When you stumble

“How could they have been so mean?”

“Good and bad do exist you know. Life can’t be all good. Sometimes you need to stumble on the bad. Someone, surely wise, has said ‘When you stumble, make it part of the dance’. And you dance! Have you ever learned to dance without an initial stumble? Take this experience as that first stumble.”


Microfiction in response to MicroMondays hosted by Varad.

This week’s prompt: “Good and Bad do exist.”

Word count: 61

Find other entries here.

 

The circle of life

That evening was the first time in 15 days that Jayanthi and Anisha were at home – alone. All the funeral rites had been completed. All the relatives had returned.

Anisha, resting her head on her mother’s lap, was crying softly.

“Come now. Don’t cry.” cajoled Jayanthi.

“I miss daddy, mom.”

“I know you do… It’ll be alright. You’ll see.”

“That’s what everyone keeps saying. It’s not alright. Daddy is no more. It shivers just to utter that mom.”

“Sshhh…. It’s ok dear. Calm down.”

“Life seems so meaningless without him… To top it all, now I have to run the company too! What will I do without him, mom? I am terrified.”

“Don’t be dear. You have been running the company for a few years now; your father was just guiding you from here. You understand the business more than anybody else. Your father was always so confident in you. Besides, you will not be alone. There are so many trusted people in the company who will help you. You know that.”

“Oh… I don’t know. I wish he was here.”

Anisha spoke again after a few moments silence.

“Mom. Will you be ok? If I go back? You know the business needs me in Delhi… Why don’t you come with me?”

Jayanthi hesitated.

“I… This is all just so sudden. I … don’t know… Can we discuss this some other time?”

“Oh..Ok. Sure,”

That time arrived a few days later when Anisha realized she would have to leave shortly.

“Mom… Did you, by any chance, think about what we discussed?”

Jayanthi visibly tensed.

“Mom. I know this is hard. I get it. Just talk to me.”

“Anisha dear. What I am going to say might shock you. But…”

Anisha’s heart clenched – what was life throwing at her now?

“What is it?” she asked cautiously.

“I… I will not be coming with you to Delhi. I will not be staying here either. I will be going back to my village.”

Village?” Anisha was shocked. “What village? I thought you were from here.”

“I spent my entire married life here. That’s true. But I am not from here.”

“Mom. I don’t understand.”

Jayanthi took a deep breath, recollecting the talk she had rehearsed a hundred times. She was not prepared.

“What do you know about my parents?” She asked slowly.

“Your parents? Only what you have told me – that they died when you were about 20, before you got married.”

“They are probably dead. I wouldn’t know” Jayanthi drew a long breath. “I ran away from home, from my village when I was little… I don’t even remember why.”

“What?” Anisha lost her words.

“Yes, I did… A young girl on the streets experiences unspeakable terrors… I can only call it God’s kindness that I somehow landed up in a children’s home. I found a new life and became a nurse… You have probably figured out the rest of the story. I came to this house as a nurse – for your grandfather who was very sick at the time. I don’t know if he really liked me or felt that he was running out of time. But one day, he called your father by his side, pointed to me and said ‘She will be your wife’… Your grandfather had a heart of gold. But then without realizing, he had done his son a grave injustice.”

“What do you mean?”

“Your father didn’t like me. Never did throughout his life.”

“What?” Anisha was shocked.

“It’s true. He never told me if he liked someone else. But for sure, he didn’t want me.”

“Oh!”

“He lived with me only to protect the family’s honor… I believe he was truly happy only after you were born. You were the only happiness in his life. In mine too.”

“Why didn’t you tell me about this earlier mom?”

“I couldn’t. Your father had prohibited me. Nobody could know that I had run away.”

“Then why are you telling this to me now?”

“So that you can understand when I tell you why I need to go back… Even though my parents may not be alive, perhaps their way of life is. Maybe the house I was born in is still there… God has been very kind to me. Now, it is time for me to give back. I want to go to my village and do everything in my capacity to make myself useful. I owe it to myself. I owe it to my parents.”



A new day

Nathan woke up squinting; the gentle morning light blinding the eyes that had slept for too long. He sensed her immediately. Instinctively he closed his eyes, turned in her direction and slowly opened them. He saw her, radiant and smiling. Her tears wet his forehead as she kissed him.

“How do you feel honey?”

“I feel… I don’t know. Drugged. And Thirsty.”

“They say it will wear away in a few hours’ time. Here, have some water.”

Nathan drank out of her hands and lay back down in exhaustion.

 

“I am scared, Emily. What if it hasn’t worked? They did say it was experimental.”

“Then nothing changes, does it? We would have lost some money but then… Come on Nathan. You only need to try.”

photo-20170904154630548Nathan looked down on his hand that had been his lifeless companion all life. He willed it to move. And suddenly – it did; making shadows he never knew he was capable of. Smiling, he looked out the window at the rising sun. A glorious day had just begun.

Word count: 173

Photo courtesy:  artycaptures.wordpress.com


Flash fiction in response to FFfAW hosted by Priceless Joy.

 

Poet’s inspiration

tltweek81

photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha via Unsplash

“The wood, while burning itself, imparts just enough warmth to gently melt the cheese into a delicious pizza without charring; much like a person suffering from one-sided love,” observed Rohan over their dinner at the local pizzeria.
“I didn’t know a pizza could inspire poetry – especially from a dud like you,” retorted Revathi.
“Pizza might not, but your boring talk could!” chuckled Rahul while Revathi hit him in mock contempt.


