Livin’ la vida Mocha

The last drop of water dribbled from the closed faucet on the empty kitchen sink, just as the quiet snoring of the kids began from next door. The dish washer stopped grumbling after what seemed an eternity and began the silent drying routine. The oven top was shining bright, the kitchen slabs were scrubbed anew and the wooden floor was squeaky clean.

She placed the carafe ever so lightly, the machine began with an understanding hiss like an old ally meeting after an exhausting day in the battlefield. She loosened here hair, leaned on the slab and took in the wafts of coffee rushing to embrace her.

Cradling her hands around the warm coffee mug, she walked towards the TV, only to stop briefly to marvel the neat and speckle free house around her. She dragged her feet gently as she walked, to enjoy the soft crispness of the recently vacuumed carpet.

The leviathan couch flanked by the throw beckoned like a patient lover who’s been waiting all day. Imperial and inescapable, it knew its time had come. She sank in its warmth, realizing full well that she was getting in a trap. She snuggled in the throw, reached for the remote and switched on the TV.

A long swig of the coffee and the invisible lines on her forehead began to disappear…


My Entry for Inspirational Monday. To know more about Inspirational Monday weekly challenge, visit here.


The Secret

He stood at the highest edge of the gabled roof, staring at the fireworks in the starless night. He could hear the claps of the small kids, the laughter of the elders and the all-encompassing din of fused chatter of the crowd that had gathered below. He too could have been down there, sharing a joke with his brothers, ruffling the hair of the kids running past, stealing a glance at the girls from a distance. But instead, he stood at the precarious edge, staring absently at the glittering sky. It was almost like falling awake from a long, deep slumber. He knew a secret that threatened his life, put the peace of his quaint village at risk.

Could he let this go on, be a silent victim and witness this catastrophic success? Or could he be the unsung hero who fights this darkness and never lets anyone know? Deep down, he knew he was no hero. He was but a lowly peasant – illiterate, simple of mind. He had no means to fight the evil whose eyes were set on this village for more than hundreds of years now. Evil… It was the first time he was addressing the Ouyangs by that name… even to himself. The Ouyang forefathers built this village – the little forgetful piece of land in the great province of Sichuan. Every person living to this day revered the Ouyangs as messiahs. He winced at the contrast, half wishing he had never come to know of this deep betrayal.

The sky was abloom with a confetti of light, the bursts coming in quicker successions now, which meant the display was nearing its end, as was his time. He didn’t hear the approaching footsteps, nimble as they were.

“Oh my, the view is exquisite from here. Do you come here often?”  He looked back startled, almost slipping an inch.

“Nín hǎo Master Yiu Choi” .He said deferentially.

“Your predicament was brought to my attention, and I thought it only fitting to meet you at once.” Yiu Choi looked at the shimmering sky and continued, “The time for decision is nigh my friend”.

His heart was racing fast and his mind drew a blank. He was standing face to face with the great Master Yiu Choi. No one knew how old he was, but the oldest of men in the village swore they saw him as he stood now since their childhood. The great warrior had inspired countless songs and folklores. Was he here to assassinate a poor farmer, was this all he was under the screens and layers of reverence and fascination – an assassin at the service of the Ouyangs?

“I will not speak of this to another living soul, I swear” he managed between sobs. Hands folded, head bowed, he begged for his life to be spared.

The last of confetti vanished on its way to the ground, leaving a cloud of smoke behind. If you looked for a little while, you could still make out the path the fire bursts had followed, your eyes still picturing the fireworks like they were still there. People below began to disperse, the kids still lingering wanting to stay out of the house a little longer as patient parents waited.

The placid scene was broken by a loud thud. The quick minded ran to where it came from, as the slow realizers followed. He lay lifeless on the ground, his tears frozen in his eyes. It was the seventh suicide in the last five months. It was plain to see that something was not right if only someone tried to string things together, but the unsuspecting villagers only gasped and covered the eyes of the children nearby.


My Entry for Inspirational Monday. To know more about Inspirational Monday weekly challenge, visit here.


Time Sensitive

She was sitting in the patio, waiting… waiting for more things than she could count on her fingers… waiting for nothing more than she already had… waiting… till minutes turned into hours and hours into days and days into weeks and weeks into months…time was expansive and exhaustive, it was a blink of an eye and the gaze of a face in a picture, staring at you, unblinking… beckoning, beseeching, wanting you back…. Only there was nothing or no one to go back to… for everything was here, in this moment and yet there was nothing…

Can you look back and remember that it was you – in flesh and blood in the memory that clogs your mind? Can you feel the breeze that gave you goose bumps on that windy night at the beach? When you look at your placid hands now comatose on the arms of the chair, do you relate with the firm grip of the knife that they once held? Do you remember the warm, thick blood that splashed your face when you slit his throat open? Do you play that moment over and over in your head? When you sat at the bar and smiled at him? Do you look away this time? Do you decide to sleep the night at home instead? Do you think if you could go back and change one tiny thing that could lead to an altogether different domino effect, you would? But you can’t can you now? Time only goes forward, rewinding is a concept us silly, error-prone humans have devised…

“Time for your medicines!”, a cheerful voice broke her reverie, something for which she was growing more grateful than she showed. The nurse brought the tray with different paper cups holding tablets and capsules of different sizes and colors and a glass of water and methodically emptied one cup after another in her mouth, with interludes of water.

