WPC: Monsoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

ShelterAs the rain gathered intensity, some sought shelter…

Two birds

While the more adventurous ones, reveled in the rains…

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

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

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

Thank you for stopping by 😉




Just 4 Fun # 50

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

Time is fun when we are having flies 😉

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


Just push the damn door…


😉 😉 😀

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

You think English is easy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talking of intimacy…

Acid A

And that’s it from me too 😀

Oh wait one final bit of gyan 😉



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

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

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



Sunday tree

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

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

Middlers – raise your hands 😀

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees – 300


CB&W: On The Way

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a super weekend 🙂

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

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 10.51.54 am

Thank you for your company on this amazing journey 🙂

CB&W: Trailing

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

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

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

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


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

Rock garden

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


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

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

A Celebrity – Just Kidding

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

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

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

Thanks and have a super day


WPC: Of Textures & Blooms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Rock flower







it is

a matter




can stop


A Pick Me Up

Photo (c) Dale Rogerson

A Pick Me Up

 Words 101

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now what?

He held up a fistful of crushed periwinkles.

“For me?” I gaped.

He nodded and ran off to open the gate.


Based on a true incident 🙂

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


Just 4 Fun # 49

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


Isn’t that true?

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


Poor chap, wonder who’s his wife?


With apologies to da Vinci


That’s the kinda person I aspire to be 😀



There are other inspiring women too


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


Where’s your punctuation?


That looks just about right doesnt it? 😉


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

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

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


The Doting Grandma

Contrast Tree

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

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees – 299

Just 4 Fun # 48

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


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

MatkaI think I better shape up soon 😉


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



😀 😀 There’s no denying that!


I thought this model was really cool 😀



That’s the spirit! 😉 😀


Talking of wives


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


Umm – err cough cough moving on


Yes that is how expensive tomatoes are! 😀

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

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

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

WPC: Gratified and Delighted

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

I hope you too will like them 🙂


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


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


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


Then there’s this unruly wild child of the forest


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

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

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


A veritable feast for the eyes


I just love this photo – don’t you?


Time for a change!


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

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

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

HairyPA hairy one and quite unapologetic too!

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

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

Have a super week ahead 🙂





will come and go

you will go

your own way

do your own thing

but I will always

wait for you


For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 298


WPC: True Blue

Yippee – after 9 months, Delhi finally delivered 😉

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

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

Hope you like!

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

Sky copyRain is imminent – the clouds gear grey up 😉

IMG-20170721-WA0012They came in other designs too!

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

20170724_174700Quite perfectly framed – what do you say?

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

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

MonkeyAny guesses who that is? 😀

Thanks for visiting, have a super week ahead 🙂


Just 4 Fun # 47

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

Baby cat😀 😀 Mama cat does have a point 😉

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

3d painting

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

Q algo

So, did you ask your question? 😉

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


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

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


For every problem, there is a solution 😀

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

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

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

Still Standing

Photo shared by my sister from Dublin

Thank you








what you don’t get

is that you

have only made

me stronger.

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 297



The Sneaky Ways of Fate

Photo (c) Kent Bonham

The Sneaky Ways of Fate

Words 102

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

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

Tonight, they would take the train to Agra.

Fate blinked. Oops! Her destiny was in Delhi.

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

Fate sighed. Her job was done.

Same city.

Same campus.

Time would lead them to Room 4027.

Biology and chemistry would do the rest.


Footnote: The numbers triggered this piece.

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

Thank you for visiting – have a super week 🙂


SPF: Accursed

Photo (c) Mike Vore


Words 202

“That house looks eerie.” I said.

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

“Really? What happened?” I was intrigued.

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

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

“Then?” I asked.

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


“Caught seducing Suresh.”


“She was of course killed on the spot.”

“And Suresh?”

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

“Why did they leave?”

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


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

“Suresh may…?”

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


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

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

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 158



COB: Some Cute Stuff

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

Hope you like them as much as I do.

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

Carpet catA designer rug – err oops a designer kitty 😀

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

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

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

DollThat’s me signing off for the day 😛

So which one is your favorite?

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

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 157

Just 4 Fun # 47

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


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


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


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



After that profound thought a little reality check:


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

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

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

In the Stillness of the Night


All day long

I wait for

darkness to fall,

for them to slip into

the folds of my sleeves

and doze off.









For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 296

CB&W: Touch Wood

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

MonkeyA makeshift ladder for monkeys – can you spot them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


And They Lived Happily Ever After

Photo (c) Janet Webb

And they lived happily ever after

Words 97

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

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


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

“Ah the thrifty kinds.”

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


“How’s the boy?” She too was grilled.

“I’m starving.”

“Didn’t you eat?”

“I couldn’t! They are very poor.”


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

“Did you like the boy?”

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


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

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 156


SPF: Look Within


Look Within

Words 194

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

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

Madhu hesitated. “Perhaps you should…”

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

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

“The perfect matrimonial catch.” Trupti sneered.

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

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

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

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

“Ever wonder why the creeper grows up?”

“To avoid getting trampled or munched up?”

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

“Yeah right!” Trupti scoffed.

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

“What does he get?”

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

“But are they happy?”

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


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

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 155



Just 4 Fun # 46

Another week and some more fun! Let’s dive in – a mish mash of stuff from here and there:

It’s rainy season over here and time to buy a new umbrella


Go green! 😀 Anyway what did you do over the weekend? Chill out at home or did you go for a party or two? That reminds me…

5 min

Has that ever happened with you? Or are you guilty of it? 😉 Me? Believe it or not, I am usually the first one to be ready at home 😀


Hahahahahhaa 😀

BiwiI thought it was time to put a brake to all that scornful laughter and put the spotlight right back on me 😀 As you may have guessed, biwi is Hindi for wife.

CM Bday

Hmm I am not quite sure if that is a grammar goof…perhaps he or she was a bit tipsy

Tipsy                           Innovative idea isnt it? 😀


I couldn’t quite resist sharing this heartwarming picture – imagination and some good friends and one’s life is set 😉


And finally some very sound advice from Madam Kitty herself ! Go on what are you waiting for – open the damn door, I am waiting right outside 😉

See you soon 😀

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

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

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


I grew up hearing that each of us has seven other people somewhere in this world who looks exactly like us. Have you heard of it? Do you believe it? I am very skeptical about this theory until I found a tree doppelgänger half way across the world! Don’t believe me? Take a look.


If you are regular visitor to my blog (or home) you may have seen this tree right outside my window.

ViennaDoesn’t it look eerily similar to this one in Vienna?

You and I

will never meet


it is enough

to know

that our


are anchored

on the same



Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees – 295

Thanks for visiting – have a great Sunday 🙂


“Next!” The judge banged his gavel.

