WPC: Relax

 

beach

A visit to the beach is always relaxing🙂

seal

I envy how the seals can relax and doze off even while upright

park

Playgrounds are usually high-energy places but this one looks peaceful and relaxed. I was really tempted to try the see-saw😀

stones

These two boulders look as if they are relaxing against each other don’t they?

Akka Thangi Gudda (Sister Stones or Jealous Sisters) is a natural rock formation. It is a landmark on the main road to the temple town of Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Karnataka, India.

There are several stories associated with this rock formation. According to one of the most popular legends, the two stones were actually two sisters who bad-mouthed and ridiculed the beautiful town of Hampi. Angered, the reigning Goddess of Hampi cursed the two sisters and turned them into stones.

Have a relaxed week ahead🙂

Power of Three

Always there has been one – the sacred sound Om* which is the Timeless, Formless One – Lord Shiva/Mahesh (the God of gods).

Shiva is made of two halves. Typically, right side is Purusha or the masculine component while the left side is Prakriti (Nature) or the feminine component. Hence, Shiva is also known as Ardhnarishwara – literally the Half Woman God and embodies the masculine and feminine energies of the universe.

In the beginning, Lord Vishnu slept and from his navel appeared Lord Brahma. Together, they constitute the Trimurti (or the Hindu trinity)

  • Brahma: The Creator
  • Vishnu: The Preserver
  • Mahesh: The Destroyer/Transformer

Brahma had the task of creating the three worlds: Heaven (Swarg lok), Earth (Bhu lok) and the Netherworld (Patal lok). When Brahma realized his creations did not represent the feminine component of the universe, he requisitioned Shiva’s help. Shiva detached his half – the feminine energy that is Shakti or Power and gave her to Brahma in his creation.

Shiva spent eons alone without his counterpart, withdrawing from the world, meditating. But he needed to engage with the world for there was still much to be done. Only his other half, Shakti could persuade him to re-engage with the universe. Once Brahma’s task of creation was complete, Shakti began her journey to return to her counterpart, Shiva. This union became possible only after centuries of separation, hardships, trials and tribulations – the oldest (and best) love story ever. When Shiva finally accepted and married Parvati or Goddess Shakti, they were two yet one. Just as She is incomplete without Him, so is He without Her – She is His strength and He the engagement with the world without being attached to it. Upon marriage to Shakti, Shiva made the transition from the hermit to the householder and through example, they demonstrate the code of conduct and the ideal way of life.

With this union, the trinity of the Tridev (the Three Gods) and the Tridevis (the three Goddesses) was complete:

  • Brahma, the Creator with his wife Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge;
  • Vishnu, the Preserver/Sustainer with his wife Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth; along with
  • Shiva, the Destroyer/Transformer and his wife Parvati, the Goddess of Power.

Shiva as the Destroyer helps us to overcome/destroy Ahankar or excessive pride (in our achievements and capabilities) as well as fear (of imagined reality and death) by realizing that the power (Shakti) to do so, resides within us. When we accept and understand the philosophy of Shiva and harness Shakti that is present within each of us – we become One with Them and achieve Moksha (liberation).

This is inspired by the Daily Post’s Discover Challenge – One Two Three and is an attempt to summarize my own inadequate, incomplete and superficial understanding of a complex, often contradictory, confusing, conflicting yet boundless, limitless philosophy that is utterly compelling and fascinating. I can only attempt to grasp and understand the edges of the real truth.

Yet:

“There is no real truth, belief is everything.” Anonymous

Note: *Om pronounced AUM is also believed by many to represent the trinity:

  • A: Brahma
  • U: Vishnu
  • M: Mahesh

Thank you for reading. Comments, thoughts and views are very welcome.

Just 4 Fun # 16

Here’s wishing everyone a super week ahead🙂

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Hmm wonder what’s so interesting in the newspaper?😮

Could it be this👇?

 

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😅 😆

A/N. Over the week, we tend to 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.

 

Aiming for the Sky

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Loved the mix of leafy branches and bare branches. And the man provided a perspective of how tall the tree really is🙂

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 264

Have a super Sunday🙂

FFfAW #91: The Cad

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The Cad

Words 168

 “Victoria! The Duke’s here.”

Victoria crumpled the letter. “I refuse to marry that cad Mama.”

“Do you want us to rot in debtors prison? Come along now. He has the money and the means. That’s all that matters.” With that her mother thrust her into the summer room.

The Duke stopped his pacing and bowed low. “Victoria. You looking stunning.”

Eyes glittering, lips curling, she bobbed a curtsy.

He flinched but he went down on one knee. “Will you marry me?”

Victoria hesitated, but couldn’t dissemble. “I love another.”

The Duke straightened. “Richard?”

“Whom you scared off with your cheap tricks and threats.” She raised her chin. “I demand satisfaction.”

His lips twitched. “You want to duel?”

Victoria ground her teeth. “Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to run a sword through you.”

“You just did.” He coughed. “Just think, what better way to punish me than to marry me?”

You still want to marry me?”

“I am not Richard to be scared off so easily.”

***

Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy and photo by Louise – a story in 175 words or less. Thank you Priceless Joy for hosting, thank you Louise for the photo. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

I am a huge fan of Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen and Victorian era romances so when I saw the photo, I couldn’t resist😀

I wonder if it worked? Do let me know. Thanks!

CFFC: Musical Chairs

This week, Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Musical Chairs  was a tough nut to crack. I was quite resigned to not participating what with continuing net woes.

But I managed to pull it off – or did I?

chairs

At a roadside joint- nice colorful chairs. But lacks the thing, doesn’t it?

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Guess who’s playing hide and seek or should I say musical chairs?😀 Remember an earlier post – Cat-a-log? Well there was a repeat performance another day, but this time I extracted my pound of flesh. That is as much as I dared to get close – besides she had my sympathies. Even I am camera shy😀

drummer

Now for some music! You may find this photo familiar – I had posted a picture of his in Glimpses of Durga Puja. But if you remember, he was playing a single drum, while here he is seen beating two drums and the hazy picture is because he was spinning around at top speed. Quite a mesmerizing performance that he continued despite a bleeding ankle.

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A music performance at a traditional Tamil wedding. The Nadaswaram, a double reed wind instrument is among the world’s loudest non-brass acoustic instruments. The Nadaswaram (in the center) is considered to be very auspicious and is the key musical instrument at weddings and temples across southern India. It is usually played in pairs accompanied by a pair of drums called thavil.

In the backdrop is the image of Natraja – the Lord of Dance and pretty much everything – God of the gods – Lord Shiva.

Do let me know if I passed and thanks for visiting🙂

Summer Vacations

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Photo Prompt (c) Jan Wayne Fields

Summer Vacations

Words 102

 “It’s so hot! When will the power be restored?

“Not tonight.”

“Oh no!”

“Let’s sleep outside.”

Squeals, shrieks and curses punctuated the candle-lit darkness as we lugged bedding and the little ones got underfoot.

Excitement peaked once we lay down.

Obstacle race!

They hopped, tripped and scrambled over us, regardless of anatomy.

“Vacations are fun!”

Mosquitoes hummed their agreement.

Ganging up, we regained dominion.

Tiny snores lulled us to sleep – until the birds began trilling and cooing.

We scampered inside lest the little devils angels woke.

Bleary-eyed and heads splitting, we staggered through the day.

“Ma, can we order another power breakdown?”

***

Written for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneer – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting and Jan Wayne Fields for the photo prompt. To read (or write) other stories on this prompt, click here

I am traveling (with major Internet issues – I now know exactly how much data is required to upload an FF😉 )and hence may be irregular in responding/visiting. But thanks in advance for reading and commenting🙂

SPF: Converted

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Converted

 Words 196

“When are you going to work?”

“I am working Ma. On my art.”

“But that’s not bringing any returns, not even recognition.”

“Just look at the Sun Ma. Why does it shine? Why does…?”

“The Sun doesn’t have to eat!”

