SPF: Converted

183-11-november-27th-2016

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.

path

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.

flower

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?

20161024_094417

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 🙂

img-20150309-wa0003

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? 😀

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 😀  How about sharing your gap?

Thanks for reading 🙂

In Another Life

ceayr-purple-door
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

 

Save