A grubby girl barely out of her teens was led in.

“What’s the charge?” the judge peered at her over his spectacles.

“She is guilty of killing her own child your honor.”

“Is this true?”

“No, no,” the girl wept, “it’s not my fault.”

“It is entirely her fault your honor.”

“No! It isn’t! I didn’t even know I was pregnant.” She pleaded.

“Do you deny you had a baby?” the judge asked.


“But you didn’t know you were pregnant?” The judge said.

“I didn’t! I had severe stomach pains and then there was blood….”

“Lies your honor, all lies.” The lawyer thundered.

“Silence! Where’s the father?” asked the judge.

“I don’t know.” She whispered. “I was raped.”

“Is that why you killed your baby?” The judge said.

“I didn’t kill it.” she insisted. “They said it was premature labor, a miscarriage…”

“Miscarriage! She murdered her own child, an innocent baby and threw it into the garbage. The proof is on your table your honor.” The lawyer said. “This is murder most heinous, your honor and deserves the highest punishment.”

It’s not my fault.” She shrieked.

The judged banged the gavel. “Silence in the court! There is incontrovertible proof of guilt. You are a murderer worse, of your own child. And for that you are sentenced to 30 years in prison.”


Based on a true story published on 7th July 2017. My nerves have been jangling ever since.


Photo (c) Claire Sheldon


Words: I plead guilty

 “Why did you call the office landline?” She kicked off her heels.

“You weren’t picking your mobile…” He straightened the penguin.

“I was in an important meeting…!” Her bag was next.

“It was a question of our son’s future.” He fiddled with the pen stand.

“What if you were in a meeting? Would you also have left it?”

“Of course! I know my priorities.”

“Then why didn’t you check the admission papers before leaving?”

“Why didn’t you?”

“If I have to do everything, what will you do?”

“Put the blame on you.” He grinned.

“Very smart.” She seethed.

“I am glad you agree.” He smirked.

“I wonder you can say that after today’s fiasco.”

“I am not such a fool as you.”

“Are you calling me the fool?” She clenched her fists.

“I chose you. You chose me. So who’s the fool?”


A/N I overshot the word limit heavily but with a purpose – a bit of any experiment really. And I would appreciate your help. It’s about the dialogue tag. I used the first one (she kicked off her heels) to denote who’s speaking. And then I felt like adding a few more and ultimately went overboard. But I am not sure if they worked or not. In fact I think it didnt add, perhaps even detracted. But this is something that I have been wrestling with. Also is it okay to use just one dialogue tag? Wouldnt it have looked odd? Questions, questions and I am quite stumped 😉

What do you think? Could I request you to read it again minus the dialogue tags and let me know your thoughts? But I understand that you may be too busy. Thanks a lot for visiting – have a great day 🙂



“Why did you call the office landline?” She kicked off her heels.

“You weren’t picking your mobile…”

“I was in an important meeting…!”

“It was a question of our son’s future.”

“What if you were in a meeting? Would you also have left it?”

“Of course! I know my priorities.”

“Then why didn’t you check the admission papers before leaving?”

“Why didn’t you?”

“If I have to do everything, what will you do?”

“Put the blame on you.”

“Very smart.”

“I am glad you agree.”

“I wonder you can say that after today’s fiasco.”

“I am not such a fool as you.”

“Are you calling me the fool

“I chose you. You chose me. So who’s the fool?”


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

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 154

Thanks for visiting, have a great day 🙂

Once Upon a Time

© A Mixed Bag 2011

Once Upon a Time

Words 200

It was a carefree life.

I was the pampered child, the adored sibling the student of the year.

Friends were my life and I was the life of the party.

There was no need to conquer the world – I was on top of the world.

But something – someone was missing.

Someone of my very own, someone to love, someone to care, to share…

Fate was kind.

I found the one perfect for me in every respect.

We yodeled, tap-danced and ultimately waltzed through our rollicking wedding.

I now had a kingdom of my own.

That’s when the trouble began.

Lured by the lust of a good life, I fell deeper and deeper into the trap.

A bigger house.

A bigger car.

A bigger family.

A bigger loan.

Gone were my carefree days.

All I did was work and work.

Endless cycles of earn and spend.

Earn and spend.

Earn and save – for the near and the distant future, for children and children’s children.

Chained to the grindstone, squeezed into a straitjacket I underwent transmutation.

And that is the story of how I turned from a blue-eyed boy into the fire spewing dragon king of today.


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 the prompt, click here.


For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 153



Just 4 Fun # 45

Hello friends, can you believe half of 2017 has vanished and will never, ever return. Makes one think doesn’t it? Oh well I am too tired to think – let’s just have some fun shall we? I was running low on my stock of fun – worried I turned to Google. That’s when it struck me 😉


Wait there’s more!


Men beware – Google is not just a woman, she is your wife 😀 Anyway moving on to rather weighty issues


And I have finally identified the reason for this relentless expansion – a soft tender heart, inability to hurt another’s feelings…


Ah well I guess it’s time to renounce the world, give up everything like the sanyasis of yesteryears


Damn right! Time to say goodbye – how about a selfie?


Remarkable isnt it 😉

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

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

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.



Mirror Images


Weathering storms

side by side,


for decades.

I forget

if that is you

Or me.

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Tree – 294

 For IPK fans, Khulasa Mami has been busy! 😀

A Reminder

Photo (c) Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

A Reminder

Words 102

The road ahead was steep and endless.

The walls closed in, suffocating her.

She spied a crack, a ray of hope.

Her breath eased.

She hurried towards it.

A sheer cliff.

Another dead end.

Or was it a sign?

To give in.

To jump.

“Mamma, should we count to three?” Her trusting innocence shone through the black eye.


“Should we go back?”


“Then let’s walk on.” She tugged her.

“It’s dark and unknown. What if we…you get tired?”

“We’ll go slowly. One step at a time.”


“Have you forgotten our song Mamma?”

“Which song?”

We shall overcome, some day.


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


Rooting for Death

In these times of death and destruction, one report particular report cheered me up no end. This was one annihilation that I have been waiting for decades – if this comes to pass, not only I, the world shall dance for joy. I doubt if there is a single supporter of this creature in the entire planet. Some may argue for their necessity in maintaining the ecological balance, the food chain but from the heart?

Nah, I don’t think so.

Who could it be you wonder? Or did you guess already? Here are some facts that may help you identify the universally detested creature.

Considered to be the deadliest creature on the planet, they’ve been around since the Jurassic period making them about 210 million years species. They killed Alexander the Great in 323 BC and since then, they have killed more people world over than all wars combined.