“Relax Ma. Reema earns enough for our needs.”

“There’s more to life than just needs. Aren’t you ashamed of being dependent? Where’s your self-respect?”

“You should be happy Ma. Didn’t you always exhort me to rise above my ego and materialism?”

“It’s not funny! I am sick and tired of defending you and your art. I was so proud of you but just look at you now.”

“You sound as if I am afflicted with some life-threatening disease.”

“What else is this self-destructive behavior? It has been 5 years since you left your job. What have you gained? Money? Status? Recognition? Nothing.”

“That doesn’t matter Ma. I have finally grasped the essence of your lectures.”

“What?”

“Remember how always quoted the Gita? You have the right to your duty but not its fruits. I understand now. I have the right to paint. The rest – money, fame, status – is not in my hands.”

 ***

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction  – a story in 100 words or less. For other stories on this photo prompt click here.

Just in case anybody is interested, here’s the whole quote (along with the translation):

*Gita: karmanye vadhikaras te/ma phalesu kadachana/ma karma-phala-hetur bhur/ma te sango ’stv akarmani

Translation:

1) karmanye vadhikaras te: you have a right to work only
2) ma phalesu kadachana: but have no right to the fruits thereof
3) ma karma-phala-hetur bhur: let not the fruits be the motive of doing karma
4) ma te sango ’stv akarmani: let yourself not be attached to inaction.

Thanks for reading – as always I look forward to your views and opinions.

CB&W: Geometrical Shapes

This photo challenge is a toughie – Any Geometric Shape. Especially given my mathematical abilities😉 Let me see what I can come up with – Cee has promised to be lenient and hope you are too😀

Circular.jpg

Will this do? Some unidentifiable remains of the Diwali celebrations. Oh well…

 

 

drums

Drum circles resting before the Durga Puja festivities.

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Howzz that?

lodhi

This one in black and white gives nice (geometrically) eerie feelings doesn’t it?😀

 

Some straight lines from the Rock Garden – remember Junk Art? Yep the very same place.

More from the Rock Garden – take your pick of geometrical shapes of triangles, squares, rectangles, pentagons and hexagons. Can you find them?😉

Thanks for visiting – any observations or favorites?

CFFC: An Eye on the Window

Ready for a peek through the window or at the window? Let’s take the bus first🙂

bus

There’s something about mountains and water – I am irresistibly drawn to them. This is taken from the window of a bus.

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Traveling by car, we stopped at this roadside restaurant at an unearthly hour. Windows were being washed – doesn’t it look as if the water is washing away the colors of the flowers too?

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This is a double window view – through the (transparent) window of the dining hall and of the reflective windows. Let’s hop on to a flight now😉

To see another type of window – the gorgeous stained windows at St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague.

station

A typical small town railway station – Deoli perhaps?😀

kanwar

A glimpse of the kanwariyas from the train window. Kanwariyas are devotees of Lord Shiva who undertake this annual pilgrimage to fetch holy water from the Ganga to bathe the Lord who resides in their hometowns. If you look carefully, you can make out a colorful and decorated ‘burden’ on the shoulder of the devotees. That’s the kanwar – a pole, usually bamboo, with two pots hanging on each side for ease of carrying.

There is an interesting  story behind this custom – I find Indian mythology fascinating and can’t get enough of it🙂

Briefly, once, the Devas and Asuras (supernatural beings who represent good and bad respectively and are incidentally half-brothers i.e share the same father and mothers are sisters – all this happened when the earth had just begun to be populated) joined hands to churn the ocean to extract its hidden treasures, including Amrit or ambrosia. [On a side note, the churning of the ocean is believed to represent the process of self-analysis to enable oneself to move from the darkness of ignorance to the light of self-realization. Only when we overcome the mental poisons (of anger, greed, lust, ego) that pollute our psyche can we reach the real treasures that lie within us – and that self-realization is equivalent to Amrit.]

Anyway, coming back to the topic, when the sea was churned (another captivating story!), the first to be released was poison, which threatened to destroy the three worlds. Lord Shiva (God of the gods),stepped in. He drank the poison to save the world. But he didn’t swallow it. Instead, he held the poison in his throat, which turned blue – and hence Shiva is also known as Neelkanth or the Blue-throated One.

So powerful was the poison that even the Shiva was not unaffected. To ease His pain, the ten-headed Asura King Ravan (the primary villain of the epic Ramayana), Shiva’s greatest devotee, brought water from the holy Ganga on a kanwar to cool the Lord’s brow. Since then, every year devotees of Shiva walk hundreds of kilometers to bring water from the holy Ganga to anoint Shiva’s resident idol in their respective hometowns.

I do have a bit of a doubt though – Lord Shiva holds Ganga in his locks and is called Gangadhar so why would He need water from Ganga? I think Ravan just wanted to show off his devotion and concern to Shiva😀

Oops that wasn’t very brief was it?

Hope you enjoyed looking through the window, have a look at Cee’s Challenge for some stunning photos.

Just 4 Fun #15

Monday is here and so is some fun🙂

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Actually I think it should be less than half – what do you think. Though not necessary that it’s always women who talk twice as much – why do you think I have taken to writing?😀

What’s your take?

The following are paraprosdokians. A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence is unexpected and oft times very humorous:

If I had a dollar for every girl that found me unattractive, they’d eventually find me very attractive.

Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool, so I gave him a glass of water.

 Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

I’m great at multitasking, I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once.

If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

Take my advice — I’m not using it.

Hospitality is the art of making guests feel like they’re at home when you wish they were.

Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.

Ever stop to think and forget to start again?

Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking.

Women sometimes make fools of men, but most guys are the do-it-yourself type.

I was going to give him a nasty look, but he already had one.

If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.

Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let him sleep. [ edited ;)]

If tomatoes are technically a fruit, is ketchup a smoothie?

Money is the root of all wealth.

Which one is your favorite? :D

Over the week, I tend to 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.

The Playful One

Look who I caught playing right outside my window🙂

kite

“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 263

Have a super Sunday!

Mind the Fish

Alone, restless and bored, I was tripping over myself in our tiny hostel room. No TV no phone, no Internet (yes I have been around since those days! Okay fine, TV was around but we couldn’t afford one then) when there was a knock on the door.

“Look what I got!” My brand new husband said huskily with barely suppressed excitement. His eyes sparkled like the diamond I secretly yearned for.

Eyes misting over in anticipation, I cooed, “What?”

“This!” He held up a bulging black polythene bag.

My brow furrowed. Then not

“And what’s that?”

“Guess.”

I shrugged. “No idea.” I wrinkled my nose. “But whatever it is, smells!”

“Yes! Don’t you just love the smell? Ah! The sweet smell of fish.” He inhaled wearing a blissful expression.

“Fish?” I fell back. “Why? So much?” I had sudden misgivings. “Do you eat it raw? Well even if you do I am not eating it!” I made my position clear.

“No silly. We are going to have fried fish for dinner. The entire gang is coming. It’s been ages since we had fish.”

“They agreed to fry it in the hostel kitchen?” I asked, hoping against hope.

“No! Where’s the fun in that? We will fry it here.”

“Here? Where?” I asked beginning to wring my hands.

“On that heater – don’t worry. It’s easy as pie.”

“But I don’t know how to cook pie either.” I wailed. “I don’t know how to cook. You know that. I have never cooked anything in my entire life!” I was all but drumming my heels on the floor.

“Relax! There is always a first time. And I have fried fish a thousand times. Nothing to it. Just wash, sprinkle some turmeric and salt and deep fry in oil. Voila!” he drooled.

I took deep calming breaths. That didn’t sound too difficult. But the entire gang was coming. “That’s all there is for dinner?”

“Of course not. We will get the rice and other stuff from the hostel mess. The fried fish will infuse fresh zing and spice into our dreary ‘vegetative’ lives.” He zoned off into a blissful trance.

