Then and Now

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The wind kissed the surface of the sea… flirtatious yet cautious not to unfurl a passion so high that the waves would come roaring towards it, there was still time for that. The sun was setting, stretching and yawning as it strolled home, ready to put its feet up after a hard day’s work. July was a busy month after all.

While the sun had been burning the midday’s oil – so to speak, it wasn’t all that hard for the people lazing by the beach. The sun was setting, the waves were getting perkier by the hour, and the cool wind caressing their skin sang a sweet melody as it touched their ears. It was an ideal Sunday afternoon for everyone. The kids were playing in the sand; the young loves were having a stroll, the more solitudinous were fishing with chilled beer for company.

Months went by, the sun slogged and people enjoyed – with the ice creams, the iced teas, the Pina Coladas. While the people sang merry basking in the glory of long days and varied activities, the Sun counted days, one at a time… waiting for September… then October… then November… which brings us to today. It’s a Sunday alright, but how things have changed. The Sun closed shop for an evening cup of steaming hot coffee and never came back. The people, feeling dull at home, opened their shades to peak outside, and decided to cradle in the warmth of indoors. The long days of sunshine are all but behind; this is the time of hibernation, of cramming excess reserves of fat around the belly, of making solemn resolves of challenging the cold wintry morning tomorrow with a run and never waking up early enough to make it.

As Ned Stark had warned us, the winter has come.

Though it doesn’t quite fit the occasion, but just for the number of times it’s been called out, I would end this with a tribute to my dear old friend in hiding – summer. Hope to see you soon!

The Alien Exit

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‘Cows have four legs?? I thought they were three legged!’

I frowned, but walked on. We were in a park on a weekend, trying to gel in – take in the behavior patterns of humans, and this imbecile!

Thankfully, it didn’t attract much attention. There were a few amused glances. I could hear a girl talking about this comment to the rest of her group as they walked past us. They laughed, she linked it with the falling standards of the education system.

Humans have opinions about everything, they can’t mind their own business. On our planet, we meditate, talk less, live in the present, don’t let our thoughts go astray. But this race epitomizes randomness. There’s so much energy ebbing out of them and getting scattered in the air. It’s only the discipline of thousands of years that’s controlling us. We could weaken them, just the four of us could soak in all this excessive energy and leave them bereft of all their ideas and imagination. We could then dictate and rule this planet. But that’s not who we are. ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ . Humans call it the ‘Golden Rule’. We have lived by it for millennia, not disturbing the balance of the universe – nurturing, looking after each other. That’s what Voluntia stood for. We voluntians were beacons of peace, benevolence and love. Until those Infelicitans, those liars who came for our help, cheated us, made our planet their own and ousted those of us who objected. The four of us chose to come to Earth. There are others, reconnoitering the fringes of the universe, gathering support against the misfortune that has befallen us.

I am giving up on Earth. They are so divided within, with continents and countries and states and borders, so consumed with the pleasures of money and wealth and so zealous about their outward differences, that they have forgotten what binds them together. They have forgotten the ultimate, fundamental truth that is the very reason for their existence – the life force, the common thread that binds all the lives on a planet. It is all but forgotten, its pulse so weak, I can barely feel it. In such a scattered, divided place, there is no common ground where I can reach out to one and all. What’s worse is that all this is beginning to affect us too. We are becoming impatient, greedy, feisty like them. We can’t stay here any longer, for our own good. We will leave in two days, when we get a signal from the others.

From One to Another (Voice 5 of 5)

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Dear Anita,

Hope this letter finds you in good spirits.

Jake handed me your story last week. I really enjoyed it. It took me to a different world, I swam in its waves –  sinking with its troughs and surfing with its crests. You have the gift of imagination, and an eye for detail. Hold on to your dream, Anita, it is a beautiful one – one that will come true if you persevere with it.

You asked for my advice in your letter. I could say many things, but would it be wise? I could, as you asked, tell you how I would have written the story, but then it would not be your story anymore. 

You draw inspiration from your surroundings; I can picture you writing a story before you even touch a pen. That’s how I too was once, before success acquainted with me. With success came its close pals caution and conformity. There will come a stage in your life too, when these three will follow you closely, guiding your every step. Until then, my only advise is experiment, discover, let your imagination run wild and somewhere amidst those wonders… find yourself! 