If you haven’t guessed, I am talking about the mosquito. Unbelievable as that sounds, mosquito borne diseases like malaria (the major killer mosquito borne disease) dengue, yellow fever, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses, kill about 725,000 people a year while 200 million people suffer the consequences of their deadly bite every single day.

It is no wonder that when I chanced upon the article which declared – Mosquito-Borne Diseases Could Be Wiped Out For Good With Gene-Editing – I couldn’t quite bite back my shout of joy and insane delight. I hopped over here post haste to share this amazing news 🙂

I won’t go into the details which is too complicated but in brief, scientists have reported success in disrupting the ‘fertility’ gene at multiple sites as a way to interrupting mosquito proliferation. Not all 3,500 species perhaps, just the deadly ones. Particularly the females, because they are the ones who bite and one can lay up to 300 eggs in one batch. And lay up to three batches in her life time. Whoa that’s a whole lot of mosquitoes!

Just the thought makes me break out in a rash. Three cheers to the scientists who are working relentlessly to destroy these dangerous creatures. However on a cautionary note, mosquitoes are tricky creatures as are the malaria parasites who are experts at dodging the man-made missiles that are thrown their way. Perhaps we need to root for the success of the malaria vaccine as well. It is ready to undergo field testing in Africa next year.

Here’s to winning this battle and soon.

This is my submission for the monthly We Are the World Blogfest which seeks to promote positive news.

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

Thank you for reading and have a super weekend.


WPC: Change of Season

For this week’s photo challenge – Delta, we are to share a picture that symbolizes transitions, change, and the passing of time.

What better than the first shower of monsoon – symbolizing the end of a blistering summer and the beginning another cycle of sweltering humidity 😀

Rain2Can you see the white longitudinal streaks? Did you think those to be marks on a dirty window pane? No! The window was wide open. Those are the thick ropes of rain – the first monsoon shower in Delhi. The gentleman in white seems to have been taken by surprise. Or perhaps he took advantage of his mom’s absence 😉 😀


the trees emerge

squeaky clean

Thanks for visiting – have a super day 🙂


Friends in Deed


She is dull

drab and brown

cares of the world

weigh her down;


they close in

and paint her

pink and




would we





Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees – 293


Just 4 Fun # 44

Hola people! How’s life? Hot, hotter hottest…


Yep that’s how hot it is 😀 Makes one terribly dull and lazy.


Dash it…


In a separate news, there are others who dont let anything come in the way of their creativity. This picture is of a school in Kerala.


Wouldnt you love to go to such a school?


That’s the artist – hats off to him! Oh well I guess I should be getting back to work


That does sound good doesn’t it? Now if only the kids could just as easily be cornered.


What! No password needed? Surely nothing good can be written there 😉


Whom are you rooting for – the dog or the cat? 😀

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

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

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

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


Story Club #11: A Twist in the Tale

It’s story time folks and this month I have chosen to feature the master storyteller, William Sydney Porter (1862 – 1910) or O. Henry. Apart from being an acclaimed short story writer, he was also a gifted musician with impressive drawing skills.

O. Henry had a checkered career that involved pharmacy, drafting, journalism, and banking. While at the bank, he was accused of embezzlement and though his father-in-law offered to bail him out, he preferred to flee. He had to come back when his wife fell terminally ill. His father-in-law posted bail that allowed him to be by his wife side until her death. He was then imprisoned for five years. But he was lucky enough to be spared the jail cell for he was allowed to practice pharmacy and given a room in the hospital.

O. Henry’s collection of short stories was one of the very first books that I bought with my own money (and hence all the more precious!). The heartbreaking and poignant The Gift of the Magi and The Last Leaf, stand out vividly in my memory from eons ago. In O. Henry stories, I particularly enjoy the unexpected twist endings which fascinate and impress like no other. Perhaps that’s part of the reason I feel compelled to include twist endings in my stories. But lately as I re-read his stories, I am bowled over by his witticism and clever wordplay, which I can never hope to match.

For this story club, I spent a pleasurable couple of hours reading his stories – the ones I hadn’t read before. One of them, The Romance of a Busy Broker immediately touched a chord and I fell in love with the short and sweet story.

Do read it before scrolling down as there are spoilers ahead.

As the title suggests this is about a busy broker Maxwell. Even after I finished reading the story, I can still vividly see Maxwell’s office as clearly as if I had emerged from a movie screening. And the humorous turn of phase,  brings a smile whenever I think of it. Take for instance this line:

Maxwell dashed at his desk as though he were intending to leap over it, and then plunged into the great heap of letters and telegrams waiting there for him.

and another

“He did,” answered Pitcher. “He told me to get another one. I notified the agency yesterday afternoon to send over a few samples this morning. It’s 9.45 o’clock, and not a single picture hat or piece of pineapple chewing gum has showed up yet.”

I read the latter section twice, quite sure that there was a typo somewhere! The crisp and exacting words painted images that refuse to go away long after one had moved away from the story.

And this day was Harvey Maxwell’s busy day. The ticker began to reel out jerkily its fitful coils of tape, the desk telephone had a chronic attack of buzzing. Men began to throng into the office and call at him over the railing, jovially, sharply, viciously, excitedly. Messenger boys ran in and out with messages and telegrams. The clerks in the office jumped about like sailors during a storm. Even Pitcher’s face relaxed into something resembling animation.

While I would like to draw your attention to his liberal use of words ending with ly (against current exhortations to avoid them like the plague 😉 – jovially, sharply, viciously, excitedly not even the most critical critic can accuse him of using clichés:

She was beautiful in a way that was decidedly unstenographic.

I also love the fact that unstenographic is not a word but should clearly be in the dictionary 😀

But I saved the best piece for the last:

In the midst of this growing and important stress the broker became suddenly aware of a high-rolled fringe of golden hair under a nodding canopy of velvet and ostrich tips, an imitation sealskin sacque and a string of beads as large as hickory nuts, ending near the floor with a silver heart. There was a self-possessed young lady connected with these accessories; and Pitcher was there to construe her.

 This one just blew me away and I still can’t stop giggling. I have only one reservation. It also evokes dejection, envy and despair  – I cannot even dream of coming anywhere near sort of exposition.

But before things get really bad, I just read it once again 😀

Moving on, in the story, if you remember, there is mention of lilac odor. Now I am not familiar with the odor and since Google is as yet unable to let me experience it, I subconsciously replaced it with the scent of mogras or jasmine flowers. The combination of the office scene and the fragrance was a potent one.

Before I had finished reading the story, a story in the Indian setting played out.

I attempted to pen it but it took quite a while to actually draft it and grew longer (4000 words approx.) than I wanted it to be. Besides, it looked so much better in my head. But since I put in so much effort I thought I would go ahead and post it.