So much love for the fish! May as well have married it, I thought sourly. I was not the average Bengali. I did not love fish. I could take it or leave it – mostly leave it.

He roused himself. “I better kick start this. The others will be here soon. We have a meeting…”

“You have a meeting?” Panic clutched me again.

“Yeah, we have a meeting to discuss the arrangements for upcoming Saraswati Puja.”

“But what about the fish?” Sweat beaded my brow.

“Relax. I am on the job. See, I already put the kadhai (a deep frying pan) on the heater and here I,” he tilted the bottle of mustard oil and poured it into the vessel. “There!” he turned to me with a self-congratulatory expression. “All that needs to be done is wash the fish and sprinkle it with a bit of this and that,” he worked swiftly and efficiently. “Everything is ready. In a bit, you can slip the fish into the oil, give it a turn or two and take it out on,” he drew out a plate and placed it beside the heater, “this.”

“Me?”

There was a knock on the door and a head popped in and withdrew just as suddenly. “Hey! Aren’t you coming? We are getting late.”

I looked at him with wide pleading eyes. “Please don’t go! How will I manage? I have never done this stuff before.” I looked with trepidation at the overloaded makeshift kitchen slab.

He held me by the arms. “You are over-reacting. There’s nothing to it. Really. Okay, think of it as a new experiment. Don’t you love experiments?

I nodded.

“There you go! Cooking is nothing but an experiment with ingredients and tools. And frying fish is as simple as taking the height and weight.”

“Of little squirming wailing babies.” I said feeling the noose tightening.

There was another yell at the door.

“Okay fine.” He gave in gracefully (ahh those were the days!). “Relax. I will come back and fry the fish.” He went off.

After he left, I wandered back to the ‘kitchen’. He was right. It did look simple. I had seen Ma fry fish so often. There was nothing to it. I was over-reacting. Maybe it was time to overcome my childish inhibitions and prejudices. How difficult could it be? I pictured my darling hubby’s face when he returned to find it all wrapped up – pieces of evenly fried fish neatly laid out on a plate, just waiting to be crunched into.

The others of the gang would be hungry too – the right time to impress them. Wearing a halo, smiling benevolently at the dinner guests, I girdled my waist and entered the battlefield.

I gingerly picked up a piece of fish and plopped it in.

“Ouch!” I squealed and jumped back as the fish reared up to bite me on the cheek. Relax! That’s not the fish you idiot it’s the hot oil. I berated myself. Rubbing my cheek, I peeped cautiously over the kadhai. It lay sputtering in the oil, reasonably calm and apparently resigned to its fate. I took a deep breath and cautiously slid in another piece using the long handled flat ladle from as far as possible. Yes! Excited I slid in another. Okay enough now. Let these fry.

I hummed a bit, changed the radio channel, a couple of minutes should be enough – mom used to dish up hot crisp fish fries in no time. I decided to turn the pieces over. Hadn’t he said a turn or two?

Disaster!

The fish seemed to have formed an everlasting relationship with the kadhai. It dug its claws, gills or whatever into the kadhai and refused to let go. I pushed and dug harder and harder but to no avail. At the best and toughest attempts they yielded the battle – in little pieces. I upped my efforts – a crumbly misshapen congealed mass reluctantly turned over and almost instantly reattached itself with equal if not greater tenacity.

It was a bitterly cold January morning and yet here I was sweating. Despair stole over me as I fought and struggled to detach the fish. They remained unyielding in their determination to avenge the relentless slaughter of their clan by overenthusiastic Bengali pescetarians.

Why me? I don’t even like fish! I have always been force fed fish! I pleaded as I waged a lone and losing battle. A huge pile of raw fish glaring balefully at me and on the other side, a pitiful messy mass of crumbling shapeless fishy bits mocked me.

How could I serve this? They would all laugh at me and point me out at gatherings – look there goes the one and only Bong bride who can’t even fry fish.

I looked at the clock -two whole hours. Where the hell was he dammit? I would murder him I swore as I wrestled another fish and came up with its mangled remains.

“Hi! What’s cooking?” He smiled at me, all bright and fresh.

YOU!” I bawled all over his shirt.

“Hey, hey. It’s okay. Relax. Put your feet up. I got this. You have never done this stuff that’s why…” he faltered as his eye fell on the broken remains of his dreams. He spied the untouched mound and made a miraculous recovery from a near death situation, “….you couldn’t manage it. I am a master in the art of frying fish.” He rolled up his sleeve and took my shovel and set to work.

I went to the other room for a quiet cry by myself.

And wait for the storm.

It wasn’t long in coming.

Curses, bangs and yelps tore into my sobs.

“What’s up?” a soft voice penetrated my consciousness.

“Shukla!” Never had two people been so glad to see her.

“What?” she looked from me to him.

“The fish won’t fry. Perhaps it’s rotten. Yes. Must have gone bad. I’ll throw it.”

“Hang on. Doesn’t seem rotten. Smells just fine.”

“Then…”

Shukla took in the situation and the kitchen at a glance. “Did you heat the oil properly?”

I shook my head.

Shukla tucked her sari pallu into her waist and kicked us both out. Within 20 minutes or so, she had placed a plate lined with neat rows of golden crisp shapely fish fry on the table. At the other corner of the table lay a forlorn messy mound of unknown antecedents.

Just in time for the gang arrived hungry and greedy for fish. They fell on to it like piranhas and didn’t even notice the difference. Or even if they did, they were kind enough not to mention it.

I refused to eat fish – I was stuffed to the gills.

Written for the Daily Post’s Discover Challenge – Mind the Gap (The distance between idea and execution can be a source of frustration — or of inspiration).

In this case, it was both – with a gap of almost 3 decades :D  How about sharing your gap?

Thanks for reading🙂

In Another Life

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Photo copyright CE Ayr

In Another Life

Words 90

“What is next on the list Nani?”

“My cache of threads and needles to Sudha. Dance costumes and ankle bells to Archana.”

“What about me?”

“You can take my books.”

“Ana and Su will be so mad! What about your gold Nani?”

“All gone darling, all gone to meet the expenses of this house.”

“What about the stuff behind the purple door?”

“I plan to take them with me and start afresh.”

“What is in there?”

“Shattered dreams, suppressed ambitions, unfulfilled aspirations, a broken spirit and a roomful of hope.”

***

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting it and CE Ayr for the photo prompt.

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 103 and Calvin and Hobbes

 

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CFFC: Roofs

I am late for Cee’s fun foto challenge Roofs – I thought I didnt have any photos. But then I found loads. I couldn’t pass them up could I?

I have an eclectic selection of roofs for everyone needs a roof over their heads don’t they?

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Even elephants😀

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Let’s go from the distinctive roofs of Prague

To see the formations on the roof of the limestone caves at Baratang islands of Andaman and Nicobar Island, India.

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How about a pantomime under an Oriental roof at Tivoli garden, Copenhagen, Denmark?

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Or maybe bask in the sun on a palatial roof at Amber Fort, Jaipur India

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Or take shelter from the heat under the humble thatched roof at Radhanagar beach, Havelock Islands, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

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And then zip off to see the Himalaya range over the red roofs.

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And now won’t you come it my parlor? For this is a very special roof for me at least! I spent my childhood under this roof.

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Our recreation center but my favorite place was the swing – can you see it in the distance – the faint yellow bars on the left of the building? As a child the road to it seemed interminable – part of the reason I didn’t zoom in. Thanks to a legal dispute, my childhood home remains  exactly as I remember it. I never thought I would be glad of a court case😀

Shore temple.JPG

And finally I take your leave as you explore the Shore temple at Mahabalipuram, India

Thanks for your company on this around the world in 8 seconds trip🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 102 and Calvin and Dad are equally hilarious

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The Road Not Taken

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Photo Copyright Bjorn Rudberg

The Road Not Taken

Words 99

“A cellist? What the hell is that?”

“A musician.”

“Will you be able to support us?”

