WPC: Change of Season

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

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

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

monsoons

the trees emerge

squeaky clean

Thanks for visiting – have a super day 🙂

 

Friends in Deed

Tree

She is dull

drab and brown

cares of the world

weigh her down;

unbeknownst

they close in

and paint her

pink and

yellow.

 

T2Where

would we

be

without

friends?

 

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees – 293

 

Just 4 Fun # 44

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

Gorom

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

Mom

Dash it…

School

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

School2

Wouldnt you love to go to such a school?

Artist

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

Position

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

Password

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

Dog

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

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

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

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

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

 

Story Club #11: A Twist in the Tale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and another

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

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

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

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

She was beautiful in a way that was decidedly unstenographic.

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

But I saved the best piece for the last:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks so much for visiting.

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

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

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

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

 

Protected: The Scent of Love

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Commitment Checklist

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

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

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

CB&W: More Lights

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

Mumbai airportAt Mumbai’s swanky new airport

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

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

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

Diner

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

Gandhi

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

Cake

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

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

Have an awesome weekend 🙂

CB&W: Enlightening

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

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

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

EntryThe entry gate for the queue

ChandelierA closer look at the gorgeous chandelier

 

Golden templeI used minimal color in this photo.

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

Thanks for visiting 🙂

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 152

Borrowed Advice

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

“You should date a girl who reads.

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

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

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

Buy her another cup of coffee.

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

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

She has to give it a shot somehow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

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

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

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

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

Edit 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like me.

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

For readers of Moonshine, here's Chapter 151

 

 

Just 4 Fun # 43

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

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

Antilla

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

Minion

Point to be noted your honor 😀

Weight

How very true! 😦

Manequin

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

IMG-20170610-WA0006

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

IMG-20170612-WA0009

Now we can safely say

IMG-20160506-WA0012

 

And a final note for those living in ignorance

IMG-20170613-WA0014

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

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

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

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

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