You have my best wishes and I would be happy to read your stories in future as well. I am sorry if my letter disappoints you, if you were expecting more concrete answers. Writing is a journey and takes its own course. There will be a stage when you will be ready with different, more pertinent questions – I will be happy to help you find your answers then. Until then, try your heart out and write whatever catches your fancy.

On a different matter, and I am taking some liberty here, Jake mentioned you are reclusive at school.  While it is said to be typical of writers to be aloof in their dealings with the world, it is nothing but a sorry stereotype.  Reach out to people, open up to them. You will be surprised how that would impact your writing. You could start with Jake, he dabbles in writing too, you two have something in common.

Looking forward to more stories.

My Best…

……………………………….

356 words (!)

I decided to write a longer entry this time… About 250% more than my usual… :P

I have come to the realization that writing longer than 100 words has become as difficult for me as trimming to 100 words used to be once! Who would have thought! :/

This is my final entry for Voice Week 2014.

Voice week is a writing challenge hosted by Stephanie of BekindRewrite to experiment with different voices.

Previous Voices:

Voice 1

Voice 2

Voice 3

Voice 4

The Obliviously Attentive (Voice 4 of 5)

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There is so much to write, so much to capture.

That couple by the side-walk… How the girl’s eyes waiver as this other guy passes by…

Oooh, I should write about the old man from the cafe, should he be happy or grumpy?

Wow, look at the shape of the cloud! Almost like a dragon! Perhaps, I could spin something Game of Thrones like?

Maybe a historical drama inspired from the Victorian times… or Greek Mythology?

Even Fantasy is nice, vampires and damsels… Teen drama maybe…

I want to write something that’s never been written before… like JK Rowling!

……………………………………………………………………….

99 words

This is my fourth entry for Voice Week 2014. I tried to get in the mind of the girl herself this time.

Voice week is a writing challenge hosted by Stephanie of BekindRewrite to experiment with different voices.

There will be 5 installments coming, one each day, from Sep 22nd to Sep 27th.

Previous Voices:

Voice 1

Voice 2

Voice 3

The Quiet Grumbler (Voice 3 of 5)

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There comes the little lassie.

A 3$ cappuccino and takes the table with the best view for hours at end. Never tips, never returns a smile, and never even looks up from her little notebook to enjoy the view! Such mousie handwriting, I write better when I can barely write.

No such policy to ask her away the owner says. I say, we make one overnight. She and her likes will drive us out of business!

“Can I have a small cappuccino, please?”

Sure you can. I have no say in the matter.

I should change my job.

………………………………………………..

98 Words

This is my third entry for Voice Week 2014.

Voice week is a writing challenge hosted by Stephanie of BekindRewrite to experiment with different voices.

There will be 5 installments coming, one each day, from Sep 22nd to Sep 27th.

Previous Voices:

Voice 1

Voice 2

The Reluctant Collaborator (Voice 2 of 5)

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If she was just gawky, it was fine… if she was just shy, it was fine too…   but she is gawky and shy and also rude to top it all! She comes to me – not a smile, not a hello… thrusts these papers in my hand … “Give these to your Mom”

All this weird stuff written on them… incarceration, kings and dragons… Pretty impressive writing, but she could’ve added a “Please”.

Calls herself a writer… well she’ll never be successful like Mom with that frown on her face! I don’t know why Mom entertains that loon ball!

……………………………………………………

99 words

This is my second entry for Voice Week 2014.

Voice week is a writing challenge hosted by Stephanie of BekindRewrite to experiment with different voices.

There will be 5 installments coming, one each day, from Sep 22nd to Sep 27th.

Previous Voice:

Voice 1

The Derailed Dreamer (Voice 1 of 5)

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Crumpled paper littered the floor; she decided it was time for an intervention.

“Anita! Come to your room immediately!”

“Can it wait? I’m heading out to take some pictures. The light is just right.”

“Alright, go on. But clean up this mess in your room once you get back!”

She sighed. Was it her fault? All the books she fed her as a child, and all the “of course darling” to her “Mom, will I also write such stories?”

There was a problem with dreams; they died, leaving emptiness behind. Who knew it better than her?

……………………………………

96 words

This is my first entry for Voice Week 2014.

Voice week is a writing challenge hosted by Stephanie of Bekindrewrite to experiment with different voices.