“Perhaps…”

“Perhaps! And what will we do in the meanwhile? Bills won’t wait you know.”

“Music is my life Father. But I will work part-time…”

“I spent every penny on your education hoping that you would fulfill our dreams of a stable secure future; I would finally hold my head up in society. But you want to throw away your life, our sacrifice on a whim? Over my dead body.”

On his way out, Riteish emptied his stuffed wallet into the cellist’s case.

***

Written for Friday Fictioneer’s – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting and Bjorn Rudberg for the photo prompt. To read or write stories add your link here.

Thank you for reading!

Just 4 Fun #14

It has been nearly two weeks since the Government of India demonetized currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 causing widespread confusion and hullabaloo. The country’s opinion is sharply divided (as usual) on the issue. Many welcome it and expect the move to curb counterfeit currency, black money as well as terror funding. Yet as cash is rationed and queues at banks get longer, others bemoan lack of planning, execution and financial constraints.

But hey, today’s Monday, a new week – who knows the cash crunch will ease and the queues may get shorter? Let’s have a look at a few of the lighter moments of this crisis🙂

A joke doing the rounds these days:

A certain section of the public, who are fond of their daily tipple, apparently petitioned the PM to either supply alcohol from banks or let beverage outlets to accept the old notes. There is no time to stand in both queues😀

Not unexpectedly, there has been no response from the higher echelons. But there is hope. Tipplers can take heart from the revised and upgraded queuing strategies.

queue

Just in case it isn’t clear – no need to actually stand in queue. Mark your place in the queue with a slip of paper and stone while you go about your business for the day.

No doubt where there’s a will, there’s a way and necessity is the mother of invention and oh so many more😀

Hope you enjoyed.

A/N. Over the week, we tend to 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.

 

Story Club #5: Train Travels

Welcome to another round of the Story Club. As announced earlier, Geetashree is hosting this month’s story. Her choice of story is “The Night Train at Deoli” by Ruskin Bond. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s not too late. Read it here and join the discussion.

I am very excited about this month’s story club for two reasons. Firstly, it is a story penned by an Indian author, Ruskin Bond. For sometime now, I have been on the look out for a suitable Indian story for the Story Club and have been dithering over a couple but couldn’t quite make up my mind. So when Geeta suggested it, I jumped at it. However, finding a free link was tricky and Geeta was kind enough to change the story.

Just a few words about the author – Ruskin Bond who turned 82 this year, is of British descent and is known as the Indian William Wordsworth. Ruskin Bond showed a flair and passion for writing at a very early age and wrote his first short story at 16 years. After his schooling in India, he went to London where he wrote his first novel – Room on the Roof, which won him the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. He also wrote a sequel to it – Vagrants in the Valley. Subsequently, yielding to the call of the Himalayas he returned to India and shuttled between Delhi and Dehradun – crafting a writing career spanning over 40 years during which he has penned hundreds of short stories and over two dozen books for children, including ghost stories. He has been awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards some of the highest civilian awards of the country. His stories and books have been made into popular award winning movies in India.

The other reason for my interest is that the story (like many of Ruskin Bond’s stories) is based in and around Dehradun – my hometown. But I must confess, this factor ends up being more of a distraction for I am so busy trying to identify familiar places and locales that I often miss the essence of the story – weird right?

Well perhaps, but true.

And it happened with this one too – The night train at Deoli.

Deoli – was there really such a place? Or was this a fictitious place? I wondered and mused as I frantically scrabbled through the memories of the myriad train journeys I have made between Delhi and Dehradun. Nope – no sign of any Deoli, and certainly not before the train rushes headlong into the jungles – that’s Raiwala junction (where it stops for two minutes).

Oh well perhaps it is a fictitious place. Or perhaps it’s been abandoned since then. But then I couldn’t be sure could I? Oh darn it! I wish I could take that train journey right now…

Anyway, did you read the story? An evocative story that tugs at the heartstrings, isn’t it? I could easily identify with it and the small town train stations are exactly like Ruskin Bond described – in fact it reminded me sharply of the train station shown in the Hindi movie Jab We Met.

In the story, the line that touched me most was when the girl says, “I don’t have to go anywhere.” It somehow seemed to represent the state of women in general. They wait and hope, hiding, nurturing and hoarding dreams, tsunamis, and volcanoes within themselves while going about their daily chores. Other people pass by, perhaps with a backward glance, curious and wondering, yet hesitant to reach out. The ‘incomplete’ story and the suspense regarding the fate of the girl who caught the fancy of a young boy is bound to leave the reader with a sense of restlessness and a feeling of something not quite right, sort of a haunting. Ever since I read the story, tiny train stations from my childhood ‘flash upon that inward eye.’🙂

Here are a few of my favorite quotes of Ruskin Bond:

Of course, some people want literature to be difficult and there are writers who like to make their readers toil and sweat. They hope to be taken more seriously that way. I have always tried to achieve a prose that is easy and conversational. And those who think this is simple should try it for themselves.

I never break my journey at Deoli but i pass through as often as I can.

Book readers are special people, and they will always turn to books as the ultimate pleasure. Those who do not read are the unfortunate ones. There’s nothing wrong with them; but they are missing out on one of life’s compensations and rewards. A great book is a friend that never lets you down. You can return to it again and again and the joy first derived from it will still be there.

“Hinduism comes closest to being a nature religion. Rivers, rocks, trees, plants, animals, and birds all play their part, both in mythology and everyday worship.”

Normally writers do not talk much,because they are saving their conversations for the readers of their book – those invisible listeners with whom we wish to strike a sympathetic chord.

I particularly liked this nugget:

Summing up his last essay in The Lamp Is Lit, Ruskin writes: ‘And there are many brave and good Indian writers, who work in their own language — be it Bengali or Oriya or Telugu or Marathi or fifteen to twenty others — and plough their lonely furrow without benefit of agent or media blitz or Booker prize. Some of them may despair. But even so, they work on in despair. Their rewards may be small, their readers few, but it is enough to keep them from turning off the light. For they know that the pen, in honest and gifted hands, is mightier than the grave.’ Ruskin then goes on to write: ‘And these are my parting words to you, dear Reader: May you have the wisdom to be simple, and the humour to be happy.’

That’s enough from me for the story and over to Geetashree’s blog for her fabulous analysis and reviews on the story of the month – Night Train at Deoli.

 

 

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

You can read the other Story Club posts (and rules) here. Please free to discuss, comment and suggest.

 

Meaty Matters

It’s Friday Food time at Priorhouse and the topic for this month is meat. This is a rather tricky item (and a contentious topic) in India.

Hinduism believes that our nature and behavior is influenced by the kind of food we consume and food is divided into three types. Tamasic, that which dulls the senses (meat, alcohol etc). Rajasic, that which excites the senses (caffeinated drinks, onion, garlic, spicy, oily food etc) and Sattvic that which leads to clarity of mind and improved health. This includes, water, cereal grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, milk and honey etc. Hence, many Indians, particularly Hindus, consume only Sattvic food, i.e. they are pure vegetarians.

However, due to diversification and intermingling (and even health reasons) a subsection of these vegetarians, may consume eggs or even meat. But that is very occasional and is not cooked (or brought) at home. Furthermore, these ‘meat-eaters’ have a lot of restrictions imposed – no meat on certain days of the week (notably Tuesday) and during religious festivals, which occur at frequent intervals over the year and sometimes for days on end. Things become even more complicated in joint families, family get-togethers in the setting of cross-cultural weddings and growing diverse food preferences along with dietary restrictions due to heart disease and/or diabetes.

Planning a menu in such a scenario is enough to give one palpitations and sleepless nights!

Yet there are other communities who cannot conceive of a meal without their daily dose of meat. Bengalis, for instance, are (meat) foodies and are notorious for not following ‘no meat’ policy even during festivals. In fact, fish consumption is considered auspicious and even mandatory during certain festivals. Yet again, there are diverse rules and customs within the Bengali community as well – take my family and my in-laws for instance, but I digress.