If you can read it without feeling bored, I will consider it worth the zillion redrafts. If you like, you can read it here. And if you do read it, do let me know if you managed to finish it, what you liked and what you didn’t.

Thanks so much for visiting.

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

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

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

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


The Scent of Love

Dayaram entered the office and his step faltered.

A new girl sat at the reception.

“Belaji?” he mumbled unable to stop himself.

“Good morning!” The receptionist sang out as she jumped up from her seat. “Myself Geeta, how may I help you?”

Dayaram shied away but he had to know. “Where is Belaji?”

“She’s getting married…”

Dayaram tottered away to his seat.


An alien sensation enveloped Dayaram – acid, he wondered or was it a heart attack? Wasn’t he too young? Was…was this what they called heart broken? How easily he had said it didn’t matter…but how would he live the rest of his life with this pain, this agonizing crushing pain as if a giant hand had slid into his chest and was squeezing his heart. He couldn’t breathe…

“Daya Babu, are you alright?” The office boy stood at his desk with a sheaf of papers.

Beads of sweat dotted his brow. Dayaram nodded and waved him away. He took deep breaths to calm himself.

He pulled a file and stared at the neat orderly row of numbers.

It had all begun 7 months, 21 days and 13 hours 17 minutes ago.

That day, unlike other days, Dayaram had arrived at the office a little late because he had been to the bank for some official work.

As was his habit, as soon as he entered he touched the feet of Goddess Lakshmi on the calendar that hung by the doorway. The calendar itself was a decade old but nobody dared remove it – after all she was the Goddess of Wealth. Dayaram himself was staunch devotee of Hanumanji and kept a fast every Tuesday, but Devi Lakshmi was hard to ignore. Besides, as head clerk of the Accounts Division, his job was all about money and her blessings were of paramount importance.

Even as he paid his daily obeisance, he could sense something was different in office. He had been coming to this office for the past fifteen years and hard work, perseverance and a love for numbers had made him a valued and reliable member of the company.

His honesty, sincerity and dedication were legendary and all, including the CEO were in awe of his meticulous work. If Daya Babu had passed a bill, a balance sheet, a file, it became God’s gospel – unchallengeable. He was the perfect employee who lived for work and had no time for office chitchat or politics. But he did have a quirk he was a stickler for first-come first-serve policy. The files, bills, vouchers were all handled as and when they were received and not in order of priority – not even if it meant rising rates, irate customers or delayed payments.

No amount of cajoling or pleading worked. He would just stare at the offending file and get back to the pile of files on his desk. Over the years, after many an altercation and brainstorming sessions, he had grudgingly begun to accept files, which had the CEO’s initials with his distinctive scribble “Daya babu plz expedite”.

He would keep these files in a separate pile and deal with them on his time after office hours no matter how late that made him.

The others shook their heads and laughed at him.

“Crazy fellow. No wonder he is still unmarried,” said one.

“I thought his wife had left him?”

“How old is he?”

“He’s thirty-three.”

“Really? He looks so much older.”

Dayaram did look forty plus but that was mostly because of the air of gravity that he wore like a thick mantle and shed only on rare occasions and never in office. The responsibility of providing for his family had fallen on him when he was still in school. A stroke left his father paralyzed. With his father out of commission and four younger siblings to take care of, Dayaram had had to grow up overnight.

He had joined this office as a peon and worked his way up. He had taken his responsibility as head of the family seriously and uncomplainingly unquestioningly earned money to feed his family, school his brothers and marry off his sisters.

The entire office laughed at his penny-pinching ways but he didn’t care. They didn’t know his story and neither did he want to share. He only did what had to be done – did the Sun ever ask why he had to rise everyday? Did he care if people cursed him or prayed to him? No. He did what he was meant to do. Rise and shine – come summer, winter and rain. If someone or something came in front, so be it, He would still rise and shine.

Daya Babu took inspiration from the Sun and drew strength from Hanumanji.

Every morning he would wake up at the crack of dawn and do the Suryanamaskar 32 times and be in office by eight-forty five am. He had a fixed routine that he liked to follow – fifteen minutes grace period to cool off, after a one and a half hour journey by bus and on foot. He would reverentially extract one marigold from his shirt pocket and offer it to the bronze idol of Hanumanji before bowing with folded hands. He had a deal with the flower boy at the temple, ten rupees a month for one marigold for each weekday. Dayaram splurged another ten rupees on Tuesdays for prasad, which he distributed in the office. Rather, he would keep it by the side of his table and his colleagues would feel free to take some and offer a greeting in return. Dayaram would nod in return without looking up from his precious files.

He would take a 10 min break for tea at 11 and 3 pm when the canteen boy arrived with the tea. He would sip the sweet tea with a biscuit from his personal store – one for the morning and one for the afternoon. He would leave his seat at dot one and have his lunch in the Government sponsored Meals on Wheels that stood at a distance from the office. The food wasn’t too great, but it was fresh and cheap. During summers when it was too hot to stand outside, he would carry a tiffin box, collect it and go back to his seat to have it and indulge in a bit of a siesta until the clock struck two. And it was back to work until six pm or later.

And that is how his life had been for the past seven years since he had joined the accounts department. Every morning when he came to office he bowed his head in gratefulness and reverence – for this was his temple, his sanctuary. He had a seat of his own and had even graduated from an office hall with a cooler to an air conditioned hall. At one time his job was in the field delivering collecting, queuing, or walking in the blistering heat just to save the bus fare. And study by night, sleep out in the open, live on the mercy of strangers saving every paisa to send home for his father’s treatment, his sisters’ wedding, brothers’ education. Those days had been the really tough ones even though he hadn’t had time to think so then – he was too busy coping. But now that the worst  was over – his sisters married, a brother on his new job and even father was better, he had nightmares. Sometimes he woke up sweating thinking that he had been just dreaming of his office cubicle, his own desk, chair.

After many years he was finally in a comfortable position and wanted nothing more –  What more could he ask for?

“Get married Daya, I worry about you. All alone…” his mother had taken to saying of late and Dayaram was running out of excuses.

“Don’t worry Mother. I am comfortable and happy. Why do you want to take away my peace?”

“I want you to have a family of your own.”

“You all are my family Mother.”

“You need a wife to take care of you, cook for you…”

“I can cook for myself. She will be more of a headache than an asset.”

“I want a grandchild.”

“Get Sakharam married.”

“He can’t marry before you!”

“Says which law? If you want I will look for a suitable bride for her…”

“Better you look for one for yourself!”

“Over my dead body!”

“Daya!” His mother burst into tears. Daya exerted himself to soothe her and calm her but he stood his ground. He wasn’t going to get married ever.

