of love.

Go not to the temple to light candles before the altar of God, first remove the darkness of sin from your heart.

Go not to the temple to bow down your head in prayer first learn to bow in humility before your fellow men.

Go not to the temple to pray on bended knees, first bend down to lift someone who is down trodden.

Go not to the temple to ask for forgiveness for your sins, first forgive from your heart those who have sinned against you.

Thanks for reading. If anyone wishes to join the Story Club (including this one) most welcome. Just post a review and link back to this post. Or you could host the next month’s Story Club.

Rules are simple:

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

Look forward to reading from you – have a great day.

Thawing the Chill

january-snowfall-nighttime
Photo (c) Sarah Potter

Thawing the Chill

 Words 101

“Why are you two fighting?” Mother intervened.

“She started it.”

“I did not! She did.”

“Nonsense! She lost my shawl.”

“Liar! I gave it back. You’re getting old.”

“Not as old as you.”

“Stop it girls! The shawl? I have it.”

“Really Mother!” they turned on her. “Where is it?”

Mother shrugged. “I don’t remember. I am old.”

“Mom has been using that excuse for the last 50 years.”

“Exactly! Remember when she ‘forgot’ to pick me up from school?”

“Yes! And I sneaked off in my cycle…”

“If it weren’t for you I would have starved…”

Mother hid her grin.

***

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

Thanks for reading and for leaving me a note 😉

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Just 4 Fun #27

Another week is upon us and to make it worse, it was a lovely long weekend – now I have to re-train myself to go back to school office…

Anyhow, some priceless kid speak for you this week 😀

ques

For every question, they have an answer 😉

exam

They have answers to not just exam question but also life problems 😉

chooshi

And speaking of siblings

bros-and-sis

Why just siblings?

hair

Hope you liked this selection – none of which are mine by the way. I received all of them as forwards/shares and am just keeping the fun going.

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

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

The Bedecked One

20160918_071903Isn’t she gorgeous? Wondering why I call her the ‘bedecked’ one?

bd2

Notice the cummerbund?

bd3And she’s wearing bangles too! A bit creepy no doubt but then each to their choice – who am I to judge, right?

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 276

Thanks for visiting – do let me know what you think of the jewelry 😀

Have a great day.

FFfAW #103: The Wager

photo-20170220154614795

The Wager

Words 168

 

“You didn’t!” She scowled.

“Don’t you know by now that I never lose a wager?” There was a ghost of a twinkle in his eyes.

“One of these days you will.”

He paled.

He fought for breath.

Doctor!”

He held her hand. “No. Stay. It’s time.”

“It’s not fair!” she sank down beside him.

“Didn’t I bet I would go first?” His voice was a whisper.

“Take me with you,” she pleaded.

“You haven’t even cleared security check, but I have my boarding pass,” he gloated.

“I don’t care! Pull some strings,” she cried, “get me my boarding pass.”

“Khushi…”

“Why must you always break my heart?” She gripped his hands. “Why must you always win?”

“70 years gone in a flash.”

And so was he.

She stood up with a crash.

To stop him.

To follow him.

Blinded by tears, she stumbled.

With no one to break her fall, she cracked her head on the floor.

He couldn’t always win.

She wouldn’t let him.

Not this time.

***

Written for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – a story in 175 words or less. Thank you PJ for hosting and Dawn M. Miller for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Thank you for reading – look forward to your comments and reactions

SPF: It’s a Match

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It’s a Match

Words 202

Devansh edged towards the balcony. He needed some fresh air. Mom was going to be disappointed – again. Now she would insist that he go to India to find his soul mate.

As if they grew on trees over there.

“…fossilized dreams and aspirations…”

“That’s it! It’s off.”

“Are you crazy? To break off our wedding for such a flimsy…”

“This is a flimsy reason? Do you have any clue, any notion of my emotions, my sentiments? I see no future for us.”

“You’re impossible. I am leaving.”

“You’re still here?”

Rohit brushed past Devansh and vanished.

Devansh hesitated.

Unable to help himself, he picked up a drink and stepped out into the balcony.

“Here, have a drink.”

Mishti glared at him. “Trying to drug me?”

Devansh rolled his eyes. He downed half the glass and held it out to her.

“What happened?” Devansh leaned against the railing.