Coming back to the topic, on this background, I wanted to share a story about my brother – a pure non-vegetarian😀

When he was a little boy (and I wasn’t born), Dad took up a job near the holy town of Rishikesh, where meat consumption isn’t allowed (and neither is it available anywhere nearby). Much to my brother’s disgust and anguish. He complained loud and long to Ma and nagged her no end as his craving for meat sky-rocketed. She tried to distract him, coax him but he was like a dog with a bone (or without one😀 ).

Frazzled and provoked, Ma finally snapped. “Fine! Eat my meat.”

There was silence whilst he considered the proposition.

He could see only one problem. “But Ma, who will cook it?”

Not only Bengalis, but even Keralites are fond of their (!) meat and fish. To avoid being similarly targeted, my friend Mymind – the warden of a boys hostel😉 had a plan to cook chicken for lunch today. I saw my chance and jumped in – I asked for a photo.

Poor girl was under double pressure – cook and click. Troubles don’t come in singles or doubles – their society gas supply was shut down for maintenance.

Yet she managed!  Hmm – perhaps she put it on her head 😡 😅

Take a deep breath and feast your eyes🙂

chicken-curry
Kerala style chicken curry courtesy Mymind – thank you!

Looks yummylicious doesn’t it? Oh well I am off to eat a pure vegetarian utilitarian lunch whilst picturing this dish😀

How about you dear readers? What’s your favorite food or even better, a favorite food story? Or did I overlook something, or was factually incorrect, or do you feel under-represented? Feel free to vent and rant – the interaction on the jackfruit has left me hungry for more!

Enjoy your Sunday lunch and look forward to your meaty (or otherwise) stories!

CWW: Signs on the Way

Sign.jpg

Just in case someone didn’t get the message the first time, or the second time😀 Though I am a bit curious about the upward journey😀

Enough of gazing at the signs, let’s head to Mawlynnong – one of the cleanest villages in Asia.

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The waste basket is cool isn’t it?

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Looks a bit deserted doesnt it? Let’s brighten it up a bit.

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He still hasn’t learned how to fake a smile – isn’t he cute?

Hope you liked the village tour. By the way, this is the same village which is famous for its unique growing root bridges. If you missed that post, click here

Thanks for visiting and have a grand weekend.

For Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

COB #46: Look! No Hands

It was a steep uphill climb at Singhagad Fort, Pune, India, which is believed to be built two thousand years ago. Unsure of my trekking capabilities and reluctant to test the chivalry of the other members of the gang😉, I desisted from proceeding too high up. I sat down one quarter of the way to enjoy the view.

Here’s a man trudging up the steep slope carrying packaged water for the thirsty tourists.

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Not an uncommon sight to see people carrying baggage on their heads so nothing to really write home about. Plus he’s holding his booty with a hand – pshaw that’s for wimps😉

I looked around and sure enough

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Look – no hands! Amazing isnt it? I am willing to bet she didn’t need hands to hold her baggage while going up either – what do you think?

For more odd ball photos, visit Cee’s page. I almost tagged it to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge -Magic but then I found something else for that challenge😉 Click here if you want to see magic happening😀

Thanks for visiting!

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The Magic of Life

Isn’t life the most magical of all things? Don’t you wonder how a very few basic atoms (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur) can create life in it’s myriad and varied forms?

Moreover, it never fails to amaze (and inspire) me when I witness life thriving in the most unexpected of places.

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“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen.

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“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” ― Shel Silverstein

For the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge – Magic

Go on have a magical weekend, week, month, year, decade, century…🙂

SPF: The World Cruise

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The World Cruise

Words 196

“Enough is enough! Leave him.” Suresh exhorted.

“I wish I could.” Naina choked on a sob.

“Why can’t you?”

“He is my responsibility.”

“You are too soft-hearted Naina.”

Naina shook her head. “Just human. He doesn’t keep good health these days. What if he falls ill? I would have to come back.”

“Even though he is an obnoxious ungrateful wretch who deserves to rot in hell?”

“What choice do I have? He cut off ties with his family. Yesterday he dismissed the servants.”

“He is taking advantage of your kind, considerate and giving nature.”

“I don’t know any other way to be.”

“What about me? Don’t I deserve any consideration?”

“Don’t make things more difficult for me.”

“I love you. Divorce him and marry me.”

A tear rolled down her cheek. “It is time for his medicine.”

“We’ll travel the world, like you dreamed.”

Naina heaved a sigh and shut the door.

Patience was crucial.

As was meticulous planning.

Today, she would double the dose.

In three months, she would be a bereaved widow.

In six months, she would accept Suresh’s proposal.

In a year, she would allow him to take her on the world cruise.

***

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. Click here for the other stories inspired by this photo prompt.

An announcement – It’s Story Club time and this month, Geetashree has kindly agreed to host it. She has chosen a short story penned by our very own Bond – Ruskin Bond😀 If you like, you may read it here and come back and join the discussion on Monday or perhaps even post a review on it – all are welcome! If you would like to read the previous Story Clubs, click here.

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 101 and Calvin and Hobbes

The Garbage Guy

Those were the days of chaos, especially mornings. There was breakfast to be made, lunch to be packed, milk to be boiled, toddler to be taken care of and get myself ready for college – before the water supply bid adieu for the day.

As you can imagine, it was a mad dash from the moment I woke up (mostly lateafter having slept fitfully because the little one had strong beliefs and strident opinions – nights were meant for play and not sleep).

So there I was, groggy, stumbling around the kitchen trying to brew tea and boil some milk on a rickety kerosene stove (yes – those days!), all the while trying to soothe the cranky warm bundle nestling on my shoulder when there was a knock on the kitchen door.

“Oh no!” I grumbled. Here was the dreaded interruption to my carefully choreographed routine which took me from the kitchen to the bedroom via the hallway (with intermittent pirouettes through the washroom to fill buckets).

It was the ‘trash guy’ who came everyday to collect the day’s trash for less than a rupee a day. And to make his deal more attractive – he offered to wash the trashcan as well.

Okay fine!

Except it wasn’t – 25 rupees a month to throw trash? I could do that myself and earn myself a few bucks in the process. But then I hardly had time to breathe, he needed the job, we were generating employment, keeping the food chain moving – okay fine.

So he began by adding his two bit to the morning bedlam. Unfailing in attendance, he had the uncanny habit of rapping on the door just as the pandemonium had peaked – and invariably trigger a panic attack. I was late! There goes my bus! Again!

All my frustration and irritation would come to the fore as I opened the door, keeping a tight grip on the now alert and frisky toddler – aha the door was open! The world awaits me! Let’s go out and run he would jerk, squiggle and wriggle adding strength and volume to his exhortations as only he could.

“Hurry! I don’t have time.” I would wail as my eel baby all but slithered from my grasp.

“Namaste Madamji.” He would offer cheerily while emptying the trashcan. “I need to wash this. It’s filthy.”

I would shoot a harried glance at the clock, fighting a losing battle with the now impossibly arched muscular bundle, “Maybe tomorrow. There’s someone in the washroom.”

Phew! I shut the door and get back to my dance routine with renewed frenzy.

It was the same old story –day after day. Except, his pleas to let him clean the bin grew more demanding by the day – but something or the other always took precedence – the baby was shrieking, somebody in the washroom, major water crisis, so on and so forth.

With growing guilt, I would shut the door on his disapproving accusing face.

“What the hell is his problem? He should be happy. Less work for him.” I grumbled to my husband. “And it’s not like I am not going to pay him his full dues. I know the bin needs a wash but I don’t have time for this right now.”

Finally on Sunday he caught me. Feeling expansive, I gave in. He demanded soap and turned on the tap – my heart fell to my shoes. Hold the water dammit!

Heart in mouth, I held my breath as he scrubbed the trashcan to his satisfaction. He turned to me his entire face glowing with pride, joy and triumph and a hint of censure. “Look madam, this is clean. You should let me clean it everyday.”