His mother was equally adamant. If he wasn’t going to marry, neither would his brothers.

And that was that – a stalemate as neither party was willing to blink.

Fate heaved a sigh and sent a gentle waft his way.

He frowned.

What was that fragrance? It took him back to his school days with his mother humming a song as she clipped a gajra on her hair. He took a deep breath – who in the office…?

“Namaste. May I help you?”

“Who are you?” Offended he shot back.

“I am Bela, the new receptionist.”

Dayaram walked inside without bothering to respond to her. Someone would tell her who he was. Besides, as the receptionist, it was her job to find out who was who, he sniffed.

“Good evening Dayaji.” She chirped when he left for the evening.

Showing off, he grumbled to himself, that she knew who he was and that she wasn’t a slacker like him, who came late to office and left early.

“I have to give these cheques to the Chief at his home,” he snapped.

Her smile flickered but she held on to it. “Very good Sir.”

He grunted annoyed with himself. What was the need to justify to her, a newcomer? Who was she? Oh what did it matter, his and her paths were different. They needn’t meet ever. He would be in office before her and leave after her. Today was an exception, he told himself firmly and put her out of his mind.

Or so he thought.

The entire night, the scent of mogra haunted him. How could one dream about scents? And why did he? She didn’t have much to her credit – dusky glowing skin, large kohl lined eyes, a long plait with the bunch of mogras peeking out, a mole on the upper corner of her lip…stop it! He told himself sternly.

When had he noticed so much about her? And why her? There were other girls in the office, they laughed and giggled whenever he passed them by but he barely noticed them. What was so special about her?

Dayaram sneaked into office half an hour before his usual time. He slid into his seat and soaked in the silence and the familiar musty smell of files. He felt safe as if he had crawled into his mother’s lap. He even looked up to greet a colleague or two as they passed by his table.

Dayaram was neck deep in numbers when his breath faltered. Head still bent over his file, he froze, he gripped his pencil tightly and the numbers blurred.

What if she wished him? He wouldn’t look up. He would nod distantly. Like he did the others.


“Namaste Dayaji.”

Daya’s breath left him. Almost helplessly, he looked up and of their own will his lips moved and he echoed, “Namaste Belaji.”

She rewarded him with a smile that stretched ear to ear, crinkled her eyes and even her shiny button nose. He stared bemusedly until she swished away her thick black plait swaying gently.

Dayaram put down his pencil. He closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair and replayed the ultra-short clip over and over again. His heart thudded, he was back in his village running through the yellow mustard fields the wind blowing through his hair until he was flying high, high…

“Dayaramji? Is everything okay?” It was Sukrit, the office manager.

“Y…yes.” He straightened. “Just a bit tired, didn’t sleep well,” he said shortly.

“Sorry to disturb you but could you please do this file urgently?” Sukrit was close to begging, “Please it is very urgent. The Chief is out of station otherwise I would have had it initialled, please…”

“Okay.” Dayaram took the file. “I’ll do it.”

Sukrit stared.

“I wonder what’s wrong with Dayaji,” he mused over a cup of tea with his colleagues, “he broke his own rule! He took the file. I was prepared to fight tooth and nail just to allow me to keep the file on his desk. But he smiled and tokk the file!”

“I am sure this is a new delaying tactic. He’ll just sit on the file.”

“While I get an earful from both the Chief and the customer.” Sukrit fretted.

But by evening, the file was on Sukrit’s table. And he couldn’t even say thank you for Daya Babu had left for the day. Another first! He must be coming down with something serious.

Dayaram was restless. He had to meet her once more, speak to her, perhaps look at her…he flushed.

At the ripe old age of 33 he was turning into a pervert.

He left without wishing her and spent a miserable night cursing himself.

What on earth was wrong with him? Where was the unruffled placidity that had been his constant companion and strength in times of his greatest challenges. Was he losing it in his dotage? But didn’t people become steadier as they aged? He tossed and turned the whole night unable to sleep, the scent of jasmine wafted in from the open window, teasing him, disturbing him, inciting him…

Quite at his wits end, Dayaram upped this exercise regimen, went to the temple, tried meditating in an attempt to regain control over himself. It was a slow, uphill task – one step forward and two steps backwards.

He avoided her in the office but she always came by his desk to wish him, as she did the others. Nothing special. But she was the only girl in his office who was bold enough to help herself to the prasad on Tuesdays.

“I am a devotee of Sri Krishna,” she confessed, “but I love this prasad.”

He began getting a little extra packed separately for her, which he would slide towards her as she came by his seat.

Then one day, she requested him to help her with her tax, and on anohter, requested his advice regarding her investments. Dayaram went deeper and deeper into the chakravyuh. And like Abhimanyu he entered the complex tangled web easily enough but lost his way out.

Unlike Abhimanyu, Dayaram was oblivious to his entrapment and was in fact loving it. He lost his air of gravity, shrugged of the invisible burden that weighed him down, he looked younger, fresher.

Fate seemed to be pleased with the revised version of Dayaram. She laughed with glee and cooked up ways to throw them together. There was a new circular to transcribe physical files into electronic files. He was asked to take the help of Bela in extracting and computing the expenditure data. She spent longer times at his desk, leaning over his shoulder, fiddling with her dupatta, worrying her nail and sometimes throwing back her head to laugh at her own stupidity.

He could only stare at her in wonder. How could anyone laugh at oneself? How could anyone not mind making a fool of oneself?

He stopped avoiding her. He made excuses to pass by her table – the photocopier machine, the washroom, drinking water, in search of the elusive mobile signal, his creativity blossomed. He changed the angle of his chair even though he got a crick in the neck. His colleagues snickered and although nobody dared say anything to the man himself, the girls teased Bela no end.

She began noticing his visits, his shuffling even steps, the way it faltered by her seat. She would continue to type diligently with a small smile on her lips and her heart rate would speed up just the tiniest bit.

There is no saying how long this gentle romance would have continued for one day, Bela dropped by Dayaram’s seat.

“I finished typing the 1998 records.”

“Give it to Ramesh to proof read.” He didn’t look up. “And take this file and correct the typos. So many errors this time. You need to pay more attention…”

“I…I…my engagement has been fixed.”

He looked up. The pencil slipped from his fingers.

He blinked.

“Cong…” he cleared his throat, “Congratulations. I hope you will be very happy.”

She drew in a sharp breath as if he had thrust a knife into her. She turned on her heel and went back to her seat.

After about an hour or so, Dayaram came to her seat carrying a file.

He shifted from one foot to the other.

He handed the file to her. “You forgot this.”

“You came to give this?”


“You could have called me.”

“I thought I would stretch my legs.”

“You wanted to stretch your legs?”

“Yes. Why?”

“There’s nothing else?”