“That moron…”

“What did he do?”

“He didn’t like my plans for our honeymoon.”

“What plans?”

“A dinosaur expedition. I have been dreaming of it for years. But now all my plans, my money, tickets…”

Devansh’ eyes gleamed. “Maybe we could do it?”

“What? The wedding?”

Devansh coughed. “We could explore that after the expedition.”

 ***

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

CFFC: Kolam

If you are a regular visitor to my blog you may have noticed that I have already published my photos for this week’s fun foto challenge hosted by Cee on Looking Down on Things. But as I mentioned, I have a few more photos to share on this topic.

I opted for a separate post for these photos because they are an insight into Indian art, thought, philosophy and way of life.

rangoli-3

In many parts of India (and Asia), patterns are created on the floor in living rooms or courtyards using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals. Usually these patterns (rangoli or alpana) are made on the occasion of religious festivals and auspicious functions such as weddings. But in South India, these drawings called kolam (among other things depending on region) are made in front of the house, every morning.

rangoli2Kolams are not only decorative but are also believed to bring prosperity. Kolams were traditionally made of coarse rice flour – it serves as food for ants so that they don’t have to walk too far for a decent meal. It is also an invitation to birds and other smaller creatures. Kolams symbolize thinking beyond the self; the philosophy that the greatest joy is in giving rather than receiving. Only if you give, will you receive.And no one is too poor to feed another or welcome another.

rangoli4Every morning, women of the house clean their homes, courtyard, road and draw patterns with rice flour. The kolams are generally drawn while the surface is still damp so the design will hold better. As a child I remember watching Aunty as she drew bigger and bigger patterns without moving from her crouched position on the floor with just a flick of her wrist holding the rice powder between her thumb and forefinger. It was like magic.

rangoli1Walking back from the beach after witnessing a breathtaking sunrise, I was taken aback to see kolams on the road. The streets were deserted now but soon they would be bustling with activity. The patterns were sure to be trampled upon – why would anyone deliberately let their work of art be destroyed?

It was only later that I began to see the glimmerings of the deeper philosophy behind this tradition. Kolams on the road symbolize the impermanence of life and everything in it. It is a daily reminder to go ahead with our tasks without being attached to it.

Today’s work won’t last forever, be prepared to do it over and over again, all the days of your life. Be grateful for the new day, this life and another opportunity to create a new kolam, once again.

CFFC: Looking Down

This week Cee wants us to lower our gazes and have fun while doing so. So here I am off on my travels keeping my eyes firmly on the ground 😉

Ready? Steady? Po…yep off to Pondicherry or Puducherry as it is now known as:

bag-airportThis cool bag caught my bleary barely open eyes in the wee hours of the morning.

20170217_052624Look what I got fooling around with the photo – cool isnt it? Anyway on with the trip

flightLooking down on sunrise was quite an experience

hotelA glimpse of the hotel lobby on the 6th floor.

pondyLooking down on the roof tops, I squinted as I tried to decipher where the sky ended and the sea began…

seaAt the beach, to catch the sunrise – the camera took this shot when I wasn’t looking.

spaAnd finally, we come a full circle – back at the airport. On the floor, a flower arrangement outside a spa.

But that’s not all from me  😉

If Cee allows, I would like to have another edition of looking down

Thanks for joining me on this gig – do share your thoughts, views and opinions 🙂

COB: Sweet Dreams

I clicked this photo on my recent travels and thought it deserved a post of its own.

scootyClearly he doesn’t much care for the stone floor, bird feed or the creepy crawlies. 😀

I thought it was quite apt for Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge – what do you think?

WPC: Out of the World

rebecca

The Veiled Rebecca depicts the veiled bride of Isaac. Created by the Italian artist Giovanni Benzoni, it stands at a height of 167.0 cm with the statue and its round pedestal carved from a single block of marble without any joints.

reb2

Another closer view of the stunning work of art. How he managed to create the appearance of a transparent veil from marble is beyond my comprehension. I cannot even remove the reflection of the light 😦

reb3

Benzoni is believed to have made four copies of this sculpture, one of which is kept at the Salar Jung Museum Hyderabad. I am sure he was so stunned by his own creation that he wanted to make sure it was no fluke or magic!  Apparently, the only difference between this and the other three is that in this one the right hand is lifting the veil while in the other it is the left hand.