From illiterate garbage guy, I learnt some of the most important lessons of my life  – to take pride and joy in my work no matter how small or inconsequential it may be in the larger scheme of things. And to make sure I earned my salary.

***

Written for the Daily Post’s prompt Filthy

If you are new here – click for more information About the Blog

Thank you for reading🙂

Regret

Knee on his throat, the cleaver held high above her head, breasts heaving, her bloodshot eyes bore into the terrified eyes of her husband of 17 years. She blinked, the fury, the power went out of her as if a switch had been flicked off. The cleaver clattered onto the stone floor and she rolled away trembling with the aftermath of her fury. She buried her face in her hands, unable to stand the image of herself, what had she been going to do. Faintly she heard him scramble to safety, sniffling pathetically.

Later, Smriti narrated the scene to her friend, Nidhi.

“It was as if I had been possessed. I don’t know what came over me.”  Smriti said slowly. The memory of those horrific moments jolted her and the clatter of the knife still rang eerily in her ears.

There was a stunned pause before Nidhi rallied enough to speak.

“Never mind,” Nidhi brushed it away, “it happens to the best of us, a moment of madness when we are all but pushed over the edge,” she babbled, “but the best part is that you recovered at the last minute, regained your sanity and all’s well that ends well.

Smriti looked at Nidhi with tormented eyes, “But Nidhi, what if…?”

“No Smriti, you are not to think like that,” Nidhi was firm, “you just said as if you were possessed. It was a one off instance – you know you would never do such a thing again. So stop worrying…

“No, you don’t understand Nidhi,” Smriti whispered through cracked lips, “that is exactly what I am worried about.”

“What do you mean?”

“I am afraid that I will never be possessed again, that I missed my chance at freedom. I am condemned to spend the rest of my life with him.”

***

This week Daily Post’s Discover Challenge is In the Style of i.e. try out someone else’s style. Going through a few of my half finished drafts I came across this story which I have no recollection of writing. I was a bit taken aback and felt it (i.e the bloodthirstiness😉 ) was rather different from my usual style. What do you think?

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 100 and Calvin and Hobbes

 

Just 4 Fun # 13

Here’s wishing everyone a super week ahead

aging

 Aside – More memoir notes for you Joy  😉😀

Fond of animals? Don’t miss the Comedy Wildlife Photography awards.

A/N. Over the week, we tend to 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 post on your blog and link it here.

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

For readers of Silver Streaks - here's the second and final part of Chotti's Day Out

This Too Shall Pass

There was a storm and she split right down the middle

tree-1

Cracked open and damaged beyond repair

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Yet barely a few months later

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She is back in business!

“Only this is faith: to continue.”  Marty Rubin

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 261

Have a super weekend🙂

See the Sea

When I look at the sea I cannot help but feel tiny and inconsequential in the face of such vast, endless, relentless, expanse.

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“If you once realize that to-morrow, if not to-day, you will die and nothing will be left of you, everything becomes insignificant!”  Leo Tolstoy

COB #45: Child’s Play

Children.jpg

Boys! Give them some space and watch them bloom and glow🙂 I loved (and envied) the innocent joy of just running after a ball – or perhaps it is the freedom of being let out of prison school.

Here’s a snap of the amphitheater without the children. Looks kind of desolate doesn’t it?

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This amphitheater is situated at the other end of the Rock Garden at Chandigarh, India – featured in the post Junk Art and also The Bare One. The design and pattern of the amphitheater is crafted from an artistic arrangement of broken discarded pieces of tiles. I love the way the tree is part of the whole scene with the little one growing in the middle🙂

Here’s a closer view of the kind of magic an artist can craft from junk.

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Stunning work isnt it? My favorite was the grinning tiger😀

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Isn’t he cute? And his smile infectious?

Now if only I could do something half as creative with all the stuff at home lying about at home…

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed the photos. Do hop over to Cee’s for super odd balls.

For the once upon a time readers of Silver Streaks - here's the link to Chotti's woes and escapades - Chotti's Day Out - Part I

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Karma Strikes

crook-roof
Photo copyright Sandra Crook

Karma Strikes

Words 101

“This is preposterous!” Subhadra’s thick gold earrings quivered in agitation.

She who had just yesterday blown up lakhs of rupees on shopping in Dubai had no cash to buy vegetables?

She, who always said, keep the change had no change?

The answer to her prayers was the temple.

Filling her bag with offerings, she called for the BMW.

Pushing through the crowds, she entered the temple premises.

She frowned.

Odd.

The cue to the sanctum sanctorum was miniscule.

Why was everyone gathered on the other side?

Had they all come for what she had – beg for change from the beggars?

***

A/N: For those who missed it – In India, late in the evening on 8th November, Prime Minister Modi announced demonetization of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes with effect from midnight of 9th November, banks/ATMs to remain shut on 9th. New notes (in restricted amounts) to be available from 10th November onwards. This is being done with an aim to curb corruption, black money and terror funding.

Written for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Sandra for the photo. Write and read more stories on this prompt here.

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 99 and Calvin and Hobbes

 

SPF: Nipped in the Bud

180-11-november-6th-2016

Nipped in the Bud

Words 201

“Impossible!”

“Nothing’s impossible.” Chotti said woodenly. Be still you traitorous heart.

“That’s just talk.” He scoffed.

“Don’t challenge me.” Chotti glowered.

He snorted. “That’s rich coming from someone who is mentally and vertically challenged.”

“I am petite.” Chotti declared snootily, “You are vertically unchallenged.”

“So you admit to being mentally challenged.” He smirked.

“Better than being rude, obnoxious…”

“Hey! I was only trying to help.”

“How? By being negative? By insulting me?”

“By being realistic. That’s too big a project. Drop it. Take up another.”

“Why? Because I am a girl?”

“Because you are a fool who has her head in the clouds.”

“Go away!” Chotti seethed. “I have no choice, there’s no time. This is it – do or die.”

He shrugged. “It’s your funeral.”

“Oh you think you are very funny don’t you?” Chotti ground out. “Instead of blathering, how about lending a hand?”

“Aha! Not too egoistic to ask for help?”

“Unlike some people.” Chotti sneered.

“I never need help.” He leaned closer, his breath warming her cheek.

“Exactly. You’re helpless.” Chotti rallied valiantly.

His rich laughter strummed her heart.

Enchanted, she gazed into his eyes, inches from hers.

What the hell!” Daddy (aka ASR) stood at the doorway.

***

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. Write and read more stories on this prompt here.

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 98 and Calvin and Hobbes

Fans of IPKKND and readers of Silver Streaks please visit From DM’s Desk for more😉

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WPC: The Number Game

The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo theme this week is Numbers. Quite topical don’t you think? Not only for America but also India as 500 and 1000 currency notes are banned with immediate effect, banks and ATMs closed. Takes me back to the good old days – cash strapped, yet a heart full of hope and faith, that better days will surely come – once the storm passes😉😀

Coming back to the photo challenge, I am terrified of numbers (honest!) so I am going to cheat. Here are a collection of fowards which I think suit the theme.

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to begin😉

One

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Two

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However, I feel compelled to add that if I were the artist, I would have exchanged buttons 😉 What say you?

Let’s jump to the next number

100

 

Told you my Math was bad😛

Okay enough is enough

 

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Back to some manageable numbers

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Hmm – I wonder if this sign is for real or is it photoshopped?

And finally something for my Indian friends🙂

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Hope this gave you a smile or two – have a great day!

Disclaimer: None of this stuff is mine and have received all as messages.

Mystery of the Song

Hello folks! For a few days now I have been feeling restless and itching to try my hand at something different. And almost providentially up came the Daily Post’s weekly challenge Song. To be specific the challenge is “Tell us a story about a piece of music that stayed with you.”

Exactly what I wanted to have an in-depth discussion about – vent so to speak. But bear with me while I lay the background.