“What else could be there?”

“I thought you came to ask about my…”

“Your what?”

“M…my wedding.”

“What is there to ask?”




He walked away but not before he heard her sniff.

He felt slow and dull. He hadnt anticipated this. He had never given future a thought. He had been too exhilarated from soaring on the clouds living in the present moment, her presence, her fragrance, her smile.

But she wasn’t smiling now.

And she seemed to be angry with him.

Why was she angry with him? What did she want from him? What could he have to say to her? Had he not done the right thing and congratulated her?

What did she want from him?

The question haunted him day and night. He wrestled with it like he would when his numbers wouldn’t tally. He went over and over the question but it just didn’t add up.

“Why are you angry with me?” He confronted her.

“Why would I be angry with you? What right do I have to be angry with you?”

He shook his head bewildered. “I don’t know. But I know you are angry with me. I can feel it.”

Feel? Don’t make me laugh.” She walked away.

He wrestled some more with his feelings but drew a blank.

“I don’t understand. What do you want from me?” He went back to her.

“What do you want?”

“Me?” He was taken aback. This question had never ever come up in his life. “What do I want?” He looked lost and confused.

Bela sighed. “Yes. What do you want?”

“What I want doesn’t matter.” He reported back to her the next morning.

“But the question is what do you want?” She insisted.

“I don’t matter.”

“Then what matters?”

He shrugged. “Others?”

“W…who others?”

“Everyone.” He waved his hand vaguely.

“Am I included in that?”

Unable to breathe, he could only stare at her.

“Well? Do I matter?”

His throat closed up choking him. Sweat broke out on his brow. This was something terribly important he could make that much out. But what exactly it was eluded him. He had to get to the bottom of it.

“W…what about you matters?” He managed to say.

“T…that…that I,” she faltered but held his eyes, “that I am getting married.”

He was silent.

“To another.”

Rage engulfed him. He wanted to smash everything in sight. He wanted to strangle her. He felt like running to the terrace and jumping off.

He walked to his seat.

She was getting married to another.

And he could do nothing but watch in dreadful silence.

His feet would drag as he passed her seat. She no longer wore the flowers in her hair nor did she wish him good morning. He wished he could say them but the words stuck in his throat.

Despair settled over him like the thick blanket of smog after Diwali. He was suffocating and the clock was ticking. Each day he lived in dread of seeing her empty seat. And each day he saw her sitting, was as if his death sentence had been commuted at the last minute.

But today the axe had fallen.

Her seat was empty.

She was gone and his life would never be the same again. A searing anguish ripped through his soul. Had he felt this bad when his world had come crashing down when he was barely out of his teens? He didn’t think so. His tender years would not have been able to take this raw bleeding gaping gash that didn’t let him sleep or work. Work which had been his panacea was abhorrent to him – the numbers mocked him and slipped away from his grasp. He messed up the accounts.

“Daya Babu, you are overworked.” The Chief had been apprised of the real situation. “Take a holiday. Go home. Meet your family.”

Dayaram looked at his boss with something akin to hope. Meet his family. His mother. She would know what to do with him. She would take care of him. He couldn’t wait to see her. It had been five years since he had gone home. The money was better utilized in paying off the debts incurred for his sister’s wedding.

“Amma…” He choked up.

His mother shed tears of joy and sorrow. “Look at you my son! So thin! Don’t you eat? Are you not well?”

“I am fine Amma.” But he was listless and dull. He only perked up when his sister put her toddler in his lap. He sat for hours playing with her.

“It’s decided Daya,” his mother was firm, “you are getting married. Your Uncle even has a girl in mind. Very…”

“Amma please! You know I don’t want to get married. I barely sustain myself. How will sustain a family?”

“By God’s grace, we have enough for our needs. Sakharam has a job at the post office and God willing Munna will start earning soon. You can stop sending money to us. It is time you thought of your own family.”

“But you are my family Amma.”

“I don’t want any arguments. I have decided you are getting married and that’s it.”

“Amma, listen to me…”

“No you listen to me. You are getting married otherwise you arent going back to the city.”

“Fine I won’t go back to the city. I’ll just sit at home and eat home-cooked food.”

“You will see my dead face if you don’t get married.”

There wasn’t much to be said after that.

If only he hadnt come home! How could he marry? What about Bela?

What about her? She’s already married to another.

But I couldn’t marry anyone else.

Fine then see your mother die.

Dayaram was the most morose groom ever. He refused to cooperate. Not that it mattered. He was anointed with turmeric, bathed, dressed and led to the mandap for the wedding. He exchanged garlands with the bride, went through the motions as directed by the pundit and ended with the seven circambulations around the holy fire.

And he was married.

But he was also free.

Free from his mother’s blackmailing tactics. He had been an obedient son and done as she wished.

Now he would do his duty as a responsible son and leave his wife behind to serve his family.

That would serve Amma right for forcing his hand.

But before that he had to bypass the obligatory first night rituals.

He got drunk and passed out on the nuptial bed decorated with marigold and rose petals.

Dayaram managed a peaceful night but the morning brought no respite. If anything it was worse than before – his heart was as sore and resentful as ever only now it was compounded by a massive headache.

His sisters fussed over him and scolded him. “What made you drink? That too on your wedding night? What will Bhabhi think?”

He couldn’t care less and the less she thought about him the better it was for his peace of him. He snarled at his sisters.

They left him to sleep off his hangover.

With no alcohol to deaden his senses he thrashed and tossed about on the bed, groaning and moaning as the scent of jasmine assualted his senses. Would he never escape? Would he never forget?

“Bela!” He called out in anguish.

“I am here.” Her voice washed over him like a soothing gush of cool water. He never wanted to wake up from this dream.

“Bela?” He reached out blindly.

A soft small hand slipped into his. He gripped it tightly. She moaned. He sat up and stared.

Bela was rubbing her hands.

“You are here!” he said stupidly. “You’re married!”

“Yes.” She said simply.

“What are you doing here?” He hurriedly got up from the bed. “What will about your husband?”

“What about him?”

“What will he say?”

“Ask him yourself.” She said coyly.

Dayaram back away. “He’s here!”


He followed the direction of her finger.


Bela came up beside him and looked at him through the mirror. “You may not matter to you, but you matter to me.”

Dayaram gave up trying to make sense of it. He did what he had been yearning to do since the day he had met her. He buried his face in the white bunch of jasmine nestling on the base of her neck.


A short story with a local flavor inspired by O. Henry’s  The Romance of a Busy Broker as described in Story Club #11.

Thanks for reading and go on, say it!