Flash fiction in response to Three Line Tales hosted by Sonya.

 

Unhappy in a perfect life?

What am I still searching for? This is an all consuming, frequent thought that takes possession of me, as it would a number of you too I suppose. Leaves me with a feeling of something missing in the midst of the best of everything. This phrase captures the feeling eloquently.

She’s stuck between
who she is,
who she wants to be,
and
who she should be

I would really like to know who penned this. It is a brilliant example of capturing a lifetime in 3 lines. It mirrors what I go through and perhaps everyone does. This conflict of having and doing everything you should but “wanting” something else. That is if you do know what you want. If you don’t, the confusion is manyfold.

What do you do at such times? When the need to be someone else is so strong that your perfect life seems to be suffocating? I admit I am not brave enough to make drastic changes to chase a dream. But staying on the same path forever isn’t an option either. So, I have learned to come to terms with this feeling without letting myself drown in frustration. These five points have helped me immensely and I hope that they connect with you too.

Continue reading “Unhappy in a perfect life?”

Being stuck

photo-20170725070138170

Photo credit: Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode

“She had no right to be rude to me. Especially when she knows the kind of stress that I am under!!” he fumed as he paced his yacht. Roy’s frustration had grown to unbearable proportions. He felt stifled and stuck in his present job. He wasn’t getting any new ones either being “too senior”. He felt caged and the tension was spilling over at home.

Being lost in his thoughts, he realized he was stuck, quite literally, only after a while; the low tide had left his yacht marooned. “What? This is exactly what I need now!!” he yelled. His anger though, could not be sustained. Forced inactivity has a calming effect on the mind and he was no exception. Nature took over his senses forcing him to observe and admire the jagged rocks, the iridescent green of the moss, the gray of the night edging out the blues. As the tide reversed and the yacht was ready for sailing, Roy was at peace. Sometimes, it is better to just be stuck.

Word count: 172


Flash Fiction in response to FFfAW hosted by Priceless Joy.

 

The recluse

janet-webb-french-still-life

PHOTO PROMPT © Janet Webb

Laden with an assortment of items – paints, jars, crystals, marbles, buttons, she slipped unnoticed through the market, making her way back home. On reaching, she closed the door of her small one room home and smiled with relief. The ordeal was over.

She carefully arranged everything, reserving special tenderness for the lone window. She viewed it from the chair in front of her easel, admiring the golden streaks painted by the sun falling on the jar. Later, light would shine through the crystals in the candle stand to make a remarkable collage. She sighed contentedly and picked her brush.

Word count: 100


Flash fiction in response to Friday Fictioneers hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff.


The lady in the story might be a recluse who shies away from people and finds everyday activities tedious. However, she is an artist and finds joy in the colors and shapes of nature and works of art. She is content, happy and at peace, in the little abode, she calls home. I am quite taken by her I must admit. 🙂


Her prayer

She followed the white plume that rose from the glowing incense stick. The smoke rose as a single sheet before branching out into barely discernible tiny veins and then vanishing altogether. She was engrossed in its fluid shapelessness; shifting every moment before she could even accept the picture through her eyes. She could only observe. Observe the ever changing ephemeral beauty while standing still in the chaos.

She wondered. Perhaps he was drifting too. Weightless, unbound, liberated. Just rising towards his God effortlessly while his body decayed like the slowly burning incense turning into ashes. However, just as everyone would sense the incense by its scent long after the ashes had been swept, she would feel him too long after he was gone. He would be with her in every smile and tear, in every moment of courage and weakness, in every breath and death.

She followed the stream of smoke till her eyes rested on the face of God. She stared into His serene face and did the only thing she could. “Please accept him God” she prayed with all her soul’s strength. “Please keep him happy.”

What defines me

Memories of you seize me in unguarded moments
Washing over me and pelting me, like torrential rain
Where do I seek shelter, when it is myself I am running from?

Everyone says, whatever happens, happens for the good
Show me all the things I hate about you; tell me it’s good riddance
Is it? I question myself. Has my love for you been so blind?

It must be; for it screened from me all the signs and hints
Now, as I set out to chart out the lonely path of discovery,
What do I deserve and what is in store, who can tell?

I KNOW one thing for sure though; the one guiding lamp to my path
You may have found me worthless, a dead weight around your leg
But that is YOUR scale, not mine. I will NOT let this define me.

The buoyant heart

Wafting with each draft
Drifting with each wave
Gliding and floating away
There is no goal to reach
Nowhere to settle.

With complete submission
The buoyant heart follows
The path charted by changes.
Scars or wounds there are none
With nothing to hold me down.

Key to a GOOD post?

I was told that a good blogger needs to meet at least two criteria: provide good content, provide it on a regular basis. However, in the one month that I have been blogging, I realized this is not the complete picture. Good content in itself is not good enough. Why you ask? Let me urge you to consider this. When anyone can read / view / hear just about anything they want to at any time, what makes them choose and return to specific content?

Continue reading “Key to a GOOD post?”

A month and counting….

I have been blogging for about a month now. In this duration, 19 precious people have allowed me to be part of their world. I don’t know much about any of the 19 of you. However, I do know that each one of you amazing people has given me the encouragement and strength to keep posting every day. Thank you so much for this motivation!! While it is gratifying to think that in some way, my writing has connected with you, I sincerely hope that you enjoyed reading my posts so far. I will continue to try my level best to write every day and write well so as to merit your time.

Please connect with me and share your thoughts – about my blog or about anything under the sun or about anything out of this universe. Let us get to know each other better.