Building Boundaries

It was a noisy college canteen with an omnipresent recklessness around. But the fervor failed on two undergrads sitting at a corner table, two empty forms spread on the table between them.

“You should apply, you’ll get through easily”, said one.

“And then? Who will pay the fee? I need to start working immediately, there are family obligations”, replied the other. “But you should apply.” he added.

“I won’t clear it. Talk to your parents, you’ll easily get scholarship”, first one replied.

“They will happily agree, but I don’t want to add to their burdens”, he said sadly, “and come on, I know you will crack it, believe in yourself”.

“I know I can’t. I insist you take it up with your parents. Imagine the kind of money you’ll make after you do this!”

And the two friends continued to fence their lives with barbed wires for the rest of the afternoon, attempting to unwind the other’s all the while.

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Exceeded the word limit by a stretch, but couldn’t trim further.

This prompt brought a lot of ideas, but because of lack of coherence in my thoughts of late, couldn’t do what I had planned to do with it when I had first seen it. I haven’t really used the prompt, but the first thought that came to my mind when I saw it – boundaries that we set around ourselves and use as excuses to not do something outside of our comfort zones. Analysis Paralysis as they appropriately call it!

A very fine prompt Madison! Stimulating! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

Layla

First you set out to save her and then you are her victim. She always leaves you begging for more.

She was with me last night. It was raining outside and here in this moist cave we made out like it was the end of the world. I don’t remember when I fell asleep; I had held her tight so she couldn’t leave. But she is gone – the plop of the drops from the roof on my forehead an enticing reminder of her presence… The memory of her touch still etched on my skin…

Layla… the temptress, the serpentine temptress!

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Friday Flash Fiction for Madison’s awesome prompt for the week(Great click Madison! Thanks for sharing):

Also, enjoy the song while you are here! 🙂

Vantage Point?

Save the Song

I will be gone

But save my song

And hear it when it’s been long.

Not to trouble you, not to cause pain

Not to put your frail heart under any strain

But just so it wasn’t all in vain.

I wrote that song for the times that were,

Since can we go back and make it blur?

Or can we move forward like it was never?

It was there then and now it’s gone

Let’s raise a toast and cherish our song,

And pray we get where we truly belong.

Save the Song?

Save the song?

Are you insane!

All you ever gave me

Was hurt and pain.

Your song is for you

It was never mine

Your treachery cut deep

Though your words were sublime.

You should reach

Where you truly belong

Good riddance,

Farewell to your song.

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This is an attempt for “Inspirational Mondays” series hosted on  Be Kind Rewrite blog. The prompt for this post can be found here.

Since it’s my first time, not sure if I did it right! But I’d rather try and fail and learn than sit and watch from a distance! 🙂

The Dark Tunnel

“Moe said that whoever goes inside that tunnel never comes back. Cave people live there. They eat men alive”, Rick said to Jake as they came near the tunnel.

“I don’t believe Moe. He is a bully and he loves to scare junior wing kids. I am going in”, Jake was adamant.

“Okay… I think I will wait here”, replied Rick.

Jake sprinted into the tunnel.

A horrid cry of help broke the silence of the place. Rick ran away crying aloud.

“Next I’ll tell him you are a ghost”, Moe said to Jake in the tunnel doubling with laughter.

PS: To avoid confusion, Matt has been rechristened as Rick. Thanks Elmowrites for the concrit! 🙂

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100 word story for Madison’s Friday prompt.

When Words Fail

“You never say anything”, he said to her in an exasperated tone.

“But what do you want me to say? I have nothing particular in mind” she replied, smiling despite her own exasperation at the oft repeated, never explained accusation.

“Hmm… I don’t know. Just speak your mind”

“Okay… I will speak when something pops up. In the meantime, what are we having for breakfast? I am starving!” She said trying to lighten the atmosphere.

She is just pretending again! He thought between their conversations.

What dark secrets does he think I am hiding from him? She wondered between smiles and laughter.

Few days past…

It was a beautiful, calm Sunday evening. She was listening to a melodious song suggested by him, savoring the aroma of coffee looking outside the window of their balcony.

“You know what?  If you don’t tell me what’s going in your mind, I have no means of knowing it”. He said startling her.

“I tell you everything, what else do you want to hear? Come here, the sun is about to set. It is so serene!” She replied, praying he abandons his unknown quest.

He came and stood near her. She leaned next to him as they watched the sunset.

Why can’t she just tell me she is not into it? He thought to himself, looking at the approaching dark, oblivious of the beauty that she had mentioned some time back.

A perfect moment spoiled again. Why does he do this every time! The evening had lost its charm on her as well.