Commitment Checklist

Continuing from an earlier post on Borrowed Advice and inspired by a heartbreaking piece I came up with a tentative checklist on questions to ask oneself before going in for a lifelong commitment:

  • Will I still love you when you are too tired for a movie but not a booze party?
  • Will I still love you when you catch a cold and demand 24-hr nursing care?
  • Will I still love you when you insist on trekking with an 11-month baby?
  • Will I still love you when your job is more important than mine?
  • Will I still love you when you have eyes only for your phone screen?
  • Will I still love you when your family is my family but mine is not yours?
  • Will I still love you when you are sullen, surly, cranky, moody, and grouchy?
  • Will I still love you when you are bald and fat?
  • Will I still love you when you break my heart over and over again?
  • Will I love you still?
  • Will I?

Thanks for reading. Feel free to add your own questions…

CB&W: More Lights

I already posted my selection of lights for Cee’s BW challenge on the theme. But I still had a few left over, so here goes…

Mumbai airportAt Mumbai’s swanky new airport

SignageThe lights were so bright and the floor so shiny, even the mirror image is pretty easy to read. Or is it?

DiamondsDiamonds in the sky just the tiniest bit out of reach 😀

RichmondA cozy dinner for two. One of the rare occasions (in thirty years) where we had dinner all by ourselves (and emerged unscathed 😉


The other occasion – this one was a close call. We do love to live dangerously 😀


Children make the most out of Gandhi’s Memorial and play on the makeshift slide at his feet.


Hungry after that little jaunt? How about a piece of this delicious crunchy ice cream cake? Frankly I don’t remember craving this much for anything else. Not today at least 😉

SunsetI know Cee said only man-made lights but I couldn’t resist this perfectly framed frilly sunset.

Have an awesome weekend 🙂

CB&W: Enlightening

The theme for Cee’s this last week’s Black and White Challenge is was Lights.  Without any further ado here are some selected shots from the Golden temple at Amritsar.

BerbabaBaba Budha Jee, the first head priest of Harmandir Sahib, used to sit under this Ber (tree) about 125 years go and supervise the excavation of the Amrit Sarovar and construction of the Golden Temple. The tree is more than 500 years old. The lit up tower on the right looks remarkably like a face doesn’t it?

Gold templeA view of the Golden Temple from the other side (previous photo). On the right is the queue for darshan at around 8 pm.

EntryThe entry gate for the queue

ChandelierA closer look at the gorgeous chandelier


Golden templeI used minimal color in this photo.

Golden2This is the sepia version. You can see the original photos of the Golden Temple here.

Thanks for visiting 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 152

Borrowed Advice

As a matter of principle I don’t meddle in affairs of the heart but I came across this piece by Rosemarie Urquico that I thought was too good not to share. Anyone who needs a bit of advice on which kind of girl to date – read on or pass it on 😉

“You should date a girl who reads.

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

Ever since I read this piece, I have been wanting share it. It is a feel good article that makes the ‘dated’ (for want of a better word, at least in my kitty) feel special and great about themselves. Regardless of whether anyone else is inspired to date her or not.

But strangely enough as I begin the actual posting process doubts began to creep in. Is it really sound advice? Apart from the fact that he will be saving a lot of money on gifts; ) A critical factor that seems to have been overlooked is whether the ‘dater’ too is a reader. Can he discuss Murakami, quote Neruda? (Not that I can!) Or is this a given and second nature for men? Is he comfortable with the idea of a thinking girl? Someone who is her own person, able to make her own decisions, walk the less traveled road, is complete by herself (give or take a few gazillion words).

And if there is such a man, then I would advice her to grab him and never let him go.

Look forward to reading your thoughts, reactions, opinions, comments….

Edit 1

I came back to this post to add my belated nebulous thoughts with apologies to the author and her brilliant piece. For it is a diamond glowing and shining dispelling the darkness, giving up hope that one day we will find that one person who will realize our true worth (and possibly push us beyond ourselves) and love us forever and forever.

And therein lies the trap that young girls fall into – at least in these parts.

We always want to be loved, be appreciated, be valued, be understood, nurtured, cherished, forgiven etc etc.

When we should be looking for the person who interests us, fascinates us, engages us, intrigues us, and makes us want to nurture, cherish and look beyond the many flaws that make him who he is.

It is my understanding that men (apologies for the blanket generalizations that follow) are notoriously like children – fascinated by new toys. They won’t rest until they have taken apart the pieces of that one toy which attracts their attention, got to the bottom of it before throwing it away, broken and mangled.

Knowing that why don’t girls look (instead of waiting to be looked at or picked up) for that person who fascinates, intrigues and enraptures her enough to overlook the myriad glitches that are part and parcel of the package deal? For her first teddy bear, no matter how threadbare it maybe still finds a place in her bed and heart forever and ever.

But then again, like I said, I don’t like to meddle in affairs of the heart – take my advice and find your own path instead of following another ignoramus’ advice 😉

Like me.

I almost never follow my advice and frequently disagree with my own views 😀

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 151



Just 4 Fun # 43

Hello everybody! How’s the summer treating you? Terribly hot and humid in these parts. Anyway let’s get down to the business of the day – getting rid of the Monday blues 😀

Did you see my earlier post on Buildings? Remember a photo of Ambani’s Antilla? Apparently, his driver has been inspired to follow suit in his village 😉


Perhaps not so funny but I thought it a remarkable coincidence 😀 Moving on we have a minion complaint


Point to be noted your honor 😀


How very true! 😦


Now if only they would have realistic mannequins for females as well….But there is something even better than that 😉


Hehe and that is a fact 😀 And those of you worrying about aging as well, here’s some good news


Now we can safely say



And a final note for those living in ignorance


What do you say ladies? Raise your hands if you agree 😉

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

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

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

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

A Survivor


Pre drum

You may cut

me to size

show me

my place

as many times as you wish.


is your nature

just as mine

is to rise

again and again


Four months was all that she took to begin yielding juicy drumsticks all over again.

For Becca’s Sunday Trees -292

Thanks for visiting – have a super Sunday 🙂

CB&W: Buildings from Home

Hola! How’s the weekend progressing? I know Cee’s Black and White Challenge on Buildings is over but I did warn you I had loads more. Although I have to admit nobody asked for more photographs. But then again I have a generous nature and an active ESP – I can hear your clamor, nay, demand for more photos 😉 😀

So here goes – but this time all from India but yet another eclectic mix. Hope you like 🙂

VillageAfter the massive and high rise buildings in the previous post I thought it was time to get closer to the ground – a village in the north east.

KolA deserted run down house in the suburbs of Kolkata

GangtokI was attempting to capture the view of Gangtok but the mist obstructed my view. But all I got was a makeshift school and an under construction building

LighthouseA defunct lighthouse (alongside a hopefully working street lamp) in Puducherry

AmerAn outsider view of the Amer Fort, Jaipur – it was dusk and you will have to peer to make out anything 😀

City palacePhew this is one is better – isnt it? It is the City Palace at Jaipur.