“Would you like to get back in the room and watch some TV? There’s a new season of Archer on Netflix”. She perked up. “Oh wow! I have been waiting for it, let’s go in right away!” The nurse obliged and pushed the wheelchair inside.


My Entry for Inspirational Monday. To know more about Inspirational Monday weekly challenge, visit here.



Of Men and Monkeys

“Aren’t they cute?” She squealed happily pulling her father’s sleeve to get his attention. Her father glanced absently in her direction and nodded only to get back to his book.

‘Look Daddy what they’re doing now! They are trying to copy me! Mmuahh! Oh look, they just gave me a flying kiss back!”

He sighed and kept the book aside, took off his glasses and turned to his daughter.

“I want you to stay away from them. It’s enough that your “scientist” mom gets work home, not in the form of files or laptop, but a cage of genetically modified monkeys that she then asks me to babysit on a Sunday afternoon. I can do without having to babysit you as well. Why don’t you play in your room and leave them be, let me know when your mom’s back, okay?”

“Oh look, they are listening to you so intently! Can they understand what we say?”

“Question is, do you understand what I say?”

She turned towards him, “What are you reading? Would you tell me the story when you’re done?”

“It’s called ‘Of men and mice’… I am close to finishing it, I might tell you the story if you’d be a good girl and go to your room…”

“What’s it about?” she perched on the side of his arm chair.

His wife entered the room just then. “It’s about a beautiful mad scientist and her lab-grown love”, he said amusingly.

“But it’s called men and mice, are there no men and mice in it?” the young girl pressed.

“Smart girl! I will find out once I finish the book” he laughed.

“All yours”, he winked at his wife and lifted his daughter in his arms, grabbed the book and left the room.


She closed the room behind them and took out a syringe filled with a transparent liquid from her briefcase. Almost on cue, the smallest of the monkeys walked towards the door of the cage with an outstretched arm. As the syringe thrust the last drops of liquid into her, she began talking in a familiar girl’s voice.

Aren’t they cute… Look Daddy what they’re doing now…they are trying to copy me…oh look…they just gave me a flying kiss back…

“That’s enough, thanks”. The monkey walked back to the rest of the group.

She took out a sheet of paper and began scribbling…

Sunday, June 17, 2029: Voice recorded albeit without emotions and expressions but with the right vocal modulations. Another step towards “Living Talking Toms”… still a long road ahead.

My Entry for Inspirational Monday. I used the prompt “lab-grown love”.
To know more about Inspirational Monday weekly challenge, visit here.

‘Shaky’ Sermons

She tip-toed out of the bed and into the kitchen almost on cue with her mom’s snoring. Putting one light foot after another on the kitchen stool she rested her hands on the kitchen slab and stepped on it nimbly. The cookie jar was in the cupboard right above her, she could brush her fingers against it. She just had to stand a little taller on her toes and it would be in her grasp. She crawled her fingers against its round corners and gave it a little push from the sides only to realize a second too late that she was in no position to support the falling jar and that it was heavy!

The jar smashed on the floor with a loud shattering noise breaking the stillness of the afternoon instantly. Mom seemed to glide into the kitchen at the speed of sound.

“What happened here?“ She asked pointlessly. The scene was self-explanatory.  Sarah was standing on the slab, guilty as a thief and the cookies were scattered between ruins of what was moments ago a fine porcelain jar of cookies.

“I, uh… I got hungry” Sarah said giving her cutest possible smile.

“And you didn’t want to eat any of the fruits or the sandwiches I made for you, but had to climb all the way up to the cookie jar?”

Not sure how to answer, Sarah stared intently at the jar as though she could will it back to life.

Mom sighed. “Stay put on the slab while I clean this up. Would you like to have a sandwich?”

Sarah nodded and sat down on the slab watching mom get to work.

Suddenly the windows rattled, and everything started shaking.

“Oh my God, what’s happening” Mom cried out.

“I didn’t do it!” Sarah said confused.

The tremors stopped. Mom picked up Sarah and rushed out of the house joining the rest of the neighbors.