Did you notice the fingers in this picture and the one above? In one it seems as it the fist is sort of clenched but in the other, the fingers seem to be unfurled. Quite magical don’t you think?

I could stare at it whole day long – the flowing robes, the posture, the poise, the grace, the fluidity of stone, the….

Linked to Daily Post’s Weekly – against the odds

The Story Club for this month is overdue. If anyone is interested, please suggest a story, otherwise I would like to propose ‘The Kabuliwala‘ by Rabindranath Tagore. I hope to post my review over the weekend. I would be happy if you join the discussion.

Have a good day and thanks for visiting.

 

The Blow

I have just returned from a vacation and the photo below says it all 😉

broken-face-liz
Photo (c) Liz Young

But nonetheless, here goes:

 

The Blow

Words 86

“You look lovely.” Su hugged me.

“Thanks.” I smiled.

“Yes,” said Ana. “I remember telling you that this color really suits you.”

“Thanks.” I flushed and paled.

I tottered away.

“What’s the matter?” The Husband asked.

“That Ana…” I gritted my teeth.

“But she just complimented you.” He frowned.

“Compliment my foot. She just dished me a swift upper cut.”

“Are you crazy?”

“Oh God!” I moaned, “why didn’t you warn me?”

“About what?”

“That I wore the same sari at the last wedding we attended.”

***

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

Thanks for reading – look forward to reading your reactions.

 

CFFC: Let’s Face It

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge theme this week is about things that look like faces. A very interesting topic don’t you think? I remember as children when we went out family trips, my sister and I would hang out of the window and laugh at the ‘faces’ made by passing vehicles – especially trucks and buses. They really look different and funny. Have a look next time when you are on an ‘are we there yet‘ zone. Hmm come to think of it it was Ma who told us about the faces 😀

Anyhow, here are a few ‘faces’ from my archives:

cake

A smiley cake with a blue nose – baked by my 12-year old niece

otterfaceAn ‘otter’ in the woods

skeleton-buildingA double mouthed skeleton or perhaps that’s the nose and the mouth is busy eating up the earth…

 

tree-mouth

She looks about ready to swallow anything and everything in her path doesnt she?

tree-manCan you see the Tree Man standing guard in the distance?

hatAccessories can do wonders for your looks 😉

Thanks for visiting – do let me know which one is your favorite 🙂

Just 4 Fun # 26

Hello! How was your Valentine’s day?

I had the most wonderful V-day – binge watching a web series on my own 😉 😀

Here’s an assorted (mostly V-day) collection which I hope will brighten up your day:

valentine

Dont miss the candles 😀

But seriously a bit too much eh?

peanuts

That’s more like it 😀

sports

Hmm, I have to admit I am a very sporty kind a person – what about you?

cute

Exactly!

diamond

Indeed! And birds of a feather flock together 😉

band

How true!

gf

Hope you liked these memes – none of which are mine by the way. I received all of them as forwards/shares and am just keeping the fun going. If you have something to share, please leave your link and I will be along in just a bit.

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

Far From the Madding Crowd

golconda

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 275

Hope you liked!

SPF: How Heaven Saved Us

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Photo (c) Sascha Darlington

 

How Heaven Saved Us

Words 194

“What’s the report from residents on the Earth prototype?”

“Excellent. They think it’s heavenly. I deeply regret the self-destruct program.”

“How long is our Heaven going to last?”

“Heaven is self-sustaining for a hundred years.”

“Good, but why so many Heavens? Weren’t you supposed to build just one?”

“I wanted to provide shelter to as many citizens as possible.”

“Focus on one. Don’t waste money…”

“Money! The Earth is going to blow up once the comet crashes into it.”

“You don’t understand. This is our chance to begin again, choose our fellow companions. Get rid of the riff-raff.”

“But…”

“Even we are allowed only one other person.”

“Choose one person!”

“Sacrifices have to be made in the interests of the future.”

“Meaning?”

“My wife is old. Young blood is needed to create a new generation.”

“Your son or your daughter?”

“The model Tatiana.”

“Not your beloved daughter?”

“She’s married. She is her husband’s responsibility.”

“And your son?”

“He is Captain of Heaven.”

“But…but am I not the Captain?”