HutTired from all that zipping around the country? Take a breather in this thatched shady place built just for this purpose. Although I have my doubts if it can be called a building 😉

GopuramI have shared several photos of the gopurams of the Chidambaram temple. This the first black and white version. Which one do you like better?

MpuramA 7th century cave dwelling built along side the more famous and one of world’s largest bas-relief monolith known as Arjuna’s Penance at Mammalapuram.

ShoreTJust a little ahead, in Mammalapuram near the Bay of Bengal, is the Shore temple built with blocks of granite. It was built between 700–728 AD. It was barely dawn and apart from us, there was a group of boys who were busy clicking pics. But there was one who stayed away from the group despite their active efforts to make him join them. He preferred to sit alone and mope. Can you see him? Right in the center, sitting and brooding – I do hope he is fine now.

AurovilleMatri Mandir or the meditation center at Auroville

HawaThe famous Hawa Mahal of Jaipur, the Pink City


Whew that felt like one of my long pieces – where I never know when to stop or how to stop. Here the cup of tea acted as the perfect reminder – so I am off while you leave me a little note or a smiley or whatever else you are keen to throw my way – have a super weekend!

And just in case there are any Khulasa Mami friends - she's been at it again.



CB&W: Homing in on Buildings

It’s been quite a while since I participated in Cee’s Black and White photo challenge. This week’s theme is Buildings and I am late. But I have been good for many days now, so I guess Cee will cut me some slack 😉 Especially since I started digging through my archives all I had were photos of buildings and I got lost trying work my way through them 😀

SchoolHousing young bodies and nurturing budding minds – a school in Darjeeling

Salar jungA side view of the Salar Jung Museum which houses the priceless sculptors like the Veiled Rebecca, Cuppa Chai, Dishy Stuff and so many others that I still have to share. And I managed to visit only the ground floor!

SpainSomewhere in Spain that’s all I can tell you for I flicked this impressive building from my worse half’s collection 😉 Time to move on from the pristine whites…

DenmarkOne of the many castles in Denmark. Despite the huge structure it’s the sculptor in the middle that invariably captures my attention. What about you?

GolcondaGolconda fort near Hyderabad, which was in its hey days home to the Kohinoor diamond among others.

palace in swedenOutside the Lund University, Sweden built in 1425 is one of Europe’s oldest, largest and prestigious universities.

MumbaiAamchi Mumbai from the 33rd floor! Where lives are made (and destroyed) in the quest to touch the sky, become a star.

AmbaniYep that’s the Antilla home to Mukesh Ambani, the Indian business magnate worth $ 29 billion. The Antilla was built at a mere $ 1 billion has 27 stories but since ceiling are high it’s equivalent to a 40 story building. It has a multi-story garage with space to park 168 cars and three helipads, it’s another matter that permission for chopper landing hasn’t yet been received.  Once the tallest in the region it is now overshadowed by a taller building in its backyard.

SunsetAs if there aren’t enough buildings in Mumbai! The work continues into dusk and beyond – living up to its name of the city that never sleeps.

hanging gardensJust to reassure you that Mumbai is not just about heights but also has breadth, not much but nevertheless culled out some space to hang out – the Hanging Gardens.

MalmoA building facade at Malmo, Sweden – looks like a swanky office complex.

CharminarMuhammad Quli Qutb Shahi built the Charminar, the most famous monument and mosque of Hyderabad, in 1591 AD. It was built to celebrate the end of a deadly plague.

copenhagen from a boatSightseeing at Copenhagen – home or office?

HutThis was once probably both home and workplace – an abandoned hut by the roadside

copenhagen royal theatreRoyal Danish theater – the outside facade is so awe-inspiring, wonder how it would look from inside.

GhoomOld Ghoom Monastery, Darjeeling, India is the popular name of Yiga Choeling. The monastery belongs to the Gelukpa or the Yellow Hat sect and is famous for its 15 feet high special statue of the Maitreya Buddha. The famous Mongolian astrologer and monk Sokpo Sherab Gyatso established the external structure of the building in 1850.

Oh darn it – I think I better stop now. If you would like to see more buildings do let me know – I have loads more 😀

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 150

CFFC: Dishy Stuff

How swiftly the days pass! It’s time for another of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Pots, Pans, Dishes and Silverware. Since we are allowed to be creative, continuing from my earlier CFFC post of photos from the Salar Jung Museum, here are some more dishy goods 😉


A decorative bowl – I wonder what it was used for? Surely not soup 😉

JarPerhaps he washed his hands with water from this jug over the bowl – what do you think?


Another massive silver bowl – purely decorative purposes I am guessing.


A huge urn – I am out of guesses – what do you think?

BlueThis jar looks tiny and a bit lost doesn’t it?

Thanks for visiting!

COB: Let’s Face it


the original

painted over

and over again

until you too

forget your own

true colors

linked to Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 149


I simply had to share this brilliant post by an amazing blogger and more importantly a wonderful person, Cindy. I am a huge fan of her photographs, captions, views, thoughts, kindness, generosity…

This post, of photos taken in and around Greece, is dedicated to you. Opa!

Creativity is one of the most personally helpful gifts a person can possess.

It gets you through all sorts of negative situations, because it pulls you out of yourself, and your individual worries and concerns.

I think the willingness of bloggers to put their creativity out in the universe, consistently, in a blog, is a huge act of individual human courage.

This individual blogging courage and creativity results in a blogsphere replete with fascinating, absorbing and intriguing blog posts, that offer an improved alternative reading and viewing experience, that is a refreshing alternative to mass media.
(Above four photos were taken on the island of Corfu)

Being part of a worldwide community of talented and supportive bloggers broadens our horizons and perspectives, and enhances our lives.
(Stairway Hotel Bretagne Athens)

It enables bloggers to form…

View original post 84 more words

The Battle for Supremacy

Photo (c) Sarah Potter

The Battle for Supremacy

Words 99


“Wow! What a swanky home.”


“You don’t seem too pleased?”

“It’s okay.”

“You have your eyes set on a palace or what?”

“If I could, I would go back to our old ramshackle haunted house.”

“Haunted! Weren’t you scared?”

“Terrified. But that was the only house we could afford.”

“Yet you would go back?”

“It was the best of times. We were together.”

“You still are!”

“Doesn’t feel like it. Back then we were a team. We ganged up to fight our common enemy – ghosts, poverty, whatever.”

“And now?”

“We have graduated to individual sports – the ego games.


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

Thanks for reading – have a great week 🙂