Few weeks past…

They were sloshed and wasted – so much so that the key to the main door did not seem to fit the key-hole anymore. So they sat in the porch laughing at their inability to do the basic task, each blaming the other for getting so drunk. She was drifting in and out of a dream when she heard the accusation again.

“You know you are nice. But you never tell me what’s running in your mind. You leave me guessing, and I am not conditioned to work like that”

“God, not again! What disturbing news are you seeking to hear from me? What do you want me to say?”

“Just speak your mind. That’s all”.

“What’s on my mind right now is how we get inside the house because  I can swear on the uncountable drinks we had there is nothing more I want to do right now than to pee to my heart’s content”, she said sheepishly, hoping he would lighten up again.

He got up with a jerk and got her to her feet.

“Lies all the time!” he threw her in a corner and left.

Her forehead was bleeding but her vision was clear now. She found the keys and opened the door effortlessly. Went to the toilet, then packed her bags and left the house. Don’t feel, just act, she kept reminding herself.

She saw him on the road a few blocks away.

“Hey! Let me tell you what you wanted to hear all this while”, she called out at him.

When he turned, she raised her right hand and made the universally understood gesture that needs no words.

Peace out.

For the love of Delhi

Lutyen’s Delhi looks beautiful at night. Deserted roads lit with street lights look like deep grey rivers frozen in time. While weekends witness great activity with love-struck couples, change-desperate families and ever-jubilant students swarming the India Gate premises, weekdays are mostly deserted with a handful of dreamers like yours truly ambling around with like minded non-conformers. When it’s well past midnight on a weekday, there’s hardly any soul around to see the wind caressing the green façade surrounding the roads, whispering jokes it heard throughout the day in the political arenas, making the trees shake with laughter and tremble with the horror of what lies ahead. It’s a beauty that’s rare and exquisite.

I was driving in circles on the roads with my long time friend that night when she told me she was leaving for Dubai for good.

“Will you be coming back to visit sometime?” I asked her as calmly as I could.

“I don’t think so”, she said, looking outside the window. Her lustrous black hair was wrapped in a tango with the wind, obstructing her view sometimes. But she seemed oblivious, making no attempt to tame it.

My mind was a blur. Words popped up in no logical sequence but I kept myself from blurting by concentrating on the road ahead. I am a very controlled man. Life has taught me to not wear my heart on my sleeve. Apart from giving easy access to any bumbling bee who wants to kick it around, it serves no fruitful purpose. But this girl was different.

I knew this was coming. It had been on the cards for years now. But I thought we will work it out some way, not knowing how. We being together was the most logical thing. So logical that it never had to be worded between us in all these years. Not until now I guess.

“I am happy for you. When are you leaving then?” I said almost mechanically.

“In a couple of days” she replied.

“I am going to be very lonely here without you. Can’t even imagine”, I said, giving in partly to the aggravating turmoil within.

She kept looking out without replying.

We drove around and stopped at our regular paratha joint, made our regular order of paratha and chai. I was quiet all this while, so was she. Words were never needed between us, but I wanted to say something, anything, to keep her from going home tonight and to Dubai eventually. It was way out of my character to make an effort, especially because my efforts had left me hurt and vulnerable before. She knew all about it, she was the one who used to listen to the sagas of my heartaches and heartburns later, at this very place, on these very roads.

Heartless and cold, time flies by when you want to sleep in its vicissitudes. I drove her to her home of 2 more days, silent despite my sinking heart.

“Will we catch up again before you leave?” I asked as she got out of the car.

“Not sure. I have a lot of errands to do before I leave”.

“Is there anything I can do to keep you from going?” I asked finally.

She caressed my face, a hint of mist in her eyes. “You have kept me long enough already”.

And that was the end of a story that could have been. I traverse around the same roads even now. They are beautiful like before, deserted and dreamy. But when the breeze brushes my hair and strokes the back of my neck, I have to admit, my mind races to the glitzy skylines of Dubai. Maybe I should visit her sometime. That would be way out of my character again, but some things are worth losing yourself.

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I leave you with a not-so-famous, but lovely hindi song.

This is the End, Beautiful Friend

Closures are important. Old makes way for new, my father used to say.

I sat longer than was safe to watch the sun rise one last time. I let it fill my heart and warm my soul like it always did.  I let it assure me that everything will be alright again. I didn’t believe it, but I didn’t want to think otherwise. I didn’t want to think at all.

I ended an era as the day began.

The sedatives I mixed in his drink were heavy. I would be long gone before he wakes up, if at all.

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A late entry for Madison’s Friday prompt-

I leave you with a beautiful song…