“Mommy, what happened?” Sarah asked.

“Honey it was an earthquake.”

“What’s an earthquake? Why did it happen?”

Mom opened her mouth and closed it. She finally spoke, “It happened because someone got very naughty and didn’t listen to her Mommy”.

“Really, because I broke the cookie jar? But it didn’t happen when I made paper planes from Daddy’s files in the study or when I tried your make-up stuff?”

Mom thought for awhile.

“Well, when you used my make-up, I cleaned you up quickly so no one got to know and nothing happened. When you ripped out from Dad’s files, the paper police came but your Dad asked them to give you another chance. But this time…” Mom pursed her lips and shook her head slowly.

Sarah covered her gaping mouth with both her hands and stared at her mom wide eyed. “I did this! Everyone must be so mad at me!” She said teary eyed.

Mom felt sorry but held on. “Will you be a good girl now?”

Sarah hugged her mom tightly and nodded.


My Entry for Inspirational Monday. I used the prompt “Paper Police”.
To know more about Inspirational Monday weekly challenge, visit here.


Vacation is a wonderful thing… It’s like rebooting a laptop that has been on for days on end with the exception of some passivity at the mercy of the owner’s inactivity.

I too managed to hit a reset button this weekend, it wasn’t a hard reboot, but a little respite nevertheless. I think it’s a good time to try (yet again) to write! Writing is gradually becoming an old itch than a flourishing habit, maybe I could rekindle this old flame too along with other passions I have managed to rekindle in this vacation. Oh and I am going to post this as it is without a single edit.

I am beginning to appreciate the lack of technological penetration that’s still prevelant in the remote places. It’s difficult to manage without Google or Wikipedia or Yelp, without knowing how far or close the next coffee house is, to look left and right at the streets and signs instead of staring at the GPS, to not know if the restaurant you are going to has a 4 star review on Yelp or not. But it also makes one realise how technology is ruling our lives today. An industry that’s just a few decades old has made us so comfortable and cosy in its abundance that it almost seems unthinkable to have ever lived without it. I feel awkward to write with my own hand and I am no longer sure if it will rain or not by just looking at the sky. So being at a place where your cellphone is reduced to an expensive aluminium cuboid really helps putting things into perspective.

We are becoming remote controlled zombies feeding off a plethora of gadgets and apps. I mean there are apps to even tell you how long you have been on other apps on your phone(one of them is called Moment, it’s okay). How lame are we becoming! Even after being in the software industry, when I hear of the grand plans my brethren have with the Internet of Things, it makes me shudder.

I wonder what the impact of this technological revolution is going to have on the old, forgotten but inevitable advancement Darwin called evolution. Which vital part of our bodies would be reduced to vestigial status eventually… If I were to indulge in wishful thinking, I wish there are some altering patterns that result in less fat accumulation. It’s totally unnecessary in today’s greasy fast food world where pizza is just a phone call away and Amazon delivers groceries at your doorstep. We can do without storing fat in our ever expanding waistlines. And perhaps we would need a little more strength in our knees now that we are living longer than ever before.. Oh and as a concession, we could do with less brain space for memory, it’s all in the cloud now, google glass or its cheaper counterparts in their future releases would even ease off the need for remembering people’s names, as long as they had a google plus/Facebook account.. And frankly who doesn’t?

I don’t mean technology is not good. Apart from providing a livelihood for me and my likes it has undoubtedly made our lives very, and I must really stress on it, very comfortable. But it seems like the pendulum is swinging to the other extreme now and has abandoned what one could call the golden mean.

I could go on about how we have become raptured by Technology but I need to wrap this now, I just missed seeing a deer run past because I was glued to the WordPress App writing this. The irony!

So long!

Why did the Ducks cross the Road…??

Why did the chicken cross the road…? Hard to tell…

In my case, I wonder the same about the ducks. It was a usual evening; I was driving back from work, Riptide playing in the background, mundane things playing on my mind, and there they were… two little ducks crossing the busy road. The cars must be going at about 40 miles an hour, I am sure most of the drivers were as lost in their thoughts as I was; we were all brought to a halt by the two chums who decided they needed to get to the other side to chill out.

It was a nice interlude; I wish I had the presence of mind to take a quick picture. I have seen deer and such cross the road, but that’s usually in wilderness. Besides, they are always in a hurry. Ducks are a different matter, they take their time, one tiny foot in front of the other and it takes what it takes to cross a four lane road. Whatever your urgency, it’s not their problem. There is a life lesson here if you want to look for one, especially for the likes of me who want to do everything in no time! It takes one step at a time and it takes what it takes to get there.

Here’s a cute video I found on YouTube, though these ducks are a lot faster than the two stragglers I encountered the other day.😀