I’m not sure if I understand voices, I will try to write five different perspectives. There will be 5 installments coming, one each day, from Sep 22nd to Sep 27th.

A Start…

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She couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen the stars. Clouds wrapped the whole town in a tight embrace, not letting any glimmer of light come through or get out. No Lights, No Lights played on the radio as she drove from the grocery store a few blocks away to home. Normally she would walk the distance, but the prospect of rains and the squalidness of the place in general had forced her to use her car instead.

The song seemed fitting… No lights in your bright blue eyes… She thought of her father, a ghost of his younger, buoyant self. She used to often joke about how she would still be trying to match her Dad’s pace at hikes even after he turned a hundred.  But her father was only half that age and needed support to walk a few steps. Of course, from a philosophical high ground, life is never fair, there’s worse suffering in the world. But to see her Dad dwindle away before her eyes in a matter of weeks as she helplessly watched was brutal in its own right. Her mother was his strength; she was in fact, the binding force that held everything together. Everything was a blur – the accident, the call at midnight, her father’s hollow, sagged face when she met him outside the ICU.

It had been six months since that day but little had changed in the interest of normalcy. What was originally planned to be a few weeks’ stay with the old man kept getting extended one week after another until she finally came to terms with the fact that she had to move back in this dingy town she had been so desperate to leave since she was young.

She didn’t admit it, but all this was taking a toll on her. She didn’t want to be cross with her Dad, she didn’t want to say the things she said to him before dashing out of the house and on to the grocery store. She had rehearsed a calmer, gentler version in her head so many times, but had never said it until now, in the hope of a more opportune time. When her thoughts did find their way across, they came out as a blow, not to heal but to harm. It was all true of course; rage is but brutal in its honesty. He had been selfish, self-consumed, unwilling to look beyond his own grief at others’ plight, at her plight. She had a whole life ahead of her and here she was tending to a perfectly healthy grown man who would not even try to make it easier for her.

As always happens with anger, regret of the harshness of ones actions dawns after nothing can be done to reverse their impact. Her heart sank as her words replayed in her mind. How they would have broken him. If only she held her resolve to let it go one more time, if only she let that moment pass – perhaps this could have been averted.

She could hear music as she pulled in the driveway. More melodious than what was playing on her radio. Imagine by John Lennon was her mother’s favorite song. Her father opened the door as she locked the car, came out to help with the groceries. Clean shaven, swollen eyes… his crooked smile doing a sorry job at hiding his tears.

“I… uh… Sorry” He said pleadingly… “How have you been, hon?”

“I miss Mom”, she cried, hugging him.

“I know… I miss her too…”

“I’m sorry… it’s just a lot to handle” she sobbed.

“Tell me about it. Will you stay with me a little longer? I… uh… will make an effort, I promise”, he said fighting back the tears.

It was a long road to recovery for both of them, but it was a start.

……………………………………………………………………………….

I am trying to write again… Thanks Ted for looking out for me…

This is for the speakeasy at yeah write challenge #178. All I am hoping is “to get back in shape”!

Before the next flight

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I had a turbulent landing a while ago – almost like a free fall for a few seconds – a woman was crying, the couple next to me were holding each other tightly, and to bring a finality to the pending doom the air hostess began speaking in an urgent, disturbed voice.

I was thinking “So this is what it feels like!” I thought what if this was it? Me alone on a plane, middle of nowhere – that’s it. How long before my family would know? Would they find me? I know it has happened with many, the missing Malaysian airlines being the most recent example, but there is a difference between when it happens on the news and when it happens to you.

I was wondering if I had said a proper goodbye to my husband before leaving in the morning, and calling out to God, since I have heard that if your final thoughts are about God you go to heaven(and I still maintain I’m not overtly religious). I also realized how much I love being alive. I am grateful that I lived to write this, and hopefully there will be more.

This also made me aware of the fact that I haven’t written about my marriage yet, and it has been exactly 7 months today. I got married in December last year and am in the “happily ever after” phase of my life. It has been the most interesting part of my life so far, has made me acutely aware of myself than anything else ever has. My husband stays as far away from books as I cling on to them. The only exception he makes to reading anything except news is my blog. He is practical while I am dreamy; I am thoughtful while he is impulsive. Together, we are making each other better people with every passing day.

I don’t have my wedding picture handy, but this is a picture of us from last weekend.

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