I live in relative seclusion, just meters away from a bustling arterial road. Much of the extraneous sounds are masked by the whir of the fan or the hum of the air conditioner. But now that summer has left us (phew never thought I would live to see another winter :D) the fans and ACs have fallen silent, the sounds from around the campus is louder, clearer and distinct.

Here comes the crux of the matter.

In the morning, around 7.30 a.m, someone puts on his (am pretty sure it’s a guy) music system to play one song.

The same song.

Each and every day.

A nice song I have to admit. Rafi sahab’s voice is melodious enough to melt the hardiest of hearts and the song is soft and romantic.

But for God’s sake who has a record with only one song? Where are the other songs? Bring them on! Perhaps it will help to get rid of this ear worm. If only I knew where he lived – I would have happily presented him with one of Rafi’s golden albums (and gotten to the bottom of the mystery).

The regularity and discipline with which this song is played is impressive. The mystery of it is driving us around the bend. Husband and wife have had endless debates and discussions on Why this song? Why only this song? What is the significance of this song?

We have come up several hypotheses:

He is trying to woo a girl. After all it is a romantic number and the lyrics go something like this:

My love is great (for want of a better word)

With her spring arrives

And when she leaves, spring too leaves

My love is great

My sweetheart is my life

And so on and so forth it goes – you get the gist right? Or this could be his way of publicly declaring his love without raising the hackles of his (and her) parents and other guardians of the society. This particular couplet from the song gives support to this hypothesis:

I cannot call out her name in front of everyone

Embarrassed, she is likely to be annoyed with me and

then where will I be?

Other hypothesis have been floated but they are neither tenable nor suitable for general broadcast.

By the way, my dear friends, even as I write, the mystery deepens. Yesterday morning, we missed the song – did he not play it or did we not register it? Was the guy okay? Had something happened to him? Had they broken up?

We (I) couldn’t help worrying. A diehard romantic, I said, poor chap is probably unwell.

Or – there was a distinct gleam in his eye – his music system has been smashed to smithereens.

Our fears were allayed (and hopes dashed) when he played the song in the evening.

Now we are just wondering (and hoping against hope) that he hasn’t decided to up the ante and switched from OD to BD dosage schedule.

So folks, without any further ado this is the piece of music that is with us these days – it’s only fair and neighborly to share ear worms😀

Thanks for visiting – comments, takes and hypotheses, all are welcome!

For old timers and readers of SS please check out the following two posts - From DM's Desk and Another Diwali Party. Please dont forget to leave me a note.

Just 4 Fun #12

Here’s wishing everyone a super week ahead🙂

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And speaking of balances

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Though I must admit, the wife looks a tad more uncomfortable than the mother – what do you think?

On a different note, I wish to express my thanks to Miriam who has kindly nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award.

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I am humbled and touched by her gesture, please do check out her engaging blog with a diverse range of posts.  Many thanks Miriam, but I regret that I am unable to carry the chain forward at this juncture.

Post script. Over the week, we tend to 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 the above images is mine – I am just keeping the fun going!

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

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

The Bare One

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At Chandigarh’s Rock Garden

If you are wondering what these figures are, check out Junk Art  – I am hopeful that you won’t regret it🙂

For Becca’s Sunday Trees – 260 which completes 5 years today 👏👏👏

Have a great Sunday.

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COB #44: Holding her Own

Walking through a small town bazaar, we were drawn to this building

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Here’s a close up

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“Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist-a master-and that is what Auguste Rodin was-can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is…and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be…and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply imprisoned inside her ruined body.”Robert A. Heinlein

Hope over to Cee’s for more odd ball photos.

Have a grand weekend all of you🙂

For old timers and readers of SS please check out the following two posts - From DM's Desk and Another Diwali Party. Please dont forget to leave me a note.

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CB&W: Through the Window

I am terribly late for Cee’s black and white photo challenge but I simply cannot pass up this particular theme – Looking Through a Window. I have been traveling a lot these past few months and all I do is click photos through windows. If I asked to stop each I wanted to click a pic we would never get anywhere😀

Dont worry I won’t offload all my through the window photos, just a few not so much for the photography but for what caught my eye – hope you like too.

First, a picture a, naturally, of a tree on the Mumbai-Pune highway from a moving car.

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At the rate she is spreading I think her goal is to span the entire highway😀

And another one through a restaurant window

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Looks like some complicated yogic pose, which probably accounts for her lean and long life.

Mumbai city is known as the city that never sleeps. Looking out of the window from a hotel room, I would have never believed it.

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The view of the still lone crow as the master of all it surveyed was quite a contrast from the hustle-bustle of the city two floors down😀

 

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While traveling by train, this destitute couple on a deserted railway station caught my eye. Can you see why?

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Nobody is too destitute to offer comfort and love to another🙂

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A bit blurred no doubt but I finally caught the light at the end of a tunnel😀

Have a grand weekend and thanks for visiting. Do let me know you were here!

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 97 and Calvin and Mom ROFL

 

 

SPF: Ground Rules

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Ground Rules

Words 200

 “Grandpa, how did you get that scar on your chin?”

Grandpa rubbed his chin. “Ah! I am rather proud of this one. I once chased a chain-snatcher. I lunged for him and fell on my chin. I grabbed his ankle and held on until the others came.”

“Wow!”

Grandpa looked pleased.

“And the one on your forehead?”

He caressed it. “This is both my badge of shame and pride.”

“Interesting!”

“Once Mother lost her gold ring. She accused Leena of stealing it.”

“What did Granny say?”

“Leena denied it. But nobody believed her.”

“Not even you Grandpa?”

“We were newly married. I hardly knew her.”

“Then what happened?”

“There was a slanging match. Accusations flew thick and fast. Leena was rude to my mother. As her husband, it was my duty to teach her a lesson. I slapped her.”

“No!”

“Your Granny instantly retaliated by hitting me with a saucepan.”

Shocked, I could only stare.

“Blood dripped from my wound but all I felt was a sense of vindication and pride. I looked at my parents. I hated that Father hit Mother. But what I hated more was that she didn’t hit back.”

“Did you ever hit Granny again?”

“Never.”

***

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. For more stories, on this prompt, click here

Thanks for reading – do let me know you were here🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 96 and Calvin and Dad

 

COB # 43: Odd Man Out

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Notice anything odd? Just in case you didn’t – here’s a close up😀

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“Someday this upside-down world will be turned right side up. Nothing in all eternity will turn it back again. If we are wise, we will use our brief lives on earth positioning ourselves for the turn.” Randy Alcorn

Thanks for visiting. Drop in at Cee’s for more Odd ball photos

The Bent One

“There is no perfection, only beautiful versions of brokenness.” ― Shannon L. Alder

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“When you really love someone, you see all their mess and their brokenness and you love them anyway. In fact, seeing all of that sort of makes you love them more.” Heather Hepler

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Just 4 Fun # 11

 

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Created, designed, decorated and copyrighted by our own Mymind – Bravo!🙂

Hope you had a grand Diwali weekend. If you would like to know/see how the world celebrated Diwali click here and here

And for those who are regretting the unavoidable calorie overdose:

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And in keeping with the above topic, here are some random food facts (the more digestible ones!)

  • The fear of cooking is known as Mageirocophobia and is a recognized phobia. Maybe it’s time I told my family😉
  • Every time you lick a stamp, you consume 1/10 of a calorie.
  • The fear of vegetables is called Lachanophobia.
  • Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.
  • Ortharexia Nervosa is an eating disorder where the sufferer is obsessed with eating healthy food.
  • Carrots have zero fat content.
  • Sugar is the only taste that humans are born craving.

I am off to buy some carrots whilst chomping on some of the leftover delicious sweets😉😀

A/N. Over the week, we tend to 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.