“You have done a great job. You have labored long and hard. You deserve a rest. A nice long rest.”

We’ll see who gets to rest.

***

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

Thank you for reading – look forward to your comments and suggestions. I am traveling this weekend and hence may not be around to visit as much as usual. Hope you all have a super weekend.

APWC: Zoom In

We recently visited the Golconda Fort near Hyderabad, India where we had glimpses and insights into the lives of people who lived centuries ago. Nancy’s A Photo A Week theme this week is of Details – exactly what I was looking for to showcase some of the interesting things we saw:)

entry

This is the entrance to the Golconda Fort (of Kohinoor diamond fame). This path was meant for kings and nobles but our path lies elsewhere. Just alongside (on the left to be precise):

barrack

A view of the barracks where the soldiers were housed. Pretty barren and lackluster do you think? Let’s look around.

entranceThe entrance to the barracks – actually to be honest I took this photo because of the tree 😉

shelves

On the other side are the shelves for soldiers to keep their artillery and other stuff.

holder1See that protrusion with a hole? That was for holding flame torches for light.

holder2Another flame torch holder on the other side. The walls look rather bare and utilitarian don’t they? As I mentioned, this section was meant for soldiers. The Royalty didn’t much care for the fumes of the flame torches. Besides, the flames charred the walls which again offended their sensibilities. Hence they had other ideas.

diamond

The intricate decorations on the inner palace walls – which was originally diamond studded. A single candle was enough to light up the whole room.

wall

The Royalty lived in luxury and left no stone unturned their comfort. This came to light when the walls broke revealing water pipes for carrying hot and cold water to the city and fortress built on a granite hill that is 120 meters (480 ft) high.

The water was heated in a wood furnace and pumped up using hand cranks. Phew!

Hope you enjoyed the detailed tour.

Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

Have a super week.

The Chair

mystery-chair-ted-strutz
Photo (c) Ted Strutz

 

The Chair

 Words 93

 “That’s my chair.”

“It’s time you passed on the baton.”

“There is nobody capable enough.”

“It’s our job to groom them. Make them able.”

“If I leave, the whole system will collapse.”

“Don’t kid yourself. Nobody is indispensable.”

“Nobody has as much experience as I do.”

“A new person will bring in fresh ideas, perspectives and vision.”

“That should be applicable for your chair as well.”

How dare you!”

“The Minister’s new son-in-law is a good friend of my son.”

“I will see what can be done about creating another chair for you.”

***

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

Thank you for reading – look forward to your comments and suggestions.

For IPK fans and readers of SS - the final part of A Tangled Web is up

Just 4 Fun # 25

It’s been a long day, so without any further ado let’s get down to some serious relaxation 😉

phony-data

I would like to add one more to the list – after the 14missed calls when he does pick up the phone, he disconnects after listening to one of the 14 points she wanted to make 😉 😀

Has that ever happened with you? It happens with both my son and husband. They invariably disconnect before I finish speaking – especially if I am giving instructions.

phoneYeah right – that will be the day!

ecgWhy just for men? Works for me as well. What say gals? 😀

headache

Who swallows a paracetamol by mistake? I have swallowed many a headache though 😉

balance

Here’s hoping we all find the right balance in our lives on this Valentine’s day:)

flowers

Hope you liked these photos, none of which are mine by the way. I received all of them as shares and am just keeping the fun going. If you have something to share, please leave your link and I will be along in just a bit.

Have a super week and don’t forget to have some fun, regardless…

Bindi Tree

bindi-tree
Photo (c) Punit Kaur

In India, trees are very much revered and it is a common sight to see the Banyan tree or the Bodhi tree entwined with red strings. But this particular tree covered with bindis is a rare sight and one that I have never seen before. This tree stands outside the Koteshawar temple, Kutch in Gujarat. The temple overlooks the Arabian Sea and is the western-most Shiva temple of India.

Bindis are traditionally red in color and round in shape. Married women wear them on the center of the forehead as a symbol of their marital status. Married women put a bindi on this tree to ensure the long life of her husband. I believe glass bangles are also offered to the tree. I hope to see it for myself one of these days, until then the photo will have to do 🙂

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 274

 

An Art -Y Post

I am an avid follower of Y’s 365 days of art and sometime ago she inspired me to try an art post. So here I am, with a couple of paintings that we have at home. Photography turned out to be quite tricky – flash, shadows, reflections and other amateur issues. Nevertheless I hope you will like them. Taking cue from Y, I added a little bit of background to make it more interesting.