Wishing all brothers and sisters a loving and harmonious Bhai Duj – may you continue to share and care, laugh and drive each other crazy, but most importantly always be there, now and always🙂

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

 

Junk Art

Transmogrify is the theme for the Daily Posts Weekly Photo Challenge. As a fan of Calvin, I am familiar with the term, although I must confess I didn’t know the exact meaning. Do you? Transmogrify means “to change in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely; transform.”

Interestingly, have just the right bunch of pictures for this challenge! In fact you could almost say the challenge was transmogrified to suit my priceless collection😀

The entire credit for this unique garden goes to Nek Chand an ordinary transport official in Chandigarh, India, who saw beauty in junk.

In the early 1960’s, Nek Chand cleared a patch of jungle and began sculpting figures discarded material he found at hand. Nek Chand built up the mass with a cement and sand mix before adding a final coating of smoothly burnished pure cement combined with waste materials such as broken glass, bangles, crockery, mosaic and iron-foundry slag.

Nek Chand’s creativity blossomed and he went on to make hundreds of sculptures set in a series of interlinking courtyards, working secretly at night for fear of being discovered by the authorities. He succeeded in hiding his art for 18 years. And this is the bit that fascinates me the most – he worked alone at night after a hard day’s work just to satisfy his own passion for creativity. That for me at least is the highest and purest form of art there could be.

When his work was discovered, the authorities were in a quandary. But though it was illegal, even the red-tape and rule bound bureaucracy couldn’t deny the unique creative talent of Nek Chand. He was given a salary, more space and workforce to assist him in expanding his vision, which now spreads over 25 acres. Today, there are several thousand sculptures set in large mosaic courtyards linked by walled paths and deep gorges. Nek Chand’s creation also combines huge buildings with a series of interlinking waterfalls. The Rock Garden is now acknowledged as one of the modern wonders of the world.

I bring you a few pictures from this one of a kind Rock Garden.

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Made from broken plates, cups and tiles
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Care for a glass cup of wine?
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The man from outer space

Married Indian women, especially in North India are expected to wear colored glass bangles and the more the merrier. And of course they break. Nek Chand collected these and recycled them in his own way. Have a look.

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Dolls created from broken pieces of colored glass bangles. Quite a gorgeous skirt isn’t it?
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Broken a dinner set? No problem. Makes him a convenient stool. Speaking of which don’t miss the plumbing decor😉
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Peacocks made of broken glass bangles
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Off with the skirts and on with the trousers
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Sculpture of a lady
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Two ladies
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Don’t miss the knobbly knees or her pedestal

For your sake, I hope you liked these transmogrifications for I have lots more and will be sure to display them at the earliest opportunity😉😀

Thanks for dropping by – please don’t hesitate to leave a note🙂

Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali once again🙂

APWC: One

Finally I had the opportunity to visit the Sri Harmindar Sahib more popularly known as the Golden Temple at Amritsar, Punjab, India. This temple is the holiest Gurdwaras (door to the Guru) of Sikhism.  The temple houses the Adi Granth the holy scripture of the Sikhs. Sikhs believe in the concept of Ek Onkar or One God and the doors of their temples are open to men and women of all religions. In fact, the Muslim Sufi saint, Hazrat Mian Mir, laid the foundation stone of the temple.

The Golden Temple runs the world’s largest soup kitchen (langar) and reportedly feeds anywhere from 1,00,000 to 3,00,000 people for free each day, regardless of caste, creed, gender or background.  Importantly, volunteers from the community (kar sevaks) run the langar (and build Gurdwaras).  The langar serves to uphold the principle of equality between all people regardless of religion, caste, color, creed, age, gender, or social status. In addition to the ideals of equality, the tradition of langar expresses the ethics of sharing, community, inclusiveness, and oneness of all humankind.

A visit to the Golden Temple is a must for all Sikhs in their lifetime. I would go so far as to say it is a must for everyone.

This a view of the Golden Temple at night

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And during the day.

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I cannot quite decide which view I like better. Can you?

Posted for Nancy’s theme of One for her A Photo A Week Challenge

Thank you for visiting – have a great weekend.

I would also like to wish everyone a very happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous Diwali. Image result for diwali emojiImage result for diwali emojiImage result for diwali emojiImage result for diwali emojiImage result for diwali emojiImage result for diwali emojiImage result for diwali emojiImage result for diwali emojiImage result for diwali emojiImage result for diwali emoji

SPF: Nowhere

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Nowhere

Words 200

My dearest Son, it is strange writing to you. Since the telephone, I lost the habit. But when you first went abroad, I would write long letters; so would you.

When Lata got a phone connection I was happier than she. Hearing you say Mother after months gave me as much joy as it did the first time. After we got our own phone, I would sit for hours beside it, willing it to ring. And then came the Skype calls, where I could hear and see you. But the best was of course when you came home, sat beside me, relishing and demanding hot crispy parathas.

But then your workload increased. Your father left us. You (and even I) thought I would be happier here. But everything is so strange and different here. And you are always so busy. Looking out from the top floor, I feel like Trishanku – neither here nor there.

I wouldn’t have bothered you, but Lata’s nephew is going home. Maybe I could accompany him?

Waiting for your letter although it would be nice to hear your voice.

Perhaps even see you.

My room is down the corridor, last room on the right.

***

A/N: Trishanku is a character from Hindu mythology.  Trishanku has come to denote a middle ground or limbo between one’s goals or desires and one’s current state or possessions. In brief, the story goes like this – Trishanku wished to ascend the heavens in his mortal body. One sage (who was keen to show off his powers) agreed to help him and would have succeeded but for the intervention of the heavenly gods who convinced him to desist breaking laws of nature. But to keep his word, the sage created an alternate heaven where Trishanku hangs upside down so that he may not ever usurp the power of the real king of the heaven Indradev. Thus Trishanku who is suspended in his own heaven as a compromise between earth that he belonged to and the heaven that he sought. Trishanku corresponds to the constellation of Crux or the Southern Cross. For a more detailed version of the story click here.

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. For other stories on this prompt click here

I wonder if the parallel between the mother and Trishanku is clear? Do let me know. Thanks!

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 95 and Calvin and Hobbes

 

CB&W: Nature Clicks

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge this week is All About Nature. Of course my all time favorites – trees – will feature in this post but I do hope I can surprise (if not impress) you with my other clicks😉😀

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Isn’t she stunningly graceful?
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I have no words for this one – just goosebumps!
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Managed to capture a dragonfly (?). Not very well for it was too high for me.
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It was way past midnight when these two locked horns. I hurriedly clicked a snap and went my way. Unfortunately I didnt get the desired click. I came back about 15 minutes later and they obligingly posed once again.

Thanks for visiting. Do let me know what you thought of the pics🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 94 and Calvin and Hobbes having a deep philosophical discussion :D

 

Light and Water

The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge theme is Shine. Here’s my collection of light shining on water, mostly sunsets around the country🙂

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Shillong, Meghalaya
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Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
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Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
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Sunset over the Sunderbans
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The Sun gives way to the Moon

While it readies for a new beginning elsewhere

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Sunrise at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu.

A very good morning to all of you🙂

A/N Moonshine will be up a little later in the day.

A Wannabe

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting this marvelous challenge and Claire Fuller for the photo prompt. Click here for more stories on this prompt.

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(c) Claire Fuller

A Wannabe

Words 99

Brilliant, scintillating displays, thronging galleries and witty banter captivated her.

Bewitched and compelled, she fashioned a shelf and put up a messy yarn.

Few spared her bare shelves more than a cursory glance.

Hesitant and unsure, she scrabbled around for tips and tricks.

Sticks and stones found a place on her shelf, as did knick-knacks and baubles.

Pleased, she admired her fast filling shelves. Until her eye fell on the glittering galaxies.

She heaved a despondent sigh. She was a square peg, maybe she should…

Wait!

It has been just a year with the fulfillment of a lifetime.

***

Thank you for your company, support and encouragement on this super-fantastic journey. Today I complete 365 days of blogging 🙂