Indian paintings can be broadly classified as murals and miniatures. Murals are large works executed on the walls of solid structures, such as in the Ajanta Caves. Miniature paintings are executed on a very small scale for books or albums on perishable material such as paper and cloth. The Palas of Bengal (in the eastern part of India) are believed to be the pioneers of miniature painting in India.

Miniature paintings developed during the 10th century in Rajasthan (western part of India). The subjects of these miniature paintings are in relation to the subjects of the manuscripts mostly religious and literary. The painting below is of the life of Lord Krishna and his Gopies. These paintings were created on leaf of the palm tree and later paper.

In these paintings,  most of the human characters are seen with side profile. Big eyes, pointed nose and slim waist are the distinctive features of these paintings. The skin colors of human being are brown and fair. The skin color of the Lord Krishna is Blue. Human characters are adorned with a lot of jewellery and wear traditional Indian dresses. Mostly natural colors were used in these paintings.

miniatureSorry about the flashlight at the bottom 😦 No fault of the artist!

The second painting is known as Madhubani art and belongs to the region that is now Bihar. It is locally believed that Madhubani painting tradition started when Raja Janak of Videha commissioned local artists to paint murals in his palace in preparations for the marriage of his daughter Sita to Lord Ram (who is believed to have been born in 5114 BC). Painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and is characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns. There is ritual content for particular occasions, such as birth or marriage, and festivals.

These paintings were done only by women and only on occasion of marriages. Madhubani art has five distinctive styles and their themes were mainly religious and they depicted Gods and Goddesses, flora and fauna in their paintings.

The painting was traditionally done on freshly plastered mud walls and floors of huts, but now they are also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas. Madhubani paintings are made from the paste of powdered rice. Madhubani painting has remained confined to a compact geographical area and the skills have been passed on through centuries, the content and the style have largely remained the same. Madhubani paintings also use two dimensional imagery, and the colors used are derived from plants. Ochre and lampblack are also used for reddish brown and black respectively.

Mithila painting (as Madhubani art is also known as) was hidden from the world until the India-Nepal border earthquake of 1934. While inspecting the damages, the then British colonial officer in Madhubani District, William G. Archer, “discovered” the paintings on the newly exposed interior walls of Mithila homes. He took black and white photos of some of these paintings, which today are the earliest images of the art.

I also bring a black and white painting for you. For more images you can click on the links given above.

madhuIf you look carefully, no two image is same – sort of like spot the difference.

madhubaniHere’s another angle with a darker focus on the top panel.

So what do you think? Do share your thoughts.

Thanks for visiting and hope you have a super weekend.

CFFC: Crawl or Fly

Cee’s fun foto challenge this week (I am determined not to be late!) is all about Crawling or Flying.

So let’s see what I managed to dig out this week. 😉

crawl-caveCrawling through the limestone caves.

truck-crawlA truck inching its way on to a ferry

tractorI just love this tractor which haunts our campus. There’s something about it – the shiny bright blue contrasting with the rusty trailer as it rumbles sedately lugging something or the other or as it waits patiently to be loaded…no? Don’t much care for it?

shikaraI am sure you would enjoy a leisurely shikara ride on the picturesque Dal lake, Srinagar. Hmm perhaps I have shared this photo before – time to fly 😉

road-flagFlying banners decorate the road

flagsMore colorful flags flying in the wind (and the green T-shirt guy’s hair too 😀

tree-legI saved this one for the last. Doesn’t the tree look as if she is going to leg it any moment?

Thanks for visiting and for letting me know your favorite 🙂

For readers of A Tangled Web here's Part 5

CB&W: A Musical Story

Cee’s black and white photo challenge theme for last week was Music. I am worse than late this week, but in my defense it’s been a super busy week plus I was traveling. Hunting through my archives I could find only one photo, which fit the bill. Ironical since my house is littered with musical instruments – guitar, Mohan veena, sitar, piano, tabla and I distinctly remember buying a mouth organ too.

Before you get the wrong idea I must add that I am quite tone-deaf but my son has the ‘feel’ for music – and I think he plays very well. 🙂 Well no, I am not really being partial – he won a music scholarship during his school days. But what I really wanted to share with you was the way he was introduced to music. Since I am not really musically inclined, I would have never thought of pushing him towards music. But fate has a way of taking the right turns and sort of forcing your hand.

When my son was about seven years old, he suddenly turned obsessive about me. It was winter days and it would get dark by 5 pm. Quite all of a sudden, he started calling me up at the office demanding that I come home immediately. Once he even dragged his octogenarian grandfather to the campus gate to escort me home. I tried to get to the bottom of the matter and set up a minor grilling session.

I saw the glimmerings of light when he muttered, “Bad things happen in car parks.”

Darn it – that’s what comes out of encouraging children to read the newspaper.

Some urgent damage control was needed so I began hunting for some suitable distraction. But what? I had not time to take him anywhere for anything. It would have to be something at home.

“Would you like to learn music?” I asked having bumped into a music teacher at a friend’s house.

He wore a thoughtful look. “Does he have a mustache?”

Of all the things!

“Hmm. Not sure. I think so.”

“Okay.” He went back to his comic. “But only if he has a mustache.”

musicI wonder if these guys have mustaches?

Or more importantly did they have any such preconditions before they started learning music 😀 How about you – do you know of any one with peculiar preconditions to do doing something? Do share 🙂

Thanks for visiting!

 

WPC: Shadows

It’s a double Weekly Photo Challenge bonanza this week – after solitude it’s time for some shadows. I managed only a couple:

rock-gardenYep this is at the Rock Gardens in Chandigarh. I have to confess I didn’t mean to capture the shadows. I was too busy focusing on the artificial tree 😀 Anyhow I fooled around a bit with the photo to highlight the shadow of the railings – they look cool don’t they?

lodhi-gardensThis one I took because of the shadows.

So which one do you like better?

Thanks for visiting and leaving me a note 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 120

Grounded

roger-bultot-flower
Photo (c) Roger Bultot

Grounded

Words 97

“Namaste Mother. Yes I am well. You?”

“Don’t worry Mother. Things are better now that I know his likes and dislikes.”

“Yes Mother. Once he leaves, I don’t have much work.”

“No Mother. All that has changed. I no longer flit in and out of the house. We go out only on weekends for our weekly shopping.”

“Friends? No Mother. Sometimes I think there are less people in this entire building than there are at home!”

“What do I do? I relax. I look out of the window watch the snowfall, talk to the flowers.”

“Namaste Mother.”

***

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

Thank you for reading and leaving me a note or two 🙂

WPC: Solitude

Solitude is a state of being alone without feeling lonely. Solitude is something I crave and find uplifting and relaxing – a state which, to me at least, is almost akin to meditation. The freedom to think or not – the freedom to just be. The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge theme is about solitude and hence this outburst 😉

Anyway, hunting through my archives, I found this picture which seemed to fit the bill.  Fooling around with the photo, I was reminded of a discussion I had with Ravens regarding BW and color photographs.

I thought I had interesting results with this photo.

bw-benchDoesn’t this picture evoke a sense of loneliness and despair? Of waiting? If only someone would come and say hello?

park-bench-2 Yet, doesn’t this scene speaks of utter contentment and relaxation? It is as if the bench is soaking up the sunshine and a few brief moments of blissful respite from the burdens that he knows are sure to come his way all too soon.

I wonder if you agree with me? Or am I being too fanciful? Do let me know which one you like better. I would love to know about your thoughts on the matter…

Thanks for visiting!

Just 4 Fun #24

Morning folks! The dreaded Monday has turned up like a bad penny once again.

Funny how we are all afraid of something or the other isn’t it?

comes-back

True isn’t it? But there’s someone who isn’t afraid of anything or anyone. Any guesses?

bear

And new understanding of available facts removes any remaining guilt as well

chocolate

Go on, what are you waiting for – spread the word

gossip

True story!!!

Hop over to Esther’s blog for some wacky real life instructions 😀

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

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

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

And do let me know your favorite – mine has to be the Mama bear. She is cool 😀

Blending In

biding-her-time-2

Doesn’t she look as if she is trying to blend in with her surroundings? Or perhaps Nek Chand  arranged his sculptors to suit her woody nature.

For Becca’s Sunday Trees 273